Putting together New Savage Axis

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  • Putting together New Savage Axis

    Well the time has arrived to say goodbye to the right hand Savage Axis, and buy a left handed version.

    I bought the Axis as a general farm gun, but due to necessity got interested in doing my own improvement work. Stock reinforcement / trigger modifications and my own camo paint work, and from there interested in reloading. As they say it is an addiction not a hobby.

    So anyway it is sold and gone and the left hand axis should be here Monday. You can not buy a package deal in left hand version, so I have to put it all together myself.
    This is what I have ordered so far,
    Savage Axis Left hand Blued action,
    Boyds Classic in Pepper (Right Hand ver)
    Redfield Revolution 3 x 9 x40 scope
    Leupold Sunshade
    Leupold flip up protectors
    Burris Signature zee rings
    Egw rail

    Now due to boyds not yet making a left hand vers of the stock, and if they do they have informed me it will be dearer then the right hand version, making it to dear for US export laws. I will convert it to a left hand action. I am looking around at the moment learning about bedding and pillar-bedding. Youtube is great .
    I see some other people have pressed out the original pillars in the plastic axis stock and used them in the new boyds one.

    Scope mounting is a issue with this rifle action due to the bolt handle angle. It only just clears a 40 mm eye piece by about 2mm so I did order 2 sizes of the rings, med and large. Once it arrives and I get it all fitted up I will post some photos of the scope fitment.

    The trigger is another thing I have to deal with, the last axis was a good learning curve with the gun smithing thing. I shimmed and polished and lightened the trigger assembly. Was very happy with its performance after all the work. To be honest I have been thinking and looking at a rifle basics replacement, struggle to justify the $$$.

    Then once all the fitting work is done, I am going to consider another camo paint job. But that will come later.

    Anyway once it is all here I will put up some photos as I put it together.

    Thanks
    Patrolit
    Hello.

  • #2
    The first new part has shown up, the rifle arrived on Wednesday. Wednesday night was spent looking over it and assessing what to improve on it. It seems I am going to learn some more backyard gun smithing.
    Unfortunately there is a lot to fix, this Axis action is not great. It has the usual trigger issues and the bolt tunnel is not finished well! There are a lot of sharp edges that have not been rounded, if you hold any upwards pressure on the bolt handle as you attempt to chamber a round it will slide up to the rear of the front bridge area and then hit on the upper rear left entrance to the front bridge area. Once you get past this it then won’t enter the action locking lug area without force. And then to extract the bolt rewards after locking it down takes a lot of force as well, the bolt lift is a full hand affair… rather disappointed.
    You can see the bolt hitting here…



    This is as far as it will slide with ease, now you have to lean against it to get it any further.



    You can see the scratch marks where the bolt is getting grabbed on entrance / exit of lug area.



    Okay enough winging about it, let’s fix it. First I disassembled the bolt, then reassembled just the bolt head end and went to work on getting the bolt to slide into the lug area with ease. Did not want any resistance or interference from the bolt handle ramp area.



    First I relieved the sharp edge that was catching the bolt as it tried to enter the front bridge area of the action, I also rounded the bolt head in that area as well. I used my dremel with a little grinding stone to put a radius on those edges and the also with the dremel polished those areas up.










    Now I need to get it to slide all the way into the locking lug area. To fix this I used some 2000 grit wet and dry attached to a piece of pine dowel and by hand just worked the top and bottom edges of the front of the bolt tunnel.



    Now the bolt slide in and out free as can be.



    Now to work on the very heavy bolt lift, I know Savages are known for there heavy bolt lift. But I don’t think the amount of force I need to apply is acceptable. There is no way you could keep the rifle shouldered and eject and chamber a round. So after some reading up on forums and other forms of info gathering I decided to have a go at improving this. With the bolt disassembled I went about smoothing out the rough areas. Started with the cam on the bolt handle and it corresponding surface on the rear of the action.





    Then moved on to the ramp / cocking pin area that the firing pin connects to the trigger with. The ramp area was very sharp, I ended up using the grinding stone to put a radius on the inner and outer edge. Then I polished the pin and ramp area.





    I then went on and polished the spring ends, the firing pin ramp area, firing pin spring area, the bolt head and guide. The little washer that you can see in the picture below sits between the bolt head and guide… I cannot believe how jagged and rough it was, so it got a really good polish as well. I then reassembled it and applied lubrication sparingly as I went.



    Well the end result is a bolt that slides all the way in and out with no effort. The bolt lift is now what I would have expected a single finger lift, not effortless but firm. If I mod the bolt handle by adding 25mm to it (A good Mod to do at some stage) that will make it even easier again.

    Anyway next is the trigger, and the EGW rail as the scope is due any day now.

    Patrolit.
    Hello.

    Comment


    • #3
      Is it really all that much hassle to get them to work? Personally I couldn't be bothered with a rifle like that. But good luck with the project.
      I'm in love with Jennifer Hawkins and Alessandra Ambrosio

      Comment


      • patrolit
        patrolit commented
        Editing a comment
        Originally posted by Sambar Country" post=37095
        Is it really all that much hassle to get them to work? Personally I couldn't be bothered with a rifle like that. But good luck with the project.
        The first one I owned was only a trigger job at that end of the gun, the action movement and bolt lift was excellent. Maybe quality control or the tooling is in need of some work at Savage.

        I actually seriously considered sending this one back to the gun shop where I bought it from. That would mean some more time with out a rifle as well as all the agro that goes with warranty.

        I would also miss out on getting a go at fixing it myself... yes I like to fix things!! feels really good now that it works as intended. I got to learn some new stuff and achieve a good result along the way.

    • #4
      Nice report and photos mate.

      Comment


      • #5
        Nice little write up mate, nothing like getting something that has issues and sorting em out, a great way to learn how things work I reckon.

        Well done mate and I hope she shoots well after all the effort.

        Cheers
        Whacking Varmints is my passion!

        Comment


        • #6
          Okay, on with the EGW rail. The rail was on my previous Axis, so I have used the Dremel with a little wire brush to clean up the screws and remove the old Loctite.
          Now I will check all the screws enter the action okay. Note the front screw does bottom out on the threads of the barrel with out the rail on.



          From there I have fitted the rail and installed the forend screw first and make sure it holds the rail down and the screw does not bottom out on the barrel threads.



          Now apply 243 Loctite to the threads and tension them to 20 in lbs.



          Rail now fitted awaiting arrival of scope form the us.
          Hello.

          Comment


          • #7
            Really good write-up Patrolit!

            I'm just really surprised/disappointed that this sort of work has to be done to a new rifle though.
            But at least at the end of the day, you know she'll work right now.
            ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Forward!
            Where we are, where we belong, where we should be.

            Comment


            • Sambar Country
              Sambar Country commented
              Editing a comment
              Originally posted by 22F" post=37182
              Really good write-up Patrolit!

              I'm just really surprised/disappointed that this sort of work has to be done to a new rifle though.
              But at least at the end of the day, you know she'll work right now.
              It's a Savage Axis not a $20,000.00 bench rest build. So if someone wants to fluff around and do up a cheapie good luck to them.

          • #8
            Next is the trigger assembly.

            I am going to try and lighten the pull and remove some of the creep. I will remove some metal of the trigger lever and polish the sear area up, and polish anything else that has metal to metal contact. Going to cut the trigger spring down as well. It will also need some shimming to align the sear area this will get done later.
            Photo shows misalignment of sear area.



            Now time to pull it apart and do some metal removal. On the dremel I used a sanding wheel and ground out some metal from the trigger lever area where the sear contacts.







            Once this is done it is now time to make it all shiny. I started with 400 grit wet and dry and worked up to 2000 grit, then heavy and light polish to finish.



            The part of the sear lever that contacts the pin in the bolt was just down right rough… been made using a chainsaw… So it got the fine then the super fine diamond files run over it and then polished up with the dremel.





            I then polished up the rest of the sear area and any other areas that made metal to metal contact. Red arrows show polished areas.




            I have also cut about 1.5 turns of the trigger spring. Reassembled the trigger assembly, very happy with the results now.
            Patrolit
            Hello.

            Comment


            • #9
              I appreciate seeing the work done. as a fellow savage axis owner, the trigger is pretty rubbish. but the rest of the work you have done should not be needed.

              i own an Axis 308 SS. the bolt slides smoothly forward and backward with no effort, in fact pointing the gun down with the bolt open and to the rear will slide the bolt forward. closing the bolt requires minimal effort and opening a little more due to cocking the firing pin. your trigger assembly also looks different to mine. (just checked, they are the same)

              If you need any photos of the action or anything let me know. i would have sent that rifle back.

              I've been pretty happy with my axis. the recoil in such a light rifle is a killer though. almost wish i had the axis in 223 and the Remington in 308! oh well, I've been pretty happy with all my rifles so far. might add a few more to the collection later :P

              Cheers,

              Nuzo

              P.S. how much did the EGW rail set you back? last time i had to grab a scope for the axis i had to cut out a lot of options due to the action length. the rail would have fixed that. i think i need to invest in one.

              Comment


              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest commented
                Editing a comment
                nice job mate!!!
                Yes my axis has had a bit of work done some Crab style some gunsmith work. Cost me nearly the same as a Howa would have but it does shoot very well. For an extra few bucks they could have made it a brilliant budget gun you get what you pay for.

              • patrolit
                patrolit commented
                Editing a comment
                Originally posted by NuZo" post=37250
                I appreciate seeing the work done. as a fellow savage axis owner, the trigger is pretty rubbish. but the rest of the work you have done should not be needed.

                i own an Axis 308 SS. the bolt slides smoothly forward and backward with no effort, in fact pointing the gun down with the bolt open and to the rear will slide the bolt forward. closing the bolt requires minimal effort and opening a little more due to cocking the firing pin. your trigger assembly also looks different to mine.

                If you need any photos of the action or anything let me know. i would have sent that rifle back.

                I've been pretty happy with my axis. the recoil in such a light rifle is a killer though. almost wish i had the axis in 223 and the Remington in 308! oh well, I've been pretty happy with all my rifles so far. might add a few more to the collection later :P

                Cheers,

                Nuzo

                P.S. how much did the EGW rail set you back? last time i had to grab a scope for the axis i had to cut out a lot of options due to the action length. the rail would have fixed that. i think i need to invest in one.
                The rail came form a shop of the net, it was based on the Sunshine coast. About $70 posted if I remember correctly... about 2 years ago.

                Here you go $60 Link http://www.hss.net.au/product_info.php?products_id=1038

            • #10
              Nice write up there , some good work done . Shame that it had to be done but oh well . Have you drop tested your trigger ? Rubber Mallet tapping around the stock ?

              Comment


              • patrolit
                patrolit commented
                Editing a comment
                Originally posted by M77" post=37259
                Nice write up there , some good work done . Shame that it had to be done but oh well . Have you drop tested your trigger ? Rubber Mallet tapping around the stock ?
                Yes "drop test", "side impact test" and so on have been carried out during and after to make sure it is safe...

            • #11
              Got stuck into the trigger shimming today and final weight testing of the trigger pull. So this is what I did. First you need something to make the shims out of, the best thing I have found and used on my previous Axis where feeler gauges. The have a hole pre-cut in one end already which saves trying to drill a hole, as well as you have a large assortment of sized shims.



              Pull the gauges apart and then use them like normal feeler gauges to find the overall gap between the trigger and its mounting bracket, as well as the sear bracket. Make sure it also lines up the sear and trigger squarely with the correct gauges in there. Then divide that figure in half and select the 2 sizes that will be as close to that figure as possible. Eg. I measured over all just over .8mm divide by 2 = .40mm per side required. Ended up with a .45mm and .4mm shim for the trigger.
              I also put a shim under the c-clip on the pin that holds the trigger in the bracket.





              Now with the feeler gauges installed as above make sure everything is moving freely. Then cut the end of the feeler gauges to make the shims close to size. Note that the tin snips leave a rough edge and the shims will need trimming down. I put them in my little hobby vice and use the diamond files to smooth of the edges, then grab the dremel and polish the shims.







              Then place the shims into their respective places and fit the trigger making sure everything still moves freely. My sear stiffened up on final fitment, so removed shims and found I had not removed the edge enough.





              Now it is time to check trigger pull weight. I don’t have a trigger scale so I have stolen the wife’s kitchen scales which run to 4lb. using a little plastic bucket and some lead sinkers I start with bigger sinkers until it sets of the trigger. Then remove one big sinker, reset the trigger and start adding little sinkers gently to the bucket until it goes off. I carried this out many times to get a good average, 2.409 to 2.508 was the range for all the test. So I would say I have a 2.5lb trigger know.





              Welt his should end the mods until the scope and stock shows.

              Thanks
              Patrolit
              Hello.

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              • #12
                awesome stuff mate

                Cheers,

                Nuzo

                Comment


                • #13
                  Well scope showed here are some photos... only had time today to just quickly sit it on there and see how it basically fits.




                  Hello.

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                  • #14
                    what rings did you end up using, high or medium???

                    i am about to do the egw rail, rings and scope setup almost exactly like yours.

                    thanks for the tutorial on the trigger touch up. will be doing this on mine now aswell,

                    i love the idea of using old or cheap feeler gauges for shims, i use feeler gauges almost every day and never thought to cut them up for shims

                    Comment


                    • patrolit
                      patrolit commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hi todd,

                      used the Med Burris Sign Zee's... I may end up using the highs yet... have to wait to make the final decision after I finally put a couple of rounds threw it.

                      Just for your info... I orderd my gear from the www.theriflescopestore.com and it is only the Redfield revolution that you can use the leupold stuff with. I am going to put a post in the scope section when I get a chance about that. I looked long and hard and found very little info about using leupold gear on them. The scope covers where a stab in the dark. But they do fit.

                  • #15
                    The next step has arrived in the post today, new Boyds laminated pepper stock. As I am a left hand shooter I will have to mod this stock to allow for the bolt handle to be operated from the left hand side.

                    Here are some photos of the new stock.

                    Hello.

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