Reviewed: Savage 110 Elite Precision

Savage’s 110 Elite Precision is accurate and PRS-ready right out of the box.

Reviewed: Savage 110 Elite Precision

The precision rifle market has exploded in the last few years thanks in part to the very competitive PRS — Precision Rifle Series. Though there have historically been a lot of people who were into building precision rifles, today it seems everyone wants to get into accuracy with some type of precision build. Just a decade ago, buying the quality and accuracy available in this Savage 110 Elite Precision would have required a fair amount of expensive custom gunsmithing, a lot of time waiting on aftermarket parts, machining, and a large investment.

Savage has responded to the maturing precision market with its newest Savage 110 Elite Precision. The Elite Precision represents a new benchmark for factory rifles with many factory firsts for Savage in one rifle. Savage 110 actions with the unique and easily DIY headspacable barrel nut made it a favorite for precision rifle builders, tuners, and it’s a simple platform for switch barrel/caliber rigs. Savage’s incredibly good adjustable AccuTrigger and excellent factory accuracy have converted a lot of Remington 700-format shooters in a short amount of time. For the PRS competitor, good factory accuracy, a simple-to-work-on action, and even a great factory trigger only takes you so far when up against competitors with high-tier precision rifles.

In this case, the Savage 110 Elite Precision includes just about everything needed for PRS competition except a bipod and optics. The Savage 110 platform has delivered historically great accuracy as a factory platform, but it always needed a few things to get it up to the level of the custom builds, including a stiffer precision barrel, blueprinted action, more rigid precision stainless target receiver, fully adjustable free-floating billet chassis, 20 MOA rail, and the AccuTrigger offered on most models.

Most of the Savage 110 models are based on a carbon steel receiver and barrel, but Savage has offered some of these upgraded options — but not all on one rifle. Stainless receivers and barrels were available on a few all-weather and dangerous-game rifles, a few models included factory blueprinting, and some models featured aftermarket target or billet chassis. Savage has put these components together in the 110 Elite Precision plus some very nice extras.

The blueprinting, or truing, process is an extensive process usually only offered by aftermarket precision rifle builders and gunsmiths, but Savage does it during the manufacturing and assembly process. The blueprinting process involves squaring the receiver locking lug recesses, receiver face, bolt face, recoil lug and barrel lock nut with custom milling and precision grinding/honing steps to accomplish perfect alignment between the action and the rifle’s bore. 

The goal of a factory blueprinted action is to create perfect concentricity between the action and the bore for consistent accuracy and shot-to-shot repeatability. By squaring all surfaces, it creates tight tolerances between all components and evenly distributes stress even as the gun heats and cools. The precision-machined receivers and precision-rifled barrels are then mated together with the custom machined small parts to produce a rifle with match-grade accuracy, right out of the box. A few component upgrades include a titanium nitride bolt body, 20 MOA Picatinny optics rail, self-timing muzzle brake and flash-nitriding the stiffer stainless receiver. Savage pairs that blueprinted action with their adjustable 1.5- to 4-pound AccuTrigger, MDT vertical grip, and the incredibly versatile $1,499 MSRP gray Cerakoted MDT ACC chassis with M-LOK mounts and integrated full-length ARCA mount.

Considering the $1,999 MSRP, Savage has packed a lot of features and value into the 110 Elite Precision. In the past, consumers would buy a base model $700-$800 Savage 110, have it blueprinted for $200+, upgrade the barrel for $350+, add a competition-level chassis for $1,499+, plus a 20 MOA rail, grip and muzzle brake upgrades for another $150+ — for a total of over $2,500 on the very low side. For some, the DIY method is fun; however, that process can waste months shipping a gun around, waiting for gunsmiths, barrel and part makers. Considering the 110 Elite Precision is retailing for about $1,899, Savage is saving consumers at least $1,000 and delivering a high-quality precision rifle they can shoot and compete with tomorrow. Even if a customer does want to add other barrels and calibers later for a swap-barrel rig, the easy DIY barrel nut headspacing format leaves those options open.


Build Quality

In addition to a very solid build quality, Savage has added some really nice touches — some purely esthetic and some that could enhance reliability and operation. The barrel is a very heavy taper profile that tapers from 1.125 inches at the receiver to about .875-inch at the muzzle, which delivers a nice heft that helps stabilize the rifle on the bench. At 28 inches, the barrel is optimized to get the most velocity from the 6.5 Creedmoor round for long-range shooting; however, when standing, the rifle is about 44 inches tall, and with a suppressor, it is a physically huge PRS purpose-built gun.

Settling in behind the Elite Precision, the design goals of delivering intuitive ergonomics and comfort becomes obvious. The titanium nitride bolt body against the nitrided receiver is a little more slippery and adds that custom smooth feel during cycling. When the AccuTrigger is adjusted down to 1.5 pounds, it feels every bit like an aftermarket match-grade trigger.

It would be amazing that someone could not get perfectly comfortable behind the MDT ACC chassis considering the breadth of adjustments the chassis has available, including the trigger-reach adjustability of the MDT Elite vertical grip. MDT worked collaboratively with some of the top PRS shooters to develop the ACC chassis first and foremost as a competition chassis. The MDT ACC is widely regarded as the best PRS chassis on the market. The ACC chassis alone is packed with features that include weight cavities, an integrated barricade stop, ambi-magazine release, ACIS magazine compatibility, 17+-inches of ARCA and M-LOK mounting points, accessory mount ports for accessories such as spare ammo holders, and a fully adjustable grip and stock. A few minutes of adjusting the MDT ACC chassis exactly to your needs and it becomes a rifle that feels comfortable, like an intuitive extension of the body.


Shooting Impressions

Having owned a number of custom precision rifles that easily eclipsed the price point of the 110 Precision Elite by thousands of dollars, I can say this is a fantastic factory rifle that lacks nothing. If anything, it is a more pleasant shooter experience that omits the typical tuning and tweaking headaches that usually accompany custom rifle builds. The 110 Precision Elite just plain works right out of the box. Mounting a Bushnell Elite 6-24 and an Atlas bipod was all that was needed to laser bore sight the rifle and zero for testing. Within the first dozen groups, the rifle started to deliver consistent sub-MOA groups, with a few groups just over .25-inch at 100 yards. Using our best performing Hornady and Federal rounds, we even managed a few sub-1-inch 300-yard groups after a few tries, which is impressive for a factory gun. With the right match ammo or handloads, this is easily a predictable and consistent half-MOA gun.


Final Thoughts

Though simple repackaging base actions into new stocks and chassis seems to be commonplace in the industry, Savage did its homework and has built the 110 Precision Elite from the ground up as a precision rifle. Though it will be a long time before a competitor shoots out this factory barrel, a barrel swap down the road will still be easy thanks to the simple DIY headspaceable Savage barrel-nut action. Currently Savage is offering the rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor, 6 Creedmoor, .223 Rem., 300 PRC, .300 Win. Mag., .308 Win. and .338 Lapua. The Savage Elite Precision is an incredible value for accuracy-craving customers and PRS competitors.


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