Savage Edge Rifle Review
The last few years has seen growth in the entry level rifle market. The Marlin XL7, Mossberg ATR and 4x4 rifles, T/C Venture join rifles that have been around for awhile like the Weatherby Vanguard, the Remington 710/770, and the Stevens 200 that we recently reviewed. Just shortly after reviewing the Stevens 200, Savage released a new entry level rifle called the Edge. Like the Stevens 200, it's made by Savage and is targeted as a value rifle. For this review we will be taking a closer look at the Edge and comparing it to Savage's other offerings.
The Edge comes in a few different options. First it is offered as either a stand alone gun in either black or "Next Vista" camo. Alternatively Savage is offering an Edge XP in black or camo that comes with a mounted and bore sighted 3-9x40 scope.
The Edge is offered in a long or short action. The long action offerings are 25-06 Rem, 270 Win, and 30-06 Springfield, while the short action comes in 223 Rem, 22-250 Rem, 7mm-08 Rem, and finally 308 Win. All models have a 22" barrel and a four round detachable box magazine. All non-scoped models weigh in at 6.5 lbs and are ready for scope mounts. Iron sights are not offered at this time.
The Edge in its most basic form has a suggested retail of $329, but will most likely retail around $290-$300. This price puts the Edge at or below all but the most basic offerings from most manufacturers.
Our review model is a short action black Edge in 308 win. For this review we will be comparing it closely with a Stevens 200 in 308 win, along with some comparisons to a Savage Weather Warrior 16 FCSS in 308 win.
The Edge recoil pad is a better design and softer than the Stevens 200. The recoil pad rubber appears to be made of the same material as the Edge; however the Edge has a ventilated design that makes it more supple. The rubber on the Edge is not as soft as that of the Weather Warrior, so it probably won't provide quite the recoil reduction, but it should wear longer.
Close up of the indentations in the recoil pad.
The Edge (right) has a suppler design than the Stevens 200 (middle).
However it is not as soft as the Weather Warrior (left).
The Edge bolt design is a hybrid design somewhere between the Stevens 200 bolt and the Weather Warrior bolt. Savage tinkerers will be happy to see the same bolt face design as all previous Savage models of recent memory. There appears to be no change at all to the bolt face; however the rear of the bolt is changed. The bolt has a striker/cocking indicator, that allows you to see the bolt is cocked and when the hammer has been dropped, like the Weather Warrior. However unlike the Weather Warrior, the bolt is removed using the same side bolt release like a Stevens 200.
Bottom of the Edge bolt. No skeletonization.
The bolt handle is skeletonized which most likely reduces the weight a slight bit and gives it a look similar to higher end milled bolts, although the Edge bolt appears to be cast.
Top of the Edge bolt showing the skeletonized look.
Side view of the Edge bolt compared to the Stevens 200. Edge at the top.
The rear of the Edge bolt (left) is similar to the Weather Warrior (right).
Both have a striker/cocking indicator, which is seen sticking out.
The Edge bolt (right) is similar in design to the Stevens 200 (middle) and Weather Warrior bolt (left).
The bolt face of all three rifles is identical. Edge on the
left, Stevens in the middle, and Weather Warrior on the right.
The Edge trigger assembly is not available with an Accutrigger and the trigger design and use is more reminiscent of the Stevens 200. The trigger pull is similar to the Stevens 200, some creep, and relatively stiff especially when compared to the Accutrigger equipped Weather Warrior. The Stevens 200 trigger broke at 4.5-5 lbs. The Edge trigger broke at 5-5.5 lbs. It appears that the Edge trigger should be adjustable, but we did not attempt to do so for this review.
Right, bottom, and left hand sides of the Edge trigger assembly.
Comparing the receiver and trigger assemblies of the 200 and the Edge. Edge is on top.
Closer view of the Edge and 200 trigger assemblies. Edge is on top.
The trigger guard drops away from the Edge during disassembly, after removing the magazine.
The Edge has a noticeably larger safety than either the Stevens 200 or the Weather Warrior. In fact its massive when compared to pretty much anything else on the market. Either way its easy to grab and see when the safety is or isn't engaged.
The safety and rear of the Edge bolt.
The Edge safety (bottom) is massive compared to the Stevens 200.
The magazine design is similar to the Weather Warrior, using the same metal box and follower. However the floor plate is plastic and locks into the stock via a plastic retaining clip. The Weather Warrior magazine locks in via a metal retainer on the magazine well of the stock. It's a good design, but again being plastic it will most likely wear out quicker than the all metal design of the Weather Warrior.
Like other short action Savage magazines, for cartridge chambering shorter than 308 Win (like for instance 223 Rem) the Edge magazine has a magazine block to securely hold the shorter shells.
The Edge magazine is nearly identical to the Weather Warrior magazine,
except that the floor plate and retaining mechanism is plastic.
The magazine release. Notice the plastic clip locks into a plastic retainer on the stock.
The stock has a modern look with finger grooves molded into the hard plastic grip and channeling along the forend of the stock. Like the Stevens 200, the trigger guard is molded plastic, and the Weather Warrior is metal. The stock has a wide barrel channel allowing the barrel to sit free floated within the stock.
Side view of the finger contours on the Edge stock.
Finger contours on the sides of the Edge forend.
The recoil lug is a different design on the Edge. Rather than having the lug attached to the receiver, the edge has a groove in the bottom of the receiver, behind the barrel nut. This groove slides over a piece of metal that is embedded in the stock. The recoil lug is embedded in a piece of plastic in the stock that looks similar to the Stevens 200.
Top view of the recoil lug area of the Edge stock. The shiny
piece is the recoil lug embedded in the stock.
Side view of the recoil lug groove.
Side view of the recoil lug area of the Edge stock.
It's worth noting that the stock is not an Accustock and, other than the recoil lug assembly, is closer in design to the Stevens than the new Accustock. We discussed the Accustock in a previous review.
Underside of the Edge stock. Notice the new Savage emblem.
Top view of the Edge and Stevens 200 recoil lug area.
Notice the similarity between the 200 and the Edge.
Side view, comparing the Stevens 200 and the Edge.
The Edge receiver is similar in format to current Savage designs, except it is a closed rather than open top design. Bases that mount on any modern, round-back, Savage action should work fine on the Edge. The barrel nut assembly appears to be identical to all pre-accustock barrel nuts, although as mentioned above, the recoil lug is now a groove milled into the bottom of the receiver.
Bottom of the Edge receiver. Notice the groove, which you can see the barrel threads
through, that slides into and rests against the barrel lug in the stock.
The Weather Warrorier (top), Stevens 200 (middle), and Edge (bottom) side by
side. The Edge receiver is similar to the 200, but has a closed design.
On the overall the Edge is definitely worth your consideration if you're in the market for an entry level hunting rifle. Initially we thought it would simply be a Stevens 200 in an updated stock; however Savage appears to have tried to improve some of the shortcomings of the 200 while keeping the cost down. The gun weighs in the same as most other entry level rifles and the ergonomic stock and more supple recoil pad is a nice improvement. Additionally since the bolt face and barrel nut have not been significantly altered, this should allow Savage enthusiasts to build home brew guns of their choice quickly and without a tool change.
On the downside, the trigger is not inspiring and feels like the Stevens 200, although one has to keep in mind that this is an entry level hunting rifle. Also, while the recoil lug design looks solid it is a new design for Savage and time will tell whether it will hold up to years of hammering. The detachable box magazine uses a plastic retaining clip in a plastic stock. While this is not necessarily bad, plastic on plastic abrasion with a mix of dirt and mud seems to wear out quicker than metal on metal designs. Furthermore if you're used to hunting in sub-zero weather, plastic tends to become rigid and brittle. Hopefully these retaining clips will stand up to such conditions.
For more information about the Savage Edge rifle, please visit Savage Arms.