The Savage 11 Hog Hunter: Not your Average .308

The Hog Hunter is a rugged blend of versatility and accuracy.

The Hog Hunter is a rugged blend of versatility and accuracy.

I know what you’re thinking.

“Another .308 bolt action hunting rifle? Thanks, but I already have three (or eight). Where are your reviews on the Ruger Precision Rifle?”

I get it. I do. In the firearms industry, bolt action rifles are a dime a dozen. But stick with me here. The Savage 11/111 Hog Hunter isn’t your average .308. Savage Arms has developed a rifle that includes all the goodies at an affordable price, and, in my opinion, is among the best bang-for-your-buck rifles on the market.

Specs:

Manufacturer: Savage Arms
Model: 11/111 Hog Hunter
Action: bolt-action, center-fire rifle
Caliber: .308 Win.
Magazine: four-round-capacity, closed-box magazine
Barrel: 20” medium-contour
Muzzle: 5/8×24 threads
Stock: green composite
Trigger: Accutrigger; Adjustable – 1.5lbs – 6lbs
Sights: drilled-and-tapped receiver, LPA-adjustable rear, post front
Overall Length: 40.5”
Weight: 7 lbs., 4 ozs.
Twist: 1:9” RH
Accessories: owner’s manual, lock, thread protector
MSRP: $595

The Ultimate Pig Slayer

The Hog Hunter is in Savage Arms’ “Specialty Series,” a line of 17 hunting-specific models that includes the Predator Hunter, the Lightweight Hunter, the Long Range Hunter, and the Bear Hunter. The Hog Hunter’s action has its roots in the famous (and now ubiquitous) Savage Model 110 action. The Model 110 was invented by Nicolas Brewer in 1958, and in 2007 became America’s oldest bolt action rifle in continuous production. Savage has been making powerful, economical, and reliable rifles for over 100 years, and the Hog Hunter continues the company’s impressive legacy.

The 11/111 Hog Hunter’s popularity has been driven in part by the growing prevalence of feral pigs in the United States. Hunters have been looking for a short-barreled, accurate, versatile rifle to handle their destructive herds of bacon, and they found it in the Hog Hunter. While a semi-automatic AR-15 might harvest a greater number of porkers, this rifle—available in .223, .308, and 338 Federal—will definitely get the job done.

The 150-grain PMC X-TAC Match were the most accurate rounds I tested. Check out the results of my accuracy test (as well as my scope choice) a little farther down.

The 150-grain PMC X-TAC Match were the most accurate rounds I tested. Check out the results of my accuracy test (as well as my scope choice) a little farther down.

But what drew me to the rifle was the huge number of features not included in your run-of-the-mill .308, such as…

  1. Threaded, Medium-Contour Barrel

If I had to choose one word to describe this gun, it would be “versatile.” Yes, it’ll harvest as many pigs as you want, but the “medium-contour” barrel also means you can range it out past the capabilities of many lighter-barreled hunting rifles. Slap an aftermarket stock on this gun, and you’ve got yourself a respectable long(ish) range shooter. At the same time, the short(ish) length of the barrel (20”) means it’s handy in dense brush or a tree stand. The medium contour is also slightly lighter than a standard bull barrel, which means it won’t be such a beast to carry on an all-day hunt.

Savage put a lot of thought into this barrel. It splits the perfect difference between heavy and light, long and short.

Savage put a lot of thought into this barrel. It splits the perfect difference between heavy and light, long and short.

The barrel also comes pre-threaded in 5/8×24 and is absolutely itching to be suppressed. That 20” barrel means it won’t be overly long with a suppressor attached, and the thread specs will fit most .30-caliber muzzle brakes. Though the kick is forgiving compared to other .308 rifles, a muzzle brake wouldn’t hurt for a day at the range.

The rifle comes with a thread protector so you won’t have to worry about buying a brake or suppressor right away.

The rifle comes with a thread protector so you won’t have to worry about buying a brake or suppressor right away.

Threaded and waiting for your favorite .30 can.

Threaded and waiting for your favorite .30 can.

  1. Iron Sights

The rear sight is notched and the front sight is a simple gold dot. They aren’t extremely visible in low light, but they’ll get the job done. The rear sight is also adjustable for windage and elevation, which allows you to range out the irons without having to guess holdover. Both windage and elevation include dots for determining how far you’ve moved the sight in either direction.

Rear sight is adjustable for elevation.

Rear sight is adjustable for elevation.

The gold dot provides good visibility.

The gold dot provides good visibility.

The front sight sits nice and high.

The front sight sits nice and high.

The rear sight is also adjustable for windage.

The rear sight is also adjustable for windage.

Savage also put a lot of thought into the placement of the sights on the barrel. I was initially concerned that I wouldn’t be able to use the iron sights with a rail attached. I also wasn’t sure if the irons would impede the sight picture of the scope. Neither turned out to be the case, as the iron sights sit high enough to use with a rail attached and far enough forward to avoid impeding scope picture. You might run into problems if you want to use a sun shade, but the irons are also easy to remove if you decide to go in that direction.

  1. AccuTrigger

Many of Savage’s rifles now include their patented AccuTrigger, and this rifle is no exception. Admittedly, I haven’t used a huge number of aftermarket triggers, so I can’t give you an informed opinion in that direction. I have, however, used my fair share of stock triggers, and the AccuTrigger is light years ahead of what usually comes with a hunting rifle. The pull is smooth, and the break is nice and crisp.

When the silver fin is forward, the gun is cocked and ready to fire.

When the silver fin is forward, the gun is cocked and ready to fire.

When the silver fin is rearward, the action must be cycled before the gun can be fired.

When the silver fin is rearward, the action must be cycled before the gun can be fired.

The trigger is adjustable from 1.5 lbs to 6 lbs, which is light enough for all you match shooter types and heavy enough for anyone concerned about accidental discharge. Though even at its lightest setting, the AccuTrigger features the “Accurelease,” a safety mechanism designed to minimize the chances of accidental discharge if the gun is dropped. The silver fin within the trigger must be completely depressed in order for the gun to fire. As you can see in the pictures, the Accurelease also acts as a cocking indicator—if the silver fin is forward, the gun is cocked and ready to fire as long as a round is in the chamber.

Accuracy

The Savage Hog Hunter is more than just bells and whistles. The thing can shoot, even without the benefit of a bench and a rest.

Savage bills this gun as a hunting rifle, so I wanted to test its accuracy in the field rather than from a bench. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never killed a pig from a gun rest, and a hunting rifle won’t do me any good if it can’t shoot small groups from a bipod. This rifle can do exactly that, and I have no doubt a more experienced rifleman could shoot even smaller groups.

I conducted the test from the prone position at 100 yards using a Caldwell XLA bipod and a Primary Arms 4-14X44mm R-Grid Reticle scope (check back to GunsAmerica soon for the scope review). I mounted the optic using Primary Arms’ “low” scope rings and an Evolution Gun Works 20 MOA rail (the gun doesn’t include a rail). I couldn’t tell you where the cheek rest came from, but it worked for my purposes.

Give this gun a good set of tools, and it’ll do the rest.

Give this gun a good set of tools, and it’ll do the rest.

If you’re at all familiar with these accessories (or you clicked the links), you’ve probably noticed a trend. It’s true—I don’t think getting good performance out of your firearms should cost you an arm and a leg. Notice I said, “good.” If you’re a match shooter, have at it. Squeeze every last millimeter of accuracy out of your $500 scope mount. The rest of us will be over here trying to figure out how to shoot a respectable group and fund the next family vacation.

The good news is that this set up shoots a respectable group. As you can see from the data table, I was able to get sub-MOA accuracy with all but one of the rounds I tested. I shot five to six three-round groups with each load, and the 150 grain PMC X-TAC performed by far the best. I also took it out to 200 yards and shot at a 6” gong, which I had no trouble hitting consistently.

The trigger was crisp and smooth, which let me decide exactly when I wanted to send a round downrange.

The trigger was crisp and smooth, which let me decide exactly when I wanted to send a round downrange.

Round selection is important with this gun. If my limited testing is any indication, the 20” barrel has a hard time with heavier-grained bullets, so you’ll want to try several different brands and bullet weights before taking the gun on your next hunt.

I tried not to choose relatively inexpensive loads anyone might pick up at their local gun shop.

I tried to choose relatively inexpensive loads anyone might pick up at their local gun shop.

That being said, I was quite pleased with the gun’s performance. I am by no means a professional rifleman, and I think a super-solid bench rest would bring the group sizes down even more. But, again, this isn’t a target rifle—it’s a hunting rifle, and even my largest groups would have brought down whatever four-legged critter I put in the sights.

Accuracy-Chart-Hog-Hunter

I admit, I shot a few fliers. Not sure where that third Winchester shot went…

I admit, I shot a few fliers. Not sure where that third Winchester shot went…

My best groups with both loads (the additional holes are from my testing the scope’s tracking).

My best groups with both loads (the additional holes are from my testing the scope’s tracking).

The PPU gave me my smallest group, but it wasn’t consistent. Still…check out that group!

The PPU gave me my smallest group, but it wasn’t consistent. Still…check out that group!

The PMC killed it. Every group I shot was sub-MOA. You can also see my three-shot sight-in.

The PMC killed it. Every group I shot was sub-MOA. You can also see my three-shot sight-in.

Possible improvements

By now you probably think I’m on the payroll over at Savage. I do like the gun, but I’m not blind to its faults. The stock, for example, is basically glorified Tupperware. The stock’s forend and the barrel can be squeezed together, and the machine work is a bit rough. The stock is lightweight, which is nice, but it’s low quality. I plan to purchase an aftermarket stock like this one once I locate the necessary funds.

Here’s the normal space between the barrel and the stock…

Here’s the normal space between the barrel and the stock…

…and here’s how far I could squeeze the two together.

…and here’s how far I could squeeze the two together.

The gun is also a bit heavy. That’s the trade-off for the medium-contour barrel, but it’s something you should keep in mind before purchasing. The initial 7.25 pounds wasn’t bad, but once I added the scope and bipod the gun weighed in at a hefty 11 pounds.

Finally, the action could be a bit smoother out of the box. I’m sure this will improve with time, but some rounds were tough to extract.

A few shots of the bolt. The cool thing about the bolt handle is that it can be easily removed and swapped for a beefier version.

A few shots of the bolt. The cool thing about the bolt handle is that it can be easily removed and swapped for a beefier version.

Conclusion

Savage really did a nice job with this rifle. If you’re looking for a solid hunter that won’t break the bank, check it out. The long list of features combined with solid accuracy and a nice price point make the Hog Hunter an excellent choice for anyone in the market for a new rifle. Savage has been making quality firearms for a long time, and they didn’t change their tune with this gun. It might look like your average .308, but trust me—it isn’t.

You can find one on GunsAmerica for a good deal less than the $595 MSRP

{ 50 comments… add one }
  • Foxhalz March 4, 2017, 12:23 pm

    I went with the 338 Fed version of this rifle. A lot of states have legalized suppressor use in hunting and a pre threaded bbl is a nice bonus. Advantages of suppressor use is the noticeable reduction in recoil – actually makes this rifle a real pleasure to shoot. The muzzle and concussive blast is almost completely eliminated as well, mitigating the need for muffs in the field….Although the sonic crack it produces is probably not hearing safe.

    Accuracy is top notch complimented by a nice trigger. 1/10 barrel stabilizes the heaviest of bullets if one desires subsonic use. 250 grain SGK’s on top of Trailboss makes for a quiet combo if shooting hogs from a blind at ranges of 80 yards or less. I shot one large boar in the head and I can pretty much say the thwack generated by bullet hitting its target was louder the the gunshot.

    I can’t pin any cons on the rifle except maybe for its weight, though I knew the specs before I ordered it. Add a scope, rings, suppressor and a full mag, and its pretty darn heavy. In Texas, blinds pretty much rule the hunting roost, so weight, after all, is not too much of a concern.

  • bill bertagnoli January 19, 2017, 6:04 pm

    something to be said about iron sights. I started hunting before quality scope like weaver were priced for 7th grade kids. there is something very tangible and valuable about knowing where your gun will throw a projectile beyond point blank. standing behind a shooter and slightly above and you can see arc of a bullet. having that mental picture is what makes all great rifle shooters great. having said that scopes make it possible for occasional shooters to perform well above their pay grade. Ain’t
    America great! you can have it either way in a reliable 500 buck gun. lived in Japan for three years. 177 cal.pellet gun only
    please! GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE NRA.

  • Catfish December 8, 2016, 1:36 pm

    I have owned a hog hunter for the past five years. Strait out of the box to the woods. The only promblem so have is the fact that work the bolt to fast and not chamber a shell. 150 to 200 yards I put down every deer with one shot shooting irons. It’s a great brush gun for short shots as well. For a bolt action with iron sights which is getting harder to find for the price I feel like it’s the best deal but then again I am a savage man.

  • Billybob December 5, 2016, 11:57 pm

    To bad it doesn\’t have a removable mag !

  • Jack December 5, 2016, 2:20 pm

    You have listed the twist at 1/9 which is for the .223 rifle which is incorrect for this article. The .308 version of this rifle is in fact a 1/10 twist which is super. It can handle even the heaviest weight bullet and make them fly true.
    With the 1/10 twist I might suggest the 190 gr SMK bullet or even the 210 or 220gr for those huge hogs at a distance.

  • joely December 5, 2016, 12:04 pm

    Needed rugged, reliable new .308 at a fair price for a bolt gun. Got the M-11, added only rail, Burris Tac 30 with red dot on top for close shots. I do not like a lot of stuff or changes on my weapons. Zeroed the rig and off to hunt some hogs with Rem Hog Hammer rounds. The rounds and rifle all worked great and go two very nice hogs, 180lbs and 90lbs. The Hog Hammer put them down with one round each and the Savage put them on the point of aim. Great rifle, fair price to me and mucho reliable. It is not fancy, a working gun, so I dragged it all over Texas in the rain and mud. Shot off what ever was handy to prop it on. Elk hunt next on the list for this rifle. Weapon just a tool to me and this is a great tool for the money.j

  • B RAD December 5, 2016, 8:22 am

    Accuracy should be tested from the bench. Your statement “never shot hogs from the shooting bench” may be true, but you are looking to test the accuracy of the rifle, not YOUR shooting ability. You should be looking to find the accuracy of the rifle period. You are injecting variables that do not need to be there.

    • LG December 5, 2016, 10:48 am

      The factor represented by the abilities of the operator of the rifle and of the weapon remain the same whether it is fired from a bench or from a tree trunk or in a prone position in a field.

    • Bill December 7, 2016, 6:25 am

      “You should be looking to find the accuracy of the rifle period.” I would submit the shooter/owner of a rifle should be looking to find the accuracy of the rifle for how they intend to use it. Paper punching? Hunting? I can promise you a deer doesn’t care if they can shoot .5 MOA off a bench if they can’t keep a minute of deer in the woods. I watch it ever year with befuddled folks who just can’t figure out why their 2k worth of Leupold and insert latest greatest rifle offering don’t put game down when they can be all aces off a bench.

      Every rifle can and usually does have far different outcomes depending on who and how it’s used. I’ve already put a nice 8in the freezer in my 38th season and I couldn’t tell you what my rifle is capable of off a bench b/c I’m not a paper target shooter. That data is completely worthless to me when I’m standing/kneeling/prone or hiking looking at game moving around. Mid summer I zeroed in what would become my new to me Marlin 336 shooting prone on uneven ground, not on a mat off and supported by my lumpy backpack b/c that is a very common shot at a deer right now. Shot to ~1.75 MOA with stock irons and someone else’s random ammo when the then current owner said he wanted to sell it b/c it doesn’t shoot right. When the rut starts I’m in a climber or stand and that only increases accuracy so I’m looking to test worst case scenario. I also practice offhand shots inside 100 b/c I won’t take a shot at a deer off hand outside 100. If I can shoot prone off a backpack on uneven ground with a minute of deer out to my MPBR that will put meat in my freezer all season long. I took the 8 at ~ 70 yards and blew his heart into burger meat, but it was kneeling in the rain and I knew from practice I could do it. What value does bench data give me there? You ask today’s ‘urban tactical warrior’ to stand up off the bench and shoot and they typically can’t hit a man sized silhouette from 25 yards. Is either one right or wrong? No, for me I know exactly how my rifle will perform when I line up a shot on game in a multitude of conditions and scenarios. For a paper puncher who wants to know how accurate they can be in perfect controlled situations my zeroing data is worthless to them. Why would I need to know or even care how it would perform when sitting on a seat off a bench? Perhaps the best example of this was how I came to get that Marlin. He’s the prototypical guy who shoots off benches all year long and then gets into the woods and fails miserably. The rifle is crazy accurate for him in perfect controlled conditions, but he can’t shoot when the bench is gone. I was happy to take it off his hands after 10 minutes with it discovering it was a fantastic rifle. To this day I don’t know what the seated bench capabilities of this rifle are and quite possibly never will.

      I was quite pleased to see the modus operandi of the author here he understands bench shooting is not hunting and he tested accordingly.

    • joe December 19, 2016, 11:27 pm

      You missed the point. There is a saying that you train like you fight. If you shoot hogs using a bipod then test it using a bipod. Even if it’s sub MOA from the bench you won’t ever use it if it doesn’t work in your specific application…in this case from the bipod….

    • knife March 20, 2017, 11:06 pm

      i agree, testing for accuracy esp when making an article should shoot from a bench then shoot from field positions. if im looking to buy a gun i wouldnt consider getting a gun that someone group tested shooting from a bi pod or from a pack . i also see a lot of writers test hunting guns shooting all sorts of match ammo and no hunting ammo, uuummm ,, this tells me that that particular gun diddnt shoot the ammo for what it was intended for so they fished around in their junk drawer and found a hand full miscellaneous ammo and shot it until they found a concoction that would shoot moa. im not a hater , this is by far the best test on this gun so far that i have found . i am thinking of trying a bi pod but ive heard it isnt as accurate from the bench v/s sand bags, and the bi pod changes poi when sighted in with bags then switching to bi pods . would love to see a test of this sort.

  • Jimmie December 5, 2016, 8:06 am

    Im not really impressed by this. Especially if most people want to re stock the rifle.
    If seen better guide and patrol rifles out the box i like better. i.e. Rugers patrol rifle.

  • William December 5, 2016, 7:41 am

    Whoever installed that Scope did not know what they were doing. In a hunting situation, it will come back a give you a new ibrow.

  • Big Jimmy November 21, 2016, 8:28 pm

    I own a “Hog Hunter” in 308 and I love it. The fact that it’s called a Hog Hunter had nothing to do with me buying it to start with. I wanted an economical accurate shorter barreled rifle that I could hunt with and shoot at the range as well. I Cerakoated it OD green put it in an FDE MDT HS3 modular stock and topped it with a Trijicon 5-20X50 Accupoint scope and screwed on a 3 port muzzle brake. The result is an excellent hunting rifle that will shoot my Barnes TTX hand-loads into 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards all day. And yes I have killed many hogs with it as well. Great review, shame on some of the harsh criticism.

    • knife March 20, 2017, 11:11 pm

      was looking to get this gun as a woods rifle , what weight of the barnes bullet did you get that accuracy from and what other weights and bullets have you tried and what kind of accuracy did you get from them.

  • Jack McElroy November 17, 2016, 11:35 am

    For the guy wondering about magazines it has a blind magazine, so there you just saved some more money.

    • Hairloos April 6, 2017, 12:49 pm

      When someone says magazine a ‘blind’ magazine doesn’t come to mind. It means something detachable that can at lead double the capacity of a flush mag. imho, a detachable 10 round mag and a spot all the way in the back to put an aftermarket peep rear sight are what’s missing from this gun. At least a 10 round detachable 10 round mag to be EXPLICIT.
      Or if they could make the savage scout come with a 20″ barrel then that would work too.

  • C McSwain November 17, 2016, 1:26 am

    Whats up with all the smart@$$ trolls on here? The author is doing a review of this particular gun. He is not asking your opinion of how, when, where or why you shoot hogs! And for the guy who states his shooting is horrible, why dont you post pics of your groups? Actually, for the average hunter those are decent groups. Anyway…..good article and write up. I have both the .223 and .308 in the Hog Hunter. Accuracy is great in both rifles and they handle like a dream. The medium barrel not only lets you hunt, but you can also practice your sniping skills… (to a certain degree…lol). Both the 223 and 308 would also make perfect SHTF guns. Ammo for the 223 and 308 can be bought fairly reasonable in surplus, it has irons in case optics fail, its very durable (bolt actions have less things to break or jam), it’s priced for the average Joe Blow and its amazingly accurate. If I could only have one riffle, it would be the Hog Hunter in 308. The 308 will harvest anything in North America. From light loads on small prairie dogs in the plains of the west, to heavy loads on big 4 legged creatures in Alaska (yes even large bears within reasonable distance). Throw in a .22LR and a 12 guage pump shotgun and a man should have all that he would ever need……and no, in case all you trolls are wondering, I dont work for Savage either. Im just giving you my honest opinion of a great versitle gun, same as the author of this article did!

    • Hairloos April 6, 2017, 12:53 pm

      When you’re evaluating accuracy you need to use a sled that minimizes variation of human error associated with any other mechanism. Even if YOU don’t hunt that way the question is not HUNTING but ACCURACY. Same way that you don’t evaluate max speed of a truck using a dirt road. Use a speed track for that purpose. Either a reviewer is scientific or they aren’t and for those that aren’t then they aren’t really providing actionable information. There are enough ppl out there who review with their feelings polluting the facts on products.

      • JP September 3, 2017, 9:49 pm

        Reviewer gives more than enough info to catch yer interest and promote the rifle, else you wouldn’t have read the article. If you need scientific info, then go purchase one and bust the brush with it yer damn self. No one here claimed to be an expert , except the haters who spend more time reading & bitching, instead of hunting.

  • Adam Seymour September 30, 2016, 10:39 am

    I have this rifle and was wanting to get a new stock. I looked at the one you suggested but it appears to have a detachable magazine. As you know, the Hog Hunter does not have a detachable mag. What is your suggestion to this issue?

  • John R July 3, 2016, 12:41 pm

    I’ve never hunted hogs nor do I plan to. (sounds fun though) Personally, I don’t like the marketing aspect of the “Hog Hunter” name of this rifle, or any marketing manipulation for that matter, (thankfully, Savage didn’t emblazon it on the product the way Leupold does on some of their products….no thanks). I purchased this rifle a while back, and my criteria for shopping was A) Bolt, B).308, C) iron sights, D) threaded barrel; nothing to do with pigs or distance shooting. Those three criteria shortened my list of choices real quick, that’s when I started my research for a good shooter of the remaining choices. The aspect of getting a very good “budget rifle” was just a bonus; I didn’t see the need to spend more money based on what I got with this rifle. I put a high quality illum reticle scope on mine and it nicely handles my ranges of shooting. I railed, scoped, bipoded, and a few other accessories all for under $1000. It has hit and killed everything I’ve fired on, (all my targets are larger than 6″ gong btw)
    For an all-round center-fire, I like my choice…it covers a lot of bases….YMMV.

    • John R July 3, 2016, 10:49 pm

      BTW…in case any are wondering, the words “Hog Hunter” are nowhere to be found on the rifle: simply “Savage Model 11”.

    • joe November 10, 2016, 8:41 pm

      Get off your eco high horse. If “Hog Hunter” bothers you then you probably shouldn’t be shooting any kind of gun. Also, the “market manipulation” is done by everyone. get over it. This gun could equally have been called the “Hogzilla Killer”.

  • Brent Bennett June 9, 2016, 10:47 am

    Most of these Men , have their own , Personal Preferences , for a ” Hog Rifle ” ! If , Savage wanted , and did , come out with a ” Specific ” Rifle for Hogs , that was their ” Business ” ! NOW , I See NO use , in using the ” Comb raiser ” , but to add considerable Weight to the ” Rig ! Second , the 20 M.O.A. Base is NOT needed, they are for Long Range ! Weaver, makes a 1 piece Tactical Base , of which , I am installing on all My Rifles , that Weaver have a application , for ! A Person , can Mount ANY Scope on these Bases , they have considerable ” travel ” , back and forth ! Third , I imagine , very few Hogs, are Shot with a Rifle, with a Bipod , ” laying ” position ? To Me , Accuracy , is VERY important, with ANY Rifle a Person shoots ! SO , Shooting from a Bench Rest , would bring-out the best Accuracy , of this Rifle / Caliber ! THank You .
    ” !

    • knife March 20, 2017, 11:15 pm

      well said brent

  • GMAC June 8, 2016, 11:58 am

    Good review on a solid rifle, I have a Savage slug gun in 20 gauge that is unbelievably accurate out to 150 yards, despite some “rough edges” so I get the pros and cons thing.
    I have 2 comments: Why the rail mount for the scope instead of mounting the scope rings on bases direct to the receiver> The scope would be mounted lower and you may not need the cheek rest. I also have been thinking about the available .338 Federal as a good all around big game cartridge. It is rumored to be as deadly as the 30-06 with recoil equal to or less than a .308. Recoil was never an issue in my younger years but has become somewhat of an issue now. I now hunt in SC for deer and hogs in areas where cover is very thick and at times even well placed shots result in a difficult tracking situation. Anyone have comments on the .338 in this rifle?

    • RJFixer July 3, 2016, 7:12 pm

      I’ve never shot the .338, but I did find a muzzle break that brought down the recoil to make it nice enough for my 63 year old shoulder. I’ve owned a large variety of rifles in the past, and this one ranks with the best in every category except for that #!**^&**% stock it comes with. My accuracy comes in with 165 Accubond at 2760 fps. I’ve noticed that as usual, each rifle is different and what works for the writer above (150 grain PMC) was a terrible choice for mine.

    • Greg Webb December 5, 2016, 9:56 am

      I have a Hog Hunter in .338 Winchester Magnum that I really like. Overall this is a very good rifle that is well balanced for offhand shots. I scoped it with normal weaver rings and bases and a Bushnell 2 X 7 scope. This gave enough clearance to load the blind magazine while keeping the scope low.
      Would have bought the .338 Federal had it been available but I got such a deal on the .338 WM ( $400 new ) that I could not pass it up!

  • eddie046 June 2, 2016, 11:19 am

    I’d say if you’re hunting feral pigs save yourself a TON of money and get a Mosin 91/30 or M44 carbine and a couple of thousand rounds of cheap ammo and have fun!

    • Jordan Michaels June 6, 2016, 10:53 am

      Great point. I think I mentioned this in the review, but if you’re looking for something that will kill lots and lots of pork, a semi-auto will probably be a better option. What I liked about this gun is that it offers lots of versatility beyond hog hunting.

  • basinman May 31, 2016, 5:09 pm

    I like to use my M14 with low powered scope. I can usually get 3 or 4 once I start shooting. They get confused when the shooting starts so more can be taken if you keep your eyes peeled.

  • Al Castonguay May 31, 2016, 5:08 pm

    The question I always ask is….. How much do extra magazines cost? I believe the 4 round replacement mag for this rifle is in the mid $50 range and a 10 rounder in mid $80 range. The Mossberg equivalent on the other hand uses standard PMAG’s and MK14 M1A magazines. A much better option for the money.

  • Ymmot May 31, 2016, 12:40 pm

    Thanks but NO, this rifle is for weekend shooters who sit behind a desk most of the time and then go out to a private hunting ranch and PAY big money to shoot one or two hogs that they can post on FaceBook in order to look like the Great Hunter they’re not!
    I’ll stick with my custom Carl Zeiss scoped AR-15 and a thirty round magazine where I can really do some maximum Feral Hog Reduction!

    • Jordan Michaels June 6, 2016, 10:56 am

      Wow, that sounds like a sweet rifle. As I said in the review, if you’re looking for something to eradicate your hog infestation, an AR-15 will definitely be a better option. What I liked about this gun is its versatility beyond hog hunting, even though is marketed as a “hog hunter.”

  • 757Fred May 31, 2016, 12:23 pm

    Great review, I actually own this in .338 Federal…maybe I missed it in the review but I think listing the other calibers available would have been nice. I have been on several hog hunts and the reason this rifle is so functional is because of the iron sights. To hunt hogs you have to spend time in stands and do some ground work. When the hogs are close and personal, you want those iron sights set up for 25 yards. I have a Leupold VX-1 3x9x40mm with Warne quick release rings and shoot 185 grain Federal Fusion ammo. It’s also great if you are camping where there are bears, short barrel, iron sights…heavy hitting round. Thanks for giving this rifle some love, it’s fantastic! The recoil and muzzle rise on this with the .338 Federal is less than the Ruger American in .308…

    • Jordan Michaels June 6, 2016, 10:58 am

      Thanks for your comment. I did mention the alternative calibers in the review, but I didn’t spend much time on them. And I agree! The irons are a great feature.

  • Old Clockguy May 31, 2016, 11:54 am

    All points made in these posts seem to be valid on their own merits and I want to make one more point in favor of not needing a “dedicated” hog gun. I can show you one YouTube video after another where the hog hunter dropped a big hog with one shot at fairly close range, under 40 yards, and not one of those shots, shoulder or head shots, head-on or profile, was made with a cartridge encased powder propelled projectile.

    Those who know of which I speak can verify this fact and those who don’t can easily do a search on YouTube to view hours of video on this method of killing hogs. Just do a search for “one shot hog kills with a (insert favorite caliber) pellet rifle and sit back and enjoy!!

    At the end of the day, it all boils down to a shooter’s skill and experience with his weapon, not the “dedication” of a manufactured firearm to killing a specific species of animal. Dead is dead no matter if it is a spear or a slingshot, a pellet rifle, or a $4000 custom built varmint tack driver which is used to dispatch the victim.

    • Jordan Michaels June 6, 2016, 11:00 am

      Great point! It really comes down to whatever an individual hunter is comfortable with. What I liked about this gun is its versatility beyond hog hunting — I think I’ll primarily use it as a deer rifle and save my AR for the hogs.

  • Gomer May 31, 2016, 11:23 am

    Looking at the targets you presented….the accuracy or your shooting is horrible. Seriously, you can consistantly hit a 6″ gong at 200 yards? If that’s the best that gun can do it’s a total waste of money.

    • Jordan Michaels June 6, 2016, 11:08 am

      Haha! C’mon now! How are you gonna knock a man’s shooting in front of the whole internet? (Just kidding — I definitely deserved that.)

      So, two things here. The first is that much of the inaccuracy is due to my shooting. As I said in the review, I’m sure a more experienced rifleman could get those group sizes down. (Shooting from a bench would have aided accuracy as well.)

      The second is that it’s important to test lots of different kinds of ammo with this rifle. You can see the PMC really performed well at 100 yards, but the PPU was all over the place. I think this rifle can get you great accuracy if you feed it what it likes, which is true of all rifles.

    • joe December 19, 2016, 11:36 pm

      Hitting a 6″ circle at 200 yds using iron sights is very good! You need to stop trolling and denigrating other people just because you are jealous of their capabilities. 6″ at 200 yrd is what….3 MOA? AND THEY’RE IRON SIGHTS……..!!!!! NOT too shabby.

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn May 31, 2016, 10:53 am

    This story is way too funny. Yes, I am sure that this rifle will kill wild hogs. But I began hunting feral pigs when hunting them wasn’t cool. Or well known. Thing is, whatever you have now in your gun cabinet that addresses hunting deer will work equally well at killing wild hogs. All that Savage, et. al. are doing is a scheme to sell more guns. Nothing wrong with that as few things in life are more pleasurable than buying another firearm that ideally I don’t need but really do want. Even so, let’s be honest, one does not truly need a rifle, shotgun or handgun modified by a gun or ammo maker’s marketing department to kill hogs. Maybe my two best hog killers are a 16 gauge shotgun firing Lightfield sabots and a 72-year-old 03-A3 Springfield (still with its original iron sights and two-grove barrel) using Remington’s reduced recoil ammo.

    • Jordan Michaels June 6, 2016, 11:11 am

      Great point. A good hunter can bring down a hog with almost anything. What I liked about this gun is the number of features, some of which will make hog hunting easier but all of which make this rifle a really cool firearm.

  • 2lolo May 31, 2016, 10:39 am

    I never hunted Wild Hogs with a Rifle… I enjoy Training my 3 dogs, To hunt pigs.. All I carry is a 9 inch knife.

  • Sindri May 31, 2016, 9:03 am

    Great review. Seems like Savage is on a tear lately bringing out great new products to market, and they really seem to have found a cost/quality sweet spot.

    I also can’t wait to see your review on the Primary Arms scope. I am running one on a Howa 1500 in 300 WM and love it. I recently took it to a 2 day long range school and was shooting every bit as good as guys with Nightforce and Swarovski glass. That’s not to say the PA is their equal, it has mushy turrets and the adjustment dots don’t always line up, but at only $200 I think it’s punching far above its weight class. I’m curious to see what conclusion you all come to.

    • Jordan Michaels June 6, 2016, 11:16 am

      Great! I think we’re on the same page — PA scopes are a fantastic value, but obviously aren’t as slick as more expensive options. The review should be out in a few weeks.

  • CHARLIE May 31, 2016, 7:52 am

    Well, I’ve always liked Savage rifles & I like the .308. Does it come with a left hand bolt option? While any well placed bullet from any decent deer rifle will surely kill any hog, I would use the .308 for deer & something else for hogs, particularly big ones in the thick stuff. Just my personal preference but I don’t like to skimp on bullets & prefer precise bullet placement to filling the air with projectiles in the hopes enough will hit the target to do the job. That being said, I killed a lot of hogs with a 30-30 in my younger days. Performance was sometimes less than impressive but a .308 is a lot more rifle than a 30-30, not to mention a lot more accurate as a general rule. The .308 rates an A+ in the accuracy department & I would not feel under gunned. The .338 Federal sounds interesting.

  • RetNavet May 31, 2016, 6:42 am

    Great rifle…but….for hogs I prefer a rifle that I can do double taps with

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