Custom Rifle

atothek

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Dec 24, 2012
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Hey everyone
I am starting to look into getting a custom rifle in either .300 or .338 wsm/mag. Through various advertisements I have heard of GA precision, Gunwerks, HS Precision, Steve Boswell, McMillan, McWhorter and Cross Canyons Arms. I was wondering if any of you have experience with these companies or know of another company and could offer some advice in regards to quality, customer service etc.
Appreciate the feedback
Aaron
 

Matt Cashell

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I have used a number of GAP rifles, and while many custom makers make excellent rifles, I have never seen any better than GAP.

I am really excited to see Hells Canyon's new rifles, though, and would certainly give them a look.
 

Ryan Avery

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I have shot and played around with Gunwerks, HS and McMillan. I just don't see a reason to buy a custom rifle for over 4 grand unless it has a very special purpose.

I second BB's comment about HCA's new carbon barreled rifles. I have a little background into Mike and Al's history and they are going to produce some stone cold Killa's.:)
 

HvyBeams

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I have a Moon built GAP 6.5x47 Lapua that shoots better than I can. Moon left GAP and started Crescent Customs. Some other builders to consider would be John Beanland, Spartan Rifles, and RBros Rifles. I am sure the rifle builders you mentioned build fine rifles. Some just cost more than others. My next build more than likely will be component supplied build with Gradous Rifles.
 

fire arrow

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I spent sometime behind the trigger working up a load on a HS and shot a Gunwerks 300 mag. I am not big into pay us 7000 dollars and here is your 1000 yard rifle. But the Gunwerks rigs are very nice. With that said, I will second Hells Canyon rifle. All of the above rifles are 0.5 MOA rifles.
 

Whisky

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This was built by a buddy of mine, in his garage during his spare time. At that time it was the second rifle he's ever put together from the ground up.

IMG_0905_zps93a16f7f.jpg


It shoots like this:

IMAG0715_zps38111778.jpg


IMG_0912_zpsc644ca30.jpg


download1-1.jpg


1,016 yards...

1016ydRock.jpg


My point is, you don't need to spend gobs of money to get a good shooting rifle. I've experienced it firsthand, a no namer in his garage can make a damn fine shooting rifle as well. With places like GAP, Spartan, Gradous etc you do know what you're getting, and to some that's worth some extra money right there. GAP IMO is the standard in which A LOT of rifles are compared to, and for good reason.... I will be the first to admit that there are some real hack job guys and operations out there who claim to be competent gunsmiths. One must do his research when getting away from the big names. But there are good ones to be had too, it's just a matter of finding them, and trusting them with your money..
 

Whisky

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Dec 25, 2012
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It's a 6.5mm Super LR...One of Robert Whitley's designs.

Bartlein 8tw med palma barrel
Trued Rem 700 receiver and bolt
Manners TA stock, pillar bedded
Rem BDL bottom metal with Wyatt's extended mag box
Jewell trigger @ 16oz
Seekins rail and rings
Leupy 6.5-20 Mk4

I have another one pretty similar being built as well. I figure I invested in custom chamber reamer, dies, and other misc reloading tools, I might as well get some more use out of them. The goal for my next one is to be right around 8.5-9lbs, scoped and loaded. Basically the same specs except I'll be using a Bartlein #3 fluted and Manners SL stock....And of course lighter optics.
 

Justin Crossley

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That is a sweet shooting gun Whisky!

Aaron,
I would also do as some of the others have said and look at some of the smaller gunsmiths like HellsCanyonArmory.
I just finished a custom and I ended up spending $1500.00 for everything but scope and rings by doing some of the work myself.
 

wk93

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Mar 2, 2012
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Location
SW, Washington
This was built by a buddy of mine, in his garage during his spare time. At that time it was the second rifle he's ever put together from the ground up.

IMG_0905_zps93a16f7f.jpg


It shoots like this:

IMAG0715_zps38111778.jpg


IMG_0912_zpsc644ca30.jpg


download1-1.jpg


1,016 yards...

1016ydRock.jpg


My point is, you don't need to spend gobs of money to get a good shooting rifle. I've experienced it firsthand, a no namer in his garage can make a damn fine shooting rifle as well. With places like GAP, Spartan, Gradous etc you do know what you're getting, and to some that's worth some extra money right there. GAP IMO is the standard in which A LOT of rifles are compared to, and for good reason.... I will be the first to admit that there are some real hack job guys and operations out there who claim to be competent gunsmiths. One must do his research when getting away from the big names. But there are good ones to be had too, it's just a matter of finding them, and trusting them with your money..

That thing is insane! Your buddy needs to build me one off of my 300WM.
 
OP
atothek

atothek

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I am mainly looking for a long range/mountain hunting rifle, seems like the take home message is I don't have to break the bank for a quality rifle
 

Whisky

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I am mainly looking for a long range/mountain hunting rifle, seems like the take home message is I don't have to break the bank for a quality rifle

You don't have to break the bank. But that will also be dependent on how much work you want to put forth during the process. Generally, scrounging around internet for deals on your own components and taking them to a smaller gunsmith will yield less costs in the end. But if that's something that doesn't interest you, or really don't know a whole lot about this stuff, you may be better off just going with a tried and true gunsmith from the get go.

A GAP Nontypical would be a great rifle for you. They cost 3 grand. But I could have pretty much the same rifle built for around 2 grand-$2200. Only difference would be a trued up Rem 700 vs GAPs Defiance built Templar, and of course GAP's name won't be stamped on the barrel. It's entirely up to you man. The list of smiths in your initial post are all good. Can't go wrong with a GAP, like I said before.

Mike (Hells Canyon Armory), being the resident gunsmith here, I would certainly talk to him as well.
 
OP
atothek

atothek

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Thanks for the replies. Any advice about shortmags? In either 300 or 338? For long range mid sized game up to a brown bear.
 

Matt Cashell

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If you want a custom quality rifle at non-custom prices, another option is Cooper Rifles. You would have to go with a standard magnum instead of short, but you would end up with one fantastic rifle.
 

Coyote Commander

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Everyone thinks they need to drop big money on a custom gun to get performance. Especially in the last ten years of internet talk.

I disagree.

I have owned and shot a lot of rifles, from straight up factory to various levels of customization.

With tailored loads and good glass, modern production guns can be scary accurate. It is rare indeed to get a true "lemon" of a factory gun, and I would venture to say some of the "lemon" claims are more user issue than rifle issue.

Ive got four rifles in the back right now, two flat out factory, two semi-custom (still factory tubes), that will match or beat any custom gun out there.

One does not NEED a high dollar custom gun to get high levels of performance. The only advantage of a custom gun, IMO, is you get exactly what you want in it. You usually end up paying an awful lot for exactly what you want though.

In fact, the only "lemon" ive ever owned, was a .300 RUM. And it wasnt really a lemon, just couldnt get it to shoot to the level I wanted (was still well under a MOA gun).
 

HellsCanyon

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I agree with whats been posted above, to a point. Many many factory guns will shoot accuracy wise with some custom builds. However ergonomically friendly stocks, barrels that won't 'walk' after 3-5 shots, and ease of fine tuning loads are all benefits of a custom build. Sure you can throw down some <.5 MOA groups with a factory rifle with good ammo, but get behind the glass on a good custom built rifle and you'll find it hard to go back.

Mike
 

Matt Cashell

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I wouldn't go the custom route just to get a rifle that shoots. Custom rifles have all the nice touches, fit, finish, and feel. The thing about accuracy and a custom, though, is that you take the guesswork out of it, and know your rifle is going to shoot (with a good maker anyway). You also know that you aren't going to have to work on the trigger, bedding, crown, etc., that you might have to work on with a factory rifle.
 

crumy

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Laramie, WY
Ok.. I am new to rifles and there are probably others out there like me so I have a question to ask. I have a ruger M77 300 win mag. This thing is a beast of a gun weight wise. But I like it and I am confident shooting it at an animal out to 400-500 yards if I had to but prefer 200-300. I don't see myself shooting out to 700+. I have thought about getting a new gun just to be lighter because when I purchased the ruger, long packs wasn't something I was thinking about. I have looked at Kimber mountain and the Savage weather warrior. Would like to stay with 300 because I like the round. For someone like me, is there a benefit of a custom rifle. In my mind the custom thing only comes into play if you are shooting long distance or need super accuracy. But that may be because of my limited experience. Thanks
 

Matt Cashell

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Custom rifles are for people that want really nice things, and are willing to pay for them. They certainly aren't needed for hunting, or even precision shooting.

They are worth it to some, and not worth it to others.

It is interesting though. I have seen guys spend $700 on a factory rifle, $250 on a trigger and tune, $300 for action work, $700 for rebarreling, $500 for a new stock, and $150 for bedding. that is $2600 there.

I would love to run a custom rig, and would appreciate the detailed work that went into it.
 
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