Gun Review: Savage 111 Long Range Hunter in .338 Lapua

I’ve taken the Precision Rifle class at the SIG Academy and one of the things we got a crack at was launching .338 Lapua ammo. In that case it came from a Blaser rifle. That was a beautiful gun, but it comes with a beautiful price tag north of $3,000, too. A little Internet searching showed that if you want to shoot in that big boy caliber, that’s pretty much the going rate. So you can imagine my surprise then when I got an email from Davidson’s (the Gun Genie people), advertising a sale on the Savage 111LRH. Turns out I could pick one up from my neighborhood gun store for a price just shy of grand . . .

I had looked at some of Savage’s rifles before because the head instructor at the SIG Academy, Scott Kennison had mentioned more than once that Savage is a good choice if you want a great gun at a great price. In fact, lots of companies (SIG included) buy barrels from Savage because they make really good stuff. One thing that tended to turn me off of other Savage rifles was that most of them were rather low capacity guns with internal magazines that held only four rounds or less.

I like rifles with detachable magazines and not many of the Savage guns I looked at had them. The 111 LRH, though, is offered in a number of calibers, and the .338 features both a detachable 5 round magazine and a muzzle brake on a threaded barrel – two features that I wanted on my prospective .338 gun.

My justification for buying it was that I didn’t own a true hunting rifle. Sure, I have a couple of .308s, but they are a Sig 716 and an M1A. Neither of them are really great hunting guns (although, I’m sure that there are folks who will argue that point).

Now, the chances of me actually doing any real hunting is pretty slim. But should I choose to hunt, the .338 Lapua round is more than capable of taking down anything I could possibly want to shoot. Then again, a 26″ barrel is a little long for moving through the underbrush. And let’s face it, you’d better damn well hit what you aim at because a .338 Lapua stays supersonic out past 1,600 yards, so you really don’t want one of these rounds tearing through the woods unimpeded.

One of the things that I quickly noticed about the 111 was that it was very easy to short stroke the bolt. This happened to me on a number of occasions until I learned to make sure that I pulled the bolt all the way back each time. Once I got used to the sounds the rifle made, it was easy to tell whether or not I had actually chambered a round or not.  Having now fired more than 100 rounds through it, it’s no longer a problem

Confession: it was with some trepidation that I pulled that trigger for the first time. Conventional wisdom says the .300 Win Mag is on the outside edge of what most shooters consider to be acceptable recoil. And with about 30% more powder capacity, I knew the .338 Lapua would be one mean kicking son of a bitch.

But Savage has apparently done its homework and the combination of the padded butt stock and muzzle brake really tames things. Felt recoil was less than my original Remington .300 Win Mag SPS. It’s also softer shooting than my Mossy 930 firing OO buckshot. The only time it really hurt was when I didn’t have the rifle tucked firmly into my shoulder pocket. That, as they say, is a self-correcting problem.

I’ve had several shooting sessions where I dumped about 40 rounds downrange and the next day, the only discomfort I felt was a slight tenderness to my lower jaw where it rested on the hard plastic adjustable comb.

The 111LRH has a 1:9 twist rate, as opposed to many higher end .338 guns that use a 1:10 twist rate. The upshot of the faster twist is that the 111LRH can handle the longer 300 grain bullets with ease, but may not be quite as accurate with the shorter 250 grain bullets as some pricer alternatives. I reload my own ammo and 300 grain bullets are only slightly more expensive than 250 grain ones, so it’s not a big consideration for me. But if you plan to use factory ammo, you may find it hard to find any real bargains in the 300 grain range.

Which brings us to price. No one is going to claim that shooting a .338 Lapua is cheap. It’s not unusual to pay as much as $6-$8 per round for high end ammo. While you can find some deals out there (Cheaper than Dirt has Sellier & Bellot ammo with the Sierra MatchKing 250 grain HPBT bullet for $25.08 for a box of ten) caveat emptor.

Accuracy

I was pretty enthusiastic about the 111′s accuracy at first. During an early session, I took a few shots at 800 yards using some factory loaded 250 grain Lapua ammunition. I was using a friend’s Leupold Mk 4 scope as the one that I had brought with me — the Primary Arms 4-14 Mil Dot Scope that Foghorn was so fond of — proceeded to shit itself after about 10 rounds. Lesson learned: what works great on an AR might not be so good on a .338 gun. Anyway, while shooting at the 800 yard line, I managed to put three rounds within four inches of each other, which translates to 1/2 MOA. By the way, I’m running a 10X Bushnell Elite scope on the gun now and it seems to work just great, thank you.

Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to repeat that feat at the 100 yard line in my last two range trips. That said, I was using hand loaded ammo with both 250 and 300 grain Berger Tactical Target bullets. I’ve tried two different powders  (H4831-SC and IMR 4350) with different powder weights. In that first session, I didn’t have Berger’s recipes, so I used the Sierra reloading manual and chose powder weights that I would have used had I been shooting 250 Grain and 300 Grain Sierra Matchking HPBT bullets. These were close, but not perfect and while none of my experiments were great, it initially seemed that the 250 grain bullet was more accurate than the 300 grain one.

Lately, though, I’ve been using recipes from Berger and they’ve proved much more effective. Loading for the maximum speed, I sent about eight 300 grain bullets down range into the target below:

In a perfect world, we’d just throw out the five rounds in the white, call this a three round group and agree that we have a sub-MOA rifle. In the real world, however, we can say that this is a pretty decent rifle and in the hands of someone more proficient than I, it could be a decent competitor. It’s not going to win any national matches, but then again, for under $1,000, would you expect it to?

You really don’t appreciate the power of the .338 Lapua until you fire one. I wasn’t allowed to shoot the steel targets at 100 yards because the round would blow right through them. Even at 300 yards, every steel target I hit fell over and each one had a chunk taken out of it.

Build

The 111LRH features Savage’s Accu-Trigger and Accu-Stock.  The Accu-trigger is a true adjustable trigger with a user selectable pull weight range of 1.5 – 6 lbs. Many gun makers stay away from adjustable triggers fearing lawsuits that could result should a gun with a light trigger be dropped resulting in an accidental discharge. Savage addresses this problem by including an insert in the trigger that must be depressed for the sear to properly engage (think Glock’s Safe Action trigger).

You need to remove the barreled action from the stock to adjust the trigger pull weight. But once removed, the adjustment is simple, provided you haven’t lost Savage’s special adjustment tool (pictured below with the yellow handle). Not sure why Savage didn’t just go with the standard allen key for this adjustment, but it may have something to do with the over/under travel mechanism that keeps you from going outside the 1.5 – 6 lb adjustable range.

The Savage Accu-Stock is essentially a standard composite stock with aluminum rails reinforcing/bedding the action.

Savage’s marketing speak to the contrary, it’s clear that this is not the equivalent of a custom bedding job. But it certainly is an improvement on a plain composite stock and may mean that you won’t be in as big a hurry to swap it out. While Savage claims that their Accu Stocks have true floating barrels, a quick dollar bill test on my rifle showed that the stock does indeed contact the barrel at the end.  This however, was quickly cleaned up with the judicious application of a Dremel tool. After ten minutes of work, the barrel is now truly free floating.

Issues

Besides that not-so-free–floating barrel, there are a couple of other nits to pick. First, the rifle was hell to get sighted in. Even with a very nice Leupold scope mounted, the zero kept wandering. Fortunately, Scott Kennison was on hand during this exercise and quickly figured out that the problem was a loose scope rail. A few dabs of Loctite and the problem was fixed.  Still, something that should have been caught by the QC guys before Savage shipped the gun.

Then there’s the action. I don’t pretend to understand all of the nuances that make a good action, but to paraphrase that famous comment made by a Supreme Court Justice in regards to pornography, I know one when I see it. And this ain’t it. My point of comparison is the Remington 700 that my .300 Win Mag is built around.  That action is solid, smooth and has the feel of a quality hunk of metal.

The action on the Savage just doesn’t. It feels light and for lack of a better word, cheap.  That said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it as it performs its function adequately.  On some higher-end .338 rifles, the action probably costs more than this entire rifle does, so its hardly fair to ding Savage for using a cheaper action in order to keep the price down. It doesn’t appear to inhibit the rifle’s performance at all. That said, I would not want to bet my life on it, nor would I want to bet that this rifle would hold up to the kind of punishment it would get in a military theater. So the big guys with the expensive rifles don’t have to worry much about Savage taking away their business any time soon.

One final minor issue: Savage’s choice of magazine. From what I’ve been able to gather, Savage elected to use Accuracy International magazines for their .338 Lapua guns. On the one hand, they avoided having to re-invent the wheel with potentially less than stellar results. On the other, nothing that Accuracy International makes comes cheap and an additional mag will run you $100 or more from places like Cheaper than Dirt and Midway USA. I found the best price on a second magazine from Davidson’s when ordering with the rifle. The cost was only a bit more than $100 and I did not have to pay a second shipping charge.

Cost

Before you rushes out and grab a 111, you need to do some thinking about the choice of caliber. Conventional wisdom suggests that your average .308 is more than capable of extremely accurate, deadly shots out to 800 yards. I know that folks will argue that the .308 can be effective at even longer ranges, but often that involves an accurized gun that costs more in the end than my 111LRH did.

That same conventional wisdom holds that the .300 Win Mag is good to about 1,200 yards. It’s not until you exceed that limit that the .338 Lapua really comes into its own.  Sure, it throws a bigger bullet as fast or faster than some other calibers, but let’s face it – if I can hit something with a .308 inside of 800 yards or a .300 Win Mag inside of 1,200 yards (and that’s a big if), it’s not going to be any less dead than if I had hit it with a .338 Lapua.

In truth, I don’t have access to any ranges longer than 1,000 yards. So really, this gun doesn’t afford me any benefits above and beyond my existing precision .300 Win Mag (which cost me about 3 times as much).  All that the Lapua really gives me is more kick, and a bigger ammo bill.

That said, the coolness factor here of a .338 Lapua rifle can’t be denied — especially given the price.  If I had to spend $3K -$5K to get a gun in this caliber, I’d have passed. But for under a grand, this is just a fun rifle to shoot irrespective of the higher cost of ammo.  Let’s just call this one my “stupid gun.” I’m sure I’m not the only person who owns a wholly impractical, but loads of fun to shoot.

For me, buying this rifle was a no-brainer. It shoots way better than I’m capable of at the moment and lets me spend my money on ammo rather than rifle to get better. If you’re looking at getting into .338 Lapua, this is a great way to go provided you are prepared to do a little work to tune it to your liking.

Specifications:

Caliber: .338 Lapua (other calibers available)
Sights: None, pre-installed rail for scope mounting, but you supply the locktite
Barrel Length: 26” w/ 1:9” twist
Overall Length: 50”
Weight: 9.25 lbs
MSRP: $1290 (street price near $1,000)

RATINGS (out of five stars):

Style * * * *
The Accu-Stock is pretty nice. Not McMillan nice, but nice nonetheless. A very impressive looking rifle especially given the price.

Ergonomics * * * *
The 111 shoulders pretty well in any shooting position. The standard adjustable comb is pretty rudimentary and unfortunately you need to move it to remove the bolt, but it does the job well enough. A long shooting session does result in some lower jaw tenderness due to the unyielding plastic, but that’s a minor nit to pick for a .338 Lapua.

Reliability * * * *
It’s a bold action rifle. Once you learn not to short stroke the damned thing, it goes bang every time you pull the trigger. With over 100 rounds through it, it’s been perfect.

Customizable * * *
Stocks, triggers, and other parts are available, but for basic work or hunting, there is no real need to replace the trigger or the stock, for that matter. The gun comes with everything you need except for the scope.

Overall Rating * * * *
What’s not to love?  Unless your life depends on it, this gun can pretty much hold its own with rifles that cost three times a much.

45 Responses to Gun Review: Savage 111 Long Range Hunter in .338 Lapua

  1. avatarensitu says:

    Anyone that has ever experienced the effect of the above muzzel brake as a spectator may not be so enamored with this package.

    • avatarShane says:

      I have a Savage 110ba in .338 LM and I love standing next to it when some else lights it off. All those years on a M1A1 may have something to do with it.

      That said, I have convinced several people to move benches while shooting it.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      I shot and stood by while others fired a Steyr 50 under a tin roofed shooting line. That was amazing in the true sense of the word.

    • avatarJim B says:

      I couldn’t agree more. For you newer shooters, meaning shooters with less than three decades of shooting experience, do NOT use muzzle brakes. Yes, they reduce recoil at the cost of your hearing. It will take years to know the cost but it WILL happen. Yes, you can wear double protection and that will help, but help is all. You will lose hearing and it isn’t pleasant.

      If you want to reduce recoil get a silencer. It will reduce the recoil as much as the best brakes and not ruin your hearing. Yes, I know the stupid laws in this country make them a pain to get but you can get them, at least in most states. Oh, and they are awkward on the end of the rifle but asking people to constantly repeat themselves is more awkward. Yes, they are expensive but believe me you hearing is worth it. I know. I am one of those guys that is saying , huh? all the time. It really sucks.

      Do NOT get a brake on a rifle. Put up with the recoil or get a silencer. There are many available and they are better than ever. The Thunder Beast is a great one. Stupid name I admit but damn if that thing doesn’t work. Expensive? You bet, but it made well and does the job. Recoil is reduced about 70% and noise is nothing. Basically like shooting an unsuppressed .22. There are plenty of other good brands on the market. Just don’t ruin your health with a brake.

      • avatarJim Barrett says:

        I don’t agree. Get the right hearing protection and don’t shoot this gun indoors (or under cover) and you will not have any problems. I use them on my .300 Win Mag as well as the .338 and my wife and kids will tell you that I still have scary good hearing. No muzzle brake on a 9 lb Lapua rifle means a gun you don’t shoot all that much.

        Sure, a silencer is the best way to go – I have a .308 coming that is rated for .300 Win Mag (whenever the ATF gets off its ass), but .338 ones will run you $1500 before the tax stamp. A bit much for a gun I’m not going to shoot all that much.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          “…don’t shoot this gun indoors (or under cover) and you will not have any problems…”

          Easier said than done. At every single outdoor range in my area — and there are several — from 100 – 1000 yards, you are shooting under cover.

      • avatarusmc says:

        I’m not going to remove the muzzle brake from my M107

    • avatarJAW says:

      Back up, hold your ears … Big gun makes big bang …

  2. avatartdiinva says:

    I don’t understand what you mean by a “true” hunting rifle. Perhaps you meant a true African big game hunting rifle. When you hunt you use the round that suits the game. If you hunt in closed terrain you can take an elk with a 308 or 30-06 at 100 yards. A 300 win mag will take down any North American game animal at 500 yards.

    • avatarDerek says:

      Perhaps he meant, aesthetically, his other rifles don’t look like hunting rifles? He said his other .308s are SIG M4gery and an M1A. That’s what I’m going with anyway.

    • avatarLeo338 says:

      I agree 100%. I’ve found that .308 is sufficient for any North American big game hunting. Unless you are hunting and going for long range kills. I have a .338 LM and I only use it for fun. I never thought of taking it hunting. Shooting a deer with it would be overkill IMO.

    • avatarMWD says:

      One could argue that shooting deer sized game with any of the 30 cals is overkill, or even any of the .284 cals for that matter. The round that suits the game…? I’ve know people to hunt with 300 RUM’s on antelope, and .243 Win on moose. For most people they hunt with what they have, and what they’re most comfortable with for the best shot placement. I think it’s more appropriate to argue the type of bullet being used than the caliber.

      Lastly, many consider a .375 the minimum caliber for African heavy game. And, both the .308 and .30-06 have enough energy to down game at 500 yds. A 300 win mag has enough energy to down any North American game out to a 1000 yds.

      • avatartdiinva says:

        If I had only one rifle it would be a 243. It is the most versatile high powered rifle you can buy. You can use it for anything from varmint to whitetale. However, unless you are extremely accurate you better in good shape because even with good solid hit to the chest there is a good chance you are going spend the next couple of hours chasing the deer down. I will be 63 next month and while am in very good shape I prefer just to drop the critter where it stands.

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      Commenters above got it. I was not referring to the caliber – rather the form factor. While I know that many folks use AR-15/10 pattern rifles for hunting, I’m kind of old school and think that a hunting rifle should look like an old style hunting rifle. The M1A comes close, but i just wrapped it in a Troy Battle Stock which turned it into a SBR (Scary Black Rifle) and it weighs a tad much to drag around the woods.

      Like I said though, I don’t hunt, so I probably also don’t know what the hell I’m talking about when I talk about “hunting rifles”

    • avatarBLAMMO says:

      I’d think that humping around more than 10 pounds and 4 feet of rifle all day could get pretty old. Strictly for a tree stand, if at all.

  3. avatarCasey P says:

    I can’t deny the coolness and fun of having a “stupid gun” that you can reach out and test to a mile range. That said, there isn’t an animal walking in the continental US that needs/warrants the use of the 338 Lapua for hunting. We don’t pop elk or deer at 1000 yds like you might shoot prairie dogs. For something bigger game – African game or Alaskan bears – you’re better suited in a much larger caliber and bullet weight that has shorter range than you are with long range precision. Your goal there is to deliver enough impact force to stop the animal in it’s tracks…not pick it off of the next mountain top and track it while it dies. Factor in also the empty weight of the gun (9.25lbs) without optic or ammo, and you’re looking at more than a few extra pounds you’re carrying that you don’t need to while out stalking the elusive Wapiti. I don’t know about you, but where and how I hunt, lighter is better, and the caliber changes based on terrain conditions and animal pursued.

    Anyway – great review, and definitely a “fun” gun (I’ve considered one myself). But to call it a hunting rifle is to wholly mis-classify it in my opinion.

    • avatarMWD says:

      Respectfully, I have to disagree with what you wrote on many levels. I knew there’d be a debate on the ethics of LR hunting. When you say “We don’t pop elk or deer at 1000 yds”, I assume you’re referring to yourself. There are many precision long range shooters taking shots at that distance under the right atmospheric and environmental conditions. To insinuate that it’s unethical for having to “pick it off of the next mountain top and track it while it dies”… ? I’ve seen more lost game and animal suffering at the hands of a bow hunter than I have with a competent long range hunter.

      A .338 not suitable for Alaskan bear? A lot of people use the .338 win mag. I’m sure the .338 LM is just as capable! There are many successes with hunters using 7mm mags and .300 mags, with bullets as small as 175 grains.

      When did the weight of the gun have anything to do with it being a “hunting” rifle. AR-10′s and long barreled AR-15′s weigh that much, yet we call them recreation and hunting carbines. Many hunters are carrying around 50+ extra pounds around their mid-section, and then complain about how heavy a gun is weighing 2 more pounds. Maybe we should relabel overweight hunters to something other than “hunters”?

      Lighter is not always better. I want my long range rigs to weigh more. First, it reduces felt recoil. Second, it helps to stabilize the gun for better long range accuracy. I’m perfectly capable lugging it around all day in any terrain.

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      Like I said, the hunting angle was only my justification. A bullshit justification but one nonetheless. Frankly, the .338 is just damn fun to shoot. Watching steel targets teeter and fall over a 300 yards after being hit like so many ducks at a carnival shooting range just never gets old

  4. avatarJoe Grine says:

    “The action on the Savage just doesn’t. It feels light and for lack of a better word, cheap.”

    I said the pretty much the same thing in my article on the Steyr SSG-69.

  5. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    You won’t achieve maximum accuracy at maximum velocities in the vast majority of possible reloadings. Start at a minimum load and work your way up in 0.1 grain increments, testing with 5-round groups. You’ll find a load where your accuracy is very good… and I’ll wager it won’t be a maximum load. It will probably be about 10% under a max load – somewhere in there.

    Get a Lyman manual and start reading. Notice the “accuracy” loads and then notice the “maximum” loads in cartridge after cartridge. NB how they only very rarely coincide, and then that coincidence will hold for only that particular rifle’s barrel at that particular point in the barrel life.

    This is not a “hunting rifle,” true or otherwise. The first reason is that you’re simply not going to hump this beast very far in most hunting situations. The second reason is the stupid muzzle brake. The first time you get buck fever and light this cannon off without hearing pro will be your last. I know because I’ve been there, done that, with a .338 WinMag.

    At this later stage in my life, I hate muzzle brakes with a flaming passion.

    BTW, the only reason why you think a Rem700 is a “solid” action is that you haven’t felt a really nice bolt action. A Remington 700 is many things, but a “nice bolt action” is not one of them. There is nothing “nice” about a Rem700. It might be accurate, it might be cheap to build… but it isn’t nice. That’s why there are almost no high-end custom rifle makers using Rem700 actions for their work.

    Want to feel a really nice, brick-outhouse-solid, smooth bolt action? Go seek out some of the custom hunting rifles built for African cartridges on the M1917 Enfield action. Next would be hunting rifles built on the 98 Mauser actions – especially the Swedish Mausers or the FN commercial Mausers. After that, look to the pre-64 Winchester 70′s, especially the pre-war Win 70′s.

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      I’d agree with most of what you said. I’d never dream of being in the same zip code as this gun going off without double hearing protection.

      As to the comment on the Remington action, while I agree that much more expensive guns have really nice actions, in the $2K – $4K range, you are going to find a fair number of blueprinted Remington Actions. Just for example check out GA Precision. While they build their guns with a number of actions, they use Remy 700s on some of them. I have a Remy 700 on my .300 Win Mag and it shoots 1/3 MOA at 300 yards. Can’t really ask for more than that at my level of ability.

      • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Blueprinting doesn’t make an action “nice.”

        And in some cases, it doesn’t make it any more accurate, either.

  6. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Nitpick alert: It’s a muzzle brake because it slows down the rearward movement of the gun. You don’t want a muzzle break, because then it’s time for a trip to the gunsmith to have your barrel cut down and recrowned.

    • avatarensitu says:

      I hate spell check!

      • avatarNomelose says:

        For Ed Fisher I called Timney and they told me they stpeopd making triggers for A&H in 1998. I called Boyd’s and they said they don’t make triggers for A&H. Not sure what to tell you except to look on the A&H website as they still have some inventory listed. I just ordered 2 .50 calibers myself. I bid on one and won it at a Bighorn Sheep Auction and love it!

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      Grumble Grumble. fixed it. thanks for the head up

    • I just picked up a Austin Helleck 50 cal 320 S/N RT I haven’t shot it yet but it the shgtis settle in quickly and steady better than the other M.L.’s I’ve looked at. It seems to feel really balanced for my frame anyway. When I got it it didn’t come with an owners manual does anyone know where to get one or is there a site I can go to download one? I can’t wait to shoot it but would like to look at the manual first.

  7. avatarPaul W says:

    So much want, so little money :(

  8. avatarensitu says:

    As to the action being “Cheap”: I have owned many finely made machined steel actions, and I have, in the highest sense of the word “customized” many old military BA’s into valuable sporters, alot of hand work goes into smoothing the action.
    I still have my 1938 Win. M-70 Super Grade to compare against my 2 Savages and new Rem-700. I find that all newer mid-priced bolt actions come with no attention to finish and that those with detachable mags and plastic stocks sound especialy “Tinny”. This is not an un-fixable problem.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      It is an “unfixable” problem in the minds of modern corporate management.

      Those finishes we saw on the old Winchesters (among others, but pre-WWII Winchesters are very, very nice, as were old Colts and S&W’s) were obtained the same way a nice fit & finish is today: By hand.

      Polishing an action by hand is the last thing American corporate management wants to hear about today. They want to move as much product out the door as cheaply as possible to maximize their margins, and that means “no skilled craftsmen are allowed on our shop floor.”

      While this is a problem, the part of the problem that prevents a solution is the ignorance of modern American gun buyers, who think that parkerizing is an acceptable finish on a sporting gun, or who literally have no idea what a good finish looks like because they’ve never seen a well finished gun, or because their idea of a “well made gun” is plastic/phosphate finishes and all in black. The tacti-cool movement has resulted in a horrible decline in the collective IQ of the American guy buyer.

      The American gun buyer today is willing to accept crap from the manufactures because the American gun buyer today doesn’t know what level of quality, fit and finish used to be the expected norm in the civilian gun market.

      • avatarJim Barrett says:

        More to the point, American gun buyers have a price point in mind. A really nice big game rifle can easily cost in the tens of thousands, but most American gun buyers won’t pony up that sort of cash. Remington and Savage know their markets and cater to them appropriately

        • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          American gun buyers have always been price sensitive.

          The gun makers of 100 years ago were not catering to only the affluent. Yet, they still managed to ship guns of a much nicer level of quality than what we see today.

          When one sees what Winchester used to ship, you can see the whole story. Their custom shop would ship some of the finest bespoke guns of their day – and yet they also shipped a great deal of “field grade” sporting arms. A Winchester Model 12 shotgun, even at it’s lowest grade, looks much nicer than any Remington 870 ever has… or will. Remington’s product in their single shot rolling block rifles used to be something to be proud of.

        • avatarJAS says:

          Good rifles are not cheap, but there is a market for them. The guys below are “reasonable”. An “off the shelf” .338 LM is around $8K :).

          http://xringaccuracy.com/

    • avatarFrank says:

      For Martin Albright. Lots of folks argue that the .308 is inherently more cinsostent than the .30-06, and thus more accurate.The .308 has a shorter case, and thus a shorter powder column than the 06. The shorter case helps powder burn to be more cinsostent than in a longer case. Fewer spikes or lags means not many variations in velocity shot to shot.Check out cartridges like 6mm Benchrest with its stubby fat casing. The .308 is inherently more cinsostent and isn’t that much slower than the 06.And no snark or sarcasm intended, but where do you live that .30-06 rifles and ammo are more common and cheaper than .308?Here, the local Academy Sports has low-end .308 for aroun $9 per 20. They have just as many loads in .308 as 30-06, if not more. At my local gun store there are probably 11 or 12 .308 rifles in various actions compared to one .30-06 semi and four or five .30-06 bolts guns.Again, I’m not intending any negative tone. Just curious where .30-06 is still more plentiful and cheaper than .308.

  9. avatarTiina says:

    To the son: Hunting is a special time to bond betewen a father and a son. I am truely sorry of the tragedy that happened. My heart goes out to you.Accidents happen in many different varieties. No one can predict when what going to happen from day to day.If hunting is something you truely love, please continue enjoying the outdoors and all it has to offer.Your father passed while doing something he enjoyed and doing it with someone he dearly loved. Please try to keep you head up in this hard time.

  10. avatarJosenete says:

    I just purchased a 420 in-line peucssrion and want to run a cotton swab down the barrel but I’m having problem removing the bolt. I have tried the standard pulliung back on the trigger but no luck. Can someone please help?Also, where can one find one of the universal bolts so that a 209 primers can be used.Thanks!

  11. avatarRich says:

    A 9 twist will not hurt accuracy of any .338 at lapua velocity. It will prevent top velocity of lighter than optinum for the twist but over stabilizing the bullet doesn’t degrade accuracy. Savage actions use a floating bolthead that self centers in lockup to the barrel. Shilen actions use the same principle because it works very well.
    If your keeping the rifle a aftermarket lug and barrel 28 or 30 and good glass will have you hitting 20″ plates at 1600 yds Read Gorrdy Gritters 338 lap imp shooting prarie dogs at 3600 yds. Lastly Berger’s can be tricky to get to shoot well as far as seating depth the vlds like kissing the lands and the magazine fed do not allow it. I just read a bulletin about using a ladder test with seating into then 30 out then 50 80 and 100 out of. One depth will be clearly best Look forward to some load refinement!!

  12. avatarFred says:

    For your consideration:No doubt ftcaory 150 grain bullets will travel way beyond 1000 yards, but the question is are they still stable 1000 yards from the muzzle? If they go subsonic short of the target they lose stability and accuracy is in the dumpster. That’s why Sierra developed the175 Match King, but a .308W has to be loaded near max to keep it supersonic out to a thousand yards.Do you have enough UP in your scope to get yourself on target? I’ve seen a lot of first timers try to go the distance with hunting scopes only to find out too late they were forty clicks short of what it took to get there. If you can’t go up at least 120 quarter minute clicks from a 300 yard zero, you need a better scope, some Burris rings and inserts, or long range blocks. Hope this doesn’t bust your budget.Your rifle’s poorly set up. Your scope is mounted way too high for a steady cheek weld on the stock. You can’t get into a steady firing position with your head waving around in the air. Aiming with your chin on the stock comb is not a viable alternative to a well fitting rifle.Lastly, your sporter weight barrel is going to get hotter than Hell after the first five shots if you shoot more than one shot a minute. Light weight barrels warp all over the place when they heat up, so don’t expect the bullets to go where you aimed them after shot number five. You’re going to need a heat shield on the barrel too or the target’s going to look like a gelatinous blob of quivering protoplasm. Make one out of an old metal venetian blind and some velcro. It’ll cost you about a dime.So, if you get some target ammo, get a scope that’ll go the distance, get your rifle set up to conform to your body and shoot at a slooow rate, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that you’ll be able to shoot 160 or better (probably much better) at a thousand yards with twenty shots IF YOU CAN PLAY THE ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS.Good luck and let me know how you make out.

  13. Whoa Kimosabe!!! When you start calling Savage rifles cheap,,,,I’m waiting for you to tell us next that you wear lace on your drawers. You miss the whole point about Savage starting with Authur Savage himself. He was thought to be Old English gentry when he went to the land of OZ and was immediately kidnapped. A year later his family told the local indians we won’t give you a dime for him. Another yr.or so later he was a free man and owned the largest cattle ranch there.Next is this..if you can hit a gnat in the butt with it 2 miles away,do you really need a 50 rd. mag? Then there is Sam Pate and the Savage rifle team. The current owner of Savage Mr. Cobern gave a few of the shooters around the factory enough money to go into town and buy a few rifles at the local sporting goods store. He stuck them on a plane to the UK to fire in something called the F matchesThese guys were firing against the former redcoat officers that had hand laid 5 figure rifles 400 to 1200 meters away. They brought it all home. The trophies,ribbons, sheepskins,old shields with gold coins on them…all of it. They showed the whole world why there is a US of A one more time. The old indian chiefs head was from a deal they made back in Authurs day.They gave the indians fantastic deals on rifles so they could hunt and feed the tribe in exchange for use of the chiefs likeness.I bet the PC maniacs cuss and spit on the ground when they hear that. They are not cheap…they are more valuable than most things these days. I own 3.

  14. Is that the Bushnell 10×40 tactical I spy on the top of that rifle? I built that exact same loadout for my Savage 111 LRH! http://www.huntinggearguy.com/rifle-reviews/savage-111-long-range-hunter-338-lapua-review/ Have you got into reloading and using the 300 grain SMK’s?

  15. avatarWilliam Walkingstick says:

    At some point, I got a bit over all the arguments about which caliber this and which caliber that. It just goes on and on and on….
    So I bought a .50 just to end it all for me, anyhow.
    As a swamp hunter guy, more so than an open field hunter, I can tell you of the rifles I own, my go to gun is always my Marlin 45/7o lever gun. The cowboy model with the octagon barrel. I can load Buffalo Bore cartridges based upon what range I need and what weight I feel will get the job done.
    With that said, you have to remember the U. S. Army tested the 45/70 hitting silhouettes at TWO MILES. Now, with a 300 gr + cartridge you gonna knock down whatever you can hit at that distance or less. The only reason that caliber wasnt chosen is because the Army decided a bolt action was best from a prone position.
    I really dont see the difference because all you have to do with the lever to breech is turn it sideways.
    Not to say I wouldnt want to own a .338 but I just cant justify it. Somewhere between the .50 and the 45/70 I can own my ground!
    Go your own way. My dad always used to say, “Wouldnt it be a boring world if everyone looked alike and thought alike!”

  16. avatarGary says:

    I just aquired mine. Have to get a SWFA fixed 20x, rings, 300gr SMKs, some cases, and more H1000.

    I own it – because I don’t want a .50bmg gun. I love that 300g has a 11 inch wind drift at 500 in a 10mph wind. It has a pristine balistic arc to 1000m. It has more energy than a PB30/30 at 1500m. It is as good as a it gets in power and performance.

    And I’m in the gun under $1000

  17. avatarHBH says:

    Savage are anything but cheap.Normally It’s Remington people who call them cheap because they wish like hell they had the Savage instead of the Remington.

  18. avatarOlin Patterson says:

    Not everyone can afford the Lapua. I can’t but I’m pleased that Savage makes them. There is a need to test ballistics, metallurgy, accuracy and other pertinent, relevant aspects of firearm technology that make this kind of rifle production necessary and good. We should all be glad that there are industry companies that do this kind of manufacturing for whatever the reason. We should fight like the Devil to keep it going and not let the government or anti-gun fanatics in or out of government keep us from expressing our right to do so.

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