Here's the scoop: I have/had a Savage 12FVSS varminter in 270WSM (26" fluted heavy barrel, stainess). Bought about 2 years ago and I could NEVER get it to shoot with handloads less than 1.5" group. This past spring I finally bought some premium factory ammo and the groups went to 4" I contacted Savage and to make a long story short, at the end of the day, they are offering me a new gun, my choice since that gun is no longer in production.
They sounded somewhat flexible -- I'm sure if I choose a model with a $2000 MSRP, they would balk, but I think I good to go with most guns in the under $1000 range. And if pressed, I think they would allow me to go with a more expensive gun if I chipped in some $$.
I could stick with the 270 WSM (#500 rounds brass and premuim dies already in my loading room), or depart from it if you all want to talk me into something else.
To keep the 270 WSM, I'd have to settle on their Weather Warrior series, which has a lighter, shorter (24") barrel. But it does have their new accustock, which is well thought of. They no longer have any heavy barrel guns in 270 WSM
I want to hunt long range with this gun, but I'd also like to at least carry it without too much trouble -- so their 10lb low profile heavy varminter in various other calibers is not interesting.
Perhaps I should be looking at their new Long Range Hunter, which has some interesting offerings of 6.5x264, 7mmRemMag, 300 WSM
and 300 WinMag. They are heavy, though no heavier than my 12FVSS was. The problem I see with them is the extreme length they have, with 26" barrels and muzzle brake
Finally, part of me wants to stay stainless, as the scope for the gun is a Silver Zeiss Conquest 4.5-14x50. I don't really want to part with the Zeiss and I don't really want to spend all the $$ for a black scope either. And zebra guns bother me a little..... Dillemma.....