I'd get an old, cheap, used Win. 70. Their receivers are near 3 times stiffer than the Remingtons, more reliable, easier to replace parts with and hold bedding better than round ones. Properly barreled and bedded, they'll shoot bullets just as accurate as the most expensive fancy action made.
nice thing about the Winchester is that it has a flat bottom and relatively square side. I wish they'd kept the radiuses on the corners to about .05". They're fairly easy to make dead flat on the bottom side and sides. If you do that then you can make one hell of a bedding block that allows the action to seat on three points. I've done this twice now. Thier recoil lug is better placed, but could have also been done better. Their saftey actually works, but my two triggers were seriously suspect. I went with Timenys, and honestly, I have no love for them as well. Without actually dragging a Winchester out of the safe, and making a measurment; I think the barrel thread maybe also a little longer.
The Remington 721 / 722 /40 would have been my choice for a 700 style action. There are somethings about them that are better. Even an old XP100 would be far better if the cartridge selected was short enough to fit in the action. (the old single shot pistol actions and not the newer ones)
I find it funny when guys bag on the savage actions...like the Dodge comment etc. I am one of those guys who doesn't know any better, I have savage, remington, and ruger in my safe. No winchesters currently, a couple 300 model 70's were stolen. All of the rifles shoot well. I like my remington action feel and look but the savages all shoot well. Is it just a brand thing or there is actually merit to the hate? For example, Savage's are POS because they are too weak, flex, and will not produce solid repeatable results. I honestly don't have clue, mine seem fine.
That $500 PTA action is a different animal than a 110 based action. It has the larger barrel shank to support much more weight. Used three vertical screws to bed the action. Is 3.2 times stiffer than the 110 action. The trigger it comes with will run with all the high dollar ones in most cases and the only ones it won't run with are the 2oz. triggers used in benchrest shooting which are border line dangerous. The PTA has a better bolt desin, faster locktime, and is far straiter than 90% of the gunsmiths get the others. But most of all it's that $500 price tag that is hard to beat. I can build a rifle off the PTA action ready to mount optics for about $1400 and shoot better than a 700 with another $1600 in it. But if I went a little cheaper on the barrel and stock, I could easilly come in at about $1200 (maybe a Pacnor and a laminate stock)
By the way you can take that 110 based action, and mount a Ferrall base onto (bedded), and dowl pin it, and increase the rigidity about 20% alone. The single shot action is about 15% to 20% stiffer depending on who's data you use. Adding that third bedding screw is easy to do on a single shot action. The dowl pins really should be done in a Bridgeport.
I don't care for Savage actions from back when it was Savage/Stevens...I can't tell you how many customers came back into the store saying how their Savage wouldn't hold a group better than an 1.5-2.00" at 100 yards. To say the least, that really turned me off of Savage.
However, I have been told that the newer Savages have come a long way from the old ones. Either way, hearing those guys talk about them back then really threw me off of them bad enough I never wanted one after that. Before that I had always wanted the one with the Varminter Choate stock and heavy barrel. But after hearing them, I bought my 700 Sendero SF in 7mmSTW, and never looked back.
I have/will always be a Rem 7,700, M24, & 40-X fan, just b/c of how legendary they are. I have been shooting them for years and years now, and have never had anything bad happen to any of them. To me, the years and years of positive shooting has made me a lifelong fan.
So, other than hearing those guys talk at the gun shop about how their old Savage/Stevens wouldn't group @ 100, that is the only personal experiences I have with them, other than selling them.
I think it was John Sundra that tested a 112V in 22-250 (maybe 25-06) about 35 years ago in Shooting Times magazine. He said it was probably the most accurate varmit rifle he'd ever shot right out of the box and unmodified. (seems like he was shooting 5/16" groups). That rifle was one of the old wood stocked and parkerized models. A little later they went bankrupt and somebody else took over. I bought one of the very first rifles they sold. It was a 112BV-s, and would shoot very low threes and mid twos all the time (this was the C/M action with the stainless steel barrel. The Remington guys scoffed and said that Savage was using Douglas barrels. Called Savage and asked them, and they said they made that barrel. When I ordered in that rifle they sent a standard 112BV instead of the single shot version. A guy bought it while we looked at it (mine came in about two weeks later after we told them they sent the wrong rifle). I did get that 112BV-s to shoot some groups in the .185" area (five shots), butat the time nobody was buying them. I later came into that 112BV that the other guy bought. It's a solid .30" rifle, and will dip into the mid twos on occassion. I've shot it so much that I had to do a barrel setback due to throat errosion. When I did that I installed a Rifle Basix SAV 2 trigger and a Tubbs Speedlock. Didn't really shoot anybetter, but would dip into the mid twos a little more often. By now folks are seeing targets that I shot with it posted on the bulleton board at the shop where I bought it, and the dealer is selling four or five a week while the Remingtons are setting on the rack gathering dust. That's about the time I bought a Winchester Mod. 70V with the synthetic stock. It was a 1.5" gun with hand loads in .223. I did fix it later, and the new owner is happy. Then I bought a Remington 700VS in .223, and it was a rock solid 4.25" gun with the best handloads I could make. The Remington guys said I didn't know what I was doing and I gave them the rifle for a try (we're talking about Ferris Pindells buddies). They asked me how I was able to get it to shoot 4" groups? I won't bother you with all the details of what it took to get it to shoot about 25% bigger groups than an out of the box savage, but it took a lot of work. About two years later I order in a Mod. 12BVSS-s in 22-250 (I wanted the large bolt face). Mounted a set of Burris rings and bases on it (didn't even bed them) and a Tasco scope. The first group was about 3/4". Broke the barrel in and was shooting in the fours with junk. Got some better cases and dropped into the mid threes. Now it's a solid .30" rifle with out even touching the trigger.
I have never said Savages were junk.....I just said I prefer the 700's.
Hearing what those guys said was what I personally experienced. I never said they couldn't shoot good groups...I was relaying what I heard reliable sources tell me. I have not shot one that shot that bad. Maybe they couldn't shoot, maybe they could. But I always saw deer they shot and brought buy when we were closing up. So obviously they can shoot decently.
So, don't think I'm putting anything down. I just happen to be a 700 fan, and that's what I prefer with 100% positive results, so I will always recommend those as first choice.
"I'm just a peckerwood who lives in the hills with too many guns..." - Bob Lee Swagger
"Give me a minute...I'm good. Give me an hour...I'm great. Give me 6 months...And I'm unbeatable." - Col. Hannibal Smith
Originally Posted by WildRose
The 284 is to the STW what a tricycle is to a Ninja.
I'm Rem 700 to the core, but those 710 and 770's are turds. Flat out, POS's. A buddy has one in .270 Win, and came to the range with us one day a month or so ago. He was having trouble sighting it in. I asked him did he want me to get it zero'd since he only had 5 bullets left? He handed it to me and said, here ya go. So I shot once, adjusted, shot twice, got it where I wanted it. Shot a 3-shot group and that thing was lucky to hit a 3-5" group @ 100 yards. I looked at him and handed it back to him and said...."It's as good as it's ever gonna be..." And he never asked what that meant. So I left it alone.
That is the ONLY bad Remington bolt-action experience I have ever had.
find somebody that's got a collection of Precision Shooting magazines, and go back about twenty years to see the Winchester mod. 70 (light barrel) in .270 Winchester that was shooting .30" groups. You'll never get there with a Remington! This guy actually won several benchrest shoots with that rifle.
At one time I had two Ruger 77's in 6mm Remington. One was the standard hunter model and the other was a 77V. The 77V wouldn't shoot (but shot a lot better than that Remington). Eric Woods completely rebuilt the Ruger for me as a favor (I called in about two dozen markers on him actually). After he got done the very first group was a 3/4" group. By the end of the day I was shooting half inch groups. Within two weeks I was in the 3/8th's area. I come into the other 77 at about this time. Inspecting it, I found it in bad need of some bedding work. Not a lot, but still critcally placed. I fixed it in about two hours, and promptly shot a 3/4" group with the same loads I had for the 77V. Interestingly the chambers were almost identical right down to about .0007", so I figure Ruger only owned one reamer<g>! Yes I'd liked for the Ruger to shoot a little better, but for what I used it for it was plenty good enough (long range coyote shooting). At the sametime a buddy bought a 6mm Remington 700 varmit rifle with the laminate stock. Beautifull looking rifle that never got better than .65" groups. Now I used to shoot with that guy every Tuesday afternoon, and I know he knew his stuff. He ended up truing the action (was out about .010" and buying a new mod. 40 barrel in 6mm something. The rifle then shot .35" groups. He (last time I talked to him) now owns several Savages and a couple Sakos.