Savage Lady Hunter
A new rifle engineered for the serious female hunter.
by Diana Rupp
With the introduction of the new Model 11/111 Lady Hunter, Savage Arms is one of the first rifle manufacturers to design a rifle specifically for women. Most gunmakers seem to think a “lady’s” rifle is just a standard rifle with the stock cut down and maybe some pink highlights, but the engineers at Savage consulted with serious women hunters (yours truly included) and discovered that there is a lot more to it than that.
Stock design is key, and they spent a lot of time getting it right. This rifle has an extra-high comb to accommodate women’s proportionally longer neck length, and the way it is sloped makes it easy to get the right view through a scope. Savage also reduced the girth of the pistol grip and moved it closer to the trigger guard. Weight was another crucial consideration. Conventional wisdom said that women want “light” rifles, but Savage discovered that overall weight was not really the problem--the issue was front-end weight. So they went with a shorter (20-inch), lighter barrel and a slimmed-down fore-end, but retained the weight in the receiver and stock. The result is a rifle with handling characteristics I instantly fell in love with--and so, interestingly, did a lot of men who tried it.
The only drawback, for me? Savage designed the rifle with a 12½-inch length of pull, which would be perfect for many women, but at 5’7”, I found the stock too short. Bill Dermody of Savage told me that the company intends to offer spacers that can be easily installed to lengthen the stock for us long-geared gals, which would easily solve the problem.
My test rifle came in .30-06 and shot minute-of-angle right out of the box with 150-grain Federal Fusion ammo. Even with the short stock, it was so comfortable to shoot I could have stayed at the range all day. Other caliber choices include .22-250, .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington, and what I think would be the perfect chambering for this rifle, the 6.5 Creedmoor.
The gun weighs 6 pounds and tipped the scale at 7.5 pounds with the Burris 3-10x40 scope I mounted on it. The rifle has Savage’s wonderful AccuTrigger, a detachable box magazine, and top tang safety. And no, there’s no pink (thank heavens) but we ladies do like our stuff to look nice—hence the beautiful oil-finish walnut stock. Congratulations, Savage Arms. You’ve hit it out of the park with this one.
Savage Arms, 413/568-7001