July 15, 2020
Savage’s 110 is the oldest continuously manufactured American-made rifle, and that success is partly a byproduct of Savage’s ability to evolve to meet the demands of shooters. After all, this is the company that came up with the AccuTrigger, which effectively reinvented the bolt-action trigger market. And it offers the XP line of rifles with pre-mounted optics so hunters and shooters are ready to head to the range as soon as they open the box.
The newest member of the XP family is the 110 Apex Hunter XP, which combines a 110 rifle with a black synthetic stock with length-of-pull adjustments and a 3-9x40 Vortex Crossfire II scope mounted on a one-piece EGW zero-m.o.a. rail.
The precision-button-rifled, thread-in-headspaced barrel measures from 18 to 24 inches depending upon caliber—of which there are more than 20, ranging from .204 Ruger to .338 Win. Mag. There’s also a left-handed version, and Savage doesn’t limit southpaws to just two or three caliber options but instead offers 12 cartridge choices. There’s also a version with a pink Muddy Girl composite camo stock that’s available in .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem. and .308 Win.
The 110’s action uses a dual-lug, push-feed bolt featuring a floating bolt head that squares the bolt and engages both lugs perfectly, which translates to improved accuracy. The Apex Hunter XP comes equipped with Savage’s bladed AccuTrigger, which is user-adjustable down to 2.5 pounds. The blade portion of the trigger prevents the sear from tripping if the gun is struck or jarred. That allows Savage to offer a light, crisp trigger that is also safe. The Apex Hunter XP comes with a metal detachable box magazine and Savage’s three-position tang-mounted sliding safety.
The test rifle in .350 Legend came with an 18-inch barrel, an overall length of 38.25 inches and an overall weight with scope of seven pounds, five ounces. Suggested retail for the package is $639.
The Apex Hunter XP is an affordable rifle/scope combo, but the overall quality and feel of this gun is a step above other package rifles. The black injection-molded stock is basic but functional with clean checkering and a barrel channel that isn’t so wide it’ll grab brush and debris in the field.
The bluing on the metal is even, the bolt operation is very smooth, and the detachable metal magazine is well-constructed and fits securely in the rifle. There’s no need to jiggle or finagle the mag to seat it properly and no concern that it’ll drop free at the most inopportune time.
Speaking as an Ohioan who hunts deer with a .350 Legend rifle, I must say that this gun’s short overall length is a real blessing in a blind or tree stand. Longer barrels are a nuisance, and the compact Apex Hunter XP .350 Legend is a well-thought-out rifle for Midwest whitetails. Regardless of caliber, none of the new Apex Hunter XP package rifles weighs more than eight pounds scoped.
The Apex Hunter’s stock features a one-inch removable spacer that allows the user to adjust length of pull from 13.75 inches down to 12.75 inches. That’s a nice feature when you’re buying a rifle for a child who is growing quickly, and it’s also handy to shorten length of pull when cold winter weather forces you to bundle up in heavy clothing.
The Vortex scope is nice and clear, although the windage and elevation knobs didn’t offer very distinct clicks. Overall, though, this is a good optic with excellent edge-to-edge clarity and the convenience of the Dead-Hold BDC reticle. The EGW rail is solid and durable, and if you’d like to swap out the provided scope for another, that’s easy to do.
Savage promises that XP package guns come with bore-sighted scopes, and at 100 yards the rifle was indeed on paper—albeit eight inches from the bull—on the first shot.
I managed to shoot a 1.1-inch three-shot group with this rifle, the best I’ve managed with the .350 Legend. On average group sizes ranged from 1.3 to 2.1 inches. That may not win a PRS match, but it’s good enough for hunting whitetails under 200 yards, which is what the Legend was born to do.
The rifle’s single failure could be attributed to operator error. I failed to seat one cartridge all the way to the rear in the box magazine, and it didn’t feed properly.
Otherwise, there were no feeding, extraction or ejection issues with this gun. Overall, I liked the trigger, which broke at 2.8 pounds, the stock design and build quality, and I believe Savage’s three-position sliding tang safety is the most intuitive and logical design currently available.
The Apex Hunter XP is a no-frills rifle/scope combo package, but it is range ready right out of the box. It deserves high praise for its accuracy potential, wide variety of available options and the overall quality of its construction and mechanical components. It’s an excellent value.
Savage 110 Apex Hunter XP Specs
- Type: Two-lug bolt-action centerfire
- Caliber: .204 Ruger, .223 Rem., .22-250 Rem., .243 Win., .25-06, .260, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 6.5/284 Norma, .270 Win., .270 WSM, 7mm-08 Rem., 7mm Rem. Mag., .350 Legend (tested), .30-06, .308 Win., .300 WSM, .300 Win. Mag., .338 Win. Mag., .450 Bushmaster
- Capacity: 5+1 (as tested)
- Barrel: 18 in. (as tested)
- Overall Length: 38.5 in.
- Weight: 7 lb., 5 oz., including scope stock black composite
- Finish: Matte blue
- Trigger: AccuTrigger, 2.8 lb. pull (measured)
- Sights: None; rings supplied
- Safety: Sliding 3-position tang
- Price: $639
- Manufacturer: Savage Arms, savagearms.com
Savage 110 Apex Hunter XP Accuracy Results