Saturday, March 5, 2016

Gun P0rn: Savage 110e in .223

Time for moar gun P0rn!  HT to Mom in Eugene, she got me started on these targets!

As per my last essay, if you intend to actually shoot something, it is incumbent upon you to select a target that resembles what you intend to shoot.  Wild hogs, coyotes, and that-which-can-never-be-identified do not exactly go around with bulls-eye's painted over their vital organs, now do they?

Anyways, I have this handy light rifle, a Savage 110e chambered in .223.  The .223 is an "intermediate" rifle round.  It has more energy than a typical handgun round, but a lot less than a full power rifle round (such as a .308).   On the plus side, you have very little recoil, good accuracy out to a few hundred yards, and the ammunition does not cost much (target loads can be had for about 35 cents a round).

Yes, I know the cheek pad looks like shit.  I had to work it around the sling attachment.  It works great the way it is with this scope setup.  Go ahead and sue me.

It shoots great with this ammunition:  Black hills 55 grain.

Like many precision rifles, it is "tuned" for specific bullet types.  This thing is a "tack driver" with the right ammo, but is an epic fail with others.   My Rem. 700 is the same way:  Shoots great with 168 grain "boat-tails", but with other bullet types I don't even hit the paper.   This may be worked around with a (big) scope adjustment, but I figure its just better to just feed it what it wants.

I bought this rifle used a few years ago for around $250.00.   I'm not sure of the exact vintage, but it was probably manufactured in the 1990's.   It comes with iron sights, which is unusual for a hunting rifle:

I went ahead and scoped it, anyway.  This was strictly a budget build, so I went with a Weaver scope.  Weaver's are not the best scopes, in my opinion, but they do have really good dollar value.  This scope has 3 to 9 times magnification, is fully adjustable, and runs around $100.

So, total build on this rifle:

- Used rifle:  $250.00.
- Weaver 3x9 scope:  $100.
- Picatinny scope rail:  ~$20.
- Scope rings:  ~$15.
- Nylon sling:  ~$15.
- Cheek pad:  ~$15.
- Total build:   ~$415.00 (approx.)

Not bad for what is essentially a mid-shelf hunting / target rifle.

On to the shoot...

50 yards (~45 meters).

I started out with this Deer target.  I got these off Amazon, and 5 types of game are indicated.  Check it out, here.   While not my preferential "splatter targets", these are good targets.  I would buy them again.

Consider this deer target.  This target is approximately 1/3 to 1/2 to scale so would have been equivalent to 100-150 meters.

I fired 3 rounds of the Black Hills each at the head and heart area:

 These 3 head shots are in a 1/2 inch group (I measured them).  At 50 yards, that is 1 MOA (google that).

While leaning to the left, the below 3 heart shots are probably sub-MOA (again, Google that).   Consider that these slugs are less than 1/4 inch wide, and the 3 bullet holes overlap!

I moved on to a hog target: 

And, here are the results of that.  3 shot groups to the head and heart areas:

3 head shots below.

3 heart shots below:

Again, this target is less than life-size, so the equivalent distance would have been more like 100 yards.

Conclusion.   These are definitely recommended.   With the right ammo, it is a consistent accurate shooter.   When going used, YMMV, so unless you know what you are doing, you may not want to go the used route.

Savage's model line-up has changed somewhat in the past ~20 years.   One current semi-equivalent would be this.   Note that this is a complete build, including a Nikon scope (which is probably a better scope than my Weaver).   It also has a wood stock, which has its ups and downs (definitely better looking than my composite stock).

The newer version also has a detachable magazine, which I would find advantageous.  My version is a top loader, and with the picatinny rail screwed down over the bolt opening, loading cartridges can be a bit of a hassle.  

Savage Arms website.


  1. As a gun aficionado I figured you'd love this:

  2. Thought you'd appreciate this from the Black Rifle Coffee Company blog: