Originally Posted by Old_Crow
I have shot a neighbors model 10 quite often. Shooting it off a bench or a "shooting stick" it is very effective. Shooting the model 10 offhand or without any support is a chore. The model 10 is not as well balanced as a model 11, it's quite heavy in the front. The only way I could achieve the accuracy I desire is with the artillery hold. The artillery hold is meant for shooting targets. If hunting is your primary use for the rifle I would try to borrow a model 10 before proceeding with the barrel change.
Old Crow does raise a point,but I have never found shooting any of my heavy barreled rifles offhand a problem.It just takes form,and practice.I have several Model 10/12 Savages-223-25/06-6.5 Creedmoor-7mm/08-308-300WM,and hunt with all of them,along with my heavy barreled AR-15's-223-458 SOCOM.
I can actually hold the heavy barreled rifles steadier than a sporter or lite weight rifle.
The only times I wish they were lighter rifles is if I have to carry them for several miles,but with a good sling,that really isn't a problem either.
Changing barrels on a Savage is an easy task,with some simple tools.You need an Action wrench,a Barrel Nut wrench,a set of Go-No Go gauges for the calibers that you want to change to,and the mechanical ability to do it.I can swap out barrels in under 30 minutes,and that includes removing and installing any optics on the rifle.Just re-boresight the optics afterward.
No Gunsmiths are required to do a barrel swap on a Savage.
If you are changing calibers that use a different bolt head size,you will also need to swap out the heads on the bolt,as well as maybe changing out the follower in the magazine.
I just installed a 7mm/08 barrel on my Model 12,it was originally a 308.All I had to do was swap out the barrels,the bolt head is the same.