Savage proactively sought consumer feedback as they designed their innovative rifles for women and children. The Lady Hunter (top) and Rascal (bottom) are specifically built to ensure comfortable shooting for the whole family
My Mom was a hunter, way back when hunting was not the thing for women to do. She’d take my sister and me out squirrel hunting. However, Mom never went deer hunting—if she had, she’d have discovered that not a single manufacturer made a rifle to fit her.
Thirty years later my sister came to that conclusion. She’s hunted across North America and in Africa—all with rifles made for men. But now thanks to Savage, that’s something her and other ladies will never have to do again.
Savage Arms is a 118-year old American icon that built their legacy on the famous lever-action rifle known as the 99. During World War I they made machine guns and shortly thereafter became the largest firearms manufacturer in the world.
Some historical trivia is in order. Before the United States officially joined World War I, American aviators signed on with the French Air Service forming the famous Lafayette Escadrille. They needed a squadron emblem and William Thaw, an American pilot and Yale graduate from Pennsylvania, suggested the Indian head Savage logo. Likely, Thaw saw this logo on a box of ammunition or maybe even on a Savage-made Lewis machine gun box. Regardless, the Savage Indian head was painted on the fuselage of all the Escadrille’s airplanes.
In the 1990’s Savage started to become a consumer-sensitive company. They began listening to what consumers wanted and this took Savage into the niche rifle market. They now offer a wide range of rifles specifically designed to appeal to certain and often small segments of the consumer market. For example, Savage offers several predator and varmint hunting rifles, youth rifles, a hog hunting rifle and even a rifle designed specifically for use in the Alaskan bush. The Savage Lady Hunter is the latest edition to this diversified line.
Savage recognized that more and more women were becoming interested in hunting. (Women shooters are the fastest growing demographic within the shooting sports.) Secondly, Savage also realized there were no commercially manufactured rifles properly configured for women. The Lady Hunter was the answer, but the interesting side of this story is how this latest iteration of a Savage model 11/111 bolt-action came to be.
Instead of a bunch of Neanderthal men sitting around a table pontificating about what a ladies’ rifle should be, Savage asked women hunters what they wanted. They learned women wanted a good looking rifle that was not pink.
They also wanted a rifle that fit them and was comfortable to shoot. Instead of just taking these suggestions and building a rifle and selling it, Savage put some prototypes out there for women to try on. With the feedback from these fittings, Savage tweaked the design until they reached a popular compromise that fit a large percentage of women.