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In this life, you occasionally have to be honest with yourself. This is one of those times.
The answer to the unspoken question is "yes, you can have it all", so long as you realize that your "expectations" dictate the degree of effort which must be expended to make you happy. Most of the time, something less than "it all" will do very nicely.
Click on the links above for discussions regarding the topics which establish the complexity of building your custom airgun. And, oh yes, if "it all" is what you want - you've come to the right place.
WHY BARNES? This one you need to answer before you go too far:
Let me give you a few examples of why folks buy a new gun and why some of them want me to hand build one for them. Not all reasons require a custom gun.
"Got the bug, got the money, want the rifle now": Sorry, just can't happen here. Alot of fine folks, round the world, are waiting for their personal Barnes PCP to be manufactured by GL Barnes alone.
"Just want a hot pcp rifle": It's available far cheaper off the rack. It won't be as "refined", but, some folks don't care about that.
"Want features I can't find elsewhere": Now we are getting warmer. I don't duplicate what is readily available from factories - what's the point? I offer unique combinations of features which aren't commonly seen. I offer power which is unavailable elsewhere at any cost. I offer power AND accuracy as part of every package.
"I have alot of experience with pcp guns, I know the features I want": Great reason. You end up with a personal rifle which suits your experience and the way you enjoy your sport. Attention to "detail" is what makes something special.
"Looking for the finest demonstrated combination of long range power and accuracy" ... You've come to the right place.
"I'm big, small, short, tall - I need a gun which fits ME": Good reason. I don't just size the stock, I can build the entire project, from the ground up, to your needs.
"I want a lifetime build on something I'll always treasure and hand down . . .": One of the top reasons I hear. It's rare today because folks have gotten use to tossing aside and buying new. If you have a long attention span, and, if you aren't easily taken in by fads; you might be a prospective Barnes customer.
Build Complete Projects!!!
Early on, I offered some more basic models, feeling that some would stop there and others would upgrade from there. What actually happened was this: with the base cost so low, everyone would add on quite a few "options" to their order. In reality, these "options" were required to make the rifle more accurate and consistent. They "completed" the needs of the user in meeting the goal. Nobody wanted a basic rifle - you can buy train loads of them anywhere.
Through the years, I've noted many things which cause folks endless frustration in trying to reach the goal of having a balanced, accurate tool to enjoy. Each time, I've designed a "fix" around that particular problem and they work well.
I've noted a trend which I'll lay out here. Maybe it will help you - maybe you'll feel it will help "someone else". The trend is that many folks like to feel that they are "beating the system" by buying a cheap rig and then making the changes required to make it shoot. Some start with a $500 rifle and then realize it's so loud their ears are bleeding and their wife is about to leave. So they beat the bushes for a moderator, often sending the rifle off for fitting. Then it's way too powerful for their needs. Out comes the guts of the rifle and things are shimmed and padded and filed and inserted to get the thing snuffled down. Then the trigger, which never worked too well, starts getting on their nerves. Off goes the rifle for a the latest "quick fix". Then the stock, which never fit at all, bothers them more and more. They beat the bushes for a stock man or start screwing prosthetic appendages all over the thing until that seven pound weight they were so proud of approaches eleven pounds and looks like a tree stand.
Now, that whimpy six power scope has to go in favor of something appropriate. They'll get back half their money on the six power. What scope should they buy this time? Ask ten people and get fifteen different answers. They find that most people would rather miss with an expensive scope than hit every time with a cheap one so, they buy the best they can afford. Next, a good month of scope rings and Allen wrenches and loc tite and shims and scope levels and knobs and elevation charts all run together in a blurrrrrrrr. The scope and rings have added another two pounds to the rifle's weight. The next competition proves they need to do it all over again. They're shooting right at 50 yards and left at 10 yards and can never remember which is which during the shoot. They need adjustable scope rings to bring the bore of the scope and the rifle barrel into parallel. Good luck.
Well, it's now late December and our hero "thinks" his rifle is "almost" right. It's 20 degrees outside. He's shipped off the rifle six times and waited three to six weeks, each time, to get it back. He's spent four times the original price of the rifle and hasn't hardly shot it all season. But, he's beat the system, by golly. He didn't pay no schtinking $2,500 for no thirteen pound FT rifle!!!
If any of this sounded familiar to you, you might want to consider buying a "complete package" FT assembly and actually getting around to enjoying your chosen sport rather than trying to become an airgunsmith as did our "hero" above.
The "Key" is to buy the complete package you need to reach your chosen goal. First, you clearly define the goal: Casual shooting and occasional varmint control, Serious long range varmint shooting, Dedicated FT rig, Luxury Sporter. You can't have it all in one rifle. But get all you need for the job the rifle is to perform.
There's nothing quick, simple, or cheap about acquiring fine handcrafted machine work. It takes a commitment to a detailed process which will involve significant outlay of funds to cover the extreme requirements of the task. The commitment to complete the project is two way. You get my finest work. I get your understanding of just what the true nature of the project involves. When these things come together - we build something unique and worthy of interest.
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