Re: build a stephens 200 vs. factory rig
It's hard to say what any of them are going to shoot out of the box. Some are extremely good and others are very poor. But I think you'll find that a Stevens will produce at least .75" groups or less with the proper ammo. If you hand load, it won't be an issue. If you are strictly store ammo, then it might take a little to find what it likes to shoot. Once you find it, you will know. The stocks are flimsy in the for-end, but you can stiffen them up or just replace it with an aftermarket stock to your liking. If you don't want to build it, look at the Mod 12VLP, or the Tactical Mod 10 series rifles. There is nothing more satisfying than building a rifle on your own and having it perform. A built rifle in my opinion will definitely out shoot any other rifle out of a box. Tikka's and Weatherby's are pretty good rifles, but even they need some tuning up sometimes. I like building the Savage/Stevens rifles now that I know how. It's very simple. Mine shoots .25MOA to 800 yards very consistently and sometimes smaller if the nut behind the trigger stays tight!
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