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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just picked up my first firearm a few days ago: a Savage Arms 64FSS (22 LR). I've broken in the bore as per recommendation from the manufacturer's web site -- basically fire shots, then clean bore with powder solvent, dry patches, copper solvent, dry patches, and oil patch. The issue is that after the break in (50 rounds through the bore) -- up to about 50 or so additional rounds now -- the rifle is shooting about 6 inches high at 25 yards. The rear sight is already as low as it can go (as it came from the factory). At this point I'm just wondering if my barrel is screwed somehow, or I just need to get a new rear (and/or front) sight for the rifle. At this point, I'm planning on probably trying another rear sight, but just wanted to see what people would say. The owner of the range took a couple of shots with it and verified/agreed that it is shooting high. Thanks in advance.




EDIT: I should probably add that I only used my weed-whacker-line-bore-snake with patches and solvent and oil -- no brush/guide. The recommendation from the web site did say to use a brush as well, as part of the process, but I decided not to after reading up on the subject. I can't imagine that plastic, patches, and solvents could mess anything up, though, right? And AFAIK, a 22LR should shoot relatively just fine with or without any sort of break in, right?
 

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If it's shooting high consistently I would say the OEM rear sight doesn't have enough range of adjustment or the front sight is too low. What range is the rifle designed for?
 

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The Savage should have shot well right out of the box. 180042_large.JPG
Assuming the point of impact did not change during the break-in period I would return the rifle and exchange for another claiming defective. Six inches high seems seriously out of spec.
 

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A taller front sight will work.......contact Savage. They are pretty good about these things and you may have to send it back to them for repairs.
 

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1. Is there anything under the rear sight step ramp which could be removed?
2. If so, remove it.
3. The stepped rear sight ramp could be ground on the bottom to compensate.
4. You could add a scope.
5. You could return it.
 

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I know this is an obvious question, but what kind of sight picture are you using? Figured its easier to get the simple stuff eliminated first.
Very good point.
Is the front sight level with the rear sight, when placed over the target?
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Wow, thanks for the super quick replies!

RBM: I'm not really sure exactly on the distance thing. It's a $230 gun, but from everything I've read, they are supposed to be very accurate right out of the box, like Fred said. The front sight is non-adjustable, and the rear sight is as low as it can go already (and has been the whole time).

Fred: Is that your Savage Arms rifle? Looks good, lol! Mine does seem to shoot pretty consistently high (and has done since the first shots), but lateral accuracy seems very good (although I haven't really tested it yet, given the issues experienced).

Fred/Elime: Do you think I should contact Savage Arms directly, or go through the dealer from which I purchased the firearm?




Also, if I end up changing one of the sights and then it seems to shoot accurately, should I accept that it is "fixed", or might that be more of a patch on a defective product (and is there really even a difference, if POI is where I'm aiming, lol? --perhaps yes because of some premature/abnormal wear...?)?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, the sight picture I've been using is such that the front post is centered between the rear sights, and the top of the front post is level with the tops of the rear sights. I have also been careful to ensure that I haven't been moving the rifle just before firing/while pulling the trigger; also, the guy at the range had the same experience with it (even when fired from a stool with the gun on a sandbag. I'm certainly not above error, but I'm quite certain that this isn't just a user error issue.

SportsterDoc: There is nothing under the rear sight.
 

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Photo is not of my Savage KJ, just clip art I grabbed from internet to play with the “out of the box” saying. I’m a scoped Ruger 10/22 kind of guy. For open sight pinking I use my grandfather’s Remington 12A takedown, the gun I learned to shot with. Still a fine piece of machinery. remington 12a.jpg
Were it not for your meticulous efforts to break the rifle in properly I would normally say RTV - Return To Vendor, i.e. call, or take it to the dealer first.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hmm -- so it's advisable to go to the dealer first (before contacting Savage Arms)? I guess that makes sense. It wouldn't be that big of a deal for me to spend the time to do that break in again, although I'm not too keen on spending the the money for about four hours at the range. Still, I'd definitely rather spend the money again and be sure I have a good, solid product, than be stuck with something that isn't right. So I guess the thing to do is to give the dealer a ring tomorrow and see what happens. I suppose if the dealer can't/won't help, I would then call the manufacturer directly...

I suppose I should not accept a suggestion to just change the sight(s), then, if the dealer or manufacturer tells me that (proposes that as a solution) when I contact them?
 

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Hmm -- so it's advisable to go to the dealer first (before contacting Savage Arms)? I guess that makes sense. It wouldn't be that big of a deal for me to spend the time to do that break in again, although I'm not too keen on spending the the money for about four hours at the range. Still, I'd definitely rather spend the money again and be sure I have a good, solid product, than be stuck with something that isn't right. So I guess the thing to do is to give the dealer a ring tomorrow and see what happens. I suppose if the dealer can't/won't help, I would then call the manufacturer directly...

I suppose I should not accept a suggestion to just change the sight(s), then, if the dealer or manufacturer tells me that (proposes that as a solution) when I contact them?
All suggestions so far have some merit but nobody has asked you how the rifle groups. If it keeps five rounds under a nickel at 30 yards off a rest then there is nothing wrong with your bore and changing the sights is a suitable fix. The last few .22's I have purchased new "Henry, Ruger, Marlin and Berretta" have ALL needed sight modifications. Some simply because I did not care for the sight picture while others just did not have enough range of adjustment to zero properly. If however your new rifle simply will not group rounds then I would ship it back for inspection/repair.


Tom


EDIT: One other thing to try just for your own peace of mind. Chamber a round then manually eject it from the gun. Do this with 4 or 5 different cartridges and inspect the bullet's carefully for any deformation or missing hunks of lead. If you find consistent deformation between the bullets then you likely have a ramp/magazine problem.
 

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You said you did the "break in" per savage's website... can you link? I didn't find this procedure on the model's page or in their "expert advice" section

If you are just using a bore snake, you shouldn't *need* a bore guide as the purpose of the bore guide is to keep the rod from damaging the chamber as you push it in. Ammo slapping in at whatever the cyclic rate of fire has more potential to damage the chamber than a bore snake.
 

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Sounds more like a feed issue to me and Dryden gave good advice. Chamber a few rounds but eject before shooting, you may see some lead shaving of the bullet itself. Also make sure there is no lead build up where the rim set upon the chamber. Inspect freshly fired cases for any deformation around the rims. On a new, store bought rifle, I would do nothing regarding changing the sights until I return it to the store and in turn the store should do the work of dealing with the manufacturer.

Lastly, .22LR ammunition is about as fickle as any rounds on the market. I would buy a few boxes of different brand ammo and see if one brand shoots better than the others. All my .22s are scoped and set dead on at 50 yards right in my back yard. If I can hit a nickle on every shot then I figure good enough. If in that rifle I change to a different brand or type of ammo or go from 30 to 40 grain bullets I must go through the process of adjusting the scope to each different ammo I am firing. Once I sight in a rifle and scope I then label each different ammo for the gun I sight it in for. My Ruger 10/22 shoots federal ammo dead on but if I fire Remington in it it shoots off the nickle just a bit high and right but I miss the nickle every shot. Handguns have the same issues and some function perfect with a particular brand/type of ammo but will jam if you use a different round. Match the ammo to your gun and stick with that exact ammo. My .223 rifles are also very finicky as to what bullets they prefer and I avoid the cheap Russian brands and always opt for the standard American rounds that might cost a bit more but have much better quality control. Ammo by Wolf for the .223 is always suspect but also cheap and fun when we just like blasting off an entire mag in rapid fire.

Also, after a full cleaning of any rifle barrel it is imperative that you first foul the fresh barrel with a few rounds fired before you look for any degree of accuracy.

GaryL
 

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My Marlin Model 60 hates CCI ammo. It sprays it around with no rhyme or reason. Most of my friends report the same lack of accuracy from CCI. And, it is the expensive stuff.

My HD Military Hi Standard pistol shoots CCI just fine. I never have understood why.

I pulled an old Montgomery Wards .22 out of my dad's closet last year. It was covered in dust and rust. I tore it down, cleaned it up, and threw some cheap ammo in it. It has a peep sight and shoots everything I give it dead on.

On your rifle, even if it is shooting low, if the rifle will shoot 5 rounds into a nickle sized area 6" too low, it is the sights. If it will not "group", it is the barrel, feed mechanism, ammo, or something else.

Any gunsmith could fix the sights but, if you decide it is the barrel or something else, I think you should exchange it or send it to the the factory for repair.
 

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I pulled an old Montgomery Wards .22 out of my dad's closet last year. It was covered in dust and rust. I tore it down, cleaned it up, and threw some cheap ammo in it. It has a peep sight and shoots everything I give it dead on.
That is a fun flashback!
My first rifle, circa 1961, was a Springfield Savage .22 LR bolt action single shot.
I bought a 4X scope for it from Monkey Wards.
Dead accurate.
Only issue was replacing firing pin, 2-3 decades ago.
#2 daughter now has it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
You said you did the "break in" per savage's website... can you link? I didn't find this procedure on the model's page or in their "expert advice" section

If you are just using a bore snake, you shouldn't *need* a bore guide as the purpose of the bore guide is to keep the rod from damaging the chamber as you push it in. Ammo slapping in at whatever the cyclic rate of fire has more potential to damage the chamber than a bore snake.
This is where I got the break in from (so I guess it's not actually from the web site...my mistake). I think I had just found this linked on a forum somewhere.
https://savagearms.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/214238323-What-is-the-barrel-break-in-procedure-
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Dryden: That is a good point about the grouping -- and something that I had not really tried (I wasn't firing at the exact same spot, because I had just ended up trying to aim about six inches low in order to hit my target...doing that seemed to give me roughly 3 or 4 inch groups with a couple of flyers, from standing position at 25 yards: definitely not great, but I don't know how much could be from my inexperience and how much from equipment issues). I could go back to the range and aim ten shots, with the same sight picture, at the bulls eye, firing from a sand bag, to see how they group. I just feel a bit deflated at this point, to be honest, and fed up. I guess I didn't do enough reading, or it was useless. This gun was supposed to be feature-packed, very reliable, and deadly-accurate right from the get-go.



Now that you guys are mentioning it, I do remember having some feeding issues about 3 times, where IIRC, the cartridge would be angled up too much/moved too high up from the magazine, and the bullet would chew into the edge of the breech instead of going in correctly (damaging/chewing into the bullet), so that I had to manually remove the cartridge. I suppose if a little sliver of the bullet is getting shaved off of every round, that could be causing them all to shoot high... Forgive me if I'm getting any of these terms wrong, by the way (as I said, it's my first gun and all that). At the time, I had thought that it was some kind of user error, but in hind sight, from what you guys are saying, maybe I do have some magazine issues. I have two different brand new OEM Savage Arms magazines, but both seem to be working/shooting the same. A quick internet search reveals that apparently issues with these Savage magazines are kind of alarmingly frequent. I don't know how the hell I missed that in my research process when deciding which gun to buy... I had read about some difficulty in inserting and removing the magazines, compared to the 10/22 or others, but that wasn't a concern for me (as long as it was doable, which it very much is).

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do, but am leaning toward sending the whole thing back to the dealer for a return and buying a 10/22 instead. I liked the idea of the Savage's reportedly better accuracy than the Ruger and all that, but if it's not going to work right... I absolutely don't need some finicky thing that requires filing, magazine spring modifications, etc. etc. I shouldn't have to screw around and perform custom modifications to make a brand new product work the way it is supposed to work (same deal with motorcycles!). I just want something that works, first and foremost; everything else is secondary.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Hmm, now that I think about it, I guess I can do the chamber round/manually eject thing right now. It's not legal to shoot in my yard (good old California...), but as long as I'm not firing it, I should be okay doing that in the back yard. I'll report back.

On a related note, won't it chamber the rounds a little differently between the first manual bolt action vs auto chambering after firing the first round?


EDIT: Okay, out of 23 manually ejected cartridges, I did have one instance in which the next round did not chamber properly: instead, the bullet was angled up too much/too high, so that it went completely above the breech instead of into it. I had to manually remove that cartridge before continuing. But it could have been some kind of user error (maybe I didn't pull the bolt far enough back, or something; I don't know). Other than that, there did not seem to be any feed or ejection issues, during this test.
 
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