Originally Posted by matt_3479
I appreciate the info,
you dont feel that the #4 is too light/thin or are you happy with your choice. Now if you were to do it again, would you choose #4 or another. Do you suggest the 4 or the 5
I really like the #4 for a hunting rifle, especially if you are going to carry it anywhere. It is well balanced for shooting and for carrying. I find with a heavier barrel, the barrel causes the rifle to hang unnaturally to the rear when you have it slung over your shoulder. The only reason I went with the #5 on my latest build is because the gunsmith didn't want to use anything lighter than a #5. If you want the weight of a #5, you could also try a light Palma shortened to 26". It would be about the same weight but with a heavier profile.
With a hunting rifle you aren't going to be shooting long strings of fire. If your rifle consistently puts the first few shots where you point them, that is adequate. Both of the rifles I described would/will regularly shoot sub 1/2 MOA and the best 3 shot groups from each were around 1/5 MOA. I wouldn't hesitate to use a #4 if I built a new hunting rifle. I really like a rifle that weighs 9 lbs or less ready to go.
In addition, I like the Remington Classic stock for my hunting rifles and they can only handle up to a #5 contour.
Finally, I carry enough weight in my pack without having to be weighed down with a heavier than necessary rifle. I sold a gift certificate for a Nightforce and chose to use a Leupold on my latest rifle because it would save me 10 oz without sacrificing usefullness to me.
Everyone has their own style and needs. You just need to identify what characteristics you want in a rifle and build to them. A good smith can build an accurate hunting rifle out of most reasonable contours. Long range accuracy doesn't have to mean an overly heavy rifle.