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need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

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Unread 03-18-2011, 05:46 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21
need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

Well I've encountered a frustrating problem w/ my new Savage 11 Long Range Hunter 308.I cannot get a decent group to establish a zero at 100 yds. I set this rifle up w/ the Bushnell 4200 Elite Tactical on Burris HD Tac rings w a / Picatinny rail. I carefully cleaned the barrel and then I got the rifle onto 4" paper at 50 yards w/ the cheap UMC Remington 'white box' ammo. I cleaned the barrel between every 3 shots and all seemed ok. Then I set up to get my zero at 100 yards w/ the Hornady 150grain Superformance and I was quite dismayed to see a really poor pattern. The groups are totally variable with any where from 1 to 4 MOA. I tried the UMC stuff just to see what it would do and the pattern was about the same. I'm more than willing to try some other ammo but this experience is very unlike anything I've ever experienced before with other rifles. The other rifle I bought to get into this long range thing is a Savage 22-250 heavy and I'm already out to 400 yards and well into developing a data card for it while the 308 is becoming a thorn in my side.
Ive checked all my mounting hardware twice and find nothing there. Worse thing is now I have no confidence in the 308 setup so that's compounding the problem. I've gone thru trying to get it zeroed 2 times now. Any suggestions would be appreciated?

PLEASE NOTE: After a very long, expensive(shell$) and frustrating process of trial & error I believe that I have determined that the Bushnell 4200 Tactical scope is faulty. I will now begin what what will probably become an even longer and more frustrating process of sending in this scope for 'replacement or repair'. Naturally I now have no faith in this scope and I will try and find some way to never put it or it's replacement back on this very excellent rifle.

Last edited by chowder; 04-16-2011 at 04:44 PM. Reason: updated for new readers
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Unread 03-18-2011, 09:07 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11
Re: need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

Start from zero - recheck all your mounts etc. I noticed a rifle I was working with a few weeks ago, my scope slid forward a touch in the rings. Check your action screws into the stock.

If the rail is loose even a little bit, it will cause a shift all over. Good luck.
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Unread 03-18-2011, 04:47 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dallas,OR
Posts: 371
Re: need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

I've been told that if a gun won't shoot the Federal Gold Match ammo good it has problems. You might try shooting some of that after you check the mounts and stock screws.
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Unread 03-18-2011, 05:34 PM
T F T F is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Solvang CA
Posts: 235
Re: need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

I too had the same thing with my savage in .243 it is not the gun!!! It's the ammo seen it for myself with 2 savage's and read it over and over . do you reload ? or do you shoot out of the box ammo ? You need to find loads that have worked for others with a 308 savage and give them a try . From what I have learned new savage is very ammunition sensitive . hope this helps good luck
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Unread 03-18-2011, 06:19 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SW MT or noVA
Posts: 985
Re: need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

1. Get some ammo with a proven track record (168 or 175 FGMM, black hills, or M118LR)

2. Check all screws, scope rings, rails, and action screws, make sure they aren't torqued wrong.

3. make sure there is no pressure point on the barrel, make sure it's floating, and also the tang of the action needs to float.

4. make sure the muzzle brake is tight on the end (i think the LRH model has a brake) i've done this with my old 300 win mag, wasted a whole ladder test of ammo before noticing...

5. put on a scope with a proven track record, sounds like the scope from your 22-250 sounds like a good idea, then to confirm (if this is the problem) put the .308 win scope on the 22-250 and see how it shoots, to rule out compounded issues.

This should fix it, i'm yet to hear of a savage that won't shoot.... keep us updated!
"Out of range" is a theoretical concept as far as I'm concerned. Send it!
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Unread 03-18-2011, 07:37 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,123
Re: need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

I know this is counter productive of the design, but some guys have struggled enough with this model rifle that they remove the clamping mechanism from the accu-stock that clamps to the recoil lug. I have read that is very torque sensitive. So it is a matter of getting that correct.

I also read an article from one of the Savage team shooters that said you should play with torque settings on the rear action screw. He suggested tightening up the front screw to 30in lbs. Then set the rear action screw to 5in lbs. Then start shooting 3 shot groups and see how they come together. Move up in 5in lb increments to find the optimum accuracy. The only kicker is that you have to have a known load that works.

Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. [14] But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

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Unread 03-19-2011, 05:59 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 21
Re: need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

Thanks for the suggestions! Lots of good ideas !I will get back on this rifle next week if i can get some of the 168 or 175 BHs or Feds) Hate to take the scope off the 22-250 & put it on the 308 but probably a good idea (was thinking this myself).
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