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Old May 31, 2009, 02:14 PM   #1
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Looking for a gunsmith...

A riflesmith, not a parts assembler, preferably in the Pacific Northwest, but anywhere in the country is acceptable. A friend wants a bolt gun built with fine quality traditional features (not tacticool). He will obtain the parts, but need someone skilled to assemble and fit barrel, sights, stock, etc.

Any personal recommendations? or a place to look for listings? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old May 31, 2009, 02:39 PM   #2
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Just some suggestions.

I would be my own " sub contractor " ..... that is I would not pick any one gunsmith to build my complete rifle.

USUALLY, notice I said usually, you will not find a smith that is best at or very capable of completing an entire rifle.
You will have some that do great chambering and fitting, great metal work and great stock work but VERY few will excel at everything.

I have found it true that if you pick one smith to do the metal work, another to do the stock work, and another for engraving etc. you will get a much better rifle.

This is how many top quality rifles are built, a team effort by a number of top notch artists in their prospective fields...and truth be known, many smiths "farm out" various operations anyway----and the buyer will be unaware of it.

I have had some experience with different custom rifle builders....not my rifles, but others I have handled and worked on.
One had a drop dead beautiful walnut stock...nicely fitted and finished, but the chambering and metal work were horrible....and it was a high dollar rifle done by a famous stock wouldn't shoot worth the crap but was very pretty.

Just the opposite on another....great chambering and metal work, horrid stock work....rifle would not shoot worth crap, I bedded it in a old ugly stock I had laying around and it shot like a house afire.

I would suggest starting with a search for an "accuracy or benchrest smith"
one who has a RECORD of producing accurate rifles and has the equipment and knowledge to properly fit and chamber an action.
I would choose the action I want my rifle built around 1st and then seek out the smith that is KNOWN for knowing his way around that action.
Any good top quality barrel maker should do for barrel choice but your smith will of course have suggestions.
Same with stock work, look around and ask questions.....look at the work of some stock makers and MOST IMPORTANTLY, LOOK AT THE BEDDING WORK!!!
not just how pretty it is on the outside.

Here is a good place to start looking for a smith I guess....I have dealt with a few of these guys and some are top notch for sure:

For stock work, any of the people that are members of the Custom Gunmakers Guild would be a good place to start....and there are others of course...just google Custom Gun Makers Guild and look around and call a few of the people'll find lots of help.
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Old May 31, 2009, 03:45 PM   #3
George R
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Find A Gunsmith

You might want to start at
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Old June 5, 2009, 03:59 AM   #4
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I recommend Daniel W Cowen Riflesmith
(425) 227-9280

224 Wells Ave S
Renton, WA 98057

I've seen his work and its terrific. He's reasonably priced and won't do a job if it can't be done well.
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Old June 6, 2009, 08:18 AM   #5
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What type of bolt action does your friend want? know their way around Remingtons.
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Old June 6, 2009, 11:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies!

Right now my friend is looking for his action. Once he locates/settles on what he wants, we will proceed further. He is looking at a short action with a magnum boltface for starters.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old June 6, 2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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If you are in the south sound area, try John Taylor at Taylor Machine. 253-445-4073. He does excellent machine work, I do stock work for him.
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
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Old June 6, 2009, 02:39 PM   #8
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Why isnt he calling me and dropping your name for preferential treatment

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Old June 9, 2009, 10:11 PM   #9
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Update on the rifle

My friend has located his action, a Remington Model 7. In .350 Mag (currently). He says he has the barrel band front sight he wants on it. He is currently looking over possible choices for a barrel. He hasn't settled on that yet. The caliber he wants is .450 Marlin!

He also wants a single leaf rear sight (folding, I believe), and is looking for something like the old swing over scope mounts. Right now, he hasn't settled on the details for the stock.

I will be giving him a list of the fine smiths you have recommended, (including you Wildalaska).

Thanks for all the help.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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