Savage 11BTH .243 wont shoot!! opinions please


Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2009
Big Horn Basin, Wyoming
I have a Savage 11BTHin 243. it has a 1 in 9.25 twist. I started with Hornady 100 gr. sp flat base bullets and varget shot about an inch and a half groups at a wide range of seating depths. then i trie the same bullet with 2 more powders. then I decided to try Sierra 100gr. gamekings with a few powders and different seating depths. then I decided maybe it just doesnt like 100 gr. bullets so I loaded up 85gr. tripple shocks. no matter what I do i get 1.5 inch groups. I have taken the rifle apart and made sure it was bedded correctly I have checked my scope bases and rings they are all tight. the groups are not in lines vertically or horizontaly it is just eratic. I am thinking I need to glass bed or send it in to have it pillar bedded. Anyone else had similar issues with this savage or any other savage? Or just plain want to put in your 2 cents i welcome all opinions and comments.

Did you try different primers, my 270wsm likes Fed 215's and BR2's only it goes from under 1/2 in to 1.5. Bedding is all ways good but it should do better just gotta find it.
I did think of that. I know there are a few guns out there that are picky on primers. I shoot federal 210's out of it. I suppose I could try some CCI and winchesters. I have been wanting to try the accraglass kit from brownells anyway. Bedding it wont hurt it for sure so if that doesnt work i will probably try primers. I forgot To say I also started with Lee dies but changed to RCBS because with the Lee diesI was getting very inconsistent cartriges.
My first thought is that the rear tang is hitting...Make sure that the rear tang is freefloated!! If you loosen the front action screw while holding the stock and barrel with the other hand, can you feel it move much?
The other is that the scope is either not adjusted for parralax or is loose inside?
Seams Varget works great for some but I have yet to get it to work worth a darn in any of the 4 243 savages....H414 and 55grain Noslers have been a great combo and R22/105 Amax another( for the 9.25 twist)
yeah I have taken it apart and put it back together many times making sure it is perfect everytime and it still not shooting. I have never had to try this many bullet powder combos. I am kind of thinking as is this is the best its gonna get. Does anyone know if I can fit an accustock on it or is that all different?

How often are you cleaning the barrel?

I ask because I had a very similar problem with my 112FLVSS. No matter what bullet, powder, or primer it would shoot 1.5" groups.

I was cleaning it after every range session. About 10-15 rounds.

Then one time, I got lazy and didn't clean it. Rounds 15-20 were about 1".

Rounds 20-300 would be around 1/2". The groups didn't open up at 300, I just decided that I should clean it once a year.

Again, it took another 20 rounds or so to tighten back up.
I had an issue with a Savage take off barrel I bought off another forum. I was ready to wrap it around a tree.It wouldn't shoot consistantly no matter what I tried. When I thought I found a sub MOA load I'd load up a few and shoot them a week later and it was all over the place GRRR.
Since you've already tried the obvious things bases, rings, bullet weight, etc....

Here's the things I went through ...
1). Try another scope if you can.
2). Try getting someone else to shoot it.
3). Make sure to clean real good when switching from one bullet manufacture to another.
4). Try a basic proven load . For me I tried 70 gr, NBT and 42 grains of varget at .015 off the lands.
5). If all else fails and for me it did , J&B bore paste and a small amount of #0000 steel wool wrapped on a brush through the barrel 100-200 passes . I know sounds bad but it was the last resort before replacing the barrel .

Now the gun is shooting 1/2 MOA or better at 100 yds. with 70 NBT's, 95 Berger VLD's, and 105 A-max.
Apparently there was a small burr in the barrel that was removed using the bore paste. As I said this was the LAST RESORT and I hated to do it but .....


I do clean using JB's non embedding bore cleaning compound. I am considering switching to JB's bore bright. What do you think about lapping bullets from David Tubb? I used them on my 270wsm that I aquired in a (reluctant to say) winchester super shadow (which is the poorest piece of worksmanship I have ever seen. no atention to detail whatsoever on the metal work.) but that gun now shoots .5 inch groups all day. I guess I should ask what are you aiming to achieve with the steel wool and JB's? Smoothing the bore? or just changing something in there to see if it shoots better? I am not too excited about putting that down what is supposed to be one of the best production barrels on the market... very frustrating situation as you know haha. thanks


I think that the barrel I bought was someone elses problem that I inherited. It probabally didn't shoot well for the guy that had it and he dumped it.

I think that there was a small imperfection in the rifling that was stripping copper off the jackets. The JB just smoothed out what ever it was just like shooting a barrel in without burning powder , bullets etc ...

I have several Savages from 300WSM to 22lr and this is the first one I have ever had an issue with. The others shoot lights out. I know how you feel about putting abrasives in the bore , like i said I hated to do it but it was the last chance for that barrel.

BTW one more thing you should check before going the J&B route is to check the crown for damage.

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The crown appears to be in good shape. I cant find anything wrong with it. I am defiantly not condemning savage even though this is a pain in the butt. in fact I just ordered a 111 long range hunter in 6.5x284. Do you know if an accustock can be put on this gun if I can find one?

I'd love to hear how the 6.5X284 works for you . I'm trying to stop myself from ordering a RRA varmint 20" er .... I think I'm failing.
I don't know for sure about the accu-stock , I would assume that if your current 243 is center feed that the accustock would fit ( a center feed short action is a centerfeed short action) but I don't have any experiance with the accu-stock so I don't know for sure. I will give you an alternative if you can't find one though. B&C Medalist varmint tactical. It's an awesome stock for the money, has a beded aluminum rail and is now available for center feed short action Savage.
Bell & Carlson Tactical Medalist A2 Style Remington 700 SPS BDL Savage 10/12 Weatherby Vanguard Howa 1500 Vertical Grip 2092, 2096, 2997, 2998 & 2999

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