Savage Arms Model 10/ BA Stealth Win Bolt Action Rifle
For the Savage Arms Model 10/ BA Stealth Win ,
the Savage engineers teamed with Drake Associates to expand its BA line of long-range chassis rifles with the lightweight,
compact Savage Arms Model 10/ BA Stealth.
It features a factory-blueprinted Model barreled action mated to a custom version of the Drake Hunter/Stalker monolithic chassis,
which has been modified to Savage’s specifications.
Savage Arms Model 10/ BA Stealth Win
Series: Law Enforcement
Magazine: Detachable box
Stock Material: Aluminum
Barrel Material: Carbon Steel
Barrel Finish: Matte
Barrel Color: Black
Features: Factory Blue Printed Savage Action, Monolithic Aluminum Chassis Machined from Solid Billet,
M-LOK forend, One-Piece Picatinny Rail, Fab Defense GL-SHOCK Buttstock, Muzzle Brake.
More Information Here
As with anything else, the shooting industry goes through different phases with regard to the popularity of certain types of products. Whether it’s s, ARs or striker-fired pistols, once something has taken hold in the shooting community, the firearms industry is always ready to accommodate people’s tastes.
One of the most popular types of firearms today is the precision rifle in its various forms, calibers and price tags. Precision rifle-shooting competitions have become incredibly popular among the masses. Some rigs can require the shooter to take out a second mortgage to get the very best, but for many, that’s really not an option.
Thankfully, there are several manufacturers that have started producing precision rifles that are relatively more affordable and, thus, more accessible to a wider range of shooters. Savage Arms is such a company, and its new 10/ BA Stealth series rifles are a great jumping off point for those who want to dip their toes in the waters of precision shooting.
Marketed under the company’s Law Enforcement Series, the 10/ BA Stealth rifles are actually lighter and more compact versions of the earlier 10/ BA rifles. The short-action 10 BA Stealth rifles are currently available in Winchester and Creedmoor. When you really want to go deep, the long- action BA Stealth models come chambered in Winchester Magnum and Lapua.
I tested a 10 BA Stealth in Winchester. Despite the growing popularity of the Creedmoor round, I wanted to test the for the simple reason that I already have several rifles and a good supply of this ammunition on hand.
The platform of the rifle is a monolithic aluminum chassis from Drake Associates. This chassis is a very sleek design that minimizes the overall weight of the rifle. It offers multiple M-LOK slots along the forend for attaching any accessories the operator chooses along with a single swivel stud for mounting certain styles of bipods.
The chassis accepts AICS magazines for the sake of simplicity and availability, and the supplied round magazine locked positively and fed rounds flawlessly during the evaluation. The chassis is also available for left-hand bolts.
The 10 BA Stealth comes with a blued, inch barrel that is fluted to provide more surface area for quicker cooling. The barrel also sports 5/8tpi threading so users can attach a suppressor, but I wasn’t able to test the rifle with a suppressor, so the included thread protector stayed in place.
The rear of the 10 BA Stealth resembles an AR rather than a standard bolt-action rifle. The factory-supplied grip is an AR-style unit, and the user can change it out if they like with any other standard AR grip on the market, though I found the supplied grip to be quite comfortable. The test rifle also came with a six-position FAB Defense GLR buttstock with an adjustable cheek riser. This stock was highly configurable and mated well with the overall design aesthetic of the 10 BA Stealth.
The finishing touches on the rifle include a one-piece EGW scope rail and Savage’s adjustable AccuTrigger. After trying the trigger, no adjustments were necessary, as the trigger broke at a very crisp and clean pounds—more than light enough for my needs.
For the review, the rifle was also supplied with a set of Weaver four-hole rings and Bushnell’s x50mm Elite Tactical LRS scope. Tipping the scales at ounces, the Elite Tactical LRS is inches long with 4 inches of eye relief. The fully multi-coated lenses help relieve eye stress in high-contrast situations where reflectivity can become an issue. Also, each individual lens in the group is treated with Bushnell’s Ultra-Wide band coating to optimize light transmission from the front to the rear of the scope.
The LRS’ second-focal-plane reticle allowed for very precise aiming when testing the rifle’s accuracy, and the image clarity was extremely good. All of the range sessions were conducted on very overcast and gloomy days with temperatures in the 30s, and one session was conducted during steady snowfall. Even in those conditions, the image was clear and bright, and no issues interfered with the precision shooting.
10 BA Stealth Range Sessions
After several extended sessions where I fired lots of match ammunition through the 10 BA Stealth, my impressions of the rifle were very good overall—though it took some doing to sort out the results. This was, in large part, due to the factory-supplied scope rail.
After firing about 40 various rounds during the first session, I realized that the results I was seeing on paper didn’t seem quite right. Savage Arms’ rifles are known for their accuracy, and the groups I was getting at yards weren’t exactly stellar and seemed to be worsening by the minute.
After a little checking, I noticed that the aluminum scope rail was wobbling just a bit. I chalked that up to my oversight in not checking everything before I left the house and decided to cut the session short. I was already freezing that day and figured I’d check everything out and get it squared away when I got back home.
During the second session, the rifle was printing much better and I was getting tighter sub-MOA groups. I was shooting Federal’s and grain Gold Medal Match rounds along with Sig Sauer’s grain Match Grade OTM rounds and Hornady’s grain A-MAX rounds. Things were looking good for a while, but then things started loosening up again. Newman!
After pulling the rings a second time, I noticed that the front screw on the rail had almost completely worked itself loose again, and another screw was coming undone as well. This time I went all out and put blue Loctite on most everything and cranked it all down again and let it cure for a couple of days before the next try.
While this isn’t a typical practice, I was limited to what I had on hand to use and I had to make it work. Also, it was a true test of the rifle as it comes from the box before the user decides to mount their own choice of rail and rings.
When everything was dialed in and locked down, the 10 BA Stealth delivered excellent results in terms of accuracy. These were the type of results that are usually associated with Savage rifles, and it was well worth the effort to see the groups printed on paper. I got sub-MOA groups from each of the loads I tried.
The best five-shot group—measuring just inches—was achieved with Federal’s grain Gold Medal Match rounds. That low number helped bring down the average group size and resulted in the same load having the best average group size as well.
The action of the 10 BA Stealth was smooth, and every round I shot fed flawlessly. Also, this was my first experience using Savage’s AccuTrigger, and now I see what all the fuss is about. The trigger pull was so light and clean, it seemed a puff of breath would send the bullet on its way.
True Tack Driver
While not a beginning rifle-shooter, I’m not exactly known for my precision shooting, either. In the context of this segment of the industry, I’m approaching more from an intermediate rifleman’s standpoint, like many who are new and getting acclimated to this particular competitive venture. For someone like me, the Savage Arms 10 BA Stealth is an excellent entry-level weapon to this style of shooting.
From my perspective, the best group gives me an approximation of how well the rifle shoots, and the average group size tells me how well I’m shooting. In more seasoned hands, the 10 BA Stealth would be a consistent tack driver. I also believe that a sturdier scope rail would help cut the group sizes down as well, and that would be my first point of focus if I were to make this particular model part of my growing stable of weapons.
For those who want to get into the sport of precision shooting without breaking the bank, the 10 BA Stealth is an excellent vehicle to get them rolling. With its streamlined, compact profile, the excellent adjustable AccuTrigger, its inherent accuracy and its high value-to-price ratio, it’s a veritable steal—and it’s a deal you can’t let pass without giving it a try.
Barrel: 20 inches
OA Length: inches
Weight pounds (empty)
Chassis: Drake Associates
Finish: Matte black
For more information, visit savagearms.com or call
This article was originally published in Tactical Weapons May/June To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
|Variants||Savage 10 BAS-K, Savage Model 10 BAT/S-K|
|Barrellength||(26in)/ (in) with muzzle brake|
|Cartridge|| Lapua Magnum|
|Feedsystem||5-round external box magazine ()/6-round external box magazine ()|
|Sights||None but includes a picatinny 18" T6 rail system.|
The Savage BA is a bolt-action sniper/tactical rifle manufactured by Savage Arms. The rifle is designated with an "LE" code; "Law Enforcement". All BA series rifles are configured with AccuTrigger, matte-blued barreled action, fluted heavy free-floating barrel, muzzle brake, oversized bolt handle, external box magazine (holding 5 - 6 rounds), magpul adjustable stock, adjustable pistol grip, and three swivel studs for sling and bipod mounting.
The Savage BA is similar to the Savage Model 10 rifles (10 BAS-K and 10 BAT/S-K). Whereas the Model 10 rifles are short actions rifles the BA uses a long action.
Stock and grip
The BA also comes stock with a Heckler & Koch PSG1 style pistol grip. The grip is a target-type grip which contains an adjustable palm shelf. A hex bolt rather than a rotating dial tightens or loosens the palm shelf. Loosening the bolt allows for the palm rest to move up and down to accommodate the shooters hand size. Tightening the bolt locks the rest into a set position that is now customized to the shooters hand size.
The Savage BA rifle is provided with pre-drilled holes for attachment of a Picatinny rail system; which the rifle comes with. The picatinny rail allows for a variety of add-ons. The rail is long enough to mount a scope towards the receiver end and can accommodate such devices as night vision in "front" of the scope. The rail system also has two side mounts for additional devices such as flashlights or laser sighting.
The lack of iron sights is because Savage expects users of this rifle to utilize telescopic sights as opposed to iron sights. Telescopic sights are not only more precise, but a "must" for the extreme long distances that this rifle is capable of achieving. A scope is not included because the choice of a particular scope can be a very personal selection that involves a shooters particular taste, comfort, and opinion which are all subjective. Factors that some shooters use to determine a particular scope are: weight, magnification, size, clarity, and many other features.
The BA comes with the Savage Arms developed "AccuTrigger". This trigger is intended to give a shooter the flexibility to set trigger pull to individual preference without having to pay a gunsmith to adjust it. The trigger can be adjusted from to 26 N ( to 6 lbf). Savage claims that even when adjusted to its lowest setting, the AccuTrigger is completely safe and cannot accidentally discharge during normal use from being jarred or dropped when maintained and adjusted as intended. The AccuTrigger offers a relatively short lock time of milliseconds favoring accurate shooting.
Savage claims adjustment of the AccuTrigger is a simple process. Removal of the stock is necessary where rotation of an adjustment spring is required. This is accomplished utilizing the Savage supplied tool. The AccuTrigger has a single adjustment location and is designed so it cannot be adjusted below the minimum setting. This adjustment feature is yet another example of the built-in customization design of this rifle. Customization allows users to adjust the rifle to their own personal comforts and preferences which can equate to accuracy improvement.
The BA includes a fluted heavy barrel that is free-floating which provides high accuracy. Thicker barrels are generally stiffer, and thus deflect less when a force is applied, such as when a forearm touches a barrel. A heavier barrel also tends to vibrate less when fired, thus sending bullets more consistently in the same direction. Their greater weight (within reason) makes it easier to hold the rifle steady. For all of these reasons, heavy barrels are generally more accurate than lighter barrels. The "flutes" are essentially grooves that are cut into the length of the barrel to help it dissipating heat. There are many arguments for and against fluted barrels; but whatever the take Savage decided that fluting this barrel on the BA was a good idea.
A free-floating barrel means that the barrel does not touch the stock that is connected to it except at the very end near the receiver and bolt end; where it is attached. The advantage to this design is that there is less vibration resonance. This means that as bullets are fired down the barrel their energy is usually channeled down the edges of the barrel. If the barrel were touching the stock throughout its entire length the energy traveling down the barrel would be transferred to the stock. This transference of energy to the stock would thus cause resonance which results in prolongation of vibrations by reflection. The effect of this is that the entire rifle tends to vibrate which causes inaccuracy as accuracy is a product of stability and not movement. A barrel that is free-floating thus eliminates these problems.
The BA comes with a " inch muzzle brake that is threaded to an industry standard 5/8x24 (5/ UNEF-3A) thread pitch. Savage felt that a muzzle brake was essential in the rifle design as the Lapua Magnum round generates recoil that most shooters find unpleasant. The muzzle brake has no bottom gills, forcing the expanding gases to channel up and out. This feature eliminates any "dust cloud" when firing from a prone position which would normally give away a shooter's position in a tactical situation. By channeling the expanding gases upward and backward muzzle rise and recoil is reduced by what Savage claims is 35 percent. Project designer Steve Danneker claims the BA has felt recoil comparable to that of the Winchester round.
Rate of twist
According to project designer Steve Danneker of Savage Arms, the rate of twist for the Lapua Magnum was chosen to be 1 in 9". Most rifles in this calibre use a 1 in 10" twist. A 1 in 9" twist allows a bullet to rotate along its center axis at a faster rate than a 1 in 10". Faster rotation helps stabilize longer bullets at their maximum range. This allows new bullet designs such as the all-copper and Very-low-drag bullet (VLD)-style projectile to remain stable through the very long travel distance. Most bullets are not designed for the extreme ranges provided the design; thus a 1 in 10" twist is adequate.
The rifling rate of twist is:
Savage utilized the Accuracy International detachable five-round, single stack box magazine for the BA. This magazine box is utilized in their Accuracy International Arctic Warfare sniper rifle but not the same magazine used in the Accuracy International AWM (Arctic Warfare Magnum) model. Utilizing an already existing box magazine facilitates the availability of extra magazines for shooters of BA.
An important note on the BA magazine is that it adheres to the Lapua Magnum cartridges loaded to the C.I.P. (Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives) maximum allowed overall length of mm (in). It actually accepts up to a mm (in) overall length round, though most factory ammunition doesn’t exceed inches. This is an important distinction because some rifles chambered in Lapua Magnum such as the Accuracy International AWM does not adhere to CIP standard and thus does not function properly due to a lack of internal magazine length. The reason for this problem is that the AWSM bolt-action is not specifically designed for the fat and long Lapua Magnum cartridge. Because of this, ammunition manufacturers produce Lapua Magnum cartridges that are loaded short enough (≈ mm / in) to fit in the AWSM magazines. As long as Lapua Magnum cartridges that will fit in the magazines are used, the AWSM rifles can be used as repeating rifles instead of single shot rifles.
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