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Petzal: Savagery in South Dakota

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June 10, 2009

Petzal: Savagery in South Dakota

By David E. Petzal

I started out as a varmint hunter, and the thrill of persecuting rodents has never dulled. Last week, I was the guest of Savage Arms at the Buffalo Buttes Ranch (run by Gregory and Colleen Springer) near Gregory, S.D., where I got to put the power to a fairly tasteless number of prairie dogs courtesy of a Savage rifle that I had not seen before, and which impressed me as much as it did the rodents, or perhaps more, since I’m alive and they’re not.

It’s called the Model 12 Long Range Precision Varminter Dual Port, and is a remarkably well thought out piece of ordnance. The rifle is a single-shot bolt-action with the oversized bolt handle on the right side, but it can be loaded either from the left or right side, which means a southpaw like me can cycle those rounds through fast when the spirit is on him. The Model 12 (etc.) has a 1-inch diameter fluted barrel, no taper that I can see, and a 1 in 9 twist in .223. It’s 26 inches long, and the rifle weighs 12 pounds.

Savage has equipped the Model 12 (etc.) with an H-S Precision synthetic stock, and a Target Accu-Trigger which adjusts from 6 ounces to 2.5 pounds. These are the bare facts. There are two other parts to the equation: With the exception of the dual-side loading, this rifle matches, feature for feature, a prairie dog rifle I had Kenny Jarrett build in the late 1980s, which I’ve always considered the ideal gun for that use. Second, I got hardly any chance to shoot it on paper, but I think it may be a world-beater and Savage is sending it to me so I can wring it out. The price is $1,273, which I consider a bargain, and you can see it at savagearms.com

(An aside: Many prairie dogs hunts involve staying at motels that would frighten Norman Bates and eating at places where there are dead things on the grill that you can’t put a name to.  Buffalo Buttes, on the other hand, is a first-rate place to stay, and Mrs. Springer is a hell of a cook. springer@gwtc.com)

Comments (45)

Top Rated
All Comments
from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Nice, looking forward to a further test. Maybe a video?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

The only thing I don’t like and prevents me from buying a Savage Rifle is that stinking barrel nut! Makes me nervous, yes it shouldn’t I agree but it does!!!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper: The nut has been around since 1958 and has harmed no one that I know of. That is a pretty good safety record.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

That sounds like a really nice rifle. Might have to get one of those.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mock1 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Also Clay, that locknut is used to, I was told set the head spacing for the rifle. By the way, I've followed your ranting over the years and finally ordered a 25-06, from Savage arms, left hand bolt. I'm sopposed to get it from Gander Mtn tomorrow. Already picked up dies, bullets ect. I hope it's as good as you say!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from xilch wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

It looks like a very nice rifle indeed. The only thing stopping me from contemplating the purchase of it is H-S Precision's use of noted murderer Lon Horiuchi as a spokesman for their products. When informed of the issues surrounding him, all H-S Precision did was in effect say "sorry you were upset" and as late as last month continued to defend Lon Horiuchi and their decision to use his endorsement.

Sad to say, as this looks like a great rifle, but I will not be buying it as long as Savage continues to use H-S Precision's products.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mock1 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Also Clay, I've been researching the 25-06 for a while and heard that it's the most accurate out of a 24 inch tube. My new rifle has only a 22 inch tube. Any comment's suggestions. Powder? I see that IMR 4368 is supposed to be the most accurate. I hope so as I've got 10 lbs on hand.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Clay Cooper-
I will admit to a certain prejudice regarding the barrel nut, but it is like an old hammer-headed horse that can and will do anything asked of him. As DEP stated, the thing has been around since 1958, and Savage has an unrivaled record for "out of the box"
accuracy.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from rajoidea wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

The HS Precision stock is a deal breaker for me too. The whole Horiuchi incident made it very clear they're not interested in consumer opinions, and even if you set aside that their spokesman shot an unarmed woman holding a baby, it still means he missed his supposed target with all shots fired - not exactly "precision" shooting there.

If Savage switches to a McMillan stock, or really anybody else, I'll be rattling the piggy bank. Very good looking rifle, it's a pity to wrap it with a "women and children first" stock.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Wow... five minutes ago I had no idea HS was using a murderer as a spokesmodel. Maybe a few letters to Savage would raise their conscience. Glad to see our fearless leader likes to kill vermin as much as I do.

So how do you load from either side? Does it have two loading ports? Still scrathing my head on this post but that is a good thing as I am learning.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Clay, I would have thought a smart guy like you would be all about Savage and their barrel nut. Check this out:

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=23300&title=...

That barrel nut allows you, Joe Blow shooter, to take your beloved .25-06 and switch it to any caliber with the same sized bolt head with just a barrel swap. You can switch bolt heads, but that costs more. You need Brownells' kit (above) and some go/ no go gauges (Midway, maybe?) but it would give you the chance to try out any kind of wildcat that you want for the cost of a truck tire.

Jeff Cooper said something once that I never forgot; "I like how it works, therefore I automatically like how it looks." By definition, a rifle that is cheaper and easier to make, yet is as strong and as accurate as anything else out there, is a product of superior engineering compared to prettier but less accurate and more labor intensive designs.

It would seem to me that this new gun of Dave's would have Savage's new Accu Stock, as it is an accuracy specific rifle. Maybe next year.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Sheeesh
Even over here on the other side of the pond I'd heard about the shameful debacle at ruby ridge. But I never would have imagined in a million years that ANY company would use ANYONE involved as a spokesman. Mind boggling. Really I'm shocked
SBW

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Dang I was looking at a Savage the other day, guess I will stick with Remingtons now!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I am confused about this barrel nut, anyone care to explain?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

You cannot argue with success. Granted one could find a number if rifles more handsome then the Savage design, but man can they shoot!
I prefer wooden stocks over synthetic ones, too....weather conditions be D*mned!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from cliff68 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Just got back from a PD shoot in central NE. The town had never been shot on from what we were told and I'd never seen anything like it. Talk about mass slaughter. Lots of pups and they were'nt to smart. Was using a Remington XR100 in 22-250 and a Savage Model 25 in 204. Both rifles were new and both barrels were smoking hot. Hows that for barrel break in? I wonder how Savage can keep their action stiff enough with a port on both sides?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

To All;
The barrel nut allows the Savage Engineers to very precisely set the headspace. This is but one of the reasons that Savage has been very accurate, out of the box, since 1958.
I have a very old 338 Win Mag Savage 110LD that shoots better than minute-of-angle, which most experts will tell you is outstanding for anything over 30 caliber. The barrel nut ROCKS! Appearance is nothing, capability is everything!
AKX

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I guess we can lump all the H-S boycotters in with those Davidian freaks and McVeigh?

-7 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

One of the most accurate rifles ever tested by ole Jim C. from the other magazine (sorry Dave) was a Savage M112FVSS in .25-06. The article came out late 1995, and the question being asked by Jim was, with the trend for long-range shooting, beanfield rifles and shooters of all levels of proficiency all wanting to take a crack at the 500-yard shot, "is the equipment currently available up to the task?"

so Jim gathered factory-made "beanfield rifles" - Remington Sendero, Savage 112FVSS, Weatherby Accumark, some 'normal' sporters- WinM70 with the then fashionable BOSS device, Ruger M77, Dakota M76, and some really cutting edge custom rigs, including a Kenny Jarrett in .300 Jarrett and a Black Mesa customised Ruger in .338 BME.

For the target, Jim set up a lifesize picture of a deer at 500 yards with the vital area marked by an orange circle, then placed two similar circles 1 foot and 2 feet above the vital area to serve as easily visible holdover aiming marks for long range shooting. rifles were fired from concrete benches, with high powered scopes, early in the morning to minimize mirage and the breeze.

rifles were fired at 100 yards and groups were measured. then the following day, same time, at 500 yards. "Standard" high velocity calibers (. 270 Win, .25-06, 7 Rem Mag, .300 Win. Mag.) required a 2-foot hold, while for the super high velocity rounds (.257 Wby, .300 Wby, .300 Jarrett, .300 Dakota, .338 BME), the 1-foot mark was enough.

For this purpose, I think it's obvious only the 500-yard performances count, as there were many sub-MOA rifles in the test that opened up their groups at the longer distances.

The most accurate? The Savage, with a 1.577 inch group at 500 yards. About the same time (mid-90's), in many other magazines, the British were proudly parading (and peddling) their purpose-built, "Arctic Warfare" sniper rifle built by Accuracy International. You can say apples and oranges if you want, but best group vs. best group, the over-the-counter Savage was every bit as good as the $5,000 AI/AW rifle. That was 14 years ago, even before the Accu-Trigger was invented.

Jim recalled that a man watching the proceedings tried to buy the rifle on the spot, but "he wasn't quick enough." I only wish ole Jim was the quicker one, because that was one check.

The 2nd most accurate rifle from the test? A sporter-weight barrel Winchester Model 70 with BOSS, in what else? .270 Winchester. It turned a 2.7+ inch group at 500 yards. With factory Winchester 140-grain Fail Safe bullets!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

should have written "that was one heck of a rifle." sorry.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I guess I missed something here. What does this rifle have to do with Ruby Ridge. ID?

Agreed that the barrel nut is fugly, but very functional.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from kaanimal wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Here's some info on Huriuchi...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lon_Horiuchi
Seems to me the guy was just doing his job, it doesn't impact my decision on buying a kick ass new pdog whacker.
We should be more concerned with the current administration's assault on our Second Amendment rights. If we don't focus on that, none of us will be able to buy any rifle, regardless of what brand of stock it has!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from xilch wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

From Jeff Cooper:

"The Federal agent who shot Vicki Weaver in the face, deliberately, while she was unarmed and holding her child is named Lon Horiuchi. Remember that name. He is still walking around loose. That man must eventually pay for his crime, here or hereafter. Lon Horiuchi."

http://www.thesconce.com/jeff1_11.html

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from j-johnson17 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Savage has developed a very good name in the past 10 years or so for producing highly accurate, and incredibly affordable rifles. I have owned many Savage rifles, and hopefully I can get my hands on another one in the near future...

I wish some of the other gun makers would take some notes from Savage. $775 for a stock rifle really isn't necessary if you ask me...

Nice rifle - I'm looking forward to another review.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Nice gun and all but $1273.00 for a rodent gun seems a little expensive just to shoot ground moles.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I am a Savage owner and fan. I hope the notoriety of late does not cause prices to go up, but i suspect that's on the way. Great value and accurracy

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Yeah, I know who Lon Horiuchi is and he will be judged by the Almighty for his heinous deeds, but who is really to blame? Him or the BATF, FBI, William Jefferson Clinton, Janet Reno, and who else?

Is one to blame for acts committed during war as a soldier of the U.S. Army? Hope not. I digress, but I won't be buying any H-S Precision products either.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Mock1,

You won't be disappointed in the 25-06. I sure like my Kimber.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I contacted H-S Precision and replied right away. They pulled his endorsement from their catalog and issued an apology on their website sometime back. They claim they never paid for that endorsement nor was he ever employed by them. So, I'm not sure what else they could do. Live with their FU is the only thing they can do.

Horiuchi is/was just another government drone.

I'll just shoot varmints with my AR practicing for the bigger varmints to come.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter-
Thanks for the clarification. We all must live with our FUs, and forgiveness is an admirable quality. Glad H-S Precision is not in any way associated with this assassin.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I wouldn’t be too laissez-faire on Agent Lonnie, Bloggers.

It won’t pay to ignore the fact that every populist movement in this country has been crushed by the government and corporate elite…with the aid of Lonnie-types.

Check out the history of labor movements all the way from the RR strikes of 1850 to Pullman and Homestead, and the 1920’s West Virgina Coal Wars, and The Bonus Army. Don’t forget the great humanitarian, Ronnie Reagan and the air controllers.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I've rebarreled a number of Savage rifles and have always found the bbl. nut easy to work with after I got the proper tool design to remove and replace it. It certainly does it's intended job. I agree with CLAY COOPER that it takes some getting used to. The new Savage trigger is a huge and wonderful improvement.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rajoidea wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter: I emailed them too when the endorsement first appeared. I did not get a response, and the "apology" about their catalog was "H-S Precision has received comments relating to individual testimonials in our 2008 catalog. All of the testimonials focused on the quality, accuracy and customer service provided by H-S Precision." and a note that there would be no further testimonials from anybody (Yes, I saved that to reference its inadequacy).

On top of that, I stopped by their booth at the NRA convention in Phoenix last month to ask them about the incident. One spokesman there started repeating "That never happened, we don't have testimonials. You need to leave now." When I asked about their tiny "apology" for using Horiuchi's testimonial, another HS Precision rep went red in the face and angrily asked me if Randy Weaver ever apologized for killing the US Marshall (which was ruled legitimate self defense).

Owning up to a FU is one thing, and had they done so I'd be singing a different tune. Trying to pretend it never happened, ignoring customer queries, and behaving in such an embarassing way at a major convention is quite another, and unless/until they change their tune, I will have no HS Precision products in my house.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Ah yes the power of public opinion!!
As the RR-FU, that was one very,very sad situation..at 50 things like this do not surprize, which is sad to say.
I have faith that it will all make sense some day, until then;ALL NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS!
So many to blame, but none being called to step up to the plate!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I conceed their apology was weak. I am not condoning their actions one way or the other. Recall Remington and many fellow bloggers throwing Jim Zumbo under the bus for an offhand remark.

I think LH is retired now, but there are plenty of other drones to take his place and sadly, there always will be.

Lesson: Keep your fields of fire clear and have a concealed escape route away from the eyes of sharpshooters. You won't be able to stave off the mass assault, however...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ChevJames wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would consider all H-S Precision stocks to be covered in innocent blood. That company can take the express elevator to hell. I will never, ever purchase any of their products and will tell every shooter I know of this bloodstained endorsement. The NRA and all shooting magazines should tell H-S Precision to advertise elsewhere. They shouldn't be given booth space anywhere, either. This company must be run out of business--it's the only decent thing to do!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA_Mtnhunter,
Around May 18th, at the NRA Convention in Phoenix, H-S Precision had a booth set up, and there was an incident involving a gun blogger & H-S Precision's representative regarding the Lon Horiuchi incident.

Apparently, they still had Lon Horiuchi as a spokesman. You can read it here: http://www.atomicnerds.com/?p=2268

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

OrangeNeck

Thanks for the clarification. Whether they support Horiuchi or not, they must live with their FU. Meaning I won't buy any of their crap, just like I said in my previous post. Just like I won't buy anything from Remington until they publicly apologize to Jim Zumbo or start sponsoring his shows again.

I like my 4 Remington rifles and shotguns, but I won't buy another one until that day arrives. Until then I'll just buy stuff for my Weatherby's and the Ruger.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kaanimal wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WOW! You guys are really hung up on the Lon H. issue!!
I will quote myself:
"We should be more concerned with the current administration's assault on our Second Amendment rights. If we don't focus on that, none of us will be able to buy any rifle, regardless of what brand of stock it has!"
Focus, people, focus!!!!!!!!!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

kaanimal,

The Lonnie's are the face that will bust down your door for your guns.......following orders.

Hopefully, that's all he does. You can't bargain with them. You can't expect reason or remorse. The Lonnie's are paranoid-sckit-zo’s whose only friend is their agency. All others are the Enemy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Mark-1, exactly! Drones one and all....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Looks like a nice rifle... I have always had a soft spot for Savage rifles. They carry a good reputation and this is just another great gun to add to the collection.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

I'm out in left field, what has the bbl nut have or have not that the 700 does or does not have, plus what is it's function as far as accuracy goes. I got a New Marlin XL7 and I think it has the bbl nut in question, right or wrong? I'm a hunter not a gun-smith and know little about the mechanics of a firearm.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

Right. Cheap, easy, accurate way to get the headspacing. Not pretty, but neither is blood and guts. It's for hunting and killing, not for a fashion show.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from davidpetzal wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

To Clay Cooper: The nut has been around since 1958 and has harmed no one that I know of. That is a pretty good safety record.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Clay Cooper-
I will admit to a certain prejudice regarding the barrel nut, but it is like an old hammer-headed horse that can and will do anything asked of him. As DEP stated, the thing has been around since 1958, and Savage has an unrivaled record for "out of the box"
accuracy.

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from focusfront wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Clay, I would have thought a smart guy like you would be all about Savage and their barrel nut. Check this out:

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=23300&title=...

That barrel nut allows you, Joe Blow shooter, to take your beloved .25-06 and switch it to any caliber with the same sized bolt head with just a barrel swap. You can switch bolt heads, but that costs more. You need Brownells' kit (above) and some go/ no go gauges (Midway, maybe?) but it would give you the chance to try out any kind of wildcat that you want for the cost of a truck tire.

Jeff Cooper said something once that I never forgot; "I like how it works, therefore I automatically like how it looks." By definition, a rifle that is cheaper and easier to make, yet is as strong and as accurate as anything else out there, is a product of superior engineering compared to prettier but less accurate and more labor intensive designs.

It would seem to me that this new gun of Dave's would have Savage's new Accu Stock, as it is an accuracy specific rifle. Maybe next year.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from xilch wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

From Jeff Cooper:

"The Federal agent who shot Vicki Weaver in the face, deliberately, while she was unarmed and holding her child is named Lon Horiuchi. Remember that name. He is still walking around loose. That man must eventually pay for his crime, here or hereafter. Lon Horiuchi."

http://www.thesconce.com/jeff1_11.html

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Sheeesh
Even over here on the other side of the pond I'd heard about the shameful debacle at ruby ridge. But I never would have imagined in a million years that ANY company would use ANYONE involved as a spokesman. Mind boggling. Really I'm shocked
SBW

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from AlaskanExile wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

To All;
The barrel nut allows the Savage Engineers to very precisely set the headspace. This is but one of the reasons that Savage has been very accurate, out of the box, since 1958.
I have a very old 338 Win Mag Savage 110LD that shoots better than minute-of-angle, which most experts will tell you is outstanding for anything over 30 caliber. The barrel nut ROCKS! Appearance is nothing, capability is everything!
AKX

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I wouldn’t be too laissez-faire on Agent Lonnie, Bloggers.

It won’t pay to ignore the fact that every populist movement in this country has been crushed by the government and corporate elite…with the aid of Lonnie-types.

Check out the history of labor movements all the way from the RR strikes of 1850 to Pullman and Homestead, and the 1920’s West Virgina Coal Wars, and The Bonus Army. Don’t forget the great humanitarian, Ronnie Reagan and the air controllers.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

That sounds like a really nice rifle. Might have to get one of those.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mock1 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Also Clay, that locknut is used to, I was told set the head spacing for the rifle. By the way, I've followed your ranting over the years and finally ordered a 25-06, from Savage arms, left hand bolt. I'm sopposed to get it from Gander Mtn tomorrow. Already picked up dies, bullets ect. I hope it's as good as you say!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from rajoidea wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

The HS Precision stock is a deal breaker for me too. The whole Horiuchi incident made it very clear they're not interested in consumer opinions, and even if you set aside that their spokesman shot an unarmed woman holding a baby, it still means he missed his supposed target with all shots fired - not exactly "precision" shooting there.

If Savage switches to a McMillan stock, or really anybody else, I'll be rattling the piggy bank. Very good looking rifle, it's a pity to wrap it with a "women and children first" stock.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from cliff68 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Just got back from a PD shoot in central NE. The town had never been shot on from what we were told and I'd never seen anything like it. Talk about mass slaughter. Lots of pups and they were'nt to smart. Was using a Remington XR100 in 22-250 and a Savage Model 25 in 204. Both rifles were new and both barrels were smoking hot. Hows that for barrel break in? I wonder how Savage can keep their action stiff enough with a port on both sides?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from O Garcia wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

One of the most accurate rifles ever tested by ole Jim C. from the other magazine (sorry Dave) was a Savage M112FVSS in .25-06. The article came out late 1995, and the question being asked by Jim was, with the trend for long-range shooting, beanfield rifles and shooters of all levels of proficiency all wanting to take a crack at the 500-yard shot, "is the equipment currently available up to the task?"

so Jim gathered factory-made "beanfield rifles" - Remington Sendero, Savage 112FVSS, Weatherby Accumark, some 'normal' sporters- WinM70 with the then fashionable BOSS device, Ruger M77, Dakota M76, and some really cutting edge custom rigs, including a Kenny Jarrett in .300 Jarrett and a Black Mesa customised Ruger in .338 BME.

For the target, Jim set up a lifesize picture of a deer at 500 yards with the vital area marked by an orange circle, then placed two similar circles 1 foot and 2 feet above the vital area to serve as easily visible holdover aiming marks for long range shooting. rifles were fired from concrete benches, with high powered scopes, early in the morning to minimize mirage and the breeze.

rifles were fired at 100 yards and groups were measured. then the following day, same time, at 500 yards. "Standard" high velocity calibers (. 270 Win, .25-06, 7 Rem Mag, .300 Win. Mag.) required a 2-foot hold, while for the super high velocity rounds (.257 Wby, .300 Wby, .300 Jarrett, .300 Dakota, .338 BME), the 1-foot mark was enough.

For this purpose, I think it's obvious only the 500-yard performances count, as there were many sub-MOA rifles in the test that opened up their groups at the longer distances.

The most accurate? The Savage, with a 1.577 inch group at 500 yards. About the same time (mid-90's), in many other magazines, the British were proudly parading (and peddling) their purpose-built, "Arctic Warfare" sniper rifle built by Accuracy International. You can say apples and oranges if you want, but best group vs. best group, the over-the-counter Savage was every bit as good as the $5,000 AI/AW rifle. That was 14 years ago, even before the Accu-Trigger was invented.

Jim recalled that a man watching the proceedings tried to buy the rifle on the spot, but "he wasn't quick enough." I only wish ole Jim was the quicker one, because that was one check.

The 2nd most accurate rifle from the test? A sporter-weight barrel Winchester Model 70 with BOSS, in what else? .270 Winchester. It turned a 2.7+ inch group at 500 yards. With factory Winchester 140-grain Fail Safe bullets!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I guess I missed something here. What does this rifle have to do with Ruby Ridge. ID?

Agreed that the barrel nut is fugly, but very functional.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I contacted H-S Precision and replied right away. They pulled his endorsement from their catalog and issued an apology on their website sometime back. They claim they never paid for that endorsement nor was he ever employed by them. So, I'm not sure what else they could do. Live with their FU is the only thing they can do.

Horiuchi is/was just another government drone.

I'll just shoot varmints with my AR practicing for the bigger varmints to come.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from rajoidea wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter: I emailed them too when the endorsement first appeared. I did not get a response, and the "apology" about their catalog was "H-S Precision has received comments relating to individual testimonials in our 2008 catalog. All of the testimonials focused on the quality, accuracy and customer service provided by H-S Precision." and a note that there would be no further testimonials from anybody (Yes, I saved that to reference its inadequacy).

On top of that, I stopped by their booth at the NRA convention in Phoenix last month to ask them about the incident. One spokesman there started repeating "That never happened, we don't have testimonials. You need to leave now." When I asked about their tiny "apology" for using Horiuchi's testimonial, another HS Precision rep went red in the face and angrily asked me if Randy Weaver ever apologized for killing the US Marshall (which was ruled legitimate self defense).

Owning up to a FU is one thing, and had they done so I'd be singing a different tune. Trying to pretend it never happened, ignoring customer queries, and behaving in such an embarassing way at a major convention is quite another, and unless/until they change their tune, I will have no HS Precision products in my house.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Nice, looking forward to a further test. Maybe a video?

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

The only thing I don’t like and prevents me from buying a Savage Rifle is that stinking barrel nut! Makes me nervous, yes it shouldn’t I agree but it does!!!

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from xilch wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

It looks like a very nice rifle indeed. The only thing stopping me from contemplating the purchase of it is H-S Precision's use of noted murderer Lon Horiuchi as a spokesman for their products. When informed of the issues surrounding him, all H-S Precision did was in effect say "sorry you were upset" and as late as last month continued to defend Lon Horiuchi and their decision to use his endorsement.

Sad to say, as this looks like a great rifle, but I will not be buying it as long as Savage continues to use H-S Precision's products.

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from Mock1 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Also Clay, I've been researching the 25-06 for a while and heard that it's the most accurate out of a 24 inch tube. My new rifle has only a 22 inch tube. Any comment's suggestions. Powder? I see that IMR 4368 is supposed to be the most accurate. I hope so as I've got 10 lbs on hand.

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from Tim Platt wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Wow... five minutes ago I had no idea HS was using a murderer as a spokesmodel. Maybe a few letters to Savage would raise their conscience. Glad to see our fearless leader likes to kill vermin as much as I do.

So how do you load from either side? Does it have two loading ports? Still scrathing my head on this post but that is a good thing as I am learning.

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from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Dang I was looking at a Savage the other day, guess I will stick with Remingtons now!

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from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I am confused about this barrel nut, anyone care to explain?

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

You cannot argue with success. Granted one could find a number if rifles more handsome then the Savage design, but man can they shoot!
I prefer wooden stocks over synthetic ones, too....weather conditions be D*mned!

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from kaanimal wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Here's some info on Huriuchi...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lon_Horiuchi
Seems to me the guy was just doing his job, it doesn't impact my decision on buying a kick ass new pdog whacker.
We should be more concerned with the current administration's assault on our Second Amendment rights. If we don't focus on that, none of us will be able to buy any rifle, regardless of what brand of stock it has!

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from j-johnson17 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Savage has developed a very good name in the past 10 years or so for producing highly accurate, and incredibly affordable rifles. I have owned many Savage rifles, and hopefully I can get my hands on another one in the near future...

I wish some of the other gun makers would take some notes from Savage. $775 for a stock rifle really isn't necessary if you ask me...

Nice rifle - I'm looking forward to another review.

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from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Nice gun and all but $1273.00 for a rodent gun seems a little expensive just to shoot ground moles.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Yeah, I know who Lon Horiuchi is and he will be judged by the Almighty for his heinous deeds, but who is really to blame? Him or the BATF, FBI, William Jefferson Clinton, Janet Reno, and who else?

Is one to blame for acts committed during war as a soldier of the U.S. Army? Hope not. I digress, but I won't be buying any H-S Precision products either.

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from crm3006 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA Mtnhunter-
Thanks for the clarification. We all must live with our FUs, and forgiveness is an admirable quality. Glad H-S Precision is not in any way associated with this assassin.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Ah yes the power of public opinion!!
As the RR-FU, that was one very,very sad situation..at 50 things like this do not surprize, which is sad to say.
I have faith that it will all make sense some day, until then;ALL NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS!
So many to blame, but none being called to step up to the plate!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I conceed their apology was weak. I am not condoning their actions one way or the other. Recall Remington and many fellow bloggers throwing Jim Zumbo under the bus for an offhand remark.

I think LH is retired now, but there are plenty of other drones to take his place and sadly, there always will be.

Lesson: Keep your fields of fire clear and have a concealed escape route away from the eyes of sharpshooters. You won't be able to stave off the mass assault, however...

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from ChevJames wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I would consider all H-S Precision stocks to be covered in innocent blood. That company can take the express elevator to hell. I will never, ever purchase any of their products and will tell every shooter I know of this bloodstained endorsement. The NRA and all shooting magazines should tell H-S Precision to advertise elsewhere. They shouldn't be given booth space anywhere, either. This company must be run out of business--it's the only decent thing to do!

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from OrangeNeckInNY wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WA_Mtnhunter,
Around May 18th, at the NRA Convention in Phoenix, H-S Precision had a booth set up, and there was an incident involving a gun blogger & H-S Precision's representative regarding the Lon Horiuchi incident.

Apparently, they still had Lon Horiuchi as a spokesman. You can read it here: http://www.atomicnerds.com/?p=2268

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I am a Savage owner and fan. I hope the notoriety of late does not cause prices to go up, but i suspect that's on the way. Great value and accurracy

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from Del in KS wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Mock1,

You won't be disappointed in the 25-06. I sure like my Kimber.

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from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I've rebarreled a number of Savage rifles and have always found the bbl. nut easy to work with after I got the proper tool design to remove and replace it. It certainly does it's intended job. I agree with CLAY COOPER that it takes some getting used to. The new Savage trigger is a huge and wonderful improvement.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

OrangeNeck

Thanks for the clarification. Whether they support Horiuchi or not, they must live with their FU. Meaning I won't buy any of their crap, just like I said in my previous post. Just like I won't buy anything from Remington until they publicly apologize to Jim Zumbo or start sponsoring his shows again.

I like my 4 Remington rifles and shotguns, but I won't buy another one until that day arrives. Until then I'll just buy stuff for my Weatherby's and the Ruger.

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from kaanimal wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

WOW! You guys are really hung up on the Lon H. issue!!
I will quote myself:
"We should be more concerned with the current administration's assault on our Second Amendment rights. If we don't focus on that, none of us will be able to buy any rifle, regardless of what brand of stock it has!"
Focus, people, focus!!!!!!!!!

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from Mark-1 wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

kaanimal,

The Lonnie's are the face that will bust down your door for your guns.......following orders.

Hopefully, that's all he does. You can't bargain with them. You can't expect reason or remorse. The Lonnie's are paranoid-sckit-zo’s whose only friend is their agency. All others are the Enemy.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

Mark-1, exactly! Drones one and all....

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from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

Looks like a nice rifle... I have always had a soft spot for Savage rifles. They carry a good reputation and this is just another great gun to add to the collection.

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from Gunslinger wrote 4 years 44 weeks ago

I'm out in left field, what has the bbl nut have or have not that the 700 does or does not have, plus what is it's function as far as accuracy goes. I got a New Marlin XL7 and I think it has the bbl nut in question, right or wrong? I'm a hunter not a gun-smith and know little about the mechanics of a firearm.

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from shane wrote 4 years 41 weeks ago

Right. Cheap, easy, accurate way to get the headspacing. Not pretty, but neither is blood and guts. It's for hunting and killing, not for a fashion show.

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from O Garcia wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

should have written "that was one heck of a rifle." sorry.

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from shane wrote 4 years 45 weeks ago

I guess we can lump all the H-S boycotters in with those Davidian freaks and McVeigh?

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