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Bolt Action Rifle, Where to Begin?


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  • 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!

  • #76
    Originally posted by AHart76 View Post
    I'm gonna try and get to my gun store tonight. Talk to him about action prices, I know midway has em bolt and all. Also gonna see if he can get a tikka. Looking to have something ordered hopefully by the end of this week. I know there is a such thing as a tikkage, but they do not seem to be very popular.
    I dont think that tikka offers any actions by themselves. And the tikkage is new, only came out earlier this year


    • #77
      Okay, sounds like maybe piecing together a remage isn't a bad idea. I do like being able to work on my guns myself. If I ordered parts from NSS, how long does it usually take for them to ship?


      • #78
        If its in stock not long at all, under a couple days max. Im having something custom coming from criterion through them and it will be... 4 months at the longest I think I was told? I didnt mind because it meant I could watch for more sales on other things until then. They offered to ship all the tools early, that day or the next, but I told them to just save on shipping until its all there for one bundle.


        • #79
          Is there any performance advantage in going with abSS action? Or just not having to worry about rusting?


          • #80
            You can go so many directions it's maddening (and overwhelming) but youll probably eventually get to where you want to be regardless. I started with a R700 AAC-SD (like a gazillion other dudes) then had the action trued, an oporatorish bolt knob installed, I put it in a B&C stock with a PTG bottom metal unit, a brake, a Calvin Elite, a cool rattle can paint job and on and on. It's not a $6K custom build but it shoots 3/4 MOA consistently
            and is as reliable as my hound dog. It's my trusty, ever-ready, do-it-all that I plan to have for a long time. You just have to figure out what you want to do with it which will dictate things like caliber and barrel length, then just go part by part and make it YOUR gun.

            Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
            Last edited by Rockdoc173; 03-20-2017, 04:55 PM.
            Cpl. Roque, Lester/Spc. Mendoza, Hugo/Pfc. Restrepo, Juan
            Killed In Action
            OEF VII/VIII


            • #81
              Originally posted by AHart76 View Post
              Okay, sounds like maybe piecing together a remage isn't a bad idea. I do like being able to work on my guns myself. If I ordered parts from NSS, how long does it usually take for them to ship?
              FWIW, Chad Dixon at Long Rifles Inc (whom I recommended earlier) has a group buy going in the PX right now where he'll true and assemble a 700 for you with whatever options you want. If you come up with a donor action it may be an option. His quality and turnaround times are legendary. Just an idea as you weigh options
              I am The German's spirit animal


              • #82

                If you really want a 6mm, then get a 6mm. If you don't already load, maybe consider 6.5 Get what you really want the first time so you don't waste time/money/energy working up to it

                If you don't feel comfortable wrenching on your own gun, then do yourself a favor and don't. Not everyone is mechanically inclined and your time/energy may be better spent at work making $$ to give to quality smiths who have experience/knowledge rather than working in your shop trying to reinvent the wheel using your $$$ gun as an experiment (hard to damage really, more a waste of time) reading off manuals and internet posts. Primary issue being that you don't want to invest a ton of $ into tools you'll use 3x in 20 years.

                Tikka makes great stuff. Since owning one, I turned into a fanboy. I'm anti-Savage at this point unless you're going to keep them relatively stock.

                Long Rifles, Patriot Valley, etc. there are some great builders and the shipping to them for rebarreling and work is worth it over a "local smith's convenience". For how much we spend chasing accuracy... I'd definitely use a quality known smith that is vetted on the Hide over a local no-name "gunsmith" (though my current local smith has a reputation for building benchrest guns that shoot single holes-so I use him).

                Don't come up with a great idea for a dream gun and then cheap out on the execution of it.


                • #83
                  After doing more research, I think I am going to go the remage rout. I am not scared to wrench on my own guns, and not trying to brag on myself here, but I would consider myself more mechanically inclined than the average joe. I am going to go to my gun shop either today or tomorrow and price an action, I've asked before and know he can get them, just can't remember the price. As far as my local smith, I have researched Southern Indiana Precision and they seem to do very good work. John McQuay from 8541 Tactical is from southern IN also and uses them for his competition rifles and has great success with them. My delima now is cartridge selection. I would love a 6mm Creed, and now that Hornady is producing factory ammo and the RPR will now come in a 6CM could help bring it into more main stream. However not reloading yet, 6.5CM might be a more logical option.


                  • #84
                    Also, by getting a remage barrel nut from NSS, does this limit me to only their barrels? Or are there other guys out there making pre-fit barrels that I could buy from? Say I wanted to try a shilen barrel, but NSS only offers Shilen for savage rifles.


                    • #85
                      There's several sources for Remage barrels. Criterion as you know and Pacnor also comes to mind. There are others, but I can't think of them right now. Google "Remage".



                      • #86
                        While some aspects of handloading can be a pain (like where do I put all the loaded ammo, components, the working space and press?), there is also a downside to not doing it. The likelihood of matching a factory load to the harmonics of a factory load is pure luck.

                        Federal's Gold Medal Match ammunition is a very good exception, but it is also intended to suit a competition and/or tactical style rifle configuration that is among the more common. I have found its accuracy very hard to beat with handloads.

                        In the end, depending solely on factory ammunition puts one at the end of a very long supply chain over which one has zero control. Putting it differently, depending solely on luck is not a viable strategy.

                        I strongly advise a serious consideration of getting the handloading process incorporated into one's accuracy shooting regimen, eventually, if not in the beginning. There is no better way of ensuring a rifle's optimal performance without including load development in order to find an ideal accuracy load for the specific barrel. Some generalizations can be made, as are in the case of FGMM, but the final step to.peak accuracy involves barrel-specific load development.

                        Finally, handloading can be a necessity, it can then become an end in itself, and from there morph into a daunting chore. Stop before that second step.

                        There will always be a matter of uncontrollable factors involved in making and shooting match ammunition. Many of these are controllable, but also small in their impact on accuracy. A decision has to be made about just how much control is worth the time and effort. My own personal preference is to eliminate all those issues that do not contribute directly into making the rifle fire consistently. There is an accuracy sacrifice that becomes offset by the simple fact that the goal is to make the gun shoot, and not to make the ammunition perfect.

                        Some of that sacrifice is simply a recognition that much of the extra effort serves little or no purpose unless the ammunition is used in a rifle which is made to far more exact standards than the vast majority of the ones we use. Rifles employing basic SAAMI chambers (i.e., all factory rifles) use a looser neck, which in very large part negates the efforts devoted to perfecting neck and bullet concentricity. I bypass those steps with my rifles, all of which employ SAAMI chambers (including my custom barrel), and see no difference in accuracy regardless of the degree of concentricity in my ammunition. If you can roll the cartridge without seeing obvious bullet wobble, the SAAMI chamber will process the round acceptably.

                        Consider the fact that Federal (along with some others) is able to mass produce very accurate ammunition without getting beyond those basic and necessary efforts that produce a good load with good quality control. These two factors are the ones that count, far and away, the most.

                        Load development is the key foundation to the process, and the other step is careful self discipline that ensures that those minimal steps essential to producing a basic round are performed in as consistent a manner as possible. The very fact that the assembly line is involved goes a huge way toward ensuring that a degree of discipline goes into every round produced. Employing the diligence to match the consistency of that assembly line is a very worthwhile handloading practice.

                        By match ammunition, I am not talking about ammunition whose sole purpose is to be fired in a match. I mean it's ammunition that is matched to the specific barrel's needs. By that definition, all my handloaded ammunition is match ammunition, regardless of its intended purpose.

                        Last edited by Greg Langelius *; 03-22-2017, 11:16 AM.
                        Life is more interesting when one keeps a neurotic cat... Greg Langelius


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by AHart76 View Post
                          Also, by getting a remage barrel nut from NSS, does this limit me to only their barrels? Or are there other guys out there making pre-fit barrels that I could buy from? Say I wanted to try a shilen barrel, but NSS only offers Shilen for savage rifles.
                          To my knowledge Shilen does not make Remage. I went with McGowen but there are a few others. Most Remage nuts are standard Remington threads. The only issue could encounter is if the action has been trued, this typically involves changing the threads. So you couldn't use it for a standard Remage anymore.

                          As you are researching southern IN smiths you are local to me, I suggest you also check out Mark Penrod. Top quality work and top notch to deal with. I've done the same research and that's who I went with for my one smith barreled rifle. I did that one because it was a wildcat I couldn't get without a smith installing the barrel. Frankly all my others I screwed custom barrels on myself with a nut system, and are as accurate in my hands.


                          • #88
                            Ordered an action from my gun shop tonight. SS was out of stock so I went with the blued carbon steel. .308 bolt face and includes an X-Mark trigger, I know they aren't great, but it's something to shoot. Thinking 26 inch 6.5 Creedmoor 1-8 twist SS barrel with a blended muzzle break. Drop it in a Magpul Hunter stock. I feel like that will give me a decent gun that will out shoot me for not an outlandish amount of money.