The new Savage Model 10 GRS features a high-tech adjustable stock and is capable of serious long-range performance.
What makes the Savage Model 10 GRS a contender in the long-range game?
- This new Model 10 utilizes a fully adjustable and highly ergonomic Berserk stock from GRS Riflestocks of Norway.
- The rifle combines Savage’s time-proven and accurate Model 10 action with a button-rifled and fluted, medium-heavy barrel and the manufacturer’s crisp AccuTrigger.
- The new Model 10 GRS is available in excellent long-range calibers such as .308 Winchester, 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor.
- The author was able to achieve sub-half-MOA groups with the rifle in calm wind conditions.
Built on the back of the standard police sniper rifle, the Savage Model 10, the new Savage Model 10 GRS is a major advancement when it comes to personalizing a rifle for field, long-range or competitive target applications. With the addition of the new GRS Berserk adjustable stock, this rifle has taken a step up when it comes to a solid bolt-action rifle that can — with the simple push of a button on the rifle’s stock — adjust the system to fit anyone. This rifle stock is straight from Norway and carries a right-hand depressed palm design exactly like that of the German Anschutz competition target rifle. This rifle retains a stock that is so unique to the Savage Model 10 that it warrants a story unto itself. While half the gun industry dances around with look-alike rail guns (chassis designs) and modified conventional rifle stocks, Savage hit the deck running with a real innovation in this rifle by offering European stock engineering in an American rifle.
Two buttons control the length of trigger pull and comb height in relation to the riflescope. The system is flawless and quite simple to use. It doesn’t have any ratchets, knobs or keyhole locks to turn. The forend of the stock retains a beavertail flat base, but it’s a bit modified from a full target rifle’s design. The left side of the stock features quick-release, button-style sling swivels, whereas the underside toward the muzzle retains a single stud for mounting a Harris-type bipod. Along the sides and grip of the rifle’s stock there is a special surface that is soft to the touch. This grip surface aids in maintaining a solid grip for offhand or benchrest shooting. The rifle stock is constructed of a fiberglass, Durethan-reinforced material, and the rifle is glass bedded. I had cut my left-hand index finger while butchering meat sometime before I began to evaluate this rifle, and during testing, the texture of the forend brushing against it was bad enough I was not sure I could continue with my live fire review.
However, because of the very user-friendly design of this rifle, I was still able to stay in the game. In effect, I basically eliminated the need for my support hand altogether, instead shooting groups with my right arm only on sand bags. That special offset target pistol grip/palm rest gave me some additional and much-needed control. So far, every shooter I have shown this rifle to has commented on the very well designed stock. Even the buttstock’s Limb Saver system needs to be addressed. When shooting at 1,000 yards, I was able to basically free-float the rifle in the sand bags, as felt recoil was about the same as a .30-30 Winchester.
Model 10 Barreled Action
Say what you want about a Savage action in terms of its lacking any special good looks, but as far as I’m concerned, it is what happens when the bullet meets the target that counts, and how easy it is for the shooter to use the equipment at hand to get the job done. The Savage Model 10 is offered in both .308 Winchester and the newer 6.5 Creedmoor (Editor’s Note: The Savage Model 10 GRS is also now offered in 6mm Creedmoor as well). The Creedmoor-chambered model retains a longer 24-inch barrel versus the .308’s 20-inch length. Save for that difference, both rifles are exactly the same minus the chambering.
The rifle accepts variants of the AICS magazine and ships from the factory with a single box magazine. The receiver of the Model 10 is exactly that — the time-tested Savage turn bolt line — and is the solid, accuracy-delivering guts the manufacturer has become respected for producing. Tack on the button-rifled and fluted, medium-heavy barrel to Savage’s barreled action pairing, and you have a solid, tack-driving rifle as your end product. Finish off the rifle with the Savage AccuTrigger and a threaded muzzle that accepts suppressors, and you’re ready to install your choice of glass and take on targets well downrange.
Accuracy and Function
With a somewhat tight timeline for testing and the absence of the scope I originally intended to use, which was still hung up on some freight truck, I elected to go with a model I had on hand, at least for starters. Bolting down a Nikon 4.5-18x magnification Prostaff 5, I set the second focal plane power to a locked 10x and proceeded to shoot a zero and then groups with no less than five different loads offered up by Federal, as well as a handload of my design using Sierra bullets. The following are the results of those 100-yard three-shot groups.
Load: Federal American Eagle 140-grain OTM 6.5 Creedmoor
Group 1.420 inches
Load: Federal Premium Big Game 120-grain trophy Copper
Group 1.350 inches
Load: Federal Gold Medal Berger 130-grain Hybrid OTM Match
Group: 1.0 inches
Load: Federal Fusion 140-grain SN
Group 1.150 inches
Load: BR&D, Hornady Brass, Federal Primer LR, 38.2 GR Varget, and Sierra 130-grain MKT
Group: 1.033 inches
Now, before you go off half-cocked and say those are the worst groups in history for a precision-type rifle, please be advised that the weather was dreadful. I had a full-value right-to-left northwest wind that was gusting 10 to 20 mph, and I was trying to send bullets between gusts with darn little success. However, even with those issues, I could see through the distressed bullet flight that there was a consistent pattern emerging with the test loads’ performance, and, given some better conditions, I felt sure accuracy would improve. I had shot a dead center 50-yard group with the Federal Berger 130-grain Hybrid on my short shotgun range at home that had measured only 0.335 inch. The rifle can shoot, and by the next day, with the arrival of the proper Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR 3.5-31×50, I became more than a bit hopeful.
On the second day of shooting, the weather had settled down, and I was greeted with dead-still air. Shooting conditions could not have been any better as I set the Savage Model 10 GRS into some heavy sand bags. I established a zero using a ¼-inch diamond dot paster placed squarely in the middle of an 18×18-inch Birchwood Casey black carbon Shoot-N-See target, and the first round put a hole straight through the marker. That was a first ever for me, seeing as I had not touched the scope in any way beforehand. If you’re a bit superstitious, you might even say it was an omen of sorts, and the next series of 100-yard targets proved that to be possibly a fact. The group list included here is an example of shooting in calm conditions with a Mack Brothers suppresser attached and the Mil-Spec Bushnell Elite Tactical DMR ultra-long-range first focal plane milrad scope taking charge of the task at hand.
Load: Federal Gold Medal Berger 130-grain Hybrid Open Tip Match
Group: 0.410 inch
Load: Federal American Eagle 140-grain OTM
Group: 0.485 inch
Load: Federal Premium Big Game 120-grain trophy Copper
Group: 0.375 inch
With the total weight of the rifle package at 13 pounds, the Bushnell reticle stood dead still in testing. I was sure that, with these groups, when I moved to long range, I would be in the zone and able to spot bullet splashes easily. Without adjusting the bench, I turned to the 600-yard marker, an E-50 Action Target armor plate steel torso. After clicking up 3.5 Mils, I set the crosshairs dead center on the plate. The rifle gave off a hollow thud with the suppressor and a second or so later, steel rang out. I had again selected the Berger Match ammo here because it carried a G-1 BC of 0.560, and it was producing excellent results.
The Final Stretch
Luckily, my weather pattern was holding. On day three — the final run with the new Savage Model 10 GRS — I repainted my E-50 target, and then I moved up to Dead Horse Ridge, which was 1,000 yards out, and 100 feet above the valley floor from where the target was placed. This would be the final push in terms of testing the rifle’s performance, and again, I would stay with the Federal Gold Medal 130-grain Berger bullet loads, as they had been nothing but outstanding. Measurements on the 600-yard steel in the previous three-shot groups measured from 4 to 5 inches in a triangle shape, and in the three sets of groups shot, everything fired had met steel head on. With sub-MOA performance now to 600 yards, in my mind the Savage Model 10 GRS was red hot.
Dead Horse Ridge looms above the valley, allowing a rifleman to easily shoot from 500 yards to over one mile. The air temperature was already building, which told me to cut a few tenths of a mil back in terms of bullet drop. I checked my D.O.P.E (Data On Previous Engagement) once more, then sent round one downrange. I hadn’t allowed enough reduction in elevation as the bullet skipped just over the steel plate and sent dust bellowing up dead center but above the target. Turning my turret two 1/10 clicks and taking a slightly lower hold, round two sent dust and dirt flying all across the ground in front of the hardened steel plate. Hit! I muttered to myself, and it was now game on.
While I won’t quite say shooting 1,000 yards with this scope and rifle was almost easy, I must admit that Savage and Bushnell have hit on a winner with this long-range combination. When I concluded my string of shots, I had sent 10 rounds toward steel and missed that first round over, and the second shot very slightly to the right. When I checked the target up close, I then spotted that the missed round on the right side had actually just caught the very edge of the steel plate. This, in long-range shooting terms, was scored as a hit, but I believe that would be splitting hairs in this case, and I was still very pleased with the performance of this long-range 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
Also of note, when I had concluded the 10-round string against steel, I observed the remains of a coyote out at the 1,130-yard mark. Using the highly scientific WAG (wild-ass guess) ranging system and turret adjustment, I set my crosshairs directly on the drying bag of bones and hide. At the shot, the hair flew and bones spread out. I had made a dead center hit with one shot, which gives some indication of this rifle’s ability at long range. To be sure, the Savage Model 10 GRS will be responsible for some long-range “punch outs” in the months to come.
My conclusions here are quite simple: I believe that rifles like this Savage Model 10 give the long-range shooter or hunter an accurate system at a very fair price. As for the Bushnell optic I used? Be advised, my friends, you have not seen the last of that class of high-end long-range glass. That scope was totally outstanding in every respect, and it was military to the core.
Currently, Savage holds the record regarding the number and types of long-range rifles in current production. You could say the company has taken long range into its mainstream production without limits. The new Savage Model 10 GRS has innovations that I have not seen in an American rifle to date.
The Savage Model 10 GRS is available for $1,449.
Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from the June 2017 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.
With Gun Digest Book of Long-Range Shooting, 2nd Edition by L.P. Brezny, get up-to-date with the most recent advances in guns and gear to extend your range for hunting, informal target shooting, and formal competition shooting. This second edition also explores special competitive shooting events, like the 3-gun competition and rifle golf 1000-1500-yard games, addressing their recent explosion in popularity. Additionally, discover new tools for long-range shooters both in the field and on the firing range, with coverage of new developments due to advances in military applied combat theory. Get Your Copy Now