To wring the most accuracy out of their kit, hunters must have a rifle that fits. That’s why so many people shell out cash for custom and semi-custom guns with stocks purpose-built to fit them. But custom-like fit — and the tack-driving accuracy that comes with it — doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars.
A number of accurate hunting rifles come off the retail shelf ready to punch bullseyes, and of those we’ve tested, the Savage 110 Storm has been among the most reliable. Add in the new AccuFit system and you’ve got a gun that adjusts to nearly any shooter for a shooting experience that is comfortable and accurate.
Savage rifles have a storied, well-deserved reputation for shooting tight groups, and when you add in the AccuFit system, that legendary accuracy gets even better. Over the years, the 110 series has been the company’s best-seller, considering all of its configurations, and for good reason. The stainless-steel receiver is bedded into the revolutionary AccuStock rail system, securing the action into an aluminum chassis bedded in the stock. The stainless barrel is secured to the receiver via a barrel nut, which allows for consistent headspacing, one of the key drivers to a rifle’s inherent accuracy.
Of course, the Savage 110 Storm is fitted with the company’s well-known AccuTrigger. A safety blade lies within the trigger shoe, allowing for a consistent trigger pull and crisp sear that is fully, and easily, user-adjustable. The trigger is so consistent and popular that variations have been adopted by many other manufacturers. On my test rifle, the hammer drops at 3.2 pounds — the perfect weight for a gun designed to be used in challenging hunting conditions.
The Savage 110 is available in a number of configurations — from tactical and long-range models to scout rifles to predator- and hog-specific systems. For my testing, I chose the Savage 110 Storm, which features the aforementioned weather-resistant barrel and receiver of stainless steel, chambered in the venerable .30-06 Springfield. On top, I mounted Bushnell’s newest Forge 3-18x50 riflescope with a Deploy MOA second-focal plane reticle. All this is fitted into a matte black, synthetic sporter-style stock with overmolded grip on the wrist/pistol grip and forend.
Savage AccuFit System: Fit = Function
Savage’s updated, ergonomic stock is where the AccuFit system comes into play. One of the most important interfaces between shooter and rifle is the alignment with the sighting system, which is directly affected by the rifle’s comb height. A rifle should come quickly to the shoulder and place the shooter’s eye looking directly through the center of the scope.
To get the best fit, Savage includes five different combs with heights ranging in 0.2-inch increments from 1.2 to 2 inches. The combs are easily switched out by removing the recoil pad via two screws, sliding the proper comb into the slots, and locking it into place. And while the recoil pad is off, you may as well dial in the perfect length of pull, which is the measurement from the middle of the trigger finger to the buttstock. As part of the AccuFit system, four spacers ranging from a quarter of an inch to 1 inch can be added between the recoil pad and the buttstock.
Savage 110 Storm: Rugged, Dependable and Accurate
On the bench at home, the 110 Storm lived up to Savage’s well-deserved reputation for accuracy. Shooting the 175-grain Edge TLR from Federal Premium, it had no problem printing five-round groups within an inch and regularly struck center on my 300-yard plate. Although not advertised as a long-range rifle, the Storm configuration, combined with Federal’s long-range cartridge, looked to be just what I needed for a couple of upcoming hunts.
The first in-the-field test came in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, where I hoped to use it on both chamois and tahr. On the first day of our hunt, my buddies and I found three chamois feeding just below us. Range was called at 317 yards. It was a steep downward angle, but the chamois bucked at the shot — a sure sign of a hit. These little animals are tougher than they look, and after a bit of a scrambling, I hit the chamois a second time and he was down for good.
The hike down the mountain was as brutal as any I’ve encountered, and my Savage 110 Storm took one hell of a beating. After finally making it back to camp, I dropped the rifle into the wet grass and collapsed into my sleeping bag. When I woke up the next morning, I realized my mistake and expected the rifle to be covered in rust. However, other than one small spot on the trigger guard and some superficial rust on the bolt, the rifle’s weather-resistant coating held up. Also, the rough-and-tumble use didn’t affect zero, as a few days later I shot a bull tahr at the end of a long day of hunting New Zealand’s steep mountains.
The rifle had served me so well in New Zealand that I carried it again a few months later in Alaska. Rather than climbing steep, rocky mountains, I had to deal with soggy tundra and Alaska’s ever-changing weather. From the southern hemisphere to the Arctic Circle — including an untold number of baggage handlers and a bumpy bush plane ride — the Savage held its zero, allowing me to take a nice caribou with a single shot at just over 300 yards. Throughout it all, the rifle showed little sign of wear and tear: a testament to its durable reliability.