Action to use for custom rifle

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Steve7mm08, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. Steve7mm08

    Steve7mm08 Well-Known Member

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    I am in the early stages of building a custom rifle, so early in fact that I dont have any parts so am open to suggestions.

    Currently use a 7mm08, longest shot to date is 525 yards with 120 barnes tsx.

    I have pretty much settled on a Lilja barrell, most likely a 7mm variant.

    My big question is regarding the action. It seems that alot of custom built rifles are based on the Remington 700 action, the only other brand action I have heard of being used is Nesika but they are <u>way</u> out of my price range.

    What other brands of actions are there that are suitable or would I be better buying a second hand Remington rifle and just using the action from that?

    Ultimately I want a rifle that can shoot out to 700-800 yards, maybe further and an all up weight of about 9lb ( I have a Leupold Mk4 4.5-14x50 scope already).

    I dont know about stockes yet either, am keen on McMillans but they do seem expensive, what other good options are there?

    Cheers in advance, Steve
     
  2. Maico

    Maico Well-Known Member

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    Steve if you use a rem 700 you will want to blueprint it etc. Check out Lawton actions. They are a rem 700 clone already blueprinted and ready to go. There are a lot of custom actions but these are more in the $ range. Good Luck on your project. PS: Lawton makes good barrels too. Lawton Rifles
     

  3. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    For the money its hard to beat a Rem 700 IF you already have one , if not by the time you get a donor gun or action for say $300 minimum then throw another $150-$300 at it depending on wether you want it fully bilt with sleaved bolt and Sako extractor you not far from the cost of a Lawton thats ready to go and in the end if you need to sell it the resale will be alot better with the custom action.

    I have seen several great shooting guns built on other action from old Mauser 89's to Howa's and Older pushfeed winchesters.
     
  4. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with maico and JD.If you already had a Rem action,it could be trued up and is a good foundation for a build.Anymore it getting less feasable with the Rem clones that are available though.On average,say you aquire a Rem action for $300-$350,by the time the work is done to match the features of a Rem clone,you could easily be above the cost of the clone price (note I said match the features).Yes you can just have the action trued (square the reciever face,true the threads,lugs and lap them)for less and still have a great shooting gun as my sendero will attest to.
    Talk to some of the members on the board about the guns theyve had built on Lawton,Stiller,Borden or Surgeon actions and ask them to give you a comparison to a Rem action.
    Early last year one of the forum members (bountyhunter,I believe) posted a thread with the news of jim Borden starting to produce a Rem clone (actually Rem clone is a dis-service to any of these manufacturers actions.I guess Rem foot print would be better) in short and long action with an introductory price of $600.The response to these actions must have been fantastic because they're being offered in eight different versions,plus the choice of right or left bolt.For me,it couldnt have happened at a better time.I was already schemeing a couple builds I wanted to do and with a tax return headed my way I ordered both a short and long action.It turned into quite a wait for the first order of actions to come out as Jim had machining problems with some of the new equipment he got,but the wait was well worth it.I got the short action Alpine last month and the quality of this action is unbelievable for the price I got it for.I once ordered and got a Nesika M action for a build I was going to do but sacrificed it for one of my sons projects he had going on (long story) so that gun never got done.But Steve I can honestly tell you that the smoothness and lockup on this Alpine feels better to me than the Nesika did.
    The Timberline (long action) I ordered should be here early this week and is setup for the ultra mag bolt face.I'll try and get some pics posted of them when the other one gets here.
    You can go the Rem action route,have a good shooting gun and youll probably have no regrets.Or you can go the custom route and Im quite sure youll have no regrets.It all boils down to what has been posted on the LRH forum many times.When you get your build done and shoot it,will you be asking yourself "what if I would have....?"
    Check into the Lawton 7000 series,the Stiller Predator,the Borden Alpine and Timberline and the Surgeon actions and above all dont try to rush a gun build.
     
  5. Chawlston

    Chawlston Guest

    [ QUOTE ]
    I am in the early stages of building a custom rifle, so early in fact that I dont have any parts so am open to suggestions.

    Currently use a 7mm08, longest shot to date is 525 yards with 120 barnes tsx.

    I have pretty much settled on a Lilja barrell, most likely a 7mm variant.

    My big question is regarding the action. It seems that alot of custom built rifles are based on the Remington 700 action, the only other brand action I have heard of being used is Nesika but they are <u>way</u> out of my price range.

    What other brands of actions are there that are suitable or would I be better buying a second hand Remington rifle and just using the action from that?

    Ultimately I want a rifle that can shoot out to 700-800 yards, maybe further and an all up weight of about 9lb ( I have a Leupold Mk4 4.5-14x50 scope already).

    I dont know about stockes yet either, am keen on McMillans but they do seem expensive, what other good options are there?

    Cheers in advance, Steve

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It all depends if you just plan on a one-barelled rifle or a switch-barrelled rifle. If it is a single barrelled rifle and that is going to be it, true up the Remington and be done with it. However, if you are planning on barrels of different caliber in the future, I would go with nothing less than a BAT and get it with the all the different size bolt faces you think you might need. BAT actions are not remington clones and are larger in diameter to allow you to hang larger barrels on the actions. Additionally, they are very well made and you will be happy with one of them. NOthing wrong with remingtons, but if you are going custom, go custom.

    James
     
  6. radnur22

    radnur22 Well-Known Member

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    a lawton action will cost min $750. i found a remington .308 for $270. to have the smith true it up and blue print the action cost $180. total cost $450. with the $300 savings, i bought a Lilja barrel.
     
  7. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    exsanguinate , you action while being trued back where its should be is not close to a Lawton becasue the bolt wasen't sleeved thats gonna cost you at least another $125 , and you diden't mention if you had a Sako extractor added thats gonna be at least another $100 , added all up yes its still a we bit less than a Lawton but if you had to sell it you would never get over $500 unless you found a sucker. Basicaly what I'm saying is that you can throw a thouseand dollars at a Rem action and make it realy nice but its still gonna be a Rem action.

    I say this and I just had Nate Dagley put his $400 action package into a Rem 700 short action , why , becasue I already had the action. I'm sure that this rig is gonna shoot as well as if he had built it on a Lawton , Panda or Bat action.
    So if you have a Rem action sitting around then by all means build on it but if you have to go out and get a donor then for my hard earned money I'll spend a little more for the custom action
     
  8. Roll-Yur-Own

    Roll-Yur-Own Well-Known Member

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    You should check out Jim Borden's actions as well. He's the guy who designed Neisika's actions now he is on his own. He make top on the line actions and he also makes a hunting action that is a rem clone. Jim is a perfectionist.

    www.bordenrifles.com
     
  9. Chawlston

    Chawlston Guest

    [ QUOTE ]
    You should check out Jim Borden's actions as well. He's the guy who designed Neisika's actions now he is on his own. He make top on the line actions and he also makes a hunting action that is a rem clone. Jim is a perfectionist.

    www.bordenrifles.com

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And, a narcisist.
     
  10. Steve7mm08

    Steve7mm08 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. It does make sense getting a whole new action rather than buying a donor rifle.

    The Stiller Predator actions look alright, does anyone here use one of those actions?
     
  11. NYLES

    NYLES Well-Known Member

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    There is a post somewhere Stiller VS Lawton ....Id read it!

    My first custom in the making I chose the Lawton 7500. Better than the 7000 for an extra $30....Unless you must have a repeater.

    One thing not mentioned is if your using a rifle you already own figure how much you have in it before you tear it apart.

    I think the custom action route will be money well spent.

    Also might speed up build time one less thing your smith has to work on if he starts with a ready to go action.

    Look at Manners riflestocks....I chose thier MCS-GAT over an A2.....saved a $100.

    Hope some of this helps! If nothing else your in the right place for info.
     
  12. Chawlston

    Chawlston Guest

    B-A-T. Built from the gound up as a fully custom action. The bolts are machined to fit the action. The sleeving of bolts is to fix a problem that should not exist in the first place. If your action manufacturer has to sleeve the bolt to get a proper fit. Run don't walk away from it and pick another. A custom action should be built correctly from the ground up and they should also have custom manufactured bolts for that action and not a remingtion bolt for the xyz action. If you have one of these and have problems, then that is one more person in chain of repsonsibiity that must be dealt with.

    Remember, shooters gravitate toward the best components just like good resturants. Good ones are busy and the ones that are not as busy may not be quite as good. Right now as we type this, most of the really good action companies are back logged 4 to 6 months on deliveries as reported on another website.

    Pick one that is fully custom and has enough business that they are in high demand. Also, I would stay away from companies that do other stuff like barrels, triggers, bullets etc besides their actions. What you want is an action company not just a company that produces actions. I picked my actions (all eight of them) years ago and am glad that I got them when I did. I still consider them the best for what I do and they perform flawlessly. If you will spend a little time and talk to some folks who actually have or had some of the actions you are considering vice just "thinking about ordering one"" or have order one", it will be time well spent. Also, go to other websites and get their opinions as well. I hope your selections will give you as much enjoyment as mine have.

    James
     
  13. Ballistic64

    Ballistic64 Well-Known Member

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    Chawlston, just curious which customs arent built from the ground up,which customs are sleeved and which use a rem bolt in thier action?
     
  14. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    You have been given some very good information on the "rem footprint" actions (lawton, stiller and Borden).

    Go with one of them for sure with a hunting rifle.

    True completely blueprinted (more than facing the front of the rcvr and lugs) Rem 700s will cost a minimum of $350-500 on top of the action which can be sold for $300-350 very easily. When you are done spending all that money on a 700 it is only worth $350-400 tops, so absolutely no way it makes economic sense UNLESS you do all the gunsmithing work yourself.

    I like the BAT for a comp gun but I definitely would not recommend the BAT for a hunting gun for two reasons.

    1. Cost compared to the others, they are at least $200-300 more expensive.

    2. Most importantly they are built of softer steel than the other actions mentioned. that means for a hunting action, one piece of dirt on the lugs and IT WILL lock up so tight the barrel has to be taken off to get the bolt out. You have to reface the back of the barrel, and lugs. I have first hand experience with my BAT 1k gun with this happening. We found one very small grain of sand/dirt on the lug after getting it apart at the gunsmiths shop.

    BH