How to get started?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by DanielLudwig, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. DanielLudwig

    DanielLudwig Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    Hey guys,

    My name is Daniel, I'm 28 and work in the Oil and Gas industry. I am very interested in building my own custom rifles. I was just hoping someone on here would offer some advice as to where to start? I was leaning toward picking up a cheap action and trying to teach myself, but that makes me a little nervous.
    All advice appreciated.
  2. dogdinger

    dogdinger Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2007
    welcome daniel. start by reading this great article

    and then start asking specific questions. i have built a couple using jerry's advise and they both came out great. AJ
  3. jpfrog

    jpfrog Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    I too wanted to build my own, and in February I got a great deal on a "display" model at a local sporting goods store....$295 out the door for a "display" Remington 700 ADL in 7mm magnum. I didn't want a 7mag, but the $295 after tax out the door price was too good to pass on. I did want a 300 Win Mag, and the bolt face for the 7mag would work, so I kept the action and recoil lug and sold every other part of the rifle for a grand total of $60 bucks or so.

    Then I remembered that I don't have a lathe, which would make barrel work difficult. I also don't have a milling machine or any other gunsmithing tools. That didn't stop me from ordering the parts I wanted though, and when they all showed up, I found it'd be cheaper to take it all to my gunsmith for this first build. I'm glad I did...yeah, it cost me another $700 or so, but in the end I got a blueprinted action, custom barrel fitting, custom work on the new trigger I bought, full glass bedding of the action in the new stock I bought, fitting everything together, cerakote of all the metal, and 3 different sets of hand loads to test on my own, even though he'd already shot the rifle with all 3 and given me the target with the groupings on them.

    Long story short- I'm glad I paid for the smithing....I didn't have the tools or the know how, and I got to go visit the shop and learn a little at a time. Now I have a sweet 300WM that shoots holes inside of holes. Expensive? For me, about $2700 for parts, labor, and scope. That's not much to a lot of shooters on here though, and I'm sure that they would all back me up in saying that $2700 for a rifle that'll do holes inside of holes is a bargain when you consider that you don't have to question your rifle's abilities out in the field hunting (or competition shooting if that's your game).
  4. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    If you want to swap barrels and parts, think about working with Savages. They're the easiest for the home "gunsmith" to work with by far. With several tools that are easily available you can build a very accurate rifle with a custom prefit barrel.

    If you want to work with other brands then to do it right you should have a very good background in machining. Another option would be to go spend 2 years in a gunsmithing school.

    Take a look at this person's set of videos (click on the YouTube logo and watch all the rest of them too) if you want to get a glimpse what it takes:

    Remington 700 action trueing Part 1 - YouTube