Savage Arms, the American gunmaker with operations in Canada and based in Westfield, Massachusetts, needs no introduction. They have been in business for more than 100 years and have established quite a name with their high-quality guns and related arms.
The company has proved once again that their existence is undeniable when it comes to rifles with their Savage Axis 223. It’s lightweight, inexpensive but a beast when it comes to performance. Here’s a detailed Savage Axis 223 review that includes what we liked and what we didn’t, so ultimately, you can decide whether the gun is worth your time and money.
Specifications Of The Savage Axis 223
|SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) Number||57256|
|Barrel Material||Carbon Steel|
|Barrel Length||22 inches or 55.9 centimeters|
|Rate of Twist||1 in 9 inches|
|Magazine||Detachable Box type|
|Receiver Material||Carbon Steel|
|Overall Weight||3.18 kilos or 7.365 lbs|
|Length of Pull||13.75 inches or 33 centimeters|
|Overall Length||42.5 inches or 106.7 centimeters|
Overview Of The Savage Axis 223
This Savage Axis gun chambered in a .223 caliber comes with a basic Bushnell 3-9X40 scope and firing Federal Fusion 62gr soft point ammo. The trigger assembly of this gun is quite simple. You might have to do a bit of polishing to get it going at the start, but after this, it makes the pull of the trigger quite smooth. The safety badge might put you off a bit, but the whole trigger system is crisp and lightweight.
The trigger set comes weighing at 3lbs, and you can cut it down according to your preference. It can go as low as 1.6 lbs and still works fine, and that’s where this inexpensive rifle steals your heart.
When coming to the safety on the Savage Axis 223, it’s a bit different compared to the older versions from the Savage Arms. The tang-mounted type safety comes with a large thumb tab made of high quality, strong and durable plastic resin. This feels solid, and you can operate it with or without your gloves on.
The barrel of this savage rifle is the same as that of the expensive models, with the same quality and almost the same build. It has a matte finish with a sporter contour and good middle ground to hold the gun firmly while walking around in the bushes, and it is great for shooting otherwise.
The muzzle of the Savage Axis 223 isn’t’ well-polished, and you can still see some kind of machine marks on it, which is okay as it doesn’t affect the gun’s operation.
The type of action in this gun is of the push feed type equipped with a huge claw extractor and a single plunger ejector. Overall, it has the traditional 2-lug design the Savage rifles have.
1. Affordable Rifle
If you have been wanting to lay your hands on an affordable rifle that doesn’t ditch you midway through the family hunt, this is the product to go for. It is loaded with features making a decent under budget purchase for beginners.
The initial hype around the rifle was about its price and how Savage arms marketed it as one of the most affordable rifles they have ever made. True to their claims, the rifle is indeed worth every penny you pay for, but it’s better you don’t expect the features that you see in the high-end rifles from Savage.
Savage blew it out of the park with this Savage Axis 223. Its accuracy is above excellent when you compare it with other similar guns in the same price range. Even if you use a recoil lug that occupies the rifle instead of using the action, this rifle produces amazing groups. The rifle has a range of 0.75 to 1.25 inches groups at a 100 yards space all day long.
3. The Magazine
The Savage Axis 223 features a magazine that’s a combination of a polished metal body and feed lips with a hard plastic bottom and an in-built magazine catch. The center magazine of the gun works perfectly fine, and you would instantly fall in love with its make and usability, but the plastic magazine catch might not be worthy of all the praises.
However, when the price point is considered, the magazine is great, and if you dislike the plastic-catch make of the magazine, you will have to buy a high-end model.
When it comes to the loading and unloading of the center feed magazines, it isn’t that fast, and this is where we have a neutral impression of the rifle. The metal feed lips of the center feed magazines let you easily snap in the rounds from the top.
4. Ergonomics And Overall Usability
The Savage Axis 223 may not be the best rifle you have ever laid your hands on if you ignore the price factor. However, for a price this low, the rifle surely shines with its quality build and usability.
For general use, you won’t experience any major quality or technical issues with this rifle. Although, some small or minute things like a long grip might put you off. The safety of the rifle is perfect, which is a big, no-nonsense unit with two different settings.
Another advantage of the construction of this rifle is the one-sided ejection port design of the rifle’s action. It seems stiffer and even better when compared to the other rifles’ action that is of open-top type.
Another plus point is that the rifle came with an attached Bushnell banner scope. The optical quality of the scope requires praises as it is quite good for the price range it is offered. This was totally unexpected but made the product worth the money.
1. The Stock
The savage axis 223 has one of the worst stocks you can ever spot in a rifle of this price range and similar spec. It’s made of flimsy plastic material, and it bends so much that you can just flex it from the wrist area to the butt with just your hands and no other tools.
Also, the front part easily flexes around the barrel of the rifle. Additionally, the stock, at times, makes contact with the barrel at different instances. This totally depends on how you hold the rifle in your hands or how you rest it on the surfaces.
In addition to this, the recoil lug isn’t held in by any other parts. It’s just a thin piece of metal that has been wedged to the flimsy plastic stock and lays between the slot formed by the barrel and the receiver.
2. The Trigger
Again, we have a love-hate relationship with the Savage Axis 223 Trigger. There are some positives to it, but the negatives overpower many times. One advantage is that you can cut the trigger to lose some weight, but you still have to deal with the in-built creep.
It would have been a better choice if they chose to accommodate the Accutrigger in this model. However, that’s found in the higher-end models, and therefore, the price range would have increased from what it is now.
Q1. How Far Can A Savage Axis 223 Shoot?
The maximum a savage axis 223 can shoot at normal circumstances is about 500 yards.
Q2. Is Savage Axis 223 A Good Gun For Hunting?
The answer depends on where you consider yourself a hunter. If you are quite an expert, then this gun is sure to disappoint you. The form factor may be good, but the specs aren’t up to the mark. However, if you are a beginner and require a gun to enjoy hunting with your family once in a while, then this would be perfect. Quite inexpensive and provides value for the money you pay.
Q3. What Is The Difference Between The Savage Axis And Axis XP?
The main difference between these two lines in the design of the trigger set. The Axis XP II comes with the highly celebrated AccuTrigger System. This lightweight trigger set is highly customizable, and you can customize it according to your preference and your shooting style.
The trigger pull can be set all by ourselves without having to pay an extra penny to a gunsmith. Additionally, the AccuRelease feature of this trigger set provides additional safety if in case the rifle is suddenly dropped from the tree stand.
Q4. Is The Savage Axis 223 A Short Action?
The axis happens to have all one action length. It is long but happens to be between the long and short action length of the Savage 110 action. The recoil lug of the Savage Axis 223 is on the stock and isn’t screwed hard to the barrel as in the case of the Savage 110’s action.
Savage Axis 223 – The Conclusion
Compared to the previous version in the Axis series, this definitely stays true to the inexpensive yet high-performance rifle claims of the company. Even though there exist certain issues with the trigger and the stock, the rifle isn’t that bad after all. It has a decent range, and the accuracy is also pretty on point.
If you are someone who hunts a lot, you might have to do a bit more research and find a better rifle than this. However, for someone who is new to the whole concept, this rifle would make for a great starter pack. Good build, affordable and noteworthy performance. Totally worth the time and money you pay.
Michael Castaneda is a 45-year old war veteran from Michigan with a deep interest in guns. After the war, Michael took a pledge to never touch a gun except for the purpose of self-defense. He created Machine Gun Books to guide people on self-defense and providing information on guns and accessories.