The "BUILDER" program

Earlier this month I completed and shipped two identical actions for two clients in Pennsylvania who are about to embark on building a pair of custom rifles. It was clear from talking to the buyers that they were close friends and it's hard to imagine a better way for them to spend some time together between now and fall, than piecing together two beautiful custom rifles. I would estimate half of the business which comes through is of this nature - from clients who are working on custom rifle projects.

Building out a custom rifle on a pre-64 model 70 action is still the best recipe I know for creating a world-class rifle. Don't misunderstand me, I am a huge fan of the original pre-64 model 70. However, for the abuse and weather that comes with most hunting, I far prefer the lighter weight and greater durability of a composite stock, not to mention the accuracy of a hand-lapped, match-grade barrel. Even if I were willing to carry an original pre-64 Winchester into the woods and weather, a custom rifle can deliver durability and accuracy the original model 70 cannot.

Here's a gratuitous shot of my elk rifle, taken this winter at the start of elk season, high in the Cascade range of Washington state. It is built on a 1955 standard action, with a Lilja barrel and McMillan stock. We finished the hunt this year in a blizzard, where the stainless barrel and composite stock on this rifle granted me guilt-free hunting, despite the conditions.

Beyond the quality of the rifle you end up with, building a custom rifle is a personally rewarding experience. Builders gain knowledge and a pride in their rifle that can't be substituted by buying the finest of rifles off the rack. Considering the twin actions I shipped out this morning, it occurs to me that a custom rifle project is also a fantastic way to invest in a friendship.

My middle daughter Amanda recently began helping us in the shop at If you've purchase parts from us in the past couple months, it's almost certain they've passed through Amanda's hands. Recently, Amanda has begun setting selected parts aside, saying "I want this one to go into my rifle". Apparently she has caught the builder bug! As a dad who loves his daughter and who loves the model 70, I'm more than pleased at the prospect of taking on a custom rifle project with her. And we're happy to help you with your custom project as well. We have the parts you need. We also offer expert advice and can provide world-class gunsmithing services to help you get your custom project done right.

The nature of a custom build typically involves starting with a "donor" rifle to acquire the action, or purchasing a large quantity of parts from which to build out a rifle. For builders taking this latter approach, is pleased to announce a special discount to help offset the costs associated with embarking on a custom rifle build. This "builder discount" offers a one-time 15% discount for qualifying orders which include the essentials of a custom build - a receiver and a bolt.


If you'd like to take advantage of our builder discount, simply use the discount code "BUILDER" at checkout for any order that includes a receiver and a bolt. We'll knock 15% off your order and you'll be well on your way toward the owning the rifle of your dreams. If you have questions about how to get started, shoot us a note though the website and we'll be glad to help you get your next project underway.

Best regards from all of us at,



  • Joe Noone

    What would be the approximate cost / timeframe for building a Winchester Model 70 in 300 H&H magnum?

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  • Carl Lemos

    Hi, I’m currently finishing a custom rifle that iv we been dreaming of. I took a model 70 featherweight true pre 64 and I’m making a 6.5 Creedmoor out of it. I started with a marble McMillan stock and got a #3 fluted Brux barrel. My plan was to have an AISC 5 round detachable magazine but the holes didn’t line up on the bottom metal. Everything else is just about done all I have to do is mount my Nightforce scope and ill be ready to break it in and start making loads. Any recommendations on detachable magazine that doesn’t hang proud of the trigger guard?

  • Justin

    Hi Bobby. I just now saw your comment – sorry for the slow response. Yes, we are able to do all of the work you have asked about. Once the bolt face is opened up, you’d also need a magnum extractor. With these two things changed over to magnum, a .300 Win Mag will work just fine in a standard action. The pre-64 action will (almost) fit into a post 64 stock. The tang of the pre-64 action will be somewhat recessed into a post-64 stock, and you will also need to elongate the rear screw hole by about 1/8" to get it to line up with the rear screw hole on the receiver. Not the cleanest fit, but an easy modification and you’ll have a functional stock for your pre-64 action.

  • Bobby Martinez

    I recently found a transition rifle chambered in 30-06. Can you open the bolt face, modify the extractor, & true the action so that I can build a 300 Win Mag? Will it even work? Will that action fit into a post 64 stock? Are the hole spacings the same?

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