Savage’s 110 Ultralite Part II

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08/22/2021
I wrote a really funny intro. No, not of the easy slapstick genre, but really clever, deeply insightful and witty. Unfortunately, after editing the lines several times, they became quite stale… passé… démodé and several other French words I can’t pronounce. So, I’ll make up for it next time. I am under a lot of pressure lately. Do you have a minute to talk?

All dressed up and lots of places to go

The Ultralite, like any other firearm, puts on a little weight as accessories are added. The scope and mounts brought its weight from 5.8 lbs to to 7.1 lbs. The addition of the Omega 36M silencer, all modules affixed, brought the weight to 8.5 lbs. If it were s standard sporter the weights would be, respectively, 7.5 lbs, 8.8 lbs and 9.8 lbs. Of the accessories noted, my guess is that the rifle would most typically be used with a scope and not with silencer.

Carrying the Savage 110 Ultralite for the duration of the project was a good deal more comfortable than carrying a short, sharply tapered traditionally barreled lightweight. The issue is balance. Rifles with short, lightweight profiled barrels feel as though there is nothing projecting beyond the hand supporting a forearm. Consequently, they are not naturally steady in hold. Even though the carbon fiber wrapped barrel is very light, perhaps the added length still puts some weight at the muzzle that steadies the rifle.

Heat dissipation and the carbon fiber wrapped barrel. Taking readings with a Fluke infrared thermometer yielded interesting results. With an ambient temperature of 72.9°F, an immediate reading after 5 shots within 30 seconds (4 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber), the barrel just forward of the receiver checked 85.5°F and just aft of the muzzle read 90.5°F. Two minutes later, the chamber end had climbed to 86.7°F and the muzzle temp dropped to 88.2. Temperature then dropped approximately 2°F per minute on its way to ambient.

By no means am I suggesting a technical evaluation of the carbon fiber wrapped barrel and its ability to shed heat. I was, however, impressed with the barrel’s ability to remain relatively cool during a maximum hunting round count firing and the barrel’s ability to shed heat relatively quickly.

Relative Performance and humidity

Velocity, with and without silencer, was virtually the same. A comparison to Savage Lightweight Storm is included in the table below.

Cartridge Rated MV
24″ Standard
FPS
Savage
Ultralite 22″
Silenced FPS
Savage
Ultralite 22″
Unsilenced FPS
Savage
Lightweight 20″
Storm FPS
Hornady Match 2910 2904 2906 2733
Federal Fusion 2750 2730 2723 2688

The 110 Ultralite’s recoil is modest with the 6.5 Creedmoor round. Silenced, recoil is less, as is the case with any decent muzzle brake. Muzzle rise without any barrel device is negligible. The Savage Model 110 Ultralite is easy to shoot accurately.

Handloads and live fire

Warning: Bullet selections are specific, and loads are not valid with substitutions of different bullets of the same weight. Variations in bullet length will alter net case capacity,  pressure and velocity. Primer selection is specific and primer types are not interchangeable. These are maximum loads in my firearms and may be excessive in others. All loads should be reduced by 5% as a starting point for development where cartridges have greater than 40 grains in capacity and 10% for cartridges with less than 40 grain capacity following safe handloading practices as represented in established mainstream reloading manuals. Presentation of these loads does not constitute a solicitation for their use, nor a recommendation.

6.5 Creedmoor
Firearm Savage 110 Ultralite
Barrel Length 22.0″ 1:8″ Twist
Max Case Length 1.920″ +0.000″/-0.020″
Min – Max COL 2.700″ – 2.825″
Primer CCI 250 – LRM
Bullet Diameter 0.2644″ +0.000″/-0.0030″
Reloading Dies Hornady
Bullet Type Bullet
Weight

Grains
Net H2O
Grains
Capacity
COL” Powder Type Powder
Charge

Grains
Muzzle
Velocity

fps
Muzzle
Energy

ft/lbs
100 YD
3 Shot
Group”
Sierra Varminter 100 48.4 2.580 RL 17 47.5 3266 2369 0.6
Sierra Varminter 100 48.4 2.580 H414 49.0 3285 2397 0.7
Sierra Varminter 100 48.4 2.580 Norma 203-B 42.5 3291 2406 0.5
Sierra Pro-Hunter 120 47.9 2.740 RL 17 45.0 3049 2476 0.5
Sierra Pro-Hunter 120 47.9 2.740 Superformance 48.5 3068 2509 0.4
Sierra Pro-Hunter 120 47.9 2.740 Norma URP 45.0 3003 2404 0.7
Nosler Partition 125 47.3 2.790 RL 16 44.0 2983 2470 0.6
Nosler Partition 125 47.3 2.790 RL 17 45.0 3077
2629 0.8
Nosler Partition 125 47.3 2.790 Win 760 45.0 2938 2393 0.7
Prvi Partizan 139 46.9 2.740 RL 16 42.0 2828
2469 0.8
Prvi Partizan 139 46.9 2.740 RL 17 43.0 2792 2407 0.4
Prvi Partizan 139 46.9 2.740 Norma URP 42.5 2795 2412 0.5
Hornady ELD-X 143 44.3 2.800 RL 16 41.0 2847 2574 0.5
Hornady ELD-X 143 44.3 2.800 RL 17 42.0 2809 2506 0.8
Hornady ELD-X 143 44.3 2.800 Norma URP 41.5 2758 2416 0.7

The handloads indicated were borrowed from Real Guns handload data and modified and revised for the Savage 110 Ultralite. A few combinations from the original listing were left off. Either they did not shape up for this application, or they were deemed inappropriate for this exercise. I am sure I could have found lots of bullet and powder substitutes.

Overall

At first blush, the Savage 110 Ultralite’s $1,595 MSRP seemed a bit progressive. Then I realized I’m old, it is no longer 1955 and a good deal of inflation has had its way with the nation over the years.

Savage is once again making very good rifles, as they did in the not too distant past, and the Savage 110 Ultralite with exotic carbon fiber barrel is priced about the same as a standard Winchester Model 70.

The 6.5 Creedmoor is optimal for deer, hogs, elk and similar thin skin and weight game and it is a cartridge that works well in concert with the Savage 110 Ultralite. An excellent hunting firearm.

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