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Why are custom rifles so Pricey??

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Unread 10-09-2011, 08:45 AM
Edd Edd is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 2,316
Re: Why are custom rifles so Pricey??

Originally Posted by J E Custom View Post
Edd. A good Remington action and a new stock plus a quality barrel and the smithing that you want
should cost $1800.00 to $2,000.00 Max.

Then add your optics and bases.

I just built a rifle (For myself because the labor is cheep)with everything you have listed and total
cost Including dies and reamer fell just under $1000.00 dollars.with that, if you estimate the labor
you can see that they can be built at a very reasonable price considering what you get.

I have a nice 700 BDL action, I can sell it for $450 anytime I decide to.

I recently ordered two new barrels, I have received one of them. I've got $343 in the one I have received and will have about $125 more than that in the other one, that's $468.

A new stock from Manners or McMillan starts at about $500. You can easily spend another $200 on options.

A Jewell trigger is $230 plus shipping from Midway.

I don't think you are going to get anyone to do a first class build for under $1000 - $1200.

Add it up.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: on the Southern Plains
Posts: 1,970
Re: Why are custom rifles so Pricey??

You have wandered away from the OP. He stated "Defiance Action, custom bottom metal". Big difference between those and a stretched out 700 ya' got for $300. (in this part of the world a used 700, one that's not on its' last legs, will run $350-$400). Not to mention the bottom metal. The Rem. factory stuff doesn't really belong on a "custom" (it may not add to the accuracy, but sure adds to the quality). I'm thinkin' Williams, Surgeon, H-S Precision, ect. Price those.
"Shoots real good!": definition; it didn't blow-up in my face. 1993 graduate Montgomery Community College 2yr. gunsmithing program

Last edited by shortgrass; 10-09-2011 at 05:09 PM.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 10:10 AM
Edd Edd is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 2,316
Re: Why are custom rifles so Pricey??

I have recently figured many combinations.
I am looking at a quote from Defiance, it is $1345 with a rail. Add to that $300 for bottom metal, $300-$500 for a barrel, $250 for a trigger, $500-$700 for a stock, and you are right back at About $3000 for the parts to build what I would consider a "custom" rifle.

From looking at parts prices and comparing them to complete rifles, I would assume the builders are buying the parts cheaper than I can. I don't think someone is going to build and sell a rifle for the prices I see them being sold for if they are paying the same thing for parts that I have to pay.

There is also some substantial differences in some of the services performed by gunsmiths. I have worked in the service industry for 40 years and as a general rule there is a difference in the quality of a service that is $500 at one place and $200 at another. It seems I almost always like the quality of the more expensive labor.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 01:24 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 110
Re: Why are custom rifles so Pricey??

Bought a Broughton 264 8 twist barrel, sent it to Stiller and had them thread, chamber it to 264 Win Mag, and install on their Predator action. Bought rail and bottom metal from them and installed myself along with Shilen trigger. Bolted everything into an HS Precision stock and started shooting. You can pay a Smith to do it for you but if you're mechanically inclined at all you can do most of it yourself. I did skim bed the action later but I don't think its any more accurate than just bolting in the action and torqueing down.

Stiller Predator action 775.00
Stiller Picatinny 20 MOA rail 50.00
PT&G bottom metal (Stiller) 160.00
Broughton barrel 335.00
Thread and chamber barrel (Stiller) 200.00
HS Precision stock 335.00
Shilen trigger (Midway USA) 89.00
Rifle Basix safety kit ( Midway) 30.00
Misc shipping 50.00
Total 2024.00
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Unread 10-09-2011, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,777
Re: Why are custom rifles so Pricey??

This tactical 6.5x47 was built by Jeff Walker at Walker Custom Rifles using my parts. He has built several guns for guys here.

6.5x47 Tactical on Tooley Orian

Tooley action $830, now $900

Stockys LR Bobby Hart Special. Comes with 3 sling studs, inletted, clear coated and recoil pad. For an economy custom build this is a great stock. Here is where you save the big $$$$

This one they sent pillared and they fell out. We had to rebed it. Now they use the bedding blocks which are better $250 when first came out and now cost $300

Pillar Bedding redone $160

Rifle basix trigger $125-140

Kreiger light palma barrel $275 off someone in the internet. new now $325

chambering with my reamer $200

Cutting off barrel and crown $50

Wyatts mag bottom metal $250 retail $300 required minor fitting of the metal and action. tooley has since modified his action bottom to fit so labor was $100

IMO mag bottom metal is the biggest waste of money unless you are building a 100% tactical comp rifle. Costs $300 vs good standard bottom metal at no more than $150 or even single shot for LR hunting rifle. You can run a second shot in a single shot as fast as a mag gun and NO ONE here is using mag guns for anything realistically requiring mags other than a couple tactical comp shooters.

20 MOA base $65

TPS rings $60

This gun will shoot with any other custom at any price!

Lot of money was saved on the stock! Using a blank, inletting, bedding, studs, recoil pad and any finish can easily run to $1000-1400 depending on stock.


Last edited by BountyHunter; 10-09-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 07:02 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: OREGON
Posts: 833
Re: Why are custom rifles so Pricey??

Its a pretty simple answer really. They are professionals and are trying to earn a living. Every company needs to make a profit to succeed. the internet has become a bitch for companys trying to do this. Pretty soon there wont be craftsmanship and everything will be bought online with instructions. Thats when it gets scary.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 02:02 AM
Posts: n/a
Re: Why are custom rifles so Pricey??

I built my custom rifle when I was out of work, so I bought a barrel and sent it to Jim See at Centershot rifles to be chambered and braked and installed. He suggested certain things be done to the action, but only did what I thought necessary. I did my own extended magazine and changed the scope mounting screws to 8-32 in the receiver and the EGW rail myself. Sent a hunk of desert ironwood to Joel Russo to be carved out and sent back to me for final fit and devcon bedded and auto clear finish.
I eventually bought a Bobby Hart LRT stock from stockys to use for hunting so I don't ding up my Joel Russo stock. It was a very nice stock for the money. Fit and finish was a 99 out of 100. I ended up buying another one for my Rem 700 SPS tactical. For 188 bucks they can't be beat.
So you can pick and choose and still have a custom rifle without spending a fortune. I am more than satisfied with mine.
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