As a father of two growing hunters — boys ages 12 and 14 — I’m learning firsthand the challenges of keeping them outfitted in decent gear. Because my financial resources are limited (sound familiar?), I’m not buying them top-dollar hunting items. For example, it’s simply not a wise investment to spend hundreds of dollars on footwear; they’re simply growing too fast. Yes, at times I’ve spent a bit more money on clothing and footwear for my oldest son, knowing that his younger brother will utilize the boots, jackets and pants down the road.
My situation is no doubt like that of thousands of hunt-loving families from coast to coast. You want the best bang for your buck, while at the same time giving your kids gear that does the job in the field.
Fact: Anyone’s chance of success on everything from wild turkeys to whitetails is dependent, in part, on their gear. If a bow doesn’t fit a hunter properly, his or her chance of shooting accurately is reduced. The same is true when it comes to firearms. Sadly, it seems that youth hunters are often the ones who must deal with ill-fitting bows and guns because their parents or other mentors simply can’t afford, or find, hunting tools that are sized correctly.
The good news is I recently discovered a centerfire rifle that solves this problem in a most clever, and affordable, manner. During an October 2017 weekend, my 12-year-old son Luke (above), who is the smallest 7th grader in his class of 140 kids, and I spent a few hours shooting a new Savage Model 110 featuring the innovative AccuFit System. This new stock system will soon be introduced to the world at the 2018 SHOT Show, but Luke and I got a sneak peek at the AccuFit System on my father’s 100-yard-long backyard shooting range in Wisconsin. The hardwood forest was on fire in brilliant colors, and with air temps in the 70s, it was the perfect weather to punch a few holes in paper.
Because Luke and I had never used the AccuFit System before, I spent a few minutes familiarizing myself with its features. And a minute or two with the manual is all it took. The AccuStock chassis is extremely easy to use, and the only tool required to change the stock configuration is a Phillips screwdriver.
As the photos here illustrate, the AccuStock chassis comes with a series of different-sized spacers for the butt stock, as well as five interchangeable combs (the part on which your cheek rests when aiming through a riflescope). The idea is you can customize the rifle’s comb height and length-of-pull to fit almost any shooter. I say “almost” because if you’re 7 feet tall, then you might have to look elsewhere.
I’m 5 feet, 10 inches tall — basically Joe Average. In the photo below, I’m using the rifle with the thickest stock spacer (i.e. longest length-of-pull), and the lowest comb installed. With the 3-9x40mm Bushnell Engage scope mounted close to the barrel, the Savage 110 fit me well with this configuration, but not perfectly. If I owned the rifle, I’d keep the length-of-pull as shown here, but I’d switch the comb to the option giving just a bit more height. I had no trouble seeing through the scope, but like I said earlier, the AccuStock enables you to get it exactly right.
Luke, on the other hand, couldn’t begin to see through the scope with the lowest comb height and longest length-of-pull. In fact, after seeing him attempt to gain a sight picture with the gun set up for me, I thought, there’s no way this AccuStock will adjust enough to fit him.
I was wrong. After grabbing the Phillips screwdriver and guessing that Luke would need the highest comb and shortest length-of-pull, I made the changes in a few minutes and asked him to once again take his seat at the shooting bench. Luke snuggled up behind the scope and a wide grin grew across his face as he found the target in his scope and gently rested his tiny cheek on the comb (below). It was as if Luke had just been given a custom gun built to his exact measurements. Perfect!
Savage AccuFit Specifications
The AccuFit System is available in a wide variety of Model 110 rifles within Savage’s Big Game Hunting and Specialty series. In my opinion, dads and moms across the country would do well to buy their younger sons or daughters a Model 110 Hunter in a cartridge such as 243 Win. which has fairly light recoil. (The 243 Win. is my favorite for deer.) Such a firearm will be perfect for them at age 12, and with easy stock adjustments through the years, it’ll be perfect for them at 13, 14, 15, 16 and well, you get the idea.
I’ll close with one more observation: While Luke and I shot this gun on a warm October day, I could see this system being ideal for those hunters who are in the field under a wide variety of weather conditions. Wearing a bulky parka in December? No problem, change the length-of-pull. Wearing a thick facemask in a blizzard? No problem, change the comb height. Because of the Savage AccuStock’s tremendous adjustability, it enables you to find the perfect fit, every time.
Images by Dave Maas