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Gear Weight Considerations

 
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  #1  
Old 07-07-2012, 12:16 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 10
Gear Weight Considerations

Hello gents,

I am a long time long range precision shooter with absolutely no hunting experience whatsoever (my intro New Guy From Utah) and I'm looking for advice on weight considerations regarding gear. Up to this point I have had little concern for the weight of my gear and invested in durability and accuracy, so my stuff weighs a lot.

I have two options as it stands for rifles and I'm hoping your insights as to how much weight I should carry (I'm hoofing this hunt in steep terrain) as well as where the weight should be invested (where should I save/increase weight).

Rifles:

Rem 700 PSS (.308 Win)
26" barrel (braked)
B&C Police Medalist 1 stock
Harris 6-9 bipods
No scope as of yet, but I plan on a Vortex HS of some variety, probably the 2.5-10
Accuracy w/ FGMM 175: <1 MOA
Weight: 12 lbs

Surgeon 591 (6.5 Creedmoor)
26" #8
AICS 2.0 stock
Harris 6-9 bipods
Premier Heritage 5-25x56
Accuracy with factory Hornady 140: <0.5 MOA
Weight: 17.4 lbs (ouch!)

This season I will be hunting doe antelope, spike elk, and buck deer (unit 17b/c in Utah, if anyone has any advice for me...).

My natural inclination is to go with the Surgeon not just because of the accuracy advantage, but because I have more experience behind this platform and trust it thoroughly. It is, however, a porker of a rifle.

The Remington on the other hand is a satisfactory shooter by most people's standards, but I do not have as much faith in it. I have had a tendency to brake even the most expensive and rugged gear produced (2x USO scopes, HSP DBM, several Rem 700 extractors etc...), especially when the pressure is on. I have had issues with 700's going down in the past during matches which has been costly, and I don't really want to risk this happening on a hunt. It does save me quite a bit of weight though, so it maybe worth it.

What say you?

Thanks for reading,

Cory
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3/7 Scout Sniper Platoon 2006-2007
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2012, 01:02 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Halfway between Lubbock and Dallas
Posts: 5,169
Re: Gear Weight Considerations

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackWhiskey View Post
Hello gents,

I am a long time long range precision shooter with absolutely no hunting experience whatsoever (my intro New Guy From Utah) and I'm looking for advice on weight considerations regarding gear. Up to this point I have had little concern for the weight of my gear and invested in durability and accuracy, so my stuff weighs a lot.

I have two options as it stands for rifles and I'm hoping your insights as to how much weight I should carry (I'm hoofing this hunt in steep terrain) as well as where the weight should be invested (where should I save/increase weight).

Rifles:

Rem 700 PSS (.308 Win)
26" barrel (braked)
B&C Police Medalist 1 stock
Harris 6-9 bipods
No scope as of yet, but I plan on a Vortex HS of some variety, probably the 2.5-10
Accuracy w/ FGMM 175: <1 MOA
Weight: 12 lbs

Surgeon 591 (6.5 Creedmoor)
26" #8
AICS 2.0 stock
Harris 6-9 bipods
Premier Heritage 5-25x56
Accuracy with factory Hornady 140: <0.5 MOA
Weight: 17.4 lbs (ouch!)

This season I will be hunting doe antelope, spike elk, and buck deer (unit 17b/c in Utah, if anyone has any advice for me...).

My natural inclination is to go with the Surgeon not just because of the accuracy advantage, but because I have more experience behind this platform and trust it thoroughly. It is, however, a porker of a rifle.

The Remington on the other hand is a satisfactory shooter by most people's standards, but I do not have as much faith in it. I have had a tendency to brake even the most expensive and rugged gear produced (2x USO scopes, HSP DBM, several Rem 700 extractors etc...), especially when the pressure is on. I have had issues with 700's going down in the past during matches which has been costly, and I don't really want to risk this happening on a hunt. It does save me quite a bit of weight though, so it maybe worth it.

What say you?

Thanks for reading,

Cory
Either one will handle deer sized game just fine out to 800yds.

What I'd suggest to you since you're in Utah is take one at a time, and spend half a day with each climbing/hiking in steep terrain.

No one can tell you what your reasonable weight limit except yourself.

Also consider what you will be carrying along with you in your daypack while on the hunt and carry it with you.

On optics, a good 10x can get you to 1000yds on deer or larger game, but if you can afford more get more.

If budget is a real big consideration go with quality over magnification though because you won't be happy with cheap glass that's fuzzy or breaks down when it counts.

For most people I've been around, no matter how much the tell you they "CAN" carry, anything over 12lbs is going to make for a whole lot of misery and bitching in steep/tough terrain.

Just find out for yourself with a few practice hikes/climbs.
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2012, 06:53 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
Posts: 2,446
Re: Gear Weight Considerations

I am sure there will be lots of different opinions on this subject, but i think the answer to your question will depend on how you will define hunting and what appeals to you. I have spent 45 years hunting and shooting. Most all my shooting has been done over this period with the intent towards being a more proficient hunter. Long range shooting, whether practice or competition is intended to increase my hunting success by extending my range, and improving my shooting skill under varied conditions. When hunting, my goal is to harvest the best possible animal. It is also to use my skill to get as close as I can. Its very rewarding to make a 1000 yard shot on a game animal, but most of my game has been shot at shorter distances and required a lot of walking, stalking, etc. My LR hunting rigs fall in the 10 pound range, and I still consider them on the heavy side unless I'm in a stand, or single location for all or a large portion of the day. I don't think I could even imagine hauling a 17 pound rig for big game hunting under any circumstances. iMHO.
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2012, 10:22 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 10
Re: Gear Weight Considerations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyfox View Post
I am sure there will be lots of different opinions on this subject, but i think the answer to your question will depend on how you will define hunting and what appeals to you. I have spent 45 years hunting and shooting. Most all my shooting has been done over this period with the intent towards being a more proficient hunter. Long range shooting, whether practice or competition is intended to increase my hunting success by extending my range, and improving my shooting skill under varied conditions. When hunting, my goal is to harvest the best possible animal. It is also to use my skill to get as close as I can. Its very rewarding to make a 1000 yard shot on a game animal, but most of my game has been shot at shorter distances and required a lot of walking, stalking, etc. My LR hunting rigs fall in the 10 pound range, and I still consider them on the heavy side unless I'm in a stand, or single location for all or a large portion of the day. I don't think I could even imagine hauling a 17 pound rig for big game hunting under any circumstances. iMHO.
My definition of hunting is similar to yours. My goal is to execute a well planned and prepped hunt on a good animal. I enjoy the idea of scouting, tracking, stalking and observation much more than taking a shot. The harvesting, I think, is just icing on the cake.

As far as my shooting goes, I have no real desire to take an animal at 1000 yds right now, but that may change if I see an exceptional animal. My shooting skills and equipment, I believe, are at the level required to make such a shot confidently and successfully. But once again, my shooting has always focused around a tactical mission, not a hunting one, so I maybe way off base in assuming this.

Regarding the weight of my rifles, I don't know how much I'll actually be moving throughout the day, but I expect a fair amount. I plan on packing: binos, LRF, kestrel, 2L water, cliff bars, small trauma kit, data book, and a K-Bar, totaling about 10-11 lbs. Does this seem right?
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Last edited by BlackWhiskey; 07-07-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2012, 10:46 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,464
Re: Gear Weight Considerations

My take without reading your intro, knowing your age or physical condition is....

It will entirely depend on your age and physical condition. Personally, I think 12 pounds is too heavy for a rifle that you'll carry up and down mountains. You might find that carrying just yourself is a chore.

I'd be toting a lightweight firearm, mine is 7.5 pounds with scope and 4 rounds in the magazine. 8 is my upper limit. I'm in my 60's and I want to come back, not in a body bag....... Shoot a common caliber. It's nice to have a wildcat or some rare but insanely powerful, flat shooting caliber, but, if you loose your ammo or it gets misplaced, with that odd out caliber, the local Wally World or hardware won't have it and you are SOL. I shoot a 308, available everywhere.

On toting, forget a sling carry. I do that deerhunting in Northern Michigan and by the end of the day, I know just where that sling is riding 'cause it's damn uncomfortable.

I'd get a good pack, I suggest Eblerstock and carry the firearm on the pack or in the case of the Eblerstock, in the scabbard behind your head, parallel to your backbone, ready for an instant grab should the situation demand it.

Len sells them on this site BTW. I have a G2 and it will carry everything you need for an extended hunt plus carry the boned out meat to your base camp or vehicle. It has room for hydration bladders and a bunch of other stuff, like lip balm, good knives, camera, tent or bivy, sleeping bag ground cloth/shooting mat, food and munchies and all that stuff you need......

Don't forget good fitting and comfortable boots, proper clothing and a first aid kit, a cell phone and leave someone you know, your itenerary and approximate location.

Makes it easier to find you should something happen.

have fun......
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2012, 11:21 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
Posts: 2,446
Re: Gear Weight Considerations

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackWhiskey View Post
My definition of hunting is similar to yours. My goal is to execute a well planned and prepped hunt on a good animal. I enjoy the idea of scouting, tracking, stalking and observation much more than taking a shot. The harvesting, I think, is just icing on the cake.

As far as my shooting goes, I have no real desire to take an animal at 1000 yds right now, but that may change if I see an exceptional animal. My shooting skills and equipment, I believe, is at the level required to make such a shot confidently and successfully. But once again, my shooting has always focused around a tactical mission, not a hunting one, so I maybe way off base in assuming this.

Regarding the weight of my rifles, I don't know how much I'll actually be moving throughout the day, but I expect a fair amount. I plan on packing: binos, LRF, kestrel, 2L water, cliff bars, small trauma kit, data book, and a K-Bar, totaling about 10-11 lbs. Does this seem right?
BeIng a recent Scout Sniper, a 12 pound rifle should be no problem at all, in contrast to my 61 year old bones! Your list sounds pretty good. I bring a similiar list along with a GPS, cell phone, and small rear bag should a LR prone shot be available. If you plan on packing you animal out yourself, a back pack/frame would be needed. I expect you will thoroughly enjoy the hunting, and make great use of your tactical skills. Good Luck.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2012, 08:50 PM
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 58
Re: Gear Weight Considerations

Some good advice already. I carry a 12 # rifle a lot now. It is easily at the extreme of what you'd want to carry for a walking hunting rifle. Something 8-9# is much better. The main reason I do, is because where I hunt now in CO (mostly for elk) I have a couple of ridges I tend to spent a lot of time on. The heavier barrel and glass pay some dividends there, but are a real liability when doing lots of hiking. It will end up depending some on where and how you eventually end up hunting. I'm also getting a 17# much longer range rifle - but it will only be lugged back and forth to a ridge, where I will spend most of my time.

I agree if you're young and tough you can carry it; I'm not as young now and I do fine - still doesn't mean you should. First, you may end up with many shots that are 150 yards or less (on the deer and elk) and you don't have time to drop to the ground or a knee or find a tree. Shooting a 12# rifle off-hand, huffing and puffing from climbing, with buck fever etc. - isn't easy. I joke that I'm a deadlier shot at 600 yards than I am at 100 with my gun - since it's a chore to hold steady for a "surprise/pop-up" shot. Many times you and the game will both spy each other at the same time at that distance, and you many just have 3-4 secs to send lead before their internal timer tells them it's time to bolt. The 17# gun would be pure lunacy (for elk/deer) - other than walking to a ridge you were going to sit for hours. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you should. Us that extra energy to hike another ridge, or save it for packing the game out. If the terrain you end of hunting isn't real open, and you do lots of walking - you'll wish you had lighter than even the 12# - especially if you are in a foot of snow. Even though this is "long range hunting" - many of your chances at game are often at 300 yds and less, and you don't need 1/2 MOA accuracy for that.

A pack for the gun is good, but in timber and close shots - you'll probably want it in your hands. Some of the "stretchy" type slings, like those from Butler Creek, really do make the gun feel a couple pounds lighter, and won't kill your shoulder if you do sling it. Although a 12# rifle seems to be about the max weight I'd want on one of them. Good advice on some of the packing. Remember "layers" - so you can pull on and shed layers as you go. Shed the layers long before you're soaking wet from sweat. Good boots are key. I wouldn't recommend most combat boots - more like good quality hiking boots like Meindle and the like (best $ you'll spend). I've found, all but the tallest bipods are pretty useless in the mountains - hills too steep, brush/grass to tall. Tall bipods or shooting stick seem to work best.

Find some hunters at work, church or get to a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation event/dinner or anything with sportsman and make a friend or two. Many will be happy to have you tag-along on a hunt. You can learn from some locals for a bit at least. Good luck!
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