Is Accuracy Getting Cheaper?

April 17, 2012 2 min read

Savage, who a couple decades ago was not a major player in the firearms field, was an old and recognizable brand. In the 60's, 70's and 80's, however, it was known for lower priced firearms. I owned a CIL 830 .222 Rem bolt which was manufactured for Canadian Industries Limited by Savage (the Savage model designation was 340). I bought it from the wholesaler (we had a general store) for about $130.00 in about 1968. I shot CIL Dominion .222Rem 50 gr. P.S.P., the only ammo I could buy wholesale. The Savage action required a Weaver side mount and I bought a Bushnell 3x-9x Banner rifle scope. I had a bench I built inside a shed and shot out into the field. I worked hard to shoot a 1 3/4" 3 shot group.

Enough reminiscing. Fast forward to today. Savage Axis 223Rem bolt action with a clip and 3x-9x Bushnell scope for the low price of $349.00. Out to the range and most shooters are reporting 7/8 - 1 1/2:" groups with factory ammo. The Savage Axis is about 1/2 the price of my original varmint outfit if you adjust 1968 dollars to 2012.

One thing both Savages had in common were a little too heavy trigger pull. I believe the old Bushnell Banner (Japanese optics) was a better scope than the Bushnell supplied with the current combo. The stock height and the bedding helps make the Savage Axis an easier rifle to shoot well.

We've sold over 150 Savage Axis and certainly have over 99% satisfaction. I tell everyone the price is not indicative of the quality. What you receive is definitely more than what you paid for. The only real criticism I can level at the Savage Axis is it should be made only in light calibers up to 243Win or 25/06. I feel the 270, 308, etc. are a little heavy for this chassis and the individual shooting it.

In heavier calibers, let's look at the new Weatherby S2 synthetic stock Vanguard. This firearm comes with a M.O.A. guarantee in all calibers for the low price of $550. Also available in 240Wthby, 257Wthby and 300Wthby. Go back 30 years and try to buy a rifle in 300Wthby Mag with a great trigger, a high Magnum stock and an accurized barrel. It would be the price of a used Chevy car.

The Browning Xbolt in the most popular calibers with a good clip system, synthetic or walnut stock, short throw bolt is an accurate, light weight rifle starting at ~ $700.00. Try to buy that combination even in early 1970's dollars for $700.00.

Hornady has added pressure to other ammunition manufacturers with an expanded line of higher quality ammunition at standard ammunition prices.  Hornady Superformance varmint ammo in 222Rem or 223Rem with V Max bullets priced in the $20.00 range is a good example.

The bottom line is an ammunition company such as Hornady and a firearms manufacturer, such as Savage, is forcing the industry to increase its quality and hold or reduce the price of the goods it produces.

I don't see a problem with that.

 

Wayne Goble
Wayne Goble


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in When the Smoke Clears

The Russian Invasion of 1966
The Russian Invasion of 1966

July 14, 2020 5 min read

In 1956 a gentleman named Rudolph Koppe, who had immigrated from Germany, took on a couple new firearm lines: Baikal & Vostok Firearms from Russia. These firearms were from Tula and Tzhevsk in the Soviet Union, both of which had been gunsmithing centers for over five centuries. To the best of my knowledge this was the first quantity of firearms in North America from the communist country and I believe Ruko had exclusive rights to North America but because the U.S. would not allow Russian imports, it was basically Canada. For the next 25 years +, Ruko imported shotguns, 22 rifles and 22 target rifles and pistols from Baikal & from Vostok.
Read More
The Canadian Boy's Gun
The Canadian Boy's Gun

January 21, 2020 4 min read 1 Comment

I’ve talked about Cooey firearms before but I’m not sure whether I have really driven home how much the Cooey firearm, especially the 22 rifle, dominated the Canadian Firearms landscape. Many shooters now find room in our budget for a new Browning T Bolt or a Ruger 10/22 or something in a CZ 457 series or Anschutz Target Rifle, but my question is this: will you ever find the excitement or early murmurs of adulthood that came with your first outing with Dad, Grandad or your big brother and a Cooey? 
Read More
Shaking the Nostalgia
Shaking the Nostalgia

September 07, 2018 3 min read

Sometimes nostalgia can be used as an excuse for being lazy and not wanting to investigate new products or ideas and admittedly my age group tend to be some of the worst offenders. But old is not necessarily better and to prove my point, here are a few examples of times when, in a sport steeped in history and nostalgia, looking forward is better than looking back.
Read More