I've got a Savage 308 bolt action (model 11VT) that will shoot half inch groups as well. I've only ever tried Federal Gold Medal 168 gr SMK, and the rifle seems to love it. I just switched scopes from an SWFA SS 16x42 to an SWFA SS 3-15x42. I've been very impressed with the setup. Glad you're liking the Vortex/Savage combo. What model Savage rifle did you get? Is it all factory?
Its a Savage model 10FCP...all factory, but has 5R rifling (from the factory). I've mostly shot 168s from Federal through it but recently tried 175s. The 175s shot well for a couple trips; but on this last range trip I opened a box, after shooting the 168s, and those 175s were kicking me noticeably harder and not grouping as
well. Probably just fatigue on my part. Either way, 168gr SMKs seem to be a sweet spot for these rifles. Also should note that I use Hornady ammo for hunting and those seem to group really well too.