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 I’ve seen other rifles John has built, and this one is no lucky accident.