Savage Arms has earned a solid reputation for making highly accurate, quality rifles at an affordable price. As soon as I saw the 10/110 BA Stealth I was drawn to its minimalist, modern chassis stock appearance and Savage’s reputation for accuracy. TTAG borrowed this example, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor and put it through its paces.
Though our sample is a right-handed gun, lefties can still rejoice. As Savage often does, the Stealth is also available in a southpaw version in the same five calibers:.223, .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, .300 Win Mag, and .338 Lapua Mag.
I’m not usually a chassis rifle kind of a guy, but I really like this Savage-tweaked MDT / Drake Associates simple and “bare bones” chassis. The M-LOK handguard doesn’t even bother to cover the top half of the barrel, and the action is left fairly exposed, too.
Compatible with painfully expensive Accuracy International magazines, the Stealth ships with a detachable, 10-round, polymer box mag from MDT instead. It functioned great.
At the back of the chassis, there’s no excess material — just enough to mount an AR-15 pistol grip and receiver extension. Great choices, of course, as it opens up near-infinite options for user customization.
Which you’ll want to purchase; the FAB Defense GLR-16 buttstock is horrible. Though, according to the Savage website, they’re now using the GL-Shock instead. It sounds like that’s a true upgrade, but as for the GLR-16…
It’s horrible. Did I mention that? The recoil pad looks like the bottom of a combat boot or an off-road truck tire and, guess what, it feels like one, too. It’s wider than my shoulder pocket, the rubber is rock hard, and the teeth along the edges create pressure points.
With no curvature in any direction and a limited amount of raised surface area, and its weirdly wide size, the recoil forces are concentrated on just a couple of those traction teeth.
I know, I know, 6.5 Creedmoor is a light-recoiling caliber. Indeed, it has like 25 percent less felt recoil than .308. Say what you will (commenters on our FB page certainly did), but this stock does its best to make a pleasant-to-shoot caliber uncomfortable. Shooting the rifle, I developed visible bruising from the left and right edges of the GLR-16, and I do not bruise easily.
Furthermore, it’s wobbly. Designed to fit either a mil-spec or commercial receiver extension, it’s oversized for the commercial tube with quite a bit of play. That’s annoying for what’s ostensibly a precision rifle. The tactical AR-15 stock — apparently made to be used with body armor — also looks out of place.
On that sour note, we may as well cover my only other complaint about the BA Stealth: the bolt lift is sticky. The camming surfaces quickly showed finish wear. More force was necessary to lift that bolt and cock the striker than expected.
It was a struggle to unlock the bolt without tilting the Stealth on the bipod or keeling the whole rig over. The flat surface behind the bolt can be used for thumb-applied leverage, but after most shots I found myself moving my support hand forwards to grab the rifle and push back against the torque of my other hand lifting the stiff bolt.
Even after a couple hundred rounds there wasn’t a discernible “break-in.” Polishing the wear surfaces plus a dab of grease in these areas would probably help, though. Overall I’d say the slightly sloppy and sticky feel of the action alludes to the gun’s budget-oriented price point (as chassis guns go).
On the plus side, Savage rarely misses when it comes to triggers. The AccuTrigger is adjustable. This one was so darn crisp and nice from the factory I left it exactly as-is. Pull weight is a hair under 2 lbs. It’s creep free and breaks like glass.
In 6.5 Creedmoor, the Stealth has a 24″ fluted barrel. Its 5/8×24-threaded muzzle ships with a thread protector installed (not pictured), but a suppressor is a better accessory.
But does the 10 BA Stealth live up to Nick’s 1 MOA accuracy for $1,000 rule of thumb?
Mostly, yeah. With four loose rounds of American Eagle 140 grain OTM I got my SIG TANGO6 5-30×56 scope zeroed. Then I went to shoot a five-round group of Federal Fusion 140 grain hunting ammo at the top left target and ended up hitting seven inches low and two inches right.
It was good for a 1.42 MOA group. Further testing showed this wasn’t a fluke. The ammo was consistently producing a vastly different point of impact from all of the other loads in addition to worse groups. As I wasn’t chronographing anything I can’t speculate about the reason. Though I can say I’ve had great results from Fusion in other rifles.
Hornady BLACK 140 grain was fired next, resulting in a group scratching up on the 1 MOA mark.
Next up: Hornady’s 120 grain ELD Match. And we’re sub-MOA now at 0.79 minutes or 0.827 inches.
This was followed by another Hornady load; their 147 grain ELD Match. Fairly similar performance at about 0.88 MOA.
Finally, on a couple different range trips I shot groups with Winchester 140 grain Match. All were sub-MOA with a healthy margin. The two above at 0.479 MOA and 0.651 MOA were typical.
Results at longer ranges were similar, with the 75 percent size IDPA target above taking fire at 436 yards with the Hornady 120 grain ELD Match load. This group measures 0.868 MOA with an almost perfectly horizontal dispersion suggesting some gusty wind at play.
We were shooting the Stealth while filming the above video on the MagnetoSpeed Target Hit Indicator. As you can see, it isn’t much of a challenge to make reliable hits on various targets with this rifle and caliber.
That 4″ steel plate was no match for a simple ballistics app and the 10 BA Stealth. I plugged in 400 yards, held in my reticle for the drop, and pegged it about an inch down and right from center.
Overall, yes, it’s absolutely a one-minute rifle with most loads (the American Eagle was also just a hair under one minute) and a half-minute rifle with some. No idea what was going on with the Federal Fusion.
On balance, I really love the look and feel of the Savage Model 10 BA Stealth. If I had bought it rather than borrowed it, I’d have already swapped out that abominable buttstock (the XLR Tactical Lite looks about perfect for this gun) and probably the pistol grip as well.
Nothing against the perfectly nice Hogue grip, generally, I’d just prefer a more precision rifle-oriented option on this bolt gun. Namely, something a bit more vertical with a larger palm swell.
The Stealth is accurate and, for a chassis gun with a 24-inch barrel, light. It has no frills and a minimalist design and a superb trigger. Working the bolt shows some wobble and that bolt lift is sticky. Overall it’s a fun gun to shoot and it’s more than accurate enough for any intended use.
Specifications: Savage Arms 10/110 BA Stealth in 6.5 Creedmoor
Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor (also available in .223, .308, .300 WM, and .338 Lapua Mag)
Capacity: 10 rounds
Barrel Length: 24″
Weight: 9.6 lbs
MSRP: $1,207 ($1,029.99 via Brownells)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and appearance * * * *
There’s something about that sleek, small, bottom-half-only forend that I really like.
Ergonomics * *
Swap the stock and then we’ll talk. That wobbly, poky thing is terrible, though the adjustable cheek riser was useful. Otherwise, the Stealth’s ergos are quite good.
Customization * * * *
AR-15 stock and grip compatibility means thousands of options there. A Pic rail for optics doesn’t leave you stuck with proprietary rings, while the M-LOK forend accepts accessories of all sorts. Aftermarket options exist for extended optics rails and more. Plus, the barrel is threaded.
Accuracy * * * *
Nick is all about 1 MOA for $1,000, and the 10 BA Stealth, available for just a hair over a grand, bested half-MOA (which is twice as good, I suppose) with one of the factory loads I tried and was at or under 1 MOA with a handful of others. Mechanical accuracy is certainly there, and the great trigger helps the shooter do his or her job, too. The wobbly, uncomfortable stock does no favors.
Reliability * * * * *
Zero issues. Ran smoothly and properly aside from a stiff bolt lift.
Overall * * * *
The lousy stock (since replaced by Savage) and the action’s budget rifle feel keeps the rifle out of the five star category. Still, the Stealth is an accurate, good looking, highly configurable, reliable rifle with a fantastic trigger.