first low-ish budget semi custom rifle 6.5PRC


Active Member
Mar 9, 2023
After nearly going blind with all of the rifle controversies and opinions, and the "buy this don't by that" to be followed by the "buy that don't buy this." I've decided it might be better to buy parts and build a rifle. For now im still not sure if I will actually build a rifle, with all of the variables and notorious prices. all and any advice is welcomed and desired, just keep it straightforward and to the point.

im only 17 so go easy on me folks...

general consensus states that I should probably build off a tikka action, if i could I would buy seekins. would be in 6.5PRC

trigger- TT?? need more options

barrel-cant afford CF if you know of any reasonably priced good quality ones let me know. I will probably buy a Bergara

stock-AG if I can still looking for options

little bits and pieces- tbd

thanks in advance. help a confused kid will ya?
I’ve been in your shoes before, that’s how it all starts! First things first, what’s your realistic budget? Don’t forget to include the price of the scope, rings, base, dies, brass, bullets, powder, ammunition if you don’t reload. Also, the gunsmith fees and shipping fees if you don’t have the skills or ability to glass bed, chamber the barrel, thread the muzzle, blueprint the action, cerakote, etc.

Next question, what’s your realistic purpose for the rifle? I remember building a 308 Norma Magnum when I was your age so I could hunt elk, well 9 years later I still haven’t went elk hunting or ever used that particular rifle for any hunting. Don’t build an elk rifle unless you’re actually going elk hunting or a rifle for anything else you’re not going to be doing in the near future for that matter. That’s just my opinion and experience.

Last question, do you have any rifles now that you could potentially upgrade or use the action as a donor?

I’ve been down just about every path you can go down with modifying factory rifles, building off factory actions, and now building full custom rifles off the actions I make everyday. I’m happy to help any new guy or anybody for that matter.
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First, I would like to applaud you for wanting to go this route at 17 years old! second as mentioned above what is your use for this rifle? Are you willing to wait a year or more possibly to collect the parts or do you want to start shooting tomorrow? if it were me I would buy a rifle and upgrade one piece at a time as I go along. you mentioned Tikka they are fine action which is the base of your build, then upgrade other parts as you can afford them.
I remember being 17 and I wanted a safe full of rifles. I had a good friend and mentor get me into reloading at that age and I already had a couple rifles to load for. I bought used Rem 700's here and there just to fill the I need more itch, 35 years later I still have most of them and now they are semi custom with new barrels, stocks and triggers. I think you are on the right path with you parts list and my advice would be take your time and buy parts when you can, buy the barrel, order the stock, buy trigger, when you can afford. This gives you time to find a really good Gunsmith to put together a rifle just how you want it. Hats off to ya young man. enjoy the process and best of luck, Jason
I recently started buying all the components to build rifles myself. I got tired of waiting a year plus to have a Rifle built. I have done the following on my first two custom rifles.
Buy a big horn origin or Aero Solos action.
— these use prefit barrels…pick one for your cartridge in the profile/ weight you desire
if going with purely budget in mind, buy a shilen or criterian Barrel prefit. NSS can help here.
Trigger tech special
SWFA or Arken scope…their rings are very good too. Or TPS rings
recommend an Oryx MDT chassis or a stocky stocks M50
DONE For around 2K $.
No smith required, very little wait time
I would buy a tikka ctr in 6.5 creedmoor and toss it in a manners or ag stock you find used in classifieds and shoot the daylights out of it.

A 6.5 prc is the same exact bullet you’re just extending your impact velocity threshold with more powder. This costs more in every way possible, and unless you are actively needing that range within the threshold you increased it’s doing nothing but burning a hole in your pocket.

the tikka already has a great trigger, and a 10$ spring makes it even lighter. Plus the action will be able to transition to any short mag if you decide you do need more horsepower. If that day comes, factory tikka takeoff barrels are plentiful and cheap, you can commonly find d18 contour fluted 6.5prc barrels under 200$

Don’t blow all your money on your rifle, blow it on shooting your rifle
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Since you are starting out at an early age, I would guide you to look at a Terminus Zeus Quick Change action. This would allow you to build a rifle in many cartridges and use only one stock and one scope. If you are willing to go this route, you can order the Zeus in Long Action with a magnum bolt face. The Zeus uses AICS pattern magazines. I would guide you to use a Hawkins M5 DBM in L/A and purchase a Hawkins L/A spacer kit to run the 6.5 PRC. You can purchase a pre-fit barrel from Preferred Barrel blanks, you would not need a barrel vise to install the barrel. You can order a stock from AG Composite and have it inletted to the Action and barrel contour. I would add a Trigger Tech Diamond to finish off the build, the optics is whatever you like, but if you are building one rifle for multiple cartridges, I would look into a higher end scope to last a lifetime. If you decide later on that you want to hunt Elk or something else, you can switch the barrel out with like a 7 PRC, 300 PRC, anything in a magnum bolt face. Just remember you would need to use the same barrel contour to fit the stock inlet.