I would like to take this time to say a few things about Richard Franklin of Richard's Custom Rifles
. I started talking to Richard, back in September of 07, about building a 300 Varminter. After a few minutes with this man, it was obvious he had an unbelievable amount of knowleged about building custom rifles and ballistics. I decided to have Richard build my 300 Varminter. Ever since then, Richard has answered every e-mail and phone call either the same day or the next. It is without a doubt the BEST customer service I have ever had with any gunsmith.
I have had rifles built by some of the top gunsmiths in the US, and I must say Richard has been so professional, it's awesome. He talked with me for about 30 minutes today, even though he was busy. He answered all my questions and never made me feel I was bugging him.
We talked about varmint hunting for a long time. He is very serious about building the customer the perfect varmint rifle. He believes, if your goal is to shoot varmints from 50 to 1000 yards, using poly tipped bullets at very high velocities is the way to go for maximum kill power. He designes many of his chambers and rifles around this concept. He also builds Championship 1000 yard bench rifles and long range big game rifles for shots past 1000 yards. However, after watching Richard on his varmint video and talking to him, his passion is groundhog and varmint hunting.
He is currently working on a project/experiment that sounds awesome. If it works, and it sounds like it's already performing well, it's going to be cool for the serious varmint hunters.
The 300 Varmnter was Richards design. He designed the 300 Varminter around the 300 WSM
cartridge, Bartlien 30" 1-15 twist barrel and the 110grn V-Max and 125grn Ballistic Tip. The end product is a rifle that will push a 110grn V-Max at 4150fps and a 125grn BT at a velocity of 4067fps. Not only did he accomplish the velocity factor, he also made it bench rest accurate and did it safely. It is awesome to see and watch this rifle perform. It is a testament to his knowledge for making this type of combination work.
Richard told me his favorite varmint rifle use to be the 6mmAI. However, he told me the 300 Varminter, is by far, his favorite varmint rifle for shots out to 1000 yards.
If your looking for a top notch and knowledgeable gunsmith, a gunsmith who will keep you posted, a gunsmith who will return your e-mails and phone calls, who is super nice, easy to talk to and your wanting to build a serious custom varmint rifle, I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend Richard Franklin. Look at his web page under Richard's Custom Rifles.
Richard is a great smith and awesome man, he needs to be recognized a lot more.