With the fall hunting season well underway, here at Eastmans’ we were looking at some of the trophy shots from this year’s hunts thus far. One of the common themes we’ve noticed from recent hunts is the consistency in performance of the Savage Lightweight Hunter rifle.
It seems like lightweight rifles are a dime a dozen these days. Every manufacturer out there is trying or has made some model of gun that tips the scales in the hunter’s favor. Many of these rifles, however, cost more than a couple of pretty pennies. The market has been left wide open for a rifle that fits the needs of the mountain hunter on a budget. The Savage Lightweight Hunter’s claim to fame is that it only weighs 5.5 lbs. bone dry and retails for only $899.
Frequently, when saving weight is the goal, manufacturers will try to solve the problem by using the lightest weight materials possible such as titanium, carbon fiber and Kevlar. The drawback to using these high-quality superlight materials is obviously the price. Savage took a different approach when designing the Lightweight Hunter.
While using standard materials, Savage removed portions of the rifle wherever they could, while retaining a sturdy, good-looking rifle. The end result is a receiver with slots milled out of it, a fluted bolt, a polymer trigger guard and detachable box magazine, a stock that is partially hollowed out and a fore-end with lightening slots cut out of it. These slots also aid in cooling the barrel. Couple all these refinements with a small outside diameter 20” barrel and you have some pretty impressive weight savings that would be right at home on a diet pill commercial.
The Lightweight Hunter is available in .223 Rem, .243 Win, .260 Rem, .270 Win, .30-06 Springfield, .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×284 Norma and 7mm-08 Rem. The short action (Model 11) version of the Lightweight Hunter is just 5.5 pounds with the long action (Model 111) weighing only ½ pound more.
One of our favorite calibers is the relatively new 6.5 Creedmoor. This cartridge was developed by Hornady in 2007 and made its first appearance in the Hornady catalog in 2008. The 6.5 Creedmoor was designed from the beginning to be a short action cartridge, allowing it to be very flat shooting in a small package with recoil on par with a .243 Win.
The mild recoil of the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges makes it pleasant to shoot from the bench and from all field positions. If ammo grew on trees you could shoot it all day long. Another key feature of this rifle is, like most of the Savage line of rifles, that it is equipped with the AccuTrigger. The AccuTrigger is by no means a secret in the hunting and shooting world, but enough can’t be said about the importance of a quality trigger.
When you combine this lightweight fast-handling rifle with a small powerful round like the 6.5 Creedmoor you turn yourself into a very mobile, very capable stalker of the high, wide-open country out West. The volume of critters that have hit the ground the last couple of years from our crew here at Eastmans’ further backs up this fact. The buck pictured here is just one of the many beautiful trophies that have been harvested with the Lightweight Hunter and we’re not seeing any reason to stray from a good thing. As the old adage goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” For more information go to http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/models/