Let me start by saying that I am NEW to LRH. I've hunted my entire life and have taken animals out to 476 yards (longest kill to date). However I've always dreamed about that 1000 yard shot. Well it just so happens that I was drawn for elk this year, and figured I would build a budget long range rifle that was capable of taking an elk up to 1000 yards so that I could use it on my elk hunt this year. I have plans of building a better rifle in the future, but I didn't want to spend 5 grand right out of the gate. So that's a little history on my reason for this rifle. Anyways I've always been a Howa guy, but decided to see if the grass was greener on the other side (seeing how they talk about out of the box accuracy so often). I purchased a 7mm Rem Mag 111 Trophy Hunter XP. My first impression was that this things feels cheap, what a piece of junk!!! Lol. I wasn't too impressed honestly by just holding the rifle. I started by removing the scope, rings, and base. I added a BackHawk Picatinny 0 MOA rail, BlackHack 30mm Rings, and a 2.5-10x44 Vortex Viper PST Scope. I adjusted the accutrigger down as low as it would go, which ended up being 3lbs on my rifle. I also added a BlackHawk Bipod. After the rifle was together I took it to the range and broke the barrel in. It was shooting just over 1 MOA during the break in with factory ammo. I then spent a lot of time working up a load for the rifle. I ended up with the following:
168 Berger VLD Hunting Bullets (seated to the lands)
69.6 grains H1000 Powder
The results were fantastic. At 100 yards I am getting .560-.650" 5 shot groups almost (I'm the weak link) every time out at the range. Now I have only taken the rifle out to 500 yards so far, but I am going to change that this weekend. In conclusion I'm very happy with what I have ended up with. A rifle that only cost $1500 bucks, and will shoot sub moa all day long as long as I do my part. All in all the rifle performs as it should. The things that I don't like about the Savage are the accutrigger (just doesn't feel right to me, not even close to a factory Howa IMHO), the bolt (looks good but doesn't feel that smooth), and the stock (about as flimsy as a wet noodle, but most people won't stick with the factory stock so I guess that isn't a huge issue). So for the future I plan on getting a new trigger, and a new stock. So would I buy another Savage? Sure.