ARC Nucleus vs. Bighorn Origin

Afkirby

Private
PX Member
Minuteman
Dec 21, 2009
380
132
33
Franklin, WV
These two new “budget” actions have me thinking of getting a new rifle. I’m on a budget and I like the idea of swappable boltheads and user serviceable barrels. Anybody have the down low on these new action? I know they’re not even released yet but I figure they’ll be the two a lot of guys will be looking at.

-Kirby
 

Chili47

Sergeant
PX Member
Minuteman
Mar 6, 2011
276
105
27
Southern Colorado
i pre-ordered the nucleus. But i will also be picking up a TL-3 next month. That is the only reason i didn't preorder a Origin. Basically your getting a steel receiver with separate lug. Both have swapable bolt heads. 3lug vs 2 lug. The bighorn is basically a TL3 with cheaper parts. Same control round feed.
 

AF_TT

6.5
PX Member
Minuteman
Jul 28, 2010
138
5
34
AL
I pre-ordered the Origin, no particular reason either. I'd like to see others input as well.
 

Robby0931

Private
PX Member
Minuteman
Jan 26, 2013
52
10
Yuma, AZ
I put the deposit down on the Nucleus, interested in the different features it brings. Have a TL3 and Origin just doesnt seem like a step forward. Secondly, a projected April delivery works better with my limited patience than August...
 

5RWill

Optics Fiend
PX Member
Minuteman
  • Oct 15, 2009
    5,259
    1,483
    29
    Mississippi
    My brother pre-ordered the Origin. After seeing the announcement i convinced him to do so over a tikka that we thought we were going to use. The Nucleus is more innovative IMHO but when it comes to an action it's all about personal preference IMHO. 90% of them plain work. We have a TL3 and SR3 for 750$ a TL3 with a pinned lug is a steal. I quite like the bighorns, so that's what i pushed him towards. Though it was also cheaper.
     

    Jethro3898

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 24, 2011
    625
    450
    Dothan, AL
    I have been wanting to build a new rifle and have been setting money aside. I was a few weeks away from ordering a TL3. When the Nucleus was released I couldn’t pass up the price.....the prebuy especially is a pretty amazing deal. I’ve always been intrigued by ARC’s engineering, even if I didn’t necessarily understand all of it. I had never entertained a Mausingfield simply because of the price and because there are so many other really good (and less expensive) options on the market. However, the timing of the Nucleus was perfect for me and it was a deal I contemplated for about 2 whole hours. I preordered the Nucleus with the understanding that if I didn’t like it for some reason when it comes in (highly doubtful), I could likely sell it and at the very least recuperate my initial price considering the street price will climb after this month.

    A day or two later and here comes the Origin.

    Freaking crap!

    Regardless, this is a great time to be in this hobby. Variety is the spice of life and kudos to both ARC and Bighorn for putting amazing custom actions on the market at a very affordable price point. I just wonder how these new offerings will affect the Mausingfield and TL3 purchases.

    I wish that both companies would create either a video or maybe even a chart of a side-by-side contrast between both actions (Nucleus to Mausingfield and Origin to TL3). Sometimes you can get lost in the features of one specific action and not understand why the more expensive option is better because there is quite a price difference between each action and their “big bother”.
     

    Possumpete

    Private
    Hessian
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 13, 2017
    152
    23
    46
    Missouri
    I have been wanting to build a new rifle and have been setting money aside. I was a few weeks away from ordering a TL3. When the Nucleus was released I couldn’t pass up the price.....the prebuy especially is a pretty amazing deal. I’ve always been intrigued by ARC’s engineering, even if I didn’t necessarily understand all of it. I had never entertained a Mausingfield simply because of the price and because there are so many other really good (and less expensive) options on the market. However, the timing of the Nucleus was perfect for me and it was a deal I contemplated for about 2 whole hours. I preordered the Nucleus with the understanding that if I didn’t like it for some reason when it comes in (highly doubtful), I could likely sell it and at the very least recuperate my initial price considering the street price will climb after this month.

    A day or two later and here comes the Origin.

    Freaking crap!

    Regardless, this is a great time to be in this hobby. Variety is the spice of life and kudos to both ARC and Bighorn for putting amazing custom actions on the market at a very affordable price point. I just wonder how these new offerings will affect the Mausingfield and TL3 purchases.

    I wish that both companies would create either a video or maybe even a chart of a side-by-side contrast between both actions (Nucleus to Mausingfield and Origin to TL3). Sometimes you can get lost in the features of one specific action and not understand why the more expensive option is better because there is quite a price difference between each action and their “big bother”.
    I too was on the verge of ordering a TL3,when I came across the Nucleus and had to jump in and try one
     

    BoilerUP

    Old Salt
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 16, 2011
    3,379
    1,168
    37
    Floyd Co, IN
    What an incredible time to be in the precision rifle game.

    Saw the Nucleus and was ready to preorder, then saw the PVA shouldered barrel GB for Nucleus and thought DEFINITELY YEA, then saw the Bighorn Origin and thought "Maybe I should do that instead", then PVA put out the John Hancock rifle which is a crazy value proposition no matter how you look at things.

    Decisions, decisions...
     
    • Like
    Reactions: bohem and 5RWill

    Sig Marine

    Sergeant - USMC 1968-1970
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 29, 2013
    586
    367
    So Cal
    Both actions are going to be game changers for the shooter wanting to build on a budget. I personally like the “Origin” since I have TL-2s and 3s and have ordered one for a build I’m doing for the wife. It will be interesting to see how Stiller responds to the competition.
     

    AF_TT

    6.5
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jul 28, 2010
    138
    5
    34
    AL
    I'd like to see if Stiller makes a price point action as well, they are the cheapest custom available as it is I think. What's great is we are just now coming into the golden age of long range shooting. Just a few years ago the cost to be competitive was out of reach for many to most people. When these actions are readily available, apart from clone purposes, I don't know why you'd go with an action that will take truing etc. from a cost perspective at least.
     

    TimeWillTell

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 9, 2011
    467
    109
    OKC
    It is very exciting for sure. And both make the idea of truing a factory 700 a lot less appealing imo.
     

    rookie7

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 26, 2009
    823
    130
    Georgia
    These new actions are machined from chrome molly steel instead of stainless. Is it that big of a deal that it isn't stainless? Aside from the corrosion resistance if left uncoated, does stainless have other properties that make it better than chrome molly i.e. stiffer, stronger etc. ?
     

    BLKWLFK9

    Just F'n Send It..
    Supporter
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 13, 2017
    2,390
    3,483
    The nucleus offers a higher feature set on the dollar. Both will be amazing actions but the nucleus seems to take the cake
     

    Sheldon N

    Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 24, 2014
    3,922
    3,104
    Pacific Northwest
    The bayonet firing pin arrangement of the Bighorn Origin is a really sweet feature, plus the bolt heads are interchangeable with the TL3 if you ever decided to add another action down the road.

    I'm already set with my TL3's but if I were ordering I'd be more interested in the Origin, plus it's $100 cheaper on the preorder price.
     

    5RWill

    Optics Fiend
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Oct 15, 2009
    5,259
    1,483
    29
    Mississippi
    For 750$ right now the origin is bar none IMO the best action for the money. You literally can't doctor up a tikka or remington for less with half those features. The Nucleus is still awesome though too and had i had the money i'd probably try and get one, see if Ted would give me a swept bolt handle to mimic my tempest with that 72 degree throw.
     

    andrewsben

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    May 9, 2017
    496
    119
    Beattyville Ky
    These new actions are machined from chrome molly steel instead of stainless. Is it that big of a deal that it isn't stainless? Aside from the corrosion resistance if left uncoated, does stainless have other properties that make it better than chrome molly i.e. stiffer, stronger etc. ?
    I'm also interested in this specific aspect. Hopefully someone with can chime in.
     

    NateVA

    Basement Dweller
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 10, 2017
    1,008
    331
    I'm also interested in this specific aspect. Hopefully someone with can chime in.
    Unless I'm way off the mark on my memory, chrome moly is harder than stainless steel. The downside is corrosion resistance and it's harder to machine.
     

    NateVA

    Basement Dweller
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 10, 2017
    1,008
    331
    Unless I'm way off the mark on my memory, chrome moly is harder than stainless steel. The downside is corrosion resistance and it's harder to machine.
    I can't seem to find an edit button on these new forums. I believe Chad said it's actually easier to work with chrome moly because it's a lot more predictable after heat treatment. So the downside is corrosion resistance.
     

    Eagle1899

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 8, 2006
    398
    14
    S.E. PA
    I called and talked to Ted directly about the Nucleus action. I asked him every question under the sun.... Ted pulls no punches when it comes to direct questions that's for sure!!! I have a TL3.... I ordered a Nucleus.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Jethro3898

    SodbusterOH

    Private
    Minuteman
    Jan 20, 2018
    1
    0
    Ohio
    These new actions are machined from chrome molly steel instead of stainless. Is it that big of a deal that it isn't stainless? Aside from the corrosion resistance if left uncoated, does stainless have other properties that make it better than chrome molly i.e. stiffer, stronger etc. ?

    The Nucleus seems to ship already Nitrided. The Mausingfield is DLC'd.
     

    308pirate

    Gunny Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Apr 25, 2017
    13,512
    17,776
    does stainless have other properties that make it better than chrome molly i.e. stiffer, stronger etc. ?
    Absolutely no metallurgical advantages to stainless steel (416/416R) over ordnance grade low alloy carbon steels. Low alloy carbon steels can be manipulated to have higher tensile and yield strengths than 416 but the differences are academic in the real world of firearms.

    If you manage to fuck up a rifle made of 416 stainless steel by stressing the steel to failure, you surely would have done the same to one made of 4140, 4150, or 4340.

    Shit that is just not worth debating, IMPO.
     

    NWnewguy

    Private
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 10, 2013
    447
    320
    To sort of answer the question about whether stainless is better than Chromoly for making actions, there is a ton of reading out there on different blends of steel and what each one is good for. The only real benefit that I could see is that the stainless has a little better corrosion resistance, but it's not a lot different. Anecdotally, if stainless was better, Ted would have made the Mausingfield out of it. Where you can get into trouble quickly with stainless is having the bolt and body machined from the same type or hardness of stainless. There's a bunch of guys out there with super great looking BAT actions that are galled from this issue. Not that BAT is unique in this regard or that I am picking on them, they just happen to make really nice and tight dimensioned actions and if not greased regularly, they will gall. I have one of the first Mausingfields that came out and I have never done anything to it for a coating and I lived in the high humidity environment of the Pacific Northwest for three years after getting it and I have never seen corrosion of any kind on my MF.

    In short, I don't think being made from 4340 is a negative. It could be argued that it is a positive, but I encourage you to look around for yourself and develop an informed opinion of your own. As far as the two actions that just pre-released; what a time it is to be a consumer. I don't think you could go wrong with either of them. That being said I pre-ordered the Nucleus because it's more interesting to me.
     

    TimeWillTell

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 9, 2011
    467
    109
    OKC
    With the nitride process it kind of makes the corrosion discussion a moot point and probably actually swings in favor of the nitrided over bare stainless.
     

    Supersubes

    Two Star General
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Sep 6, 2006
    5,584
    4,731
    Rural Nevada
    Kudos to both for putting out more cost friendly action. More companies should follow suit. I already have a tl3, and the nucleus looks more interesting, so I preordered it over the Origin.
     

    Ledzep

    Chancellor
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 9, 2009
    3,056
    2,393
    NE
    These new actions are machined from chrome molly steel instead of stainless. Is it that big of a deal that it isn't stainless? Aside from the corrosion resistance if left uncoated, does stainless have other properties that make it better than chrome molly i.e. stiffer, stronger etc. ?


    There are a ton of different types of steels. Even a ton of different types of stainless steels, and there are a ton of overlapping properties of them all. That said, I think the biggest influence is how the particular steel is heat treated. That's what makes the difference between 50ksi yield strength, and 200+ksi yield strength with the exact same blend of steel.

    On the whole, stainless steels are not as strong because the chromium content is pushed up to form protective chromium oxides on the surface. The chromium isn't as strong as iron. That said you can certainly have martensitic or precipitate hardening stainless steels that are much stronger than certain non-stainless steels. Again, this is very dependent on heat treat, geometry etc. Without writing a book, material variability is a real thing, Carbon content is the main driver of strength, and proper heat treat typically influences properties more than the type of alloy. (ETA: Strength isn't the ONLY thing to look at. Toughness, wear resistance, etc.. can also be extremely important).

    Corrosion resistance is the primary reason you see stainless steel actions. I think with Cerakote, Nitride, proper maintenance, it's mostly a non-issue. I prefer chrome-moly or alloy steels to stainless for the most part because stainless in most cases has a higher susceptibility to galling/wear which I find more worrisome than whatever minor surface oxidization might happen between maintenance cycles.

    For barrels, stainless is really nice. Not having to worry about bore condition/pitting etc. is worth it to me. Actions/bolts/etc., ehh not so much an issue.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: GrahamVT

    Eagle1899

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 8, 2006
    398
    14
    S.E. PA
    I asked Ted a lot of questions..... highlights below

    Is it easy to stall/jam the bolt at the rear of the stroke? - No
    Will it feed reliably from his magazine? - Yes
    Will I need to knock the corner of the extractor to help feeding and stop it from gouging my brass? - No
    Will dusty dirty conditions cause problems? - No
    Will he be offering a BarLoc for it? - Yes, up on website
    Will different bolt handles be available? - Yes
     
    • Like
    Reactions: willicd76

    just browsing

    just enough to be dangerous
    PX Member
    Minuteman
  • Feb 18, 2017
    1,092
    804
    NEPA
    Also jumped on the Nucleus train with a shouldered Barloc. Too good to pass up.

    Origin and Curtis Vector also look legit. Hancock is probably a “best value” for a full build at this point.

    All I know is April needs to hurry the F up!
     

    Another Casual

    Filthy Casual
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 27, 2017
    220
    93
    With these actions both out in the wild, I figured I would give this thread a bump and see if anyone could provide some hands on comparison.
     

    nrspence

    Private
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 15, 2017
    194
    101
    39
    Beaver Utah
    My rock creek 1:7 twist .224 barrel is getting spun up on my origin action today.
     

    Attachments

    • C25C0451-BB38-45E8-B129-0FCED2BA22AA.jpeg
      C25C0451-BB38-45E8-B129-0FCED2BA22AA.jpeg
      209.3 KB · Views: 46
    • Like
    Reactions: scocoabeach

    flyer

    Unicorn hunter
    Minuteman
    Apr 25, 2018
    2,269
    1,326
    I've had my barrels for a few months. With the Barloc it's a DIY install of a Savage pre-fit and also a budget switch barrel setup.

    I get to pick up my action soon (California wait period...) And I should have a complete rifle put together shortly afterward.
     

    andrewsben

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    May 9, 2017
    496
    119
    Beattyville Ky
    I have my first nucleus put together (minus scope), second is waiting on barrel still. Have a tenacity build just about done, as well as an origin build. Will try to do comparisons once I have everything together and shooting.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Another Casual

    rookie7

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 26, 2009
    823
    130
    Georgia
    I have my first nucleus put together (minus scope), second is waiting on barrel still. Have a tenacity build just about done, as well as an origin build. Will try to do comparisons once I have everything together and shooting.

    You have all the new toys! Definitely looking forward to your assessment of each action. Keep us posted! thanks
     

    andrewsben

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    May 9, 2017
    496
    119
    Beattyville Ky
    You have all the new toys! Definitely looking forward to your assessment of each action. Keep us posted! thanks
    yeah, also made the mistake of getting a kelbly black bear when i found sn 26 in stock. That thing is sweet and built like a tank. Going to not do anything with it till after I play with the other actions as it is classed a little higher and would damper my thoughts about the others.
     

    andrewsben

    Sergeant
    PX Member
    Minuteman
    May 9, 2017
    496
    119
    Beattyville Ky
    Nucleus short action .473 with x caliber 6mm creedmoor in grayboe renegade with ptg bottom metal and tacsport trigger.

    Origin magnum bolt face, 6.5 saum, krg bravo, tt diamond.

    Tenacity, 6xc criterion, grayboe renegade with custom made adjustable check test, ptg bottom metal and tacsport trigger
     

    Attachments

    • 20180922_222459.jpg
      20180922_222459.jpg
      458.8 KB · Views: 182
    • 20180922_222502.jpg
      20180922_222502.jpg
      391.6 KB · Views: 182
    • 20180922_222451.jpg
      20180922_222451.jpg
      395 KB · Views: 171
    • 20180922_222457.jpg
      20180922_222457.jpg
      524.6 KB · Views: 179
    • 20180922_222443.jpg
      20180922_222443.jpg
      430.6 KB · Views: 166