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Jeremy has been posting about the Savage MSR coming out this year. Full details are available here, and we were able to get our hands on one for the first time at SHOT Show Range Day on Monday.

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.

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  1. First Mossberg makes an AR, now Savage jumps in
    They are late to the party when even Canik is making an AR!
    Springfield at least is advertising their Saint using sexy people who actually shoot as models
    What could Savage possibly do to differentiate itself from Ruger, Colt or Noveske? (Substitute your favorite low, middle and top tier brand here)
    Now that Trump is president the gun market is returning to normal
    Too bad for this Savage offering

    • Really? Your going to use the Springfield’s marketing campaign for the SAINT as an example? The same campaign that had been mocked relentlessly since the SAINT was revealed?

    • Besides there being more choice than you can obviously handle, the market is open to competition which is healthy for our economy and keeps all of them on their toes developing new techniques in design and manufacturing. This is happening in everything we buy and is good news. Join the NRA and be informed.

  2. What happened to the side-charging handle? Or is this a dual-charging rifle? The side-charging feature was the only thing that made this rifle interesting to me, even though I’ll never buy an off-the-shelf AR when it’s more fun to build one.

  3. I’ve been thinking about building a .308 AR at around 7 ish pounds. What is the recoil of a .308 AR compared to an m1a? I have an early 90’s Armscor m14 and the recoil on it is soft, but it weighs 10lbs.

    • There are recoil calculators online where you plug in the specific data and it spits out recoil energy and velocity.

      • Yeah, but different gas systems affect the felt recoil. Those calculators are best for bolt, lever or single shot without a selfloading mechanism which absorbs some of the felt recoil. The direct impingement is quite a bit different than the M1a’s. I could just google how that affects felt recoil. Just wondering if anyone has both and compared the felt recoil?

  4. Was there any wiggle between the upper and lower? I really like the 308 hunter, make a damn fine deer rifle.

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