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A Lighter Impulse

October 24, 2022
Matt Johnson

One of the things I love is traveling around to see how different firearms manufacturers develop processes to advance innovation, durability, and accuracy among firearms. I recently travelled to Savage Arms for a tour of their facilities and got a glimpse of the new IMPULSE Mountain Hunter rifle that launches today. 


The original Savage IMPULSE caused a stir a few years ago because of its innovative and patented features that give the budget-minded hunter peace-of-mind. Savage set out to update and advance the straight-pull platform once again.  


Straight-pull rifles are highly sought after for their quickness. I find straight-pull rifles, like the IMPULSE Mountain Hunter, provide quicker follow-up shots. I readily admit that getting used to the straight-pull action takes time. Once you have it down there is no holding back, and those follow-up shots come easier as you progress with the rifle. 


Savage equips the IMPULSE Mountain Hunter with a Savage-designed Proof Research barrel. Proof Research innovated the carbon-wrapped barrel process to cut weight in barrel construction. I’m a whitetail fanatic, but I don’t limit myself to flat-land hunting exploits. Thus, I also understand that cutting weight is an essential requirement especially when packing out of the high-altitude backcountry. When I was waiting around to shoot the IMPULSE Mountain Hunter, I spent time familiarizing myself with the gun.


I noticed it is lightweight, but there are far lighter rifles out there, but not many that are straight-pull rifles at this price, starting out at $2,450. The IMPULSE Mountain Hunter is offered in: .308 Win., 6.5CM, 300 WSM, 6.5PRC, .270 Win., 30-06 SPRG, 28 Nosler, 7mm Rem. Mag., and 300 Win. Mag. Weight varies between cartridge offerings, but a low-entry weight of 7.14 pounds is not a bad starting point for a platform known for being heavier. Similar straight-pull rifles weigh roughly the same but cost double the price. Sit there and think about that one for a second.


Shooting the Savage IMPULSE Mountain Hunter was pleasant. I didn’t notice anything jarring like you tend to do when firing lightweight guns. The recoil impulse was exactly as I would expect. One thing that stood out was the muzzle brake included with the IMPULSE Mountain Hunter. This gun was easy to keep on target so you could fully experience the benefits of a straight-pull rifle.


The IMPULSE Mountain Hunter is Savage through and through. You get the adjustable AccuStock, user adjustable AccuTrigger, and all the AccuFit technology. All this allows you to customize the gun to your fit and finish, making gun hit just right. The right firearm is like a dance where we chase lighter, faster, and accuracy but not at the expense of heavy recoil and efficient reloads. Savage captured all three in one gun. ~ Matt


Matt Johnson

A 15-year firearms industry veteran, Matt Johnson chases big game with everything from archery equipment to muzzleloaders and everything in between. The Minnesota native has enjoyed 33 years of big game hunting and finds most of his success on public grounds. If you can’t find Matt on the slopes in the winter, he is on the hunt. 

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