Savage Model 10 Precision Carbine Review
While wandering through a local gun shop, I stumbled across an interesting looking rifle. I was in the market for a new bolt action rifle that was to serve dual purposes of hunting and the excessive amount of paper punching I tend to do. When I picked up the Savage Precision Carbine, I got the sinking feeling that my wallet was going to weigh significantly less that day. As it turns out, my gut was right; once again, Savage got my fun tickets. I would be leaving with a Savage Precision Carbine in .223.
I will admit, the first thing to catch my eye was the stock. I have a habit of painting my rifle stocks, often times for no other purpose than aesthetics. I like good looking guns. The digi-camo on the Savage PC looks good. It provides for an attractive rifle, in my opinion.
Further examination revealed some nice features and some outright impressive features. On the flat out impressive side is the Accustock. I had heard about Savages Accustock before this, but had never used one. In store, I couldn’t make much of a judgment on it, but the input I had received previously was excellent. It would turn out to be all true. The stock is fitted with a wedge that engages the recoil lug when tightened and there is aluminum running the length of the stock, providing pressure from three sides. See Savages wed site for a video that explains this much better than I can. I love this stock. It enhances accuracy, flat out, this design works. Everyone hears about sub-minute groups coming from every rifle off the assembly line these days. This rifle delivers. It delivers tight groups, actual in real life sub-minute groups with little effort. I am almost afraid to write the best group I was able to achieve, as it will sound like an outright lie. I assure you it is not. After zeroing and setting up a six inch Shoot-N-C at 100 yards, I discovered I only needed the inner .36 inches. Dead on, destroyed X, .36 inch group. The scope was a Bushnell Elite fixed power, the round was one of my own creation, composed of a 55 grain Berry’s Bullet and 25.5 grains of Hodgdon Varget. Conditions were sixty degrees, calm winds, and sunny skies. I was in love.
Of course this was not only attributed to the Accustock. The Accutrigger is a thing of beauty as well. If you are not familiar with this, it lets you adjust your pull weight very low without compromising safety. The “blade” in the trigger must be pulled straight back before pulling the trigger. If it is bumped from the side or caught on something, the trigger cannot be pulled. My trigger came in just over two pounds. Some may not like the feel of the “blade”, but I find it to be of no bother while shooting. I am in love with the trigger as well.
Other features of note are the oversized bolt handle. It makes the action easy to operate with bare or gloved hands. The barrel is a “medium contour”. It tapers down toward the muzzle and balances nicely. It is twenty inches, which may seem short, but I assure you, it is perfectly capable. You may find there to be a little more volume and perceived recoil than with a longer barrel, but it is not significant, especially in .223.
The bolt release if found in front of the trigger. This is not a majorly exciting change, but one I like. The slider safety is found behind the bolt. It is large, easy to operate, and provides a positive feel when engaged. You know when you slide it that it is on safe.
One of the best features, which is by no means exclusive to this model, is the detachable box magazine. I prefer them on my bolt guns. I like to have extra magazines. Keep in mind, I do a lot of target shooting and load testing. For hunting, this is not a necessary feature, but I am very pleased that it is there.
Speaking of hunting, this is every bit a fine hunting rifle. It is marketed as a “tactical”, but who cares, it is more than worthy of carrying into the field. There will be a purchase of a second one, this time in .308 for this purpose. How is the action though? Everything you need it to be. It is smooth, reliable, and solid. I have been quite a fan of the ever popular Remington 700 action in the past, and I still am, but I do not miss it here. You don’t have the gazillion of aftermarket parts available for the Savage like you do with the 700. There is stuff out there for the Savage, but it does not have the cult following of the Remington.
What you get with the PC is quite impressive. It can be had for $700 or less if you shop for it. Do some e-search for a deal. The Accustock, Accutrigger, floated barrel, oversize bolt handle, medium contour barrel, and general excellent feel for much less than you would spend to build a comparable gun. Think about what it costs to put a barreled 700 action in a McMillan with a box mag. Yes, I am comparing the PC to a tricked out Remmy. I believe the quality is there and the rifle speaks for itself.
In the end, I love everything about this rifle. I am a fan of most of Savages work lately, but this stands out. It stands out so far that I am going to own two of them. One in .223 and one in .308.
Update: I make no attempt to hide the fact that I love Savage rifles. I am an unashamed fan of their work, and for good reason. Not the least of these reasons is that you get so much more for less money than other makers offer. The Savage Precision Carbine was a great example of this, and I fell in love with it. For about $700, you got an accurate rifle with a detachable box magazine, outstanding adjustable trigger, and the Accustock. The PC also came with some nice refinements such as an over sized bolt handle and re-positioned safety and bolt catch. This is hands down my all time favorite factory rifle.
When Savage decided to make some changes for 2012, I couldn't believe that they were going to pack more to love into the PC. The Precision Carbine now comes with a threaded barrel. It is ready for your suppressor or muzzle device of choice. This is a great feature for a factory barrel, it eliminates the need to have it done by a gunsmith if you want an attachment. The recoil pad is also quite a bit more substantial. All of the original PC goodness remains.
One addition to the 2012 line up is the option to get it chambered in .300 AAC Blackout. While the Blackout has gained quite a following, I don't understand choosing it for a bolt action precision rifle. I am not saying that it wouldn't be fun to shoot, I just don't see the reason for picking it. .300 AAC Blackout is a round designed to fit into AR magazines and be easily suppressed. Basically, it was designed for the AR platform. It can be suppressed to incredible levels, which is nice, but it lacks in range. I don't begrudge someone the idea of having a quiet rifle, but it seems to me that you would want a longer range round for a precision rifle. There are some great benefits to .300 AAC, but I feel that they are better realized in an AR-15 than a bolt gun. To each their own. Savage has just presented the option.
Ultimately, Savage has just added some nice touches to the 10PC. They didn't go crazy, but they added a couple of features that enhance the value of the rifle even more.