Where Credit is Due...

HumbleEinstein

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Sep 17, 2013
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Some months ago, I reached to Mr. Robert Gradous about getting a custom rifle built. Mr. Gradous was extremely generous with his time and knowledge. In addition, he was quite frank. He initially told me that it could take four to six months for him to build my rifle. As I expected the process of collecting parts to be slow, that sounded good to me. Plus, I really wanted my rifle to be built by the legendary Robert Gradous.

Shortly thereafter, I got lucky and managed to find the exact parts I needed very fast. Credit for that goes to Southern Precision Rifles. When I told Mr. Gradous that I was ready to send him parts, he paused and told me that he would be happy to build my rifle for me, but if I was interested, he could recommend me to a very experienced smith, who was once an apprentice of his, that just opened his own shop and “can build the rifle just as well” and in a period of weeks. I know Mr. Gradous has plenty of business, regardless this was a classy move.

Since I had my heart set on Gradous, I was a little skeptical. Then I thought that if Mr. Robert Gradous says that this smith can build the rifle just as well, it is worth looking into. Mr. Gradous referred me to Matt Stewart. Matt just opened Stewart Rifles in Oklahoma (Stewart Rifles - Stewart Rifles). Matt was one of the guys there at the very beginning of Surgeon Rifles and has developed a reputation as a perfectionist. He answered all my questions, was always responsive, and lived up to his reputation.

In two weeks, Matt built me a 6.5 Creedmoor on a Defiance Deviant action with a 25” Bartlein 1 in 8 twist M24 barrel. It has a Jewell trigger, Badger Thruster brake, and it’s bedded into a Whiskey 3 Gen4 chassis with a spigot mount. Matt sent the bolt out for salt bath nitride treatment. I have only had the rifle out once so far, but it was zeroed in two shots and shot .5 MOA or better regardless of what I put through it. With some further load testing, I’m confident it will shoot .25 MOA or better. I’m already very close to it and I’ve only scratched the surface of reloading for the rifle.

Since receiving the rifle, I added Seekins 1” rings, the Vortex Razor GenII 4.5-27x56, Accuracy 1st scope level, Vortex throwlever, aadmount caps, and a Atlas PSR.

With Matt’s expertise and integrity, I’m sure his shop will be a great success. Thanks for building me a great rifle. I’ll be back for more.

If it's not already clear, I give Matt my highest recommendation.

(Pics Matt sent me during the build)



(Shots 1-6)


(My favorite load so far)


(This load shot the best in my OCW test, but I don't think I would get enough velocity from it)


(Rifle as she sits right now. I need to take some better pics.)
 
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Bradu

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Man I want to have a rifle built with a polished action and barrel, they just look so damn good.
 

HumbleEinstein

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Man I want to have a rifle built with a polished action and barrel, they just look so damn good.
The way I see it, the tactical look is cool, but I don't hunt and the only time my rifle is involved in covert activity is when I need to sneak out of the house to get to the range. There's nothing wrong with some shine to it and it looks really good.
 

Terry Cross

Dingleberry
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Mar 15, 2003
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Very nice rifle!

For what it's worth, I agree with what Robert said.

Matt is young, eager and talented. His experience building rifles at Surgeon and working with Robert but him in the top tier without even adding in his other experience. You will not meet a better young man and his work is excellent.

He is only going to get more backed up as more people realize this.

.
 

Matthew Stewart

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Oct 12, 2014
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HumbleEinstein - Thanks so much for allowing me to build the rifle. It was a fun build. Also, thanks for your post and recommendation.

Robert and Terry - It's a privilege just knowing you guys, let alone getting your stamp of approval.

Appreciate it very much guys!