I think I might have stumbled on the ultimate gun guy thing. It’s simple really.
- Find a friend who is willing to bankroll gun builds but doesn’t have the time to deal with it himself.
- Suggest gun builds that might be fun
- Build the guns
- Shoot the guns
- Give them back to the friend
- Move on to the next project . . .
Here are a few snaps from my first build which started life as a Savage 111 chambered in .30-06. This particular rifle was from the package series Savage sells called the 11/111 Hunter XP.
Out of the box, the gun is kind of “meh.” I found the scope mounts to be cheap and the bundled Bushnell scope was so-so. Normally, I’d advise someone to walk away from a “package” rifle but my buddy was able to pick this one up for a song. He actually got two rifles in the deal so the per gun cost was tiny. For the sake of this article, call his cost in the rifle $250.
One of the really nice things about the Savage 11/111 is that the trigger, while not their famed Accu-Trigger, is still adjustable. This one is set at a very crisp 4 lbs. There is no creep, the break is crisp, and over travel is minimal. The barrel is also of typical Savage quality. It seemed to eat super cheap 150 gr. Greek Surplus M2 Ball with reckless abandon. Off sandbags, hot, dirty and shooting the aforementioned M2 Ball, I was able to maintain sub 2 MOA 5-shot groups at 100 yards. This accuracy extended to 250 yards where rifle and shooter were able to ring steel with boring regularity.
I have no doubt that this will be a 1 MOA gun cold, clean, and shooting high quality 150 gr. ammo.
Finally, I got in touch with Boyd’s to get a Nutmeg Featherweight Thumbhole ($99).
Just to recap, here’s the money that’s wrapped up in the gun so far.
- Rifle – $250
- Scope – $250
- Rings – $27.49
- Rail – $19.99
- Stock – $99
Total cost in the rifle…a little under $700.
Once I got the stock and receiver mated together, I took it to the range. As you can see from my idiotic smile in the video, it’s tons o’ fun for not too much money.