The Nesika Action
March 16, 2011
Originally designed by Glen Harrison, a serious benchrest shooter who at the time lived on Nesika Bay (near Puget Sound), Nesika actions are built from 15-4 vacuum arc remelt PH stainless steel.
I confess that prior to learning of the Freedom Group's acquisition of Dakota Arms, which holds the rights to the Nesika Bay line of actions, I'd never heard of a Nesika rifle--exactly. I had read about Kyle Brown's world-record, 10-shot, 1,000-yard benchrest group. It measured 4.2278 inches and was fired using a rifle built on a Nesika action.
Originally designed by Glen Harrison, a serious benchrest shooter who at the time lived on Nesika Bay (near Puget Sound), Nesika actions are built from 15-4 vacuum arc remelt PH stainless steel. It's a strong, warp-free, rust-resistant material. The bolt is a two-lug design machined from heat-treated 4340 steel hardened to Rockwell C-38. The bolt handle is integral to the bolt body, although the knob itself is screwed on, allowing different contours of knob (teardrop, round, and so on). The lug raceways are wire EDM cut, a method enabling particularly precise tolerances. The sleek bolt shroud is nicely made of aluminum, and in the event of a case rupture, gas is vented via two small holes on the left side of the bolt just aft of the locking lugs. Extraction and ejection is achieved via a Sako-type claw and Remington-type plunger.
There are several variations of the action, including square-bottom and round, single-shot and repeater, and of course, sizes to accommodate different-size cartridges. Being a benchrest dabbler at best, I'm less familiar with Nesika actions built for competition than those adapted to hunting. Interestingly, and showing great savvy on Nesika's part, said hunting actions are round-bottomed and approximate the footprint of a Remington Model 700 action, allowing a capable gunsmith to easily fit custom projects on Nesika actions to stocks built for Remington 700s. They also accept Remington bottom metal and aftermarket match triggers made for 700s, so those desiring to build a custom rifle on a Nesika action have a plethora of options.
For a deeper description of the action's particulars, check out Daniel Lilja's excellent article on the Lilja Precision Rifle Barrel Inc. website (www.riflebarrels.com), from which I've drawn some of the information included above, with Dan's permission.