Over the years I have shot several rifles and hit targets at distances of 1000 yards. While it’s quite satisfying to hear a steel plate ring at 1000 yards when shooting a .308, I find the tendency in this sport is to always want to extend one’s capabilities. For me, hitting targets at 1500 to 2000 yards requires something a little more potent than my DPMS LR-308.
The very high quality rifles and high power rounds that can achieve these distances are expensive — prices for such a rifle start at $3000 and go up from there. After lots of research I found a rifle that is budget friendly, very good quality and fires the potent Lapua Magnum round.
Savage Arms Model 111 Long Range Hunter Lapua Magnum is based on the outstanding Model 10/110 action with Savages patented AccuTrigger and chambered in the truly massive Lapua Magnum. The Model 111 is a bolt action, magazine fed and capable of hitting targets at distances in excess of one mile (1760 yards).
At 50 inches in length and a fully equipped weight of 13 pounds, the Model 111 is no lightweight plinker and with an ammunition cost of $5.00 a round it’s definitely not something you take out to shoot cans. The Model 111 uses a 26 inch barrel with a 1 to 9 rate of twist (meaning that the rate of twist for the rifling is one turn in nine inches). This works well with the bullet weights typical of the Lapua Magnum round.
A lot of reviewers don’t like Savage’s AccuTrigger, but I’m not one of those. With a pull weight that is user-adjustable from one and a half to six pounds, it’s crisp and has a very clean break when pulled. Being adjustable it can be set to the shooters preference but I’ve found that the factory settings are pretty good. Using the AccuTrigger is not unlike a two stage trigger — it’s best described as an inner and outer trigger. The inner trigger, which extends beyond the outer, takes about a pound of pressure to move it rearward so that it’s flush with the outer trigger. The weight of pull for the second or outer trigger is what is adjustable and the factory setting on this example is approximately two pounds.
The Model 111 has a three-position safety: the forward position allows you to fire the weapon: the center position locks the trigger, but allows the bolt to move; and the rearward position locks both the trigger and bolt. Mounted in the center of the rear tang, it’s easy to operate the safety.
The magazine holds five rounds of ammunition and, rather than design and build a magazine, Savage elected to use one from Accuracy International and nothing AI makes is cheap. A spare magazine will run you $100.
On the range
I equipped my Model 111 with a Bushnell 3200 Elite Tactical fixed 10X scope, a bipod and monopod and headed for the range. I don’t mind telling you that I was a little nervous about shooting a round that holds twice as much powder as I am used to shooting. I was pleasantly surprised by the recoil of the Lapua Magnum. It’s obvious that Savage did their homework when they designed the muzzle brake on this rifle, and unlike my LR-308, the Model 111 doesn’t slam you in the shoulder, it pushes you back.
The Savage Arms Model 111 does have a few problems. Some parts feel a little cheap like the adjustable cheek rest which is also a little uncomfortable. Hey, to keep this high performance rifle within the grasp of the masses, they’d have to cut costs somewhere. I’m sure aftermarket fixes exists for these issues.
My first few shots I wasn’t able to shoot beyond 100 yards, but after getting the scope dialed in, accuracy was very good. I was able to put six rounds in the 10 ring with three of those landing in the X ring and hit steel plates past 1500 yards.
At an MSRP of $1340 and a street price of $1000, the low cost more than makes up for any feelings of cheapness or other negatives. If you are looking to take your first steps into long distance shooting, the Savage Arms Model 111 Long Range Hunter in .338 Lapua Magnum is a no brainer.