My frustration with the word "custom".

misterc01

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Feb 15, 2019
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Florida Panhandle
I'd like to know if the rest of you roll your eyes at all of the "custom" guns on the auction sites, as well as the classified ads on forums like this one.

If you bought a bunch of readily available AR parts and threw them together in your basement, I might buy them, but if you call it "custom" and attempt to market it as a custom rifle, not only will I refuse to even think about buying it, but I will make assumptions about your character, your lineage, and I will assume that you beat puppies to death with bags of kittens.

I've seen instances where guys have rattle canned a stock in some poor attempt to create a camouflage pattern, and they call it "custom". Buy a $300 Bell and Carlson stock, change out two action screws, and now they think it is "custom", and it drives me nuts.. Is it just me?
I go with this deifnition: Most dictionaries will define "custom made" as being made to individual specifications or some variation of that statement. Following that definition, a custom rifle is one made to an individual's order in fit, finish and function.SO, If I don't order wiht my my specific requirments, it ain't cusom. It is off-the-shelf.
 

misterc01

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Feb 15, 2019
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Florida Panhandle
So if Remington, Winchester, and say Bergara build and hand assemble a rifle in their custom shop is this then a custom rifle, semi-custom rifle? Most of these have actions that have been worked over, better barrel lugs, better barrels, better triggers (after market) and bedded barreled actions. Or, does a independent smith doing the same thing then make it “custom”? I’ve got a Remington 700 Action on my 300 PRC. Sent to LRI and had it completely gone through. M16 extractor and dual ejection plungers added, bolt fluted, scope mount screws opened up, etc... I consider this a Custom Remington action but if Remington did it what’s it considered?
As long as I ordered it from the custom shop.
 

Jim’s Hunt

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Jan 14, 2021
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Meeker colorado
I'd like to know if the rest of you roll your eyes at all of the "custom" guns on the auction sites, as well as the classified ads on forums like this one.

If you bought a bunch of readily available AR parts and threw them together in your basement, I might buy them, but if you call it "custom" and attempt to market it as a custom rifle, not only will I refuse to even think about buying it, but I will make assumptions about your character, your lineage, and I will assume that you beat puppies to death with bags of kittens.

I've seen instances where guys have rattle canned a stock in some poor attempt to create a camouflage pattern, and they call it "custom". Buy a $300 Bell and Carlson stock, change out two action screws, and now they think it is "custom", and it drives me nuts.. Is it just me?
So what is your definition of a custom rifle? One that you paid $5000.00 for because some big name builder put it together with after market parts. I’m missing your point here
 

Hecouldgoalltheway

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Tennessee
So what is your definition of a custom rifle? One that you paid $5000.00 for because some big name builder put it together with after market parts. I’m missing your point here
I don't think it is necessarily about cost. I've made several attempts to clarify what I think it means in this thread. I said that Alan Rovig builds custom rifles, and I just throw components together until I get what I want. My local gunsmith threads and reams stuff for me, cuts to length, cbambers...etc. He would scoff if you asked him if he was a custom rifle builder, so I'm definitely not. He will build whatever you want, or customize anything you bring him, but even he sees a difference between what he does and what a true custom builder does. I'm not claiming that it means better, but it is something different.
 

nikeandros

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Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
62
Location
montreal canada
I'd like to know if the rest of you roll your eyes at all of the "custom" guns on the auction sites, as well as the classified ads on forums like this one.

If you bought a bunch of readily available AR parts and threw them together in your basement, I might buy them, but if you call it "custom" and attempt to market it as a custom rifle, not only will I refuse to even think about buying it, but I will make assumptions about your character, your lineage, and I will assume that you beat puppies to death with bags of kittens.

I've seen instances where guys have rattle canned a stock in some poor attempt to create a camouflage pattern, and they call it "custom". Buy a $300 Bell and Carlson stock, change out two action screws, and now they think it is "custom", and it drives me nuts.. Is it just me?
yes i agree with you!!! i have a long range model from remington i put an mdt tac 21 chassis on it.. and i don't think is custom... ( anyways remington has it as a rifle on is catalog...) i just paid less buying the chassis on a black Friday sell. lol and i saved 2000 $.. but everyone can have the same rifle just paying more... if the don2 want to work on it

I think the same for ar's. a bounch of parts that everyone can buy and put them together doesn't make them custom...A custom for me is when you let someone make a part only for you.. or you make it by youself.. that is unique.. like my choppers all handmade.. chassis. forks.. gas tank and the rest.. but the engine. hahahaha.
 

Hecouldgoalltheway

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When my son was little, he enjoyed building his own creation out of Legos rather than constructing it as it was pictured on the box. That is some of the appeal of putting your own rifle together. It is different.
Sometimes that is where the difference ends, unless the component parts and fitting are better than the original.
Some folks know how to make it shoot better and some are just rearranging Legos😁
That's me, rearranging Legos. That's what I consider my process. I have rifles that are unrecognizable from their original form, everything but the action has been changed, but I didn't "build" anything, and I didn't buy any custom parts, just a bunch of stuff for sale all over the internet, and if you had all of it there on the bench at once you could have swapped it all in an hour. That isn't what I think of when I think of a custom rifle.
 

Hecouldgoalltheway

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I have guns that I shoot and I don't worry about what they are called. Funny thing is, they shoot just as well if I call them "factory" rather than "custom".
I don't think anyone pretended that calling a rifle "custom" makes it shoot better. Everyone that makes rifles has a sub moa guarantee now. 20 years ago to have that kind of accuracy guarantee you definitely had to go to a custom gunmaker. You can buy a T/C rifle for like $249 on sale and they will guarantee sub moa. If we were all super practical, that's what we would all shoot, but we aren't, and some people want something that nobody else has, and so a true custom market exists..
 

nikeandros

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Jul 23, 2017
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montreal canada
So what is your definition of a custom rifle? One that you paid $5000.00 for because some big name builder put it together with after market parts. I’m missing your point here

So, I've built a bunch of rifles on vanguard actions, and I have no intention of selling any of them, but if I did, my ad would look like:

"300wsm built on vanguard action, CF barrel by proof, 1-8t 24" length, B&C stock, trigger tech trigger, xxx bottom metal and ai mags, (insert price)".

I don't use the word "custom" when discussing a rifle like that. Alan Rovig builds custom rifles, I just put components together over time and play with parts so that I like the way they perform or look better.
If what you are selling is not available in a commercially sold configuration, what you have is a custom item ... but I'd say there are varrying degrees of "custom." Spray painting something does not make it custom, that sort of thing should be sold as "Daniel Defense AR-15 with custom paint job." Or if you swap a stock it should be sold as "Bergara HMR with B&C stock."

I've built many AR's from completely stripped receivers and those are absolutely custom guns and if that hurts your feelings then I'm ok with that. I also just built a new bolt gun with a Zeus action I bought separately, XLR chassis I bought and configured separately, proof CF barrel that I bought and had chambered to my specs with a wildcat cartridge, TT special trigger ... and yes that is a custom gun.

What does grind my gears? When someone buys a built lower and and built upper, slaps them together and says "look at this rifle I built!"
that is a custom for me.. and i guess he think the same way.. i guess he was saying that is relatively easy have upper and lower aftermarket. put the action in and regular barrel with standards calibers.. . that is not that.." custom".. a standard rifle that as a wildcat caliber is by himself a custom.. obviously that all other component that let the gun perform well and better than stock. fall in the same category... custom... but if you re read again is post
. is talking of people that changed only few screws without any "special " upgrades that let perform the rifle better that before...
 

nkyshooter

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Sep 16, 2014
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473
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Northern Kentucky / Cincinnati
Almost as annoying as "caliber" vs "cartridge" 😁

Perhaps the term "custom" applied to a particular firearm, tells us more about the individual applying it than it does the actual firearm. Particularly when we get the opportunity to observe and make our own assessment of what we believe it to actually be ...
  1. Factory
  2. Factory upgraded
  3. Semi/Partially custom
  4. Fully custom
***credit for the list to @lancetkenyon - good data modeling there!

Word I heard though is that 6.5 Creedmoor caliber only makes custom rifles ... 🤣 ... (just having some fun - I got a couple of 'em - assembled and headspaced 'em myself out of various parts so I know for sure they're custom)
 
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Stgraves260

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Sep 1, 2009
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690
Yes this could be very difficult to answer or understand. If you get a aftermarket action say from Defiance or Stiller and have a gun smith put the barrel on it, but you do the rest, to me is still custom. Even when ordering a, let’s call it a “ full custom “ the gun smith will ask you what trigger, rifle stock you want for instance? The gun smith just bought the stock and trigger from the company you could have bought it from yourself. The gun smith just would have done a up Charge For ordering it for you. I’d rather just put it on myself and save the extra coin for other things. In my eyes everybody is shooting a Remington anyway, if shooting some of the top name brand Actions. (( Not meaning Savage or Ruger )) After all, the aftermarket actions are based of the Remington 700 action anyway. Aftermarket action company‘s do modifications to the 700 action to improve it on how they see fit. I don’t see anything wrong with that. You don’t ever see a custom action company say they built their action based off the Ruger or Savage actions, it’s all ways based of the Remington 700. The rifle in my profile pic is what I call a partial custom. Its because I used a factory Remington 700 action that’s been trued. Everything else is after market. Krieger barrel, Timney Trigger, MDT Chassis, the list goes on. Everybody will have a different prospective on a full custom or a partial custom. I can definitely see the confusion. I just try and be honest with my builds and what I have done. Let the individual call it what they want. At the end of the day as long as it shoots straight with no hiccups then I see it as a well built rifle. Don’t know if this helps but its my prospective. Wish everyone the best of luck on you builds.
 

nikeandros

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Jul 23, 2017
Messages
62
Location
montreal canada
Almost as annoying as "caliber" vs "cartridge" 😁

Perhaps the term "custom" applied to a particular firearm, tells us more about the individual applying it than it does the actual firearm. Particularly when we get the opportunity to observe and make our own assessment of what we believe it to actually be ...
  1. Factory
  2. Factory upgraded
  3. Semi/Partially custom
  4. Fully custom
credit for the list to @lancetkenyon - good data modeling there!

Word I heard though is that 6.5 Creedmoor caliber only makes custom rifles ... 🤣 ... (just having some fun - I got a couple of 'em - assembled and headspaced 'em myself out of various parts so I know for sure they're custom)
simple as that!!! i feel ashamed that i couldn't explain it like u did
.. i like it!!!? why i didn't think about it!!!) lol
 

762x51

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Jan 8, 2016
Messages
390
Location
NC
if you bought a bunch of AR parts off the internet and assembled it, technically it is custom. it's not a factory M&P15 that all look the same. but yeah, i get where your coming from. i used to frequent a truck forum back in the day and people would describe them adding a k&n air filter as a "custom intake".
 

KSAv8r

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Joined
Dec 5, 2014
Messages
30
Location
Colorado
FWIW...I have a hunting buddy that used to work in the Gun Library at Cabelas before Bass Pro trashed it. He said custom rifles/pistols rarely sell for more than their production equivalent, no matter what has been done to them (the exception is a good quality rings/scope may add value). He said that Cabelas has been burned several times by returns on custom rifles/pistols that they can rarely offer close to what the person may have invested in it since it is of unknown quality in materials and workmanship unless the owner has a written Bill of Materials of what went into the custom build and a Certificate signed by a well known master gunsmith, which there are very few that qualify in this category .

My Dad had a Model 1903 Austrian Mauser that was purchased through the NRA years ago back when they sold used military arms. It was heavy and the stock looked terrible so I took it to a well known gunsmith near Warsaw, MO to have a new walnut sporter stock put on it, trigger spring replaced, drilled and tapped for a scope, the barrel shortened to 22 inches, re-crowned and re-blued. He advised me against it since it had value as a used military relic but I didn't listen to him. Sure wish I had since I attempted to sell it on several occasions and was never offered close to what I had invested. Finally sold it a pawn shop that thought it was something rare and special since it did look good. The pawn shop went out of business shortly thereafter and I don't know what happened to the rifle.
 

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