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View Full Version : Savage Axis XP .308 - Thoughts



VancouverSkiBum
08-27-2013, 04:05 AM
What do you think about this gun? For 349$ New with scope... Also saw one used for 300$ at my local store, but in 30-06... I really like Savage. Other options for the same price range? Remington 770? Ruger American? What else... Next level up for Savage would be the Savage 11/111 FCNS, with the accutrigger, in .300 WSM, or 7mm Rem Mag, for 550$, it also has a .308 option, whats the difference for 200$?

JustBen
08-27-2013, 05:03 AM
Spend the extra dollars and get the 11/111. You get a better trigger for one, but a better rifle all around.

VancouverSkiBum
08-27-2013, 06:54 AM
Also just found this... Mossberg 100 ATR Night Train 308 Win?

Strewth
08-27-2013, 01:08 PM
You're staying with the .308? Good choice if you are? Cheapish, lots of ammo flavours, easy to find. 300wsm is punchy off the bench with factory ammo...of those I like the accutrigger option as well, but then, it's fun to spend other people's money:). Can you dry fire all of these at least? Don't wear your best clothes, and go prone/sitting at the LGS, see which one fits you better? If you're going to shoot mainly off a bench, get them to drag a chair out to the counter for you? Some books to sit on?
I'm a pain at the LGS :), but it's my money, I feel bad for the people that heft the rifle a couple times, work the action, shoulder it once and plunk down their Visa...but maybe these people have already put up an ad at their club looking to shoot the exact gun they're purchasing...

Satain
08-27-2013, 03:30 PM
Steer clear of the nightmare train...
All others will end up being up to you. Me personally I like the T/C line before S&W bought it and turned it into snake oil.

VancouverSkiBum
08-27-2013, 06:33 PM
Steer clear of the nightmare train...
All others will end up being up to you. Me personally I like the T/C line before S&W bought it and turned it into snake oil.

Could you elaborate as to why its a nightmare? Ive heard people saying they love theirs. Scope is so-so, but it seems to work fine?

And whats a T/C, and why did S&W muck it up? :confused::D

VancouverSkiBum
08-27-2013, 06:38 PM
You're staying with the .308? Good choice if you are? Cheapish, lots of ammo flavours, easy to find. 300wsm is punchy off the bench with factory ammo...of those I like the accutrigger option as well, but then, it's fun to spend other people's money:). Can you dry fire all of these at least? Don't wear your best clothes, and go prone/sitting at the LGS, see which one fits you better? If you're going to shoot mainly off a bench, get them to drag a chair out to the counter for you? Some books to sit on?
I'm a pain at the LGS :), but it's my money, I feel bad for the people that heft the rifle a couple times, work the action, shoulder it once and plunk down their Visa...but maybe these people have already put up an ad at their club looking to shoot the exact gun they're purchasing...

Hey, if they really want your business they should jump through any hoop you lay out for them! Especially when it comes to a large purchase. My best friend is youtube, I didnt touch any of my guns till i got them in the mail! :bananna: Although I did cycle some similar guns at my LGS before I made my final click.

Rory McCanuck
08-27-2013, 09:35 PM
Just to throw a little bit of a curve at you, for around or just over $300, Tradex could sell you a Swedish Mauser.
Handle one of those, then pick up an Axis. Not really a fair fight, something hand fitted by craftsmen 100 years ago, as opposed to something stamped out to meet a price point.
I won't contest that new budget guns will shoot, and many of them shoot well, but I don't remember hearing about any of the old Mausers being junk. Some of them have had a hard life, and some of the late war, slave labour German guns were sabotaged, but either the price reflects it or they've been weeded out as parts guns. Tradex in particular, from all I've read, tend to under-rate their guns. If they say it is fairly good, it is likely very good.
Something to check out. http://www.tradeexcanada.com/products_list
Swedes starting near the bottom of the page here: http://www.tradeexcanada.com/produits/64

Drache
08-27-2013, 10:28 PM
I picked up an axis in .243 and using the factory package scope I've made some amazing shots with that rifle! I'll swear by my axis till the end of my days :p

VancouverSkiBum
08-27-2013, 11:48 PM
Some people love their night train, some people say they have had huge problems with it... poor quality control perhaps? Im really liking the Axis in .308, perhaps stainless.

Drache
08-28-2013, 09:44 AM
Some people love their night train, some people say they have had huge problems with it... poor quality control perhaps? Im really liking the Axis in .308, perhaps stainless.

The first night trains had massive problems with their bolts that could seriously hurt a shooter. The Night Train II rifles have supposedly fixed that problem. That being said, there is nothing special about the night train. It might look cooler but I'd put up my axis against one in the accuracy department :p

Watchdog
08-28-2013, 08:52 PM
Hi guys, seeing as how I work in a place that sells both the Mossberg Nighttrain and the Savage Axis let me tell you a few things about what I see coming back to the store.
Firstly anything Mossberg is pretty much junk, if it works as it's supposed to it works fantastic. The problem is that you might find 3 out of 10 that work as they are supposed to.
As for the Axis, well it's a very good shooting rifle, the trigger is on the heavy side (about 5 lb) and the scope is pretty much junk. I have seen a number of people who purchased the Axis come back about 2 or 3 months after purchasing their Axis to replace the scope that came with the rifle.
Some suggestions I can offer you, have a look at the Ruger American we have it priced at $449.99, it's a very good rifle but you will have to put a scope on it. I'd suggest a Nikon Prostaff II 3-9x40, we sell it for $189.99.

Satain
08-28-2013, 09:48 PM
:agree:

Some people love their night train, some people say they have had huge problems with it... poor quality control perhaps? Im really liking the Axis in .308, perhaps stainless.
Do it and Jerry @ Mystic will be your new go to guy. Good platform, Good aftermarket parts and also Good out of the box accuracy.
As for the S&W comment. Soon as they bought it boom! Recalls, un-common accuracy from rifle to rifle. You know the growing pains from going from a small family run company to a mass production firearms manufacture. Ever wonder why S&W custom shop is run separately with the pick of the litter and the rest of there stock firearms never compare?

VancouverSkiBum
08-29-2013, 03:14 AM
One of the more expensive savage models comes with a weaver 4-12 power scope on it, are weaver scopes any good? Is 3-9 enough power for a .308 or would a 12x or 16x zoom work better? I see a deal on the axis for 250$ at wholesale sports, no scope or bases... How much are bases for it? One more question, difference between the Axis and the Axis XP?

Watchdog
08-29-2013, 07:29 AM
The 3-9 power is a good all round power for a .308, unless you are going to be doing some long range distance target shooting, then you might want to step it up to a 4-12 or bigger. The price for scope bases varies depending on what style and brand of rings you want to use on your rifle, they could cost as little as $10 or as much as $40. As for the difference between the Axis and the Axis XP, there is none (as far as I know). I think the Axis XP is just identifying that it comes with scope and the Axis is non scoped.

Strewth
08-29-2013, 10:19 AM
Package deals don't really come with decent scopes (...maybe the Tikka combo with the Burris FF). For scopes you generally get what you pay for, and you should really look through them before you purchase one...if this is impossible, at least Google the reticles for comparison, I'm a big fan of a couple of holdover dots on thin crosshairs, YMMV... but you should really look through them. A side by side comparison of scopes is very revealing, and generally the guys at the gun store will know the distance to the buildings across the street...if they don't, ask to see a range finder:).
A 3x9 is fine for 100 yards, I use my Leupold to 200 no problemo off the bench, and then usually dialled back to 4x for hunting...Although if you want to see your holes in paper, more power is better, I have an inexpensive Bushnell 4x16 on my 10-22 for easily seeing .22 holes in black targets at 50, for example, and if this is what I'll be doing for the range trip, I won't need to drag out my spotting scope.
I feel for the people that have to wait for a cease fire to see what their doing at the range, I realize a decent spotting scope is expensive, but by spending a little more on a rifle scope you won't need a spotting scope for a while for bench shooting at 100-200 yards...

I should also say that the ol' adage of the scope cost equalling the rifle cost is very true...also buy once, cry once.

Scopes can be very purpose dependant, a 3x9 is a good all purpose scope.

Drache
08-29-2013, 12:39 PM
See with me so far i love the cheap little bushnell that came with my axis. Out of the box it was out by an inch. Sighted it in once and havent touched it since. And i will say ive abused the holy hell out of the rifle and scope trying to make one or both stop working. The scope has never once left zero on me and is crystal clear.

Strewth
08-29-2013, 01:21 PM
Yah yer right Drache, I should have but an "In My Opinion" at the beginning of my post...I'm sure those on here in the long range game would look at my Leupold as a non-starter in their chosen discipline of this sport.

Drache
08-29-2013, 01:31 PM
Yah yer right Drache, I should have but an "In My Opinion" at the beginning of my post...I'm sure those on here in the long range game would look at my Leupold as a non-starter in their chosen discipline of this sport.

Normally im in the same boat as never trust a starting scope. Ive been trying to make the scope fail to get something nicer on there.

chadeech
08-29-2013, 05:08 PM
i picked up a axis stainless in 223 accurate out of the box didn't get the scope package though did not see the point
of a scope i wouldn't want tried it out to 200 tack driver good bang for the buck
will like a nicer stock if they come up somewhere but really pleased
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w249/NortyNicky25/axis_zps6f7b95c7.jpg (http://s178.photobucket.com/user/NortyNicky25/media/axis_zps6f7b95c7.jpg.html)

JustBen
08-29-2013, 08:14 PM
One more question, difference between the Axis and the Axis XP?

Identical guns, but the XP comes with the package scope.

VancouverSkiBum
08-30-2013, 06:45 PM
Got to feel one out today at my lgs. Nice and light weight, smooth bolt. Scope was ok ish. I also looked at some other scopes, mostly the bushnell banner 4-16 and 4-24(i think), and a Vortex in 4-12. What a difference in clearness and light transfer! The vortex blew the bushnell outta the water. It was 219+tax. the bush was 89, and 119. I dont know if it was just that rifle, cause its handled so much, but the bolt handle was very... umm... loose? it was extremely easy to pop it back up and down (cock , uncock), and I was able to push it up and have it brush against the stock scope, it had a lot of "give".......... Dont think ill be getting the package deal if the rings are that low.

FlyingHigh
08-31-2013, 01:14 AM
Hi guys, seeing as how I work in a place that sells both the Mossberg Nighttrain and the Savage Axis let me tell you a few things about what I see coming back to the store.
Firstly anything Mossberg is pretty much junk, if it works as it's supposed to it works fantastic. The problem is that you might find 3 out of 10 that work as they are supposed to.
As for the Axis, well it's a very good shooting rifle, the trigger is on the heavy side (about 5 lb) and the scope is pretty much junk. I have seen a number of people who purchased the Axis come back about 2 or 3 months after purchasing their Axis to replace the scope that came with the rifle.
Some suggestions I can offer you, have a look at the Ruger American we have it priced at $449.99, it's a very good rifle but you will have to put a scope on it. I'd suggest a Nikon Prostaff II 3-9x40, we sell it for $189.99.

I'll argue that statement all day long, well as far as the shotguns go. I used to sell guns for a living as well. ;)

My Mossberg Maverick 12ga has well over 6000 rounds through it now. Been cleaned 4 times. It was only rinsed after being deliberately dunked in a swamp and lake. It's be purposely abused and it still comes back for more. The list of abuses is as long as my arm...

My friend's Mossberg 590A1, which I'm buying from him, has been just as reliable in almost 2500 rounds. It also throws slugs onto a 10" gong consistently at 100m.

Military units around the world, including the US Marine Corp, Navy and Army all use Mossberg shotguns. Good enough for me.

I've played with the Mossberg rifles, and have been wholly unimpressed though. I think Mossberg should just stick to the shotguns.

MK Wheelie
08-31-2013, 04:51 PM
I bought the Axis package in .223 and the 111 in 30-06. The scope on the Axis came loose internally and buggered up. The one on the '06 is fine.

I bought both rifles for the rifle, not the optics. I have nothing but good to report on both the rifles. The scopes however, I could leave 'em.

Accuracy is good and they're both tough units.

Alleycat
09-09-2013, 12:11 PM
A friend of mine and i bought a pair of Axis xp's in .243 and i think they are great for the money. The scope isn't the greatest but heck it gets you out shooting asap, no running around buying scopes, bases and rings. I plan on ugrading the scope one day and either flogging the one that came with it or sticking on a .22 ...
As for the trigger it is fairly brutal out of the box but there are some mods you can try or spend some buck on a Rifle Basix or Timney and Bob's your uncle.

VancouverSkiBum
10-17-2013, 12:06 AM
Im all in a fuss now... 30-06 or .308...? id like to hear some more... particularly about reloading costs for each round, and availability/price of standard ammo. Also, what is the difference in trajectory like? I know .308 is fairly cheap on the surplus side, whats the accuracy like with it? Would I have a better time buying surplus .308, or reloading 30-06 with a little lee reloading kit? I also like a good kick in my rifles. ;) How does 250$ for a new axis without scope sound? Its a 60$ difference just because of a mossy oak pattern.

superglide
10-17-2013, 07:55 AM
I would go with 308 but that's just me as it will take down anything I hunt (deer, moose elk) without any issue's, but so will the 30-06. 308 is a little cheaper. Its not a huge difference though. Another rifle to check out is the Marlin xs7(308) and xl7(30-06) I have one in 308 and it is awesome. I also shoot high priced precision rifles and this 350$ marlin never ceases to amaze. It has a great trigger, very similar to an accutrigger, remington style safety, and even a target crowned barrel the stock is also very good for a inexpensive rifle. I shoot federal fusion 165gr ammo that is about 25 dollars a box (fairly inexpensive) and can maintain 1 inch to 1.25 inch groups. It doesn't come with a scope but top it with a nikon, redfield, or vortex for around 200$ and you will be set for life. Look it up and you will be hard pressed to find a bad review. Also the axis are good rifles, I just love my Marlin.

Mikthaniel
10-17-2013, 10:12 AM
I love my .308, don't get me wrong... BUT

As it is the "most popular" common long range round and the base for so many other great rounds, I was severely disappointed to find out that ballistically it doesn't perform to the levels that most of the "DOA" reticles with the easy range markers are designed.

Most reticles with a Bullet Drop Compensator reticle are designed more for flatter trajectory rounds, like a .270 or a 7MM Rem Mag. My .308 came with a Bushnell 600 DOA scope and I had to trial and error to come up with my own ranges that the pre-marked hashes were accurate for. I am thinking of swapping it out for a mil-dot style reticle scope and getting better at doing the math now.

Don't get me wrong, I love the round itself and it's diversity and cost and pedigree. Just be careful when you put a scope on top that you avoid a BDC Reticle as it just won't match your ballistics.

Strewth
10-17-2013, 10:56 AM
Axis price good? If you don't like the colour, spray paint it....nice inexpensive stock to learn (greasy hands, dust, sanding, primer, time between coats) painting on?

IMO .308 as well? It's a very standard target calibre, and works plenty good for hunting most/all things? Maybe not rabbit, or grouse.
There's a ton of load data and cartridge choices for either of those rounds, from mild to wild.

Hey Mikthaniel, did your BDC scopes not come with a ballistics table for different rounds? Mine did? It was a starting point at least?

http://www.furorsniper.cz/data/download/Burris_Ballistic_Plex.pdf

Mikthaniel
10-17-2013, 11:50 AM
Basically they list a dozen calibres that they suggest match their hash marks with standard off the shelf loads.

.308 is not on the list.

My rough table looks like this:

Crosshair = 100 yrds (ZERO)
1st Hash = 180 yrds
2nd Hash = 240 yrds
3rd Hash = 310 yrds
4th Hash = 390 yrds

I need to take these approximations to the range and tune them, but for example to hit a water jug at 300 yards I needed to aim just a smidge above the 400 yard hash.

If I had it mounted on my friends 7mm rem mag aiming at the jug on the 300 yrd hash would hit the jug. (accurate within say 4 inches)

He could use a 400 yard hash to kill a 400 yard deer, whereas I would have been clipping it's toenails...

In any scenario you have to test it out and know your set up, I was just under the false supposition that the BDC reticles were based closer to the .308 ballistics and other calibres would need to adjust. I was wrong.

Mikthaniel
10-17-2013, 11:51 AM
Being that the BDC isn't formatted for my calibre anyway, I may change my zero to 200 yrds and plot the calculations from there...

VancouverSkiBum
10-24-2013, 01:03 AM
So heres what im thinking. Axis .308 with egw 20 moa base, with a Vortex Crossfire II 6-18x44. Just thought id grab that base in case i ever wanted to stretch her legs. what do you think? What would be a good pair of rings to go with that?

Strewth
10-24-2013, 09:04 AM
Burris Z-rings for lack of scratching, forgiveness of torqueing, and chance to offset with the inserts for more leg stretching. I likes them:).
Or Leupold QD rings and bases to swap scope between rifles?

Satain
10-24-2013, 01:45 PM
Waryne QD rings.

VancouverSkiBum
01-28-2014, 11:54 PM
Although im kicking myself a bit for not getting one during the holiday sale madness, im now looking again for an Axis. Ive kinda settled on the 30-06 in stainless, because of all the different bullet weights, and the variety of animals in the province. im thinking I can load 125 grainers for yotes or smaller, 150's for deer, and 180s or ... umm 200, or 220?, for the off chance i have the opportunity to get a moose or larger game. Am I thinking correctly here? IT will be a dedicated hunting gun, so im not planning on reloading. a few boxes of ammo should do me a while. wholesale sports has one for 359.99$, can anyone tell me of a place that has it for cheaper? Keeping in mind that I can just drive to wholesale sports. I want to put a 4-12 or 4-16 power scope on it. 6-24 is too much. Probably still a Vortex.

And for the rings you guys suggested, could you tell me where to get them? They will be a permanent fixture on this one rifle. dont need any quick detach stuff.

Itsneversafe
01-29-2014, 09:49 PM
125 is a reduced recoil round in 30-06. Useless thing.

I use hornady almost exclusively in my weatherby, it does deer to elk with ease. Mine eats 180 exclusively, I used to use 165 for deer but the 180 seems more consistent and the drop difference is very little within 300 yds. After 300 your starting to lob bullets with some big holdovers and I don't recommend it.

Power wise within 400 yds 180 has killed whitetail, mulies, elk and moose. Put it in his guts or breadbasket they don't get more than 50 yds away.

For a lighter rifle make sure you have a good pad at the back. Short of a magnum nothing will hit your shoulder harder than a 30-06. It's a fast hard snappy recoil not a thump or push. Keep eye relief in mind for the scope. Get it to close your face you will get nailed often.

That's all I got. Mine is going for sale this year, I am moving to a .300 win mag cause I am getting to old and fat to get within 300 yards of the deer anymore.

VancouverSkiBum
01-30-2014, 02:42 AM
Thanks neversafe. i missed the 165's. That would seem like a perfect round for what I want. Would the 165 be enough for large game like black bear, If I run upon one in the woods, and moose? Is 180 too much for smaller deer?

superbrad
01-30-2014, 07:45 AM
I use 180 for everything... saves you having to site in all the time, although the extra shooting never hurts... take a good broadside shot and you don;t have to worry about meat damage...

Itsneversafe
01-30-2014, 08:55 AM
180 does just fine on deer, sst rounds I use have taken many whitetail and mule deer. I used to use 165 because I thought using a slightly lighter faster bullet was better for deer. My experience was it made absolutely no difference.
I have never shot a bear, but seeing what 180 do on a shoulder to shoulder shot on a moose a bear would need some kryptonite to survive any kind of hit by it.

road kill
01-30-2014, 12:21 PM
The 30-06 is always a good choice. A little know fact about the 308 is that while it is a great target round, anyone that would hunt with one would also bugger the local sheep population.;D

Mikthaniel
01-30-2014, 06:58 PM
The 30-06 is always a good choice. A little know fact about the 308 is that while it is a great target round, anyone that would hunt with one would also bugger the local sheep population.;D

Maybe you should throw on a wool sweater and come for a visit!?

road kill
01-31-2014, 07:15 AM
I don't own a wool sweater. ;D But i did hunt in southern sask once or twice. Sheep where scary fast on their feet.

awndray
01-31-2014, 08:12 AM
The trick is to put their hind legs in your boots ;)

coastal
01-31-2014, 08:37 AM
The trick is to put their hind legs in your boots ;)

I always thought Velcro gloves were the key. :bananna:

Drache
03-05-2014, 10:04 PM
Well I just picked up an Axis XP with stainless barrel in .308 with the Bushnell scope. Brand new, never fired, for $390 shipped!

The price has really increased on these rifles! They are $430 plus taxes and shipping at Cabelas and $515 plus taxes at my local gun store! Far cry from when they were $350 plus taxes :(