First Look: Savage Arms Impulse Straight-Pull Rifle

posted on January 6, 2021

Savage Arms is introducing the Impulse, a new line of American-made rifles that feature a unique straight-pull action that changes the basic function of the conventional bolt into one fast and easy-to-use movement. The new action is built around Hexlock, a robust lockup that allows for Impulse’s reliability, speed, safety and accuracy. 

“Impulse will redefine the way you think about straight-pull rifles,” said Al Kasper, President and CEO of Savage Arms. “We’ve studied more than a century’s worth of straight-pull actions and kept running up against the same conundrum; straight pull actions are fast, but they don’t inspire confidence. Speed means nothing if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at. Impulse changes that. We’ve brought our tradition of accuracy into the mix to make the fastest, most accurate straight-pull rifles ever built.”

The smooth bolt throw of an Impulse rifle allows a shooter to cycle rounds intuitively, without the need for the standard four changes-of-direction common to a conventional bolt’s path-of-travel. The straight-pull action of the Impulse reduces split times and allows for a shooter to manipulate the bolt with a lower chance of losing their cheek weld. The bolt on the action travels out and back and shooters don’t have to take their eyes off the target. This increase in speed is essential to making effective follow-up shots.

The Hexlock is the heart of Impulse’s bolt. Six hardened steel bearings lock the bolt in place inside the receiver’s barrel extension. As pressure increases, Hexlock’s hold tightens, preventing the bolt from moving rearward. Once the round has left the barrel, the pressure subsides, and the action can safely open again with the straight pull of the bolt handle.

All of the Impulse rifles have other features that Savage rifles are known for, such the AccuStock bedding system, AccuFit stock adjustment system and the renowned AccuTrigger adjustable trigger.

Impulse is available in three model variations, including the Impulse Big Game model, which is built in calibers ranging from the .243 Win. to .300 Win. Mag., making them ready for one-shot drops and fast follow-ups. Impulse Predator rifles come in calibers ranging from the speedy .22-250 Rem. up to 6.5 Creedmoor, making them a good option for those who prefer to hunt at the top of the food chain. Impulse Impulse Hog Hunter rifles are chambered in calibers well-suited to controlling feral hogs, such as .308 and .300 Win. Mag.

MSRP for Impulse rifles in the Hog Hunter and Predator lines is $1,379, while the MSRP for Big Game rifles is $1,449. More information on these new models and other gear from Savage is available at  


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For me, one of the many bonuses of this gunwriter business has been the opportunity to meet and become friends with a number of the firearm enthusiasts of an earlier generation; legendary figures such as Frank Hamer Jr., Bill Jordan, Bill Toney, Col Walter Walsh and the subject of this column: COL Rex Applegate.


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