List of pros and cons: action for custom build

Snakum

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 21, 2010
629
0
58
Sandhills
Since I'm going back to work (which sucks) I'm probably going to start ordering parts for the custom build now instead of this Fall. The rifle will be used for long range tactical comp, probably some F-Class/TR, and for hunting the bean fields. StrictlyRUM is doing the build and of course he'll weigh in, too. But I wanted to get a final opinion on the action to use. Here's what I have so far from scrounging the net:

Savage - very accurate, inexpensive (stainless SA < $500), well known, user-swappable barrels (easily changed and headspaced), quality is very good as a rule, three-way safety is nice, and I like that the mag sits flush in the stock right where my hand rests for unsupported firing. But I'm having problems with the Accutrigger on my FCPK, aftermarket support is not as extensive as 700 based actions, and resale will not be very high relative to true custom actions.

Remington - very well known, can be made very accurate, relatively inexpensive compared to true custom actions, loads of aftermarket support. But it requires machine work to reach accuracy potential, the two-way safety blows chunks (I hated having my bolt opening on its own while stalking the woods), quality can be hit-or-miss, Badger and CDI bottom metals have the mag sticking out right where my hand rests for unsupported shooting, and resale will not be as high as with custom actions.

GAP Templar - hugely accurate, high resale, top notch quality, any smith familiar with the 700 action knows this action well, also. But it is very expensive, and has some of the negatives the 700 action does.

Badger - very accurate, giant bolt and receiver, very durable and rugged, it's "different". But it adds weight, there were issues with some versions of it not cocking/firing, depending on the stock it will likely have the protruding mag problem when shooting off-hand.

Surgeon - based on what little I know so far it shares many of the same pros and cons as the GAP Templar.


For the win ... if ya had to pick, which one and why?
 

JJones75

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
May 18, 2008
1,912
2
45
southern , LA
Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

if cost is an issue then the Surgen RSR action , hard to beat for the money , I don't think it will be any less accurate or reliable that their 591 action

if you have plenty of time then you can piece a action together from Defiance machine , get the reciever , then little while later get a bolt from PT&G , and so on.

the Badger reciever is awsome , built like a tank and the weight and bulk shows it , if weight is not an option its a great action !!
 

diggler1833

World's Okayest Rancher and Hog Hunter
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Jul 22, 2007
    2,050
    5,944
    43
    Oklahoma
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    If I had the money GAP or Surgeon. The level of precision that goes into them, along with the durability puts them on the top of my list, YMMV.

    However, on my financial budget I'm more limited to the trued Remington actions for builds. So other than getting to play with one Templar actioned rifle, and fondle a Surgeon 591 actioned rifle, I'll probably never get much closer to owning one anytime soon.
     

    Snakum

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2010
    629
    0
    58
    Sandhills
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    I couldn't find out whether or not the Surgeon and Templar actions were three-way or the plain old two. Anyone know?
     

    468shot

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 29, 2009
    390
    27
    SE(Roswell Area), New Mexico
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Snakum</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I couldn't find out whether or not the Surgeon and Templar actions were three-way or the plain old two. Anyone know?</div></div>

    If you referring to the number of bolt lugs, then both of them are two lug bolts.
     

    JJones75

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    May 18, 2008
    1,912
    2
    45
    southern , LA
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 468shot</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Snakum</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I couldn't find out whether or not the Surgeon and Templar actions were three-way or the plain old two. Anyone know?</div></div>

    If you referring to the number of bolt lugs, then both of them are two lug bolts.

    </div></div>

    i think he is refering to the safety mod.

    Gentry makes a great three position safety for the bolt shroud (like Win M-70) they work very well
     

    Dirty D

    I reckon I like biscuits and mustard
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 29, 2010
    10,322
    53,331
    80
    Uranus
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    I am currently building a Savage/Stevens, I picked up a Stevens 7mm-08 for $220 at Academy! Sharp Shooter Supply offers most everything you will need and alot of Savage owners agree that you can build a very accurate rifle without spending the money on truing the reciever. My total planned build is less than $1400 and I can switch calibers anytime I want to with a barrel nut wrench.

    Savages are the red headed stepchild of the precision rifle community but their factory rifles have won Nat'l titles and they actually listen to their customers unlike big green.
    You are the only one that will know what will work best for what you want so best of luck and enjoy your project.
     

    wnroscoe

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 12, 2006
    3,908
    54
    NW Louisiana
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    I'd pass on the Savage and to my knowledge, GAP won’t sell just a Templar Receiver so they're out as well.

    From your list that leaves Badger, Remington & two Surgeon offerings, the RSR & 591. Don’t forget Defiance Machine either. They make my signature receiver and the Templar for GAP.

    The Remington 700 will require work to be on par with the others so if starting from scratch, I'd nix the 700 as well. The short list would be as follows;

    Surgeon 591
    Surgeon RSR
    Defiance Machine

    For me, I went Defiance Machine and made the modifications I wanted and felt the receivers needed. No matter the receiver you choose, any of the ones I've listed will work and do so in grand fashion.

    Other components would be;

    Krieger Barrels
    Surgeon DBM
    McMillan Rifle Stocks
    Jewell, Shilen or Rifle Basix Trigger

    Good luck
     

    Deisel

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 10, 2007
    1,037
    0
    Loveland, CO
    www.colorproprint.com
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    I have GAP rifles with Surgeon and Badger actions. Both are excellent and I have had zero problems with either. The Badger is two generations to my knowledge. The first gen was up to serial 100 and the second gen is what is out there now. I have a first gen action and I did send my first gen bolt back to Badger for free update. I had no problems with Badger action both before and after update. I have shot both rifles in field matches. I would say you could not go wrong with either. The Badger feature that you can use AI AW mags which are shorter than the AICS mags would make me pick Badger if I was going to build another rifle.
     

    Lt. Arclight

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Apr 17, 2005
    264
    1
    N.W. New Jerseystan
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    You also can choose Stiller or Lawton Machine. IMO, using a Rem700 is not cost effective-considering the labor it takes to blueprint it.

    ANY of the actions listed will work well. The most important part of the equation is the gunsmith. Because without a skilled hand involved-all you end up with is an assembly of expensive parts and not a PRECISION rifle.
     

    GRIM

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 21, 2009
    454
    1
    56
    Wisconsin
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    What about the Big Horn Arms action? I just ordered a complete rifle from Mark in .308 - that action is very well made. I think he's got them in stock.
     

    223ai

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 28, 2006
    1,091
    12
    Texas
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    William Roscoe is making a .308 for me with a Big Horn Arms action. I spoke at length with AJ Goddard about the action, and everything we discussed sold me on the design. When I picked it up from my FFL, I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the action was, and the machining is top notch. I'm looking forward to getting it.
     

    Snakum

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2010
    629
    0
    58
    Sandhills
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    Thanks for all the help. Down to the Savage or the Surgeon RSR. Still have issues with the mag profile. Since I've started shooting a lot of unsupported, and will do a lot if it in hunting season, the Remington DBMs all sticking out right where I balance is an issue. I fondled a TRG recently in which the protruding mag is surrounded on two sides by the stock skins and it balances well without the mag digging onto my hand. The AICS system and the 700 with Badger or CDI mags, even with the five round mag, dig into my hand and affect my accuracy. Anyone have suggestions about the mag issue? I need a DBM and don't want a blind mag. But that protrusion kills my off hand shooting. Is there a Remington 700 stock system similar to the TRG that lets you cradle right at the mag without difficulty?

    Edit ... forgot to mention that I checked out the Big Horn. Pretty interesting.

    Thanks again.
     

    deadly0311

    Tacticool Ninja
    Commercial Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 2, 2009
    4,658
    200
    Birmingham, AL
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    Snakum,
    Talk to strictlyRUM about actions, he might have a few recommendations that you like
    wink.gif
     

    Bacarrat

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jan 22, 2007
    2,963
    305
    Houston, TX
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Snakum</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Thanks for all the help. Down to the Savage or the Surgeon RSR. Still have issues with the mag profile. Since I've started shooting a lot of unsupported, and will do a lot if it in hunting season, the Remington DBMs all sticking out right where I balance is an issue. I fondled a TRG recently in which the protruding mag is surrounded on two sides by the stock skins and it balances well without the mag digging onto my hand. The AICS system and the 700 with Badger or CDI mags, even with the five round mag, dig into my hand and affect my accuracy. Anyone have suggestions about the mag issue? I need a DBM and don't want a blind mag. But that protrusion kills my off hand shooting. Is there a Remington 700 stock system similar to the TRG that lets you cradle right at the mag without difficulty?

    Edit ... forgot to mention that I checked out the Big Horn. Pretty interesting.

    Thanks again. </div></div>

    Have the action machined to run AW mags. The double stack should have the magazine ride higher and I believe if you use a AICS, it should be pretty much flush with the stock.

    But out of all the aftermarket actions I have played with so far, I would probably go with either the BAT or Big Horn. At least those 2 offer something different then all the other 700 clones.
     

    Snakum

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 21, 2010
    629
    0
    58
    Sandhills
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: deadly0311</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Snakum,
    Talk to strictlyRUM about actions, he might have a few recommendations that you like
    wink.gif
    </div></div>

    Oh definitely. He and I have discussed it, and he's totally cool with Savage, but I wanted to take one more pass.

    I tried out an AICS last weekend in Fayettenam and the five round mag does protrude a bit past the skins. Only the Savage and TRG rides flush for off-hand, as far as I can tell.

    Started the new job today and will have lots of money for a new whiz bang rifle. But now I won't have time to shoot much between work and school.
    frown.gif
     

    TEAMSENDIT

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 22, 2008
    2,943
    25
    41
    whidbey island
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    the hs precision mag system is flush when you run a 4rd mag and you could use that with the defiance/templar, surgeon, rem, stiller etc...

    just throwing out options
     

    deadly0311

    Tacticool Ninja
    Commercial Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 2, 2009
    4,658
    200
    Birmingham, AL
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    Snakum,
    Ask Jason about his action, its a good one, if you use a AICS chasis the 5 rd magazine fits flush with the bottom of the skins and doesnt protrude. The AW mag is what i run and it sticks out past the skins maybe an inch.
     

    skeetlee

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 13, 2008
    1,564
    30
    47
    Central Illinois
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    One thing is for sure. Fuck a savage action!! I know i Know! They still suck!!! If you work as hard as i do for your money dont waste it on a savage!! Lee
     

    Alderleet

    NCOIC of Shitposts
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 12, 2010
    909
    64
    Downrange
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    If you're doing a completely custom build, then dont bother with a mass produced rifle action.

    Do it right, or go home.


    If you're intentions are semi custom... then a commercial action makes sense.
     

    GSRswapandslow

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 13, 2008
    874
    31
    40
    North Carolina, Hudson (28638)
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: skeetlee</div><div class="ubbcode-body">One thing is for sure. Fuck a savage action!! I know i Know! They still suck!!! If you work as hard as i do for your money dont waste it on a savage!! Lee </div></div>


    why? where's your reasoning other than "cause i said so"? the hate-savage-mentality is so ridiculous on here...the actions have proven them selves time and time again to be MORE accurate out of the box than remington, FOR LESS cost..no, i'm not comparing it to a complete custom action...but if i were, i'm sure the savage would be very competitive against them (hell, look how the savage factory team does)
     

    skeetlee

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jun 13, 2008
    1,564
    30
    47
    Central Illinois
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    Do you really think team savage just picks any old savage barrel to shoot with!! The only thing that makes a savage accurate is the floating bot head. If the action was built correctly from the get go, it wouldnt need a floating head. And that accu trigger is a joke! Savage barrels are no better than a remington barrel either. Dont get me wrong. I dont look down on anyone who chooses to shoot a savage. We still all have the same big picture in mind, after all we are all riflemen. I just work to dam hard to buy such a piece! And as always, this is just how i see it. Nothing personal!! Lee
     

    GunGuru727

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 2, 2009
    582
    0
    San Diego, CA
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    3 position safetys are ridiculous. Your bolt will not "open" in the feild. Remington and savage actions are in the same feild, the time I have had behind both one does not seem more "accurate" than the other. Also I am almost positive GAP will not sell there Templar actions as stand alones either. With everything said I would build a custom action build with any of the great smiths on the hide. If you are going to spend the money I would throw the savage and Remington idea out the window, not that there is anything wrong with either but if your going to do it, do it right.

    I am not being sarcastic either, just my .02 cents.
     

    dar1246

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 6, 2008
    1,096
    1
    53
    Nebraska
    www.youtube.com
    Re: List of pros and cons: action for custom build

    I have four of Lawton actions. For 700 an action. I got action,recoil lug,pict.rail. Not bad for 700.