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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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Rocky Mtn Hunter

If Mr. Bush thinks a check for 600 bucks will save my A-- he's badly mis-imformed. Heck, that amount will buy the new XL7 MARLIN whenever they start making them./As of today, non available in my neck of the woods. Would buy a horse, but got to feed him/her daily, can't even feed my self now.If Mr Bush thinks 600 bucks gonna save teh 90 million homes that have been forclosd on I sure would like to hire his book-keeper, would that be VP Cheeney? Not gonna hold my breath for a check from anyone, as can bet strings attached. I hate to think of my Grandchildren paying back this borrowed money. But at our going rate of over a billion a week in Iraq,what's 600.00. Need a couple of oil wells in Texas and watch the $ flow. Figured the 600 bucks will fill my 92 Model Blazer tank 12 times, now can ride to McDonalds and eat a 2,00 breakfast and free coffee for a couple months now.That's about what my SS will afford. Suppose if they talk Hillary into pulling out now,we might get another few bucks from What;s his Middle name, O' Hussen or some such Muslim name. Kinda mis-informed, thought that was who we were fighting in Iraq? Wrong again. Someday, hopefully I will learn to read and spell, then I can write the Pres and explain to him who;s gonna repay this gift from him.I only know a little English, think that will work?


Like I said I hope someone else has bought the Jarrett .280 by now. I'll check tomorrow and get it if it is still there. Yep Dick as I remember Kenny and P. O. sort of worked out the .280 Improved but Jarrett make a small change or two. I can put it in the gun safe with two .270's, six 7 mm's of various sizes, and the others. I guess this falls into a need rather than a want. By the way boys you can keep your Arabians as being a Missouri Foxtrotter breeder and user in the Rockies for over 25 years I will never change my mind. Forest Service likes them also. Ride the trotters and pack the mules. For long distance trips through rough and hard country this combo is hard to beat.

Dick Mcplenty

So ishawooa are you in the cody area.Just curious what dealer had the jarrett.

WA Mtnhunter


"Pulling out" was something Mr. Rodham should have done about 60 or so years ago. Mr. Obama the estranged dad, too!



Enjoy the little Trotters. Fabulous animals and like sitting in a rocking chair. Absolutely awesome!



Dick: Denny's Guns & Maps

Bubba: Smooth riding is exactly why we use the trotters although other gaited breeds will work just as well as will a single footing quarter horse. My wife used to show trotters and we were lucky enough to raise and win a World Grand Champion back in 1998 at Ava. This mare is due to foal 4/25/08 so I am looking forward to that date.

Chev Jim

I like fine guns and fine other things, but I also think that $14,000 for a modified Model 70 bolted onto an ugly fiberglass stock is just too much. In fact, it would be too much if the guy made his own actions. For $14k, I could get one hell of a nice, double-barreled shotgun and at least a couple of custom rifles with beautiful stocks. If the guy can sell rifles at that price, more power to him, but I'd have a hard time justifying that kind of expense for something I could duplicate in a factory rifle for thousands of dollars less. In an economy like this one, I don't think he's going to sell many rifles at that price.

Dick Mcplenty

Whats insane,is he's went up 4 grand over the last 5 years.But he's overing differant colored stocks now,so thats worth 4 grand in itself.


Yes, great plan for saving the US Economy, give everyone some money from the gov't that the gov't doesn't have! (An IOU drawn from a China bank and payable by our children!)


Save it for my kids, theya re going to need to bail us out of this mess we are in!


Ain't capitalism great! He'll capitalize more if the offering contained a more "standard" (although nowadays it's hard to tell what that means) caliber selection. The ohmygodijustshotanelkoffthecurvatureoftheearth rifles seem a bit overpriced.


I always chuckle when someone mentions that the reason the belt was eliminated on some of the newer rounds is that the older belted magnums tended not to feed well. I think to myself that after decades of shooting a M-700 in 7 RM, a M-70 in .300 WM, and a pre-Garcia Sako in .338 WM I never noticed this important and devastating issue. I guess I should not relay this to these rifles because they have worked just fine up to now. I truthfully can't say that any of my beltless rounds feed any more smoothly but I agree in theory that they should.
I bring this up because I distinctly remember one of D'arcy's strong selling points is that his belted mags will feed reliably. Was this a problem for someone or was I just lucky? Generally my luck is not that great in any area of life.

Chev Jim

The only time I ever had trouble with a rifle action feeding belted magnums was when I was shooting at a deer with a borrowed .257 Weatherby built on a military Mauser action. The feed rails hadn't been modified to accommodate the .257 Wby, and when I needed a second shot, the cartridge jammed firmly. However, my Mark V feeds .300 Weatherby rounds just fine. By the way, I have a Remington Mountain Rifle in .30/06 that will shoot half-inch, three-shot groups at 100 yards. It's factory stock, with no glass bedding, remachining of the locking lugs or any of that. That rifle cost me less than $400 new. You could spend $14,000 for a rifle and not get any better accuracy--and you probably wouldn't have a rifle that looked half as good!


On another, more reasonable, note, anyone out there have experience with the rather new REM Mod Cti-105 auto shotgun? I have been told that, using light loads, the recoil is as light as a 20 ga?


On another, more reasonable, note, anyone out there have experience with the rather new REM Mod Cti-105 auto shotgun? I have been told that, using light loads, the recoil is as light as a 20 ga?

Dick Mcplenty

D'arcy pimps his specially redesigned mag box etc.as being designed from the ground up for the belted magnums when chambered in a M70 classic or pre 64. To an extent he is correct. The .300 win mag does push the limits of the M70's mag. There have been issues with OAL with this combo.However,thousands of shooters have done just fine with this set up.The whole attraction to the .30-7mmrem mag/30-338/.308 norma mag,is they operate a little bit better in the pre64 due to ever so slightly shorter case length.

Then you have d'arcy pimping his scope mounts,machined from solid bar stock on the fourth of july with a full moon. Never mind the fact that very few people have ever had ring failure on a hunting rifle and most are using the cheap weaver style with 100% reliability.

Then you have his special mcmillan stock,that supposedly has supernatural powers,that knock the felt recoil of a .300 win mag,down to that of a .223rem.

I've shot two of the legend rifles,one in .338 the other in .300 win mag.They both kicked just as hard as any other straight comb stocked rifle.

D'arcy charges 14 grand for a M70 for the same reason a dog licks its balls,because he can.


Chev Jim:
In a much earlier blog entry you can find me crying about letting go of a Rem. Mtn. Rifle in .280 that performed much like your '06. I think I bought it the first year of manufacture and foolishly traded it a few years later. Its my general impression this degree of accuracy is not unusual for the majority of the Mtn. Rifles. Big Green has screwed up several times over the years but when they do everything right it just might turn out exceptional. I note that the bench boys who can't or won't buy Pandas etc generally go for a Remington action because it is easy to make them accurate at reasonable cost.
Someone asked about the Kimber rifles. I have shot a few in various calibers and feel that they are well made, reliable, lightweight, and accurate. I would not hesitate to purchase one. I have seen a few where the wood touched the barrel but that could be fixed with a little bit of work. My Kimber 1911s are better than my Colts.
Hey the Jarrett was sold. Saves me the trouble of reblueing the metal, repainting the stock, and having Leupold check out the scope. I understand that it was over 20 years old so was due for an overhaul. The barrel was still good enough for hunting accuracy. I'm glad its gone so I can forget about it.


Nice picture of a Legend - oh wait - that is MY Legend. A 300WM. Where do I go for my piss test?

Interesting reading here. I've owned two NULA rifles and a Jarrett. I also had a Dakota 76. Had issues with ALL of them. One NULA (300WSM) wouldn't feed. The Jarrett was accurate but that's about all I can say. ( A custom (or semi-custom) even from a well known maker doesn't guarantee quality.

As I've gotten older, I've decided that hunting is more important than collecting rifles. I'd rather have 2 or 3 "best quality" rifles than 20 Savages or 15 Tikkas. Do they work? Of course they do. Will they kill game? Yup. But is the quality there? No - you get what you pay for. In this case, it's the best product that a talented gunsmith can put out. There are much more expensive guns than this, that won't feed, shoot, or eject.

The rifle pictured shoots better than I do (I've shot .5" groups with both 200G AFrames & 200G Triple Shocks), it feeds like butter, and locks up like a bank vault.

I'm not going to change anybody's mind - who cares?

-At least it has the bolt on the correct side, eh Dave?


-the naysayers forgot to mention "why would anyone put a 10 year old obsolete Leica scope on it?" Hell, I could have bought 3-4 Tascos for the same money.

I'm going to see if D'Arcy will sell me some more scope mounts for $40. I'm sure what he loses on each one can be made up in volume :)

Dr. Ralph

Nice post Jeff. The older and supposedly wiser I get the more I realize every one's value system is different. What I consider ludicrously expensive is chump change to many. I have been in homes where the marble fireplace mantle was carved by artisans and imported from Italy and cost $140,000. Is this excessive? It all depends upon what you are used to. There is always a market for the very best, and you make a fine case for the D'Arcy...

Dick Mcplenty

D'arcy won't sell you $40 scope rings,you've proven dumb enough to pay more then that.$40 just happens to be what they're worth.

I highly doubt that the NULA wouldn't feed,and if it did have issues melvin would stand behind it.

Now we've got D'arcy making donor actions lock up tighter then a bank vault.Thats some special sh!t there,bordering on evangelical.

Dick Mcplenty

Forgot to mention D'arcy does replace the extractor,with a pring steel extractor.That probably acounts for 3 grand worth of cost.Then again williams was providing winchester with spring steel extractors,that the public could pick up for around 80 bucks.But you know d'arcy uses some special extras in his extractor.Hence the price.

Jim in Mo.

Not all people here have money to blow just because they can. Glad to hear you do, and I mean that.
In reality most people don't care what they pay for a product if its worth it. As Dr. R said, to some people it's 'chump change', and he is correct. I just don't want to walk out the door with a 14k rifle and hear the word 'chump'.

Dick Mcplenty

There is no such thing as chump change. Nobody can afford to piss away 14 grand on a M70,worth 2 grand tops..


Save your money, things could get tough

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