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  #1  
Old 12-24-2012, 07:10 AM
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Accuracy issues with 308 Savage md. 11 Lightweight Hunter.


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Well I finally got my new rifle scoped, and I am not happy with the results. I put a VXII Leupold 3-9 on it. I took it the range with 150gr. Seirra Pro-Hunters, 165gr. Sierra Game Kings, and 180gr. Speer Grand Slams, not ver impressed. The best 3 shot groups I shot were about 2" with the 180's. The 150 and 165's shot about 3" groups. Does anyone have experence with these rifles? I have shot many different Savages and they shoot great but this is the worst shooting gun I own, I have a 30-30 that will shoot better than this. Does anyone have any idea what could be the problem? If it doesnt vastly improve shortly, it will be gone! One of my friends said he had a Kimber Montana that he could never get to shoot, he said that is the problem with lightweight rifles. I am not buying that, I have a Win. Md. 70 Featherweight in a 30-06 that is a tack driver. Do I just need to put more rounds thru this thing, maybe the barrel just needs broke in. I have checked ALL screws on the mounts, bases and checked to make sure the screws holding it in the stock were torqued proper. It has me baffled. I know Savages are very accurate rifles and I know a 308 is supposed to be a very accurate round, but this thing shoots patterns, not groups.
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:14 AM
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there are a host of things that may be affecting your accuracy.

Are you shooting factory or reloads?

Thoroughly clean the new firearm prior to shooting?

Check all scope mount/rings for correct torque?

Check all action screws for correct torque?

How's your benchrest technique - everything with solid support and barrel not being touched by support?

Trigger pull adjusted correctly?

These are just a few of the things that may need looked at.
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  #3  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:20 AM
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I have checked everything you have mentioned. I am shooting handloads, been using IMR4064 and several different bullet weights, think I will try a different powder today. The 180 GS's shoot the best but its best is totally unacceptable. The trigger pull is fine, it has the accutrigger and is adjusted to its lightest setting, about three pounds. I am shooting off a bench with two sand bags. I have checked all screws, everything is tight.
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  #4  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simpleman View Post
I am not happy with the results.
150gr. Seirra Pro-Hunters, 165gr. Sierra Game Kings, and 180gr. Speer Grand Slams,
If it doesnt vastly improve shortly, it will be gone!
I just need to put more rounds thru this thing,
You aren't happy with the grouping of YOUR reloads, so IT better get it's act together, or you will sell it??

You never mentioned how it groups with factory ammo...
Savages have extremely long throats, did you notice this in your reloading? So how much jump do YOUR bullets have? What type of dies are you using? Savage's also TEND to have larger chambers, FL sized brass, with a large bullet jump; don't group well.

What are your velocities? Do you understand that the FAST loads are RARELY the accurate ones?

You gave us WAY too little information, but asked us how to fix it
Give specific details, and we can give useful feedback.
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  #5  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:08 AM
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As mentioned, there is a whole host of things, some of those shooters won't even intertain because they think they are perfect. My first red flag is the fact you say it's a light weight rifle. I find most light weight rifles are hard to control shooting off a steady rest. Normally, you can't just sit them up there, hold them gently and squeeze of shots. Their recoil is way to violent for that. I've got a Tikka T3 Lite, 243 that shoots very small groups, but if you just let it rest on the support you're using, you are lucky to get two inch groups. Shooting a lite rifle off rest is a learning experience in itself, you have to learn what the rifle wants.

Other than that, I would have to say the only way I could help would be if I could shoot it myself and watch you shoot it because so many times there are other things involved that just a crappy shooting rifle. Now, I have seen my fare share of those also, but more times than not, I find other problems.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:11 AM
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I am aware of the longer throat, I am loading about .002 off of the lands. I have treid mild loads to hot loads, it shoots better with the hotter loads. My handloads are not the problem, I have a Rem. 700 in 308 that I load for, it shoots 3/4" groups all day. I am using RCBS dies. I dont shoot factory loads in anything I own, I have handloaded for over 30 years. I am also aware of the chamber size, I used new brass to start and since have been loading with only a neck sizeing. I am thinking it is the rifle, or possibly the scope. It is a brand new Leupold, which I have never had any problems with a Leupold but that isnt to say that it cant be.

Last edited by simpleman; 12-24-2012 at 09:17 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by BKeith View Post
As mentioned, there is a whole host of things, some of those shooters won't even intertain because they think they are perfect. My first red flag is the fact you say it's a light weight rifle. I find most light weight rifles are hard to control shooting off a steady rest. Normally, you can't just sit them up there, hold them gently and squeeze of shots. Their recoil is way to violent for that. I've got a Tikka T3 Lite, 243 that shoots very small groups, but if you just let it rest on the support you're using, you are lucky to get two inch groups. Shooting a lite rifle off rest is a learning experience in itself, you have to learn what the rifle wants.

Other than that, I would have to say the only way I could help would be if I could shoot it myself and watch you shoot it because so many times there are other things involved that just a crappy shooting rifle. Now, I have seen my fare share of those also, but more times than not, I find other problems.
I know that lightweight rifles are harder to shoot, I have a Winchester model 70 XTR Featherweight in a 30-06, it never gave me this kind of trouble.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:21 AM
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I screwed with my Savage 110 270WCF for a long time, I had the barrel recrowned, three different scopes, glass bedded the action, a Timny trigger too, all this brought the groups with ANY and ALL 130grn loads down to the 3" mark!??, the last two groups I shot (the second just inside of the first infact!) were sub MOA, they were factory Federal 150grn Partitions, I've got a box of them to reload but haven't messed with it since?, still scatching my chin on that one some??

Being a feather weight shouldn't have anything to do with it? my Savage 11F 22-250 was a tack driver, I could put 20 rounds in a hole you could cover with a dime!, I turned it into a 12 series simply because I couldn't tolerate the excesive recoil in long duration shooting!, with the "truck axle" barrel and laminated stock it now tips the scale at 12+#
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  #9  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:39 AM
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New rifle just might need to be fired more.....break in period, so to speak. With a new rifle I normally see improvement in accuracy by around 60 plus rounds. Have some Varget or RL15? If so, try it with your 165 gr Game Kings. The Varget seems to be the preferred powder to use with Game Kings in .308s by gents I shoot with.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:57 AM
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Savage sometimes has a problem with the fit of the scope's base that may be your problem. Look at the front base (if you have two piece bases) or at the front of the base (if you have a one piece base). Is the base sitting on the junction of where the barrel is threaded into the receiver? If so, you'll need to bevel the base so that it makes NO contact with the barrel. Sometimes there is the slightest difference in height of these two surfaces that causes a problem as the barrel warms up. I'm sure you've checked to make sure there is no contact with the barrel and the stock? I've owned many Savage rifles over the years and I've never seen one that won't shoot very well.
I did have one Savage rifle that required me to get a one piece base to replace the two piece base due to the top of the receiver not being perfectly level. This is another problem you see on Savages once in a while. The receivers are final finished before being assembled and sometimes there are minute differences in the top of the receivers from the front to the back. A one piece mount will take care of this.
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Last edited by nsb; 12-24-2012 at 10:00 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huffmanite View Post
New rifle just might need to be fired more.....break in period, so to speak. With a new rifle I normally see improvement in accuracy by around 60 plus rounds. Have some Varget or RL15? If so, try it with your 165 gr Game Kings. The Varget seems to be the preferred powder to use with Game Kings in .308s by gents I shoot with.
Thanks, I do have some Varget. I will try that out. I was thinking kinda what you were saying, it is brand new and the barrel might just need more shooting to get it broke in, at least I hope that is it, I really like the gun. I had a Savage 99 years ago that I never could get to shoot with anything other than 150gr. Hornady factory loads, I sold it. I wont own a gun, regaurdless of what it is if it wont shoot and I cant load for it. I have had two that fell in this catagory, a 308 Md. 99 Savage and a Ruger 77 280 old style with a tang safety, (sold it later bought a stainless Ruger MKII 280, it shoots anything you put in it) the Ruger would only shoot 139gr. Hornady's, I spent alot of time and money to find that out, both went by the wayside.
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  #12  
Old 12-24-2012, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by nsb View Post
Savage sometimes has a problem with the fit of the scope's base that may be your problem. Look at the front base (if you have two piece bases) or at the front of the base (if you have a one piece base). Is the base sitting on the junction of where the barrel is threaded into the receiver? If so, you'll need to bevel the base so that it makes NO contact with the barrel. Sometimes there is the slightest difference in height of these two surfaces that causes a problem as the barrel warms up. I'm sure you've checked to make sure there is no contact with the barrel and the stock? I've owned many Savage rifles over the years and I've never seen one that won't shoot very well.
I did have one Savage rifle that required me to get a one piece base to replace the two piece base due to the top of the receiver not being perfectly level. This is another problem you see on Savages once in a while. The receivers are final finished before being assembled and sometimes there are minute differences in the top of the receivers from the front to the back. A one piece mount will take care of this.
That could be the problem, I will have to check that. When I bought the rings and bases, they brought out a set of Leupold two piece bases's, I looked at the front base, it stuck out over the bolt, looked like crap so I bought the only other base's they had that would fit, a set of two piece Weaver bases's and mounts, I dont like those style of rings or bases but they actually look like they are made for that rifle not like the Leupolds they had. I might try a one piece base.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:16 AM
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Let us know what you find out, I was thinking about buying one.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:44 PM
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Not the first time I have heard this story with the LWHs, I am not really happy with mine, a 6.5X284. A couple of others at the range have been grousing about accuracy too. While they are acceptable they are definately not one hole wonders. A coupe of clues, no more than three shots at a time. The barrels are LIGHT WEIGHT and heat up FAST. I have spent a lot of time dialing mine in but it is still the least accurate of anything I own. Mine also does it's best with near maximum loads with the bullet seated just off the rifling.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by nsb View Post
Savage sometimes has a problem with the fit of the scope's base that may be your problem. Look at the front base (if you have two piece bases) or at the front of the base (if you have a one piece base). Is the base sitting on the junction of where the barrel is threaded into the receiver? If so, you'll need to bevel the base so that it makes NO contact with the barrel. Sometimes there is the slightest difference in height of these two surfaces that causes a problem as the barrel warms up. I'm sure you've checked to make sure there is no contact with the barrel and the stock? I've owned many Savage rifles over the years and I've never seen one that won't shoot very well.
I did have one Savage rifle that required me to get a one piece base to replace the two piece base due to the top of the receiver not being perfectly level. This is another problem you see on Savages once in a while. The receivers are final finished before being assembled and sometimes there are minute differences in the top of the receivers from the front to the back. A one piece mount will take care of this.
agree 100% had to go to a one peice on my savage and mine loves varget.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:02 AM
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Sounds like you can shoot if you are getting 3/4" groups with other rifles. And your reloading technique seems sound. Try some other bullets and powders before you trade it off. There are slight variations of bullet dimensions between manufacturers. Maybe this Savage would do better with other brands than Sierra or Speer. I have gotten good accuracy with Noslers and Hornadys with my .308's. Seems like I heard somewhere that H4895 was what Lake City uses for 7.62 Match loads, so that was the first powder I tried. Varget is another good one. Savage makes great barrels, the most accurate rifle I have is a LH Savage 110 in 7MM Rem mag. Just don't hunt with it as much as I used to as it has a 26" heavy barrel. Now that I'm getting older, I'm liking rifles that are a couple pounds lighter.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by simpleman View Post
I am aware of the longer throat, I am loading about .002 off of the lands. I have treid mild loads to hot loads, it shoots better with the hotter loads. My handloads are not the problem, I have a Rem. 700 in 308 that I load for, it shoots 3/4" groups all day. I am using RCBS dies. I dont shoot factory loads in anything I own, I have handloaded for over 30 years. I am also aware of the chamber size, I used new brass to start and since have been loading with only a neck sizeing. I am thinking it is the rifle, or possibly the scope. It is a brand new Leupold, which I have never had any problems with a Leupold but that isnt to say that it cant be.
Have you tried different seating depth?
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:42 AM
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We have 4 of those new SAVAGE model 12's in the vault and I must say, they really surprized me at the shooting range accuracy wise. I have not heard of any complaints about Savage but anything can have a minor problem, even a Rolls Royce Automobile.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Dean Fay View Post
Not the first time I have heard this story with the LWHs, I am not really happy with mine, a 6.5X284. A couple of others at the range have been grousing about accuracy too. While they are acceptable they are definately not one hole wonders. A coupe of clues, no more than three shots at a time. The barrels are LIGHT WEIGHT and heat up FAST. I have spent a lot of time dialing mine in but it is still the least accurate of anything I own. Mine also does it's best with near maximum loads with the bullet seated just off the rifling.
I think you are right, it will never be target gun. It is what it is, and that is the least accurate rifle I own. I have it shooting a little better but I am still not happy with it. Thanks for your input, I was wanting to hear from someone that actually owned one and has had real experience with this model of Savage. It does have acceptable hunting accuracy now but I am a stickler for accuracy. I foresee this rifle going down the road in the very near future. It is not what I expected out of a Savage rifle.
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Last edited by simpleman; 12-26-2012 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:37 PM
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Three shots are the max, it will shoot a little under 1 1/2", if you shoot more than 3 it starts spreading out.
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Last edited by simpleman; 12-26-2012 at 03:24 PM.
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