Savage 116 in .338 Win Mag - question


July 15, 2006, 10:59 PM
Hey all,

I made my monthly pilgrimage to the consignment section of the small, local gun shack. The shotguns had been cleaned out, and what little there was ...well, not good. A beat-up Ithaca 37... for $310?

In the rifle section, they still had the Mosin sniper setup (of dubious authenticity) for $400+, and two SKS's with refinished stocks for $225 each... two Marlin 336s, one in .30-30 and one in .35 Remington, both $250...

But the new rifle, which caught my eye, was a Savage 116 in .338 Winchester Magnum, stainless steel over a black synthetic stock. The barrel was tapered and was ported.

This MAY be the 116FHSAK ... but it could just be an aftermarket barrel as well. The Savage Arms site represents the 116FHSAK as having an "adjustable" muzzle brake, but this rifle was simply ported, no adjustible anything.

The magazine well and barrel are dirty as hell. Grimy, several swipes with a finger couldn't penetrate the gunk above the magazine follower. Bolt showed some definite use, was also dirty. None of this looked like abuse, per se, but just a rifle that had seen some heavy use and hadn't been cleaned very thoroughly before being put up on the block.

Priced at $399. I have no idea if the barrel is shot out, or really anything other than what the eye could see.

Now, for the part where I'd like your input. I've been considering a .338 for a long time, as a long-long distance rifle ... 1000+ yards. I'm normally a Remington man through and through, and was considering a new 700XCR for some time. There are a ton of them for $690 on Gunbroker, which is only $30 more than I paid for my excellent 700VLS in .223.

But here's a chance to get a Savage (great reviews here, but a relative unknown to me...only ever shot a couple of the older ones) for almost $300 less, in basically the same package (stainless/synthetic) WITH a ported barrel. The dirt and grime are a definite minus - who would buy one of these and not clean it front to back after every range trip? Hell, I do that to my .22s, let alone a .338 - and I can't be sure the barrel isn't shot out. The Savage Arms website says the model is "New!" but who knows what that means... doesn't really inform me on the barrel's life. I can ask if the store's gunsmith has gone over it, but based on previous conversations with the people at that store, I somehow doubt it. They negociate a price, it goes up on the rack.

My other reservations are minimal - I've also been considering a .375 Holland and Holland, simply because I don't see it popping up as much in long-range shooting, and I enjoy a challenge. Also, $400 is nothing to sneeze at for me, so this deal has to be pretty good; I've been re-reading all the glowing Savage reviews here, which is slowly strengthening my wallet-reaching arm muscles...

Also, I *will* be reloading, so ammo cost is not really a factor.

So... what say you all about the 116 or .338 Win Mag?

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July 16, 2006, 01:01 AM
Does this Savage have AccuTrigger? I have not heard of anyone using the 338 for long distance shooting, but if people can use the 45-70 for long range matches, I guess anything is possible. If the barrel needs to be replaced, you can probably get it done for about $200. But you could buy a new Savage w/AccuTrigger in a 300 mag - which is better suited for long range - for less than the $600 you will have invested.

July 16, 2006, 01:35 AM
Interesting you mention that, I've heard that .338 Win Mag is an affordable substitute for the exceptional .338 Lapua Mag. I've also read that both are usable for well past 1000 yards.

To be honest, I've never even considered .300 Mag, but I am now. Going back to Remington, I see that they offer tons of choices, including the ever-popular BDL and CDL in it. Also intrigued by the Sendero, which I had the pleasure to shoot at the range in 7mm Mag, but don't own... of course, which long-range in mind, .264 Win Mag isn't a bad idea either. Nor is .300 H&H.

Going back, the 300 grain Sierra bullets for .338 has a BC of .768, which is about the highest I can find anywhere.

As for AccuTrigger, I would imagine so, but I didn't make a point to check.

July 16, 2006, 11:36 AM
If you are in the mood for a remington in SS check gunbroker carefully. I bought a m700 in ss (don't know the rem model designation)for $510.00 shipped 4 months ago you can probably beat that. Granted the stock is of the injection moulded type but I like it and it shoots well. Also you might look at the older mauser sporters from kimber and older ruger m77 tang safety types as I have seen them frequently in the $300 range often with a cheapo scope but decent mounts and rings... I don't know about the thousand yard thing but I used my old m77 338 for 'chucks back in Pa and had a friggin ball with it... Kinda like a small artillery peice when the bullet hits dirt...


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