Savage 111 long range issue


Aug 11, 2012
Hello, I'm having a problem with my new savage in 6.5x .284 Norma. I have only been able to get it to group for the first two to three shots. I've changed my loads, changed my scope, I don't know what to do with the stock.... I went to the range today with a new scope and my first three shot group was less than .5" at 100yds. Then my next group I had two in the same hole with about a 3" flier. My next shot was 4" from my point of aim so I quit. I took the stock off the gun to see if it had a wedge to remove but it did not. I can't see how you would glass bed it with all of the aluminum in the stock. Also I don't want to send it to Savage for 6 weeks, it's hunting season. I could use some suggestions from someone who may have had this problem. Thanks, Josh.
Rather than shooting multiple groups back to back, will it consistently group 3 shots under an inch at 100 yds from one day to the next?

Are you using factory ammo, or meticulously developed hand loads?

-- richard
My first three rounds for the last three days have grouped under an inch, then after I get a little heat in the barrel it all goes to hell. I am using handloads, 49 grs H4350, 130 grn berger vld hunting bullets, Fed 210m primers, Hornady brass completely prepped which I don't like, I have some Lapua on the way.
It sounds like you have a pretty decent load.

But, the factory barrel just isn't as well stress-relieved as you would expect from a good custom barrel. And if that's the case, then a new barrel is the best solution.

Nonetheless, that should not be a problem for many big game hunting situations.

Bedding/floating rarely hurts, but it probably won't help if your first 3 shots are always good. You might simply allow more time to cool between shots.

I'll leave it at that.

Perhaps someone else will go through the list of all things you can check to be sure it's not the action, stock, scope/mounts, shooter, ammo, etc.

-- richard
if it where me i would sight it in for a cold bore shot and then send it back to savage after the seasons over. but be sure to call them and tell them whats going on.

is yours the 111 LRH in 6.5-284 .
First which model Savage 111 do you have? Is it the long range hunter for example.
Seems barrel heating is the most likely problem from what you said. First I would not clean the rifle after a shooting session. Second, shoot your first shot and mark where it strikes then wait at least one minute between each of the next two shots. Let the barrel cool down out of the sun. Wait at least 15 minutes or until the barrel is not warm to the your next three shots using the same procedure as the first sure and mark the first shot of the second group also. Let us know what the results are.
Have you done a barrel break-in? Some barrels can be pretty rough from the factory. My Savage 12BVSS did not. It truely amazed me because I have had several rifles that would not group worth a hoot right off the bat. They slowly and gradually got better, usually after 75-125 rnds.
This rifle's first 3-shot group measure .327" at 100yds, using handloaded 100gn Ballistic Tips. The next 3-shot group was with handloaded 120gn SMK's and they printed .452".

Yet I had to work hard to get this same rifle to shoot the Berger 130gn VLD hunting bullet accurately and consistently. I haven't finished load development on it yet but have shot some .4" groups with it.

Do you have a known accuracy load for your rifle? JohnnyK.
What are you using to clean your rifles? I am just reaching, but maybe you have some carbon starting and causing increased pressures as your barrel heats up. I am just reaching here since it sounds like you have your bases covered.

If you haven't already, check the forearm tip to make sure it isn't contacting the barrel. When I fully floated the barrel I was able to produce .25-.5 MOA, 5 shot groups. Also, make sure you use the torque specs listed in the manual when tightening the guard screws. I have the same stock, bedding block, without the wedge. It doesn't like to be overly tightened. The rifle I have is the LRH Model 111. I found that the rifle really liked the 140gr. Berger Hunting VLD's. I'm using Lapua brass, Federal 210 match primers, and, 53gr.of H4831sc. Bullets are seated .075 off the lands. The Lapua brass is FL sized with the neck o.d. At .292". At .010" off the lands i got flyers. Its good that you are getting Lapua brass, the 6,5x284 Hornady brass is junk!!!! Maybe it was just a bad lot but it gave me chambering problems.
The gun is a model 111 lrh. I don't have a complete barrel break in, I only have 35 rounds through the gun. I use Hoppe's #9 to clean my barrel. Also when I shoot, I shoot one round, wait a minute or so, so on for the first three. I then wait upwards of 20 minutes to do it again. I will take the gun out and check to make sure the forend of the stock is not touching the barrel. Thanks for all of the help so far. Oh, as far as having a tried and true load, I guess not really. With 130gr TSX"s and 49 grs of H4350, it shot about .75" for the first group, then went to crap. The Bergers did about .3". I would like to assume that if it can do it once, it should be able to do it again?
I took the gun out to look at the forend of the stock. I cannot slide a dollar bill the front. About 1/8" to 1/4" is touching the barrel. Should I take the stock off and dremel it?
I took the gun out to look at the forend of the stock. I cannot slide a dollar bill the front. About 1/8" to 1/4" is touching the barrel. Should I take the stock off and dremel it?

You will find that the fore end tip that is touching can be relieved easily and neatly with some course sandpaper warped around a wood dowel. It's only a small section of plastic. Floating your barrel at the tip should help with the flyer issue. I saw a difference when shooting multiple shots. Judging from the initial results your getting, I believe your rifle will produce excellent results once you clean up the stock, complete break in, and refine your load. Also, I have found that Hoppes will not remove the copper during break in. A cleaner like Bore Trch with copper cleaner is necessary.
I have to agree. You don't need a new barrel. You have one.

Float it. Break it in. And, develop a load that's repeatable.

You can't just go by one or two 3 shot groups.

-- richard
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