View Full Version : What would it cost to have a totally custom gun built?

June 11, 2002, 11:00 AM
Let's pretend for a minute that I have gobs of money to burn on a cool project.
So I decide that I want a pistol built from the ground up, a totally one-of-a-kind, for me only kind of thing.

Here are the specs:

Must hold 10 rounds
Custom grip to fit my hand
Chambered in 7.62x25mm Tokarev
It must be able to shoot the really hot-loaded stuff
I want between 6-10 magazines made for it.

If I take those requirements to a good gunsmith, will I get what I want?
What will it cost as far as material and workmanship?
Yes, I know that the CZ-52 is pretty much the same exact thing, no, I don't care that it probably costs too much money.
This is my little pretend exercise.
So, what would it cost for the ultimate expression of individuality?

June 11, 2002, 12:29 PM
Why do you want a totally custom?
Why not save the work of making magazines and let it use existing production magazines?

Jim Watson
June 11, 2002, 02:45 PM
The only thing like that I ever heard of was the guy who was tooling up to make a hundred repros of the US Army test .45 Luger. He was going to charge $10,000 each and that was based on spreading his setup costs over a hundred guns. A one-off would be more.

If yours could be based on some existing gun totally worked over by somebody like Bowen or Martz, maybe $7,000 - $8,000 on your gun. It has been several years since I saw the article on the Martz .22 Magnum Luger for $6,000. So that is the price range you would be in, plus inflation. And the trouble of finding someone to do the work. I don't know if Martz is still in business and doubt Bowen would work on an automatic.

James K
June 11, 2002, 08:57 PM
I think the price would be much higher than that range, probably over $50 K. Remember, there is NO economy of scale, only one pistol is being made. And remember that it is not a matter of copying an existing pistol; by your rules, a new one has to be designed from the ground up. Even with CAD-CAM, there would be plenty of trial and error, with the possibility that a complete pistol might be built and then have to be scrapped. The magazines alone would be a formidable project; magazines are fairly cheap only because thousands are made to the same pattern, a situation that would not be true with a full custom gun.

What you would be doing, essentially, would be hiring a skilled designer (not a "gunsmith") for six months or a year to do nothing but work on your gun. I doubt you could do so for any small amount of money.

But if you want, put ads in the gun magazines, and offer enough money to make it interesting. I might even apply.


June 11, 2002, 09:03 PM
Well, I'm not sure what it would cost (it would certainly be hella expensive), but you wouldn't have to tool up machinery to build a production run, as this guy making the .45 Luger did. Guns really aren't complicated machinery, so I would imagine it would be easily possible to make one with existing CAD machines and milling machines. And the designing stage would be a lot easier because you'd automatically be using top quality materials (like the strongest metals available). So I'd think that the design stage would be the hardest part. I have to admit, I've thought about this too, and it'd be really cool to make a gun like that. I would imagine you could get it done for $10,000, possibly less, but I really have no idea. (I figure you could get it for that price if you were to make the blueprints for the gun yourself)