New Ultralight Arms, a leader in high-quality, lightweight bolt-action rifles, has been acquired by Bill Wilson. It joins a growing stable of firearm-related firms under his management that includes the famed Wilson Combat, Chip McCormick Custom, Circle WC Ranch, Khumba Bush Camp, Lehigh Defense, Scattergun Technologies and Wilson Combat Custom Ammunition.
Melvin Forbes established NULA in 1985 and the performance and reliability of his rifles endeared them to enthusiasts. In 2011 he earned an NRA Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award for his groundbreaking advancement in preserving accuracy while shaving rifle weight.
“I have all the faith in the world in Bill Wilson, and this is a project whose time has come,” Forbes said. “I’m genuinely pleased that future generations will be able to enjoy the same rifle that I’ve been building, and that thousands of others have enjoyed, for almost 40 years.”
NULA rifle production will move from Granville, WV, to Wilson Combat’s facility in northwest Arkansas—which underwent a $10 million expansion in early 2021—in the next few months. Initial product offerings will be the Model 20S (chambered in .223 Wylde, .300 HAM’R and .350 Legend) and Model 20 (in .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 7 mm-08 Rem., .284 Win. and .308 Win.). Plans including extending offerings to include Model 24s (in .270 Win. and .30-'06 Sprg.) and Model 28 (7 mm Rem. Mag. and .300 Win. Mag.).
“I feel so fortunate to know Melvin and to have been entrusted with the opportunity to continue his legacy of building the finest and lightest bolt rifles on the market,” Wilson said. “I’m also deeply humbled and honored that Melvin has put his trust in me and my team at Wilson Combat to continue his life’s work. He is basically turning his ‘baby’ over to us and I assure him and all the past and future customers we won’t let any of you down.”