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March 26, 2008

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What to Do With Your Gift From George W. Bush

Some time this year, most of us will be getting a check from the Federal government to make us feel better, spend foolishly, and keep us from sliding into a depression. (Since the government does not have this money, your children or their children will eventually have to pick up the tab, but that's not our problem, right?) If you are looking for something really nifty to spend it on, here is the Legend Sporter, made by D'Arcy Echols. Mr. Echols, of whom I have writ before, goes to extreme lengths to produce the best rifle possible, and the prices of his guns reflect this.


What is chiefly of interest here is D'Arcy's Legend Brochure, which lists everything he does and why he does it. You can read it by clicking on the link below. I think you will find it more than interesting. And, in case you're wondering, I do not own an Echols rifle, and he is not giving me one, but were he to do so, I would not have a fit of nobility and refuse it.

Standard Legend Sporter
1. The heart of our Legend Rifle begins with a current production, chrome-moly steel, Winchester Model 70 claw extractor action that has been extensively modified and refined.
2. The action is blueprinted by re-machining the recoil lug seats, recoil lugs, receiver face and bolt face. The recoil lugs and recoil seats are then lapped to assure the maximum amount of lug engagement. A select grade chrome-moly steel barrel is then fit and chambered to the action. Our chambering procedures assure that maximum accuracy potential of the barreled action is realized. The Standard Sporter Legend is available in the following calibers only; 7mm Remington Magnum, 300 H&H Magnum, 300 Winchester Magnum, 300 Weatherby Magnum, 338 Winchester Magnum and 340 Weatherby Magnum (see 300 and 340 Weatherby note below). All barrels incorporate our own barrel contour to further enhance the final balance of our rifles. The overall length of these barrels is 24” or 26” depending on the caliber
Note: 300, 340 and 375 Weatherby:
Please note that we use non-standard throat dimensions for the 300, 340 and 375 Weatherby chambering in our rifles. We use minimum throat length and an altered lead angle. These changes have allowed us to continually obtain excellent accuracy levels with these calibers. However, please note that we cannot recommend the use of all factory ammunition with this chamber configuration due to the possibility of increased pressure levels in temperature conditions above 75ºF. Consequently, these rifles are best utilized with precision hand loaded ammunition, specifically tailored for each individual rifle. Loading data can be provided with each rifle if requested. Our goal when developing loading data for this caliber is achievement of maximum accuracy and down-range energy consistent with safe velocity and pressure constraints. If you decide to purchase one of our rifles chambered for 300, 340 or 375 Weatherby, you must be willing to accept and use hand loaded ammunition to achieve the optimum in performance.
3. The underside of the action is re-machined to create a uniform bedding platform and to accept a proprietary D’Arcy Echols & Co. heat-treated, stainless steel magazine box and follower assembly.  This unique design is cartridge specific and allows our magazine box to hold one additional magnum round, giving the shooter a total of five rounds instead of the usual four rounds. This feature alone is almost unheard of in any currently available factory or custom produced firearm. This magazine conversion is not a ‘Drop Box’ design.
4. The receiver’s feed-ramp and guide rails are then modified to assure reliable cartridge feeding. Our rifles have established a reputation for flawless reliability.
5. The ejection port is lengthened to 3.600 to permit ease in loading of the magazine. A spring steel extractor replaces the factory extractor and is fit properly to fully utilize the advantages of the claw extractor system. A Williams steel floor-plate and trigger bow is re-machined and cosmetically detailed before installation.
6. The trigger, ejector, and bolt stop are re-pinned to remove all undesirable looseness or play. The sear engagement surfaces are machined to guarantee a consistent, crisp trigger pull set at 3 ¼ lbs. The safety wing and bolt lock engagement is refined to ensure smooth and positive manipulation of the safety. The factory sleeved bolt handle is then pinned and soldered to the main bolt body to prevent any separation between the handle and bolt body while in use.
7. Years ago I developed my own scope mounting system which provides simplicity and great strength needed for reliability under heavy recoil and adverse hunting conditions. To achieve this goal the mount system is designed to accommodate the specific scope (of the customer’s choice), and the mounts are fitted to the rifle with great precision. The front and rear action rings are carefully ground to a precise profile, concentric to the centerline of the bore. Once these critical surfaces of the rings are ‘true’, we install our proprietary scope mounts. Our mounts are made of steel, and designed to provide maximum strength without excessive weight. As a final step to assure maximum strength of the entire scope mount system we carefully hand-fit each mount to its individual action ring.
The bottom half of the scope ring is machined as an integral part of the scope base. This unique arrangement provides several important advantages:
1. The mount does not overhang the ejection port
2. The scope can be mounted as close to the bore as possible
3. Eliminates the joint between the base and the ring which is a significant weakness of standard scope mount systems
We change the factory scope base holes to 8x40 and use five Torxâ head screws rather than the standard slotted or Allen head screws. This change adds integrity to the mounting system by providing an exceptionally strong joint between the scope base and the action ring. Our mounts are available in either 1” or 30 mm.
This is the only scope mount we have used that will prevent heavy 30 mm scopes from sliding in the rings under severe recoil generated by such calibers as the 458 Lott. Our scope mount system has a proven track record and is the only system we will install. The customer should be aware that no other commercially made scope base will fit our rifles and they cannot be replaced by any other factory scope mounts on the market.
8. The Legend rifle is fitted with a synthetic stock of my own design that stems from over two decades of Classic Rifle design and construction. It incorporates many-advanced accuracy enhancing features, allows the shooter to control heavy recoil and has the styling, feel and handling features of a best quality French walnut sporter. This stock design fills a void in the current inventory of commercially available synthetic sporter rifle stocks. Our stocks are manufactured by McMillan Fiberglass Stocks exclusively for D’Arcy Echols & Co. This Classic sporter style is available for both Left and Right-handed shooters. Either version features a straight comb (with no drop from comb nose to heel), contemporary style cheek piece, functional point-style checkering pattern, open grip, and cast “on” or “off” both at the toe and heel depending on if the rifle is made for a left or right hand shooter. A 1” red or black recoil pad is standard.  The actions are pillar bedded and barrels are free floated.  Length of pull is available from 13” to 15”. Factory trigger guard and floor plate screws are replaced with high quality heat-treated Allen key screws.  All stocks (except for the Heavy Sporter Model) are fit with standard sling swivel studs. These stocks are available in the following colors only, Black, Brown, and Sage Green. The Sage Green being preferred by those who hunt in warmer climates.
9. All the appropriate metal is carefully hand polished and then caustic immersion blued.
10. Then one of the most critical phases in this rifle’s construction is under taken. The rifle is then test fired repeatedly at our range to confirm that feed, function, accuracy, scope viability and safety requirements are completely met. A variety of factory ammunition is used during testing to determine which ammunition delivers the best accuracy for that particular rifle. We have found that most of our customers are knowledgeable and experienced riflemen that want Precision Load Development for their rifle. We are pleased to develop such data when requested.
Standard Sporter Model in right or left hand configuration…………………………….………$14,000.00
Sales tax will be added for Utah residents.
Client is responsible for shipping and handling charges.
Optics are not included in the above price.

Heavy Sporter 

This version is available in the following calibers only: 375 H&H Magnum, 375 Weatherby Magnum, 416 Remington Magnum and 458 Lott.
This version is identical to the Standard Legend Sporter but does require additional time and labor to insure that these rifles will feed perfectly with the larger caliber solid and soft point ammunition.
1. The front sling swivel base is mounted on the barrel.
2. The Heavy Sporter is equipped with either our scope mounts or our aperture sights, but not both. At this time I offer no provision for detachable scope mounts.
Scope Mounts
We use our proprietary scope mounts for all our Legend rifles. Please refer to item 7 in the description of the Standard Sporter Model.
Peep Sights
Even though the stock was primarily designed for scope use, I can provide this iron sight alternative that has been specifically designed for this model. This system incorporates a fiber optic bead-and-ramp front sight coupled with a receiver-mounted peep sight of my own design. This combination has an advantages over the traditional barrel mounted express sights by allowing the shooters eyes to acquire the target very rapidly, visually focus on the only the front bead and the target and has a much longer sight radius. This sight combination works extremely well in low light conditions are zeroed at 50 yards and are easily adjusted for both windage and elevation.
458 Lott. Please be aware that the 458 Lott is notorious for destroying variable power riflescopes regardless of size, weight, or manufacturer. Consequently I prefer to build the 458 Lott Heavy Sporter Model with our peep sights or a fixed power scope only.
Heavy Sporter Model, scoped or iron sight version, in left or right hand configuration….$14,000.00
Sales tax will be added for Utah residents.
Client is responsible for shipping and handling charges.
Optics are not included in the above price.
Accuracy and Reality
When I ship a rifle from our shop it has met my stringent accuracy requirements that are based on the type of hunting for which the rifle was designed. Practicality and intelligence dictates that a 458 Lott shooting the appropriate soft point and solid ammunition will not require the same level of accuracy that can be expected from a Long Range Sporter chambered for 300 Weatherby . When I put a rifle through it’s accuracy test I am often shooting bullets of known accuracy and construction checked on a Verne Junke machine. I use a 16X test scope of know reliability and repeatability. The majority of these accuracy trials are done with precision hand-loaded ammunition shot from a solid bench and under ideal range conditions. Consequently our range results may or may not always be duplicated exactly by the client. However, I will make the following guarantee:
I will supply you, the hunter, with a rifle that will maintain a consistent point of impact, with more accuracy than you can realistically utilize under field conditions.
To date I have installed and tested almost every make, model and manufacture of riflescope that would be applicable to the big game hunter today. In my experience there is no hands down winner when it comes to performance, longevity or reliability. It matters little if the manufacturer is domestic or foreign, 1” or 30mm, they all have their trade offs and potential for failure right out of the box. Unless we have good reason to object, we will install any scope the customer requests.
I will not be held responsible for any scope that fails and requires replacement at any time during the rifle’s construction or after the rifle’s delivery. This will include any scope purchased by us at the customer’s request or supplied to us by the customer. If a scope fails during any stage of the rifle’s construction, all additional expenses such as supplemental labor cost, range cost, ammunition expense, shipping, etc incurred as a result of the scope’s failure will be charged to the customer regardless. Please re-read the preceding statement.
Options Available
Load Development is available upon request. We only compile, test and then supply the load data. We do not supply or sell any ammunition. We can recommend companies that deal exclusively in loading custom ammunition for assembling the ammunition tailored to your rifle The cost for this service is dependent on the caliber, material cost, and the bench and range time required to complete the process. Load development cost begins at $ 1000.00 per load. Further information on this service can be addressed by calling us directly.
Custom Bottom Metal
We offer a custom straddle-guard floor-plate and trigger guard assembly that is a standard feature on our Classic rifles. Installing this unit into our fiberglass stock requires additional magazine box modifications, trigger width modifications and a surprising amount of hand fitting. Current cost for this upgrade is an additional $1200.00. Availability of these units is very, very limited.
Checkered Bolt Stop Release           $125.00
Remove and replace the factory knurled bolt knob with a smooth bolt knob    $400.00
Remove and replace the factory knurled bolt knob with a two-paneled checkered bolt knob    $700.00

Fluted 26" Barrels, these chrome-moly barrels can be had up to 30 caliber and all have .700 muzzle diameter and 8 flutes $ 400.00
Placing an Order
Ordering a Legend rifle is simple. It can be done by letter, phone, E-mail, or in person. We encourage any prospective customer to visit our shop if possible. Here you can see the effort that is required to create one of our rifles. A $6000.00 deposit is required to confirm and schedule a project and acquire the raw materials, with the balance due prior to shipment. A current and signed Federal Firearms License is required from the dealer in your area who will be receiving shipment of the rifle. Rifles not claimed within 30 days of completion will be considered forfeited. Deposit will also be forfeited in cases where the rifle is unclaimed within the 30-day window. Any rifles ordered with non-standard upgrade options (Custom Floor-plate and Trigger guard, 30mm rings in non-standard dimension) or an unusually long or short length of pull that is returned for a refund will be subject to a refund that forfeits the cost of all option upgrades or non standard length of pull stock installed by request on that particular rifle.
Customer Supplied Actions: I have no problem using a customer-supplied action in the construction of a Legend. However there are two conditions that the client must understand and agree to. First the action supplied most meet our inspection standards. Not all actions are created equally. When an action is received it is carefully disassembled and gone over with a very fine toothcomb. If any action does not meet our standards the action is rejected and returned to the customer. Second, if for what ever reason the finished rifle does not meet the customers expectations and a full refund is requested we reserve the right to purchase the action from the customer for $600.00 to prevent from having to tear apart a perfectly good rifle and return that action to the original customer. The cost for all three Legend configurations will be at current market value less a credit of $ 600.00 that is deducted from the current list price for those supplying an action.
Example: Legend standard Sporter current list price                                                $ 14,000.00
Credit adjustment for a customer supplied action                                                       - $ 600.00
Total base cost less optics, shipping, insurance, and test fire ammunition               $ 13,400.00
Delivery at this time is approximately 12 to 16 months. Since you have read this brochure to this point you will have hopefully become aware that these Legends are not in any way a mass-produced rifle. Each individual rifle is being assembled with the utmost care and attention to detail. Unfortunately, unexpected delays are sometimes encountered, which are most often due to a particular rifle that is not performing as we think it should, thereby requiring additional time for diagnosis and correction. This is a rare occurrence, but should give the prospective client an idea of our dedication for excellence to each and every rifle that leaves our shop. Please feel free to contact our previous clients listed as references for further insight about our rifles.
For those prospective clients that are interested in supplying their own actions please contact us directly.
Brochure # 14             Dated 5/19/07             Prices subject to change without notice


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How much money did Uncle Sam tell you that you're getting? I think my wife and I are getting $600 or $1200. What kind of financing does this guy offer? I know I'm going to have to pry that refund check out of my wife's fingers. Thankfully, you have a lot of people on this blog who recommend that guys like me buy things like 270,25-06,30-06. This fella doesn't offer those calibers, so I'll have to pass!

Dick Mcplenty

Anybody that would pay 14grand for a rebuilt M70 needs to be piss tested immediately.

D'arcy doesn't even build the rifle himself.He uses four other smiths,to do nothing more then mount a $500 mcmillan stock a trued up M70 action which can be had for $650 or less plus $125 to square it up.Add to this $650 worth of krieger barrel,plus $700 or less worth of scope in mounts that are worth 40 bucks tops.

Of course d'arcy will tell you he provides a magazine that is custom designed around the magnum cartridges,which means nothing since the original design that winchester provided works just fine.

D'arcys rifles rank right up there with a $135,000 wrist watch.Overpriced and nothing more then a status symbol for those who do little to earn their own money,which makes it easier for them to part with money.


I personally always felt that D'arcy's prices were to expensive compared to other custom gunmakers who turn out rifles of equal quality and are more customer friendly. Nevertheless if you ever examine one of Echols' finished rifles you will be impressed with the quality and performance. I always liked his approach to the Weatherby velocity/accuracy dilemma but then most Weatherby owners that I know are not even aware of its existance. They just notice that their groups generally are not as good as the guy with the Remington at the bench next to them. They also know that their elk drops when they pull the trigger on the Weatherby and as a result are happy with a one or two shot group on that animal.


Look at www.randyscustomrifles.com for info on a craftsman who is a perfectionist, a shooter, a hunter, and has decades of experience. His prices are reasonable for a custom gun and his work is beyond reproach. I never knew anyone who was not happy with one of his rifles. He is one of those one man shops that you never heard of that continues to build rifles the way you really want them.


Got enough guns so not buying a gun with the check...in the mail. I'm gonna breed my Trakehner mare.

The way things are I better have another good horse to ride for the SciFi social-economic collapse.

..Stocking gas, ammo, heading for the Hills.

Dick Mcplenty

When you consider that you can pick up a NULA for a little over 3 grand maybe even less and get a rifle with a real custom action,not some phucked over rebuilt M70 plus a composite stock that is designed and built in house,not some mcmillan thats had three prices added to it.On top of this the NULA is actually a joy to carry under real hunting conditions,which consists of mostly rifle hiking and a small amount of shooting.

I spoke with D'arcy at a shot show a few years back.His legend was priced at 10 grand then and he wasn't selling many,which he was griping about.Seams too many people had figured out that a M70 action with krieger barrel,basically a modified supergrade copy in a mcmillan stock,with a leupold scope and talley's,can be had for well under three grand.D'arcy was there to set them straight though.

Chad Love

Mark, is your wife OK with that?

Sorry, couldn't help myself.


Git 'em Chad! LMAO!


Had an Anglo-Trakehner mare once that was absolutely awesome. Both daughters learned to ride dressage aboard her. I have a gelding now out of her by an Arabian. He stands nearly 16 hands and will go all day!
Arabian is awesome if you cross it with something that isn't hot-wired!


Git 'em Chad! LMAO!


Had an Anglo-Trakehner mare once that was absolutely awesome. Both daughters learned to ride dressage aboard her. I have a gelding now out of her by an Arabian. He stands nearly 16 hands and will go all day!
Arabian is awesome if you cross it with something that isn't hot-wired!
I have a QH gelding yearling that will be trained for a buckboard if fuel prices continue to climb!


Chad Love

As amends for my rudeness, I will say that as a (relatively speaking) city boy, one of my regrets in life is not having the chance to be more involved with horses, although dogs have been a great proxy.

And yes, I did breed my chessie female a couple years ago.

And the wife was OK with it...



Comparing horses and dogs is like the apple/orange thing!

A dog complies to please his/her master!
A horse complies to a stimuli.
To train a horse, you must apply a stimuli that will cause the desired behavior. Once the desired behavior is achieved, remove the stimulus. Thereafter, apply the stimulus, receive complicance and remove stimulus!
A dog is rewarded with a treat!
A horse is rewarded by removing the stimuli!
I never feed a horse out of my hand after weaning, it promotes biting! Carrots, apples and other treats go in a trough/feeder. I'm sorry, my horses don't get sugar cubes!




My S.O. claims I'm not very good, but fun to watch. :-)

This will be an Anglo-Trakehner. I prefer Anglo-Trak's over full-blood Trakehners.


Looks like Mr. Echols has this thing figured out. Charge far more than the rifle is worth. Some dipstick with more money than sense comes along and says, "14 grand, why heck I think I will even get the $700 bolt handle option!" You get someone else to make the guns, at 14 grand you don't have to make and sell all that many to generate a decent salary. You also get to write off the expenses of going to all the shows and of course the product testing (read hunting trips)! That's good work if you can get it...

Jim in Mo.

I thought Ed Browns creations were high (3000) although probably worth it but I can't see 14k. Couldn't he throw in some exotic wood?
Got a gun show in town this weekend. I figure if I can find a knocked-about long action Rem. I could build a fairly nice gun for 900-1000. If I got what I wanted on it 1300-1500. And I'd be much prouder of it



For what ever reason, I didn't do all the research, but Anglo- means crossed with or half- Thoroughbred! Cross with anything else and it's just a "Half-" what ever! Some breeds recognize a half breed. IAHA recognizes half to seven-eights cross breeding. Quarter horse, once crossed, is grade stock. Which is odd, since QH is a mixed breed anyway!
Oh, well. This is a gun/hunting/fishing/outdoor blog!


Dick Mcplenty

On top of all that,fiberglass stocked rifles built on commercial actions don't hold their value worth a sh!t. So if you're lucky you'll get 2 grand back when you resell it.


Yeah Bubba, stick to huntin an fishin!
I don't know how lost I am! We're discussing horses I've never heard of and $14,000 rifles!
I need a new blog! LOL.
P.S. I had to write here. Per PBhead, I'm banned on the Hillary side cause I'm from Michigan!


I have to agree with Dick regarding resell value. Today I looked at a Jarrett with M-700 action and Leupold 3.5-10x. It had been carryed quite a bit on a horse and shoot some. Great groups were on display. It is a .280 AI. $900.00 for all of it and I might go back and buy it which is hard to justify given the rifles I already have. I left hoping someone else would take it in my absence so I can forget about it. But as you can see the price is far less than a new one with a new Leupold. Also much less than D'arcy would charge for a near equivalent rifle.

Dr. Ralph

Since we're pretty much disregarding the $14,000 re-worked Model 70 rifle we're supposed to buy with that $600 check I will never receive, horses it is! Arabians are tough animals that can survive the desert. They are also mostly brain dead and high strung and will chew your fences, stalls, and everything else in their path even when soaked in creosote. They are beautiful to look at though and I had one as my first. Quarter horses are just Thoroughbreds mixed for short speed bursts but the Thoroughbreds I have had contact with will just as soon kill you as look at you so the lowly mutt of an AQHA is my favorite. Of course the barrels, flags and poles are my thing not jumping or English Pleasure and so the Trakehner is of little consequence...

Dick Mcplenty

The .280ai is jarrett's cartridge of chaice,he pimps it heavily. You need to buy that rifle.

Walt Smith

I wish I could thank Mr. Bush for his gift with another vote to keep him in office for another 4 years.That way I might be able to collect a third stimulas check. As for the rifle, cmon Dave,we don't have your kind of money to throw away on a gun like that. I would like to know what the Serbs were using for sniper rifles during their attack on Hillary. Those guns were really quiet, you couldn't even hear the report.


Horses???? [Slurp] Horses!!!! Since someone sorta asked……..

The cross-breeds are a controversial item. Some crosses are dumber than hell producing monstrosities. Others are quite good and part of the “pure” breed. The Trakehners have so much T-bred in them; breeding to a T-bred isn’t very provocative. All are registered in the ATA.

By way of background: Trakehners [Tra -Cane-ners] are German warmbloods from East Prussia. They, as all European warmbloods, were bred for war mounts. The best way to describe these horses is as king-size quarter horse with a slope to the shoulder, scared to death by a T-bred. These warmbloods are what stopped the barbarian invasions in Europe. There’s no way a steppe scrounger can keep up with “horse”.

I prefer the anglo-trakehner since I like the bone and strength of a full-blood Trakehner, but the additional T-bred blood IMHO ensures speed and endurance over long distances….without the character flaws…*usually*….of a T-Bred. I breed my Trakehner to a local T-Bred Race Stallion...

Prices: Trakehners, Anglo-Trakehners are all about the same as a t-bred that’s never been to the track.

BTW a lot of New York T-breds in the Genesee Valley are very good *mounts*. There was a Cleveland Bay Stallion active for many years in the area as well as three very good Trakehner Stallions. It’s incredible what wonderful horses have been produced in this region by some horse people having a pretty good mare in the backyard. I’m one.


Probably the most versatile breed is the Arab. Unfortunately, they aren't HUGH animals and lack in size in some activities. They also lack blazing speed, so they also fall short in the timed events. But what they do have is heart! When any other horse is blown out, the Arab is just getting warmed up.
The biggest problem I've ever seen with the Arab is temperment! They are absolute 110V motors wired to 440V!
The old plow horse or QH, if they get to acting up, you can thump on them just a little and get their attention and they will settle down. The Arab? Thump on one just a little and you have a basket case on your hands. An Arabian trainer has to have the patience of Job!



Ish: You need to listen to Mr. McPlenty and go - right now - and buy that .280AI. Great round. You can fireform standard .280 in it and then reload. And unless that rifle has been beat to h**l and gone, and if the bore is decent, it sounds like a steal. You will not regret it. And if you do, I'll buy it from you for what you paid for it.

SD Bob

Anybody out there here of a Kimber? Damn fine rifle for a bit more than a Remington XCR which in itself is a damn fine rifle. Speaking of damn fine rifles, you can nearly pay for completely with your "free" $600 a Ruger m77 Hawkeye that might only get you inch groups at a hundred yards. I realize that's not quite enough accuracy to kill a deer or an antelope, let alone an elk. I'm all for finer things but 14 grand for a rifle that gets you what? An expensive metal tube screwed to a piece of wood that damn near no one has ever heard of? If you have money like that you'd be better off buying an expensive car or learn to hit home runs because chicks don't dig the Legend Sporter.

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