A Most Useful New Savage Rifle

One of the rifles I will be groping on camera at the SHOT Show is the Savage Model 16 Bear Hunter, which is one of the company's specialty line, and an exceedingly useful firearm.

It's all stainless, synthetic-stocked, Accu-Triggered, with a 23-inch fluted barrel and Savage's adjustable muzzle brake. Weight is 7 ½ pounds, and it comes in .300 WSM and .325 WSM. It was the latter cartridge that caused me to leap from my chair, spilling the cat, who was draped over my shoulders, to the floor.

The .325 (which is an 8mm) is one of three short magnums that I consider to be worth more than an assfull of ashes, the other two being the .300 WSM and the .270 WSM. I used the .325 with only its heaviest bullet weight, a 220-grain Swift A-Frame at around 2,650 fps, and found it to be very convincing on the front end and with considerably less recoil than a .338 on the back end. To put it a bit differently, a 7 ½-pound .338 (8 ½ with scope) would be just about at the recoil limit for an experienced rifleman, but this gun should be quite tolerable to anyone who can handle a .30/06.

The MSRP is $973 (Anyone remember when Savage made cheap guns?) and I presume you can hunt game other than bears with it, although you may need a letter of authorization. If they ever make these guns left-handed I'll buy one. Quickly.