Savage M10 BAS-K .308

In tactical situations, where lives are on the line, accuracy…

In tactical situations, where lives are on the line, accuracy of fire is everything. It doesn’t matter if it’s the pistol shot of an LE entry team member trying to stop the execution of a hostage or the long distance rifle round fired to drop an insurgent bent on death and destruction…accuracy is everything! The most critical LE aspect of an accurate shot fired during the stress of a critical incident is a trained shooter who has the mental capacity to hold his nerve while finding the sights and pressing the trigger. Once such an individual is selected and trained, then the best equipment possible completes “the package.” Regardless of whether it’s boots, armor, holsters or weapons, those who choose to go in harm’s way to protect the citizens of this great land, whether law enforcement or military, deserve the best money can buy. When it comes to the precision marksman, only the best, most accurate rifle will do.

accustock.jpgSniping is the use of a specially built rifle for situations in which a hostile subject must be stopped quickly and efficiently at distances somewhere between 50 and 1,000 yards. To the best of these highly trained professionals, the difference in distance is a small matter as they are prepared to take a shot at any distance.

Savage’s tactical rifles are designed with this very serious mission in mind. Once thought of as the firearm of the mom and pop hardware store, Savage Arms is now a very serious contender in the tactical long-range rifle market, making some of the most accurate long range rifles available. In January 2009, Savage introduced several new tactical grade rifles that would be an excellent choice for LE, military operations or even the recreational/competition shooter. Offering the quality features needed by the tactical operations precision marksman, these new rifles from Savage offer a number of serious advantages.

Gun Details
The Model 10 BAS-K (bolt action sniper muzzle brake) is a .308 caliber short bolt-action rifle that’s optimized for precision shots at extended ranges. Every heavy contour barrel used on this series of bolt guns is button rifled for enhanced precision and features a recessed target crown. The floating bolt head ensures both lugs have full bearing on the locking surface, which eliminates the need to lap the bolt and ensures the headspace on every rifle is set at an absolute minimum. All rifles in this series offer standard features like oversized bolt handles permitting rapid follow-up shots as well as Savage’s crisp, creep-free AccuTrigger allows you to easily adjust trigger pull weight from approximately 1.5 to 6 pounds.

Stock choices are the well known H-S Precision Tactical, Choate or McMillan. These are top notch stock manufactures for today’s law enforcement and military special operations forces. In addition to custom stock, the Model 10 BAS-K also comes standard with a matte blue barreled action, heavy free-floating, fluted and button rifled 24-inch barrel, oversized bolt handle, detachable box magazine and a muzzle brake. My test Model 10 BAS-K tipped my scale at just a shade over 13 pounds without an optic.

My test gun came with the standard length, adjustable M4 style stock with custom cheek piece. I liked this set-up as it gave me both a solid cheek and shoulder weld while allowing for full adjustment for different shooters. In the case of law enforcement SWAT Team, this gun could be issued to a number of shooters during its service life and it is doubtful that all of the officers would have the same body build.

The Model 10 BAS-K is equipped with a Picatinny rail system that offers mounting surfaces on three sides so that any number of needed accessories can be added to the weapon system. While all of these features are exceptional in themselves, the feature that stands out the most on any of the Savage tactical rifles is the AccuTrigger system. Since a smooth trigger is extremely important to accurate shooting, I really appreciate a company that puts extra effort into offering the best trigger they can. In this regard, Savage deserves very high marks.

AccuTrigger Details
The Savage AccuTrigger gives the shooter the flexibility to set trigger pull to individual preference without having to pay a gunsmith for the service. But even when adjusted to its lowest setting, the AccuTrigger is completely safe and cannot accidentally discharge during normal use from being jarred or dropped when maintained and adjusted as designed. A newly designed teardrop safety is an additional feature on rifles with the AccuTrigger. It provides for better acquisition of the safety button and operates smoother and quieter. The crisp, clean light trigger pull allows the shooter to maximize the accuracy potential of the rifle.

The AccuTrigger is designed with an integrated AccuRelease that must be completely depressed or the rifle cannot fire. While pulling the trigger, the AccuRelease is intentionally manipulated, which unblocks the sear and allows the rifle to discharge. The AccuTrigger is one of the best out of the box triggers that I have ever used. It was easy to control with a crisp release that really helps with accurate shooting. The AccuTrigger is an exceptional piece of design technology.

The trigger has always been one area that captured Savage’s attention. Most triggers found in firearms produced these days have a very heavy pull with the reason being quite simple…liability…a concern that can be partly attributed to writers, trainers and of course, lawyers. Manufacturers cannot afford to ship firearms with triggers that could accidentally discharge, therefore, they design their firearms with heavy trigger weights. Even though factory triggers can usually be smoothed, any adjustments made to them can create an unsafe condition and usually void the warranty. With the addition of the AccuRelease, Savage can offer an effective trigger while lessening the concern of product liability. Kudos goes out to Savage for daring to offer a usable trigger right from the factory packaging.

Zeiss Optics
As good at the Savage Model 10 is, it will only shoot as good as the shooter behind the gun and they need to be able to see what they are shooting at, as well as gather valuable intelligence. There are a number of excellent optics companies these days but few offer the level of glass that comes from Zeiss Optics.

For a number of years, I have been a strong advocate of their Z-Point for close quarter battle. Originally designed for the Heckler & Koch 4.6 MP7, the Z-Point has been largely ignored, which is a shame as it has a number of outstanding features. The same can be said for their line of high-end rifle scopes, primarily represented by their Conquest series of tactical grade optics.

The model that Zeiss sent me for testing was their 4.5x14x44mm. The Conquest line is a series of top quality optics driven to exceed the requirements of the tactical shooter. Zeiss MC (multi-coatings) on the lens achieve outstanding clarity, even in low light situations, while the durable one-piece tube bodies with hard anodized finishes withstand the harshest conditions. Self-centered second image plane reticle enables quick and precise sighting in.

The model is their lower priced version with a standard mil-dot reticle at my request. While it is true that you get what you pay for when it comes to such pieces of kit, I also realize that many police agencies will not purchase items that are of a higher price when something of lesser cost “will do.” In the case of this Conquest series scope, the less expensive model is really good. The mil-dot reticle is obviously placed into a high quality piece of glass as the sight picture was crystal clear with the reticle lines and dots being clean and crisp. Even with my aging vision, I was able to see everything I needed with this optic regardless of the level of light. The ¼-inch per click (100 yards) adjustment knobs are large and easy to grasp due to the indents that are cut all around the head of each adjustment knob. A yardage adjustment knob, that permits parallax adjustment from 100 to 800 yards and beyond is also standard. With a length of 14 inches and a weight of just 17.11 ounces, the Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44mm is a lot of scope for the money spent.

Load Comments
  • Pingback: Savage 10 BAS or Howa Axiom, in 308? - Forums()


    Is this the same as the Model 10 BAS?


  • What stock is that shown in the photos of this article, anyone no where to get it?

  • What is the stock on the rifle shown above. I have a model 10 .308 and would love that stock.

  • WBM

    “In our small arsenal was a Savage Bull Barrel 24″ 223 with a Simon’s scope. It is true that it was 98 degrees in the shade, a small obstacle for even a second rate target rifle My first group of five was less than 1/2″, his was a little larger. My second group strung out like a smiley face about four inches, his was all over. It was clear that something had gone terribly wrong.”

    I have fired Savage rifles for a quarter of a century and have never ever had a Savage rifle go from 1/2″ to “about four inches” in a shooting session. But if I were you and had a Savage like that I would sell it and buy a Remington. Just advertise it on and it will sell fairly fast to those of us who know how to shoot one.

  • Randy

    This is a pretty good article on the M10…

  • Randy


    Every manufactuer has produced some poor designs/models, and have even produced some under quality weapons out of good model line-ups. I can think of some poor designs in every make from Benelli to Sig. Sure Savage has had some issues, such as your synthetic stock issue, but what manufactuer hasn’t? When we see weapons like the M10 BAS-K developed, we always take a look at them and evaluate them on an individual basis. We have built a very effective arsenal by taking this approach. We do not discount any weapon, nor do we credit another based on manufacturer. Sure, some names instantly smell of poor quality, but quality manufactuers like Savage, Sig, S&W, ect, have hits and misses. Thus far, we are finding this weapon (at least the one we possess) is more than likely a grand slam!

  • Randy

    I bought this weapon about a month ago and have fired approximately 2,000 round through it now. It is a very fine shooting weapon! I have hade no problem shooting nickle sized groups from various long range distances and atmoshpheres. I am testing the weapon for our Special Weapons and Tactical Response team and am nearing a decision to highly recommend it. I will continue to shoot it until I have approximately 5,000 round through it, but I do not see any issues with it thus far…

  • Rick D.

    Oh Bill-

    There’s so many holes in that story… What model Savage with what stock? Did you check any of the action mounting screws, scope base screws, ring screws to see if any had loosened? What ammo were you shooting, Federal Match or some crappy ball ammo? Was the bullet weight appropriate for the barrel twist? What sort of front and rear rest, anything good or was it your shoulder and a block of wood with a piece of carpet over it? I think you mean a “Simmons scope”, not a high end scope you got there, 98* outside the mirage can screw your groups too. As mentioned, maybe the scope crapped out. Any wind, a common cause for horizontal strings. How many rounds through the barrel? Maybe it’s worn out. How many rounds between cleaning? How’s your cleaning technique? Maybe you dinged the crown. Maybe the trigger puller wasn’t so steady…I could go on but I’m sure you get the point.

    Yes, I own two very accurate Savages. I also own a couple Remingtons, couple Rugers, couple Nesika Bays, a BAT, a Barnard and a couple AR’s. So no, I’m not just Savage biased.


  • J Sensing

    Bill, out of curiosity, did you bother to check anything else on the rifle or did you just start blaming Savage right off the bat? I would be willing to place money on that Dollar General brand scope you decided to mount on top of the rifle.

    I am a Remington 700 fan myself but recently acquired a Savage 10FP in .308 in a trade, I put some good glass on top of it and it shoots superbly if I do my part. The fit, finish, etc is indeed reflective of a economy rifle BUT it shoots great out of the box.

  • Robert

    How much?

  • Bill White

    Gun writers in part, if not the majority, are part of the oldest profession. If you color the word then prostitution means selling something of virtue for something of value. In the gun writers world it is their honesty and integrity for the favors of manufacturers and vendors. It is hard to believe anything a writer for a gun magazine says when I watch them on the outdoor channel being taken on free hunts by Thompson, Leopold, Polaris, Berretta, Mossberg, etc. It seems odd to me when I watch these hunts, or the free shooting venues on Jim Skelton’s Wednesday shows so many of the participants are gun writers. They receive special gear, access, trips, waivers for out of state fees, etc. So based on this and my recent experience with Savages’ “Best” you can imagine my disdain at Steve Wood’s article about the new 308 Savage M10 BAS-K. Last Saturday a buddy and I went on a long drive to the closest outdoor range. In our small arsenal was a Savage Bull Barrel 24″ 223 with a Simon’s scope. It is true that it was 98 degrees in the shade, a small obstacle for even a second rate target rifle
    My first group of five was less than 1/2″, his was a little larger. My second group strung out like a smiley face about four inches, his was all over. It was clear that something had gone terribly wrong. And although I had come with my AR and different ammo to try, my day was ruined. Reading the following Monday in the most current Field and Stream magazine was an article on a new Savage where they “fixed” synthetic stock issues and inserted aluminum plates for reinforcement. How long have they known there was a problem? There was nothing in the article what existing owners should do with a crapped out ruined rifle. So there is nothing that says $1,800 of my dollars will be going to Savage, where for the same money I can buy a Remington PSS in 223 or 308, put the same scope as on the M10 BAS-K, and be sure it will work whether it is 10 below zero or 98 in the shade. Steve Wood can sell his soul for gifts, preferential treatment, and fame in the gun world, but I refuse to. If you want a real 308 tactical rifle, you know what brand to buy. I don’t see the Marines running out to buy this new Savage based on Mr. Wood’s article and their now poor performance in the heat. Savage has spent a lot of money trying to convince the shooting world they were no longer in the econo line. A failure after ten rounds from a target rifle makes me wonder what about their tapered hunting rifles?
    The Truth from Life
    Bill White – Atlanta, Ga.

  • Pingback: » Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement()