New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Is a custom rifle worth it?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Check GunBroker.com for SWFA's No Reserve and No Minimum bid firearm auctions.

Is a custom rifle worth it?

 Post Reply Post Reply   Topic Search Topic Search  Topic Options Topic Options Page  1 2>
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2008 at 23:15
Jeff H. View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: April/28/2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Status: Offline
Points: 194
So i've been considering buying a rifle. The one i've been looking at for a while is the Kimber 84M Montana. But then I started toying with the idea of just going all out a getting a custom gun. I've seen NULA come up quite a few times. The question is, is it worth it to spend the (possibly significant) extra money on a custom rifle? Are you really getting hundreds of dollars worth of extra quality by going the custom route?

Any thoughts/insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2008 at 23:27
Ed Connelly View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
God of no Chihuahua

Joined: December/16/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 24220
well...........yes. 
 
You're getting extra quality, alright.  If I was rich, I think it would be worth it.  But if I was rich I would already have about 500 off the rack rifles already....and I would be willing to spend money like water and wait several years for some custom guns.  ( They could drop ship them to me in my compound out in the Kalahari..........) Sharp%20Shooter--Ed  
 
...But there are many terrific rifles in the world--factory-made!  The Kimber is ONE of them.  You don't NEED a custom gun.  It's like a Lamborghini ( except not so expensive.)
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/28/2008 at 23:44
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Welcome, Jeff! Thunbs%20Up
 
I don't mean to sound flippant at all, but honestly, it's impossible to answer your question, for several reasons:
1.  Value is a subjective thing.  What something is worth to my way of thinking may be a total waste of money to yours.  Depending on the work done and who does it, I do think a custom rifle is in many cases worth the extra money, but that doesn't mean I can afford to own one.  I do my own rifle work most of the time, though.
2.  The term "custom rifle" can mean so many entirely different things.  A custom rifle could be a spare-no-expense, handcrafted heirloom work of art, a precisely put together, precision accuracy tool, a simple barrel or stock replacement, or it might be defined by something as simple as a trigger job.  Basically, the sky's the limit on what constitutes "custom."  Any modification to a rifle that makes it unique is technically "custom."  A lot depends on who does the work, what type of work is done, and how competent the person doing the work is.  A crude carving of a deer head cut into the buttstock of a factory rifle with a wood burning kit might constitute a "custom" rifle... and might still look like crap.
3.  NULA is not truly a custom rifle, because you have to choose among NULA's standard actions, barrels, and stocks.  Since your choices are limited to calibers, barrel lengths, finishes, etc., it's really considered a "semi-custom" much like, say, Cooper.  They are well-made rifles, though.
4.  You will have to define how much money you're willing to spend and what performance level or other qualities you expect to receive first in order to get a good answer to your question.


Edited by RifleDude - April/28/2008 at 23:46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 03:05
8shots View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
Avatar
Lord Of The Flies

Joined: March/14/2007
Location: South Africa
Status: Offline
Points: 5753
My hunting buddy had a custom rifle built for him. Essentially the action and barrel is standard, but he had the stock made to his body dimensions (length of pull, choice of wood etc.) He then spent a lot of money on engraving etc.
He has hunted with the rifle for about 4 years. His opinion today is that he wished he had spent less money on the cosmetic side, and more on the working side. In other words a strong action, good barrel, good bedding and good scope and mounts.
He has a very nice rifle but:
We had to replace the nicely engraved scope mounts because they collapsed, with ordinary Leupold steel mounts.
We had to bed the action with pillar mounts.
 
So my advice would be that if you decide to go for a custom job, forget about the frills. Have a solid rifle built.
I personally had enough of custom jobs. Making the decision about which barrel, which profile, what action, what trigger is a pain in the ass. Then to deal with the custom builder another. In the end it is simpler to go to a gunshop, handle the rifles, find one you like and then tweak it up a bit with a bedding job.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 06:22
pyro6999 View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
OT TITAN

Joined: December/22/2006
Location: North Dakota
Status: Offline
Points: 22024
i will say this since it hasnt been mentioned, yes kimber makes a very nice rifle for the price and it would be no shame for you to buy a kimber or a cooper 52, what caliber of rifle are you wanting?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 06:30
Ed Connelly View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
God of no Chihuahua

Joined: December/16/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 24220
(  maybe a 270!! Wink)     
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 06:34
pyro6999 View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
OT TITAN

Joined: December/22/2006
Location: North Dakota
Status: Offline
Points: 22024
you cant get an 84m in a .270, you can get a kimber 8400 in a .270 though
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 08:03
Sgt. D View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar

Joined: February/20/2008
Location: North Carolina
Status: Offline
Points: 3641
Jeff,
 It's like these guys have said. It depends on what you want. I am currently waiting on the barrel for my first custom rifle. The reason I went custom is because after deciding what I wanted in my next rifle. I found it wasn't exactly available in a box. Atleast not with any gaurantee. Some would say that a rifle out of the box that shoots 1/2 at 100yds. is plenty accurate, and I agree. But I wanted to try to do better than that if possible. After talking to a number of builders I found that getting a rifle that might shoot better than 1/2 would require some considerable adjustments. And then looking at the potential cost, decided to go for it, because the upper class rifles are running 1500.00 and up. This custom build will be around 1500.00 without the scope. And the scope will be be about the same in value though I plan to save a ton on the Sample list. Bottom line, I will have a one of a kind designed to my specs. with an accuracy gaurantee of 1/2 or better. But alot of guys wouldn't have it for a hunting rifle because it will weigh around 12 lbs. Something I am ok with because of what I've carried in the past.
 
As for your question,    Don't know yet.
 
I have enjoyed the experience so far. But will it deliver the accuracy I am looking for? I hope to have the answer in July.
I can advise you to have some room in your budget if you go custom. My build started at about 1100.00 and now is just under 1500.00. And cost is a factor for me.
Good luck on your decision! Let us in on it if you can.
 
Sharp%20Shooter
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 08:39
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight


Joined: July/04/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 5087

the difference between custom rifle, factory etc has certainly become  blurred in the last 10 years. custom can mean one of a kind, some feature attached out of the normal, etc. it is good to distinguish between factory, custom, and luxury however. the later usually starts about $20000 and can go to $200000 and sometimes but rarely used as a field piece-- a statement of the gunmaking arts. interestingly most luxury guns are factory guns. Some smiths like D'Arce Echols will make a totally unique piece for around $10000.

The nula are pretty nice having diminished dimensions and are ultra lite. Their receivers are milled out of solid material--- which is the main difference, at least to me, between custom and factory. machined or castings. (however some factorys are still machined).

other action makers such as bat, surgeon,stiller etc. can make a complete rifle also, whether they are custom anymore depends on the definition. some shooters find it more rewarding to "tweak" their rifles personally as it is more overall rewarding.
I think it is amazing to be able to get a "good" (around an inch) rifle, outstanding scope, outstanding ammo, from so many places, and shoot it that afternoon. (although rarely do it)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 08:52
cyborg View Drop Down
Optics God
Optics God
Avatar
God of Wind

Joined: August/24/2007
Location: North Georgia
Status: Offline
Points: 12082
Remmy, or Savage and customize it yourself, you'll get a great shooter and not spend your kids inheritance to have it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 09:27
Jeff H. View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: April/28/2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Status: Offline
Points: 194
Thank you all for taking the time to reply! I really appreciate your comments!

*Rifledude: well as far as money goes - I was thinking as much as maybe $2000 - $3000. And I agree that the term "custom" is somewhat vague. I wasn't really looking for a "frilly" rifle, but just one that is very solidly built and accurate. I would like it to look nice too - and i really like the look of the Kimber 84M's. They have a very clean look - so that's the look I'm after. And another issue is that I'm left-handed, so a left-handed action would be preferable, but not requried (as I understand, most stocks don't have a cast and are therefore ambidextrous).

*Ed and pyro: well after much deliberation and study, I'm leaning toward the .260. ;) It seems to be very efficient (excellent s.d. with low recoil). I'm looking at using a very high quality bullet (I want to get into reloading too - so get ready for my questions on that!) such as Speer's 140 gr. Trophy Bonded Bear Claw. That caliber + that bullet + well placed shot should be capable of taking most of the big game I'd be interested in. With that said, I do like the .270 too :)

*8shots: I agress about the "no frills". I'm looking for a solidly built, clean looking rifle.

*Sgt. D: Congratulations on the custom rifle! That seems to be a really good price ($1,500) considering the Kimbers I was looking at are around $1300. I'll definitely let you all know what I decide on!

*Dale Clifford: Holy crap - 200,000 for a rifle! But yes the nula's seem to be pretty solid. I haven't really done that much research on the custom/semi-custom smiths, but I had just seen nula come up quite a few times on the forums, so that's how I knew about them.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 09:40
silver View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2291
Take a look at Empire Rifles, they are close to a new Fred Wells rifle as you can get now.  Then look at say a Sako. Then look at a Dakota.
 
I have not done a custom rifle, but have a fair share of custom handguns. Then you get into the high dollars factory custom stuff verses the true custom stuff, you have to ask a very basic question, "How well does it fit -ME-?"  What's the point of the all the stuff if it does not fit you? Does it fit my body? Does it fit my life style? 
 
Make a list, a mission statement for the gun.  Why do you want what features.  AAA English walnut to hunt in Alaska?  Bull Barrel to hunt sheep in the mountains? .300 Rum to hunt in the brush?  The more refined you make the list the better luck you will be having when you get the gun.  Making the gun too general, may not make you happy, because guns are like golf clubs, one does not do it all.  It needs to be tailored to the mission. It needs to be tailored to you. 
 
I second putting the money into the internals.   Have a hemi badge on a slant 6? or the other way around?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 12:46
Ed Connelly View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
God of no Chihuahua

Joined: December/16/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 24220
Well, with that kind of budget, I think you will really enjoy yourself looking at all the possibilities.  Like Dale said, there are all kinds of "semi-custom" ready-made rifles out there---like the ones Silver mentioned!!
 
A 260 sounds like a great way to go.             Smile           --Ed
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 12:59
RifleDude View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar

Joined: October/13/2006
Location: Texas
Status: Offline
Points: 14313
Originally posted by Jeff H. Jeff H. wrote:


*Rifledude: well as far as money goes - I was thinking as much as maybe $2000 - $3000. And I agree that the term "custom" is somewhat vague. I wasn't really looking for a "frilly" rifle, but just one that is very solidly built and accurate. I would like it to look nice too - and i really like the look of the Kimber 84M's. They have a very clean look - so that's the look I'm after. And another issue is that I'm left-handed, so a left-handed action would be preferable, but not requried (as I understand, most stocks don't have a cast and are therefore ambidextrous).

 
You can buy a nice rifle for $3K, and Kimber is certainly a nice rifle that will leave you with money left over for a really nice scope.  However, Kimbers are factory rifles, not custom rifles.  You would be very hard pressed to buy a true, full-blown custom rifle for $3K, unless you just mean starting with a "custom" action like those mentioned earlier, screw on a match barrel, and fit it to an aftermarket stock, in which case, you can do that for $3K -- if you want a synthetic stock.  Having a custom wood stock made can easily exceed that budget, depending on many factors.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 17:28
lucytuma View Drop Down
Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
Avatar

Joined: November/25/2007
Location: Wisconsin
Status: Offline
Points: 5389
I personally would look at kimber, cooper & ed brown, possibly remington or weatherby each has a custom shop.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 18:24
silver View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2291
You can get a nice semi custom model 700 for that kind of money.  Hart will do the barrel and action for you.  Then get somebody to do your stock. 
 
How far are you willing to drive to get the stock fitted to your body? I have never stoped in the guy who does the trap stocks, just north of Dayton.  There are several guys in Pa who do various quality of custom rifles.
 
There is also the Remington or CZ custom shop.  I -HIGHLY- HIGHLY- recomend that you use a gunsmith that you can drive to and talk with in person!!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 18:42
Ed Connelly View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
God of no Chihuahua

Joined: December/16/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 24220
yes, I drool over those CZ Safari Classics and stuff........... Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 18:47
Big Squeeze View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar
GOOGLE NINJA

Joined: August/30/2007
Location: Anaheim, Calif.
Status: Offline
Points: 3143
Originally posted by Jeff H. Jeff H. wrote:

So i've been considering buying a rifle. The one i've been looking at for a while is the Kimber 84M Montana. But then I started toying with the idea of just going all out a getting a custom gun. I've seen NULA come up quite a few times. The question is, is it worth it to spend the (possibly significant) extra money on a custom rifle? Are you really getting hundreds of dollars worth of extra quality by going the custom route?

Any thoughts/insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

.......Jeff...........It all depends on what you want! If you have an extra 2K to 3K that is burning holes in your pockets, then go for it!..........If I were getting a custom rifle at that price, I would be more inclined to put that money into a custom target rig, where more precise accuracy is required. I`d get a beautiful fancy wood stock, best possible barrel w/bedding, action, trigger and the whole nine yards!.............Those custom features as far as a hunting rifle goes? No thanks! For a hunting rifle, I`d take a durable synthetic, a Hogue overmolded or a composite stock that are specifically designed for punishment and for any weather. With custom wood, some but not all, depending on the terrain, spend more time on a hunt protecting the wood stock and babying their rigs, rather than enjoying and concentrating on the hunts! Regardless of how careful one is, nicks and scratches do and will always occur! Add on the extra maintainence in freezing cold and/or wet weather, then your rifle becomes like a high maintainence girlfriend!!! Well! Almost anyway! Rifles can`t talk back!!!Argue.............Any well made production rifle from; Remy, Ruger, Weatherby, Savage, Howa, Browning, Tikka and so on, with a proven NON wooden stock, a proven and strong action, a good trigger, that shoots 1 1/2" groups or less (preferably less), is my choice of rifle for hunting; not a custom wood job!.......Although you can get custom hunting rifles like the Ed Browns in composites, for $3k. I`d rather add 2 or 3 more hunting rifles including the cost of scopes to my collection, rather than add just one custom job!...............  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 20:08
silver View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master


Joined: November/04/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2291
Lets go back to getting a mission statement for the gun.  What do  YOU want to do with the gun? And Where?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 21:01
Big Squeeze View Drop Down
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Optics Master Extraordinaire
Avatar
GOOGLE NINJA

Joined: August/30/2007
Location: Anaheim, Calif.
Status: Offline
Points: 3143
Originally posted by Ed Connelly Ed Connelly wrote:

yes, I drool over those CZ Safari Classics and stuff........... Bucky
........................Hey ED!...........Stop your drool. Go get a CZ Safari, either in the H&H or in a .375 Ruger! You can handle it!..........Pussycat recoil!!!! Baby ...... Stiring%20The%20Pot .....Get the IOR later!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 21:32
pyro6999 View Drop Down
Optics Retard
Optics Retard
Avatar
OT TITAN

Joined: December/22/2006
Location: North Dakota
Status: Offline
Points: 22024
i like the .260, good choice, imo cooper is about as close to a custom rifle as  one can get without really getting crazy, course with cooper i suppose you could get out of hand. the kimber 84m superamerica looks like a damn nice rifle and can be had for around the $2000 mark, as can a nice cooper 52. good luck and keep us informed.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 21:46
Roy Finn View Drop Down
MODERATOR
MODERATOR
Avatar
Steiner Junkie

Joined: April/05/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 4856
Originally posted by Jeff H. Jeff H. wrote:

So i've been considering buying a rifle. The one i've been looking at for a while is the Kimber 84M Montana. But then I started toying with the idea of just going all out a getting a custom gun. I've seen NULA come up quite a few times. The question is, is it worth it to spend the (possibly significant) extra money on a custom rifle? Are you really getting hundreds of dollars worth of extra quality by going the custom route?

Any thoughts/insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

 
First off and I think it's been stated so, that a custom rifle is a very subject purchase with regards to whether it's "worth it or not".  If you are looking for a working class rifle, meaning stainless/synthetic gene pool, I would have to say that the Kimber Montana is a tough act to follow quality wise. Remington Custom Shop is a good option as well especially if you can find a good used one, cause their new pricing is creeping up there with the top dogs. As far as the NULA are concerned, I just don't really see the 3500 dollar price tag there. I only handled one in a shop for a short period of time and I have heard owners speak very highly of them so maybe I'm missing the big picture. In short, the Kimber is a best buy IMO. For 3500 bucks you can get alot of rifle from some lessor known gunsmiths and have very few limitations placed in way, meaning a top of the line custom action, barrel, trigger and stock. I have included a link to help make your head spin.........
 
 
Roy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 22:37
Jeff H. View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: April/28/2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Status: Offline
Points: 194
Originally posted by silver silver wrote:


How far are you willing to drive to get the stock fitted to your body? I have never stoped in the guy who does the trap stocks, just north of Dayton.  There are several guys in Pa who do various quality of custom rifles.

 

There is also the Remington or CZ custom shop.  I -HIGHLY- HIGHLY- recomend that you use a gunsmith that you can drive to and talk with in person!!!!


I agree that it would be ideal to actually vist the gunsmith if i go the custom/semicustom route. i noticed the nula guy is in west virginia, so imagine i would be willing to go that far. actually i might even be willing to do it without a visit if a had a comprehensive catalog of thier offerings (with pics of stocks, etc.).
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 22:42
Jeff H. View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: April/28/2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Status: Offline
Points: 194
Originally posted by silver silver wrote:

Lets go back to getting a mission statement for the gun.  What do  YOU want to do with the gun? And Where?


well to tell you the truth, i'm pretty bummed that ohio (my location) doesn't have a rifle deer season. what a crock! :P But my parents live in the mountains in tennessee, so i imagine i can go down there for deer. i understand ohio has hogs, so i would *love* to find out where they are and hunt them! in addition to that, it would be really sweet to go elk hunting. but again, because of logistics, that wouldn't be the majority of my hunting. so right now im thinking deer and hogs - with elk in the back of my mind ;)
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/29/2008 at 22:47
Jeff H. View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice


Joined: April/28/2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Status: Offline
Points: 194
Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

If you are looking for a working class rifle, meaning stainless/synthetic gene pool, I would have to say that the Kimber Montana is a tough act to follow quality wise.

... I have included a link to help make your head spin.........
 


 

Roy


yes i agree about the montana. i was pretty much set on them until i started getting ideas about a semi-custom gun. a number of people have brought up cooper. i haven't really checked them out yet, so i'll give them a look. thank you for that link too - that's very helpful!
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  1 2>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Similar Threads: "Is a custom rifle worth it?"
Subject Author Forum Replies Last Post
Rifle scope for Custom rifle Narrow Gap Rifle Scopes 10
remington custom awr rifles cowski Firearms 3
Custom rifle makers? shooter07 Firearms 35
Custom rifle barrel Bigdave Firearms 34
Got my now custom rifle back from PCR Gil P. Reloading & Ballistics 5
Scope for custom rifle mwyates Rifle Scopes 19 6/17/2005 7:52:15 PM
Scope for custom rifle roggs Rifle Scopes 3 1/6/2007 7:33:33 AM
Any custom rifle idea’s? yellowdog Firearms 52 3/30/2007 2:13:38 PM
Building a custom rifle? silver Rifle Scopes 37 12/6/2006 12:10:29 PM
WTS: Custom 6.5x284 rifle *$900 SHIP ceylonc Firearms For Sale 4 5/30/2007 8:45:07 PM


This page was generated in 0.250 seconds.