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Savage Impulse Predator (courtesy Savage Arms)

From Savage Arms . . .

Savage Arms, makers of the most trusted hunting and target rifles in the United States, is proud to introduce IMPULSE. The new American-made rifles feature a unique straight-pull action that refines the basic function of the conventional bolt into one fast and intuitive movement. The key to IMPULSE’s lightning-fast functionality is the new action, which is built around Hexlock, a robust lockup that allows for IMPULSE’s reliability, speed, safety and accuracy.

“IMPULSE will redefine the way you think about straight-pull rifles,” said Al Kasper, President and CEO of Savage Arms. “We’ve studied more than a century’s worth of straight-pull actions and kept running up against the same conundrum; straight pull actions are fast, but they don’t inspire confidence. Speed means nothing if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at. IMPULSE changes that. We’ve brought our tradition of accuracy into the mix to make the fastest, most accurate straight-pull rifles ever built.”

IMPULSE rifles are built for speed. The smooth bolt throw allows a shooter to cycle rounds intuitively, without the need for the standard four changes-of-direction common to a conventional bolt’s path-of-travel. When every second counts, IMPULSE reduces split times and allows for a shooter to manipulate the bolt without losing their cheek weld. The bolt travels out and back and shooters don’t have to take their eyes off the target. This increase in speed is essential to making effective follow-up shots.

Savage Impulse Hog Hunter (courtesy Savage Arms)
Savage Impulse Hog Hunter (courtesy Savage Arms)

At the heart of IMPULSE’s bolt is Hexlock. Six hardened steel bearings lock the bolt in place inside the receiver’s barrel extension. As pressure increases, Hexlock’s hold tightens, ensuring that there can be no rearward movement of the bolt. Once the round has left the barrel, the pressure subsides, and the action can safely open again with the straight pull of the bolt handle.

Savage Impulse Big Game (courtesy Savage Arms)
Savage Impulse Big Game (courtesy Savage Arms)

In addition to IMPULSE’s new features, these rifles draw upon decades of Savage innovation. Each model is equipped with AccuStock®, Accufit®, and AccuTrigger®.


IMPULSE is available in three model variations:

IMPULSE Big Game: From the versatility of .243 WIN to stopping power of 300 Win Mag, IMPULSE Big Game is ready for one-shot drops and fast follow-ups. MSRP: $1447

IMPULSE Predator: From the speed of 22-250 REM. to the do-it-all potential of 6.5 Creedmoor, IMPULSE Predator provides an advantage to anyone hunting at the top of the food chain. MSRP: $1377

IMPULSE Hog Hunter: From the ready availability of .308 to the long-range reach of 300 Win Mag, IMPULSE Hog Hunter offers efficient pest control in a variety of proven .30 caliber chamberings. MSRP: $1377



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  1. We’re slowly getting outta the “affordable” rifles Savave was always respected for! Looks good, very interesting, but money is money!

    • Price/affordability is relative to what this competes against directly. This thing is competing with rifles like a Blaser R8 not a Remington SPS or a Tikka.

      It’s close to 1/3 to 1/5 the price of other comparable guns… I’d argue that relatively speaking thats pretty good value.

  2. I was really excited about this until I saw the price tag.

    Such is life.

    Additional thought: at that price point, why not purchase a semi-auto rifle?

    • They have very likely developed this with anticipation of possible future Federal Ban on Semi-Auto weapons. This operating system speeds up the ability of the bolt-action design.

        • You guys seriously think they will let you keep bolt action “sniper rifles”?

          Don’t let them take you semi-autos.

      • Daniel S.,

        That is an interesting idea.

        I have to agree with Art out West though: if fedzilla manages to ban all semi-auto rifles, fedzilla will ban bolt-action “sniper rifles” in short order after banning semi-auto rifles.

        An entity which steals some of your rights has demonstrated complete disregard for your sanctity of human life — there is no reason to assume that such an entity will limit itself at only violating your rights a little bit.

        • I don’t agree they’ll have the political capital to do it anytime “soon”. They may manage to ram through an assault weapon ban in the next 4 years. To Spend the next several years defending it in the Courts.

          IF they got compliance on an AWB. then PERHAPS within the next 4 years they would try for the dangerous bolt/lever actions that let you fire to fast. I certainly agree they would try if they thought they could get away with it of course.

  3. Intriguing, indeed.

    Offer a lightweight carbine model that takes M1A/AR mags and I would be very keen on checking one out.

    • Governor LePetomane,

      This is sort of tangential — humor me:

      We frequently hear debates about whether or not fedzilla will attempt to ban pretty much all rifles (beyond .22 LR), the underlying rationale/thinking being that fedzilla does not want an uppity populace to have “sniper rifles” which they could use to snipe federal employees.

      I question the accuracy of such a notion. How realistic is it to think that “patriots” are going to setup hides in urban/suburban locations and try to take out “high-value targets” piecemeal? In this day and age, it will be nearly impossible for “patriots” to shoot and slip away without ever being caught. First of all, people in the vicinity will notice the blast of a capable rifle round and immediately start looking to see what/who it was. That means witnesses and actionable intelligence. Second of all, surveillance cameras somewhere in the vicinity will record video which captures the vehicle (and probably even the face) of the “patriot” which will lead to his/her prompt arrest. Now matter how you slice it, I just do not see any significant risk of “patriots” using “sniper rifles” to any meaningful effect.

      Instead, I imagine that determined “patriots” would employ much more discreet strategies that would be much more difficult to observe/trace.

      Am I missing something?

      • “Am I missing something?”

        Maybe…maybe not…I’m not in a possession to comment on that at this point in time.

      • Since when does logic have anything to do with the banning of this that or the other thing? California banned CCW holders from carrying any firearm or ammunition on any school campus despite the fact that there has NEVER been an incident on a school campus in California involving any negligence or intentional misconduct by a CCW holder. Same with ARs, ad infinatum.

      • It’s not practical or possible to imagine scenarios where a particular gun may be used or deployed. Hunting game is probably the only predictable situation. No one can guess what anarchy or police free urban areas will become in this country. History tells us it’s not going to be pretty and if the left or right thinks it will be a quick simple fight they are wrong.

        • I stopped worrying a few years ago about “what if they confiscate all our guns?”. They can try to confiscate legally owned firearms from constitution-abiding citizens, but that’s where the path will fork. One path leads to “resetting” the country back to where it was originally designed to be, the other path leads to the end of our country.

          The only path I’ll be found on is the one that leads to a reset- if that’s what they choose.
          I will not be found on the other path.

      • u_s, from the Maccabees to the American Revolution to Afghanistan, the imperial power has always ruled the cities and the rebellion has been waged from the country.

  4. It’s an intriguing design. Having the ability to switch the bolt from the right to the left side is unique. However for left handed shooters it will still eject rounds in front of the shooters face. If they could modify where you can determine the way the shells ejected that would be even better.

    Price is high, but everything is high right now. I suspect price will drop some when the gun buying spree eventually slows down.

    • As a lefty shooter I don’t find the rounds ejecting in front of my face to be a big deal at all. Doesn’t bother me shooting AR. Only times I’ve had issues with pistols was some “light” charges that had a weak ejection. Then they can throw hot brass right at your face. (No fun when shooting a match and hot brass lands on top of your safety glasses)

      Up the powder charge and that tends to go away throwing the brass clear.

      • Never a hunter, simply not interested. Competition shooting, another story, shot National Match Course competition for many years, first with a Garand, then with bolt guns, mostly Model 70 Winchester Target Rifles. Being Left Eye Dominant, I shot left handed. Never had the least trouble with the rapid fire strings, including reloading with 5 shot stripper clips. Savage always made a good rifle, who knows how this new one will fare.

    • Given that they say you can cycle it without breaking your cheek weld, I imagine the ejection port is far enough forward to not be an issue. Even something like an AR is workable, though certainly disconcerting the first couple times it spits ammo a few inches in front of your face. With the length of a full size rifle cartridge and clearance for the matching size bolt between the back of the receiver and your face, it probably has a good 6 inches between you and the brass.

  5. Speed and Accuracy, a combination that will get this rifle banned by Progressives, Democrats, Socialists, and/or Communists like Biden and Harris

    • You couldn’t accurately define any of those words if a cocked and loaded 357 was three inches away and pointed at your ear.

    • This was exactly my thought as well. Take the Impulse Predator action in 6.5CM with the AICS mags, drop it into a MPA/MDT-style aluminum chassis with all the latest gadgets and tech, add a Proof Research barrel and you’d have a real advantage in a timed precision rifle competition like PRS. That’s where the advantages of a quicker straight-pull action could really shine. If Savage is smart they’ll have their sponsored competition shooters build new precision rifles based on this action for the next PRS season and use it as a proving ground for the accuracy and durability of the platform

  6. Great to see innovation from an American company, and kudos to Savage. I own a couple Savage rifles and they’re very accurate. If I were in need of a new one, I’d definitely give it this a look.
    Really, though, with a hunting rifle, speed is rarely a priority. Even so, I’m pretty fast with a bolt action, or fast enough. When I shoot, it seems like a new round is chambered without my even thinking about it.
    Of course, if this was indeed developed to some degree with a future ban on semi-auto in mind, then that changes the perspective considerably. Watch for something positioned as a more “tactical” model.

  7. With a real world price likely around $1100 it’s positioned solidly in today’s market. If it can be as accurate as a Bergara B14 and with the straight pull design, I think they have a winner. Everything has to do with performance though. If it’s competitive in performance it’ll be a game changer. I can see this design becoming very popular in the long distance and extreme long distance competition world which means other companies will have to scramble to keep up.

    For most shooters a fast straight pull isn’t necessary but the idea, I suspect, will appeal to many of them. I’ve always liked the idea of a fast straight pull bolt action but have been leary of the safety factor with modern high pressure calibers. Looks like Savage may have just alleviated those concerns. I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out. I had my eye on a Bergara B14 Wilderness but now….

  8. I’ve run a straight pull AR for years. Use an Alexander Arms side charge upper and bolt. Install an adjustable gas block…just want on/off settings, easily hand adjusted. Turn gas block off and you’ve got a straight pull bolt action AR. No action motion craziness. Max accuracy. Run the bolt and watch for own impact. Have run several calibers this way. Currently playing with 6mmARC. in a 24″ stainless fluted barrel. I even ordered a special barrel without the gas port drilled……no gas tube, no gas block, full float barrel……for maximum accuracy out of an AR.

      • Honestly the difference between the 3 models seems mostly minor.

        The Big Game hunter has a 22″ barrel.

        the other 2 have 20″

        The Predator ships with a 10 round magazine.
        other 2 with a 4 round.

        — If I had to pick right now, I’d probably go for the Predator in 6.5 creedmoor.
        But would be perfectly happy with the other 2. (Also in 6.5)

        I have a .30 cal (my Savage 110 in 30-06) an AR in .223

        Seems the 6.5 would be a nice middle of the road cartridge.

        • I like the way you think! I think I’m gonna flip a coin between the .308 and the 6.5 and go from there! But I’m definitely getting one, no question.

  9. Blaser has been making a very interesting straight pull action for many years, but a LOW price is north of $5000. (The lock up is completely different than the Savage design) I am sure there are others, but all I am familiar with are military surplus rifles made in Europe that cost just as much if not more used than this Savage does new. Further, the price premium over the fully equipped accustock, accutrigger, accufit Savage models is not very much.

  10. Swiss K31 straight pull rifle in 7.5 Swiss will most likely shoot as well as this or better for half the price. Not that innovative, but I do give Savage credit for trying. Does the casing eject either side, no, I didn’t think so. Not a true ambidextrous rifle. Rating it B+

    • As a lefty who’s been shooting semi-auto shotguns, rifles, and handguns since the age of 7 (now 68), the notion that brass ejecting to the right in front of your face is a problem is a load of bunk. I’ve NEVER had a situation where ejecting brass out of a standard right-ejecting firearm has caused an issue when shooting lefty. EVER.

  11. I have a Heym SR-30 straight pull and I am a big fan of the straight pull action. Straight pulls are popular in Europe for drive hunts. It takes a minute to get used to but you get the rounds out pretty quickly.

    I hope Savage builds this right and turns out an excellent rifle.

  12. Want to sell some rifles? Make them with interchangeable barrels and less than 8 pounds. Basically make a Blaser R8 for a price that won’t turn off the average hunter / enthusiast. An AR-10 is looking good.

  13. I’d love to see TTAG run an article on exactly how the various straight pull bolt actions work. My limited knowledge says that the original Russian biathlon rifles and the Anschutz use a multiple steel ball mechanism to lock and release the bolt. The Savage here sounds about the same. The Browning T-bolt uses something much simpler: a lever and latch or catch?

  14. This appears to be a beefed-up version of the Fortner straight-pull action that is the Olympic standard on Anschutz biathlon rifles. Similar lockup with ball bearings. I’ve often wondered why someone didn’t try this on a heavier caliber rifle. Patent issues, maybe?

  15. Finally, a Savage rifle I might be interested in buying… Problem is I hardly need any more hunting caliber rifles in my “armory” and the ones I have now are solving my problems just fine.

  16. The patent for the Fortner action (Anschutz 1827, Heym SR30) must have expired, this appears to be, at least the bolt head, a VERY similar design. A LH eject model would be nice, with the bolt handle switch function, I doubt it would ever be made, but I could live with a LH bolt RH eject gun. I’m apprehensively excited, the current gen of Savage stocks look hideous to me, and I’m a bit concerned that the trigger will only go down to 2.5lb, but hopefully if this takes off aftermarket support can fix those two issues (I wonder if the inlet is close enough to adapt a bolt action stock/chassis to).

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