A Savage Take on the AR: The MSR10 Long Range .308—SHOT Show 2017

To learn more, visit http://www.savagearms.com/msr/.

To purchase a Savage MSR on GunsAmerica.com, click this link https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Savage%20MSR.


Savage has decided to step into the AR market with its new MSR line (made up of .223 and .308 variants). Savage has always been one of the most underrated rifle brands in my opinion, delivering more accuracy per dollar than anyone else. My first rifle was actually a Savage, a 110 model in .30-06, that delivered half-MOA accuracy out of the box. With Savage in the AR game now, the AR world may get stood on its head.

The new MSR10 series from Savage brings shooters a .308 Win. or 6.5 Creedmoor AR-pattern rifle. Image courtesy of Savage Arms.

The new MSR appears to be a rock-solid AR-style rifle for Savage fans.


  • Chambering: .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor
  • Barrel: 20 inch
  • OA Length: 48 5/8th inch
  • Stock: Magpul
  • Sights: N/A
  • Action: Semi-auto
  • Finish: Hard Anodized
  • MSRP: $2,284.00


The model we shot at range day was the Savage MSR10 Long Range. Available in .308 and 6.5 Creedmoor, this is one of the few semi-auto guns we saw released in the 6.5mm cartridge. The MSR10LR comes with a host of features, and is a side-charger for manipulating the bolt. I am not huge on the side chargers, but it has become very popular in recent years. It is not something you normally see at this price point either.

Range day is no place to truly test accuracy, but Savage assures us this will be where they make their name among ARs. 5R rifling, Melonited barrels, and a long history of making AR barrels for other manufacturers promise to bring tight groups. This is what Savage is famous for; one ragged hole at an affordable price.

The author had a chance to try out the MSR10LR on the range at SHOT Show 2017 and is excited about doing a full test on it.

We will have to wait and see, but we should be doing a full review on this model in short order. I cannot imagine Savage releasing an inaccurate gun in this AR market. Not only would that be an insult to all the Savage loyalists, but it would torpedo sales in a savagely competitive segment of the firearms industry.

Price & Availability

The MSR10 LR is not available on the market yet, but should be in the coming months. It is priced at $2,284. If it can live up to Savage’s reputation for reliability and accuracy, then it will definitely be a winner and a real option for those looking for a big-bore MSR.

To learn more, visit http://www.savagearms.com/msr/.

To purchase a Savage MSR on GunsAmerica.com, click this link https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=Savage%20MSR.

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Geoff P February 5, 2017, 12:56 pm

    I have an LWRC IC-enhanced 5.56, and for those who claim the DI guns are better than piston driven I will say this…that LWRC is worth every penny and is piston driven…incredibly accurate and unlike the DI is much, MUCH cleaner…and I can appreciate the concern over so many different piston system designs…There’s alot to be said about a complete system put together in one, albeit pricey package…it performs flawlessly!!! 22 years in the infantry and combat duty with a standard M-16 A2 that was indeed accurate and served the purpose well…but after my first LWRC M6 Piston driven AR platform I can never go back, lol. The memories of cleaning the Colt at every turn, especially in the desert because of powder and sand fouling getting into the operating system works are just that now…a distant frustrating memory. The major consideration is this…The true difference between the 2 operating systems aren’t really appreciated in a range environment so the piston systems biggest benefit isn’t readily apparent in the standard go to the range, clean it when you get home atmosphere, but you will appreciate only really having to run a bore snake through it, a couple patches, and then putting it away for the next range day…as opposed to having to completely go through a D/I system every time. When the piston system really shines is when you’re in a hostile, real world environment where the elements and an enemy that shoots back come into play. In that environment the investment/savings really come into play…and you never want to be on the short side of things. I’m just one guy with one opinion, but hopefully this helps those straddling the fence about it. Daniel Defense also makes a very nice piston AR platform that’s more affordable than my LWRC, but it also doesn’t have the proprietary NICOR and other protective coatings of the LWRC. I never buy a weapon platform just to impress the guys at the range…I buy it based on it’s ability to give me the best advantage when it matters most…and cost isn’t the primary factor…tactical superiority and practical application is. Buy it once, buy it right, and be done with it…mine is outfitted with an Aimpoint T-1 Micro 2MOA, a fore grip handle/bipod, weapon light, and laser…and it is completely ambidextrous. Another cool thing about it is it’s 2 position gas block system…one for regular and one for suppressed fire…and the fluted competition grade barrel is already threaded for the suppressor.

    • Thunder February 28, 2017, 8:00 am

      I belong to FrontSite gun acedemy in Pahrump Nevada. I used to take my clients out there to carbine classes several times a year . The majority of instructors are former Marines . They actually teach NOT to clean the clients rifles / carbines . WHAT ??? I had 2 clients that bought 2 new LWRC piston guns at $2500 each when they 1st came out …Very Nice Carbines ! In all my years in the Army , 3 tours in the sand …I had to call B. S in front of the class on gas guns that run 25k rounds and never been cleaned ..Especially in the SandBox ! or Nevada for that matter .

  • Geoff P February 5, 2017, 12:30 pm

    Hey All,
    I have a serious question and am hoping for some unbiased input. I find myself in a precarious situation…while visiting family out of state my home was burglarized and some prized firearms were stolen…one of them being my Grandfathers 1949 Rem 721A in 30-06 with a custom Bixby high comb stock, as well as my Rem 40X chambered in 243, (serious tack pusher), and a Ruger stainless model 1113 10/22 carbine in stainless that was an incredibly accurate little tack pusher with virtually zero shooter fatigue. Luckily I had specific insurance for them and knowing that 10 721’s can never replace Grandpa’s gun I’m faced with finding the best replacements for these. I’m thinking that if I take $3,400.00 for the 2 Remington’s I could get one incredible rifle that would serve both my hunting and long range (out to 1,000m) shooting needs. I am faced with whether or not to go with 6.5 Creedmore, .308, or 30-06. Which in your opinions are the best performers as well as economical to shoot and get reload equipment for? I’m thinking I want a magazine fed semi-auto and this Savage piqued my interest. I see many folks liking the 6.5 for price and performance but this thread is focusing on the .308 primarily. Would you guys go with just one top tier package or getting separate systems. In that 3,400.00 I also want to have the furniture (optics, bipod, etc.) included.

  • Alan February 1, 2017, 8:50 pm

    Well Clay, your comment on side chargers is interesting.
    One of the great detriments of the AR design is the charging handle.
    It’s stupid.
    Stuck cartridges are safe in an AR, the handle offers NO leverage for this issue.
    Side chargers do. (typically)
    I wont get into the other issues.
    Most know.

  • Jim Graham January 31, 2017, 11:42 pm

    Yep, Savage barrels make damn great AR’s!!! But they did for some of us long before Savage finally got on board. I have made several AR10’s and AR-308’s using Savage barrels. And they shoot great!!! .260 Remington and 7MM-08 are favorites and I will probably enjoy the 243 I am presently making. Did a 6.5 Creedmore, but think the .260 just works better. Maybe because it is easy to load for, and that 260 Savage barrel is incredibly accurate. Used the same barrel for the 6.5. Though I have heard another say that the 6.5 Creedmore was intended for that AR platform, so maybe I should not be so in love with the .260, but I do not see how you could do better. EVERY caliber from 22-250 to .338 works great, including 7.62X51 (imagine that) So you do not have to wait for Savage to make your favorite caliber AR. Just buy a take off savage barrel, buy some parts and have fun. Though you will probably need a qualified gunsmith to re-chamber and put on the barrel extension. After that it is fun and then even more fun when you get to the range. I am looking forward to using that .260 on a deer as well. So far I have only killed a bunch of paper and a few water ballons. Those AR’s are easily as accurate as most high quality bolt action rifles, so have fun.

  • alan keithley January 31, 2017, 10:49 pm

    I hope their work is greater than the effort they put in on their axis 308 mag. which is PURE BULLSHIT. its sloppy, cheap, and the worst piece of shit ive ever loaded. consider walking to your position and having your mag. drop onto the ground. cheap, cheap, cheap. I paid only a fraction of the 2 grand youre talking and I hope they pay more attention to you w/your 2 k rifle then they have with my mag. problems, which they will NOT ADDRESS…. pure bullshit, on their part. I now own a 308 savage rifle which I have to load one shot at a time because their mag. is so damn CHEAP and unrelieable . its a shit……
    maybe someone can help me out , savage will not..
    I like the rifle it is dead on. BUT the mag. is a piece of SHIT. can any help to me . alankeithley@outlook.com
    insist that savage make amends and help out our not so weathy shooters.. junk.

  • Mood-O January 31, 2017, 6:37 pm

    Nice looking weapon, I’ve gone back and forth over the last couple years about buying or building an AR-10.
    The cost was a main contributor in what I was going to do. That said, I purchased an M-77 Zastava eventually and over the last year I turned it into a bad a## looking firearm! (TWS top rail, Krebs fore end, Tru-glo red/green dot,ACE side folder w/ Ergo adjustable stock and a whole bunch of Cspecs mags!) When ever I take it to the range, quite a few people ask me what is that? I don’t take the time to measure holes in paper, but it hits what I’m aiming at! And it will eat anything I load into it…
    BTW cost… about 1,100.00 total

  • jack January 31, 2017, 6:28 pm

    That price point is way above the Armalite comparable rifle. Even building your own custom that shoots just as or even better sub MOA is out there if your inclined to search out your parts and assemble it yourself.
    Mainstream with this price is a big reach for the company.

  • Tripwire January 31, 2017, 1:33 pm

    I love my Savage rifles, they all shoot much better than I do. But if I want a 308 battle rifle I really believe I can build one using top of the line parts for less than 2 K, I will now set about finding out if I’m right or wrong. I can’t say I “Need” on. But….

  • James W Howe Jr January 31, 2017, 12:58 pm

    I wouldn’t bash Savage as over the years they have produced many fine rifles in their Westfield, Massachusetts plant. In fact my custom 6.5 LBC is built from a 16FS that was originally in .223. ( I wanted both the accur-trigger and accur-stock as well as the SS receiver.) However, $2284. is a bit much even if the market price will be somewhat lower. I’m, currently, building a LR.308 from “parts” I have everything except the gas block and tube at only $718. (note: that includes a James Madison Tactical 80% lower). and the upper and bolt assembly are Aero Precision from Graniteridgeoutfitters.com. The barrel came from the same place and the LR-308 Quad Rail Free Float Handguard from monstrumtactical.com for another $87.65. The gen 3 stock is made of plastic to reduce weight and comes from opticsfactory.com. Most likely the low profile gas block will come from there as well. Have a great day!

  • Mark January 31, 2017, 11:24 am

    If this were piston driven I would want one. I wouldn’t spend anything over 750.00 for a gas impingement system rifle. It does have some worthy features, but the operating system doesn’t match the price. But it is very nice looking.

    • James W Howe Jr January 31, 2017, 1:07 pm

      Are you a masochist? Piston driven systems are great if you are a soldier and fire thousands of rounds a day, because they keep the weapon from getting dirty. The gas impingement system’s major attribute is that it reduces recoil. I have a ARM Galil in .308 with a piston. Believe me, I am looking forward to finishing my AR-10 and getting it to my range. I used to shoot National Match and I would have been very happy to have had an AR-10 instead of my M14! In fact one way we used to reduce recoil was to put lead weights in the stock where the cleaning supplies normally went and, yes, this WAS allowed!

  • Jack C January 31, 2017, 11:03 am

    I preach that the two most accurate rifles out of the box is the Savage and the Howa. The Savage had a big lead with their trigger system which I think Howa offers now. I say this in regards to a hunting application where a half inch is not required but just a well placed shot. I believe the M1A is the way to go for a long range shot. That much cash will get you a fine, even a very fine Springfield. It is also left hand friendlier which I appreciate and looks better than a forty dollar army mule.

  • Scott January 31, 2017, 9:52 am

    It seems the firearm media is as much out of touch with the “average joe” as the main stream media is nowadays!
    I’s sorry, a 2,300.00 AR .308 variant is not going to become mainstream. I will also have to refute that just because
    it is a “sidecharger” justifies this price point. The difference in price in an upper receiver with a sidecharge handle is
    about 150.00 more than a standard. This rifle will only serve a small niche in the market competing with the likes of
    Daniel defense, POF, JP, Noveske, etc. Normal Joe’s like myself will be buying Adams Arms piston .308 for 1,000.00,
    Anderson .308 for 900.00, or Smith & Wesson M&P .308 for 1,100.00, all 1 moa out of the box! Shot Show has shown
    me this year that the manufacturers are going to loose a large portion of their market to imports like the Canik TP9 series
    with their outlandish MSRP on the new products! Sorry but you can only sell a polished turd for so much money before the dull turd starts looking better and better.

    • Glenn January 31, 2017, 11:53 am

      I’ll pas on the $2K rifle also. I have a Armalite AR-10 that shoots 1MOA out of the box and it was $1K. I put new furniture on it but still way less than the Savage’s over all price. I can get two more AR-10s for $2K.

  • Chris January 31, 2017, 9:32 am

    Well, I disagree with William. My Savage 11 .308 shot great out of the box and it was only my second time shooting a rifle (the first time I only got about 4 shots and it wasn’t at nearly 100 yards). I wasn’t hitting sub-MOA, but I was trying to get a scope sighted in and am a novice. I know of many with similar stories on Savage bolt actions.

    My problem with the story is that I bought that Savage 11 because I got it for under $500. Comparing that to a $2300 gun is ridiculous, especially given the quality ARs that can be bought below $1k. This is likely a better gun that those, but it is NOT an affordable AR.

    • Alan January 31, 2017, 4:10 pm

      Some of us might remember an article (Shooting Times??) on “Beanfield” Rifles that included the Savage 110 back in the day.
      That article featured a 110 in 25-06 that was a tack driver with factory ammo right out of the box, shot by several members of the Gun Media.
      Apparently, they were so enamored with it there was a bidding war to buy it.
      That’s saying something.
      My cousin bought one in .223, it did .40 5 shot groups.
      To say there isn’t a Savage that shoots sub MOA from the box ignores the Laws of probability.

  • Mark Are January 31, 2017, 9:02 am

    $2284? Get an Aero Precision receiver set, the magpul PRS stock a Midwest Industries hand guard, a Rainer Arms Ultra Match barrel, a POF or Velocity trigger, a UTG grip and WAALLAAAA you just saved yourself $1000+. AND it will shoot 1/2″ MOA at 100 yards. Geezzz…what is it with these companies that have a “name”? Why not make some money but keep it realistic?

    • Dan January 31, 2017, 12:31 pm

      I agree, building one is always cheaper, and you can use much better components. I would also recommend using a Wilson Combat barrel (preferably a rifle length gas system), timney 3# trigger, young mfg BCG, and voltor A5 recoil system. That being said, at >= 200 yds don’t plan on good groups unless your also going to spend the money on good ammo, 77/80 grain quality ammo.

  • SSgt Herrington January 31, 2017, 8:24 am

    I have several savage rifles including a 110P in .223 Rem. that is sub moa all day long. In my opinion, Savage makes great rifles that we can afford.

  • survivor50 January 31, 2017, 8:07 am

    Just for giggles and grins, I put my Savage 10 BA .308 right out of the box on the LONG RANGE competition with guys using “custom” 30″ guns and scopes. I never will win the competition with it, BUT it’ll hit “minute of man” at a thousand EVERY shot. Plus, I’ve got several thousand $ extra left over for ammo and toys. And, yes, it’ll shoot ONE RAGGED HOLE at 100 yards in any competent shooters hands, right out of the box… I have great fun poking at the guys at the range with it. It is supposed to be FUN isn’t it ???

  • RetNavet January 31, 2017, 6:51 am

    I concur with Joseph V….those of us on a fixed income are not going to be shelling out $2k + for what will definitely be a very good product with all the other more affordable options out there….I would not be surprised if Savage does with this what they did with the BA-10/110 when they eventually came out with the more affordable BA Stealth, about half the price of the original

  • William January 31, 2017, 5:53 am

    Hello Clay Martin,

    You are spreading the bull-$hit to thick!
    You need to remember some people know what it takes to shoot half-MOA at a hundred yards!
    You are NOT going to do it with a Savage 110, 30-06 out of the box!

    • robert cross January 31, 2017, 6:20 am

      Never say such things do not happen, as after 70 years of shooting, stranger things do happen, believe I have seen about everything, including a Phillipine 1911 which shot as tight a groups as my beloved Ed Brown. So odd things happen and to refute someone is idiotic as accuracy comes from this single gun and may not happen with other guns by the same manufacturer. It is always a blessing to own a tack driver of any make.

    • Alex January 31, 2017, 6:51 am

      I believe it. My new Savage 10 in 308 is sub-Moa with handloads and even my old 270 shot MOA after getting used to the old, heavier trigger. I’d say he’s probably telling the truth. I know what it takes to shoot sub-MOA, and YES it can be done with a Savage.

    • Cary Kieffer January 31, 2017, 9:05 am

      I don’t own a 110 in 30’06 but I can’t rule out the possibility of 1/2 at 100 out of the box. I have a Savage Mk2 TR will do dime size groups all day at 60 yards and it’s a 22. I still am breaking in the barrel of my newest 300 WM Savage BA-110. So far the “bad groups” cover with a quarter, it averages a nickel size and the 230 Berger Hybrid handload I’m working on has done several 3 shot groups covered with a dime at 100….in short…it’s not only possible but likely. Savage makes affordable, accurate rifles. I feel most accurate for the money spent. I look for ward to seeing one of these.

    • Big John January 31, 2017, 9:43 am

      There are PLENTY of rifles that shoot .5 moa out of the box now William, it’s not 1958 anymore. The repeatability on modern machinery is unbelievable and now that most rifles come in synthetic stocks there are no environmental concerns with wood. The new stocks have more repeatable contact areas and less of a chance of hot spots. Learn what you’re talking about before you call a man a liar. In the real world that advice will prevent someone from knocking your teeth down your throat.

      Savage is quickly eating Remington’s lunch, I see the M-26 contract in their future and Remington being shuddered if “Big Green” doesn’t throw off the chains of “Freedom Group” and get some Gunnies at the helm damn soon.

      Hey Clay, where’s your music??? I know no Team Daddy switched up his Op due to Troll input…lol

      • Paul Helinski January 31, 2017, 9:48 am

        Not his music. My music, and overruled for shot.

        • Big John January 31, 2017, 10:10 am

          Fair enough, thanks for your efforts at “Shot” Paul, those of us in the business that couldn’t go really appreciate the insight.

    • Jake January 31, 2017, 12:03 pm

      My first bolt gun about 40 years ago was a Savage 340 in .222 Remington. I put a Harris bipod on it and a 3-9×32 Bushnell that was $39 at Farm & Fleet. That thing shot one ragged hole at 100 yards centered on the X ring right out of the box.
      I will take a serious look at this .308 AR. I have been looking a long time and most of what is out there is $1,000 -$2,000 more than this. The guys who want a 16″ barrel and a carbine buttstock are welcome to them but if I am firing a main battle rifle cartridge it is going to be in a main battle rifle.
      Folks claiming they can build their own for $800 or whatever are full of it. The Magpul PRS and Geissele will cost half that by themselves. There are no standards for a .308 AR so a whole lot of the stuff out there is incompatible. I build my own AR-15 pattern rifles because all the parts in my parts bins interchange as long as we are talking direct impingement. I do not like piston guns because again, there is no standard piston arrangement. Besides, the Magpul magazine eliminated 99% of all complaints against DI because it wasn’t DI, it was the garbage GI mags and followers.
      I only hope Savage will consider a 24″ or 26″ heavy barrel option as well.

  • Joseph V January 31, 2017, 3:19 am

    Draino make a great observation. As a veteran and being disabled I will probably never buy an AR 20th a price tag like that. I always liked Savages products and owned a few. I want an AR in a long range .308 platform but they are usually over double the .223 models. I’ll stick with my Remington old action .308 for now. It was 1/3 the price. When you claim something affordable remember what we went through for 8+ years.

    • pappy chapi June 22, 2017, 10:01 pm

      I can honestly say every savage i have owned from 243 on up, has always put a smile on my face, i am also a vet, sat behind a general electric mini, fun fun fun. look out popason!!!

  • DRAINO January 29, 2017, 10:51 am

    I now have 3 savage rifles….love them all. BUT that’s a steep price for us average Joes. While I have faith it will be a good rifle….it better be one pretty small ragged hole for that price. Look forward to Clay’s future review.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend