My custom Kirby/Lilja 300 RUM with massive 30" Lilja #8 contour and NF 3.5-15x56 driving the .508 BC 155gr SCENAR made quick work of 717 yard buck. Problem is the artillery piece is too heavy for me to shoot off hand. Being the former silhouette champ, and deadly accurate offhand with my 6.5 lbs a-bolt 270 WSM - I planned on carrying the little a-bolt in my hands for deer I jumped then using the artillery for when I was set up at long range. The Kirby gun with Harris bi-pod worked better than I expected at long range, but I jumped several GINORMOUS bucks at close range - and because I couldn't carry the big RUM on my back, I had to leave the little a-bolt in the truck.
My plan for next year is to take one of my old stocks (replaced by custom stocks), fill it with lead (to make it RUM weight + 4lbs ) and use it in my pre-hunt training. Whats the best sling or other mechanism to carry a heavy gun.
I don't know what your "musket" weighs, but my little 7mm AM weighs 15 pounds ready to hunt. This includes sling and bipod. I can carry it 2 or 3 hours easy and never sling it, but when I do want it on my shoulder I use a Butler Creek Alaskan Magnum Rifle Sling. I also have a Vero Velini sling that works just as well. Either do the job and make the felt weight seem to be less than actual weight. These are carrying slings and not shooting slings. My sling is mounted with flush mount QD swivels and when seting up for single position, long range shooting, the sling comes off most of the time. I can carry my gun on my shoulder all day if needed and it's not a problem.
I always hunt with Stoney Point sticks when going cross country and I will not take an offhand shot unless it's like 50 yards or less. It's just too easy to use the Stoney Points and I just don't feel that an offhand shot of any kind is the best option for me and the game. I use whatever is available at the time of the shot to put me in the most secure and solid position to allow me to take the shot. This might be sitting, kneeling or preferably, prone but the lower and closer to the ground I get the more solid the shot becomes.
Twice this year, once for deer and once for elk, that meant bipod up front and bean bag in the rear. The Stoney Points come in real handy when ranging or for extended glassing also.
I don't think I'd pack a dedicated long range gun if I was going to be hunting in an evnrionment that dictated jumping deer up close and personal. On the other hand, I also wouldn't use the light weight, packing rifle, if I was in an area that dictated long range shots. Maybe your country contains both types of country and in that case, maybe you have grounds for another new gun. Something inbetween light and heavy. Nope, you'd better not do that or you'll be carrying 3 guns at a time. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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Maybe your country contains both types of country and in that case, maybe you have grounds for another new gun. Something inbetween light and heavy.
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That's the direction I've gone. My 300 RUM should finish just under 10 lbs when finished with a 27" #5 fluted Lilja. Not an ultralight, not a heavy gun, but something in between. I'm sort of surprised more people don't go that way, it seems many go directly from light factory rifles to 15+ pounders without much in between.
I'll second the Butler Creek Alaskan Magnum sling. I loved that thing on my recent elk hunt. I walked more miles than I could possibly count and the weight of the rifle never bothered me at all. That sling really helps.
As a spot and stalk hunter, the sling i use is 1 i designed myself that allows me to tighten the gun on my back or belly for crawling if need be. It also allows me to lengthen the sling quickly for over-the-head shoulder carrying. It's simply some form of wide Wal-Mart or whatever brand i happen to have at the time. But i've installed a Fastex buckle in it with a snap, and it functions just like a backpack waist buckle system, and is set up the exact same way. The snap allows me to move the rig into position once i've arrived at my shooting spot without having to contort to get the sling off if i've been crawling. I've used them for years now without a single hitch.