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Reply with quote  #1 
My brother-in-law wants to go PD shooting with me next year. Hes currently in Afghanistan (for another 4 months or so). Since my sister (public school teacher) and he (Tech Sgt.) don't have any spare change to throw around I would like to put together an ultra low cost .243 for him. It will need to be based on a Savage or Stevens action, since those are the tools I own. I would like a bull barrel on it as well.

I understand things like optics and stocks will need to be upgraded as he can afford them, so I'm looking for suggestions on "budget items" that will fit into the build plan. I don't have a ton of money to throw at it either, and will most likely be trading a handgun for the base action.

All that long-windedness to ask: What optics and stocks are affordable on a tight budget, but will work as a temporary solution for a medium range bench gun?

Thanks in advance!
Reply with quote  #2 

Your best choice would be a used gun with as much of the correct stuff as can get. Stock, boltface, barrel, and trigger, that way you don't have to change very much. You should be able to find used everything for a Savage, here, Varmint board, or You can then sell anything that you take off the gun, on the boards. I just picked up a 110 sporter 30-06 and changed it to a 243, for deer season.

As far as scopes, a Weaver 24X target or a 24 varmint are great scope for the money. There is a 24V in classifieds now.

Mark Schronce
Reply with quote  #3 
fat 46,

I have some things you may be interested in. I have a factory black plastic stock for the savage long action (was on a 110 action). I also have a Choate Ultimate Sniper stock for the same action that I would be willing to part with. (both stocks are stagger-feed, enclosed magazine) Both stocks in great shape. Neither stock was ever bedded, so I would recommend you do that.

I also have a factory trigger off of a 110.

I have a few scopes that would work as well. The best that I have for your application (PD hunting) is a 16x Super Sniper scope. Not a mark on it.

PM me if interested in anything, and we can work out some prices.

As far as a cheap build... Mark gave great advice... buy something that's ready to go, or very close to it. But, if you want to piece something together, let me know if you're interested in anything I have listed above.

Reply with quote  #4 
Unsolicited advise... Please feel free to ignore!

If this is for high volume PD shooting I would consider a 223, 204, or 22-250 rather than a 243.

If this is the only gun that you are shooting it is going to get hot real fast.

Unless you build a very heavy gun (20 lbs or so) you can not spot your own shots very often with a 243.

Spotting a hit or a miss with a 223 or 204 (my favorite) is usually easy and you can made adjustments when you miss. Granted sometimes a miss is hard to spot with a 223 or 204 if the ground is damp.

Reply with quote  #5 
There is a good discussion in the varmint section on 223 and 243 and Savages. The above comments are probably correct that it is better to start by purchasing a cheap assembled rifle. My brother is a drill instructor in the Marines, so I have a soft spot for servicemen. So if you want to build from the ground up, I have a takeoff Savage plastic stock from a 243 that I'll give you for free if you pay the shipping.
Reply with quote  #6 
Find a 12FV in 223, dump the factory stock and RUN FAR AWAY from it and get something a little stiffer and that suits your taste. Mine will probably be a Boyds thumbhole laminate. Top it with a Nikon Bmaster 4.5-14x40 in a Deadnutz one piece scope mount and you will have a he!! of a rig for relatively little money. I even put a SSS trigger on mine but if you get the acutrigger equipped rifle, that won't be necessary. I haven't swapped my stock yet but I'm into my total rifle for about $775. When I get the stock the total will be about $900. It shoots in the low .2s with the loads it likes. .75 with it's least favorite (75gr A-Max). You could definately get started with a shooter for a bit less money if you look around though.

By the way, I'm an active duty AF TSgt (been to Afghanistan myself) with 4 kids, my wife is a stay at home mom and I can somehow even afford Savages. I have 4 of them. One's a custom 338 Edge with Shilen stainless select Match barrel.
Reply with quote  #7 
By the way, I'm an active duty AF TSgt (been to Afghanistan myself) with 4 kids, my wife is a stay at home mom and I can somehow even afford Savages. I have 4 of them. One's a custom 338 Edge with Shilen stainless select Match barrel.

But you aren't married to my sister!

Actually they had some rather significant health issues with my niece when she was born and ended up going to the Mayo, much of it on their own dime, and haven't quite recovered from that hit yet.

I truly appreciate all of the advice here - going to the local gunshow this weekend to start the build.

Plans are now calling for a 12FV in 22-250, SSS stock, and I'm going to try and find someone who will swap a Nikon Buckmasters 6-18 for my Weaver T-36

I changed up calibers in order to get to the FV platform. That allows me to basically restock and add optics and be done.

Reply with quote  #8 
Also check out Northland Shooters Supply. They have a sub-board on They have factory barrels and other parts for sale, as well as aftermarket stuff. I have bought a McGowen barrel in .260 Rem. from him for a fair price and fast shipping.
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