Why should I choose Allen Precision to build my next custom firearm over anyone else?
That is a complicated answer but here goes.  I am never one to bad mouth any other smiths so I will only comment on myself.  I started into the precision shooting sports around 20 years ago, and my desire to push the limits of ballistic performance grew rapidly.   I used to be a professional wildlife artist before I started building custom firearms so my attention to detail is extreme.  Every firearm I build has my personal interest as I build each as if it would be going into my personal gun safe.  I am in this to make a living at what I love to do, not get rich at the expense of my customers.  I have used pretty much every top component in the country and have tested them fully, I know what works and what is a waste of money and recommend only what will give my customers the best return on their investment.   My desire to push the performance envelope has opened the door to my customers to have the most potent long range weapon systems offered today.  I see every customer as a friend instead of just a customer and make sure every aspect of the project meet my very high standards for quality in appearance and performance.  When you hire APS to build a rifle you are not getting 10 people working on a rifle, you get Kirby Allen from start to finish, no farming out, no less then motivated employees, no rush jobs on Friday afternoon, and no fuzzy heads after a weekend of fun.   Finally, you get a rifle manufacturer that is truely humbled at the opportunity to build you a precision firearm and I am honored to do this with every customer I have.

I can get a rifle built for less by another shop, why is that?
Prices are often set by three things, work load of the manufacturer, quality of parts used and to some degree, reputation of the manufacturer.  I set my prices based on component price and my base labor to build the rifle, thats it.   My prices to not change with work load.  I only endorse very top end products that are proven to work as advertised and will get the customer the best return for their large investment in a custom firearm.  My goal is that your rifle meets or exceeds your goals to such a degree that once you have the rifle in hand, you never even think about the price of the rifle again.  Yes some are cheaper, some are more expensive, all I can guarantee is that you will get your moneys worth from an APS firearm.

Why is it so difficult to contact Allen Precision by phone?
Simply put, APS is a one man operation.  I do the ordering, building, testing, shipping, contacting, explaining, replying and every other aspect related to APS including sweeping the shop and running to ship rifles.  As such, my time is extremely limited.  I reply to 30 to 50 e-mails daily.  E-mails allow me to reply to my customers and potential customers late at night or early in the morning.  This leaves the middle of the day open for rifle building, testing and making rifle shipping runs.  If I had to reply to every e-mail by phone I simply would not have any time left in a day to get work done in the shop.  I realize that some are uncomfortable with this at first but once they shoot me a couple e-mails they realize I am very easy to work with with this system and it allows me to get work done at the same time.

Does APS do any general gunsmithing work?
No, because of my work load, in 2009, I had to make the decision to do only custom firearm manufacturing and stopped offering any general gunsmithing work.  I will do simple barrel installations and muzzle brake installations but no general gunsmithing repair work.

How does the order process work when ordering a rifle from APS?
Basically you contact me via e-mail is best, Tell me what you have in mind for your project if you have an idea what you want.  If you do not, I will supply you with a list of questions that I have you answer which will help me recommend the best design for your needs.  You read over my recommendations, if there is something you want changed we talk that over and discuss the pros and cons with the changes and make a final decision on the rifle design.  When that is agreed on, I send you a detailed work order break down list including pricing.  You look that over and if changes are needed we make them, if not, we agree to this design and price total and I ask for a 50% deposit payment.  When the deposit arrives, the three major components are ordered and your name is put on the work order list with your project details and we are on our way.

When I order a rifle from APS, who does the work on the rifle?
The only aspect of the rifle manufacturing I do not do is if the customers wants the rifle coated.  For that I have a very high quality metal coater that does all my coating for me.  Other then that, no other set of hands touches your rifle from the time I take the parts out of the shipping boxes until its packaged up as a complete rifle and shipped to you or your FFL.   My father does all of my brass forming for my customers as well so that is another area that I do not physically do personally but I am always inspecting the formed brass that he turns out.

How long should I expect it to take for a rifle to be shipped from APS?
Currently, I am telling my customers 12-15 months from time of deposit receipt.  This is a best guess estimate in good faith.  At the end of 2009, I was 26 months on full custom orders.  At the end of 2010 I was at around 20 months.   This is also dependant on component makers getting me the parts in a timely manor and those parts meeting my requirements for quality which does not always happen.  If a stock or barrel or receiver must be returned for replacement because it does not meet my standard to build on, it will take more time but this is relatively rare but it does happen. 

What does "1/2 moa accuracy potential" really mean when Kirby is referring to his accuracy testing of his rifles?
Simply put, I shoot every rifle I build at long range, NO 100 yard group testing, means nothing to me at that close range.  I test my sporter rifles at a minimum of 800 yards and my medium to heavy rifles at +1000 yards.  Each rifle is tested with 12 to 15 test rounds down the barrel.  Generally speaking, the rifles are set up as they would be used in the field for big game hunting, fired off a harris bipod on the front and sand bag supporting the rear.   Rifles are bore sighted and then dialed in on target which generally takes 2-3 shots down the bore.  The rifles are then allowed to cool and then three shot groups are fired at known sized(generally 1/4 to 1/2 moa in size), highly visible targets at measured ranges.  Video equipment is used to record shooting sessions and the rifles must prove that they are capable of delivering 1/2 moa grade consistency at these ranges.  Shooting sessions are replayed on big screen televisions so that the rifles performance can be easily inspected.   If rifles do not show they can print 1/2 moa class groups then more load development is done, if they meet this accuracy level performance, they are shipped.

Why will my APS rifle not consistantly shoot under 1/2 moa at 100 yards but will do so at longer ranges?
Most of the rifles I build and ship out of APS are designed for extreme performance at long range.  As such, they generally drive very heavy, very long bullets at very high velocity levels.   These bullets generally need more distance to "Go to sleep" and fly true around their center of gravity and fight off the effects of the rifles rifling on the bullets.  The longer the bullet, the heavier the bullet and the faster the bullet will require more distance for the bullet to "Go to sleep".   This is why it is common to see groups at 100 yards measure in the 3/4 moa range and even 1 moa range that at 500 yards are down to 1/2 moa.

My APS rifle shoots very well but at times it will not always shoot 1/2 moa groups, why is this?
Most often the reason for this is not the rifle at all but the conditions being shot in and the shooter themselves that in all honesty is the weak link.  I have had days when I was lucky to hold 1 moa consistency when I knew the rifle I was shooting was easily a 1/4 moa rifle at the ranges I was shooting.  We are the weak link pure and simple to rifle precision.    Shooting conditions also greatly determine a rifles performance down range.  We can not predict shooting conditions dead on the money at long range and it does not take much to open a 1/2 moa group up to 1 moa in size.  Consider this however, if your drop chart is accurate and you have estimated the shooting conditions well, you will generally never notice if you have a bad day when big game hunting.  It is far more important to put that first shot within 1/2 moa of your point of aim while big game hunting then worrying about group size which is irrelevant for big game hunting.

Can I set up an appointment to meet Kirby at his shop for a face to face meeting?
Yes we can if needed.  It can be difficult to set up schedules but if its required it can be done.  This kind of goes back to the contacting APS by phone question above.  Gunsmithing shops tend to turn into the local social spot for shooters.  That is great for chewing the fat but very bad for getting anything done in the shop.  Building precision rifles is not overly difficult but you do need your full attention to detail and that is not possible with people in the shop talking to you so I try to limit actual in shop appointments to a minimum just to maintain a good amount of working time in the shop.

Can I supply the parts for my APS rifle project?
Most of the time yes, AS LONG as the parts that you want to use meet the standards that I set for my rifles.  There are many firearm component makers that make top quality components. As long as the company has a good reputation for quality products that I have proven up to my standards, I have no problem letting the customer order the parts.  That said, if you supply the parts, you get back the rifle you supplied the parts for!!  If the rifle is heavier or longer or just not what you think it should look like, that is something out of my hands as you supplied the parts.

Is it cheaper if I supply the parts for my APS rifle project?
Generally no.   I do not increase the price of my base components to my customers.  I see no need to make money on a rifle part just because I ordered it, I charge the customer standard price for all parts plus shipping and no more.  I make my money on the labor end of building the firearm, not in ordering another manufacturers part.

Do I have to use the loads offered by Kirby with his APS rifles or will my handloads void any warrantees?
No, with conditions.  The loads I develop are proven capable of 1/2 moa accuracy potential in your firearm using my loading tools, my loading components and my shooting skills.   That does not mean they are the BEST load for your rifle.  I often have customers that report back that get finer consistency with their rifles then I was when testing.  This is likely due to many reasons, barrels fully breaking in is a main reason and I am able to admit that many of my customers flat out have better shooting skills then I do.  That said, I can not guarantee that your rifle will shoot all loads under 1/2 moa and alot of load development will lead to shortened barrel life, especially with the real high intensity chamberings such as most of my wildcat chamberings.

I like to do alot of load development and testing with my precision rifles, are there any APS wildcats that would be good for this application?
Simple answer, NO.   All of the APS wildcats are designed to be the top of the performance ladder, as such, they are extreme performance, low expansion ratio designs that do not lend themselves well to high volume testing and shooting.  Its recommended that shooters shoot 3 shot strings at the most and allow plenty of barrel cooling between strings to promote barrel life.  That said, if you want an APS wildcat with the longest accuracy life, it would likely be the 338 Allen Xpress and 375 Allen Xpress along with the 510 Allen Magnum.  Still, if you want to tinker with load development and alot of shooting, we can set you up with a much better chambering choice that will get you much longer barrel life.

Several of the APS wildcats were designed from the start to be used with custom bullets, will commerical bullets work in these wildcats?
Certainly.   The APS wildcats that have been hurt the most from the lack of the old Wildcat Bullet company has been the 257 Allen Magnum and 270 Allen Magnum.  Both of these can be loaded with conventional bullets but do give up some ballistic performance by doing so.  The 7mm Allen Magnum was designed around the awesome 200 gr ULD RBBT Wildcat bullet which is still in production but somewhat challenging to get at this point in time.  That said, bullets such as the 160 gr Accubond, 175 gr Sierra Matchking and 180 gr Berger VLD can be used to very good results and still keep the 7mm AM on the top of the performance pile.  The 300 Allen Xpress, 338 Allen Xpress, 375 Allen Xpress, 338 Allen Magnum and 375 Allen Magnum are designed to be used with commerically available bullets.

I like the looks of some of the APS wildcat chamberings but am worried about loading data and forming brass, is this a problem?
Not really.  For most of my APS wildcats, I offer fully formed brass to customers along with load data and loading dies so in reality, even though your loading for an extreme performance wildcat, they are no more difficult to load for then any other magnum commerical chambering.

I have been told by some "experts" that the APS wildcats have a very short accuracy life, is this true?
Barrel life is much more dependant on how the rifle is used and maintained then the chambering in the barrel.  If you heat the barrel up on any of the APS wildcats and keep shooting you can limit accuracy life to as little as 300 rounds.  If you use them as recommended, they will offer a careers worth of long range precision performance to even the most serious big game hunters.  Again, barrel life falls more on the shoulders of the shooter then with what the rifle is chambered in.  Keep the bores cool and clean and they will last A LONG TIME for you.

When I order an APS rifle, do I have to pay all up front?
No, actually I prefer not to have payment in full.  I ask for a 50% deposit payment to be made.  This helps me with the over head cost of the project in receiver, barrel and stock cost.  The balance is due after the rifle has been tested and ready to ship.

Does APS accept credit cards for payment?
For rifles, no, for rifle components yes.  I have a paypal account for taking payments on smaller items such as muzzle brakes, dies, brass, etc...  But Paypal is very much against firearm sales so I do not accept credit card payments for complete rifles.  I do accept personal checks, money orders and certified bank checks for payment methods.  For personal checks, rifles will be held if final payment is made with a personal check until funds clear the banks.

Does APS offer any long range shooting classes?
No I do not, unfortunately, no time for that.  That said, I will offer as much after the sale advice and support if needed to get your rifles up and running as they should be for you.  There are several good shooting classes around the country so I would recommend one of these.

What happens if something goes wrong with my APS rifle?
I stand behind my rifles 100%.   If there is a problem, you get them to me and I will find out what the problem is and if the problem is something I should have caught before shipping the rifle I fix it on my dime and return it to you.   If you drop your rifle and crack your stock I can not supply you a new stock but I will give a break on bedding cost of the new stock.  Same with barrels, if you shoot out your barrel, I can not replace barrels for the entire life of the rifle.  Barrels should be considered an expendable rifle component.  I will help with installation costs on a new barrel if and when a barrel looses accuracy.   I take alot of pride in my customer service and will help my customers out to the end.  I will also back up any APS rifle that is purchased second hand as long as the rifle has not been altered by another smith of the previous owner.

Does APS make their own custom loading dies for the APS wildcats?
No,  Full length sizing dies for the 257, 6.5mm and 270 Allen Xpress and Magnum chamberings are made by Redding.  The 7mm Allen Magnum, 300, 338, 375 Allen Xpress, 338 Allen Magnum Full Length sizing dies are made by Hornady.   Seating dies for all of the above are made from reaming Forster Ultra BR seating dies with the same chambering reamer used in each rifle.   The 375 Allen Magnum and 510 Allen Magnum 2 die sets are made by Hornady.

I want a rifle that is light enough to pack around all day in the mountains but will also allow me to shoot out to 1000 yards, is this possible?
Possible, yes, Practical, no.   One needs to realize that a rifles weight has very little to do with the accuracy potential of the rifle system as long as the rifle is built properly.  That said, as a rifles weight decreases, it is effected to a much higher degree by us as humans.   We are the weak link in a rifles ability to shoot and the lighter the rifle, the more we influence the rifles ability to shoot precisely at longer ranges.   A light rifle is just more difficult to shoot then a heavier rifle, especially at longer ranges.   Much more is places on the shooter then the rifle as the rifle weight decreases.  Most healthy mature males can easily pack a 10 lb rifle in the hills.  A 10 pound rifle is DRAMATICALLY easier to shoot at long range then even an 8 pound rifle.  For those asking me to build them lightweight rifles with long range reach, I often tell them to consider the rifle an 800 yard or under rifle if they want it in the 8 pound class or below.  Not saying the rifle will not shoot well at longer ranges, just that most shooters are not good enough to shoot this well at 1000 yards with a lightweight rifle.  This is not an attach on anyone, I include myself in the statement above as well.   We just need to be realistic about what we are asking from ourselves and our weapon systems.



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