Savage 110 BA .300 win mag review

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by top predator, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. top predator

    top predator Well-Known Member

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    my local shooting club had a Savage /nikon/ hornady day where those manufacturer's brought in some things for us to play with.
    i got to handle and shoot the 110 BA. they had both the .338 lapua and .300 win mag versions, unfortunately the .338 ammo did not come, so they put out a .300 win mag.
    the "wow" factor was there:
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    as we had to rotate shooters, my trigger time was sporatic, and the bipod they had on it sucked, i later removed it and shot off a box of ammo
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    also i don't know who they had sighting in the rifles (stevie wonder?), but it took a few relays to get it in. for some reason, it just didn't shoot to my expectation. they were feeding it hornady 180 gr sst, perhaps the load didn't agree with it, or perhaps it was the less than perfect rests we had to use. it just (in my opinion) didn't shoot like a $2,000 + gun should. we have the oppurtunity to sign out the rifles over the next month and use them, so i'll have to revisit the accuraccy thing, as it bothers me as a huge savage fan not to be able to touch 'em at 100 yards. hopefully the .338 ammo will be in for that. i thought it was me having an off day, however i was managing to get the other rifles available - mdl 12 palma, mdl 11 long range hunter, mdl 12 varminter, to around 2" or less at at 200 yards, and the mkii tr .22 to touch at 50 yards - that well it wasn't me having an off day.
    felt recoil was really low, felt considerably less than the .308's i shot just minutes before and after, thanks to the 15.75 lb. empty weight and the very well designed brake. the whole rifle was a solid as you can get - no rattles, flexes, noises, squeeks, etc. note that the brake is recessed and point upward, with a "shelf" halfway down. muzzle blast has no where else to go but where designed to go.
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    the scope was a nikon monarch 6-24x 50mm obj. had a target dot reticle (mildot would be better, but this was a freebie shooter, so why complain?). it had burris medium rings and still had some clearance.
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    the side rails IMHO are useless, but the top pic rail had enough length for any NV add ons and was done well.
    the mid section was all business...
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    bolt handle was just the right length and width, the magazine release was large and easy to manipulate (push forward for release). the "panther" style pistol grip was always a favorite of mine, and the whole mid section had a good AR-15 feel to it, but on the other hand, felt a little strange on this type of platform.



    more on below post (picture heavy)...
     
  2. top predator

    top predator Well-Known Member

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    ....continued from above.

    the 3 position safety is where it should be - on the tang. i do prefer the old "lump" button savage safety compared to the new one, as the old one seemed easier to find by feel.
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    the bolt and magazine. the 6 round (.300 win mag, .338 is 5 round) magazine seemed a little "chimsey" to me, seemed it would be easy to damage or get out of shape. the bolt finish was nice, however the bolt face and lugs didn't hint to me that it was from anything else than an average savage .300 win mag. - not that being an average savage .300 win mag is a bad thing, just doesn' seem to be "upgraded" for a $2,000+ rifle.
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    the rear stock: nice on an AR, felt a little retarded on this. i appreciated the adjustable LOP and cheekpiece, however it was thin and seemed out of place. i would opt for a beefier rear stock or at least a beefier cheekpiece at least to trick myself to feel like i have a more comfortable stock under me. i don't know, it just seemed weird to have a stock used on CQB rifles on this. rode a rear bag horribly. just my opinion, will have to play with it more.
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    all in all i felt priviledge to fire this rifle, but at the same time a little let down with the performance and feel of it. i think i'd rather put $2,200 on a national match M-14 or a SOCOM.
    again, i'm going to sign her out again sometime over the next month to see of some of the bad vibes i was getting subside. coming from a huge savage fan and shooter, this just seemed not to equal the hype, expense, and performance that is talked about. was it just me? i don't know. it has it's good points, and a few odd ones, in the end after experimenting more i may be dead wrong.
    however, i would prefer a mcmillian, hs precision, or choate feel and comfort to it rather than the AR style setup. i left with the overall view that $2,000+ could be spent better on a rifle that fits the individual tastes better. once again perhaps it's just me.
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    as for today, it was like going to see your favorite band perform live in concert, then realize they stink abit when out of the studio. just feeling a little mixed, but as i said before, i believe i have to do some more shooting with it. but i do applaud savage for taking the jump with this and the other new models they have out there, and for listening to their customers.

    UPDATE:

    the club had to return the rifles as there was a whole bunch of BS to go through with the ATF to hold on to them, so i wan't able to shoot it again. however, i do feel priviliged to shoot it, but a little saddened that i wasn't able to pull the trigger with a better rest, set up, and no line behind me to see once in for all if the rifle was "all that" or if is was just the rests we were using.
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Do I see Burris Signature rings (plastic inserts) on that rig?
     
  4. top predator

    top predator Well-Known Member

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    yes they were, i don't know if the folks that "set up" the the rifle knew what exactly kind of trinkets they had to play with, i don't believe they really took advantage of the options they had at their disposal.

    i think that led to the mixed feelings i had about the groups i was shooting, (as they were a little larger than i would have expected) i don't think they had everything "in sync" with each other.

    at first i thought it was me, however i didn't have a problem doing touching holes with the other rifles they had to shoot @100 yds, and under 2" at 200yds.
     
  5. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review and pics. Sounds kinda odd about not having any 338 ammo...what's up with that?
     
  6. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Kinda like showing up to the prom with no date!!! Someone should have been ready for that and had a stash laid in ahead of time :D
     
  7. USMC03Grunt

    USMC03Grunt Active Member

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    I happen to own one of these weapons, so I would like to give you all my review after tinkering with various factory and handloads.



    1.) I paid $1700 for mine-- certainly worth it compared to the M-14 National Match I bought several years ago, and have since sold due to its inability to reliably and accurately fire handloads of any length other than standard factory ammo.

    2.) My scope and ring setup is a bit more, shall we say, "solid." Medium height Burris Tactical (6 screw rings) with a Leupold VX-III 8.5-25x LR/T on top.

    3.) Accuracy was incredible for factory loads, even with the 180gr Hornady SST Super Performance (1.41" at 200yds) as you used in your testing. That being said, this weapon was not a big fan of 190gr Federal Gold Medal Match (SMK) with groups ranging from 1.9-2.2" at 200 yards. That's not horrible, but also not what I paid $1700 for-- therefore, I looked elsewhere.



    Initial testing was done at 200 yards out of the prone with a 6-9" Adjustable Harris Bipod at the 6" setting. Further, I have tested multiple handloads out of this weapon. I intend to continue my accuracy testing in a few months when I get home from Afghanistan. In that, I will add 210gr SMK's to the mix, in addition to trying longer load lengths, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.45-3.6" assuming they will fit the magazine. Hopefully I should be able to gain somewhere between 100 and 175fps out of the muzzle if my calculations are correct, after having added more powder. Lastly, I have tested this weapon out to 800 yards with the H100V 190 SMK and 200 NP loads listed below. Accuracy for the 190 was 6.34" from outside to outside, and with the 200NP was 7.21" outside to outside. These groups were measured with Cabela's electronic calipers, and are the average of 3 4-shot groups.



    The loads below were shot at 200yds in manner described above while it was roughly 80 degrees (F) with a no-value wind (12-6 oclock at <5mph).

    Bullet Type Pwd Amt Pwd Type Grp Sz (") MV ME
    175SMK 67.5 H100V 0.789 2950 3377
    175SMK 69.5 H100V 0.783 2975 3435
    190SMK 63 H100V 1.55 2800 3303
    190SMK 67.5 RE-19 1.241 2725 3129
    200 Nos Part 65.5 H100V 0.769 2730 3305


    Overall, I am very satisfied with my investment thus far. Recoil is nearly non-existent, accuracy is incredible, and the trigger, well it's just astounding how smooth and crisp it is-- Savage did shooterkind a service when designing the Accu-Trigger.


    While I've done a great job touting Savage with the above review, be aware I am in NO WAY affiliated with Savage Arms-- I am a simple Marine grunt that loves putting lead down range. Any questions, please post them up here or PM me if you wish.


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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  8. hammertyme

    hammertyme Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much guys for the update and analysis of this tool. The weapon looks cool for sure.

    For a lot less money I think I would just call Fred and add my own drop mag to an old 110 bugholing 300 Mag.

    Neal
     
  9. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I don't know much about the 180 SST bullets in a 300 Winchester, but I know they don't shoot well in the Weatherby mags if that matters much. My guess is the bullets were the problem. I also agree with yor thoughts on the bipod. How was the glass?
    gary
     
  10. Tman

    Tman New Member

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    Where did you buy your savage 110 ba for $1700???
     
  11. NamVet426

    NamVet426 New Member

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    I have mine set up with a 56mm Center Point 30mm tube with side focus. It requires high rings. I have not found an inaccurate load yet however the best so far is 175 gr hpbtm with 75 grs AA Mag Pro.gun)
     

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  12. Roamingdoc83

    Roamingdoc83 New Member

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    Not affiliated with Savage in any way... great reviews and I registered just to add mine (and I will be back, nice forum!!)

    Savage 110BA .338 (not mine, I own the .300 version but that is another story).

    I had an opportunity to fire the .338 version with a Leup 8.5x25 LR/T on a Harris Bipod using 250 grn Fed Match. I had never fired the rifle before, was invited by a friend.

    The gun is, well, "not" attractive (Like, say a McMillan stock, etc). It is weighty but not too bad for its purpose. Has numerous ergonomic adjustments for cheek and fit. The Leup had nice relief so I wasn't worried about a black eye but I was somewhat concerned about recoil. There was basically NOTHING. My .308 hits my shoulder harder! That is the truth. I was rather stunned at how little recoil exists in this configuration and, aside from a gun no heavier than my AI Chassis Rem 700 based .308, it must be the brake. Works wonderfully.

    Accuracy...? Well, we were shooting to a 1050 yd steel target in winds around 10 to 12 mph in temps about 95 degrees. We had dialed in the scope so this is all mechanics. Trigger is stellar for a factory pull, no creep, no grit and breaks nicely (not sure of weight but I have a Rifle Basix in mine at 2# and this "seemed" about the same - has a built in 'trigger' safety as well [sim to Glock's] - and it broke with that proper surprise. The Lapua travels fast and there was SO little recoil I could get back on and SEE it hit! And hear it hit! Target was a 14" steel circle, hit at 3 about 4" right of bull. Second shot was still 3 but about 1" right of bull... so TWO shots out of a gun I'd never fired before and within 3 or 4" of each other on a 'blustery day whinny the pooh' and that was something. We did fire four rounds at a 1750 yd target and believe we hit it twice but frankly none of us were willing to say "for sure" because in that wind we could not hear it hit and with a decent 80 power spotting scope we could not REALLY see a spot aside from the two we 'thought' but weren't sure.

    The gun is worth it (Bud's guns seems to be selling them low prices as is TinStarShooting in OK)... and I bought the .300WM so we'll see how it runs next to my friend's .338 (he is richer!)... thanks for the original review, the forum. All be safe!
     
  13. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    My personal opinion is that the BA is fine for the bench, thats it. I'll take my 11-111 in 338 with a cheek rest any day over the BA tank. I'm not into extra picatinny rails and pistol grips. Pistol grips remind me of that tactical crap/AK 47 stuff, again, just my take on things.....

    ...and AI makes the 'chintzy' 100 dollar plus magazine for Savage, muzzle brakes and rails are EGW and Karsten makes the cheekpiece and of course HS makes the option stock.

    Finally, the BA in a smaller caliber than 338 is sort ot anti-climatic.

    I suspect that Savage threw together the rifle/scope combo for the event, probably forgot the 338 rounds. At least they didn't show up with Hornady crap or no fire-misfire PPU's.....:D

    Finally, whats with the blanked out faces? Is that to protect the innocent?
     
  14. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    actually Savage has been selling a lot of the 110BA and 110BAS rifles for about a year now. Several military groups from other nations have adopted it as the goto rifle. Still I agree that it has too many dodads built into it for me. I don't care for the brand of rail mount they went with, and would rather have seen them build a magazine well that accepted the M14 style or something on that idea. Lastly the rifle is a tad heavy (so is the Remington the Army uses right now). That rifle will get really old carrying it for ten klicks thru the mountains.
    gary