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Welcome to the site, and I still have no idea why you got that email.. oh well, you are on board now!!

Okay, to answer your questions.

In regards to YOUR rifle, there are a few things to check. We can rule out the scope, you swapped it out. I am also assuming that you have rechecked that all your base and rings screws are tightened and nothing is lose. I would check the rings, they could have been manufactured wrong. Easy way to do that is replace the bases and see if you get any better luck. If you are doing that, you might want to look at a base that has the windage adjustments. This should get you to where you want to be, and can provide aditional information. If the new bases do not work, the actual tapped screws may be out of line on your action, it would not be the first time that has happened. If you have bases that have the windage adjustments, it would indicate if those base holes are out of whack or not (if it takes full adjustment to get it over, it should make it obvious!). If that is the case, send it to savage, they should take care of you. You could also just take it to a gunsmith (or your PD armorer??) and they should be able to tell you if those holes are out of whack.

Okay, on to your friend. I'm assuming you want to stay affordable, and at least semi-tactical. First, I would recommend going to the gun shop and looking at a savage 12FV. Its their plain jane varmint rifle. It does have accutrigger (big plus) but the stock still sucks, but you can get them for about $450, brand new. Now, if you can find a used one, even better. I would not be surprised if you can go sub $400. The rifle will be accurate, but best yet, easily buildable in the future, again, for low cost. Put a Bushnell tactical 10x scope ($200) and rings and bases, and you are pretty affordable. Can possibly have the whole package for about $650, which is less then a 700P alone.

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