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Old 06-15-2004, 08:05 AM   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 53
Different Bolt Actions Question

If some divine power (like my wife), tells me I could only have 3 rifles (A definite improvement over just one), what actions/caliber would you use?

3 main purposes:
Alaskan game
Deer/Elk
Varmints

I have a wish list and want to have the rifles made.

Advantages/Disadvantages of:
Remington 700
HS Precision
Dakota Arms
Nesika Bay
Winchester Model 70
CZ/mauser type rifles.

This is a 5 year plan. The divine power has set limitations so I need some help.

Thanks
Lester
 
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:09 PM   #2
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 239
you can do it all with one rifle, my choice would be a dakota bolt gun chambered for 330dakota. if you reload you can download it for lighter game, but with hot loads it will kill anything on this continent.
 
Old 06-15-2004, 08:58 PM   #3
DEA
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 139
Oh boy Lester, that's a big open ended question. I guess you meant it that way to get the most sampling of replies. So I'll give it a stab:

If you only had 3 rifles to complete your three main purposes then here's what I'd do:

Alaskan game (I will assume including big grizzly bear) = 375H&H
Deer/Elk = 300 Winchester Magnum
Varmints = 223 Remington

Reasons:

IMO the 375H&H is the grand daddy of the popular magnums. There's hardly anything it can't do loaded properly and shot by a competent individual. You can load her heavy or light by using bullet weights from 270gr up to 300gr in various shapes and sizes.

For deer and elk, my vote goes to the 300Winnie: definitely a very flexible cartridge that has a vast array of factory ammo available. Check into the recent edition of the Shooters Bible and you'll see a bunch of ammo that's available. My personal choice is for 165gr for deer sized game and 180gr for elk.

Finally, for varmints it's going to be the 223 Rem. It's easy on the pocket book to shoot because of the available Red Box and White Box ammo from Federal and Winchester respectively. It's hard to find a 223 that doesn't shoot well after a decent trigger job. There's a huge supply of surplus ammo you can practice with and it's cheap shooting. Only thing that beats it IMO is one of the large capacity 22 (ie 22-250/220Swift et al) but that comes with a price....the ammo costs considerably more.

One very important aspect with the 3 listed above IMO is this; ammo for the most part is readily available in most locales. The only shortcomings may be the lack of selection. But their definitely not wildcats!

With that said, to the next topic at hand which would be the platform. I've shot all the rifles in some which way or form as you have listed. Here's my 2 cents:

Remington 700: Tried and true action platform. Many custom gunsmiths like to use this action due to it's design and easy of "blueprinting." Fairly easy disassembly of the striker assembly and trigger is easily worked over by a competent individual. Countless aftermarket parts are available such as sturdier bottom metal, bolt handle mods, Sako extractor, triggers etc. I really don't see any disadvantages with the M700 other than maybe the extractor. If it breaks then be prepared to fix it. BUT if it's good enough for the USMC and US Army for their snipers, then damn it's good enough for me.

HS Precision: I don't like their stocks because their design geometry doesn't fit my physique. I don't care for the aluminum bedding block because I've had a some stocks with the bedding block off center and not level. So when you torque the action down it doesn't line up quite right in the stock. The action seems like a pretty nice design with a combination of features from both M70 and M700. BUT if something happens to the action in the field you're pretty much SNAFU and the rifle will have to go back to HS for repair.

Dakota: Pretty sharp rifles! I actually like them, but as always there are trade-offs. One: I can't get a M76 or M97 in a synthetic stock that I like. The ones on their rifles now are made by MPI. Two: I don't like the idea of a drop box system on large caliber actions (375 H&H on up). It ruins the lines of the rifle IMO. Again you run into the issue of parts/repair if Murphy decided to pay you a visit on your hunt.

Nesika: Now a owned by Dakota after Don Allen passed away. Still maintaining exceptional quality though. I have 2 rifles builts on Nesika actions I really do like them. Smooth, overbuilt and nicely finished. As with above if anything happens in the field, that's pretty much it.

As a tangent, I really do doubt that anything WOULD happen in the field with HS, Dakota, and Nesika but it COULD happen. Please do not let this detail over influence your final decisions.

M70: Same as the M700. But the M70 has 2 features which I have grown to like. One is the 3 position safety, primarily because I can have the bolt locked down and not worrying about it sliding out of battery if Murphy decides to pay me a visit. Two, claw extractor; one way or another a stock cartridge is going to come out, period. But this is solely base on personal preference.

CZ/mauser: Although I have shot the CZ and various Mauser variants I can't pass too much judgement on them due to lack of personal experience.

After having quite a few custom rifles built, here are some suggestions:

First and foremost, find a competent and respected riflesmith perform ALL of the work. He'll have complete control over final product. He can't blame a third party for shoddy workmanship. Here's a couple that come to mind:

John Lewis at Carolina Precision Rifles www.cprifles.com
Mark Bansner at Bansner's Ultimate Rifles www.bansnersrifle.com
Tim McWhorter at McWhorter Custom Rifles www.mcwhorterrifles.com
Christensen Arms www.christensenarms.com
Kenny Jarrett at Jarrett Rifles www.jarrettrifles.com
Jim Borden at Borden Rifles www.bordenrifles.com

After you select the riflesmith, then you can go about addressing which actions they prefer/can work with. FYI, all the ones I have listed typically select a M700, M70 or Nesika action.

Now that you have info from the riflesmith on which action he can work on, then go down to the local gun store and handle a couple rifles in each of the appropriate actions, if available. I would guess that the majority of the guns on the rack would be Winchester, Remington, Ruger, Weatherby, CZ and various others. But at least you will get an idea of what features you'd like to have. The M700, HS, Nesika are all push feed rifles. The Dakota, M70 and CZ/mauser are control round feed.

After you have selected the action, then figure out what cartridges you want to have the rifle(s) chambered in. Be sure to consult with the riflesmith on your ideas.

When you have made all these decisions then the riflesmith can steer you into what other items that need to be addressed: barrel length, finish, stock dimenstions etc.

Good Luck!
 
 
Old 06-16-2004, 06:07 PM   #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 53
Different bolt actions

DEA Thank you for your response. I was leaving things open to see if I could get varying opinions.

I have a 300 Win Mag 700 BDL/Dbm. I have a 700 PSS in 223. I have a Model 7 in 308 and a Steyr SBS light tactical rifle.

I have asked Lew Bonitz to make a Scout Rifle. I have been trying to decide which action. Lew and Ted are so nice; the response is always whatever you want. It is your gun.

I will probably buy a 375 to take to Alaska next year. I just don't know which action. My father always loved Mausers and had several rifles built on Mausers or 1917 Enfields. Has anybody on the forum had a medium or big bore scout? The Lion scout 376 Steyr was short lived.

He had a sporterized Enfield with the military barrel that could get 1.5 " at 200 yards. Unfortunately, my mother doesn't know where it is.

Thank you for you comments on your experiences with various actions. It was most helpful. I think most bolt action rifles are fairly reliable. I just can't decide what to buy

Thanks,
Lester
 
Old 06-16-2004, 08:23 PM   #5
DEA
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 139
Lester, I can appreciate your position, as I have been there many a times also! Best of luck with your selection(s)!
 
Old 06-17-2004, 09:04 AM   #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 251
All 700 Remington pre J lock actions in: .375 H&H, 30-06, and 22-250 is what I would suggest. My personal choices are 375H&H, 300H&H and 222

all barrelled by a good smith with a quality bbl, McMillian stock, good glass on all of them and irons on the big gun too.

My .02 worth.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 10:05 AM   #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 260
I have Steyr Scouts in .308 and .376 but...

I have Steyr Scouts in .308 and .376 but they aren't perfect no matter how much I like them. The fancy actions solve a lot of problems I don't have.

I do not consider them hard use rifles - but I don't need hard use rifles - for a guided hunt, or a sleep at home every night day trip or a fly in with guides and an extra rifle.

For a hard use rifle I demand a Mauser '98 pattern or a Winchester 70 that comes close.

For purposes of discussion only given the 3 gun limit I'd look closely at the Valmet/Tika combination guns - I have one of the originals with 12 gauge and .30-'06 barrels (note that it does have the shotgun firing pins) - one combination with several barrel sets might meet the letter but not the spirit of the game. Accuracy is entirely adequate but I might try a single or an unsingle for a varmint gun.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 08:06 PM   #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 155
One of my favorite subjects....RIFLES

3 rifles, with reasonable cash outlay, HMM. First question how often are you going to hunt Alaska? Coupled with what are you going to hunt when you get there? If hunting Alaska and particularly brown bears is a real possibility then your heavy rifle will have certain requirements. But if you are an out of state resident your are 1. pay a lot of money for the hunt 2. have a guide as it is required under state law.

I am going to base my assumption on you are an out of state hunter. Anything from an 30-06 and up works, simply if you mess up, on a bear the guide will finish it. So the real question to yourself is how much recoil I can tolerate rountinely. Yeah you will use it more in the lower 48, cause unless you got lots of dollars to drop every year to hunt Alaska thats where your going to be shooting.

Me I have a 375 H&H, that is about a 1956 Model 70, I can hunt anywhere in the world with this, I think there are a couple of African countries that have caliber restrictions, OH well I won't go there. Very fine rifle, set up as a dangerous game rifle, no complaints, but I rarely use it, its a little heavy, very pretty, and has some serious recoil ( not why I don't carry it usually though)

My second rifle that I don't feel undergunned anywhere on earth with is my 30-338. With a 200 gr. bullet I am getting 2900 FPS and it is the hammer of Thor; if I do my part it does the rest. If I was up against something particularlly hard headed I would use a Barnes 220 grain solid which would clock at around 2700-2800. My rifle is a an old FN Mauser very accurate, very pretty, and usually first choice on what I carry. I have another 30-338 I shoot, I carry the FN. About 300 Win mags, I hate em, I have never reloaded a more tempermental cartridge, if you change lot numbers on your powder, or primers, or make any little change the groups open up and its back on the bench working out details. And Magnum rifles and bench time isn't my favorite thing to do, especially a couple of times a year doing something all over. If you don't reload a 300 Win Mag is a good choice, just not for me ever again. David Winkler's recommendation of a 300 H&H is a good choice also, not quite the performance of my 30-338, not a big deal, it is a very fine cartridge and its only real drawback is it needs a long magnum action, and if I have a nice one of those I have other rounds I would want to use it for. I don't know squat about the new 30's but I don't think they handle heavy bullets well, I never shoot anything lighter than 180 grain bullets in my 30's and that is a rare occasion, to me a 190 grain bullet is light.

Other 30 choices: 308 Norma, 30-06, 308, 300 Weatherby the 06 and the 308 are a little light for you heavy though.

Other good choices in a heavy: 338 Win Mag ( good choice) 340 Weatherby, 338 Laupa, 8mm Rem Mag or even a 416 flavor.

The second and third rifles would depend on my choice of above, if you go a real heavy I would want a good medium bore. 280 Rem is one of my favorites as is a 7x57 or even a 7mm Rem Mag. Others are 30-06 or 270, 308, 6.5x55, 7mm STW. When I am deer or antelope hunting I don't need to be thumped, I do want a rifle that will take the occaasional long shoot if required though. This isn't a dangerous game rifle and a push feed is OK, Remington 700's, Model 70 Winchesters, CZ, FN, SAKO, Huskies, old custom mausers, Parker Hales, and a couple others are all good choices. This rifle is the one I carry the most, me I would pick an action I like and have the barrel and stock done custom. What I don't want is a tactical Ninja rig or a military clone sniper rifle. I want to do a sheep or goat hunt and I am not lugging an artillary piece up a mountain, 8lbs max. I have an old mauser custom in a 7x57 it is just about perfect. If I do another one of these I think a 280 Rem. maybe a 7mm Mag, in either a Sako, FN, Remington 700. Custom 22" barrel, fairly heavy contour, I will make up the wieght in the stock, either a Mcmillian, or Walnut. Barrel, action, stock and trigger would be in the $1500-2000 range. I would hold that as the high end, as I would want top notch optics, Leoupold or Burris as a min, Schmitt and Bender, or Ziess ( not conquest ) as prefered, and good optics and mounts are pricey.

Varmit rigs, I listed a couple above that work well. I have a Rem 700 in 308, a little heavy as rifle and a caliber......SO ammo is dirt cheap if I want to shoot a lot, match grade is available if I am lazy. Too heavy, yes but I like it. I have another couple of calibers I like real well, they can also fit above in a pinch but they also fit here. They are: 6mm Rem, 257 Roberts, and even a 25-06. I don't consider any of these varmit only calibers. The varmit only calibers I like a 22-250, the 220 Swift and the 222. First choice would be the 22-250, but I would definately be a heavy varmit type rifle. A box stock Remington 700 is a great choice, shoot it a bunch, then true the action and rebarrel it.

Three rifles makes it hard on choices, me I would want at least two from the middle class, I like the 6.5x55 Swede, I must have a good 7mm of some sort, and I have had a hankering for a 6mm Rem. and none of these are a big bore dark timber rifle, oh like a 358 Win or a 9x57 with a 19"-20" barrel and a fixed 2-5 or 4 power scope and see through sights.
 
Old 08-14-2004, 10:23 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17
Re: Different Bolt Actions Question

Hi Doctor
I assume you are seeking hunting use primarily. I believe whistles, bells and prettiness are not necessary for that.

Big rifle: Magnum length Model 70 pre64 barreled with top grade barrel in .338 Win. Only throat it for bullets set out to magazine length. Take advantage of the long magazine. You will have to study and choose for bullet weight and twist in most cases. Or a 375 in the same rifle if your ambitions are really big in Alaska.

Middle rifle: The toughest choice really. Anything from .270 to 7 mag. IMO. Model 70 again of course. But a good Remington or Sako will do.

Small rifle: Sako 223 Vixen type or 243 Forrester type.
Jack H



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lester Wang
If some divine power (like my wife), tells me I could only have 3 rifles (A definite improvement over just one), what actions/caliber would you use?

3 main purposes:
Alaskan game
Deer/Elk
Varmints

I have a wish list and want to have the rifles made.

Advantages/Disadvantages of:
Remington 700
HS Precision
Dakota Arms
Nesika Bay
Winchester Model 70
CZ/mauser type rifles.

This is a 5 year plan. The divine power has set limitations so I need some help.

Thanks
Lester
 
Old 09-18-2004, 05:11 PM   #10
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 614
3 rifles

I would go with
1) 375 H&H
2) 300 Win Mag
3) 22-250 Rem
I would have these all on a Rem 700 actions with a HS or Mcmillian stocks.
 
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