Can bolt-action rifles be made any cheaper?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Scout21, Aug 7, 2022.

  1. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    A higher percentage of polymer seems to be the trend for firearms.
    Ammunition seems to be going that way also.
     
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  2. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    At the risk of beating this point to death, I did specify Remington's riveted extractor. I don't know whether their newer rivetless M700 extractor design is an improvement or step backward, but it is user-replaceable.

    I don't even change my own motor oil anymore, so I get your point. We each pick our own battles when it comes to maintenance issues.

    Allow me to share a story about factory service: three years ago the transfer bar on my new (sub-100 round) Taurus .22 revolver sheared off its connecting pin. It is at most a $5 part that should never have broken in the first place. And Taurus won't sell you a new one -- they require factory installation. Their 'lifetime warranty' requires an up-front service fee -- $25 or $35, I forget. That fee, plus FedEx shipping to and from Georgia. I found a way to fix it myself and then sold the thing with full disclosure to the new owner. I'd call this a different kind of less maintainable gun, by policy rather than design.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
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  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Did not know that Remington came out with a new rivetless extractor. That is a step in the right direction. When the M70 and M700 were the preferred NRA across the course match rifles, it was well known that both the push feed M70 and M700 would at some point in the future, fail to eject rounds. And it was all due to extractor wear. The push feed M70 was easy to change the extractor, but there were a number of different extractor blades. I did not know that, but the gunsmith/Match Director did, and he had an assortment box. I helped a shooter change his worn out M70 push feed extractor blade on the firing line with the Match Director's extractor. A pre 64 M70 extractor never broke, as long as you fed rounds from the magazine. But if it broke, there was a long time where pre 64 M70 extractors were not available. I have one pre 64 where a gunsmith fitted a M1917 Enfield extractor.



    Try replacing a pre 64 M70 firing pin/cocking piece. Wiesner's used to stock them, and then old man Wiesner's died. Along with pre 64 followers, short action converstion parts, etc.


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    I heard of M700 competitors carrying an extra bolt in their shooting stool in case the extractor failed.

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    This one is riveted on.

    this was a mystery at the range, it was found by a member behind the firing line.

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    this was a Mauser extractor. What we think happened was someone brought a military Mauser out to the range and this was one of those military Mausers that had the extractor that only allowed feeding from the magazine. I think I have one of those square ended extractors hiding somewhere, but this is the version with the rounded extractor bottom.

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    that bevel on the bottom allows a shooter to place a round in the chamber and the extractor will move over the rim and snap into place. The square bottom extractor won't. We think the shooter beat the bolt handle trying to close the bolt, and snapped off the front. And then in disgust, tossed the broken extractor on the ground.

    Don't blame you. It gets harder and harder every year to get under the vehicles. :thumbup:

    Ruger at least will send a shipping label. Fed Ex will only over night a firearm, and that costs over $100.00
     
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  4. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    So will S&W and Sig. I just talked to someone today at S&W and they will ship it free. Sig used to and maybe still does. It's been awhile since I sent them a pistol.

    Nobody mentioned Sig Saur's race to the bottom, which is amazing. I don't have a link but I've read that Sig sold the military the new M17 striker for under $200/ea. I don't own one so I can't comment on the quality but my guess is most of the internal parts are disposable except for maybe the barrel which can't be made from polymer, MIM or casting.

    One of the reasons the last two pistols I purchased were HK. They just build the best firearms they can and don't really care about the competition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
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  5. Mosin77

    Mosin77 Member

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    I’ll go on the record as saying I miss it when guns were made of blued steel and wood.

    I have an early ‘90s Taurus PT99 that just looks and feels amazing compared to a US-made Beretta 92FS from a few years ago. I know it’s a pistol but it just illustrates the question well in my opinion.

    I love the utility of a modern Savage Axis (cheap and very accurate) but it just feels like something that will probably be in a landfill after a while when something breaks.
     
  6. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    If you have disassembled one you would probably think otherwise - it's a simple design so repairs are simple parts swaps and not much of a challenge so long as someone has parts available.

    Could these basic rifles get less expensive? Maybe, though distribution costs, taxes, and markups are going to set a floor price. Even in the world of cloned shotgun designs imported from other parts of the world prices seem to bottom out well over $100. Those have less materials and processing to produce so I'm not sure how a rifle maker would do better.
     
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  7. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    And for all of Remmington's short cuts, look where it got them. Cutting too many corners never pays of in the long run.
     
  8. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

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    I know exactly what you mean. I recently bought a couple of Savage Axis II .300 Blackout rifles with threaded barrels in the cheap plastic stocks they come in with the intention of putting them in Oryx or XRS or similar chassis. Last time I went shooting with my Dad he wanted to shoot one as is so we put a scope on it and a brake and shot a few groups.

    Those stocks were so flimsy that even Dad, who thought the stock was fine to begin with, decided it was a cheap piece of crap. It would shoot great for 3-4 shots then throw a flyer as the barrel heated up and shifted in the stock. As soon as it cooled down it would shoot a tight group again for 3-4 shots then start throwing flyers. I would check the free-floatingness with the barrel hot and could not even get a dollar bill halfway down the stock.

    I don't know how anyone could be satisfied with these flimsy stocks. I think the entire area around the trigger and magazine is an insert and I could feel it flex every time I shot it. Once it is in a good stock it will be a great shooter like the other Axis II's I have in precision stocks. I guess the same goes for something like the Ruger American, though I don't have one and can't think it would be as bad as the stock on this Axis II .300 Blk. But I guess that is the state of modern rifle world.
     
  9. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    It is - the reason for it is that the Axis action is one size but they use different magazines for the short action rounds vs long action. Rather than keeping track of a completely different stock in inventory, the stock part is also the same and they just swap out the trigger guard insert to properly fit a short action magazine or a long action.

    That's one of those cost cutting measures, and for most people it'll work fine. As you noted it would shoot 3 or 4 good shots before a flier - for most people looking for an entry level hunting rifle they're not shooting many groups. As long as the first shot is on target they don't care.

    FWIW, the Boyds Axis stocks are good and cheap - they really make it feel like a different rifle. If you're on a budget you can also take a carbon arrow (less than $5 at walmart) , dremel out some material from the forend, and epoxy the trimmed arrow shaft into the forend. It doesn't become as stiff as a wood stock but it certainly does stiffen it up compared to an unmodified one.
     
  10. Scout21

    Scout21 Member

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    I'm having a hard time thinking about how they could use cheaper materials. Plastic is pretty cheap as it is and I doubt gun grade steel is all that expensive, either.

    With how efficient CNC machines seem to be, I think the only way forward would possibly be 3D printed steel receivers, bolts, and barrels. Injection molding of plastic parts appears to be pretty efficient to me. I'm not in an industry that does that sort of thing, though.

    As someone has already mentioned, offshoring will likely be the future of firearm manufacturing. Considering you can buy foreign made shotguns for little more than a hundred bucks, I can see how alluring it'll be for manufacturers to drag up and move operations elsewhere.

    With the exception of foreign labor, I don't think manufacturers can further decrease costs by any meaningful amount. It seems as though they may have hit a wall. There's almost nothing on my Ruger American that I could see realistically being removed or altered to decrease production costs.
     
  11. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Sintered metal / powdered metallurgy is the future for efficient mass production of firearms and components, in my opinion. Very impressive uniformity of alloys can be achieved, surpassing that of casting or forging. As powder metallurgy improves, I think it will eventually become equal to or possibly exceed the strength and durability of even drop forged parts.
     
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  12. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Pretty sure the pandemic taught us not to put all our eggs in one basket, despite the savings.
    i.e. 60,000 + vehicles waiting on chips.

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  13. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    Who says that any cost cutting would go directly back to the consumer rather than the company coffers.

    I’m also not sure if we can say that rifles are too expensive.
    A Savage Axis 2 with a. Weaver scope can be purchased new for around $460.

    With current wages that’s less than 1 weeks pay.
     
  14. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    There sure are a lot of bench rest shooters who built their rifles on Model 700 actions including myself. Even Christensen is building their highly accurate rifles based on the 700 action. Fast forward to the newer model 700's and not a Remlin. I own one and probably will not buy another. They are not what they used to be. I changed out that crappy x mark trigger after one range session.
     
  15. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Economic theory. Unless there is illegal price-fixing collusion, competition to get the same will always drive a manufacturer's margins lower because if you're not willing to drop your price, someone else will happily accept lower margins in exchange for boosted sales (because the margin on a sale that never occurs is always 0%).

    All well and good but people always want to pay less. If a comparably functional package can be built and sold for $125 instead of the stated $460 I'm sure plenty of people would be interested.

    Also a weeks pay isn't really any indicator of affordability. "It's not how much money you make, it's how much money you keep.". If someone is making $500 per week but it's taking $480 per week to cover their expenses, then that $460 purchase will take a lot longer to save for - particularly when you factor in that most people have other interests to also fund.
     
  16. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    On man, I had a 75 Buick Skyhawk, V6. I sold it at a year old. But I have have had many cars since that the owner could not change spark plugs on normally. On my 63 chevy 6 cylinder pick up I could sit on the fender and do anything.
     
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  17. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    I always preferred value over the absolute lowest price and I’m at a point in my life where I don’t have to buy the absolute cheapest rifle on the market.

    I wouldn’t be happy with a rifle that isn’t sub MOA and truthfully I want bolt action rifles to be sub 1/2 MOA.

    I like quality and I also like value which is why I generally buy Savage rifles. This allows me to replace barrels on my own and add a chassis of my choice.

    I keep looking at dong a custom rifle build but with the Canadian dollar being about 30% lower than the US dollar I always end up at around $7,000- $8,000 before glass and abandon that idea.
     
  18. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    Why not pay a little more for a Savage 12FV which is usually $429 at Cabelas and Bass Pro.
    It will last you a lifetime and you can always put it in a chassis later on.
    When you shoot out the barrel you can replace it for a couple of hundred bucks.
     
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  19. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Sometimes when people are talking about how hard new cars are to maintain, we loose sight of the fact that new cars just don’t really require maintenance to begin with. My suburban has 175,000 miles and has only received oil changes, 1 wheel bearing, and a set of front brakes in that time. That’s amazing compared to the cars I grew up with. I’m certain most new cars today will go to the recycler with their original spark plugs and transmission fluid. It’s hard to even find a shop that can rebuild a engine or trans anymore.
     
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  20. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    I hope you’ve changed at least three sets of spark plugs in that time.
     
  21. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    No one is writing love letters to Rambler anymore because their Rambler has gone 100,000 miles.

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  22. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I'll let you know when I change the first one.
     
  23. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Member

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    LOL.
    I changed the plugs in my 2008 F-250 at 70,000 miles and I saw close to a 1MPG increase.
    On a truck that does 10.2mpg that’s a 10% increase.
    They paid for themselves in almost no time.
     
  24. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    Still getting the same mileage as when it was new.
     
  25. BushMaster-15

    BushMaster-15 Member

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    Attn : For those of you who believe plastic is cheap ,aren't shopping the correct type of plastic !.

    As of late I've failed to observe anything as being cheap ,fuel and groceries included . OK perhaps one way over priced worthless commodity which is cheap in character , aka top Gov. employees !.
     
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