Any compelling reason not to buy an Atlas Tactical

Discussion in 'Gear Talk: What to Buy? and Gear Evaluations' started by MikeMcCasland, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Silver $$ Contributor

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    Hey Guys,

    In the process of building another new rifle for 'general purpose' LR use. I'll probably also be running this informally in F-Open at 1,000, but off a TR bipod.

    I got a great deal on an adjustable McMillan A6 and a AICS DBM setup, and I've got some spare 31" Bartlein 6.5 blanks laying around so I figured I'd get another creedmoor spun up.

    I'm now debating which action to go with, and for the price, a Kelbly Atlas Tactical looks pretty nice. I like the ejector system, and the nitriding for the price, but unsure how much of a 'differentiator' those factors really are.

    That said, I've never put hands on an Atlas before, and was just wondering if anyone's built off one and had 'regrets' or issues along the way? Is an integral lug really required over a double pinned one if I'm going to have a smith do all the chambering/install work?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. chevytruck_83

    chevytruck_83

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    I jumped on the bandwagon and bought an impact precision. Before I did I was seriously considering the atlas tactical. Kelblys has a ton of world records So they must be doing something right. I can’t help but feel like it’s not tacticool enough.
     
  3. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Silver $$ Contributor

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    The 'tacticool' factor isn't a huge deal for me, really just looking for a long-term good quality action. This will probably be a 25% range toy, 25% 'hood of pickup in a pasture', and 50% F-open rifle.
     
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  4. 22DASHER

    22DASHER Gold $$ Contributor

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    I’d look at the Borden Alpine or straight Mountaineer action. Both will cost a little more than a Atlas but are well worth the upgrade. Also, Jim has an Alpine available right now.
     
  5. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Silver $$ Contributor

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    I just looked at Borden's site, and maybe I'm missing something; what makes them 'upgrades' over an Atlas Tactical?
     
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  6. 22DASHER

    22DASHER Gold $$ Contributor

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    What state are you in? You can come find out first hand if you’d like. You won’t be disappointed.
     
  7. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Silver $$ Contributor

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    I'd take you up on it, but I'm in Texas.

    Anymore of this hot/humid weather, and I may use action testing as an excuse to drive up there! ;)
     
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  8. chevytruck_83

    chevytruck_83

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  9. 1shot

    1shot

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    I will say up front that I have never handled a Borden. What I will tell you is dollar for dollar, I find it almost impossible to beat the value of any product Kelbly's sells. You get a great action and unparalleled customer support if you need it for free!! Buy with confidence,

    Lloyd
     
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  10. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    I recently bought a Kelbys Atlas for my 2nd 300 Norma Mag Improved build. It's a lot of action for the money, especially when compared to other Lapua BF action options. Didnt like the bolt knob so I changed that out. Put a Bixn Andy trigger in it and sent it to @Alex Wheeler for a chamber job/muzzle brake install using a Proof carbon barrel.

    The firing pin fall was .243" on mine straight out of the box with the BnA trigger, but there is a little bit of cock on close. Still pretty smooth considering the timing flaw. It will take me a good amount of work on the bolt body to get it timed right and maintain pin fall.

    The trigger hanger is kind of a joke because it's not adjustable. Really no sense in having one if you cant move it fore and aft. I may elongate the hanger mounting holes so I can move the trigger for timing when I do the bolt work.

    The nitriding is definitely a nice bonus to have at that price point.

    The mechanical ejector is a good concept, but the design is flawed. Since the ejector is built into the bolt stop/release, I've heard the spring loaded standard style can break the pivot screw so its recommended to get the heavy duty fixed ejector. Problem with the heavy duty fixed option is you have to remove it by taking the torx head fastening screw out every time you want to take the bolt out of the action. Not a huge fan of that design. They should have used a thicker more durable SS pivot pin on the standard ejector/bolt release instead of a tiny little threaded pivot screw. But it's going to be a hunting rifle so not a huge deal to me when dealing with the heavy duty ejector. I may order the standard ejector and bore out the hole for a heavy duty SS pin so its more durable but doesnt have to be removed to take the bolt out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  11. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Silver $$ Contributor

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    @Ledd Slinger - Thank you VERY much for this response; exactly the kind of info I was looking for.
     
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  12. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    You're welcome. Besides the cons I pointed out, it really is a nice action with a lot of features for the money.

    I'll also add that the scope rail is mounted with 8-40 screws and has 2 SS pins. Which is also included. Many custom actions make you pay extra for the scope rail or a significant amount more to get a rail machined into the receiver. The pins fit very tight in the rail to reduce torque on the screws (actually have to be lightly tapped in with a small hammer) so the precision of the machining is actually quite nice.

    Recoil lug is dual pinned and also included.

    I spent ages waiting on a Curtis Custom Helix action and finally got tired of their failed delivery dates when a year passed with no end in sight. Pulled the plug and went with an Atlas.

    I have a Defiance Deviant Tactical on my other 300 NMI rifle. It's nice, but I in didn't want to spend another $1600+ (custom order Lapua BF) for the action on a hunting rifle build. However, for a Creedmor, the Defiiance Rebel would be another very good option for a little more money than the Atlas. Defiance offers a TON of custom options and allows you to configure the action however you please.

    Although I have never laid hands on one, another action that appears to be a big bang for your buck is the Alamo Precision Rifles (APR) action. Looks like a good option to consider for anyone wanting to get into a custom 700 footprint action without breaking the bank. Here's a link to their website.
    https://aprifles.com/collections/apr-actions
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  13. geraldgee

    geraldgee Gold $$ Contributor

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    Great review by Ledd Slinger and absolutely accurate. I have one and in my opinion $2$ it one of the best out there. You can certainly pay more and buy a more precisely tuned action with more user-friendly options. Mine is about to be reborn from a 22-250AI with less 300 rounds to a 25 creed. It’s sooooo capable of the transformation
     
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  14. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Silver $$ Contributor

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    Well, I ordered an Atlas Tactical; it should arrive to my smith this week. With any luck it'll be as good as a Rem 700. ;)
     
  15. 1shot

    1shot

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    Please keep us informed as to your first impressions, etc.

    Lloyd
     
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  16. Sandstorm

    Sandstorm

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    I also got the Atlas and its at my Smith's right now, so I have not really had any
    hands on yet...Its a good overall value and a great name backing it up, should i need help.
    Should be here in a week..more or less.
     
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  17. MikeMcCasland

    MikeMcCasland Silver $$ Contributor

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    Well, everything arrived and I took a trip down to the smiths place yesterday. I got to put hands on the action for ~5 minutes, and from what I could tell it's pretty darn nice. It was extremely smooth, the nitrided finish was really nice, and overall it just looked/felt well made. I will say the bolt knob just looked and felt weird, so I replaced it with a badger knob while I was there.

    I got an McMillan A6, M5 bottom metal, 31" bart heavy varmint 8t blank, and a TT diamond waiting to be assembled now. I'm guessing ~2-3 months until it's done. Having the barrel cerakoted to match the action, and the action bedded into the stock too.

    From all the 4th of July sales, and spare parts used to build it, I'll be into the rifle for right around $2k minus smith fees (which I think is a hell of a deal).

    I'll post up some feedback once it's done.

    I appreciate everyone's commentary.
     
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  18. Sandstorm

    Sandstorm

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    Nice Mike....and happy shooting.
    I think you did well.
     
  19. JEFFPPC

    JEFFPPC Silver $$ Contributor

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    Your original idea is correct, buy the Kelbly product. The come correct and will not need additional attention like many others.As Sgt. Joe Friday said, Just the facts.
     
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  20. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    I just received my newly barreled Kelby Atlas action today and began the stock fitting for bedding. There's always something that needs to be tweaked on a stock before bedding, but this was a little more than usual.

    The Kelby Atlas most definitely is NOT a "drop in" action for 700 stocks. Was hoping to get the barreled action set in bedding this evening, but had to do too much inletting.

    - Had to open up the inletting for clearance of the trigger hanger at the tang and rear mag well area.

    - Milled the back of the DBM mag well to allow clearance for the front of the trigger hanger.

    - Had to mill out the front of the DBM trigger guard to allow clearance of trigger body. Seems trigger sits a little farther forward in the Atlas than a 700.

    - Had to open up the bolt release inletting to allow fit of the heavy duty bolt stop which is also longer than a normal stop/release.

    - Had to enlongate the ejection port inletting on the stock to match the larger receiver ejection port. Tho this is a Lapua action so this may not be an issue on standard/magnum long actions.

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    20190730_231555.jpg

    Finally got a good fit to the stock! Will finish touch up painting when bedding job is finished.
     

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