I know what you’re thinking. The AccuTrigger is perfect. It’s the literal embodiment of American ingenuity and bootstrappy innovation. I’m not saying you’re wrong because I think the AccuTrigger is a really good trigger that has forced other companies (ahem Ruger) to fix the triggers in their bargain priced guns. And out of the box, the AccuTrigger’s a fine 3.5 to 6 pound bangswitch. However, when you attempt to tune it below a pound, like Savage did with the LRP model, it becomes a finicky little thing. Enter Rifle Basix and their SAV 1 . . .
If you remember my original review of the LRP, I praised the trigger (when it worked) for its crisp, glass rod-like qualities. However, when you ran the bolt hard at all, like for a fast follow-up shot, the sear would trip and lock the mechanism. Our prolific commenting ‘smith, Dyspeptic Gunsmith, had this to say in the comments section of my original LRP review…
Sigh. There’s no free lunch, folks. To get a pull down into the “ounces” of trigger pull with a single stage trigger, you need to reduce the sear engagement down to a mere few thousandths of an inch. The steel in the trigger must be stoned and polished to a very fine finish, the angles must be oh-so-correct and the engagement surfaces must be perfectly parallel. In short, with modern manufacturing tolerances… this probably isn’t reliably accomplished most of the time. If you really want a “target trigger” down in the single-digit ounces of pull (and most shooters have NO idea how light this is, nor how to manage their trigger finger to not jump the shot), quit trying to accomplish this on the cheap. Pony up for a trigger designed to do this, not a single stage trigger that has been adjusted and hacked into doing it. Want to see a trigger that was designed, from the start, to be adjusted reliably down into the eight ounce range? Go look at the Anschutz 5018 trigger group, or a Jewell, etc. You’ll notice that they’re two-stage triggers, they’re reliable and… they cost $300 and up.
As usual, Dyspeptic was on target. The trigger issues that plagued that rifle, along with finicky accuracy issues, relegated it to a safe queen in favor of rifles that worked well on my father in law’s monthly trips to his buddy’s south Texas hunting ranch. Over the Christmas break, I inquired as to the whereabouts and usage of the lowly Savage. As I’d suspected, it hadn’t moved in a year. I offered to take the the LRP home to “fix it” assuming my father in law would pay for parts. I’d supply the labor and tools. He happily agreed.
My next call was to Northland Shooter’s Supply. And yes, it was an actual call. Jim Briggs runs a very small outfit at Northland and he aims to ensure a great customer service experience. He’s found that online ordering doesn’t accomplish that goal as well as answering the phone and walking customers through their order.
In addition to the barrel I ordered (more on that in another article), Jim walked me through the differences between the Rifle Basix Model 1 and Model 2 trigger replacements. Jim offers the Model 1, geared for hunting and recreation, for $85. The Model 2, meant for competition, is $155. I elected to use the Model 1 as this rifle spends less time on the benchrest circuit and more time out at the ranch clanging steel and occasionally rolling a pig foolish enough to come to the feeder.
Installation is a snap thanks to the included instruction manual from Rifle Basix. Rip out the old AccuTrigger, take the opportunity to degrease everything, and pop the new unit in. The Model 1 is adjustable for sear engagement, weight of pull, and overtravel. Coarse adjustment took about five minutes, with fine tuning taking an extra ten or so. Adjusted down to its lowest weight, less than a pound, it easily replicates the old trigger’s habits for tripping when the sear engagement is set to its lowest setting. To have a “safe” trigger at that weight requires a sear engagement adjustment that makes for a gritty trigger pull.
Adjusting the weight up to a much more realistic three pounds allows the sear engagement to be tuned for a very crisp engagement without any fear of safety issues. The vigorous bolt cycling that rendered the AccuTrigger worthless does nothing to trip up the Rifle Basix trigger, and the three pound trigger is more than adequate for a rifle of this nature. I found that to make the trigger truly safe for the most vigorous bolt slamming I could muster required a trigger with just a touch, and I mean a touch, of creep.
I managed to put ~140 rounds through this rifle during break in, and I had no trouble with tripping the trigger during vigorous cycling like I did with the AccuTrigger. Otherwise, it was an utterly unremarkable trigger. It installed quickly, adjusted easily, and now provides a crisp three pound pull with an almost imperceptible amount of grit.
Specifications: Rifle Basix SAV-1 Replacement Trigger
- Replacement for
- Standard trigger or AccuTrigger™
- All 110 Type Rifles and Edge/Axis Rifles
- Models: 10, 11, 12, 110, 16, 111, 112, 114 & 116
- All 110 type centerfire triggers manufactured after January 1966
- Savage / Stevens Model 200 and Savage 210 slug gun
- Weight of pull range: 14oz.-3.0lbs.
- Adjustable for sear engagement, safety engagement, overtravel, and weight of pull
- Colors: Black or Silver
- Price: $89.95
Ease of Installation & Adjustment * * * * *
Total swap out takes about fifteen minutes including time to adjust the trigger to the desired weight and sear engagement. The only tools you’ll need are a small flat-bladed screwdriver and needle nose pliers for the removal and installation of the C-clip that holds the trigger pivot pin.
Function * * * *
If you’re looking for a safe trigger with a pull weight less than about a pound and a half, you’ll have to deal with some creep. To get a crisp, safe trigger, you’ll need to adjust it closer to three pounds. The unfortunate fact is that the original sear is still used as part of this installation, so you’re at the mercy of Savage’s original manufacturing tolerances. In this case, the sear appeared to be made of roughly stamped steel. For <$100, this is a good fix for the limitations of the AccuTrigger in the LRP.
Overall Rating * * * *
The majority of the AccuTriggers I’ve come across have been thoroughly satisfactory, and I don’t think the Rifle Basix Trigger really solves anything for those guns. However, if you have a non-AccuTrigger-equipped rifle you don’t like or an LRP with a trippy factory trigger, this is a very affordable way to fix that problem. In my experience, it wasn’t able to deliver a crisp, safe, one-pound trigger, but it also didn’t cost $300. Or more.