The Savage 301 was the third-most-popular single-shot shotgun in sales for 2019, according to the list compiled by Gunbroker.com. The annual rankings are determined by volume of sales through retailers using the website’s services.
Versions currently available from Savage include the 26-inch barreled standard model and the Compact, which comes with a 22-inch barrel. The latter is available chambered for 20-gauge and .410 bore. The former digests the same, but also adds a 12 gauge option.
Both are rugged and reliable break-action firearms that come with black, synthetic stocks. A removable modified choke tube is installed, and aftermarket Winchoke style versions fit the barrels. Recoil pads cushion the blow and both guns have a manual hammer-blocking safety. MSRP, regardless of model or size of the chamber is $181.
Physically the guns are quite different, though. The standard version, regardless of shotshell chambering, has an overall length of 41 inches. The Compact lives up to its label by measuring in at 36.
Length of pull on the Compact is 12.8 inches and weight is 5.4 and 4.6 pounds for the 20-gauge and .410 bore, respectively. Length of pull on the standard model comes in at 13.8 inches and they tip the scales (as bore diameter increases) at 4.6, 5.9 and 5.85 pounds.
All the barrels and receivers are made from carbon steel and have a businesslike, matte-black finish. The shotguns chamber up to 3-inch shotshells and come with a two-position safety, which adds to the compact’s versatility when mentoring an inexperienced shooter.
Stevens—a brand of Savage Arms—makes a nearly identical version also called the 301, although it offers models in a variety of popular camouflage patterns. In 2018 Gunbroker.com listed the Savage/Stevens 301 as a single entity, and they still took a distance sixth place the category. Results this year indicate the popularity of the Savage model has increased significantly.