It seems like Savage rifles garner a love hate relationship with much of the shooting population. Some people love them because they’re an affordable rifle with features and a level of performance that hits well above their price point. Savage rifles are known for shooting exceptionally well while possessing a great adjustable trigger and a barrel nut system that makes barrel swaps relatively easy. Still, some people will bag on Savage rifles for the simple fact that something that cheap shouldn’t shoot that well, which is petty jealousy. However, some of the discontent for Savage rifles isn’t completely unwarranted. Depending on the action and year of manufacture, the action screw spacing could be different, which can make getting the right aftermarket stock and bottom metal somewhat trickier than a Remington Model 700. Although these are minor issues when you look at some of the innovative products that Savage has introduced to the market and how that’s influenced other designs over time.
- Type: Bolt-action, detachable magazine
- Cartridge: 6.5 Creedmoor (also available .308)
- Barrel Length: 24 in.
- Overall Length: 46.23 in.
- Weight: 10.33 lbs.
- Stock: Synthetic
- Finish: Matte black
- Twist: 1:8-in.
- Capacity: 5+1 rds.
- Safety: Selector switch
- MSRP: $1,799
Right off the bat, the Savage Model 10 Ashbury Precision is going to be compared to the current standard by which all other factory chassis guns are judged: the Ruger RPR. There are parallels between these two rifles and some minor differences, so let’s take a look at some of the features that the Ashbury Precision Rifles possess. The chassis itself is from Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO) based near Ruckersville, Virginia, and it has some aspects that are important in a tactical precision rifle. First of all, it’s black, anything tactical must be black — it’s in the rule book.
Similar to the RPR, the Ashbury Precision Rifle has a tubular, M-LOK compatible forend that free floats the 24-inch barrel, which gives the rifle a tremendous amount of flexibility with regards to accessories. You can easily add sling mounts, Picatinny rails for bipods or tripod adapters, and a host of other items. It’s worth noting that the United States military recently tested the strength of the M-LOK design and found it to be almost three times stronger than KeyMod in various situations from a drop test to pull out strength. In the grand scheme of things, the average shooter is probably not going to approach those failure levels, but it may add some piece of mind that the accessory mounting system can take whatever abuse is thrown at it. The magazine well is compatible with AICS-pattern magazines and features a large, easy to manipulate magazine release just forward of the trigger guard.The chassis has APO’s excellent folding mechanism that locks the stock in both the folded and open positions very securely.When it’s in the open position there is no perceptible movement in the mechanism. Just like the RPR, the Ashbury Precision Rifle uses a standard AR-15 grip; however, APO adds a spacer of sorts that makes the grip sit at a more vertical angle compared to a standard A2-like grip. In my experience, this more vertical positioning of the grip is more comfortable to shoot with over a longer period of time. Ashbury also sells other inserts that can be swapped out to adjust the degree to which the grip is canted to match a person’s biomechanics. Thus far both the RPR and Savage APR are running neck and neck with tubular free floating hand guards, modular accessory compatibility, the ability to take detachable magazines, AR-type pistol grips, and stocks that fold to the side.
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However, all those features aside we now come to the stock. I have to say that I am not impressed with the stock chosen to accompany the Savage Model 10 Ashbury Precision Rifle. I use the word accompany because it seems like the decision to use a Magpul CTR stock, with no cheek riser, was for it to be nothing other than a temporary companion on the rifle until the end user found something that was more suitable. In my research of this rifle, I’d found some press releases and videos where it was shown or mentioned that the rifle will come with a CTR stock and the cheek riser. I started to wonder if perhaps something was left out of the box when it was sent to me, so I contacted Savage’s customer service department to ask if a cheek riser was supposed to be included. The representative was very kind and quick to confirm that cheek risers are not provided with the rifles. Can you make a stock that was designed to be used on a flattop AR-15 work with a precision bolt action rifle? Sure thing! I went with the least expensive option that’s out there and taped foam to the stock until it was built up enough to where I could get a consistent cheek weld with a full field of view. This is a method that has been used for many years on precision bolt action rifles so it certainly works, however when nearly every other chassis rifle being sold comes with an adjustable cheek piece, the question should be why am I having to do it with this one?
I’m not focusing on the barreled action because the Savage Model 10 action has been around long enough to be pretty well known.The fluted barrel is 24 inches long with a 1:8-inch twist for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge and is also threaded 5/8-24 to accept common muzzle devices and suppressors. The contour of the barrel is medium-heavy, which means it’s a little lighter than Remington Varmint, which suits this rifle just fine to keep weight down, but also help mitigate shot stringing after putting more than a few rounds down range. The action is pretty typical Savage with a 90-degree bolt throw, positive feeding and extraction along with a large bolt knob.The enlarged bolt knob is knurled to assist in providing a substantial amount of grip to help work the action and it’s not much bigger than a Badger Ordnance bolt knob. Long-range shooters should take note that rifle comes with a 0 MOA scope base as opposed to a 20 MOA scope base, which can limit the total elevation adjustment available on some scopes.
Slinging Some Lead
Ok so now down to the nitty gritty, where the rubber meets the road, where lead doesn’t lie, where the only thing that matters is you and the target, range time! As per usual I started out bore sighting the rifle and shooting at 100 yards to get an initial zero as well as a feel for the accuracy of the rifle as a whole.I had a selection of ammunition with me from Federal but I decided to use the Federal Fusion 140-grain soft points to get on paper. I wasn’t disappointed at all with this ammunition’s performance, being a soft point load for hunting, it still printed respectable groups. After my first shot on paper, I had to adjust my point of impact, and once I adjusted, the remaining four rounds went into a neat 1-inch cluster a little low of center. To confirm my zero, I slid home another five-round Magpul AICS magazine filled with Federal Fusion and took aim. I’m not perfect, boy I hate to admit that, but I pulled one shot way left, that otherwise completely ruined a nice 5/8-inch group that was taking shape down range. The American Eagle 140-grain boattail
hollowpoint (BTHP) was really the stand out performer during this range trip at not just 100 yards but also beyond. I shot two groups back to back with this ammunition that was both ¾-inch center to center, and later I printed a five-round group that was right at ½ inch. For a factory rifle that isn’t bad, but then again this is a Savage, which is well known to have a level of accuracy that often bests more expensive rifles. Shooting at 100 yards doesn’t tell the whole story, and rifles like this one need to have its legs stretched out to realize its full potential.
Peacemaker National Training Center offers some unique opportunities to test a rifle, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to utilize their facilities. After getting my zero, I still didn’t have any solid data for this rifle, but I did have my data charts for my personal 6.5 Creedmoor competition rifle, which gave me a starting point. Not wanting to start small and shoot the closer targets, which would’ve been safe, I immediately went out to 830 yards on a full-size IPSC target. It took a few rounds to walk the shots in, but in no time I was ringing steel pretty consistently. The weight of the Savage Model 10 Ashbury and the ergonomics made it easy to stay on target so I could see hits and misses. Shooting at 830 yards got kind of easy so I made my way over to the large barricade to work on some positional stuff and the rifle didn’t disappoint. There was an array of 16-inch steel plates at 464 yards and consistent hits were again pretty easy due in no small part to the exceptional Savage Model 10 Ashbury Precision Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor and the Armageddon Gear Game Changer bag that I used throughout the day. Shooting the same plates in the prone position yielded some excellent results after I went back to look at the video. On the first plate, I literally stacked two rounds on top of each other before the momentum of the steel caused the target to fall down. I put the last three rounds from the magazine on an adjacent steel plate and from the looks of the video, they created a nice little group that was easily sub-MOA. The whole time the rifle didn’t let me down, I would say that the only time I had a hiccup was when the very dusty conditions made it so that a little extra effort was needed to seat the magazine.The range time that I spent with the rifle yielded some pretty impressive results for a factory rifle shooting factory ammunition, but then again it is a Savage so it’s not entirely surprising.
I concluded the day with a pile of brass and a thorough appreciation for the capabilities of this Savage rifle. This segment of the precision rifle market has exploded recently, but the Savage Ashbury Precision Rifle sets itself apart from the competition. The chassis features awesome modularity with the inclusion of an M-LOK compatible forend, one of the better folding mechanisms on a stock and accuracy that could easily make it competitive in matches. For those not a fan of the stock selection, it can easily be replaced. The Savage Model 10 Ashbury Precision Rifle is a solid contender for someone looking to get their first precision bolt action rifle. It’s adjustable, modular, super accurate and available in the superb 6.5 Creedmoor. I highly recommend that you check them out.
For more information on the Savage Model 10 Ashbury Precision Rifle click, http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/10SavAshburyPrecision.
To purchase a Savage Model 10 on GunsAmerica, click https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?Keyword=Savage%20Model%2010.