Is custom worth it?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by coues7, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. coues7

    coues7 Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    I'm having second thoughts about getting my 700 SPS stainless fully's going to be about $1600 total and would include:

    trued action and bolt
    new barrel with brake
    bolt handle mod
    McMillan HTG stock
    pillar and glass (metal) bedding
    new recoil lug


    I could keep the factory action, bolt and barrel and just get a new recoil lug, new HTG stock and have it pillar and glass bedded for approximately $1000

    I appreciate your input...... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gifMAN thats a lot of money for a gun to go hunting with and shoot throughout the year
  2. dbhostler

    dbhostler Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    How far are you going to shoot and at what. You answer this and it will tell you weather to spend the extra cash.

  3. coues7

    coues7 Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    Deer, Elk and Bear in AZ. I'd like to have capabilities out to 800 yards
  4. Top Cat

    Top Cat Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2005
    How does it shoot right now? Any factory rifle could use bedding, cleaning up the crown, and a load workup to determine it's potential. Before doing that, you don't know where you stand. You can do all that yourself if you are handy, otherwise, it is a small investment. $1600 sounds like a lot of coin to spend on a rifle that should be excellent "as is" with a little tuning.

  5. coues7

    coues7 Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    With factory ammo I was getting about 1".

    Just as a side note I live in AZ.....its hot, the terrain is steep and rugged and you CANNOT ROAD HUNT. I'm not lugging a varmint rifle around....end of story.

    Unfortunately I don't get out to shoot "this rifle" much as is. I shoot rim fires quite a bit just to keep my skills honed but work and life really don't allow me to get out much.

    The rifle is currently topped with a Leupold Mark 4 M1 LR/T 4.5-14.5x50....which I would say is a "good scope". I use Swarovski 10x50 SLC binos and a Swarovski 80mm spotting scope for my hunting purposes.

    I'm at the the point where I get a Swaro Range finder or have a custom rifle wife and I have agreed one big purchase for me related to outdoors/hunting each year.....otherwise we'd be living on the streets because I'd have a bunch of guns.
  6. Supermag

    Supermag Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2006
    I'll vote for the none full on custom rifle (second option). You can use this for hunting and practicing to get you closer to the 800 yard mark and when you burn the barrel or start getting to the point of not enough accuracy for the range them replace the barrel, work the action, etc.
  7. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    find a good smith that will set the barrel back and install the new lug and clean up the chamber for you , have the crown recut and lap the lug so they make a little better contact. These few step will do wonder for the accuracy once its bedding properly into a good stock.

    The stock that Rem put on their SPS rifles are realy crappy , I find it hard to believe that they are using them and still getting the prices they are.
    Anyway , I have "fixed" a few of these stock so they are alot stronger. The end result is a much stronger stock that a we bit heavier but a hell of alot cheaper than the McMillan.

    So for a couple hundred dollars you can greatly improve your accuracy and quality of the gun and buy yourself somemore time to save for a full build latter.
  8. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

    Jan 20, 2004

    From what I read above, I think you talked yourself out of the custom route.

    To some of us the name of the game is thrill and dream of the hunt and the taking of game. This would be the other side of hefting a heavy weight (12 lbs or better) over the mountains.

    What you have would seem to do the job accuracy wise. Don't know the cal.

    I'd recommend tuning it a bit to satisfy the 'craving' then wear it out, then send it off. That's what I did and I've never been happier. Now I drag the big girl to the 'spot' and spend the day. Life is good.

    BTW, I have about 1750 in mine for the whole nine yards (except glass). That's not quite 10X of what I spent for the wife's ring (holy good scrud! 38 years ago) The second best investment I've made. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
  9. Quick Karl

    Quick Karl Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    <font color="blue">I must confess to being a fan of ‘full-custom’ rifles, believing (incorrectly) that was the only way to achieve awesome accuracy…

    At the insistence of an incredibly good &amp; wise friend, and equally superb gunsmith, I recently purchased a Remington 700 SVS Varmint .243 Win – for the incredibly cheap price of $425, brand new.

    Completely free-floated the barrel (it’s a plastic stock mind you that is NOT bedded), adjusted the trigger to about 2 lbs, mounted a Leupold Mark 4 PR 4.5-14x40 scope, and worked-up a load consisting of Berger 105g VLD’s that shot the best group I ever shot on 8 March 07 at Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix…

    .142” @ 100-yards… no BS. The gentleman shooting next to me actually shook my hand and congratulated me.

    Furthermore, it will shoot Berger 80g match bullets into .440” which is more than enough for assassinating prairie dogs and coyotes.

    Needless to say I am very happy with the rifle.

    Simply put – no more expensive rifles for me. I have a Surgeon Action that will be shipped to me this week (or I will forfeit the $300 deposit, which ain’t gonna happen) and sorry to say but I will be selling it the moment I get it, because I am not investing hoards of money into a rifle when I can get the accuracy I got out of a very inexpensive factory rifle…

    My suggestion is save the money and invest it into quality reloading gear and work-up a load that your rifle loves and you will never be happier.
  10. CAM

    CAM Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2002
    "Is custom worth it?" NOT IF YOU DONT HAVE THE MONEY!!!
    What good is the custom gun with out the range finder?
    1MOA will kill most game out to 600-800 if you know exactly how far they are!! even a custom is useless with out a range! If I'm understanding your delema, your thinking custom VS rangefinder go with the range finder.
    Then shoot the crap out of what you have, learn it inside and out, when you know what it will do then you will know if you need to get closer.

    The thing thats put every Tom, Dick and Coues7 into long range shooting is being able to know the range at a resonable cost, you just can't guess at 500 on out it don't work!!!

    It just sounds to me like you can spot game, you know where they are, you just want to connect! Are you taking shots and missing?? how do you ajust for range?? how do you know your range?? What kind of up/down hill is involved??
    Me thinks you need more range time not a custom!!
  11. CatShooter

    CatShooter Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2001
    If I were you, I would take it in steps.

    For an off the rack rifle, there are things that are VERY responsible for inaccuracy and there are things that are just "Tweeks" - and some of the "Tweeks" are expensive and add little or NOTHING to the performance of a field hunting rifle, and are best left to the BR shooter, or to vanity.

    The SPS stock is a real dog-a-roo, so first, I would change that to a solid based stock, and glass the action with steel bed or one of the other better bedding compounds. The McMillen stock would be an excellent choice.

    As to:

    trued action and bolt - FORGET IT - this is benchrest stuff, and you're not building a BR rifle. You will not see any improvement in a field/hunting rifle.

    new barrel with brake - Wait 'til last on this - the barrel you have may be just fine, and your 1" groups are probably due to the junk stock and non-existent bedding.

    bolt handle mod - Why???

    McMillan HTG stock = A VERY GOOD MOVE. Do this first, and get it bedded, before you do anything else. Then shoot the rifle and see where you are. Pillars won't add anything to the accuracy of the overall package.

    new recoil lug - PASS on this. There is nothing wrong with the recoil lug you have - I have been working on Rem 700 actions since they were called 721s, and 722s... and I have never seen a recoil lug fail, bend, or cause a secondary problem - this is vanity stuff, and will add to the cost for no benefit.

    I could keep the factory action, bolt and barrel and just get a new recoil lug, new HTG stock and have it pillar and glass bedded for approximately $1000

    OR... you could just restock it, epoxy bed it, do a TRIGGER ADJUSTMENT, for a lot less.

    I guaree-damn-tee you that the existing barreled action will be more than fine when the action is properly stocked and bedded.

    And then, go and buy a Swaro range finder, and have money left over.

  12. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2005
    You can have a "custom" gun off the rack. At Sportsmans I got a .257Wby MK5 Utra Lightweight with B&amp;C Medalist stock ( aluminum bedding block), fluted Krieger barrel, and adjustable trigger. Just over 6#s and prints cloverleaves. You can replace your junk stock with the B&amp;C for a lot less than the Mcmillan and buy that range finder cause you going to need it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
  13. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2005
    +1 exactly what CatShooter Said.

  14. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001
    Damn, these guys are sharing some excellent info. Here goes mine.
    Buy the rangefinder and some steel targets (even one from and as much ammo (or components) as you can afford and then - find the time to shoot. Tuneup the rifle as you can afford to but that is not as important as pulling the trigger. Tweeking gear is fun but we make hits from becoming confident marksmen. We need to learn the basics of marksmanship, how to shoot in wind, how to shoot in various field positions, how to get a shot away as quickly as possible with accuracy and to fire a followup if needed. We need to find a partner and become a hunting team, as in shooter-spotter. We need to practice in the crappiest wind and weather, not in blue-bird skies. We need to learn from our misses - only one way to do that - keep notes on virtually every shot fired. That is what data books are for. We don't need to worry about whether a 7mm mag is a better long range rifle than a .308. I have seen competent .308 shooters beat the pants off of guys with big expensive magnums for one reason - they practice a lot.

    Good luck with your decisions. You are at the right place to get advice to shoot longer distances.