First Impressions: Savage Arms 110 FCP HS Precision Rifle
The Savage Arms 110 FCP HS Precision rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum is a beast. To be honest, the round itself is a beast and the rifle does an excellent job at taming it. Let’s dive right into my first impressions of the rifle.
Out of the Box
Out of the box, the rifle is not range ready. It doesn’t come with an optic or rights of any kind. The box is also cardboard. So before being range ready, one should plan on spending some cash on a scope, scope rings, and probably a case or drag bag. Given its overall length of 46.9″, chances are the typical rifle cases and drag bags most average gun owners have won’t cut it.
I also found the need to equip the rifle stock with a cheek rest riser after mounting my optic before I took it out to range the first time. This was probably my fault as the result of selecting higher profile rings to accommodate the scope I selected. I could have used lower profile rings, but I didn’t. This stock could probably benefit from Savage’s AccuFit system to allow comb height adjustments but it isn’t currently available for this rifle.
Weighing in at 10.7 pounds (without the scope mounted), the rifle is a bit on the heavy side. It’s not unmanageable, but it’s something to be aware of if you plan to sling it up and carry it around all day stalking game while hunting. That weight will also present some additional difficulty when shooting from improvised positions.
At the Range
I’ve shot this rifle at two ranges.
The first was an indoor range just to get the scope zeroed in at 100 yards. For what it’s worth, I recommend bore sighting in the rifle first as .338 Lapua Magnum ammunition is not inexpensive. Expect to spend $2.50-$3.50 per round for ball ammo and around $5 for match grade or hunting ammo. In doors, expect this rifle to be very loud (it’s loud outdoors as well).
The second time shooting this rifle at the range from a bench at distances from 100 yards out to 1060 yards over the course of four hours. Much to my chagrin, the rifle was a pleasure to shoot. The heavy barrel (and overall weight) in combination with the muzzle break tame the recoil of the .338 Lapua Magnum. I’ll admit I threw the first several shots while anticipating heavy and painful recoil from the monster 285 grain projectile leaving the barrel at over 2800 fps. However, after a few shots that anticipation died. The recoil reminded me of the recoil from shooting an AR-10 (chambered in .308 Winchester). Although, my shoulder did start to complain after about 50 rounds.
The rifle itself makes it real easy to drill sub 1-inch groups at 100 yards (assuming I did my job).
I was quite satisfied with the trigger (Savage’s AccuTrigger) which was left with factory adjustments. Short travel. Clean break.
I only had one issue with the rifle which was found after what I considered a successful day at the range. That was the scope base mounting screws were a little loose creating a tiny wiggle of the scope. Enough to explain my diminishing accuracy towards the end of the day which I initially attributed to a tired shoulder (which was still most likely the largest contributing factor). However, that was easily remedied. All it took was a quick call to Savage Arms customer service who provided the factory torque specifications for the scope base mounting screws (40-45 inch pounds) and a few minutes on the workbench.
Would I Recommend Buying It
To the right shooter – yes.
This rifle is not for the novice shooters who are looking to buy their first rifle. Why not? Well, there are several reasons it’s not ideal:
- The rifle isn’t ready for the range out of the box.
- The ammunition is expensive making it cost prohibitive for many shooters.
- The .338 Lapua Magnum (while manageable in this rifle) has significant recoil.
I also wouldn’t recommend this to an experienced precision rifle shooter as they are likely to be custom building their rifles anyway and probably have strong opinions about caliber, barrels, triggers, actions, and stocks.
So who is this rifle for? If you are a shooter looking to get into precision shooting and have some fascination with the .338 Lapua Magnum round (which was my case) and the cost of the ammunition is not cost prohibitive (which was not my case), then this rifle is for you. There aren’t many rifles chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum in the market to begin with. Of those rifles in the market, the price point ($1,726 MSRP) is on the lower end of the spectrum.
Frankly, I’m quite happy with this rifle and look forward to shooting the hell out of it. I also wouldn’t hesitate to let a new shooter squeeze of a round on this rifle (granted the prospective shooter knows what to expect). It is a beast and a lot of fun.