Pistol action Pros and cons


Well-Known Member
May 31, 2001
Casper Wy
Looking to try long range with a pistol but am wondering what would be the best action and configuration?
I give the TCs a try a few years ago with a 15" 708 barrel but we never really warmed up to each other....Still have the pistol action but no barrels.

Most of my long guns are Savages and I like the free-float bolt and ability to swap barrels easily. Have handled a few Strikers and didnt really like the trigger or center grip all that well lightbulbshould have taken Zuba up on his offer to shoot his rear grip Savagelightbulb

The local gunshop has a Wichitah bolt with a thin 308 barrel (is $1000 too much??) Not sure I would like the center grip and know the 308 barrel wouldnt last long!

MOA and Freedom arms are driveing distance away but kinda spendy to get started with?
For you guys that have been doing this for a while, if you had to start over where would you start?
There are any number of ways to go depending on what you want and how much you want to spend to get there.

You should have shot Zuba"s for sure. But since you have Savage and like Savage I would have to recommend either a Striker and tune the trigger. They can be made to be very nice. Take the same Striker and go to SHarp SHooter Supply, purchase an $85. trigger and convert the Striker to rear grip. Lastly purchase a Savage Target action (undesignated) and build anything your heart desires.

1. Very excellant quality Action for 1/3 to 1/2 the price of a custom action.
2. Boltheads as you know are easily and inexpensively changed. $17.
3. Barrels are readily available from $50. unused factory takeoff to $375. benchrest chambered ready to shoot after market barrel.
4. 3" ejection port so one can go from 204 Ruger to 300RUM to 460 Weatherby.
5. Extracts 460 weatherby spent cases without alterations to the port or bolt stop.
6. Target action comes with a very excellant/safe benchrest quality trigger.
7. Can Not think of one single down side other than!

Costs less than a thousand dollars total without a gunsmithing cost or wait time for quality gunsmiths to work you in.

"You should have shot Zuba"s for sure."
I was hopeing that by not shooting it the bug would go away= So much for that idea:rolleyes: Could have probably shot an MOA that day too......

Thanks for your point of view Neil. Plain-Jane cheap seams to fit me but it also has to be effective! That big rear grip Savage Looked like a real handfull and was...Specialy with a rifle scope on it. To me it turns it into a true long range specialty pistol as I cant imagine shooting it off hand? Maybe set it up with a 20br or 22br barrel for prairie dogs and a 6.5-284 barrel for goats and deer should get me started? A phone call to Northlander should set me up with an action. If I understand it right the Target actions are large shank or I could just cut down a few of the small shank barrels that are pileing up around here. Might be just as cost effective to have barrels fitted to the action but that just seams wrong :D

Going to be real easy for me to go the Savage route, just checking to see if I'm missing any advantages to any of the other actions.

If you get serious about a Striker shoot me a PM. I've got one set up as a rear grip that I'm going to pull the barrel off of for another project. Will be selling the action, stock, case, and Rifle Basix trigger.

Cliff I was wondering why you didn't want to shoot either the Savages or my MOA. ;-)
For the bigger calibers I like the Savage but it is heavy. I played with thinking of trying a off hand shot but it's too heavy for me, I"ve done it with my Striker in 22-250 on a coyote and it worked fine, at least for me it did I don't think the coyote was to happy about it.
The target action is the large shank and I had to set my trigger heavier than how it came and I like a 12oz trigger for hunting and 6oz for shooting silhouettes. I think it was around 2-3 oz.
If you go with the target action the EGW 20 moa base works great for me.
THANKS again for the ride and rescuing the two stranded hunters ;-)
Cliff I was wondering why you didn't want to shoot either the Savages or my MOA. ;-)
I sure hope you didn't think they scared me

You realize this is all your falt :D
Glad I could help!

I take it its the weight of the Savage that you prefer it over the MOA for the bigger rounds?

If I was starting over and wanted a trick bolt rig, I would go with a custom action and build from there. There are some XP clone actions to where you can use Remmy center-grip trigger set-up or one of the custom aftermarket ones
For hunting and field shooting I think I still prefer the center-grip.
It allows me to get a little more stretched out when using a rifle scope.

I have used a rear-grip XP almost exclusively this year.

I am liking the rear-grips better, but the center-grip design still calls loudly.
For pd's & bench shooting I like the rear grip better, for its ability to track so well. Scott McRee's stock is incredibly versatile and functional for all aspects of shooting.

The MOA is a different type of SP, and is much more portable than the XP's of similar barrel length and diameter. Great trigger, free-floated barrel-Easy to switch barrels.
I plan to use my 7mm Rem Mag Imp MOA Maximum quite a bit in 2010.
Which you want will depend on your preference or style.
I like my target action the most, I have shot 1 deer so far offhand and it killed her good! I do have a rear grip xp project in the works, but it might be a while till I'm shooting it... I think for a guy getting into LR pistols the target action is hard to beat, you can change caliber in a few min and they shoot great. I wish I was able to shoot at extended ranges more, then I'd really know how well it can group! The MOA's are great, but I'm not that big on waiting :)
This thread is very timely, because I was thinking of getting a semi-LR pistol for Indiana deer hunting. (2010)

Is the Savage Custom shop still building Strikers? I like the left hand bolt, and the idea of a magazine because of some of the hunting that I do might require a quick 2nd or 3rd shot. The deer could be anywhere from right below the stand out to 400 or so yds, and we are supposed to shoot the first 3 deer that we can reliably shoot, (but only one can be a buck). While I can see that a single shot can be reloaded relatively quickly, there could be times where the less movement to reload, the better.
Last I heard Savage Custom shop will build a Striker. After hearing the cost, one can pick up a used Striker on Gunbroker for less than half the cost. Yes, all factory Strikers (unaltered) came with a magazine.

Seems to me from reading a number of threads over the years that Indiana is cartridge specific on their handgun hunting requirements.

Good luck in your endeavor

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