Hornady .338 lapua brass issues?!

Its only light

Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2012
Central MN
Hey guys. Im wondering if there is anybody out there who has a savage 110fcp in .338 lapua and has tried using hornady brass or hornady loaded ammunition. I recently bought this rifle and picked up a box of hornady 250 HPBT loaded ammo with the gun. when i got to the range to try the bad boy out my first shot the brass stuck in the chamber to the point i had to stand it up and give the bolt a good pop to release it. at first i thought well maybe i didnt get the packing grease out of the chamber completely so i scrubbed it right there and to my suprise it was clean so i thought well ok fluke then. my next 5 shots all did the same thing even though my group was approaching tiny i wasnt to happy and packed up. i then called savage and they said they had similar issues using hornady brass and switched to the black hills ammo. ive switched to norma brass and had great results. i guess my question is has somebody else had experiences like this? if so is it just an issue with savages as i see plenty of .338 rifle reviews being done using the hornady ammo and havent heard a word anywhere besides savage. Any thoughts, comments, advice, BS is welcomed. Thanks in advance!

One more thing if this is a case of hornady brass being to soft have they addressed the issue or could my cases possibly have hardened from the first firing to the point that a reload with them would not do this?
I have a Savage 111 LRH that did the same thing with Hornady brass. After about 20 rounds through the gun it quit. I think it is a case of not so good brass. I have some Lapua on the way so we'll see. I had the same thing happen with a 700 300 RUM about ten years ago, it never got better. Remington wanted the for 6 months, no way... I took it to my gunsmith and had him polish the chamber. Worked fine after that. I'd shoot the Savage a handful more times and go from there.
I've had the same issue with my SA 110 BA in 338, as it turns out the Hornaday 338 LM cases are expanding 1.7 to 2 thou and are loaded really hot as the primers are flattening out also. So i also went to my local Gunsmith and had the chamber polished and seems to be working better now..
How much did it cost you to get the polishing done? I chronographed the factory stuff and was surprised I got very little velocity variation and my first shot was 2861 which was 1fps faster than stated so it wasnt hot in my rifle as I also saw no pressure signs. I wonder if Hornady has addresses this or if they even plan to?
I received my Lapua brass yesterday. I prepped 20 rounds and loaded them. They took almost no prepping, they were ready to go. I couldn't believe how nice it was to work compared to the Hornady and Remington I've been using. The Lapua went through my sizing die like nothing. You ought to give it a try. It's expensive, but well worth it in my opinion. No more Hornady for me..
I saw a guy a few weeks ago at the range having the same issues with his savage. He told me they had polished his chamber, but was still having problems every now and then. He never said the brass may be the issue, he thought it was his rifle. I hope he's on this site.
I saw a guy a few weeks ago at the range having the same issues with his savage. He told me they had polished his chamber, but was still having problems every now and then. He never said the brass may be the issue, he thought it was his rifle. I hope he's on this site.

I talked with both Savage Arms and Hornady and one say's this and the other say's that, so who do you believe..

Hornaday say's it's the Gun as the chamber is not polished Savage is saying it's the ammo and Hornaday is aware of the problem with these gun's and there ammo and there resizing as we speak is what i was told?? I did have the chamber polished and i do believe it is getting better with each shot we'll find out tomorrow..
I am having exactly the same issue. I would like to say it has been resolved, but to no avail.

I have tried Lapua, norma and BHA brass and have had issues with all of them. I thought perhaps the chamber was too tight, so I down loaded my reloads to min levels, FL resized and still have the same issues. the bolt and rifle have been back to the Mfg, which they say meets spec.

Not a lot of fun to shoot when you have to jack around with it after each shot.


Polish the Chamber. I have not done that, but will consider it. Lm
I guess it worked for me to switch to Norma brass. I still have an occasional issue with it but it's not enough to really bother me and it's not even every outing with the gun anymore. How many rounds do you have through the rifle. The only idea I have short of getting the chamber polished is to maybe try loading a little more conservatively and maybe u are already doing this. I'm just saying that if you aren't shooting past 1000 then maybe like 2550fps with a 300gr is acceptable and would reduce pressure enough to solve the problem? If you do the chamber I have no idea what this would cost n would maybe just look into a new barrel from one of the custom makers or does anybody make a savage drop in in .338 cuz those can be had for a few hundred bucks. Either way I would like to hear what you decide and how it works.
I am using H1000 for my powder and my reloads are at min powder levels.

I can polish the chamber myself with super fine grit. If the polishing doesn't solve the issue. I will start with a slow powder and see if that will make a difference. I was discussing this with a bench rest shooter. This slower powder approach was his suggestion.

This is a high end rifle and nothing I do seems to help. Another barrel may be the solution but I hate to go to that extreme. On second thought it may not be that extreme to get the rifle to shoot without issues.
I didn't know that about the slow powder. I am using reloader 25 which is slower than h1000. Maybe you could give that t try. Maybe that's why changing the brass worked in my situation. If you are comfortable polishing the chamber I say give that a try and save the new barrel idea for a last resort.
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I have the exact same rifle ..actually this is my third one...i took my rifle to the factory...when we used hornady ammo ,it locked up tight.
I brought black hills with me 250 gr.smk,s and the issue disappeared
..tryed the hornady again and it locked up ....the issue is with hornady
not your rifle..i have 140m rounds down the barrel of black hills ammo
and zero problems. Not only that my rifle is a real shooter,,if i do my job ,,and we tested this rifle in wyoming at gun works (aaron davidson) range in cody.
5 shoots dead center at 200 yards and 1000 yards was a easy target.
Point is the rifle worked perfect with black hills ammo.
I agree changing brass worked for me also but what about the guy who has tried several different kinds of brass with no success. It could be that some chambers are better than others in the same guns due to tooling wear or something else in the manufacturing process that isn't the same every time like maybe concentricity issues in action or barrel threads causing the case to sit offset in the chamber. There are a lot of possibilities and I agree that it definitely has to do with the Hornady brass but it may be a combination of brass and gun and maybe that's why we all have the same problem but it's worse in some guns than it is in others. if it were only the brass every gun would react close to the same but notice it is only savages that are having this issue which says there is something suspect with the tooling or processes being used.

...and I'd like to believe that Savage has an unusually tight chamber. Tooling wear is negligible. There is a lower acceptable limit as far as regrinding a chamber reamer and I'm confident it's not much less than the diameter cut by a new chamber reamer, possibly a thousands or two less.

Interestingly, my hunting partner bought a 11 LWH in 7mm-08 and was having bolt lift, extraction issues. The chamber had a tiny burr on the wall that was hanging the case that was quickly ball honed out. That could have been caused by stopping the reamer inside the chamber and then withdrawing it. SOP is withdraw a reamer while it's turning, not stationary but these (Savages) are assembled by humans, not machines and humans are fallible.

I'd sure like to look inside the offending chambers with a bore camera and see what the walls look like.

Incidentally, I have none of the above issues with my 11-111 in .338 lapua. It shoots any brass without issue. Maybe I'm lucky or maybe it's the luck of the draw.
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