Choice - AI AXMC or Surgeon Scalpel


Jul 7, 2013
Central Ohio
Surgeon Scalpel .300 Winchester rifle features an AI folding stock, black ceracote finish, jewel trigger, 2-position trigger safety, 26" stainless match fluted barrel, integral recoil lug, and a FTE Brake or Accuracy International AXMC in .300 Win Magnum with a 26" threaded barrel with muzzle break and features a pale brown stock. .

Color inconsequential. Price not a factor. Mechanical accuracy important. Reliability important. Quality important.

At 71 this will probably be a "last" rifle. Deciding which one is difficult. I'm an average shooter, 6 or 7 hits at 1000 yards on a good day. Would appreciate some "sage" advice on which rifle to buy. Will be topped with a Vortex Gen II 4.5 - 27.


Online Training Member
Oct 1, 2005
Dallas, TX
If you are looking at another rifle in an AI chassis vs. getting the actual AXMC, then I'd suggest hands down AXMC
If reliability and quality is important and mechanical accuracy is a must, you can't get better for similar type rifle.
Likes: Kbh
Sep 6, 2006
Rural Nevada
In the AI you’re paying for some features the surgeon won’t have, like a quickloc barrel change system, and a double stack magazine. I think quality reliability and accuracy will be the same. I prefer the AI trigger and think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but some don’t, so that will be a user preference. I like surgeons a lot, but the AI is a much better do-all gun because of the multi-caliber nature. You’re gonna pay big for that though.

If money is no object, look into the Sako TRG M10 as well. Only real negative there is if you want to caliber swap, you’re stuck with what they offer(.308, 300 wm, and .338 lapua). If you were just going to leave it as a 300 wm, you’d be fine. That’s one area where the AI doesn’t suffer. Any number of outfits will make you any barrel you want, in any confirguration you want, and the appropriate bolts/magazines are a point and click away.

Edited to add I’m an AI whore. Currently have an AW with 6 barrels, and an AXMC with two barrels.
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Jun 30, 2004
AI AX owner here, and I would highly recommend it. The quick change barrel system, and the overall reputation those rifles have may or may not justify the extra cost, but frankly, you can’t make a “bad” choice between them. I hope it’s not your “last” rifle anyway!


Vote for the purge.
Feb 16, 2017
I hope if I make it to 71 I’m still a boss and looking at buying the premier rifles of the day.

Go for the AXMC and don’t look back. However, If you decide to go custom, go through a custom builder and get everything exactly the way you want it. I don’t buy “off the shelf Customs.” Shelf Customs like surgeon, Gunwerks, etc... are crazy expensive for what you can get. I like to source my own parts and then have them cut and assembled to my specs. Saves a Sh!: load of money and you get everything you want, how you want it.

I just had a Defiance Deviant LA with the rail cut out the way I wanted, Proof Carbon Fiber 28” Barrel, Manners PRS 1 stock, Timney CE Trigger, Custom Bottom Metal, pillar and glass bedded, seamless Brake, cerakoted tungsten, 338 RUM throated for 250 Bergers, with load data complete for under 4500. Compare that to what Surgeon, GAP, Gunwerks, or anyone else would charge for a completed rifle with the same components. Buying everything yourself saves a lot of dealer component mark ups and available now price add lbs. My $.02
Jan 15, 2005
AXMC without a doubt. I bought mine in 300WM as well and it's a tack driver with that barrel as well as all the conversions I have for it. The reliability is unmatched.
Jan 15, 2005
Would appreciate some "sage" advice on which rifle to buy.

Here's some sage advice since we all know sage green is the sexiest color.

For shits and grins, here's the first 5 rounds out of a brand new AINA 243 barrel I recently received for it. I screwed the barrel on, torqued the screw down, pushed a barely moist patch through followed by some dry patches, and charged up a few rounds on new Starline brass with 42.1gr of H4350 behind a 105 Hybrid seated .020 off the lands to get a few rounds on the barrel before a ladder test. This was the result, 5 rounds through pretty much the same hole and basically the same POI as the 243 barrel that came off prior to this one.



Feb 14, 2017
Late chiming in my 2 cents worth. Gotta day straight of the bat absolutely awesome at 71 to be in this position.

I have a TRG42 in 300wm that has proved extremely reliable, but I love my new AIAT. Go the AI