As per my last essay, if you intend to actually shoot something, it is incumbent upon you to select a target that resembles what you intend to shoot. Wild hogs, coyotes, and that-which-can-never-be-identified do not exactly go around with bulls-eye's painted over their vital organs, now do they?
Anyways, I have this handy light rifle, a Savage 110e chambered in .223. The .223 is an "intermediate" rifle round. It has more energy than a typical handgun round, but a lot less than a full power rifle round (such as a .308). On the plus side, you have very little recoil, good accuracy out to a few hundred yards, and the ammunition does not cost much (target loads can be had for about 35 cents a round).
Yes, I know the cheek pad looks like shit. I had to work it around the sling attachment. It works great the way it is with this scope setup. Go ahead and sue me.
It shoots great with this ammunition: Black hills 55 grain.
Like many precision rifles, it is "tuned" for specific bullet types. This thing is a "tack driver" with the right ammo, but is an epic fail with others. My Rem. 700 is the same way: Shoots great with 168 grain "boat-tails", but with other bullet types I don't even hit the paper. This may be worked around with a (big) scope adjustment, but I figure its just better to just feed it what it wants.
I bought this rifle used a few years ago for around $250.00. I'm not sure of the exact vintage, but it was probably manufactured in the 1990's. It comes with iron sights, which is unusual for a hunting rifle:
I went ahead and scoped it, anyway. This was strictly a budget build, so I went with a Weaver scope. Weaver's are not the best scopes, in my opinion, but they do have really good dollar value. This scope has 3 to 9 times magnification, is fully adjustable, and runs around $100.
So, total build on this rifle:
- Used rifle: $250.00.
- Weaver 3x9 scope: $100.
- Picatinny scope rail: ~$20.
- Scope rings: ~$15.
- Nylon sling: ~$15.
- Cheek pad: ~$15.
- Total build: ~$415.00 (approx.)
Not bad for what is essentially a mid-shelf hunting / target rifle.
On to the shoot...
50 yards (~45 meters).
I started out with this Deer target. I got these off Amazon, and 5 types of game are indicated. Check it out, here. While not my preferential "splatter targets", these are good targets. I would buy them again.
Consider this deer target. This target is approximately 1/3 to 1/2 to scale so would have been equivalent to 100-150 meters.
I fired 3 rounds of the Black Hills each at the head and heart area:
These 3 head shots are in a 1/2 inch group (I measured them). At 50 yards, that is 1 MOA (google that).
While leaning to the left, the below 3 heart shots are probably sub-MOA (again, Google that). Consider that these slugs are less than 1/4 inch wide, and the 3 bullet holes overlap!
I moved on to a hog target:
And, here are the results of that. 3 shot groups to the head and heart areas:
3 head shots below.
3 heart shots below:
Again, this target is less than life-size, so the equivalent distance would have been more like 100 yards.
Conclusion. These are definitely recommended. With the right ammo, it is a consistent accurate shooter. When going used, YMMV, so unless you know what you are doing, you may not want to go the used route.
Savage's model line-up has changed somewhat in the past ~20 years. One current semi-equivalent would be this. Note that this is a complete build, including a Nikon scope (which is probably a better scope than my Weaver). It also has a wood stock, which has its ups and downs (definitely better looking than my composite stock).
The newer version also has a detachable magazine, which I would find advantageous. My version is a top loader, and with the picatinny rail screwed down over the bolt opening, loading cartridges can be a bit of a hassle.
Savage Arms website.