So, after much deliberation on what rifle I would get myself this year, I decided I might venture into the custom build category. From what I've read, going custom seems to be an interesting, involved and fun way to add to a collection.
So, I guess step one would be to pick a caliber. For this I've selected .223. Why? well, at this time I do not reload (condo living isn't conducive to making bullets), ammo is relatively cheap, especially if using surplus for plinking, and the biggest thing would be shooting would be coyotes. However, I've also been eyeing up .308, it now seems like a more logical choice, considering my favorite bush rifle is in 308.
Next step would be which rifle to use for the build. The Stevens 200 and Savages w/ AccuTrigger both come to mind. Taking into consideration that budget isn't too much of a factor and that I am mostly concerned with quality and reliability, which s the better option? Stevens action with aftermarket trigger or Savage action w/ AccuTrigger?
Don't buy the Savage actions, because you will still have to have it worked on by a gunsmith to make it accurate. If you want to go custom, buy a Stiller Action. The Stiller Predator is an awesome action and it will only run you around $750.00, and you don't have to worry about having it accurized because it already is. The Stiller Predator will run circles around either a Savage or Rem. 700 action.
If yu have that much to spend and don't already have an action then it would be crazy to buy a factory action and rebuild it.
Stiller Predator or TAC series actions would be a good choice , I reciently built a 308 on a Phoenix Machine action and PT&G bolt and could not be happier , I went with Phoenix because they allowed me to get what I wanted in the reciever , like smaller target port and fully round rear bridge making for a stiffer action , longer barrel tennon , heavy rear tang of reciever , could have got a right bolt left port , could have got custom serial number.
$415 for reciever with side bolt stop and double pinned recoil lug
$235 for PT&G bolt , includes welding of handel , firing pin assembly and Sako extractor kit
$285 for Brux barrel , includes shipping , these are as good as they get !!
$200 for fitting and chambering of barrel
$100 for Rifle basix trigger.
This leaves $765 for a stock of your choice which can range from $225 for a used HS Precision to $700 ish for a fullay adjustable McMillan or Manners A5
As far as the round goes , it boils down to what you want to do with it. The 223 and 308 both can be built into fantasticly accurate rifles , both have several very good choices of quality ammo , theirs alot of ammo available due to them being a NATO round.
Now if your just gonna be punching paper the 223 is great , cheap to shoot , easy on the shoulder , muzzle blast isin't to bad , if you go with a fast twist barrel like a 1-7 to shoot the 80gr SMK's and Berger VLD's you can shoot targets all the way to 1000yds !!! you can also use light weight V-max style bullets to shoot varmint with.
But if you plan to shoot deer or anything bigger than coyotes then I'd choose the 308 , again the recoil isin't bad at all theirs alot of good factory ammo available , its known for its accuracy , its incredibly easy to reload for.
At the realy long ranges the 308 will give you a little edge due to the heavier higher BC bullets. I'm a big fan of the 308 , and it'll likely always hold a spot in my heart.
Either way you can build a very accurate weapon on either round.
you can also build a very accurate gun on the "El-cheap-O" Savage actions , they may not be the match winning accuray that you canget from a full custom but they can be made to shoot supprisinly accurate