Savage Axis with Nikon Buckmasters 4-12x40

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Quentin, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    I've had a huge gap in my arsenal for decades and finally decided to do something about it this year. That gap was a powerful rifle in a caliber that can really reach out and touch with authority.

    The caliber was an easy decision for me - .308/7.62x51. While debates go on forever that there are better choices I couldn't ignore how popular it is, that it's 30 caliber and does everything well. Barrel life is very good, accuracy is great and it doesn't hurt that you can buy 20 rounds for $10.

    I do have 30 caliber rifles: 30-30 and 7.62x39 that don't reach out with the authority of .308 and the powerful 7.62x54 but it isn't a modern round in a modern rifle.

    With .308/7.62x51 settled it was tempting to go to the AR-10 family, especially since I'm a big AR-15 fan - but there are two disadvantages: weight and cost. Semiauto fire is a big plus but honestly I didn't need to fire one round per second.

    So I decided on bolt action. There are a lot of excellent choices but I narrowed it down to the Savage Axis and Ruger American, two very similar rifles. Both are accurate, cheap and have a removable 4 round box magazine.

    I chose the Axis XP with a Bushnell 3-9x40 scope and Next G1 camo polymer stock that Cabelas had on sale for $309 after a $50 rebate. I decided to move that scope to an AR-15 and today bought a Nikon Buckmasters 4-12x40 Cabelas has on sale for $142 (with military discount).

    The rifle worked all right with the Bushnell scope but I think that scope limits the rifle so wanted something better. I'm expecting the Nikon with the BDC reticle zeroed to 100 yards will do exactly what I want.

    Anyway, here are some pics!

    [​IMG]


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  2. NotMormon

    NotMormon Member

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    I talked myself out of the same rifle at Cabelas yesterday. Looks like you are not filling a gap but rather adding to the power potential. How did you settle on .308? Seems to be the next logical step up the ladder. And bolt guns are just as much fun as AR's:)
     

  3. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    I also talked myself out of the Axis earlier this year. No doubt there are better bolt action rifles. But there's nothing really wrong with the Axis that can't be fixed easily (trigger) or worked around (high bolt throw) so with the rebate this time I couldn't resist. Sure, I'd love a finer rifle but the Axis will do 1 MOA which is all I need. Adding the Nikon 4-12x40 gets me out to 500 yards which is all I need. All for under $500 plus I have the Bushnell scope to put on a lighter recoiling AR.

    As far as settling on .308/7.62x51, to me it was a no-brainer. Powerful, low price and available everywhere. In the lower 48 states having rifles in .308/7.62x51, .223/5.56x45 and 22LR pretty much covers all the bases.

    Of course everyone has different needs so what works for me doesn't work for everyone.
     
  4. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Savage has rebates going right now.
     
  5. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    I would take a step up the Savage ladder. The Axis is what it is. You have already mentioned replacing the trigger on the Axis. Savage has better rifle combo's with a Nikon scope and you will get a larger rebate to offset the cost of the better model. I am sure you have heard it before, buy once cry once.
     
  6. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    No doubt there are better rifles than the Axis, in fact the Axis II has the Savage AccuTrigger and can be found with a cheap Weaver scope for $330 or so. I'm going to clean up the heavy trigger on the Axis and call it good. I'm very happy with this Axis with the Nikon scope. Power, accuracy and light weight at a great price. The rifle weighs 6.5 lbs and the scope adds 14 oz.

    Some people hate the thin forend of the stock but I like it, and the camo finish is more interesting than black polymer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  7. Salvo

    Salvo New Member

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    That makes the weight come out about right. Good pick with the Axis. I've had good luck with Savage bolt guns, they've worked well for me.
     
  8. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    You can fix the issues with the stock for just a few dollars. It is easy to make a free floating barrel with gasket material. You can stiffen the stock with Styrofoam and fiberglass resin or you can cut the styrofoam for a bedding kit like you would use on a wood stock. You may like the stock just like it is. A couple of my nieghbors have Axis rifles. I didn't see anything intolerable about the axis.
     
  9. Hookeye

    Hookeye Active Member

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    The stock sucks. You can fill the forend and stiffen it but the problem is in two other areas...............#1 the wrist still flexes.

    #2 the ergonomics (you'll probably need to make a cheekpiece). Kydex is cheap and works great :)

    Trigger...........I got mine light and good, and safe............cost me $2.

    When they first came out, nobody made a 1 pc base for it except for one place and it was $40.
    Using 2 pc bases, on the long action............made it a tough deal to get some scopes set up correctly.

    Yup..............long action. I dislike them for short action cartridges. And why I sold my tweaked Savage Axis even though it shot very well (.50" with WW factory 100gr .243 ammo).

    The bolt sucks too, if you do mount a scope with a larger eyebell, or you get it low trying to run the stock as is...it'll hit. I scalloped and reblued mine, no big deal, bead blast made it look factory except in one view, since it has an odd draft to it and those cutouts.

    The Boyds stock might help a bunch, but then you're putting another $100 into a cheap rifle.
    Kinda defeats the purpose.

    I got mine for a knock about yote rifle.............and got it pretty well set up. But the long action just killed it for me. Sold it and got another 700.

    If they made a better stock from the start, and a short action........I might get another one for a truck gun. Mine shot way better than the purchase price would have suggested!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  10. Hookeye

    Hookeye Active Member

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    My rig also had the recoil lug not fully inset into the stock. Brass hammer solved that. Gasket for free float? WTF? You want that action bolted solid to the stock, and then you clearance the barrel channel. But then on bipods and or with flexy stock.........you're gonna touch now and then...........so you gotta stiffen the dang thing.

    BTW, Tupperware stocks are easy to sand....call 'em Tupperware but they're probably some 30% glass filled polyester on the cheapies.

    My preferred bedding material for them is Dexter Hysol aluminum filled Epoxy Patch. Had it at work :) Have also used the $15 big tubes of JB Weld from auto stores. It will throw the balance off (help or hurt?). To use less epoxy, one can place tubes in the hollows.

    On my first 700 ADL synth I used stainless tubes. I think carbon arrows to be cheap and easier to find (cut offs from local archery shop).
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  11. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    When I put my Marlin back together I use an inch pound wrench. I tighten the two bolts that hold the gun to the stock to 60 inch pounds. I can literally see the stock sinking down. You will see the stock sinking down on any rifle that has a synthetic stock without a metal bushing like a Ruger 10/22. I tried to stiffen the stock with metal washers, barrel harmonics went nuts, so I used gasket material to stiffen the stock and raise the action. Gasket material when used on a valve cover and other sheet metal parts easily stands up to 30 ft lb of torque. I am only asking gasket material to stand up to 60 inch pounds and it does tame barrel harmonics. Plus I do not see the stock sinking down when I put the gun back together.

    I have a $200 rifle that I am making do. The Finns used cork gasket material in the same applications. They were not trying to control barrel harmonics on a 22mag. They were trying to control barrel harmonics on a 7.62x53 and it worked. The Finns expected accuracy of 1.3" or better with steel case ammo. I have shot my fair share of steel case ammo. I have a hard time shooting a 1.3" group with my Browning or Model 70 Winchester using steel case ammo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  12. SparkPlug

    SparkPlug New Member

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    most of the synthetic stocks coming on factory rifles are pretty crappy. they can fixed easy if you know how to and it's not really hard to do.

    or buy an aftermarket laminated stock.