I was thinking about the last 10 months and how I handled my first Custom Rifle
build. I'm sure glad Kirby was gentle with me, as it was my first time. I think about the entire project as a culmination of 5 phases/stages.
I can sum up each phase with 3 words.
1) The "Wow, that's nice" phase.
We start thinking about a new custom rifle
and spend entirely too much time trying to justify a new rifle. This 6 months spent justifying the build will bite us in the butt during stage #3.
2) The "Please, Please, Please" phase.
We beg the boss (spouse) and spend our time figuring out how to gain approval/funding. This phase culminates with an actual order for the rifle, it is however puncutated by at least 3 dozen posts on the long range hunting forum entitled "What do you think about my new rifle build?", or "I changed my mind, what do you think now?". If your gunsmith is lucky, you will stop making changes prior to ordering your rifle.
3) The "Waiting on Parts" phase.
This is the answer given every time we can't help our impulses and ask the gunsmith for a status. I had a self imposed 2 month timer between emails to Kirby which I tried my best to abide by. We supplement our need for feedback by using the long range hunting forum to enjoy the company of others in our same boat.
4) The "Its all done" phase.
This phase starts with a call or email from the gunsmith. During this phase, you will feel a heightened need to talk about your rifle with EVERYONE you meet. It's a good idea to limit human contact during this phase to only close friends and relatives. Absolutely don't attend parent teacher conferences or other 'public' events; you might inadvertently talk with someone unaware of your sensitive mental state during this phase, In fact its a good idea to take some sick time and just meditate quietly in the basement next to your reloading press. You may have thoughts like using your frequent flier miles to pick it up yourself, or driving from Michigan to Fort Shaw MT, because you could be there and back in 3 days and FedEx is going to take 4. Fight those impulses any way you can, spend your time checking the FedEx website for tracking updates and posting on long range hunting with subjects like "I Can't stand it any longer", or "Its almost here".
5) The "OUT FOR DELIVERY!" phase.
The 3 most powerful words known to man are seen on the FedEx website. Once you enter this phase, you are unlikely to get any productive work done, so you might as well camp out at your local FFL dealer.
I'm sure there are stages after #5, but I can't think about that now, I've got to go check the FedEx website again. ;-)