Recommended factory action

Taylorbok

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Apr 19, 2021
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94
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Sask
I have 2 rifles with factory actions. a Tikka that the smith said there was no sense blueprinting and a Rem 700 that I had blue printed. both shoot great. That being said an action is something you will likely never wear out so I'd say spend the money on a custom.
 

lancetkenyon

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Jun 3, 2013
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Arizona
Nothing wrong with a factory action IF the donor rifle is the right price.
I build my rifles primarily on 4 actions, one of which is now discontinued and new rifles are zero, those actions are Rem 700, Win Model 70 and Kimber 84/8400.
A Rem 700, even with $250 added to have it trued is still gonna be less than a custom action. They are just as good once trued.
I swap out bolts, but that is NOT necessary to have a functioning rifle.
Some very good rifles are built doing less than this to a Rem 700.
Look into all the customs, then decide what features you like and dislike.
I like simplicity, so take that as you will. I also like 2 bolt lugs and 90° bolt throw.

Cheers.
While I agree that a trued R700 action is a great choice, and probably cheaper, that depends on how many features you want to add to match the features of a custom. I have 4 R700 actions, from just trued/squared, to every upgrade you can think of.

True/square the action
Fluted bolt
M16 extractor
Side bolt release
Upgraded firing pin/spring
Alloy bolt shroud
Nitride action/bolt
Picatinny rail
Pinned recoil lug

Add all those up, and a custom really makes sense. Kelbly Atlas Tac is $950-1000, and comes with all The above, and is super smooth.
A few different actions are in the same ballpark.

There is a reason most customs are based off the R700 platform.
 

TXTrained

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Jan 22, 2019
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130
Location
Brazoria TX
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 Said Great Advice.
. I agree 100%.
 

tribb

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Nov 9, 2011
Messages
450
Excellent Advice already given. My 2¢ below.

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.
Thank you sir a lot of good information here. I appreciate your response Tribb
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
Thanks for the reminder I like the idea! What type of recoil lug do they have?
 

tribb

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Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
450
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.
Great idea thanks
 

tribb

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Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
450
Look at a MacBros for $600 and don’t look back. I’ve used 2 of them with great results. I also just finished a 308 build with a Kelbly Atlas Tactical as mentioned above and it’s a super nice action.
I will do just that
 

tribb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2011
Messages
450
I have 2 rifles with factory actions. a Tikka that the smith said there was no sense blueprinting and a Rem 700 that I had blue printed. both shoot great. That being said an action is something you will likely never wear out so I'd say spend the money on a custom.
Makes sense to me
 

D$tring

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Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
76
Location
Idaho
Excellent Advice already given. My 2¢ below.

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.
☝🏼☝🏼This 100%
My $.02– Tikka with a prefit proof barrel. My hunting partner has one that is every bit as good as my custom on a defiance deviant. I don’t regret the high end action I went with but with the savings of the Tikka action and a prefit barrel vs the action just how I like it and the reamer and gunsmith time, I could get a lot of rounds down range. Sounds like you are not particular on the action, so do your self a favor and get a tikka with a prefit (already chambered and ready to screw on) barrel.
 

Mike Matteson

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Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,267
I use a Mauser 98 action for a lot of my hunting rifles. Because of the safety that locks the firing pin down No way that rifle can fire without moving the safety over, and it can't move without your hands moving it off of safety. I used a Rem 721 in a 25/06 and carried a round in the chamber. Being left handed, I carried the rifle on my left side. In walking and the rifle moving moving the safety off. When out hunting I slipped and started to fall. Move my hand back to protect my rifle. Some how I got my figure into the trigger well, and set the rifle off. With muzzle being very close to my head, I almost took off my head. Never carried a round in the chamber in a Rem again. With deer and antelope I have found over the years I generally didn't need a round in the chamber to start with. Elk was a different thing.
Fell in love with Triggertech triggers so I have moved back to Rem. 700 actions with A,B,C model no. the action is good. Newer than that there can be a problem. I look in Pawn Shops for the action. I understand that Rem has come back out with actions, I don't know anything about them. There is custom action out there and I have look at them, but the price held me back. I didn't feel that what I was going to use the rifle for didn't require that. I am not shooting on matches so I felt I didn't need the add expense.
With what I done a great many years ago, I still stand by the action I have taken for safety reasons.
 

TC-TX

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2021
Messages
5
Location
West, TX
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...
I have 2 Remington .308s. If you take time to meticulously break in the barrel, lap the locking lugs ($40-$60 or so), and install a good trigger (I like Jewells) and scope, they can shoot one-hole groups with factory match ammo (Federal Gold Medal works in mine).
 

ntsqd

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Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,136
Location
Upper SoKA
I think Savages are a great action from a DIY perspective. I have one built (SA, 6BR), one In Process (LA, 308 Norma Mag), and two up-coming (SA, 7-08 & .243 AI). However, most praising them would appear to have built rifles on their short actions. Savage long actions are a bit more of a PITA in finding a stock that fits and works. Due to the rear tang screw location some premier stock makers who will make a stock for pert near anything else won't make stocks for the LA's. Pillar bedding a LA is more involved than it is for an SA due to the proximity of the rear tang screw to the trigger mechanism. Can be done, but it's not trivial.
 
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