See the section at the bottom of the page to learn how to buy a custom rifle.
The number one thing is "what will you be doing with this rifle". Hunting from a stand or blind? Stalking at high elevation, or shooting steel at long or extreme long range?
Understanding the purpose of this firearm will go a long way to what components we recommend and how much the rifle will cost.
Stick with something that works and ammo is easily found or made. Wildcatters will tell you all about the benefits of whatever odd-ball they have come up with but in the end if you don't have time to hand load ammo or the money to source the custom ammo its not worth it. Reloading is a hobby and when it becomes job or an absolute necessity you will likely not shoot as often. The other side of that coin is it can be a lot of fun and something family members can do and enjoy together.
Don't go read "what the pros use" unless you plan on being on the competition line next to them and even then its not that important. This is your custom rifle not anyone else’s . There are a number of brands out there that make fantastic barrels that shoot 1/2, 1/4 MOA or better that are not on the list of "what the pros use" With that said getting a well made barrel is often why we choose a custom rifle over a factory rifle. Most gunsmiths have a few recipes for building accurate and precise guns - listen to the guy/gal building it.
The other factor with barrels is contour. There are dozens of names for the various contours - what to remember is light, medium, heavy, and really heavy. Again this is why we get custom rifles. The last thing is twist. Standard, faster than standard and fast for caliber. The reason we go with faster twist barrels is to take advantage of heavier and longer bullets. The faster twist will stabilize these bullets better and increase accuracy and precision. Lastly 'sometimes' a faster twist will shoot regular factory ammo of standard sizes better as well but not always. If you are interested in learning more about this consult with us anytime or the many websites that discuss the “Miller formula” and have bullet twist calculators.
After talking about barrels it's important to reflect back on the purpose of your rifle. Always thinking about what the purpose of the firearm is going to be should determine your needs here. A 1/4 MOA, 1/2 MOA or 1 MOA Gun is accurate and precise. A 2 MOA Gun can get a job done but it will have limitations. MOA is Minute of Angle or roughly 1inch at 100 yards. This scale is actually based on 1.047 in at 100 yards which is why we round it off. Doesn't matter much until you reach extreme distances. For instance: at 200 yards an MOA is 2.094in so does it matter if you are .094 off on a deer or a 10inch piece of steel plate? Not really. At 500 yards an MOA is 5.23in so now we are talking about a quarter inch. At 1000 yards its an extra 1/2 inch.
If you shooting 2MOA steel at 1000y or deer at 300 y a 1MOA is plenty sufficient. Where it gets serious is thinking about the kill zone on an animal at 500, 600,700 or even 1000 yards. The kill zone doesn't change its still about 5 inches, in my opinion, for an good ethical kill. So at 500 yards a 1 MOA gun should hit in the kill zone as long as the shooter does their job and makes a good wind call. Its harder than you think. Beyond 500 yards the need for a hunting rifle to be 1/2MOA or 1/4 MOA gets real. Now you have a better chance of keeping that bullet in the kill zone or on steel.
The more accurate and precise the higher the price in most cases. There are factory rifles that produce this but if you buy a custom rifle you want it guaranteed.
Another reason to go with a custom rifle is get the look and characteristics you truly want for your rifle and your rifles purpose.
You can go ultra light, light, standard/traditional, tactical, competition grade. Mag Fed or hidden mag or even single shot. Have an image in your head or pics that we can look at. There is no wrong answer or wrong stock - its the one you want and choose for YOUR custom rifle.
Almost too much to say here but we are going single shot bolt action, multi shot bolt action or semi-auto platform. There are a number of brands but really most of the time it comes down to Remington 700 and its clones or Savage Actions. Yes there are other but these are the most common and attainable.
A solid and trued action is the difference between factory gun and a custom rifle. Mating the action, bolt and barrel together with mindful precision is what makes a truly accurate and precise rifle.
The number of options available is endless really. Just think about question 1, which is the purpose of your new rifle.
Like a good barrel a good quality trigger can spell the difference between a bad shot and a wounded animal vs a clean break and an ethical kill. It can also mean the difference in hitting that 1 mile steel target or completely missing the target.
Again, refer to question 1. Hunting, tactical, plinking under 700y or competing at 1mile and beyond? The weight can be from 2oz to 5lbs or fully adjustable.
Hunting I like a 1.5 to 2.5lb trigger. Competition medium bore same. Big bore under 1lb. 22LR Plinking 8-10oz. That's me and in most cases that's where I'll recommend you start. We can try different triggers in the shop so you have valid point of reference.
Okay, this is were people get crazy. Bottom line get good glass. Yes you can hunt with a 100$ scope and it may last you a long time. Cheap scopes have limitations in features, low and bright light visibility, field of view, accuracy and warranty.
Get as much scope as you can afford and then a little more. You won't regret it. I can put you on $400 gun with a $400 scope and I can get you on a 1000 yard target. A custom gun costing between 2k and 10k will not do well with a $400 scope because the rifle is going to out shoot that scope every time.
If you want a hunting rifle, being able to see in a wide variation of light conditions and environments can be critical. Same goes for a target rifle or trainer. If all you see is mirage at 500 yards and the target looks like it is in 4 different places at once you will never hit the target. I'm always going to suggest a little better glass because its worth it. I've never even heard of anyone taking a quality higher priced scope off their rifle for a much cheaper one.
So upgrade now and don't be disappointed. Buy once cry once.