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Action Question


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I'm a long time USPSA shooter and I'm dabbling in PRS style matches ( I have a long way to go). I know nothing beats a custom action and remmy 700 actions are a more economical, but popular choice. Why are Savage actions not popular? I'm not talking about the axis, but like model 10. Is the barrel nut approach or floating bolt head a fault? Thanks for the input guys.

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The Savage actions are long and typically do not function as smoothly as a Remington 700, Tikka or many customs. With time of the essence in matches you need an action that will cycle reliably and fast. The barrel nut or floating bolt head is really not an issue IMO. The Savages out of box make for some very accurate rifles. I also think they are ugly but I guess that is a matter of taste.

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I've owned 3 Savages and only shot 6 total in my life. Every one of them had at least one failure to eject in twenty rounds and half of them had triggers that occasionally locked up.

A quick internet search tells me I'm not alone. I tried to fix my 3, the owners of the other 3 didn't mind having rifles that didn't function. If it was 1 in 6 with a problem I'd just assume that at the price point you're bound to get a lemon that often. But 6 of 6 rifles failing makes me think it's a bad design.

People could look past it 10 years ago when they had the cheap rifle market cornered, but now that the market is flooded with rifles that function there is no reason to go Savage.

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I have owned two savages a 12fv in 223 and a model 12 F-class in 6.5×284 both rifles were very accurate. I sold the 223 because it was too heavy for a 223 17lbs with B&C stock and scope. I burned the barrel out on the 6.5x284 and had plans to rebarrel to 6br but never did, sold the rifle to help fund 3gun. I would not hesitate to buy another savage. I never had reliability issues from mine. The only knock I have against them is that their aftermarket stock selection is pretty low compared to other companies like Remington and Tikka. 

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I appreciate the input, fellas. The only savage I have experience was a hog hunter that I rebarelled into a 6mmBR and had it sitting in a heavy BR stock. Never had any cycling issues, but it was single load and slooooow.

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Barrel nuts are becoming a somewhat popular feature for other actions as well. Some custom actions are threaded for Savage small shank barrels (although they can also use shouldered barrels) but barrel companies are making nut style barrels for Remington 700s (remage), Howa, Tikka, Ruger, etc. The Bighorn TL3, a high quality custom action, also uses a floating bolt head design.

 

I think the reason that the Savage is not more popular has more to do with the aftermarket support (although there are still plenty of stocks, barrels, etc) and the quality of the product itself. While still pricey several of the custom action makers have started selling "budget" custom actions that are high quality with a slightly reduced feature set compared to traditional actions. The Bighorn Origin and Defiance Tenacity both come in under $900, which is still pricey but very competitive when considering the amount of work that would go into truing up/adding features to a Remington or Savage action.

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  • 2 months later...

Like the guy above me said, the aftermarket support for rem 700 actions is so much bigger then for savage. And for some reason the bolt cycling with a  savage action is never as smooth as a 700. And I shoot a savage 10, it’s incredibly accurate. But they’ve always had bolt lift problems. I never have issues ejecting though. I don’t really need any aftermarket support either, the accutrigger is great, breaking right around 1lb. But you can’t even really buy an aftermarket 2 stage trigger if you wanted. The way s savage rifles are there isn’t enough room for it. 

 

Most of the custom builders use 700s, but that doesn’t mean they’re better then tikkas, howa, or savage actions. I think a good analogy is why so many people shoot glocks over say XDMs or M&ps. There’s a huge aftermarket for glocks, everyone knows how to work on them etc. but that doesn’t mean they’re better then M&P or XDMs. 

 

This is the guy to go to for  savage aftermarket support. He uses savage actions for custom builds too, http://northlandshooterssupply.com/barrels/criterion-savage/

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On 1/13/2019 at 7:52 AM, Jfitz427 said:

aftermarket support for rem 700 actions is so much bigger then for savage.

This is very true. Also any money so spend on a Savage is "sunk- costs" You never get it back in resale. Savages shoot well, they are just kinda clunky.

 

Barrel nut and floating/swap-able bolt-heads are actually awesome features. Lots of custom actions have these features now and the 20tpi Savage barrel threads and shank measurements.

 

That said, a stock R700 is junk. You end up spending to much money on it to make it better. Check out a Bighorn Arm Origin. 

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I never seen a  savage at a PRS match that didn’t break, and I have ROed every single PRS match in TEXAS, just get yourself a Impact Action, it’s everything you need and nothing else, pick a drop in barrel of the caliber of your choice, drop it in a MPA chassis with a Calvin Elite trigger, and put a MPA/APA Bastard/Area419 muzzle brake

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18 hours ago, 427Cobra said:

I never seen a  savage at a PRS match that didn’t break, and I have ROed every single PRS match in TEXAS, 

I'm calling bulls#!t right here. You want speak in generalizations, hyperbole and tell people to go buy the most expensive gear the cool kids use? "Typer's Hide" is that-a-way>

 

Last year at the Nightforce ELR PRS match, we shot a side match on Friday at a Unicorn around +1900y. It was won by a Savage. Winner keeps the Unicorn. Savage holds the record till next year. Savage rifles shoot. 

Edited by Delfuego
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15 hours ago, Delfuego said:

I'm calling bulls#!t right here. You want speak in generalizations, hyperbole and tell people to go buy the most expensive gear the cool kids use? "Typer's Hide" is that-a-way>

 

Last year at the Nightforce ELR PRS match, we shot a side match on Friday at a Unicorn around +1900y. It was won by a Savage. Winner keeps the Unicorn. Savage holds the record till next year. Savage rifles shoot. 

Reliability is not where the Savage shines. I’ll be on the tower next month at Rifles Only if you would like to speak more on the subject. 

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On 1/15/2019 at 3:43 PM, 427Cobra said:

I never seen a  savage at a PRS match that didn’t break, and I have ROed every single PRS match in TEXAS, just get yourself a Impact Action, it’s everything you need and nothing else, pick a drop in barrel of the caliber of your choice, drop it in a MPA chassis with a Calvin Elite trigger, and put a MPA/APA Bastard/Area419 muzzle brake

What broke on the savages that you have seen? I’m about to send mine to accurate ordnance to have them true the actions and rebarrel and more.  Just curious

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3 hours ago, CE325 said:

What broke on the savages that you have seen? I’m about to send mine to accurate ordnance to have them true the actions and rebarrel and more.  Just curious

I’m a big fan of savage, my wife and I both shoot one, and they’re incredibly accurate. The type of accuracy people pay 1000s to have custom rifles build for. With that said last class we did at the 1000 yard range both of our rifles went down beyond repair. Here’s had to go back to savage, it’s been a lemon. Mine the extractor went during sight in. I thought we were done for the day. Everyone else was shooting 308s. So I couldn’t even use the 500rds of 6.5 ammo in someone else’s gun. But I got lucky and one of the ROs has a basically brand new RPR with a nighforce 5-25 that I got to shoot and my wife borrowed a 308. Not cool. We paid a lot of money and drove a long ways. Besides that mines been great for the 1+ year I’ve had it 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've built a lot of rifles, in calibers ranging from 223 to 338 rum, on Savage actions, and I've never had the issues like I'm hearing here. I've even built a couple on Axis actions. A lot of the issues I've seen with Savages, and why they have a bad rap, is that people that don't know what they're doing will work on them, and then complain when something goes wrong. That doesn't mean they are flawless, but neither are Remingtons (which I've built on too, and also enjoy).

 

The biggest issue I've had was with the Accu-trigger, but that was poor technique on my part with a really light trigger. I was engaging the trigger before the safety blade was fully pressed.

 

I wish aftermarket support was as good as Remington, but it has grown, and you still have quite a few options.

 

The Savage Shooters forum is a great place to research more on Savages.

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