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January 5th, 2022

Savage Impulse Wins NRA American Hunter’s Rifle of Year Award

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

Savage impulse straight-pull hex-bolt hexlock hunting rifle 2021 newSavage Arms has won a second major award for its innovative Savage Impulse straight-pull hunting rifle. This is the only straight-pull centerfire rifle currently produced by a major U.S. manufacturer. The rifle has won the coveted NRA American Hunter 2022 Golden Bullseye Award as Rifle of the Year. Previously, Guns & Ammo magazine editors named Savage’s Impulse the 2021 Rifle of the Year.

“The new Savage Impulse is more than just a good first attempt at an American-made straight-pull,” wrote American Hunter magazine’s Associate Editor David Herman. “It is a rifle that can take long-range precision shots with ease, yet is in its element stacking lead in rapid fashion. It would make an excellent addition to any serious hunter’s arsenal.”

Beth Shimanski, Savage’s Marketing Director, says the design is a game-changer for hunters: “The speed of Impulse’s straight-pull action has changed the way Americans think about hunting rifles. This design combines everything Savage has learned about accuracy and reliability with innovation that provides marksmen and women with new capabilities with new capabilities.”

Savage’s Impulse series of straight-pull bolt rifles 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. 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

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)

The cleverly-designed, modular Impulse bolt can be disassembled without tools. And the bolt-handle can be moved to either side easily. Impulse barrels are connected via 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

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December 17th, 2019

Hunting — Programs to Strengthen America’s Ranks of Hunters

NRA join hunt hunter hunting education hunting license wildlife training

This report based on story in American Hunter magazine, by J. Scott Olmsted, Editor in Chief

The 2016 report of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, a survey conducted every five years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, showed that today only about 11.5 million Americans aged 16 or older hunt. That’s only 4.9 percent of adults among a population of 320 million.

Declining Numbers of Hunters — What We Can Do
Too many Americans have left the field; they no longer hunt. Too many current American hunters continue to consider leaving the field. In fact the number of American hunters today is about half what it was 50 years ago, and the decline is expected to continue to accelerate.

Demographers don’t see any uptick on the horizon. Nearly a third of American hunters are baby boomers. The youngest boomers are 54, and trends suggest most hunters stop buying licenses by about 65. So what happens in 11 years when the last of the baby boomers stops hunting?

NRA join hunt hunter hunting education hunting license wildlife training

Indeed wildlife and wildlands are heavily dependent on hunters and fishers to survive and thrive. State agencies, which manage most of the wildlife in America, derive about 59 percent of their collective funding from hunting- and fishing-related activities. A primary source of that funding — hunters — is shrinking. Note that funding doesn’t come from birdwatching or hiking or kayaking, to name a few non-consumptive activities that contribute no funds.

where to hunt map NSSF

Hunter Education Programs from the NRA
The NRA was the first organization to develop a hunter-education course, in 1949 in New York. It became the model. Today, in the digital age, the NRA provides NRA Hunter Education Online.

NRAHE.org offers FREE comprehensive hunter safety information online. The 15-chapter sequence features videos, photos and graphics, audio recordings, interactive modules that prospective hunters may access whenever and wherever they are able to complete it. It provides the best method for teaching future hunters lessons they will remember the rest of their lives.

Let’s not forget our youngest hunters. Since 1985, the NRA’s Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) has introduced more than 1.2 million young people to safe, ethical hunting. YHEC competitions test participants’ hunting, stalking, and marksmanship skills. To learn more about YHEC, visit Yhec.nra.org.

Youth Hunter Education Challenge

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March 17th, 2019

Hunter Training and Mentoring Programs — State by State

Hunter hunt hunting recruitment mentor mentoring junior novice training license licensing programs
Photo from Nebraska Mentored Hunts.

The number of active hunters in the USA has declined in recent years. That’s not good for wildlife management programs, which are supported, in large part, by hunting fees. Perhaps more importantly, the declin in the ranks of hunters weakens the base of support for the Second Amendment. Hunters are key to the future of firearms rights in America. We support efforts to increase the number of hunters, through mentoring and training programs.

The NRA’s American Hunter magazine has compiled a comprehensive list of hunting mentor programs, state by state. This is followed by listing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide hunter training. If you know individuals looking to get a start in hunting, check out these resources.

Hunter hunt hunting recruitment mentor mentoring junior novice training license licensing programs

State Hunter Mentoring and Training Progams

Alabama | 205-339-5716
• Hunting Programs: outdooralabama.com/hunting

Alaska | 907-267-2534
• Hunter Education: huntereducation.alaska.gov

Arizona | 602-942-3000
• Mentor Camps: azgfd.com/Hunting/MentoredCamps/

Arkansas | 800-364-4263
• Arkansas Outdoors: agfc.com/en/get-involved/first-steps-outdoors/

California | 916-653-1235
• Programs: wildlife.ca.gov/hunter-education
• Apprentice Hunting Licenses: nrm.dfg.ca.gov/ApprenticeHunts/Default.aspx

Colorado | 303-291-7248
• Hunter Outreach: cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/HunterOutreach.aspx

Connecticut | 860-424-3000
• Junior Hunter
: ct.gov/deep/JuniorHunter

Delaware | 302-739-9910
• Hunter Ed
: dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/HunterEd/Pages/HunterEd.aspx

Florida | 850-488-4676
• Mentor Program: myfwc.com/hunting/safety-education/mentoring/
• Youth Program: myfwc.com/education/outdoor-skills/youth-hunting-program/

Georgia | 706-557-2335
• Mentor Program: georgiawildlife.com/mentor

Idaho | 208-334-3700
• Hunt Passport: idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/passport

Illinois | 217-300-5352
• Learn to Hunt: publish.illinois.edu/hunttrapillinois/
• Apprentice License: dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/pages/apprenticelicense.aspx

Indiana | 317-233-9382
• Hunting: in.gov/dnr/fishwild/2701.htm

Iowa | 515-725-8200
• Learn to Hunt: iowadnr.gov/Hunting/Hunter-Education/Learn-to-Hunt

Kansas | 620-672-5911
• Hunter Recruitment: ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Hunting-Programs/Hunter-Recruitment
• Outdoor Mentors: outdoormentors.org/
• Youth Hunts: ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Special-Hunts-Information

Kentucky | 800-858-1549 Ext. 4475; 502-330-8487
• Hunter’s Legacy Program: fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Pages/Hunter%27s-Legacy.aspx
• Field to Fork Program: fw.ky.gov/Pages/FieldtoFork.aspx

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September 2nd, 2014

For Hunters — Four Deer Rifle Combos Starting at $485.00

Hunting season is right around the corner. If you don’t own a worthy deer-hunting rig, there are many affordable options available. You can often save yourself $100.00 or more by purchasing a “turn-key” deer rifle package — a hunting rifle combo complete with rings and rifle-scope.

Deer hunting rifles package American Hunter

The American Hunter magazine website recently published a guide to affordable package hunting rigs. Jon Draper spotlights Four Off-The-Rack Deer Rifle Combos from Howa, Mossberg, Ruger, and Savage. Two of the four rigs, the Mossberg and Savage entries, come in at under $500 including scope/rings. Next up is the Ruger American Rifle, priced at $679.00 MSRP with 3-9x40mm Redfield Revolution scope.

The priciest entry is Howa’s Hunter Zeiss Walnut Package. MSRP is a not insubtantial $1103.00 for the Howa package, but this includes a premium-quality Zeiss Terra 3-9x42mm optic. The Howa also has a very nice two-stage 2.5 to 3.8-lb HACT trigger* that we prefer to the triggers on the other three, lesser-priced rifles.

To learn more, CLICK HERE to read the American Hunter Deer Rifle Combo article.

Deer hunting rifles package American Hunter


* HACT stands for Howa Actuator Controlled Trigger. Howa’s HACT assembly is a trigger and sear unit that works like a two-stage trigger. This allows the shooter to take up trigger creep before squeezing through. HACT trigger pull weight adjusts from 2.5 to 3.8 pounds. We like the lower weight for varmint rifles shot from prone or portable benches, while we prefer the heavier pull weight for a carry rifle.

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April 24th, 2013

Now on iPad: American Rifleman and American Hunter Magazines

NRA Publications iPadUsing digital publishing software, the NRA is now offering iPad-optimized versions of American Rifleman and American Hunter magazines. These two magazines are now available for iPad-using NRA members who download the NRA Magazines App in the Apple App Store.

Bonus Content for iPad Users
The new digital magazines will feature all the stories, photos, and graphics found in the print magazines, PLUS bonus content. NRA Members with iPads can access videos, extra photos, sidebars, computer graphics and other interactive features. NRA Publications’ Joe Graham states: “The new iPad editions are designed to be convenient, easy to use and, most importantly, fun to read. The digital magazines have the same look and feel as the print magazines [but with] additional interactive content you can only get on an iPad.”

How to Get the iPad Editions of
American Rifleman and American Hunter

As Official Journals of the NRA, American Rifleman and American Hunter are available exclusively to NRA members. You must be a current NRA member to access these digital eZines. To join the NRA visit Membership.nrahq.org or call 1-877-NRA-2000. For a limited time, all NRA members who currently receive their magazines in print will be able to download the iPad editions.

To get the new iPad editions of American Rifleman and American Hunter, NRA members can download the free NRA Magazines App from the Apple App Store. Once downloaded, launch the app and enter your NRA membership number and last name. Upon verification, the magazine you currently receive as part of your NRA membership will be displayed. Tap “download” to have the digital magazine delivered directly to your iPad and start enjoying all of the exciting new interactive features.

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January 12th, 2012

Golden Bullseye-Winning Products Named by NRA Publications

Golden Bullseye Awards, 2012For what’s its worth, NRA Publications has announced its 2012 Golden Bullseye Product Awards. A few of the honored products, such as the Barrett MRAD, are indeed innovative and well-designed, while others, such as the Keltec KSG shotgun, have been plagued with problems. Some winners seem to have been chosen primarily for the value of their magazine advertising contracts… but that’s business for you. It would be interesting to see how this list would change, if the winners were picked by vote of real shooters and hunters, rather than magazine editors.

For American Rifleman, NRA’s flagship publication:

  • Rifle of the Year: Savage Model 111 Lightweight Hunter
  • Shotgun of the Year: Stoeger Model 3500
  • Handgun of the Year: Kimber Solo
  • Tactical Gun of the Year: FNH-USA SCAR 17S
  • Ammo Product of the Year: Winchester Elite Blind Side
  • Optic of the Year: Leupold Mark 8 1.1-8X 24mm CQBSS
  • Accessory of the Year: LaserLyte Laser Trainer Target TLB-1.

For Shooting Illustrated, a practical shooting publication:

  • Rifle of the Year: Barrett MRAD
  • Shotgun of the Year: Kel-Tec KSG
  • Handgun of the Year: Smith & Wesson SD Series
  • Ammo Product of the Year: Federal Premium Guard Dog
  • Optic of the Year: Nikon M-223 Riflescopes
  • Accessory of the Year: SureFire MAG5-60 High-Capacity Magazine

For American Hunter, NRA’s hunting magazine:

  • Rifle of the Year: Winchester Model 70 Safari Express
  • Shotgun of the Year: Beretta A400 Xcel Sporting
  • Ammo Product of the Year: Barnes VOR-TX
  • Optic of the Year: Swarovski Z5 Riflescopes
  • Gear of the Year: The Gun Tool by Real Avid
  • Vehicle of the Year: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland
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