Savage 11 7mm-08 Question


January 2, 2011, 07:44 PM
I recently purchased a Savage 11F in 7mm-08. It is one that has the 11.5 twist rate. I know it's kind of slow. From what I've been reading is should still perform well with 120 to 140 grain bullets. I decided to go mid road and bought some Speer 130 grain SPBT bullets and loaded them with Varget at 40, 41 and 42 grains. Tested them this afternoon and was only getting about a 2" group at 100 yards no matter which grain it was. Does anyone have this same rifle and if so what powder and bullet combination are you using that gives good sub MOA? I do have some H4350 and loaded up 3 rounds at 47 grains and 3 at 48 grains and will try that next to see if it is any better. BTW what kind of bench rest are most of you using. Mine is bags and not sure if that may have been part of my problem with the Varget as it is not locked down stabile on the bags. Thanks for all input.

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January 2, 2011, 09:01 PM
Not the same rifle but my Rem. Mod 7 (10" twist)seems to like 42.0 gr of IMR4064 with the same bullet for .5 to 1 MOA. I use a concrete bench with adjustable front rest and sandbag rear rest.

January 2, 2011, 09:25 PM
I don't own or shoot a 7mm-08 but was curious if you've ever heard of or tried a "ladder test" for load development. You can read the details/theory of ladder testing at (or check out the THR thread at Either sounds like it may be perfect for your situation. It won't help you pick components but it should help you find the best possible powder charge based on the components you're currently using. I've used the method and like it VERY much. It's usually my first step in load development now.

January 2, 2011, 09:46 PM
Savage uses 1 in 9.5 for a 7mm-08. A 130 should be fine.
" 40, 41 and 42 grains..." You have to work up the load from the Starting load in your manual, not just pick a few and hope.
"...good sub MOA..." Not all rifles are capable of that kind of accuracy.

January 2, 2011, 10:34 PM
Thanks all for the input. rsbible I will look at that post and see what it decribes.
Sunray, the newer Savage 7mm-08's have a 11.5 rate of twist to the barrels. Older versions had the 9.5, I read up a lot on this on the net and then checked mine and sure enough it is 11.5. Lots of questions on why Savage changed but noone can get a straight answer from them. The 40 grains is the starting load from the Lee Modern Reloading 2nd edition for 130 grain bullets using Varget and shows 43.5 being max. Same info in the Hodgdon Data.

January 2, 2011, 11:35 PM
"...newer Savage 7mm-08's..." Not according to their site. Mind you, they don't list an 11F either. Assorted 'F's' with more letters, but no 'F' by itself.
January 2, 2011, 11:46 PM
Epoxyoyo my speer #13 lists varget at 39gn start with velocity at 2641 and max at 43gn with velocity at 2888 with a col of 2.730.
H4350 is 46gn start vel 2715 50.0gn compressed max vel 2984.
Remember load development is not just putting powder in a case, there are other variables to get the most accuracy out of a rifle. What Col are you using, and what col will your rifle function with? You may take a empty case and blacken a bullet with a match. seat the bullet long and chamber the dud round. The rifleing will seat the bullet the rest of the way and will leave marks on the bullet. subtract two to three thousandths (just to be safe) form from the col and seat to this point. This will give you an idea of what the best col for this rifle will be. this col may not function in your magizine. If not load to col that will. Do you have factory loaded ammo and how does it match up. If you getting good groups try to duplicate the factory load. You might as well get the hornady measure that measures the bullet ongive. Measure the factory ammo (if it groups good) and seat bullets to match ongive. Somtimes the fastest load is not the most accurate. but first get a good bench set up so you can eliminate variables while shooting.

January 3, 2011, 09:32 PM
Thanks, I do have the Hornady OAL guage and comparator setup. It measure 2.280 to the lands at the ogive and I have my bullets seated .020 back from there at 2.260 to the ogive. No problems there with the magazine. Got to looking at the brass today and realized that I had loaded some of the rounds with Mixed Brass (Hornady and Federal brass). I had bought a box of Hornady Rounds to sight in the gun the day I got it (only kind they had in stock). Never could get those to shoot very well. They were 139 grain. Bought a box of Federal Fusions 140 grain at another store and groups immediately shrank to about 1 1/2" at 100 yards. Mixed brass may have contributed to part of the problem. I was also using bags and couldn't get the elevation I needed and was moving the rear bag on the butt to adjust the height. Definately wasn't as stabile as I would like to have had it be. I guess it's time to invest in a Lead Sled.

Sunray, it is an 11FYXP3 with an adult stock on it. I origianlly bought this gun for my daughter but she didn't like it so I ordered the adult stock for it and decided to use it myself. I know Savage's website says 1 in 9.5", but it is wrong. Google it and you will find all kinds of info on the Savage 7mm-08 now having a 1 in 11.5" twist and a lot of people are asking why the change, but Savage will not give any explanation.

As a side note my Ruger M77 MKII 30-06 is driving tacks with the 150 Speer BTSP with 58 grains of H4350.

January 4, 2011, 07:24 AM
Savage started with a 9.5:1 twist. Went to a 11.5. And have now gone back to the 9.5 twist. Wouldn't be to surprised if they are still shipping some 11.5 barrels, here and there, just to get rid of them.

January 4, 2011, 06:33 PM
What Kernel said. - Posted Dec 3.

Their Axis rifles (Edge renamed) also list a 1:9.5 twist for the 7mm-08. People weren't happy with the slower twist, so Savage switched back to the faster twist rate.

January 4, 2011, 06:37 PM

I've got a Savage 7mm-08 with the 11.5 twist as well. I just started load development with 130 Speer's, and like you, didn't have very good luck. I loaded 42.0 through 44.8 grains of IMR4064. The velocities were well below (150 - 200 fps) what the Speer chart lead me to expect and the accuracy was not good.

My rifle grouped nicely with the 140 grain Winchester commercial ammo that I used when I sighted in the scope but haven't had good luck with my hand loads yet.

I'll keep an eye on this thread and hope to both learn from and contribute to the discussion.

Good Luck and keep us posted.


January 4, 2011, 10:37 PM
Thanks Kernel, Didn't know they had swapped back. Guess Dan the Farmer and I were the unlucky ones that got these slow twisters.
Danthe farmer I will keep you updated. I loaded up some rounds again with the Varget. I started at 40.0 and went to 42.8 in .2 grain increments and will try the ladder test that rsbible talked about. Hope to pinpoint a few rounds that are close. If that don't work I'll do the same with H4350 and if no luck there I'll try some 4064. If none of these work then I'll try different bullet weights, bound to find something it likes. That's the fun of reloading, get to try new stuff out and get some range time.

January 5, 2011, 01:26 PM
I've got a Remington M7 in 7mm08 and it's not exactly a "tack driver" either. It has a 1/9.5" twist barrel.

The most accuracte load for it is either a Sierra 140gr (flat base or boat-tail) or the Nosler 140gr Ballistic Tips. Some Hornady 140gr SST's were "ok", but performed poorly on deer (no expansion). A lot of 139gr Hornady BtSpt "blems" shoot decently and I've killed several deer with them. They'll do! Not quite as accurate as the Sierra's or Nosler's but much, much cheaper..... Playing around with seating depth hasn't produced any noticeable improvement either. So, what ever fits and feeds from the magazine is what I use.

Also, accurcy is mediocre at best with anything except IMR4350. At 46.0gr and a Fed #210 primer I get 2,775fps and 1.5" groups. Most any thing else is 2"+. (20" factory barrel)

This rifle is a delight to hunt with, however. And, it's a real killer with the 139-140gr bullets (except the bad batch of SST's).

My rifle likes heavier bullets. As bullet weight increases, accuracy improves. I get near equal groups with 150gr bullets and 45.0gr of IMR4350. Lately I've been playing with some Sierra 160gr BTSpt's. They seem to have even more potential than the 140's. Just haven't spent enough time with it to find the sweet spot with the IMR4350.

Results with RL19 were poor- good accuracy but velocties were very low. H414 and H380 were "ok" velocity wise but just didn't shoot as well as IMR4350. Likewise H4350. I'm tinkering around with RL17 but it seems to be a "clone" of H4350. Fast, but not as accurate as IMR4350.

I tried some 120gr Hornady V-max and some Speer 115gr HP's. My 7mm-08 didn't shoot them well, so I've relegated them to the T/C Carbine in7-30Waters that shoots them sub-moa.

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