January 10th, 2021

Sunday GunDay: New Straight-Pull Savage Impulse Rifle

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage Arms has just introduced the new Impulse series of straight-pull bolt rifles. This is the first American-designed and crafted straight-pull centerfire rifle. The new Impulse features an innovative Hexlock bolt-locking mechanism with six spherical bearings that move radially outward into a ring in the barrel extension, thereby locking the bolt in place. That barrel extension is held in the receiver assembly by four cross-bolts on the lower front section. Ahead of the barrel extension is a conventional recoil lug and a familiar Savage barrel nut.

Savage Impulse Straight-Pull Rifle — Overview

Savage claims the new system offers the cycling speed of a semi-auto, with the accuracy of a bolt-action. There have been some initial field tests, and it looks like the performance has been good. However, based on the videos that Savage has posted, the cycling of the Impulse’s straight-pull bolt does not seem to be as smooth as some European straight-pulls, such as the Blaser R8, Merkel RX Helix, and Strasser RS 14. We’ve tried those Austrian/German rifles and you really can cycle them very smoothly. From the video the Savage Impulse appears to require somewhat more muscle and effort. Watch below. The video will launch at the 15-second mark for a comparison between the Impulse and a conventional Savage bolt-action:

Savage Speed Comparison — Impulse vs. Regular Bolt Action

Savage says: “Conventional bolt-actions require four steps to cycle the bolt. Impulse simplifies the process with a simple back-and-forth motion.”

Advantages of Straight-Pull Cycling System
What is the advantage of a straight-pull system? You should be able to cycle faster, and (ideally) maintain your cheek-weld and target view. Savage says: “The smooth bolt throw allows a shooter to cycle rounds intuitively, without the need for the standard four changes-of-direction common to a conventional bolt’s path-of-travel. Impulse reduces split times and allows a shooter to manipulate the bolt without losing [his] cheek weld. The bolt travels out and back and shooters don’t have to take their eyes off the target.” Sounds good, but if you watch the above videos, it’s not as wonderful as claimed. That said, if one slows down a bit, a straight pull should allow the shooter to maintain his cheek weld.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage’s Impulse “will redefine the way you think about straight-pull rifles”, said Al Kasper, President/CEO of Savage Arms. These new Impulse rifles are built for speed — faster bolt cycling while maintaining ones cheek-weld. This increase in speed can help a hunter make effective follow-up shots.

Major Engineering Features of New Savage Impulse

Hexlock Bolt | Barrel Extension | 4-Bolt Barrel Clamp | Ambidextrous Rotary Bolt Handle

When the bolt is closed, the Hexlock system holds it in place instead of conventional lugs. With the Hexlock, six (6) hardened steel bearings lock the bolt in place inside the receiver’s barrel extension. Savage says “As pressure increases, Hexlock’s hold tightens, ensuring that there can be no rearward movement of the bolt. Once the round has left the barrel, the pressure subsides, and the action can safely open again with the straight pull of the bolt handle.”

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage Impulse — Hexlock System (Bolt Locks in Barrel Extension)

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

The cleverly-designed, modular Impulse bolt can be disassembled without tools. And the bolt-handle can be moved to either side easily. NOTE: In this diagram it may appear that the barrel does not have threads on the chamber end. Actually, Impulse barrels DO have threads on that end, which are used by the barrel nut. However, these threads are covered by a barrel extension which is held in the action/receiver by a lower-side four-bolt barrel clamp.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

To design and craft the Savage Impulse, Savage employed advanced engineering with computer modeling. Savage also uses advanced, computer-controlled machinery to build these rifles The video below shows the design/engineering process by which Savage brought the Impulse from concept to finished product in just two years — a very short time by firearms industry standards.

This Video Shows How the Savage Impulse Was Engineered

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

Savage Impulse — Ambidextrous, Adjustable Angle Bolt Handle

One of the key features of the new Savage Impulse is an ambidextrous bolt handle that can be quickly and easily moved from one side to the other. This allows Impulse rifles to work for both left-handed and right-handed shooters. In addition, the angle of the bolt handle can be adjusted by simply pushing a spring-loaded pin and removing a side coverpin. This is demonstrated in the video below.

Savage Impulse Models: Predator, Big Game, Hog Hunter

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 newSavage currently offers three Impulse models, all equipped with Savage AccuStock, Accufit, and AccuTrigger. All Impulse actions feature a Picatinny rail on top along with a central safety. Because the bolt handle can be placed on either side, all Impulse rifles are essentially ambidextrous — good for lefties as well as righties. There are both short-action and long-action versions of the Impulse rifle. Seven different chamberings are offered, from .22-250 to .300 Win Magnum.

IMPULSE Predator: Varmint Rifle, medium contour 24″ barrel. AICS 10-rd detachable magazine. Available chamberings: .22-250 Rem, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

IMPULSE Big Game: Primary Hunting Rifle, short- and long-action. Flush detachable magazine. Available chamberings: .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .300 WSM, .30-06 SPRG, .300 Win Magnum.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

IMPULSE Hog Hunter: Hunting Rifle, heavy contour 24″ barrel. Flush 4-rd detachable magazine. Available chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .30-06 SPRG, .300 Win Magnum.

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 new

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January 10th, 2021

How to Select Proper Twist Rate for Your Bullet Size

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo Midsouth
Here’s an extreme range of .224-Caliber bullets: 35gr varmint bullet and 90gr match bullet. Of course, along with bullet length/design, you need to consider MV when choosing twist rate.

Even with the same caliber (and same bullet weight), different bullet types may require different rates of spin to stabilize properly. The bullet’s initial spin rate (RPM) is a function of the bullet’s muzzle velocity and the spin imparted by the rifling in the barrel. You want to ensure your bullet is stable throughout flight. It is better to have too much spin than too little, according to many ballistics experts, including Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. The late Glen Zediker provided some basic tips concerning barrel twist rates and bullet stability. These come from his popular book, Top Grade Ammo.

Choosing the Right Twist Rate
I’d always rather have a twist too fast than not fast enough. Generally… I recommend erring toward the faster side of a barrel twist decision. 1:8″ twist is becoming a “new standard” for .224 caliber, replacing 1:9″ in the process. The reason is that new bullets tend to be bigger rather than smaller. Don’t let a too-slow twist limit your capacity to [achieve] better long-range performance.

Base your next barrel twist rate decision on the longest, heaviest bullets you choose to use, and at the same time realize that the rate you choose will in turn limit your bullet choices. If the longest, heaviest bullet you’ll shoot (ever) is a 55-grain .224, then there’s honestly no reason not to use a 1:12″. Likewise true for .308-caliber: unless you’re going over 200-grain bullet weight, a 1:10″ will perform perfectly well.

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo Midsouth

Bullet Length is More Critical than Weight
Bullet length, not weight, [primarily] determines how much rotation is necessary for stability. Twist rate suggestions, though, are most usually given with respect to bullet weight, but that’s more of a generality for convenience’s sake, I think. The reason is that with the introduction of higher-ballistic-coefficient bullet designs, which are longer than conventional forms, it is easily possible to have two same-weight bullets that won’t both stabilize from the same twist rate.

Evidence of Instability
The tell-tale for an unstable (wobbling or tumbling) bullet is an oblong hole in the target paper, a “keyhole,” and that means the bullet contacted the target at some attitude other than nose-first.

Glen Zediker Twist Rate .223 Rem Barrel Top Grade Ammo MidsouthIncreasing Barrel Length Can Deliver More Velocity, But That May Still Not Provide Enough Stability if the Twist Rate Is Too Slow

Bullet speed AND barrel length have an influence on bullet stability, and a higher muzzle velocity through a longer tube will bring on more effect from the twist, but it’s a little too edgy if a particular bullet stabilizes only when running maximum velocity.

My failed 90-grain .224 experiment is a good example of that: I could get them asleep in a 1:7″ twist, 25-inch barrel, which was chambered in .22 PPC, but could not get them stabilized in a 20-inch 1:7″ .223 Rem. The answer always is to get a twist that’s correct.

These tips were adapted from Glen’s newest book, Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth. To learn more about this book and other Zediker titles, and read a host of downloadable articles, visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

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January 10th, 2021

Ruger’s GP100 .22 LR Ten-Shot DA/SA Revolver

We really like rimfire revolvers here at AccurateShooter.com. A good .22 LR wheelgun will be fun, accurate, reliable, and inexpensive to shoot. Rimfire revolvers also offer much less recoil and noise than a centerfire pistol. Your Editor has owned a Smith & Wesson Model 617 for over 15 years. That old S&W has probably fired more rounds than all the other handguns I own, combined — yet it still runs flawlessly and still delivers excellent accuracy.

Ruger offers a big stainless .22 LR wheelgun to compete with the S&W Model 617. This rimfire wheelgun is based on Ruger’s trusted GP100 platform. The Ruger GP100® chambered in .22 LR looks to be a good firearm — strong, versatile, and intelligently engineered. In the video above, the late Jeff Quinn of Gunblast.com tests the Ruger revolver and gives it high marks: “It’s a good hefty gun [42.6 oz.], but not overly large or heavy for a good trail gun. It’s just a really nice, well-made revolver from Sturm Ruger.” The gun Jeff tested had a 3.7-lb SA trigger pull and a 9.8-lb DA pull.

Ruger GP 100 .22 LR wheelgun revolver rimfire 10-shot

The .22 LR GP100 features a windage and elevation adjustable rear sight with a white outline, a light-gathering fiber optic front sight and the original full-size GP100 rubber grips with hardwood inserts. With all stainless-steel construction, the rimfire GP100 is easy to maintain. Just keep the cylinder chambers and barrel clean and this gun should run forever.

This Review of the .22 LR GP100 by Hickok45 has over 6.6 Million Views:

The 10-shot Ruger GP100 in .22 LR is a durable, well-engineered wheelgun. Ruger’s engineers optimized the GP100’s innards to deliver a smooth double-action pull: “The new GP100 has an improved fire-control system that uses a lighter mainspring than previous Ruger double-action .22 LR revolvers. A number of changes have been made to the GP100 to handle .22. One of which is we’ve done a lot of development on the firing pin location and geometries so that we’re able to put a lighter trigger pull in this gun than you would find in other .22 LR [handguns]. We’ve got a half-underlug barrel, and it’s a smaller diameter so the gun balances real well. We’ve added a narrow-spur hammer and a smooth trigger for comfortable shooting. This is a really comfortable gun to shoot”.

This video from Ruger explains the basic features of the .22 LR GP 100:

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