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#5399459 - 11/04/14 10:15 PM What are the advantages of a custom rifle??
fishhound Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 750
Loc: San Antonio area
I'm starting to do my homework and look for a new elk / mule deer gun for Colorado. Hopefully I'll get to start doing some hunting up there in the next year or two. I've narrowed down my caliber choices but I've started wondering what the advantages are of custom rifles.

Are they typically more accurate or is it more of a hobby / collectors type thing? I've used A Remington 700 adl .25-06 for Deer and Hogs the last 12 years or so and it's about as accurate as anyone could hope for. I do realize that I may have gotten a little bit lucky with how accurate this one is but are custom guns typically more accurate?

If a custom rifle IS the way to go then what should I look for when selecting a rifle builder?

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#5399471 - 11/04/14 10:19 PM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
daniel1381 Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 03/07/12
Posts: 3514
Loc: longview texas
All I can say is call Derrick at Horizon Firearms
www.horizonfirearms.com

Very nice work and answers all your questions..Very patient!
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#5399587 - 11/05/14 12:19 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
tth_40 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/05/10
Posts: 13737
Loc: North Texas.
I'll probably get one built as a one-time gift to myself eventually.

In my experience and for my uses (basic hunting duties from varmints to hogs), the factory rifles I currently have shoot more than well enough. I hand load for all of them and do little custom touches to each one (stock changes, bed and float, triggers, bases and rings, maybe a bipod here and there.). With my loads, they generally shoot well under M.O.A. at 100 yards with a couple that'll do it at 200 yards.

If I shot more long range target, matches and such I'd probably already own at least one custom. I hear they are like tattoos. Once you have one, you are going to want more. grin
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#5399627 - 11/05/14 01:51 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
davvy Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 10/30/14
Posts: 102
Loc: Ft Worth
they do tend to be more accurate than off the shelf but the biggest benefit is you can do anything you want. I have a custom 7mm-08 on a ruger action I had built for caribou right after a shoulder surgery. Got a 24" barrel 8.5lb rifle with 1/2 moa accuracy. Try finding that on the shelf!

at the same time it's a cost/reward decision. Most rifles from ruger, savage, wheatherby and others are excellent guns that will more than do the job.

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#5399667 - 11/05/14 05:21 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
TexFlip Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 8644
Loc: Harris County
I like the custom gun route for two reasons.
1. Ain't nobody gonna have one like you.
2. Gnat's azz, lights out, do not pass go, one shot on kill accuracy.
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#5399701 - 11/05/14 05:48 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: TexFlip]
dawaba Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 10/22/06
Posts: 4200
Loc: Big Eddy Road, Noonday
It's like buying a pickup.

A stock 4wd Ford will probably work just fine, but special tires, lights, winch, grill, lift kit, etc. makes it your very own.

With a custom rifle, everything is just a little better....better barrel, better trigger, better bedding, and so on. A better rifle makes you a better shooter, even if it's only in your mind!
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"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple.....and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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#5399748 - 11/05/14 06:39 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
dee Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 04/10/10
Posts: 4665
Loc: Red River way
While most factory rifles these days produce great accuracy the custom will offer better if not by much but more consistency in accuracy.
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"A vote is like a rifle; it's usefulness depends on the character of the user" Theodore Roosevelt

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#5399809 - 11/05/14 07:29 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
Brother in-law Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 24483
Overall weight and length were most important to me ,as we'll as sub 1/2" capability. There was not a shelf rifle I could find. It took a lot of research from other places to help me decide in what I wanted. During my research I also found a lot of gunsmiths were overpriced for what you got. Do your research, there is good information out there on some other forums regarding gun builds especially hunting and not tactical rifles.

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#5399841 - 11/05/14 07:49 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Your action of choice. Your caliber of choice, your barrel length of choice, your barrel contour, your twist rate, your chambering, your stock. Flute it how you want it, or none at all. You can have a finished weight in mind and tweak things until you arrive at that weight. I've shot a handful of 3/4 MOA factory rifles, I've shot many 1/4 MOA custom rifles. Customs built by a competent smith will shoot smaller than the vast majority of factory rifles.

Yes, they are addictive. I have three.
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#5399864 - 11/05/14 08:00 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
BOBO the Clown Offline
decoy

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 41122
Loc: Metroplex
Mainly accuracy guarantee, then it's shooters preferences (stock, action, trigger, barrel contour etc.)

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#5399870 - 11/05/14 08:03 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
603Country Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 07/03/12
Posts: 4875
Loc: Central Texas
Well...I had a nice Ruger Compact 260. Used it for a few years. It was light and accurate and generally a joy to hunt with. It was almost the perfect rifle. But, the barrel was too short, or at least that was my opinion. And even though it was accurate, I wanted better and more consistent accuracy. I decided to buy a Tikka T3 Lite in 260. But now they had quit marketing that rifle in that caliber in the US ( don't know if that's still the case). I whined about it here on the forum, and Chad said he'd have one whipped up for me. Hmmmm. So I agreed to it. I don't know how custom a rifle has to be to be considered custom, and all this one has is the aftermarket barrel that I wanted in the length that I wanted, but I have exactly what I wanted. Super accurate. Light. Short enough but not too short. Basically, I got what I wanted. And I am quite pleased.

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#5399992 - 11/05/14 08:53 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
What separates your factory rifles from your custom rifles is mainly consistency and accuracy potential. Yes, the custom rifle is more accurate with good ammo, but it will also be more consistent than a factory rifle. Now, if you feed a custom rifle basic factory ammo, it will NOT shoot as good as a custom load or ammo specifically developed for that rifle. The accuracy potential is there, but you have feed it good ammo that shoots well in the rifle.

For example, a local customer built a fully custom 6.5 Creedmoor. He's been shooting factory Hornady 140 A-max ammo (about 100 rounds) to break in the rifle and it shoots a little over 1/2 to 3/4 moa (about 3"-4" groups at 500 yards). We worked on a load with a Berger 140 grain Hybrid, and he shot a 3.5" group at 1000 yards with it. So, the "custom" rifle is only as good as the ammo you are feeding it.

On the flip side, if you buy a factory rifle, free float the barrel and bed the action, and feed it custom ammo, it can be made to shoot very well. Where the differences or consistency will show up is in the longer ranges. From 200-300 yards, you may not see the difference. But much further out, you will notice an improvement with a custom rifle.
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#5399993 - 11/05/14 08:54 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
HorizonFirearms Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/05/10
Posts: 1616
Loc: College Station, Texas
you get what you want with guaranteed accuracy and high quality parts. Like looking at a corolla or a Bentley. Mass produced vs hand worked
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#5400007 - 11/05/14 08:59 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
fishhound Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/20/08
Posts: 750
Loc: San Antonio area
Thanks for the information. I think I will have to have one eventually.

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#5400031 - 11/05/14 09:06 AM Re: What are the advantages of a custom rifle?? [Re: fishhound]
redchevy Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/04
Posts: 23452
Loc: Texas
I do not have a custom rifle and to my knowledge have never fired one either. I do want one and will probably buy one some day.

That said other than competition shooting/hobby/want/extreme long range hunting, I don't think you can really justify a need for one.
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