The newly released Savage Arms BA10 “Stealth” is anything but stealthy! This rifle shows up “in your face” ready to put bullets in little groups up close, or where the real test is … way out there! Lets start at about “half way” to way out there. This AICS compatible box magazine-fed turn-bolt is accurate! While many may claim half-minute accuracy, this stick actually is that precise, and it can do it right out of the box!
Now I would love to take credit for those groups, but knowing my longer range skill set was less than what I expected the rifle could shoot, I enlisted the help of my shooting buddy Bill. As an F-Class competitor, he knows his way around long range shooting. It took a few shots to get him settled in behind this rather lightweight (9.2 pounds) long range bullet placement tool, but settle in he did. Yes, I included ALL 5 groups! We got to take the good with the bad, but I would ask you to really look at those groups…this rifle wants to shoot 1/2 MOA or better! Thanks Bill!
This was Bill’s set up. I wonder if Defender Outdoors has front and rear bags…I NEED SOME! [Editor’s Note: We sure do, Pat. You’ll find some great shooting rests here!]
The muzzle is threaded 5/8″ x 24tpi and finished with an 11* Target Crown and thread protector: a handy addition to accommodate a suppressor or muzzle brake. With the Savage carrying a MSRP of $1207 I thought it would be a good idea to marry this rifle up with a comparable scope. I chose one that, like the Stealth itself, has value well beyond its modest price: the Burris XTRII 5×25. I tell people, “Don’t buy cheap scopes!” Buy good glass and then put them in the best mounts. You will break a scope someday, but a good mount will last though several scopes! The scope base is part of the Savage BA10 package and is made by the good guys at EGW, and the scope rings I supplied are 34mm units from Xtreme Hardcore Gear. On right stays tight…use a proper inch pound torque wrench!
This bolt gun’s “chassis system” is made by MTD and is a solid, well made unit. I popped the barreled action out of the stock before the first rounds went downrange and looked it over. It is very nice and beautifully machined. I mentioned using a inch pound torque wrench for scope mounting, well it is a good practice to use one when installing the barreled action back into the chassis, I did @ 60 inch pounds. Above are the 3 magazines I tested for this article…all worked perfectly. The tall one on the left came with the gun as is an MDT 10-rounder. The other two are 5-round mags from MagPul, and are AICS compatible.
I could not just watch my friend Bill shoot so after he completed his session with the Hornady factory ammunition @ 450 yards I tried my hand @ 300 yards with some Federal American Eagle 140 grain OTM (Open Top Match). Even with me behind the incredibly nice 22 ounce Savage AccuTrigger, sub-minute of angle groups were the norm. Norm…that is not normal! Sub-MOA groups from a factory fresh rifle without any tuning or tweaking or even barrel break-in with off the shelf factory ammo! I think I am going to like this long range game! Thanks Savage!Savage has really put their AccuTrigger front and center as a high quality unit and this one did not disappoint! It broke clean and crisp at a factory-set 22 ounces! In keeping with the “practical/tactical” nature of this bolt gun you’ll find an appropriately over sized bolt handle, a comfortable Hogue pistol grip from which to trip that excellent trigger and quick access to the magazine release latch. The excellent egos on this rifle were certainly not an accident.
So as to not leave anything out, Savage literature states: Factory Blue Printed Savage Action, Monolithic Aluminum Chassis Machined from Solid Billet, M-LOK forend, One-Piece EGW Scope Rail, Fab Defense GLR-SHOCK Six-Position Buttstock with Adjustable Cheek Piece, 5/8×24 Threaded Muzzle with Protector.
We covered most of this, but let me point out a nit-pick or two…you knew I would have at least one. The EGW scope rail appears to be a “flat” rail, not a 20 or 30 MOA rail that is common in long range circles. If you have enough elevation adjustment within your optic of choice you might be ok, but give me a 20 MOA base any day. Then there’s the buttstock…I don’t like it. It is ok for an AR but this one lacks two elements that I want (need): first, the cheek rest sits too far back to get a proper eye relief, and second, for use with a rear bag the bottom of the buttstock ought to be flat. Small nits to pick, but both are easily remedied.
The BA10 Stealth has proven itself to be accurate and reliable with a trigger that has me wishing every rifle I own were so equipped! It does this “right out of the box” and it does it within the wallet of a “working man.” Ultimately, Savage Arms has assembled an excellent long range tool that in capable hands shouldn’t have any problem running right along side guns with price tags several times the Stealth’s street price. Stealthy?…not a chance. This one screams “I am a winner!”