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Scope opinions for a 300 WM

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 11:04
Majja13 View Drop Down
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This is more of a dream at this point, however I am hoping to make it a reality in the next 2 years.  I want to build a custom 300 on the 7 ish pound range.  Where I hunt elk we can have a shot at 75 yds or out to 700.  This being the dream scope I am looking hard at the Swaro's Z5 and Z6 and the S&B.  in particular in the S&B line the Polar 3-12x54 with teh L7 or D7.  I am also open to others in this price range.  I would like to keep it at or under 20-24 oz if at all possible. 

Thanks 
Majja
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 12:25
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All very nice scope.  I would add Leica Visus and Magnus to the list.

I think the Magnus is the finest hunting scope out on the market right now, although I will freely admit that Swaro Z8 is so close it is really hard to make a call.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 12:35
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First, great caliber, my favorite rifle caliber by a significant margin.

Next, skip the "custom" step and buy a Tikka T3 Lite, I had one in 300WM and it was a shooter.  Grantly, it was not a "shoot all day on the bench" kinda gun, but it was a great stalking gun.  Their actions are very smooth, very strong, and all the barrels I've had shot better than good.  (If you decide to go full custom, I'd still start with a Tikka action, it is stronger than 700 and has all/most of the features that the high-end custom actions have.  I've done a few customs off Tikka actions and my smith said they never need blueprinting, they simply make a better action at a better price.)

Next, scopes, I really like the Swaro Z8s and don't have much time on the Leicas.

Lastly, be sure to get good mounts and rings, and be sure to get a scope with enough eye relief to keep you from getting kissed during recoil.

My favorite game ammo in 300 is 180-grain Barnes.  I took a 300WM with Barnes 180 TTSX to Africa several years ago and was exceedingly pleased with the results.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 13:07
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Thanks Koshkin, I will have to take a look at them.

Rancid I will have to take a look at the TIkka in 300.  I am wanting to pick up a T3 in 6.5 C, but just kind of gleaned past the 300, as the lite and 300 WM don't go that well together.  I currently own a 20+ year old A-bolt in Mag and do love the big 300.  I will definitely give it a look.

Majja
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 15:25
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If you get the Tikka then buy a McMillan game scout stock and you will have one sweet setup.  You will have a gun that will run with the custom guns for $1500

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 15:40
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Gamescout you say...


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 15:41
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Pretty girl, pretty girl
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 16:17
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Originally posted by supertool73 supertool73 wrote:

If you get the Tikka then buy a McMillan game scout stock and you will have one sweet setup.  You will have a gun that will run with the custom guns for $1500













I like!


Edited by mike650 - September/04/2018 at 17:16
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 16:40
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That looks pretty sweet.  And i know you can find Tikkas on sale for some times around the 500 mark.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 17:49
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I had one for a few years, it was maybe 7 pounds, and kicked more than a little but less than too much. I eventually sold it for a heavier gun.

The McMillan stocks are great, i’ve been a fan since long before they were cool.
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:


Next, skip the "custom" step and buy a Tikka T3 Lite, I had one in 300WM and it was a shooter.  Grantly, it was not a "shoot all day on the bench" kinda gun, but it was a great stalking gun.  Their actions are very smooth, very strong, and all the barrels I've had shot better than good.  (If you decide to go full custom, I'd still start with a Tikka action, it is stronger than 700 and has all/most of the features that the high-end custom actions have.  I've done a few customs off Tikka actions and my smith said they never need blueprinting, they simply make a better action at a better price.)


Brother, please believe me when I say it's not my intent to step on your toes with what I'm about to say, but I believe this is important to note in the interest of providing good advice.

The main reason one builds a full custom rifle is to have options that in some way make the resulting build more personalized or to in some way improve upon performance available to you in a factory rifle. Building on a Tikka action limits many of those options right out of the gate. I know you're a huge Tikka fan, and that's fine, but I can think of few actions that are actually less well suited for a custom rifle.

Yes, Tikkas have smooth operating bolts. Yes, I've got trigger time behind several Tikkas that shot very well, and they have a reputation among Tikka fans for shooting well on average.

That aside, you would be hard-pressed to find an action that limits your choices not just in rifle components but also load components and parameters than a Tikka. Tikka's long action mag box limits max cartridge OAL to 3.34". Contrast that against any of the Remington footprint custom actions of around 3.7". This is critical if you're shooting long ogive, high BC 200+ grain bullets. In order to use any super high BC bullet weighing over 190 gr or so, you have to seat exceptionally deep in the .300 Win's already short neck, taking up additional powder space. This also means that without cutting a special chamber with an abnormally short throat, you won't be able to seat bullets close to the lands.

Then there is the lack of aftermarket stocks available. Sure, you do have a few choices, but with a Remington footprint custom action, you have a choice of every stock imaginable from all manufacturers to choose from. Ditto for aftermarket triggers and scope mounts. The Tikka scope mount interface is truly one of the worst designs in the industry, even if you're not using the crappy Tikka rings.

If you decide to use the entire Tikka barreled action instead of rebarreling, you run into the same barrel twist limitation that hamstrings many factory rifles today (though that is starting to change with new rifles like the Barrett Fieldcraft). Tikka is behind the times on twist rates for most chamberings they offer, being too slow, and in some notable cases like .243 and .22-250, way too slow. For example, the twist rate they use for .300 Win Mag is 1:11. Ideally, it should be 9 or 10-twist instead, as that would give you the best accuracy with bullets over 200 gr and still allow you to use lighter bullets if you so choose. In the past, bullets would disintegrate or fly erratically if spun too fast. That's no longer the case with the good bullets available to us today. If you're truly maximizing the potential of the .300 Win, you really need to be shooting 200+ gr bullets. With 180's you're not gaining anything over a 7 Mag, and in fact, the 7 mag with a high BC 168 quickly catches up and exceeds the .300 with anything 180 gr in drop, drift, and retained energy at distance.

Finally, where did you hear that the Tikka action is "stronger" than a 700 or 700 clone action? Even if we assume that's true, mechanical metrics like hoop strength, lug shear strength, etc. almost never play a role in determining the safety of any given action in the event of a catastrophic failure; it's in how the action design handles escaping high pressure gas in the event of case rupture/head separation. A Tikka is actually weak in comparison to actions with fully enclosed bolt faces due to the extractor cut being a pathway for escaping gas. This is true not just of the Tikka, but for any action with slots cut through the bolt face. As for mechanical strength, in no way is a Tikka action stronger than, say, a Defiant Deviant Tactical action that is made of superior materials and is fully machined from solid throughout. 

Again, I'm not trying to rain on your parade or criticize your favorite rifle, but using a Tikka action on a custom rifle is like building a hotrod around a Volkswagen beetle engine. It just limits too many choices you'd otherwise have available to you.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 19:39
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Damn, you would have to post that when all I have is my phone.

First, he indicated this would be a hunting rifle rather than a 200+ gr. launching platform. For match shooting, yea, probably better options, but for hunting appplications with a stalker-weight gun, I don’t see many hunting rounds in 200+.

True, a 700 has many, many more options; but Tikka has the bases covered on stalker stocks and bottom metal. I agree you can endlessly accessorize a 700 or clone, but most don’t need endless accessorizing.

On action strength, the action is open at the ejection port, not open across the top.

Extractor, yea, I can see that.

Finally - for now: take a 700 action and put $500 in blueprinting, and you still have a 700 action. Take a $700 Tikka rifle, no need to blueprint, and start building. I have box stock Tikkas and full custom build Tikkas, the actions are fantastic and have features you otherwise spend $1000 to get. If it comes down to Tikka or Stiller, i’d take Tikka almost every time. Tikka vs Bat or Long Horn or Defiance, it depends on the application.

10 years ago, I would have agreed, Tikka options were almost non-existent. Now, very different.

As for VW engine, I would say a Honda would be a better example: take a Honda Civic, pump money into the suspension and drive train, build a car that will take a 911 turbo off the line and holds its own on the Nurenberg Ring.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/04/2018 at 20:32
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Damn, you would have to post that when all I have is my phone.

First, he indicated this would be a hunting rifle rather than a 200+ gr. launching platform. For match shooting, yea, probably better options, but for hunting appplications with a stalker-weight gun, I don’t see many hunting rounds in 200+.

True, a 700 has many, many more options; but Tikka has the bases covered on stalker stocks and bottom metal. I agree you can endlessly accessorize a 700 or clone, but most don’t need endless accessorizing.

On action strength, the action is open at the ejection port, not open across the top.

Extractor, yea, I can see that.

Finally - for now: take a 700 action and put $500 in blueprinting, and you still have a 700 action. Take a $700 Tikka rifle, no need to blueprint, and start building. I have box stock Tikkas and full custom build Tikkas, the actions are fantastic and have features you otherwise spend $1000 to get. If it comes down to Tikka or Stiller, i’d take Tikka almost every time. Tikka vs Bat or Long Horn or Defiance, it depends on the application.

10 years ago, I would have agreed, Tikka options were almost non-existent. Now, very different.

As for VW engine, I would say a Honda would be a better example: take a Honda Civic, pump money into the suspension and drive train, build a car that will take a 911 turbo off the line and holds its own on the Nurenberg Ring.


Hunting rifle or not, there are only advantages and no disadvantages to wider bullet selection capability, longer mag box, and fast twist. There is only upside to all the above, regardless of intended use. Custom rifles are about choice. Optimizing downrange performance in any rifle for any use, be it hunting, competition, tactical, or simply plinking is in marrying bullet selection, COAL, and barrel twist to enable the most and best options available. The fact is, you don't gain any advantage in .300 Win vs other options that kick less like 7 mag & 168's until you go to 190 gr and heavier bullets, and in fact the latter will outperform the .300 in that comparison at anything past about 350 yards. There are several good factory hunting loads using 200+ gr bullets. I have several here at the house. However, why limit yourself to just factory ammo? There's a wealth of good .30 cal 200+ gr hunting bullets available.

Cite the disadvantage to having more choices in load component selection.

Why limit mag box length in a custom rifle when you don't have to? That is one of the most critical factors in component selection you can make. In the case of Tikka and .300 Win, you are severely hamstrung on COAL to a degree unmatched by almost any other action if you reload.

Second, I didn't advocate for a Remington 700. You advised the use a Tikka action on a custom rifle. Most define a custom rifle as a blank sheet of paper with all components selected to choice, not merely a restocked factory barreled action. I'm talking about custom actions with Remington footprint, which means with regards to stocks, every choice you have with Tikka, you also have open to you with the 700 footprint dimensions, times ten. Ditto on triggers. The Tikka uses the same trigger as Sako 85. A decent trigger for certain, but it doesn't hang with everything that's available for a Rem 700 and its clones. As for ejection ports with closed top, you have options that cover that concern among 700 footprint custom actions, again Defiance Deviant Tactical, with it's integrally machined-in pic rail being one of them. But there are several other minimal action port dimension custom actions with 700 footprint to choose from. And action port dimensions don't really factor into real-world "strength" anyway, since that isn't the section of the system where dynamic loads are exerted; it's what's forward of the port that matters. Then factor the fact that custom actions can be had out of superior materials and made to tighter tolerances, with one piece bolts having integrally machined-in handles, no polymer bolt shroud, and superior scope mount interface. Your point about a Tikka "not needing blueprinting" also applies to every single custom action.

Yes, using a Tikka action will definitely be a much more economical route to go.
But besides limiting your choices in bullets used (the single most important choice in the whole equation), trigger, and stock options, you're stuck with the crappy magazines with short box length that severely hamstring the potential performance of the subject cartridge and limited scope mount choices that don't exist with true custom actions. And there are several custom actions that are every bit as "smooth" as a Tikka. But you will save a lot of money, no argument there.

On stock design, you have a much larger array of options for "hunting applications with a stalker-weight gun."

Tikka makes a decent hunting rifle for a reasonable price that usually shoots good as long as you work within its limitations. That's pretty much where it ends, when contemplating anything remotely approaching "custom."
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We will agree to disagree.

If one wants to spend $3k + for a custom, sure, go with any/every option you can.

I’ve had great success with Tikka actions and spent the saved hundreds elsewhere.
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But you cannot disagree that the Tikka mag box is shorter than any Rem 700 footprint custom action and constrains your use of heavier bullets, no? 3.34" is after all shorter than 3.6" - 3.7", right?

You will have to concede that a Rem 700 footprint custom action that uses a 700-style trigger assembly gives you multitudes greater choices in triggers, right? 

You will concede the obvious fact that a Rem 700 custom action gives you several times greater options in stocks that will work with it, right?

You would agree that a faster twist is better for properly stabilizing longer, high BC bullets, whether for hunting or comp, right?

You will agree that if one doesn't reload, there are several factory ammo loads available with bullets like the 200 gr Hornady ELD-X, 190 gr VOR-TX LR, and 200 gr AccuBond (BG hunting bullets all) that are, in fact available, and a 9 or 10 twist barrel works better with same, right? Running the numbers on a ballistic calculator will reveal that unless you're using the above bullets or similar high-BC heavy for caliber options like those, a 7 Mag shooting the likes of 162 gr ELD-X will arrive on hide at mid to long range with less drop, less drift, more energy, and greater penetration than the .300, all while producing less recoil and burning less powder. Such is the power of BC.

You will agree that there are many actions with better scope mount attachment designs with far greater choices than what Tikka offers you, no?

Given that Tikka limits your choice of triggers, stocks, bottom metal, scope mounts, and limits COAL in long action, what are these desirable features it has you speak of that one would have to pay a lot extra to get? I don't know of any context where concessions would be considered advantages.

We're talking as the basis for a custom after all.

But no argument on the price. But for less cost, your strength argument doesn't hold up when comparing to even the Rem 700 itself, which has a totally enclosed bolt face that projects into a barrel counterbore that surrounds it. The 700 is better at controlling gas escape from burst cases, which is the most common failure mode encountered with bolt action rifles. The second is barrel obstructions that cause barrels to burst. In no catastrophic event I'm aware of has the action's shear, tensile, or hoop strength ever been the weak link. The end result of catastrophic overpressure is almost always either the bottom of the stock in the magazine area blows apart, or extractors go flying, or the barrel splits.


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Sooooo back to scopes. I would shoot for something not to heavy as well. Light weight gun with giant scopes just don’t handle like they should IMO.
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Both Rifledude and RC are totally wrong.  It is not a real gun unless it is based on a Mosin Nagant action.

All the other options are for spoiled first world snowflakes.

ILya


Edited by koshkin - September/05/2018 at 14:26
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All jokes aside.

If I were looking to build a 300 Winmag, I would seriously consider the new 300PRC.  It looks extremely promising and is probably what 300WM should have been.

As far as guns go, I generally do not touch with a ten foot pole anything that has anything to do with Remington.  Just a personal pet peeve.

If you are a building a custom, it will cost some money.  If you are willing to spend some money, Q is going to bring out a long action version of the Fix.  I will likely be getting one when they do.

If you are not willing to spend that kind of money, Tikka is probably the best bang for the buck going, mag length limitations and all.  Mine is not the latest model (it is a M695 in 280Rem), but I am exceedingly happy with how it shoots.  Best cheap rifle I ever bough.

ILya
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

But you cannot disagree that the Tikka mag box is shorter than any Rem 700 footprint custom action and constrains your use of heavier bullets, no? 3.34" is after all shorter than 3.6" - 3.7", right? I don't have the specs for either, but have no reason to assume you are wrong.  A quarter inch is indeed a factor, so long as one cares about it.

You will have to concede that a Rem 700 footprint custom action that uses a 700-style trigger assembly gives you multitudes greater choices in triggers, right? Yes, but still lack seeing the value in tons of choices when a great choice is still available.  This isn't a "blue with beige interior vs black with tan interior" conversation.  If you love a trigger so much you simply MUST have that trigger, chances are that is at the top of the list, in which case you aren't asking for general custom information but rather very specific custom information.

You will concede the obvious fact that a Rem 700 custom action gives you several times greater options in stocks that will work with it, right? Yes.  And again, if there is a stock that works with both, it matters not to me that I can also buy it for the thing I didn't get.

You would agree that a faster twist is better for properly stabilizing longer, high BC bullets, whether for hunting or comp, right? Yep, except that if we are talking about a custom, you will rebarrel, so get the twist and contour you want.  If you just want a stalker-weight 300WM at a great price, T3 Lite is very workable.  Please keep in mind that most people aren't putting the forensic accounting into ballistics that you are.  I love the 300WM for many reasons, confidence being one of them.  I could just as easily have fallen in love with 7 mag, but I didn't.  It isn't about the boundary conditions of either caliber.

You will agree that if one doesn't reload, there are several factory ammo loads available with bullets like the 200 gr Hornady ELD-X, 190 gr VOR-TX LR, and 200 gr AccuBond (BG hunting bullets all) that are, in fact available, and a 9 or 10 twist barrel works better with same, right? Running the numbers on a ballistic calculator will reveal that unless you're using the above bullets or similar high-BC heavy for caliber options like those, a 7 Mag shooting the likes of 162 gr ELD-X will arrive on hide at mid to long range with less drop, less drift, more energy, and greater penetration than the .300, all while producing less recoil and burning less powder. Such is the power of BC. Yep.  But again, I am not advocating long range hunting anyway.  I have used a certain ammo and liked it very much.  I am not looking to tweak it for a circumstance I have never encountered when I can buy a box and know it has the effect on target I want.

You will agree that there are many actions with better scope mount attachment designs with far greater choices than what Tikka offers you, no? Nope.  I've heard of and seen many 700 actions with holes not aligned, and have never seen this on a Tikka.  Granted, I put a pic rail on (or use Talley LW direct-attach rings) so this isn't something I worry about.  Yes, there are MANY more 700s than Tikkas so it isn't apples-to-apples, but better craftsmanship is better craftsmanship.  And, as said above, most take a 700 action and accurize it, with Tikka, I have never seen that necessary.  Nor have I wanted to mount a scope and not been able to find a very good option.

Given that Tikka limits your choice of triggers, stocks, bottom metal, scope mounts, and limits COAL in long action, what are these desirable features it has you speak of that one would have to pay a lot extra to get? I don't know of any context where concessions would be considered advantages. Easily swappable bolt handle, side bolt release, adjustable trigger with a good break, ridged action -butter smooth out of the box, well made action not needing accurizing, suitable options for stock, ever-growing aftermarket options, bottom metal available to meet all my needs, etc.

We're talking as the basis for a custom after all.

But no argument on the price. But for less cost, your strength argument doesn't hold up when comparing to even the Rem 700 itself, which has a totally enclosed bolt face that projects into a barrel counterbore that surrounds it. The 700 is better at controlling gas escape from burst cases, which is the most common failure mode encountered with bolt action rifles. The second is barrel obstructions that cause barrels to burst. In no catastrophic event I'm aware of has the action's shear, tensile, or hoop strength ever been the weak link. The end result of catastrophic overpressure is almost always either the bottom of the stock in the magazine area blows apart, or extractors go flying, or the barrel splits.







































I heartily agree that more options are available for 700 clones; but would contend that infinite options, like infinite adjustments, just means soo many possible bad/wrong choices.  If the thing I need can be had within a smaller subset of options, having tons of options I don't want or need holds no value to me at all.

My favorite custom, having owned a few, is a T3 action chambered in 243AI with a Mike Rock 5R barrel, stock trigger, updated bolt shroud and bolt handle, and all nested in a Whiskey3 chassis running AI mags.  Never, with that setup, have I thought anything needed changing or improving.  Maybe he wants something that only a 700 clone can give him, that isn't usually my limiter.

On mag length, sure, but again, that isn't as big a deal to me unless shooting at the caliber's limits, and I don't usually take hunting rifles that push the limits of what the caliber can do.  

I can see you have strong feelings on this, I am fine with that.  I tend to refer based on experiences and my experiences with Tikka have been far superior to my experiences with Remington and Stiller.  Your experiences quite possibly differ, I don't see that as making them inferior or wrong, just different.  I'm happy to one day sit down over a few shots of whiskey and discuss it calmly and thoughtfully.




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What about Meopta 4-16x44? Quality scope, great optics, hold zero, not too huge and easily dialable...
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Meopta is a nice scope, but it is not in the same league with the Magnus, Z8, etc.

Also, a lot of people are not excited with AO instead of side focus for this kind of money.

ILya
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Originally posted by Rancid Coolaid Rancid Coolaid wrote:

Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

But you cannot disagree that the Tikka mag box is shorter than any Rem 700 footprint custom action and constrains your use of heavier bullets, no? 3.34" is after all shorter than 3.6" - 3.7", right? I don't have the specs for either, but have no reason to assume you are wrong.  A quarter inch is indeed a factor, so long as one cares about it.

You will have to concede that a Rem 700 footprint custom action that uses a 700-style trigger assembly gives you multitudes greater choices in triggers, right? Yes, but still lack seeing the value in tons of choices when a great choice is still available.  This isn't a "blue with beige interior vs black with tan interior" conversation.  If you love a trigger so much you simply MUST have that trigger, chances are that is at the top of the list, in which case you aren't asking for general custom information but rather very specific custom information.

You will concede the obvious fact that a Rem 700 custom action gives you several times greater options in stocks that will work with it, right? Yes.  And again, if there is a stock that works with both, it matters not to me that I can also buy it for the thing I didn't get.

You would agree that a faster twist is better for properly stabilizing longer, high BC bullets, whether for hunting or comp, right? Yep, except that if we are talking about a custom, you will rebarrel, so get the twist and contour you want.  If you just want a stalker-weight 300WM at a great price, T3 Lite is very workable.  Please keep in mind that most people aren't putting the forensic accounting into ballistics that you are.  I love the 300WM for many reasons, confidence being one of them.  I could just as easily have fallen in love with 7 mag, but I didn't.  It isn't about the boundary conditions of either caliber.

You will agree that if one doesn't reload, there are several factory ammo loads available with bullets like the 200 gr Hornady ELD-X, 190 gr VOR-TX LR, and 200 gr AccuBond (BG hunting bullets all) that are, in fact available, and a 9 or 10 twist barrel works better with same, right? Running the numbers on a ballistic calculator will reveal that unless you're using the above bullets or similar high-BC heavy for caliber options like those, a 7 Mag shooting the likes of 162 gr ELD-X will arrive on hide at mid to long range with less drop, less drift, more energy, and greater penetration than the .300, all while producing less recoil and burning less powder. Such is the power of BC. Yep.  But again, I am not advocating long range hunting anyway.  I have used a certain ammo and liked it very much.  I am not looking to tweak it for a circumstance I have never encountered when I can buy a box and know it has the effect on target I want.

You will agree that there are many actions with better scope mount attachment designs with far greater choices than what Tikka offers you, no? Nope.  I've heard of and seen many 700 actions with holes not aligned, and have never seen this on a Tikka.  Granted, I put a pic rail on (or use Talley LW direct-attach rings) so this isn't something I worry about.  Yes, there are MANY more 700s than Tikkas so it isn't apples-to-apples, but better craftsmanship is better craftsmanship.  And, as said above, most take a 700 action and accurize it, with Tikka, I have never seen that necessary.  Nor have I wanted to mount a scope and not been able to find a very good option.

Given that Tikka limits your choice of triggers, stocks, bottom metal, scope mounts, and limits COAL in long action, what are these desirable features it has you speak of that one would have to pay a lot extra to get? I don't know of any context where concessions would be considered advantages. Easily swappable bolt handle, side bolt release, adjustable trigger with a good break, ridged action -butter smooth out of the box, well made action not needing accurizing, suitable options for stock, ever-growing aftermarket options, bottom metal available to meet all my needs, etc.

We're talking as the basis for a custom after all.

But no argument on the price. But for less cost, your strength argument doesn't hold up when comparing to even the Rem 700 itself, which has a totally enclosed bolt face that projects into a barrel counterbore that surrounds it. The 700 is better at controlling gas escape from burst cases, which is the most common failure mode encountered with bolt action rifles. The second is barrel obstructions that cause barrels to burst. In no catastrophic event I'm aware of has the action's shear, tensile, or hoop strength ever been the weak link. The end result of catastrophic overpressure is almost always either the bottom of the stock in the magazine area blows apart, or extractors go flying, or the barrel splits.







































I heartily agree that more options are available for 700 clones; but would contend that infinite options, like infinite adjustments, just means soo many possible bad/wrong choices.  If the thing I need can be had within a smaller subset of options, having tons of options I don't want or need holds no value to me at all.

My favorite custom, having owned a few, is a T3 action chambered in 243AI with a Mike Rock 5R barrel, stock trigger, updated bolt shroud and bolt handle, and all nested in a Whiskey3 chassis running AI mags.  Never, with that setup, have I thought anything needed changing or improving.  Maybe he wants something that only a 700 clone can give him, that isn't usually my limiter.

On mag length, sure, but again, that isn't as big a deal to me unless shooting at the caliber's limits, and I don't usually take hunting rifles that push the limits of what the caliber can do.  

I can see you have strong feelings on this, I am fine with that.  I tend to refer based on experiences and my experiences with Tikka have been far superior to my experiences with Remington and Stiller.  Your experiences quite possibly differ, I don't see that as making them inferior or wrong, just different.  I'm happy to one day sit down over a few shots of whiskey and discuss it calmly and thoughtfully.





Since you mentioned whiskey, keep in mind, I'll be around in November.

ILya
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Hey Jeff--
First, I would be honored to sit down and share some whiskey with you anytime, friend.

The point you make about greater choices offered by another action being irrelevant as long as you are very happy with the choices available for the Tikka is a very valid one. Whatever works for you...rock on; you don't have to justify your preferences to anyone. 

However, keep in mind that you held up the Tikka action as the best choice as the basis for a full custom rifle for someone else who likely isn't a clone of you. This may very well work out if the person you're recommending it to has all the same preferences as you do and is perfectly happy with the accessory options available for Tikka. But what if that person has an entirely different idea than you on what makes a good custom rifle? The thing is - and this is an inescapable fact  - a custom action having Remington 700 inlet dimensions and Remington 700 trigger mounting dimensions opens the entire world of options to you that simply isn't on the table when using a Tikka action as the foundation for a custom rifle. If the person in question who is planning to build a custom rifle has different tastes than you, his build component options are greatly limited with a Tikka. Any stock style available on planet Earth, including the very same styles you prefer for your Tikkas, is available for a Rem 700 footprint custom action. Though the Tikka trigger is pretty good, triggers from every major aftermarket trigger manufacturer are likewise available for a Rem footprint custom action. Even if one wanted an entirely hand made custom wood stock, a Remington style footprint action is one of the easiest to create, best designed inlets available. It has ample bedding surface, it is geometrically simple, the radiused bottom is self-centering and repeatable when removed and replaced from the stock, and there are no sharp corners or other features that require the inletting to have thin cross-sections or stress risers where cracks in the stock can propagate under repeated recoil loads. In the past 6 months, I've built 6 custom rifles -- 2 used McMillan Game Warden stocks, 1 used a McMillan A5, 2 used different chassis, and 1 used a Brown Precision "Pound'r" Kevlar stock. Three entirely different custom actions were represented, each having different components. The one thing they all had in common is they share mounting dimensions with Rem 700, despite having radically different stocks. There is never a downside to more options and fewer concessions.
 
To your scope mount design point, you keep referencing the Remington 700 for your comparison, which is kind of a straw man, since I was only talking about custom actions exclusively. When considering a Tikka action for the basis of a custom rifle and comparing it to the full gamut of available custom actions, the Tikka comes up short on mount interface design in almost every case. Is the Tikka mounting system superior to this Defiance Deviant Tactical, with its integral 20MOA pic rail? Would you consider that action lacking in rigidity?


How about this Defiance Deviant Ultralight, with its 2- section 20 MOA integral pic mount seats? Is the Tikka system superior to this?


Even the custom actions using a Remington-esque 4-screw mount interface are superior to the Tikka system. Custom actions don't have the mount screw and mount surface misalignment problem that sometimes plagues a Rem 700. Dimensional precision throughout is one of the reasons for selecting a custom action in the first place. The Tikka mounting system requires you to either use the shallow grooves in the receiver, which limits your selection of mounts, or to use the threaded holes on the top of a flat surface. Threaded holes on a flat surface is an inferior mount design vs. threaded holes on a radiused surface. The former depends solely on the screws for axial alignment, while the latter has a radius to aid the screw holes in aligning the bases in the same axis.

To your "long range" point, again, I never made or implied such limitations. Curiously, those very same bullet designs cited that excel at LR also work well at spitting distance. A high BC bullet still offers some advantage in drop and drift at moderate distance, and "heavy for caliber" bullets offer greater penetration at short distance due to greater momentum and higher sectional density. Besides recoil considerations, how is having better performance at any shot distance ever a disadvantage, even if you never use its full potential?

Consider this: this is a photo of a dummy round I used to setup my seating die for a .300 Win I built for my brother. The load chosen used the Hornady 200 gr. ELD-X. This rifle showed best precision when COAL was at 3.463", or about .005" off the lands. This round will feed from the mag box on any Rem footprint custom action. If I was using a Tikka action on this build, this round simply would not function in the magazine, as it's about 1/8" too long...



In order for this bullet to function in .300 Win Mag in a Tikka action, I would have to seat the bullet for a COAL of 3.34", which looks like the round on the right, in comparison to the above dummy round on the left:



Note that there's basically only ogive protruding beyond the case neck on the 3.34" COAL load on the right. This means that it's impossible for the bullet's bearing surface to come anywhere close to the lands and still feed from a Tikka LA magazine in a rifle chambered for .300 Win Mag. It's impossible for any high BC bullet to be seated out close to or touching the lands, which is where you will obtain your best precision. For that matter, it's highly unlikely you will be able to seat any bullet out to the lands with such a limitation. Your rifle may still shoot very well, but why limit your options? Even if the action otherwise had an endless set of virtues, this is a show-stopper for me. It's a very bad concession to have to make on a custom rifle where you're intentionally trying to avoid compromises. Why would anyone voluntarily choose to strangle the potential performance of their custom rifle if they have other options? It's always better for your chamber throat to be the limiting factor on how long your COAL can be rather than the magazine box length. What if your chosen bullet that shoots well in your rifle is discontinued by the manufacturer? What if you decide to extend your effective range? Having more options available to you is never a bad plan, even if you don't exploit those options now. You may wish you had those options later.

Yes, you could always use the Atlasworxs bottom metal for Tikka, which allows you to use AI mags and increase your COAL to 3.7". But by the time you Band-Aid the Tikka to compensate for its shortcomings, you're losing the economic argument for building off a Tikka, and you still don't eliminate the other concessions mentioned.

Is anything I said above untrue? If we're making recommendations for building a custom rifle, isn't it entirely appropriate to mention the known disadvantages to using a given component of the build in the interest of providing the best possible advice? 
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:



As far as guns go, I generally do not touch with a ten foot pole anything that has anything to do with Remington.  Just a personal pet peeve.


For a custom rifle, I wouldn't either. But having Remington stock inlet dimensions and a Remington style 2-pin trigger mount doesn't suck when you have the greatest possible selection of stocks and triggers available to you. Every major custom action manufacturer offers at least one action with Remington footprint dimensions, allowing you to reap the benefits of the widest possible variety of component options without having a single part manufactured by Remington.
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 Ted, just outstanding analysis... you just made me start rethinking a whole process I've been rethinking for a while now.  Double-edged sword.  I had just about made a decision... now, I'm starting over.  You made me consider some things I had taken for granted. 

Great stuff

Just a point, though... I am extremely happy with my Stiller TAC338 action. 

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