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Considering a Savage 116 .300 wm custom with 18" barrel

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by leadcounsel, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Seller is listing it for $1700 as follows, and I'm curious if the board thinks that's a fair price.

    Here's the ad minus the beautiful stainless rifle pics in a custom stock with adjustable comb and weaver rail:

    It's a Savage 116 stainless steel .300 Win Mag, bought in '07, & was shipped to Fred Moreo at Sharp Shooter Supply in Ohio for a complete accuracy overhaul.

    Fred Moreo is a very well known Savage gunsmith - you can check out one of his benchrest builds here -


    ...and if you scroll to the bottom of that page you can read an interview with him; "TECH TALK with Fred Moreo--The Dean of Savage Smiths"
    When I finally got the rifle back, I put my Leupold 3.5x10 on it, got it on paper at 50 yds, and made a one hole group (at 50) while beginning the break in (which I never finished). I started a log at the time, but cannot find it now. I believe the round count is exactly 20. Basically speaking, because it is a Savage, this is a poor mans bughole rifle.

    I never went on to explore just how accurate this rifle could be... it needs a new owner who will take the time to bring reloading equipment to the range and work up some loads right at the bench. It has never been dropped, disrespected, or within earshot of harsh language. Accuracy wise, it should run right along with the Big Name "remmys" that cost twice as much.

    Why am I selling?
    I'm an IPSC pistol shooter, and I have discovered I just don't have the patience to play the bolt action accuracy game. This rifle has never left the safe, and if it sells I could better deploy that money elsewhere.

    Why only an 18" barrel?
    Before I had this built, I had been doing quite a bit of long range shooting with a friend of mine who had recently attended GPS Sniper training in Arizona (formerly the McMillan Sniper School and the HS Precision Sniper Program) . One of the core beliefs at GPS with regard to rifle accuracy is that inherent accuracy increases as barrel length decreases (most shooters tend to believe the opposite). You can read the article at GPS's website here...


    I'm no expert - but my limited experience has shown this to be quite true. Shortening makes the barrel behave more like a thicker barrel, and a thicker barrel will experience harmonics of less amplitude when the round lights off, which in turn lessens the potential to cause deviation in the bullet's flight path. My 1st build was a $300 WalMart Savage 7mm Rem Mag - I had a local smith cut the barrel down to 17", mounted it myself in a Choate folding stock, and then had no problem getting the bullet holes to touch each other at 100yds.

    The "devil's advocate" argument against all this short barrel accuracy logic is, of course, loss in velocity. This is true, but that's why I made it a Win Mag. The bullet is still supersonic out past 1000.

    The details (what went into it)
    Savage 116 .300 Win Mag stainless steel rifle $650
    Laminate tactical /varmint stock $325
    • w/ Butt Hook $25
    • Adjustable comb $50
    • Anschutz rail $30
    18" Douglas Air gauged barrel $325
    Badger Ordinance FTE (Front Toward Enemy) muzzle brake - $135
    Farrell 20 MOA scope base - $115
    • True & time action - $125
    • Install & headspace barrel - $50
    • Pillar bed laminate stock - $115
    • Barrel Fluting - $125
    • Bed and install scope mount - $50
    • Thread barrel & install muzzle brake - $75

    Total ~ $2195 into the rifle

    Sharp Shooter supply link...


    Asking $1680 -- If you factor in the 4 boxes of Black Hills ammo, basically I am asking $1508 for this rifle.
  2. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

    Ok shorter barrel is more rigid...but an 18" .300 Win Mag....he may as well have just gotten a .308 with cheaper ammo and less muzzle blast.

    Nope I don't buy his justification for the short barrel....not on a .300 Win Mag
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Muzzle blast would be horrendous.

    Probably why he tried it and is now selling it.

  4. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Excellent points, keep em coming...
  5. porktornado

    porktornado Well-Known Member

    i have a 116 .375H&H with a 20" barrel. i have never tried for pinpoint accuracy though, just shoot some rounds at 100yds to make sure its still sighted in.

    my question is, if he got the shorter barrel for rigidity, why did he then flute it?

    only a few of those things listed may actually improve accuracy, but it was said by the lister that he doesn't even know if it helped, or if it is even accurate! that seems like an awful lot of money for some doo-dads, some gunsmithing that most could do at home(minus the truing and timing of the action and headspacing), and some wishful thinking by the lister. not to mention it doesn't even come with a scope.

    IMO, i would save the extra $1000 and get the stock rifle, see how it shoots, and then work from there.
  6. T Bran

    T Bran Well-Known Member

    I have the Savage 114 American Classic in 300 WM .
    Do your self a favor and try out the stock rifle, if you want to customise later you can but I doubt that you will.
    If you are recoil sensitive it may be a better idea to go with a .308 than a 300 WM for bench shooting. Standing it is not bad but anchoring your self behind one in a chair that does not allow your body to give a bit can be less than fun.
    A short barrel is the opposite of what most 300 shooters want. I read lots of complaints that they dont come in a 26'' barrel as opposed to a 24''.
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't want it, but a 300 winmag with an 18" barrel is still going to be faster than a 308 with a 24" barrel.
  8. PedalBiker

    PedalBiker Well-Known Member

    I'd pass.

    That cartridge and barrel combination is one I would not want. If you plan on shooting much the noise is going to be a real issue.

    The short barrel story doesn't hold water either. There is no reason you can't get a good, accurate barrel in ~24" length from one of the reputable manufacturers. Beyond 100 yards wind and drop begin to dominate and for those issues the extra velocity is going to help. I can't imagine shooting a 300WM much inside 100 yards, so the rifle accuracy won't dominate.

    For that kind of money you have a lot of other options that are likely more useful.

    I don't care what the original owner put into the gun. I've been shopping for used guns for a long time and custom builds just don't hold value that well. The point in getting a custom rifle is to get what YOU want. When you SELL a custom rifle you're going to have to realize there is only one YOU. Unless you just happened to choose well, the resale value is going to be low.
  9. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Well-Known Member

    exactly. I remember explaining to a co worker that just because he put a $80 cool air intake and a $200 paint job on a run down oil burning 1980 era Honda Prelude, didn't mean he could at $280 to the Blue Book price.

    You can't simply tack on the price of addons when selling something used.
  10. WYOMan

    WYOMan Well-Known Member

    Their article was written about shorter barrels and the results for .308. I really don't think that the results are applicable to a completely different, and larger cartridge. The M24 in .300 Win Mag has a 24 inch barrel. I think they would have used an 18 incher if it was that much better, don't you? YMMV.
  11. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Well-Known Member

  12. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member


    Even before you factor in the wacky barrel cartridge combo.

    I can and have built savages from scratch in my tool shed that will shoot just as well as this abomination for a third the cost.

    This gun is just plain overpriced because the owner is trying to recoup the massive labor costs he racked up not doing anything for himself.
  13. browningguy

    browningguy Well-Known Member

    I'm with most of the others here, pass on it. In fact if I was looking at buying I would be factoring in the cost of a new barrel to reduce from whatever I figured it to be worth to me. I like the LVT stock by the way, I have one on my .243 Winchester varmint rifle, but of course it has a 28" barrel to keep velocity up.

    As far as the story goes it's partly correct, shorter barrels can be more rigid than longer barrels of the same diameter and configuration. However shortening the barrel to this extreme on a .300 Winny will give a muzzle blast like you wouldn't believe. I do shoot a .308 carbine with an 18" barrel, and two 30-06's with 19.5" and 20" barrels.

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