Simple Fix for Savage Axis Failure to Feed

Jun 1, 2023

Hobbies Tutorial

By: Brandon Quakkelaar

Photo of the author's Savage Axis rifle.

I bought my first deer rifle in 2021. Friends recommended I try Savage, and I found one. It was a Savage Axis in 30-06 for right around $350 bucks at Cabela’s. I felt so lucky because, if you remember, guns were in high demand in 2021. Unfortunately, that lucky feeling was shortly followed by astonishment when I saw all the .308 on the shelves, with nary a box of 30-06 anywhere. Oh well.

I eventually scrounged up some 30-06 online, and I was off to the range to zero the thing. I’d open the bolt, drop a round in, close the bolt, take aim, fire, adjust, and repeat. Eventually I dialed it in and was able to hit the target with only about an inch of play. I was happy.

But, I did not realize that somewhere along the line my rifle was assembled incorrectly. I’m probably at fault for this, but it’s such an easy mistake to make, I wouldn’t put it past anyone. You can only really detect the mistake if you’re actually working the bolt to feed rounds from the magazine.

For the life of me, I could not get my Savage Axis rifle to feed reliably.

At first I assumed I was working the action wrong. I would practice cycling the bolt very deliberately, but it was no use. I tried different dummy rounds, because maybe the rounds themselves were the issue. Nope. They weren’t.

I was getting disappointed enough to consider selling the gun. But then, I finally found the simple fix I was looking for.

How I Fixed My Savage Axis Feeding Problem

The very first thing to do is a basic safety check. Make sure the rifle is unloaded and the chamber is clear. Make sure there’s no ammunition in the room with you.

Next, take out the bolt.

  1. Push the bolt all the way forward
  2. Set the safety to the “fire” position
  3. Open the bolt and pull it all the way back
  4. Press on the thumb sear (on the right-hand side of the gun) and pull the trigger at the same time
  5. Pull the bolt back again to remove it completely

Photo showing the Savage Axis bolt being removed.

Once the bolt is out, take a close look at it. There’s a piece on the end that can spin. This spinny piece was the cause for my feeding problems. It needs to be in the correct position.

Spin the spin-able piece until it matches the picture.

A photo of a correctly aligned Savage Axis bolt, and of an incorrectly aligned bolt.

Once that’s aligned correctly you can reinstall the bolt.

  1. Make sure the thumb sear is still pressed and the trigger is pulled
  2. Insert the bolt and push completely forward
  3. Close the bolt

Now, if you experienced the same feeding issues as me, then you should be able to cycle through an entire magazine of dummy rounds with no feeding issues.

Thank you for reading.
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