I bought an Edge (now Axis) in .223 a year or so ago. Shot decently for me at range, but trigger pull too stout to suit me and had a problem with its stock. A trigger pull job on it and replacing factory stock with one I made took care of these problems. Now if I can figure out a way to take care of its poor extraction of spent cases, I'd be more than happy with mine. Sorry, but if Marlin made a .223 XS rifle, I'd recommend it, but they don't. I suggest looking around for a Ste ens 200 in .223. Not a pretty as an Axis, but consider it a better rifle.
I have one in .223 and I like it. It dont have the Accutrigger and the trigger is pretty heavy, but thats the only thing Im not too fond of. But, great looking, working, and VERY accurate, just what you'd expect from Savage
i bought one this spring in .223 i only paid 266 nib the day it came in. now wally world sells them for 267. my only regret was not getting a better"deer" caliber like a 308 or 7mm-08 or even an 06'. they only thing i can complain about is that the gubn uses a long action for every caliber. it is very accurate! i can place two shot into the same primer at 50yds and i know i can shoot the primer out of a 7.62x54 casing at 100, my range is only 100yds long. but as for the grouping at 100yd im not sure i allways setup little targets like batteries and casings so they endup dissapearing for the most part. i just bought a short action scope mount rail with out realizing it so i had to drill another hole in it to fit it to the rifle and i also bought a $33 barska wich is the 2nd best scope ive ever owned. she is a sweet @$$ rifle.
" enjoy the things that go "bang" - less rabble rabble and more pew pew I say"
I have an axis in 223. Went prairie rat hunting twice this summer with it. It is a great rifle and very acurate. I'm not sure how well I would like the stock with a larger caliber, but for the money in 223, I don't think you could beat it.
I have had very good reports back on the Axis / Edge rifles. only complaints have been some feel the trigger pull is a bit more than they like. up until this point these rifles have not had the option of Savages Accu-Trigger (have not got next years catalog yet). they do break crisp and clean, just a bit heavy on pull weight. Have not checked on the style trigger these are using. it should be an easy fix for your local smith to tune it for you, if you should so desire.
I've had the gun about at year now. I sighted it in earlier this year. Lately, in the past 2 months or so, I've been hitting the range more. I shot a couple different brands of ammo through it including Remington Core-Lokt 150 gr., Federal 150 gr. Power-Shok, Federal GM 168 gr., Winchester 150 gr Power Point. I used the Power-Shok to sight it in and fun shooting when I got it.
As for groupings the Federal Gold Medal Match 168 grain gave me about 1/2 MOA at 100 yards. The Remington Core-Lokts game me just under MOA at 100 yards. The others were no as good Winchesters were the worst for me. I started handloading and use the 150 gr Core-Lokts for my hunting load and get great results with Varget about .629 MOA. Hope this gives you an idea about how it shoots if you do your part.
As for the gun itself I got the package with the scope. The trigger is stiff but there are simple fixes for that Timney and Rifle Basix both offer drop-in trigger replacements around 100 bucks. I used a Bic pen spring tip I saw on the internet. That made a great difference. Google it if your interested, make sure you test the safety and make sure the hammer doesn't drop.
The stock is good and my reciever and stock fit very well together. The back of the buttstock is hollow. I filled it with some adhesive caulk and steel to bring the total weight around 9 lbs and get rid of the sound it made. Recoil was crazy with a 6 1/2 lbs gun. It is much better now.
As for the Bushnell Sharpshooter scope that comes with it. Its been awesome! Like I said I sighted it then didn't shoot for a while. Did the trigger job, banged the buttstock like hell on my garage floor testing the trigger, and she still holds zero. Crystal clear and does not blur at 9x. I do recommend though if you get the scope package tighten the screw on the rings at the mount (mine got loose here) and check them on the scope part.
I wouldn't hesitate recommending one and will probably be getting another in .223 in stainless. They didn't have the stainless models when I got mine. Its a great gun.