Skip to main content
Topic: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle? (Read 1915 times) previous topic - next topic

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #15
Actually there is a mountain rifle that is within your budget.  It was one of three that was highlighted at the ShotShow (maybe 2016).  Two caught my eye, one was the Montana Extreme Ranch ( it originally was the Mountain Rifle) rifle and the Begara B14 HMR.  The 18" barrel Montana was shooting groups beyond belief and rivals most scout style bolt rifles.  One person put a suppresser and thought the extra length would make it more accurate, but it didn't.  It rivaled the 24-26 cousins.  The price for what you get is reasonable at $2,100.  However, I settled on the Begara HMR and so far have not regretted the purchase. 

With that said, the Tika also has a very good reputation for being very accurate right out of the box.
In adversity remember to keep an even mind, train hard and fight easy.
                            Horace and Alexander Suvorov

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #16
I agree that the Bergara rifles are great, especially ones with Trigger Tech triggers.

And I really like that Barrett Fieldcraft! Makes my tongue hard...

But as for Weatherby top end rifles, nope.

I guess I could have gone the Bartlein barrel, 3 lug custom action, and CF aftermarket stock route but Browning kept calling my name and I'm very happy with their rifle. However, a 24" Bartlein stainless 5R lapped barrel will someday be on that rifle. Then it will be a true "semi-custom" rifle.

Eric B.
P.S. At the Sportsman's Warehouse store where I bought my rifle the clerk said the other two "firearms specialists" were looking at my 6.5 CM X-Bolt Pro when it came in and comparing it to the SAKO Finnlite they had on hand in .308. He said everyone agreed they would rather have the X-Bolt Pro. I was kinda surprised that he volunteered this story. Usually their stance is that they never compare rifles, that's the customer's job.

P.P.S. One final thought - I sure do like that rifle better every time I shoot it. Thank you Browning for such a nice piece.
"I can stop buying guns and gun stuff anytime I want - I've done it hundreds of times."

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #17
Don't know if it's the best, but I continue to be impressed with my MPA.  Had my doubts about their barrel, but hits at 1k+ are easy.

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #18
Well the OP just says, "Semi Custom" factory rife, So I'll just
say for the money, The "Savage LRP".
I bought one of these in December, still waiting to send a few rounds down range...

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #19
Here is "My Precious".  :))

Is does five shot 1/2 MOA groups regularly... but I have to let that wispy barrel cool after every 5 shots.

The sling is an old Browning sling that splits for a middle of the back carry if necessary, as when drawing out a deer.

Eric B.
"I can stop buying guns and gun stuff anytime I want - I've done it hundreds of times."

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #21
This is just my perspective on a couple of rifles...

I bought a mcmillan hells canyon in 28 nosler and a bergara ridgeback in 6.5 cm at just about the same time.To be honest, these are two different types of rifles with two different types of hunting/shooting.

With that said....

First the Browning X-Bolt

The browning is a nice rifle. The trigger is nice for a factory one. Trigger adjustment spring has been replaced with a mcarbo psring resulting in a lighter pull(mandatory upgrade in my opinion) Weight is acceptable. The action is better than the savages i have owned. I love the color. A muzzle brake has been added and the 28 Nosler is a very pleasant round to shoot. I would say the recoil is moderate to light. The stock is not as stiff as I would like to have seen but the camo pattern is near perfect.. A rail was mounted to the forearm in order to accept a bipod. From the factory the grouping with factory Hornady 162 gr eld-x was very very unacceptable in the 2+ moa range. Upon removal of the stock I noticed there must have been a shortage of bedding compound as about a pea size amount was used. The action screw factory specs are 35 in/pound, I increased them to 50 in/pounds and accuracy improved to sub 1". Custom load development is currently underway.

Now for the Bergara.

It is an excellent rifle. The stock is not as stiff as I would prefer (notice a trend here in me and fiberglass stocks). The camo pattern is ok ( i am in the process of correcting this). The action is superb for a factory rifle. There are a lot of nice extras you get with this stock. You have a nice functional adjustable check rest, nice bottom metal and mag releases. The trigger is top notch BUT I would rather have had a triggertech diamond in place of the standard triggertech. Trigger adjustability is user friendly. The intergraded m-lok rails are a nice touch making adding and wanted accessories a breeze. Upon removing the stock you will notice a nice channel molded into the forearm for adding weight to the rifle, if you desire. This channel was slightly increase and a molded lead insert was added.Muzzle brake has been added. Custom load development began but was interrupted due to a prs skills builder event. The rifle and I had a disappointing showing (by my standards) and finished middle of the pack. This was my first experience in any prs type of event. Load development continued and a sub .2 moa group was found with repeatable results. ( This made me wonder how that event would have panned out if I had that going into it).

Comparing the two...

The Bergara is the superior rifle imo. You can tell a huge difference in the actions. Out of the box shooting was superior , stock superior, trigger superior, adjustability superior and just an easier rifle to shoot. The only thing I can say the x-bolt is superior in is camo pattern and weight.

In ending if I had to do it over again or if it becomes an option I would sell/not have bought the browning and suffered the extra weight and bought another Bergara Ridgeback in 300 prc. The 300 prc would have got me in the 28 nosler performance range (actually significantly  higher). But being I have bought the dies and three different bullet weights I will be shooting the 28 Nosler and am sure I will get enjoyment from it.


One aspect I overlooked is that the Bergara uses the remington footprint which opens up the parts/upgrades options.

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #22
My deer hunting crew of family and friends has been through a lot of 6.5 CM sticks.  Ruger 77, Ruger American, Bergera, Tikka, Kimber, Christensen, Legendary Arms, Browning X Bolts and Savages.  What are we still holding?  X Bolts, Rugers, Savages, Christensen's and Legendary Arms.  From a generation where two in a 6" pie plate at 100 and you were "good to hook".  We have become hyper critical accuracy snobs.  After break in and 50 rounds, if it does not shot 1/2 inch or better, she gone.
If you have the shot, take it.

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #23
"Semi-custom" factory rifle - a rifle having several desirable features not found in the manufacturers regular line such as lapped barrel, special fluting, special coating, stock upgrade, etc.

OK, that's the best definition I can write.

I ask this question B/C I recently bought a 6.5 CM Browning X-Bolt Pro "semi-custom" rifle (Browning's term).

Over and above the regular X-Bolt rifles the Pro version has:
1. stainless steel barreled and receiver/bolt
2. burnt bronze Cerakote on metal and synthetic stock
3. carbon fiber 360 deg. wrapped stock
4. radial muzzle brake W/ included thread cap
5. factory lapped barrel

Browning has a few other of these "semi-custom" rifles like the Hell's Canyon version that also has the burnt bronze Cerakote on the barreled action and some special stock choices.
After I looked and looked for a 6.5 CM mountain rifle feel I got a lot for my money ($1,700.) and exactly what I wanted in a mountain rifle. (at 6 lbs. 1 oz.)
Some of you know I almost sprung for a SAKO Carbonlite and the reasons why I felt the X-Bolt Pro was better, even if it would have been the same money - which is was not.

So how about some of you who may have spent the extra dinero for a factory dolled-up "semi-custom" rifle.
->What do you think about what you got for the money?
->What more would you have wanted (from the factory) on that nice rifle?

Eric B.

BTW, below is "My Precious"

that's sweet - i'd have finished pimping it out with a custom bronze coated leupold! LOL - found a titanium one and slapped it on my hawk predator matched perfectly. But I know why you chose the optics - a wicked looking combination. I have my fair share of hunting rigs that would be mid to high end factory range with great optics. My biggest problem is ok which one and I going to shoot today! LOL

Re: Best "semi-custom" factory rifle?

Reply #24
Savage 10 Stealth Evolution.