First custom and need some advice

Sincerd

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Ok, so. I mostly make my home at arf.com. I've recently shot a few buddies custom bolt guns and got hooked. I've pretty much decided on 6.5 CM with maybe a differnt caliber training barrel. Id much rather buy once cry once instead of wanting something better in 6 months. I'm either considering a MPA SL or getting say... a defiance barrelled action and putting it into a mpa chassis. The second option will cost more. Seems like atleast 1k more. What do you guys think? Any other actions worth checking out? Will it drop straight in w/o a smith or will I need to send it all to a smith to have any work done? I've built ARs from the ground up so I am confident in being able to set torque values and using specialized tools. However no mill

Few other questions.

1 I cant find anything much about switch lug systems. Can I just buy barrels ready to go for the mpa system by...say... proof. Or would i need to send out a blank and the action? Or just the blank?

2 the mpa has a 60 degree 3 lug. How big of a benefit is this? 60 seems > 90 and 3 seems better than 2. Any other 3 lug 60 degree I should be thinking about?

3. What else should I be considering? I like the mpa chassis slot. I like the look of the mdt. I do not like the pistol grip integrated into the stock like some chassis.

4. If you had 4k to spend on a bolt action what would it be? Might give me some ideas on what to check out. Thanks.
 

ChadJamesR

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Just my humble advise,

I've been in and out of long range shooting for over 20 years and although I'm not an expert I've thrown my money into everything from a Browning A-Bolt to full custom rifles. You first thought should be what are you going to do with the rifle. There can be a big difference between the specs of a rifle you are going to compete at PRS with or just go to the range and shoot paper with. Even more differences if you are going to hunt with it and have to carry it for long distances.

If you are going to compete with the rifle the Defiance actions are awesome on how smooth they cycle. This will help reduce your time between shots and just make the rifle run smoother. I don't have a Defiance, but I've played with them and they would be one of my first choices if reducing the time between shots is priority. On the other hand I don't feel the Defiance will make the rifle any more accurate. I've had custom Remington 700 actions trued and rifles built on Stiller actions with both shooting well below 1/2 MOA. If you don't need the speed between shots, I would consider saving money with something like a Stiller action. Stiller actions are great and I can't complain about mine, but I will admit they don't cycle as smoothly as the Defiance. Lots of other custom actions out there as well that offer move value then a trued 700.

Two lug and Three lug are a personal preference. All my rifles are two lug but I must stay I like the three lug. Once again, it just depends what feels right to you. Two lug are supposed to be smoother as you are cocking the firing pin over a long distance, while the three lug is supposed to take more effort to lift the handle on the bolt, thus cocking the firing pin. Three lug does give you less bolt handle lift which gives you more clearance between the bolt handle and the scope. If doing competitions, then you just need to see which one you run faster. The number of lugs will not affect your accuracy.

Stocks come down to preference. I shot behind a MPA chassis a couple of months ago and honestly didn't like it but probably not for reasons you would guess. Their stocks are "small" in my opinion and I couldn't get as comfortable behind it as I could my Manners, McMillan, or Cadex. Now if I was going to shoot competition then the MPA would be one of my first choices. I can see how they are 100% focused on being designed for PRS competition. I shoot more paper and prairie dogs, so I like my stocks big and comfy where I can almost fall asleep on them in the prone position. Of course weight is an issue as well. I don't carry my rifles very far so I'm not concerned with weight, but if I was I probably would not get the Cadex as they are heavy and bulky. If you shoot a lot of AR rifles, you will most likely prefer the aluminum chassis of a MPA, Cadex, AI, etc compared to a fiberglass stock like a McMillan or Manners.

If you want the best accuracy having a gun smith cut the chamber for the ammunition you are using will help the most in accuracy if you are already using top shelf barrels and actions. If you don't reload, make sure you talk with the gun builder to confirm the chamber is cut for the ammo you are going to buy or find out what ammunition they recommend. You don't want to bullet jumping too far to the lands as this will effect accuracy.

Last thing I would take into account which I never did before. If you think you may flip the rifle in the future, then get a company built rifle as they will maintain better resale then a full custom rifle. There are exceptions like GAP rifles that always hold their value, but in my experience a "factory" built rifle like an AI, MPA, Cadex, etc will always have a better resale then my .260 Stiller action with Bartlien barrel custom chambered by Mickey Coleman and slapped into a Cadex chassis. My rifle will most likely out shoot a factory gun, but I'll never get credit for it if I tried to sale it. Not and issue though if you know you are never going to sell it.
 

2aBaCa

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Deadline Ultimatum barreled action
Stock or chassis of your liking
A nice trigger
scope and rings.

Go shoot.

When it comes to actions it's hard to go wrong. If you have specific wants it can narrow it down. Most are Remington 700 footprint and drop into any R700 stock or Chassis.

You can get prefit barrels for almost any action shouldered or barrel nut. Either way you would need a few tools to tighten it down.
 

FUNCTIONAL

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3 lug go GAP Tempest. Most stocks require a smidge of a sand in the trigger well to fit the trigger hanger but can be delt with in 15min.

2lug is hard to mess up on. Defiance, kelbly, bighorn, etc. My personal money would be going to a kelbly atlas tac with the bolt stop upgrade. They don't advertise it but you can buy prefit barrels for them. Ive chambered quite a few to their drawing spec and they have been a perfect fit. Ive done the switchbarrel route and as alluring as it is you won't be swapping calibers as much as you anticipate. I sold 4 rifles for 1 switchlug.... now im back to 4 rifles.

6.5 is a fine caliber...creed is great for having factory options. 6.5x47 is easiest to load for and in my opinion easier to get shooting more accurately. Some will argue but x47 if you are reloading and creed if you need factory options.

I prefer traditional stocks over chassis. Owned and used hard many of both. The best hybrid in my opinion is a KRG whiskey 3 or a bravo for a cheaper option. Just get behind as many as you can.
 

Steel head

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1-it’s easy to swap shouldered barrels with an action wrench and barrel vice.
I do run an ARC barloc on one of my rifles but with probably move to shouldered next on that rifle.

2-two lug or three is personal preference.
I have both.
bolt lift is typically lighter on the two lugs but my Three lug is really nice to cycle as well.

3-chassis selection is personal preference as well but they almost all can be set up liking easily.

4-here’s my nice rifle.
2968DDA9-10FF-4629-8E15-84A8EC509470.jpeg
 
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RNWRKNP

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I looked at Defiance, Impact, Bighorn and for a short action.......Impact won. Off the shelf pre-fits, runs dirty and damn smooth. Honestly think that I would be happy with the other two as well but I couldn’t afford 3? The boys at ALTUS put it all together for me but I look forward to taking care of future barrels myself.

6.5CM
Impact Action
Trigger Tech special
Bartlein 8.25-7.5 gain twist M24
Hellfire brake
KRG Bravo w/spigot
Atlas QD

992F84FB-913A-43FE-BC1A-DC85D11E7039.jpeg
 
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Jabot

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1-it’s easy to swap shouldered barrels with an action wrench and barrel vice.
I do run an ARC barloc on one of my rifles but with probably move to shouldered next on that rifle.

2-two lug or three is personal preference.
I have both.
bolt lift is typically lighter on the two lugs but my Three lug is really nice to cycle as well.

3-chassis selection is personal preference as well but they almost all can be set up liking easily.

4-here’s my nice rifle.
View attachment 7222563
Look like adg brass is that your saum
 

Xander3Zero

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I run a Bighorn (now just Zermatt Arms) TL3, and MANY others on here do as well. That said, you can see that with just the limited responses you've received so far that there are countless options to fulfill what you are looking for.

Do yourself a favor and take a look at the Kelbly's Atlas Tactical. I don't own one, but my buddy does and its a beautiful action by a top notch manufacturer that is backed by many precision/accuracy records. They aren't as popular on here compared to Bighorn/Defiance/Impact but I personally believe they just don't push their products as much as some of the other makers. Their Atlas action is feature packed and it is smooth as glass. Price is competitive too.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Shouldered barrels do, indeed, swap out much easier. The kicker is that shouldered barrels require a sophisticated approach to headspacing that may elude the average or even moderately well experienced shooter.

A Remage system with a fixed (tack weld, setscrew, epoxy?) barrel nut is functionally damned near identical to a shouldered barrel.

While I have serious respect for the professional gunsmith, the good ones are very busy people and this inserts time delays between submission and getting that gun out to the range. If I can do something myself, I find that approach preferable.

This can lead to screwups on my part, but I accept the possibility. Getting proper headspace gauges would have saved me some embarrassment, if not worse.

If you're going to do something yourself, do it right, and don't skimp on the proper tools and measurement aids.

Greg
 

AHC222

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With a 4k budget (assuming with glass), I'd go:

Zermatt Origin (875)
Trigger Tech Special (175)
Barrel of your choice, maybe start with CBI (400)
MPA chassis (900)
Vortex Gen II Razor (1500)
PMR rings (100)

I ballparked used MPA and Razor prices from the PX, but should put you right around the 4k mark. If you want a trainer, buy a 223 bolt face (150), go gauge (30), and savage 223 takeoff factory barrel (150-200???).
 

AHC222

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Oh no... glass has it's ok 3k budget
Then from my list upgrade the Origin to TL3 action, TT Special to TT Diamond, CBI barrel to an Altus prefit, and PMR rings to Spuhr. Lastly, send me the ~$400 remaining for the effort.
 

Sincerd

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Tt diamond, DA break and moa chassis I already have covered. Still stuck on this damn action. I'm really liking that vector
 

Bigrederic

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I have both actions... they both seem really nice. The Vector is new and wont be mounted in the stock till next week I imagine. The TL3 has been shot a fair bit and the gun it is in never disappoints. Both guns have barrels sounds up by Dane Miller at DMR.
 

Sincerd

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I ended up getting a vector. Have about 900 down range so far. Was worried with all the negative post. Its ran smooth. Just needed to tweak mags a bit but only took a few mins a mag. I do have 1 mag I just cant get right. It seems really old.
 

smacha538

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I ended up getting a vector. Have about 900 down range so far. Was worried with all the negative post. Its ran smooth. Just needed to tweak mags a bit but only took a few mins a mag. I do have 1 mag I just cant get right. It seems really old.
What mags and stock are you running with that Vector?
 

acudaowner

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It's a great round its also god's favorite caliber and he or she smiles every time one is shot . and if you look hard enough into the sky when you shoot it you can see the stars lining up in the heavens just for you . All joking aside as long as you like it that's all that should matter . Good luck and much fun with what ever new gun stock or chassis you decide on .
 

Painjob38

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I would recommend just buying the full Mpa. They shot awesome have some really great features. With the SL Version you can just order new barrels from them without having to send in your gun. They will also do proof barrels. Also it is like you said much cheaper this way.