Savage Arms is one of the oldest gun companies in the United States and specializes in the construction of bolt-action shooting and hunting rifles. New for early 2021 is the Impulse model featuring a unique straight-pull action that refines the basic function of the conventional bolt into one fast, intuitive movement. Key to the lightning-fast operation of the Savage Impulse carbine is the new action, the result of two and a half years of study: it is built around the Hexlock, a game-changing locking system that ensures the Impulse's reliability, speed, safety and accuracy.
Savage Impulse, 13 new patented design details
According to the manufacturer, proven Savage technology has been harmoniously combined with no fewer than 13 new, patented design details. "The Impulse will redefine the way you think about straight-pull rifles,” said Al Kasper, president and CEO of Savage Arms. "We’ve studied more than a century’s worth of straight-pull actions and kept running up against the same conundrum; straight pull actions are fast, but they don’t inspire confidence. Speed means nothing if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at. Impulse changes that. We’ve brought our tradition of accuracy into the mix to make the fastest, most accurate straight-pull rifles ever built.".
However, the original home of such straight-pull rifles for hunting use is actually the German-speaking region of Europe. You can think, for example, of proven classics or more recent newcomers such as Blaser R93/R8, Browning Maral, Heym SR 30, Merkel Helix, Rössler Titan 16, Steel Action HS/HM or Strasser RS 14. Thus, the courage of Savage Arms to enter this hard-fought market segment with an in-house straight pull repeater is to be evaluated as even greater.
Impulse series carbines are built for speed. The extremely smooth bolt throw allows a shooter to cycle rounds intuitively, without the need for the four changes of direction required by a conventional bolt's path of travel. When every second counts, Impulse reduces spill times and allows for a shooter to manipulate the bolt without losing cheek weld and especially eye contact with the target. This increase in speed is essential for effective follow-up shots.
Savage's Hexlock lockup
At the heart of the Impulse is the Hexlock locking system, where six hardened steel bearings lock the bolt in place inside the receiver's barrel extension. As pressure produced by firing gases increases, the hold of the Hexlock system tightens further, ensuring that there can be no rearward movement of the bolt. Once the round has left the barrel, the pressure subsides, and the action can safely open again with the simple straight pull on the bolt handle.
Thanks to the special design of the action, the bolt handle can easily be mounted on the left side of the gun for left-handed shooters.
In this animation you can see how the Savage Hexlock straight-pull action
In addition to the new Impulse features, these rifles build on decades of Savage innovation. Each model features the AccuStock system, with an aluminum rail system embedded in the stock, and Accufit system that allows users to adjust both the length of pull and comb height of their rifles. As for all Savage carbines of recent manufacture, the trigger is the proprietary two-stage AccuTrigger and pull weight is adjustable from 1130 g to a minimum of 680 g. As a matter of fact, apart from the action, all the parts of the Impulse are compatible with those of the Savage model 110.
Speaking of safety: with the mechanical firing pin safety in combination with the AccuTrigger trigger with integrated safety and the two-position slide safety on the tang that can be operated from both sides, the Savage Impulse has three independently acting safeties so that the straight-pull repeater is drop-proof even when the slide safety is not activated.
Thanks to the tool-free interchangeable bolt head and the likewise interchangeable barrels with barrel retaining nut system, nothing stands in the way of caliber conversion on the modular Savage Impulse.
The Savage Impulse rifle is available in three versions: Big Game, Predator and Hog Hunter
- The Impulse Big Game in 6.5 Creedmoor, .243 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .300 Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) .30-06 Springfield and .300 Winchester Magnum calibers features a "Medium Contour" fluted barrel, with 22"/560 mm and 24"/610 mm barrel lengths. Aluminum receiver and steel barrel feature a Hazel Green Cerakote finish and the synthetic stock has a "Kuiu Verde 2.0 Camo" pattern. Magazine capacity is four cartridges – in .300 WM and .300 WSM calibers three and two cartridges, respectively.
- Impulse Predator: from the velocity of the 22-250 Remington to the long range potential of the 6.5 Creedmoor, through the .243 Remington and the .308 Winchester, this model is designed as an all-rounder for hunting even at long range. Fitted with a 24”/50.8 cm “Medium Contour” barrel made of carbon steel, it uses a standard 10-round AICS magazine. The synthetic stock has a Mossy Oak Terra Gila camo pattern. Barrel and action have a matte black finish.
- The Impulse Hog Hunter is chambered in calibers including the well-proven .308 Winchester, .300 Win. Mag, 6.5 Creedmoor and .30-06 Springfield. The heavy barrel length in the .308 Win. caliber version is only 18” (47.5 cm). For the 6.5 Creedmor and .30-06 Springfield calibers it is 20”/50.8 cm long, and for the .300 Winchester Magnum the length is 24”/61 cm. Aluminum receiver and carbon steel barrel have a matte black finish. The polymer stock sports an OD Green color.
All models have a 5/8-24" muzzle thread so that a muzzle brake or suppressor can be fitted. Another feature common to all models is the 20 MOA Picatinny slide present on the top of the action.
The Savage Arms straight-pull rifles of the Impulse series are expected to be available on the market from spring 2021. The prices: the Impulse Big Game comes at 1999 euro, the Impulse Hog Hunter at 1899 euro and the Impulse Predator is 1899 euro – but, as usual, prices may vary in your specific country!
For more information on the Impulse straight-pull riles please visit the Savage Arms website.
As mentioned, the Impulse models are compatible with the Savage 110 model. Here you will find two tests of the Savage 110 High Country in 6.5 Creedmoor and the Savage 110 TAC Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor caliber.