Interview With Mark Gordon
Owner of Short Action Customs
Precision Rifle Series
Interview by Steve Joseph
Bartlein 30 cal, 1 to 10-inch twist, M40 contour barrel, chambered in .308WIN, cut down to 24 inches and threaded 5/8 x 24 with SAC’s custom thread protector.
The American Shooting Journal spoke with Mark Gordon, owner and founder of Short Action Customs. They build precision rifles specifically designed for the ultimate in discerning and elite shooters. Gordon is also the lead sponsor for today’s top Precision Rifle Series shooter David Preston. Here is what Gordon had to say:
American Shooting Journal How did you first get involved with the Precision Rifle Series?
Mark Gordon I got started with PRS as a precision-rifle builder to see what our rifles would have to go through. Most importantly, it was to see what the shooters demanded out of their rifles and what they needed to be successful. The bottom line is these rifles have to work every time without fail, be extremely accurate and practical to use in the field.
Manners T5A right-hand stock with a signature SAC rifle-pillar bedding, and finished with desert-digital camo from Custom Gun Coatings.
ASJ What is it that is creating such explosive growth with competition precision shooting?
An MMI Tru-Tec Melonite action and bolt, which prevents any galling of the metal and increases lubricity.
MG I believe it’s because these shooters have a desire to be proficient with their equipment and they want to know their limits. With a mixture of classic prone shooting and demanding positional shooting, the competitors are exposed to a large spectrum of disciplines at these matches. Lastly, the best place to do that is under strict time limits and lots of stress while other competitors watch. With many more club and national-level matches popping up all over the country, you can expect the sport to grow exponentially.
ASJ You currently sponsor the number one shooter in PRS. Tell us more about how that happened.
MG We started our first rifle build for David Preston in early 2014 after developing a relationship with him from previous PRS matches. At that time, Preston was familiar with our rifles and what they were capable of. Luckily for me he wasn’t shooting for a team at the time. We spoke on a few occasions, and I offered him a position on our team. After many rounds fired, rifles rebarreled and matches shot, Preston really started shooting to his potential. We do our very best to keep reliable and accurate rifles in the hands of PRS shooters so they can do their job.
Short Action Customs Alpha 11 action with an integral 20 MOA scope base, an integral recoil lug and an M16 extractor. The magazine well is cut for Accuracy International AW magazines.
ASJ Your company, Short Action Customs, builds a lot of custom rifles. What is your favorite build?
MG There are two types of rifle builds that we love doing the most. The first is when a customer tells us to just do what we think is best. This allows us to take all of the leading-edge technology and components that we would use on our own builds and build the rifle we would want. It is great to have that kind of trust and confidence with our customers.
The second type of rifle build that we enjoy is when customers have us build rifles using components from manufacturers that we have not been exposed to. The parts industry is growing so fast, and as with any rifle build, it’s only going to be as good as the foundation it’s built on. So we really enjoy working with new components and learning about all the latest products.
Timney 520 Calvin Elite trigger with an Accu-Shot BT17 bipod rail and a their model BT10LW17 quick-detach bipod.
My personal favorite rifle build is configured to be agile, medium weight and run smoothly. We run Defiance Machine integral scope base and recoil lug actions called the Alpha 11, Manners Composite Stocks T6A 100 percent carbon-fiber stocks and Remington Varmint-contoured barrels from Bartlein Barrels. We typically finish these rifles with custom paint from Custom Gun Coatings. ASJ
Editor’s note: You can visit Short Action Customs at shortactioncustoms.com.
Posted in Long Guns Tagged with: Bartlein Barrels, competition, Custom, Custom gun Coatings, David Preston, Defiance Machine, Manners Stocks, Mark Gordon, Precision Rifle Series, Remington, Rifles, Short Action Customs