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Thread: Custom build action question

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    C-dubb's Avatar
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    Custom build action question

    I am in the planning stage of a custom rifle. I have always wanted to put one together and finally am going to do it. The rifle will be a 338-06 with a 24" barrel and a fancy walnut stock.
    What I haven't decided is what action to use. Here are the ones I'm considering :

    Mauser 98 (military or civilian)
    Springfield 1903
    Remington 700
    Winchester (controlled feed) pre64 or new model

    Would love to hear your choices and why.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Rapidrob's Avatar
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    With the larger bullet diameter the M1917 Enfield action with it's six round magazine may be the way to go.
    The action is just stupid strong and can be modified for just about any normal magnum cartridge.
    There are many of the actions modified in the 50's/60's laying around for a very fair price.
    Otherwise, any of the ones you list would do well.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Rem700 with detachable mags
    ...Speak softly & carry a big stick...

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapidrob View Post
    With the larger bullet diameter the M1917 Enfield action with it's six round magazine may be the way to go.
    The action is just stupid strong and can be modified for just about any normal magnum cartridge.
    There are many of the actions modified in the 50's/60's laying around for a very fair price.
    Otherwise, any of the ones you list would do well.
    Completely forgot about the enfield. this post was supposed to narrow my list not expand it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig556r View Post
    Rem700 with detachable mags

    I like the Remington 700 but want an old school look so no detachable mag. I'm even on the fence if I even want a floor plate.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Personally I would opt for the Winchester M70 as I love the 3 position safety among other features.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by C-dubb View Post
    I like the Remington 700 but want an old school look so no detachable mag. I'm even on the fence if I even want a floor plate.
    Use a BDL stock then with blind magazine, not sure if they're available without a floorplate inlet. But if you want an earlier look, maybe 721 or 722? Pls update us when built...
    ...Speak softly & carry a big stick...

  8. #8
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Just my tastes but I'd go with the model 700 and an ADL style stock if going without a floorplate is the plan second choice with be an old school prewar Mauser sporting rifle look with a shorter forend and schnabbled tip but that's the look I like
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  9. #9
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I have a friend who builds custom rifles, as well as wood stock duplicating.
    He and I, have had many discussions over the last 20 years, his table is next to mine at the local (once a year) gunshow.
    One of his favorite action is the Argentine Mauser Model 1909, specifically, the most common one, which is German made and marked Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken.
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 02-06-2020 at 03:48 PM.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I had 2 of the 1909 Argentine mauser actions and they were both really machined actions. I had a local gunsmith put a Shilen match grade barrel in 30-06 and I put a stock on it. Beautiful rifle and shot so well that I sent it to Robar and had it their Robar finish put on it. My son has it now. james

  11. #11
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapidrob View Post

    With the larger bullet diameter the M1917 Enfield action with it's six round magazine may be the way to go.

    The action is just stupid strong and can be modified for just about any normal magnum cartridge.

    The wildcat .338/06 uses a standard .30-06 case, and is not a belted magnum - whose best home is the Enfield.

    IMO, your best choice, in terms of an E-Z-Peazy build, metallurgy, strength & ease of obtaining easy repairs, wide repair parts availability and accessories would be a controlled-feed (CRF) post-91 Winchester Model 70 Classic.

    Also IMO, the military actions require much more modification than a commercial action to result in a nice sporting/custom rifle; and the Remington (while nice) is a non-starter as being a classic custom rifle.


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  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Get an older walnut stocked 700 ADL 30-06 and and send to JES for the .338- 06 rebore. Bam, as the kids say.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    Get an older walnut stocked 700 ADL 30-06 and and send to JES for the .338- 06 rebore. Bam, as the kids say.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
    Have been looking over varies older custom guns for sale and believe that buying one and having it sent to JES may be the most economical way to go. I may wait until April and see what I can find at the Tulsa gun show.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I went down this path a couple of years ago, the first mistake I made was relying on others to do the right thing by me, if I did it again I would micro manage it, I chose reputable gunsmiths and stock builders and putting it bluntly I got screwed each and every way by relying on them, +1 with C-dubb

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master



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    I have done several on all of the action being discuss. Unless you are doing the work yourself the 98 Mauser, 1903 or 1917 required to much time and effort (money) to get them to equal the triggers, lock speed and tolerances of the 70's or 700's not. Resale value is way better for 70's and 700's
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 02-06-2020 at 09:55 PM.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    You could always pick up an Interarms commercial Mauser and use it as a start. It comes already set up.you can then add your personal things.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
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    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Whatever you do- pics!

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    I used a 700 action on my 338-06 AI. I found a beat up 700 BDL 270 at a gun show cheap. The stock didn't even make good firewood. You will love the 338-06 it's a good round and one of my favorites. Enjoy the build, lots of fun decisions to make.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Can't go wrong with a 98 IMHO!

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master
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    The available budget will play a role.

    Finding a pre-64 Winchester Model 70 action is going to be difficult and paying for a modern era model 70 Controlled feed version is going to be expensive.
    The Remington 700 long action would likely be the least expensive non-military surplus option.
    A Springfield 1903 action (other than a low number receiver) is going to be difficult to find in good condition and affordable.
    There are a lot of suitable Mauser 98 actions out there but as others have said, some may need additional time & money. There's also the Mauser safety which is perfectly functional but some people don't care for it. That can be altered but that's more time & money again.

    I too had forgot about the 1917 action, that's an option.

    I think the money available will play a big part.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check