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TFB Review: The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun

The new Savage Impulse is crazy cool. An ambidextrous straight-pull bolt action, even you left-handed peeps can share in the fun. Straight-pull bolt action is far from new technology, in fact, it is more than a hundred years old. Savage has decided to enter the game and produce the Impulse. Straight pull actions are very popular in Europe but have not been too popular in the US. With an affordable price point, this may change. It even includes a scope rail machined onto the receiver.

I was sent the Savage Impulse Hog Hunter (chambered in .308 Win). It is cool enough to dry fire and work the action a hundred times right out of the box. Initially, it did take my brain a few minutes to relearn the counterintuitive action. Muscle memory takes a few rotations to relearn. I must admit a straight-pull bolt gun is a lot of fun. Let us take a look at this very cool, somewhat unique bolt gun.

UNBOXING

When unboxing the Savage Impulse the bolt and action are the first things you want to check out. The rest of the rifle is cool, but that is what the hype is about. You want to study the action, and see how it works. At the center of this is clearly the bolt. The bolt head holds six ball bearings that when the bolt is closed are pushed out and lock the bolt taking the place of the lugs. After the weapon is fired and you pull rearward the bolt handle rotates ahead of the bolt moving. This rotation unlocks the action, by retracting those bearings. This what Savage is calling a “rotary bolt handle”.

TFB Review The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun (5)

TFB Review: The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun

TFB Review The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun (6)

The bolt handle rotates slightly forward when working the action.

TFB Review: The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun

OBSERVATIONS

The Savage Impulse is customizable. With the Savage Accufit system, your length of pull and comb height are able to be fitted. Not new, but always a plus. Although the stock is synthetic, it was light and I could not find any flex in it. The adjustments in the stock are all by way of inserts. Savage provides plenty, so be ready to stack them on and fine-tune your fit.  The integral rail is one less thing to buy and one less thing that could loosen and move. The Accutrigger is easily adjustable for the layperson while remaining safe. Certainly one of the better triggers for an off-the-shelf rifle.

After firing it and working the action, you will ask yourself why you had not owned a straight pull long ago. Also, handing someone the Savage Impulse and watching them trying to figure out the action is some serious fun.

TFB Review The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun (4)

TFB Review: The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun

TFB Review The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun (3)

TFB Review: The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun

*Note: My review was done mostly with ammo that I reloaded. I like to use commercial ammunition for a review, as that is what the majority of you will be using, but with the current state of affairs that was really not an option. A shout out to Tom R. for the brass, and to Chief Black for the dies.

SPECS

  • Straight-pull action
  • Matte black aluminum receiver
  • Carbon steel barrel
  • OD Green AccuStock® with AccuFit® adjustable length-of-pull and comb height
  • User-adjustable AccuTrigger®
  • Heavy contour, threaded barrel
  • A round knob bolt handle
  • Flush-fit detachable box magazine
  • Integral 20 MOA Picatinny rail
  • MSRP of $1379
TFB Review The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun (2)

TFB Review: The Savage Impulse, A Straight Pull Boltgun

CONCLUSION

Some may say the MSRP is a bit steep. For a straight-pull action, this is actually a pretty good price. Most straight-pull rifles I found are well over two thousand dollars. In that light, I think Savage is keeping it pretty affordable

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A good quality mass-produced straight-pull bolt action in multiple calibers is long overdue for the American market. Savage has done it. Although I did have to return the rifle, I will acquire one, probably in .300 Win Mag. The straight pull action is easy and smooth, making a follow-up shot far easier than your traditional bolt gun. I found it well made and easy to manipulate. The integral rail is a cool feature I hope to see more of. Savage has done an impressive job with the Impulse.

Before boxing it up for the return, I did about twenty dry fires. Just because! You guys have any interest in a straight pull action? Give me your thoughts below.



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