Derrick Ratliff is the President and Founder of Horizon Firearms, where they create custom long range, bolt-action rifles to exceed the shooting wants and needs of every customer. Derrick joins The Revolution this week with an inside look at what building a custom rifle looks like and the options available. Derrick tells Jim and Trav that when they began, they wanted to do more than build an accurate rifle. They wanted to find a way to allow people to be involved in the building process and ultimately create truly custom rifles where the customer could have a hand in every detail. Caliber selection, barrel length, overall weight, action, trigger, flutes, contour, stock, and color – there are no shortage of options when you go custom. Caliber selection is crucial, and Derrick will school us on the increasingly popular 22 Creedmoor as well as the 6.5 PRC with a look at their power and capabilities.
Regardless of the design features you choose, Derrick tells Jim and Trav that one thing is a steady, their commitment to accuracy, guaranteeing every rifle they build to shoot .5 MOA. They range test each rifle before delivery which, for the buyer, means your rifle is ready to shoot, right out of the box.
It’s not all about brand new rifles though. Horizon Firearms also does semi-custom rifles and rebarrels. Derrick will talk with Jim and Trav about the options available to people who want to rework an existing rifle they have, even if it is under the confines of a budget.
All this talk of “custom” rifles probably has you seeing dollar signs. It’s true custom rifles don’t come cheap. We understand that the working man lives on a budget and dropping a lot of cash isn’t always in the cards. So, let’s talk affordability. It is important to consider a few things when basing your decision off of the investment alone. A rifle that is well cared for can last a very, very long time. We have guns in our collection that are 60 plus years old. They are priceless heirlooms, family mementos that hold a great deal of sentimental value, but still function as designed, even after all this time. When compared with the archery market, you get a clearer picture of the long-term investment you’re making. Bows don’t come cheap either, archery hunters pay a hefty price tag for a new bow that is then replaced by a different model within months. Jim, Trav and Derrick will talk about the life span of a bow versus a rifle and how in terms of dollars and cents, rifles are a steadier purchase. With all of that said, we find custom rifles to be worth the investment, even if we have to save up for a few years to have $1000 to $5000, available.
Even if it’s out of reach right now, it’s worth a look and a thought about what you would want in a custom rifle and how you could personalize it to make it truly unique. Horizon Firearms will completely rework an existing rifle for around that $1000-dollar mark, and their one-off custom masterpieces range anywhere in the neighborhood of $3500 to $5000. Which, in the world of custom rifles – and for the quality and craftsmanship of the Horizon brand – is phenomenal.
Tune in to this interview for a fun and interesting look at building custom rifles with Derrick Ratliff of Horizon Firearms.