Savage LE or Varmint?


April 2, 2003, 03:35 PM
I'm about to purchase a new rifle, which will be primarily used at the range. Our club has 100, 200, and 300 yard ranges, so I've decided to go with a .308 Savage rifle. My decision is based upon experience with the Savage 110FP in .223. It's an excellent law enforcement rifle which had outstanding out-of-the-box accuracy. The 110FP served it's purpose when I had only a 100 yard range available.

I also had, at the same time, a .223 Remington 700 Police. The Savage had a 24" barrel. The Remington had a 26" barrel. The Savage produced regular .50" groups, and the Remington .75" groups. Both had identical Leuopold 6.5-20x40 scopes mounted. The Savage was a lot less expensive and outshot the Remington, albeit by a narrow margin.

I've narrowed down my decision to one of the following Savage models in .308:

10FP-LE2 26" bbl matte finish
12FVSS 26" bbl stainless steel

Both have dual pillar free floating barrels and the new Savage adjustable AccuTrigger. (

If I keep the cost at a resonable level I'll be able to afford the Shepherd scope that I want to mount on it.

Does anyone have any experience with either of those two models, or the Shepherd scope, that they can share with me? I'm really sold on the Savage for both price and performance.



If you enjoyed reading about "Savage LE or Varmint?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
April 3, 2003, 04:08 AM
I have the 12FV in .223, so I can only comment on what I know about that gun specifically.

The accutrigger is actually very cool. Little to no creep, very nice light trigger when adjusted - breaks like glass now. The safety lever is hard to get used to, but once you do it's pretty cool.

The gun is flat out accurate and smooth, very pleasing for a cheap bolt gun. I just gave it a good run through for the first time yesterday and shot several 1" groups at 100 yards, and the wind was gusting ferociously on me, so I'm really really happy with it so far. My only gripe was the synthetic stock was kinda cheap, but small potatoes for a sub-$400 gun.

April 3, 2003, 07:36 AM
Here's my comparison in a nutshell: I've owned both a 10FP and a 12FV as well as a Remington 700 Police in 223. Personally. if I had the money, I'd want the Remington. If I had it to do over again, I'd go for the 700 VS instead of the Police. Same gun, different stock and different twist rate. Unless you're wanting to consistantly shoot to 600 yards or so with 75 Gr bullets, the 1 in 12" turn is fine to stabilize 62 Gr bullets.

The biggest drawback to the Savage is the stock. You could always replace it with either a Bell & Carlson DuraMaxx or a laminated wood stock from Boyds. I'm still not convinced of the Accutrigger. It's a great leap over the standard Savage trigger but compared to a properly tuned Ruger, Remington or Winchester trigger, well I'd rather have a traditional trigger.

Every one of the Savages I've had has shot like a champ. I'm not a good enough shooter to consistantly tell the difference between a .5 MOA and a .75 MOA rifle - I've NEVER shot a .5 MOA group. Some days are better than others but best I can usually do is about 1.5 MOA. I've shot quite a few .75 MOA groups but can't do it regularly enough to make bold claims to rifle accuracy. I will say this, every Savage rifle I've shot in the last 5 years or so has been more accurate than me.

The Shepherd scope seems like an unusual investment unless you can routinely shoot to beyond 300 yards. With a rifle zeroed at 200 yards, it will basically be dead on at 100, 200 and 300 yards. Personally I think your $600 would be much better spent on a higher quality piece of traditional glass. The Weaver Grand Slam 3-10x40 at $250 is a very good value but I won't say anything bad about Leupold VariX II scope or Nikon Monarchs or the Bushnell 4200s. I admit I've never had the chance to shoot a Shephard equiped rifle at various ranges but the optics, while not atrocious, left me far from impressed.

April 3, 2003, 01:08 PM
I just got my 24" heavy barreled 10FP in .308, and added the Choate ultimate sniper stock and a Bushnell 5-15X40 scope on weaver rails with Burris rings. I love this thing!!

I preferred the heavy barrel, for more weight (I'm not lugging this thing around the field, strictly range use) and for less loss of accuracy during range sessions. I have heard that the tapered barrels (like I think the varmint series has) is still accurate for the first few shots, but heats up quicker and starts stringing shots sooner than the heavy barrel does.

April 4, 2003, 03:53 AM
I have heard that the tapered barrels (like I think the varmint series has) is still accurate for the first few shots, but heats up quicker and starts stringing shots sooner than the heavy barrel does.

I had heard that before getting the 12FV, and I've been paying attention to my shots. I haven't experienced any stringing at all. None. Matter of fact, I tore through 50 rounds in pretty short order when I gave it it's first workout and the barrel was smokin hot at the end of it all and I was still grouping nice, round and small groups. Not saying every gun is exactly like mine, but it's a phenomona I haven't experienced.

April 4, 2003, 12:55 PM
ok, well maybe not, but it still looks cooler!!! :)

and does help with felt recoil by adding weight...

April 5, 2003, 08:30 PM
Are you guys saying the barrel on the 10FP has a larger muzzle diameter than the 12FV or more of a taper?

Mine looked exactly the same. Different available lengths, but the same about .82" muzzle diameter.

April 8, 2003, 11:32 AM
upon actually looking at the 2 models I think the only difference is barrel length....

I thought the varmit series was tapered, but that was the scout ones I was thinking of.....



April 8, 2003, 07:51 PM
was at 2 shops today looking at another Savage, this time a 12FV .223, which i might pick up tomorrow :).
the thing that i noticed between the 12FV and a 10FP, besides barrel length, is that the 10FP's finish is a matte black and the 12FV is a blued finish.

April 8, 2003, 11:24 PM
I have a 12fv .223, blue, bull barrel and it is dead accurate. I have added a rifle basix trigger and a B&C Duramaxx stock. The smallest 5 shot group to date is .210 handloads at 100 yds. I also have a Tasco 8x32x44 scope. I wouldn't trade it for anything else, well maybe a Nesika Bay, Maybe!! LOL

April 10, 2003, 12:23 AM
when i looked this same choice over (though back during the "long action only" days) i bought the 110FP in .223 (which will shoot out to 300 easy with the heavier bulets). i liked the matte finish, weight, stock better. and the extra swivel stud DID come in handy for me ( i did a little "gopher control" for some friends who had cattle, adn liked having the option to put a bi-pod on without having to mess with my sling attatchment).

personally i'd go with the FP again. and in fact WILL be doing so again soon. i had to sell my first Savage back in Nov (medical bills) and now am jonesing for a "reach out and paperpunch" rifle again, and the accu-trigger and .308 and .223 (the rounds i am thinking about) being on a short action REALLY get me thinking hard about it.

If you enjoyed reading about "Savage LE or Varmint?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!