The Savage Axis

The Sub-300 dollar Savage Axis has been impressing me more and more.  In just about every caliber, the reports have been overwhelmingly positive.  The only hesitation or complaints have been in the trigger.  It’s not a bad trigger by any means… it’s just not a good trigger by any means either.

Timney has fixed that.

Available in all the classic calibers, and 7mm-08.  I think in the .223, .243, and .308, are the more appealing of choices to me.  Quite honestly, this makes the cheap little Axis a very interesting rifle.  Very interesting indeed.  For a knock-around working gun, this just might be an absolute ideal platform.

Now, what scope would go good on this one?  Normally, I’d personally start out with a Nikon Monarch.  However, I want to keep this package as “affordable” as possible.  Say, something in the 200 dollar range, or even a bit less.  Nikon’s new ProStaff’s are pretty good.  But I’d also take good hard look at the Vortex Diamondback BDC scopes.  Something in a 4-12 would do quite well on this.

Let’s see… this rifle, with the Timney upgrade, and a Vortex Diamondback… You are looking at about 600 dollars total.  I think this would make for a great lightweight knockabout package.  Yes, very interesting indeed.

Edit:  The Howa 1500 Scoped Rifle Combo that usually retails for about 499 is a good deal on a good rifle.  The comparison to the Axis becomes a natural  one.  Which would be more accurate is a good question, which I can not answer. Both have proved to have very good accuracy.  So I’ll judge that to be Sixes.  The Howa package however is considerably heavier and it lacks a detachable box magazine, a feature that I favor when I have the option.  Considering that with this Timney upgrade, the Savage Axis then has the better trigger, lighter weight, detachable mag… I think the Axis is the choice to make.

6 thoughts on “The Savage Axis”

  1. George, if you are making an inexpensive bolt action hunter in .308…
    Would you choose the Axis over the Stevens 200?
    I am a Savage lover from way back, with the support of the older Savage 10/110 and Stevens 200… it is one of my favorite rifles.
    As an aside, I already have the vise blocks and barrel nut wrench for the older rifles.
    I have not looked into the Axis/Edge.


    1. I’d avoid the Stevens 200 if there’s a potential for cold/wet weather (see below). The trigger is a bit creepy and not adjustable, so you’re in for a replacement if you want a good trigger.

      Both the safety and the bolt froze up on mine last year. Granted, it was the worst the Pennsylvania deer woods have to offer…rain changing to sleet then snow, with falling temperatures. Then a couple days of snow-covered trees dumping snow onto the rifle. Before you blame the operator…I took the usual precautions, same as everyone else in camp. Their Brownings (X-bolts) and Winchesters (Model 70s) didn’t freeze up…and I’m confident MY Winchester (which I didn’t bring that year) wouldn’t have either, as it’s experienced the same conditions without trouble plenty of times in the past, and with less care & maintenance.

  2. On my Savage .300 WM, which is the old school pre accutrigger model, I have smoothed up and adjusted the trigger lighter.
    The same trigger as in the Stevens 200.
    Easy process.
    As to the safety… I have no input, other than I love the positioning and use of it.
    This winter will be my first trip into the PA deer woods, I am debating on the .300 or the .45-70.
    The thumping lever gun will more than likely get the nod however.


    1. The problem with the Stevens safety is the slider is too flat and the transverse ridges are too shallow to provide much friction for operation with gloves…and the ridges fill with ice quickly. Moreover, there’s a pretty big gap in front of the slider, leading down to the channel in which it slides. This fills with ice/snow too. If the piece on top, that you engage with your thumb, were wider/taller/more deeply ridged, part of the problem would go away. An execution problem with the Stevens…not a conceptual problem with tang safeties…which I much prefer to any other except arguably the Winchester M70 style.

      Good luck out there. You hunting up north? We go to Potter County. Not alot of deer up there anymore, but more & bigger bucks now.

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