I tested out the MSR-10 Hunter in .308 Winchester. One of the things Savage is trying to do with this gun is leverage all of the different brands under the Vista Outdoors umbrella, including Blackhawk, Bushnell, and Federal Premium. It’s the same strategy that Remington is taking with the latest Bushmaster rifles, incorporating tech from other Remington Outdoors companies to make the best possible product. In this case you have the trusted craftsmanship of a Savage rifle upgraded with Blackhawk components and topped off with a Bushnell scope.
The Blackhawk AR-10 components actually feel pretty good. The decelerator pad on the back of the shoulder stock was firm enough for a solid shooting position but squishy enough to soak up much of the felt recoil from the .308 Winchester round. The grip felt comfortable to hold and provided a good position for my trigger finger.
The trigger on the MSR was crisp and clean, as one would expect from a Savage rifle. Recoil was a little unusual, but I think that’s due to the shooting rest. The muzzle brake redirected enough energy upwards to keep the muzzle down that, like a see-saw, the rear end of the gun kicked upwards a little bit into my chin. We’ll definitely look into that further when the rifles arrive for testing at TTAG central command.
Overall it seems to be a fine rifle. It hit what I was aiming at, functioned well, and had some creditable features. Stay tuned for the full review.