Last week we showed you the trigger that we picked for The Apologizer (our all-Canadian precision rifle build). Now it’s time to find an action that will take that trigger. For this build, we picked the Ultimatum Precision Deadline short action. The Deadline is a Remington 700ish footprint action that takes Remington 700 Triggers and Savage small shank pre-fit barrels.
Why the Deadline? — Easy Swapping
Let’s start off with why we picked this action specifically. For this rifle build, we plan to shoot .223 Remington from it as a trainer for the time being. When a range with a bit more, well…range… presents itself to us, we want to be able to swap barrels and bolt heads to shoot something like 6.5 Creedmoor. So the ability to easily swap barrels and bolt heads was a must for this build. With the Deadline action, the bolt head can be changed in under a couple of minutes — and most of that is trying to figure out where you put the spare bolt head.
To swap out the bolt head you need to remove the bolt from the action and twist the bolt shroud clockwise with a forward pressure, which allows you to remove the firing pin assembly. With the whole firing pin removed, the cross-bolt on the bolt head can now be pushed out and the bolt head can be pulled out.
Now just do all that in reverse with the different bolt head and you are golden.
As we said above, the rifle takes Savage small shank pre-fit barrels and requires a barrel nut to install. You can get the Ultimatum Precision barrel nut and wrench. However, in my case I got a used action and the top rail was trimmed down. I didn’t need their wrench and could use a standard Savage nut and wrench. I did get the action wrench to protect the action while installing barrels, though.
Some Useful Features of the Deadline Action
I thought this was a great idea: the pinned top rail helps perfectly index it and takes some of the strain off of the screws. Ours has an aluminum 20 MOA rail. However, they do offer a steel version if you want to really beef things up.
The action is made of 4340 steel and is fairly beefy. In fact, the action’s first major change from a standard 700 bolt is the diameter of the bolt. This, along with the trigger hanger is why we call it a 700ish action.
These two features mean some fitting is required depending on what action you get. The thicker bolt requires a shortened magazine release and the trigger hanger can require a bit of material to be relieved for the safety lever to move freely on some chassis.
In this case, though we are just getting a Deadline inletted chassis so no need to do any of that. The bolt release can slide in its slot in order to lock it so that you can’t inadvertently remove the bolt. This action also comes with an integral recoil lug.
Bolt Lift and Mags
Ultimatum Precision had some issues with its first action design, the U300, having a heavy bolt lift. However, that is mostly cured with the Deadline. Speaking of bolt lift, the Deadline has a 60-degree throw with a 3 lug bolt. This means less movement to unlock the bolt and ram another round up the spout from either an AICS or AW style magazine.
We have only tested AICS magazines with the Deadline. So far the most reliable of the two is the MDT polymer magazine. It does require the tiniest amount of fitting to get it to lock in properly though. For this, we just removed .032″ with a file at the top rear of the magazine. We were then able to speedily load and eject 10 rounds of .223 Rem in short order. This means we can use affordable .223 magazines that are made in Canada.
We Like It!
So far we are really pleased with the thought and design that went into the Ultimatum Precision Deadline action. It’s stiff, can swap calibers easily, is easy to operate, and is machined very well. Notably, our action was a shop-demo action that has been cycled a ton, and the bolt lift does lighten up a bit from that. This can be said about pretty much every action around though. We usually just sit cycling the action a bunch while watching tv for each bolt gun we get to smooth things out.
Rumour has it that a Gen 2 action is coming out with a bolt that will be backward-compatible with the Gen 1 to create a Gen 1.5 rifle. We will let you guys know what we think when we try this out and see how it compares to the current version.
Keep your eyes glued to the website for more articles on The Apologizer build and let us know in the comments what you think about where it is going so far.
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