Have you ever pondered that question, wondering if you'd really enjoy owning and shooting a full custom rifle? Well, I think if you've pondered on it for more than about 5 minutes total, then you absolutely would enjoy owning a finely made custom rifle.
There are lots of levels of "custom" rifles around. Do you simply mean a rifle for which you chose the chambering and then had it custom stocked, blued and tuned? Or does it mean a very ornate rifle adorned with scroll engraving, custom hand checkering and topped with a jillion $$ scope?
Close as I can figure it means both, along with pretty much anything in between. I have finally taken the plunge myself after years of wondering and I am very happy I did. I suppose I should first give a little description of what I was wanting as a "custom" rifle. My custom had to have a nice wood stock and be blued like the rifles of old (color that high polish, not matte blue!)
My rifle needed to be chambered in a somewhat popular cartridge, in the even it was going to be sold at some point. To chamber your custom rifle to a wildcat or very rare chambering may be some's desire (and that's fine!) but not high on my list, knowing that an oddball chambering can make a fine custom piece tough to sell. And after all, someday it may need to be sold.
When my guns are divvied up after i'm gone, some will already have new owners, my kids and grandkids. Others will be sold so no one has the problem of insuring them and keeping more guns around than they actually want. Enough said! My choice is for a somewhat common chambering. There are a couple of action types I would choose from, among them the pre '64 Winchester, Rem 700, early Sako rifles or the venerable Mauser 98.
Knowing what it could cost today for a rather simple rifle wearing NICE walnut and built by a craftsman, I looked constantly at places that listed custom rifles for sale. It worked out well for me as I found a beautiful M98 with custom Douglas barrel, new M70 type safety, Timney trigger and a stock of stunning walnut. I figure I paid well under half of what the build cost had to be. The rifle arrived, appearing unfired and it's also a shooter in it's classic but still fairly common .257 Roberts chambering. I'm a happy man!
If you think you might, yup, you do!! Good luck and I hope some day you like yours as much as I like mine!!
Pictures will be in the photo section very soon.