Recommended factory action

Frank in the Laurels

Well-Known Member
Jul 15, 2007
Clearly the choice is always the Rem 700 "if" you are planning on having it worked over by a competent gunsmith but if your looking to just leave it alone the Savage looks like it would be the best choice, I've seen some off the bench in various cartridges that left me scratching my head as to how good they shot right out of the box...

Shane Lindsey

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2010
If purchasing "New" you could pick up a Savage on this site. I would not recommend an older version though. I picked up an '80s vintage and aftermarket parts have been hard to find. This was my only Savage and it is a shooter. I put it together in the garage just to say I did during this whole pandemic lock up. I liked it so much I ordered a Pre-fit Remage and did it for one of those too. Savage is not very "aesthetically" pleasing though...actually they are down right ugly...mine is.

Any Rem 700 would be an easy choice, they have the most aftermarket support. They come up for sale on here reasonably all the time. I sold a brand new LA a few months back. That would be my route.

But as mentioned, a custom is a custom. A 700 can be made to feel like a custom with a little extra $$$, but by the time you get it all up, it is almost the same.


Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Jan 5, 2016
Excellent Advice already given. My 2¢ below.
Just trying to save money and I am get my hands on factory rifles locally. Would you suggest an action that fits what you suggested and could be bought for under say $600.00 thanks Tribb
Depends what you want to do with the rifle.
For accuracy and LR, being cheap doesn't help in most cases, but you could be the proverbial blind squirrel that finds the nut.
Of the actions I have or have used*, in this order of preferred donors:
  1. Tikka
  2. Howa 1500 / Vanguard
  3. *Browning (never felt a bad one)
  4. Winchester (caveat emptor, some are awful)
  5. CZ 550
  6. Remington
  7. Savage
  8. Ruger
  9. Marlin
Didn't list Weatherby Mark V or Accumark, or any Sako because (IMO) those rifles are worth more unaltered unless the barrel is toast. No comment on Bergara because I've never owned or shot one. With any of the actions listed above, you can chunk up some money quick "truing" them to where the difference between the action and a custom like a Defiance, Zermatt or BAT *might* be as little as $500. In the life of a rifle that you love to shoot, that $500 is NOTHING.
Myself, I have rebarreled and wildcatted Remington and Savage.
[Edit to add] Unless they were shot out, I would never rebarrel a Browning, Winchester or CZ. To me that would be sacrilege. [/edit]
Cheapest DIY custom build out the door is Savage, but YMMV. Reasons why you would NOT want a Savage: less after market options, especially stocks, and the extractor + ejector leaves a lot to be desired. Less resale too because of snobbish attitude about Savage.
The last Savage action I rebarreled, the smith faced off the bolt face, and said there was less than 1 mil difference across the action face.
Remington actions are stronger than Savage actions. Remington bolts are stronger. A great deal more after-market parts availability for Rem. But, sometimes at a cost -- need to change your bolt face, on a Rem, BOHICA.
Savage is easier in that respect because of the modular bolt design - easier to adjust your timing too.

If this is your dream custom rifle and might be the only one you'll build consider time and expense.
If you're on a budget, consider the time you'll wait for a barrel and in most cases, smith services, and save your money for the custom action rather than "getting started". To wit, my first two custom rifles were built on a budget, and each took > 18 months from start to finish. My first barrel took 6 months to arrive. YMMV

If you have friends with rifles built on premium actions, ask to shoot them. The difference is telling. If this is a rifle you'll use in competition, you want a premium action. If it's something you'll pull out twice a year, for sight-in and hunting, an OTS action would do just great.
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Well-Known Member
Nov 9, 2011
I think the choices are usually Remington +$250 truing, Savage +$150 true & time, Howa +?? to true. Tikka can be a good choice.

or a Bighorn long action for $925.

i have a Savage, Win 70 and a Bighorn. My bighorn build is not complete, but the action is incredible!

I hate to say this, but it might be better to use a cheaper prefit barrel and nut than skimp on the action. I would definitely use a B&C or KRG stock as a cost saver to buy a better action. That can save you $300-$600
Thank y


Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2003
Lizton, IN
Anything Rem700 footprint. Used to love Savages for the home builds but a) they have weak support around the front screw, and b) aftermarket support (stocks, triggers) is terrible. The only big aftermarket guy is a one-man shop who is unreliable and famous for screwing people.

As for including the cost of truing actions, screw the prefit barrel on, shoot it, and then decide. I've build on numerous factory Rem700 actions and have yet to shoot it and decide I had to true the action because I was unhappy with how it shot after load development.


Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2009
Texas panhandle
If you want to buy a complete rifle that shoots great then try T/C Venture! 5r rifling, they shoot great but very little aftermarket. Wear out a barrel and buy another at $399, you can’t hardly beat them


Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2019
New Brunswick Canada
Clearly the choice is always the Rem 700 "if" you are planning on having it worked over by a competent gunsmith but if your looking to just leave it alone the Savage looks like it would be the best choice, I've seen some off the bench in various cartridges that left me scratching my head as to how good they shot right out of the box...
My 3 trusted are.
1st. Sako 85 (and tikka varmint barrelled actions)
2nd. Savage with accu-trigger
3rd. Rem 700


Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2021
I've used Model 70's both new and old, browning A-bolt and remington Model 7's and a remington 700 titanium. For the short action cartridges I prefer, the Model 7 . it is light, parts are available and with a 22" #2 contour barrel in 7-08 is handy and powerful enough for my needs on deer and pigs.


Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2006
Hyde Park, UT
If you want to build a rifle and leave your options open you'll want a Rem 700 footprint. I have a Bergara Premier barreled action that, for a production action, is outstanding! It's a 700 footprint and takes a TriggerTech. The B14 is nice too just not stainless, no fluted bolt or floating head. It's not quite as smooth but still very nice.

An actual Remington 700 is going to take some work to get up to the level being discussed which might make the lower customs a better idea depending on $

If you want a true magnum length action the Tikka is out. I'm not really a fan anyway but they are nice rifles and I have buddies that love them.

Lots of others discussed are ok but you're leaving options on the table. What is your budget? How important is a really great trigger and stock/chassis compatibility? Do you want the option of prefit barrels? Do you want the option of really dialing things in or is good enough OK?


Well-Known Member
Jan 22, 2019
Brazoria TX
1st choice..I'm pretty much a Remington 700 man.,I'd hit the pawn shops or Estate sales tto pick up a good older rifle for a donor action.
2nd choice..Bergara Premier Pro .I have one that shoots equally a good as good as my 2 custom rifles.
The h ey to building a rely out shooting rifle is have some t h at really knows all the little tricks to putting it together.
There is a lot more than screwing a barrel on to an action and head space.
Goid luck in you hunt and choice.
You might pick up a custom riflefrom someone that is too old to shoot anymore or just getting out of the sport.