To follow the entire series on my custom rifle build, click here. (The most recent will at the top of the page.)
Sometimes there is nothing else, but a custom rifle, to satisfy your need to reach out and touch a metal plate at 1,000+ yards. This is the recipe I have put together from research, talking to friends who have their own custom builds, my rifle mentor ($$$), and experts in the firearms industry. Decisions and choices have to be made for every part, and there are pros and cons for each decision. The point is, this is YOUR rifle, (well, this one is MINE) and you should make the decisions that YOU understand will fit you and YOUR requirements.
1. Decide which action you will use. This is a Big Horn Arms short tactical action. I considered Surgeon and Big Horn Arms Actions.
2. Choose a barrel contour, manufacturer, and other details, such as twist ratio, will you flute, what is your desired finished length? When I met with Alan Brown, he did tell me that he chooses barrel manufacturers based on the caliber required for the build. If I had talked to him before I made my barrel choice, I may have made another choice. I did choose a Krieger #8 Standard Target Barrel with a 1:7.5 twist. It will have a 28″ finished length. I did opt for fluting, partly to reduce a little weight.
3. Choosing a stock is one of the best reasons to have a custom rifle. As a lady, I have a shorter Length of Pull (LOP), and after shooting other rifles, decided I wanted one that really fit my frame. It does not stop with the LOP, you can choose where you want the flush cups, the colors, the type and location of the rails, truly – every detail is painstakingly covered during the order process. I decided upon a McMillan stock. This stock is a beauty, it is solid. I chose the colors of resin that was swirled for the look that is as unique as a fingerprint.
4. I considered three different triggers very seriously. At the beginning, I was set on a Jewel Trigger, I had used it on my friend Bill’s custom rifle, and I LOVE a Jewel! It is just so crisp and clean. After I had more experience and tried other two stage triggers on Accuracy Internationals, I decided there were serious benefits to a two stage trigger. I have seen Jewel’s (set very light) fire ahead of the intended shot, especially when a person who is used to using a two stage trigger is now using a Jewel. So, for me there is a slight safety issue. For holding a shot, if you get yourself ready to pull the trigger and then have to move your finger on to the Jewel trigger, you may change your position slightly, and this will cost time or possibly accuracy. For a two stage trigger I considered a CJ Xtreme, until I talked to Robert Gradous, and he recommended a Huber Trigger. After talking to John Huber, I was convinced that he had a design that compensated for many human errors related to how the hand moves and how that changes the forces moving against the rifle. I had to have it – I chose a Huber Trigger.
5. This is Surgeon Bottom Medal, it integrates with the BHA Action and will allow use of Accuracy International magazines.
These are the ingredients I have chosen, and I have handed them over to one of the best Gunsmiths in the industry, hands down. Alan Brown at AJ Brown Arms Co. will do his magic and will build me not only a tool that will get the job done every time, but a rifle that will be my pride and joy for a lifetime. It’s going to have to “bake” for several months – but it will be well worth the wait.