Whether you are preparing for a ram hunt in the Colorado Rockies, a pronghorn hunt in the golden plains of Wyoming or a bull moose hunt in Alberta, you’ll want to pack light. Every ounce matters when you’re spotting and stalking through the mountains, grasslands or forest. As a hunter, the last thing you want to do is carry excessive weight that will just wear you down faster. Tiring out quickly is one way for a great hunt turn south. Should you happen to land that perfect shot, you will also have to carry out who knows how many pounds of meat.
No one understands this better than the fine folks at Savage Arms as evidenced by their release of the Savage 110 Ultralite bolt-action rifle, which is part of the company's Backcountry Xtreme Series. Available in eight different chamberings, this rifle tops out at 6 lbs., making it a dream to bring along on a hunt. For this review, I chose a 110 Ultralite chambered in 28 Nosler out of an array of available caliber options, including .270 Win., 308 Win., .300 WSM, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .30-06 Springfield and even .380 Ackley Improved.
Unboxing the 110 Ultralite was a gift in itself, and it is a good thing I am a firm disbeliever in the so-called "safe queens," because this rifle was a beauty. The dark charcoal grey AccuFit stock allows for customizations such as the length of pull and comb height, so the shooter can channel her inner Goldilocks and get just the right fit. The stainless-steel receiver on this rifle has a melonite finish and a 24” carbon fiber wrapped, stainless-steel Proof Research barrel.
I chose to leave the renowned Savage AccuTrigger in its stock configuration, adjustable from 4 lbs. all the way down to 1.5 lbs. With an overall length of a little over 42”, this rifle is easily manageable whether you are slung up or have it strapped to your pack.
For the live-fire test, courtesy of Browning Ammunition, I had the pleasure of sending round after round downrange. The food du jour for our 110 Ultralite was 28 Nosler from Browning’s Long Range Pro lineup. I topped it with 160-gr. Sierra Tipped MatchKing that left the muzzle screaming upwards of 3,200 feet per second (f.p.s.). Very little adjustment was made to the gun, as the length of pull was pretty well dead-on out of the box. I did adjust the height of the comb ever so slightly, which took under a minute to do.
Topping the Ultralite was the Riton Optics X5 Primal 3-18x44. This optic features capped turrets, always a plus, especially if you tend to be rough on your gear, as I am. No one needs to be thrown off zero when you're scaling a hillside and rubbing up against various vegetation, rocks, etc. With a wide magnification range and glass clear as day, it is easy to see why many hunters choose this optic.
Loading the included two-round magazine, and chamber loading one for good measure, I settled in and easily got the whole package zeroed, and fired grouping after grouping at 100 yards. With the 110 Ultralite, I was grouping minute of angle (MOA) without even trying. This is also certainly a testament to the reliability and consistency of Browning's 28 Nosler, which I confirmed with second and third helpings. I was pinging away at steel silhouettes staged at distances over 1,000 yards in no time.
If you happen to be in the market for a new long-range gun to take on that long-awaited dream hunt, or even another rifle to add to your long-range collection, be sure to check out the 110 Ultralite from Savage. You will not be disappointed.
Manufacturer: Savage Arms
Model: 110 Ultralite
Caliber: 28 Nosler
Magazine: Detachable Box
Barrel Length: 24"
Overall Length: 44.5"
Barrel: Carbon-wrapped Stainless
Stock Color: Grey (also available in KUIU Verde 2.0 Camo)
Stock Material: Synthetic
Receiver Color: Melonite Black
Length of Pull: 13.75"
Weight: 6 lbs.
Twist Rate: 1:844"