Custom Rifle

VikingsGuy

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I am very inclined to have a custom 280AI built. I am also considering a Bergara Highlander at $1,600. I am willing to go up to $3,000 if custom at the price gets me more quality. Based on personal experience, which two or three custom builders should I be reaching out to? Cost, quality, customer service, build time are all considerations. What say you?

(Not looking for cartridge debate or mass market tikka/xbolt vs custom/high end debate - I have plenty of great shooting value guns in the safe, looking for something a little more)
 

Scott85

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Nov 22, 2018
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I like the way you think. I’m going to be doing the same thing in about 8 months. I’m going with a local builder that I know pretty well. I want a left handed 280AI with a 24” barrel and weight with scope needs to be sub 7 pounds.
 

Addicting

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Any preference on a action?

When looking for my buddy’s Pre64 I found a couple builders that really made me fight not pulling out the Credit card for a deposit.
 

cahunter805

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May 27, 2014
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If you have all parts in hand it will definitely speed up the process. Usually the stock takes the longest unless you can find what you want in stock somewhere.
Any of these guys if you can wait a while.
Jon Beanland
GA Precision
Elkhorn Precision- Tim Cronin
Montour County rifles- Kevin Cram
Eddie Fosnaugh
If you have all parts in hand
LRI- Chad Dixon
 

deer_shooter

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Jul 20, 2009
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Southwest Pa.
Over this direction there are a couple you may want to take a look at...

ProCision Arms LLC - Jason Stenger is the owner in South west Pennsylvania. They have a website and facebook page. A friend of mine has had a couple rifles built and they are tackdrivers.

Short Action Customs - Mark Gordon is the owner in north central Ohio. They have a website and facebook page. I've no experience with them but have heard good things about his rifles.
 

Boomerusaf

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Jul 14, 2018
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Driftless Region
I am very inclined to have a custom 280AI built. I am also considering a Bergara Highlander at $1,600. I am willing to go up to $3,000 if custom at the price gets me more quality. Based on personal experience, which two or three custom builders should I be reaching out to? Cost, quality, customer service, build time are all considerations. What say you?

(Not looking for cartridge debate or mass market tikka/xbolt vs custom/high end debate - I have plenty of great shooting value guns in the safe, looking for something a little more)
I've heard nothing but great things about the .280AI. I miss the gun buying process, so I'll live vicariously through you. My Pops has a Bergara and swears by it. Sorry I couldn't be of more use. Show pictures of whatever you choose!
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Dec 11, 2009
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WY
I've had two GAP's, one I spec'd out and gathered parts for, one I took on trade. I'd use them again. It's not as personal of a process but they seem more streamlined and organized than many of the builders out there. The other custom I had done was Jim See, and it was fine but I wouldn't necessarily use him again. My next gunsmithing work will likely go to Shaen Rifles, I like what he does with sporter weight hunters.
 

VikingsGuy

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Twin Cities
Any preference on a action?

When looking for my buddy’s Pre64 I found a couple builders that really made me fight not pulling out the Credit card for a deposit.
Great question - I am just jumping into this so need to learn. I know next to nothing about pros/cons of various actions. I do know I want .280AI, ability to load long bullets, on the fence about drop plate vs drop box mag, MacMillan or HS Precision stock, 24" barrel, stainless barrel and action, on the fence about ceracoat, I want a 9 lb.. gun after adding scope and rings (I find I like a little heft to my gun for accuracy and recoil vs. mountain light), thinking trigger tech for trigger but need to learn more, button vs cut barrels etc I have no idea another area to learn.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Great question - I am just jumping into this so need to learn. I know next to nothing about pros/cons of various actions. I do know I want .280AI, ability to load long bullets, on the fence about drop plate vs drop box mag, MacMillan or HS Precision stock, 24" barrel, stainless barrel and action, on the fence about ceracoat, I want a 9 lb.. gun after adding scope and rings (I find I like a little heft to my gun for accuracy and recoil vs. mountain light), thinking trigger tech for trigger but need to learn more, button vs cut barrels etc I have no idea another area to learn.
I'd add Manners to the stock option list unless you are disinclined. They offer a pretty different suite of ergonomics and hunter/target hybrid options from the other two you mentioned.
 

VikingsGuy

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Twin Cities
Build one. Half the fun is collecting all parts then handing them to the smith. Then waiting.....:whistle:

Here is my 280AI on a lefty 700 action.View attachment 107693
Great looking gun. I am comfortable changing triggers, bedding stock, but need a smith with lathe to do the barrel attachment/chambering and add 5/8" threading on muzzle (I have done savage axis barrel change but not a traditional one as I don't have a lathe). Or I may get lazy and have them do it all.
 

cahunter805

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May 27, 2014
Messages
749
I’d go custom action unless you have a donor 700 to build off already.
Lots of options for actions today. I like Gunwerks, lone peak, Borden or defiance actions. McMillan, manners or AG composite stock. Brux, bartlein, rock creek, mullerworks all make great cut barrels. I prefer BDL style bottom metal. Hawkins makes a great metal as well as quality 1pc ring/bases.
You sure you don’t need a custom 300win?😃😃😃
 
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