Reviewed: Savage Arms' 110 PCS Hunting Handgun

It's a bolt-action handgun designed for hunters who struggle with long guns ... and the "wow" only starts there.

by
posted on March 2, 2022
Savage 110 Pistol

Savage Arms’ brand-new for 2022 110 Pistol Chassis System bolt-action handgun is an unusual entry from the storied gunmaker, but it’s here to solve a problem many handgun hunters face. Handguns provide a lightweight option for hunters, but to be effective on medium and large game they must be chambered in larger cartridges. That, in turn, presents substantial recoil and noise. In most instances, a hunting handgun means a large-framed revolver with a grip that is less than conducive for smaller hands.

Revolvers cannot be suppressed, so hunting with ear protection is going to be mandatory. Additionally, going the handgun route limits your range substantially, meaning you also have to be an accomplished stalker and the wind needs to be on your side. The balance has always been a carbine-length rifle but, alas, these don’t offer a tremendous reduction of weight or footprint, and your range will still be handicapped quite a bit.

So, what’s the best answer? Well, for Savage it is a bolt-action pistol that is capable of 500-yard accuracy and can be suppressed with no more than a high-quality suppressor and the flick of the wrist. This new pistol is dubbed the 110 PCS or Pistol Chassis System. This precision pistol is built on Savage’s renowned 110 action and is mated to a purpose-built aluminum chassis made by MDT.

This modified LSS chassis replaces the threaded rear (intended for an AR-style buffer tube) with three slots of Picatinny rail to attach a pistol brace. On the 7-inch forend, you will find 270 degrees of MLOK as well as a pre-attached sling stud for your favorite sling or harris-style bipod. A rear socket provides the second sling attachment point, or can be used to affix a single-point sling on either side.

Just as with the 110 Elite Precision Line, this pistol feeds from a 10-round AICS-style magazine and is factory blueprinted to wring out as much accuracy as possible from the firearm. At first glance, one might consider it a “lefty” action, but it is built this way so that a right-handed shooter doesn’t have to break their grip to cycle the action. Upon further inspection you’ll appreciate several telltale Savage features, such as its signature barrel-nut system. In this case, Savage uses it to attach a 10.5” barrel that is complete with caliber-appropriate threading for the effortless addition of a flash or sound suppressor.

Before heading to the range, I took advantage of both Picatinny rail sections by topping the 110 PCS off with a Nikon 2-7x pistol scope and attaching an SB Tactical TF 1913 brace to the rear. I chose this brace because it nestled the bolt handle inside of its frame when folded. The final step before hitting the range was the addition of a bipod for stability, as I planned on shooting it from both the prone and benchrest positions.

My sample was chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, and although that’s a long-range cartridge, I decided to conduct testing on the 50-yard line. I went this route because I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and it’s also easier to zero an optic at a closer distance. Using Federal’s 120-Grain American Eagle load, I sent my first round downrange to observe its impact and correct it. After touching it off, my initial reaction was “holy fireball!” as I was greeted with a daylight-bright flash. This is the byproduct of rather a lot of unburnt powder igniting as it exits the muzzle.

My second thought was that the recoil was surprisingly mild, holding a flash suppressor higher than a muzzle brake in this instance. The next eye-opening event occurred when I peered over at my chronograph and observed an average velocity of 2,133 Feet Per Second (FPS), which is unbelievable from such a short barrel. To put it into perspective, this barrel is less than half as long as what I typically launch 6.5 Creedmoor through, and it still pulled nearly 75 percent of the cartridge’s potential out of it. The fourth “wow” moment came when I measured groups, as this “budget” round produced an average five-shot group that measured just .98”, with the smallest of the five groups coming in at .37”.  That’s sub-MOA at 50 yards. Moving over to Berger’s 135-grain Classic hunting round, I got an average of 2119 FPS out of the 110’s dwarfed barrel while achieving groups in the 1.25” neighborhood—the smallest measured .92”.

After a thorough analysis, it’s safe to say that the Savage 110 PCS is a perfect alternative for those who can’t shoulder a rifle and want a firearm that doesn’t limit them down to pistol range. Its efficiency and accuracy make me comfortable with taking a shot beyond 300 yards, as I would be certain of the bullet’s placement and lethality. Lastly, its compact size makes it extraordinarily easy to transport, by simply strapping it to a tree stand or even packing it away in a modest-sized backpack for a longer trek. MSRP: $999; savagearms.com

Chambering: 6.5 Creedmoor

Action Type: Bolt-Action

Stock: MDT LSS Aluminum Chassis, Cerakote finish

Receiver: 4140 Carbon Steel, Black Oxide Finish

Barrel: 4140 Carbon Steel, Black Oxide Finish; Five-Groove, 1:8” RH Twist

Magazine: AICS-Style Detachable box, 10-round

Sights: None; Picatinny Rail Included

Trigger: Single-Stage AccuTrigger, Adjustable pull; 3 LB.,2 OZ. - 9LB., 5 OZ. pull

Width: 1.54”

Height: 7.12”

Weight: 6 LBS., 1 OZ.

Overall Length: 21.75”

Barrel Length: 10.64”

 

 

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