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Forbes rifle

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:47 am
Any of you check out the new Forbes rifles yet? What little I have seen thus far has been quite positive and the rifles are trickling into the hands of shooters now. I'm holding out for a stainless version and a wider range of caliber options, which should happen sometime next year. If the specs of a Forbes are to your liking, these rifles seem to be veeeeery close to a NULA at 40% of the NULA price.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:23 am
Mike: If Melvin puts his name on it, it's going to be a very nice, light rifle. I have not seen his new models, just the NULA's and the original ULA's, but I'm sure the Forbes rifles are sweet.

As an alternative for someone wanting a very light high country rifle, PGW, or Prairie Gun Works of Winnipeg, Manatoba Canada builds rifles for the Canadian Forces (they have the 7.62, 338 SM, & 50 BMG sniper rifle contract) and a complete line of titanium actioned short and long action M700 clone bolt guns. (They call the 338 Lapua the 338 Super Magnum)

I've got one in 7mm-08 Ackley, and with a Leupold VX3 2.5-8X mounted, loaded, sling and ready to hunt (trailside), it weighs in at 6.9 lbs, and is my consumate high country deer and sheep rifle, and shoots as good or better than my M70's and M700's:

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Not what you asked, but is an alternative for anyone wanting a high quality, semi-custom light bolt gun for the high country.
http://www.pgwdti.com/
Semper Fi
Rick in Oregon
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Oregon, East of the Cascades - Where Common Sense Still Prevails
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:07 am
Thanks for the info, Rick. I'm glad that you said more about PGW, because I couldn't find any mention of light weight hunting rifles on the web site. Does your rifle have a titanium action?

I recently snagged a Browning Ti in 270 WSM, so I'm going to play around with it a bit and see how we get along. I wasn't really looking for a 270 WSM, but the deal was right, I've wanted to try a titanium rifle for a little while and they're somewhat hard to come by (the Remington Ti is even harder to find). I've happily hunted with a stainless A-bolt in 300 WM for a long time and took it on my last elk trip, but at nearly 9.5 lbs all dressed up, once was enough. You have to forgive a flatlander like me, because I don't worry about such things when I carry my rifles a few hundred yards to the deer stand. :wink:

Next year I am planning another elk hunt, so I have some time to pick out a new companion. The Forbes has my attention because it seems ideally suited for such tasks, but I won't buy one until stainless is an option. As an aside, it really puzzles me that Melvin won't make a NULA with a stainless receiver. I'm sure he has his reasons, though. For the money, a stainless Forbes in a suitable elk caliber will be tough to beat. The Kimber Montana is also a viable option to consider, though to be honest I think the Forbes might be a small step up from it.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:19 pm
Mike: My PGW 7mm-08 Ackley has a M700 clone short action, titanium receiver/bolt, Galliard (Canadian match barrel maker) medium sporter contour stainless match barrel chambered to my specs, 24" heavily fluted and black Tuff-Coated, Lone Wolf kevlar/glass stock. I used a M700 trigger from one of my varmint rifles that was changed to a Jewell and bottom metal (alloy).

The heavy fluting is visible here:

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No heavy all-steel action here.....we're really talking light:

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Using Barnes 120gr or 140gr TTSX's, it'll said clear through a large bull from about any angle up to 300 yards.....amazing performance from a .308-cased cartridge.

Don't know for sure, but I remember reading somewhere (Rifle Magazine?) that Melvin does not like to machine stainless, so does not offer any of his actions from that material. His rifles are custom, so could be a firm step above a Kimber as you mentioned, although I'm not sure how much of a step that would be. Those Montana's are pretty nice rifles.

There's an in-depth article by John Haviland in the November 2012 issue of Rifle Magazine on the Forbes Model 24B......a tad over 6 lbs complete with Leupold scope.....now that's light!

When I head for the high country black timber for bull elk, I always start out with my M70 in .338-06 Ackley, but after about a week in the bush if I haven't connected, I find myself trading the M70 for the featherweight PGW 7mm-08 AI.....about 2.5 lbs difference, and oh boy, at 6,500'+ of elevation on the mountain, that weight feels like carrying a BB-gun at the end of the day by comparison. :eek:

If you decide to contact PGW, ask for Ross Spagrud......a friend and fellow prairie dog shooting enthusiast. He's a wild one in the rat patch. :wink:
Semper Fi
Rick in Oregon
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Oregon, East of the Cascades - Where Common Sense Still Prevails
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:24 pm
Rick: I was nearly certain that rifle was wearing a Lone Wolf stock and meant to ask in my previous post, but got side-tracked. I haven't fondled one, but I understand the Lone Wolf stock is the cream of the lightweight crop. You always bring the coolest toys to the party, my friend!

If I lived in the high country, I'd be a lot more inclined to build something like you've got. At this point, I am probably leaning toward something like a Forbes or Montana because it won't get all that much time in the field. Of course, I always keep an eye out and perhaps the right custom stick will float by & change my mind. I've heard that there is a higher failure rate when machining stainless steel, so with the tight tolerances that Melvin requires, that might very well be the reason. Personally, I wish that he'd just adjust the price accordingly and offer the option. Melvin seems to be doing ok (insert a massive dose of sarcasm), so the choice to forgo stainless is obviously not causing him any hardships.

I just picked up my Browning Ti this afternoon from the FFL. I had him order a Leupold to go with it, so we'll see how long the Custom Shop takes to crank out my request. For some reason, they don't offer CDS dials in a silver finish as a regular production run. Maybe I just have odd taste! In any case, I'll put the Leupie in a set of Talley lightweights and see what happens. I should end up very close to 7 lbs, all dressed up. Weight was never a concern, though. I need to see how she performs on paper.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:23 am
Mike, yep, the Lone Wolf stock on my PGW Ti rifle is the lightest of all my synthetic stocks. The rifle is a pure joy to carry all day, and when slung over my shoulder, I could almost forget it's even there (not that I've ever hunted with a rifle slung over my shoulder! That's a great way to miss the opportunity at that bull when he jumps).

In regard to the Forbes Rifle, I'm sure you're aware that Melvin is semi-retired now, and that Titan Machine in Maine produces the Forbes Rifle. He's still heavily involved in the mix, just not making chips any more at the mill. Maybe after time, Titan will offer the 24B in stainless for market demand, 'ya never know.

Good luck with the new Browning Ti rifle....what caliber? One thing I've learned with "light" elk rifles....the Pachmayr Decilerator recoil pad will be your friend. ;)
Semper Fi
Rick in Oregon
NRA Life/OHA/VHA/VVA

Oregon, East of the Cascades - Where Common Sense Still Prevails
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:35 am
Yeah, I knew that Melvin teamed up with Titan to produce the rifles. As I understand it, Titan handles the metal and final fitting while Melvin still provides the stocks. A stainless Forbes 24B is already in the works, along with an expansion of the chamberings. The options will be: 25-06, 270, 280, 30-06 and 35 Whelen. There will also be a Forbes 20B for the short action fans next year, but I haven't heard which chamberings will be available.

My Browning is a 270 WSM. That wasn't necessarily my preferred caliber, but the deal was right. I could use the Browning for elk, but I might also get something else. Time will tell.

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