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hey guys, new member here so please take it easy on me!
anyway, i was out shooting the boltguns today all was going well but my newer savage 11 trophy hunter XP in .223 remington wasnt grouping very well, and to be honest it never really has since i bought it. talking with friends who own savage rifles, all of them say they are extremely accurate and will shoot 1 moa out of the box with factory loads. this rifle, however, i havent been able to get groups better than 1.75 inches at 100 yards and neary 6 inches at 200 yards. ive tried several different factory loads (albeit all 55 grain FMJ) and none can group better than that. my question to you is should i keep trying to find loads that the rifle likes, or try some 69 grain ammo and see if it likes that, or should i ditch the cheap-ish weaver 3-9x40 scope that it came with and try something better? I really dont think its my shooting because my remington 700 sps in .270 was shooting under an inch at 100 and under 2 inches at 200, around 4 inches at 300 (just using kentucky windage) using just about any 130 grain ammo i spit through it. any ideas? i would like to be confident enough to take coyotes at up to 250 yards with this rifle but the way its grouping i just dont trust it enough. ive also tried some 50 grain winchester ballistic silver tips and they grouped similar to the other 55gr ammo. any help is appreciated!
 

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I had the same type of issues with a Savage .243

that didn't like factory ammo of any kind --- checked the over all length of the cartridges & found that they were way too short --- went to hand loads that were seated further out (.005 short of engaging the rifling) and got excellent accuracy. Good Luck
 

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Normally

Normally You'd free float the barrel and bed the action in epoxy resin... and that should sort it out!.

The weaver scope COULD be part of your problems tho.... I personally wouldn't shoot under anything that's not Leupold...or Zeiss but that's just me, I like good optics!. :)
 

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Welcome to the shooters forum.

How is your shooting technique with this rifle? If shooting off bags are they well clear of sling mounts?

Check the stock mounting and scope mounting screws for torque. Be sure the threads aren't bottoming out. If all looks good in that regard check the barrel for free float. The stock shouldn't touch the barrel anywhere.

If all that checks out try a different scope, preferably one that is a known good piece.

Try some different ammo. FMJ usually isn't the most accurate of commerical ammo and mil-surp much less so.
 

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Page 17 of your owners manual will say that Savage used a load with a 69 grain Sierra MK for evaluation at 100 yards for what that is worth.

My good son has a rifle like yours. His does very well with our hand loaded ammunition using 55 grain bullets. We have not tried any factory loads to date. It was easy to make this one shoot well. A Nikon scope came with it. We just re-mounted it so that we knew how it was done.

A nice rifle that almost shoots itself.

Cheezywan
 

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Is there a pattern of how the group develops? Is there a particular shape of the group? Are groups consistently that shape or pattern?
 

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I would try some soft points too. Post pictures of your targets (use a photo hosting account and put a link to the pictures in your post).

Good luck....
 

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What MikeG said. Also, number your shots so we can see the "pattern" develop.

I fail to understand why Savage insists on putting a 1:9 twist barrel on a varmint rifle. This IMO completely defeats the purpose and ability of the rifle to shoot the lighter projectiles specifically designed for varmint shooting.

RJ
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sorry for some misinformation guys, its actually a model 16, although i think the only difference is a stainless barrel. forgot to take pics of the groups on paper, but they were totally random. always right around the center of the target but never really tight. i really dont think i should have to spend time and money getting into handloading or re-bedding the action and free floating the barrel to get 1 moa out of a rifle like that. my 700 sps doesnt have a free floated barrel or glass bedding but it shoots around 1 moa just fine out to 300. the scope on the Remington is a bushnell elite 3200, which is probably a much better scope that the package weaver scope.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Floating the barrel is simple and very effective. Take a piece of heavy paper (3-4 thicknesses of copy paper works well) and try to slip it between the barrel and stock. Remove the action from the stock and using 80 grit sand paper, remove stock material until the paper slides easily from fore end to just in front of the recoil lug. You can smooth the ares with 120 to 180 grit if desired.

I did a stock stiffening project on my SPS in .223. If you'd like to see how it was done I'll make a new thread on it in gunsmithing. That made it a one ragged hole shooter at 100 yards.

RJ
 
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I have never been lucky enough to get a moa shooter out of the box except for a model 12 Savage. Even that rifle improved a bunch with some tweeking.
 

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A simple thing to do is check the scope that came with it. Screws all evenly tight. Level, level, level. Is the eye relief such that you are comfortable mounting the rifle, etc.

It is good to start with a clean rifle, and clean again when changing loads. Not mandatory though.

Someone else asked if the stock screws were snugged up. Quality control is not what it once was.

1.75 inch at 100 yards with whatever surplus fmj ammunition is really not that bad for an out of the box sport rifle I don't think?

Just offering suggestions is all.

Cheezywan
 

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What MikeG said. Also, number your shots so we can see the "pattern" develop.

I fail to understand why Savage insists on putting a 1:9 twist barrel on a varmint rifle. This IMO completely defeats the purpose and ability of the rifle to shoot the lighter projectiles specifically designed for varmint shooting.

RJ
The barrel should already be floated. I think they insist on using a 9 twist because everyone wants to make a long range rifle with a cartridge that's not designed for such. No one is satisfied shooting a 55gr bullet to 200yds. No one wants to shoot varmints with a varmint caliber, they want to punch paper at 1,000yds lol.
 

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Strap assassin, :D :D

RJ
 
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I have 2 rifles that are 3/4" shooters @ 100yds. One is Remington 700 cheap synthetic stocked .308 with Bushnell Banner 3-9x40 and Timney trigger. The other is Marlin X rifle in30/06 with same scope. Neither rifle is bedded or free floated but both shoot great with 150 grain sierra pro hunter handloads. I will not try to improve either rifle as they both shot well out of box. Only put Timney in Remington because it had the Xmark pro trigger that had been recalled. Hand loading my own custom ammo I believe is a big part of why these rifles shoot so well. They both have pressure pads that contact the barrel near the end of forend. I sincerely hope you get things worked out. My son is having trouble with a new Savage 111 300WSM that I just gave him for his 30th birthday. Has Nikon 3-9X40 scope. We have tried 5 different factory loads and nothing has grouped under about 2.5" @100yds. yet. Never have been a big proponent of barrel break in but this one might need it or handloads or both. Good Luck and let us know how it goes.
 

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i have a model 12fcv in 223 in 1in9twist. it took me forever to find a bullet that goes under 1". fortunaly it is a 55gr midsouth varmint nitemare over a charge of benchmark(around 3/4" at 100yds). but if you go to 75gr amax over a charge of varget it goes to 1/4" at 100 yards.
my tc encore 22-250ai with a 27" mgm barrel(1in8"twist) really likes the 75gr amax(under 1/8" at 100yards). i never found anything that can go with the model12(50-60gr) except for the midsouth. my old man likes the model12 so much that he kept it!!! now i have to go with the 20 vartarg and 32gr midsouth's(tc encore) for the 300yards and under shots.

its like recoil junky says, "I fail to understand why Savage insists on putting a 1:9 twist barrel on a varmint rifle. This IMO completely defeats the purpose and ability of the rifle to shoot the lighter projectiles specifically designed for varmint shooting."
 

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i have a model 12fcv in 223 in 1in9twist. it took me forever to find a bullet that goes under 1". fortunaly it is a 55gr midsouth varmint nitemare over a charge of benchmark(around 3/4" at 100yds). but if you go to 75gr amax over a charge of varget it goes to 1/4" at 100 yards.
my tc encore 22-250ai with a 27" mgm barrel(1in8"twist) really likes the 75gr amax(under 1/8" at 100yards). i never found anything that can go with the model12(50-60gr) except for the midsouth. my old man likes the model12 so much that he kept it!!! now i have to go with the 20 vartarg and 32gr midsouth's(tc encore) for the 300yards and under shots.

its like recoil junky says, "I fail to understand why Savage insists on putting a 1:9 twist barrel on a varmint rifle. This IMO completely defeats the purpose and ability of the rifle to shoot the lighter projectiles specifically designed for varmint shooting."
Have a model12 BVSS in .223. It is the opposite. Shot Sierra 53 MK into .240s with a little load work. Only managed the best of .370s with the heavier bullets which were also Sierra MK. The varminting load this rifle likes is 55 Vmax over Benchmark or almost as well with H4895.
 

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i'm glad yours really likes the varminting loads. i used some sierras in 53gr and i only got 1.2" in 100 yards. the worst was speers 55gr that went 2.4" at 100 yards. the rest of them went 1.1" - 1.8" at 100 yards.(each bullet is an avg of five 5 shot groups)
just for kicks, i loaded up a few 75gr amaxs and then i got the group mentioned. well my dad sure likes it!!! i got enough nitemares and a few lbs of benchmark that he will shoot for a couple of years!!! but i got to say the 20 vartarg still beats the 223, out to 300 yards anyway!!!;)
 

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sorry for some misinformation guys, its actually a model 16, although i think the only difference is a stainless barrel. forgot to take pics of the groups on paper, but they were totally random. always right around the center of the target but never really tight. i really dont think i should have to spend time and money getting into handloading or re-bedding the action and free floating the barrel to get 1 moa out of a rifle like that. my 700 sps doesnt have a free floated barrel or glass bedding but it shoots around 1 moa just fine out to 300. the scope on the Remington is a bushnell elite 3200, which is probably a much better scope that the package weaver scope.
This has become a common thought expressed by younger shooters who basically expect MOA performance out of any new bolt-action rifle they buy. In your defense, many of the newer guns on the market are capable of such, but to expect it...well, that just makes me grin. :)

You've got a stock rifle, admittedly low-dollar scope, factory trigger, no stock work, and you've shot one weight of factory FMJ bullet...and you can't believe you haven't shot less than 1.5" at 100 yards. Let that sink in for a minute.

Not so very long ago, getting a rifle to shoot that well required a lot of work, and almost always included handloading ammunition tailored to your rifle. These days, many rifles are capable of very good accuracy, but you haven't even really tried yet! At the very least you should mount a better quality scope and try some match ammo in a heavier bullet weight.

FWIW - The time and money it takes to get into reloading is an investment in your future shooting. It is very rewarding, although it does require patience and a bit of introspection to get good at it. Might be you should just find a factory load that works well in your rifle or sell it to someone with the wherewithal to overcome "its" deficiencies.
 

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hey guys, new member here so please take it easy on me!
anyway, i was out shooting the boltguns today all was going well but my newer savage 11 trophy hunter XP in .223 remington wasnt grouping very well, and to be honest it never really has since i bought it. talking with friends who own savage rifles, all of them say they are extremely accurate and will shoot 1 moa out of the box with factory loads. this rifle, however, i havent been able to get groups better than 1.75 inches at 100 yards and neary 6 inches at 200 yards. ive tried several different factory loads (albeit all 55 grain FMJ) and none can group better than that. my question to you is should i keep trying to find loads that the rifle likes, or try some 69 grain ammo and see if it likes that, or should i ditch the cheap-ish weaver 3-9x40 scope that it came with and try something better? I really dont think its my shooting because my remington 700 sps in .270 was shooting under an inch at 100 and under 2 inches at 200, around 4 inches at 300 (just using kentucky windage) using just about any 130 grain ammo i spit through it. any ideas? i would like to be confident enough to take coyotes at up to 250 yards with this rifle but the way its grouping i just dont trust it enough. ive also tried some 50 grain winchester ballistic silver tips and they grouped similar to the other 55gr ammo. any help is appreciated!

Why don't you try some 69gr factory ammo see if that works. Couple guys in gun club I belong too have factory savage 223 and their reloading Berger 70gr/73gr.
 
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