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Which Cheapo Action Should I Choose...?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Spec.-K, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Spec.-K

    Spec.-K Longview, WA Active Member

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    Hi everyone.
    I'd like to do some more wildcatting, and was going to try out some long guns. Being on a budget, I was wondering what actions I should choose.

    I was thinking Enfield, K31, or Spanish Mauser.
    I like that the Enfield and K31 have detachable magazines. The straight-pull action of the K31 is appealing as well, I'm just not sure how hard they are to rebarrel...

    I know the mauser action is probably the strongest.
    But I am partial to the look of the Enfield... ;)

    Any opinions would be appreciated.
  2. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Your caliber inclinations may have a bearing on choice. I'm not sure why you are limiting your selection to the military actions. If it is for economy's sake, some diligent shopping can put a Savage 110 action in your hands for probably less than $200. A Remington 700 for not much more. Your "economy" of starting with a full military action may well be negated by the time you modify it as need be to make it a civilian gun. Starting with a civilian gun saves a lot of cash, since the gun already has its bolt turned, drilled for scope, reciever milled, etc., etc., etc. All things that need to be done to a military action.

    Any of these actions are plenty "strong", and any choice of one over the other would not garner you any advantage or allow you to "push the envelope" where pressures are concerned. You state a preference for the Enfield, and in truth it may well be "stronger" than a 98 Mauser. When A-Square began building the Hannibal rifles (of powerful thumper cartridge application), they went with the Enfield as a base action.
  3. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    If you do decide to go with a Mauser, this youtube series (made by Larry Potterfield of Midway USA) is actually reasonably well done. There are 27 videos in the series, and while I generally don't generally recommend do it yourself gunsmithing, this is decent never the less...

    Gunsmithing - How to Measure the Firing Pin Protrusion on a Bolt Action Rifle - YouTube

    I love working with old military actions, but I would recommend against butchering an original example if you can help it. There are too few originals left. My best advise is to watch the gunshows for half done sporterizing jobs. That way you can get an action with little or no collectors value left, but still have a good base.

    Commercial actions work as well, but I'm still partial to milsurp actions as well...
  4. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    My vote would be Stevens or Savage. A Stevens can be had new for what the going price of the used Savage is. If you keep your eye open on the classified you can find Stevens for a great deal. The barrel swap and head spacing can be done endlessly at home after an initial investment in two or three tools (action wrench, barrel nut wrench and a barrel vice). Simply choose weather or not you want to start with a long action or a short action and go from there.
  5. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    There are a lot of custom rifle makers that have very good things to say about a Howa action. I agree generally with Spitpatch' statement, but I feel that Howa is definitely an action worth mentioning at reasonable prices. Kip.
  6. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, I built my .300 Weatherby on a Howa Action. I prefer them to the Remington 700 actions...
  7. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    Savage or stevens as mentioned above I've been going to do this for a while but something else always pops up
  8. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

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    I vote for Savage/Steven, or Marlin's X series of guns.
    The Marlins have the same Thread Spec on their barrels as Savage Small shanks, and floating bolt heads.
    I have swapped several different tubes on my Marlin and Savages over the years.
    Gotta love the cheap parts everywhere.