Building a long range rifle with a used action.

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Prairie Dog50, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Prairie Dog50

    Prairie Dog50 Active Member

    Dec 14, 2010
    Currently I'm looking at building a long range rifle around a used action. At this point I have narrowed it down to eighter a Mauser 98 or a Remington 700. I know that there are many positive and negative attributes to both actions therefore my question is not about which is better, but rather how to go about examining either to make sure that they are mechanically sound, and will not give me grief in their ability to function later on down the road.
  2. fj40mojo

    fj40mojo Well-Known Member

    Jul 25, 2009
    With the Mauser actions I'd look for a good quality commercial action like the Belgian made FN. These can be found in unlikely places at very reasonable prices as they were used by JC Higgens, Sears, and early Weatherbys as the foundation for their rifles. There are also Santa Barbara (Golden State Arms, Flaigs) and Interarms Mark X which are good serviceable actions as well but don't have as good a reputation as the FNs. I'd steer clear of the military actions unless you find one that has already had much of the sporterizing done to it.

    As far as the Remington unless the actions been involved in a catastrophic accident I don't think you can go wrong here. I once had a gunsmith try to sell me a 700 action at a gunshow for $350. On inspection it was obvious that something really bad had happened to the rifle as there were 3 long splits in the barrell just ahead of the chamber. When I pointed this out to the smith and asked him how he could justify charging that price for an action that was potentially damaged he just grinned an said "I guess that's a chance you'll just have to take". Buyer beware.

    There are also lots of Rem 721 actions out there that are great actions as well and can be found for reasonable prices and with the addition of a Sako type extractor are excellent foundation for a rifle.

  3. NesikaChad

    NesikaChad Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Control round feed actions make excellent hunting rifles. The non rotating extractor acts as a gas check in the event of a violent case rupture and the significant amount of case purchase makes for powerful primary extraction of a case. It also makes for very robust and reliable feeding when properly done.

    That being said I would edge towards the Remington for a rifle being purpose built for long range shooting. The historical performance is well documented and leaves little for debate. Other advantages include improved bolts, fire controls, triggers, and other accessories.

    As for extraction. In my humble opinion a Sako extractor is the LAST thing I would consider adding. One cardinal rule in my shop is I won't have anything to do with them. It's nothing personal. The Sako extractor was never designed to work in a twin lug, 90 degree turn bolt action. When the bolt is in battery the extractor is almost completely exposed by the ejection port side raceway. Considering the extractor is only retained by a spring and plunger it leaves little assurance that it will stay put in the event of a violent case rupture. This isn't to be taken likely. I know of two cases personally where this began on the range and ended in recovery from surgery.

    A better alternative is the M-16 style extractor. At least it has a pin for retention. That being said there's really nothing wrong with a factory Remington Extractor. Some go so far to say that they are stronger than the Sako's/M-16's. I can't speak from personal experience as I've never done a test.

    Just things to consider.

    Good luck.

  4. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    mojo is right on when he warned you about military actions, I play around with Springfields, I have one now that I have pumped over $700.00 on this ..and I just bought a Remington 700 for $450.00. its easy to dump a crap full of money on a Militaty Action. IMO I would just buy a Remington.
  5. Rem700

    Rem700 Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    kc+1....Having a mauser moderized with bolt work, drilled and tapped, removal of shroud for handguard and stripper clip hump, a new safety and a new trigger you got the price of R700. Plus the limited choices of stocks for mausers.