Need help with value of a rifle

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by mikeh416Rigby, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    I have to part ways with one of my rifles :(, and I need your help in determining its value for sale.

    It started its life as a Winchester Mod.70 Stainless Classic in .375 H&H. I had it rechambered to .375 Ackley Improved, but never restamped the barrel so as to facilitate taking it to Africa with ammo made with H&H brass.

    I replaced the plastic, factory stock, with a custom laminated stock from Serengeti Stockworks in their Merlin configuration using AAA Claro Walnut, with a sculpted cheek piece and 20 lpi checkering. The 24 inch barrel is free-floated, and the action and first two inches of the barrel are glass bedded. Two action cross bolts with ebony caps were added as well. I also had a Pacmyer Decelerator recoil pad installed. The barreled action has had a Ceracoat finish applied in a matte black finish. The factory sights have been replaced with a NECG windage adjustable, single leaf rear sight, and a NECG front sight with a fine bead, and a larger flip up night sight. It is topped with a Leupold 1.75 x 6 Matte Finish Scope, sitting in Talley QD rings and bases, also with a Matte Finish.See the description below.

    Stealth Lamination:
    Our proprietary Stealth Lamination provides greater strength and stability while preserving the full figure, grain and beauty of the wood. It provides all the stability of a synthetic stock but with the beauty, sound qualities and superior feel of fine walnut. Here's a link to the website that describes their process of lamination: Kilimanjaro Rifles | Proprietary Stealth Lamination Technology

    The Merlin
    Also known as "The Montanan", this geometry is a distillation of fifty years of stock-making by Merlin (Mel) Smart. Mel’s authentic geometry was captured by 3D Lightwave scanning allowing us to reproduce its classic lines as the starting geometry for your rifle. It is a classic, full-weight profile with an open grip and full-sized rounded fore-end suitable for all cartridges. This is one of our more popular choices. Comb 3/8", Heel 1/8".

    Museum Grade Wood Finish

    We call it “Museum Grade” because it is worthy of the finest exhibit in any museum, but developed to perform and withstand the rigors of the field—the working tool as art. Requiring almost two months to perform, and up to 15 different coats and cure periods, all Kilimanjaro and Serengeti wood stock rifles are expertly finished to provide a museum quality furniture grade tung-oil/urethane finish free of any defect, scratch, brush line, void, unfilled wood pore, or holiday as inspected through 4x magnification. The finish is then carefully treated for glare reduction to optimize it for field use.
    For the inevitable nicks and dings (which cannot be easily repaired on synthetic stocks), our wood stocks and wood finish are easily repairable to keep your rifle in top aesthetic form. We even include a bottle of touch-up finish that you can do yourself.

    This rifle shoots sub moa with both Swift A-frame and Barnes Bullets. If ammo is lost, it will shoot .375 H&H loads to sub moa as well. The rifle has been used, but not at all abused. Metal is 95% plus, and the stock has a few minor small scratches, and one very small ding that I could see. The trigger has been set at a crisp, creep free let-off of 3 1/4 pounds.

    Your help in placing a value on this rifle is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    Mike, please show us some pictures if you can. Would like to see this rifle.
  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Custom rifles, particularly those put together from components, as opposed to those built by a well known gunmaker can be very dissappointing on the resale market. Because such a rifle has no established market, it is worth what someone is willing to pay you for it. And that is not meant to sound trite. A dealer will offer you 50 to 60 percent of what he thinks he can sell it for reasonably quickly. That almost certainly will be a very disappointing number. Depending how much work was done by yourself and how much was done by a gunsmith in fitting the stock and sights and in rechambering, I would guess that you have between $5500 and $7500 in this rifle - maybe a bit more if Serengeti/Kilimanjaro did the fitting of the stock. Unfortunately, the wildcat configuration will cut down on the number of potential buyers.

    If you sell it yourself through Guns International or a site like this one where you can realize a "retail" value, I would be surprised if you are able to turn much above $3000 - and that, in all likelihood, will take a while. Obviously, the thing going for it is the stock, and you may find someone willing to pay a bit more to get a rifle for less than the cost of a new stock.

    I am sure not what you wanted to hear. Someone else may have a more optomistic appraisal.
  4. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    I can take some photos tonight and email them to you. When it comes to posting photos, I'm not computer savvy enought to do that. Please send me a PM with your email address and I'll send them to you.
  5. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    Red Leg: thanks for the well thought out reply. Yes, Serengeti did fit and bed the stock.

    The reason I posted my request is because this past weekend I took the rifle to a well known outdoor store, hoping to sell it. The bottom line is, not only wasn't the salesperson on the same page as me, .... he wasn't even reading the same book. I eventually told him he should call the police, and quickly. He asked me why, and I told him that someone was trying to steal a gun. He asked me where, and I said "standing right in front of me". He wasn't amused, but, then again, neither was I. He was offering a 3 digit figure, and that was with the scope and QD rings and bases.
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I wouldn't be one bit surprised if Cabelas had given you the quote.

    My suggestion would be to sell it on the internet...using on of the firearm sales sites. Or trade the gun for a hunt somewhere! Our state chapter in SCI let SCI members post guns for sale...and a lot of higher end guns where sold that way. It may have not been ever be close to what you put in the gun....which is disappointing. But the economy is different too.
  7. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    The dude must be smoking good crap..!
  8. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mikeh416rigby...

    A couple of things....And please do not take offense.

    What you are describing, i have gone through over the years and it is not what you or the others want to hear...this rifle is your treasure that you have built up over the years, however the modifications were for your benefit, and you have to remember that. I see where some have provide a value in there mind let them put there money where there mouth is...and buy it at the price...

    1. The stock was your up grade and to a new potential buyer it is not worth anything unless the customer can shoot the stock...this add nothing to the value of the rifle..the looks are better and that could help you...however that being said it is a negative on rifle resale...(i have many custom stocks and put the factory stock back on when i resale the gun for a better value...and then sale the custom stock separate..i have learned this over the years)..

    2. Rifle re- chambered and not stamped...unless it is stamped by the gunsmith who did the work the barrel is not original...so that being said it is a negative on rifle resale...(i have custom barrel work on many guns and have the gunsmith stamp his name on the barrel and i have retained the paperwork to go with the rifle and shotguns to show what work was performed...with out this info your barrel it is a piece of scrap metal, i have heard it over and over)

    3. If you sale the rifle to another party and they shoot the wrong ammunition in the rifle you could be liable...unless the barrel receive a correct new stamp on it and the old stamp removed...it appears like you were hiding the alterations...i while i know that is not the case...other may not see it that way...

    4. You will receive more money for the rifle if you find someone to purchase from you...going through a dealer you will take a big hit unless you put it on consignment with a well known party...that will work on a percentage bases...(i have used this over the years and usually get more for my gun than i originally requested...i was in no hurry to sell the gun)

    5. The way i see it you have rifle parts to sell...
    1. You have an action
    2. You have a custom Stock for a Winchester Model 70
    3. you have a modified 375 barrel with incorrect stamping
    4. you have used scope...
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Custom guns especially semi custom guns are like cars, you almost never get all your money out of them. Simple fact of life.
  10. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mikeh416rigby...

    I had to make some calls today to see what your rifle could sell for...

    My friend bought a Winchester Model 70 with a custom fancy stock last year with the barrel re-chambered on it, however the rifle barrel was not stamped for the new cambering....Now does this sound familiar...I had seen and held the rifle at Christmas time while visiting my fishing buddy...that is why i made some call to check what he paid for it.

    You want to know what he paid...Drum roll here... well he was able to purchase the rifle for less that $300...with a weaver Scope.

    My friend has two choices re-barrel the rifle or have a competent gunsmith check the cambering and then re-stamp the barrel...
  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    James, that is all very interesting, but this rifle doesn't really fit that sort of catagory. While you are checking around, pull up the base price of a serengeti stock works/ kilimanjaro fitted stock on the web. Then pull up NECG's custom sight products.

    Again Mike, I would advertise here, guns international, 24 hr campfire and the like with emphasis on the custom quality of a high end Africa ready express rifle at a bargain price. And I think I would be willing to be estatic with 2800 - 3200 and willing to live with 2200 to 2500 or so.
  12. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    DOCMAN...photos have been sent
  13. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    James...having my gunsmith (who did the rechambering) is no problem. He's got over 35 years experience, builds custom rifles, and is a Remington Factory Authorized Repair Center. He won't have to check the chambering because he did the original work.
  14. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    Just a couple of things to touch on:

    The barrel is currently stamped 375 H&H. I only have to have my gunsmith (who did the original rechambering job) add the word Ackley to the stamping, along with his name...M.D.Fix. Since Ackley cases for reloading are usually fireformed using the parent case, I don't see how someone could load it with wrong ammo.

    The rifle has the standard Winchester Mod. 70 length of pull, so that's not an issue. Additionally, the custom stock is of a classic design, so there should be very few people who would have trouble shooting it.

    I still have the original plastic factory stock that will be sold with it.

    And lastly, of course all custom rifles are built for the owner. That's why they're called custom. But, that in no way should detract from the value of the custom rifle, as all the items were upgrades from the factory original.
  15. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    RED LEG...you have a PM
  16. mikeh416Rigby

    mikeh416Rigby AH Senior Member

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    Kind of like getting married. LOL
  17. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Red legs...

    Your rifle is not worth anything until you find a buyer to buy it from you...that is the bottom line...You can give all the data you want the market place is where you will find your value...

    As i said some people pride and joy will not fetch what they think it is worth...argue as you may it is not factory original...so modification will detract from the original price...your add on are for you...are not in the used gun book so that is a freebee unless you can find a buyer will to pay extra for it...

    interesting...stock work...that is why you sell it separate from the factory rifle or shotgun...wood up to 4K either Turkish, Claro, English or Bastogne, i have done...when you try and sell a stock made from top 3 stock-makers in the united states you might fetch $1,500 for a 6K investment...with no marks...like new...
    So do not even go there on who made the best or greatest stock, it was made for you...you may have 2K to 6K in it and it is only worth about a 1/4 of your investment and that is if it is cherry...and you find a buyer that is willing to take it at that price...

    All your do dads were for you...you will eat it unless you find a guppy willing to pay for your sales pitch...

  18. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Having read your post three times, I can honestly say that I am fairly certain that I have little more idea than a chicken what exactly you are trying to say.
  19. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    James is 100 percent on with his answer. It is worth what the market will bear. Put it on your favorite firearms auction site, put your reserve in for what you are willing to accept, write your best description extolling its virtues and see what you can get. That is what it is worth. Most people who want a custom rifle want it customized for themselves, not someone else. You might get lucky and find someone who wants it exactly as you did, in which case, he'll buy it from you used for less than you have in it (otherwise he'd just buy new). To anyone else, he'll figure out what about it is the way he wants, then he'll offer you less than you have in just those parts and knock some more off for the trouble of changing the other parts.

    Look at it this way, if I buy a $100K house in a working class neighborhood full of identical $100K houses and add $300K worth of marble tubs, LaCornue appliances, granite counters, teak floors throughout, detailed plaster crown moldings, tile my garage, and put in a limestone wine cellar, how much will I get for the house? Nobody in the 100K price range even knows what LaCornue is. The teak floors are the same to him as any other hardwood floor, the marble tubs are a tub, he's got to spend money to epoxy over the garage tiles. He has always wanted a man-cave, and the wine cellar looks like it would work. He was planning on spending $1200 at Home Depot on paneling and 2x4s to build one in the basement of whatever house he buys. His wife likes the granite counters because she saw them on the cooking channel. So he offers $102K.
  20. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    +1, Bert the Turtle, you hit the nail on the head!

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