What's Going On Here?

I've written before that I often leave the range with a stunned look, like a mule that's been hit between the eyes with a mallet, or George W. Bush during his last 6 months in office. The reason is the unreal level of accuracy I see in rifles of all shapes and sizes, and now there is another.

A couple of posts ago I wrote about my .25/06 beanfield gun, which I had just had rebarreled, and which morphed from a Savage Tactical Rifle into a full-fledged custom job. It is an authentic sub-HALF- minute-of-angle rifle. My 100-grain Swift Scirocco handloads average .410-inch; 120-grain Nosler Partition handloads average .470-inch.

Just for the hell of it, I asked John Blauvelt, the gunsmith who put it together, to add up what it cost. Here's the bill:

- McGowen barrel: $300
- McMillan HTG stock: $500
- Heavy firing-pin spring: $9
- Rifle Basix trigger: $98
- Gunsmithing: $200

The total is $1,187, or about one-third the price of what I would expect to pay for a big-game rifle that shoots like this. A lot of the credit has to go to the barrel, which is a major chunk of the equation, and to the guy who did the work, whose address is JCBgunsmith.com. I've seen other rifles John has built, and this one is no lucky accident.