It is nice to see a product evolve over time. The Savage 110 BA in .300 Winchester Magnum is a great case in point. My previous experience with a Savage precision rifle consisted of handling a 10 FCP, which had a more traditional form because of its McMillan stock. The 110 BA has taken the Savage concept of the tactical rifle another step forward. Its aluminum stock—better described as a “chassis”—AccuTrigger, oversized bolt handle, Savage’s 3D bedding system, six-round detachable magazine, wraparound optic and accessory rail, threaded muzzle brake, multi-adjustable Magpul PRS2 buttstock, and target-style pistol grip are all features calculated to enhance a BA user’s ability to surgically place .300 Win. Mag. rounds on target at distance. And that surgical precision is critical for the law enforcement marksman role.
The 110 BA’s aluminum chassis, while not as svelte as a classic wooden stock or even fiberglass McMillan stock, is very functional for a rifle destined for tactical use. The 110 BA’s chassis allows operators to adjust the buttstock for individual needs in terms of length of pull and comb height, mount a bipod, and attach a sling. The three-sided, Picatinny-railed forend, which extends the full length of the receiver and halfway down the fluted, free-floated 26-inch barrel (29.5 inches with the muzzle brake), enhances the 110 BA’s ability to respond to mission specifics via optics and other accessories. The barrel itself is button-rifled and has a 1-in-10-inch twist rate. All together, the rifle weighs in at 15.75 pounds empty and measures slightly over 50 inches long depending on the adjustable buttstock’s position.
The Savage 110 bolt design that serves as the basis of the long-action BA must be discussed. Many misunderstandings surround the Savage bolt action, most attributed to ill-informed conjecture surrounding the floating bolt head and barrel nut arrangement. Many critics mistakenly label the Savage floating bolt head and barrel nut as strictly cost-saving measures versus an ingenious alternative method of producing accuracy without spending undue time and money on hand-fitting. The purpose of the floating bolt head is to allow the bolt’s locking lugs to line up independently from the bolt body. This eliminates any minor imperfections between the axis of the receiver and the axis of the bore. The Savage bolt finds its own “sweet spot” when it locks up due to the floating boat head behaving independently of the bolt’s main body. This also contributes to relieving any stress on the action from the heavy barrel constantly exerting pressure downward due to gravity. The Savage system enables a truly “free-floated” barrel.
The second Savage attribute misconstrued solely as a cost-saving measure is the signature barrel nut. Almost perfect headspacing is achieved using the unique Savage method. Yes, production costs are reduced due to the chambering and headspacing being automated because of the barrel nut design. However, the design also contributes to a true barrel-to-receiver alignment, negating any conflicting alignment from associated parts. Savage’s recently introduced 3D bedding system reinforces all of the other positive traits of the Savage system. The AccuStock rail system is embedded throughout the stock, including the forend, with the close-tolerance slot interfacing with the action’s recoil lug. The AccuStock grips the action vertically and horizontally—thus the 3D nomenclature. The bedding offered is extremely rigid, an important factor in producing accuracy in conjunction with the 110 BA’s free-floated barrel.
The Savage AccuTrigger is just as important as the Savage bolt action, 3D bedding, and quality button-rifled barrel in the precision equation. A rifle’s trigger is the interface between the shooter and rifle and must be right or accuracy will suffer. The AccuTrigger stems from Savage’s desire to give the shooter a proper trigger that is crisp, creep-free and fully adjustable between 1.5 and 6 pounds by the user, yet totally safe from firing if jarred or dropped. A byproduct of the AccuTrigger design effort is the inclusion of a new three-position teardrop safety conveniently located in the middle of the stock, right behind the action, for smoother, quieter operation.
Without going into minutiae, the AccuTrigger’s distinctive release lever (AccuRelease) in front of the trigger is the secret to maintaining minimal trigger weight, without creep, while keeping the system safe. The AccuRelease must be activated (i.e. pulling the trigger) before the sear will move, firing the cartridge. A sudden drop or impact will not do this, even if the safety is off. The AccuTrigger is adjustable by removing the action from the stock and turning a single screw with the supplied tool. Importantly, the Savage bolt action is renowned for having one of the fastest lock times in a production rifle. Combine the fast lock time with the AccuTrigger, one of the finest triggers on the market, and it becomes apparent that the 110 BA is entirely built with accuracy in mind.