Everything You Should Know About the Savage Impulse Straight-Pull

An article from our friends at Savage Arms

GOG Team
March 29, 2024

If you’ve seen us talking about our straight-pull rifle, Impulse, or seen one in the store and asked yourself “Why this? What is a straight pull? Why Impulse?” We’ve got you covered. We’ve got the complete run-down for you on what it is, the advantages of a straight pull, the technologies we’ve built into it, and why you should give Impulse a shot.

For more than a century, bolt-action rifles have been the go-to for American hunters and marksmen. While the conventional design isn’t the pinnacle of speed, bolt-actions have a solid reputation for dependable accuracy. And for a hunting rifle, what’s more important than accuracy?

When speed is important, some turn to semi-automatics. While these hunting rifles have a dedicated following, they’re not renowned for either accuracy or reliability. And fast only gets you so far. Now there’s a rifle that provides the accuracy and reliability of Savage’s most celebrated bolt actions with lightning-fast speed, without any compromises: Impulse.

At the core of this American-made rifle is a straight-pull action that offers exceptional speed for faster reloads and follow-up shots—and Impulse delivers this speed while ensuring the safety, reliability and accuracy that define Savage rifles.

Impulse is built on decades of Savage innovation. Many features are familiar to Savage shooters—the factory blueprinted action, the floating bolt head, the customization options with AccuFit, the firm bedding provided by the AccuStock, even the adaptability of the user-adjustable AccuTrigger. Each of these elements works together with Impulse’s button rifled barrel to provide the level of accuracy Savage customers expect.

And we have added the speed of a straight-pull action to make a different class of rifle. After a round is fired, the bolt can be cycled in a simple open-and-close motion that eliminates two of the four motions needed in the operation of a conventional bolt.

Impulse’s straight-pull design provides exceptional safety with Hexlock. As the bolt closes into battery, Hexlock’s six hardened steel bearings secure the action. Inside the bolt, a plunger forces the ball-bearings on the bolt head into channels machined into the barrel extension. As the bolt handle moves forward, this plunger locks in place, creating pressure that provides Hexlock’s solid lockup.

When a round is fired, the expanding gases inside the chamber act on the bolthead, forcing it back onto the plunger, which adds even more pressure to the bearings, creating a lock-up that tightens relative to pressure increase. The system, during this cycle, cannot open. Yet as the round leaves the barrel and chamber pressure equalizes, Hexlock can be safely opened with a simple reverse movement of the bolt. With one swift rearward motion, the empty brass is ejected. To chamber another round, simply push the bolt forward again. The entire sequence takes a fraction of a second.

Impulse’s bolt is designed to remain locked when a live round is in the chamber. This prevents the bolt from opening if the bolt handle is bumped while maneuvering in the field. In order to eject a live round without pulling the trigger, simply press the quick release button at the rear of the bolt handle. The single-step quick bolt release button is ergonomically positioned at the rear of the bolt and is easily accessible to both right-handed and left-handed shooters.

Like many of Savage’s rifles and shotguns, Impulse is designed to adapt to your needs. AccuTrigger allows for the trigger pull to be set anywhere between 2.5 and 6 pounds. For those who hunt on the move, a heavier trigger weight may be ideal, while those who shoot from the bench, or a rest may want a lighter trigger.

The adaptability that has come to define Savage rifles is built into Impulse, too. The AccuFit stock allows for adjustments with four length-of-pull inserts allowing shooters to adjust their LOP from 12.75-13.75” and five different comb height options allow shooters the ability to truly customize their Impulse with a trip to the gunsmith. Now almost every shooter can customize a fit without the need of a custom stock.

And Impulse’s multi-positional bolt handle can be aligned at several different angles, on either side of the bolt, according to personal preference. These options allow shooters to easily clear any optics, and the bolt handle can even be removed with the bolt closed on an empty chamber as an added safety measure. With the center-line placement of the two-position tang safety, every Impulse can be easily oriented for left- or right-handed shooters.

The innovations don’t stop there. Our engineers added other refinements that improve the way these rifles function. One is Impulse’s cylindrical bolt. This design moves more freely, prevents binds, and adds a dynamic fluidity to bolt travel—the perfect complement for the efficient movement that cycles the bolt.

There’s a notable change on top of Impulse, too. An integral 20 MOA picatinny rail has been milled into the aluminum receiver. Mounting optics on a Savage rifle has never been easier.

A single-step side-mounted bolt release adds another measure of simplicity to maintenance and cleaning. The button is easy to actuate, and the bolt can be removed without the need to take the rifle off safe or pull the trigger. And all the subassemblies are both modular and self-contained, allowing Impulse rifles to be field stripped without tools.

Impulse’s list of revolutionary refinements are impressive on their own, but the proof is in the way everything works together. Impulse’s straight-pull action on a well-fit stock allows for lightning-fast follow-up shots. The AccuStock bedding and button rifled barrels will put rounds on target. AccuFit and user-adjustable rotary bolt handle will allow shooters to shape Impulse to meet their specific needs with ease.