Savage Axis II Review

Savage Axis II XP

Savage Axis II Hardwood

Axis II Hardwood

I bought my firstĀ Savage Axis about a decade ago. Since then, they came out with the Savage Axis II, a version of the Axis that comes with the much better Accutrigger and a better scope on their package rifles. The Axis continues to be a combination of design-for-manufacturing speed as well as best use of materials for price. In doing so, it really follows in the footsteps of the Savage Model 110: also designed as an inexpensive but accurate bolt action rifle that remains the hallmark of Savage. In the US, the Axis II goes for around $300-$450, depending on the model.

Savage Axis II Video Review

Savage Axis II Models

  • Right hand or left handed models
  • Compact Youth models (shorter barrel plus shorter length of pull on the stock)
  • Blued or stainless finishes
  • Synthetic, synthetic camo, synthetic “muddy girl” camo, or wood stocks
  • Suppressor ready models with threaded muzzles
  • Regular or heavy barrel

In my original review, one of the downsides to the platform was that aftermarket accessories weren’t readily available. Accessories for the Savage Axis still aren’t at the level of the Remington 700, but they’re getting better.

Is the Accutrigger worth it?

With the Savage Axis II coming in about $50-$100 more than the Axis I, is it worth the upgrade? Well, the cost to add in a Rifle Basix SAV-1 aftermarket trigger is about $100, so the cost is about right. The Accutrigger on the Axis II is easily adjustable, crisp, and mine was about 2 lbs lighter from the factory compared with an Axis I trigger. Of course, you could always perform a trigger job on your Axis I, but that’ll void the warranty.

  • Axis I: 6.6 lbs factory trigger pull
  • Axis II: 4.2 lbs factory trigger pull

Is the Scope worth it?

In my opinion, the Kaspa scope included in the Axis II is at the bottom end of acceptable for a hunting rifle scope. It’s considerably better than the model-less scopes packaged with rifles like the Remington 770, but it doesn’t measure up to scopes in the $200-$300 range either. If it’s going to be a back-up or loaner rifle, it’d be fine but if you’re looking at using it as your main hunting rifle, I’d strongly recommend upgrading the scope. Older models may include a Bushnell scope.

Features

The Savage Axis II features

  • Adjustable Accutrigger
  • Pillar bedded stock
  • Large tang safety

Accuracy

The barrel nut, floating bolt head, and Accutrigger combination used on Savage rifles is such an excellent compromise of cost and accuracy that many other rifle manufacturers are starting to come around to it. You now see that combination used by Remington with their 783, Mossberg with the Patriot, and others.

Downsides to the Savage Axis

  • Personally, I think the stock is ugly
  • The bolt release still involves pulling the trigger and the release at the same time which is a bit of a pain in the butt. Most other manufacturers use a simpler bolt release.

Summary

Although it’s remained unchanged for a few years, the Savage Axis II is still really competitive in the bargain hunting rifle segment. The price is low, the gun is accurate and I still think that it combines the right amount of cost cutting measures with places they didn’t cut corners. So after all these years, with dozens of newly designed guns in between, I still really love the Axis platform for a low-cost hunting rifle.

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