Seeing as you mentioned getting a Tikka, I'm assuming that $2500 needs to cover the scope as well leaving you with only about $1500 for the rifle. That makes a Tikka a solid choice. A Winchester Model 70 would get you under weight and under budget in a nicer package as well. The Extreme Weather SS comes in at 7 lb 2 oz, the Tikka at 5.9 lb. So the Tikka is lighter, but both will be under 9.5 lb with a 20 oz scope.
Yeah I just realized I meant savage ultralight.
For non custom I have became most fond of the limited addition hell’s canyon McMillan long range.
Great way to save money, if you have the time and patience. To present another viewpoint, I’ve gone this route and won’t do it again. I had some minor problems along the way that were frustrating. The barrel guys blamed the smith. The Smith blamed the barrel guys. The stock guys blamed the bottom metal guys and the bottom metal guys blamed the stock guys and there was no one to take ownership of the entire project as a whole. It all eventually got worked out but it took a few trips back to the smith and back to the barrel builder and back to the stock maker, etc.You can get a better rifle if you put the parts together yourself. Order a McMillan stock of your choosing (or find one in the classifieds). Find a new or used tikka rifle on the cheap (or an action if possible). Order a barrel of your choosing (you can find blanks left and right in the classifieds). I'd personally go with a carbon wrapped barrel, but that's up to you. Find the trigger you want, or just do the spring swap on the tikka trigger. Take the parts to a good smith, and have him chamber the barrel, bed the action, install the barrel, and get the trigger worked out. Bam, you have a solid rifle that will shoot, especially if you're a reloader. I went this route and saved myself a bunch of money. Couldn't be happier!
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