For a rifleman there are few things as appealing as a custom rifle. Yeah, being stranded on a deserted island with Dave Navarro’s girlfriend is an appreciable fantasy, but that’s not going to happen.
The primary appeal of a custom rifle is that it is built just they way you want it. The primary problem with custom rifles is that they cost so much. A lot of hard working rifle enthusiasts, like you find here in West Virginia, are coal miners and the politicians drinking the global warming Kool Aid are putting them out of work faster than you can load 16 tons! I realize, money can be tight.
An affordable option I have found is Mossberg’s MVP. I’ve built two custom rifles on this platform. Not only have I been satisfied with the results, the process was enjoyable. The MVP is a receptive platform because of the way it is configured and because they are reasonably affordable. They works with conventional AR 15 /10 magazines, are available in a variety of stock designs and barrel configurations, and are chambered for two parent cartridges that are very popular and allow for easy cartridge conversion.
The first custom MVP I put together was built on the MVP Predator rifle. I added an XS front sight and a XS Back-Up rear sight. I then reshaped the blocky wood stock and added two sections of rail to the forend. (I’ll admit some are turned off by the blockish looking stocks on some MVPs, but their excess size allows you to shape them any way you want.) This little .223 Remington is a versatile rifle that shoots pretty darn good. Dove’s Custom Guns painted the stock and mounted the front sight.
I went a step further with the other MVP. I had it barreled for the .25-45 Sharps. Since this case is based on the .223, there were no magazine compatibility or bolt face issues. I then mounted a front sight and an XS Remington 700 Weaver style base with an integral aperture sight. For the forward scope mount I used another Weaver base but opened the slot up to accept a Picatinny mount. This rifle can accept a standard scope, a red dot, or it can be fired with the open sights. I mounted a short Weaver base to the forend to allow for a light attachment and ended up with a reasonably versatile and very light predator and deer rifle.
A woman I attended the Gunsite Academy Advanced Scout Rifle Course with, had a wonderfully svelte MVP in .223 Remington that had been put together like a scout rifle. Jim Brockman of Gooding Idaho might be better known as “Dr. Scout” and he did a fine job with this rifle. So, don’t rule out sending an MVP out to a talented gunsmith like Brockman for a little tweaking.
If you are thinking about putting together your own rifle, check out the full line of Mossberg MVPs. You might like the Predator, the Patrol, the Scout, or even the FLEX, which has an AR like pistol grip and a stock with an adjustable length of pull. (The Flex Youth is a very versatile six pound rifle that might be ideal for a small adult or youth.)
In the venue of utility rifles, the Mossberg MVP line has a lot to offer whether you go with an out of the box example or add a little – or a lot of – customization.