Photo courtesy of GovX

Building a weapon is like painting the Sistine Chapel. It should be your masterpiece and it also takes time. If you're going to invest your time, money and your hopes and dreams, you want to get it right the first time. Here are 5 ways to save while building your your dream gun:

1. Make a plan

First things first: make your wishlist. Scope (pun intended) out exactly what you want and plan it. Surf the entire internet. Go to gun shows. Ask friends to see theirs. From the custom paint job to the custom barrel, your gun needs to reflect exactly what you want and need.

Figure out exactly what accoutrements to give your baby. Tactical flashlight? Laser? Both? Multipurpose reflex sight? Quad rail? Build your gun on paper first so that you can hunt parts like you'll stalk your prey.

2. Do your homework

You've decided what you want. Now you have to figure out how to buy it. Just as if you were getting a new car, comparison shopping for your custom build is key. Knowing exactly what parts you want and who sells them is half the battle, especially for items that are quick off the shelf and seemingly never in stock.

Here's what we recommend: Make a spreadsheet of every part you want and how much it costs. Create a separate email account just for your build so that your inbox isn't flooded (you'll thank us for this later), and then sign up on every site that sells the parts you want for their sales flyers. Keep track of costs on your spreadsheet to see who is selling it at the lowest. Don't buy anything at cost unless, after 12 months, you've never seen it on sale, anywhere.

3. Find an expert

Making friends with your local gunsmith and other custom owners is key. Even if you're assembling yourself, your gunsmith can give you insight about where to buy hard-to-find parts, and the inside scoop on what you really want.

Eat that humble pie and ask all the questions so you get it right the first time. Your gunsmith will also have tips and tricks to make sure you're getting the best quality for your money.

4. Hit those sales

The two best sales of the year are Black Friday (get those sales flyers!) and the GovX Vortex Sale (which runs this week: August 15-16). Every product from the Vortex catalogue on GovX.com is marked down to unbeatable prices.Red dots and lasers, rifle scopes, range finder and spotting scopes, mounts and rail accessories and more. And, for every $200 you spend on Vortex items during the sale, customers get an automatic entry to win one of two limited edition GovX engraved Razor HD Gen II rifle scopes (a $2000 value, each).

If you are wanting to buy a Vortex product, this is the week to do it.

5. Be patient

Don't settle for an HBAR when you really want a bull. Just like any masterpiece, building your dream gun takes time, especially if you want to save money doing it. Hard-to-find parts can take months to stock and ship.

Part of the beauty is in the process. Happy building.

This post sponsored by GovX.

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