Savage Arms is a popular gun manufacturer that has recently entered the AR-15 market. Choosing this brand, you can’t go wrong with their high-quality, affordable prices rimfire semi-autos, bolt-actions, and even dual-caliber options. This article will be an in-depth Savage MSR 15 Patrol review.
Their latest release was in collaboration with Blackhawk and in this article we’re going to review thoroughly the semi-automatic Savage MSR-15 Patrol Rifle. To keep up with the competition, Savage Arms launched its series of Modern Savage Rifles, made on the popular AR-15 and AR-10 platforms.
For our Savage MSR 15 Patrol review, we decided to go with the Patrol model because we wanted to get a taste of the original, plain version. If you’d like to learn more about a manufacturer and how much he cares about his clients, then you can find what you need with their most basic model.
The idea is to see where the company has managed to reduce the cost while keeping the quality of performance and construction intact. That said, if the modest version of the platform is solid, then the upgraded ones would go far beyond the expectations.
Introducing the Rifle – Savage MSR 15 Patrol
The MSR-15 Patrol is a gas-impingement-operated semi-automatic rifle, similar to the mil-spec M4 carbine. The gun offers very high-quality build, polymer-based furniture made from BlackHawk. Even though it’s an affordable automatic rifle, it goes way above its basic competitors.
For enhanced durability, the upper and lower receivers are made of 7075-T6 aluminum and a matte-black hard-coat anodized finish. The upper flattop offers an integral Picatinny Rail for optics.
The barrel is made of 4140 steel and is measured at 16.125”. It also features a 1:8” twist, right-hand rifling, a Melonite QPQ finish and an M4 feed ramp. Moreover, the muzzle is threaded at 1/2×28 TPI and fits 12-type flash hider. The gas tube is paired with an A-frame gas block with an implemented adjustable front sight post.
It is important to note that the front side has very clear and crisp lines, unlike the common mil-spec models. The sight system is completed by a removable flip-up BUIS rear sight, also provided by Blackhawk!
Furthermore, all components of the bolt carrier group (BCG) are properly made and fitted. The M16 BCG is fitted with a Carpenter 158 steel bolt and is cycled with a mil-spec charging handle manually.
The Patrol comes with a dust cover installed and a port for forwarding assist with a polymer plug that protects from dust. In certain scenarios, cost saving comes from the upper receiver, which means that there are no dust-proof features.
There’s a standard carbine buffer, located in the 6-position buffer tube. At the lower receiver, all controls are the mil-spec type such as bolt release, magazine release, single-stage trigger group, and the safety selector.
The trigger guard is curved and made of enlarged polymer, whereas the trigger itself offers a 7lb. pull. Speaking about black polymer, the gun is made of Blackhawk! Knoxx Axiom furniture and Knoxx isn’t an amateur when it comes to durable stock systems.
It is obvious that the company has put extra effort into the construction of these components in order to compete with the leaders in the AR market. Not only that they look good, but they’re quite functional as well.
The handguard features an M4-style two-piece design, held in place by a Delta Ring, that goes beyond the front sight. It provides an ambidextrous thumb rest and a useful hand stop.
You also have four M-Lock compatible slots for accessories that can be placed at 3-,6- or 9-o’clock positions. The grip is also polymer-made and it is a single piece, that fits perfectly in all types of hands.
Overview of Features
Apart from the flawless construction characteristics, the Bushnell optic also stands apart in one’s eye. The MSR-15 features an SMRS Elite Tactical 1-6.5×24 mm with a first focal plane BTR-2 reticle, that delivers outstanding accuracy.
Shot Mid-range Rifle Scope or “SMRS,” as it is referred to, is designed with performance and reliability in mind. It has an implemented system for quick magnification change that is called ThrowDown Power Change Lever (PCL).
You can enjoy the precise holdovers of the illuminated BTR-2 reticle, as well as the mil-based red laser illumination. Other distinct features include a T-Lok locking target turrets, RainGuard HD Lens coating and a 30 mm one-piece tube, forged of aluminum alloy.
- Mil-spec upper and lower receiver
- .223 Wylde target chamber to use with .223 Remington or 5.56×45 mm
- Mid-length gas system
- Blackhawk! flip-up rear sight
- Mil-spec trigger
- 16 1/8-inch barrel with 5R rifling & Melonite finish
- Blackhawk! Knoxx pistol grip and carbine stock
- Custom A-frame gas block front sight
On-Field Shooting Performance
We tested the rifle at a cold day with a variety of Federal Premium ammo and we didn’t experience any malfunctions. You will notice the comfort that you would expect from an M4-type gun.
During our shooting, we used a single Generation 2 Magpul MOE 30-rounder that comes with the Mission First Tactical polymer 30-round magazine and the Brownells in-house aluminum. We didn’t have any issues with them as they function properly.
On a bench rest, we fired three loads of formal five-shot groups at 100 yards. Our goal is to keep group sizes around 1,50” using a mil-spec trigger. When firing Federal Ammunition 55-gr., FMJ we were disappointed to see the best group of 2.15”, but we had a significant improvement with the Federal Fusion 62-gr. soft point bullets. The result was a single best of 1.61” and average 1.74”
The best results we received with Federal Premium Gold Medal Match 77-gr. hollow points. Results pointed a best single group of 0.66” and an average of 0.83”.
Savage MSR 15 Patrol Review – Final Verdict
Savage has surprised many of its fans by jumping aboard the AR platform, but they did well and are competing with the best on the market. The Patrol rifle reflects on the company’s ideal of producing firearms of utmost quality at affordable prices. It is a great option for those individuals who want a .223/5.56 semi-auto straight out-the-box without paying a fortune to own it.
The Massachusetts-based company stepped in front of the competition with a rifle that stands apart from the rack-grade M4 clones that we find today. With an upgraded barrel, chambered at .223 Wylde, and a 5R rifling with Melonite Finish, you can rest assured that the accuracy will be beyond the mil-spec.
If you’re looking for something different and reliable, then the Savage MSR is the right firearm for you. It won’t let you down in the heat of the moment and you can fully rely on its performance.
Savage MSR 15 Patrol Review
Value for Money
Ease of Use
- Blackhawk furniture
- Mid-length gas system for mild recoil
- .223 Wylde chamber
- Schmidt enhanced trigger
- The stock has rubber “flashing”
- Not much accessory mounting options available
- Grips looks like it doesn’t fit properly
- The pin that holds the part for adjusting the stock sticks out
A Bulgarian native law student, and a gun aficionado. I’ve graduated from a British International school and have successfully taken a number of Cambridge certificates such as PET, FCE, CAE, GSCE, IGCSE & IELTS. I found love in firearms early on in life when my father took me hunting for the first time. A few years later and an unknown number of rounds fired, I have the opportunity to combine my home defense & firearms expertise with the public.