The Hunter is equipped with a free-floated Savage hexagonal M-Lok handguard, with a full-length Picatinny rail up top. There are a total of 49 M-Lok attachment points, allowing you to accessorize to your heart’s content and turn this lightweight AR into an anchor, should that be your preference.
To extend the life of the bolt, Savage used high pressure-tested E9310 steel, a superior alloy of the type used in transmission gears of Formula 1 racing cars. It typically increases wear and abrasion resistance and passes the most rigid magnetic particle inspections. The gun uses M4-style feed ramps, and is equipped with dual ejectors for reliability. It has a mid-length gas system with an adjustable gas block for fine tuning performance to specific loads. Equipped with a proprietary Savage muzzle brake, the rifle’s muzzle is threaded 5/8-24, so you can attach muzzle devices or suppressors of your choice.
The Hunter is equipped with a nickel-boron treated Blackhawk AR Blaze trigger. It’s supposed to be an improvement over mil-spec triggers, and it is—up to a point. I measured the pull weight of the trigger in the production rifle at a heavy-but-consistent 6 pounds, 4 ounces, which is about three pounds heavier than I prefer for a hunting rifle. However, ARs that ship from the factory with high-end triggers tend to come with a corresponding bump in price, but the Hunter is priced for the masses with an MSRP of $1,481.
Happily, the Hunter experienced zero mechanical malfunctions of any kind in testing or during my hunt. A variety of factory ammo fed, fired, extracted and ejected without a single issue. Controls are in the standard locations and configuration, and worked as they should.
The Savage brand is synonymous with out-of-the-box accuracy with bolt-action rifles and accuracy testing the MSR 10 Hunter produced some equally stellar results, despite the less-than-perfect trigger. To put the rifle through its paces, I mounted a Bushnell Trophy Xtreme X30 2.5-10X scope in a 30 mm Weaver SPR tactical mount, which positions scopes at an optimal height and forward cantilever for AR-platform rifles.
All five tested factory rounds produced average groups measuring an inch and a half or smaller, at 100 yards, which is perfectly acceptable for the vast majority of hunting situations this rifle might be used for. Two of the rounds produced one-inch average groups, and three loads put bullets into sub-MOA best groups. The single-best group, measuring 0.69 inch, was turned in by Hornady’s Precision Hunter Black 168-grain A-MAX load. With a change to a lighter, upgraded trigger, I’m convinced that I could shoot even tighter groups with this rifle.
The Savage MSR 10 comes with a 20-round Magpul P-Mag magazine and a one-year limited warranty. For more information, contact Savage Arms Co., Dept OT: Tel.: (800) 370-0708; Web: www.savagearms.com
Savage MSR10 Hunter 308 Win.
LOAD AVG. MUZZLE AVG. 100-YARD BEST 100-YARD VELOCITY (FPS) GROUP (INCHES) GROUP (INCHES)
Federal Fusion MSR 2809 1.39 1.22
Federal Premium Gold 2495 1.31 0.71
Medal Match 168-gr. BTHP
Hornady Precision Hunter 2549 1.01 0.69
Black 168-gr, A-MAX
Hornady Precision Hunter 2469 0.99 0.83
Winchester Match 2624 1.56 1.27
168-gr. Matchking BTHP
Note: Velocities measured with Competitive Edge Dynamics M2 chronograph. All groups fired in wind 8-14 mph at 100 yards.