Back in the days I worked at an outdoor tabloid, there were people who looked down their noses at Savage rifles, referring to them sneeringly as “Mart rifles.” It had something to do with the price tag and the fact people on blue collar budgets could afford them.

All of us blue collar guys got the last laugh, or course, when we were able to punch MOA groups repeatedly off sandbag rests, which translated to notched tags and venison in the freezer. My Model 99 may not shoot the hottest whiz-bang metric round and my bolt rifle doesn’t wear a Grade AA walnut stock with fancy inlays but both of them hit what they’re aimed at. Last time I checked, this was really the purpose of a hunting rifle, not necessarily to just look good in a glass-front display case.

Which brings us around to the newest intro from Savage, a rifle family with models to cover all the bases from shooting varmints and predators to the biggest of North American big game.

Enter the Savage IMPULSE, with three specific groups, the Big Game, Hog Hunter and Predator. Here’s what sets the IMPULSE apart from other Savage bolt guns — they have a straight-pull action, built around what the company calls a Hexlock. Savage describes this as “a robust lockup that allows for IMPULSE’s reliability, speed, safety and accuracy.”