What constitutes a "FULL" custom rifle build? ...

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by FEENIX, Jul 19, 2019.


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  1. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Technically, I would have to agree with the statement that a "TRUE" custom would have to be Totally built from scratch with no purchased parts. These are very rare and most have never seen one and if they have they could not afford it.

    The reality of it is that If a person has anything built for him It would be a custom for him only and if he wanted to cal it a custom he would be right.

    I tend to feel that anything built using any parts you can find would class it as a custom for the purchaser, as long as it was not an off the shelf weapon.

    I am fortunate enough to have a true custom in the sense of the word, because it was hand built from scratch buy a gunsmith that was seeking a Master Gunsmith title. For many years before WW 2 in order to become a master gunsmith You had to build a complete Weapon from scratch. Each part had to be made by the gunsmith
    Barrel, action, lock, trigger, stock and any trim on this piece must be hand made and fitted together. Nothing could be purchased except the materials needed.

    After completion, it had to be presented to a panel of Master Gun Smiths for their evaluation and approval. If every part was hand made and of sufficient quality, the board granted you a Master Gunsmith Title and logged your cartouche (Stamp).

    I lucked into one of these guns (A shotgun) built in 1923. It was presented and passed the boards approval and has their cartouche
    on it. I don't think I will ever shoot it, but it is nice to have the first weapon he made to become a Master.

    So my belief is that any weapon made with any bought part is a custom, Just not a true custom. also There is no such thing as a Simi custom because even the custom actions are mass produced and machined the same way as factory actions and only the quality is different in some cases.

    Bottom line is that it doesn't realy matter to the buyer if he wanted something different than a production rifle, to him it is a Custom.

    Just my opinion

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  2. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    You know that you have my utmost respect. But this response further complicate things unnecessarily by introducing "true" custom and "master gunsmith". By your definition neither one exists today. To build every component from scratch and by hand even in today's technology and innovation is quite the task. Anyways I simply presented my take which is ...

    Full custom build: action from custom action manufacturers + custom component + put together by a competent gunsmith.

    (Factory) Custom build: action donor from rifle manufacturer + custom component + put together by a competent gunsmith.

    The above is also Kirby Allen's stance as seen in his website gallery.

    "If" people consider the factory custom build as full custom, I am OK with it. But if I am buying one that is (factory) custom build labeled as full custom, I have "my" personal preference, esp. when they are priced the same. :cool:

    Cheers!
     
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  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I respect many people on this site and you are one of them And by no means do I intend to change there way of thinking about anything. I can only offer My way of thinking. Just because I feel one way about things doesn't mean I am right and everyone else is wrong, It just means that I have an opinion like everyone else.

    The fact that I feel that just because a action is CUSTOM made doesn't automatically make the rifle a custom is just my opinion.
    Also the CUSTOM action doesn't automatically make the rifle more accurate. once the round is chambered, Accuracy depends on many other things and any action becomes inert.

    I love the many custom actions because many of them have features that factory actions don't because of the cost that make them desirable raises the overall cost and could not compete with normal factory rifles. Having worked on many custom actions I have found that most are not perfect and can benefit from truing in some areas.
    Keep in mind that they are machined the exact way that factory actions are (CNC) and only the quality control is normally better.

    I also know smiths that can and do build a firearm from scratch but most find it beneficial to buy some parts instead of having the customer pay for the extensive labor to do everything from scratch unless that is what he wants.

    Personally,I don't care what people consider a Custom rifle. I just don't want people to think that you have to spend thousands of dollars and have to have a Aftermarket action to have an accurate rifle. I have also seen smiths that don't bother checking the accuracy of an aftermarket action because It is called a CUSTOM action and it must be good.

    I have seen many shooters that thought if they spend $8,000.00 dollars and have a big name attached to it that It would make them the best shooter and have the best rifle, only to be humiliated by someone with a factory rifle that knew how to shoot and re load.

    Call it Semantics, but it realy doesn't matter what you or I think, It is in the hands of the owner and he can call it whatever he wants. As a craftsman, I can appreciate fine craftsmanship and the ability to build a weapon from scratch. So I stand behind my belief in what I call a true CUSTOM even though I buy barrels and other parts to build with.

    It has been a good discussion and many peoples idea of a custom rifle has been posted. Did we change anyone's mind ? probably not. but at least they have information to class what ever they have and can call it what ever they want even though you and I have a different opinion of what they have.

    To be honest, I never realy though very much about it.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  4. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Agreed! The bottom-line, end-users need to be able to synthesize what is being presented to make a sound decision. It was never my intention to persuade anybody's decision, that is why I simply asked for a short and sweet answer and a few complied as such. ;)

    Cheers!

    Cheers!
     
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  5. 300whisper

    300whisper Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    @J E Custom is always on point with his answers. Great thread Feenix!
     
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  6. pallen1067

    pallen1067 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what P.O. Ackley might say.
    I wonder what John Bollinger might say.
     
  7. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    I never really thought about it either until feenix started this thread, but what jecustom said got me thinking, I’ve seen some of the antique lever guns a local gun smith has ‘healed’ from their decrepit state, that needed all the action internals, new wood, a new barrel turned to original dimensions, or ground octagonal that he did himself, while restoring the rifle to the closest he could to the factory original vs the list of composite stocks, custom actions, barrel, etc that a person can choose then have a gunsmith chamber the barrel and bed the action, maybe a cerakote job. There’s definitely some muddy waters around the word custom. I think if every part of a rifle has been touched ur full custom territory. Take factory tikka in 260, have a gunsmith true the action and ream the barrel to a 260ai, then install a new stock and trigger...full custom, because every piece was altered to the owners desire
     
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  8. JJMoody

    JJMoody Well-Known Member

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    Please allow me to ask a practical application question. Say you’re cruising the classifieds and find a Full Custom rifle for say, $XXXX , because the owner just wantsto get out what he spent. (This is a hypothetical. Of course we’re all smart enough to research) you snatch it up and wait til it shows up. The ad says full custom, you pull out an AI’d 260 Savage with a fluted bolt and custom spray painted Boyd’s stock. Are you still happy with your purchase?
     
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  9. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    Lol that’s more of a buyer beware scenario.
     
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  10. JJMoody

    JJMoody Well-Known Member

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    Of course it is. I’m just pointing out that sometimes it clears our heads a bit when we have to spend money. This scenario is an obvious over-exaggeration, but seriously, think about it... if you’re paying your money on a full custom is your own personal definition going to stay the same?
     
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  11. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    Yep if I’m paying to have it customized to my tastes, if I’m buying a custom rifle of someone else’s tastes I would value it to how close it is to my tastes, the closer to what I want the more I’ll pay for it. Custom doesn’t mean expensive, I’ll also Talley what the parts cost and decide if what I’m saving is worth it or just get exactly what I want.
     
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  12. kraig

    kraig Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree with "Full custom is no oem parts. Semi custom is oem parts modified." for a gun. Cars well a full on custom typically has an engine with fancy bolt on parts made or bought, fancy body work/paint, & some nice interior. Lots of OEM parts still. So I guess full custom is what you make it to be as long as your honest about what parts are there when you sell it so the next guy can evaluate your definition of custom all is good...right? Honestly I don't care how custom it is or isn't as long as it shoots but typically the less oem parts the smaller the groups get. However not always...sometimes we get a unicorn Rem700 varminter put a trigger & a stock on it and it shoots tiny groups for less than a grand...but not often, OH crud now we have to define what a tiny group is. Way to complicated, lets just go shoot.
     
  13. JJMoody

    JJMoody Well-Known Member

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    Well, I’m not sure why I don’t just roll with this.... I got me an old.... I mean.. custom 788, in 22-250 completely cleaned, glass bedded and refinished stock for sale....:D
     
  14. Nomad8961

    Nomad8961 Active Member

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    Well it’s on a production rifle line originally intended for production only. They do sell them as actions now. I was just going off of what others consider production vs custom.