The Savage 111 with the Karsten Cheek chambered in .338 Lapua is my latest acquisition.
First off, it kicks, I'd compare it to a 12 gage full choked shotgun but a bit sharper. I believe the weight mitigates some of the felt recoil (it's tipping 10.5 pounds) with a Leupold VX3, Warne steel rings and 3 cartridges (2 magazine, 1 chamber) in the firearm.
The fixed muzzle brake
also mitigates some recoil but the blow back or should I say side blow from spent gas is punishing for anyone standing within 10 feet to the side of the firearm when touched off (make sure no bystanders are at the bench adjacent to you if you bench it).
With the Leupold, the firearm is on the heavy side for treckking. Not looking forward to climbing with it. I'll have to leave some snacks back at the motel/house. The barrel is also an issue. The long barrel isn't a treck through the woods friendly barrel. I can see it getting hung on branches....
The trigger is wonderful. I have not touched it, nor do I plan on it. It's pulling (according to my Lyman gage) at just under 3 pounds with no discrenable creep or side play. I'm a trigger person and I regularly fiddle with them.
I'm running PPU 230 grain FMJBT factory loads presently. I sighted the firearm in at 100 yards using a 50 foot slow fire NRA approved pistol target and 5 shots put me in the 10 ring. It also let my shoulder know it's not a .223.....
This is a hunting firearm not a target shooter so I didn't attempt to group anything, just align the scope to the muzzle for a killing shot.
I'm used to more asthetically pleasing guns (even though my wife made the comment that the 111 looks handsome), I think it looks 'industrial', which is fine because it will probably get beat up a bit in the woods or out west.
I like the snot stock for a working gun. Wood is pretty but wood moves and wood requires care. Plastic is basically inert and requires no care. My barrel is assuredly full floated so repeated accuracy will be assured (unlike my Ruger Number 1 300 Weatherby Magnum where the forestock is a PITA).
Hearing protection is mandatory in the woods or the range. I doubled up (booger plugs and muffs). Booger plugs for the woods assuredly.
The bolt operates smoothly and I like the 3 position safety. The front swivel stud readily accepts a Harris 2 axis bipod for bench shooting. Too much added weight to lug around however.
The buttstock comes with a marshmallow butt pad (you'll need it) that seems to mitigate the recoil as well. I suspect that heavier framed shooters will have less 'felt' recoil. I'm of slight stature (less than 180 pounds wet....)
All in all, it's a fantastic bargain at less than 1300 bucks (minus scope of course). It's a very accurate shooter and Savage is a stone reliable firearm.
The HS stock will add a couple hundred to the price but I can't see the HS because it adds weight and the comb is flat and unadjustable. The Karsten achieves the same comb (if desired), weighs less and is removable (again, if desired) plus it'a a couple hundred cheaper.
All in all, a nice working firearm... Industrial in appearance....