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October 28th, 2021

Savage Impulse Straight-Pull Wins Rifle of the 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 just won a major award for its innovative straight-pull hunting rifle, the Savage Impulse. This is the only straight-pull centerfire rifle currently produced by a major U.S. manufacturer. Guns & Ammo magazine named Savage’s Impulse the 2021 Rifle of the Year.

“The Savage Impulse pushed Savage rifles to a new level in 2021″, wrote Guns & Ammo editors. “Creating a unique, reliable rifle is never easy, but the Impulse combines the innovative features of other Savage rifles along with Hexlock bolt technology that provided a fast, safe, and accurate shot. This rifle was designed to attract hunters of all types through versatile features and load compatibilities. Each model delivers on their promise of speed and range.”

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

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 Models: Predator, Big Game, Hog Hunter

Savage 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

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review, Gunsmithing, Hunting/Varminting 1 Comment »
October 28th, 2021

Cheap Tricks: Measure Shoulder Bump Using a Pistol Case

.45 acp pistol case bump gauge headspace tool

Here is a simple, low-cost way to get reliable readings of case headspace when you “bump” the shoulder back on your 6BR, .243 Win, or .308 Win brass. Credit Boyd Allen for this tip. First, you’ll need one .45 acp case (.40 SW works too), with primer removed. Make sure the pistol case is trimmed square and that it is round. We recommend you first size it, trim it and chamfer. Next, take the .45 acp (or .40 SW) case and slip it over the neck of a fired, unsized rifle case with the primer removed. Align the two cases between the jaws of your calipers and note the length from rim to rim (See photo below, with striped case).

OK, now you have the length for a fired rifle case BEFORE sizing. Next, take a full-length sized rifle case (without primer) and do the same thing, placing the pistol case over the neck of the FL-sized case (Bottom Photo). The difference between the two numbers is the amount of “bump” or set-back you are applying to the shoulder. Here the difference is .0015″. The amount of bump you need varies with your chamber and your load, but .0015-.002″ is a good initial setting. By using this simple tool, you can avoid bumping the shoulder too much. This will also help you set-up the depth of your full-length die to get the proper amount of bump each time.

Other Pistol Brass Types Work Too: Some folks have used this method but they prefer to work with 10mm or .40 SW brass rather than a .45 acp, because slightly smaller-diameter pistol cases may conform to the shoulders of their sized rifle cases a bit better. That works fine — use whatever pistol brass case works best for your rifle brass. We got very repeatable results with .45 acp brass but the method also works with 10mm or .40 SW brass. Just be sure the pistol brass has been sized, trimmed, chamfered, and de-burred.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Reloading, Tech Tip No Comments »