Review: Savage Axis II Xp .223 Bolt Action Rifle, Part One

Back in 2010 I reviewed the then-new Savage Arms Edge: . It did extremely well, shooting 5/8 in. CTC @ 100 yards right out of the box with Federal American Eagle 62 grain FMJ rounds. With Barnes 55 grain Triple Shock loads it shot consistently inside 1/2 inch. Later, the Edge (renamed the Axis) was tested in .308 Win, and that rifle had no problem shooting inside 5/8 inch @ 100 yards, either.

Since them, the Axis has gone on to set all kinds of sales records and gained a reputation as the most accurate entry-level centerfire rifle ever offered to the consumer. The rest of the bolt-action rifle industry has been struggling to play catch-up ever since. At the time, I wrote, “All in all, it is a very clean design that shoots at several times beyond its diminutive price tag. Too often, rifles targeted as entry-level guns have displayed lousy safeties, rough actions, fussy magazines, and lackluster accuracy. The Edge has none of these propensities, comes with metal sling swivel studs, and a better than expected recoil pad as well. For all of these reasons, I think Savage Arms is going to sell a ton of these rifles. There is nothing out there that remotely competes with it, much less a centerfire rifle built in Westfield, Massachusetts, USA.”

I was wrong: Savage has sold many tons of them: it is now over 650,000 rifles later. The Axis has been so successful, the prior value line, the Stevens bolt-action centerfire rifle line is gone.

Series: AXIS 
AccuStock: No 
Magazine: Detachable box 
Stock material: Synthetic 
Barrel material: Carbon Steel 
Stock finish: Matte 
Barrel finish: Matte 
Stock color: Black 
Barrel color: Black 

Weaver Kaspa 3-9x40 scope, mounted and bore-sighted 
Adjustable AccuTrigger 

223 REM Sku:22221
Caliber: 223 REM
Rate of Twist:1 in 9"
Weight: 6.5 lbs
Overall Length:43.875""
Barrel Length: 22""
Ammo Capacity:4
MSRP: $489.00

This Axis II adds the Savage AccuTrigger, itself an industry game-changer, and the “Xp” models include an OEM-level scope, in this case the Weaver Kaspa 3-9 x 40mm. As received, the Axis II trigger breaks at a crisp four pounds on the nose and you can adjust it from there as you wish.

The bolt is exceedingly smooth like the previously tested Axis models and it uses the same “universal type” receiver, with the detachable box magazine blocked off as necessary for the particular cartridge. You have your choice of 22-250 REM, 223 REM, 243 WIN, 25-06 REM, 270 WIN, 30-06 SPFLD, 308 WIN, and 7MM-08 REM.

In Part Two it is off to the field to see how this Axis II Xp performs.

©1999 - 2015 Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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