Melvin Forbes and Family Announce Gunsmithing Scholarship

posted on December 14, 2023
Melvin Forbes Holding NULA

Melvin Forbes, founder of New Ultralight Arms, and his family have teamed with Montgomery Community College to offer the Melvin Forbes Next Generation Scholarship for gunsmithing students who attend that institution. The first scholarship will be awarded in Fall 2024.

In 1983, West Virginian Melvin Forbes quit his job as a high school shop teacher with the goal of building the lightest, best shooting, bolt-action hunting rifle possible. He was successful, and in 1985 the less than five pound Ultra Light Arms Model 20 rifle was introduced. From the design of its action to its incredibly rigid stock, the rifles crafted by Forbes earned the reputation of being the pound for pound most accurate bolt-action rifles of all time. For almost 40 years, Forbes’ rifles have been featured in many gun and hunting magazines, and in 2011 your National Rifle Association awarded Forbes its Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award for his groundbreaking work in the firearms industry.

In 2022, Melvin Forbes sold his business to Wilson Combat, but he’ll always be remembered as the man who changed the way the world looks at lightweight bolt action rifles. Forbes also cherished his time as a high school shop teacher, and over the last 40 years has continued sharing his knowledge by educating his customers and countless professionals in the firearms industry. Forbes and his family want to help the next generation of gunsmiths reach their full potential, and they feel a scholarship with Montgomery Community College is the best way to accomplish that goal.

The Melvin Forbes Next Generation Scholarship is completely funded through donations from family, friends, organizations and manufacturers within the firearms industry. Those interested in contributing can call: (910) 898-9633, mail a check to: Montgomery Community College Foundation, 1011 Page Street, Troy, NC 27371, or donate on-line at: Make sure to note/indicate the “Melvin Forbes Next Generation Scholarship” with any contribution.

Says Dave Petzel, Field and Stream "Rifles" editor, “Melvin Forbes is a genius who has been masquerading as a country gunsmith. Why a genius? Because he saw what had not yet been created, but saw how it could be created, and then he built it and it worked. Why a genius? Because most of the people who carry the title “genius” never get beyond step one, and Melvin took it all the way. He made rifles for the 21st century a decade and a half before the century turned. If he had chosen to be a teacher, he would have been as great. He did that for a while and was able to explain things so simply and so clearly that anyone could understand. Not all “teachers” can do this, but he could. Melvin’s time as a gun maker will have to stop, but with your help, the teaching can continue. That would make him happy.”


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