A compact and quick-handling rifle—designed for short-to-medium range, quick and accurate shots on running hogs or whitetail deer—needs an optic that’s up for the same task, and the 1-6x, battery-free illuminated Trijicon Accupoint was a solid match. The Wolverine ships with a pre-installed 0-MOA Picatinny optics base.

As mentioned earlier, since the .450 Bushmaster can be considered an effective short- to medium-range cartridge, so for testing we mounted what we consider a fast and effective short- to medium-range riflescope—the Trijicon 1-6×24 AccuPoint—in a pair of all-steel, medium-height Badger Ordnance 30mm rings.

The Savage Wolverine ranks as the softest-shooting .450 Bushmaster-chambered rifle we’ve tested to date, thanks largely to its muzzle brake. The actioned cycled rounds smoothly and without fail throughout testing.

Other than reliability testing at 25 to 100-yards on steel plates—which, as expected, was completely uneventful—all accuracy testing was conducted form the bench at 100 yards. Accuracy testing was conducted with three different loads; Hornady’s 250-gr. FTX BLACK (2,200 f.p.s./ 2,686 ft. lbs. at the muzzle), Remington’s 260-gr. Premier AccuTip (2,180 f.p.s./ 2,744 ft. lbs. at the muzzle), and the Inceptor brand loaded with the innovative and lightweight 158-gr injection-molded, polymer/copper ARX bullet (2,620 f.p.s./ 2,409 ft. lbs. at the muzzle).

As we’ve come to expect with Savage rifles in general, downrange precision is nothing short of outstanding. Taking the tightest three-shot-group award, Hornady’s Black load printed an impressive 0.79-inch spread.

The two best groups, conveniently printed on a single target (something that’s never happened to us before), can be seen here, along with the three different loads we tested the rifle with. Both sub-MOA, Hornady’s Black ammo took top honors, and the fast-moving Inceptor Preferred Hunting load—with its lightweight 158-gr injection-molded, polymer/copper ARX bullet—took a close second.

Not far behind, the fast-moving Inceptor load drilled another sub-MOA group, this time measuring 0.96-inches. Again, not far behind that, the wild-looking Remington AccuTip’s punched a 1.15-inch group.

As good as this is, we’re confident even better precision could be had with a higher-magnification scope, with an adjustable parallax. Perceived recoil was much less than we expected—due in all likelihood to the very effective Savage muzzle brake—making the extended bench session actually enjoyable instead of painful.

For the critters I hunt here in New Hampshire, at the relatively short ranges we typically encounter because of all the friggin’ trees, I would not be disappointed if the Savage Wolverine was the only rifle I could own. See it at your gun shop, or for more information contact Savage Arms; Tel.: (800) 370-0708; Web: www.savagearms.com

For New Hampshire brush hunting, we can’t think of too many better choices than the new .450 Bushmaster Wolverine. Compact, quick handling, extremely rugged, extremely accurate and with a bulldozer chambering, it handily checks all the important boxes.

SECIFICATIONS:

Weight: 7.9-lbs.
Overall Length: 37.5 to 38.5-inches
Barrel Length: 18-inches
Sights: Picatinny Optic Rail
Finish: Matte Black
Capacity: 6
Retail Price: $899