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I have a "new to me" Savage Model #16 that is about two months old. The police officer I bought it from decided he missed shooting a compound bow and sold the rifle to buy a new Matthews. So I got a good deal. :wink:

The only thing I have found that is making me a little unhappy is the amount of slop/wiggle in the action when it is pulled back. I know the Savage models are not the tightest in the world and they are mass-produced, so I accept that, but how much wiggle is normal? How do I know if I have a problem or if this is just the way it is? Could a gunsmith (or myself with the right tools) make it tighter?
 

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it is when it's closed that counts they all have movement when open.
 

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Most of the older Savage models' bolts are loose in the receiver. I'll bet the locking lugs are pretty tight though. Having a Savage 110FP myself, and going out on a limb, I'll say it's pretty typical of the Savage bolt action. I don't know how they are doing things these days. How tight does a bolt need to be when it's rearward in the receiver? The only part I could imagine to replace that might make any difference would be the crush washer behind the bolt head. You state the rifle is about two months old. Doesn't make sense to be worn out so soon. As long as she locks up tight on the chamber, I don't see much concern. Might call Savage and ask for technical assistance. See what they have to say about it.
 

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Not without an extensive rework that would cost you more than you spent on the gun.

First, the action would have to be taken apart. The barrel would have to come off. Then the action would have to be chucked up in a lathe and the internal diameter would have to be reamed out several thousanths oversize so that it was consistent from one end to the other. Now the bolt would have to have two sleeves epoxied to it and fit to the inner diameter of the action all of this being done on a lathe. Once this was satisfactory, the rifle would have to be reassembled. None of this is cheap because it is time consuming and the people that can even do it are few and far between.

When the bolt is open, a lot of wiggle is acceptable. When it is closed it should be nice and tight with no movement either way.

If it shoots well, I'd leave it alone.
 

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Yep what everyone else said. I have an old Remington Model 788 in 22-250 that when the bolt is open has a ton of play in it. Closed though with nine locking lugs engaged it will cut nice 1/2" groups at 100 yards all day long. Always been impressed with that old $130 gun (new price in 1977).
 

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I'll add to the count. I've got a SIG .30-06 (long action) and it wiggles too. It's tight as a drum when it's closed and that's all that matters.
 

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As long as the bolt doesn't jam when you are opening or closing it, wiggle is OK and normal.
The Savage action/barrel use modern production assembly techniques. The headspace is set with a barrel locking nut and the bolt head is also replaceable. If you suspect too much fore and aft movement with an empty chamber, check with a dummy round or fired case. A gunsmith can check the headspace if you have a problem and the factory [or the gunsmith] can correct problems without a lot of the machining that was required with older designs like the Mauser 98 or Winchester Model 70.
 

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Does it wiggle when closed (when a round is chambered)? Is the bolt binding (sticking or jamming) when you work the action? If the answer is no to both questions then you have a normal Savage action. If the answer is yes then you have issues. How does it compare to your other Savage?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does it wiggle when closed (when a round is chambered)? Is the bolt binding (sticking or jamming) when you work the action? If the answer is no to both questions then you have a normal Savage action. If the answer is yes then you have issues. How does it compare to your other Savage?
No and no. So I guess I have a normal bolt action that is NOT from a $2,000+ rifle maker! Guess I just thought that the play was abnormal. My other Savage did the same thing, maybe just a little less. The Weatherby I own also does it, maybe just a little less.

There is a little half-circle shaped "block" at the end of the action (right by the bolt). That moves about 1/8th of an inch. Is that normal?
 

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No and no. So I guess I have a normal bolt action that is NOT from a $2,000+ rifle maker! Guess I just thought that the play was abnormal. My other Savage did the same thing, maybe just a little less. The Weatherby I own also does it, maybe just a little less.

There is a little half-circle shaped "block" at the end of the action (right by the bolt). That moves about 1/8th of an inch. Is that normal?
The block is just a spacer. It's main function is for looks, so a little wiggle is no big deal. It sounds to me like your two month old gun may be well used (and a little older than two months). Don't worry though there is nothing wrong with a well broken in rifle as long as the bore is in good shape. How does it shoot?
 
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