• Savage Axis Build: Finishing Touches

    In the first three installments of this build we have covered most all of the main components and gunsmithing work that has been done, so all thatís left now are a few small details Ė most of which pertain to the appearance of the finished product. As such this last installment will be pretty short and sweet.

    If you haven't already, be sure to catch up on the rest of this series by reading these previous installments:

    Part 1: Savage Axis Build: Introduction
    Part 2: Savage Axis Build: Action & Trigger
    Part 3: Savage Axis Build: Barrel & Stock

    The first item of discussion is the fluting added to the stock bolt body by Sharp Shooter Supply. While purely aesthetic in nature, it really is something that helps to identify the rifle as something a little more special than just a restocked factory Axis. The flutes were colored olive drab to match the olive color in the stock to help tie everything together (who says men canít color coordinate?). At $55 itís a relatively inexpensive modification that adds a little pizazz to an otherwise boring part without being too flashy or obtrusive.

    The second is the metal finish. The Axis comes from the factory with a matte blued finish that is perfectly adequate, but given the machining on the action, the modifications made to the bolt handle and the fact that my new Shilen barrel was in the white I opted to have everything refinished together to ensure it all matched. This is where the decision got a little tougher though as now I had to decide on a type of finish. Did I want a high polish blued finish? A parkerized finish? Maybe a Cerakote or DuraCoat finish?

    If you hadn't already noticed I ended up going with the parkerized finish due to its extreme durability and its ease of maintenance. If it was good enough for the Doughboys and the G.I.ís in WWI and WWII then by God itís good enough for me, and I also just happen to really like the medium dark gray color that the parkerized finish provides. The process cost me $125 to do the assembled barreled action, the modified bolt handle and the trigger guard which I thought was more than fair.

    And with that the build process is pretty much complete. I deliberately chose to leave out the scope and associated mounting hardware as the prices for both vary widely and oneís individual preferences in quality will greatly affect the final total if they were included. Iíll detail my chosen options below, but first letís tally up the actual grand total for this rifle build Ė remember that we had estimated a $1,300 budget at the start of the project.

    Part 1: Base Rifle $280.00
    Part 2: Action & Trigger $240.00
    Part 3: Barrel & Stock $555.00
    Part 4: Finishing Touches $180.00
    Grand Total:

    Optics and Mounts

    For mounting hardware I chose to go with DNZ Products Hunt Master mounts. These are a two piece combined base/ring mount that are CNC machined for a single piece of billet aluminum for the ultimate in precision and strength. Not only that but theyíre very light weight as well. At $56/set they might sound a little pricey, but once you consider what youíd pay to order a base and a set of rings separately itís really quite a bargain. An EGW picatinney rail base and a set of Burris Signature Zee rings would add up to $80 for comparison.

    As usual I was drawing a blank when it came to what scope I wanted to put on it. Ideally Iíd like a Leupold VX-III 4.5-14x40mm with the Boone & Crockett or Long Range reticle, but I really didnít want to spend the $760 to get one at this point. I looked through the stack of used scopes I already have in hopes I would find something that would fit the bill, but nothing really jumped out at me there either.

    As such I really havenít decided what scope Iím going to permanently mount atop this new rifle yet. Currently itís wearing my ďold reliableĒ Bushnell Elite 3200 3-9x40mm so I can do some load development, but I definitely want something with at least 14x magnification on the high end. Iíve been looking at the newer 6-power zoom options such as the Leupold VX-6 and Bushnell Elite 6500, but theyíre pretty pricey as well. So I guess weíll just have to wait and see what happens in that regard.

    UPDATE: 6/21/2014

    Just a quick update on the optic situation for this rifle. Last winter I came across a great clearance deal at Cameraland NY for a Minox ZA-5 2-10x40mm scope with duplex reticle. The same scope was offered with a ballistic reticle which I would have preferred, but they were already sold out of those. So at $250/ea (regular price was $550) I decided to order two of them even though Minox was new to the rifle scope market and I had never looked through one in person before.

    So far I have been very pleased with the Minox ZA-5 scope. Turns out the only reason it was on clearance was because Minox was updating the line from 1" to 30mm main tubes. The glass is super bright and clear as you would expect from a well respected name in optics such as Minox, and so far the tracking has proven to be dead-nuts reliable.

    My only real complaint with the scope would be the rather unusual power ring design, which is a soft rubber over-mold as best I can tell. The problem is that other than one raised bump that serves as the power ring pointer there's no built-in traction lugs - it's just smooth. It's fine with bare dry hands, but get your hands wet or put gloves on and manipulating the power ring becomes quite the challenge due to lack of texture for traction.

    Updated grand total for the rifle with optic and mounts comes in at $1561.

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. cheapshot's Avatar
      cheapshot -
      Thanks so much for detailing this build. As soon as some stocks hit the market I believe we will see the popularity of this action skyrocket!
    1. navyman's Avatar
      navyman -
      . Talked to Boyd's today and there working on the same thing. said that once they get going it should be around December till first sales. I'm giving my stock duplicator a work out this weekend . I cant wait that long. Great Build keep them coming. P.S. Midway has green mountain barrels in stock.
    1. sales@boydsgunstocks's Avatar
      sales@boydsgunstocks -
      I can assure you that Christmas may come in October this year - so make your wish list early!!!

      Quote Originally Posted by navyman View Post
      . Talked to Boyd's today and there working on the same thing. said that once they get going it should be around December till first sales. I'm giving my stock duplicator a work out this weekend . I cant wait that long. Great Build keep them coming. P.S. Midway has green mountain barrels in stock.
    1. LoneWolf's Avatar
      LoneWolf -
      Word is out. Sharp Shooter Supply is the manufacturer of the Axis Pro Hunter Stock and has a few dozen ready to ship. I just received this word via email this morning!

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