Shooting Lever Guns of the Old West
  • Mike Venturino (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 300 Pages - 11/15/2010 (Publication Date) - Wolfe Pub Co (Publisher)
Summary: The review considers the quality of craftsmanship, durability, ease of use and whether this item would be recommended.

Overall rating

Hunter’s review of the .300 Savage lever-action deer rifle

For all-around use, the .300 Savage lever-action rifle is hard to beat. It has been and is used by both men and women, for close shots and distance shots, in open terrain and denser country. Though the .30-30 may be lighter and have a slightly shorter barrel for hunting in scrub, the .300 tends to be more versatile and accurate. This has been a very popular rifle for nearly a century and it is easy to see why.

The lever action is short and clean, making it fast and easy to eject a spent casing and to re-chamber a new cartridge and the rifle is breech loading, so it tends to be faster shooting than most bolt action rifles, without sacrificing quality for quantity.

The .300 was originally designed to replace the .303 and it did this admirably. The recoil isn’t as hard as with the .303, the trajectory for the .300 is flatter and the muzzle velocity tends to be higher, though not usually as high as with a .30-06. The most common loads for the .300 are 150 grain and 180 grain, with the velocity being 2630 fps and 2350 fps, respectively. This means that the bullet gets to its target in a hurry.

Since this rifle ejects to the side, it is also quite easy to mount a scope, if desired, without forcing continual re-sighting for accuracy. Because of the flat trajectory, it functions well with open sights, particularly at closer ranges, so a scope isn’t at all necessary.

The craftsmanship of the .300 Savage is excellent and gun cleaning is easy. It is definitely a quality rifle that was built to last. It has greater accuracy than many other comparable rifles and has well above average hitting power, capable of knocking a buck or a bull elk off it’s feet at a hundred yards.

This rifle has few disadvantages, however there are a couple. For one thing, the stock tends to be fairly short except in special order versions. This makes it almost ideal for shorter people, but less suitable for those who have long arms, without using a butt pad or something to extend the length of the stock for a snug fit against the shoulder.

The rifle can also be difficult to partly reload quickly, since the lever can’t be in a totally back position if there are already cartridges in the rifle. However, it does have a small mechanical counter to let a hunter know how many cartridges remain, so reloading can be planned and is more of an inconvenience than anything.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best, I would have to give this rifle a rating of 4.5. Like most rifles, it does have a couple weak points, but this is a rifle I’ve always enjoyed shooting. You may also want to check out my monster guide to selecting the best gun safe.