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‘The Savage Weather Warrior’...

The cartridge – Let’s start off with a little about the caliber of this month’s rifle – the 7MM Remington Magnum.

Remington introduced this cartridge in 1962 from it’s parent case, the .375 Holland and Holland.

This cartridge allows you to load bullets ranging in size from 100 to 180 grain, which is a pretty broad range.

After visiting just one internet site, I found 105 different loadable bullets and 72 different factory-loaded options.

Given this wide range of ammunition sizes, you should be able to cover all of the bases no matter where you would want to use a rifle in the U.S. – except maybe when hunting for squirrels or big, dangerous bears.

When you look at the velocities for a handloader, starting with the smallest mentioned all the way up to the heaviest, you can safely achieve bullet speeds from 3,900 fps to 3,000 fps. The, not-so-good thing about this cartridge is that it generates between 30% to 40% more recoil than the .30-06 Springfield.

This can be a deterrent to some hunters, but with a big, squishy recoil pad, the big thump is not that bad. I did not start to feel the pain until I had put about 60 rounds through this one (without using my Lead Sled).

With the increased velocity this cartridge provides over the .30-06, it is much flatter shooting and popular mainly in the Midwest, where 400- to 600-yard shots are common.

The Rifle as tested – The Savage Weather Warrior is a pretty nice rifle, and the one I tested is more than plenty accurate with the ammunition I shot through it. With that said, let’s get to the particulars that I enjoyed while testing this rifle.

When I unboxed it, the very first thing I noticed was the big, thick, squishy recoil pad. When I sit over a rifle and put close to 100 rounds through it for an article, I generally have two shooting style choices – bags or a Caldwell Lead Sled.

The Lead Sled is a must for some heavy recoil long guns, but I prefer the bag. So when I have a rifle with a recoil pad like the one on this Savage, I usually have a little smile, knowing my shoulder will not be mush at the end of the shoot.

Next, I noticed how nice and smooth the bolt worked and how solid it locked. The bolt knob also has a nice checkered surface on the top to provide a non-slip surface, in case you need to quickly chamber another round for a follow-up shot.

The newer Savages come with the AccuTrigger, which is great. You have to love this. I have shot over 10 of them and never had to adjust the trigger from the factory setting. The first one I shot with the AccuTrigger was a little different than I was used to with other rifles, but after only a few rounds I was saying “yes” to this trigger.

The next feature on this rifle that stood out was its light weight. At just a hair over 7 pounds, this rifle will not wear me out on those long hikes to my stands. And, once in the stand, it will be easy to manage.

I have another rifle in this caliber that weighs in at close to 10 pounds. Because of this weight, it has now found a permanent place in the very back of my safe. Over the past few years I have hunted in almost all conditions – from cold to rainy. With the composite stock and stainless metal that comes on the Savage Weather Warrior, I do not have to worry about the rain hurting this one.

The barrel is a nice non-reflective matte finish, which is a plus when the barrel is sticking out of the cover of my stand. The receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope mount, but no iron sights, which is fine for my style of hunting, as I need a scope for these tired eyes. The stock is a black composite with sling studs and a nice feel and easily gripped.

Range Time – After a few rounds to sight in the very nice Zeiss scope that I mounted on this rifle, I was ready for some serious 100-yard tests. My choice of ammo was a few of my handloads and several boxes of my favorite ammo. I know all of us have a brand of ammo that we like, and for me it is Hornady. The folks at Hornady make very accurate ammo for almost every firearm I shoot, so I usually stick with what works best for me.

My range time consisted of four 3-shot groups with each type of ammo I brought along, including: two of my handloads and Hornady 139-grain to 168-grain. I want to tell you, I was impressed with the accuracy of most every round that I sent downrange.

But, like all rifles, this one does not shoot all ammo equally. My two hand loads were not very accurate. The Hornady ammo shot groups from almost one hole, groups to about 1.5 inches with four of them, grouping less than 1/2 inch at 100 yards.

After I shot all of the ammo I had with me, I decided to sight the scope in using the Hornady Superformance 154-grain SST and the Hornady Superformance 139-grain SST, as these two were the rounds that shot the closest groups.

I now have this rifle sighted in with these two “flavors,” and my groups with both will be under 1/2 inch at 100 yards. My hand loads proved to be a disappointment, so I will need more work at the bench if I choose to shoot hand loads. But, why would I want even bother with the Hornady ammo shooting so good? I think I will take the Hornady ammo to the woods.

The Scope – I mounted a Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x44 on the rifle and was very impressed with the clarity and low light ability. The rings are steel Zeiss and are very solid. Overall Impression – This is as fine of a rifle as you can purchase for the money. It shoots extremely accurate, shoulders well and feel good in my hands. The metal and stock are weather proof, and I really love the soft recoil pad. The trigger is smooth with no creep and beaks at a crisp 3.5 pounds.

This one is a keeper.

Shoot straight, shoot safe, and remember: If all firearms were treated as if they were loaded, there would be no more accidental shootings.

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Jim Hammond has had some sort of gun in his hand since he was 5 years old. He started with a Daisy BB gun as a small boy, and with careful instruction from his very safety-minded father, has become a skilled and knowledgeable shooter now willing to share his knowledge and experience as he has FUN SHOOTING. “Safety first and everything else will follow.”