Rifle Project: Tactical Bolt Action multipurpose rifle

This is a discussion on Rifle Project: Tactical Bolt Action multipurpose rifle within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Guys, I'm going to need your help on this one ;-) I was pondering recently what type of rifle I would make for myself if ...

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Thread: Rifle Project: Tactical Bolt Action multipurpose rifle

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    Member Array Risque007's Avatar
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    Rifle Project: Tactical Bolt Action multipurpose rifle

    Guys, I'm going to need your help on this one ;-)

    I was pondering recently what type of rifle I would make for myself if I had to use it to fulfill almost every niche. While that's not possible (at least, not if you want to fit perfectly), I came up with a new rifle project that I want to start. It will serve decently in the roles of Truck Gun, Hunting Rifle, Scouting Rifle, Self Defense, and Target. I will post photos throughout as I come up with the finished project. Here is the criteria I've come up with so far:

    1. Reasonably priced ($500 tops)
    2. Bolt Action (ease of use/reliability/maintenance)
    3. Must have a detachable magazine
    4. Finished product (post-customization) needs to be lightweight
    5. Good optics (Eotech/Aimpoint)

    Here are the parts I'm going to need your help on:

    • What Caliber?
    • Which rifle? I know there are many bolt-action models out there; I need your recommendations
    • How can I work to lighten the weight? (stock options, etc)


    I understand some might not like the idea of a bolt action rifle for defense - after all there are plenty of reasonable priced semi-auto rifles (Saiga, Ruger, AK) that fit the bill. Realize this is more of a survival rifle than a "fighting" rifle; the primary role it will fill will involve camping and residing in the truck while traveling. That's why I opted for a bolt action.

    Fire away! Any help/suggestions - especially on caliber and make/model - will be appreciated and taken into consideration.
    A man without a blackthorn stick is a man without an expedient. - Irish Proverb

    Why so SERIOUS?

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  3. #2
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    Find a Savage Scout Rifle in .308 and you are in business. There are also scout type rifles converted from military bolt guns in other calibers that will work just as well.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    If I were you, I would be patient, and save up some more money. Your price limitation of being under $500 really limits your options.

    It is not a realistic figure, in my opinion. Just the price of the optics that you want will eat up most of that $500.

    .

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    Distinguished Member Array pirate's Avatar
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    Other than the detachable mag it meets your general requirements and its an inexpensive build $sub $500). As others have said your optics would eat up the entire budget you listed. To stay anywhere in the ballpark cash wise you would need to build a rifle from a milsurp platform. Of course I did all the work on this build myself.
    Rifle: Mosin Nagant M38.....$90
    Stock: ATI composit....$55
    Finish: Metal Duracoat matte black, Stock OD green....$50
    Scout scope mount: $60
    2.5x Simmons EER scope: $90



    When I leave the home port:
    S&W 642 Airweight, Ruger SP 101, Colt Detective Spec., CZ RAMI, Kahr PM9, Kahr CW40, S&W Model 10-7, Glock 30, 19, and 26, Browning Hi Power, CZ82, Colt Commander, Dan Wesson PM7, Ruger LCP

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    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    I would go with a .308 due to the availability of ammo, bullets, firearms. It's also got plenty of power without too much recoil. It's what the US military snipers have been using for a long time. Most bolt action rifles don't come with a detachable magazine, and it can cost hundreds of dollars to replace. Here is the most affordable I can think of http://www.remington.com/products/fi...00-sps-dm.aspx. You should be able to get it for a little less than MSRP though.
    Not too much that can be done to lighten the rifle. You can replace the stock, but there aren't any light weight stocks out there that I am aware of. You can get a rifle with a 20" barrel, which will save a few ounces.

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    If you are trying to do all this on a limited budget, mil-surp bolt actions, like Mosin Nagants, and Mausers, might be a good place to start.

    Also, I have heard good things about the Mossberg bolt actions, and their MSRP is under 500, and you can find Savage's for under that too. I'm not sure any of them have a detachable magazine though.

    I'd say .308 is a good all around rifle caliber.

    Honestly, for your purposes I would skip the EOtech or Aimpoint style optics, they are more of CQB optics, and you don't want to be doing that with a bolt action, I think a low fixed power scope (like a 4x), would be a better choice for the roles it seems you are trying to get this rifle to fill.

    Honestly, unless you see yourself taking shots longer than 100 yards or so, I'd say what you really want is a pump action shotgun, given the jobs you are trying to fill.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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    New Member Array tarpon's Avatar
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    Ok not a bolt gun but --- my choice would be a 308 BLR. Short, light, handy very accurate. It's been my number one for decades. Uses a rotating lock bolt(AR like), and a gear drive lever. Mount a 1x-4 and you are good to go. It has a box mag as well.

    I have the older model BLR, not the newer take-down. It may not be a cool scout rifle, but does the job. and doesn't wear you out after all day carry. Used ones are within your price range.

    308 for sure ...

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    Pirate that is just a damn cool rifle. I have never seen a Nagant set up like that outstanding work.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Scout rifle? Lookin' fer Injuns, are ya?

    Lightweight rifles in heavier calibers are great to carry, a pain (literally) to shoot. Since you want this firearm to do everything, Don't skimp on the weight. I learned my lesson the hard way with my Rem 700 .30-06. Lightened it up. Great to carry. Kicked the fillings loose on the range. Glassbedded it, added back the weight (and then some), and invested in a good, comfortable sling. Now it's good for all day at the bench and is easy to tote in the field.

    Hunting? For what? Many will favor the .308 for general all-purpose caliber, and there's nothing wrong with that. Short action, good power, ammo available. My preference is the .30-06. Does everything the .308 does plus.

    I don't consider your choices of optics as best "all-purpose." A low-power, variable scope (2x7) would fullfil the hunting/target aspect better. I can put a low power scope (2-3x) on a running target as quickly as an Aimpoint. How well is that Aimpoint going to work at 200 yards when all that buck shows is 6" of chest between the trees?
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Sweet looking blaster Pirate!

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Member Array Risque007's Avatar
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    Oh, sorry, I see how you guys might have misunderstood. My limit of $500 isn't for the entire project, it's just for the rifle lol.

    Pirate I do like the Mosin that you customized. While I am seriously tempted to go for that (they are selling them for $92.00 on budsgunshop right now), I need the detachable magazine. This is the same reason I'm not going with the suggestion of a pump shotgun.

    Tarpon - the BLR was my first choice too. I'm very fond of lever actions, but the price, even used is $600+, which puts it out of the range I'm shooting for. I'm wanting to build this rifle so I don't have to use my nicer rifles for the rough stuff, haha. Well, that and it's always fun to build a specific gun up. :)

    I've taken some looks at the Savage Edge for around $260-$300. I do like the 20" barrel idea.
    A man without a blackthorn stick is a man without an expedient. - Irish Proverb

    Why so SERIOUS?

  13. #12
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    +1 on the Savage Scout. Fits all of your criteria once you put your choice of LER scope on it.

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    Member Array medicineball's Avatar
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    Pirate, nice job!

    Here's my thought: settle on 308, then learn to reload. You can create different cartridges for each of the purposes you listed, many quite fun to shoot. For example, I hunt for rabbits with my 30-06, using Speer 90 grain "plinker" bullets and a pinch of powder. Cheap, no recoil, accurate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Risque007 View Post
    Oh, sorry, I see how you guys might have misunderstood. My limit of $500 isn't for the entire project, it's just for the rifle lol.

    Pirate I do like the Mosin that you customized. While I am seriously tempted to go for that (they are selling them for $92.00 on budsgunshop right now), I need the detachable magazine. This is the same reason I'm not going with the suggestion of a pump shotgun.

    Tarpon - the BLR was my first choice too. I'm very fond of lever actions, but the price, even used is $600+, which puts it out of the range I'm shooting for. I'm wanting to build this rifle so I don't have to use my nicer rifles for the rough stuff, haha. Well, that and it's always fun to build a specific gun up. :)

    I've taken some looks at the Savage Edge for around $260-$300. I do like the 20" barrel idea.
    I am not trying to rain on your parade, just trying to offer some outside the box thinking for you. But why is the detachable magazine such an issue for you? It seems to me that they can be less reliable. And I can reload my Mosins or Mauser quicker from 5 shot stripper clips, which would work for you since you want to forward mouth your optic, in a scout position.

    Take a look at the Enfield Jungle Carbines in 7.62x51, they have the ability to load from either stripper clips, or detachable magazines.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  16. #15
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    Looking at the Savage Scout on their website, does the scope mount being mounted on the barrel affect the optics as the barrel heats up?
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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