Actions: Pros & Cons

Actions: Pros & Cons

This is a discussion on Actions: Pros & Cons within the Rifles forums, part of the Sniping Related category; I am looking to get my first bolt action rifle (ready to run or in parts and build) and need to decide between Remington, Howa, ...

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  1. #1
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    Actions: Pros & Cons

    I am looking to get my first bolt action rifle (ready to run or in parts and build) and need to decide between Remington, Howa, and Savage actions. My question is only on which may best suit MY preferences.

    I like fine operating mechanisms with a feel of quality (good trigger,. bolt operation, mag operation, finish, etc.). Durability, fine workmanship are important, but not so sensitive to cost unless the entire rifle cost varies by more than maybe 20%. I don't intend to do much in modifications (perhaps bolt knob, detachable mag, new trigger, depending on action), but then I don't know much about bolt actions. Will be using a B&C stock (tactical style) due to value. I am looking to shoot as small a group as possible in paper targets at 100 and 200 yards with 223 Remington and will carefully develop hand loads.

    With those things in mind, Remington, Savage, or Howa? My plan for each would be:

    Remington: Sniper Central Package
    Savage: 10 FCP-K #18607. Probably change stock.
    Howa: Sniper Central Package (wish it had the B&C adjustable option like Remington).

    Thanks for opinions.

    - Phil

  2. #2
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    Hey Phil, from my personal experience, I have found Remington actions a little on the light side. They are smooth to operate, but in my opinion it has a light cheap feel to it. I also find Savage has a fairly solid heavier feeling action which also seem to feel more robust. These are just my opinions of course. The Savage is also as smooth as the Remington. I dont have any experience with Howa. However, you mention you do not want to do too much mods to the gun, so from that perspective I would recommend a Savage action. My reasons are as follows:

    1. The factory stocks on the Savage (Accustock) seem to be a little stiffer then the Rems.
    2. The Accutrigger is pretty nice for a factory rifle. Also it is adjustable to your preference. I have heard many people say they are not to impressed with the X-Mark Pro trigger Remingtons have. On the side note, not everybody loves the Accutrigger either. But personally I prefer it over the Rems.
    3. If you do decide to get into the modifying or customizing scene, now a days there seems to be almost as much support for the Savage lines as there is for the Remington line.
    And completely out of the blue... I still feel my Browning A-Bolt has the smoothest nicest feel I have felt on an action. It is really impressive for a factory gun, especially even though its 13 years old! But thats a whole other story. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    Either of the Howa or Remington SC packages would be nice. Of the two, I like the Remington action as it feels closer to what you are describing as what you want in an action. The Savage may actually feel a bit smoother, but they just feel "funky" to me.

    If you plan on leaving the rifle alone, then any of your three will work but I strongly suggest you try these actions yourself to see what fits you. After all, all three you've picked out are "stock" actions and have not been worked on so they will not feel like a custom action which would run you easily the amount you will pay for the package for the action alone.

    Aftermarket support will be strongest for the Remington for triggers, stocks, etc... followed by Savage and Howa. But the aftermarket availability of Savage and Howa have come great strides in the last couple years and I would expect that to continue.

    A thought to think about is "who can work on the gun" if something minor goes awry... it will be much easier to find someone to work on the 700 action over the other two - but that is changing as well and honestly, with minor issues a good gunsmith can figure it out regardless.

    Bottom line is that I have my perference, Avolcek will have his; but it is your opinion that really matters. You need REALLY need to get to a range and ask to feel these actions yourself as the opportunity arises.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    Fixed it for you Adam... :P I'm a little dyslexic! Ha!

  6. #5
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    Adam, what Savage would you recommend? One of the things that appeals to me about Savage is that they do make some rifles in 6mmBR, which for my tiny group objective, may be the best way to go. My wife will be shooting this rifle as well as I, so thought the 223 would be a nice way to go, especially since I have all the reloading equipment for it (for AR15 I own).

    Still would like to know what 223 Savage you would recommend. One attractive thing about that route is getting the gun now!

    - Phil

  7. #6
    Senior Member Rhyno430's Avatar
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    Phil, savage makes a rifle in .223 with a 1:7 twist, it would let you use the heavier and higher bc bullets.

    Adam recommended to me the savage fp-sr. Im gonna look into it soon.


    I can't find the 1:7 twist one but I would look into that

    I think i found it, savage model 12vlp dbm.

    Its got accutrigger, detachable box magazine, 1:7 twist. The only problem is it weighs 10 pounds, and has a laminate stock. And its stainless steel


    I don't think it is the one I was thinking about though.
    Joseph "Rhyno"

  8. #7
    Senior Member 6.5man's Avatar
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    I'll give my $.02 here...
    I own one Howa and Savage action, but I don't own a Remington, and now that I think about it, have never even shot one but I've handled few of them. In my opinion, the Savage and the Remington feel similar, but as Adam stated, the bolt lift is pretty stiff when it's new. I'd probably rate them overall about equal. Honestly though, the Howa is smoother than both and just feels more "precise". The bolt lift doesn't make you stick out your tongue and it really FLINGS the brass out- which i think is cool. I have the long action flavor and while the bolt is all the way back it doesn't exhibit as much play as other rifles I have handled and the trigger pull is probably 7 pounds or so but it feels OK.

    Bottom line, if you're going to buy a factory rifle you'll probably like the Howa, if you're going to build a rifle- Savage, hands down.

    Again, JMHO
    Happiness is a warm gun.

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  9. #8
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    Winchester Pre-64 or FN Herstal current production.

    ...or better...Small Shop.

    -Nate
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  10. #9
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    I will go to gunshops and try out the Remington and Savage actions. Wish I could lay my hands on a Howa but doubt anyone will have one of those sitting on the shelf.

    - Phil

  11. #10
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    Re: Actions: Pros & Cons

    Just returned from the gunshop after operating the action on Remington 700 SPS Tactical and a Savage Axis (Edge) w/o AccuTrigger. They were not as different as I expected. The Savage bolt lifted a very short distance freely and then had a distinct point of resistance (like popping over something) and after that moved freely. The shop said that would not be the case on higher end Savage actions. ??? The Remington did not have this "resistance", but in terms of overall feel, slop, I did not feel the Remington distinguished itself from the Savage. The bolt knob on the Remington has to be changed...too small. The Edge was little better. The shop said Howas or Weatherbys were junk. Not all Weatherbys use Howa actions if I recall, and the shop admitted a customer's problem with a Weatherby could be due to other things than the action (which I am potentially after).

    Between Remington and Savage, I see insufficient difference in quality or feel for that to be a determining factor (other than the resistance in the Savage, which I am not even sure all Savages have).

    - Phil

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