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Thread: custom rifles

  1. #1

    custom rifles

    This might seem like a peculiar question but what is the benefit of a custom rifle in practical terms? To be clear what I am curious about is if I can get a 1" group out of my rifle and I do not shoot targets what would be the practical benefit of a custom gun? I appreciate it allows you to have a gun with cosmetics and features you desire/enjoy but is there any true "down range" benefit to your stalking or foxing?

  2. #2
    Its not all about accuracy, but if a 1in group is your primary criteria, then there are lots of places to find it. If it is about accuracy, then it starts at the point when you realise that you can outshoot your rifle even after you have gone through full load development with your best handloads.

    But, show me a factory rifle where you can specify everything
    barrel material, length, profile, weight, twist, number of grooves, chambering, throat length, action make, action style, action material, extractor, firing pin, firing pin spring, type of trigger, pull weight, trigger position, safety type, safety location, stock material, stock shape, length of pull, type of butt pad, adjustablility, type of sling studs, location of sling studs, barrel band sling mount, sight mounts, mounting rail, type of thread cut for moderator, .... and lots more!

    It might make a difference - after all, as in all sports, a significant element of shooting well is in the mind!
    Last edited by JabaliHunter; 27-01-2011 at 22:36.

  3. #3
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    I suppose it all depends on your definition of "custom".
    For me custom means an action, stock and furniture built from the drawing board up from scratch by an artisan gunsmith. Perhaps utilising a high grade, high quality barrel from a well respected low volume barrel manufacturer
    For others it means the use of a low volume production specialist action, with super light high quality trigger mechanisms and specially configured tight tolerance chamber swith cut rifling barrels , choked bores and multi way adjustable composite stocks
    For some it simply means a slightly re-worked and re- hashed mass produced action and barrels bedded into a mass produced stock and then given a fancy multi coloured spay on paint job.

  4. #4
    Customer chooses... in some cases it might just be looks of a rifle that is custom.
    For me it would be the chance to build a rifle that has a very good ratio between
    accuracy, reliabilty, handling and weight.
    I have one hunting rifle with a Lothar Walther match lapped barrel. There is much more
    to it than only accuracy. Cold barrel shot or even a clean barrel shot does not open
    the group. 20 rounds in say 15 min at 300yds have same POI first to last.

    I've had or have quite accurate factory barrelled rifles but they are not as reliable as
    the LW rifle.
    In practical terms, well once you get over 200yds and a well built rifle will shoot to
    the same POI no matter which shooting position.

    edi
    Last edited by ejg; 27-01-2011 at 23:08.

  5. #5
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    Any rifle is merely a delivery system. The same as any fly rod and reel is just a delivery system for the hook and feathers tied on the end of the cast.

    But there is more to shooting and fishing than the kill or the take. Just as there's more to having a drink than just pouring the stuff down your gullet. There's what our Irish friends so succinctly call "the crack".

    And a bespoke rifle or at least a rifle that you have in some way individualised enhances that experience of a shooting equivalent of "the crack" for me.

    The nicest, sweetest, rifle I ever handled was a Holland and Holland in 240 Apex. The worst, most awful, rifle I ever handled was a Holland and Holland in 300 H & H. Hmm!

    Part of the pleasure of shooting is sometimes the ownership of something that is "personal" to the user. Whether it is a bespoken tweed shooting suit or a "custom" rifle depends on the individual.

    In practical terms? The benefit is the additional pleasure of putting game on the table with something that is personal to you.

    In a sense we all "customize" (with a "z" like the Americans) our rifles. That may be through choice of 'scope. The Zeiss vs Swaro vs Leupold debate. Even through choice of mount. Warne? Redfield? Picatinny Rail?

    Certainly in my time I've had the pleasure (and the bill) of having three shotguns totally re-stocked to my measurements in the wood of my choice. And you do get a certain extra sense of satisfaction from then using them.

    But ultimately it is still the same 50p Hull Three Crowns of Eley Grand Prix that goes bang when you pull the trigger on a Powell, a Purdey or even a humble Baikal!

  6. #6
    One thing I notice that has not been mentioned yet is Calibre. One of the benefits of a custom rifle is the option to choose your chambering weather it's a total wildcat or Ackley variant or just something that's difficult to get hold of in a factory option.
    There is no mistaking the quality of the engineering of some of the top custom actions particularly BAT, Surgeon, Lawton etc... but, there are in my opinion some draw backs; for me the main 2 were the price and the magazine systems. pretty much every custom action is built on a remington footprint and as such the mag systems tend to be of either a tactical variety using an AI/Badger mag or the other is generally the HS precision mag which is pricey. Having looked at the options available I decided to just customise an existing sako 75.
    This gave me the option to keep the action and flush fit mag system I liked whilst minimising the cost. I now have a rifle with the weight, barrel, twist rate ,style, bolt handle, colour and finish I wanted, which is incredilbly accurate and will go with me to my grave.
    Make no mistake you will not make money on putting together a custom gun and then selling it but, you will get exactly what you want in a rifle.

    ATB
    Moses

  7. #7
    This is a last thought at night moment. Some people count sheep, I think of sporting goods used or potential purchases. If i'm having a really bad night I might even get on to potential lottery buying sprees, or even trips planned for the future.

    First comes the hand made, walnut stocked, deeply blacked "best" rifle, perhaps made by Boss, Westley Richards or one of the other great makes.

    On a more sensible level, I think if funds allowed I would have my Sako Finnlight blueprinted, with a laminate stock fitted, a custom barrel, I might also have a top of the line set of mounts and a wonderful 'scope.

    Would these be any more efficient than the ordinary Sako 75 Finnlight I already have? Probably not, certainly at the ranges I shoot at normally. It would just be the joy of owning something that is as good as it can be. The perfect symmetry of form and function, which is a form of pure art.

    Simon
    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    Certainly in my time I've had the pleasure (and the bill) of having three shotguns totally re-stocked to my measurements in the wood of my choice. And you do get a certain extra sense of satisfaction from then using them.
    Same here. Well not precisely. I've had 2 shotguns restocked not 3. The sense of satisfaction comes from not having to fit yourself to the shotgun, thereby making mounting and shooting far more pleasurable and hopefully more successfull. They also come with an element of pain due to the cost and care needed to try and ensure you don't cause the expensive timber major damage.
    Last edited by lou; 28-01-2011 at 20:56.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by moses View Post
    Make no mistake you will not make money on putting together a custom gun and then selling it but, you will get exactly what you want in a rifle.
    I can vouch for that. I've had the pleasure of owning what I call a proper custom rifle. Not made for me, I was I believe its 3rd owner. I paid a fraction of what it cost to have made. Fortunately for me the 1st and 2nd owners had taken the major knocks in regards to resale value and I managed to get back my original purchase price when I decided to sell it

  10. #10
    When one looks at it how often does one really get the price paid for even a production rifle once it's a few months or years old and been shot some? they mostly all lose in price.

    Now unless oen ahs actually done it, that is been through chosing the specifications. The parts and style including the final finish of a custom rifle it's difficult to image how it feels to be part of the process.

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