After seeing some threads here about these things and the groups I'm thinking about having one built.
1. What are the common/adequate systems (receivers etc)?
2. What chambering?
3. Do they require different load data than a rifle in identical chamberings?
4. Who makes a good one?
5. What is the cost? (I don't think they'd be much different than a rifle overall, same parts just shorter.)
6. When can I get one?
Dave, Here are my thoughts to your questions. Others such as SScoyote and Xphunter are far more experienced in this area but they are both shooting a couple of my XPs that seem to be working alright so far.
1.Hands down the XP-100 is my favorite receiver. Have to get one used but they are the best out there I have used for a bolt action handgun for extreme range shooting and hunting.
2. Anything you can think of really. Just put a 7mm Dakota in Xphunters handgun. I have a 338 WSM. I have heard of the RUMs being chambered in them but thing this is to much capacity. The Dakota case is about as big as I would recommend.
3. They will take any load that is safe in a rifle of the same chambering. YOu may possibly get a bit more performance adjusting to a slightly quicker burning powder in the shorter handgun barrel but on average, the fastest load in a rifle will also be the fastest in the handgun as well.
4. Are you looking for custom or factory?
5. A custom will run around $1800 for a complete handgun. Prices will vary on some of the factory offerings out there.
6. Again depends on if you want custom or a factory handgun.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
I'd get custom but I need to check into the Maryland handgun thing. I may need to buy an XP here and have it built as there could be a problem bringing one (receiver) in that is newer than 2002 manufacture (lock required on NEW(er) manufacture).