Re: How to get started?
I too wanted to build my own, and in February I got a great deal on a "display" model at a local sporting goods store....$295 out the door for a "display" Remington 700 ADL in 7mm magnum. I didn't want a 7mag, but the $295 after tax out the door price was too good to pass on. I did want a 300 Win Mag, and the bolt face for the 7mag would work, so I kept the action and recoil lug and sold every other part of the rifle for a grand total of $60 bucks or so.
Then I remembered that I don't have a lathe, which would make barrel work difficult. I also don't have a milling machine or any other gunsmithing tools. That didn't stop me from ordering the parts I wanted though, and when they all showed up, I found it'd be cheaper to take it all to my gunsmith for this first build. I'm glad I did...yeah, it cost me another $700 or so, but in the end I got a blueprinted action, custom barrel fitting, custom work on the new trigger I bought, full glass bedding of the action in the new stock I bought, fitting everything together, cerakote of all the metal, and 3 different sets of hand loads to test on my own, even though he'd already shot the rifle with all 3 and given me the target with the groupings on them.
Long story short- I'm glad I paid for the smithing....I didn't have the tools or the know how, and I got to go visit the shop and learn a little at a time. Now I have a sweet 300WM that shoots holes inside of holes. Expensive? For me, yes...at about $2700 for parts, labor, and scope. That's not much to a lot of shooters on here though, and I'm sure that they would all back me up in saying that $2700 for a rifle that'll do holes inside of holes is a bargain when you consider that you don't have to question your rifle's abilities out in the field hunting (or competition shooting if that's your game).