My new Savage 10FP range review


January 5, 2003, 01:47 PM
Hi all.

This X-mas I got myself a Savage 10FP and today I took my first range trip with it. Even though this particular rifle has been discussed over and over on TFL and now here, there are always questions about it so I figured the interest is quite high. Hence here is my review of the rifle and optics I've used.

The rifle is a 10FP .308 WIN. with a 24'' barrel and matte black finish. This is the standard "tactical" (ahhh that word again) model with the old standard trigger and standard size bolt handle. The stock is grey/black plastic of some sort. The bases are two peice Weaver, matte black, and the rings are cheapo aluminium ones picked up from Natchez. The scope is a BSA Mil-DOT 4-16, with illuminated reticle.

Here are two pictures of the rifle, including a close up of the scope mounts. (Yes I too own a crappy red cleaning stand! :D )
In the above picture one of target knob covers is removed.

The ammo:
This is my first .308 and as such I was limited to ammo I could pick up from local stores at a sane price. From Kmart I picked up some Remington 180gr Core-Lokt soft points as well as some Winchester Super-X 150gr Power-Point. My local gun shop had no factory match grade ammo, so I picked the closest thing they had, Hornaday 165gr boat tail, soft point, interlock bullet.

The range:
The only time I could find to go shoot this morning. The weather has been really sad around here for the past two weeks. I did my shooting at 9am, under an overcast sky, and at a finger numbing 32F. For most of the hour I spent there, I had a 3-5mph cross wind. In my coffe-less morning rush I forgat to pick up my sand bags, so for a rest on the bench I used what I could find in my trunk. That happened to be a case of canned cat food under a 10pound bag of dry food, topped with a rabbit year type small sand bag. :uhoh: Shooting was done at 100 yards.

The results:
After zeroing in the setup, I started trying for some groups. In this I was hindered by my frozen digits but I was please with the results. Here is a picture of my best group:

I called the flyer to myself, after I jerked the trigger. The smaller 4 shot group measures .9" and it was shot with the Hornady ammo. The whole group mesures 1.7". Given the horrible rest, the weather, the ammo and the simple fact that I am really not a great shot (this is my first scoped centerfire) I am really really pleased with the results. I am sure that with a better rest, good ammo and some practice I can really shrink those groups.

Equipment review:
I love this rifle. However I do have a couple of nitpicks. First, I am kinda tall with long arms, and I think I would really like a longer stock. I felt kinda crowded and the relatively large rear scope bell didnt help a bit. I plan to replace the stock anyway, so this is no big deal. The second problem is that about half the time, the last round in the magazine had a tendency to jump out of the mag lips as soon as the bolt touched it and thus not feed. Replacing the round in the magazine seemed to work every time. I suspect that recoil moves the round forward and the geometry of the floor plate and lips allows it to pop out. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Despite other peoples complaints, I had no problems with the trigger. It had a minimal amount of takeup, followed by a very crisp release at what I would estimate to be about 3lb. I dont have a way to messure it but thats what it felt like to me. Maybe I just got really lucky. The bolt had a couple of rough spots but it has smoothed out after the 80 rounds I fired and I think it will get even better.

On the optics side, I really dont have enough experience to make an educated statement, but here it is anway. The BSA works quite well, more so in the 10x range. At the higher magnifications it does get a bit darker, and mirage from the heated barrel gets to be more of a factor. Note that the group above was shot with the scope set at its maximum of 16x. The illuminated reticle is a nice feature. Even in daylight, cracking up the setting to its maximum of 11 (12 setting 0-11) helped contrast the reticle against the black of the Shoot'N'See targets. The only issue I've had was related to their zero adjust feature. There are two small hexhead screws on each target knob, which in theory allow you to reset the knobs to zero, once you find a setting you like. When I was packing up to leave and I tried to screw in the knob covers I noticed that one of these screws has worked itself loose, almost ready to fall out. I assume that tiny drop of blue locktite will fix this. Here is a picture of the offending screw, after I screwed it back in with the tip of my finger.

I have no idea how this scope will hold up to heavy use, but I guess I'll find out.


I really like the 10FP and the scope is ok so far. This is my first scoped centerfire and for a combined total of about $500 I really dont think I could have done better. Only time will tell if I could have done better for $800 or more.


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January 5, 2003, 03:19 PM
Very informative. Thanks :)

January 5, 2003, 04:14 PM
Good review. The stocks are a bit flimsy but that is something some can live with, depending on what shooting positions the owner favors. The triggers are iffy, some are decent some aren't - some are easily adjusted to acceptable pulls, others are not. If yours is really 3#, that is probably the best one Savage has put out in a long long time. I've had about 6 or 7 various heavy barrel Savages in the last 8 years or so - I had one 10FP in 223 that I was able to get a very decent pull out of and I had a 10FP in 7mm-08 that I installed a SharpShooter trigger on which was great of course. The rest of them, if they were to be a rifle I used a lot, I would have done something to fix the trigger pull on.

I still have a 12FVSS in 308 that I even had your exact scope on for a while. I was able to shoot several groups approx 1" at 100 yards and under 3" at 200 yards with that setup. Now it's more of a 'test the latest low priced optics on' rifle. Don't really shoot it that much now that I have a Winchester HBV with a professional trigger job.

Again, good review. Glad you like it. Spread the word.

January 5, 2003, 10:24 PM
As far as a temporary fix for your length of pull problem, Pachmayr had a prefit secelarator pad that is supposed to be a "no smithing" fit. Stocks for the savage seem hard to come by, I have been told that stocks for Mauser '98s fit, but have been unable to confirm. BTW, is there a svrew under the seer shelf on your trigger? The FPs are supposed to have that, and make adjusting take-up or travel easy, also, the trigger spring can be replased with piano wire. PM me if you wish and I will forward some of the details I have collected. The only other thing I will say about Savage is that IME the copper foul quickly and should be de-coppered regularly.

Good Luck, and Straight Shooting,

January 5, 2003, 11:18 PM
Hey Who stole my rifle?

Lochaber That is the spitting image of my Savage.

I put a drop in Sharpshooter trigger in and it fires like a dream. i actually manage to put two bullets through teh same hole. I routinely put up .75moa groups brom bench.

I also have a BSA scope plus a harris bipod on it.

I really only use South African surplus too. So I wonder what would happen with higher grade stuff.

I actually have the shorter barrel though.

Gary H
January 5, 2003, 11:56 PM
I have a 10FP. It is awaiting a Conquest scope. I ordered the scope two months ago. I guess they don't import the mil-dots with any frequency. Anyway, put in aftermarket trigger purchased at Brownells. Major least for competition. I was going to use the gun for silhouette. Picked up Bell & Carson stock. Seems like an improvement and can be ordered with custom LOP. Anyway, haven't shot the rifle yet, but thought that I would chime in.

January 6, 2003, 12:04 AM
Actually I am kinda curious which of the surplus ammo shoots better. One of my friends was getting nice groups with the Portugese stuff, which he attributed to the fact that they actually issued it for battle rifles as opposed to MG's. I think they use AR-10s. I dont mind paying for good ammo every now and then, and I may start rolling my own, but it would be nice to have some well performing surplus fodder.


January 6, 2003, 12:04 AM
The second problem is that about half the time, the last round in the magazine had a tendency to jump out of the mag lips as soon as the bolt touched it and thus not feed. Replacing the round in the magazine seemed to work every time.

Brings back memories of my first Savage 110 that I bought in 87. Try as I might, I never got the thing fixed and ended up selling the rifle.

Hopefully you can get that annoying bug worked out.

BTW..Good review. Looking foward to see what you can do with it under optimal conditions.

Good Shooting

January 6, 2003, 02:13 AM
I have been using South African for the most part. Like I said, I consitently get sub MOA with the South African stuff when I do my part. I have used Portugese stuff with good results also.

I also used Federal (red box) with the same results as the African stuff. Which is why I switched since I could get the SA stuff for much much cheaper.

Kahr carrier
January 6, 2003, 06:34 AM
.Nice report it was good reading.:D

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