In bolt action rifles these days, stocks seem to fall into one of two camps. You either get a whiz-bang space chassis or your grandfather’s stock made of plastic. Both of those things are functional, but they do have drawbacks: Chassis systems are packed full of features, but they are heavy. And plastic Monte Carlo stocks are light but have about as many features as the original Model T cars. This week, we got a chance to look at a Savage innovation, what I am terming a “middle ground rifle.” And there is plenty of space for that in the bolt action world.
The heart of the rifle is the venerable Savage 10 action and barrel. I don’t think we need to rehash the reliability and durability of that system. It has been around for a long time, and it works very well. It, of course, features the Savage Accu-trigger, which is fantastic. The only two real changes for this particular variation are the barrel and magazine system. The barrel comes threaded with a thread protector installed, so it is suppressor ready. And it runs off of Magpul AICS style detachable magazines, an excellent option.
The magazine system is smooth and works fantastic, which we expect in this day and age. The magazine well features excellent tolerances, which makes reloading a breeze, but also mitigates magazine rattle. I haven’t seen anyone else do it better in this price category.
Accuracy was also excellent, fitting a well-earned reputation by Savage. The test model was chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, though it is also available in 308. Using Hornady American Gunner 140 grain ammo, the 10 GRS turned in .5 MOA 3 round and .75 MOA 5 round groups. With a medium contour barrel cut, those are more than acceptable results.
The real difference between the GRS and other Savage models is the stock. GRS does not refer to the Global Response Staff, Savage has more class than that. There happens to be a Norwegian stock company of the same name which is very popular in Europe. And rather than reinvent the wheel, Savage turned to them to house this midweight lead slinger.
The model chosen for the 10 GRS is actually named the Berserk, an excellent adhesion to its Viking heritage. The Berserk is fiberglass reinforced material, with a rubberized coating. This offers an excellent weight to strength ratio and a different feel. The fore end has a wide, flat base, excellent for barrier shooting. The pistol grip area features a unique cut out for your palm an thumb, which I definitely liked. The toe of the stock is hooked, offering excellent stability with either your support hand or a rear bag.
Most different about the stock is the push button adjustment system. The GRS adjustment system locks up like a bank vault in both comb height and length of pull and is simple to use. Press the button and pull to your desired position. Release the button, and your preference is set. 30mm of comb height and a length of pull from 33.5 centimeters to 36.5 centimeters cover a wide variety of shooters.
The big question with any new stock, how does it handle recoil? And that is where the tradeoff comes in. The 10 GRS weighs in at 9.2 pounds. My go-to chassis gun weighs in at 11.25 pounds in the same caliber. You will feel those weight savings when you press the trigger. Now, exactly how much is a matter of opinion and need. The GRS is still plenty heavy enough to handle 6.5 Creedmore as far as comfort goes. You could shoot this gun all day and still be having fun. But as for staying on target for a rapid follow up, there is a difference. The recoil impulse is, for lack of a better term, weird. To be fair, the last fiberglass stock I shot was years ago on an M24, which was also heavy. The Army isn’t big on weight savings for combat equipment, they build guns for young men. With the 10 GRS, you actually feel the shockwave move down the stock, which is especially weird at the pistol grip cut out. Which isn’t exactly a stunning revelation, as that is the thinnest part of the stock.
To be fair, I am not counting this as a negative, just something to be aware of. With a muzzle brake, I am also certain a lot of this would be mitigated. But out of the box, don’t expect this gun to stay on target like a heavier alternative. It will, however, stay put better than your deer rifle.
Which is why I feel comfortable classifying this rifle as a medium tactical rifle. Two pounds is a significant weight savings if you are carrying said rifle for any kind of distance. It retains a barrel profile on the heavier side, which gives excellent accuracy, and enough mass for quite a few shots before it heats up. The ergonomics of the rifle make it very easy to shoot, and it has the features needed for a tactical model. For LE snipers, and military in certain contexts, the 10 GRS would be an excellent choice.
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