Upgrade Savage 10 or buy new rifle

TxWelder35

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Hey guys looking for advice on a set up out to 1000 yards.

I currently have a bone stock 308 Savage Model 10 Tactical with a Vortex Viper HS on top. I've been shooting at 200 yards with less than impressive results. Best group ive managed with the gun is right at 1 MOA. Average is 1.25-1.5 MOA. This is shooting the front on a sand bag, and a rear polyfill bag. Ammo is Federal GMM 175gr. I have not tried handload in the gun yet.

I am looking for sub moa accuracy. I don't need 1/4 MOA but 1/2-3/4 is preferable. Is this achievable with box ammo or am I going to be hand loading from now on?

I've read that dropping the barreled action into a chassis can help, but will that get me there or would I be better off investing into a new rifle instead? I've looked really hard at the Bergara b14 HMR.

I appreciate any advice yall can offer. Thank you!
 
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Spblademaker

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Couldn’t hurt to try different ammo, and are you capable of sub moa groups?
 
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m6z

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I started with a very similar setup and with similar results. I sold the rifle to upgrade. Now I'm gathering parts for a custom in 6.5 Creedmoor.
 
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OLD308

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I have a factory model 10 that came with a McMillan a5. Still has the stock trigger. All I’ve done to it was cut the barrel back to 18”. Handloaded 175 SMKs and Lapua Scenars L all preform better than your experiencing. Now the interesting part. FGMM 168 goes in the same hole at 100 yards. At 200 1/2” is the largest it’s been. FGMM 175 at 200 averages 1”. So for what ever it’s worth that’s my experience.

Also, I learned while reloading for it that it really likes to have the bullets seated into the lands. I’ve head this is typical of Savage. I can’t confirm as this is my only savage. All my other rifles like a jump.
 

TxWelder35

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I have a factory model 10 that came with a McMillan a5. Still has the stock trigger. All I’ve done to it was cut the barrel back to 18”. Handloaded 175 SMKs and Lapua Scenars L all preform better than your experiencing. Now the interesting part. FGMM 168 goes in the same hole at 100 yards. At 200 1/2” is the largest it’s been. FGMM 175 at 200 averages 1”. So for what ever it’s worth that’s my experience.

Also, I learned while reloading for it that it really likes to have the bullets seated into the lands. I’ve head this is typical of Savage. I can’t confirm as this is my only savage. All my other rifles like a jump.
I give the 168s a try and see how they do.
 

TxWelder35

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Couldn’t hurt to try different ammo, and are you capable of sub moa groups?
Honestly I'm not sure. I've shot a TON and am A very well rounded shooter and my fundamentals are good, this rifle is the closest I've had to a precision rifle. I'm not sure if it's me or the gun making the groups that it is. I've shot out to 500 with the rifle and made hits on a 6" gong but am new to chasing group sizes.
 

Spblademaker

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At least you are honest. That’s a good start. My 10 Stealth in 6.5CM averages around 3/4” with Federal, Winchester and Hornady match. But will shoot under 1/2” with Handloads. So I would see what the other match ammos do. If they all shoot around the same, try some load development. if it still isn’t what you expect, see if someone has a chassis you can try out, before you dump money into one.
 

GONE BAD

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Buy 2 boxes of factory ammo;
1 box of FGMM 168's
1 box of FGMM 175's
After that you can go down a thousand different rabbit holes.
Good luck 👍😁
 

Quest1000

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I have a model 10T in 6.5cm from Cabelas and dropped it into an XLR chassis, it shoots 3/8” groups at 100 using Hornady ELD 140m.
 

Quest1000

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Did you group the gun before putting it in a chassis?
It was closer to an inch, mostly because the stock grip put a harsh bend in my wrist. I couldn’t get a good trigger press. The chassis is much more comfortable to shoot.
 

TxWelder35

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It was closer to an inch, mostly because the stock grip put a harsh bend in my wrist. I couldn’t get a good trigger press. The chassis is much more comfortable to shoot.
1" at 100?

That would be similar to what I'm getting now. Right over 2" at 200
 

Cfshooter

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Hey guys looking for advice on a set up out to 1000 yards.

I currently have a bone stock 308 Savage Model 10 Tactical with a Vortex Viper HS on top. I've been shooting at 200 yards with less than impressive results. Best group ive managed with the gun is right at 1 MOA. Average is 1.25-1.5 MOA. This is shooting the front on a sand bag, and a rear polyfill bag. Ammo is Federal GMM 175gr. I have not tried handload in the gun yet.

I am looking for sub moa accuracy. I don't need 1/4 MOA but 1/2-3/4 is preferable. Is this achievable with box ammo or am I going to be hand loading from now on?

I've read that dropping the barreled action into a chassis can help, but will that get me there or would I be better off investing into a new rifle instead? I've looked really hard at the Bergara b14 HMR.

I appreciate any advice yall can offer. Thank you!
I was able to get my cheap 700 ADL to shoot under 1” with factory Ammo, it only took 8 different boxes though. May just need to try a few other loads.
 

Greg Langelius *

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My model 10FP was one of the last 260's made when Savage discontinued the chambering back in 2001. It shot high 190's (once) at 1000yd using handloads my first time shooting (ever) beyond 300yd (with the factory barrel). In 2003 it got a Lothar-Walther 28", 1:8" barrel and was used for several years in 1000yd F-Open shooting. It shot better than I could. Still does. It's my only custom rifle, and I don't ever plan to sell it. I own five other (factory) Savage rifles. I have never sold a Savage rifle.

Greg
 
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Jknox1030

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TX,

I'm definitely not trying to persuade you either way... My only experience with heading down that rabbit trail with a Savage is that you'll dump a bunch of money in it and never get it back out... I did it... And regretted it. I had guys that were seasoned that tried to talk me out of it... I didn't listen.

There are much better base platforms to build around. There are inherent things that make a Savage rifle a bit dated and Struggle to keep up with better platforms...

Below is my old Savage that I took a bit of a bath on....
 

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TxWelder35

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TX,

I'm definitely not trying to persuade you either way... My only experience with heading down that rabbit trail with a Savage is that you'll dump a bunch of money in it and never get it back out... I did it... And regretted it. I had guys that were seasoned that tried to talk me out of it... I didn't listen.

There are much better base platforms to build around. There are inherent things that make a Savage rifle a bit dated and Struggle to keep up with better platforms...

Below is my old Savage that I took a bit of a bath on....
This was the info I was looking for. So after you dumped the money into it what kind of results did you get out of it?
 

Jknox1030

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I upgraded the extractor, bolt lift kit, trigger job, chassis.... Essentially everything accept the barrel...

It shot fairly well, but after longer shot strings it would walk all over the place...

I realized I dumped money into that platform trying to overcome its inherent draw backs....
 
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JMGlasgow

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TX,

I'm definitely not trying to persuade you either way... My only experience with heading down that rabbit trail with a Savage is that you'll dump a bunch of money in it and never get it back out... I did it... And regretted it. I had guys that were seasoned that tried to talk me out of it... I didn't listen.

There are much better base platforms to build around. There are inherent things that make a Savage rifle a bit dated and Struggle to keep up with better platforms...

Below is my old Savage that I took a bit of a bath on....
Same here. Had a LH model 10, kept pouring money into it trying to polish a turd. It was accurate, but the scope base kept coming loose, always had terrible weak ejection even after the "upgrade" parts, bolt body was extremely loose down the raceway, limited aftermarket support, etc.

TXwelder, Do yourself a favor and sell or trade that rifle on something better.


I know I'll get flamed but I've had great luck with Remington. My new Rem700 SPS Varmint 308 in a Grayboe Renegade stock shot under an inch without really trying, and I only have 25 rounds down the barrel so far. Those loads I shot were for my match M1a just to get a basic zero. Load development between my 308 and 30-06 have been painless. And with a 700 platform, you can upgrade as you see fit.
 

TxWelder35

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Same here. Had a LH model 10, kept pouring money into it trying to polish a turd. It was accurate, but the scope base kept coming loose, always had terrible weak ejection even after the "upgrade" parts, bolt body was extremely loose down the raceway, limited aftermarket support, etc.

TXwelder, Do yourself a favor and sell or trade that rifle on something better.


I know I'll get flamed but I've had great luck with Remington. My new Rem700 SPS Varmint 308 in a Grayboe Renegade stock shot under an inch without really trying, and I only have 25 rounds down the barrel so far. Those loads I shot were for my match M1a just to get a basic zero. Load development between my 308 and 30-06 have been painless. And with a 700 platform, you can upgrade as you see fit.
I tend to agree with the trade it crowd. I dont think it's going to get me where I want.

However it'll be a cold day before I buy another Remington. There overall quality and QC has really gone down the tubes. Bought an 870 super mag and it's was by far the biggest POS I've ever used. There quailt ly has gone down so bad they ruined the best function pump gun of all time. Hi point would have had a better functioning gun that that. So I don't trust them to build a gun that's capable of doing any better than what I have.
 

Bric2000

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I have not had great luck with a 10VT package rifle. I am not going to spend more time or money on that anymore. I have become a true believer in "you get what you pay for". I tried to bed and put a new stock on but the results were still not very good. Plus, i do not have very good feeding with this particular action.
However, I have a 12 that is very nice.
 

Alan101

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I have a bone stock Savage Model 11 FCNS i n .308. With handloads (178 Amax in LC Brass and Varget) the rifle is capable of consistent 1 MOA accuracy out to 740 yards. If you cherry pick groups it may look a little better but realistically its a 1 MOA gun. I also have a Exodus rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. It is a consistent 3/8 MOA gun. Aside from the accuracy, the big difference is the ease of shooting and the consistency of the groups. The Exodus is so much easier to shoot.

My advice, at the end of the day do the best you can with the savage the way it is. Try different ammos but don't spend a bunch on the rifle. Work on your fundamentals of shooting and save up for a custom gun. Get behind every different rifle (chassis, stock etc) you can to see what you like.

As far as getting to 1000 with your .308. It can be done. If you have access to a chronograph and a ballistic calculator that would be helpfull. It will tell you if your load will make it to 1000 yards without going sub sonic. If our load is going sub sonic before 1000 it makes it a lot harder.
 

Greg Langelius *

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I agree, with one exception, I prefer to have the projectile above transsonic at target, meaning an increase to 1300fps from 1100fps (supersonic to transsonic). These are rough numbers.

I don't shoot 308 at 1000yd anymore (or anything else...), and don't give much consideration to velocity at that distance.

One thing, though, altitude makes a big difference here. I live and shoot at about 4000-4500ft ASL, and velocity carries a lot further up here.

Greg
 

Friday

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I tend to treat savage 10-16 like remington 700 and basically just use the action, I have several Remington 700s I put bolt knobs triggers barrels and stocks on and they shoot awesome most without being trued when I Want a rifle I go to Gun world and order just a Remington 700 complete action and go from there it’s cheap. Both savages I’ve done were savage 16s bassically stainless versions of savage 10. One for me one for my brother mine is a 6.5 creedmoor I put a threaded bolt handle on it a big ol shilen ratchet groove barrel on and a bell and Carlson stock with a bottom drop metal kept the accutrigger and the rifle shoots just as well as any other rifle I own. As for return I could care less because I don’t build them all up just to sell them and selling barrels if I want a new one isn’t any different than selling a Remington style barrel they are easy to get rid of.
 

sandwarrior

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Txwelder,

First, it takes a lot more than a few fundamentals to squeeze down groups sizes. I've shot benchrest for years and it doesn't take much for your group size to make your rifle "average". As the saying goes, "Nothing wrong with the rifle..."

Get straight behind the rifle. The bigger the rifle, the more recoil management becomes a necessity. You can get away with shooting .222 Rem and 6 PPC without going off too far with recoil. But, off you go and you don't win matches. So, total recoil management is a must. Move the butt of the rifle from the shoulder pocket to just outside the inner point of the collarbone and get straight behind it. When shooting you need to be able to watch the entire process from trigger pull to bullet strike and call of hit. I've taken to actually pulling the butt off my shoulder and using my thumb to mitigate recoil. Again, the importance of getting straight behind the gun can't be stressed enough.

I never buy a rifle, that I plan to shoot with, where I'm more worried about what I'll get out of it. Savage rifles have some minor issues, accuracy isn't one of them. I've shot a lot of them over the years. Remington is still better than what a lot of people will tell how their QC fell off a cliff. They're a decent action to start with, and most gunsmiths are set up to work with them for you. And, pretty much any 700 heavy barrel will hold very good accuracy with the right bullet for its twist.

in short, you lose when ever you go down the rabbit hole of customizing a rifle. At the right place and right time, you can come out okay. But, that's about it. You end up taking those funds and dumping them in the next one.

Without the right kind of practice it won't matter what rifle you buy. Practice with the one you've got until you know you can out shoot it.
 
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Jackomason

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Ive always been very anti savage but i do own one. I got it new for $219. It shoots well but its really not that nice. These days I find it hard not to plug the Bighorn origin but I think thats just because its the latest thing for me. But it does offer the best of both worlds between the 700 and the savages, you've just gotta ask yourself if youre serious about precision rifle or if you just want to dabble.

Honestly if you just feel like banging steel or shooting coyotes then it really doesnt matter. I wouldnt advise dumping loads of money into upgrades on a cheap gun though. Just start off with something you can live with. I have a bergara and I like it a lot but it wont take prefits, if you like the .308 then that wont matter much anyway.

I say sell the savage!
 

Ratchety

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I don't know your experience level, but take a shooting fundamental course with professional instruction if you have not, hell even if you have, it is money well spent.

I have a Savage 10TR .308 that I have had for three years now, which I shoot club level precision rifle matches with.
First thing I needed was 10rd mags, and in Canada for a Savage, good luck, but I found Dark Eagle mags finally for 150 bucks a piece.
I am not going to lie, I have had my fair share of grief with the rifle; loose scope rail, multiple times.
I found a spot of parkerizing under the rail which kept it from seating.
Then I mounted the barreled action in a Choate sniper stock which improved the groups instantly, only to watch it slowly loosen up (wasn't seated in chassis properly and started to wiggle in V bed.
I finally got pissed off with the inconsistancy and just happened to have a buddy selling a Cadex chassis for the right price and dropped the barreled action in it.
Finally I had a solid rifle...Then I had trouble with my accutrigger adjustment which I found out had migrated lighter and lighter over time until I had couldn't cycle the action and cock it.
Of course all my grief occurred during matches, never at the range while practicing...
So, I have that all finally sorted out a couple thousand rounds later.

I have made consistent hand loads with 168 BTHP, 175 BTHP and have shot well with them in courses and outlaw matches (when the system stayed together and I did my part)
Last weekend I brought some 185 OTM Scenar hand loads out and grouped the best groups I have ever shot out of the rifle, with 2700 fps at -18C and 10 fps SD...
I think the 1:10 twist really likes the 185's or vica versa.
Also, I and my shooting partner both agreed that our Savages like 0.012" jump to lands.
The ole Savage is a fickle bitch, but I just can't quit her yet...
I just envy the guy who buys once and cries never....
 

Steel head

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You can do a lot with the savage actions.
But their value will never be like a rem 700 or upper end actions.

With a barrel and decent stock/chassis you can get some awesome results with the savage.

I currently still shoot my model 11 with a Shilen prefit in 260 (on my second barrel now) on a XLR Element chassis with a target trigger spring is a great shooter with its only real downside being ejection.
Mine is not bad but certainly not great.
Savega rifles really are a bit weak it the ejection department often.

I’m soon to move up to a rem 700 footprint custom action.
Mainly because it’s shiny and awesome and with lots of trigger options.
 
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Dthomas3523

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What’s your budget for upgrading or buying new rifle(sorry if I missed it).
 

TxWelder35

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What’s your budget for upgrading or buying new rifle(sorry if I missed it).
Well I stopped by Alamo Precision the other day. Almost dropped $3k on one of their custom rifles but that was a hard price to swallow. I really don't want to spend more than a grand upgrading this rifle or 2k in a new rifle.

I still might just drop this gun off with them, have them put it in a chassis and rebarrel it.

If I were to get a new barrel for this gun, is it the same prefit Savage barrel that a lot of these custom actions take?
 

sandwarrior

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Well I stopped by Alamo Precision the other day. Almost dropped $3k on one of their custom rifles but that was a hard price to swallow. I really don't want to spend more than a grand upgrading this rifle or 2k in a new rifle.

I still might just drop this gun off with them, have them put it in a chassis and rebarrel it.

If I were to get a new barrel for this gun, is it the same prefit Savage barrel that a lot of these custom actions take?
It should not be. While the way it's put together is the same, it should be custom fitted. Meaning, they true the action, replace the recoil lug and cut a barrel specifically for your rifle. That said, I have a prefit and it shoots great. I replaced the standard recoil lug with a machined one, and installed the barrel myself. You need an action and barrel wrench. You can get them both, as well as the barrel, from Northland Shooter Supply:
 
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Tx_Aggie

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Well I stopped by Alamo Precision the other day. Almost dropped $3k on one of their custom rifles but that was a hard price to swallow. I really don't want to spend more than a grand upgrading this rifle or 2k in a new rifle.

I still might just drop this gun off with them, have them put it in a chassis and rebarrel it.

If I were to get a new barrel for this gun, is it the same prefit Savage barrel that a lot of these custom actions take?
Given a choice between putting a grand into the Savage you have, or buying a new rifle for $2k, I would absolutely go with a new rifle. The wider selection of triggers and stocks/chassis, and the lighter bolt lift, and better reliability of ejection and extraction (important for a PRS/Tactical gun, less so for a casual target or hunting rifle) of a custom action would be enough to make the choice easy for me.

If you like the APR action you might ask what they would sell you a barreled action for, then add the stock and trigger yourself.

Or you could probably piece together a rifle using the APR action and a Savage Prefit barrel, TriggerTech or Timney trigger, and an entry level stock or chassis like a KRG Bravo for around $2k:

APR Tactical Action - $825
Proof Research Stainless Savage Pre-fit Barrel - $480
PVA Barrel Nut - $30
TriggerTech Special Trigger - $185
KRG Bravo - $350

Total - $1870 (before shipping on the various parts)

The Proof barrel I quoted is in stock at Optics Planet, but barrels from PVA, Northland, Keystone, etc, would all be around the same price. Kreiger has also announced that the will begin selling Savage Pre-fits soon and are currently taking pre-orders.
 
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Jknox1030

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Exactly what TX_Aggie said.... 100 times out of 100, I'd go with the custom rather than the upgrades on the Savage... You could also look into all the options that have come out in the last couple of years that are meant for the "production" class of PRS.... John Hancock rifle from PVA comes to mind... The Seekins Havock Bravo also comes to mind. I think Masterpiece Arms has something on the 2k range...

All of these are substantially better choices than an upgraded Savage...
 
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Steel head

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Given a choice between putting a grand into the Savage you have, or buying a new rifle for $2k, I would absolutely go with a new rifle. The wider selection of triggers and stocks/chassis, and the lighter bolt lift, and better reliability of ejection and extraction (important for a PRS/Tactical gun, less so for a casual target or hunting rifle) of a custom action would be enough to make the choice easy for me.

If you like the APR action you might ask what they would sell you a barreled action for, then add the stock and trigger yourself.

Or you could probably piece together a rifle using the APR action and a Savage Prefit barrel, TriggerTech or Timney trigger, and an entry level stock or chassis like a KRG Bravo for around $2k:

APR Tactical Action - $825
Proof Research Stainless Savage Pre-fit Barrel - $480
PVA Barrel Nut - $30
TriggerTech Special Trigger - $185
KRG Bravo - $350

Total - $1870 (before shipping on the various parts)

The Proof barrel I quoted is in stock at Optics Planet, but barrels from PVA, Northland, Keystone, etc, would all be around the same price. Kreiger has also announced that the will begin selling Savage Pre-fits soon and are currently taking pre-orders.
As much as I like savage rifles the above really is good advice.

I’m buying an action that takes savage prefit barrels so I keep a feature I’d savage that I really like but without its limitations.
 

TxWelder35

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Given a choice between putting a grand into the Savage you have, or buying a new rifle for $2k, I would absolutely go with a new rifle. The wider selection of triggers and stocks/chassis, and the lighter bolt lift, and better reliability of ejection and extraction (important for a PRS/Tactical gun, less so for a casual target or hunting rifle) of a custom action would be enough to make the choice easy for me.

If you like the APR action you might ask what they would sell you a barreled action for, then add the stock and trigger yourself.

Or you could probably piece together a rifle using the APR action and a Savage Prefit barrel, TriggerTech or Timney trigger, and an entry level stock or chassis like a KRG Bravo for around $2k:

APR Tactical Action - $825
Proof Research Stainless Savage Pre-fit Barrel - $480
PVA Barrel Nut - $30
TriggerTech Special Trigger - $185
KRG Bravo - $350

Total - $1870 (before shipping on the various parts)

The Proof barrel I quoted is in stock at Optics Planet, but barrels from PVA, Northland, Keystone, etc, would all be around the same price. Kreiger has also announced that the will begin selling Savage Pre-fits soon and are currently taking pre-orders.
Sent them an email to get me a quote on exactly that except the barrel, I think they have a few im stock. Maybe I'll get a deal on one of those minus the fluting. If it around that price I'm probably going to go that route.
 
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coyotewillie

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I've got the 10FP/.308. Bedded it in a B&C stock, and had the trigger worked on. When I was shooting regularly, I was getting 1 1/2" groups at 300yds all day long with my 168g handloads. Got away from it for a few years and just started shooting it again last summer after I retired. Recoil is starting to get to me so I haven't shot that good again but I found the 168g FGMM is shooting better than my handloads now. Because of recoil, I just got the bbl threaded and put a stock RPR muzzle break on it. What a difference! I seriously doubt I'll ever get rid of that rifle.
 

TxWelder35

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I've got the 10FP/.308. Bedded it in a B&C stock, and had the trigger worked on. When I was shooting regularly, I was getting 1 1/2" groups at 300yds all day long with my 168g handloads. Got away from it for a few years and just started shooting it again last summer after I retired. Recoil is starting to get to me so I haven't shot that good again but I found the 168g FGMM is shooting better than my handloads now. Because of recoil, I just got the bbl threaded and put a stock RPR muzzle break on it. What a difference! I seriously doubt I'll ever get rid of that rifle.
I was looking at muzzle breaks the other day and came across one that apparently gets rid of almost all recoil. JP Enterprise Recoil Eliminator. Ugly as sin but apparently extremely effective
 

DaleGribble82

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Savage model 10s are great rifles kinda remind me of the Remington 700 VTR, XCR, LTR, Sendero lineup only I would dump money into a Remy, and I wouldn’t dump it into a Savage. Not to say a Savage isn’t worthy but much more support for the 700 and much better gunsmiths for it. I would upgrade the rifle to something better if I were you better as in not a Savage or a Remington.
 

RackOpsTactical

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Bone stock Savage rifles usually shoot well. Take it apart and make sure when you put it back together you tourqe everything to spec. This includes the scope base and scope rings. Then buy some federal gold metal match. Shoot off bags. If she doesn’t shoot sub Moa, than get new rifle and sell this one. Doesn’t cost you anything other than a box of match ammo and you’ll have your answer.
 

pineoak

Assistant Minion
Belligerents
Feb 15, 2017
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Get a Tikka in 6.5 with a heavy barrel and have fun shooting. $10 trigger spring if you feel you must upgrade something ($15 shipping though)