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Who did you use, why did you use them, and were you happy?

 
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2010, 03:04 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 35
Re: Who did you use, why did you use them, and were you happy?

bh5k,

I've had a mixed bag of experiences with gunsmiths and having custom jobs performed.
Some of the fault was mine, and some belonged to the g'smith.

Since this is your "first" build, I'd suggest a few (obvious?) things:

First and foremost, talk with several gunsmiths and others on this forum (like you're
doing) about what they did (do), and why;

Think through the entire process BEFORE ordering or approving anything. You need to
decide before you place your order exactly which trigger you want, stock type and mfr,
rate of (rifling) twist, weight of barrel, any type of recoil reducer (whether attached to
the muzzle of your barrel or built into the stock, or both), quality of barrel and action,
etc. I've seen some M700 triggers that were smooth as wet glass after being worked
over by a competitent g'smith. And you'd be hard pressed to feel the difference between
that trigger and a Jewel trigger. Of course if money is not an issue, Jewel triggers are
tough to beat;

Don't make ANY assumptions about anything to do with your rifle! If you assume someone
knows what you mean without spelling it out, I assure you, you are most probably not going
to be satisfied with what you receive;

Don't generalize in your responses to the gunsmith you finally select. Ask for his recommendations and explain your interests/preferences and then be specific about
what you decide. If you don't understand something, or just want more information,
ASK more questions and keep asking questions until you are completely satisfied with
the answers, AND before any work is done!

Talk with others that have purchased 'custom rifles' from some of the larger folks like
H-S Precision. Ask those customers for pros and cons. Ask for a list of references from
any g'smith you're considering so that you can contact them and find out how well their
rifles shoot.

Good Luck
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2010, 06:21 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Bern, NC
Posts: 606
Re: Who did you use, why did you use them, and were you happy?

I had my 1st, and only (so far ), custom build last summer by Jim See at Center Shot Rifles in WI. Without a doubt I am completely satisfied with Jim and everything that comes with a custom build. He is full of information and he builds your rifle the way YOU want it built. He is extremely pleasant to talk to and he builds one hell of a rifle. He would be joining us for antelope season, if he had drawn a tag. I don't invite anyone I don't like to go hunting, not to mention stay at our house. While load developing with 180 Bergers and H-1000, out of my 7mm SAUM, I shot this group at 300 yds (no there is not a stray hole behind the penny). My wife and I killed 7 animals last year with the rifle, including 3 mulies in about 30 seconds. Now that we have a Swaro rangefinder, everything is in trouble.


If you choose to have Jim for your build, you will not be disappointed.

I would stay away from HS Precision. I called them twice before I chose Jim for my build. Each time I spoke to HS, I felt like I was inconveniencing them buy asking about a custom build that wasn't theirs. HS would have been very convenient, since they are about 4 miles from my house, but I went with the better customer service. Many people around here have had similar experiences with HS.
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Custom built 7mm SAUM

Last edited by JARHEAD1371; 08-25-2010 at 06:29 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2010, 03:00 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Juneau, Alaska
Posts: 213
Re: Who did you use, why did you use them, and were you happy?

I "met" Kirby Allen on this forum. From various posts, pm's, emails and phone conversations, I judged him to be helpful, knowlegable and most importantly, HONEST. He built my rifle and I would gladly use him again and recommend him to a friend.

Festus
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2010, 04:41 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,069
Re: Who did you use, why did you use them, and were you happy?

Across this country there are many very good gunsmiths and most of them are not going to "screw" you. But prices do vary considerably. Two of the very best are Dwight Scott and Clay Spencer. Here in my state, Penna, we have quite a few good ones. I have used Sid Goodling, Bob Green and Clarence Hammonds. Jim Borden is top notch, and Kevin Kram, Montour Co. Guns, (LRH advertiser) is reported to be very good, also Nesika Chad.


Call a few of them, discuss your build, and select the one you feel comfortable with.
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  #12  
Old 08-26-2010, 09:02 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 45
Re: Who did you use, why did you use them, and were you happy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Across this country there are many very good gunsmiths and most of them are not going to "screw" you. But prices do vary considerably. Two of the very best are Dwight Scott and Clay Spencer. Here in my state, Penna, we have quite a few good ones. I have used Sid Goodling, Bob Green and Clarence Hammonds. Jim Borden is top notch, and Kevin Kram, Montour Co. Guns, (LRH advertiser) is reported to be very good, also Nesika Chad.


Call a few of them, discuss your build, and select the one you feel comfortable with.
Great advice so far everybody! I guess that is a little bit of the problem. I would consider myself pretty novice at knowing what to ask on a build. I have seen a few 100% custom guns, but not been involved with any of the builds to know why I would want a Kroeger vs Hart vs Lilja vs <insert barrel here>. I am basing my build off of what a friend of mine had built about 5 years ago, but that guy isn't building rifles anymore and well things have gotten a little better and better selection since then too.

I have been trying to talk to everybody and finding out that some gunsmiths are definitely NOT long range gunsmiths even though they think they are.
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  #13  
Old 08-26-2010, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 45
Re: Who did you use, why did you use them, and were you happy?

BTW, this is what I am thinking of now, but still weighing all options:

BAT Action
Jewel Trigger
McMillian A-5 stock
And I can't remember what barrel I talked to one gunsmith about, but I think it was a Lilja or a Hart, but waiting for him to respond back to me about that.
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  #14  
Old 08-26-2010, 11:34 AM
B23 B23 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Spokane, Wa.
Posts: 932
Re: Who did you use, why did you use them, and were you happy?

Good gunsmiths, IMO, are like good barrels. There are many here on LRH and even more across the USA. Like barrels, I don't think there is a "best" gunsmith out there but rather quite a few great ones.

Again, IMO, a good gunsmith's reputation proceeds him. Both good and bad. If you use this site alone for your research you will find there are quite a few here on LRH that are very highly regarded and have many testimonials, along with pics of their products, to back them up.

I personally WOULD use someone from this board because I believe it's the least we could do considering all that they contribute to this forum. Kind of a support those who support you type of thing.

I've personally had Shawn Carlock do some work for me and currently have a build going with Kirby Allen. Both are excellent at their trade and great to work with.

Going off your projected build list you will certainly be starting off with some of the finest products available, that's for sure.

Pick one of the gentlemen from this board and you will be more than satisfied I'm sure.
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