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Savage Axis Overview: 1000 Yard Rifle for $500 | The Social Regressive


welcome back to our thousand yard
rifle experiment we’re for a total budget of five hundred dollars including
the price of this rifle we’ll be turning a savage axis into a gun that I feel
confident competing with at a six hundred yard and a thousand yard match
out at Tulsa’s red castle gun club now naturally it’s going to take a lot of
work to turn this into a rifle I feel comfortable firing at those kinds of
ranges so make sure that you subscribe to the social regressive so that you can
see all the upcoming videos if you’d like us on Facebook you can see some
behind the scenes footage and then finally this playlist is going to have
everything that we do to this rifle now in the last video we discussed why I
picked a savage axis over some very good competition
the Remington 783 the Mossberg Patriot the savage access to the Ruger American
I chose a base savage axis over those mostly because of cost but also because
of the things that I know it can fix on here and the things that I know are
right so in this video we’re gonna take a step back to the bench here and we’re
going to take a look at the distinct advantages and disadvantages of the axis
and what we have to do to get this battle ready let’s start off with just
some general notes and the first thing I’m going to say is pretty controversial
I find this rifle to be rather ugly I think it’s go opping this is pretty
typical of savage where you have this bolt handle that just kind of falls
right off and the whole effect is that the rifle ends up kind of looking like a
hunchback the stock is just kind of hanging off the back of this it looks
weird but unusual savage form this thing is very light it’s comfortable the
balance is nice and you might think that these little finger grooves were cut
here just for appearance they try to take away from the the basic tubular
nature of the action and make it look like there’s something going on and
you’ll be partially right but this is actually very functional these things
feel nice and you can as you can see you get a lot of real estate
up here so you can easily get your hand back if that’s the way you like to take
your shots if you want to get a bit more control on the forearm you can easily
grab out here and then back on the trigger hand these little finger cutouts
work really well the bolt throw is usual very slick
it’s cock-on open so there’s gonna be a little bit of tension when you first
lift the bolt but it’s still very smooth it’s a push feed and yeah you don’t have
to worry about any thing slowing down as things lock into place it’s gonna be
really smooth zeroing in on just the stock I have to say that I think they
did a really good job with this their previous budget rifle the Stevens 200
had a very basic floppy stock and this is not that it’s still pretty flexible
especially you’re right up here on the forearm it’s just a little bit too easy
to flex this forearm until it touches the barrel it’s free floated all the way
through here and I think that as long as you’re taking off hand shots like I
mentioned in the other video I think it’ll be fine
if however you’re gonna be putting this on a bipod or doing anything else that’s
gonna stress that forearm I wouldn’t really trust to the the stiffness of
this forearm as for the rest of it yeah it’s all pretty comfortable now it is
ambidextrous like I mentioned in the other video which is not really ideal
this is nice for hitting the mass-market it’s gonna fit everybody decently well
it’s never going to fit anybody particularly well the length of pull is
13 and a half inches and that’s the distance from the the buttstock right
here to the trigger face now for those of you that are taller like myself I’m 6
foot 2 and I have pretty long arms and I don’t have all that much muscle so I
need a length of pull of about fourteen and a half inches to be comfortable
thirteen and a half is fine but this is just one more reason why I’m going to
throw out this whole stock and replace it with a laminate the recoil pad looks
good back here it’s a little bit on the squishy side but it’s not too bad I
think this one would actually feel really darn good especially if you’re
going to be firing the the 308 or one of the other kind of larger calibers
this is I think gonna soak up a lot of the recoil it has these cutouts here
that aren’t just for a visual appeal they’re gonna help to give a little bit
but still provide some structure with these little bands through here the
underside of this rifle is actually pretty interesting and we’ll get into
this discussion when we’re looking at the action but we have a magazine down
here it’s the usual double stack stamped magazine it can hold I believe four
rounds so you can have one in the chamber four in the magazine and this is
the the short action so anything that has 308 as a parent case you’re going to
be able to fit four in this for a total of five rounds the bottom of this is
plastic but it’s the same stuff as the stock and I expected it’s a pretty good
plastic one thing that people have complained about is this little tab
right here that retains the magazine in the stock and I could see if you were
swapping out magazines a whole bunch that might become an issue but it
doesn’t really move all that much I wouldn’t expect it to snap off that
easily right here this trigger loop is not the usual metal trigger loop that
you can pop off this whole section is one piece and this all comes out when
you remove your your rear action screw like I said we’ll take a look at this
one when you take a closer look at the action because this is actually a really
neat piece right here I’ve removed the two actions screws so that we can take a
good close look at this action in the nude here it is one of the reasons that
savage can offer such a good rifle at a decent price is that they keep their
machining pretty simple this is just a tube of Steel with cutouts in the right
places and one of the brilliant things that they did with the savage axe is to
make it is inexpensively as they do is that they replay the Tang that they usually have what
we’re looking at right here is an action from the Stevens 200 this is kind of
based on the old model 10 still tube steel it’s going to look very similar
but when you get back here you can see that the Tang this is still
part of the action all of this has all this machining going on through here and
down here what they’ve done is they’ve just chopped it off right here at the
back and they’ve put in this cast tang because you don’t really need that this
right here does a fine job of holding a trigger mechanism and the sear safety
all the good stuff back through here one other really cool thing that savage was
able to do with this action is they were able to put this top strap in across the
the top of the action because there was a detachable magazine down here normally
with the model tens of model twelves they had to leave this top section open
so you could actually load the rifle in here you wouldn’t be able to easily get
a finger into to load your rounds but since it does have that magazine that
drops out you don’t have to have this massive cutout and you can get a little
bit more rigidity up here the action and the barrel both appear instead of being
blued it looks like they have a phosphate finish on the entire thing
it’s basically a parker ization process this gives it a very flat black look in
contrast with the kind of shiny blued steel look that you get with the the
older stevens or the model twelves or any of the the full savage line i
mentioned that we were going to talk about this weird trigger loop and the
fact that it’s a part of this big section of the stock here’s why this
action is both long action and short action it’s long enough to be able to
feed your 30.6 and 270’s and eventually if they do magnums
that’ll probably work just fine for here as well and usually the reason why you
can’t do that why you have to have two different actions one for short action
and one for long action is the magazine down at the bottom so what these guys
have done is they have two different magazines they have a short and they
have a long and what you can do is using the same stock and using the same action
all you have to do is just remove this section of the stock if you want to go
with a long action and replace it with a different one that’s just a little bit
shorter right here so it’ll still retain the magazine and it’ll fit neatly into
the stock you already have you can actually order this from savage from
what I’ve heard just order this part you can get a magazine through Brenna
Brownells or one of those other retailers and then you have a long
action gun or if you want to go the other way a short action let’s take a
look at the peculiar way that the action connects to this stock you have a steel
pillar at the front and you have a steel pillar at the rear and that’s pretty
typical but what’s missing is the usual recoil lug here on this stevens you can
see that the recoil lug is sandwiched between the barrel nut and the action
and here there is no recoil lug there’s just a little cutout in the action right
there what they’ve opted to do instead is to put the recoil lug here into the
stock which is something that I had never seen before I’d be curious to know
if this was less expensive to machine or just why they did this but hey it seems
to work so no problem here as we finish with this action we might as well point
out that they did do a little bit of something to try to make it look like
it’s not just a tube of steel they did some pretty simple cutouts on each side
you have this this great big slash across the top and you have this flat
cutout right here and really as far as I can tell that is just for appearance to
help it not look quite so bad you can see that that slash extends on the other
side too yeah I don’t think it really does
anything but it does help a little bit if you are accustomed to savage bolts
this will look pretty familiar it just has a few changes first off there’s now
a cocking indicator on the back of the bolt right here and gone is this great
big cam on the back of the bolt and it’s been replaced just by this little piece
that’s attached to the the actual bolt handle now up on the front the gas lug
is also a little bit different you can see that this one is just a little bit
fatter on both sides and this one has a little bit of a cutout but the neat
thing is that it looks like the bolt head itself in the bolt face these are
going to be interchangeable which is one of the great things about Savage it’s
really easy to pop these off and change them out so if you want to go to a
different head size like say you want to step one of these down to 223 or go in a
Magnum direction then you can remove these bolt heads and replace them with
others in typical savage fashion you get a very nice steel extractor and you get
a plunger type ejector with a strong spring under there I’ve never had a
problem with one of the extractors I did get into some overpressure loads and I
damaged one of my ejector springs but really that was my fault if you’re used
to firing savages you probably already know that you get some primer cratering
around that firing pin hole so for those of you that aren’t used to firing
savages you might notice that it craters a little bit that doesn’t necessarily
mean you’re getting into overpressure it just means that this bolt face is a
little bit different like any other Savage the tolerances between the bolt
and the action are not actually all that great it’s pretty floppy there’s you can
actually hear it click around as I move it and this makes for good quick throws
you can easily get the bolt moving around but usually this leads to a loss
of precision in a rifle that’s the cool thing about Savage they have this
workaround right here the floating bolt head and I really
think that this is what makes savages as accurate
they are what this does is it allows the lugs it allows the whole head to remain
flush to the cutouts here in the action and if the bolt moves around which it
always does it’s going to pull down a little bit with gravity as you’re
firing if there are any weird forces like say if you’re laying on your side
or if the trigger is being pulled and you know things are just being pressed
around in here usually that’s gonna pull the bolt off sound but it doesn’t matter
because the bolt is only tenuously attached to the head this is going to
stay nice and flush you’re not going to change your chamber dimensions any and
this still gets a nice precise lock up the barrel nut here attaches this 22
inch sport or weight barrel to the action and the really neat thing about
the barrel nut is that allows us to get really precise head spacing without
having to do all that milling gymnastics that usually have to go into a lot of
actions to make the two made up really well all you have to do is just take a
barrel that’s properly threaded you just screw it on here use your gauges put the
barrel nut on and then everything should be headspace properly now the barrel
here since it is a sport or weight it’s going to heat up really quickly and it’s
not going to dissipate heat very well this is going to be a pretty big problem
in our competition because remember we’re going to be launching 20 rounds at
a time in a string at distances of 600 and a thousand yards and I have one
minute per shot maximum so this thing is going to get hot and this might lead to
a little bit of dispersion as the match goes along we’ll see I think that this
is going to hold up okay because I have fired these sport or weight barrels I’ve
put many rounds through them in sessions before and it’s done pretty darn well I
think we’ll be okay the savage sporter profiles a little bit different than you
get on a lot of others it’s not going to be quite as whippy because it just
doesn’t get as thin as fast a lot of time they just cut right in and
then you just get this pencil barrel all the way out to the end this one is more
of a gradual taper it’s more like a cone now one of the other problems with this
barrel for our use is that it’s only twenty-two inches I would much prefer
something like this twenty-six inch or back here but that’s not part of our
experiment we have to stick within our budget we can’t add new barrels so we
have something that’s not going to get quite as much muzzle velocity and it’s
going to heat up a lot but I still think that we’re gonna be in pretty good shape
now for the question that’s on everyone’s mind
what is this chambered for well I’m not gonna tell you this is kind of a
controversy I’m really interested to see what you guys think of the chamber that
I saw now if it if your opinion deviates from mind and your objectively wrong but
if you’d like to see what I’ve chosen go to the social progressive on Facebook
like us and you can see some of the behind the scenes stuff that’s going on
you can get a sneak peek at what chamber I’ve selected for this rifle I’ve saved
the worst for last this axis trigger is one of the worst production triggers
that you can possibly buy at the bottom of my list of triggers there’s the Mosin
Nagant at the very bottom there’s the Bushmaster ba 50 which was just hideous
you would think that a big expensive 50 caliber rifle would have a nice trigger
nope but in third place there’s this when I first got that out of the box I
could have sworn the safety was still on that’s how heavy this is I really think
that this started pulling at eight pounds
eventually it broke in and it was only pulling at six pounds but even with that
that’s a really heavy trigger and there was a country mile of creep in this
thing you would just pull and pull and pull it just kind of grind and grind and
then eventually it would just kind of go off you had no idea when I was gonna do
it now thankfully there are some great fixes for this trigger first off if you
got the axis to then congratulations you have an active trigger but for those of
us that got this base model axis there’s another really good aftermarket trigger
called the rifle basics and that thing is really nice I’ve
gotten a chance to try one of those out my father-in-law built a rifle that has
one and it is a sweet sweet trigger now I don’t have the budget for that for
this experiment I have to keep everything within that $500 so what I’m going to do
is I’m just gonna fix this trigger I’m going to get rid of the creep I’m going
to reduce the pull weight and I’m going to add an over travel stop so that we
end up with a good competition trigger just using what came with the rifle for
those of you that are familiar with the axis trigger you can probably already
see that I have made the upgrades this trigger is already fixed this thing is
amazing my father-in-law and I turned this into a really nice trigger and
you’re gonna love what we did to this it’s really cheap to do – well I would
have preferred the axis – but it’s better trigger I think that this base
model savage axis will do just fine I expect it to be plenty accurate and with
a few modifications I think this will do really really well the one thing that I
wish that we could do on this budget and I know that we can’t would be to replace
this barrel with something longer heavier and maybe something match-grade
maybe that’s something for another experiment but for now I think this will
work just fine you

36 thoughts on “Savage Axis Overview: 1000 Yard Rifle for $500 | The Social Regressive

  1. When will you be competing? I bought a TC Dimension for cheap after online purchase and rebate. I'd be interested in seeing how good this rifle shoots compared to your $500 build.

  2. Another choice for a sub $500 build would be the TC Venture. 6mm would be the preferred choice for long range, but 243 is a nice alternative. With a MSRP of $399… If you time your purchase right, you can get it on sale while there is a $75 mail-in-rebate. It should be just as accurate as the modular TC Dimension, but even cheaper.

  3. WOW! I knew the Axis was a piece of crap, you just confirmed it for me. I'll stick with my Model 12 long range rifle. Axis, the High Point of rifles! LOL

  4. the reminting 783 is a better riffle for a little bit more money why cant you just get a stock to make it a competition rifle?with a heavy barrel upgrade

  5. The trigger pull is so heavy, and the stock so weak in the grip area (especially with that cut-out for the trigger guard) that you can watch the scope reticle being pulled off the target as you squeeze the trigger. Ridiculous!

  6. Great series. You articulate well exactly what you are doing. Perhaps some of the folks commenting will be motivated to actually compete in Highpower matches.

  7. I've been thinking about a bolt action rifle lately, debating on manufacturer. This video alone has put Savage in a new light for me, and has definitely boosted my chances of getting one over, say, an R700. Thank you much!

  8. I don't see how people say savages are "ugly" I actually personally prefer the looks, it kinda looks like a mini cannon mounted on one of those old 2 wheel carriages.

    also, tikka t3's use that separated recoil lug. its a common upgrade for tikkas to either swap the original, which is aluminum, out with a stainless one (you can actually remove it). aftermarket stocks however seem to opt bedding them in completely, which i agree with.

    contemplating building a savage "trainer" — my primary rifle is a tikka t3 CTR in 260 rem… but i've been thinking about a cheaper easier to get caliber might be a good idea. thinking about something like a 223, possibly a 308 though i think the 223 would be a better option – especially since i have so much brass for it already.

  9. Something to consider as well, a shorter barrel flexes less than less than a longer barrel. 308 really doesn't need a 26" barrel to get a 175gr bullet up to speed.

  10. Thanks.  I download these videos to a shooting/hunting folder and study them with my son.  Instead of quitting school when I was 16 in the 60's, I would've quit when I was 3 in the 50's if the internet was around.  The school system should incorporate YouTube into the curriculum, but then, there would be a mass exit from schools after children learn there's another world out there for them and their interests.

  11. I believe there are 4 magazines. long,short, 22-250 and 223/204. Thats what I was told by Savage. I own all 4 different rifles, 12 Axis/Edge's in all and I use them as loaners for the non-profit I help run for Wounded Veterans. we have had them since the edge was introduced. some were donated by Savage, others I bought. I also have a huge spare parts kit that savage made for me. but the magazine tabs do not break, not in my experience at least. We have an Edge that is in the first 100 made and have thousands of rounds through it without any problems. I have swapped the barrel from a 308 to a 6.5 CM but I haven't fired it since the swap. We use Vortex Optics for most because the Bushnell's died on almost all of the package rifles and 2 have package Nikon's that work fine. I dont have a 7mm-08 though.

  12. I have one of the early models in 243 and I took the trigger apart and give it a good polishing. This dropped the pull weight some and made the pull a lot smoother. It is still not great by no means but manageable for a hunting rifle . I would like to know what you have done to this trigger to make it somewhat competition ready, if you would like to disclose that information.

  13. The slash on the barrel is actually for mounting scope rings. I have a .22 Magnum Marlin kind of like that.

  14. “ I find this rifle ugly “. Hahahaha I refuse to own one .. I was given one in a 243. I sold it due to I hate the looks and how cheap they are

  15. Yeah , getting a new stock , glass bedding, Working the trigger and then changing out the barrel?
    Just wondering why you didn't start out with the right gun to begin with ?

  16. i have a savage axis in 30-06 with a stock trigger and it is smooth and light as butter… barely touch the trigger and it goes off.
    do do still have the original stock yet… i need a new butt pad for mine.

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