Tips on Planning a Rifle Build

I have a lot of customers that wants to build a rifle but don’t know where to start and what to build.

The best thing to do before choosing or buying components is to ask yourself what you want to do with the rifle.

Then you can decide on what bullet weight your going to use and at what speed you want to shoot that bullet.

Once you have determined the bullet weight, you can decide the perfect twist rate for that given bullet weight.

The golden rule is to choose the heaviest bullet your going to shoot and then you can always shoot lighter bullets if you have to or choose to.

You need to give yourself as big a choice on bullets as possible as suppliers don’t always have the bullets we want in stock and then we need to be able to use something else, just to be able to keep shooting.

Once you have determined the twist rate and bullet weight you can decide how fast you want to shoot the projectile you are planning to use.

Bear in mind that the faster you shoot it, the quicker the barrel will be shot out.

I always try and get the heaviest bullet in any given caliber running at around 2950, more or less but the most important factor is accuracy.

Field-shooting guys want to shoot as fast as possible with as little recoil as possible, as they shoot out of very awkward positions and at unknown distances so it’s very important to stay on target and to have a flat trajectory.

One big factor in determining your caliber of choice should also be the availability of cases and reloading dies. First decide which dies your going to use and then see if you can get hold of them.

When you build a wildcat and you don’t have the ability to full length size and only neck size using Wilson dies, you run into trouble sooner due to cases getting stuck on the rear part of the case and also on the shoulder area.

Once you’ve decided on the caliber we can decide on the barrel contour and the length of the barrel.

A lot of guys have moved away from the heavy Palma 28” rifles to 26” rifles on medium and even light Palma profiles.

After that we can choose the action and stock etc.

The action and stock is important. The action and bolt should be blueprinted and aluminum-block bedded must be done to ensure perfect fit between stock and barreled action.


  • Identify what you want to do with the rifle.
  • Choose a bullet caliber and weight.
  • Determine the barrel twist.
  • Determine how fast you want to shoot the selected bullet.
  • Check availability of cases and dies.
  • Choose a cartridge case.
  • Choose a barrel contour.
  • Choose an action and stock.
  • Start the building process.