The Backcountry Solution

Savage’s 110 Ultralite rifle delivers big-game performance in a lightweight package

Big-game hunters who look for adventure in mountainous areas need to pack light. The nine-pound-plus rifles favored by treestand hunters become cumbersome deadweights when you spend a long day scrambling over scree for mule deer or threading your way through thick stands of lodgepole pines or western larch for elk. But if a backcountry hunt in high terrain is on your bucket list, fear not—Savage has got your back.

The company’s highly regarded Model 110 bolt-action rifle is a time-tested design, one trusted by hunters to deliver accuracy and dependability year after year, hunt after hunt. But in order to shave the weight required for the backcountry rifle that Savage envisioned, Savage looked for a partner that specialized in lightweight components. That partner is PROOF Research, a composite barrel and rifle company known for an innovative approach that allows it to set new industry standards in this area for accuracy, reduced weight, durability, and longevity.

The result of this partnership is the Savage 110 Ultralite.

PROOF Research’s unique manufacturing processes utilize next-generation aerospace materials and thermo-mechanical design principles to create match-grade carbon-fiber barrels that weigh a fraction of traditional steel barrels. The patented manufacturing process begins with 416R stainless-steel barrel blanks. The blanks are then subjected to a process that creates a lightweight barrel contour that is then wrapped with high-strength aerospace-grade carbon-fiber impregnated with a proprietary matrix resin. The end result is a strong, light, and accurate composite barrel.

This barrel is then mated to the Model 110 platform that utilizes a Melonite skeletonized receiver that also helps minimize weight. In fact, weight (without a scope) of the 110 Ultralite ranges from 5.8 to 6 pounds, depending upon barrel length and caliber. The Melonite finish helps improve wear and corrosion resistance, a welcome feature given the extreme conditions this gun will encounter on a backcountry elk hunt.

To help the rifle achieve the ultimate in accuracy, Savage blueprints the action at the factory. Blueprinting involves squaring the locking lug recesses, receiver base, bolt face, locking lugs, recoil lug, and barrel lock nut. This creates perfect alignment between the action and the bore. Doing so involves all of Savage’s normal high production tolerances with an added step–custom grinding of each of these critical parts to even tighter tolerances, just as a gunsmith would do for a custom rifle. The result is a match-grade matched set of components perfectly square to the line of the bore, and that extra attention to detail results in a big step up in accuracy.

The Model 110 Ultralite also takes advantage of Savage’s AccuFit technology. AccuFit uses interchangeable components that allow hunters to custom-fit both comb height and length of pull without taking the rifle to the gunsmith. The only tool needed is a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Comb height is controlled by five riser settings, adjustable in 1/8-inch increments. All a hunter has to do is select the riser that creates cheek-to-stock contact and aligns the line of sight to the barrel or scope.

Length of pull is likewise fully adaptable to the shooter by using up to four 1⁄4-inch inserts included with the rifle. This is especially useful to accommodate the differences in clothing worn on warm-weather versus cold-weather hunts, and the system doesn’t have bulky knobs that will snag on brush or gear.

Also on board is Savage’s award-winning AccuTrigger. The trigger was a first-of-its-kind innovation offered on a factory rifle: a user-adjustable (no trip to the gunsmith) trigger system that offers a light, clean pull with no creep. The design also prevents the firearm from discharging if jarred or dropped. The AccuTrigger on the 110 Ultralite can be set from 1.5 to 4 pounds.Other features of the 110 Ultralite include a threaded muzzle for 5/8-24 with flush fit cap, a detachable box magazine, and a spiral fluted bolt. In addition, the receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope.

The Model 110 Ultralite is available in eight calibers and two barrel lengths. The 22-inch-long versions can be had in .308 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, .280 Ackley, .270 Win., and .30-06 Spfld. The 24-inch-long versions are available in .300 WSM, 6.5 PRC, and 28 Nosler. SRP: $1,499.Going light doesn’t have to mean going undergunned. That’s why Savage created the 110 Ultralite. It’s the perfect partner for the backcountry hunter. (savagearms.com)