I wanted to get some opionions from gunsmiths and rifle owners on the final fit and finish of my new custom rifle. Basically, this build was a complete build using a Predator action, Brux barrel, McMillan stock, Sunny Hill bottom metal, Jewel trigger, etc. Final cost was around $4000. The gunsmith did all of the work including all inletting of the stock for the action and bottom metal. I am not very satisfied with the final fitting in some areas but mainly with the bottom metal. I know I can be a bit of a perfectionist so I need to understand if my disappointment is warranted or if this is fairly typical on a $4000 rifle and I just need to get over it. My expectation was for the bottom metal to be flush with the stock and clean and the back tang would be flush with the stock. The gunsmith said that the front bottom metal screw area is not flush because if the metal is taken out in the future it could chip the paint due to being a sharp edge. The rest of the metal is not flush because that is simply how it has to work and how it is done. The rear screw area is already recessed so much that the trigger would be recessed too much if it went in any further. To make it flush he would have to make his own floor metal to work right with stocks which wouldn't be practical due to the investment in machinery.
I am not a gunsmith and don't know if this is true or not but it just doesn't look right to me and again, just need some opinions of those who are far more experienced than I am. This is my first and probably only custom rifle that I will be able to afford and just need some guidance. Would you be satisfied with this finish? Thank you!
Here is my opinion,I am not a smith. I am a builder by trade and have done finish carpentry for 30 yrs. Not familar with your bottom metal. But I have bed several of my Howas and restocked them with pillars and they are all flush, front and rear flang too stock. To my simple carpenter mind it would be very easy to shim back trigger guard, under metal and between stock with washer for a perfect fit, on front it would require small amount of stock removal. I would say this is doable , but the mag box metal needs x room, maybe front area of stock to thin in depth, guessing here. Seems to me an easy fix?
PTG bottom metal is made kinda' like that, too. If you work the stock so that the floor plate is closer to the stock, both tangs are suken too deep into the stock and are not flush with it as they should be. I have not had that problem with Williams bottom metal in the past. But, I have a piece for a Rem. LA in the shop now (Williams) that fits the same way as PTG does. There's no easy fix. Seat the tangs flush and draw the floorplate area down so it's flush, too? What about the hinge holes for the floorplate and release, and the release itself? Build the tangs up with weld, dress them down so everything is flush? No "easy' fix" for that bottom metal. I'd have had to draw file the rear tang of the action down so it was alot closer to being flush with the stock, so I had a better fit there. So, I'd say, some of your problem is with the way the parts are made (bottom metal in particular) and some is not.
"Shoots real good!": definition; it didn't blow-up in my face.
You're trying fit a horizonal plane,the trigger guard, to a radiused surface. What is flush in the middle is high on the outside and most stocks sweep higher as they get to the pistol grip requiring the trigger guard to be recessed. It doesn't work well. It also depends on the stock, some make that more of an issue. If the rear of the trigger guard was raised it would make the center section even further away from the stock. With narrow classic style stocks it's something you live with or go through the process of building the stock up with bondo before finishing. I've done it and it adds a lot of work to a stock job. I usually err on taking the floorplate deeper into the stock if the magazine and trigger allow it.