What's a decent Custom Bolt/Receiver up to $1,500?

Loyal2no1

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I'm interested in purchasing a Remington 700 style custom bolt action/receiver for a 308 precision rifle. My budget for the action is up to $1500. So far I've been recommended a Kelbly Atlas, Stiller Tac300/Predator and Defiance Rebel but I'm open for actions by Surgeon etc

The rifle is to be primarily used for hunting so I'm after a bolt action that's rugged/durable and reliable to be able to handle abuse yet still cycle easily and efficiently even when dirty. I have no interest in bench shooting so I'll primarily be firing from the prone, kneeling/standing supported and (occasionally) from the standing position. Something tactical orientated and of a reinforced construction to reduce recoil/add strength would also be of interest.

I'm looking to pair the action with a Timney trigger, LaRue LT 117 picatinny rail, an AI style box 5 rnd magazine/trigger guard and (possibly) a Krieger barrel. At this point I'm looking into using the Magpul Hunter 700 stock when it's released, however, I may choose to use a Manners or another stock instead. I'd also like the option to be able to change the bolt handles.

Any suggestions and explanations why you've recommended a specific product(s) would be appreciated.
 

shortgrass

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Actions like the Surgeon 591 and the Defiance Deviant, with their intergral scope mounting rails, will inherently be stiffer. But, a Timney trigger!? Not unless it's a Calvin Elite....
 

bruce_ventura

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Lots of options for custom actions right now, with more being introduced each year. Seems like every machine shop with an EDM is getting an 07 FFL and making actions.

I count 16 different manufacturers of Rem 700 footprint actions that are available in the US. That includes Lone Peak Arms, a new LRH sponsor. Two more mfrs are coming online in the next few months (Curtiss and Impact Precision).

FWIW, BAT, Big Horn and Impact Precision actions also have integral rails. I'm not convinced that the added stiffness is needed, though.
 

Edd

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FWIW, BAT, Big Horn and Impact Precision actions also have integral rails. I'm not convinced that the added stiffness is needed, though.
I'm not familiar with a Big Horn Action with an integral rail. Is this something they have planned? Where can I get some information?
 

bruce_ventura

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Oops. Big Horn action rails are separate, not integral. I've been trying to track custom actions lately and had an error in my database.
 

Loyal2no1

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I emailed Timney and apparently a 2 stage is coming out soon so I'm waiting on that. I've decided to go with Timney because of the rugged and reliable design. I'm not a huge fan of stiff actions and I'm something that cycles smoothly. As for the integral rail what's the benefit of those? I was just going to mount a LaRue 117 Picatinny rail as I'm not really looking to go out past 400 yards. Does anyone own a Deviant, Kelbly, Big Horn, Surgeon or Stiller action? If so what's your thoughts. Oh, and thanks for the posts so far!
 

Edd

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I'm not a huge fan of stiff actions and I'm something that cycles smoothly.
Stiff is good, it is not an Antonym to smooth.

stiff

adjective
1. not easily bent or changed in shape; rigid.
"a stiff black collar"
synonyms: rigid, hard, firm, inelastic, inflexible
"stiff cardboard"

As for the integral rail what's the benefit of those?
It makes the action more rigid, stiffer. It also provides an immovable mount for the scope rings.

If you are wanting a good quality 308 with a detachable magazine, look at the action sold by American Rifle Company.
 

Mateo

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Look into the new Gunwerks action. pretty slick with alot of thought put into the design. I'd choose that or the surgeon action mentioned.
 

shortgrass

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I emailed Timney and apparently a 2 stage is coming out soon so I'm waiting on that. I've decided to go with Timney because of the rugged and reliable design. I'm not a huge fan of stiff actions and I'm something that cycles smoothly. As for the integral rail what's the benefit of those? I was just going to mount a LaRue 117 Picatinny rail as I'm not really looking to go out past 400 yards. Does anyone own a Deviant, Kelbly, Big Horn, Surgeon or Stiller action? If so what's your thoughts. Oh, and thanks for the posts so far!
Oh! Then you just need a Savage! I've barreled several Defiance actions, a couple of Big Horns and quite a few Stillers and Surgeons. They all make a good basis for a custom. One, really no better than the other. It becomes personal preference in the end.
 

Loyal2no1

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Oh! Then you just need a Savage! I've barreled several Defiance actions, a couple of Big Horns and quite a few Stillers and Surgeons. They all make a good basis for a custom. One, really no better than the other. It becomes personal preference in the end.
True. But it's the subtle differences in regards to shell ejection, integrated vs removable lugs, short vs medium action etc that I'm trying to figure out. That said the concept I'm trying to get my head around the most is the intregrated Picatinny rail which often seems to be 20 MOA (I was just going to fit a 0 MOA LaRue rail). Aside from the occasional target shoot at distance I'm not really looking to (effectively) go past 400 yards on a hunt or have I completely got the wrong idea with the integrated rail like I did with 'stiffness' in a previous post :p lol
 

bruce_ventura

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There really is no penalty with a 20 MOA rail even at short range. If you later decide to shoot beyond 400 yds, you'll be glad you got the 20 MOA rail.

Opinions vary, but I think that as long as the ejection port is not huge, a removable rail is fine for hunting and precision shooting. Some of these rails are pinned, which improves stiffness. People are reporting very small groups and winning precision rifle competitions with actions that have removable rails.

Savage ejection ports are too big in my opinion. Even still, Savages are capable of small groups (for a factory rifle). I guess it depends on what your expectations are.
 

Loyal2no1

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There really is no penalty with a 20 MOA rail even at short range. If you later decide to shoot beyond 400 yds, you'll be glad you got the 20 MOA rail.

Opinions vary, but I think that as long as the ejection port is not huge, a removable rail is fine for hunting and precision shooting. Some of these rails are pinned, which improves stiffness. People are reporting very small groups and winning precision rifle competitions with actions that have removable rails.

Savage ejection ports are too big in my opinion. Even still, Savages are capable of small groups (for a factory rifle). I guess it depends on what your expectations are.
Interesting - that's very helpful! I was of the assumption that a 20 MOA rail was for long range only - so if I go a separate rail then pinned is the way to go then?

I originally was going to go a factory rifle but I'm going to replace the barrel, rework the action/bolt and change the stock anyway so I decided a custom would be a better investment. So if you had a choice of a custom action what would be your choice and why?
 

bigngreen

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For me the top tier action are one's that are machined very well and all the actions happen in the right time for smooth bolt function, Borden and Kelbly are the top two. The bolt action should be simple, you don't need someone complicating it as it's usually a sign they have forgotten basic action geometry and focused on hooking your eye.
Stillers are at the bottom of the custom action food chain, they need worked on to even come close to what the top two roll out of the box like for about the same money
I would suggest giving a Kelbly tactical action a very serious look for what you looking for, nitrided and will run smooth dry and even smoother once polished, simple extractor and the TG ejector is simple yet really function awesome.
 
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