I had a chance to shoot my B.MAG on Tuesday. Here's a summary of my experience:
Savage B.MAG Interim Report: November 12, 2013
Bottom Line: I think the B.MAG has potential. But it needs some “tuning”.
Background: I purchased a B.MAG that I returned to Savage because it would not group. They sent me a replacement. Between the time of sending the first and getting the replacement, I had determined that the B.MAG was designed to have a floating barrel. The replacement’s forend contacted the barrel “snugly” in two places because of an upward bow in the forend. Using a die grinder I relieved the webbing in the forend that was causing the problem. Before complete relief was achieved, I realized I had done two things: 1) I was weakening an already flimsy stock, and 2) I had voided the warranty. Oops. I avoided further weakening by shimming the forward stock attach point to achieve the floating barrel. I mounted a Leupold Vari-X III and I was ready to shoot.
Shooting: First of all, let me qualify my statements below by stating that I am not a marksman and I need more time and less-shaky hands to achieve that distinction. That said, I sighted the B.MAG at 100 yards and got my groups down to about 1” to 1½” after 40 rounds with the 20gn bullet in 5-shot groups. I cleaned the bore after every 5 shots. The shots measured 2960 – 2975fps using a CED M2 chronograph
. The accuracy isn’t “good enough” yet, but I’m thinking things will improve after I can solve some problems.
The problems included:
1. Sometimes the bolt release catch didn’t “catch” and when extracting a cartridge, the bolt came out of the receiver.
2. Sometimes the extractor didn’t extract the cartridge.
3. All the time, the magazine had to be held with upward pressure to allow the bolt to pick up a new cartridge. About 1/32” was all that was necessary, but unless it was held in the up position, the cartridge failed to feed.
4. The trigger—set to a release pressure of 3½ pounds—feels “gritty”.
5. Loading the rotary magazine is a chore; it’s stiff and rough compared to Ruger's 10/22 magazine.
Summary: After talking with a gunsmith, I’m hoping that we can fix all of these problems with some “tuning”. The jury’s still out on the accuracy of the B.MAG, but I’m optimistic about it’s potential. I wish Savage had spent more time on the finishing and QA of the B.MAG so the customer doesn’t have to do it for them.
Now to find a source of ammo....