Stupid Question Alert - What exactly is "building your own rifle?"

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by ttaillac, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. ttaillac

    ttaillac Active Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sorry if this is just really dumb, but I'm not clear on what all is exactly involved when someone says they are building a rifle. Are they really talking about taking each and every component (from different manufacturers presumably) and putting them together for something that goes boom? Or is actually involving the machining of certain parts? Am I naïve enough to believe that there is no way that I could make something better than a reputable rifle company that has been doing it for years? I guess so, because from what I’ve learned so far on this forum is that if you want to go far, you have to go custom and that goes for the ammo as well. Stock just doesn’t cut it in long range shooting/hunting.

    What all parts are we talking about though?

    Stock, barrel, action, trigger? Is there anything else?
    Is this difficult to get into and learn?
    Should I just buy a 300 RUM Sendero and leave it at that unless I have tons of time and money to devote to this? (Guess depending on the responses, I might need to answer this one myself.)
  2. LRSickle

    LRSickle Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    In my case, I went to the local mine and bought a truckload of iron ore, brought it back to my shop and threw it in my Dewalt home smelter. Took the raw metal and, with the help of a hammer, grinder and a few other shop tools, forged a barrel and action. Aaaww I'm kidding.

    It basiclly means you design your own rifle to meet your wants, needs and specific purpose. You decide which barrel (caliber, manufacturer, contour, rate of twist, fluting and material) you want, action type, trigger assembly, stock and scope. All of these decissions are based off what you want the gun for.
    My last gun was built for my daughter to shoot from a blind for bear. I needed low recoil, (6mm Rem, she's about 95lbs), to shoot 95gr Bergers (1-10 twist heavy barrel), to be accurate (trued action, Timmney trigger, bedded action) and a scope with good low-light capabilities (Leupold).
    This gun turned out perfect for her. It's not a longrange elk gun, a varmint gun and would be too heavy to carry on a long hike but it fits her need.
    Sometimes you build a gun around a specific caliber because it's the latest and greatest (my 22CHeata) or because it just happened to blow your skirt up at the time.
    You can sink as much as you want or keep it on a budget. Be forewarned, it's very satisfying and you'll never look at guns on the rack the same again.
    As far as learning how to do it, just call any of the gunplumbers that advertise on this site and they can talk you through a gun at your budget. You can order all the componants and send them to a gunsmith or have the smith order and assemble them for you. I called Shawn Carlock and he talked me through a rifle build. He recomended some things and and talked me out of things he didn't think I'd needed or would appreciate. He even mounted my scope and tested my gun for me. It was a painless procedure.
    There's a good idea of what a rifle build is.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  3. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    When most people say that they are building a rifle, what they really mean is that they are having a rifle built. Very few people have the knowledge and/or equipment to "build rifles". Although quite a few can be found on LRH. :D
  4. nfhjr62

    nfhjr62 Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    With a Savage Action a person can install the barrel with Caliber, Lenght and rifling twist to fit exactly the bullet or bullets they want to use and not have to use a lathe to Properly head space the barrel to the action with the proper go, no go gauge
    That is what is so great about the Savage action you can DIY with as many barrels you want
  5. yobuck

    yobuck Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2008
    it's sort of like buying a house. first time homebuyers usually pick a suitable neiborhood, and a preowned house that somewhat fits their needs and budget.
    by the time theve lived in that one a few years they know exactly what they want in their new one. so they hire a builder and have their dream home built to their exact needs and taste.
    after about a month they start to realize the new one isnt perfect either.

    so remember, there is no perfect house and their is no perfect gun.
    and that is the perfect excuse for having so damned many of them.
    guns that is, not houses.
  6. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2009

    Great response!!

    Might have been even better if you talked about wives. After about 10 years you are ready to trade up. Time for the next trade is likely only 2-3 years, and after that nothing is permanent. The first factory rifle lasts most hunters quite a while, then some want something special & go custom. After that thoughts of the next custom are never far away.