Techical Updates

Firing Pins & Bolt Faces
Over the last several years Savage has incorporated some design changes that need to be addressed in order to acquire the correct parts for your Savage rifle project.

For the last several years, Savage has used a smaller diameter firing pin on their magnum caliber rifles.  The reason behind this is the bolt head retaining pin can use a small diameter through hole which makes it stronger.  The standard caliber firing pin measures .145" in the area it would pass through the cross pin, the magnum pins are .095" in that area.  Because the firing pin diameter is smaller, the cross pin hole is smaller.  So is the the diameter of the hole through the bolt head.

Starting in 2001, Savage firing pin diameters were reduced on ALL models.  Therefore, when ordering bolt heads it is important to know what diameter firing pin you have to work around.

On the WSM and UltraMag calibers, Savage changed to a controlled round feed bolt head in order to provide reliable feeding from the magazine.  This bolt head differs from the rest by having the bottom lip cut away from the bolt face so that the cartridge rim can slide into the extractor instead of snapping over the extractor.  Instead of a spring loaded ejector in the bolt face, this bolt head uses a standing ejector located at the rear of the receiver that pops up through a slot on the bottom left side of the bolt head to tip the case out.  This is the only way to get the larger cases to feed from a magazine.

Receiver Changes
For 2003, Savage introduced their new ACCU-TRIGGER models.  Besides the trigger change, the receiver now has a round top in the rear scope base area.  It will utilize the same base in the rear as in the front.  The Weaver #46 base will fit both ends as well as the #402 extension base if you have a need for mounting extremely long or short tube scopes.

We have Farrel Scope Bases for this application, which are available for both short and long actions.  Zero (0) and minute tapers are also now available.

Barrel Shanks
In 2002 Savage offered rifles in the Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) and Remington Ultra Magnum (RUM) calibers.  When these were finally in the catalog, there was a change made to the barrel shank diameter.  Standard barrel shank diameter on standard calibers are 1.055" x 20tpi.  On the new WSM, RUM, and SAUM calibers it is 1.120" x 20tpi.  The barrel nut is also bigger in internal size, but is the same outer diameter and our barrel nut wrench will still fit.  Savage also used this size of shank on the first version of the Model 10ML muzzleloader.

However, there were a few WSM and RUM rifles made on the standard barrel shank in the first production run.  The best way to tell is to measure the barrel shank right against the nut.  The larger barrel shank will have a step down approximately 1/8" ahead of the barrel nut.  If your rifle has a serial number with a "G" prefix, it is most probable it will have the larger shank.


Sharp Shooter Trigger Design Change
In 2003 Savage introduced their new ACCU-TRIGGER, and made some other changes to accommodate it.  One of these changes was a newly designed safety assembly using a different detent spring.  Because of this revision, a modification must be made to the Sharp Shooter Competition Trigger (see photo's below) to fit inside the trigger bracket and clear the new detent spring.  This modification is simply trimming the side plates  with a grinder or belt sander to a 45 degree angle so it will not interfere with the new detent spring.  All current production will have this revision.  If you have a previous production version, this modification will be required for use on the new ACCU-TRIGGER models.  It will also be necessary to adjust the over travel and safety engagement screws out further to contact the new safety.

Left:  Previous Production - Requires modification for use on ACCU-TRIGGER models
Right:  Current & Future Production - Fits new ACCU-TRIGGER models

Trigger Bracket Change
In 2004, Savage made a change to their trigger bracket design when they started offering the AccuTrigger on all their centerfire rifle models.  This new design will require a slight modification when installing our Competition trigger.  This modification, along with the differences in trigger brackets is shown in the following images.

The bracket on the left is the old style bracket, while the one on the right is the new style.  Notice how the old bracket (left) has a notch cut out of it.  This is the modification that needs to be made to the newer style bracket.

The above image shows the dimensions needed to properly notch the new style bracket.  Remember that you are only notching the one side, not both sides.

Savage Centerfire Action Lengths

Savage Centerfire Action Length Identification.  To help determine what action you have, here are the action screw center-to-center measurements.

Long Action:  5.062" (all years)
3rd Gen Short:  4.400" (2006 - present)
2nd Gen. Short:  4.275" (1998 - 2005)
1st Gen. Short:  4.522" (1959 - 1988)

Additional Notes:

- The 1st Generation Short-Actions are today commonly referred to as "J-Series".  This is incorrect as a "Series" designation simply refers to a slight design change.  Rifles marked "Series J" can be either a 1st Gen. short-action or a long-action.

- The 2nd. Generation Short-Actions comprise most of what you will run across. 

- The 3rd Generation Short-Actions are the newest production models and can be easily identified as they will have the new center-feed magazine system.  The only exception is rifles originally built in .223 Remington or .204 Ruger as Savage has yet to release a center-feed magazine for these smaller diameter cartridges.

**The best way to remove any doubt as to which generation of short action you have is to measure the action screw spacing.