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Old November 19, 2014, 12:18 AM   #1
Join Date: September 7, 2007
Posts: 62
Need Some Input On New Rifle Project

So I am planning on putting a riffle together as a winter project. Basically I want to get a lower cost starter rifle in .308 and add a custom stock, detachable magazine, muzzle break ect.

I have it narrowed down to two candidates.

The first is a Remington 700 ADL Varmint (internal magazine/no external base plate). It has a plastic molded stock with 26" heavy barrel and is going for about $445 right now at Cabella's. I would have to add the detachable mag assembly from Wyatt's for about another $250. Then was thinking of adding a B&C Tatical Medalist stock.

The second choice is a Savage Model 11VT (exclusive to Dick's). It is a 24" heavy barrel, accutrigger and is going for $419 with an additional $75 dollar rebate. Great price ($345). I would have to spend another $150 to add new bottom metal so that it will fit the Choate Tactical stock with a compatible detachable mag.

Not including the cost of aftermarket stock the Savage is coming in at about $200 cheaper than the Rem 700. What I am wondering; is the Rem 700 worth the extra $200 dollars right off the bat?

Whatever rifle I choose I will paint the stock myself and have a gunsmith cut the barrel down to 22-23" and add a muzzle break.

Thanks for any input!
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Old November 19, 2014, 04:28 PM   #2
Join Date: November 15, 2008
Location: Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
Posts: 6,568
A project like yours is always a great way to spend a lot more money than simply buying the rifle you want right off the bat.

Don't believe me? It's simple to check it. Take the cost of the basic rifle and add on the upgrades you want. Play with the options and keep track of the costs and once you've "built" the best and cheapest upgraded rifle you can on paper then go shopping and see what the total cost will buy you.

Odds are that you'll find a nicer gun for less money and you won't have a bunch of parts left over to store away or try to sell for a small fraction of what they are actually worth.

Best of all budget guns come with budget receivers and bolts. By skipping the whole "upgrade'itis" disease thing you'll have a set of getter quality products right at the core of your new rifle instead of some nice parts wrapped around a budget core.
Sent from my boat anchor desktop via my pizza greased fingers....
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Old November 19, 2014, 04:36 PM   #3
hamp sandwich
Join Date: October 26, 2014
Location: NE Oklahoma
Posts: 17
Having built a custom 700, I can say BC is right on many points.....

However, it's a labor of love, and you can take pride in the project.. You can also take forever getting it done, like I'm doing with a 338 at this very moment for the last 3 years... Lol!

Per you original question, I don't know as I don't have a Savage, but by the time you're done, $200 will be nothing.
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Old November 19, 2014, 04:49 PM   #4
Commercial Member
Join Date: October 14, 2011
Location: Northbrook, IL
Posts: 396
Personally I would say go with the Remington 700

Time tested and proven action, larger aftermarket options

Both posters had excellent points...builds like this where you try to save money usually end up costing you more

but the experience of the build, the love for a unique rifle that was born from your vision....how do you put a price on those things? you can't

so good luck with whatever you select and be sure to post some follow ups for us

-Matt S.
THR Members: Take 5% off your order of $50 or more at OpticsPlanet with coupon code THRFORUM!
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Old November 19, 2014, 04:53 PM   #5
Join Date: October 28, 2007
Posts: 154
If money is an object, you're most likely to better off just buying a factory rifle similar to what you have in mind.

If you do the Savage, buy it somewhere other than untrustworthy Dick's and check out Stockade gun stocks. They have money saver specials that allow you to do all the finish work yourself to save...maybe about $100, IIRC.
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Old November 19, 2014, 09:58 PM   #6
Join Date: September 7, 2007
Posts: 62
Thanks for the input guys, it's greatly appreciated. I have run the numbers and the build will likely be more expensive than buying a compete riffle for sure. For instance, this spring I bought a Savage model 12 LRP in 6.5 Creedmoor and it was a 1K gun then add optic, base, rings, ect and I was in it for a little over 2 grand. The gun is worth every penny though and an absolute tack driver, Shooting 0.55" groups at 300 yards!

I guess the plan was to put a rifle together that had all of my favorite aspects, OPS muzzle break, B&C Meddalist stock ect. I may have to re-think my project as I wouldn't want to waste a ton of money on a riffle that likely won't hold a candle to my 12 LRP.
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Old November 19, 2014, 11:08 PM   #7
Join Date: December 17, 2011
Location: Chicago
Posts: 276
Alternatively you may wish to consider the Ruger GSR. It already has a threaded barrel and takes detachable mags. All you would need to do is to replace the flash hider with a brake and get a scope. While it does have a scout mount for the base, this can be replaced with a base for XS or there are also scope rings that allow non-LER optics to be used from a scout mount.
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Old November 19, 2014, 11:13 PM   #8
Join Date: July 4, 2007
Posts: 657
I think, you should do both. Buy a nice action, then a quality barrel. Gather the other odds and ends, find a stock and complete the build. If you do the savage, you can install the barrel yourself. If you go with a different action, youll have to have a gunsmith install the barrel. But building it is a lot of fun!
Reason for edit: finetical errors.
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Old November 20, 2014, 03:06 PM   #9
Join Date: November 15, 2008
Location: Pacific North"Wet" Coast of Canada
Posts: 6,568
My earlier reply makes it sound like I'm not a fan of building your own. Nothing is farther from the truth. But one needs to go into it with their eyes open and not lose sight of the goal.

The only warning flag was that you wanted to start with a less expensive core rifle that may bring compromises to the table.

If you're building up something for YOU that you will have for the rest of your days then don't compromise. Research and get only the best even if it means you need to save up for longer so you can do it right. If that means buying one or two parts per year to spread out the spending then fine.

If you need a rifle for hunting or fun shooting in the meantime then by all means buy a known budget priced decent enough gun and LEAVE IT STOCK! That leaves you with your funding for the long term dream build.

What you COULD do is buy the interim rifle chambered in the same caliber as you want for your dream gun. At least that way the stuff you put together for optimizing your ammo loading will be directly useable for the dream gun once it comes online.

In the end though it doesn't hurt to have a beater gun for trips where you know the conditions will be more harsh. That way you won't feel bad about scuffing or soaking the working gun and the dream gun can be taken out on days when the weather is nicer and you know it'll be easier to protect it. So there might well be room in the plan for the interim beater gun to hang around after the birth of the dream rifle. It's nice to have a "stunt double" for days you know will be more risky or sloppy... .

At least that's how I see it. Pick and modify to suit your own situation.
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