Thinking about upgrading to a Zermatt Arms TL3

7magsavage

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So Im thinking of upgrading to a Zermatt Arms TL3. I just wanted your guys' opinions as to what your thoughts are on them. Where do you guys get your barrels? Are you guys that have them happy with the setup and the barrel changes? I have shot nothing but Remington 700 and Savage for 12 years and from what Im seeing I could upgrade actions and basically change barrels myself for about what it would cost for me to buy a blank and have my GS chamber and install a new barrel.
Anything Im missing? Anything to pay attention to and be aware of? Those actions are a chunk of change and I would like to hear what you guys think.
Thank you all in advance.
Steve
 

rockn30809

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I like mine and would buy another. I got a Proof prefit from a vendor on here and installed it myself. Install is easy if your mechanically inclined. Lots of vendor choices for prefits on here.
 

A.Huggy

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I've had a TL3 for two years now and I love it.

Prefit barrels are nice. I bought an extra bolt face assembly and fire control group to keep with me at matches. I have never needed it but I like that spare parts are readily available and can be swapped in seconds.

I recently learned how to chamber barrels and I really appreciate how open and honest Zermatt has been about providing a tenon print, and answering the questions I had the first time I was setting up to chamber for my action.

The only negative thing I can say is that my action will not reliably ignite CCI BR-4 primers. If you search around this forum there are a few threads discussing this issue. There are fixes for this but I won't get into that here, it's not a big deal to me since I use Federal 205's.
 

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    Only negative is you’ll realize how nice a custom action is and it’ll make all your other guns feel subpar
    This. After the first Precision Rifle Expo I came home and sold all my factory bolt guns. Now I have 3 customs, 2 of which are Zermatt Origins.
     
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    padom

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    The only negative thing I can say is that my action will not reliably ignite CCI BR-4 primers. If you search around this forum there are a few threads discussing this issue. There are fixes for this but I won't get into that here, it's not a big deal to me since I use Federal 205's.

    Thats weird, I have 6 TL3's and I've never had an issue with BR4's.... just shot some 2 days ago. 🤷‍♂️
     

    Thorbeast

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    I like my TL3 and would happily buy another (I'd probably buy an origin, to be honest). Feeding and ejection is great. Bolt lift is good, plenty of options for rails/tangs/mag cut. If you don't need AW magazines, get an origin. It's just as good as the TL3, but with less customization to minimize cost. I bought my TL3 in 2016, before the Origin was released. I do use AW magazines, but if I were starting over, I'd go with AICS mags, the AICS mags have evolved a bit since 2016 (MDT factory 12 round mags). Zermatt customer service is great. My advice would be to buy one directly from zermatt and ship them your trigger, they will time it for you. Also, front range precision has great deals on proof research shouldered pre-fits. I do have a barrel utilizing a barrel nut (that I turned into a shouldered barrel via red loctite on the barrel nut), but shouldered pre-fits are just easier to setup, and there is no need to buy go and no go gauges, minimizing the cost between the two.

    You mention installing/switching barrels, if you are looking to switch barrels often, you might want to look into the terminus zeus, that action is probably better for switching barrels frequently. Not that you can't do it with a TL3 or Origin, but the TL3 is going to require more tools. Some people do the TL3 swaps without tools and are confident in the results, but I'm not there yet. Also, almost every custom action can utilize shouldered pre-fits, so the barrel install process is actually the same for other actions as it is for the TL3/origin (just in case you didn't know). The other popular custom actions (Impact, Lone Peak, ect.) offer user serviceable barrels, that's not specific to Zermatt anymore. When they were released that was a big selling point, but most actions today can do that.

    I believe @padom swaps barrels without tools, maybe he can speak to that.
     

    7magsavage

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    I REALLY appreciate the replies guys.

    So I’m looking on their website to try and decide the differences between the TL3 and the Origin.
    Looks like the biggest differences is the TL3 has an integrated rail and recoil lug as well as the option for their DLC coating.

    Would these differences make it worth it to you for the extra cash to get the TL3?

    What do you think of the DLC coating?
     

    padom

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    I REALLY appreciate the replies guys.

    So I’m looking on their website to try and decide the differences between the TL3 and the Origin.
    Looks like the biggest differences is the TL3 has an integrated rail and recoil lug as well as the option for their DLC coating.

    Would these differences make it worth it to you for the extra cash to get the TL3?

    What do you think of the DLC coating?

    Listen...the origin is the best value action for your money out there if you ask me....it replaced the Rem700 truing route...

    I had an Origin for a while....built my sons 2nd 223rem bolt gun off of it.. I brought it out often because a fee guys on the Hide asked me to bring it along with a TL3....they wanted to feel the difference... I since sold it and replaced it with another TL3...

    The biggest single difference myself and everyone that played with it side by side a TL3....?? Bolt lift....the Origin has a noticeably heavier bolt lift than a TL3. Its a great action, I like the TL3 better...its a little smoother and the bolt isn't as heavy...

    TL3 yes has integral lug vs pinned recoil lug on Origin....both have a removable scope base....its not integral on TL3.. I believe yes the Origin is nitrided vs DLC on TL3.

    I was an early adopter of TL3 before Zermatt was do8ng there actions.. my first 2 TL3's are some of the first batches made came in SS.... 1 of them was immediately sent out for DLC coating by PVA to a well known DLC company....the bolt heads and bolts came NP3 coated back then... I still have 1 in SS...DLC is my favorite, one of the best treatments out there....slick as hell and just gets better as it wears.....requires virtually no oil on the bolt....I know guys run it dry in the Midwest and west due to the fine powder like dirt and have zero issues or stoppages...
     
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    Rob01

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    I have a couple of TL3s and really like them. One is set up as a .223 now and I really like being able to swap out the bolt heads and change calibers easy. You can do that with an Origin also. I got my first TL3 after playing with a friend's rifle and liking it. I sold some stuff and bought one. I got my second only because I already had shouldered prefit barrels spun for the first and so I can swap them over. The Origin has a different headspace than the short action TL3 or I would have given one a try. If you wanted to save a few hundred bucks then get a Origin but if money isn't a problem then grab a TL3 and you will be happy also. Really can't go wrong with either.
     

    A.Huggy

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    Thats weird, I have 6 TL3's and I've never had an issue with BR4's.... just shot some 2 days ago. 🤷‍♂️
    Here's a couple threads discussing the issue:

    Some people get a new fire control assembly from Bighorn, some people swap triggers, some people swap primers, and some people send their stuff to bighorn and let them figure it out. I don't think it's a deal breaker but I figured I would mention it because I have first hand experience.
     

    padom

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    Here's a couple threads discussing the issue:

    Some people get a new fire control assembly from Bighorn, some people swap triggers, some people swap primers, and some people send their stuff to bighorn and let them figure it out. I don't think it's a deal breaker but I figured I would mention it because I have first hand experience.


    People posting they have problems doesnt do much for me. So many variables these days. They have never been a problem in my rifle... I have all BnA Tacsport Pro 2 Stages with the bighorn/Zermatt correct low sear and before that I ran Jewell many years ago. To date, Ive never had a single BR4 or any primer issue for that matter on my 6 TL3's.... So take that for what its worth. Just flat out saying TL3 have issues with BR4 is a bit misleading if you ask me...
     
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    padom

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    I have a couple of TL3s and really like them. One is set up as a .223 now and I really like being able to swap out the bolt heads and change calibers easy. You can do that with an Origin also. I got my first TL3 after playing with a friend's rifle and liking it. I sold some stuff and bought one. I got my second only because I already had shouldered prefit barrels spun for the first and so I can swap them over. The Origin has a different headspace than the short action TL3 or I would have given one a try. If you wanted to save a few hundred bucks then get a Origin but if money isn't a problem then grab a TL3 and you will be happy also. Really can't go wrong with either.

    This is exactly why I ended up selling the 1 Origin I bought and built out for my son in 223rem, my Curtis Axiom, couple fully custom and worked 700's and a Stiller TAC30... to standardize. I replaced everything with TL3's so that all 6 actions can utilize the pile of TL3 barrels on the shelf I have in all kinds of calibers.... I have multiple 223rem and 308 bolt heads... I have a 224V bolt head.. I have 2 spare complete bolts with firing pins/assembly and bolt heads on stand by for any issues or a quick caliber switch.

    I do not do tool less barrel changes. All my barrel changes consist of putting the BA in a SAC Modular Barrel Vise, removing the action with a Zermatt action wrench and re-installing the new barrel with grease on the tenon threads and torqued to 75lbs every single time.... The only thing I torque to a different setting is my RimX barrels which I torque to 50lb every time....
     

    7magsavage

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    Thank you guys. All very appreciated advice.

    Padom, do you also check headspace with gauges as well (I would assume yes).
     

    Rob01

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    Not Padom but no. I get my shouldered prefits from smiths I trust and screw on and go.
     

    b6graham

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    i went origin to tl3 then back to origins once i got a RimX. I prefer the matching swept bolt handles and dont really notice a 'heavier' bolt lift with a BnA trigger

    I run Origin and TL3 barrels without problem with a HLR lug
     
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    A.Huggy

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    People posting they have problems doesnt do much for me. So many variables these days. They have never been a problem in my rifle... I have all BnA Tacsport Pro 2 Stages with the bighorn/Zermatt correct low sear and before that I ran Jewell many years ago. To date, Ive never had a single BR4 or any primer issue for that matter on my 6 TL3's.... So take that for what its worth. Just flat out saying TL3 have issues with BR4 is a bit misleading if you ask me...

    Sorry padom, I didn't mean to imply that all TL3's struggle with BR4's or 450's. I only meant to say that mine does; and because my experience is not unique, it's something worth watching out for.
     

    Shoots 700's

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    Sorry padom, I didn't mean to imply that all TL3's struggle with BR4's or 450's. I only meant to say that mine does; and because my experience is not unique, it's something worth watching out for.
    Not to argue with you, but this is the first i have heard about issues with br4 and 450’
     
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    CK1.0

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    I went with an Origin, mainly because I figured out that I prefer a swept bolt, but I'd have been just as happy with a TL3. I'm on my second Proof prefit barrel with it, ~2500rds on it, and I like it more now than when I got it. Mine is one of the newer SS ones, it came timed perfectly with a TT Diamond.

    So far the Proof prefits have been awesome, but, I wouldn't hesitate to run a TL3 barrel with an HLR lug, or a Savage prefit with a nut, if that's all I could find in a given cartridge/caliber that I wanted to spin on.
     

    reubenski

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    I also have a couple of TL3's and an Origin. I like them both. To answer your question, nope. You're not missing anything. Buy TL3, screw on a prefit. Find a way to torque it. Barrel vise, wrench flats, whatever.

    I use trigger techs with my TL3's. It's impossible for Zermatt to know what shape and height all the different sears are on custom trigger manufacturers. So the actions (like most actions) benefit from "timing" the cocking piece so their isn't such hard cocking of the firing pin. I've timed all my own actions. It's extremely simple.

    The only primers I've had issues setting off have been M118LR in a 308W barrel and CCI450s when fireforming Dasher brass by jamming bullets in the lands. But those are headspace issues, not actual primer related. That's what Padom is referring to by the posts of people trying to figure out their problems.

    They are great actions and I much prefer the DLC. Use a lot of grease in the beginning on the bolt and after a couple of hundred rounds all the bearing surfaces will wear in and it will be a silky smoof action.
     
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    reubenski

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    Sorry padom, I didn't mean to imply that all TL3's struggle with BR4's or 450's. I only meant to say that mine does; and because my experience is not unique, it's something worth watching out for.
    I'm pretty sure a person can diagnose the issue and fix it
     

    7magsavage

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    You guys have been a ton of help. I believe I will go the TL3 route. Sounds pretty fireproof.
     

    kthomas

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    I also have a couple of TL3's and an Origin. I like them both. To answer your question, nope. You're not missing anything. Buy TL3, screw on a prefit. Find a way to torque it. Barrel vise, wrench flats, whatever.

    I use trigger techs with my TL3's. It's impossible for Zermatt to know what shape and height all the different sears are on custom trigger manufacturers. So the actions (like most actions) benefit from "timing" the cocking piece so their isn't such hard cocking of the firing pin. I've timed all my own actions. It's extremely simple.

    The only primers I've had issues setting off have been M118LR in a 308W barrel and CCI450s when fireforming Dasher brass by jamming bullets in the lands. But those are headspace issues, not actual primer related. That's what Padom is referring to by the posts of people trying to figure out their problems.

    They are great actions and I much prefer the DLC. Use a lot of grease in the beginning on the bolt and after a couple of hundred rounds all the bearing surfaces will wear in and it will be a silky smoof action.
    Zermatt will also time your action to your trigger for a very reasonable fee. May even be free if you get them to do it before they ship out the action.
     

    reubenski

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    Zermatt will also time your action to your trigger for a very reasonable fee. May even be free if you get them to do it before they ship out the action.
    It's so easy to do I don't really understand why people think they need the guy who made the action to do it. I never buy actions from zermatt because there's usually quite a wait. I always buy them from available retailers like Altus
     

    Gtscotty

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    When I asked Zermatt about having my Origin timed for my TT Diamond (before putting everything together), they said that the Origins are timed to run right with TT triggers. That's certainly been the case with mine, don't know if that applies to TL3 or not but TT might be the trigger easy button.
     
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    CK1.0

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    What is also cool with the TL3/Origin's: for the last year or so I've been using the "Deep Creek Method" to find the lands on my barrels. Because the TL3/Origin uses a simple mechanical ejector in the receiver instead of on the bolt, all you have to do is pull the firing pin assembly with a turn of the wrist and you can get on with it, that's it:




    It makes it easy to keep an eye on your throat erosion/seating depth, you can check it every time you clean it if you want, no sweat.
     
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    reubenski

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    When I asked Zermatt about having my Origin timed for my TT Diamond (before putting everything together), they said that the Origins are timed to run right with TT triggers. That's certainly been the case with mine, don't know if that applies to TL3 or not but TT might be the trigger easy button.
    I've had to time every TL3 I've owned. (4) All using TTs. My Origin also benefitted from timing but I'm using a Jewell.

    Either way, it's easier than tuning a troublesome mag. All you do is file the cocking piece bearing surface. Just make sure you don't change the shape of it; maintain the same angle. You're only removing 20 to 80 thou of material. Just remove metal while periodically reassembling your bolt and testing the cocking. Watch the back of the firing pin protruding from the shroud when you close the bolt. All that distance or movement is the cocking piece rotating on the ramp in the bolt body. Held back by the trigger sear. Stop removing metal when you feel like the force required to close the bolt is where you want it. You should probably leave a little bit of force or protrusion to ensure your firing spin spring still has enough compression to reliably set off primers. You don't need to disassemble your entire firing pin assembly. All you have to do is use the toolless bayonet disassembly and remove the firing pin assembly from the bolt body in order to get at the cocking piece to remove metal. Use compressed air to clean off any metal shavings before sticking the bolt back in the gun. It's a 7-minute job.
     

    reubenski

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    What is also cool with the TL3/Origin's: for the last year or so I've been using the "Deep Creek Method" to find the lands on my barrels. Because the TL3/Origin uses a simple mechanical ejector in the receiver instead of on the bolt, all you have to do is pull the firing pin assembly with a turn of the wrist and you can get on with it, that's it:




    It makes it easy to keep an eye on your throat erosion/seating depth, you can check it every time you clean it if you want, no sweat.

    I just take my barrel off. With wrench flats and a crescent wrench It takes about 34 seconds. Maybe less
     
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    Threadcutter308

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    I have three TL-2's and love them. All DLC'd and it's a great finish. I don't have TL-3's, but I'm sure the quality and consistency is the same or better than my TL-2's.

    I chamber my own barrels (.223, 6 x47L, .308W) and I can move barrels from one action to the other and there is zero difference in headspace. That's how consistent Zermatt's tolerances are.

    I've been using Bartlein, either direct from them, or from Bugholes. I like Bugholes because they are more likely to have stock in what I am looking for. They make large buys from Bartlein and try have have as many barrels in stock as possible.

    All three TL-2's have Jewell triggers on them. Never a problem with timing or light primer strikes.
     

    Junco Grande

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    You can't go wrong with the TL3 or Origin. Barrel swaps with Proof prefits is almost kindergarten easy and the bolt head is probably easier. Action wrenches were hard to find for a while, but FRP has a few left I think. Also, the HLR lug on the Origin for running a TL3 prefit has been right on for me.
     

    Tbaxl

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    So Im thinking of upgrading to a Zermatt Arms TL3. I just wanted your guys' opinions as to what your thoughts are on them. Where do you guys get your barrels? Are you guys that have them happy with the setup and the barrel changes? I have shot nothing but Remington 700 and Savage for 12 years and from what Im seeing I could upgrade actions and basically change barrels myself for about what it would cost for me to buy a blank and have my GS chamber and install a new barrel.
    Anything Im missing? Anything to pay attention to and be aware of? Those actions are a chunk of change and I would like to hear what you guys think.
    Thank you all in advance.
    Steve
    I have had multiple origins and TL3’s now. I have thoroughly enjoyed both. I can’t find enough differences between the 2 to not just buy a origin.
     
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    reubenski

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    My biggest reason to buy a TL3 is the integral lug allows me to swap barrels with a perfect return to zero. If you are going to be swapping barrels a lot you don't want the origin.
     

    acudaowner

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    my plans are to buy another one for 7 saum like the one I am using for 6.5 creed I love the one I have and have had zero problems with it going on two barrels used the action is still running like a champ .
     

    padom

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    My biggest reason to buy a TL3 is the integral lug allows me to swap barrels with a perfect return to zero. If you are going to be swapping barrels a lot you don't want the origin.
    This 1000%...I probably have 20-25 TL3 barrels in various calibers, smith's, lengths and chambers on the shelf....no way I would want to be dicking around with a recoil lug, pinned or not....its so easy to screw off, and torque back on to 75lb and be dead on like nothing changed....this is why I standardized my entire setup to TL3's
     

    7magsavage

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    How would I know if the trigger is not timed correctly? Never ran into that issue before.
     
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    reubenski

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    It's not really a correct or incorrect thing. It's just a matter of how much your firing pin cocks when you close the bolt. The more it cocks, the stiffer the bolt is when you close it. The action functions fine either way. It's just how smooth do you want it to be
     

    reubenski

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    To the folks that are swapping barrels on a regular basis in minutes, what barrel vise are you using?
    I'm not using a barrel vise. I just leave the action, with the scope mounted, in the chassis. Then I trap the chassis between my knees and feet, muzzle up, and put a crescent wrench on muzzle flats and torque the barrel onto the action to 40'ish ftlbs. Same thing counterclockwise to remove. I've used a torque wrench and tested 20, 30, and 40. There was never a difference in accuracy or POI between any of the different torque values. The barrel doesn't know what it's torqued to. And I've never had a barrel come loose. The only time something like that happened I just forgot to torque the barrel. I just screwed it on hand right. There was no difference in headspace, zero, or data at distance.
     
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    Gtscotty

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    To the folks that are swapping barrels on a regular basis in minutes, what barrel vise are you using?

    This'un, with an empty toilet paper roll cut to size between the barrel and vise:

     

    padom

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    This with a piece of paper drywall tape wrapped around barrel every time I clamp it in....roll is just hanging above my bench...tear off a piece each time I do a barrel change....for $5, 1 roll will last most people a lifetime...
     
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    Threadcutter308

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    This 1000%...I probably have 20-25 TL3 barrels in various calibers, smith's, lengths and chambers on the shelf....no way I would want to be dicking around with a recoil lug, pinned or not....its so easy to screw off, and torque back on to 75lb and be dead on like nothing changed....this is why I standardized my entire setup to TL3's
    In this day and age, it is beyond me as to why any Action manufacturer would NOT build the lug into the Action.

    I think I had at least three different lug alignment tools that I finally threw out. I have no plans of ever "accurizing" another 700 action, due to the availability of so many great aftermarket actions (that have integral recoil lugs).
     

    b6graham

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    In this day and age, it is beyond me as to why any Action manufacturer would NOT build the lug into the Action.

    I think I had at least three different lug alignment tools that I finally threw out. I have no plans of ever "accurizing" another 700 action, due to the availability of so many great aftermarket actions (that have integral recoil lugs).
    cause i can get an Origin for $400 less than a TL3 and it just so happens i prefer the swept bolt handle anyways. win-win
     
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    Threadcutter308

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    An Island in warshington
    cause i can get an Origin for $400 less than a TL3 and it just so happens i prefer the swept bolt handle anyways. win-win
    Absolutely ! You should always get what it is that YOU want.

    Me ? I want to pull an Action out of a box and have complete confidence that it's built right, to spec and that I don't have to dick with cleaning it up dimensionally before I chamber the barrel for it. I'll pay "extra" for that. (I'm really not paying extra, when you consider time and tooling costs associated with truing an Action).

    Anything/everything Zermatt builds is absolutely top drawer.
     
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