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Thread: rifle weight, what do you like?

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    Default rifle weight, what do you like?

    For a general mountain/hiking/walk- about rifle, in perhaps 30'06, 270 or .308, what is the rifle weight you like to carry but are still able to shoot well when your breathing hard and shooting long?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I prefer 7-8 pounds all up. I've toted a 10# rig over hill and dale for a week, and it's simply too much gun to have in your arms day after day.

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    The rifles that are the most fun to carry are the toughest to shoot well when winded. I want to carry 7-71/2# but a heavier front end makes for steady holding when huffing and puffing.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    My favorite rifle is right at 7# equipped.

    When my chest is heaving I can't shoot anything very well. My rule is to pace myself so that I don't get so out-of-breath that I'm not an effective hunter. There are times that a cliff or steep climb will cause me to be huffing and puffing. I accept that before I clear the ridge at the top, where I might see what I'm climbing after, I'd be better served by taking a breather and getting myself prepared to do business.

    Actually, the thing I monitor about my body is pulse more than breathing. I try to keep my pulse rate under control. Breathing naturally follows. However, I can get my breathing under control momentarily while my heart is racing. That's caused me problems in the past.

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default gun weight

    gun, bases, rings, sling, scope, 3 rounds in the mag and 5 on the stock: 6.5 to 7.0 lb.

    Usual calibers are 300's (300 WM and 300 RUM) in above weights. Since I like the rifle to be a little front heavy I usually specify #3 barrel contours to 24". The one without a brake kicks worse than my 9# 416 and requires a lot of range time to avoid developing a flinch and to utilize it's complete accuracy potential with 180 gr bullets.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think the ability to shoot the gun well has much more to do about balance than overall weight. In theory heavier guns should be easier to shoot well, but I simply haven't found that to be the case at all when firing a variety of rifles in field positions. Perhaps even more important is the trigger. A light crisp trigger makes for much better groups from field positions than a heavy creepy one. I've shot respectable groups off the bench with horrible triggers, but the same can't be said when offhand.

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    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    Default 7

    7 lbs. in a 7mm Mag. Light enough to carry all over, real nice caliber and doesn't kick all that bad in a light rifle if it has a recoil pad on it.

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    Member BigHorn Hunter's Avatar
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    Default It is a personal thing

    For a general gun I agree with most everything said so far. only stating that it will be a personal choice. I would want to be in the 7 to 8lbs all up ready to go. Maybe a little heavier in a 300 plus mag. A little less in a 270, 25-06 or 6mm would be fine. Unfortunaly I find my rifles to be at the extremes. Real light or real heavy. Also barrels are short or long, not "general" at all.

    In the mountians after climbing all day I find any rifle a burden. Whether 4lbs or 14 lbs they still are a 3 foot plus long ungainly pain in the butt to put up with. Also when gasping for air after a sprint or quick climb I don't find it easier to hit with a heavier rifle. The secret is to not get winded.



    I have 3 rifles that I use the most. 2 are less than 7# and one is closer to 10. The first is my favorite hunting rifle, the one I always say will be in my hands when/if they find my body, a ULA with 20" barrel in .30'06 with 4x Burris. It has all the negative attributes written about all the time stating that it will be impossible to hit with. It is slightly muzzle light, kicks plenty, slightly top heavy, way too light. That said for some reason I hit very well with this gun. The 10# gun is a 26" WBY Outfitter in 300 WBY with a 4.5-14 Zeiss. Handles fairly neutral and for delibrate shooting it is my answer for any target at any range. The other less than 7 pounder is the gun that is my go to "general" use rifle. It is a Old style Synthetic Stainless M77 rebarreled to a 20" 458 win. With a blackhawk tactical sling and ghost ring rear sight mounted out on the barrel where the rear sight is. I carry this when loafing, hiking, backing up the wife and her camera, etc...With this rifle I hit better than with anything I have ever used. This gun has all the negatives said to make a gun impossible to hit with.

  9. #9

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    30/06 my Kimber 8400 Montana
    300WBY Mag My custom Mark V

    Go all day long with Kimber and have carried a 7mmSTW also in the mountains that weighs the same as my 300WBY and it was no porblem. But to be fair I run two miles sometimes three miles five days a week and one month before I go to the hunt I run with a 30pound back pack and at 58 yrs old I need to do this kind of conditioning to make up for my age.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  10. #10
    New member George's Avatar
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    Default not too light

    I really never have preferred the super light rifles. Got used to lugging around 10-12# muzzleloaders or BPCRs I guess. The heavier guns slow you down a little but make you hunt slower, with more purpose. In high power I like #4 or #5 contour barrels in 22-24" lengths depending on caliber. That will make for about 7 1/2 - 9 1/2 lb. rifles. Doing it that way there is no need for extra bells and whistles like recoil reducers or ports or brakes.

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    Default agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    I really never have preferred the super light rifles. Got used to lugging around 10-12# muzzleloaders or BPCRs I guess. The heavier guns slow you down a little but make you hunt slower, with more purpose. In high power I like #4 or #5 contour barrels in 22-24" lengths depending on caliber. That will make for about 7 1/2 - 9 1/2 lb. rifles. Doing it that way there is no need for extra bells and whistles like recoil reducers or ports or brakes.
    Agreed.

    Gimme a 10 pound .375 H&H or bigger for anything.

    But to answer the origional question about the .308, I guess I could make use of a 6.5 pound "new ultra light arms" rifle, although I have had a 7 pound .30-'06 kick the everlovin snot outta me worse than any 10 pound .375 ever has.

    jedi

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    Default

    I have an idee that most rifles weigh more than their owners claim they do.

    Weighed on a food scale, My 26" barreled 7mm Weatherby weighs 10 lbs. complete with scope, sling, and 3 rounds in the magazine.

    I don't mind the weight a bit when I'm hunting, probably because I like the rifle so much.

    I'd probably choose one of my lighter rifles if I was sheep hunting, or just packing a rifle on a long hike, but I've learned that, hunting is hunting, and not about covering as much ground as possible.
    Smitty of the North
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  13. #13

    Default Light weight rifles

    A lot of good perspectives here. A guy can spend a lot of money trying to get a light rifle(under 7 lbs). To me, 7 lbs is a minimum weight. 7-8 bs is easy enough to carry in the mountains but heavy enough for effective shooting when the time comes. As the previous poster said, ANY rifle is a pain in the ass after all day chasing sheep/goats. Take your time and and get in shape, then rifle weight will be less of a factor.

  14. #14

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    I'm in the 7-8 pound crowd for the calibers you're asking about. But it's kind of a stew between weight, balance and caliber.

    Like Murph, I want a little weight forward in my bolts, along with a pretty straight stock and suitable weight as recoil goes up. For fast handling at short ranges I like the weight right between my hands kind of like a good double shotgun.

    At one time I owned both a Ruger M-77 Ultralight and their regular M-77 in 30-06. The Ultralight kicked noticeably more but was a delight to carry. Balance was a little too far back, so it felt "whippy" and was hard to shoot offhand while huffing and puffing, even if it was as fast as a M-94 30-30 in the brush. I ended up dumping it and keeping the heavier M-77 simply because the little extra weight out front made it a bunch easier to shoot offhand.

  15. #15
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default actual rifle weight

    "I have an idea that most rifles weigh more than their owners claim they do"

    I agree completely - most would argue that their rifle is a lot lighter (than they think it is) - an accurate scale sometimes produces some real surprises. I weigh my rifles on a digital postal scale that only goes to 20 lb and measures to 1/10 oz.

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    Member chrisWillh's Avatar
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    Only gun I own is a .300 Win Mag right around 7 1/2 -8 pounds loaded with 4 rounds, scope and sling.
    Chris Willhoite

  17. #17

    Default Heavy

    I like my 13.5 lb 700P in 300RUM. Heavy but shoots from here to there with extreme prejudice. And I carry it all the time so I'm used to the weight.
    RIDE TALL, SHOOT STRAIGHT AND ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH

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    My Kimber Montana 325wsm with a XVIII 2.5-8x36, kimber bases, leupold rings and a light nylon sling weighs 7lbs 2oz according to a digital scale. I have since gone to Talley Lightweight rings/bases so it might be a little lighter.

    How do you get a 300 win mag with scope, sling and 4 rounds to weigh 7.5-8 lbs? Is that a custom job? Most factory 300's weigh at least 7lbs without a scope.

  19. #19
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    Factory weight with scope is 7 1/8 pound according to Remington. My sling and 4 rounds weigh right around 1 pound. The scope is a cheep lightweight Bushnell that I plan on replacing as soon as I can get the money.
    Chris Willhoite

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    Weatherby Ultra Lightweight Mark V rifles weigh 5 3/4# in non-magnum calibers and 6 3/4# in magnum calibers. That's the naked, unequipped weight. Kimber Montana rifles are reported to be very similar. My 270 Weatherby ULW feels like a feather compared to my standard (not specifically lightweight) rifles. I don't believe any of my standard rifles weigh under 10# and are probably considerably heavier than that.

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