It’s a bit unusual to be reviewing a rifle intended for LEO/Military audiences on a hunting website, but a LEO buddy of mine picked up this Savage and I had to try it, take pictures, and review. There are very few of these out there in the wild, and I thought that some more pics and review info would be good. So far, the reviews I’ve seen have lacked comprehensive accuracy testing, which is a shame because it should be a hallmark for a rifle like this. Why else bother with such a heavy bolt action rifle? **EDIT October 2014: This rifle is now available to non-LEO audiences aka: everybody!**
**Edit 2: December 2014: this rifle is starting to show up in the US as the 10fcp-sr 5R**
What is the Savage 10 TR?
The Savage 10-TR is a heavy barrel, precision rifle intended for Law Enforcement and Military audiences. SWAT snipers, that kind of thing. Keep in mind, its price is what makes it intended for LEO/Mil; civilians are pushed more towards the other model 10s (10FP, 10FCP, etc.) At $599 from Frontier Firearms, it looks geared to take market share away from the $1000-$1200 Remington 700P 5R, another heavy barrel, bolt action rifle intended for the LEO market. Readers, please take note that nothing on this rifle restricts or prohibits civilian ownership, it’s just marketed and sold to LEO/Mil employees. Samples of these rifles may turn up in the civilian market.
Savage Model 10-TR LEO Specifications
- This rifle is chambered in 308 Winchester
- 24″ heavy barrel with 1/10 twist with 5R rifling
- Threaded muzzle for brake or suppressor: 5/8-24TPI
- 2.5lb adjustable Accutrigger (mine broke at 3 lbs, close enough?)
- Savage Accustock
- Detach box mag with 4 round capacity
- Enormous tactical bolt handle
- 8 lbs?
First Impressions of the Savage 10 TR in 308
The first thing you’ll probably think picking up this rifle, “What a beast!” While it doesn’t have the length and size of receiver on something like the Savage 111 LRH in 338 Lapua, the barrel is very heavy weight and it gives the rifle a lot of rigidity and meat. The rifle itself clocks in at 9lbs 2 oz (with mag and scope base, no scope). The bolt handle also looks like it was pulled from an anti-tank rifle, and it juts out from the side of the rifle.
Savage 10TR Accuracy
Factory ammo gave me some pretty bad flyers but with reloads, things are tightening up. These groups are with 168 grain SMK’s, and I’m now trying out 175 grain Berger Hunting VLD’s with CFE223 powder.
Usability on the 10-TR is good, even slightly better than standard Savage rifles due to the improved bolt release location (you still have to pull the trigger and bolt release to get the bolt out though). The 3 position safety is located conveniently on the tang, and the magazine release is in a well forward of the mag. That makes 1 handed mag changes easy because mags pop into your waiting hand as you depress the release with your index finger. I really like this system and think Savage went the wrong way with the new Axis style magazine system that is creeping up into other rifle models.
Operating the bolt handle takes some adjusting if you’re used to hunting rifles. It’s too big and gets too close to low mounted scopes to grasp in your hand like a typical bolt, so you may need to operate it using an open hand: slapping it back and forth. I know that sounds crude, but it’s just as fast as grasping the handle and considering how solid the rifle is, it doesn’t move the rifle much. It’s also more sure and offers more leverage than if your hand is closed on the end of the bolt handle. If you have a thin rifle case, you may need to remove the bolt from the rifle to transport it, as the bolt handle sticks out the side pretty far.
The Accustock is a practical, inexpensive stock for a rifle like this. It’s not quite as nice as an aftermarket stock, but it’s a lot better than the typical inexpensive synthetic stocks. With aluminum bedding blocks and an aluminum frame, it offers much more rigidity than other stocks at this price point. Savage also offers the model 10 in variations with stocks from HS Precision and the like. Or, sell the stock for $100 and get an MDT HS3 aluminum chassis. The factory Accustock does allow for a bit of flex near the end, which could potentially touch the barrel if you were to really torque down on a bipod or push the rifle down onto a barrier. The 2 sling studs up front enable use of a bipod and sling.
The included 0 MOA, 1 piece picatiny rail offers good optics mounting options, but short scopes may need to be mounted high to get the objective end of the scope to clear the base. Longer scopes will sit lower on the rail and make for a better cheek weld with the factory non-adjustable stock. Some people on the internet have found that their scope base/screw holes hasn’t been degreased and were loose (including mine!), while others have found the opposite case with screws that just wouldn’t come out without significant force. Check yours before mounting a scope.
Since the muzzle is threaded for 5/8-24TPI, you can choose to mount a suppressor (if you can own them), flash hider, or muzzle brake. My LEO friend is looking at this small linear compensator from local Canadian company S&J Hardware to keep length and concussion down.
Within Canada, a great source of information on these rifles is CanadianGunNutz. There’s a decent thread on these rifles here.
The most important thing to consider about this rifle is that it’s essentially making a new market: reasonably priced police/military sniper rifles. It’s half the price of the competing Remington 700P, which is an important consideration for budget-crunched SWAT units and other groups that need a rifle like this.