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.
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.
|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″|
|Sierra Varminter||100||48.4||2.580||RL 17||47.5||3266||2369||0.6|
|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||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
|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
|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.
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.