Re: starting out what type of rifle to use
I don't have the serial numbers but, a few years after they went to the small round safety lever, they started going down hill.
If you can find the ones with the large flat safety lever, those were the good ones. Seems any of the 721 or 722 actions were very good and desireable now.
The problem with any factory action is, once you get them trued correctly, the cost of that procedure plus the action cost to begin with almost warrants buying a custom action if your real serious about target shooting.
For hunting accuracy, this would not be as critical. You would not need it trued like the target shooter would do. Just lap the lugs and your ready. The 721 and 722 or the early 700 actions normally don't need to much work.