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Custom Rifle where do you start

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Unread 08-18-2009, 04:03 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Custom Rifle where do you start

Where do you start if you want to own a custom hunting rifle that has match grade accuracy at long range? Is a custom Action neccessary if so who makes the best? What manufacturing method is the best for the barrel? What contour is critical if any.....

Who makes the most accurate custom hunting rifles? I would like 1/2" or less moa at 100 yards!I want to shoot paper out to 600+! Which will be more accurate 300WSM or 300WM? Which cartridge will the best for deer and elk?

I have read so many things on the internet that I am not sure what is really the best. I am sure there are a few experienced custom rifle owners in here that have gone through the process. Please help!!! Any feedback will be appreciated!
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Unread 08-18-2009, 04:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,132
Re: Custom Rifle where do you start

I dont own a custom, simply because I dont have the $ at this point in my life but i think I can help point you in the right direction. you asked if you need a custom action. no, you can have any remy, winchester, savage, weatherby.... blueprinted (trued and squared). The exception is rugers, and they can be fine, they just have a silly mounting system (IMO). Custom actions are nice though.
As far as best smith, quit a few of the smiths on this site can put out 1/2 MOA rifles.
The 300 WSM-WM debate, both are equally as accurate. The WM has a bit more case capacity so that would be my choice. Either cartrige is a good 600-800 yard elk rifle (depending on how competant you are and elevation). both are good on deer too. Hope this helps.
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Unread 08-18-2009, 04:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: Custom Rifle where do you start

There is NO best. The easy way to get an accurate custom rifle is to put all the sponsoring gunsmiths of this site's names in a hat and pull one out. Then pick up the phone and give him a call. Any of them will get you a 1/2moa rifle.

Either the WSM or the WM will meet your needs. The WSM is a little more efficient and works great. The WM is tried and true. If you are building a custom, you can use the WSM with an extended magazine, so you can seat your bullets longer. The gunsmith will throat your barrel to match the bullet you've chosen and you will be good to go.

If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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Unread 08-18-2009, 05:34 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,155
Re: Custom Rifle where do you start

The savage target action is a great option for a new build. For the calibers you are wanting you could use the target action giving you optimum performance without the optimum price. The blue printing is only necessary for bolt action rifles that are single solid bolts and bolt heads. The savage offers a two piece bolt head that negates the necessity of truing and squaring the bolt face.

Use a quality barrel. My cousin is having good luck with his Douglas barrel. I know of another shooter that swears by the Lothar Walther brand drop-ins. They offer a variety of barrels that will be threaded and chambered for the savage actions. I'm sure they offer for other brands if you inquire to whom they will thread for.

Some guys don't like the Accu-Trigger and opt for a regular type trigger. There are company's that offer after market triggers, but in my opinion they are not necessary. I have rather enjoyed the Accu-trigger and use it with great success. If you don't like the barrel nut, then you can have the barrel sent rifled only and have it installed just like any other barrel. The nut is not necessarry either.

Look into good bases and rings. I like EGW, for two reasons, 1. They are just as good as any $100+ dollar base for $40; 2. They are made in my home state and I support the little guy. They also offer rings that are comparable to NF, Luepy, and IOR for about the same price and maybe a little less.

Last but not least, I use a 300WSM with good effect. Even out of a 26" factory Savage barrel, I can ring a steel plate at 1100 yards with a factory rifle using 200grn SMK, and H1000. I bit the bullet and I am going to try some RL17 to see if I can bring my speeds up. With a nice long barrel of 28-30" you should be able to push a 210 berger at 2950+. There are guys shooting from 30-32" barrels getting a little over 3000+ fps from a WSM. If you want a shorter barrel and that kind of speed out of a bullet that heavy, than I would upgrade to old reliable.

The 300 WM is going to do a better job and with long barrels you will probably touch the 3100 mark. Food for though, there are a couple of guys going for Pdogs with a 300Wby and a 300WSM at 2000 plus yards. As for deer and elk, the 300WSM at 2950 should get you to the 1000yrd mark, but shot placement is always essential. Deer can be taken at 1200+ at those speeds.

Sorry for being long winded, but I want to share my knowledge of Savage actions and the 300WSM.

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Unread 08-18-2009, 05:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,400
Re: Custom Rifle where do you start

I have a few customs. But IMO the best way to do it, is buy a rem 700 in 300 win mag or wsm. Tune the trigger. Trash the junk stock and get a Manners, HS Precsion, or Mcmillan have it bedded and shoot the rifle until it, will not shot any more. Then have the barrel replaced and action trued. Dont waste money up front. Get some good bases rings and quality glass.
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Unread 08-18-2009, 07:14 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
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Re: Custom Rifle where do you start

Ha, what a loaded question.

OK, I am not a fan of spending money on an off the shelf remington, accurizing it and losing $200-400 the moment you leave the gunsmiths door!

Blueprinted and sleeved Remingtons sell for $450-500 tops after $600 to $900 have been put in them. I have done a lot of them to only spend custom money on at best a semi custom rifle.

Plus no way in hell it will be as smooth as a custom. That is undisputable.

BUY a custom action, you will never ever regret it. You can by a Stiller predator for $695-$750 and will love it. Plus there are other 700 clones such as Pierce, Phoenix, Borden, etc that are absolutely great smooth actions that you will love.

Buy an exended box from Wyatts if going with a magazine gun.

As for barrels, pick one. Hart, Broughton, Krieger, Shilen, Brux, Bartlein, Douglas etc all build great barrels. Decide first if you want cut or button rifled. As for accuracy any will be well under .5.

I would focus on finding a good local smith from this site or the "Top Recommended Smiths" from 6mmbr.com. They are all great proven LR smiths that can easily build what you want. It is nice to look the smith face to face and to be able to take the gun to them if needed in lieu of shipping charges and time. Just not a fan of the "UPS gunsmith", others may be and so be it. I like being able to talk to them and eye to eye.

Discuss what you are looking for in weight, type stock (wood, fiberglass, etc) and go from there.

I personally love the 300 WSM and it will do anything you want it to in a short action. Brass is very good and accuracy is absolutely there all the way to 210 gr bullets. The WSM will run right with the Win Mag to the 210 level and just as accurate if not more so with 2-3x the barrel life over the Win Mag. By the way we can easily run the WSM with 210s from 2975-3050.

Now if you want to spend your $ on a non custom, then go straight to Sharpshooter Supply and buy an accurized and time Savage action for $500. I personally would set it up for a recoil lug vs the barrel nut.

Manners, HS Precision make great fiberglass stock. Joel Russo here makes some great laminated wood or solid wood stocks of all designs. I have a 2.5 lb butternut thumbhole on my WSM that Joel can make for you.

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Unread 08-18-2009, 07:43 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central ND
Posts: 1,018
Re: Custom Rifle where do you start

+1 custom action

I pay around $750 for a pheonix custom action with all the bells and whistles(oversized bolt handle, accel. fire pin, target port, helical fluted). I like the 7wsm more than my 300wsm. The BC is so much better. You can always run a 7-300wsm if you want to use the better 300wsm brass.

Each gunsmith has their pet calibers. Find one you enjoy dealing with, mine happens to be a good friend. You asked where to start, find a good gunsmith(alot are sponsors on this site) and visit with him and write him out a check.

"Amazing things can happen when preparation meet opportunity" Richard Schatz

"The will to win, compares little with the will to prepare to win" Donovan Moran

Last edited by blipelt; 08-18-2009 at 08:15 PM.
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