111 Long Range Hunter in 300 Win Mag

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by 338winmag, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. 338winmag

    338winmag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 9, 2011
    Has anyone else experienced this: Please respond.

    I was out at the range today with my son and his new Savage Model: 111 Long Range Hunter in 300 Win Mag. It has all those published accuracy bells and whistles. To top it off he has a professionally mounted NightForce 5.5-22x50mm.

    We are in for a big fight with Savage. This particular rifle sucks and after a first time phone call with Savage, it looks like we are going to have to take it up higher if at all possible.

    Ammunition - Federal Blue Box; Nosler Custom (AccuBond) and Federal Premium (Barnes TTSX) All at 180 Grain.

    I tried to keep him encouraged, making up some excuses as we went but groups for all three ammunitions were not only so freaking inconsistent you had to wonder if you were dreaming, but the groups were often 5-8 inches at 200 yards. Not one single grouping was decent. Not one. We rotated the ammo, allowed barrel to cool after 4-6 rounds, made sure scope was secure, validated we broke barrel in correctly 2 weeks ago on its first outing (and thought those first 10 rounds were just off because it was new)

    So on the way home, he contacts Savage. Explains both range times with Savage. First thing they stated was they only guarantee 1.5 group at 100. Wrong answer!!! If this rifle at almost $1000.00 with all those fancy accuracy tricks can only do that, then what is this difference between this rifle and my $399.00 Weatherby Vanguard. Savage then states they tested using 180 gr bullets. Yup, that is all we are using. After all was said and done, Savage states there is nothing they are obligated to do.

    So we get on the internet and find a gunsmith that works on nothing but Savage rifles for the last 30 years. son explains everything to him and he responds with, yup, I have been seeing an awful lot of these new "accuracy" rifles poorly made and Savage won't stand behind their product and help the customer. He takes the rifles and correct the issues and guarantees 1/2 groups at 100 yards with premium over the counter ammo.

    Son has another $399.00 Savage and the rifle is so incredibly accurate and it doesn't have all those accuracy tricks.

    Right now he has to try to figure out what he is going to do with his Long distance rifle that a slingshot can out shoot. As for first impressions with Savage on a scale of 1-10 --> negative 100. What a way to respond to a customer and to top it off they know they have quality problems. If you got one of these accuracy rifles and it is shooting great, than that is super, but what would you do if you just got one like my son just got?

    We will find out this Monday what is going to happen. Even Weatherby has a Vanguard model that is guaranteed to shoot less than 1" groups out of the box, and Savage has the disrespect to state 1.5" after bragging about l their proprietary accuracy tricks?

    Very Sad and Mad
    338 WinMag
     
  2. the444shooter

    the444shooter Well-Known Member

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    438
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    May 8, 2001
    That sucks to hear!

    My first question would be this--were you thoroughly cleaning your rifle between using the different loads? The reason I ask is that I had TERRIBLE groups when I switched between Nosler and Barnes bullets in my 7.82 Warbird. That's when I learned that layering and fouling from different jacket material could throw groups way off. Once I cleaned my barrel and stuck with one type of bullet, my groups shrank to 1/2".

    Second question--how is your scope/mount set up? Was it sliding like it was on glass bearings between the rings before you cinched it down? I just recently had trouble with what my friend called "scope torque" and it threw groups all over the place on a proven accurate SPS tactical .308. Once I remounted the scope, the groups shrank back to normal.

    5-8 inches is terrible, and should be cause for concern. If it's the gun, I'm sure Savage will make it right--this is the first time I've heard negative things about them.
     

  3. luvs2hnt

    luvs2hnt Member

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    15
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    Nov 14, 2010
    My buddie has the 111 in 6.5x284 it is accurate....
    But after the shot his bolt is hard to lift, this is with factory ammo and mild handloads.. I asked him to call savage and the response from savage was it's like a tight pussy how can that be bad???
    I was getting ready to pounce on one in 7mm mag. But i will wait and see what shows up next...

    I hope you get this resolved ...I wanted to post this link on Savages facebook page but I guess I am to challanged to do it.. sometimes shame is the best tool :rolleyes:
     
  4. Nomosendero

    Nomosendero Well-Known Member

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    That is a rather humorus response, but if I had just laid out the cash for the rifle I am not sure it would be well received.
     
  5. 338winmag

    338winmag Well-Known Member

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    I have received a few excellent suggestions on what my son can do to test out if this is really a rifle issue or a shooting practice issue we employed at the range. Unfortuantely he pretty much absoutely believes it is the rifle and he could very well be correct but in my life I try to eliminate all possiblities before I start forking over a lot of money.

    A gunsmith specializing in only Savage firearms is stating that this rifle should be shooting 1/2" groups at 100 yards with over the counter factory premium ammo. The gunsmith is also stating that he can correct the accuracy issues with some of his special gunsmithing (fire lapping?) and such. With his skills he can make this factory over the counter Savage firearm shoot consistent .3 and .4 shot groups???

    Being a reloader, here is my big question of the day:

    I have broke down many over the counter factory ammo including the premium ammo from the big names. I am not impressed. Larger than average bullet runout numbers, case lengths not consistent, bullet weight not consistent, power not consistent, seating depth to ogive not consistent. The opposite of these very things are what makes accuracy at their very best.

    But there is even other factors. Sure Savage built in a minimal headspace tolerance but that only accounts for the true headspace face of breech to where the case stops (for magnums and rimmed). There is still the factor that the new over the counter ammo is not fireformed to your chamber so your bullet alignment to bore can be off as well as irregular case expansion to shoulder affecting bullet start.

    Also, we al know that bullet depth seating is a very big factor for getting those rounds within Sub MOA accuracy so I am a little confused that an over the counter rifle (Even the Great & Almighty Savage 111 Long Range Hunter) as an overall purchase should get such consistent tight groups (according to the Gunsmith) and that his special work can do even better with the original chamber and barrel (aside from Savage's 111 proprietary bedding and trigger)

    Please tell me this is realistically and truly possible and his expectation of at least .5 groups for Savage default and gunsmith proven .3-.4" groups possible with over the counter premium ammo? I just hate to see someone loose a lot of money for unrealistic expectations.

    Please plese no hype. Just realistic facts that are applicable to a large majority.

    "I could be wrong" as Charles Barkleys says but ..

    Thanks
    338WinMag
     
  6. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Jan 30, 2005
    The best I could suggest is to take the rifle to a good smith with a bore scope. Have him inspect the rifle for any glarring problems. There has to be a glaring problem for it to shoot this bad.

    If there is an issue have him document it and you send it all back to savage, with the targets, properly identify the ammunition,range,and conditions the groups were fred under.

    If it easily fixed have the smith do it, but at that point it better be right so if returned savage dosn't claim warrenty void from modification.
     
  7. 300ECHO

    300ECHO Active Member

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    Aug 3, 2008
    I would go to walmart buy a box of cheap winchester 180grain power-points(win PP in most calibers normally shoots well in most rifles), clean the barrel well tonight. go to the range with a clean bore and fire 2rounds to foul it ,let cool, then take your time with a 3shot group. If those 3 rounds don't go into half an inch then I'm thinking it's a bad barrel(happens here and there) or something in the scope mounting system is moving around! Although it could be as simple as barrel touching the stock or just take the barreled action out of the stock see if anythings in there that shouldn't be and reinstall/tighten normal 2 screws then the 3rd.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  8. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    338....what do the groups look like? Vertical, horizontal, clumps (2 here and three there) or all over the place?...Rich
     
  9. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    i shoot against savages all the time in competition. some of them can really shoot. i use a rem 700 in competition. and remington sendero for long range hunting.
     
  10. 338winmag

    338winmag Well-Known Member

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    2 here and three there

    Owner does not want to test. I really want to test the many suggestions including taking off his NightForce and putting on my Viper. Still no go. He could very well be right and going back out to range would be a waste of time. I just like to measure 2-3 times before I cut. :)

    But this thread was not in vain. I will remember all suggestions when I run into my situations and apply.

    A good example is my first use of my new chrony. Tested some reloads and they were almost hitting 3000 fps out of my 338 Win Mag. I stopped after 5-6, came back home, busted the remaining test rounds, reloaded again making sure all measurements were correct. Went back out to the range and again almost 3000. I was convinced the new chrony was messed up.

    Decided to ask a forum. Most everyone knew what the deal was right away. I went back out to the range and this time ""made sure the chrony was perfect extended out and flat". Sure enough, reloads were at a more applicable fps at 2765. Just incredible how a 1/4" inch off flat would make that much difference. :) :)

    Thank you everyone
    338WinMag
     
  11. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Usually when you basically have two groups (clusters) it indicates something shifting. Bedding, scope, ??
     
  12. Good

    Good Well-Known Member

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    My brother was almost ready to buy this model a while back, but I steered him away. I am a Savage fan but I don't understand why they put such a long lightweight barrel on this gun with the heaviest of Accutriggers. The problem may very well be technique if he's not used to shooting so long and light. (Can't be too light with that NF!) Sorry I'm not more help.
     
  13. 338winmag

    338winmag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 9, 2011
    What he got for initial customer service sold me NOT to consider them as a first choice.

    No one has made remarks regarding this though:

    "Being a reloader, here is my big question of the day:

    I have broke down many over the counter factory ammo including the premium ammo from the big names. I am not impressed. Larger than average bullet runout numbers, case lengths not consistent, bullet weight not consistent, powder not consistent, seating depth to ogive not consistent. The opposite of these very things are what makes accuracy at their very best.

    But there are even other factors. Sure Savage built in a minimal headspace tolerance but that only accounts for the true headspace face of breech to where the case stops (for magnums and rimmed). There is still the factor that the new over the counter ammo is not fireformed to your chamber so your bullet alignment to bore can be off as well as irregular case expansion to shoulder affecting bullet start.

    Also, we all know that bullet depth seating is a very big factor for getting those rounds within Sub MOA accuracy so I am a little confused that an over the counter rifle (Even the Great & Almighty Savage 111 Long Range Hunter) as an overall purchase should get such consistent tight groups (according to the Gunsmith) and that his special work can do even better with the original chamber and barrel (aside from Savage's 111 proprietary bedding and trigger)

    Please tell me this is realistically and truly possible and his expectation of at least .5 groups for Savage default and gunsmith proven .3-.4" groups possible with over the counter premium ammo? I just hate to see someone loose a lot of money for unrealistic expectations."

    I could be wrong.........
    Thanks
    338winmag
     
  14. Good

    Good Well-Known Member

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    That's kind of what I was referring to. Same style rifle, savages generally shoot better than anything else out there but I don't feel the LRH is the best choice for accuracy, but if the renowned Savage gunsmith says it will, I'd take his word for it especially if he guarantees it. I'd check all the little stuff like free floated barrel and things and put it in a lead sled to confirm technique before spending any more money though. Then I'd send it to the smith and while it's there I'd have a heave duty recoil lug installed. That's my opinion.