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Savage's 110 Ultralight in 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

Looking for a lightweight rifle that still packs a punch? Savage's 110 Ultralight rifle is available in many magnum calibers and is feature-packed for backcountry hunting.

Savage's 110 Ultralight in 6.5 PRC Rifle Review

The 110 Ultralite’s action is lightly skeletonized at the rear receiver ring and the bolt is deeply fluted for weight savings. 

While the 110 Ultralite isn’t new, the rifle’s 6.5 PRC chambering is relatively recent, and it’s a great addition to a model specifically designed with the mountain hunter in mind. Weighing in at six pounds, thanks in large part to its Proof Research carbon-fiber barrel, it’s ready to go up high where every ounce counts. And in the 6.5 PRC chambering it will deliver flat-shooting, high-BC bullets capable of taking a wide variety of big game. Since the barrel is the biggest thing, let’s start there. Proof Research is a well-known name in the carbon-fiber-barrel business. Barrels start with a full-profile match-grade 416R stainless blank that’s single-point cut rifled and lead lapped.

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The 110 Ultralite’s action is lightly skeletonized at the rear receiver ring and the bolt is deeply fluted for weight savings.

The blanks are then turned down to a reduced profile, and at that point they’re wrapped with high-strength carbon fiber that’s impregnated with a proprietary resin. Proof says the carbon fiber it uses diffuses heat along the length of the barrel and moves that heat effectively through the wall of the barrel for faster cooling. Savage mates these barrels, which are 24 inches long on the 6.5 PRC, to its cornerstone 110 action, the oldest continuously manufactured bolt action in North America. In the case of the 110 Ultralite, the action is factory blueprinted. The receiver face, locking lugs, recoil lug and barrel lock nut are all custom ground to tighter tolerances so the action is perfectly aligned with the bore—all with an eye toward increasing the precision of a rifle already well-known for its accuracy.

The Ultralite’s bolt is deeply fluted to reduce weight, and the receiver is skeletonized at the rear ring with a series of oblong cuts for the same reason. Otherwise it’s standard 110. The safety is a three-position, bolt-locking slider at the tang. The bolt release requires holding the trigger back while pressing a button in front of the trigger guard at the top. People gripe about this, but it’s quite simple once you do it a couple of times, although on this sample the bolt head was a little stubborn about departing the receiver. The AccuTrigger is part of the package, of course. The Ultralite’s is adjustable from one to four pounds, and my sample averaged one pound, 10 ounces. If I’d had the chance to hunt with the rifle, depending on the time of year I might actually bump up that weight in anticipation of wearing gloves.

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The rifle features a Proof Research carbon-fiber barrel. It’s 24 inches long in the 6.5 PRC and threaded 5/8x24 for mounting a suppressor or brake.

The rifle feeds from a detachable magazine featuring an integral release at the front. The website indicates it’s a two-rounder in this chambering, but I was able to get three PRC cartridges in it with no problem. The Ultralite has the company’s AccuFit stock. It comes with various comb heights as well as length-of-pull spacers. By experimenting with comb height you can find the one that aligns your eye with the center of a scope without having to lift your head. And being able to customize length of pull not only to your arm length but also the clothing you plan to hunt in is a big advantage. The wrist and the fore-end sport soft-touch checkered panels for a non-slip grip, and there are sling swivels front and back. The butt is capped off with a nicely squishy recoil pad.

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The Ultralite feeds from a metal-body magazine with an integral, spring-loaded release at the front. Rupp was able to get three PRC rounds in his with no problem.

The receiver is drilled and tapped, and for expediency’s sake I bought a rail from EGW to mount the Leupold VX-3HD 4.5-14x40mm scope. Two notes here: One, yes, the PRC is a short action, so choose rails accordingly; and two, the Ultralite, like all recent 110s, is drilled and tapped for 8-40 screws rather than the former 6-48 screws. I didn’t have a ton of 6.5 PRC ammo on hand, but the 110 Ultralite shot great with the Berger and Hornady loads and just okay with the Nosler. I stuck with the standard three, three-shot groups at 100 yards, although it would’ve been interesting to shoot some five-shot groups in relative rapid fire to see how heat buildup affected accuracy. But I didn’t have enough ammo to do that or to benchrest at 200, although I did save enough to work with the rifle from field positions.

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The 110 Ultralite has a nice balance, and it handles well for such a light rifle. Vital-zone hits from supported sitting and kneeling were a breeze at both 100 and 200 yards. Recoil wasn’t harsh thanks to the recoil pad. The only criticism I had was that the bolt tended to bind when worked hard and fast from field positions, which I’ve found is not uncommon with fluted bolts—and this one is deeply fluted. Overall, I think this might be the handiest, most capable rifle in the 110 line. It’s light and accurate, and in the 6.5 PRC chambering it would be an excellent mountain companion for pretty much any game you’d find up high.

Savage 110 Ultrlalight Specs

  • Type: Bolt-action, centerfire
  • Caliber: 6.5 PRC (tested), 6.5 Creedmoor, .270 Win., .280 Ackley Imp., .28 Nosler, 7mm PRC, .308 Win., .30-06, .300 WSM
  • Barrel: 24 in. Proof Research carbon-fiber/stainless steel, 1:8-in. twist, threaded 5/8x24
  • Overall Length: 44.5 in. 
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Finish: Matte black Melonite receiver
  • Stock: Gray synthetic AccuFit
  • Trigger: AccuTrigger adjustable; 1 lbs., 10 oz. (measureed, as received) 
  • Sights: three-position tang
  • Price: $1,649
  • Manufacturer: Savage Arms



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