In this two part review series of the RBros. Apex Hunter Hannah explains her life long path to her new custom rifle build, and why she was set solid on RBros for her build.
The RBros Apex Hunter
Confidence behind a rifle wasn’t something that I had until I began shooting custom, or damn near custom rifles. I shot an array of rifles over my 18 years as a hunter, but never found one that didn’t require modifications to meet my needs. My gun safe is a prime example of my evolution as a shooter. I had always found success on hunts, but I also figured a miss here or there was normal, and that a 6lb trigger paired with a mule kick to the shoulder was to be expected. To save you the internal anguish, I won’t even mention the Corelokts. I cringe recalling this reality, but find solace knowing everything was a steppingstone and shaped me into the modern hunter and shooter I am today.
The first RBros I handled was a Long-Range Hunter in .300 RUM and used to notch my WA Mule Deer buck back in 2015. I tossed my factory rifle to the side and put down a beautiful buck at 420 yards. The same scenario happened again during my 2018 Idaho Whitetail hunt, only this time it was my father’s Rbros Lightweight Hunter in 7mm Rem Mag at 380 yards. The confidence I developed behind both my brother and father’s rifles was astounding and flat out game changing. After years of being burned by factory rifles and experiencing my own growth, my want list became short and simple. It had to be an end-all, it had to be an RBros.
By this time Travis Redell, owner, was a certain friend of the Kycek’s, and during our conversations I could never pinpoint where the build process began or solving world problems ended. At times I knew exactly what I wanted, and upon other talks I was grateful to have Travis as a sounding board who ultimately knew what was best for not only myself but the applied application of the rifle.
Travis and I decided on the following:
Action: Rogue LW Action
Barrel: 20” Proof Sendero Carbon Fiber
Stock: Manners EH-1 w/ custom Kycek mix
Muzzle: APA Gen II Little Bastard
Before I knew it, I was fumbling with the pen Travis gave me while trying to fill out the 4473. It didn’t have a lid, it didn’t unscrew, and its deceptive simplicity was brought to light when Travis reached across the table and pressed the button at the top. “Oh,” I thought. I felt my face wash over with warmth and I thanked the makeup Gods for shielding my embarrassment. The red-faced moment was easy to shake as I was filled with sheer joy and knew the legal formality I held was all that separated myself and the rifle I’d dreamt of for 18 years. I dropped the paperwork, stacked the cash, and picked up the shockingly lightweight 6lb 7oz apex hunter that had every bit of Hannah Kycek written all over it.
Like any RBros rifle, or something that Travis had a hand on, it was a work of art. For the first time in my life I knew—without a shadow of a doubt that I was holding a well-oiled machine. One that cycled as smooth as butter, could withstand drastic temperature changes, and overall perform under the varying situations I needed it too. I attached my dream scope, a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50 to my rifle and immediately found myself at the reloading bench compiling the Redell-recommended ingredients of the perfect load.
My father and I hit the range with 50 freshly constructed bullets in tow. Breaking in a new rifle was something I wasn’t entirely accustomed to, nor had the privilege of partaking in until that day, but I quickly fell into the rhythm of shooting, adjusting, cleaning. After a few hours of sheer excitement, and moments of tapping my barrel to judge the temperature, my cheek weld was adjusted, and heat waves were cursed. It wasn’t until I put 20 rounds down range that we called it a day.
Between that day and present, I’ve shot and monitored the 89 rounds that have gone through my rifle; but on November 27,2019 it all came full circle. The months and hours of time and effort paid off the moment we glassed a toad of a whitetail at 320-some yards. The buck moved slowly, without a care in the world as my heart pounded from above. My father kept reminding me that he wasn’t going anywhere, but after changing positions multiple times—up here—down there—no, steeper than a cow’s face—maybe here on this stump; I walked back to retrieve my squeeze bag. I went back to the basics that I’d built while shouldering this rifle and dialed accordingly. The positions and angles wreaked havoc on my mind until finally with each freezing inhale, I opened my eyes and the crosshairs rested perfectly behind his shoulder. Before I pulled the trigger, I remember thinking “this is my rifle, these are my bullets, and this is my moment.” The buck quartered up and away from me and I squeezed the trigger with every ounce of certainty and confidence.
“When he stops…” my father simultaneously began to instruct me; but bullet had already flown and my largest whitetail to date piled up onto the log it was stepping over. I pulled up onto my knees and hugged my father. Like any animal I killed since I was 11 years old, the celebration paused with a handshake. I was and still am speechless over my Idaho Whitetail.
Over the years I have learned that a rifle is merely a rifle until memories are made, uncertainty is faced, and animals are taken. The concept is one that would almost suggest my rifle was a living breathing entity (rather than an inanimate object) but may as well be considered as such since it is a physical representation of myself, and a symbol of the greatest moments in my life. I waited nearly two decades for a rifle that was built to exceed my needs, and my advice to anyone searching for their next rifle; stop buying or spinning your wheels on a rifle to get you through. Ask around, join forums, and ultimately research who you’d trust to fulfill your needs as a shooter. Buy a rifle that is tailor made for you, and one you plan on passing down only once you’re 6ft under.
Consider the end all—consider an RBros.
To read Part 2 of the RBros Rifles Apex Hunter Review GO HERE
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