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Thread: What do you do to make your action better?

  1. #1
    Basic Member Robinhood's Avatar
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    What do you do to make your action better?

    Several years ago there were regular post on this. Is it a dead horse? Does anyone work to make their action smoother anymore?
    One Cannot Be PC And Be Intellectually Honest!

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    Lost of dry fire training and action cycling will smooth them out.


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    Lift kit in my old flat backs, polish lift ramp. I have always been more concerned with triggers and action bedding, scope base bedding and as of late scope ring bedding. I do look forward to other responses though.

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    Team Savage Shooter0302's Avatar
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    olddav,
    do you know if an Accuratrigger will fit / work in an old {1996} action ??

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    As I said in My introduction, I’ve been lurking here for a while. I’ve read all of he tricks and suggestions people have posted over the years. When the question arises to make the Savage action better, I have to ask, “Better for what purpose”? I’ve worked on the old type Savage triggers and got them to work well down to 2.5#. I’ve massaged the actions and got them much smoother. But My problem is, I’ve shot a BAT action with a Bix & Andy trigger. From here on out nothing can be the same for Me. I have My Savages to the point where I have complete confidence in them, even for something like an expensive guided hunt. But I would not start a build for serious Bench Rest from the Savage platform. Cocking the Savage Rifle upsets the the barreled action too much. F class could be a different story. Those guys use those 2’ wide bipods, which resists the torque.

    I think I’ve done everything that has been suggested on the site, plus some things that have been warned not to do, that people on other sites have done. Like clipping 2 1/2 coils off the firing pen spring. Fear not, when I do something like that, I have replacement parts to put back in if it doesn’t work. I’ve done the homemade bolt lift kit, smoothed and polished everything, and as I said, clipped the firing pin spring. Everything I’ve done has helped, and nothing has hurt. Something I’ve done lately is take the firing pin assembly out of the bolt, put the bolt back together, and cycle it, feeling for rough areas and parts catching. Then smooth these areas off. When You do this, You soon realize the Savage heavy bolt lift comes from the firing pin spring. And there’s only so much we can do about that. I just received an inch # torque wrench so I can start to measure the success of My efforts.

    I was at a Match last fall (BR) where a shooter tied for first place shooting a Savage platform rifle. Heavily massaged of course. But His shooting style and methods were totally different from almost anyone else there.

    I am open to any ideas to improve the Savage action, I don’t think I’ve tried everything. Thanks Guys ��

  6. #6
    Basic Member jpx2rk's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtBNkA5tMvw

    This guy did a series on using the FV12 for a build, the link above is for the action work he did. The whole series is pretty good IMO, but I've not ever done a barrel swap, so what do I know. LOL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter0302 View Post
    olddav,
    do you know if an Accuratrigger will fit / work in an old {1996} action ??
    Honestly I canít say with any certainty but I donít think so at least not without some milling of the action but I could be wrong. I really donít care for the accutrigger and have never looked into it. A well tuned three screw trigger is quite nice and if a better trigger is desired then I tend buy an aftermarket trigger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpx2rk View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtBNkA5tMvw

    This guy did a series on using the FV12 for a build, the link above is for the action work he did. The whole series is pretty good IMO, but I've not ever done a barrel swap, so what do I know. LOL.
    On the very last part of his video where he shows the blueing on the bolt lug abutment is a view of the upper lug machined corners (right side on right hand actions) that I always smooth out. Certain Ackley calibers and most often Creedmoors seem to wedge/scratch between the abutment corner and the lower bolt raceway. The ejector spring pushes them into that "pinch point". This can be done with a small file & a dremmel to polish it up.
    I keep checking with an empty case fed in the bolt by hand from the front. Slowly draw out the case, the ejector will keep it pushed against the problem area. Object for me is to free the interference and provide that the case is kept from erratic moves which often dislodge it from the bolt head during extraction (which are partially responsible for "drops" on short cases like the Creed).

  9. #9
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    If I could get ANY of my Savage actions to be as smooth as my Remington XP 100 action, I could die happy.
    Got a couple of bolt lift jobs. Didn't make that much difference. One T&T job from Sharp Shooter Supply that wasn't what I expected. At least I can say I got it done. (won't do that again). None of them put a smile on my face.
    Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't already have.

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    Mike, was Your XP blueprinted or bone stock ?

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    Short story?Bone stock except for the trigger.

    Longer story?

    Shipped it off to Douglas and had a 15" varmint contour barrel installed to replace the stock 10" pencil barrel. Over time I developed shoulder problems and the "reach" when trying to site the LER scope killed me.

    That finally went away over time but it was too late. Converted the XP action into a rifle.

    Shipped it off and had the 15" barrel replaced with a 24" heavy Varmint contour by Shilen. Still chambered in the factory .221 Fireball and it IS a bug hole maker. Dropped it into a laminated thumb hole stock that we shot with about 10 coats of Automotive clear. That clear coat brought out colors that I never knew were there. The stock had been coated with Beachwood Casey Tru Oil but I needed something a little different. The Tru Oil acted as a sealer for the Automotive clear.. Added a Rifle Basix trigger.

    When Shilen did the barrel swap, I mentioned doing any work needed on the action as far as truing. I guess they figured it didn't need anything cause they didn't touch the action. Still as smooth as silk. LOVE THAT RIFLE!! My favorite!! That rifle produced my best group ever. 5 shots that measured .110. Deadly accurate without too much work. Only wish that XP action was a lefty.

    After converting that XP action into a rifle, I still had the bug for an SP so I picked up a Savage Model 12 "left hand" repeater action, shipped it off to SSS and had a T&T job done. Wasn't impressed. (won't be doing that again) Installed a single shot follower/adaptor and dropped it into a rear grip laminated pistol stock then added a 18" straight pipe in 20 VT. Didn't like the finished product. Still just a little too much recoil for what I was after.

    Ended up dropping that action (mounted on a Whidden V Block) into a right hand laminated thumb hole bench rest stock with a 3" forearm from Richard's Micro-Fit. I asked for a right hand stock cut for a left hand action. Ended up getting a left hand stock fitted for a left hand action. They didn't know that the only difference between a right and left action is the bolt handle cut. They sent me a right hand stock and "I" did the bolt handle plugging on the right and recut it on the left. Right hand stays in the thumb hole for stock control while the free left hand feeds ammo and works the bolt. Set up for bench shooting.

    At this time it has a 28" straight pipe chambered in my 20 TCM Wildcat. All that work and still havn't fired a shot at a range target.

    Just too bad Remington never built an XP in left hand. Be the PERFECT action for a pistol. As is, left hand shooter with a left hand stock fitted is perfect. Free right hand works the bolt. Left bolt would keep the right hand shooter from reaching over.
    Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't already have.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robinhood View Post
    Several years ago there were regular post on this. Is it a dead horse? Does anyone work to make their action smoother anymore?
    I think that half the fun of the Savage brand is buying an inexpensive action and working/smoothing out the rough spots to turn it into a much better action. I understand the complaints about cocking force, and although a lot can be done to reduce the cocking force, it'll never be as smooth as a custom action like used for Bench Rest competition. But for most users, the improvements one can make are enough to turn a mediocre shooting action into one that is remarkably smoother.

    The one nut I've not been able to crack as of yet, is how to smooth the bolt head raceway. I envision a special made and hardened tool used with some lapping paste to smooth the channel/raceway. Or maybe there is a diamond file that will fit that groove. Anyone know where to find such a tool?

    One other mod I like to make to my 12FV actions is to remove the varmint accutrigger and install a Target Accutrigger. I really prefer the safety blade on the Savage design, and a 6 oz pull is light enough for my shooting as I don't shoot competitively.
    Long distance shooters are a different breed, and I would never want to piss off someone who can "pick you off" from another zip code.

  13. #13
    Basic Member Robinhood's Avatar
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    Tex, I have posted about this several times. I use a DMT diamond hone it is slightly narrower than the raceway, 4.33" x .875" x .1875" to be exact. I own the Blue, Red, Green that is from Coarse to extra fine. Unlike some other brands these are extremely flat.

    They say use water but I use a penetrating oil(Kroil). I put some on the raceway and the hone. The top I concentrate on the area the cocking pin rolls on and on the bottom I push down through the ejection port sliding to and fro. It is amazing how rough the tooling marks are on these surfaces. Once your done the bolt glides like a custom. I will lone mine to you if you want. The Blue and red should do it for you.
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    Thanks Mike, for the “long story” :-)

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    I just take mine out to Fred and let him work his True & Time magic on them. One thing with the T&T work though is that how much improvement you will see is completely dependent on how bad or far out of whack things were to start. Combined with a longer tactical-style bolt handle I can work the bolt when cocking with one finger. Some are a little stiffer than others but can still be done with one finger. My LB/RP Axis is probably the smoothest, but that's also likely because the bolt handle is about 1/4" longer than the one I running on my 110 actions.

    For a basic hurting rifle I don't see the need for doing anything to smooth things up, but for a competition or a long-range varmint gun where you want a quick and smooth follow-up shot without disrupting your rifle in it's rest doing something to smooth things up is well worth the effort and/or expense.
    "Life' is tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid." ~ John Wayne
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urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.Ē óMark Twain

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    Differences in mechanics, but the same principles that would apply to a Model 700- get the surfaces machined perfectly in their respective axes/relationships.
    "Truing" the action...(I don't like the term much, as there's no real definition).

    Same as "truing" a 700, I would generalize that it's not worth the coin when purchasing a new action for a custom rifle IF you pay a riflesmith to do the work. If slicker-than-snot boltways and perfection in bolt ignition and timing are your thing, buy any of the many fine precision 700 clones and not a Savage.

    Far as "feel" goes, nothing you can do to a Savage is going to make it a BAT. But, can be improved.
    Ream the bolt raceway oversize, purchase new aftermarket bolt body with desired tolerances. Camming geometry can be improved with machining as mentioned above.

    Tooling can be purchased from PTG and Manson that'll do much of this work- without a lathe and mill; it's not cheap but if you're a perfectionist and are planning on building a half-dozen rifles it might be worth the coin to you.

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    And I forgot to add: all my Savage actions have Tactical bolt handles. Even the lefty. A little extra length helps make bolt opening and closing a little easier.
    Oz never gave nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't already have.

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    They definitely smooth out with use. I epoxy and pillar bed the action and on both of my AccuTriggers I bought a set of shims and took the sideways play out of the trigger. Also installed Savage target springs in both. They trip right at 10 oz which for me shooting chucks has been perfect.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robinhood View Post
    Tex, I have posted about this several times. I use a DMT diamond hone it is slightly narrower than the raceway, 4.33" x .875" x .1875" to be exact. I own the Blue, Red, Green that is from Coarse to extra fine. Unlike some other brands these are extremely flat.

    They say use water but I use a penetrating oil(Kroil). I put some on the raceway and the hone. The top I concentrate on the area the cocking pin rolls on and on the bottom I push down through the ejection port sliding to and fro. It is amazing how rough the tooling marks are on these surfaces. Once your done the bolt glides like a custom. I will lone mine to you if you want. The Blue and red should do it for you.
    Thanks for the kind offer, Robinhood. I've actually got one of those, and it's really useful for sharpening knives and scissors, but when I tried to use it in the race way, it seemed to be a little too fine of grit to do much work. Maybe I'm just not patient enough! How many hours does it take to do a good job?

    But the track I was really interested in smoothing out is the broached slot in the ejection side of the action, where the small tab on the bolt head slides along. Got any ideas on how to go about smoothing that out? A very fine file with a dead edge might work, If I could find one long and thin enough.

    On a side note, keep your eyes on the skies this week. Looks like a tropical storm is heading your way and predictions are over a foot of rain in the Houston area.
    Long distance shooters are a different breed, and I would never want to piss off someone who can "pick you off" from another zip code.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robinhood View Post
    Tex, I have posted about this several times. I use a DMT diamond hone it is slightly narrower than the raceway, 4.33" x .875" x .1875" to be exact. I own the Blue, Red, Green that is from Coarse to extra fine. Unlike some other brands these are extremely flat.

    They say use water but I use a penetrating oil(Kroil). I put some on the raceway and the hone. The top I concentrate on the area the cocking pin rolls on and on the bottom I push down through the ejection port sliding to and fro. It is amazing how rough the tooling marks are on these surfaces. Once your done the bolt glides like a custom. I will lone mine to you if you want. The Blue and red should do it for you.
    Noob question: which is the "bolt head raceway?" My action is very stiff when pushing forward and pulling backward, and I'd like to improve it some without spending an arm and a leg on one-off tools. I should point out that I am a kinetic and visual learner, so a photo will help best for me. Thanks!!

  21. #21
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    If that is a Savage action you're referring to, try taking the rear baffle off and see if it still drags. To do that, remove the bolt from the action, rotate the rear baffle while sliding away from the bolt handle until the ball detent drops into the cocking window. I have one action that the rear baffle drags on the rear tang.

    Also try relaxing the action screws in the stock to see if something is causing a bind.
    Long distance shooters are a different breed, and I would never want to piss off someone who can "pick you off" from another zip code.

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    Thanks! I'll try that. I Googled the raceway, so I figured that out. Still, I want to be able to smooth out as much as I can.

  23. #23
    Basic Member Robinhood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas10 View Post
    Thanks for the kind offer, Robinhood. I've actually got one of those, and it's really useful for sharpening knives and scissors, but when I tried to use it in the race way, it seemed to be a little too fine of grit to do much work. Maybe I'm just not patient enough! How many hours does it take to do a good job?

    But the track I was really interested in smoothing out is the broached slot in the ejection side of the action, where the small tab on the bolt head slides along. Got any ideas on how to go about smoothing that out? A very fine file with a dead edge might work, If I could find one long and thin enough.

    On a side note, keep your eyes on the skies this week. Looks like a tropical storm is heading your way and predictions are over a foot of rain in the Houston area.
    I slide the hone into the rear of the action. Then I push down thru the ejection port. The top side is almost impossible on the ejection side. Before you start take a black majic marker and color the whole length of the bolt lug raceway. Let it dry and then hone. Whip with dry rag to see the high spots show up.
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    Basic Member Robinhood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris3.Drums View Post
    Noob question: which is the "bolt head raceway?" My action is very stiff when pushing forward and pulling backward, and I'd like to improve it some without spending an arm and a leg on one-off tools. I should point out that I am a kinetic and visual learner, so a photo will help best for me. Thanks!!





    Jewlers files can be helpful but never work on the edges of the bolt head
    One Cannot Be PC And Be Intellectually Honest!

  25. #25
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    Hello, could you send me size or where to buy buy shim kit. I sometimes make my trigger trip and causes lock up.

    Thank You
    Samuel

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