Don't know if Savage has fixed it (experience today suggests not) but if you get a stainless model, check whether Savage media blasted the inside of the receiver as well as the bolt shaft. It was hardly possible to manipulate my bolt and I had to re-polish all the surfaces and lube it like crazy so that I could cycle it worth a ****. When I then looked at the blued models, they were all slicker than snot so apparently didn't get blasted with the same media.
Speaking of todays experience. For quite a while the Savage model 12 with the laminate stock and stainless barreled action and fluted barrel has represented the "Pinnacle" of the every mans Savage rifle. I'm not going to get into their overpriced LE stuff.... I bought one brand new a couple of years ago and it was very well executed.
So i advised a friend who was wanting to build a long range rifle that the 12 LPV would be a good base to build on. Today he got it in and I came over to swap out the factory 243 barrel for a match 6.5x47 Lapua barrel (26" 1:8 Varmint from Shilen). The first thing I notice is that the bore is dirty, It does not even have a shine that I can see. The barrel has been media blasted with a really coarse media so that holding the barrel feels like holding something wrapped in 100grit sandpaper. The outer part of the crown already has a ding in it (it had a recessed target crown, so still functional). In removing the barrel, the factory nut has a ton of blasting media that has been driven into the gap between nut and barrel. I got the barrel off OK, but it was a heck of a battle to get the nut off the barrel. It will be sold as an unfired take off, but first we have to figure out if it will clean up... Otherwise it goes back to Savage.
Anyway, bottom line is that Savage is definitely cutting back on the quality, even on "good" models like the model 12. I will be watching this situation to see how it develops. Pretty soon, the only thing I am going to want to touch is custom actions.