View Full Version : Ruger American vs. Savage Axis

01-20-2015, 01:21 AM
:coffee: Has anybody tried the (supposedly) $300 Ruger American and have an opinion on it vs. the Savage Axis? :confused: I understand the Ruger has an adjustable trigger and shoots quite accurately. [smilie=f:

01-20-2015, 04:28 PM
I can answer half of it.

I bought a Savage Axis package last spring in .223. It was on sale for just under $300 with a Bushnell 3-9 mounted and bore sighted. The extra mag I bought with it cost another $40. First off, I bought it for the action and had/have no intention of keeping it intact (I have a .22-250 for a varmint rifle that shoots .3MOA - yes the decimal point is intentional), but I was naturally curious about what it can do as it came from the factory before I started messing with it, so I have been shooting it a fair amount (over 600 rounds) in the mean time and I do have some comments about it.

If I had bought it as a varmint rifle I would have sold it already. I have tried dozens of different factory, military, and handloads in it. It has yet to produce a group much better than 2MOA. OTOH everything stays under 5MOA, every shot is on the paper. There is one handload that has approached MOA, but it is inconsistent with only a few tight groups, other groups with the same load approach 3MOA. This is without a doubt the single most inaccurate Savage rifle I have ever had my hands on, and I blame the barrel (and only the barrel) for this. The trigger is crisp and clean with no grit or creep and lets off at right around 5lbs (estimate, shot side by side with one that we had measured). It is not the AccuTrigger, but it is excellent. I do not know if I can adjust it or not, but there is no need to mess with it and I'm not going to. I do not want another target rifle, I bought it specifically to build a deer rifle and I do not want a light trigger on it. The detachable steel/plastic mags hold five rounds (the manual says they hold four) and the release is easy to reach and operate even with heavy gloves on. They make a soft but audible click you can feel when they seat properly, with a light pressure, so you don't have to slam them in. It is going to make the perfect deer rifle when I take that tomato stake off of it and replace it with a decent one. Hopefully this summer I will have time to get the new .30/.223 barrel on it. I have also had the chance to shoot two other new Axis rifles, a .308 and a .243. Both were acceptably accurate for large game and both shot 1.5-2MOA with factory ammo. None of them are up to the accuracy standard I have come to expect from Savage over the years, but you get what you pay for. They are more than adequate for their intended purpose and IMO a great value. I won't have a varmint rifle that won't do MOA, but I would keep and hunt happily with either of the larger bores I shot.

The Bushnell 3-9 scope that came on it doesn't help either, it is a cheap POS that I cannot get to clearly focus, but I have the same problem with every Bushnell scope I have tried as long as I've been shooting, including their expensive models, so it may be my right eye. I was just an added perk and I will trade it for something useful. OTOH I have a tiny Bushnell red dot that I really like and I will probably put it onto the Axis for hunting when I get the new barrel fitted and have some hunting loads worked up for it.

I have only had a chance to handle two Ruger Americans, not shoot them. They appeared to be well made though I was not particularly impressed with the two triggers I was allowed to try: both were heavy, creepy, gritty. I suspect a good cleaning and polishing would cure that, and they are adjustable. The rifles fit me like they were made for me. (Look at the "target", close eyes, mount rifle, open eyes. "Target" centered in the scope. I realize that was just luck due to their owners' choices in optics, but it was a great confidence booster.) Rugers have never been famous for their accuracy though you do come upon the occasional tack driver, but I never expect much so I get very pleasant surprises sometimes. One said his "shoots 2" groups if I do my part" (which I believed), the other said his was "more than accurate enough" but would give no specifics (red flag and alarm bells - I suspect he is a "spray and pray" hunter). Neither is a reloader so they were talking about the "big 3's" factory loads. I won't form an opinion based on only one reliable report. At that price I think they are definitely worth a try and in standard chambering would be easily resalable if you aren't happy.

01-20-2015, 09:45 PM
Bushy 3200 and 4200 are decent. I have a 3-9x50 and 3.5-10x50.

No idea on those rifles. I have 2 M77 rugers. Both are 1MOA..

01-25-2015, 04:47 AM
Nobody else has any opinions? I find that hard to believe.

01-25-2015, 01:06 PM
I think you should buy both...

01-25-2015, 04:35 PM
Either would do nicely as a big game rifle, if that's what you have in mind. They are designed to be inexpensive nasty weather take-a-beating hunting rifles. Since their prices are right in the same ballpark, I would start with the basic questions: which stock fits you better and which comes in the chambering you are most interested in? Since both factory stocks fit me just fine (a surprise), I would venture that if one doesn't fit you or the intended recipient, the other wouldn't either without a change of stock. I would put decent optics on whichever anyway, so the package deal isn't really a selling point for an experienced hunter/shooter. I only bought the Savage as a package because it was on a special sale, cheaper than the regular models sans scope which I was ready to buy. If the Ruger had been in production then and on sale instead, I would have bought it. Both have the detachable mags I prefer on a hunting rifle, both are of comparable workmanship. If someone I know gets a Ruger American and I get a chance to shoot it, I will report back, but I would expect comparable accuracy to the Axis.

HR, I do not think it is a fair comparison to judge either rifle by either companies' more expensive models, i.e. m110 vs. Axis or m77 vs. American. The actions are different, the bolt (on the Ruger) is different, and the barrels on both of them are of lesser quality (it's an easy place to cut corners and lower production costs). With that in mind I would not expect the accuracy to be as good, but with anything, you get lucky sometimes. Remember Remington's inexpensive m788 which outshot (and outshoots!) any m700 made then or today. That was a gift from the shooting gods. I would not expect history to repeat itself, but that does not mean on an occasional one the tolerances all add up to a tack driver. That's why lotteries remain popular.