talk me out of an AT-X....or not

Islas82

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So am currently down sizing to one rifle, My vision is building or buying a QC barrel rifle as a dedicated platform I can shoot different SA calibers from like 6.5CM, 6CM and probably .223. My first thought is a Terminus Zeus, hear a lot of good things about these and I like the fact that theres proof pre fits available to just buy off the shelf so it would be really easy to buy the action and a few barrels and off we go, the problem with this at the moment is availability. Another option am looking at but not too sure of is a Curtis Valor that from all I hear and read is almost identical to the Zeus, issue is that it doesn't have the same ease of pre fit support, I mean I know many places make pre fits on order for these but am really looking for off the shelf availability, I have been told that Zeus pre fits are compatible with the Valor but I still haven't been able to verify it. Also not a lot of reviews out there for the Valor.

This brings me to the AI AT-X. I have zero experience with AI and I know theres a whole thread here about feeding and accessory support issues, nevertheless the rifle is interesting. MHS has some red ones in stock and theres a couple of members selling some so they're available but the question is what does the AI offer over the options mentioned above? My style of shooting is prone or bench target shooting with my 6.5cm and local PRS style matches with my 6cm so I need one thing that's comfortable in both areas. I like the idea of a fully custom rifle that I can pick and choose components, for example the trigger, I absolutely love the TT 2S triggers and I know this is an unfair comparison but how does the AI comp trigger compare? everything AI is just much more expensive is it really worth the extra cash?

I know theres the QC systems out there like the Desert Tech and the HIT and perhaps some others but at this particular time I am only interested in these 3. What do you guys think?
 

TacticalDillhole

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    THere are two AT-X threads here. I suggest you just read them and make the decision. pretty healthy list of pros and cons.
     
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    Islas82

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    THere are two AT-X threads here. I suggest you just read them and make the decision. pretty healthy list of pros and cons.
    There’s is, and I have. One of the is pretty much 75% bitching. Am looking for opinions that pertain to my issues/questions.
     

    TacticalDillhole

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    There’s is, and I have. One of the is pretty much 75% bitching. Am looking for opinions that pertain to my issues/questions.
    There are lots of options. AI’s are just fucking nice. The action is solid and they are built like a brick shithouse. Now as far as the ATX chassis I have no experience so I can’t comment on that. But with AI you get ruggedness and reliability albeit at a premium price.
     

    ForgeValley

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    I tried the one rifle thing. Didn't work for me because I like messing around with my rifles too much, trying different triggers, chassis/stocks, etc.

    You say you like custom rifles with the option to pick and choose components. Won't be too much of that with the AI. If that matters to you, I'd go with the Zeus.

    I've owned a Zeus, axsr, and AIAT. I still have the Zeus, but not a qc version.

    QC systems seemed great in theory to me, but I realized I just never needed the ability to change caliber in the field. Might work great for you.
     

    Islas82

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    I tried the one rifle thing. Didn't work for me because I like messing around with my rifles too much, trying different triggers, chassis/stocks, etc.

    You say you like custom rifles with the option to pick and choose components. Won't be too much of that with the AI. If that matters to you, I'd go with the Zeus.

    I've owned a Zeus, axsr, and AIAT. I still have the Zeus, but not a qc version.

    QC systems seemed great in theory to me, but I realized I just never needed the ability to change caliber in the field. Might work great for you.
    Excellent point, in my head I want to be able to switch barrels at the range and go from target shooting with 6.5 to positional shooting practice with my 6CM. So I think I would take advantage of the feature, I just wonder if it’s really designed for that type of constant change or will it wear and cause issues over time? Who knows I haven’t really read anything like that happening. I guess in my head I just want the one rifle to rule them all lol
     

    ForgeValley

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    The thing about the kind of change you are talking about in the field, going from 6.5 to 6, are you going to take the time to re-zero? Or will you account for the change in zero between calibers in your software, or just note the difference then make the adjustment on the fly to your dope?

    And then when you go back to caliber and barrel combo you were originally zeroed to, no matter how repeatable the system, and both the Zeus and AI are good in that regard, it still ain't gonna be perfect, and won't be the same every time so you are back to re-zero, our account for it in your software/dope.

    Makes my head hurt just thinking about it.
     

    Islas82

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    The thing about the kind of change you are talking about in the field, going from 6.5 to 6, are you going to take the time to re-zero? Or will you account for the change in zero between calibers in your software, or just note the difference then make the adjustment on the fly to your dope?

    And then when you go back to caliber and barrel combo you were originally zeroed to, no matter how repeatable the system, and both the Zeus and AI are good in that regard, it still ain't gonna be perfect, and won't be the same every time so you are back to re-zero, our account for it in your software/dope.

    Makes my head hurt just thinking about it.
    Lol yea I thought about that, the positive is that the shift between 6.5 and 6 won’t be much. I guess is time to really put the Tangents “tooless” zero to the test, I typically verify zero with a couple shots at 100yds any way.
     

    ForgeValley

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    Lol yea I thought about that, the positive is that the shift between 6.5 and 6 won’t be much. I guess is time to really put the Tangents “tooless” zero to the test, I typically verify zero with a couple shots at 100yds any way.

    If you don't mind the zeroing process, could work great for you then. I despise it, but don't have a Tangent either.

    About the robustness of the QC system, I think that would go to AI. I love my Zeus, but those are some tiny ass little screws in the Zeus QC system, and I'd be worried about losing one in the field. I'm not down on Joel's QC system at all, it works and I'm even a bit of a Terminus fan boy. But have to call that one the way I see it.
     
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    Krob95

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    Simple. AT. Vision chassis. AX buttstock. Calibers of your choice. I've had my ax for almost 2 years now and have never thought I needed another rifle to fill the role of comp gun. Had GCP do the vision chassis upgrade back in December/ January and couldn't imagine not having it. You can knock out load dev for a few different barrels in one day. Or do load dev and then practice with the other barrel. I do that regularly and it's a great system. Works even better if you have a Tangent.

    Relevant photo, I brought my 22GT barrel to get dope, and had the BRA barrel to break in that day.
    E6D87865-EA07-4BD7-B484-EFCA0F442E84.jpeg
     

    ForgeValley

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    Simple. AT. Vision chassis. AX buttstock. Calibers of your choice. I've had my ax for almost 2 years now and have never thought I needed another rifle to fill the role of comp gun. Had GCP do the vision chassis upgrade back in December/ January and couldn't imagine not having it. You can knock out load dev for a few different barrels in one day. Or do load dev and then practice with the other barrel. I do that regularly and it's a great system. Works even better if you have a Tangent.

    Relevant photo, I brought my 22GT barrel to get dope, and had the BRA barrel to break in that day. View attachment 7878973

    Those vision chassis are sexy AF. If I get back into an AI, that is the way.
     

    Islas82

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    Simple. AT. Vision chassis. AX buttstock. Calibers of your choice. I've had my ax for almost 2 years now and have never thought I needed another rifle to fill the role of comp gun. Had GCP do the vision chassis upgrade back in December/ January and couldn't imagine not having it. You can knock out load dev for a few different barrels in one day. Or do load dev and then practice with the other barrel. I do that regularly and it's a great system. Works even better if you have a Tangent.

    Relevant photo, I brought my 22GT barrel to get dope, and had the BRA barrel to break in that day. View attachment 7878973
    Didn’t know of the existence of this system, I knew vision made Rem 700 style chassis. What does this chassis offer than the AI doesn’t as far as functionality, I understand there’s more adjustments on that stock.
     

    Darkside-Six

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    I used my AT-X for the the same reasons you’re looking at. Had my 6.5 CM barrel for practicing and my 6GT for matches. Practiced with the 6.5 for the added recoil. My zero difference between the 2 barrels was .5 up and .2 right going from 6GT to 6.5. Very repeatable. As mentioned above, you’re paying a bit of a premium for AI but they’re some of the most rugged rifles out there and you won’t be disappointed
     

    Krob95

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    Didn’t know of the existence of this system, I knew vision made Rem 700 style chassis. What does this chassis offer than the AI doesn’t as far as functionality, I understand there’s more adjustments on that stock.
    I'll let @samb300 field that question as he is the brainchild behind the Vision chassis and I don't want to give false statements
     
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    CIB2007

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    I sold my AX to order an AT-X but instead got drunk and called Mike for a TAC OPS. The AI is a proven system, and it never failed me. The 60 degree bolt throw has ruined me and my only change I asked TAC OPS for was a ZEUS action. The quick change barrel system on the AI was awesome and repeatable. Every cleaning I removed it and kept it in a transit case.

    The POI never moved more than .1 but that could of been me or taking the suppressor on and off. The biggest trade off about an AI is the "AI Tax" it's like owning a Harley or raptor. Just because it says AI it will cost more. The guys on the AT-X pages put out good info but it's 80% bitching and 20% usable info.

    I had a TT but sold it for a ZCO, if I kept the AI or had the Zeus QC I would 100% still have it. You can't go wrong with either. Both actions are built like tanks, the Zeus does have a slightly lighter bolt lift and it will throw itself into battery. Hope that helps?
     

    Randall3rd

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    I may be off here, but I don't believe there's a .223 option on the AI readily available? If that's important to you, may want to look elsewhere... or get the AI now and pick up a Zeus in .223 in whatever custom flavor you like!
     
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    RickyRodney

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    How do you justify buying the vision chassis and comp trigger to go with an AX and still be that far ahead?

    Any reason why the vision chassis is better than the AT-X?
     

    Darkside-Six

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    How do you justify buying the vision chassis and comp trigger to go with an AX and still be that far ahead?

    Any reason why the vision chassis is better than the AT-X?
    Many AO/Vision chassis shooters already made the Jump or where in the process before the AT-X was even announced.
     

    Islas82

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    I may be off here, but I don't believe there's a .223 option on the AI readily available? If that's important to you, may want to look elsewhere... or get the AI now and pick up a Zeus in .223 in whatever custom flavor you like!
    Not necessarily a priority.
     

    JB.IC

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    My only opinion is that we need to stop pretending AI is the only rifle manufacturer that makes rugged parts. I have an AXSR and a slew of other custom actions. The only difference is AI cost more and is less customizable and/or needs proprietary accessories to customize it. I have my ATX sitting at my buddies shop waiting for me to go pick it up. Let’s not forget that the bolt lift on an AI needs a crane operator to lift it. Jk but seriously.

    Also, changing the barrels to different cartridges seems awesome in theory but becomes rather annoying in reality. I just end up stop changing barrels because the cool factor wore off.

    The Zeus action is awesome but I don’t have a QC action. I wouldn’t trust that setscrew. Not at a PRS comp anyways. If it works for others then cool. I have trust issues so mines getting torqued. It hasn’t failed me and I doubt anyone else has experience a failure. The beauty of the Zeus or any other custom action is you get to choose a lot of combinations of parts and they also offer different bolts too. You could even get an ATX chassis for it.

    AI rifles just look cool as hell and that’s mainly why I bought mine. They’re like a hot girlfriend. They’re going to cost you.
     
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    ForgeValley

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    You can't go wrong with either. Both actions are built like tanks, the Zeus does have a slightly lighter bolt lift and it will throw itself into battery. Hope that helps?

    LOL, that's the best way I've seen it described on the Zeus... I swear sometimes the bolt pulls itself forward and closes itself its so fast. And I'm talking about the long action.
     
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    TheBigCountry

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    I was in your shoes not long ago.

    For years I contemplated an AI

    I looked hard at the AT-X

    I almost bought one.

    What I got was a used AT that came with the folding stock, 308 barrel, and a 260 barrel, all in one package.

    Get an AT. I had Bighorns, Stillers, all in various chassis/stock combos. They all got sold, and looking back, if I had gotten the AT from the rip, I would have been farther ahead.

    Call the guys at MileHigh or Eurooptic. Demo ATs are out there.
     
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    TylerN

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    I'm very happy with my AT-X but I wanted an AI for not completely rational reasons. The Zeus route would have more customizable options and cost less. Both will likely perform equally so you can't go wrong either way.
     
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    carbonbased

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    So here’s my take, as a new AIAX 308 owner. I mainly shoot varmints, and now want to dip my toes into 1000yd fucktardery.

    Was going to go TacOps, Mike is a swell guy, but it suddenly occurred to me that I can’t bear to sell enough guns to make enough room in the safe so I can just barely fit ONE more rifle in there (but I want more than one more!).

    Getting more room is not going to happen unless I lose a wife.

    I also wanted a rifle now, a rifle that worked right out of box, plus EO had one in stock.

    But no field-changing barrels for me…it’s just about storing barrels out of the safe and having a 6BR, maybe 223, 308, maybe 6.5CM, etc out of one system. Fuck maybe I’ll be the first schmuck to make a .204 AIAX heh heh.

    One of the very good things with the AI ergos is the finger-to-trigger distance (I hereby christen this FTTD). There’s a thread on the Hide about what stocks/chassis have short FTTD so people with plain old medium/large hands can easily get their trigger finger at 90° with a reg grip (without dancing just one’s fingertips on the pistol grip).

    For example, for non-custom Manners stocks you need gdamn orangutan hands for ideal FTTD if you also want to grip the pistol grip simultaneously.

    That FTTD thread’s consensus was only AI, Terry Cross’ stocks, and one McMillan stock (A10? I think it’s now called U10) had shortish FTTD.

    However, one of the sort of troubling things with the AI ergos is that I’d like the cheek piece to adjust much further laterally right (I’m right handed) so I could get my head more straight up. I think they limit the lateral adjustment so the butt pad can still collapse all of the way in, but maybe a cutoff wheel is in my future lol. We’ll see if I get used to it. The cheek piece ergos on my KRG W3 seem better, but it’s early on in my AI life.

    Maybe the complaint above is because I shoot from a bench or a tripod, and never from prone?

    Two good-to-know things about AI’s (or at least my AI) are:
    1. My equally used Bergara Premier (Rem 700 pattern) has a comparatively way, way, way easier bolt lift and almost non-existent effort bolt close. Smoother too. Again, the two rifles have been used the same (i.e. not much). And yeah, I’ve greased bolt systems in the right spots. I don’t think this matters too much but it’s there.
    2. The regular factory trigger, unadjusted, is pretty evenly compared to my two Bix n’ Andy two stage TacSport Pros (8oz/8oz and 10oz/10oz). The AI’s first stage is much heavier (less chance of accidental kaboom…I like it) and the second stage is lightish and breaks cleanly. Does not seem to impact my groups. I have no desire for the comp trigger, which is frankly surprising (and good, as I read some weird stuff about that trigger…some say the comp trigger’s issues are all about people trying to make a light one-stage out of it).
    So that’s an AI Noob’s hot take.
     
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    BLKWLFK9

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    AIs are awesome. Love mine. With that said, there are options. The Zeus is a great action, impacts, Lone peaks, hell even tikkas. All can have unlimited number of barrels for them for that "1 gun" situation. I'll never get rid of my AI but the Zeus and Lone Peaks are very appealing to me. I absolutely love my tikka too.
     

    TylerN

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    AIs are awesome. Love mine. With that said, there are options. The Zeus is a great action, impacts, Lone peaks, hell even tikkas. All can have unlimited number of barrels for them for that "1 gun" situation. I'll never get rid of my AI but the Zeus and Lone Peaks are very appealing to me. I absolutely love my tikka too.
    With an AI you can be be this guy. "I shoot a Lone Peak" just doesn't work :cool:
    6hw8kw.jpg


    I like the AI features and just wanted an AI because I've always wanted one. I've been happy I went with the AT-X. The chassis has a modern design (vs. hump designs of the AX family.) Loading double stack mags is a nice quality of life feature vs. DSSF. Barrel changes are great and work as advertised; I like being able to mess around with different calibers or have multiple options in a single rifle. I don't like 90 degree actions at all; I shot a Tikka for 10 years and got used to that. Shooting a 90 degree action feels awkward although that's a training and familiarity thing. I prefer 2 stage triggers so I've been happy with the comp trigger; I like flat face shoes and AI has that option available which I've ordered to try out. Those are the Pro's to me; the Con is the cost isn't a value vs. the custom route.

    Since I waited for a backorder for a long time I had plenty of time to scrounge up accessories so when I got the rifle I had all the stuff I needed so no complaints there. I complained about the wait time for a long time and say ordering an in-stock AT-X is the way to go.
     

    acudaowner

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    nope sign your money and soul over on the dotted line smile the gun is now yours who needs money and a soul , when a gun could last almost forever or only another week if the dims get there way .
     

    kthomas

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    Buy whichever rifle checks the most boxes for you will being ergonomic/comfortable to shoot. They both accomplish the same task.

    Personally, AI's are not a great fit for me, so I tend to be a custom rifle guy. I don't like the ergonomics of AI rifles. I think the triggers leave a lot to be desired, as does the bolt lift. That said, they make a great rifle, a "one size fits most" kind of deal.

    While the AI is a suit you buy off the rack, it may or may not fit you well, probably not perfectly, the custom rifle is like a custom tailored suit. You and your gunsmith can spec it to your exact preferences and have it for you perfectly. There's nothing like a dialed in custom rifle - but it generally takes iterations to get to 'perfect'.

    To the next topic: I'm not a huge fan of the one gun/many barrels solution. Especially for volume shooting. Personally, I would rather have dedicated rifles that I can swap between on the range while I let others cool.

    I have 3 barrels for my Mausingfield rifle, so I do technically have a "switch barrel" setup. It's not easy to change out at the range without tools, like a Zeus or AI. I would rather have 3 Mausingfields than swap barrels around, but it's a compromise as I don't have the funds to have 3 Mausingfield rifles. Swapping barrels out on the range is something I have no interest in.

    Those are my thoughts. Good luck!
     

    Islas82

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    Decisions were made gentlemen, I just couldn’t let go of my TCS. Let’s see if the QC is what I envisioned it to be.
     

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    Feniks Technologies

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    Pros:

    -The AI action is proven
    -The standard AI trigger is proven
    -The chassis is nice and ergonomic (subjective)
    -Best QD barrel change system on market (arguably)

    Cons:

    -Would have to already own or buy standard trigger if you don’t want the comp trigger
    -can’t make the comp trigger a true zero creep single stage. You can get close. But you will have cocking failures if you set it to have absolutely zero creep like a diamond and be under 1lb break or so
    -Stuck with the AI trigger and chassis if they don’t work for you

    Possible cons:

    -if you don’t like the AI bolt lift, it’s still an AI bolt lift
    -Can’t use 1.25” barrel and the full nvg rail
    -Flat trigger shoe won’t fit in the trigger guard when the shoe is in the most rear position on the dovetail
    -Tool less butt not available yet. And on early models different hex key size needed for LOP and Cheek than the hex key supplied and kept under stock
    -very slow rollout of things like folding hinge and updated butts and such


    There are a fair amount of small things (flat trigger shoe not fitting for example) that apparently weren’t caught with beta testing.

    But, it’s a solid rifle overall.

    As always with AI, the end user has to prefer or at least he ok with the fairly narrow rifle parameters. You don’t have the option of 5 different triggers and 20 different chassis.
     
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    Krob95

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    Love that paint job. Want another custom action so I can get another manners stock. Until then, I'm stuck with the lowly AI
     
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    Tritiumdials

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    Minor gripes would be the early adopters/pre-orders weren't equipped with the knowledge of:
    • AI flat trigger shoe has limited rearward travel on the dovetail
    • Need to buy a high action rail to match front bridge rails
    • Slow accessory release
    • AW magazine issue
     

    Islas82

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    So went out today and fire the first 50 rounds out of each barrel and all so can say is wow! The QC system is exactly what I envisioned it to be, shot 40 rounds of 6CM and then when it came time to switch to 6.5 it took me 2 minutes to switch the barrel and 3 rounds to zero .1 mil down and .7 left was the difference. Really impressed with the action, am glad I took this direction.