A Savage Beast
American Outdoor Guide|February 2022
"The renegauge is one tough, reliable semi-auto shotgun."
Story and photos by Paul Rackley

I've always liked shotguns because they're extremely versatile. They can be used to hunt everything from squirrels to deer-and even bear-by simply changing loads. A shotgun is also the best sporting arm for knocking birds from the air; very few people can hit a flying bird with a single projectile.

Folks don't have to purchase a specialized version for specific uses. A regular, 28-inch-barreled pump can be used to put meat on the table during the day and protect the home at night. Few things make a bad guy quake as hard as staring down a big-bore street-sweeper.

Of course, those who want specialized shotguns have many choices, including tactical versions that carry an amazing amount of firepower.

However, I still really like all-around shotguns. So, I was pretty excited when Savage announced it was coming out with the Renegauge.

Savage is mainly known as a rifle company, with most of its smoothbores coming out branded as either Fox or Stevens. But the company does have a long history in shotguns, especially for companies such as Western Auto and J.C. Penney. Many of our fathers and grandfathers ordered firearms through these companies (back when this was legal). I actually have a J.C. Penney version in my safe that was passed down from my grandfather.

The Renegauge, however, is the first Savage-branded shotgun the company has introduced in quite a few years.

And the company did it in quite a big way by packing a whole lot of features into one hell of a gun.


The Savage Renegauge comes broken down into two sections in a plastic case. The case also holds the parts for adjusting length of pull and comb height, a box for three chokes, a choke wrench, gun lock and a manual. Everything fit nicely into the case, and it even had enough room to get everything back in after pulling it all out, which isn't always the case.

I received the Field model for testing, so sitting in the case was a shotgun sporting a black barrel and receiver with gray composite stocks. Gray isn't what typically comes to mind to combine with black on a gun but, in this case, it works. My first impression is that Savage has built a nice-looking gun.

Everything is smooth where it's supposed to be smooth, including most of the lines. And, where shooters need to grip, Savage included some rough areas to help with purchase. While the Melonite and matte finishes on the barrel and receiver, respectively, got my attention, I was really impressed by the chrome on the inside of this gun.

The shotgun comes in two pieces, so it's easy to notice how Savage chromed the reciprocating components. The company also welded the pusher sleeve onto the bolt carrier to create a one-piece system before chroming the entire assembly. This should make the bolt carrier stronger and much easier to clean.

On closer examination, I noticed that where the buttstock comes into the receiver and where the butt pad comes into the stock weren't completely smooth. Because Savage included something similar to its AccuFit system on the Renegauge, I figured the slight edges on the sides have to do with needing a little bit of play when changing parts to adjust length of pull and cheek weld. The small shifts in alignment didn't take away from the aesthetics, so it wasn't a big deal.

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