In looking at many of the custom rifles that come through for testing these days, the top names are producing rifles that cost around $4,000. My latest 6.5mm build cost me almost $2,000 in parts alone, so things have definitely changed. These custom rifles are superb, but are simply far out of reach for most police officers. Just putting together a simple build piece by piece can cost well over a couple thousand dollars. The days of a “budget” custom are about gone, especially if you intend to deploy this rifle. You can only “save” so much when someone’s life depends on its use. That is until the Hill Country Tactical Harvester came along. Looking at the spec sheet and retail price, it seems like the perfect affordable option without losing any of the accuracy a custom rifle provides.
A full-boat custom precision rifle is certainly useful for police work. There are few downsides to a solid rifle that shoots to the limits of human capability. Given the stress of an actual deployment, having the most accurate rifle is always a good thing—so long as it works reliably. Another custom rifle benefit is their ability to shoot most modern match ammunition accurately. They tend to shoot just about anything well, and there will be greater consistency between groups regardless of weather or ammo variations.
Custom rifles come with many goodies, and this is a downside or a benefit depending on how you look at it. Folding stocks are becoming common and nearly every stock is adjustable, with wheels and knobs galore. Various removable magazine systems are also the norm. But most rifles are dedicated to prone shooting, leaving little accommodation for off-hand or unsupported shooting. And these rifles are heavy, making them unwieldy from kneeling or while shooting around a barricade. All of these features are fine and, quite frankly, a part of my deployment and competition rifles. However, they are unnecessary for a deployment rifle.