need help w/poor grouping- Savage model 11 Long Range Hunter 308

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by chowder, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. chowder

    chowder Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Well I've encountered a frustrating problem w/ my new Savage 11 Long Range Hunter 308.I cannot get a decent group to establish a zero at 100 yds. I set this rifle up w/ the Bushnell 4200 Elite Tactical on Burris HD Tac rings w a / Picatinny rail. I carefully cleaned the barrel and then I got the rifle onto 4" paper at 50 yards w/ the cheap UMC Remington 'white box' ammo. I cleaned the barrel between every 3 shots and all seemed ok. Then I set up to get my zero at 100 yards w/ the Hornady 150grain Superformance and I was quite dismayed to see a really poor pattern. The groups are totally variable with any where from 1 to 4 MOA. I tried the UMC stuff just to see what it would do and the pattern was about the same. I'm more than willing to try some other ammo but this experience is very unlike anything I've ever experienced before with other rifles. The other rifle I bought to get into this long range thing is a Savage 22-250 heavy and I'm already out to 400 yards and well into developing a data card for it while the 308 is becoming a thorn in my side.
    Ive checked all my mounting hardware twice and find nothing there. Worse thing is now I have no confidence in the 308 setup so that's compounding the problem. I've gone thru trying to get it zeroed 2 times now. Any suggestions would be appreciated?

    PLEASE NOTE: After a very long, expensive(shell$) and frustrating process of trial & error I believe that I have determined that the Bushnell 4200 Tactical scope is faulty. I will now begin what what will probably become an even longer and more frustrating process of sending in this scope for 'replacement or repair'. Naturally I now have no faith in this scope and I will try and find some way to never put it or it's replacement back on this very excellent rifle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  2. 0311 G Az

    0311 G Az Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Start from zero - recheck all your mounts etc. I noticed a rifle I was working with a few weeks ago, my scope slid forward a touch in the rings. Check your action screws into the stock.

    If the rail is loose even a little bit, it will cause a shift all over. Good luck.
     

  3. moombaskier

    moombaskier Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    405
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    I've been told that if a gun won't shoot the Federal Gold Match ammo good it has problems. You might try shooting some of that after you check the mounts and stock screws.
     
  4. Terrytf

    Terrytf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    I too had the same thing with my savage in .243 it is not the gun!!! It's the ammo seen it for myself with 2 savage's and read it over and over . do you reload ? or do you shoot out of the box ammo ? You need to find loads that have worked for others with a 308 savage and give them a try . From what I have learned new savage is very ammunition sensitive . hope this helps good luck
     
  5. Oliveralan

    Oliveralan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    991
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    1. Get some ammo with a proven track record (168 or 175 FGMM, black hills, or M118LR)

    2. Check all screws, scope rings, rails, and action screws, make sure they aren't torqued wrong.

    3. make sure there is no pressure point on the barrel, make sure it's floating, and also the tang of the action needs to float.

    4. make sure the muzzle brake is tight on the end (i think the LRH model has a brake) i've done this with my old 300 win mag, wasted a whole ladder test of ammo before noticing...

    5. put on a scope with a proven track record, sounds like the scope from your 22-250 sounds like a good idea, then to confirm (if this is the problem) put the .308 win scope on the 22-250 and see how it shoots, to rule out compounded issues.

    This should fix it, i'm yet to hear of a savage that won't shoot.... keep us updated!
     
  6. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    I know this is counter productive of the design, but some guys have struggled enough with this model rifle that they remove the clamping mechanism from the accu-stock that clamps to the recoil lug. I have read that is very torque sensitive. So it is a matter of getting that correct.

    I also read an article from one of the Savage team shooters that said you should play with torque settings on the rear action screw. He suggested tightening up the front screw to 30in lbs. Then set the rear action screw to 5in lbs. Then start shooting 3 shot groups and see how they come together. Move up in 5in lb increments to find the optimum accuracy. The only kicker is that you have to have a known load that works.

    Tank
     
  7. chowder

    chowder Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions! Lots of good ideas !I will get back on this rifle next week if i can get some of the 168 or 175 BHs or Feds) Hate to take the scope off the 22-250 & put it on the 308 but probably a good idea (was thinking this myself).
     
  8. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,033
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    My Savage 110 hated the high dollar ammo, but would shoot bugholes with Federal Fusion.

    And, I've seen rifles (and a pistol or two) shoot vastly different groups with different brands of ammo. I know from experience that it's not much fun to buy a few different brands of ammo and try them when you're only going to use 5 rounds in a box of 20, but such is life.
     
  9. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,385
    Joined:
    May 31, 2001
    Had a Savage 243 barrel that wasnt shooting up to snuff.Found out why when I went to swap barrels=The base screws where a little too long and hitting the barrel. Grinding a little off the screw fixed the barrel problem:D
     
  10. Huntmac

    Huntmac Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    I was having a big problem with my savage 111 fcns which is similar to the long range hunter. It would group 2-4 inch groups @ 100 yards. I was really disappointed but I was reading in the manual and it said the action screws needed to be tightened to 40 lbs per inch I did that it fixed the problem. Another thing that affects accuracy in mine is the magazine, it needs to be in the gun to get the best results which really surprised me. I guess it has to do with how it recoils. Anyway I hope this helps, it is always good to go with the simple solutions first I think.

    Huntmac
     
  11. chowder

    chowder Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Here's where I'm at with this issue;
    1. I checked the torque on the action holdowns & they were at 40.
    2. I was somewhat concerned about tight spot between forend and barrel so
    removed stock & sanded away 2 potential touch points & reassembled using
    correct sequence & torque.
    3. I put a box of Hornady 168 grain Superformance thru the rifle (only heavier load I could find locally). My first group was outstanding w/ 3 in the bull inside a hole the size of a ragged nickel. After that the groups began to scatter( no stringing) into groups with most 3 shot groups having 2 close and one randomly scattered.

    I'm trying to locate an affordable box of Fed GMM 168 or 175 to shoot asap.After I see what happens there I am prepared to pull the scope of & see what things look like w/ the scope off the 22-250.

    I did feel like I had to really watch my cheek weld and concentrate really hard on having my sight picture super focused to get a couple shots tight together & that if I lost the slightest concentration at all while breaking the trigger I would wind up 4" off. It seemed so much more critical than with any other firearm I've ever shot. Consequently I'm wondering about how I have the adjustable cheek piece and scope adjustment for eye relief set. I pretty much set the scope so I had maximum eye relief when holding up the rifle free hand and I did not change the cheek piece adjustment after taking the rifle out of the box because I was not sure what sort of conformation is considered to be optimal. Any way the result is that I often feel like it's difficult to establish the correct sight picture and proper rifle position.
     
  12. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    923
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
  13. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
  14. chowder

    chowder Member

    Messages:
    21
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Wow, very helpful, explains a lot and almost makes me glad that I've had a problem that made me realize I didn't know this stuff and that I really needed to! -Andy