Reviews

Review: Savage 110 Apex Storm

Savage 110 Detachable Magazine

The Savage 110 bolt-action rifle was innovative when first introduced and remains a modern rifle today.

While the race to produce attractive package guns has resulted in surprisingly good performers, there is room for a middle-of-the-road-priced bolt-action rifle as well. The Savage 110 Apex Storm is among the very best buys, but also a good performer.

Savage 110 Storm Rifle
The Savage 110 Apex Storm is well suited to long-range work, hunting thin-skinned game and recreational use.

Savage 110 Storm Design

The Savage locking lug is sandwiched between the barrel and the action. The 110 action has more leverage and its primary extraction seems better than less expensive products such as the Savage Axis, Remington 783 and Mossberg ATR.

The length of pull of the rifle may be adjusted by a stock insert on the butt pad. While less expensive rifles have a two-position safety—on safe and off safe—the Savage 110 Storm features a three-position safety.

Savage 110 Storm Safety
The author likes the Savage three-position safety.

The additional safety allows the user to load the rifle with the safety on and lock the bolt as well.

The Savage 110 features a Vortex Crossfire II scope. The Vortex scope offers excellent adjustment. I especially like the hash marks on the reticle, allowing easy holdover or hold under at different ranges.

As a factory package rifle, the Savage 110 comes bore-sighted from the factory. This doesn’t mean the rifle is properly sighted in at 100 yards, but then sometimes the package guns arrive at the ranch sighted in for the chosen load.

The Savage 110 was almost perfectly sighted, and a few movements of the turrets—moving the point of impact two inches—and the rifle was perfectly zeroed. The Vortex reticle with its .25 MOA hash marks came in handy.

Storm 110 Action
The proven Savage 110 action is improved and carried on in the Storm version.

Performance and Feel

As for absolute accuracy, the rifle is more than accurate enough for hunting chores well past 200 yards. The rifle features a 24-inch barrel, so accuracy is good and velocity is maximized with standard calibers.

The rifle is light enough and comes to the shoulder quickly while offering excellent hit probability. The action is smooth and the rifle proved feed reliable with a wide range of loads.

Frankly, this is among the most enjoyable rifles I have fired and used in some time.

After some use, I realized that one reason the rifle handles so well is that the wrist of the stock is thicker than some of the package guns, resulting in better grip and a good feel in the shooting position.

The rifle has been a joy to fire and use, partly because I ordered my rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. I was eager to test this cartridge and I have enjoyed it a great deal.

Savage 110 Rifle
The author has used Savage rifles for perhaps forty years. This is among his favorites.

The 6.5 Creedmoor Factor

The 6.5 Creedmoor was originally developed as a long-range rifle cartridge. It is among a number of 6.5mm cartridges, including the wildcat 6.5-08, the .260 Remington and the 6.5 x 55mm Mauser.

The premise was that the 6.5 Creedmoor could be used in short action rifles and buck the wind as well as (or better than) the .308 Winchester. Recoil is less.

I don’t consider the .308 a hard kicker, but if you are firing hundreds of rounds in competition, you may disagree. The 6.5 mm offers velocity and a bullet that is designed to slip through the air with a minimum of resistance.

With a high ballistic coefficient, the 6.5 is a flat shooter and with low recoil, it is an easy cartridge to love.

Hornady 6.5 loads
Hornady offers extensive coverage in 6.5 Creedmoor.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is more efficient with longer bullets than the .260 Remington because it features less body taper and a 30-degree (rather than a 20-degree) shoulder.

At the muzzle, either have very near the same velocity with like bullets, so there is no need to change over if you are primarily a deer hunter. But the 6.5 Creedmoor may handle the longer bullets that long-range shooters appreciate.

If you do not yet own a bolt-action rifle,  then you may as well own the 6.5 Creedmoor. It is a bit more difficult to compare the 6.5 Creedmoor to the .308 Winchester. The .308 hits harder.

Then again, the 6.5 recoils less and with properly designed bullets will take game cleanly.

Savage 110 Rifle
The Savage 110 Apex Storm is well made of good material.

Load Performance

The 6.5 Creedmoor certainly isn’t a Magnum, but it isn’t a low-range performer either. The Hornady 143-grain ELD-X posted 2,700 fps. The Federal Non-Typical 140-grain loads also broke 2700 fps.

The 147-grain loads generated a little less velocity at about 2650 fps. A very interesting loading that I have enjoyed firing is the Hornady 95-grain Varmint Express. Despite a velocity of some 3300 fps, the Varmint Express loading generates light recoil.

Federal Accu-Bond Loads
Federal Cartridge Company offers a number of good loads including one using the Accu-Bond projectile.

Accuracy is good to excellent. This makes the 6.5 Creedmoor an excellent choice for heavier varmints. Sometimes, coyotes are not easy to bring down and this load would be a fine choice. As for accuracy, my rifle isn’t a precision target rifle, but a hunting rifle.

The trigger is good and the optics are good. I expected reasonable accuracy and I have been rewarded with better-than-average results. The best three-shot group I have yet fired is 0.8 inches at a long 100 yards. The majority have been in the 1.2-inch range.

The rifle is clearly accurate enough for any foreseeable chore. I like the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge a great deal. Even more, I like the Savage 110 Storm, a modern improvement on an already great rifle.

On the tail end of the test, I managed to acquire some of the new SIG Sauer Elite 6.5 Creedmoor using an all-copper bullet. This is an interesting loading. Our major makers are producing excellent loads and most are more accurate than I can load.

The new SIG load is no exception. I fired forty in a single outing with good results. Another advantage over the .308—my shoulder wasn’t sore!

SIG Sauer all-copper hunting load
SIG Sauer is a new entry in rifle ammunition with an all-copper hunting load.

What do you think of the Savage 110 Apex Storm? Let us know in the comments below.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. This article mentions “competition.” Savage makes the M110 SA (used to be called the Model10?) with a AI style magazine well. They also offer a 10 rounds Savage mfr magazine. How about a comparison between the AI 10rd and the Savage 10rd magazine performance?

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