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Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

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Unread 11-30-2011, 07:54 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: White Mountains, AZ
Posts: 287
Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

I just got back from my Coues deer hunt here in Arizona and I WILL NOT pack a 12.5lb rifle anymore! With my pack (Eberlestock), 80mm spotting scope, Swarovski LRF, carbon tripod and head and a few other miscellaneous items, I am packing around an additional 50lbs.

I know the forum is very diverse when it comes to location of hunting, but our here in Arizona, you simply cannot kill "good" buck hunting the roads. So when I'm covering 5-7 miles a day packing around 50lbs of gear it gets old real quick.

So the question is: Why do we, as long range hunters, build rifles that are so heavy? What benefits are there? If we do our homework and practice we shouldn't need to be taking repetitive shots that would heat the barrel up. Do we really gain that much stability and accuracy from having a 12lb + rifle?
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Unread 11-30-2011, 08:59 PM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 6,517
I think this is an important discussion question.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 09:08 PM
Edd Edd is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 2,342
Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

Why are you giving the rifle all the blame for a 50 pound pack? The most you can expect to gain from the rifle is about 4 pounds. That still leaves you packing 46 pounds.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 09:26 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Central Pennsylvania
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

We helped a guy put together a rifle that weighed just under 6#'s so he could run with it to his hunting spots. It was a very specific group of components. I would say if you went with an ABS carbon wrapped barrel, a good muzzle break in cromoly steel instead of stainless, aluminum rings, aluminum base (EGW), the titanium Extreme action, and a high carbon fiber content stock, you could have a rifle that weighs half of what you have. But caliber choice is going to be the caveat. You won't a supper heavy caliber. Even with the muzzle break it will still recoil quite a bit. That means for animals such as Elk you will have to close the gap some. Instead of 1200yds, you may have to go to 900yds. I personally would pick a caliber like a WSM that could theoretically get you to 1000 even for elk. A 7SAUM or 270WSM with 175 Matrix bullets, or the 300WSM and the new 215 Berger. However with all this innovation comes cost as well. I would say you would still be looking at a rifle that would easily be $6000 to $8000 dollars with having lighter components. But you would still be able to shoot just as far now that I talked myself into it again!

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Unread 11-30-2011, 09:45 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 140
Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

i havent been in the long range game too long, but from what i have seen in other things i have done, light weight = more cost and sacrifices some accuracy because it will flex more. Even the titanium flexes a lot more than the steal will if there the same size. It is 45% lighter though.
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Unread 11-30-2011, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

From owning several LR rigs I feel that 12# is about the lightest I want for shots at 800 plus. For one I don't want a barrel lighter than a Sendero type contour. I feel the lighter barrels can suffer from harmonics and barrel whip. Plus I want thet barrel 28 or 30" long. This makes most of them come in at 12 to 12 .5 lbs with bipod and scope. There is no doubt the heavier rifles have less recoil, easier to stabilize solidly on target and keep there durring the recoil. Not to mention the added weight makes spotting shots easier too.

The difference between the lightest rifles and a 12 lb rig is probably 4 or 5 lbs. I guess before I worry about the extra 5 lbs of the rifle I should worry more about the 15 or 20 lbs I need to loose. I know which weight is making me more accurate. There is a reason the competition rifles are heavy and are often classed by weight.

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Unread 11-30-2011, 09:55 PM
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Location: Great Falls, MT
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

I lug around pretty close to 40 lbs (gear, food, water, extra clothing, etc ...) 5-10 miles going up, down, and round MT wilderness ... and I never blame it on my 12+ lbs rifle. Get into better shape to make the would be challenging hunt more manageable.

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