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Thread: lightweight rifles for hiking?

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    Default lightweight rifles for hiking?

    I normally carry a revolver for backcountry hiking and was thinking of picking up a long gun for trail and beach use. Any recommendations for models that are extra light, but still offer good protection? I was browsing Kimber's and Browning's websites and saw that a number of guns are about 5 1/2 lbs. They're pretty spendy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    I normally carry a revolver for backcountry hiking and was thinking of picking up a long gun for trail and beach use. Any recommendations for models that are extra light, but still offer good protection? I was browsing Kimber's and Browning's websites and saw that a number of guns are about 5 1/2 lbs. They're pretty spendy.
    I usually carry my Marlin Guide Gun (.450 Marlin) minus the scope. I think it's around 6 1/2 lbs. or so. I also use an Eberlestock pack with a built in carrier for the rifle so my hands are free.
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    You can get an 8-shot Mossberg or Winchester 12 ga. for about $250.00 w/a pistol grip.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Are you looking for a hunting rifle, or a defensive rifle? For a hunting rifle, I think the Kimber montanna is about as good as it gets for a factory rifle.

    For defensive rifles, I figure something slung on your back is useless, and the reality is while hiking, you'll tire of carrying one in your hands and then put it somewhere that it will do you no good.

    Thus, I find a heavy revolver is the best compromise of something light enough to pack without noticing it, with a good holster quick to put into action, and enough power to make it worth carrying.

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Default NEF

    I believe that NEF has a 45-70 thats 5.5 pounds......

    Ron

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    If you want a cheap rifle NEF Handi rifle is the way to go. I know the walnut stock weighs in at 7 lbs, not sure what the plastic stock rifle wieghs. But they are very inexpensive, 219.00 on gun broker. It would be my pick. It comes in a several calibers. 45-70, 35 whelen, 500 S&W.

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    You simply cant beat a Tikka T3 lite. My 300 is under 7 lbs scoped, loaded and with a sling. They are the most reasonably priced rifles out there at there weight. Excellent out of the box accuracy too. I guess for that matter you could have the barrel shortened and iron sights attached and make it even lighter. Dang they kick though,,,or at least my 300 does. Had gary junk in fairbanks port it for $125, cut the recoil in half.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Are you looking for a hunting rifle, or a defensive rifle?
    I'm looking for a defensive rifle, and since it's pretty much just for trail use I'd be carrying it in my hands. I'm used to keeping a revolver on a bandolier holster so it's always in easy reach. I might just go with a bigger handgun...

    I noticed that Ruger has short .338's that are less than 7 lbs. Looks like I'll have a lot of shopping to do with all the recommendations out there. I'm thinking it wouldn't be good to go *too* light since I like to enjoy shooting the guns I buy.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    For a carried in the arms rifle, over 7#'s get's real heavy, real fast. But as you mention, too light and too powerful of a round is a bad combo as well.

    To an extent, you'll have to choose what balance of weight, recoil and power you can live with. I'd say on the low end, a 6# .308 would be hard to pass up, and on the larger end, a 7# and change .338.

  10. #10

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    Short barreled shotguns are easy to handle and light weight. People carry .44 handguns for bears all the time so I see no problem getting a 44 carbine for the same purpose such as a winchester 92 or a marlin 94. Rossi is also making a replica 92s in 454 and 480 alongside the more standard 44mag, 45 colt and 357. The pick of the litter would probably be the 454 with very heavy factory loads avalible along with being able to load 45 colt. Any of these guns would be very easy to shoot, light, packable, and a lot more fun than a 45-70 or heavier rifle.

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    Member northernalberta's Avatar
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    I have a remington 18" 12 gauge that I put a pistol grip on, that's nice and short, for hiking. But I only take it if I'm going to an area where the risk of bears is extremely high. Personally, I hate packing a gun. 6-7 extra pounds for nothing, except for that one in a million chance you're actually charged by a bear. And I've been charged by a grizzly and had the gun jam up, so there's no guarantee there either. Plus, I'm accustomed to Canada, where you're absolutely forbidden to pack a gun under any circumstances unless you have a hunting licence. I'm still getting used to all this freedom!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As much as I'm a rifle guy, I really can't see carrying a rifle when just out on a hike. If I'm out hunting, obviously. If I'm out hiking, I will avoid an area that I think I'll likely need a rifle to shoot myself out of a bad situation.

    From the testing and studies I've done, the 12 ga to me is a poor compromise. It has the sized and heft of a rifle, but not the terminal performance. And if you go with buckshot with that it will make up for poor shot placement, then you giving up tremendous terminal performance over even a handgun, and hoping vs controlling precisely where the shot goes. The upside of the 12 ga is it has a big hole in the barrel, it kicks alot and they can be had cheap, but none of those make them the best or even a good choice as a defensive weapon against dangerous game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barko View Post
    If you want a cheap rifle NEF Handi rifle is the way to go. I know the walnut stock weighs in at 7 lbs, not sure what the plastic stock rifle wieghs. But they are very inexpensive, 219.00 on gun broker. It would be my pick. It comes in a several calibers. 45-70, 35 whelen, 500 S&W.
    Don't do it...........it's a single shot. Unless you are confident you can drop a bear with one shot, get a magnum revolver instead. First choice, S & W 500. If you can't handle the recoil, then the 454 would be my next choice.

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    Member Buck Nelson's Avatar
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    If I've got the gun in my hands, I'd rather have a big rifle than a big handgun for defense. The trouble is, unless I'm actually hunting, I usually don't have the rifle in my hands. Seems like the best gun for defense is the one you have instantly available. Like a very handy big bore revolver.

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    Default How do I carry my Mosberg Shot Gun

    I want to go on a one week outback hike and want to carry my shot gun for bear protection. What is the best way to carry the gun so that I am hands free while hiking but still have the gun accessible if needed?

  16. #16

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    The Savage synthetic stock rifles are pretty light, especially if you get iron sights for them. If you go real short, there doesn't seem to be a lot of point in getting magnum calibers, since they don't have the barrel length they need to move out.

    That being said, I agree with the others that it only does you good when it is in your hands. Most people use that to argue for a big revo, but I see a lot of those left on the boat, in camp, etc. What you have may be as good as it gets...

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by csbender1 View Post
    I want to go on a one week outback hike and want to carry my shot gun for bear protection. What is the best way to carry the gun so that I am hands free while hiking but still have the gun accessible if needed?
    http://www.kifaru.net/gunbearer_hunt.html

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