Ralph Hicks from RTH Firearms Introduces Their Revolutionary Precision Long Range Semi-auto Hunting
Ralph Hicks from RTH Firearms Introduces Their Revolutionary Precision Long Range Semi-auto Hunting and Competition Rifle
Ralph Hicks introduces his new precision semi-auto rifle with sub-sub MOA performance and explains how his team produced it.
We’ve all been in a situation where we needed to make a very fast, precise follow-up shot. In most cases, we missed our first shot because of a sudden gust of wind or DOPE was just flat-out wrong. If we fail to make the second shot, the consequences are significant: we either lose the prize game we targeted, we lose the match, or somebody gets killed.
But on a stalk in the middle of a cold winter day — where we’re covered in snow and the wind is howling — it’s hard for our gloved hands to get immediately back on target after we miss our first shot. Or, worse yet, we hit our animal but we maim it. Now we are even more upset with ourselves and just looking for that humane follow-up shot.
This month, RTH Firearms released our first semi-automatic rifle chambered in 6.5x47mm Lapua, 6.5mm Creedmoor and .308 Win. The rifle achieves amazing precision, hitting less than sub MOA at 100 yards with the ability to reach out to 1,400 yards with very little felt recoil.
In creating the rifle, we had five goals: Precision, speed in follow-up shots, knock-down power, minimal felt recoil and attractive design.
There are some fine semi-autos on the market today but they rarely achieve sub-MOA performance, and most cannot feed precision rifle cartridges. We know that precision rifle shooters are very familiar with the Lapua 6.5 x 47mm and 6.5mm Creedmoor cartridges — both have flat trajectories and each cartridge retains a very high rate of kinetic energy downrange, providing both competition rifle shooters and hunters with the range and power they need. And unlike many other 6mm cartridges, these calibers are gentle on the barrel, providing a much longer barrel life. We wanted our rifle to feed both hunting and competition rounds — and we offer your favorite cartridges upon request. Our thinking was that if we could make a 6.5 x 47 Lapua work in a semi-auto, we could make all other cartridges work as well.
This means we had to design a unique and precise gas impingement system with low tolerances that aligned perfectly with the bolt carrier group. We had to develop our own barrel approach in order to match the very tight tolerances of the upper receiver and contour the barrel to allow it to flow to the titanium muzzle break. Our triggers are like no other — they really give you that tactical feeling and and bring to mind the classic statement, “It feels like I just broke glass.” The reset is also super-fast.
I put together a solid team to make this rifle possible. I wanted experts not just from the firearm community but also from the aerospace community who were familiar with a culture that looks beyond the norm. That is why I ended up working with Aaron Cayce of Phoenix Weaponry and his amazing team. They had that aerospace and firearm precision manufacturing experience and barrel development experience. Their proprietary trigger is what really sold me. Together we achieved what others have failed to do.
The rifle speaks for itself. After three years of prototyping and hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital, I took it out on my private range where I literally hit dimes several times over with little effort at 100 yards. I also traveled to a nearby desert area and had little difficulty in reaching tor-so-size targets at 1,400 yards in windy conditions.
We package the rifle in a beautiful tactical hard case that includes a matching custom-made paracord sling. If you want optics, we like to work with Nightforce. When we deliver the package, it comes pre-zeroed, tested and ready to deploy.
To be able to release the rifle this month feels more like an honor than an achievement. I am so proud of our team and my family for having the staying power to make this happen. I feel that each of our individually crafted firearms provides the opportunity to maximize targeting success without compromise. And that's the goal I wanted to reach.
Ralph Troy Hicks is the author of Fundamentals of Long Distance Shooting I and II with foreword by Nighforce Optics. He is a competitive shooter and a life time martial artist. He set out to design and manufacture the finest semi-auto in the world. He is the CEO of RTH Firearms located in California and Colorado. Ralph lives on a ranch in Pauma Valley, a small town north of San Diego, with his family.
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