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This profile was last updated on 4/24/11  and contains information from public web pages.

Richard Franklin

Wrong Richard Franklin?


Phone: (540) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: r***@***.com
Richard's Custom Rifles
10431 Stewartsville Rd.
Vinton , Virginia 24179
United States

Company Description: I build all rifles to benchrest standards. I build benchrest, sillhouette, tactical, varmint, long range and hunting rifles.

Employment History

  • Gunsmith
18 Total References
Web References
6mm Remington Ackley Varminter within, 24 April 2011 [cached]
Richard Franklin, owner of Richard's Custom Rifles in Virginia, is one serious varmint shooter. The farther the critter, the more fun it is to hit. With his favorite long-range caliber, the 6mm Remington Ackley Improved, he regularly nails groundhogs at 600 to 900+ yards. Here is his latest 6mm AI, a BAT-actioned 14-twist that drives a 75-grain V-Max at a blistering 3860 fps.
Richard prefers the short action for stiffness, but this requires pulling the bolt to remove a loaded round.
Richard tells us, "this is important for the varminter who shoots from bipod and improvised rests.
For optics, Richard runs an 8-32×56 Nightforce Benchrest scope in Burris Signature Zee Rings. Why would Richard trust a $1250 scope to a relatively inexpensive set of rings? Richard explained: "The Burris Signature is the best ring design ever, in my opinion.
Richard tells us: "I've been shooting the 6mm Rem AI for over 15 years.
Richard tells us, "A good bedding job is as critical to accuracy as the best barrel money can buy. For a pillar-bedded rifle, Richard begins by turning stainless pillars from sections of cast-off barrels. It takes him half an hour to make a single pair of 1/2-diameter pillars with a 7/8 bottom flange or "escutchen" (see forward pillar base in photo). He mounts the pillars in the stock with Devcon, then relieves wood from the stock interior to provide fill space for a Devcon coating under the entire action. His pillar-bedding work is exceptional-the man really knows his stuff. A two-bolt installation costs $140, while a three-bolt job is $20 more. Costing $40 per set, the stainless pillars are only available to customers who purchase his stocks.
Richard offers a variety of finishes, but for this rifle he used a hand-rubbed oil finish over 10 coats of clear. After applying the clear-coat, he spent about three hours rubbing the finish with #0000 steel wool. This dulls down the shiny gloss. Then came the labor of love. He applied WATCO Danish oil liberally to the stock with his fingers, removing the excess with paper towels. Rubbing out with the towels smooths and polishes the wood. The end result is a handsome satin finish that looks like a classic all-oil finish, but is much more durable since the undercoat is epoxy clear. Richard tells us: "It takes a lot of time, but the end result is worth it-you end up with a beautiful finish that is much tougher than oil alone."
The World of Fancy Laminates Richard Franklin is one of the few men in America who sells strong, beautiful stocks laminated from fancy hardwoods. To accomplish this, Richard had to be an engineer as much as a woodworker. He designed his own stock duplicator as well as a gluing press that uses three twenty-ton hydraulic rams. This allows him to laminate hardwoods with no visible gluing seams. Richard explains: "Glue lines can ruin a beautiful stock". Richard is modest about his operation, but he really is doing something unique. His technology allows a customer to enjoy the beauty and elegance of presentation-grade hardwoods, with the stability and stiffness of laminated wood.
Conventional laminated stocks are made from multiple layers of dyed Birch hardwood which is very dense. This can make an exceptionally strong stock. They are available in many combinations of colors, some really nice and some really wild, but they all have a distinctive utilitarian look as compared to Richard's laminates made from fine woods such as straight-grained Walnut, Curly Walnut, Curly Maple, Osage, Wild Cherry, and Brazilian Cherry. Richard tells us: "For the 10.5-pound BR rifle I have found that the Eastern Red Cedar is about the only wood that will make weight in my model BR2000 stock. Richard's hardwood laminates can mimic a classic one-piece stock. While he normally uses 5- or 7-layer laminates, when he has a really spectacular piece of wood Richard uses a 3-part laminate, with the left and right sections cut from a single block: "When I do anything out of real fancy wood, we want all the finely-figured wood to show on the outside, so we'll use three laminates. Three laminates makes it much stiffer than a conventional one-piece stock, but it will look like a one-piece stock, with perfectly matched sides. A three-layer stock will never warp or move, and it will shoot as good as 10 layers. When working with the best blanks, you have to get a happy medium between number of lams and the beauty of the stock."
Richard employs a variety of fine woods, Walnut (Claro, Bastogne, English), Cherry, Curly Maple, Birdseye Maple, and Cedar to name a few. For his premium stocks, he's always looking for a superior piece of wood. He acquires a lot of his blanks from Northwest Timber in Washington state, but now and then he'll go out and fell a tree. He tells us: "it takes a huge amount of time and effort to cut your own wood.
Richard is a strong advocate of wood stocks for performance as well as aesthetics: "Wood is much easier on the eyes.
Photos Copyright © 2010 Richard Franklin, All Rights Reserved. All other content and design Copyright © 2010, |, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction of any content without advanced permission in writing.
Topics: Precision rifle, hunting, varmints, varminting, groundhog shooting, rifle accuracy, 6mmBR, 6BR, 6 Dasher, .243 WSSM, 6mm Remington, Ackley Improved, 6 REM AI, Vihtavuori, N160, VV N160, Varget, IMR 4064, Laminated stocks, BAT custom actions, Krieger barrel, Harrel muzzle brake, Jewell trigger, Maple, Curley Maple, Walnut, Laminated Walnut, training, reloading, powder selection, case forming, fire-forming, Lapua Brass and Hornady bullets, moly coating, gunstock, stock-making, wood working.
Tags: .243, 6mm Rem, Fancy Wood, Ground Hog, Richard Franklin
News « Daily Bulletin, 2 April 2014 [cached]
Richard Franklin - He's Alive and Well
DVD Our readers have asked, "What's happened to Richard Franklin? Is he still making rifles? Well, we're pleased to tell you that Richard is doing fine. He is up in Montana, building a new house, doing most of the construction himself. The good news is that the new house will have a big workshop, and Richard hopes to start building a few rifles near the end of this year. He won't be taking orders for quite a while. But in the meantime, Richard is still sharing his knowledge about stock-making, gunsmithing, and varmint hunting via DVDs that can be purchased online.
Groundhog Hunting with Richard Franklin
A few seasons back, gunsmith Richard Franklin and his shooting partner Roy both achieved a varmint hunter's dream - nailing a groundhog at 1000+ yards. The guns that did it were two of Richard's 300 Varminters. These are 300 WSMs that push a 125gr bullet through 32, 15-twist barrels to achieve velocities approaching 4000 fps. Here is Richard's report, condensed for the Daily Bulletin.
Richard's Custom Rifles
The 1005-Yard Groundhog Adventure, by Richard Franklin
Share the post "Richard Franklin - He's Alive and Well"
We've chatted with Richard ..., 24 April 2011 [cached]
We've chatted with Richard Franklin of Richard's Custom Rifles, and he mentioned that one of his favorite varmint rifles is a 14-twist, 22BR built on his model 11 stock in laminated Black Walnut and fiddleback maple. Richard says the rifle is versatile and deadly accurate out to 400 yards. Richard uses a Leupold 8.5-25×50 with varmint reticle.
A Pair of Aces -- Greg's Twin 30BRs, 23 Nov 2007 [cached]
The handsome stocks were handmade by Richard Franklin of Richard's Custom Rifles in Virginia. This is Richard's own Benchrest stock design that meets all the dimensional requirements of the governing rules. He makes these in a wide variety of timbers but Red Cedar is the choice when weight savings and beauty are prime concerns. They are actually 3-piece laminates, not solid, single pieces of wood. Richard carefully aligns the grain between layers has been made to eliminate the possibility of warping. Richard’s bedding job reflects superb workmanship, and features handmade stainless steel pillars and escutcheons and skillfully-applied Devcon bedding material. The result is a rock-solid, stress-free bedding job. Both aluminum butt plates were hand-made by Richard and fitted in perfect alignment. The Cedar was finished with high-gloss polyurethane.
Topics: HCBR, SSAA, Greg Roche, Caduceus, 30BR, 30 Benchrest, 30 BR, Stolle, Kelbly Grizzly, Grizzly II, Richard's Custom Rifles, Richard Franklin, Cedar, Stress-Free Pillar Bedding, 6mm, 6mm BR Norma, 6BR, 6.5-284, 6.5x284, 6.5mm, 6PPC, 30BR, .308, Williamsport, IBS, NBRSA, Score, Group, Agg, Aggregate, Benchrest, 6mm Improved, Light Gun, LV, HV, 6PPC, Schneider, Krieger, 300m, 600m, 1000 yards, Jewell, Benchrest, BR, Bench Rest, rifle accuracy, Recoil, Australian Defense Industries, ADI, AR2207, Hodgdon Powder, N120, H4198, Lapua, Sierra, Randy Robinett, BIB Bullets, Competition Shooting, Stocks, Leupold, barrel, reloading, powder, case forming, neck-turning, Lapua Brass, Winchester, bullets, precision, Fiberglass, Hard Hold, Free Recoil. BLOG, 1 Oct 2007 [cached]
VARMINTING--Franklin's 4000 FPS, 300 WSM Wows Hunters: Richard Franklin (Richard's Custom Rifles) has pioneered the use of lightweight (110-130 grain) 30-caliber bullets in a new generation of hyper-velocity varmint rifles. Richard's new trademark cartridge is the "300 Varminter". Using 30" barrels with the 300 WSM case, Richard's "maxi" varminter delivers incredible levels of energy at both short and long range. Traveling at 4000+ FPS, the lightweight, plastic-tipped bullets literally explode when they hit. This can lift a groundhog up to 10 feet in the air--and Richard has VIDEO to prove it.
Richard tells us that demand is high for the 300 Varminter: "I have built 25 of these rifles just this year, and orders are increasing. I'm building them for coyote hunters out west, and well as Eastern groundhog shooters. Richard adds: "This cartridge is fast AND accurate. My 300 Varminter is now my favorite rifle, and it may be the most accurate long-range varmint rifle I own. Accuracy is really outstanding--I've shot groups under 1.5" at 500 yards with this. And the effect of these bullets at 500+ yards on a 'Hog has to be seen to be believed. Richard uses VV 550 and Norma 300 WSM brass: "Norma is the only way to go--the Win and Rem brass is nowhere near as good".
Richard explains: "The 300 Varminter is built around the 300 WSM case.
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