I would really like to thank Ladd Hall from Western Precision Rifles for taking some time out from his schedule to answer some of my questions. I’d highly encourage folks to check out Western Precision Rifles either for your custom build or to get the most out of your current rifle! ~Desert Rat
1) How long has Western Precision Rifles been in business? How did it come to be?
Western Precision Rifles began five years ago. The beginnings of this company spawned from the need for extreme long range shooting in the rough terrain of Southern Arizona. Brent Jacob (Owner) realized that while hunting Coues Deer (our favorite species to hunt), it seemed that most shots were between 400 and 800 yards with some shots being even further. In the rough terrain, and thick North facing slopes, that is sometimes as close as you can get. He saw the need for a precision rifle that would make shots at those distances possible. I joined Western Precision Rifles about a year later. I have wanted to learn how to build custom rifles for most of my life. I became totally enveloped in long range shooting for the last 15 years. I study ballistics and am totally fascinated by the math and science of long range shooting. I lay in bed at night and think about ballistics before I drift off to sleep. With Brent’s ability to build an unbelievably accurate rifle, and my passion for ballistics, I would like to think that we created the perfect storm when it comes to long range shooting systems. The product that we have delivered is like nothing I have ever seen as far as accuracy, precision and long range lethality.
2) What is the biggest misconception people have about shops/services like yours?
I believe that the biggest misconception about a shop like ours is that we only build High End Precision Rifles. In fact, we do much more than that, Western Precision will take the time to upgrade and accurize a factory rifle. We offer such services as muzzle brake installation, glass bedding, free floating, scope mounting and load development. Some people think that all we do is build Custom Rifles, but in fact, we can make your factory rifle into something that it has never been before.
3) For our budget shooters – a “regular” ol rifle, off the shelf – what are the first two things you would recommend having done to make it a better rifle?
For a factory rifle, the first upgrade that I would make would be to glass bed the action into a quality stock. The second option that I would take on a factory gun would be quality load development. A muzzle brake would come next.
4) For someone considering having a precision rifle built – what are questions they need to ask potential shops when selecting a builder?
Some questions that should be asked when choosing a custom rifle builder-
- What kind of accuracy is a rifle built by you capable of?
- Do you blueprint and true an action before moving on to the barreling process?
- What is the price of a custom rifle? (In this business, you get what you pay for)
- How is you customer service if I ever have any questions?
- Do you glass bed your custom rifle?
- Do you Custom load for my rifle?
- What components will be used to build my rifle? (Stock, Barrel, Action, Trigger, Recoil lug) You want the best.
5) People often think a precision rifle is beyond their budget. Obviously the “sky is the limit”, but what can a “low-end” precision rifle cost?
A custom built, precision rifle can be too expensive for many people. And there are many others that aren’t serious enough about hunting or shooting that they really need a rifle of that “caliber”. Most of our clients are very serious hunters and precision shooters. For the weekend warrior, I would recommend buying a factory rifle. If you want the VERY BEST in accuracy and precision, a custom built rifle is a must. As far as price goes, it is tough to say, with so many options in components, but at Western Precision Rifles, none of our rifles suffer in accuracy. Give us a call sometime and we can discuss options and pricing.
6) There’s a lot of cool calibers these days – for someone wanting something different, what do you recommend and why?
There are many outstanding calibers out there. This is where the study of ballistics can show you which calibers may be better for a certain application. Our favorite caliber at Western Precision Rifles right now has to be the 7mm Winchester Short Magnum. With a huge variety of High BC bullets to choose from, and velocities that outperform the 7mm Remington Magnum, the 7mm WSM is our choice. Now, with that being said, it may not be the best choice in all hunting situations. I would not take it to Africa to shoot Cape Buffalo for example. That is why we build rifles in many different calibers from 6mm BR to .338 Norma Magnums. Any caliber that a client wants, we can build it, and we can make it accurate.
7) Are you a hunter? If so, best hunt yet? What’s your dream hunt?
I am a hunter, my favorite species being Coues Deer. I can not pinpoint the best hunt that I have ever been on, I have experienced so many great hunts. I have to say that my favorite hunts are the hunts that I get to spend with my brother Shane. He is an extremely good hunter and one of the best people that I have ever had the pleasure to know. This past year, we backpacked into a mountain range for five days and both harvested very nice Coues Deer bucks. The buck I shot was at 908 yards and the Buck my brother shot was at 650 yards, both with Western Precision Rifles.
Thanks again to Ladd for telling us a bit about their business.
You can learn more about their rifles here: Rifles
You can learn more about their services here: Services
You can even follow them on Facebook!