Picking a New Action

txguero

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Howdy!

I have been researching options for an action to build off of for my next rifle and have come up slightly frustrated. At the very bottom you have your Savages and Remingtons. Remington actions can be had in the sub $400 price range and can be customized which is nice, however, it takes a lot of extra money (and almost as importantly time) to get them up to par with nicer actions. There seems to be a pretty big gap between these "budget" options and the next level, which seems to be the Bighorn Origin or APR G2 area of pricing ~$800.

I wish I could get a R700 style action with a few upgrades for around 5 or 6 hundred, however, this doesn't seem to exist. The closest I seem to be able to find are the PTG actions, but after speccing one out they seem to be around $650 which seems too close to the customs (like the origin) without offering anywhere near the same features. Also I am a little shy about PTG after reading about people's bad experiences with the company.

Another option I considered was building off of a Tikka, but I have heard that the factory barrels are nearly impossible to remove without the help of a smith and I really want to do all of the work myself if possible. I know some aren't a fan of barrel nut headspacing, but I am fully set up to build with this process and am trying to stick to actions with common thread pitches that will have available pre-fits to build with a barrel nut.

Ultimately I keep getting drawn back to the Bighorn Origin but it hurts to think that that amount of money could almost complete a R700 build rather than just give me an action. I'm curious if there are any other options that are out there that I am missing, of if I should just suck it up, sell something, and spring for an Origin or APR. Any thoughts/ideas would be much appreciated.
 

LG65CM

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I think you are in midrange price for actions. Check Defiant for one. That said: If this is a one time big thing for you, I'd spend the money. If something you may do a time or two or more, then go with the R700. Finally, you could look around for a donor rifle or action and build from there. Good luck! lg
 
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mmlook

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save up and get a custom barreled action

Lots of good choices these days, and they are worth the extra money compared to a R700 or Tikka Action.

A few notable:
PVA/Big horn Origin - $1475
DST/Defiance Tenacity - $1599
MPA/Curtis PMR - $1350


Biggest expense is really the barrel + chambering

If you want to save a bit on the barrel,
you can go with a profit button rifled barrel from Keystone
 
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Steel head

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A solid rifle on a budget?

Origin with a Criterion, Shilen or X barrel nut prefit.
OR a shouldered button barrel from Keystone for a nicer barrel at a decent price.

Some of the barreled actions now are at a great price as well.

I prefer actions with replaceable bolt heads as they give you options in the future.
My Nucleus started as a 260 and now is a 7 Saum.
 
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Lawnboi

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I was in the same boat as you on the 700. Would be a nice option if I had it in hand, but by the time I got an action and had what I wanted done to it, I was approaching custom price. For that reason I went custom on my first real full on build, I went defiance, still waiting for it to arrive, but excited to start the process.

I’m also having doing a build off a tikka action as well, so I’m excited to compare.
 

DarinC

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Watch the PX as well. You can grab a used barreled action very reasonably.
 
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txguero

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A solid rifle on a budget?

Origin with a Criterion, Shilen or X barrel nut prefit.
OR a shouldered button barrel from Keystone for a nicer barrel at a decent price.

Some of the barreled actions now are at a great price as well.

I prefer actions with replaceable bolt heads as they give you options in the future.
My Nucleus started as a 260 and now is a 7 Saum.
That’s pretty much the route I wanna take I think. A profit vs a shouldered barrel (if my math is right) will still save me 100 to 150 and in my experience they still shoot lights out.
 

Steel head

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That’s pretty much the route I wanna take I think. A profit vs a shouldered barrel (if my math is right) will still save me 100 to 150 and in my experience they still shoot lights out.
Best groups I ever shot were with a shilen prefit and Steel at a mile was enjoyable.
 

longgunJR

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Buy it once and cry once, I though I was saving money by starting with an R700, after truing and blue printing, knob upgrade, side bolt release and 8-40 screws that'll be more expensive and no where near as nice like a defiance, surgeon, Impact etc..
 

Bender830

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To be fair, you dont need to do anything to a rem 700 so spending anything over 350 bucks for the action is squarely on you.

An origin at 800 is pretty enticing too though...
 

txguero

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To be fair, you dont need to do anything to a rem 700 so spending anything over 350 bucks for the action is squarely on you.

An origin at 800 is pretty enticing too though...
True...I have a remage build in 6BR that shoots great and functions flawlessly, however, I’m not a fan of the bolt knob and the firing pin hole is massive which craters primers even with lighter loads.
 

Steel head

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True...I have a remage build in 6BR that shoots great and functions flawlessly, however, I’m not a fan of the bolt knob and the firing pin hole is massive which craters primers even with lighter loads.
I had the same issues with my savage.
it works but I wanted a more refined action.

I was looking at a bighorn or ARC.
I chose a nucleus but am certain I’d be just as happy with the bighorn.
New action is super smooth and doesn’t crater primers.
Feeding with 260 and 7 saum is butter.

tenon threads are awesome and ejection and extraction is 100%.

Just makes for a nicer shooting experience.
 
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ThePretzel

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If you want to save a bit on the barrel,
you can go with a profit button rifled barrel from Keystone
I can vouch for the quality of the barrels from Keystone, alongside the great customer service and unbelievable turnaround time. I called and ordered my barrel on a Wednesday afternoon around 3:00 MST (5:00 John's time) and he gave me an estimated lead time of around 1-2 weeks. I woke up Friday morning to find an email with the barrel's tracking number attacked, and it arrived Tuesday.

Being the dolt I am, I managed to crossthread my Thunderbeast brake so badly I couldn't get it off even using a blowtorch and an impact wrench. I sent it back to John expecting he'd have to cut it down by an inch or two since the brake was stuck solid, but somehow he managed to get the brake off, re-thread the barrel and brake, and install the brake nicely timed for me at much too low of a price.

Beyond that, it just plain shoots. I'm not going to win a benchrest match but I can't say the barrel wouldn't. It shot just under 1/2 MOA with good SD's for my first tested load of DTACS so I ran with it, and it did the same with 105 Hybrids. The one thing I have appreciated most about this barrel is just that it's consistent, it shoots the same every time I go out regardless of if the ammo was loaded yesterday or a month ago and regardless of if it's cold or hot. No cold bore fliers, no stringing, and honestly I haven't even adjusted my 100yd zero more than 0.1 up or that same 0.1 back down to where it was in more than 6 months (temp ranging from 10 degrees to 95 degrees, meaning that is entirely down to the velocity from the powder).

As far as the action question goes, I'd say your best bet would be to find one of the mid-range actions (Nucleus or Origin in particular) for sale here because there are definitely deals to be had. It's worth the upgrade over the Remington/Savage IMO, and if you get a barreled action it can help you save on both the cost of the barrel and the cost of the action.
 
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fdkay

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Howdy!

I have been researching options for an action to build off of for my next rifle and have come up slightly frustrated. At the very bottom you have your Savages and Remingtons. Remington actions can be had in the sub $400 price range and can be customized which is nice, however, it takes a lot of extra money (and almost as importantly time) to get them up to par with nicer actions. There seems to be a pretty big gap between these "budget" options and the next level, which seems to be the Bighorn Origin or APR G2 area of pricing ~$800.

I wish I could get a R700 style action with a few upgrades for around 5 or 6 hundred, however, this doesn't seem to exist. The closest I seem to be able to find are the PTG actions, but after speccing one out they seem to be around $650 which seems too close to the customs (like the origin) without offering anywhere near the same features. Also I am a little shy about PTG after reading about people's bad experiences with the company.

Another option I considered was building off of a Tikka, but I have heard that the factory barrels are nearly impossible to remove without the help of a smith and I really want to do all of the work myself if possible. I know some aren't a fan of barrel nut headspacing, but I am fully set up to build with this process and am trying to stick to actions with common thread pitches that will have available pre-fits to build with a barrel nut.

Ultimately I keep getting drawn back to the Bighorn Origin but it hurts to think that that amount of money could almost complete a R700 build rather than just give me an action. I'm curious if there are any other options that are out there that I am missing, of if I should just suck it up, sell something, and spring for an Origin or APR. Any thoughts/ideas would be much appreciated.
While PTG has some issues, these seem pretty nice for the $$$ spent.
 

DarinC

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The interchangeable bolt heads will save a lot down the road if you decide to make it a trainer or magnum
 

Another Casual

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Very happy with my two origins. I went with Savage prefits which were reasonably priced and easy to install. Let me know if you have any questions
 
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wade2big

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@txguero
I rebarreled three tikkas. I hit the action wrench with my palm and the factory barrels broke loose. All three.

if the few hundred dollars will cost you sleep at night then buy a Remington action from Bud’s guns for $300 and go that route or find a good deal on a donor Tikka rifle. If the few hundred dollars is change then buy an aftermarket action and go that route. There is no wrong unless you buy a savage. 😂 Not kidding.....
 

SmartDonkey

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I went with aftermarket actions on a couple rifles- and although I am very happy with them- I see no real improvement over my guns built on 700 actions. My Origin action is very smooth and feeds perfect.... but it binds and gets rough when it gets a little dirt and grit in it. My ARC Nucleus isn't as smooth as the Origin but doesn't seem to mind getting dirty. Also (and I know I risk having the designer chastise me for not knowing enough about how a Mauser works) my Nucleus is mostly a push feed. Not a big deal.... it works, I just wish I could get it to secure the round earlier.

They have features that the 700 doesn't.... better bolt stops and stronger extractors. But I've never broke a 700 bolt stop or extractor so I can't say I really need them. I don't regret either aftermarket action- but I am having my next rifle built on a 700 and don't feel like I'm compromising.
 
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reubenski

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I am pretty convinced people make a way bigger deal about removing Tikka barrels than they need to. I removed one and I didn't have to get crazy with it. A Tikka is a great action to build from. Only caution is that you will need to buy a pic rail for $100 and then you will likely buy an aftermarket handle for $100 and the Sterk boot shrouds are really worth the money over the plastic shroud...uh oh... your almost at Origin money. But then you still have to buy a trigger for an Origin.

Both are good options. Buy into an Origin and you buy into Bighorns customer service. They are awesome. With a Tikka you have 2lbs of steel in your hand.
 

j741

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If it helps, you can get an Origin for 10% off from Brownell's when they have their 10% coupon codes. Pair that with ActiveJunky to get 4% cashback as well. Yes, it also works on backorders. My backorder with the BF 12% coupon shipped today.



or, splurge on an Impact 737 barreled action from StraightJacket for $1899
 

ThePretzel

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But then you still have to buy a trigger for an Origin.
On the flip side, for a Tikka the only trigger upgrade options available to you are a 2 stage Timney ($250) or a $460 Bix'n Andy. You don't get options for affordable replacements like what are available on the Origin. The Tikka triggers are a great factory trigger offering, but I would personally rate even a cheap drop-in like a TriggerTech Primary more highly than the T3X stock option. Just provides a more crisp break and robust construction, particularly important if you shoot often in the dust and wind.

Both are good options. Buy into an Origin and you buy into Bighorns customer service. They are awesome. With a Tikka you have 2lbs of steel in your hand.
The Tikka T3X action weighs 2.1 pounds with the factory bottom metal and plastic magazine box. The Bighorn Origin action weighs 28oz on its own and around 32-34oz with a decent bottom metal attached so it's maybe 2-4 ounces lighter. It would be a mistake to say that the Tikka is any more or less rugged than the Bighorn, neither action has any history of failures or flaws.

The Tikka is a great option, I just don't think that it's one you should consider if you are going to be spending Origin money to upgrade it. For the difference of the cost of a drop in trigger the Origin gives you the extras of controlled round feed, floating and interchangeable bolt heads, DLC/nitride coatings, and compatibility with a greater number of chassis, stocks, bottom metals, and other accessories.

If you want to save money buy a Tikka and run it as it comes since it's a great action from the factory, but if you are planning to upgrade the Tikka it makes more sense to just buy the Origin.
 

txguero

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Is that code still active?

Edit: just realized BF is Black Friday so I’m sure that’s a no

If it helps, you can get an Origin for 10% off from Brownell's when they have their 10% coupon codes. Pair that with ActiveJunky to get 4% cashback as well. Yes, it also works on backorders. My backorder with the BF 12% coupon shipped today.



or, splurge on an Impact 737 barreled action from StraightJacket for $1899
 

txguero

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My first build was a Savage action with a Criterion barrel. The thing would shoot lights out so I chalked up the negativity about savage to people being elitist at first. However, after more time with it I began to get tired of unintentional accutrigger trips and the super heavy bolt lift.

@txguero
I rebarreled three tikkas. I hit the action wrench with my palm and the factory barrels broke loose. All three.

if the few hundred dollars will cost you sleep at night then buy a Remington action from Bud’s guns for $300 and go that route or find a good deal on a donor Tikka rifle. If the few hundred dollars is change then buy an aftermarket action and go that route. There is no wrong unless you buy a savage. 😂 Not kidding.....
 
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wade2big

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My first build was a Savage action with a Criterion barrel. The thing would shoot lights out so I chalked up the negativity about savage to people being elitist at first. However, after more time with it I began to get tired of unintentional accutrigger trips and the super heavy bolt lift.
I was just stirring the pot with the Savage comment. Not my choice but are fine.
 
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ThePretzel

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My first build was a Savage action with a Criterion barrel. The thing would shoot lights out so I chalked up the negativity about savage to people being elitist at first. However, after more time with it I began to get tired of unintentional accutrigger trips and the super heavy bolt lift.
I shot a Savage with a factory barrel for several months and it shot great, honestly the factory barrels aren't even half bad so long as you keep the plastic stock from touching them. I built my own rifle despite this because of the little things. Inconsistent ejection, heavy bolt lift, grittier feel than a custom action.

Can someone built a rifle that shoots 0.2 MOA off a Savage action? Absolutely! This NJROTC team set a national record with a Savage FTR 12. Here's another national F-class record with a Savage target action.

Can that same person get additional features and comparable accuracy from a different action? Absolutely! That's the biggest reason people switch to other actions, is because of the features/feel of the action and nothing to do with the accuracy (accuracy is limited by the barrel and the shooter in about 99% of cases).
 
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padom

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Please explain how it is hands down better than a Tenacity.
#1 the price. $825 vs $1000
Interchangeable bolt heads...
ability to run multiple calibers on one action
Small shank barrel threads, more options for prefits just like the OP stated he wanted to do.
Best customer service out there.
 
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surgeon260

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I was asking how the Origin was a hands down better value than a Tenacity. You also read what you wanted to read.

Appreciate the response.
 

padom

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I was asking how the Origin was a hands down better value than a Tenacity. You also read what you wanted to read.

Appreciate the response.
And that's exactly what I just answered. Did you skip over the responses to fire off your next post? I just gave you what 3 or 4 reasons why the ORIGIN IS A BETTER VALUE THAN THE TENACITY
 

surgeon260

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Sir, I asked for your opinion as an expert on this board, you jumped all over me, and have been picking a fight ever since.

You're a great ambassador to this community.
 

b6graham

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Sir, I asked for your opinion as an expert on this board, you jumped all over me, and have been picking a fight ever since.

You're a great ambassador to this community.
5 years here and you still get butthurt from your own lack of reading ability? sorry you have confirmation bias.

i like actions i can buy shouldered prefits for in any caliber big or small, or barrel nut prefits if i so desire. especially at 75% of the cost
 

reubenski

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That's pretty awesome that Brownells is carrying those. But I have to say, even though you are getting a coated barrel on that setup an Origin plus a $500 prefit is a considerable cost savings. And they are just damn nice actions to boot.
 
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Winny94

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That's pretty awesome that Brownells is carrying those. But I have to say, even though you are getting a coated barrel on that setup an Origin plus a $500 prefit is a considerable cost savings. And they are just damn nice actions to boot.
Yea, theyre not the most cost effective, but if youre one who like gunsmith chambered actions and dont want the wait, this is a nice option.
 

DDRH65CM

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I got the Brownells Origin with discount. They have their usual 10%. Prior to Black Friday they made it 11% and Black Friday was 12% off. And if you're signed up with Active Junky its another 2.5-4% off the discounted price. I thought it was the 2.5% (for firearms) but i got the 4%.

Although Brownells did add a $10 FFL Fee.

Still a GREAT VALUE!!!!
 
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