My new Savage 338 LM 110 HS Precision

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by extreme31, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. extreme31

    extreme31 Member

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    I just recently got my first true Long range machine, the Savage 110 HS Precision & I know there are allot of people interested in this new inexpensive 338 LM Chambering so I figured I'd do a somewhat detailed write up on my experience too try & benefit some of you that may be contemplating getting one for yourself & since there isn't many user experiences on the net at this point, here goes......

    As soon as i got my rifle home from my local shop I anxiously pulled it out of the box to check her out. Probably my heaviest & most impressive rifle to date i must say. The stock is thick, especially in the grip area as it fills up your hand nicely which at first is rather odd when you're used to a normal skinny grip of a hunting rifle or an ergonomic AR but it does position your fingertip perfectly on the savage accu-trigger & it just makes you feel like your holding a truly powerful rifle especially when you glance at such a large diameter barrel & the monster muzzlebreak. It has a generous somewhat hard rubber recoil pad at the back. My eyes were immediately drawn to the barrel channel area as the barrel was offset to one side of the stock. It had a tiny gap ( 1/16in ) where the barrel leaves the tip of the forend & large gap on the opposite side, maybe 3/16 inch & I was like you've got to be kidding me, this is ridiculous & unacceptable how did I not notice this at the gun shop? Then I thought to myself, " thats what I get for buying a cheap rifle chambered in the LM to begin with. Then I casually pushed on the barrel & it slid right over to center. NO WAY, the action screws weren't even finger tight, whats up with that? Well at least It would be an easy fix.

    I took the action out of the stock & was impressed by the solid chunk of aluminum that runs pretty much the whole length of it. I set the action back in place making sure it was centered perfectly & proceeded to tighten the screws down with my calibrated elbow & It ended up having ample, even clearance on both sides which was roughly an 1/8 in. I was able to slid a dollar bill straight down to the barrel night, cool, problem solved!
    The magazine is made by accurate mag & is stamped 3.850 & is rather stoutly made. I grabbed my caliper & figured that at most I would get a 3.750 round stuffed inside it. The rifle has a nice long magazine release that is very simple to use & it locks in place rather easy but is a bit loose when installed. All in all a good fit though. I don't have a trigger scale but the factory setting felt good to me so I decided not to mess with it.

    Next I fumbled around getting the bolt out as it's a bit different than my other savage 110 since it has a large lever on the right hand side of the action that you have to push down with your thumb while pulling the trigger to release the bolt. The bolt head is quite a bit larger than normal as well. It defiantly has some meat to it. I peered down the bore while a friend held a light at the opposite end & I was utterly disgusted at the amount of chunky nasty black stuff inside. I mean come on, They must have put 50 rounds thru this thing as it took me a good 2 hours to get the powder & copper residue out. Now if they can fire it that many times wouldn't they include a test target? Wouldn't they at least run a patch down the bore, I mean what if it sat in some gunshop for 6 months or better with all the crud inside? Just doesnt make sense but again it's no 4000 dollar custom either!

    So with a nice clean action & barrel I proceeded to mount a nightforce 5.5 x 22 x 50 with the new high speed, mil, zero stop turrets, ( love that thing by the way ) in nightforce low mount rings. I pulled out my cheasy laser bore sighter that I've never had any luck with at the range but for as much as this ammo & components cost i wanted to save every shot I could. I stuffed it down the bore of my other 110, pointed it at the wall at the opposite side of my living room & noted that it was roughly 1.5 mil low & about .5 mil right. So I got it all set up in the 338 bore & adjusted the nightforce to the same spot. OK, rifle's all set now I need some ammo.......

    My New Baby.JPG
    Makes you want to get behind it.JPG

    I took my shiny new lapua cases, quickly debured the flash holes & ran them thru a RCBS gold match die with a .365 bushing installed. I chamfered the case mouths then seated standard federal 215 primers. I had a couple jugs of Reloader 25 so I browsed thru some books & internet forums to try to find a good starting charge to go under some Midway 250 grain BTHP blemished bullets that were rather cheap in comparison to anything else I looked at, little did I know at this point that I should have bought the entire stock that Midway had! From what i could find starting was 86 & max was 93 grains. I flipped a coin & decided to go with 91 grains. I didn't care much about development at this point as all i wanted to do was get my brass formed to my chamber & then I'll crack into the 250 pack of Berger 300's. So I seated the first bullet to the max length that would fit in the magazine. I chambered the round & noticed that it hit the rifling rather quick. When it came out it was 3.548 so I adjusted the die to an even 3.40, made sure it fit without touching the rifling & then cranked out 100 rounds & all the while preying that they wouldn't be too hot or too slow since pulling bullets is no fun, but I kept telling myself that it didn't matter, as breaking in the barrel & forming the brass was my only concern. I also contemplated the fact that this was a rather short throat in comparison to what the magazine allowed & wondered what kind of reduced case capacity I would end up with when I switched to the 300 Bergers but at the same time I would be able to seat them right up against the lands which can produce fine accuracy.

    The next day I anxiously headed to one of my favorite BLM playgrounds to see what this thing was going to be like as I haven't fired anything bigger than a 300 win mag or my 450 marlin lever action & normally shoot 308's & 6.5's so I must be honest I was somewhat reluctant to pull the trigger the first time since this case simply dwarfs a 308 round! I set up one 12 inch target to start out with & a sheet with 4, 4 inch targets at 100 yards. I put up a 12 inch at 325 & 1 at 587.

    I set up my caldwell bench with a rock BR front rest & a heavy leather rear bag. I set this monster almost 15 pound rifle on top. I spent forever tweaking & tuning the bench, rest & bag until I clearly realized that I was just stalling to avoid the agony of a soon to come bruised shoulder. I stuffed 5 rounds into the magazine & then contemplated what I should do for break in cleaning or just not worry about it since savage obviously put a fair amount of rounds down the bore already, did they clean between firings, yeah right I thought, like the guy pulling the trigger really cared about that & then I realized once again that i was just postponing the inevitable, OK I thought, just squeeze the trigger & who cares how hard it hits you, how bad could it be anyway especially if I can handle 3.5 inch 12 gauge turkey loads or my light weight 450 marlin, don't be a whimp I said so I let out a deep breath & squeezed the trigger softly & CRACK BOOM! The feeling of power in my hands was truly awe inspiring to say the least & the roar must have been heard echoing down the canyons for miles to come! I was pleasantly surprised to see the first bullet impact in almost the exact spot that I lined up the cross hairs to that little red laser beam on the wall. Now I wanted to pull the trigger again so I quickly cranked the scope like 1 mil up & 1 mil left, don't remember for sure as I was too excited at this point. Chambered another round & squeezed the trigger once again, Man this thing is awesome I thought! The second bullet landed just a bit low & right of center so I then cranked off two more rounds & was immediately ecstatic with a smile so wide you could see it from outer space! On 22 power I could easily tell that the 2nd, 3rd & 4th rounds were all touching. I had one more round in the magazine that I really wanted to shoot but I was too afraid of messing up such an amazing first group so I decided to relish in my brief limited success & give the barrel a quick cleaning.

    First 4 rounds.jpg

    With that done I decided I better set up my cronograph to see just how fast the 250 blemished bullets were traveling. The first 4 cases looked great with no pressure signs at all in which my powder charge was a good 2 grains under the book max anyway. I then came up & left just 2 or 3 clicks, loaded the magazine & settled in on the top left of the 4 inch targets & fired 3. 1 more click up & 1 left Then Put 3 into the top right. The last group was a bit spread out so I figured I better take a break & check out all the numbers on the crony. I had an average of 2830 with an SD 65 ES 28. Not very good but also not very bad considering I slapped these loads together & was getting decent groups! I shot the lower left target 5 times & said "Now thats what I'm talking about, good ol savage accuracy"! I then put 5 more in the lower right & realized that i was syken myself up which I tend to do while shooting at paper but still an excellent group in my standards. You can see from my pics just what I'm talking about without giving out a bunch of fancy sounding measurements that don't mean much to the average shooter.

    Shot 5 thru 20.jpg

    I relished in my success, Savages abilities & quickly forgave them for the loose action screws & dirty barrel while I gave the tube another good scrubbing. I was pretty well zerod at this point so It was time to try the 325. I grabbed my iphone & opened up Knights Armaments awesome bullet flight app, punched in 2830 fps, 27.70 pressure, 52 F, 45% humidity, with a preloaded G1 of .581 ( which I borrowed from sierra since I didn't know who's bullets these really were ) with a sight height of 1.8.

    I zeroed my turretts, set the zero stop ( way cool mechanism I must say ) & decided to crank her up all the way to see what I've got to play with which was 13.4 mils available. According to bullet flight that would only get me 1350 yards so I was like WTF?????? My goal for awhile now has been to get me a rifle capable of the al mighty 1 mile shot & with this set up it obviously aint gonna happen so I took a good look at the factory included rail & quickly noticed that it was as flat as a pancake. I didn't even think about it during my earlier inspection cause surely anybody that would chamber a rifle in such an awesome caliber would put a canted rail on it wouldn't they? GRRRRRRR, Savage did it to me again I thought, what the heck were they thinking, why would they waste their time and effort on what was turning out to be such a truly sweet long range capable 1249 dollar machine then install a flat rail? I mean come on, whether it be a flat or 20 MOA cant rail they all cost the same amount of money don't they? Or was it an extra 50 cents in machining to cut the bottom of the rail, I just don't get it..........Anyway, some quick math & I figured that a 20 moa rail would give me an extra 5.5 mils for a total of 18.9. back to the iphone I go & nope, no way, thats only going to gain me another 300 yards. Maybe the 300 grain bullet would do it or another 150fps added to the 250's? But I was here to shoot & tried not to fret over it at this early point in my quest to reach an 18 in target at the magic mile mark.

    I settled back in to the bench & adjusted up 1.1 mils & somewhat quickly fired 2 rounds & I could tell that I was a bit flustered over the whole rail thing & was now thinking that maybe I should have gotten the 3 to 15 power scope as that would have given me another 2.5 mils or so over the 22 power model so i tried to put it out of my mind & relax. I hastly shot 3 more rounds the best I could in my current mind state. I could make out a decent group low & right of center but I knew I was pulling my shots & it wasn't the shooting I was doing earlier or what the rifle is capable of but It looked like it was still within the 1 moa standard that most everybody seems to have. I took a quick break to regain my composure & settled in on my 587 yard target that was stapled to a small chunk of plywood. The wind was a bit light at 4 to 6 mph from my 4 to 5 o'clock. I came up to 3.2 mil & came right just 1 click & fired 2 with confidence this time. I could just barley make out a hole a little bit high & a ways to the left so I gave it 2 clicks right & fired again, this time the target went sailing high into the air while flipping madly. Now thats the power I was talking about! But unfortunately I ruined a good start at a near 600 yard group but said to myself, who cares I'm just here to have some fun anyway! So I blew off the last of my first 50 rounds on various pieces of steel hidden in the scrub land & didn't worry about accuracy. It was truly awesome to later see the large holes in the steel that my smaller calibers merely splatter on to say the least! I can say that my numbers, the bullet flight app & the nightforce were working very well a ranges out to 800 & the rifle is surely capable of less than 1 moa groups at these distances. Steel is much more fun & relaxing for me to shoot. Now I just need some 1/2 in AR 500 that can handle this beast! I was also amazed at the speed & ease at which the bullets made it to these various distances! The 338 LM most defiantly flies with authority even at my somewhat slow speed of 2830!

    325 yards.jpg
    587 yards.jpg

    I can also say that spotting my own shots beyond 300 yards was possible. The weight of the rifle with the effective muzzlebreak makes staying in the scope doable as long as I was calm & confidant with my shots. Overall It is a great long range rifle especially when you compare the price to others available. I hope I didn't bore the S*^T of you all with my rambling writings!

    Also, can any of you experienced guys tell me if it's possible to hold dead on at 1 mile? From what I'm seeing online 20 moa rails are pretty much all that's available for the 110 action & I've never used a 30 but I fear that the back of the scope would be way high, especially shooting prone which I like the best. Will I have to hold over to get to that distance?

    Cheers & Great shooting to all!
     
  2. youngbuck

    youngbuck Well-Known Member

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    Congrats. Ken Farrell makes some bases that are more than 20MOA for the Savage. When I talked to EGW, they said Savage ordered a bunch of 20MOA rails for their 110 FCPs. Sounds like the future FCPs will have 20MOA rails on them. I ordered a EGW HD rail for a Savage, and I had EGW drill it out to #8 holes, the 338 110 actions are #8s not #6s. I have less internal adjustment on my scope than your NF, with a 20MOA rail I should be able to get to 1 mile, and 2k at higher elevations with the 300 OTMs.

    Just curious to what you max COAL is to be able to fit in the magazine?
     

  3. Nape.270

    Nape.270 Well-Known Member

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    Geat review thank you for taking the time to right it.
     
  4. extreme31

    extreme31 Member

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    Correction to my post as i was going off my aging memory for my exact OAL since I'm away from home at work but I had my room mate get into my data book so I could clarify. Bad extreme!

    The max OAL I was comfortable stuffing in the magazine was 3.7 which is what I started with but they hit the rifling so I shortened them to 3.640. I also purchased a 10 round box of factory Lapua 250 grain sceaners that measured 3.605 which I did not fire. I am simply measuring from the base to the tip with my caliper as I haven't purchased a true measuring device yet.

    Hopefully I didn't steer you all astray too much.......

    Thank you much for the info on the canted base as i was just about ready to hit the buy it now button on a nightforce rail which I imagine would just have the #6 screw holes so then I would have had something else to complain about....:) I found a link on this website for Murphy Precision which has the option of ordering the #8 screw holes & looks like a pretty nice base. I see Farrell even offers a 30 moa option which I may need but I hate to jack up the rear of my scope that high, hmmn, decisions decisions........Maybe I need to work up some loads for the 300 OTM's first to see just how much elevation I need for my usual 2500 foot altitude.

    Anybody have a good starting point for the 300's???? Surely I won't get as lucky as I did on my first LM handloads as that has never happened before. Usually I spend days or even weeks to get a good shooting load!
     
  5. Centxshooter

    Centxshooter Well-Known Member

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  6. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Seems to me, my cousin uses 92grn of H1000 in his Lapua. Shoots really well.

    Tank
     
  7. youngbuck

    youngbuck Well-Known Member

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    I got slight extractor marks with H-1000 around 92gr. My 91.9gr load ran about 2840 fps, nothing real fast, but fast enough. I'll probably settle around 91.5gr.
    My max COAL for the mag is 3.765. That's still around 30-40 thou off the lands in my rifle with the 300 OTMs.

    None of my loads have shot poorly, around 1MOA on everything I've loaded, just 300 OTMs and h-1000 though. I'm still looking for a sweet spot with velocity and closer to 1/2MOA accuracy. My ES has been fairly low, the highest so far was less than 30fps, and that was during break in, cleaning after every round. My most recent batch I loaded over mag length to see if there is any benefit. I have read multiple reviews that groups shrink up when you hit 100-150 round count in these Savage barrels. I'm just under 100 round count. I'm hoping to shoot some more this weekend while scouting, if the wind lays down. Definitely let us know how it goes with the 300 OTMs. During initial break in I ran 89gr h-1000 and was getting over 2700FPS with in between 1/2-1MOA accuracy. I'm hoping to find that accuracy again with a little more velocity.

    I skim bedded the rifle, but haven't shot it enough since to see any improvement. I got a load shooting close to 1MOA and hauled the gun as a back up for some late October Coues hunts I helped on. I hauled my dad's 7mag instead of my 338LM on my girlfriends Coues hunt. If I can get the 338LM shooting like the 7mag, (1/2 MOA) I'll be in business.
    I've had a 300RUM for years. Shooting the Lapua at 1k+ is pretty impressive, even on rocks. Complete new ballgame over my RUM. There is a GIANT smack way out there on impact.
     
  8. extreme31

    extreme31 Member

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    Well I just ordered a solid bottom 20 moa cant rail from Murphy Precision with the #8 holes. He stated that it was designed for the 110BA so I'm excited about that!

    Thanks for the info Youngbuck. I wasn't sure what kind of velocity I could expect with the 300's but with your info & the new rail on the way I feel a bit better knowing that I will have plenty of elevation to reach my goals. Now does anybody know of a good cheek rest????? I know the 300's aren't a true pointed tip type VLD's but they are still more pointed than a standard smk so I'm thinking I should be able to seat the bullet out a bit further than the 250's I started with & I hope to be able to hit the lands at magazine length but I doubt it if your not able to, surely there can't be that much difference between two rifles that were most like made side by side.........

    And what exactly is skim bedding? I haven't heard of that yet.....

    I have a couple pounds of the H1000 myself so I really appreciate the load info. When I get home early next month I'm going to immediately load some 300's with that & the left over RL25 I have & i'll make sure to let you know how it turns out. For almost 3 bucks a piece for brass I most likely won't push them too hard. It's one thing to throw away a piece that cost 75 cents due to high pressure but not 3 bucks!

    You are right about the savage barrel needing time to break in. My 6.5 x 284 really started to shine around the 200 mark which I just passed so now I'm wondering if I don't need to fine tune that load a little bit? How much do they really change? I'm starting to see this in other rifles i own as well so I almost think a guy just needs to just shoot 200 rounds thru every new tube & then work on load development........I'm just to new at all of this to really know & understand it, so I appreciate the help! Please keep me posted on your progress as well.

    My 6.5 x 284 performed well on my muley this year. I didn't get my 338 till a week before the season opened so I didn't get to take it along with me but I'm kinda leery of shooting a deer with such a monster caliber since I enjoy the meat far too much! But of course I am dying to find out!
     
  9. youngbuck

    youngbuck Well-Known Member

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    I'll try and update. I'm subscribed to this thread and my original thread

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f19/savage-110-fcp-hs-338lm-76512/

    I hope to use mine w/ 300 OTMs on 100lb deer in December. For a cheek rest I have a black hawk, IIRC. It is a lace up, that works ok, but not great. The string is just about too short, so you'll have to replace it with a longer one. I made an adjustable kydex cheek piece but need to drill my stock.
     
  10. extreme31

    extreme31 Member

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    Oh man I hope your successful & you'll have to show me pictures of the results! Of course that bullet might just fly right thru them but I sure found out this year that there VLD hunting bullets are like grenades going off after they penetrate! I'm sure that OTM would have to be a much stouter bullet so it might be just right?

    We'll chat more in the future!
     
  11. D.ID

    D.ID Well-Known Member

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    Regarding dear shot with howitzer : LUNGS stay away from the shoulder and it will be fine. I took my buck and my bull this year with my 338 edge using the 300 SMK and it was down right amusing. The only phrase to describe it is "instant gratification" emphasis on instant!................................My edge started when I ignorantly told someone in the forums that it would be a waist to rechamber a 338 win with a 24-26" barrel to such a large caliber then I did some research and rechambered my rifle.............I just told someone a savage repeater in these calibers would be a waist but then savage made this rifle and you did this review....... could be a sign. Thanks for the right up
     
  12. NZsavage

    NZsavage Active Member

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    i have a 110BA....and have been having great success on animals here in New Zealand.

    i have just ordered a new stock from Stockade gun stocks and awaiting its arrival.

    my curretn load has been quite light:
    88.5 grains of H1000
    300 SMK
    loaded to 3.750
    fed 215 primers

    gets me 2680fps and 1/2MOA....

    rifle now has about 200 rounds through it and about a dozen one shot deer kills at 750-1000 yards.

    just about to head out again now for a hunt and then a range session to get rid of all of my current load ammo

    switching up to single feed to get more length and less jump.

    increasing up to 91.5 - 92 grains and going to trial 300 bergers but the SMK's have been absolutely devastating on deer....very serious exit holes (2-2.5 inch) on chest shots ..... and rather large gapeing wounds on shoulder shots and majot bone contact.......certainly no follow up shots required.

    i have weighed all components of the 110 BA and 8-25 leupold mark 4 and with the new stockade stockit should be down around 12lbs from its original 18lbs
     
  13. ohghog243

    ohghog243 New Member

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    Hello All!,

    Lets just get it out the way this is my first post ever! ITS GOOD TO BE ALIVE!

    Anyway down to business, This darn gun is the reason I became a member. The reason being I have read so many posts about people loading 88, 89, 90, 91 grains of H1000 into this rifle and I am blown away! I have done a few things to this rifle that is pretty common in my family of shooters, great bed job. . . check, lap rings check, all those bells and whistles, even had the barreled action chryogenically treated (dont let anyone tell you this dont do anything). These are all the normal things that we do with our competition and long range rifles, this to be down the earth is the biggest baddest mother I have to shoot, and to be honest am quite new to the whole big bore deal. Got plenty of other one holers for those tractor axle ruining ghogs. This rifle so far has me stumped (a little).

    Anyways, I have only put like maybe 50 so far through her, when I started I flipped a coin just like any one else who just wants to shoot it, settled on 91 grains of H1000 behind a 300 gr Sierra Matchking, alot of people i have seen shoot 92.5, 91.5, 91 grains, figured what the hell, so I loaded her up and let her rip! I was shocked at the amount blunt force trauma that can be imposed. Try to extract, stuck. Im using Norma brass, CCI Primers, fairly good components. After banging it out with block, my father gets behind enjoys his moment and STUCK! Bang it out. I mean once it started it came right out. Cases over all look good just stuck like a mother. So I rethink my strategy, start way low, like 83 grains low, Im still doing the normal break in procedure cleaning a crap load and shooting, just enjoying the hell out of it. This gun has shot amazing stuck case or not everything is beautiful bullet overlapping clovers at my 100 yard range. I have no complaints on this gun, Im just thinking, and I have read that Norma does make softer brass, has anyone else had this problem? Also another point, I chronographed five loads of 86 grains of H1000 with 300 gr sierra matchkings and I was getting a average of 2680ish. 86.5 Grains is rough to extract. 86 shot very well though. Now in the Sierra book thats less powder more speed. I understand there using a 1 in 10 vs our 1 in 9, but I read people shooting in the 90 grains and I cant believe it. Im by no means dissapointed with this rifle cant wait to shoot some critters.

    Rifle Specs:
    Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 Lapua Mag
    Sightron SIII 8-32LRMD
    Murphy Precision 20 MOA Base (Unbelievable Service!)
    Warne Steel Rings
    Norma Brass
    CCI 250 Primers
    H1000
    300 Gr SMK

    None the less I ordered Lapua Brass, read a thread somewhere that someone with this gun had the same exact problems with norma brass, switched to lapua and all there problems went away. Also going to work up some VV N570, I also have 300 Berger Hybrids, In my experience I have learned Bergers create less pressure due to the smaller bearing surface.

    Gun shoots great and I love it.

    Happy Shooting!
     
  14. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    If the brass thing doesn't work, then try Retumbo. My cousin found a good load using 94.0 of Retumbo. He does use Lapua brass though. I think he has used up to 92grn of H1000, but with pressure issues. It's my belief after watching him load this thing for a couple of years that Retumbo is the better powder. Welcome to LRH.

    Tank