Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Sum Of Its Parts

Raising White Elephants Would Be A Cheaper Hobby...

The longer you spend as a gun collector/accumulator, the more often you'll get one of those complete head-shaking moments as the oddities of the gun trade come crashing down on you...

F'rinstance, the cost of building a custom firearm from scratch.  You'd think you could save some money by buying all the parts and slapping it together yourself.

Well, maybe, maybe not.

In the case of my AR build, it was really a wash.  The total cost came out to be as much as a NIB mid-grade AR, but it was about 90% exactly the way I wanted it, as opposed to the 60-70% feature package you'd get off the shelf.

The Ruger .22/45 homebuild got me about $800 worth of pistol for $600 and change. (Labor NOT included... that's a write-off!)

The devil's in the details, though.  You can really jack up your budget once you start spending on the small fiddly bits.

I've been looking into building a Commander-sized 1911 in .38 Super.  While the slide, frame & barrel would run less than $700, once you add in the sights, springs, safeties, trigger, screws, etc., you're back up in the $1100  range, and you haven't even paid for the barrel/slide fitting by the local 1911 guru.  Might as well get that custom Kimber!

I had an opportunity to grab a Luger P-08 bare frame for mucho cheapo, and I almost bit, until I found out that replacement parts might as well be whittled out of 18K gold.  Again, you'd be better off paying $1100-1500 for a reliable shooter than trying to piece one together on the cheap.

I don't even want to get into the cost of building a custom bolt-action rifle...

Anybody else got the do-it-yourself bug?