Savage .308 Precision

Savage 10FP in .308 Winchester with Sightron SIII 8-32x56 scope

I had so much fun testing my 10/22s for precision that I decided to run analysis on my .308 Savage 10FP. This has been my benchmark medium rifle for almost a decade now, and has been abused accordingly: I have broken the bolt handle at least once and had to hammer out and even drill out stuck cases. How accurate is it now?

I shot the following two groups of Hornady 168gr OTM handloads at 100 yards. I only had 8 rounds of the first load, which uses Federal GMM cases with 44.4gr Varget. The second group is 10 shots from LC 04 cases with 44.7gr Varget. (This batch of Lake City brass has .2gr more water capacity than the Federal. The LC loads chronograph about 2850fps vs 2840fps for the FC loads. Keep in mind this is a 26″ barrel.) All loads are seated to 2.80″ and use FGM210M primers.

8-shot group 10-shot group

Based on these 18 data points the rifle with these loads has CEP = 0.30″ at 100 yards, or .28MOA. (The 90% confidence interval is .25″-.32″.) This means its 4MR is 1.3MOA — i.e., 96% of shots fired should stay within a 1.3MOA cone.

5 thoughts on “Savage .308 Precision

  1. Charles McMillan

    Thanks again for posting your results. Here are mine for a Savage 12 F/TR that is unmodified. The scope was a NightForce. All samples had N=20 and were shot at 100 yards using the targets and measurement technique shown at

    Cartridge CEP [moa]
    Federal Premium SMK 0.24
    Hornady Amax 0.25
    Federal SMK 0.37
    Hornady BTHP 0.37
    Black Hills Boat Tail 0.43
    Fiocchi Sierra Matchking 0.55

    I’d love to see results from others – particularly those with fancy rifles and barrels. I also have results for a Talon air rifle as well as some hand loads.

  2. federalist

    Wow, that’s some fine precision from a factory rifle with factory ammo! What were the bullet weights in each of those loads? Would love to see your .308 handloads and their performance for comparison.

    1. Charles McMillan

      These all used 168 grain bullets but of different designs.

      The best hand-load performance I saw was with Berger 185 grain VLD – I got a CEP of .21. However, that could easily have been noise. At this point, I don’t think we should really consider it to be different from the Federal Premium above.

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