Savage® Firearms has long been know as a manufacturer of quality, accurate, and affordable rifles. For decades Savage® has produced both rimfire and centerfire rifles that are used for plinking and hunting, as well as target competition, now especially long range shooting.
Few may know it but Savage® also offers shotguns. The Fox A grade is a lovely 12 gauge side-by-side and is, for a quality SxS, reasonably affordable. The gun is actually manufactured by Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Company, a maker of high-quality smoothbores. In addition, Savage® also owns Stevens® which offers 20 different shotgun models. There are inexpensive single shots (MSRP $ 181), pumps, single barrel trap models, and over-under doubles whose prices top out at $ 829. These are Turkish made guns of decent quality.
Now Savage® has entered the semi-auto shotgun market with a totally new auto loader, the Renegauge. This American made gun is offered in 4 different models, each being different only cosmetically. The field model has a MSRP of $1449 and the other three models, each a different camo pattern, have MSRPs of $ 1549.
Some might think, “What’s the big deal about another gas operated shotgun?” Well it is the gas operating system that is unique to the new smoothbore. Savage® calls the system D.R.I.V. (Dual Regulating Inline Valve) and holds a patent on the new design. The D.R.I.V. system forces propellant gases to vent directly into twin, spring-loaded valves mounted on the underside of the barrel. The valves open only long enough to allow the gas volume necessary to operate the action. The piston drives the one piece action bar rearward rotating the bolt out of its locked position and cycling the action. The result is a fast cycling, mild recoiling shotgun.
Other features of the new gun include, a stock that is adjustable for comb height, pull length, and drop and cast. The action bar and other reciprocal parts are chrome plated, a stock rod buffer intended to reduce felt recoil, and the barrel has a Melonite® finish with a fiber optic front bead. The gun is equipped with 3 interchangeable flush mount choke tubes (Beretta/Benelli) and comes in a hard sided carry case.
All the models are 12 gauge, have 28 inch barrels, and weigh about 8 pounds, a fairly standard heft for a 12 gauge gun intended for heavy use. The only drawback I see with the Renegauge is it is chambered for 3 inch shells and not 3 ½ inch. I have a “goose gun” that is chambered for 3 ½ inch 12 gauge loads and although I rarely use the 3 ½ inch crushers, I do like the versatility if provides. (As a side note, I’d rather shoot a .375 H&H magnum regularly than the brain-pounding 3 ½ 12 gauge). The smaller chamber might be a factor for the hardy goose and turkey hunters who like to have access to the really heavy 3 ½ fodder. Time will tell.
The Savage® Renegauge is a truly innovative firearm. It will be interesting to see if the D.R.I.V. system might be adaptable to centerfire rifle cartridges. I suspect that good old American ingenuity just might be looking at that possibility.
Be safe and good shooting.