Savage Model 12 LRP: Off-The-Shelf Precision
When I saw the Savage LRP on the shelf of a local sporting goods store, I knew it would come home with me. It wasn’t hard to guess what LRP stood for. Its heavy barrel chambered in 260 Remington, beefy action, and target trigger hinted at long range precision.
That was four years ago. My sales receipt shows I paid $889.99 for the Savage LRP (Long Range Precision), a fraction of what my custom 260 Remington cost to build. It seemed like an incredible value, and I hoped my first impressions of the rifle would prove to be accurate.
I’ve owned a few Savage rifles over the years. My first elk, a young six-point bull, was shot with a Savage 110 chambered in 30’06. I bought it secondhand at a pawn shop in 1992 for $200, complete with a Leupold 4x scope. I also own a superbly accurate Model 10 Predator Hunter chambered in 22-250. My daughter’s first shots were fired from a Savage Cub and my son spends hours plinking steel plates with a .22 Rimfire Mark II TR.
The common characteristics shared by these rifles are accuracy, reliability, and value. The LRP has proven to have them as well.
The Savage LRP is built around the Model 12 Target action and comes standard with the target version of the Savage Accutrigger.
Savage advertises these actions to be factory blueprinted. The Model 12 Target action used for the LRP is a center-feed short action, with the familiar Savage floating bolt head. The bolt handle has an oversized round knob that’s easy to run when you’re in a hurry or wearing gloves. It uses a side bolt release and a two-position tang safety.
The target version of the Savage Accutrigger is user-adjustable down to a pull weight of six ounces. I found that when I adjusted mine to less than a pound, the sear was prone to disengage when running the bolt fast. The Accurelease blade prevented discharge, but the bolt had to be carefully cocked again to shoot the rifle. With a pull weight of 20 ounces, I ended up with complete reliability and a clean, crisp trigger break. Most of my precision rifle builds use Jewell triggers set at 24 ounces. While the Accutrigger doesn’t really compare to the break of a Jewell, it’s not bad for a mass-produced, inherently safe trigger assembly.
The LRP’s action is bolted to a H-S Precision stock. It uses a full-length aluminum bedding block to ensure consistent contact with the action. The fit between stock, action, and bottom metal is excellent. Mine features a sporter-style, slim pistol grip and a wide fore end. The current Savage catalog shows a more vertical grip for prone shooting. Some shooters claim to be able to “tune” accuracy by adjusting the torque of the action screws. My rifle showed similar precision from 40-65 in-lbs. I leave the screws torqued at 65 in-lbs.
Savage has a reputation for accurate barrels. They claim to have perfected the button-rifling process and promise consistent bore diameters and twist rates.
The 26” barrel tapers to one inch at the muzzle, with 15 inches of light fluting. It’s no lightweight–my LRP pegs the scale at 15 pounds, 10 ounces when fully equipped. A quick check with a cleaning rod showed the barrel twists one revolution in eight inches. A 1-8” twist rate is the standard for a 260 Remington firing 140-grain bullets, and handles the lighter pills as well.
The carbon steel barrel has been low-maintenance and not dependent on cleaning to shoot well. My shooting log shows it’s been 612 shots since the last patch was pushed through.
This is one of those factory rifles whose magazine length accommodates the chamber. It’s internal capacity of 3.010” allows high-B.C. bullets to be seated to contact the barrel’s rifling and feed from the magazine. For example, the 140-grain Berger Hybrid has a COAL of 2.947” when seated to the lands in this barrel. The new Nosler RDF touches the rifling at 2.910”. Compared to the typical AI-style magazine with a capacity of 2.840”, the Savage mag has room to spare.
The LRP has provided excellent precision with a variety of bullets from Berger, Hornady, and Sierra.
Five-shot groups measuring less than .75 MOA were common during initial load development. Some loads consistently grouped less than .5 MOA. I spent those early days shooting 140-grain bullets seated in Remington brass at 2800 to 2850 fps. Hybrids, VLDs, AMAX, and SMKs all shot well. Seating bullets .010”-.020” off the lands yielded the best results. Hogdon’s H4350 consistently produced the tightest groups and highest velocity, but H4831sc wasn’t far behind.
I spent the last eight months testing the Berger 130-grain AR Hybrid in the LRP. The Hybrids performed very well seated .010” off the lands. In fact, some of the groups fired with this bullet in the LRP have rivaled the best loads from my custom rifles chambered in 260 Remington. Here’s a short VIDEO I put together showing some shooting with the 130s. With a muzzle velocity of 3020 fps, the 130s have held sub-MOA accuracy to 1400 yards. For more info on the test results of the Berger 130 AR Hybrid, click HERE.
As I’m finishing this review, the LRP is seeing some action hunting ground squirrels with the new Hornady 130 ELD-M. Initial results are promising, with precision and velocity matching the 130-grain Berger. I’ve also switched over to Lapua brass. The Savage 260 Remington chamber has a “no-turn” neck dimension, so running the thicker brass isn’t a problem.
Savage uses its own detachable box magazine (DBM) and bottom metal for the LRP. There are aftermarket options available to increase capacity.
The factory magazine allows for a 3.010” Cartridge Overall Length (COAL), feeds from the center position, and holds four staggered rounds. It seats flush with the bottom of the stock. The magazine release is a short, knurled lever at the front of the bottom metal that can be operated with gloves on. To load the rifle, simply insert the rear of the mag first, then snap the front into place. The magazine and release have proven to be robust and completely reliable.
Aftermarket bottom metal assemblies that use standard AI-style magazines are available, but I chose a different route. Darkeagle Custom manufactures 10-round capacity magazines for the Savage LRP that require no modifications to the bottom metal.
Darkeagle incorporates a machined aluminum box extension with the factory magazine that only adds two inches to its depth. They also machine their own aluminum follower and add a custom coil spring. Building on the foundation of a factory magazine retains the benefit of a long COAL. The magazine has been completely reliable. A little tweaking of the feed lips was necessary to keep the 10th round in place at first, and loading a full magazine under a closed bolt is not recommended. The owner of Darkeagle Custom, Dan Shumway, sends a signed note describing how to get the most out of their magazines. It was a real pleasure dealing with him, and I highly recommend this magazine for LRP shooters. Check them out HERE.
To get the most out of its long-range capabilities, I mounted a Nightforce 20 MOA steel rail to the LRP’s receiver.
A Nightforce 5.5-22×56 NXS sits on top, mounted in medium-height Xtreme Hardcore Gear Force Recon rings. These rings have a built-in ACD, six-screw caps, and are very well made. The NXS can dial up 85 MOA from a 100-yard zero with this setup.
The straight comb of the H-S Precision stock is too low for a scope with a large objective lens. To obtain a good cheek weld with the Nightforce, I used a Defensive Edge cheek riser. The DE cheek riser is easy to install, and once adjusted, the two cross-bolts lock down tight. Check them out HERE.
This combination has worked very well for everything from 100-yard target work, to long range coyote and varmint hunting.
Would you recommend the 260 Remington or the 6.5 Creedmoor? I noticed that Savage offers both rounds and wanted your input. I will load my own ammunition for the rifle. Any information will be appreciated.
From a ballistics standpoint, they are very similar. The 260 will have a case capacity advantage over the CM in the LRP because of the throat/magazine relationship. I would say either one would work well, but I’m partial to the 260 Remington strictly from long experience and familiarity.
Thanks for the reply. Other than cost, do you see any negative attributes to having the muzzle threaded?
Not at all. A brake or suppressor would make shooting it even more enjoyable.
Any recommendations on a suppressor? I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.
I have an AAC Cyclone on mine. I like it a lot. There are a bunch of suppressors out there to look at, though.
I have a Tikka T3X superlite chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor 24″ 1-8 ( I also have a T3X in 284 Shehane / 284 Win Imp. for larger game longer distance ) what would your choice for a hunting bullet be ? I’m open to the 130 and 140 class bullets. Curious what you feel will give the best terminal performance and ballists.
Thanks in advance, really enjoy your contributions to precision rifles and hunting.
We’ve shot quite a few deer and antelope with 260 Remingtons and the 260 Terminator, using Berger 140 VLDH, Berger 130 AR Hybrid, and Hornady 143 ELD-X. They all worked well, with very similar performance.
How do you like your Tikka rifle? I have narrowed my search down to the Tikka CTR and the Savage LRP. Any information would be appreciated.
I’m new to reloading and have really learned a lot from your videos. I’m having my first rifle built in .270 win off 700 action. Bartlein 26″ barrel and HS precision stock. I have been looking at the Night Force SHV 5-20×56 30mm tube. I know this is a lower end Night Force but wanted to get your opinion on this scope.
I’m new to your site and YouTube channel, but have seen different vids you’ve done for Rokslide in the past. I’ve got one custom that I love, but don’t have money for a second and have recently been kicking around picking up the LRP in a 6.5CM or 260Rem and was pleasantly surprised to discover your video review and this article! I really appreciate and respect your honest and straight forward approach to sharing your knowledge.
How would you rate the quality of this action when compared with a blueprinted Remington 700? From the video, there didn’t appear to be any noticeable slop in the bolt when cycled. How’s the timing on it? It seems to be an excellent value based on your review and several others I’ve been able locate.
Sam, how does this Savage “Target Action” differ from Savage’s standard or tactical model 10 actions?
I believe the biggest difference at the time, was that the 12/Target actions were trued at the factory.