My dad has one of these. I set it up for him with the Buck Hunter BDC reticle and then sighted in for him.
I started at 100 yards with the Barnes Tipped Expanders by Federal. My first two touched as you can see, so I said to hell with firing a third since those things are expensive. I made an adjustment, my next shot was dead center as you can see.
That fourth shot up off to the right was made by a friend of mine who happens to be a cop, that also just finished a week-long shotgun refresher course. I've seen people flinch less when they've been kicked in the gonads.... hahaha.
I think he was a bit traumatized about the whole shotgun thing in general, hence the terrible shot.... said he fired somewhere between 400-500 rounds of 00 Buck in one week. Just thinking about that makes my shoulder turn a nice shade of purple.
All in all, it is a hell of a weapon. With that, if you choose to use a BDC reticle in your scope, please be double sure to check what the specs are on it, i.e. make sure your ammo's ballistics are meant to match your scope's specs.
I have read of one guy who re-barreled his 212 so that he could put a smooth bore on it and have the front machined to accept chokes. It seemed to work out good for him, but on the other hand, it seems that there are plenty of smooth bores already out there.
I also has the surface finish issue on my stainless steel 220. I think this problem is much worse on the stainless guns than the blued ones. A blue bolt is slick as butter compared to the gritty stainless steel one. For whatever reason, the regular savage bolt guns with stainless actions don't have this issue, like my model 12. So I don't know what they are doing differently.
These are great guns,I have it in a 12. If I really take my time I can get the holes to touch at 150 yards. I killed a 6 pointer four days ago. He was only 60 yards away,but he got spooked and ran off. When he stopped all I could see was part of his neck that was more than enough with this slug gun. LOVE these guns.