American Rifleman - August 2021 - 42

SAVAGE IMPULSE
The author fi red more
than 500 rounds
through various
Impulse models,
achieving sub-m.o.a.
accuracy. Note the
case in midair.
straight-pull Model 1886 came on the scene even before the
adoption of the French bolt-action Lebel and years before the
American bolt-action Springfi eld 1903. Why? Mainly because its
two strokes (back, forward) were faster than a turnbolt's four
(up, back, forward, down), and during the frontal-warfare era,
rate of fi re was everything.
Dozens of straight-pull bolt-action rifl es have been
WHAT'S THE POINT?
While I'll speculate that some
American hunters and shooters
might mumble, " Why do we
need this? " I'm not one of them. I
know why. And besides, " need " is a
word readily used by communists.
Americans, rather, are secretly admired
around the world for saying, " Why the heck not!? " But to
answer the question of " why " from Savage's perspective, I
asked the company. President and CEO Al Kaspar wanted to
grow the company's international business, so he challenged
the team to come up with ideas.
" We knew straight-pulls were popular in Europe, and
we understood why, " said Beth Shimanski, the fi rm's
director of marketing. " So we evaluated the feasibility
and market analysis. Fairly early on, we realized it could
have legs everywhere.
" We felt we could bring a faster-cycling fi rearm to a wider
variety of hunting and shooting categories. The speed, combined
with accuracy, offers a great rifl e for Precision Rifl e
Series (PRS) and Nation Rifl e League (NRL) competitions as
well as big-game hunts, " she continued. " We felt we could
offer a better product in this category at a more affordable
price point-both in the U.S. and abroad. That's why. "
No doubt readers of this publication are fully aware that
straight-pull bolt designs are nothing new. The AustroHungarian
Empire's Steyr-produced, Mannlicher-designed
42
AUGUST 2021
produced since 1886, but some of the more modern ones
(excepting myriad T-Bolt rimfi res) include: the Mauser M 96,
Merkel Helix, Heym SR 30, Anschutz 1927, Blaser 93 and
R8 and Browning Maral. What do all of them (except the
Browning) have in common? They're all made in Europe.
Why? Because in that part of the world, driven-game hunting
is the most popular style of hunting. Multiple quick
shots are often required to down moose, deer and boar
as they bound away from dog and driver. Both the speed
of the straight-pull and the way the rifl e can be swung
smoothly in line with a running target as the bolt is worked
on a linear plane is superior to the herky jerkiness of a traditional
bolt. Well, that and because semi-automatics were
mostly banned there by the communists.
What else do these rifl es have in common? They're all
engineered extremely well-as the Europeans tend to do.
On top of that and Europe's labor costs, these rifl es are
typically embellished to satisfy the tastes of the elite class
who typically hunt there. That is not to disparage those
fi ne folks, rather just to make the point that their rifl es
tend to be pricey. The spectacularly innovative and refi ned
Blaser R8, for example, ranges from $4,000 to $15,000!
On the other hand, Americans' history of hunting
was born not from the entertainment of kings but from
necessity. American hunters chose Marlin lever-actions,
Winchester bolt-actions and even Browning BARs if they
really felt they needed to sling lead. But rarely did they, preferring
instead the one-shot, one-kill mantra that prioritized
accuracy. And so the European-style straight-pulls never
caught on here.
But the Savage Impulse could change that since it is
sub-m.o.a. accurate out of the box like the company's
Model 110, modular for customizing for specifi c uses like a
Blaser and capable of ambidextrous operation. It's safe and
reliable, and yet it's affordable at around $1,400. So far, I
can't fi nd any drawbacks.
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

American Rifleman - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - August 2021

Contents
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover1
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover2
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 1
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Contents
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 3
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 4
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 5
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 6
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 7
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 8
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