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Old February 3, 2014, 09:18 AM   #1
precision_shooter
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Build or Buy?

Wife and I are having a house built with planned completion around end of May.
Once the house is done, pretty much any discretionary funds will be gone.

I've been wanting a 6.5 Creedmoor for a couple years now, and figure now would be a good time to look into getting one.

I really like the Savage LRP and have since I first saw it on Savage's website. For those not familiar with it, it's a Savage single-shot Target Action, Target Accutrigger - adjustable from 6oz to 2.5lbs, heavy 1-inch OD, 26" long fluted barrel, and HS Precision stock. At $965 (cheapest I've found), it's not cheap, but reviews seem to be very good and my past experiences with Savage rifles tells me I would be pleased with it.

Recently started looking at the cost to build a rifle.
Savage Target Action - $475
Barrel - $200-$400 depending on options and length.
Stock - $150-$1,000 +.

I'm leaning towards just buying the Savage 12LRP and then upgrading later as I get better and put many many rounds downrange. But can't help thinking I might be better off by building from the get-go.

If you were in the market for such a rifle, would you build or buy and why?
I do reload and have been sourcing components and availability seems good for brass and bullets. Have some powder and primers but always looking for more.

Thanks for your time!
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Old February 3, 2014, 09:27 AM   #2
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I'll reply, but I'm not normal... I have a very good buddy, that's a retired tool & die guy, that I supplement his retirement by having him build me custom rifles...

I guess if you want a bit more pride of ownership, of building ( or at least choosing the components / managing ) the build, go for it. I've gotten some very interesting custom rifles out of mine & my buddies arrangement...

if you want everything clean & nice & "factory perfect, & with a factory warranty" buy new... don't forget the cost of glass in the build though, or it could take a while to save up the funds, if your "discretionary" funds are gone, before you get to that point
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Old February 3, 2014, 09:33 AM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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In my thinking, the question is how much pride would you take in doing it yourself?

I doubt you'll build a better rifle that the Savage is but you should be able to build one just as good. The price will end up about the same, or would for me, because I hate those god-awful black plastic stocks (by appearance, I know it's fiberglass) and would replace it anyway no matter if it's good or not.

I'd probably go with the EABCo laminate stock with the pre-installed pillars but it depends on if you are willing to get into bedding and all that... I'm not.

So, I'd build my own and get exactly the barrel profile, length and features that I want (flutes or no?, etc.) put it together myself and have "my own" gun that nobody else has.

If that's not an important consideration for you, the stock Savage is much easier and faster and, I'm sure, a fantastic gun.
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Old February 3, 2014, 09:50 AM   #4
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That is a tough question to answer because I'm wondering the same thing for my next rifle. I've leaned back and forth but am leaning more towards buying the stock rifle at the moment. My thinking is what I really want is a very accurate target rifle and in the end the stock rifle should provide that. If it does not then I can make changes to it in an effort to get it there.
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Old February 3, 2014, 10:41 AM   #5
precision_shooter
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Quote:
So, I'd build my own and get exactly the barrel profile, length and features that I want (flutes or no?, etc.) put it together myself and have "my own" gun that nobody else has.
This where I'm torn. I would take great pride in building my rifle and enjoy that I have something unique. But there is always that thought in the back of my mind that I wouldn't do it right and would have to source a gunsmith to get it right adding to the cost and taking away the self-build aspect.
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Old February 3, 2014, 10:46 AM   #6
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there is a reason I "manage" my builds I do choose all the components, & brainstorm on any technical difficulties, but my buddy has the experience, tools, & skill set, that as a proper "manager" I'm better off letting him do most all of the actual "building"
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Old February 3, 2014, 10:52 AM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
This where I'm torn. I would take great pride in building my rifle and enjoy that I have something unique. But there is always that thought in the back of my mind that I wouldn't do it right and would have to source a gunsmith to get it right adding to the cost and taking away the self-build aspect.
Building your own Savage is different than building your own from almost any other kind of rifle/action.

The Savage barrels simply screw in and are held in place by a big nut. If you can thread in a light bulb, you can put together a Savage rifle.

You remove the ejector and extractor from the bolt, insert a go gauge on the bolt with the action vertical, close the bolt, screw down the barrel by hand until it's tight on the go gauge and tighten the nut. Open bolt, remove go gauge, insert no-go gauge, attempt to close bolt. If you did it right (how can you not?) it will not close. You're done.

I admit, the simplicity of the build does take a bit away from the "I did it myself" aspect. I mean, I install my own light bulbs too, right? Still, it's YOUR gun and YOU did it and NO ONE has one like it.
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Old February 3, 2014, 11:21 AM   #8
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I agree building a Savage rifles isn't the same as building other custom rifles. I swap barrels and stocks all the time on my Savage rifles. I use them to try wildcats and hard to find semi obsolete cartridges or when a factory rifle isn't offered in what I want, and Savage actions save me a ton of gunsmith fees.

I don't build easy to find rifles, I don't find it cost effective. However, I doubt you'll build a rifle similar to a LRP for less money than you can buy it. Right now you can go online and buy a LRP for less than $1,000 delivered to your FFL.

So you have really a minimum of $500-525 in the action by the time you're done paying FFL fees and shipping. $350-400 is about as cheap as you'll get a barrel especially if you flute it to match the LRP. A used HS Precision stock will still cost you around $300. Then you'll probably want to buy a new recoil lug that will cost around $30. That totals up to about $1,180 is about as cheap as you can build it realistically before adding optics and mounts.

Then there are always the wait times for the barrels. How much is your time worth to you, would you rather be shooting or waiting? If you can get a barrel in less than 10 weeks right now you're doing good. I doubt you'll get one in less than a 10 week minimum if you want to duplicate any other contour than varmint or bull, and if you want it fluted.
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Old February 3, 2014, 11:28 AM   #9
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^^^ True on the wait times... the custom 6.8 SPC I just built took much longer to get all the back ordered / lead time, parts & tooling in, than it did for my buddy to assemble it... to date, the last rifle I ( technically ) had built, took more than twice the time it took to build the previous 2 rifles combined
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Old February 3, 2014, 11:31 AM   #10
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Do you get more pleasure from building or shooting?

If it is building, build your rifle.

If it is shooting, buy the factory rifle and go shooting.

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Old February 3, 2014, 11:47 AM   #11
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I'd say skip it and buy your folks something nice for their birthdays... like maybe a trip to Jamaica, mon!
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Old February 3, 2014, 12:00 PM   #12
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Well, there's an option I hadn't considered...
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Old February 3, 2014, 03:15 PM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorce1
So you have really a minimum of $500-525 in the action by the time you're done paying FFL fees and shipping. $350-400 is about as cheap as you'll get a barrel especially if you flute it to match the LRP. A used HS Precision stock will still cost you around $300. Then you'll probably want to buy a new recoil lug that will cost around $30. That totals up to about $1,180 is about as cheap as you can build it realistically before adding optics and mounts.
From what I read, the nut and recoil lug that come with the competition actions are both very consistent and do not need to be replaced, unlike the generic, hit or miss parts that come with their regular rifles. Actually, the lug and nut that was on my Savage 11 were both nearly perfect.

I think the pricing there is about right except I wouldn't pay that much for a stock. EABCo has a laminate with pillars installed for $169. $525 for the action just shy of $400 for the barrel (my McGowen cost $395, 24" stainless, fluted, Shilen #2), EABCo stock $169 or Boyd's $100. It's going to be pushing $1,100, no matter what.
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Old February 4, 2014, 02:29 AM   #14
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I'd build it myself, but i'm the type of guy who just prefers to do everything himself. I find it gives a real sense of pride and connection with the rifle if i do it myself.
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Old February 4, 2014, 07:34 AM   #15
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Before you decide, look at Cooper rifles. You can get a mighty fine single shot bolt gun in 6.5 Creedmore inside of the price range you're talking about.
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Old February 4, 2014, 06:19 PM   #16
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Just went through the same exact exercise, for my older son's xmas present.

Partly because we wanted to do the build together, and partly because I wanted to make him a custom stock (and trying to find the time to finish it), I went the build route.

Bought a stainless varmint action (didn't want the single shot action) from NSS along with a CBI barrel in .260.

Dollar-wise, probably a bit more on the build.

The advantage to the LRP is all you need do, is unbox it, and shoot...

If you don't already have the action wrench, barrel nut wrench and go-gauge, it's a significant one-time expense unless you plan to build more rifles....

The LRP is a great deal, with the current HS Precision stock. Impossible to beat (if you like the stock, natch) for the $$, and the bugholes it can shoot, from the reports I've read.
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Old February 4, 2014, 07:56 PM   #17
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I'm not that gifted or have the formal education needed to build my own. Also not having those specialized tools or the room needed for a in-home shop limits my project activities. So any custom work. I rely on those who have the time talent & skills {Gunsmith.} After their instructions. I simply swipe the old battered credit card to pay for> Services Rendered. So to answer the question posed. I would buy my Target rifle.
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Old February 4, 2014, 10:15 PM   #18
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The 12 LRP has an awesome stock. The stock is made by HS precision and it is a quality stock. I like mine anyway and I am extremely picky about stocks. I picked up one for a steal when Savage discontinued the .22-250. It was a tack driver, but I just bought it for the stock and action. Its now wearing a Lilja Barrel and is a wildcat 6mm 1k yard rifle.
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Old February 4, 2014, 11:14 PM   #19
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Precision, an additional consideration to keep in mind is that if you buy a Savage rifle with a target action, make sure you know what action screw spacing is on the action before you buy it.

All Savage target actions have three action screws (as far as I know) but Savage uses two different action screw spacings for different models of their target actions. One is what they call the 'palma spacing' which is 3.44 inches between the front and rear action screw and the other 'non palma' or 'regular' has 4.4 inches between the front and rear action screw.

If you are planning on buying an after-market stock for the rifle you buy, there is much more 3rd party support for the 4.4 inch action screw spacing. If you are going to custom inlet a stock it does not really matter but if you would be looking to buy a 'savage inlet' stock from the big stock manufacturers, most if not all options are for the 4.4 inch action spacing.


To give you some examples, the Savage 12 F/TR rifle comes with an action with the 'palma spacing', as does the 12 Palma rifle while the 12 F Class comes with the 4.4 spacing.

Similarly, if you are planning on buying a savage target action by itself, make sure you get one with the action screw spacing that makes the most sense for you. Most of their target action SKUs are 4.4 inch but at least one is the palma spacing.

Unfortunately Savage does not make it obvious on their website as to what the spacings are on the actions on their rifles so if it is a consideration you should call them to make sure you know what you are buying.
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Old February 5, 2014, 08:34 AM   #20
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That is interesting. I knew they were all 3-screw, but didn't realize there were different sizes/spacing.

Stock options aside, is one stronger/more accurate than the other?
Are the actions actually different lengths?
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Old February 5, 2014, 12:48 PM   #21
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To my knowledge the actions are of the same length and I have not seen anything to suggest that one is inherently more accurate than the other. I have the 4.4 spacing on mine, I bought it separate (not as part of a rifle).
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Old February 5, 2014, 04:25 PM   #22
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From what I have seen recently, there are no actions available. My dealer has a lot of connections and does extremely high volume. He has not been able to get a b.r. action now in over three months.
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:26 PM   #23
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Grabagun.com had at least 1 a few days ago for less than $500 but don't know which screw spacing it was.

There were a couple other places that had them online as well but a little higher priced.
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Old February 5, 2014, 11:11 PM   #24
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I would rethink this whole project thinking about the scope first.

IMO, a Savage 12 from Savage is likely good enough to do what you need, but a build could be a bit better. Better would come from a stock fit for your shooting positions and a barrel from Krieger, Shilen, Lilja, etc.
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Old February 6, 2014, 08:27 AM   #25
precision_shooter
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I already know the scope I will get to go on the rifle.
The scope, rings, and bases will cost very near as much as the 12LRP...

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions! I'm leaning very hard towards just buying the LRP and using the savings to put towards optics, brass, and bullets.
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