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August 22, 2006

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The Unlikely Beanfield Rifle

There are few things I enjoy as much as hunting out of a treestand in the Deep South, assuming that I don’t step on a serpent, or see a serpent, or get involved with redbugs. If you would like to try it, and don’t want to appear gauche or lacking in taste and culture, you need a beanfield rifle, which is a heavy, small-caliber rifle with which you overlook a patch of oats, or corn, or a beanfield, and wait for a deer to materialize.

One of the best beanfield rifles I’ve ever seen is the Savage Model 110FP. It’s a police tactical rifle, and is chambered for the .300 Win Mag, which you don’t want, and the .25/06, which is one of the best beanfield-rifle calibers around. Why Savage chambers it in this caliber is beyond me, because every other tactical rifle in the world is made in .223, .308, and .300 Win Mag, and precious little else. But they do, and we should be thankful.

It’s comprised of the standard Savage bolt action, their world-beating Accu-Trigger, a heavy, 24-inch barrel, and a butt-ugly black synthetic stock. The whole rifle is dull black, in fact, even the bolt. According to the Savage catalog, the 110FP weighs 7.25 pounds, but whoever wrote this was smoking something that wasn’t good for them. It weighs more than that, which is to your advantage.

Best of all is the price, $621 list, for a rifle that will certainly shoot a minute-of-angle, and probably a good deal better.

And I have to pass this along. Years ago, I was shooting at a public range alongside a police sniper who was practicing, and I heard him singing this, very softly. It was a parody of the 60’s hit “People,” sung by the nightmarish Barbra Streisand:

“People
People who kill people
Are the luckiest people in the world…”

He sang it over and over, just that one verse. Cops perfect a kind of sly, bitter humor early on or they go mad.

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Comments

Mike Diehl

That's a song that invites parody. I recall a Soylent Green version. "People... People who eat people... are the hunngriest people..." ;)

Ralph the Rifleman

Savage is a fine shooting rifle for the $$, and the .25/06 is truely a long shooter that gets the job done, that's for sure. I hunted with this caliber, and friend's rifle, while stationed in ND--wished he had sold me that rifle. The cop humor is kinda twisted,I must agree, but it's all part of the act of being a sniper. A friend of mine was a marine sniper,total marine 100% ready to pull the trigger, until the day he killed some bad guys and his mind changed. He gave up the sniping duties and left military service at the end of his enlistment. So goes another short story for discussion.

Mike

Yep...Savage makes a reputable firearm to be sure...my first was a 20 guage pump...wished I would've never sold that weapon....but, back then the eldest needed diapers and formula...a mistake I shall never make again to be sure.

As far as sniping humans goes, I would have to wonder at ones sanity if they didn't have some odd form of "coping mechanism" or actually enjoyed it.

Come to think on it....one would HAVE to be mad to sing a Barbra tune, or so i would think

mike shickele

At this time, I own three Remingtons, and no Savages. The Remingtons that I own are a mod 7 in 223, another mod 7 in 7mm-08, and a 700 in 30-06.
Needless to say, when the father of a friend of mine asked what to buy my friends wife for a rifle, the first gun that I suggested was the model 7 youth (I like these little guns!), but I also suggested he look at the Savage.
Because of my collection, I have a distinct prejudice as to which gun he should choose, but I have always had great respect for the 110 action, and Savage rifles are accurate. I know this from experience.
Not to my surprise, the Savage package gun was picked in 7mm-08, possibly due to the gun being equipped with a good scope for the same price as the Rem; a huge selling feature these days.
Remington, take note! you've been at the top for so long that others can just slip by unnoticed!
Savage, good job! Keep it up!

O Garcia

Well, I think Remington is taking note. They just put the 40-X trigger on the XR-100, which to me, is a good response to the AccuTrigger. Now, Remington, how about making the 40-X trigger a standard on at least the higher end Model 700's?

Sometime in the 90's, Jim C. of that other "outdoor" magazine tested many examples of "beanfield" rifles, both production and semi/custom ones over a distance of 500 yards, from a concrete bench. The target was a deer image pasted to a large board, with a 10-inch or so orange circle over the vital area, and two identical circles 1 foot and two feet above it. Obviously, at that range, some hold over was required (1 foot for the already fast .257 Weatherby). This was from the days when the old Weatherby calibers were kings, no Ultra Mags or Lazzeronis or .30-378 yet. The objective was to show that should a hunter desire to shoot over 500 yards, at least the available equipment would be up to the task.

Most were bolt actions, except for a Black Mesa custom Ruger No. 1. The Weatherby rifles and the Remington Sendero did their usual admirable jobs, as did the custom rigs (an Apollo, a Black Mesa, a Dakota and a Jarrett). But one of the most accurate combinations was a sporter weight Winchester Model 70 in the supposedly inaccurate .270 Win. caliber, with BOSS, shooting factory loaded 140-grain Fail Safes, shooting some 2.7 inches at 500 yards. Just a dream rifle, in the classic deer caliber and action with the best hunting bullet.

That Winchester would have emerged the most accurate shooter in the test, if not for a Savage M112FVSS in .25-06 that shot a group measuring 1.57 inches at 500 yards. The Savage was also one of the least expensive rifles in the batch. As Jim recalled it, a bystander tried to buy the rifle on the spot, but he was too late (I suppose Jim beat him to it).

What's ironic is while the Savage is often as accurate, if not better, it just doesn't get the same 'reputation' that the Remington has in the circles where accuracy is the Holy Grail. The hard core American sniper community still builds rifles around the Remington. Benchrest shooters who build their rifles from hunting actions use the Remington. I think what's turning them off the Savage 110 is the fact that the Savage is 'cheap', its bolt is put together using cross pins.

DC

I have a Savage bolt-action that I purchased new in the late 1960's. At the time they had two identical Savage rifles on the shelf. One was a 22-250 and the other 225 Winchester. I purchased the 225 Winchester just because I like saying 225 instead of 22-250 although they said the 22-250 was 100 fps faster than the 225. I hand-loaded using Speer 52 grain hollow points to eliminate bullets bouncing across plowed fields and for their accuracy with Dupont 4895 powder.
It is a very accurate rifle and I still love it dearly. If I had known that the 225 would become extinct I would have chosen the 22-250 back then. However the 225 gave me great pleasure making head shots on sleeping jack rabbits with its great accuracy. Road hunting is legal in South Dakota and I would use the hood or roof of the car for a rifle rest shooting ONLY TOWARDS THE passenger side of the car for safety reasons and not across the road. I love Savage rifles, Remington 552 22cal rifles, Colt AR-15 rifles, Ruger Revolvers, Glock Pistols, Smith & Wesson Revolvers, & Mossberg Pump Shotguns. I am an old gun nut who has enjoyed many hours of shooting.

Dan

I own a Savage 110 in .30-06, have had for 10 yrs now and have put over 600 rounds through it, still hasn't shifted POA since I sighted it in 10 years ago. Although it didn't like the "premium" bullets (2-3in groups) its loves Remington Core-Lokts 180 gr. PSP. I shoot sub 1.5in groups from the bench with those. It also has taken a beating over those ten years in the woods and still keeps ticking. Not pretty like my fathers Remington 700 CDL, but a heck of a shooter.

Dave Petzal

To O. Garcia: A couple of years ago, I offered some testing help to a friend who works for OL (not Jim Carmichel). His job was to test a bunch of heavy barrel varmint rifles from all the usual suspects. Before the first shot was fired, I said "The Savage will beat everything else. Badly."

The Savage beat everything else. Badly.

Nate

I own a Savage left hand model and love it. I bought it because it about $300 cheaper than the remingtons or winchesters and looked just as good to me as any of the others, plus they have a good reputation for being very accurate. Desite what others say about Savages, they will give you the most bang for the buck of any production rifle out there. And they have the largest selection of left handed models of any manufacturer. Keep up the good work Savage Arms.

mike shickele

Nate
What others, the competition has been suspiciously silent.

Greg Russell

I read the book about the famous Vietnam sniper, Carlos Hathcock-Hathcock used to call the Viet Cong he took out, hotdogs and hamburgers. He didn`t say very much at all in the book about how he dealt with the daily taking of human life, but did say that by calling them hotdogs and hamburgers, it allowed him to view them as less than human.

timmy

stvens model 200
very good for the money

timmy

any body have any stevens model 200
or model 110 barrel youd like to
sell for a cheep price
im going to make a switch barrel
rifle in as many calibers
as i can with out having to change the bolt head

timmy

im looking for good used
stevens model 200 rifles
any caliber but must be high powdred
hunting rifle calibers
im looking to spend$100.00
to$ 200.00
depending on the condtion of your rifle

Harry Braxton

While I still love my Remington Sendero Special in .300 WIN MAG, I would not have bought it if a Savage pillar bedded bolt action rifle had been available at the time! It makes no sense to buy a more expensive rifle that won't be any more accurate. I installed the Rifle Basix trigger on three of my non - ACCUTRIGGER rifles and bought a new ACCUTRIGGER LE2B Model 10FP in .308; because it seemed that a dealer didn't know what he had, for under $700.00!

Jack Bohm

What matters in a gun is not the price tag but how well it shoots. If it works for you, go for it. To be honest who needs a magnum? They tend to pricey to shoot and they scamble your brains. A .25-06 was one of about 6 cartridges I considered when I went shopping for a rifle. The same was true with my dad and brother when they went looking. But to be honest, I think only my rifle could be considered a beanfield type- my BAR Safari. My dad opted for a Brush Gun- a BLR in 308 and my Brother a mountain rifle- a Remington 700 Moutain DM in .270.

Jack Bohm

Come to think of it, Savage was pretty high on my and the other's candidates list, especially the Classic series.

carl

check out
www.horstauction.com

thay have very good gun auctions

DAVE

WHAT SCOPE WOULD YOU ADVISE ME TO INSTALL ON MY 25-06 ??

KJ

Dave,
The best you can afford. I like Leupolds. Excellent optics, great warranty.

chuckey

check out wolfs sporting center
if your in the area
thay have very good prices

wolfs sporting center
2702 lebanon road
manheim,PA 17545
717-413-4283

driving directions go to
www.mapquest.com

frank

wolfs sporting goods
dont go their the mrs will
give you hell she does not give a hoot what she says to her costomers
Just a freindly reminder

mke martino

I want more information on what on a 7mm08.Any advice on brands

jim

i used to have an old savage in the .225 winchester caliber. was a very accurate rifle. just got too hard to find ammo for it back in the 80s. wasnt much good for deer unless you hit them in the head or something very vital.
i miss it !

dave bowers

I love may savage 110 in 300 win mag. I'm loaded lighter than factory for acuracy 71.5 grs imr 4350, 150 gr siera sp, but am curious how hot i can go in that savage action?




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