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King Ghidora 12-13-2010 04:23 AM

A Discussion about "Off The Shelf" Rifle Actions
I think Savage actions have been greatly overlooked in this thread. When the thread started I wouldn't have expected people to have takent notice of what Savage is doing. But by now it should be obvious that they are producing some of the best actions in the world and putting them on their stock rifles. The people at 6mmbr list the Savage Precision Target Action as one of the best "custom" actions in the world even though it is most often sold on stock rifles. I would think that any action listed as one of the best custom actions being sold (they do sell them alone without the rest of a rifle) would certainly rate as one of the best factory actions on the market. These Savage actions are incredibly stiff and strong. Even their heavy barrels have no problem remaining in position on these actions. There's a whole lot of people who have recognized the quality of these actions in the past couple of years. I'd suggest taking a look at the video on this web page although it isn't quite up to date. There have been quite a few events dominated by Savage since this video was produced. And this action also appears on some varmint guns made by Savage. I have one on a 12 LRPV, single shot with a left port, right bolt setup. It has a 26" barrel and it is very stiff from one end to the other. I'm not a particularly good shot but I can shoot a 3" group at a quarter of a mile with my LRPV. Considering I have only shot that distance a few times in my life prior to picking up this Savage I'd say the rifle is doing a lot to make me look like a better shooter than I am. I've only had this gun to the range less than 10 times. If I could get in some more range time and if I could pick up some equipment to start loading my own ammo instead of using off the shelf stuff I'd say I could get even more accuracy from this rifle.

I don't doubt there are other quality actions available but I think Savage not only should have been mentioned here but I also think Savage leads the field in factory actions. The number of records and competition wins in the last 2 years would seem to back that up. Whether the army uses their rifles as the basis for sniper rifles or whether people ask for custom builds based on their actions has little to do with who makes the best action IMO. I see lots of people requesting lots of things that are not as good as other things they could be buying. I may be new to medium range shooting but I've been shooting for 47 years and there are some things I do know pretty well. And the army is often very slow about changing their ways. The true measure of who makes the best action is the number and quality level of competitions won. And in that regard Savage is far ahead of the actions you have mentioned.

I'm not trying to put down what anyone is doing or their equipment choices. I'm just pointing out what is the clear leader in quality of construction.

Cory2 12-13-2010 05:23 AM

I think most people will agree that right now a savage rifle is pretty much the best... er... most accurate rifle you can buy without getting into several grand price range. Sure you can spend tons of money to make a r700 compete with a savage. But why would you?

Savage=Indisputably best bang for the buck.

King Ghidora 12-13-2010 10:39 AM

There have been a lot of very good rifles built on the 700 action. I just think Savage is making better actions at this point. Savage has been very good about picking up what the custom action builders have been doing and incorporating what they pick up in their own actions. That's a recipe for putting your action at the top of the factory rifle action heap. There are certainly other custom actions that are at least as good and probably better than Savage. If I had the money I'd probably get a Bat or a Borden action and have some really good gunsmith build me a custom rifle. But even if I did that I don't think I would come out with a rifle that is a big step above the rifle I already own. I could use a better trigger on my rifle (the SSS trigger would be great). But other than that it would be hard to improve on what I have IMO but then again what do I know? I only know that a lot of people think Savage is building a great rifle these days and I'm one of them.

There are other great things about the Savage actions these days too. Being able to change to different calibers just by swapping barrels and adjusting a few things is a great thing. I'm not one to know exactly which actions can do that but I hear a lot of people talking about doing it.

lonyaeger 12-13-2010 01:43 PM

Okay, so many of you are saying that the Savage actions generally are the best factory actions.

My question now is this: how long do you think they've been the best? Is this just a recent trend?

The reason I ask is because I'm going to start a build, need an action, and want to know approximately what YEAR of production to look at for each maker, e.g. Savage, Remington, Winchester, etc.

For some reason, I really like Winchester actions......

Dillinger 12-13-2010 06:03 PM

Lon, if you are planning a build....

Complete custom


Pre 1964 Winchester

cpttango30 12-13-2010 06:14 PM

There is only one savage action I would build on. That is the single shot Target action. It is the best action they make. You are still going to have to do some machine work.

It all depends on what you want in an action.

Are you ok with a push feed?

What are you going to do with the rifle?

What caliber do you want?

Savage target actions come in 223 and 308 bolt face only. So you will have to open them up to accept other cartridges like WSM.

If you want a Remington 700 type action I would go with a Surgeon.

King Ghidora 12-15-2010 08:49 AM

Obviously the single shot target action is the best Savage makes and it is the one I was thinking about when I posted what I did. I have one on a 12 LRPV. I'm not so sure about the machine work. Team Savage seems to be doing pretty well in F/TR with a stock action. They do sell just the action too if you want to do your own build.

But stock Savage rifles seem to be able to compete with the custom builds in F/TR too. I realize that other calibers are taking over the other competitions but, again, this was about the best factory actions.

A lot of Savage guys don't like the Target AccuTrigger though. They suggest changing it to an aftermarket trigger like an SSS. Still the Savage looks to be the best of the factory actions to me right now. It's very impressive to win national and world competitions with a stock rifle. I certainly wouldn't say you can convert to a a 6mmBR setup and still be in the top levels of shooting because I'm just not that knowledgeable about the situation. I just know what I've read and what my rifle will do. I can use factory ammo (including cheap factory ammo) and shoot a 3" group at a quarter of a mile with my 12 LRPV single shot, right bolt, left port Savage. Considering I really haven't had much practice at shooting that distance I'd say the rifle is making me look a lot better than I am and I suspect a better shooter could do much better with my rifle. If I would learn to roll my own it would probably improve things too. And the longer barrel (26") seems to give me more power (judging by the amount of drop I get at a quarter mile) than other people get from a .223 in a AR type setup. I realize they make heavy barrels for AR's these days but I haven't really seen a lot of those unless they were .308's. I would think I could get out to 600 yards pretty accurate with my LRPV. Other Savage shooters say it's well within the range of the .223. But like cpttango30 said, they only make them in .223 and .308 and the top accuracy seems to be in the 6 range calibers these days.

Again my point was that for a factory action Savage rates right up there.

lonyaeger 12-15-2010 12:24 PM


Originally Posted by Dillinger (Post 402322)
Lon, if you are planning a build....

Complete custom


Pre 1964 Winchester

The custom actions I've found are crazy expensive and I cannot for the life of me find a pre-1964 Winchester. What about a Win Model 70 dated 1972?

cpttango30 12-15-2010 02:19 PM

Here is a savage build I priced out.

Action Savage RB/LP..........$499.95
Barrel Shilen 6dasher..............$449.00
Stock McMillan F-class...........$498.00
Replacement trigger 4oz......$146.00
Badger 20moa Picatinny......$149.99
Badger 30mm high.............$159.99

Total so far $1902.93 Plus Shipping and smithing fees.

Then add a scope
Either a
Leupold Mark 4 LR/T Riflescopes 8.5-25x50mm for $1399.99
NightForce 12-42x56mm NXS with NP-2dd...........$1885.00

cpttango30 12-15-2010 02:27 PM


But stock Savage rifles seem to be able to compete with the custom builds in F/TR too. I realize that other calibers are taking over the other competitions but, again, this was about the best factory actions.
Never said they were bad. Never said they couldn't hang. But no matter what a factory action is still a factory action. It will still need work done to it to compete at the F-tr level. No factory action out there has the precision put into it like a Panda, Surgon, or a nesika. These actions are built to be the most precise action a human can build.

If you think the Savage F-TR team is going out on the life with a bone stock factory savage action that has not had machine work done to it you must be hanging out with Gello.....

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