I recently made it home from a several month Army school stuck way deep in flyover country. On the way back I took a side trip to visit my friend B who lives in the greenest state in the land of the free.
So this isn't the first time I've met someone I met on the internet, but it is the first time I've done so based on the content of this blog. First off, he came off in person just like his internet persona, second, he and his wife were excellent hosts. And I guess they liked me alright, since the dogs continually came back for petting. I did have a post about "Linking up, more awkward than any first date." and it is true. I recommend getting to know people now, because when things get hairy and you've never exchanged a photograph you can't be sure that the person you are meeting is really the one you want.
We checked out his emerging reloading setup, he showed me his recent addition of a Savage Axis Suppressor Ready 308 rifle. I was quite impressed, and further research proves that a Savage Axis in 308 is a really great buy if you don't have the cash to spend on a Savage 10 or 110.
So, here are what I consider the big pros of the Savage Axis.
1. Cheap, can be had for less than a 100 bucks more than a quality milsurp Mauser.
2. Accurate, 2 minutes of precision or less out of the box, and often half that with good ammo.
3. Available in Suppressor Ready configuration, which is one less thing you have to pay a gunsmith.
4. Stiff action, there actually seems to be more steel in the Axis action than on the 10/110 series.
5. Lightweight. The Axis felt very well balanced, and quite light compared to my normal 308's.
The big Cons.
1. Barrel Contour. Limited selection, but they seem to be a "heavy sporter" contour which is an excellent choice.
2. Basic Stock. Injected molded plastic is purely functional, but I prefer something with a little more meat to grab on to (I'm a relatively big guy).
3. Optic bases not included. There is no excuse to not include at least a weaver rail with a rifle anymore.
4. No back up iron sights out of the box.
In my opinion the Pros outweigh the Con's by more than enough to recommend the Axis to someone looking to get their first Big Game rifle, or when in 308, get a starter rifle setup for F-Class competition. Before anyone flames me for recommending a budget rifle for "belly benchrest" remember that the goal of competing is to get better, not necessarily win against the guy who has a custom stick topped by Nightforce scope shooting reloads touched with fairy dust.
But, after several months, I am home. And until my next adventure I'm quite happy to stay here and play with the rugrats and ever so understanding wife.