No announcement yet.

Bolt Action Rifle, Where to Begin?


728 Ad Widget

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Bolt Action Rifle, Where to Begin?

    After a failed attempt to get into long range with a semi-auto platform, I am realizing that a bolt gun was definitely what I was looking for. I fear bought the semi, and tried to make it work, but it is currently in the process of being sold. Fine gun, just should have done more research when buying my first precision rifle. So this is where it leaves me. I am looking to begin the journey all over with a bolt gun. And before everyone pipes up, I am not wanting an RPR. Great gun, have shot one in both .308 and 6.5CM, but for some reason I just find myself drawn to a more traditional bolt gun. So my question is where do I begin? I am used to AR's where I can piece together what I want in my shop, but bolt guns aren't so easy. I know a Remington 700 is standard, but which one should I get to begin with? What about a tikka? Never been around one, but people on here seem to like them. I have a Vortex PST6-24 FFP that will go on top, so I am looking solely at the gun right now. Just really need to know my options, and am looking for a little guidance. Thanks!

  • #26
    Originally posted by R_Swanson View Post
    If you dont mind expounding, is it the extractor itself or the design of the action?

    I picked up a cheap 12fv recently because they were on sale at Cabelas, but I am not sure if I am going to keep it.
    Im not 100% possible as the only savage I have is my grandmothers 300 sav that forever old and it's been great for the two shots a year it sees. So it's just anecdotal coming from me.

    I want to say it's got a ball bearing that it cams against and it's too small to provide enough leverage or something like that. Shouldn't be too hard to find in a search but I'll look when I get on a pc

    Last edited by spife7980; 03-16-2017, 11:07 AM.


    • #27
      Originally posted by AHart76 View Post
      I was asking because I have no clue, I was at one point led to believe that something about the savage barrel nut system limited barrel contour choices. This could be be dead wrong.
      Yeah, you can loose a little at the chamber with the small shank set up because the nut needs to be able to thread up over it a tad but it isn't a whole lot. But a regular Remington barrel isn't done to that dimension so that's one thing the bugnut offers, you can choose from any Remington contour in addition to savage.


      • #28
        My ultimate goal is to end up with a gun chambered in 6mm, most likely 6mm Creedmoor. I know there is a gun smith only 50 miles or so away from me that does a lot of Remington 700's. On their Facebook they do show doing a tikka, but seems like that is not their forte. That is one reason I'm kinda leaning R700, i will have a close by smith that I can take my gun to that requires no shipping.


        • #29
          Originally posted by bogeybrown View Post

          I guess we all have our own ideas of thin, but I'll go way out on a generalization limb and say that a Remington Sendero/Varmint contour or similar seems to be where we start at "light barrels" that are still "thick enough". I have so many truck axles as barrels that at this point a Sendero feels like a spotter contour or lighter, but it's really all relative. A "sporter" contour is generally considered to be too light for most precision purposes, but there will always be a guy who has one and is killing it with one.
          If that came off as smart-assed, it wasnt meant to be. I was actually asking, as I am new here. Thanks for the response, I appreciate it.


          • #30

            If you can build an AR, then you can build your own bolt rifle that will outshoot you. Just get a set of go/no go gauges and read up on how to use them.


            • #31
              I've owned and shot a number of Savage rifles over the past (nearly) 20 years. I've also heard/read a lot of nay saying about the supposed drawbacks of the barrel nut system. I have never, (repeat, never) had a Savage rifle that wouldn't respond very favorably to good load development (and that includes my 7.62x39 Scout). While the nay sayers drone on about this or that supposed accuracy discrepancy, they never cite sources or show evidence to support the claims.

              Then, there's the advantages of the barrel nut system. Ever replace a barrel? I have, several in fact. I need a vise, a pair barrel blocks, a barrel nut wrench, and something to insert into tHe loading port to stabilize/turn the receiver.

              Every barrel, nutted or not, narrows down at the receiver thread, most of them to just about the same diameter. The barrel nut adds the advantage of allowing headspacing adjustments without the need to put the rifle into a gunsmith's work queue.

              Take it or leave it, your choice. I'm sticking with Savage.

              In that spirit, I'm also suggesting the Dick's exclusive offering, a Savage 11VT, available in a number if chamberings. It has about everything one needs, including a boresighted scope. Not my preference for scopes, but scopes can be replaced, and the provided one will work just fine atop a hunting rifle. And yes, the included stock could seem less than tactical; but Midway has a reasonably priced alternative. I fired my 11VT 223 in the Berger SW LR Nationals (600yd MR matches) last month, and just bought the .308.

              Last edited by Greg Langelius *; 03-31-2017, 12:44 PM.
              Good marksmanship is no accident.


              • #32
                Originally posted by Greg Langelius * View Post
                I've owned and shot a number of Savage rifles over the past (nearly) 20 years. I've also heard/read a lot of nay saying about the supposed drawbacks of the barrel nut system. I have never, (repeat, never) had a Savage rifle that wouldn't respond very favorably to good load development (and that includes my 7.62x39 Scout). While the nay sayers drone on about this or that supposed accuracy discrepancy, they never cite sources or show evidence to support the claims.

                Same here, some will try and dispute the mechanics of the barrel nut, my targets prove otherwise. They use locking nuts on the fucking International Space Station.


                • #33
                  Check out some of the used Sako Trg's in the PX section. Save yourself a lot of time and money. Buy something someone has already kitted out and not shot that much anyway. Shoot it until you know what you want/need/like. Sako is the big brother to the Tikka and they are both owned by Beretta. Do yourself a favor here. Then buy the new Pst Gen 2.


                  • #34
                    As stated above, I recommend looking at a used rifle. You can use up what is left and then start upgrading where the previous owner left off. You can find anything if you're patient. Used Remington 700s are a dime a dozen and condition isn't that important if you're upgrading everything anyway. However, I also suggest you consider a used high end production rifle as well. I started with a 700 SPS that I upgraded over the years but haven't taken it out of the safe since picking up a used AI AT. If I had started with the AT, I would have saved a lot of money.


                    • #35

                      Buy this, put your scope on it and go shoot. You'll never know what you really want until you start shooting and figure out what is most important to you...


                      • #36
                        Originally posted by R_Swanson View Post

                        If that came off as smart-assed, it wasnt meant to be. I was actually asking, as I am new here. Thanks for the response, I appreciate it.
                        Didn't come off as smart-assed at all, and is a legit question.

                        I was just reluctant to make that generalization in reply because there are so many barrel contours available and a lot of nuances where trade offs happen based on intended purpose and barrel length.
                        I am The German's spirit animal


                        • #37
                          Originally posted by MATADOR View Post

                          Same here, some will try and dispute the mechanics of the barrel nut, my targets prove otherwise. They use locking nuts on the fucking International Space Station.

                          Really? I haven't seen people complain about the barrel nut. I'm no savage fan, but I think the barrel nut system is far superior to the traditional shouldered install. Most of the complaints I've seen about Savages have to do with extraction, feeding, and slop in the action. They are accurate though.


                          • #38
                            I own a few Savages. I haven't had any reliability problems and they shoot very well. Only real drawback I see, is the heavy bolt lift if you are shooting PRS style.
                            That being said I just picked up a Tikka 24"


                            • #39
                              Originally posted by MATADOR View Post
                              If you can build an AR, then you can build your own bolt rifle that will outshoot you. Just get a set of go/no go gauges and read up on how to use them.

                              I had posted this on Scout but maybe this would be a good time to bring it over here. You could do something similar on a Remington action an have a great shooting rifle that doesn't break the bank.

                              I've been interested a DIY "custom" rifle for a while now and not having a lathe limits my options to a pre-chambered an threaded barrel and a barrel nut. I've considered a Savage action, but from what I read, there is much work that needs to be done to them. That left the Bighorn and the Shilen actions. I happened to stop in to see the folks at Shilen a few months back and while there, made the mistake of fondling one of their DGR actions. I didn't have the heart to leave without it. The action with lug and double pinned 20 MOA rail was about $1k out the door.

                              The action is on a 700 footprint and will fit in any stock inletted for a 700.

                              The action allows for a single or double pinned lug. It came with a PT&G lug that is drilled for dual pins, so there is no reason to not go that route.

                              The bolt, made for Shilen by PT&G, has a floating bolt head like a Savage. Supposedly allows for full lug contact. From the wear pattern on mine, that appears to be the case.

                              The firing pin and hole are small, as is the ejector hole, making it nice for cartridges that use a small rifle primer. There is no downside the a small firing pin and hole and all my rifles from here out will have that feature.

                              Did a bit of reading and decided to go with a varmint weight Criterion Barrel in 6.5x47 Lapua from Northland Shooters' Supply . Also got a trued barrel nut and wrench from NSS. Very happy with the CBI barrel and will very likely use another when I get my next barrel. More on that later.

                              Picked up a used HS Precision stock with PT&G DBM bottom metal from the Campfire classifieds.

                              To be continued...

                              Last edited by Hondo64d; 03-16-2017, 11:05 PM.


                              • #40
                                Like all HS stocks, it has the aluminum bedding block.

                                But, this one was sent back to PT&G to be inletted for their DBM bottom metal.

                                The inletting was perfect and the AICS mags feed perfectly. I wasn't sure I would like a DBM setup, but they simply cannot be beat for generous COAL constraints, great feeding and convenience.

                                Got PT&G go and no-go gages from Midway and commenced to assemble my rifle. I wish I had taken pictures of the assembly process, but suffice it to say it is a simple process. I put the barrel nut over the barrel then put the barrel in my barrel vice, put the lug on the action, held in place by the pins and partially screwed the action onto the barrel. I then put the go gage in the chamber and closed the bolt and screwed the action on until I felt light contact on the go gage. I then attached the nut wrench to my torque wrench and torqued the barrel to the specs suggested by NSS (the number escapes me right now). Checked the headspace. Bolt closed on the go gage with the slightest of resistance and would not close on the no-go gage. Good to go...

                                Bolted the barreled action into the stock. Thought about bedding it, but was curious to see how a true bolt-together rifle would shoot so elected not to. Initially mounted a 16x Super Sniper in SWFA rings, but have since changed out the scope to my 3-12 LRHS in the same SWFA rings.

                                For load development I did a combination of a ladder and OCW method, shooting three rounds of each powder charge at the same POA at 500 yards. Was shooting 130gr Hunting VLDs, gently kissing the lands pushed by Varget. I had two consecutive charges, 37.4 and 37.8gr (6 shots) group in about 2" at 500 yards so split the difference between the charges and loaded up 37.6gr.

                                Here is a group I shot yesterday at 500 yards. It is about 2". It is very repeatable and I have done it several times with this load at the same distance.

                                Also worked up another load yesterday using the same method but different components, this time using H4350 behind 140gr ELDs. I shot three-shot groups of 4 different charges in .4gr increments. Eleven of the 12 shots went into less than 4" at 500 yards. Very wide node there. I'll likely pick the middle of the charges and drive on.

                                All things considered, I'm extremely satisfied with the project. This rifle is, so far, the best shooting rig I have ever had, and I've had a bunch, put together by some of the best in the business.

                                I encourage everyone to give this route a try. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results and save some $ to boot.

                                Latest upgrade to my DIY Long Range Rig. MPA BA Lite in black bronze.

                                Shot this 4 shot group at 100 not too long ago. Still amazed that a complete bolt together DIY rig can shoot this well. I highly encourage those considering a custom rifle to consider a DIY.

                                Last edited by Hondo64d; 03-16-2017, 10:58 PM.


                                • #41
                                  Hondo, first off great write up, and I really do appreciate you taking the time to track that down and share it again. Something like that would be my ultimate goal. Unfortunately, I am looking for something a little quicker than what the lead times are on most of those products. Seems like everyone is either saying Tikka, or used. Being an American farmer, it's hard for me to buy a foreign made gun, but they do seem like terrific guns and I am definitely consider a CTR. Only thing is I'm leaning towards a .308 as no shops in my area carry 6.5 yet, and also Indiana has stupid hunting laws and .308 is a legal deer cartridge. But if a used 6.5 presented itself in the PX, I would still go for it. I am gonna keep a thumb on the PX until I get my sold, then make my final decision most likely.


                                  • #42
                                    I have 2 Shilen DGR actions. One has a 28in Pac Nor 3 groove on it. Timney Trigger. Mcree Chassis. Chambered for 260 ackley. Rifle does under .4in groups easily at 100 yards, and has shown great accuracy to 1100 yards.

                                    The other DGR action has a 20in .308 Shilen barrel and is in a Magpul hunter stock. It was my deer rifle this year. Very little load development, but the groups were still about .5in at 100 yards. 3 shots, 3 dead deer this past season.

                                    Very easy action to build on. I used PTG go gauges that midway had in stock. Savage nut wrench works for the barrel. I only had a savage action wrench which doesn't fit the Shilen action, so a friend barreled the .260 AI for me. For the .308, I bought PTG Mar-Free wrench that slides in the bolt raceway. That action wrench works great for the DGR, and works on other types of actions too.

                                    If you are going to build, and want to do PRS type or even local matches get a 6.5mm round. I love my .308's, but the .308 just doesn't even come close to matching the wind drift of my .260.

                                    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk


                                    • #43
                                      There is a .260 in the PX that looks interesting, but I'm back to this not reloading yet thing, and .260 ammo isn't cheap. I know I would be better off with 6.5 caliber rifle than a .308 tho.


                                      • #44
                                        Buy the barrel of your choice and the action of your choice. Have the smith of your choice chamber it. Then just drop it into an MPA BA chassis with the trigger of your choice. Done. Total cost for this will vary depending on the specifics parts you choose. But probably somewhere around $2500 + labor. And you'll have a great rifle. Another option is to buy whatever factory blah blah blah people are telling you about. However, at the end of the day, do you want a cheap rifle that you'll eventually spend more money on, or do you just want to get something solid right off the bat? My personal philosophy is get the thing you're ultimately going to wind up with and skip the BS of buying cheap, then upgrading, then fiddling, then selling it, then buying the thing you should have went with in the first place.

                                        You can get most barrels for $340 from Bugholes or Core Shooting. And plenty of actions available from both suppliers as well. Actually... I think sometimes Core has barreled/chambered Defiance Deviant actions ready to go. Looks like they're sold out right now though. But maybe give them a call. They might have more on the way.
                                        Last edited by FourT6and2; 03-17-2017, 08:48 PM.


                                        • #45
                                          Originally posted by Old Reliable
                                          Think bullets first and build around same. Tough to beat a 700,in bang for the buck.
                                          No, a 700 is not the most bang for the buck anymore unless you find one used that's already "done" in a way that you don't want to change shit.

                                          The OP has said repeatedly that he wants something NOW, and is not willing to frankenrifle something together through a smith. That leaves his options at a used rifle to his liking, or a factory rifle with user upgradable options as he wants.
                                          I am The German's spirit animal


                                          • #46
                                            Bogeybrown is right, I'm looking to have a gun on order at least in 2 weeks tops, by on order I mean a gun that will be at my FFL within a week. As of right now it seems like my 2 best options are a used 700, or a tikka, and unless something comes across the PX that really catches my eye, it will probably be a tikka. I get the philosophy buy once cry once, and if I knew what I wanted, that would be the route I would go. However, I thought I knew what I wanted when I ordered my gas gun, and that turned out to be the exact opposite of everything I really needed. The tikka really seems to me to be the most bang for your buck when it comes to a true out of the box rifle. And It is still a great platform to build off of. Is EuroOptic the best place to order a tikka from? Are they a vendor of this site? If not, are any vendors a tikka dealer?


                                            • #47
                                              I know that contacting a smith and putting together exactly what I want would get me a more accurate rifle, but as I've said, I'm a beginner. I have shot less than 700 rounds at what I would call "long range." I firmly believe that at the stage I'm at in my journey, lots of practice and rounds down range will benefit me far more than having a rifle that will 10x exceed what my potential is now or will be for a while.


                                              • #48
                                                I came from the future to help you.

                                                Just get a Barrett MRAD. You are so happy that you didn't end up buying like 5 different rifles and scopes because you shoot different calibers. You're also stoked that everytime you change a caliber, its the exact same system and scope that you now use so much you're a fucking ninja.

                                                You're welcome.
                                                10. Panzerdivision - 23. Gebirgsjäger 'Bayern'
                                                Hammelburg 1999
                                                {KFOR} Veteran 1999 - 2001
                                                TF 51/236 Afghanistan

                                                MRAD Masterrace
                                                Chairman, 'Go Be Poor Somewhere Else' Society


                                                • #49
                                                  Originally posted by Old Reliable


                                                  You are in way over your head. Someone who "knows" and "does" as "much" as you,is always going to be best served by asking questions...rather than giving "answers". Hint.

                                                  I can spec everyting and have it in days and very often do.

                                                  Well I'm so sorry sugar,

                                                  You just carry on and show us rookies how it's done. I guess I was too busy answering his questions and it sounds like offering him sound advice. Please feel free to "advise" him on the construction of one of your bedazzled critter glitters. OP, please take the time to feast your eyes on these beautiful rifles from Old
                                                  Reliable. I am humbled before his greatness:


                                                  I am The German's spirit animal


                                                  • #50
                                                    At the end of the day you guys are still missing the other 50% of the reason for why I say I don't want to spend big money on a custom gun. I'm new and have no clue what I want/need for my style of shooting. Hell, I don't even know what my style of shooting is! Boogeybrown seems to unsterstand this, and is giving me what seems to be reasonable advice. After this thread and then doing TONS of reading on other threads, I am pretty confident in going with a 24 inch 6.5 CTR. All I need to know is the best place to buy? Furthermore, Old Reliable, I don't know if building custom guns is your profession, or if you are just a weekend warrior, but either way, there are many ways to argue your opinions other than being an arrogant know it all jacka$$! Especially when representing some kind of business. I appreciate you taking time to try and help guide me in the direction you think will benefit me most. However, the way you have presented yourself, especially on the internet for all of this sport and industry to see, tells me exactly what kind of person you are, I refuse to do business with you.