Savage firearms has a history like most iconic American firearms manufacturers. Unique inventions, wide production, service in the world wars, collectible classics (the model 99) and an unwavering service to firearms enthusiasts. However much of the last decade, Savage has been about innovation.
With the introduction of the Accutrigger in 2003, Savage marked a renewed interest in pushing current firearm design in a new, cost competitive direction. Building on the success of the Accutrigger, Savage has released a new stock design, the Accustock, that will again improve the factory accuracy of the model 110 and derived models.
In order to take a look at the new Accustock, we decided to review the Weather Warrior series of Savage rifles. The Weather Warrior series is a collection of variously configured synthetic stock and stainless barrel/action rifles. First off, the model is designated as either a "16" (short action) or a "116" (long action) which is loosely related to the original model 10 (short action) or model 110 (long action). Then Savage breaks the 16/116 into a somewhat intractable alphabet soup of varied configurations. For this review we will be looking closer at the 116FHSAK in 7mm Rem Mag. The following are all the Weather Warrior rifle models at the time of writing.
FSS - Basic non-accustock old style synthetic stock, blind magazine.
FHSS - Accustock equipped with hinge floor plate.
FCSS - Accustock equipped with detachable box mag.
FHSAK - Accustock equipped with hinge floor plate and adjustable muzzle brake.
Hinge floor plate open.
The hinge floor plate with the new accustock bolt in front of the floor plate.
Notice that the floor plate releases from the front rather than the back of the action.
All models of the Weather Warrior come with an Accutrigger and are also available in a left handed model. Left handed models have an "L" in the model designator, so for example, a FLSS would be the basic model with a left handed action.
The Weather Warrior is available in a variety of cartridges. Short action models are available in 243 Win, 308 Win, 270 WSM, and 300 WSM. Long action models are available in 270 Win, 30-06 Sprinfield, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, and 338 Win Mag. Magnum cartridges have a 24" barrel while non-magnums have a 22" barrel. The short action series weigh in at six and half pounds for the short barrel moving up to seven and a quarter pounds for the long barrel, long action variation.
Our test model comes with the new Accustock. Savage has made a few changes to the standard action, so new actions are not compatible with old stocks and vice-versa. The action changes include an additional third action locking screw and a change to the bolt release design.
The new action looks sleeker with the removal of the old bolt release.
Bottom and side view of the redesigned bolt release.
At its heart the Accustock is an aluminum pillar block that is molded into the stock, then screwed into the action. However this pillar block is a bit different than designs you may have seen before. First the pillar block is not just a flat piece of aluminum, rather it has sides that reach up the side walls of the action well and when cinched down, flex and grip the receiver. This gives what Savage calls a three dimensional bedding to the action. Furthermore the aluminum backbone reaches all the way up to the front swivel stud, giving the stock an unusually long bedding block.
The additional screw in the Accustock model, does not simply screw into the action as an additional anchor point. Rather this new screw attaches to a wedge shaped bolt that grabs and binds a redesigned recoil lug to the stock. Savage has used high speed photography to demonstrate that this new wedge bolt prevents rearward action movement in the stock, thus improving accuracy. Ideally this lateral and vertical flex under fire, is what traditional glass bedding (or using a competing aluminum pillar block design) techniques are trying to prevent. It's worth noting that the new recoil lug and smooth barrel nut are redesigned and are not compatible with older style 110 actions.
New third mounting screw that secures the wedge bolt.
Full length view of the aluminum spine of the new Accustock.
Top (above) and side view (below) of the recoil lug which is gripped by the blue
colored wedge bolt. The recoil lug slips around the action and barrel.
Close-up view of the rear action screw hole. Notice that the aluminum spine (red) is molded into the stock.
The aluminum spine extends all the way to the front swivel stud, which also acts to secure the stock and spine.
The redesign of the stock and the long aluminum spine, by definition makes the stock a free floating barrel design. From the recoil lug forward to the muzzle the barrel is visibly wrapped in air. It is sometimes hard to tell whether a factory gun is truly free floated without sliding a dollar bill along the gap between the stock and barrel. Not so with the Accustock, it easy to see that the barrel is free floated; no paper money required.
The Weather Warrior is equipped with Savage's new Personal Antirecoil Device (P.A.D.) recoil pad. Savage claims the new pad will reduce felt recoil by 45% from standard hard rubber OEM recoil pads. The new recoil pad itself is soft, supple, and spongy and has a touch and feel like other premium aftermarket recoil pads. Under fire, the pad actually expands across your shoulder and absorbs more of the shock of recoil, making it more of a pleasure to shoot.
The Weather Warrior, along with all new Accustock models has a redesigned bolt release. The release button is now below the action and in front of the trigger guard. By depressing the button and holding down the trigger, the bolt is released and inserted. Functionally this is a marginal improvement over the two finger, two hand "kung-fu" necessary to remove/insert the bolt of an old style action. However, the new design looks slicker and improves the aesthetics of the rifle.
The Savage bolt is virtually the same as the old style bolt.
Our review model is also equipped with an adjustable muzzle brake. Muzzle brakes are a great way to reduce the recoil of heavier hitting cartridges. However the down side is that they substantially increase muzzle blast. Savage's factory brake can be turned on and off, simply grab and turn the brake's outer shell to turn it on and off. So if you're running through a long bench session of shooting and have good hearing protection you can turn on the brake and enjoy reduced recoil. When hunting afield simply rotate the brake to turn it off and reduce the ear piercing muzzle blast.
Muzzle brake in the on (above) and off (below) position.
Savage claims their new Accustock is "far superior to glass bedding." Having reviewed, shot, and owned a variety of wood stock glass bedded rifles, I find this claim to be a bit over enthusiastic. However there is no question that the Accustock improves accuracy. A few months ago, the American Rifleman ran an excellent article that noted the Accustock reduced group size by a little over a half an inch. You can find a link to the full article below. Furthermore, Savage has delivered this new stock at a marginal price increase. A considerable improvement for a slight price increase.
True Savage purists that like to re-barrel their guns, may also be disappointed with the new smooth barrel locknut. The smooth nut will require at the minimum a strap wrench to remove and if that doesn't work you will probably have to use a pipe wrench and destroy or severely mar the nut in the process. However for the majority that don't re-barrel their rifles, the smooth barrel locknut makes for a sleek looking rifle.
The new recoil pad does reduce recoil and is a pleasure to shoot; however keep in mind that like other aftermarket recoil pads the material is relatively soft. Because of this softness it is going to wear out quicker and won't handle bumps and crashes as well as old style rubber pads. Don't be surprised if you're replacing the pad after a few years of hard use.
The new Weather Warrior offers an attractive package for the foul weather hunter. The stainless steel and synthetic stock handle dampness better than a comparable wood stock, blued gun. Plus the new Accustock removes some of the downsides of a traditional plastic stock that flexes under recoil.
For more information about the Savage Accustock Weather Warrior visit: