What is your Dream Custom Sport Rifle?


March 3, 2009, 10:23 PM
I have a unique opportunity to have a sport rifle built for me by someone who is known country wide, if not world wide, for very little to no cost compared to what he normally gets for his rifles!

For example... the $1000.00 custom barrel is costing me $150.00 for the blank and he is working it for me. The action is his gift to me, the trigger will be maybe 10% of cost, and he is making the stock from scratch. So for less than $500.00, glass included, I will be getting a rifle worth $5000.00 to $10,000.00 or more.

My question to you is this: What caliber should I have him chamber it in? I live on the South West Coast of Oregon and game ranges from Cougar to Black Bear, also deer and elk and everything in between. I have a .303 and a 30.06 already. What do you think about a 300 Win Mag?

This will be a rifle that I will pass down to my children as the maker may as well be my dad, he has been a father figure to me since I was 16 and he took over when my dad died. He taught me a trade and that is the trade I have worked for 25 years. This isn't about getting something to make money with, it is about getting something that this great guy wants to build me before he too dies, and now I have the wonderful chance to dream a little... Would you please help me dream, so my good friend can make it come true? Please no AR etc, that's not what he wants to build me. He said he want it to be a sporter hunting rifle. He is building it on a Mauser 98 action if that helps.

I know I said on the Mil-Surp thread about would you want an enemy's weapon if you knew it was used against Americans that I did not want to own a Mauser, but what can I do? He is giving it to me, and because he is a father figure, that is good enough for me.

Thanks for your input, I sure do appreciate it!


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March 3, 2009, 10:37 PM
I think .300 Win Mag is an excellent choice if your action is going to be long enough and I believe Mod 98 Mausers are. I would have a 24" barrel and a high quality scope not to exceed 10X. If you are making it a lightweight rifle, perhaps a Leopold Compact 2.5X8 VX III

I would also want an oil finished walnut stock, and high gloss blue finish.

Even though $10,000 Mauser rifles are few and far between, it sounds like quite a deal to me, have fun with it.

March 3, 2009, 10:43 PM
Even though $10,000 Mauser rifles are few and far between

I was guessing at the upper limit there; but I know he sells his rifles for a hell of a lot more than I can afford. I have 4 kids so the $400.00 is having to come over time. LOL!

Thanks for your reply!


March 3, 2009, 11:06 PM
I think that's great, and to some extent I envy you.

Don't know much about .300WM, but if I were buying a rifle that I intended to pass to my children I would want to be damn sure that they'd have the ability to get ammo for it, otherwise it's merely an ornament. That's why I'd vote for a military caliber- .308.

Travis Bickle
March 3, 2009, 11:12 PM
I've heard good things about .338 Lapua, but I don't know if that's too powerful for a Mauser action.

jim in Anchorage
March 3, 2009, 11:27 PM
Wasting a gun like that in .308? Please. You can form 300 WM from any number of mag cases,including 375 H&H,which I think is going to be around a while. Besides, would you be all that ticked if you inherited a 35 Newton from Grampa?

March 3, 2009, 11:50 PM
Good posts so far guys Keep 'em coming...

Here is another thought; What trigger and glass would you put on it and why?

As far as the stock goes, I do not have a say in it. When I said I would like the stock in xxx wood or composite xxx or laminate same thing. He said I know what to do Mike, How long have I known you and visa-versa? He also said "Don't worry, I will make it pretty!" So I am just going to trust him on that one. I haven't seen him make a gun yet that didn't totally make me drool, so I am sure it will be awesome.

All I know is I am so excited that the anticipation is killing me. He said he will be bringing it to me up in Northern Nevada where he has a hunt for us planned. He is even getting our tags and knows the land owner who he regularly hunts at and it is over 1000 acres. He never comes home empty handed. He said I could break in my new gun on that hunt. He actually holds the world record for largest badger on record. I may have to wait for Elk season to get it, but what the heck!


March 3, 2009, 11:54 PM
Man Mickey! What'd you do to get this guy to be so generous?? It's heartwarming to hear about things like this. Thank the Lord for good friends.

March 4, 2009, 12:09 AM
Man Mickey! What'd you do to get this guy to be so generous?? It's heartwarming to hear about things like this. Thank the Lord for good friends.

You know, stuff like this never happens to me. He has efectively been my dad for 25 years and we are also truly best friends. He started making custom guns 5 years after we met and has been doing it ever since. So he's been doing it for 20 years or so. I lost touch with him for a while and found him again a few years back. We haven't lost touch and never will again.

As you put it... Thank you lord for good friends. I will always be his friend! Not because he is giving me a rifle, but because he and I are Father and son, and I got to choose mine!


March 4, 2009, 12:50 AM
My Customized .243 Winchester Remington 700 never lets me down afield. Of course, this involves my custom handloads. Proper bullets involve REAL lead within bonded jackets. Maximum velocity requirements are a given; Bullets starting out the muzzle at less than 3000 fps leave me queasy. Lock-Time works best with Tubb speed-lock components. I may be unsteady, but my bullets are gone before I SHAKE. My targets quiver before I do. Speed Kills! Ask any Feral Hog what it thought about my Speer Grand Slam hits. Sorry, they can't answer anymore. cliffy

March 4, 2009, 12:54 AM
mine is already put together.... Savage (BAT)S..... check it out and let the chills go down your spine...

March 4, 2009, 01:20 AM
If I was buying a custom rifle on the classic Mauser action I would choose the classic caliber, 7X57 Mauser.

It would be a good choice for everything you hunt except probably Elk, even then, if you choose your shot, it is adequate.

If you are passing it down choose something that makes it special. Other choices might be 375 H&H, 25.06 or 257 Roberts.

Enjoy and good luck on your choice.

jim in Anchorage
March 4, 2009, 01:28 AM
"He actually holds the world record for largest badger on record." They have records for badgers?:confused:

March 4, 2009, 01:28 AM
a .375H&H is never a waste. Get a classic.

Coal Dragger
March 4, 2009, 01:35 AM
If this rifle is being built on a military Mauser 98 action then .375H&H is out since the cartridge is too long. If it is a magnum Mauser action then he is in business if he wants a .375H&H.

.375 Ruger might be a valid alternative in the standard length Mauser action. However unless he intends to shoot big bitey scratchy or stompy animals it may be a bit much.

.300 WIN is a fine cartridge, and so is the .338 WIN for that matter.

March 4, 2009, 01:56 AM
How about a 7mm Rem Mag? It's flat shooting, powerful enough for elk, fairly common and it won't dislocate your shoulder.

Considering that it's a sporting rifle, I wouldn't want to put too large of a scope on it. I think a 3-12x40 would be about ideal.

Better yet, you might just tell him what you want to use it for and just let him surprise you. My guess is that after building custom rifles for 20 years he probably has a better idea of what works than 99% of shooters.

jim in Anchorage
March 4, 2009, 02:05 AM
You can run a 375H&H in a standard Mauser. The feed ramp has to be ground,the magazine box lengthened,etc. But it can[and has many times] been done. Personally I would go with a 358 Norma mag. 2700-2800 fps 250 grain 35 in a 06 length action has merits. But I hunt some big critters,so that may be not what the OP is after.

March 4, 2009, 02:16 AM
They have records for badgers?

I don't know if they actually have records of badgers but I have never seen a 69 pound badger before. My pops is usually full of it anyway. I think he was the original BS'er. That's what he told me anyhow. That it was some kind of world record or something. If you want to see him and his 69 pound badger, here is a link to his picture with it!


Looks record size to me. :D

His pic is the bottom one. The one with the badger. He he! :what:

March 4, 2009, 02:40 AM
get it chambered in .408 or .416 ;)

jim in Anchorage
March 4, 2009, 02:56 AM
Unfortunately my computer is acting up so I can't open the link But 69 lbs? He must have lived next to a pizza hut Dumpster. I never weigh them but I would call a 15lb a Boone & Crockett.

March 4, 2009, 09:09 AM
A .300 WM is an excellent choice. I love mine. However you already have a 30.06 which will work about as good. Have you thought about making it a .260 Rem? Basically the same as the 6.5x55 Swede which is a super caliber with little recoil and would be good up elk size animals. The .300 Winnie can be quite a thumper, if any of you are rcoil sensitive.

March 4, 2009, 09:14 AM
A 257 roberts with a 22" fluted barrel, model 70 action, carbon fiber stock coated with texture flat base. And a 3.25 pound trigger. If not that then a 25-06 in the same thing.

March 4, 2009, 09:28 AM
Sounds pretty obvious that he knows more than 99.99% of the entire human population.

Let him do all of it.

March 4, 2009, 12:13 PM
Have you thought about making it a .260 Rem? Basically the same as the 6.5x55 Swede

Funny you said that, because that was his first suggestion. My reservations were that there are not that many bullet choices available. So, his second suggestion was the 300 Win Mag. I do not reload as of yet, but may sometime in the future, but until then I am very limited. At least that was my thoughts. Do you guys know something I don't know about this round???


March 4, 2009, 12:48 PM
The .260 Rem would be an excellent choice and is very good at long ranges. Not a barrel burner or hard recoiling rifle. Should give you lots of good use. You want a shooter right! If you go out for some bigger game just take your 30-06 along.

March 4, 2009, 12:58 PM
Im building a rifle on a 1903a3 action. I think the action its self is superior to the German Mausers (In my mind), and its unique so it wont just be another custom Mauser (not like thats a bad thing). A sporterized one can be had for cheap so it might be an option if you looked into it.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 4, 2009, 01:06 PM
Caliber is a very personal choice, and is ultimately just whatever floats your boat - But since it's a big game hunter, some of my suggestions would include (preferences bolded):

.35 Whelen
.280 Remington
6.5x55 Swedish
6.5-284 Norma
.264 Win Mag
7x57 Mauser
.270 Winchester
.30-'06 Spgfld (doesn't hurt to have another)
7mm Rem Mag
7mm Dakota
7mm STW
7mm RUM
.300 Win Mag
.300 H&H Mag
.308 Norma Mag
8mm Mauser
.375 H&H Mag
.338 Win Mag
.458 Win Mag

Wait; what's the bbl length going to be? Have you decided that yet, or is that contingent upon chambering? Which egg or chicken are you gonna decide FIRST?

This is a Mauser action? If so, no reason to put a short cartridge in a long action; in fact, that could be detrimental to feeding.

As for scope, what's the budget?

March 4, 2009, 01:17 PM
i own my dreamer. its a rem 600 mohawk 222 refitted for 5.56 and trigger job done to it. i no that hardly qualify s as a custom. but its the best i can do or afford.

W Turner
March 4, 2009, 01:24 PM
I would go with a 6.5x55. A .300 win mag won't do anything a .30 06 can't. Other than cost a lot more in terms of ammo and recoil. If you need more power, go with a larger bullet.


March 4, 2009, 01:27 PM
Wait; what's the bbl length going to be? Have you decided that yet, or is that contingent upon chambering?

It is a 26 inch blank that can be whatever length 26 inch and shorter. So I was going to pick chambered round first and then decide barrel length and rate of twist second.


March 4, 2009, 07:51 PM
i think you should have gone with his first suggestion of the .260 Rem. it is about the perfect cartridge for your area...unless you happen upon a big brownie wandering down the coast.

my personal pick would have been the 6.5x55mm. classic and accurate with limited recoil and gentle on barrels too. it's the cartridge that the .260 is reproducing in a shorter case

March 5, 2009, 12:30 AM
Im building a rifle on a 1903a3 action. I think the action its self is superior to the German Mausers (In my mind), and its unique so it wont just be another custom Mauser (not like thats a bad thing). A sporterized one can be had for cheap so it might be an option if you looked into it.

Well that was my thought too, but he didn't want to build on my 1917 Enfield either. It is a good action too! See some of my other posts for pics etc... I just got my glasses yesterday and I went out today and shot it with open sights (original peep sights) and I shot 3 out of 5 shots within 1" at 100yds and the 4th was about 2" and the 5th was about 3". Not a bad group for open sights, I think so anyway!

March 5, 2009, 01:36 AM
To me there is nothing more classic than the 30-06.

jim in Anchorage
March 5, 2009, 02:26 AM
30-06..180 nosler,57 gr 4350-life is good. The only complaint is I only own six.

March 5, 2009, 09:19 PM
Well, I think I am going to go with 30.06. Here is why. I already have one with a 20" bbl and it shoots nice for around here in the bushes and trees. The new bbl will be 26 1/4" and should be a hell of a lot more accurate for longer distance shooting for when I want to go to central or northern Oregon where longer shots are the norm.
The 30.06 ammo is about $15.00 per box right now and the .260 ammo is nearly double that or more. I am on a workin' mans budget so ammo cost is a big factor.

So, what do you guys think of that? Would this be a good decision?


March 6, 2009, 11:33 AM
Which one should I put on? My pops wants me to get the Kepplinger, I know it's a good trigger, but is it worth the extra $100.00?


March 6, 2009, 12:03 PM
'06 is a good choice. Been around forever and will be around forever, ammo can be found in any shop, etc.

Since it is a custom job, I would have went with 6.5 Swede just to have something different than what you already own.

Either way I am sure you will be very pleased with it.

March 6, 2009, 12:53 PM
I vote for a .308, good all round caliber for game, length of barrel life would be longer than some magnum calibers, and to me a good balance in power to weight that gives it a stable balistics platform. I also consider the mauser action a very strong platform to start with, the "nazis" fought against us, I think it would be a good thing to take a negative and turn it into a positive. just my thoughts, but most importantly, have fun with this, and make memories that will last with your friend.

March 6, 2009, 01:51 PM
I have hunted elk in the coast range around nehalem a few times and all over eastern Oregon from the northeast corner to the southeast and have to say I love the 300wm. But I have also killed elk, deer, and bear all over the state with an 06. As you know elk on the coast are a fair bit bigger than elk east of the cascades and the shooting ranges tend to be closer unless you get a shot across a clear cut then you can reach out pretty far. The only place I see the 300wm having an advantage over the 30-06 is if you have to take a shot at over 400yds where the flatter trejectory and more energery is nice to have. I also think the 338 is an outstanding elk round any where in oregon but they seem to be the next step up in recoil compared to 300wm and quite a bit more than anything I have ever shot out of my o6. Between my little bro and I we have 5 bushnell 4200 scopes and I highely recomend them. I have the 4x16 on my 300wm and the 2.5x10 on my 30-06 and would recomend the latter. I have found that even 4x feels like to much in the timber in eastern oregon and it feels like way to much at the coast. And I have never seen the need to have more than 10x on a big game rifle in oregon. The bushnells don't fog up and even if they are soaked with rain you can still see through them and they won't break the bank.

March 9, 2009, 03:31 PM
Thanks USMC,

I will look into the Bushnell scope. I wish someone would post about my trigger question above. I am having second thoughts about getting the kepplinger due to the $100 difference. Do you guys think it would make that much difference in hunting?


March 9, 2009, 06:58 PM
My dream rifle is a Remington 700 action, 26 inch varmint weight match grade stainless steel barrel, McMillan marksman style stock in woodland camo or green marble, chambered in .30-06. With the 26 inch barrel it will give .300 H&H Magnum ballistics with better accuracy and case life than the belted cases, and the weight will decrease recoil.

March 9, 2009, 07:10 PM

The only rifle I own with a custom trigger is my AR varmint rifle with a jewell two stage trigger and I think it helps with accurate shooting. I wouldn't want one quite as light as mine on a big game rifle (1.5#) just because I get excited when I see elk but a good clean crisp 2.5 pound pull would be sweet. And when your fingers are freezing and numb its nice to feel the trigger atleast a little bit befor it breaks. Good luck.

March 9, 2009, 07:43 PM
Thanks USMC,

You know, I am getting the feeling my friend, all good intensions aside, may be building me too much of a rifle. One of his comments to my wife was, "I only want the best for Mike!" But I am not sure "the best" is what I need.

Can you guys, put together a package that would be based on the Mauser 98 action, that is more like a Weatherby or Remington 700, or Savage 110 or something so I can tell him what I am really looking for. He can still go hog wild on the stock, because that it what I am looking forward to the most, because he makes beautiful stocks. I can get the rest in just a good rifle to hunt with configuration, and go from there.

What do you guys think would fit that bill?



March 9, 2009, 11:28 PM
I like the .257 Roberts or 7X57 idea. In fact, I would have him stamp .275 Rigby on a 7X57 barrel, just because it would be unusual.

March 9, 2009, 11:32 PM
Which one should I put on? My pops wants me to get the Kepplinger, I know it's a good trigger, but is it worth the extra $100.00?
kepplingers are very nice & the have more of a classic german look than any of the other aftermarket triggers, but timney also makes a great trigger. if you want a singe set kepplinger is just about your only choice
with me it would depend a lot on the style the rifle is built in.
if its built with a longer swept back european style grip with a long lop i would go with the kepplinger, if its going to have a more traditional american style closed grip & shorter lop i would go with the timney to keep with the style of the rifle.

would you mind pm the name of the builder? if he is as good & as well known as you say he is i probably know who he is & have seen his work. once i know who he is i can make some better recomendations using his build style

Hostile Amish
March 9, 2009, 11:40 PM
.375 Holland / .308

March 10, 2009, 12:44 AM
He suggested a particular odd-duck round; if he's doing everything else custom, he must have a good idea of the right cartridge for the intended application.

Me? I'd get it in a slightly more classic calibre than .300WM or the like; any of the bolded options of Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow would seem perfectly fine. The 7x57 Mauser and .35 Whelen appeal to me personally, but I don't have your selection of game near me.

March 10, 2009, 02:51 AM
Already have it :)
Accuracy International AW .308

March 29, 2009, 07:09 PM
Well in some ways I've been lucky enough to have been down your road, except mine came already assembled. My Dad (who is still w/ us thank God) did not have a rifle for me to hunt with. Good friend knew this ahead of time and picked up a 25-06 built on a Mauser 98, he kept it but made hints it would be mine at some point. I ended up shooting my first deer w/ that rifle and about 14 years later he gave it to me. It has a nice fancy walnut stock, timney trigger, hart barrel, Burris sig. 2-7 glass.

When you hold a nice wood stock it just feels different, that is something you will love.

I'd go w/ the 25 all over again, great rifle to watch all 4 of those kids shoot while they are still younger. 30-06 downloaded would be fine as well. I'd at least go w/ a Nikon Prostaff, but prefer Burris or Leupold scopes on a custom.

I'm currently finishing a 6.5x55 on a '96 so I'd be temped to go that route as well but your past this point now anyway ;)

Best of luck, enjoy living a dream.


March 29, 2009, 08:05 PM
Dream Custom Sport Rifle?

An Air-Rifle that could shoot a .30 caliber pellet up to 2,300 fps at muzzle and punch nice 1 inch groups at 100 yards. Think about it, ammo would be low-cost, you'd never have to clean it, it could take deer, it could target shoot with the best of them!

But that's ten years and a lot of money off. Ever since they started building .22 caliber air-rifles that push 1,400-1,600 fps at muzzle, I'm guessing someday they'll figure it out.

March 29, 2009, 11:55 PM
I think you should build a long action caliber with cartridge that has about the same case head diameter as the 8mm mauser. If you don't, you will need to change the bolt head, ie cut away metal. This would be the case for the .300 WM, 7mm Rem Mag, and many of the other calibers mentioned. You may also have to adjust the length of the magazine if you go to a longer cartridge or a shorter one. You cannot fit a 8mm rem mag, or .375 H&H in a 98 mauser magazine. They are too long. Similarly, a .308 or .243 will be shorter than ideal and may require shortening or blocking the magazine.

.22 swift, 6mm Rem, 6.5x55, 7mm mauser, 8mm mauser or their wildcats will function very well with minimal changes to the original gun. Cartridges based on .30-06 will do well also. These include .25-06, .270 win, .280 rem, 30-06, 338-06, 35 whelen and a few others.

If you want bigger than you already have, build a .35 whelen. It is a classic 98 conversion caliber and a serious cartridge for anything in North America. Perhaps the most common conversion is a .30-06. I know you have one, but it is a great cartridge for most hunting. There is nothing wrong with going a little smaller and having a rifle that is pleasant to shoot as well as look at. I'd really consider a .25-06, .270 or 7mm mauser in this case. Certainly the .25-06 and .270 will be easier to find ammunition for.

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