Lock, stock, and a really good looking barrel! Here’s how I customized the inletting of an aftermarket rifle stock and improving the finish of an action for a custom build.
by R. M. Layng
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I got the idea in my head that I wanted a custom rifle built. I got into the project knowing that I would need the help of a skilled gunsmith to attach the barrel to the action. Outside of that, I was confident that I could handle the rest of it on my workbench at home.
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The first decision I had to make was going to be the heart of the build: the receiver. It seems that everyone and their brother nowadays is building some variation of the venerable Remington 700. Who can blame them? It is a proven setup and very widely available, including copious amounts of aftermarket support. I did not follow this trend, as I always liked standing out and going against the grain. Hey, fortune favors the bold, right?
A quick side note: Should you decide to get into one of these custom rifle builds, I commend you! It is a very rewarding task to complete. Having said that, it is a great idea to get into the mindset that this is YOUR build alone and, therefore, you shouldn’t expect to get the same money out of it that you put into into it. It is not likely that anyone will value this as highly as yourself, especially if you go to sell it later in life for whatever reason. This is a hobby project for me, so I went into it knowing to cost me more than any mass-produced rifle on the market. Well… at least in “pre-pandemic” dollars!
After a quick Internet search, I found that a gun shop near me had factory-new Dumoulin Mauser 98 actions recently put up for sale and at a really reasonable price. To those of you that read my last article (“The 45 Mauser Mystery”, July 2022) can you sort of see a trend with my preferred type of rifle? I called to verify stock before driving the whopping three miles across town and they had some on the shelf still! I don’t even think I properly hung up the phone before I was out the door with cash in hand.
Now I know what most of you are thinking… some version of, “Why on Earth would you choose an M98 when the Remington 700 is so much more modern and the current ‘standard’?” …
Read more in the September 2022 issue.
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