Carolina Custom Rifles

Carolina Custom Rifles- Photo Credit: © Zero Point Zero
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The first shot I ever fired from a rifle while filming television was a misfire. (This was back before the days of MeatEater, so you won’t see the incident on any upcoming episodes.) I’m reluctant to mention the manufacturer of that rifle, since I was never able to completely rule out the possibility of faulty ammunition. Regardless, I can tell you that it was a highly disconcerting occurrence. I’d hiked for two days looking for a buck, and then at the moment of truth the pull of the trigger yielded nothing but a click.

The only person that this bothered as much as it bothered me was David Amick, the owner of Carolina Custom Rifles. I didn’t even know David at the time, but the incident haunted him. It gnawed at him so bad, in fact, that he went through the hassle of finding my contact information in order to get in touch with me. We then had an hours long conversation in which Amick explained what, exactly, a custom rifle is.

A good way to understand it is like this: imagine that you’ve gone to your local bike shop to buy a basic mid-range bicycle. After riding the bike, though, you get to thinking that the seat isn’t very comfortable. So you go online and find a bike seat that is compatible with your existing bike but of much higher quality than the one that came with it. You install that new seat, and it’s so comfortable that you get to wondering what sorts of high-quality rims might be on the market. After some research, you end up buying some new rims that put your old rims to shame. They’re lighter and stronger and ride better.  Maybe these new rims cost as much as you spent on the entire bike in the first place, but you appreciate quality and precision and you’re glad you spent the money. Soon, you’ve bought high quality tires, chain rings, brakes, a chain, a stem, and everything else. Eventually all that’s left of the original bike is the frame. One day that cracks and you replace it with a quality component. At that point, you have a completely custom bike that you’ve built with the best parts that money can buy.

Many guys will build custom rifles in the same way as this hypothetical bike, by replacing part after part. I have a number of friends who’ve done such a thing by starting out with a Remington model 700 rifle. First they replace the stock with a premium part, then the barrel, then the trigger, etc. It’s an economical way to do things, in that it spreads out the cost over time. But it’s also slow, requires a lot of visits to the gunsmith, and might seem a little impractical to a guy who wants to start shooting a great rifle today instead of next year.

For that guy, it’s best to talk with a custom rifle maker who can assemble your parts and fit them to exacting standards according to your tastes and preferences. That’s what Carolina Custom Rifles ended up doing for me. First we agreed on a caliber, 7mm Remington Magnum. Then we began selecting parts from Amick’s suppliers, according to my needs as a backcountry big game hunter: a helical fluted barrel by Hart Rifle Barrels; an aluminum bedded stock by HS Precision; scope bases and rings by Talley; a Timney trigger; an action by Stiller Precision Firearms.

From there, CCR assembled and fitted all of these parts together in their shop. In the end, they built a rifle with much tighter specifications than anything that would ever come out of a box. Finished with a Teflon coating, it is virtually impervious to rust – even around saltwater. And the action is slicker than snot on a doorknob, as my old man used to say. And it’s gorgeous. And it just feels right. And they built it with a 100% unconditional guarantee. Along with the rifle, Amick worked up a customized load for my rifle. In the end I had a rifle capable of shooting 100-yard groups no bigger than your thumbprint. At 300 yards, I can shoot all my bullets through the palm of your hand. In fact, my rifle’s accuracy far exceeds my own abilities as a shooter. It’s better than I am. If you want to see more about these rifles, visit the Carolina Custom Rifle website at They are great guys who make great stuff. They’ll take care of you. I recommend their rifles without hesitation.   –Steven Rinella

16 Responses to “Carolina Custom Rifles”

  1. greenmtnboy

    I noticed that your rifle sling looks like a para-cord weave. Did you make it? I like it. Can you tell me more about it? Thank you for your time.

    • ripcordsurvival

      The sling is a handmade custom made by me at I teamed up with David Amick of Carolina Custom Rifles to produce this one of a kind sling that is amazingly comfortable for carry, but also can deploy roughly 100′ of 550lb paracord in minutes in an emergent situation. Check out or contact me at

  2. motodog

    alright i gotta call bullshit steve,im a huge fan of yours but the rifle you were using did not miss fire,i watched that on tevo about 20 times truth is it was the acutrigger and you didnt have the blade seated all the way before you pulled the trigger.does the same thing on all my accutrigger savages.not trying to be a jerk dude just pointin out that it was your fault not the rifles.

    • StevenRinella

      Dear Motodog: I will now add you to the long list of people that I’ve argued about this with. Thanks for reaching out, and for being a diligent viewer. Best wishes. -Steven Rinella

      • motodog

        thanks for the reply steve,who really cares anywho i guess,your show is the best screw the rest.cant wait for the next episode man hey you ever get near gillette wy look me up we can go shoot some pdogs or yotes.monty long

  3. gbeck06

    Dear Mr.Rinella im a younger viewer i am 15 and love to hunt it is my goal to hunt everyday or at least get out and shoot just would like to say your show is inspiration what you do is awesome thanks have a nice day happy hunting

  4. patriley916

    hey steve long time fan since “the wild within” any chance of a longer time slot for you your show has great production and not typical spot and shot hunting like others also what do you think of a number one fan award like a hunt with the meateater himself…keep up the awesome show

  5. southpawhunter

    Hey Steve, Big fan of the show noticed that you were left handed, or at least left eye dominant. Anyway Im 20 and am on a budget, but its impossible for me to find a left handed rifle everything i have ever shot is right handed. As im sure you know when the bolt is on the right and my trigger finger is on the left. If you had some advice on finding affordable left handed rifles i would be grateful.Thanks for your time and happy hunting…

    • motodog

      hey southpaw motodog here,hey look into the savage axis line there cheap come with a scope,and if you shoot hornady superperformance ammo through it the ones we have shot around her are supper accurate with that ammo.

      • southpawhunter

        Thanks motodog for the advice…I know for a fact that savage rifles are great rifles even though they are a little cheaper than other rifles. I am going to look into the axis line like you said. Thanks again

    • cwhunk

      If you just like to pull a trigger like motodog, any rifle will do. Most are plenty capable of making an ordinary shot. But for an experience, save(if you have to, I did)for a custom rifle. I have many factory rifles that will shoot distance. The trick is it HAS to do this cold bore, clean bore, hot bore, fouled bore, freezing cold, scorched…I think you see. I only have two factory rifles that will do that. So I bought a custom and haven’t been disappointed yet. YES, they are expensive and so are the mandatory scopes. Night force is the easiest for a newbie to get accustomed to. I use them on custom guns and Leupold on factory. Good luck and GOD Bless, CW

  6. vodekz

    Steve do you shoot 175 grain partition? or 160 acubound or else?
    Great show with new angle. Great cooking. Congratulation to you, Vodek

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