OK, so I will be the first to admit that a custom rifle
is somewhat of dream...by that I don't mean unrealistic, but something to which many hunters aspire. But at the end of the day, not sure how much it really gets me.
Here is my current situation. I have a Browning A-bolt in 270 win and am currently getting a little over 1" 5 shot groups. I have a handful of different factory ammo on the way (I don't reload) to see if I can improve that, or at least see what offers the best combination of ballistics and accuracy. I don't have the skills YET to reliably take game over 300 yds, but maybe I will get there someday.
So I don't really think I gain a whole lot by getting a custom rifle
for $3-$5k. I may go on an elk trip in the next year, and if so, may get another a-bolt in 30-06 to cover larger game.
The other approach is to get a custom rifle and grow into it, but honestly don't know if that will happen.
I have a chronograph on the way to measure speed and can measure accuracy myself, and a scope upgrade and a lapping and alignment kit on the way to maximize what i have now. I am looking forward to getting the most out of my factory gun with factory ammo. But shooting within 300 yds around 1 MOA is plenty for hunting. I shoot at the range only to prepare for hunting (along with enjoyment, but I am not someone who is going to justify my self worth based on small groups). Maybe one day I will get to the point where I can take advantage of a 1/2 MOA rifle, but my skills aren't there yet.
So, while I can afford a custom rifle and want one from an emotional perspective, I am looking forward to wringing all I can out my factory rifle and only going custom if I can outshoot the rifle. I would rather spend the extra $$ on ammo, an elk or deer trip, or whatever.
I know that add'l fancy guns are a want, even if we can convince ourselves they are a need, it just looking for opinions from the wisdom of the interwebs....