Savage Quality

The Model 555 pictured is Steven’s “enhanced” model displaying full-coverage, laser cut, scroll engraving on its silver receiver and high-quality pieces of nicely figured, oil-finished, Turkish walnut for the buttstock and forearm. It also differs from a standard grade 555 in having auto ejectors rather than manual extractors. The standard blued grade carries an MSRP of $705 while the enhanced model is listed at $879.

Competitive street prices will be lower for both models, and I think the price differential between the standard and enhanced models is well worth the small extra cost for the full-coverage engraving, figured stocks and auto ejectors.

My first impression of the 555 in 16-gauge was how light and how well-balanced it is. With its 28", chrome-lined, stack barrels featuring ventilated top and side ribs, it tips the scales at only 6.45 lbs. The weight savings are made possible by scaling the receiver to 20-gauge proportions, using trunnions rather than a full hinge-pin and machining the action from aluminum. The trunnions are steel inserts as is the face plate in the standing breech, and there’s a solid steel under-locking lug.

It’s a smart, modern and durable design, precision machined and well fitted. There’s no slop in the action, but neither is it stiff.

The shallow frame of the Model 555 plus the upswept line of the Schnabel fore-end minimizes the distance from the bore axis to the palm of your leading hand. This all-important hand-to-barrel relationship is the mark of all fine game guns. We call this quality “pointability,” and the Stevens has it.