Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

fastnf

Private
Minuteman
Nov 4, 2011
48
0
44
Missouri
Hello,

This is my first post and I hope to learn about reloading for my Savage 110 FCP HS Precision in 338 LM.

I have about 30 rounds through it and used 20 rounds of factory Lapua 300g Scenars to break it in. After that I reloaded 10 rounds of Lapua brass with 300g Sceanars with 77 grains of H4831 because that was all I had available. I trimmed the case length to 2.714 inches after using a neck sizer. COAL after reloading was 3.600 to match the factory loaded ammo. Later we found with an OAL gauge that the lands seem to touch on a 300 gr Scenar at about 3.700.

I used 6 factory loads to zero from 100 yard to 300 yards. Turned up 4.28 MOA to get my zero. My first 3 shot group was 4 inches and was 2-4 inches high. I was then out of factory ammo.

Using my reloads I shot another group of 3 which was 14 inches low so I knew that they were really slow. Estimated them from the amount of drop to only be about 2100 fps, but never put them in a chrono. Factor ammo was 2485 fps average @ 100 yards. This new group was 4 inches across again. I turned the scope up 4.625 MOA and shot my second group which was about 1 inch high from POA and 3.5 inches across. I have calculated the average group radius at 1.375 inches.

I used this rifle for my first deer hunting (my first hunting ever so I am very new to all of this) Two shots in the 300-350 yard range and two deer. I am pleased.

Now I am ready to develop some accuracy loads and run what I think are ladder tests. I have purchased H1000 and Retumbo to reload with.

The new reloads are:

8 Rounds:
Lapua Brass
WLRM primers
300 gr Scenars
88 gr Retumbo
COAL 3.684

8 Rounds:
Same components with 90 gr of Retumbo.

I hope to shoot some groups at 300 yards with these tomorrow and see what happens. Am I doing ok or am I doing it wrong? Thanks in advance for the advice. I have a friend helping me that purchased a 110 BA in 338 LM.

I think eventually I will zero at 500 yards, but will stick with 300 while working on these tests.

[edited to remove some personal info]
 

fastnf

Private
Minuteman
Nov 4, 2011
48
0
44
Missouri
Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

After reading TresMon's ladder test post for long range it looks like I screwed up loading these rounds.

Now what? Do I go ahead and shoot them for giggles and see what happens or should I pull them and start over. I hate to waste the ammo either way but I doubt I can salvage the bullets after pulling them and I might be concerned about damaging the brass.

Guess you learn the hard way sometimes.
 

milanuk

F'ing nuke
Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Mar 23, 2002
    2,234
    484
    48
    Wenatchee WA
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Granted, .338LM components ain't cheap. But I'd say go ahead and shoot 'em (unless you're seriously concerned about them being at or above max and possibly damaging the brass). Most of us - at least me - need the trigger time, especially with big boomers - they are a different ball o' wax than shooting smaller calibers.
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Ive decided I can find a place to go try them at 500 yards. I might just try to get the scope set for around 500 and then reload them for a real ladder test. I definately need the trigger time since this is my first rifle. (I picked a whopper)

    Weather and wind today will make this a challenge anyway. I think I can get an angle to shoot with the wind.

    So far everything has been very predictable so I don't expect any real issues.
     

    hntbambi

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 11, 2010
    200
    1
    55
    Las Cruces, NM
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    I am impressed at your ability to get the ideal powder charge the first time, even with different powders. Perhaps you can enlighted someone blinded by the old way of developing a load?
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Where did I say I had an ideal powder charge?

    I said I messed up because I am so new with this and just followed an amount inside the reloading book recommendation. Reading later in the night about this other ladder method that I know nothing about because I'm a newb. ;^)

    I did shoot them today and zeroed my scope good enough to get them on a large paper at 600 yards. 88 gr had one 3 shot group at 11.5 inches and the 90 gr had a 3 shot group at 5 inches. I hope to start all over and do it right this time. I only have 20 rounds of brass so I have to empty brass to reload and work the loads up properly. I figured it was good trigger time for me to play with since they needed unloaded.
     

    ADVAUTO5488

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 14, 2009
    56
    0
    47
    NEBRASKA
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Hello fastnf, I have one these rifles ordered, and will be here in a couple weeks. What is your opinion so far with yours, is the brake effective, recoil? I have a Mcmillan 50 and I am looking for something easier to shoot. Thanks
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    I am very pleased so far, but am very new so my opinion is probably not worth much. Just the fact that I could swap 3 different loads and the horizontal spread was only about 8 inches at 600 yards pleased me very much. Wind today was also very high 15-20 MPH, but I tried to minimize this by shooting with the wind as much as possible.

    Again this may not be that great, but to me seemed good. Vertical changed a lot, but the MV had to be a lot different between 77gr 4831 and 88gr of Retumbo.
     

    hntbambi

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 11, 2010
    200
    1
    55
    Las Cruces, NM
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    fastnf,
    It sounds like you are "shotgunning" looking for a great load. Why not work up a load and look for an accuracy node instead of haphazzardly coming across one? I recommend looking at Dan Newberry's OCW site. Start at max - 5% and work up in equal steps (0.7% to 1% incrementes) looking for the node. Then play with seating depth to find what the optimum depth (tightest group). Just a recommendation.
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Hntbambi</div><div class="ubbcode-body">fastnf,
    It sounds like you are "shotgunning" looking for a great load. Why not work up a load and look for an accuracy node instead of haphazzardly coming across one? I recommend looking at Dan Newberry's OCW site. Start at max - 5% and work up in equal steps (0.7% to 1% incrementes) looking for the node. Then play with seating depth to find what the optimum depth (tightest group). Just a recommendation. </div></div>

    Yes thank you. I think this is where I am headed. Have you read TresMon's "Reloading for Long Range 4: Powdering it." It is located in the upper part of this section as a sticky. At quick glance it looks like these two methods are similar, but a little different.
     

    aloreman

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 19, 2011
    833
    3
    39
    orangeville pa
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    id step back 2 300 yds max to take out the other variables and then start 5% below max and load 5 rnds each at .5 gr increments to max and shoot groups
     

    Big_Bullseye

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 30, 2011
    9
    0
    51
    Franklin County, Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Hello everyone - first post over here. Was going to start a new thread but this one seemed appropriate to jump on to..

    I am also the new owner of a FCP110 - HS Precision .338LM. I also have an FCP10-HS in .308 topped with a Zeiss Conquest 6.5-20X50 Rapid Z-1000 Reticle that I have been shooting out to 1000 yards that shoots really well.

    My hopes are that the new 338 will shoot as well as its little brother.

    I bought NF steel rings to sit on the factory 20MOA base, scope will be a NF NXS 5.5-22X56 ZS w/ NPR1 ret. The scope should be in tomorrow and I am hoping to get it all put together soon. To that end I have one box of factory Black Hills Ammo loaded with 250GR SMK's. I have 100 pieces of Lapua brass and some 250 & 300 SMK's compliments of a friend at Sierra and I am in search of what people have found to shoot well out of these slick little Salvage rifles.

    So if anyone has any nice pet loads that seem to shoot well out of their Savage 338 please let me know as I need to work some up for the first range session next weekend.

    Fastnf - let me know what is working for you and good luck.

    Thanks in advance for your feedack...
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    I'm pretty sure that mine is a 0 MOA base because my new SWFA SS 5-20 scope is showing #2 (20) on the elevation when zeroed for 100 yards, which I am not too happy about.

    On another note.....

    Today I went to shoot a ladder/ocw test and had an issue which I have been running into more frequently. My bolt is becoming stiff when closing and every once in a while I was having a shell stick in the chamber. Well today on shot #3 (84.6gr of Retumbo, 300g Scenar, Lapua brass) a shell got stuck bad enough that I could not remove it and it had to be driven out with a dowel rod. Was not very difficult to remove that way. However we started running loaded rounds in without shooting them and most have this issue with having a stiff load and ejection.

    So I guess I need full size dies instead of just neck sizing? We were hoping to only neck size, but I'm thinking that is not going to work. My diameter at the large shoulder of the neck is 0.548 and the factory lapua unfired rounds measured about 0.545 - 0.546 Not sure how I am supposed to measure this, but I have seen posts about bumping them back ever load or every other load by 0.002. I assume this is the length from the base to the start of the neck using some type of special measuring tool that fits the neck shoulder area? I might also just get an Ogive measurement tool since the tips of the Scenar bullets do not seem to give consistant OAL measurements.

    Any suggestions? I was looking at the RCBS 16601 2-die set because I can pick them up at Midway and they are $30. I could also pick them up at Grafs for about the same $ which I may do.

    Suggestions are always welcome.

    Thanks!
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Another friend suggested indexing a factory round, shooting, measuring for roundness, reloading, index, shoot, measure, then try rotating in different positions to see if it is ever stiff.
     

    ChrisGarrett

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 2, 2007
    2,213
    12
    59
    Miami, Florida
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: fastnf</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm pretty sure that mine is a 0 MOA base because my new SWFA SS 5-20 scope is showing #2 (20) on the elevation when zeroed for 100 yards, which I am not too happy about.

    On another note.....

    Today I went to shoot a ladder/ocw test and had an issue which I have been running into more frequently. My bolt is becoming stiff when closing and every once in a while I was having a shell stick in the chamber. Well today on shot #3 (84.6gr of Retumbo, 300g Scenar, Lapua brass) a shell got stuck bad enough that I could not remove it and it had to be driven out with a dowel rod. Was not very difficult to remove that way. However we started running loaded rounds in without shooting them and most have this issue with having a stiff load and ejection.

    So I guess I need full size dies instead of just neck sizing? We were hoping to only neck size, but I'm thinking that is not going to work. My diameter at the large shoulder of the neck is 0.548 and the factory lapua unfired rounds measured about 0.545 - 0.546 Not sure how I am supposed to measure this, but I have seen posts about bumping them back ever load or every other load by 0.002. I assume this is the length from the base to the start of the neck using some type of special measuring tool that fits the neck shoulder area? I might also just get an Ogive measurement tool since the tips of the Scenar bullets do not seem to give consistant OAL measurements.

    Any suggestions? I was looking at the RCBS 16601 2-die set because I can pick them up at Midway and they are $30. I could also pick them up at Grafs for about the same $ which I may do.

    Suggestions are always welcome.

    Thanks! </div></div>

    Just buy a Redding Body Die in 338LM. You can use this when you need to bump your shoulders back and continue using your neck sizing die when you don't.

    I can go 2 or 3 cycles just neck sizing before I need to bump the shoulders back in my TRG-42.

    This will benefit you in not working the brass too much.

    Buy the Hornaday headspace bushing set to measure your fired cases and then adjust your body die accordingly.

    Chris
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    I got my RCBS FL die set today. I FL sized the rounds I had the issues with and they go in and out of the gun fine now. Hopefully this will end my issues with sticky shells.

    I don't have a headspace gauge. Before I got to do anything the dies were set up (by bumping the shell holder) and the 3 shells run through. So I did not get to try to adjust the FL sizer to just bump them enough to get them to fit into the chamber. So I have NO idea how much they got bumped. This is what happens when you are reloading at someone else's place that has experience and goes at it while you are trying to think. ;^)
     

    ChrisGarrett

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 2, 2007
    2,213
    12
    59
    Miami, Florida
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: fastnf</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I got my RCBS FL die set today. I FL sized the rounds I had the issues with and they go in and out of the gun fine now. Hopefully this will end my issues with sticky shells.

    I don't have a headspace gauge. Before I got to do anything the dies were set up (by bumping the shell holder) and the 3 shells run through. So I did not get to try to adjust the FL sizer to just bump them enough to get them to fit into the chamber. So I have NO idea how much they got bumped. This is what happens when you are reloading at someone else's place that has experience and goes at it while you are trying to think. ;^) </div></div>

    What you can do in lieu of the headspace gages, is remove the bolts from your weapons, remove the ejectors, turn your dies up and out of the press a bit, so you know that they won't size a fired case at all, then slowly use one eigth turns on the die until you start sizing the cases.

    Each time you size a little, you remove the case and chamber it to see if you have too much resistance. At first the bolts won't close, due to a lack of sufficient sizing, but eventually, they will.

    I like a little bit of snugness when chambering my sized cases. I have some 7RM that I loaded up years back and I couldn't chamber a good dozen out of the box of fifty, so that kind of sucked while I was at the range!

    Once you think you have a case dialed in, try a few more and if they chamber, you've learned the poor (free) man's method to correct headspacing when reloading.

    Of course, those rounds should only be fired out of that weapons, so don't think that 'one size fits all'.

    I didn't want to start stripping down my bolts, so I just ponied up the $40-$45 for the gages and I'm good to go for anything from 223-338LM.

    Chris
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Thanks Chris. That is what I had in mind, but things got done by my "assistant".
    wink.gif


    You lost me when you said to remove the ejector on the bolt. Why are you doing that? Should I also remove the neck expander to keep from working the neck so many times until I figure out how much to bump the shoulder?

    I am only using this brass in this gun so that sounds like it should work fine. I've spent enough money in the last month that my wife is about to kill me now.
    wink.gif
    This is the first time I have jumped before doing all my research so it's cost quite a bit more than I was expecting because I fell off a big cliff and had to climb out of my hole.
    wink.gif
     

    ChrisGarrett

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 2, 2007
    2,213
    12
    59
    Miami, Florida
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: fastnf</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Thanks Chris. That is what I had in mind, but things got done by my "assistant".
    wink.gif


    You lost me when you said to remove the ejector on the bolt. Why are you doing that? Should I also remove the neck expander to keep from working the neck so many times until I figure out how much to bump the shoulder?

    I am only using this brass in this gun so that sounds like it should work fine. I've spent enough money in the last month that my wife is about to kill me now.
    wink.gif
    This is the first time I have jumped before doing all my research so it's cost quite a bit more than I was expecting because I fell off a big cliff and had to climb out of my hole.
    wink.gif
    </div></div>

    When you want to go 'old school' and use the cheap way, you want to remove the ejector because it puts force on the case/cartridge as it goes into the chamber and it 'can' affect a measurement.

    With the ejector removed, there's nothing putting force on that case/cartridge and you get a 'smoother' chambering.

    Honestly, I can't say how much of a difference you get between the two (removing the ejector vs. not) so, I can't speak to that, but it's something people in the know, do.

    For me, I just bought the headspace bushings/gages and I go from there.

    Like I said, once you have the whole set, you can adjust your sizing dies for an entire range of cartridges and you'll know for sure, where you need to be.

    Chris
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Just did my first ladder test today. I did 3 rounds each going up in charge on each consective shot, then starting again. Looks like my front mount of my scope rail is coming loose and caused a POI shift on perhaps the last of my 2nd ladder and the entire 3rd ladder is shifted up and to the right. Which does not make sense to me. May have even screwed up the entire ladder. The first ladder starts going left at the top and then the 2nd ladder is left and then the 3rd ladder is right.

    300 yards - facing north, wind SSE 5-15 MPH gusting to 25. Shooting off a hill, down about 80 feet in elevation so less wind at the target. Almost no wind on the first ladder. Used my 84 grain rounds as 1,2,3. Then turned the scope down 1 MIL. Barrel was not clean. Most other shots are about 5 minutes apart. Left my gun and ammo in the truck over night so everything was about 40 degrees this morning. Same as outside.

    300 grain Lapua Scenar
    Fired Lapua brass
    Winchester Large Rifle Magnum Primers
    Retumbo
    COAL 3.680 which is near a 0.020 jump on my gun.

    84.3 gr - 3 sighters
    85.1 gr - 3
    86.0 gr - 3
    86.9 gr - 3
    88.0 gr - 3
    88.6 gr - 3
    90.0 gr - 2 (not enough brass)
    3rd ladder does not have a 90 gr shot

    So now I need some help on the results. Thanks.

    2011-12-31_11-35-02_844.jpg


    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/eF3Si1evCHjCEzHcIFjc39MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

    2011-12-31_11-35-24_815.jpg


    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7__x6BO-XPR4UGkjKJAEwdMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink
     

    werew

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 24, 2011
    51
    4
    50
    Colorado
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Did you confirm that your optics rail screws backed out, or scope rings loose, something to do with your optics went sloppy on ya?

    If so, I wouldn't try and make sense of the ladder tests you performed.

    Looks like "things" started loosening up after 4th shot, 2nd ladder.

    Ladders went from about 11" to over 2'.
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Yes. I have a topic in the gunsmithing forum with pictures from taking my rail and action/stock apart. The rail did come loose in the front and the front action bolt was not exactly tight.

    I appreciate your response. Anything on my ladder test that was done incorrectly other than my mechanical issues with the gun?

    I was reading that perhaps I should use a front bag instead of my 6 in bipod? I was prone on a mat.

    I'm not going to like doing this ladder testing thing when it's below 30 degrees out. I was loving the 40 degree day with sunshine! Hopefully I can get another nice day. Seems this is taking me forever. My last attemp was defeated by a stuck brass on shot #3. We have solved that issue with full length brass sizing. So it goes being a newbie I guess.
     

    werew

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 24, 2011
    51
    4
    50
    Colorado
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    Front AND rear bag(rear bag squeeze method)off a bench, definitely.
    I've forgotten my sand bags before and used rolled up beach towels, rangebag, sweatshirts etc... Front and rear support is crucial, really hunker down, settle in and get comfortable is the goal.

    I'm in Colorado at 4500 FASL and understand inclimate shooting conditions. Best to make it "count" when cold out.

    Another nice device to have IMHO, is an anti-cant device. It's a bubble level mounted to your scope or scope base that is calibrated to be level with your reticle. Reticle needs to be level & centered to your bore's centerline to begin with. I've helped people out with this at the range with great results.

    Torque wrench, another valuable tool to have. I use a wheeler engineering torque wrench on everything and haven't had any surprises since. Very important to get inch/lb and NOT foot/lb torque wrench! Cost 50'ish.

    I've the same rifle as you, may get out tomorrow and do 3 Ladder tests with 300SMK, 300Berg OTM's and 250SMK. Thinking about doing the 200 yd zero and 15-shot barrel break-in using a mild 250 SMK load. I'm using H1000 powder, Fed 215M primers and neck sizing new Lapua brass. Seating roughly .020 off the lands.

    For 1rst ladder tests, I use .5 grain increments. It gets me in the ballpark. From there it's bullet jump tests using the 1rst ladders "middle of the node" powder wgt, then 2nd ladder fine tuning powder wgt using .3 grain increments from the bullet seating results.

    Hope this helps.






     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    We do have the wheeler double leveling tool and TQ wrench. They are nice. I do not have an anti-cant device. Perhaps that can be a present later. Angle meter would be cool too, but might be a bit much for my terrain.

    I hope to get things fixed up and give it another go in a few weeks or so.
     

    QuiggyB

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Aug 24, 2011
    551
    0
    47
    Houston, TX
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    I had this rifle and the EGW rail that came on it came loose on me too. Ended up getting an EGW HD rail (had to aske for the larger screws), cleaning out the threads and using blue loctite. No issues since.
     

    fastnf

    Private
    Minuteman
    Nov 4, 2011
    48
    0
    44
    Missouri
    Re: Savage 110 FCP HS Precision 338 LM

    So far my new rail has been through 20 rounds and no issues. I think it will stay that way.