I've built a few custom rifles on the Montana 1999 short action receiver. Most were built on Manners and McMillan stocks, using barrels from Benchmark, Kreiger and Obermeyer.
Some things I remember about those projects:
All of them were trued from the factory, and the work was pretty good. The threads were concentric to the raceways and bolt channel, the receiver faces were square to the raceways, good even lug contact.
But, the steel was butter soft. While turning the bolt handle for threads, I found voids in the steel. The firing pin and hole is huge and it craters primers badly in higher pressure chamberings.
On one of them, the bolt had to be replaced because it split lengthwise while bushing the firing pin hole. I had drilled and counter-bored the hole, and was tapping threads when it split in half. The metal felt soft, and the tap cut easily. Very odd that it split the bolt!
To contrast, when drilling and tapping a FN SPR bolt for a firing pin bushing, I had to use a carbide tap. That shit was surprisingly hard and tough. It ruined a HSS tap. Turning the SPR handle for threads was similar. The steel was very noticeably tougher than Montana, tougher than Remington as well.
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