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? Downside to Lightweight Rifle

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Old 11-29-2004, 10:22 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5
? Downside to Lightweight Rifle

Ok guys, I am thinking of a new rifle (having bowhunted only for the last decade). I got great info from a prior post and just scanning through prior threads.

My question is what is the downside of a light weight rifle if its only purpose is "long range" hunting. I know that a heavier rifle offers a more stable platform for benchrest shooting. And, a heavier barrel handles the heat of multiple shots better.

But it would obviously be nicer to carry a lighter rifle over hill and dale. Hopefully, we are only talking about 1 shot [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] , so we do not need to shoot rapid groups.

So, if 2 rifle both shoot 0.5" groups, why not use the light weight rifle for hunting?
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:32 AM
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Re: ? Downside to Lightweight Rifle

My favorite thing about heavier rifles is the reduction of recoil without a muzzle brake.

I shoot a 7 STW and a 338 Lapua so I like them heavy.
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:38 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5
Re: ? Downside to Lightweight Rifle


What about a removable muzzle brake? Use it while working up loads, sighting in, etc...., then remove it for hunting. I have not done this, so I certainly cannot speak from experience.
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Old 11-29-2004, 01:16 PM
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Re: ? Downside to Lightweight Rifle

JRB, I have never used a brake so I can not comment. I'm also 6'3" and over 250 so carrying a a 12 lb rifle vs a 8 lb isnt all that much different to me.

Your mileage may vary....
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Old 11-30-2004, 12:18 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: ? Downside to Lightweight Rifle

My new rifle is a Savage 110 in 270. This will be my walkabout hunting rifle and will certainly shoot accurately as far as the cartridge is effective.

At 6.5lbs w/o scope, it qualifies as light. Recoil, or rather the speed of the recoil, is much higher. Scope rash is certaily a possibility so I have to adjust. Maybe even looking at a scope with more eye relief.

I believe that if I will be shooting off field rests, the max. distance is much closer then off a bench. Weight will not add more in stability from the rests I use. Neither will a heavier barrel as I don't intend to need more then the number of shots in my mag.

I have had several heavy walkabout rifles and didn't walk as far as I might have given a lighter rifle. This rifle ought to fit that need quite nicely.


PS the rifle shoots 4 into 1/4" so will certainly suit my LR needs. Time to start testing at longer ranges and see how it holds together
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:11 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: La Grange, TX
Posts: 222
Re: ? Downside to Lightweight Rifle

Load development with a brake on and zeroing vs taking the brake off to hunt with is a waste. You change vibration patterns, nodes etc..... Do either one or the other. You really can't have it both ways unless you get that one in a thousand barrel combo.

Get as close as you can, but utilize your skills as needed.
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Old 11-30-2004, 06:51 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 107
Re: ? Downside to Lightweight Rifle

jrb co - I find that for myself, accurately shooting a light rifle at long range is much, much more difficult then it is for a heavier rifle. For example: my AI/AWM with scope and mag, probably weighs in somewhere around 17 - 18 lbs. Just perfect. Sets up real nice for very long shots. I usually like my precision rifles to weight about somewheres in the range of 15 - 25 lbs. Rifles in this weight class I can shoot very sub-MOA.

However, if I take my Win Model 70 in 243 in one of them light McMillian stocks, well I just have a hell of a time holding under 1.5 inch groups at 100 yrds. Additionally one very disturbing thing I've noticed when I shoot light rifles, is there is the occasional highly significant flier; I mean more then 2 inches off from where I was aiming. It's not the gun, it's me. I mean when shooting a light rifle, if you just blink wrong, you're gonna throw your shot.

The down side to heavier rifles for field use is just that; heavier. However if you've put time, money and effort into a hunt, then you just absolutely cannot tolerate poor accuracy; especially for long range shootin. Just my $.02
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