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#6293509 - 03/15/12 Why choose a custom action?
RDW Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 07/13/09
Posts: 5966
Loc: Texas
What are the advantages for a hunting weight rifle between, bare weight of 6-8 lbs?

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#6294121 - 03/15/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: RDW]
Ackleyfan Online   content
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/10/02
Posts: 6983
I assume were talking 700 clones, if your looking to squeeze the every last bit of accuracy out of the rifle than I think a custom action will get you there, scope base holes that are inline with the centerline of the bore and most use the 8-40's which are stronger than factory,

Some have a better fire control systems with a guided firing pin that when you squeeze the trigger the FP doesn't bounce around behind the bolt face trying to find the hole, this can lead to unexplained flyers as the actions vibrations are not consistant shot to shot,

Some of the better customs are finished machined after heat treat so the action bodies are usally straighter with exceptional tolerances which leads to better accuracy!

Better bolt timing and extraction surfaces..

Some people like the looks
Some like how smooth they feel over a Rem 700

But a 700 with a little work can still be a very accurate hunting rifle!

#6294135 - 03/15/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: Ackleyfan]
458Win Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 3036
Loc: AK peninsula
Ackleyfan is correct but unless all the other components are of equal quality and well fitted the advantages are likely to be minimal.
Phil Shoemaker - Alaska Master Guide
NRA Benefactor
Alaska Hunter Education Instructor

Anyone who claims the 30-06 is not effective has either not used one, or else is unwittingly commenting on their marksmanship.

#6294204 - 03/15/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: 458Win]
cumminscowboy Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 4025
I think custom actions are easier to get right and be happy with. I think alot of gunsmith truing jobs are smoke and mirrors and who knows may even cause more harm than good to a factory remington. I think if you ever sell the rifle the public interested in buying the rifle also feels whatever truing was done may or may not have been good for the action. there is no standard for truing and not real way to measure it.

a custom action takes all that out of the deal and makes any potential resale value a lot better. with a custom action all the gunsmith needs to do is chamber and thread a barrel. with the proliferation of custom actions we are seeing alot more cottage rifle builders or companies that sell systems that sub out the builds and mark them up heavily. custom actions are allowing much of this to be done with good accuracy.

as for differences most are subtle and some not so, Surgeon and BAT are the only companies who offer a machined in scope rail and recoil lug. I personally think this is a big advantage. at the end of the day spending an extra 2 or 300 hundred on a custom action just ices the cake and adds a second kind of cool to your custom one that you can be proud of and others admire.

#6294294 - 03/15/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: cumminscowboy]
greydog Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/12/04
Posts: 2970
If you are building a "from the ground up" custom rifle there may be good reason to use a custom action but that reason won't be improved performance. Instead it will be the perception of increased intrinsic value. Face it, There are several tons of rifles out there which use Remington actions and which are superbly accurate, function flawlessly, and look pretty good doing it.
In other words, I can do all sorts of things to a Remington 700 but it will still not be Stiller or Borden or any other custom.
On the other hand, none of those will ever be a Mauser!
In the world of custom rifles there is a sharp division between those custom rifles which are essentially an assembly of custom parts and those which are a product of custom altered/ built/ refined parts and handmade components. In the first example, a custom action might be considered to be a major boon. In the second example, it is the work of the maker which is valued and an action which is re-worked by some makers might be highly desirable. GD

#6296051 - 03/16/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: greydog]
ready_on_the_right Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 13844
Loc: GA, USA
Bragging rights!!!!

God, Family, and Country.
NRA Endowment Member

#6296123 - 03/16/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: ready_on_the_right]
30338 Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 8007
Loc: Denver
For me, easy access to very good lefthanded actions seems to be swaying me. Why look forever and invest hours of my time when I could just order one in lefty? Plus not many lefty 223 bolts for example on factory rigs. I do have some exceptionally nice builds on lefty 700s though and am just now considering running a custom.

#6304384 - 03/18/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: 30338]
Azshooter Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 3160
Loc: Tucson, Az.
Here are a few more traits of some custom actions not mentioned:

Some of the custom offerings like Surgeon or Stiller offer larger actions with magazines large enough to fit cases like the RUM or 338 Lapua or even a chey-tac with enough space in the magazine for seating VLD style bullets. Some have integral picatinny rails. The bolt bodies are also larger with more steel around the case head. To me those customs fit a niche that an altered Rem or Win action cannot fullfill.

#6304400 - 03/18/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: Azshooter]
WranglerJohn Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 1984
I got a few custom actions, they are almost as good as a Savage action. Sometimes simple, ugly and sloppy are better than complex, pretty and precise. Got a supply of cheap savage parts, a whole rack of them. So, I'll take mass produced, easily interchangeable, no sweat fitting (every part of the Savage is adjustable) and sufficiently accurate.

Cobbled a Savage Target Action together last year with a Pac-Nor polygonal barrel that shoots the 40 grain Nosler .224 lead free bullet into a .206" bug hole. Killed so many sage rats the stink of death was overpowering. It's how it functions - rifles are tools like hammers. Sure cured my custom action addiction.

#6304742 - 03/18/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: WranglerJohn]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 41361
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
One of the things I'd like to comment on is the common perception that 8-40 screws are stronger than 6-48's. More than one engineer has told me this isn't true, because the larger threads on the 8-40's reduce the diameter of the screw at the bottom of the threads. The one real advantages of 8-40's is that slightly off-center 6-48 holes can be re-drilled to 8-40 to fix the problem.

Personally, I'd rather have an action with built-in bases than either, but have fired a lot of rounds from hard-kicking rifles with scope mounts "only" attached with 6-48 screws with nary a problem.

Some custom actions do have nice features. The Montana 1999, for instance, is a combination of the best features of the 98 Mauser and pre-'64 Model 70, and comes in a left-hand version. The Ultra Light Arms action is very precise yet very strong, and precisely made from the ground up. Melvin Forbes once told me that one of the reasons he started making them was all the time it spent to get a 700 action light and precise. He figured it would be easier to start from the ground up, and it turned out he was right.

That said, I have a pile of rifles built on various commercial actions from 700's to FN Mausers, and am just as satisfied with those as the rifles on special actions.

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

#6304826 - 03/18/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: Mule Deer]
greentimber Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 08/04/08
Posts: 2197
Loc: TN
Just buying a "custom" action may not give you a good end result. I made the mistake of building a field gun on a well-known custom action. The rifle shot almost anything accurately, but the action was so tight that the bolt would bind as I cycled it almost every time. If I held one leg in the air while doing Chinese math on the third Saturday of the month (except summer solstice) and moved my hand in just a certain way I could get the bolt to cycle properly some of the time. That's when the gun is clean. Heaven forbid I get a little dust in the action....

I now build customs on nice & loose Remmys that work well even when filled with half of the desert of New Mexico and have sworn off custom actions after seeing too many guys have problems with their custom actions on the precision rifle competition circuit over the last few years.

#6304841 - 03/18/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: greentimber]
greentimber Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 08/04/08
Posts: 2197
Loc: TN

If I were to try another one it would be a Bighorn. I've seen and heard of no problems with them.

#6304930 - 03/18/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: RDW]
Savage_99 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 09/01/03
Posts: 14489
Originally Posted By: RDW
What are the advantages for a hunting weight rifle between, bare weight of 6-8 lbs?

Each of us must define what we want out of a so called "custom".

The word custom gets thrown around by all of us and can mean different things.

I would like to learn what 'custom' actions are indeed optimum for such a hunting rifle.

When it comes to a lighter hunting weight rifle I want certain features like CRF, a M70 type safety, and a well attached bolt handle etc. I also want a artful or good looking action.

What turns me off is the mantra on some forums that start with some cheap pushfeed action with a brazed on bolt handle. If you say something they tell a story that their daddy shot a buck with one in 1954 and that they shoot small groups!

I do welcome threads that point to how to get a desirable action and not have to pay Dakota prices.

Some point out that a so called custom may be so tight as to not function in the rough. Others are somehow impressed because their 700 bolt travel is 'smooth'.

So it goes.

I have a Brno 22F up here next to me at the computer. Its as neat looking as can be (to me) with its full stock and DST's. I am practicing with its added on M70 safety and DST's on how to use it quick for woods use. It's not a custom but I like it. smile

To each his own.

Some rifles at a show:
That the first shot from it's cold barrel from my C.F. hunting rifles hit where I want it at 200 yds is more important to me that what groups it may shoot at 100 yds!

My match rifles must shoot groups. We get sighting shots at matches!

#6331277 - 03/25/12 Re: Why choose a custom action? [Re: greentimber]
Kodiakisland Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 02/03/01
Posts: 4036
Originally Posted By: greentimber

If I were to try another one it would be a Bighorn. I've seen and heard of no problems with them.

The one I looked at in Marks shop a few years back certainly was nice. I'd like to try one, just can't justify the price.
Don't just be a survivor, be a competitor.


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