BY STEVE COMUS
What would you have if you were offered significant latitude in personally fitting a high-performance, lightweight hunting rifle? It would be Savage’s new 110 Ultralite.
This new offering from Savage incorporates virtually all of the elements needed for a fully evolved hunting rifle of the 21st Century. The two basic realities are accuracy and light weight.
Everything about this rifle is designed to deliver those two high-performance imperatives. The entire ensemble is accomplished around the time-proven Savage 110 bolt action, and even the action has been lightened without sacrificing strength and function.
Unnecessary metal is removed via cutouts on both sides of the Melonite-finished stainless steel factory blueprinted action, as well as flats on both sides that remove metal from the original round action. Couple this with the spiral fluted bolt and there are numbers of ounces left on the shop floor rather than carried on a hard hunt. Nominal weight is 5.8 pounds.
Another significant weight-saver is the barrel. Savage has teamed-up with PROOF Research for the carbon fiber-wrapped stainless steel cut rifled barrel. The idea here is to offer the accuracy of a bull barrel without the weight. Rate of twist of the rifling is one turn in eight inches. This helps stabilize the heavier-for-bore diameter bullets now being used for longer range performance.
Most intriguing with this rifle is the modular synthetic grey AccuFit stock, which is both rigid and light. It comes with four spacers for length of pull and four comb inserts for comb height. This means that in a matter of minutes, the owner can custom-fit the rifle.
The importance of length of pull is easy to understand. If the stock is too long or too short, the shooter has to go into contorted holds to shoot the rifle, if even a contorted hold is possible in extreme cases.
But the real import here are the varied comb height inserts. They allow the shooter to configure the stock so that the eye is aligned with the scope. As the trend toward longer range shooting has evolved, the scopes on the market have become bigger and bulkier. For example, one-inch main tubes are now being replaced with 30mm or girthier main tubes, and this, coupled with larger objectives mean that the scopes can’t be mounted as low as they once were.
Traditionally, fully adjustable stocks have been offensive to the eye, tinker-toy in nature and heavy because of the metal reinforcements needed. Because the Savage 110 Ultralite’s stock is designed from the ground, up to be modular, it does it aesthetically and without unnecessary weight. Nice touch.
The threaded muzzle for 5/8 24 comes with flush fit cap and the AccuTrigger’s user adjustable trigger pull (the specimen used here had its trigger set for 2.5 pounds pull) allows the shooter to fine tune the rifle for top performance.
The 110 Ultralite uses Savage’s detachable box magazine, and the receiver is drilled and tapped for 8-40 screws. This is nice because that size is much stronger than the traditional 6-48 screws.
Given the nature of this particular model, it made sense to use a Picatinny rail for a scope base. Then, into a pair of 30mm rings, I mounted a Zeiss Classic 2.5-10×50 Diavari scope that happened to be handy at the time. Although the scope performed great for this workout, if I were to be setting up this rifle for hard hunts, I would opt for a lighter quality scope.
I tried a number of different loadings and found that the rifle delivered sub-MOA three-shot groups at 100 yards off the bench routinely. It liked some loads better than others, but the point is that I had no problem achieving ¾-inch or better groups.
Part of the challenge was attempting precision shooting with a lightweight rifle. When I concentrated, groups were in the half-inch or better category, but when I forgot and held the rifle loosely, I would get two overlapping bullet holes and then the third shot would make the final group size.
This was not because the barrel was getting hot but was a factor of pilot error. The trick to shooting very light rifles accurately is to hold them firmly like one would do with a dangerous game rifle. The secret is not to lock the rifle into a rigid death grip but hold it uniformly firmly for each shot.
This is easy to do as one gets familiar with a particular rifle but can be rather frustrating with a new specimen. It is not a factor once the shooter becomes one with the rifle.
With an MSRP of $1,649, the 110 Ultralite is considerably pricier than a number of Savage’s basic hunting rifles. However, considering all of the features included, it represents a whole lot of bang for the buck.
The 110 Ultralite is available in .308 Win., .270 Win., .28 Nosler, .280 Ackley Improved, .30-06 Springfield, .300 WSM, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC and 7mm PRC. For hunters interested in getting a fully evolved modern hunting rifle, the Savage 110 Ultralite is worth a serious look.
- Factory blueprinted action
- Lightweight Stainless Steel Receiver with Melonite Finish
- Grey AccuFit ™ Stock with Adj. Comb height, Length of Pull, and overmold surfaces
- Exclusive PROOF Research Carbon Fiber Wrapped Stainless Steel Cut Rifled Barrel
- Threaded muzzle for 5/8 24 with flush fit cap
- 1.5-4 lb. user adjustable AccuTrigger
- Detachable box magazine
- Spiral Fluted Bolt
- Drilled & Tapped Receiver (8 40)
- Action – Bolt
- Barrel Color – Black Carbon Fiber
- Barrel Finish – Matte
- Barrel Length (in)/(cm) 22 / 55.880
- Barrel Material – Carbon Fiber Wrapped Stainless
- Caliber – 6.5 CREEDMOOR
- Magazine Capacity – 4
- Magazine – Detachable Box
- Rate of Twist (in) – 1 in 8 4GR
- Receiver Color – Melonite Black
- Receiver Finish – Matte
- Receiver Material – Stainless Steel
- Stock Color – Grey
- Stock Finish – Matte
- Stock Material – Synthetic
- Stock Type – Sporter
- Weight (lb.)/(kg) – 5.8 / 2.63
SKU Number 57578