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Thread: Custom Rifles...?

  1. #1

    Custom Rifles...?

    I've only had one "semi-custom" rifle to date so forgive my ignorance just had a few questions for people in the know:

    If you have a rifle that you no longer want or fancy a change, is it viable to take (for example) your old sako down to custom rifle type person and say "can you take this action and put a nice new barrel on it, re-coat/blue it, then bed it in a nice stock?" - would that save money on the cost of materials and lessen the overall cost significantly?

    Presumably rifle builders have a fair number of second hand barrels laying around where people with more money than sense upgrade them - is there a market for this? I've never seen a s/h barrel for sale and wondered why...?

    Also if you're using your own action as a base and not changing the calibre I guess you don't need a variation (unless perhaps the serial number's on the barrel)...?

    Let's say I were to eventually shoot my Sako 85 barrel out - if I sent it off for a new or decent s/h barrel, new or s/h stock & maybe a bedding job, barrel & action coating, etc... have I basically just bought a new custom rifle without the hassle of a variation? Would there be any significant cost saving in doing this compared to just having one built?

    Trigger's broom comes to mind (for any Only fools and horses fans!)

  2. #2
    Have a read of Nathan Foster's book and you will find an answer to most of your questions. If the book's not clear, contact Nathan directly.

    http://www.ballisticstudies.com/shop/The+Long+Range+Hunting+Series/The+Practical+Guide+to+Long+Range+Hunting+Rifles+E book++Paperback+Version.html

    Regards JCS

  3. #3
    Try a PM to Redmist. He may well be able to help you out.
    Redmist knows his stuff and the only wait you will have is the time it takes to get the barrel and have it proofed. You can keep using the rifle right up until the day comes to take it to the RFD for transfer. Then depending on coating and stock work, you should have a clear idea on how long it will take.

    Unlike some who won't give you a expected date of delivery due to parts ordering, westerly winds and the butterfly effect!

    I have some thoughts on how you can speed the process up even more.

    My new rifle is being done in the very way you describe. The donner action is one I already own? If you keep the same caliber you should not need a veriation! Even if you change it should be a one for one! Keeping the same caliber save a lot of bother though!

    What kind of stock are you thinking of?

  4. #4
    1. If you have a rifle that you no longer want or fancy a change, is it viable to take (for example) your old sako down to custom rifle type person and say "can you take this action and put a nice new barrel on it, re-coat/blue it, then bed it in a nice stock?" - would that save money on the cost of materials and lessen the overall cost significantly?

    2. Presumably rifle builders have a fair number of second hand barrels laying around where people with more money than sense upgrade them - is there a market for this? I've never seen a s/h barrel for sale and wondered why...?

    3. Also if you're using your own action as a base and not changing the calibre I guess you don't need a variation (unless perhaps the serial number's on the barrel)...?

    4. Let's say I were to eventually shoot my Sako 85 barrel out - if I sent it off for a new or decent s/h barrel, new or s/h stock & maybe a bedding job, barrel & action coating, etc... have I basically just bought a new custom rifle without the hassle of a variation? Would there be any significant cost saving in doing this compared to just having one built?
    1.Yes and no. This is a semi custom route as you are using a factory barrel. It is generally considered that a full custom is one where you are buying a tight tolerance aftermarket action such as Borden,Stiller,Barnard etc using a factory action even a new one would be considered a 'semi' and for the expense of such build most would choos to have it 'blue printed' to bring it close to custom action tolerances and trueness (thought this will never match an action built to high standards to start with). Cost wise your saving the cost of the purchase of an action but will be paying for a blueprint job, if you're buying a new action and the blueprinting your close to custom action cost so better off going that way.

    2. Yep they do or are destroyed. Many smith cut a relief cut near the chamber to aid taking the old barrel out meaning it can not be safely used without the chamber being cut off and re cut loosing a significant length. Why would you want an unknown barrel that you have no idea if it will shoot weel or how many rounds have been down it. Sod that if your paying for build imo.

    3. Nope no variation needed if the rifle serial number does not change and is the same cal.

    4. If you need a new action then a variation will be needed (I believe all Uk actions have to be serial number, i no actions from the USA are stamped to meet reg but there may be more to this then I know Paddy Dane is a good guy to chat to)

    I currently have 2 rifles on order one being a full custom and the other a rebarrel in a different calibre using my action saved me about 500 I'd say.

    ​Are you thing of chopping one in again?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jungle_re View Post
    1.Yes and no. This is a semi custom route as you are using a factory barrel. It is generally considered that a full custom is one where you are buying a tight tolerance aftermarket action such as Borden,Stiller,Barnard etc using a factory action even a new one would be considered a 'semi' and for the expense of such build most would choos to have it 'blue printed' to bring it close to custom action tolerances and trueness (thought this will never match an action built to high standards to start with). Cost wise your saving the cost of the purchase of an action but will be paying for a blueprint job, if you're buying a new action and the blueprinting your close to custom action cost so better off going that way.

    2. Yep they do or are destroyed. Many smith cut a relief cut near the chamber to aid taking the old barrel out meaning it can not be safely used without the chamber being cut off and re cut loosing a significant length. Why would you want an unknown barrel that you have no idea if it will shoot weel or how many rounds have been down it. Sod that if your paying for build imo.

    3. Nope no variation needed if the rifle serial number does not change and is the same cal.

    4. If you need a new action then a variation will be needed (I believe all Uk actions have to be serial number, i no actions from the USA are stamped to meet reg but there may be more to this then I know Paddy Dane is a good guy to chat to)

    I currently have 2 rifles on order one being a full custom and the other a rebarrel in a different calibre using my action saved me about 500 I'd say.

    ​Are you thing of chopping one in again?
    Thanks Jungle, it was more of a hypothetical at the moment as although I've found another couple of jobs it's still just part time at the moment.

    I love my .243 and am persevering with my semi custom .308 - depending on how I get on was curious to see the options regarding custom stuff - re chamber and re barrel the sako to a .308 or 7-08 (sell the current 308 to fund it), or flog the lot to fund a project. Either way won't be for a while yet!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Simjim33 View Post
    Try a PM to Redmist. He may well be able to help you out.
    Redmist knows his stuff and the only wait you will have is the time it takes to get the barrel and have it proofed. You can keep using the rifle right up until the day comes to take it to the RFD for transfer. Then depending on coating and stock work, you should have a clear idea on how long it will take.

    Unlike some who won't give you a expected date of delivery due to parts ordering, westerly winds and the butterfly effect!

    I have some thoughts on how you can speed the process up even more.

    My new rifle is being done in the very way you describe. The donner action is one I already own? If you keep the same caliber you should not need a veriation! Even if you change it should be a one for one! Keeping the same caliber save a lot of bother though!

    What kind of stock are you thinking of?
    LOL thanks mate good advice

    ​Dunno might give you a shout when I know what I'm doing

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyDoom View Post
    LOL thanks mate good advice

    ​Dunno might give you a shout when I know what I'm doing
    Your servant sir!

  8. #8
    google specialist rifle services and contact him

  9. #9
    If you like the action etc then just get it rebarrelled. Barrel work isn't cheap these days tho. Your looking at anything from 700 to a 1000 pound depending. On spec and who you use.

    Trouble with these prices is you could sell your rifle put so much extra and have a new factory Sako when time comes. Will the semi custom rifle be alot more accurate. Maybe a little but do you really need every last ounce of accuracy for a day to day deer and fox rifle. If you can get 1/2 inch or there about with homeloaded ammo out of a factory rifle

    Choices choices its a dear game this rifle lark

  10. #10
    You have a point there Jay - could just say b*llox to it and order a 7mm cal sako 85 as I can't fault the rifle... ironically I ended up with the semi custom rifle as I was told it would take 3 months and the sako would take 6 months

    Realistically won't have the cash for a good long while so plenty of time to ponder... was just a "what if"

    Thanks for everyone's replies so far

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