Custom Rifle Shop - Looking for Any Firsthand Info (Ah, shoot, hearsay is always fun, too)

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
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Learned colleagues, as I think I've said a few times before, one of my dreams is to have a battery of rifles in (all) the cartridges based off the 30-06. Well, all the SAAMI ones, anyway, and that means probably some custom work. Then I found a company called Randy's Custom RIfles, out of Wapiti, Wyoming. They build takedown rifles and according to their website, they can put together matched sets of fore-ends in different calibers that will all mate to a common receiver. So, thinks I, this would be a first-rate way of getting the 6.5-06, 338-06, and (second, I know) 35 Whelen. But, I have some questions, that perhaps the group could assist with.

Has anyone had experience with this company (really just a family affair, it looks)? If you don't want to post on an open forum, I totally understand, please feel free to PM me.

Does anyone have a rough idea of what something like this might cost? Yes, that's something I should ask them, but their inquiry form say SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY (in all caps and everything). Which got me thinking; what if this is so far out of my price range that I'm not considered serious? Might seem silly, but if it is a really small shop, the last thing I want to do is get wrapped up in the sales and expectations game.

Anything will help, even pure speculation, if it's what you've got :sneaky:

Thanks in advance, all.
 
Has anyone had experience with this company (really just a family affair, it looks)? If you don't want to post on an open forum, I totally understand, please feel free to PM me.
You can look up his videos on U-tube under “The Real Gunsmith” and draw your own opinions.
 
Thanks all. I suspect that any custom anything is wee outside my budget. Might be easier to buy three 25-06 rifles and have a couple rechambered.
 
A simple switch barrel is a way to do what you want. Get a receiver with an integral recoil lug or have it pinned if it’s not. A very simple barrel vice and an action wrench and you’re set. We used to switch barrels all the time at benchrest matches. I have several sporting rifles setup the same way.

I suspect you’d have $6-7K in the first cartridge custom takedown. Probably $1200-$1500 per additional barrel setup. It would get spendy quick.
 
Good to see you posting again. You've been away too long.
Thanks, Doc. I forgot my password, but Fotis fixed me up via FB, but like a dummy I didn't write it down, and was forced to try to access via an ancient Windows 7 laptop. All fixed up on the new Mac now.
 
.270s are much better donors. Usually cheaper. And a .25-06 doesn't deserve to be cannibalized like .270s do.
Fair enough. And you're not wrong, .270s are out there, .25-06, not as much.
 
My boss/friend builds customs in whatever cartridge you want, but the wait list is long and the cost is considerable.

But dang, they do shoot...

I rely almost exclusively on a 25-06 and a 30-06 that are near twins. Nothing "out west" I wouldn't feel comfortable hunting with one of them.

Regards, Guy
 
My boss/friend builds customs in whatever cartridge you want, but the wait list is long and the cost is considerable.

But dang, they do shoot...

I rely almost exclusively on a 25-06 and a 30-06 that are near twins. Nothing "out west" I wouldn't feel comfortable hunting with one of them.

Regards, Guy
That is the truth, and I may find myself settling in to those two. But, I'm also an idiot, and I like peculiar cartridges that are hard to find properly headstamped brass for... No, really, I am an idiot, but I just like the 6.5 and .338-06. Of course, the .25-06 and .30-06 are simply easier to deal with, and they really wouldn't be settling for anything - not sure what a 6.5mm would do to a pronghorn that a .25 wouldn't.
 
Learned colleagues, as I think I've said a few times before, one of my dreams is to have a battery of rifles in (all) the cartridges based off the 30-06. Well, all the SAAMI ones, anyway, and that means probably some custom work. Then I found a company called Randy's Custom RIfles, out of Wapiti, Wyoming. They build takedown rifles and according to their website, they can put together matched sets of fore-ends in different calibers that will all mate to a common receiver. So, thinks I, this would be a first-rate way of getting the 6.5-06, 338-06, and (second, I know) 35 Whelen. But, I have some questions, that perhaps the group could assist with.

Has anyone had experience with this company (really just a family affair, it looks)? If you don't want to post on an open forum, I totally understand, please feel free to PM me.

Does anyone have a rough idea of what something like this might cost? Yes, that's something I should ask them, but their inquiry form say SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY (in all caps and everything). Which got me thinking; what if this is so far out of my price range that I'm not considered serious? Might seem silly, but if it is a really small shop, the last thing I want to do is get wrapped up in the sales and expectations game.

Anything will help, even pure speculation, if it's what you've got :sneaky:

Thanks in advance, all.
Did you ever decide which route you are going?
 
My only experience with Randy was to have him rechamber my Remington 722 in 257 Roberts to a 257 Roberts Ackley Improved and I was pleased with the work that he did.
 
Nothing wrong with wanting all the 30-06 variants...after all it is your dream/wishlist! Cool to boot! :cool:
And in a pinch you can make cases and ammo for all by necking 30-06 cases up or down as needed...although there will be some additional variation in neck positioning amongst these cartridges too.

Takedowns are interesting and have their benefits, but will add to costs...you know your budget...and it may take time to realize the full dream...prioritize your builds to get the ones most important to you completed first!
It could take years, for various reasons to realize your end goal...budget, availability of donors, availability of parts, gunsmith's workload, etc., so plan and budget accordingly.

I would find a gunsmith with a good reputation and performance record...there are some very good ones out there that will do some wonderful work and shoot very well, that may not be as well known as others...check their references! And they shouldn't be afraid to give you bad references as well as good ones...lends to credibility, integrity and builds trust between you.
Just be sure you are clear with the gunsmith from the very start, so you get what you want. They may make some valuable contributions that may change your plans somewhat...but be sure they fit your plan and needs/desires...must make sense to you. It is custom for you!

The idea of finding some donor rifles of same make and model is not a bad idea...especially if you have a preferred platform. There is something to be said about having them all built and scoped the same...while you may be the rifleman with multiple chamberings, you will be the rifleman with "one gun" so to speak, and completely in tune with the one rifle/scope combination that is the same regardless of chambering that you are using at the time.

For example, I built my lh 30-06 variants on the Model 700 action, using 30-06's as donors...now have a 280 Rem and a 338-06 (these were my desired chamberings and top priorities). I have two rifle battery that would cover 95% of the hunting I do.
And I wanted a little larger gap between my calibers...but this was my wishlist. Stick to yours.
I thought long and hard before building the 280 and 338-06, as my other choices were the 7mm Rem Mag and 338 Win Mag...also based off of the same case...in the end the 30-06 based cartridges won, as I was experiencing shoulder issues at the time, and the average distance of shots on game over the years was just 137 yards (and still is), so I didn't need the extra horsepower and range, never mind additional recoil, to have rifles that would deliver and meet my needs. Alos, it was fairly easy to find the donor rifles for these two builds at the time I was commissioning the builds. To be honest, the 7mm-08 and 338 Federal would still meet that need...guess that is why I have Winchester Model 88's chambered to these cartridges now! :LOL:
While stocks varied on these lh bolt action rifles (both are still laminates, one factory and one after market; with the 280 also having the factory synthetic stock for bad weather, rough terrain hunts), the action, safety, and trigger are identical and very familiar to me. And I was wanting a little variation between the two. The 280 has a clean barrel, while the 338-06 has open sights, a priority variation for this build - may never need them, but wanted them, and the scope is mounted in QR rings and bases...

Would like to add a 25-06 some day...but not a top priority for me at this time.
(as Cloverleaf stated above, I too went down the 250 Savage path and having a lot of fun with them! I have 2, the wife has 1, and I have one AI version as well!)
 
Well, I never heard of that particular gunsmith so no comment as to the quality of his work. I have however commissioned a few gun that I call custom although semi-custom might be more appropriate. One is based on an M98 commercial Mauser and others on milsurp Mausers and prices ranged from about $350 to $3,500. The $350 gun is a commercial FM Mauser in 30-06 with an oddball unknown twist Douglas barrel. Stock is a classic black McMillan. Timney trigger and that's the extent of it. Other than having the barrel installed and doing the stock myself, the rifle is simple, accurate with ammo it likes and I like it the way it is. At the other end is a DWM German Mauser in the 1909 Argentine pattern that has a Douglas barrel, Timney trigger, has been professionally reheat treated 24" semi heavy barrel with 1 in 9" twist. Stock is a beautiful piece of walnut carve and checker by the now retired Sterling Davenport. Metal wark was dome by Joe, the gunsmith at the Harry Lawson Company here in Tucson. Joe has since retires and I'm not sure Randy Lawson is still doing work. I stopped by and they were closed during mid week and that was unusual. I'm afraid I may be losing a favored gunsmith. Randy or Joe would usually get a job done without a very long wait, unlike most of the other gunsmiths here in town. I'd be dead a very long time before David Miller got a gun done for me. I believe a David Miller custom starts at about $5K and ges rapidly up from there. He does make beautiful guns though. It'd be interesting to see what Randy's Custom Rifles prices start at.
Paul B.
 
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