The match trick is fine (I use a candle), just saying that you saw a 'ring' instead of the individual marks from the lands made me wonder, as the throat can wipe some of the black off and you won't be close to the lands yet.
Have you measured the cases before and after firing from the base to a point halfway up the shoulder? (headspace length, not overall length). If you haven't headspaced the barrel, it could be setup overly generous and you could be pushing the shoulder back too far when resizing (this will lead to short case life and can be a cause for poor accuracy).
A brake that isn't setup and reamed straight, can also cause poor accuracy (just like a bad crown). Thats why I'd shoot a couple groups without the brake, just to remove that from concern.
Also, have you bedded the action and free floated the barrel? (will a couple dollar bills slide under the barrel freely from the front of the stock back to the action?)
Which stock do you have on the rifle?
Are your groups circular, vertical or horizontal?
Sorry for so many questions.
ps: yes the Savage/stevens has excellent accuracy potential (1/2moa or better).
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.
My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives