This article is part one of a long-term field test of the Savage Precision Carbine. Now that it is legal to hunt whitetail deer in Texas with a suppressor, I was searching for a suitable host platform. I quickly settled on the .308 cartridge because of the availability of factory threaded barrels in that caliber – usually offered as a “tactical” or “law enforcement” model – and the adaptability of that cartridge. My criteria: A short 18″ – 20″ barrel, detachable box magazine, decent factory stock out of the box, and a reputation for accuracy. A great trigger is a must but I was willing to drop in a Timney or Jewell if needed. The Savage Precision Carbine quickly became the obvious choice.
The Savage Model 10 Precision Carbine intrigued me for several reasons. First, I have very little experience with the AccuTrigger and wanted to get some quality range time on it (and I have had all kinds of problems with a recent Remmy X-Mark Pro trigger). Second, I wanted to experience first-hand the resurrection of the Savage brand.
For the record, my current deer hunting rifles include a Browning X-bolt .25-06, a Tikka T3 .270 WSM, and a custom 6.8 SPC.
Another consideration on rifle choice was that I wanted something that would fit into a traditional South Texas deer camp. While there is definitely a movement towards acceptance of “black rifles” it is still a conservative crowd with lots of old-timers using their 40 year old Sako (nothing wrong with that, I LOVE old Sakos!). The Savage Precision Carbine will fit right in.
Savage Precision Carbine .308 specifications:
- AccuStock in digital camo
- 20″ barrel, Rate of Twist = 10, factory threaded suppressor-ready
- Detachable box magazine
- 8 pounds without optics
- MSRP $952
- Savage Law Enforcement Series
Included in the shipping box was Savage’s “Firearm Checklist” which is 3.5 pages of Quality Assurance testing performed before the rifle is shipped. The checklist includes visual and mechanical inspection and the procedure for test firing the rifle. Each line is initialed and dated by the tech performing the work. According to the checklist, the AccuTrigger on my rifle is factory set to 2lb 6oz and fired a .7″ group of 168gr Sierra Match King BTHP.
For testing purposes, I mounted a Bushnell Elite Tactical 3-12X44 first focal plane scope in the Evolution Gun Works HD Tactical Rings and HD Rail. The Bushnell Elite is compact, lightweight, and features an illuminated mil-dot reticle. I thought it would work well on this gun at mid-distance targets and the illuminated reticle would be a plus while hog-hunting.
I headed off to our private range for some preliminary testing and to season the barrel a bit.
Nice, factory rifle ready to run right out of the box. I appreciate the three position safety that allows you to cycle the bolt while the trigger is blocked. As this is my first AccuTrigger I found it a bit noticeable at first but completely forgot about it after firing three or four rounds. If this Savage design allows for a light, crisp, no-creep factory trigger then I am all for it. The first thing I normally do with a new rifle is call up Timney, Jewell, or Geissele so if the AccuTrigger provides a clean 2lb – 3lb factory trigger that is a good thing.
The AccuStock is Savage’s attempt at bedding the receiver and strengthening the stock to prevent flex. While gripping the stock forend and the barrel it is possible to squeeze them together. My testing with a bipod did not indicate the barrel contacting the stock – it maintained the “slide a dollar bill freely down the barrel” test – but this was casual use on a bench, not really leaning into it hard.
At the range:
Testing was done with American Eagle 150gr FMJ-BT and Fusion 150gr. Testing was limited to sighting in the new scope and gaining first impressions because we were running out of daylight for our suppressor testing with the SilencerShop boys. Even so, it was deceptively simple to shoot sub-MOA groups – just roll onto target, 1-2-3 squeeze, repeat. I am anxious to get it really dialed in and see what groups I can get at 200 and 300 yards.
As part of the SilencerShop testing we fired some subsonic .308 rounds. Wicked fun is all I can say about that! Stay tuned for the article and video. I can let out a little secret – the Silencerco Harvester metered an incredibly quiet 124.8 decibels.
I let several other experienced guys shoot the Precision Carbine that day and everyone was impressed with its features and accuracy at this price point. In part two we will cover extensive range testing and hunting.
What do you think of the Savage Precision Carbine?
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