My goal is to build an ultralight backpacking rifle for all North America big game at 500 yards. There are so many custom actions and stocks out there it's hard to know if I've reviewed them all so I'm seeking some advice from knowledgeable members here. I'd like an ultralight action with a 60° bolt throw with integral recoil lug and I'm considering a 300 WSM in an 18 to 20 in carbon fiber Barrel (not set on particular cartridge though). Stock options also seem to be so numerous however the peak 44 looks good but I'm sure there are better out there. My budget is $1700 for the action, $1000 for barrel and $1000 for the stock. I'll be handloading for this. I also have some decent machines at my home shop (Fadal 4020 with 4th, cnc lathe, 2 manual lathes and 2 manual mills) if needed for this pursuit. I did some gunsmithing in the past mostly with Mauser actions back when big5 had the Turkishmausers for $39.99
I was kinda in the same boat a few months back. Hard to find a light weight action with integral lug and less than 90 degree bolt. I tried to get an Apollo lite but after waiting 3 months and getting the “it will ship in 2 weeks” line three or more times I cancelled the order.
I ended up buying a Mesa Precision Titanium. It has an integral recoil lug, pinned rail and is 75 degree bolt throw. It is a pretty nice action and does everything I need it to do. Mesa is not too popular as there are definitely more favored action manufacturers.
I bought a Curtis Valor after the Mesa for my 6CM build and honestly the titanium weight savings is hardly noticeable to me. Both guns were built similarly and both ended up 10-10.5 lbs rigged out including optics.
If I did it again I would run the Curtis Valor (same design as Terminus Zeus) because I love the feel of the action. The Mesa is smooth and runs well, but the Valor feels more refined. The 60 degree bolt is a slight improvement over the 75 degree of the Mesa. Both have acceptable bolt lifts to me, but the roller cam on the Valor both makes it feel smoother. The Valor feels more solid and precise, but I have no complaints about the Mesa.
I wouldn’t avoid buying a Mesa, I would just opt for a Valor unless I was literally counting every ounce.