Website exclusive • July, 2008

Fifty years ago, Savage Arms introduced a brand-new bolt-action sporting rifle. In the pistol world, this to be news. Savage to be most well known for its sleek lever activity Model 99, named for the year of its advent at the finish of the 19th century. The certain had created a few bolt actions, but they often tended to be undistinguished in styling and also performance, and were seen as “poor man’s searching rifles.”

Savage 110 .30-06 is Massad Ayoob’s only southpaw bolt action, the first of its sort to be factory-produced.

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The new rifle, called the model 110, to be different. It was constructed to operation after the big dog, Winchester’s version 70, long known colloquially in pistol circles as “the rifleman’s rifle.” The 110’s design work, begun in 1956, to be done generally by the late Nicholas Brewer. Brewer had sought to architecture a trustworthy bolt action arm with remarkable accuracy and an affordable price. Firearms engineers have since marveled in ~ the brilliance through which Brewer an unified economy of to produce with quality of end-user function.

In his authoritative message “Bolt action Rifles,” open minded de Haas explained in great detail just how much cleverness had gotten in Brewer’s architecture of the model 110’s action. Here’s an example: “The 110 sear, a marvel the ingenuity, serves a 3-fold function: as sear, bolt stop and cocking indicator,” de Haas sharp out.

There were 2 other factors that recorded the gun-buying public’s attention and assured that the brand-new rifle would remain on the production line for the next fifty percent century. Introduced in 1958, the gun was quickly made obtainable in a left-handed model, and in 1962, the firm made actions and barreled actions accessible separately.

Southpaw factor

Since the beginning of the bolt activity rifle in the 19th century, the bolt had always been on the appropriate side, plan for procedure by a right-handed, ideal eye dominant shooter. Converting one because that left-handed usage was a highly expensive practice gunsmithing proposition. Brewer, from the beginning, design the rifle come be produced with one of two people right-handed or left-handed bolt handle. The resourcefulness of the architecture is the it is no mirror picture in the southpaw versus northpaw models: in each, for instance, the bolt stop/takedown lever is ~ above the best side the the receiver, or action housing.

Note thumb position on the sliding top-tang manual safety, one ergonomic and ambidextrous function that to be a Savage exclusive in weapons of its type at time that introduction.

Various approximates indicate that somewhere between one-sixth and one-twelfth that the human population is left-handed. Over there are plenty of other world who space right-handed yet left eye dominant, and also are better off shooting from your left shoulder. Firing indigenous the left shoulder v the bolt’s operating take care of on the appropriate side of the rifle have the right to be exceptionally awkward. The Savage model 110 was the very first production rifle produced for lefties, through the bolt manage on the port side that the gun.

Most Mauser form actions (and, like the Winchester model 70, the Savage model 110 to be at its core a Mauser kind rifle) had actually the manual safety at the ideal rear of the action, to give ready access to a right-handed shooter’s thumb. Nick Brewer draft the version 110 with a flavor safety, a sliding move on the tang, or the component of the rifle’s action that mated v the peak edge the the wooden stock. Press it front to fire, on slide it ago for “on safe.” due to the fact that the coming of the dual barrel “hammerless” shotgun in the ahead century, this system had actually been familiar to sportsmen around the world, and those in the United claims were no exception. They evaluate a high-powered rifle that worked the same way.

And, that course, the tang security is ambidextrous, equally obtainable to ideal hand or left. Indeed, plenty of of united state right-handed shooters have uncovered it more natural and quick to operate than the three-position “flipper” at the appropriate rear the the design 70’s action. This kind of manual safety would later on be replicated in various other fine rifles, from the very first iteration that the Ruger version 77 come the brand-new Browning X-Bolt.

Custom rifle factor

Southpaw Savages aren’t mirror picture designs. Ideal hand bolt design (black artificial stock) and also left hand design (wooden stock) both have bolt release/takedown bar at same spot on right side of receiver (arrows).

The 1950s was a time as soon as it to be hugely popular for shooters to “sporterize” bolt activity military rifles, which to be flooding the market. Since new “sporter barrels,” lighter and much more tapered than heavy duty army rifle barrels, to be desirable, part importers merely removed the barrels native the cruddier armed forces surplus guns, and also just offered the actions, understanding that gunsmiths and home hobbyists to be going come install new barrels anyway. Because military stocks had tendency to it is in heavy, bulky, ugly, and unnecessarily long at the front, the first step in “sporterizing” was regularly putting the barrel and activity into some new wood. Thus, “barreled actions” were likewise popular ~ above the excess market.

Winchester, Remington, et. Al. Would certainly not sell simply the action or the barreled action. Castle figured, correctly sufficient from a advertising standpoint, that there was an ext profit in marketing a completely assembled rifle. However, the individual that wanted a customized rifle with a modern, American-made action or action and barrel would now need to pay full price because that a whole rifle, just to throw away the stock and also replace it with a newly purchased one. Savage saw a industry here, and also wisely went for it.

Their 1962 announcement that they would offer actions and also barreled action separately, because that much less than the price of a whole rifle, to be a brilliant move. That endeared them come gunsmiths and gun shops through gunsmithing services, since it carried in much more business.

But, much more than anything else, it to be the affordability of the design 110 an unified with its impressive performance that preserved it in the hand of outdoorsmen and also on the racks of total shops.

Cost factor

Savage specifically designed the model 110 to shoot just also as—and even outshoot—the iconic version 70 Winchester, and to do it in ~ a markedly reduced price point. Lock succeeded. In 1962, Remington presented their version 700, i m sorry would easily outstrip the Winchester in popularity and also become the best-selling contemporary bolt activity rifle ever. Savage kept performance pace through the Remington 700—and undersold the too.

The first port-side bolt handle endeared the 110 to lefties. However, the 110’s esthetic features did no appeal to classic gun buffs. Keep in mind truncated bolt construction (1), non-streamlined bolt take care of (2), stamped alloy cause guard (3), and also machine-cut checkering (4), and pedestrian finish on both wood and metal.

In 1966, when the 110 got a slight architecture upgrade, that still patent undersold the competition. The Remington design 700 bolt action started at $129.95 manufacturer’s said retail price (MSRP) then, and also the Winchester version 70 in ~ $149.95. Through contrast, the shooter can buy a Savage model 110 new for as tiny as $102.50, according to the 1966 version of the yearly Gun Digest.

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Today, a Hunter series rifle indigenous Savage starts in ~ an MSRP of $564, including Savage’s Accu-Trigger, about which more shortly. By contrast, the lowest MSRPs i can uncover on the network for the existing “big three” that bolt activity rifles room $779 because that the all-weather variation of the Ruger 77 note II, $900 because that the Remington design 700 BDL, and also $999 for the latest reincarnation the the Winchester model 70. It shows up that the Savage 110 series is right now an even far better value, proportionately, 보다 it was once it was presented in 1958.