Field Review: Savage Arms Model 110 Tactical

posted on August 12, 2018

When Savage Arms first introduced its AccuFit system in 2018, the company made a lot of noise about the benefit of this particular system for hunting rifles. Indeed, the model for the AccuFit launch was the company’s 110 Storm rifle, designed particularly for hunters. However, this is far from a hunting-specific feature. What consumers might not realize is Savage currently offers 16 different rifles equipped with the AccuFit stock system and a number of other new features, many of them—like the Savage Arms Model 110 Tactical—designed for tactical use. Having a well-fit stock is essential for any shooting discipline, but seeing as the hunting angle has already been explored by many, I wanted to see what long-range precision shooters had to gain from these welcome additions to the Savage lineup.

Sunrise over the South Dakota prairie brought with it a glimpse of the terrain on which we'd be shooting prairie dogs.

To learn more about the Model 110 Tactical and other new offerings in the Savage Arms rifle lineup, I traveled to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota to do something I’d never done before —shoot prairie dogs. Running along the South Dakota-Nebraska border, this large reservation is the home of the Sicangu Lakota, a branch of the Sioux Nation, and covers an area of almost 2,000 square miles. Littered throughout cattle-raising grazing land were stark-white plateaus and peaks one would expect to see in the deserts of the far West, not in America’s heartland. Today, they’re known as the Badlands.

Another kind of natural terrain also dotted the Lakota land, not resulting from the impact of wind and water. Scattered across the grass were dusty divots that defined the presence of prairie dogs. Thousands of them. The towns stretched over hills and to the horizon, and they’re everywhere. They sprawl across fenced-in fields and through people’s backyards. They destroy grazing land and possibly pose a danger to roving cows and horses, thanks to the deep holes that scatter the landscape and could catch a cattle leg. They’re also particularly susceptible to the Yersinia pestis bacterium, which causes bubonic plague, and a number of cases in the U.S. can be traced to contact with prairie dogs.

One of the new optics we used to drill prairie dogs at distances of up to 900 yards was the Bushnell Forge series of riflescopes.

Given these unpleasant facts, we eagerly joined the fight to stem the growth of these dog towns, and the Savage Arms Model 110 Tactical chambered in 6 mm Creedmoor seemed like a great platform to use in the hunt. One thing to get out of the way first for older fans of Savage rifles. Yes, the “110” designation has traditionally been used to designate the company’s long-action rifles from the “Model 10” in the company’s lineup, which delineated the short-action options. With Savage’s recent rebranding, this distinction is no more, which is how we come to have the short-action 6 mm Creedmoor in a Savage Model 110 rifle. These guns are now operating under their own particular name, such as “Storm,” “Wolverine,” “Scout,” and of course, “Tactical.” Both short- and long-action cartridges are offered in each of these models.

So, there’s a bit of new and old in this particular rifle. Instead of having the Savage Arms Model 10 FCP-SR, we now have the Model 110 Tactical. Definitely rolls off the tongue a little better, and sounds much cooler from a marketing standpoint. What’s important to note is that this isn’t just the renaming and repackaging of an existing rifle for the purposes of making Savage rifle designations appear less like a warehouse-stocking code. Rather, Savage took many of the tried-and-true elements of its existing Model 10 and enhanced the platform with features that allow the gun to live up to its new name: Tactical.

Though there are some new features, the Savage Arms Model 110 Tactical still features the popular user-adjustable AccuTrigger.

So, with these rifles, consumers still get the popular, proven Savage Arms short-action receiver complete with expected features like the company’s adjustable AccuTrigger, threaded muzzle and oversized bolt handle. At first glance, consumers might think that there isn’t much different about this model, but Savage paid attention to the details. For example, the detachable box magazine is no longer the company’s own proprietary design. To better accommodate fans of tactical rifles, as well as to offer added flexibility, the Savage Arms Model 110 Tactical accepts all AICS-pattern magazines, and the gun ships with a single Magpul 10-rounder.

Gone is the proprietary Savage box magazine and in its place is an AICS-compatible magazine well. Each rifle ships with a 10-round Magpul magazine.

Of course, the other big story on the Model 110 Tactical is the new stock. One of the critical new differences in the stock is hidden from view, but Savage doesn’t call this new design an AccuStock for nothing. The interior of the stock supports the action in three dimensions, ensuring that the receiver is properly supported in order to provide a fully free-floated barrel. A popular addition to factory-built precision rifles in recent years, the benefits of a free-floated barrel are numerous, even in an era when most precision rifles feature injection-molded polymer stocks rather than weather-warped wooden stocks. Notably, this free-float feature ensures that the stock doesn’t interfere with the natural oscillation of the barrel as the bullet travels through the bore, eliminating the small variances in trajectory that can occur with inconsistent vibrations acting minutely on the muzzle as the bullet exits.

Like the company's earlier tactical-style rifles, this model ships with the oversized bolt handle. Also seen in this shot is the 20-MOA Picatinny optics rail included with the gun.

But really, the big story with the stock is the company’s all-new AccuFit system. Shooters have long understood the accuracy benefits of having a well-fit rifle stock, and many enthusiasts have shelled out hundreds or thousands of dollars to have a custom-fit stock sized to their personal dimensions. This is particularly popular among shotgunners and off-hand rifle shooters, who need a gun to come up in exactly the right place to place a quick, accurate shot. However, many precision rifles today are equipped with built-in adjustments that allow shooters to fine-tune rifle fit. But if precision shooters aren’t looking to make quick snap-shots off-hand, then what else is there to gain from such adjustments?

Having an adjustable comb height and length of pull, like the Savage AccuFit stock offers, provides a combination of comfort and repeatability. Having a comfortable position to sit behind the gun is critical, particularly when taking long shots on small prairie dogs scattering across the plains. The stock comb should be at a height that allows shooters to rest naturally in-line behind the ocular lens of an optic, getting a full sight picture without having to mash their cheek lower into the stock or hover slightly above it in order to see a sight picture.

So, too, should the length of pull be set up to offer a natural resting point, allowing the gun to settle in firmly in the shoulder pocket while allowing a comfortable cheek rest that doesn’t require craning the neck forward or backing away from the ocular bell. With both elements of the stock properly fitted, a shooter should be able to comfortably rest behind the gun for as long as it takes to fire that perfect shot.

In addition to the adjustable comb insert and stock spacers, the Savage AccuStock also comes equipped with a soft buttpad that dampens recoil.

The Savage Arms AccuFit system allows for a range of adjustment, since each rifle in the company’s Model 110 AccuFit lineup ships with four length-of-pull inserts and five comb-height risers. Installing the components takes just minutes. All that’s needed is a Philips-head screwdriver to remove two fasteners located at the top and bottom of the rubber recoil pad. Once the screws are removed, the buttpad slides off, along with whatever LOP spacer is installed. After these components slide off, users can remove the comb riser. All the inserts lock into place together, so users can mount the gun without reinserting the fasteners to find which combination feels best to them. Once it’s tuned, simply reinsert the two screws and tighten. Now it’s a custom-fit rifle.

After walking through this whole process and finding the right fit for my body, I spent hours mounted behind the gun underneath the South Dakota summer sun. When prairie-dog hunting, it’s a bit of a waiting game for some of the little rodents, tracking them as they scurry from hole to hole and waiting for one to pause just long enough for a quick shot. The Savage Arms Model 110 Tactical is offered in both 6 mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor, both hot cartridges designed for long-range use. We had the 6 mm Creedmoor model at the range, so of course we had to see just how far we could push the round on these towns.

In addition to all the other upgrades on the new Savage Model 110 Tactical, the stock also features enhanced texturing on the fore-end and wrist, which were a great help in gaining added control with sweaty hands.

With a well-fitted rifle, putting rounds downrange was a joy. One of the evident benefits of the AccuFit system was our ability to mount the rifle in exactly the same place each time we approached the bench, settling into our natural shooting position with ease. Being able to stay comfortably behind the gun allowed us to focus on the other variables, compensating for the wind and learning the capabilities of the 6 mm Model 110 Tactical. In an afternoon of shooting, we went from having no experience with this particular platform at all to getting shots on prairie dogs at nearly 900 yards, a feat no doubt helped by the Federal Premium Gold Medal Match rounds we used. If that isn’t a testament to the capabilities of the Savage rifle platform, I’m not sure what else is needed.

In another win for the modern American consumer, this rifle package can be had at an MSRP of $769. We’ve come a long way from the days of shelling out four figures for a custom-built precision-shooting rig or duct-taping foam to a synthetic stock and calling it good. With the combination of the Savage Arms Model 110 Tactical and the company’s all-new AccuFit stock system, a well-fit, long-range rifle has never been more accessible to the average American.


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