In our opinions, the Bighorn Origin rifle action is the best bang for the buck precision rifle actions. Let me start this by making two statements. First, explain my bias, then two, give you a fair and in depth look at one of our absolute favorite actions on the market. First, we are pretty biased towards these actions and own multiple of them (my wife included). We have ZERO business relationship with ZERMATT ARMS in any way shape or form so there is no conflict of interest with the business side and have purchased the actions we own with our own money. Now that we got that out of the way… let me drop some knowledge on everyone and explain why you should pick one of these up! zermattarms.com
Anytime we have an opportunity to share with you something that is a great deal in either value or performance, we try to make it a priority to get the information out. You will start to see a trend here that we like the deals!
BIGHORN Origins are made by Zermatt Arms INC. out of Nebraska. These actions are packed with features. lets dig in! The Origin action is a chromoly, control-round feed action in Standard Remington pattern footprint in either short or long action. They feature Floating bolt/removable heads like a Savage action in .223, PPC/6.8/.224 Valkyrie, .308 or short magnum sizes. The bolt heads are PPD coated, and the action is DLC. The Origin unlike the TL3 does not come with an integrated recoil lug. Instead they run a pinned removable recoil lug which works perfectly fine. They have 5 or so bolt options from Bighorn so choose wisely! We like the competition ones. These action come in left or right hand eject, short or long.
CONTROL ROUND FEED”GETS IT DONE” WITH THE BR CLASS CARTRIDGES!
Reliability is the number one issue with the BR’s in a repeater. Lets see how Bighorn squared us away with these Origins.
With most push-feed actions, you will occasionally run into feeding issues with the BR’s. Even with affordable options for BR modified AICS magazine, push feed has issues. With the Origin, it runs control round feed and is 100% reliable with feeding coupled with a MDT BR magazine. Smooth as butter, never having jams or misfeeds. As you can see in this picture, the bolt head for the Origin is not spring loaded. These actions use a mechanical eject which is essentially a barb that only contacts the case in the full rearward position. The bolts will extract a case, maintain positive control all the way rearward, and eject as far or as little as possible based off how the bard strikes the case head. This feature is amazing on a bench shooting were you don’t want to eject brass in an uncontrolled fashion. This will also prove to be really easy on your brass because it doesn’t contact anything with the case mouth on extraction. CONTROL FEED
As seen in this picture, the case is maintained by the extractor and is not spring loaded. Also you will notice the bottom of the bolt head is open. This is how the control feed actions work. As you push the bolt forward to action the weapon, the cartridge slides up into the extractor groove and then into the chamber making the bolt feel smooth as butter. You will notice in the picture that the extractor is very easy to replace if you ever have one fail. We have seen this happen while head-spacing a barrel with GO/NO-GO gauges. This error was clearly operator error and was the only one we have seen have an issue. Remove the extractor when head-spacing your barrels or ensure you have the gauges captured by the extractor groove.
These Origin actions feature a quick bolt release on the side of the receiver. The Origins run removeable top rails that are 20MOA that are double staked and use 4 #8 bolts. This picture shows how the 20TPI thread pitch for the barrel makes running quick change barrels awesome! With a good prefit barrel and a nice precision barrel nut, these make for a super versatile action. BR MAG
MDT BR magazines have proven to be 100% reliable with the ORIGIN actions in KRG, OR XLR chassis.
In this picture you can see how the bolt face contacts the head of a BR case inside the KRG chassis using the MDT BR mags. Unobstructed smooth path forward to feeding even a standard 6BR. You can also see how the mechanical function works in the picture in regards to the ejector. The bolt face has a slot in the side where in the full rearward position it strikes the back of the case. If you slap the bolt back, the case will go flying. If you softly pull the bolt back, your case can easily be maintained in the action for bench shooting.
In this picture you get a close up of the bolt head with the 6MM BRX case in the receiver. You can see how the ejector functions in this picture too.
This bolt has a few thousand rounds through it and is now nicely broken in and smooth as glass. You can see how the bolt head is a separate assembly and functions like the Savages. The bolt head is captured by the cam pin, which is captured by the bayonet style firing pin which is super quick to remove and very convenient.
We have found that you only need a very little amount of lubricant on the bolts components. Even with that being said, you should just run them dry. If you run a heavier grease on the firing pin it can cause malfunctions. Its rare, but the heavy grease was the culprit. Bolt Head
This is a good view of how the bolt head is assembled after cleaning. These actions are amazing because you can switch calibers super fast by just swapping the bolt heads. Zermatt sells bolt heads for around $75.00 for every caliber. Firing Pin
As you can see here, this is how lubricated you want to run these firing pins. Very little if at all. Zermatt sells replacement firing pins for $150.00. Its never a bad idea to keep a spare firing pin and an extractor to ensure your rifle never goes down at a match.
“BUY ONCE CRY ONCE”
I want to leave you with a few things. When getting into long range shooting, it becomes very expensive really fast. We strive to show people products that are not hype, and worth the money. This also means we don’t do reviews on anything that we don’t personally own. We stand by Bighorn Origins and will put them up against any other action on the market including the TL3 from Bighorn which is their top of the line actions. For the price of $875.00, you get an action that is feature rich, smooth as glass, 100% reliable in even the dustiest condition like the ones we experience here in Washington state at some venues out east. We believe that the “BUY ONCE CRY ONCE” mentality is how we justify spending way too much on things you do not always need. For that price, you get an action that is going to keep you in the sport and pay for itself. This action is our number one action recommendation for people trying to upgrade from a factory Remington or similar, but do not want to spend $1300 on a top of the line action. There is nothing that this action can’t do, and has been chosen for a reason. We stand by our statement of saying this is a premium “BANG FOR THE BUCK” action and leaves nothing to be desired. zermattarms.com HOW TO MAKE DENSITY ALTITUDE DATA CARDS