Frustrated with Savage Lapua 338......

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by WEATHERBY460, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. WEATHERBY460

    WEATHERBY460 Well-Known Member

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    Sticky bolt issue even with Lapua brass...first 50 rounds the gun shot super. Then had the sticky bolt issue...i backed off my reloads way low and still had it. Was going to send the gun to savage, then called a guy on the net under "savage gunsmithing". he assured me he could fix the problem by machining something....sent the gun in, he called and said my loads are way too hot. Basically i have to shoot the gun at 2550fps or slower according to him to keep it from sticking....so $425 later i get the gun back with a bedded stock and recrown.

    Today i called savage, and sent the gun in to them....man i hope they fix this.....the bad thing is it groups great at 2750fps with 300 bergers... .75moa all day long
     
  2. green 788

    green 788 Well-Known Member

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    Wow... that's a big price for a re-crown and a bedding job.

    I can't think of any sensible reason why your rifle would start showing pressure signs (presumably with the same load recipes) 50+ rounds after shooting that very same load recipe with no pressure signs.

    Something has definitely changed--and I'm doubtful it's the rifle. Most likely, you've gotten hold of an off lot of powder, or the seating depth has changed... or there is a new lot of bullets.

    Rifles actually, as the barrel breaks in, begin to tolerate heavier loads than when new. The leading edges of the lands "dress forward" a bit... and you actually tend to see velocities drop with a given powder charge. I've lost count of the times I've heard shooters say "My load is still shooting well, but velocities are down X percent."

    Maybe someone else will have a suggestion as to how a rifle could do what you're describing... but my guess is still the loading components... maybe even a scale going a bit haywire. But the rifle... I doubt it. :eek:

    Dan
     

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    And it should. What is your charge for this load?

    Jeff
     
  4. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    I have seen and heard of several problems with those rifles!!!
     
  5. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I have one as well. Got it over a year and a half ago and I have had no issues whatsoever as far as the rifle is concerned. Brass is another story. I learned the 'Lapua' lesson early on.:)

    My personal opinion is that issues arise when owners try to push the limits of the rifle past it's design limits and when loading parameters change as Green 788 points out. Pushing the limits of anything mechanical is a great American pastime but not always prudent.

    IMO, it's a damned nice shooter, though a bit heavy, for a bargain basement price, hell, I've paid way more for a scope than I did for the 11 LRH.

    It won't win a beauty contest either. My wife refers to it as 'industrial looking'.

    Of course I religiously follow the 338 Lapua loading thread on this site. Lots of good information contained there. Borrowing from others experiences, I've loaded on recommendations in that thread with excellent results btw.

    I don't shoot it everyday, even handloads are expensive compared to my 223's but when I do, it's always a hoot, it always draws a crowd at the club and some unlucky observer always gets 'washed' by the muzzle brake blast.:D

    I've yet to have heavy bolt lift, sticking cases or brass transfer on the bolt face (other than the usual swipe mark). I do anneal my cases regularly using Jeff's machine (thanks for the recommendation Jeff btw). All in all, the 338 has been a painless experience for me...... some shoulder discomfort arises after repeated use.......:)
     
  6. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    I am also having some sticky bolt issues with Lapua brass in our savage 110 fcp hs 338 lapua. I have to shoot really light loads for easy bolt lift (2600 fps with 280 grain bullet. So I am interested as to what your problem is as we might have the same issues. Good luck!!
     
  7. supercrossbmx69

    supercrossbmx69 Well-Known Member

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    I was actually going to buy one of these next week.... should I go another route? It took me the past two weeks to decide between the savage 110 fcp and the remington sendero and I decided the savage would be a better choice because the stock feels alot better for long range.
     
  8. WEATHERBY460

    WEATHERBY460 Well-Known Member

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    91 GR OF H1000, 2750fps....90 gr of h1000 gets me about 2700fps and still have the sticky bolt...heck i even had it with 88gr,,,Berger seated .035 from lands....

    I just think this gun should be able to shoot those bullets at 2700fps without issues

    and yes...i have tried differnt chronos
     
  9. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I have a fairly new Savage 111 FCP/338 Lapua and so far I haven't experience any issues shooting 90 grains of H1000. I'm still working on optimizing my loads. So far, groups are running consistent .25-.5" at 100 yards. I'm curious if you have tried your original load that didn't give the sticky bolt issue using new, unfired Lapua brass and see if you still have the issue. I'm assuming you haven't changed your powder lot, and have an accurate reading seating depth which took me a while with this rifle. If your rifle functions Ok with new Lapua, it could be either a headspace issue, or sizing dye adjustment issue. Using a Hornady Lock and Load headspace gauge with the "E" bushing, new Lapua, trimmed and chambered should be 4.317", the fired case on mine is 4.325", the FL sized case is 4.323" using a Redding Competition FL dye. Overall cartridge length for my rifle is 3.717", seating .023" out of the lands with 300gr Bergers. These measurements are consistent with a couple of my buddies that have the same rifle, shoot the same load, and have no issues. If your rifle varies greatly from these stats, sending it back to Savage is the best solution.
     
  10. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Your data is right on for your velocities. Those charges are very close to where I would expect to see pressure as they are max charges but I agree your rifle should shoot them as long as you are not getting ejector pin stamp marks.

    Jeff
     
  11. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    I've actually seen speeds come up some on a couple of over bore rifles as they aged, but that's another story.
    It sounds as though the OP may have damaged your brass with warm loads on the first firing or two and now they have larger than normal bases and there isn't enough rebound when fired. I've seen it in both the 375h@h and 7mm stw when top loads are used with certain powders, I won't use aa 8700 or similar in my 7stw anymore as I've had to throw away a couple of hundred brass using book loads. Many of the larger brass will still hold a primer when mildly pressure damaged, but will feed/eject poorly and will mimic high pressure loads even when mild.
    Cycle all your empty's through the rifle before loading and notice any scratching/ resistance near the web of the case(use a sharpie if you have a question as to whether the scratches are new). If there's anything over nothing, I'd minimum FL all of my brass and try it again. If you still have resistence, it's time for new brass.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
  12. WEATHERBY460

    WEATHERBY460 Well-Known Member

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    grayfox...i am pretty dead on with your results also on case length...i even tried trimming down to .310" instead of the .314 like books say.....you can see on the brass where its catching...its a slight dinger on the case mouth...not alot...but its there thats its catching.,,....does that say anything?

    also i am fl sizing everyone one...using the cheapo rcbs die...should i buy a better die?
     
  13. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    Weatherby460,
    I'm curious if you have tried new, unfired Lapua brass with your initial loads that were giving you good velocities and no sticky bolt issues. I think this information is important and can assist in diagnosing your issue. I personally prefer the Redding Dyes, having had some issues with RCBS in the past, but this may not be your issue.
     
  14. Boss Hoss

    Boss Hoss Well-Known Member

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    If someone has modified the firearm most manufacturers will not work on them any longer for labiality reasons.