In the early 80s an elk hunter went to his local gunsmith and asked for the lightest 7mm Magnum the man could build. During the completion of that project the gunsmith decided he would create the lightest, most rugged and accurate, and best balanced bolt action hunting rifle ever made. In 1985 Melvin Forbes introduced that rifle to the world. As retired Outdoor Life Rifle Editor Jim Carmichel says, they were the “First, and still the one to beat.”
For 15 years Melvin Forbes set the standard of lightweight hunting rifles. Rifles you only had to sight in once and that would shoot all bullet weights to the same point of impact. Their reputation grew and Colt decided to buy Ultra Light Arms (ULA) and offer a much less expensive version with a much inferior synthetic stock. But, just a few months later Colt went bankrupt and Forbes had to buy his company back.
He continued on making his rifles that were so appreciated 75% of his customers would buy another within 12 months. In 2013 Forbes had another chance to turn his custom rifle into an over the counter, mass produced rifle. He partnered again and Forbes Rifles was launched. The outlook was grand but the new company could not build the rifles to demanding standards Melvin Forbes continued to apply to his full custom offerings. Melvin stepped away from Forbes Rifles and in 2015 they folded.
New Ultra Light Arms (NULA) and Melvin Forbes are still doing what they have done for 30 continuous years; building the best example of a a bolt action hunting rifle you can buy, anywhere, for any price. Quality like NULA offers just cannot be mass produced. There’s nothing like a custom hunting rifle and there are no custom hunting rifles like the ones from New Ultra Light Arms.
Watch Melvin Forbes being interviewed by gun writer Richard Mann