Savages can cetainly be accurized. I really like to get rid of the barrel lock nut system and fit a barrel just as a Rem 700 is on teh Savage rifles. This does a couple things, first it solves the beddign problems associated with the Savage Barrel locking nut.
It also allows a heavier barrel shank to be used adding stiffness to the barrel.
It is true that this takes away the user friendliness of switching barrels on a Savage action but accuracy and consistancy increases.
For Savage rifles chambered in rounds such as the RUM, I willnot rebarrel a Savage rifle without fitting the barrel in this manor. THe RUM barrels have a larger thread diameter then standard caliber Savage rifles and as such, the barrel locking nut is thinned to allow teh fatter threads.
They have been having a problem with the thin locking nut cracking and when this happens, the barrel often unthreads from teh receiver and increased headspace, not to mention, the recoil becomes loose and the rifle starts to come apart very quickly unless it is noticed right away.
Because of this I simply remove this system and fit it like a Rem 700 and the problem is gone. I have not heard of any problems with the Savage rifles using the standard caliber rounds with the thicker barrel lock nuts.
A good bedding job will also go a long way to improving the performance of a Savage rifle, but it needs to be bedded correctly. The first Savage I ever bedded was a 223 on the old long action 110 before Savage had a short action.
This rifle averaged right at 1/2" at 100 yards for 5 shots out of the box but the owner wanted to restock the rifle with a nice heavy laminated stock.
I fitted the barreled action and pillar bedded the rifle in teh same fashion as a Rem 700 and totally floated the barrel as the factory rifle was.
The owner came up and we range tested the rifle and to my horror found the rifle to print in the 1.5" range with the same load as before. The owner was not very happy and I am sure I was a bit red faced.
I had another Savage rifle in the shop which was one of their heavy barreled tactical rifles. I did a little looking at the bedding on the factory rifle and quickly found a couple areas that were floated instead of contact bedded.
I releaved these areas on the restocked rifle and we headed back out to the range. This time the first five shots cuts a 1/4" single hole. I could start breathing again.
Most gunsmiths feel the Savage rifles are not worth working with, I personally feel they make as accuracte a custom rifle as any when built correctly.
To give you an example, the very first 270 Allen Mag that I built as a test rifle was built on a Savage 111 receiver that was chambered for a 300 RUM originally. It is shooting the 130 gr Ballistic Tips to 3850 fps and getting sub 1/2" groups at 100 yards. Have yet to test it at 500 yards but I will be suprised if it does not group under 1.5" with taylored loads at 500 yards.
Here are a couple pics of the rifle so you can see the barrel fitted without the locking nut.
This is an unfinished stock and the barrel is also unfinished as this is a test rifle only. Still it shows the barrel fitting system.
This system allows barrel diameters of up to 1.350" to be used on the Savage receiver compared to 1.0625" for standard calibers and around 1.120" for RUM Savage receivers with the larger diameter barrel threads.
For barrel stiffness, I do not like to start with anything smaller then 1.200" at the full diameter barrel shoulder and much prefer the standard 1.250" diameter which provides a larger, more positive barrel shoulder to bare against the recoil lug.
I also highly recommend replacing the factory recoil lug, just as with the Rem 700 lug, I use only Holland Comp Recoil Lugs on all of my customer rifles. For another $30, this is one of the best ways to increase rifle rigidity and consistancy to either a Rem 700 or a Savage 110 designed rifle.