A Savage Hunter

I was keenly interested to see what sort of velocities the rifle’s relatively short 16 1/8-inch barrel would produce. Testing over my CED M2 chronograph revealed that most of the factory loads I tested had some minor velocity drop-off from factory-stated numbers, as expected. The reduction in velocity ranged from 56 f.p.s. to 155 f.p.s. Velocities averaged 2,469 f.p.s. to 2,624 f.p.s. for the heavier bullets tested. The hottest load of the bunch, Federal’s 150-grain Fusion MSR round, actually stepped out 39 f.p.s. faster than advertised, and proved to be deadly efficient on hogs. This round is one of the newer factory offerings optimized for peak performance in AR-platform rifles, as is Hornady’s Precision Hunter Black line of ammo.

The bolt is equipped with two ejectors for reliability.To extend the life of the bolt, Savage used high pressure-tested E9310 steel, a superior alloy of the type used in transmission gears of Formula 1 racing cars.

The Savage brand is synonymous with out-of-the-box accuracy with bolt-action rifles, and I wondered if that would also translate to the AR platform. I needn’t have worried. Accuracy testing produced some pleasantly surprising results, despite the less-than-perfect trigger. To put the rifle through its paces, I mounted a Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 2.5-10X scope in a 30 mm Weaver SPR tactical mount, which positions scopes at an optimal height and forward cantilever for AR-platform rifles.

All five tested factory rounds produced average groups measuring an inch and a half or smaller, at 100 yards, which is perfectly acceptable for the vast majority of hunting situations this rifle might be used for. Two of the rounds produced one-inch average groups, and three loads put bullets into sub-MOA best groups. The single-best group, measuring 0.69 inch, was turned in by Hornady’s Precision Hunter Black 168-grain A-MAX load. With a change to a lighter, upgraded trigger, I’m convinced that I could shoot even tighter groups with this rifle.

The Savage MSR 10 comes with a 20-round Magpul P-Mag magazine and a one-year limited warranty. For more information, contact Savage Arms Co., Dept OT: Tel.: (800) 370-0708; Web: www.savagearms.com

Accurate, lightweight, reliable and a joy to shoot, the new MSR 10 Hunter is as at home in thick brush as it is the open praire.

Savage MSR10 Hunter 308 Win.

LOAD                             AVG. MUZZLE          AVG. 100-YARD         BEST 100-YARD                                         VELOCITY (FPS)      GROUP (INCHES)      GROUP (INCHES)

Federal Fusion MSR                         2809                   1.39                   1.22

Federal Premium Gold                      2495                   1.31                   0.71
Medal Match 168-gr. BTHP

Hornady Precision Hunter                 2549                   1.01                   0.69
Black 168-gr, A-MAX

Hornady Precision Hunter                 2469                   0.99                   0.83
178-gr. ELD-X

Winchester Match                            2624                   1.56                   1.27
168-gr. Matchking BTHP

Note: Velocities measured with Competitive Edge Dynamics M2 chronograph. All groups fired in wind 8-14 mph at 100 yards.