Concealed Carry & Home Defense

CCW Weekend: Is A Custom Gun Worth It?

Guns and Gear Contributor
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By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

Is a custom gun worth the expense, hassle and so on? It’s a good thing to wonder if you find yourself in the position (you lucky so-and-so) where you can actually contemplate it.

Granted, the phrase “custom gun” can have a lot of connotations.

You can customize the heck out of a plastic fantastic and only be out a few hundred on top of the purchase price. For somewhere around a grand, you can have a tricked-out Glock or similar pistol that’s almost unrecognizable compared to the original.

Custom 1911 pistols, of which there are a number of producers and many are excellent, can run anywhere from $2,000 and up.

By comparison, Purdey, Boss and Holland and Holland make some of the finest guns imaginable. Handmade, bespoke firearms that make that Silver Pigeon or Superposed you’ve been looking at seem aggressively quaint. Normally, you have to be fitted for one like you have to get fitted for a suit. A side-by-side shotgun, double rifle or even bolt action rifle by any of these firms also comes at the price point of a decent house.

By the same token, you can order an ER Shaw custom rifle for about $1,000. If you don’t like the Savage 110 action, Montana Rifle Co. makes custom guns on a Mauser-style action for not a whole lot more. You’ll need to get your own scope, but so what?

Is getting a custom gun worth it? It depends on what you mean by “worth it.”

The truth is you can find something that works for not a whole lot.

For around $400, or maybe a little bit more, you can find a CCW gun that you can tote in a concealed carry holster and rely on to save your bacon if you need it to. A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 is all the shotgun you’ll ever need for any reason, and neither costs all that much.

Bargain rifles like the Savage Axis, Winchester XPR or Remington 783 retail for less than $500, and will work without issue. If you want to, you can step up to the Remington 700, Savage 110 or Winchester Model 70 for about twice the price, and they are the standards by which others are judged.

Do you need that H&H or Purdey for duck, geese or pheasant? No. Do you need a custom rifle to put a deer or elk in the freezer? No.

Where is a custom gun going to be worth it?

First is in the intangibles. You see, most of any gun’s life is going to be at the range, at least for civilians. Only waterfowlers go through serious round counts in the field shooting at live targets. A custom gun should – if it’s been made right – feel better to shoot. It should group a little tighter. A heavily customized firearm that you’ve upgraded with the bells and whistles you want is going to be a whole lot more meaningful to you because it’s your gun.

Second is really for competitive shooters. For that F-class or Palma match, or for skeet or trap competitions, serious shooters run custom guns. When a perfect fit or the utmost in accuracy is demanded, then it does become necessary.

Outside of that though stock guns will do everything you need them to.

What about you though? Is there a custom gun you can’t live without? If price were no object what couple of guns would you add to your collection and why?

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit