I’m Taking You on a Journey… Building a Custom Rifle

To follow the entire series on my custom rifle build, click here.  (The most recent will at the top of the page.)

For the last year, I have been lucky enough to spend A LOT of time shooting a Remington 5R (.223), a couple of Accuracy Internationals (.308/.260) and my favorite – a custom Remington. (Click here and scroll down for details and a photo of the custom Remington.) I have loved every minute, and am hungry to learn more.  I am crazy enough to think I am going to try some long range tactical matches with my friends who have been teaching me about this great sport.  Now I find myself shopping less for heels and instead I have been trying to find the precision tactical rifle that calls my name. I thought it was going to be an Accuracy International with a .260 barrel, and we have found plenty for sale, used, with only a few rounds through the barrel.  Still – I could not quite “bite the bullet” (pun intended) and make the purchase.

The Accuracy Internationals are amazing weapons, accurate, rugged, beautiful, everything a shooter could want.  Still, because I am a girl (and I guess no matter how tough I am, I COULD be tougher) it is fairly heavy.  The weight really will only matter in a competition when I am lugging it from stage to stage, and also some competitions require some stages to shoot from a position other than prone.  So, we started talking about building a custom rifle where I could choose a stock with a more appropriate Length of Pull (LOP) and possibly knock some weight off with various choices.  I have two friends that give me advice, they are Don and Bill.  Bill did warn me that making the rifle too light could increase recoil – so we are trying to find a good balance.

I have already made a few decisions – and I will talk about some of them, a little at a time.  I am going to do more research and call a couple of expert gunsmiths and ask a bunch of questions as well.  Just the conversations with men so well known for building “art” in the form of precision tactical rifles will be worth talking about.

I would be interested in knowing if you have built a custom rifle – or any type of gun before.  What lessons did you learn and was it worth it when you were finished?

I have a lot to learn on this topic – and maybe you do to.  So, hope you’ll come along with me and we can learn together!

 

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11 thoughts on “I’m Taking You on a Journey… Building a Custom Rifle

  1. have not built one but did have the joy of hunting with a fantastic bsa 30-06, very light around 6 lbs loaded and scoped yet the factory installed muzzle break put the recoil down to less than my rem. 788 in 22-250. 600 yard one shot on a mule deer.

    1. Dutch – that’s incredible the muzzle break would take that much of the kick out of it. I know they help – but even on such a light rifle? You are giving me a lot of hope here!

      BTW – nice shot!

  2. Talk to someone who shoots in NRA High Power rifle competitions, since most of them shoot highly customized AR-15 rifles. You’ll learn that most of them use the solid A2 buttstock and fill it with lead to add weight and reduce the recoil on the rifle and shooter. I haven’t gone down that path because I prefer the old wood & steel rifles and shoot a Springfield 1903 in those matches.

  3. Thanks for posting I look forward to following your process. I may be able to help with your questions. My other half is a SWAT sniper and builds his rifles as well in the process currently building a .308. He purchased a AI .338 a couple of years ago and I enjoy long range with him and shooting it as well as a few other guns and rifles I have shot quite a variety. :-)

    Even though his is around I prefer taking this journey with you as well (from a girl’s side) 😉

  4. DK – Discussing this with NRA HPR experts is a great idea, and can be nothing but educational! I have heard about adding lead to the stock as well, and understand why – I definitely don’t want it to end up too light either. The Accuracy Internationals I have been shooting (with the scope, rings, bi-pods, etc) are nearly 16 lbs. I am definitely going to build this with performance/precision in mind first, with a focus on making it fit my frame a little better. I think a good set up that fits me will counteract some of the weight issues I have when trying to shoot the AI while standing. We did discuss that perhaps I should only enter competitions where I can be in the prone position 100% of the time – so then the weight will not matter. The thing is, my friends are competing in some matches with stages that seem really fun – so I want to attempt to find a rifle set up that will allow me to have those options as well. Long story short, I am going to have to find a set up that ends up less than 16 lbs (I know that much). I think that even one pound lighter will help, and maybe I need to work out more too! (Ha ha!!)

  5. Susan,

    Thank you for letting me know there is another lady out there who enjoys this type of shooting! (I know there are others, but I haven’t had a chance to talk to any.) I am excited that you are interested in this process as well and I’ll definitely be interested to hear your perspective in all this – both because you have a great resource of knowledge sitting in your house AND because you know what I am talking about, from the female point of view, when shooting these amazing rifles!

    I look forward to talking to you further!

    1. What scopes do you like and if you are looking for one may I suggest Night Force and NSX. If you have any questions ask away because my other half is rep for Night Force and he does tons of research for Accuracy International he is friends with the Vice President of AI.

      1. Susan,

        Great minds think alike – I do already have a Nightforce for my rifle! (We kept searching and recently came across a used F1 – and got a pretty good deal.) I will say, it is rather awesome that your husband has those connections. I almost got a AI barreled in .260, my friend has one and I love that gun. It is almost just right for me. I told my shooting mentor/friend about you and your husband yesterday – I was excited just to find a woman with some of these same interests. It is one of the main reasons I started this blog!

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