Why a Savage Switchbarrel?

For years, for a variety of reasons (see here) the gun to go to to build a custom gun was the Mauser 98. This has been especially tru for the do-it-yourselfer. However, as the supply of Mausers has gotten scarse.

Nowadays custom gun makers have gravitated to either custom CNC machined actions (Witchita, Hall, Panda, etc.) or the Reminton 700. However, for the do-it-yourselfer the Savage actions have several advantages, especially if building a switchbarrel. These advantages are as follows:

Cost - Although, recently with all the good press, Savages have gone up in price, they have always been the economy bolt gun. Also, there are plenty of used guns around for customizing.

Breeching - Flat breeching makes it easy to check bolt clerance out of the rifle. You can buy a prethreaded barrel and just check bolt clearance with the bolt and a headspace gage or sized case. For a barrel with a recessed breech (Rem 700) you gotta use a depth micrometer.

Headspacing: - using the barrel nut means you don't have to finish ream or use a lathe to set headspace. You can buy a barrel and install it in about 10 minutes with just gages, a barrel nut wrench and some way to hold the barrel or action (such as this.)

Barrel Threading - If the purchase of a lathe is in you plans, you will be able to thread barrels for the Savage as soon as you are up to speed with the use of the threading gears and threading dial. The toughest part of threading a standard barrel is ending the thread at the shoulder and setting the barrel tennon length (i.e. length from the shoulder to the breech face). Most gunsmiths cut a fairly generous thread relief groove to end the threads at the shoulder. Threading for the Savage avoids these since there isn't any shoulder and the threads can be run off the taper of the barrel. Some amateur gunsmiths have succeeded in threading barrels on small mini-lathes that gunsmiths would consider "toys".

Bolt Heads - You don't have to machine bolts to change bolt face sizes, you can just change the bolt heads as shown here. Bolts are avaialbe for Magnum, Standard and 223 sizes. This covers probably 100 standard chamberings and widlcats. If you need something else, because the separate bolt head is smaller it is easier to set up on a lathe - even the smalles lathe you could buy like a Sherline or Clisby.