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Picking a gunsmith

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Unread 12-24-2001, 04:53 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 98
Picking a gunsmith

So the hard decision is coming...who to have build a gun...

The gun will be a long range 6.5x284 for long range, but not necessarily 1000 yard stuff...6-700 yds?

My short list so far is:

Darrell Holland
Gordy Gritters

This list is largely a function of being a Varmint Hunter reader for many years. Gordy is 3.5 hour drive, so I could actually go see him (I live in Lincoln, Nebraska).

I've had a less than satisfactory experience with a local smith on my 257AI on a Sako LA and Olympic Arms 28" bbl.

I like the looks of NorCal Precision...

Who would you add to the list and why? Anyone you'd stay away from?


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Unread 12-24-2001, 05:28 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2,369
Re: Picking a gunsmith

GA Precision is located in Kansas City, about 200 miles from Lincoln, NE.

George Gardner has a good following and builds primarily tactical bolt action rifles. His rifles are known for being VERY accurate and extremely durable. I've shot several of his rifles and am impressed with his dedication and products.

He'll build a long range rifle in probably any caliber you desire on nearly any action you desire.

I've shot his rifles in 338 Lapua, 300 WSM and 308 Win all very impressive. His 338 Lapua was pushing the 300 Sierra at better than 2900 fps from a 28 inch barrel.
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Unread 12-24-2001, 07:22 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Picking a gunsmith

I would second Dave's recommendation of George Gardner - I shot one of his rifles today and it was shooting better than I can hold. Shot several five shot groups in the 0.4's at 100 yards with 175 Gold Medal. I have also shot a bunch of George's rifles - they are all superb. George is not only a gunsmith, he is a fine long range shot and he loves to pull the trigger.

One intangible that you get with GA Precision is you are dealing with a hell of a nice guy. Tell him Ian and Dave King sent you...
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Unread 12-24-2001, 07:53 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 244
Re: Picking a gunsmith

Mike Bryant of Bryant Custom Knive & Firearms did all the work on my rifle. I'm quite pleased with the work. He does have a 6.5-284win reamer w/.290".
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Unread 12-24-2001, 09:59 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 98
Re: Picking a gunsmith

GA precision looks very interesting. He obviously specializes in military/tactical calibers..would you have any concern going with other calibers and "getting outside the strike zone" for the particular smith? The reason I ask is that I think that's what happened with one of my other projects. I asked the smith to do a couple of things outside of his "bread and butter" rifles and it was a mistake...

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Unread 12-24-2001, 10:54 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Texas
Posts: 63
Re: Picking a gunsmith

Mike Bryant,SG&Y,SPF,Pete Pieper all top notch,all perfectionists.
Anyone of them will do you an excellent job.
http://www.bryantcustom.com/ http://www.sgyrifles.com/ http://viperactions.com/ http://www.precisionbarrelwork.com/
Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
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Unread 12-25-2001, 02:44 AM
Posts: n/a
Re: Picking a gunsmith

I have had 4 rifles built by Dan Dowling (so far) and will definately use him again. Being a Tool & Die Maker myself for over 30 years I understand quality machine work and accuracy.

Dan is a bench rest shooter - so he understands accuracy. He is also a long range prarie dog hunter - so he understands long range hunting. His prices are lower then any gunsmith I have talked to and his bedding jobs are second to none.

As an example:
I already had a long Action Rem 700 (BDL)
Rings (30mm) and bases
McMillan GP graphite stock.
Schmidt & Bender 1.5 to 6 X 42 Scope

Dan bought the Schneider S/S barrel, 29" long (finished at 27"), #5 1/2 contour,
Muzzle brake

He completely went over the action, adjusted the trigger to 2 1/2 pounds, chambered the barrel for 375 H&H Ackley Improved, Installed the brake, Bedded the action, had all the metal finished with a "Black Chrome" finish, installed the bases and rings, lapped the rings for the scope, used allen head gaurd screws (I tossed the factory gaurd screws away).

Total price was $755.00

Difficult to beat [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

Don [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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