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

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Unread 12-01-2011, 12:22 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arizona
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

Saving every ounce weight possible will help no matter how good of shape your are in or what age. There is a reason extreme athletes cut the tags out of clothing and belts short and go to the lightest synthetics possible. You do not need a 12 lb rifle on a backpack hunt or for run and gun hunts. A good 7-8 lb rig will work just fine for the amount of shots we fire hunting, if you know and practice with the rifle. My pencil barrel Steyr's will keep up with anything first three shots. I don't think most the people commenting have hiked a heavy rifle on a sheep hunt, goat hunt, or even a backpack Mule deer for a week plus. I have ultralight rigs in the 6 lb range scoped the balance for a larger caliber .300 class mag seems to function great in the 8 lb range. Leupy's with dials are light and work great for optics.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 12:22 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

One big item that causes problems in AZ is the fact that you almost always have to carry water because finding it in the back country is very iffy. The early hunts are hot and you have to carry water for the day.

Ebelestock packs are nice. I have one too, but they are heavy. Get a technical pack. It's hard to cut weight when the pack itself is heavy before you start stuffing your gear in it.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 12:32 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Libby, MT
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

I'll tell ya the same thing I would tell the mtn riders that would strip parts off their snow cats to lighten up a couple of pounds, just take a good dump in the morning before ya go, it will amount to about the same weight loss.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 08:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

The rifle weight is so dependent are cartrige selection, and what is your realistic maximum range.

If I was to build a couse deer rifle for myself and expected my longest shot to be 750 yards I would pick a small cartige, 243, 6.5x47, 260, and I would build the gun with a 22-23" number 4 contour. With a high tech stock you would be around 7 lbs. Then put on somthing other than a NXS on top of it, a 3x10 or 4x14 with a 1" tube.

Heavy rifles are great for 1000+ yards but I normally carry them to one look-out and sit there the rest of the day. If I'm walking all day I take a light 7wsm at 8.5 lbs with a 3x9 scope. It's doped to 800 and thats my sacrifice.

Last edited by Coyboy; 12-01-2011 at 09:41 AM.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 08:55 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: White Mountains, AZ
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

I don't see how anyone could skimp on optics when it comes to coues deer. I'm not saying one has to use NF, but small, fixed power scope I don't think would cut it, especially out to 800 yards.

This discussion should not focus around necessarily coues deer, but most importantly long range rifles that can actually be "packed". One thing is for sure, in Arizona the luxury of simply driving, sitting, glassing, shooting, and then driving to retrieve game is not an option. Since most western states are the same, possibly a bad assumption on my part, I feel that this discussion is worth having.


Have you seen in your experience that a light weight rig, with a decent shooter, cannot shot accurately? I think as long range shooters we should all pride ourselves on "ethical, one shot, one kill" shooting. I would think that tactical shooters or military snipers would need heavy rigs with heavy barrels not only for the ability to make long strings of accurate shots, but for added stability.

I've personally never spent much time behind anything bigger than a 300WM. My GAP built 300WM rig has Remington fluted Varmint Contour barrel with an APA Fat Bastard Brake. The rig has Seekins Precision Rings/20 MOA Bases and a standard fill McMillan HTG stock, NF NXS 5.5-22x56 and PTG Aluminum Bottom Metal. She weighs in right at 12.5lb s with bipod. After this hunt, and I feel like I was/am in decent shape, that rifle is simply too much to be packing around the desert. As DesertBull mentioned, in Arizona, you would be crazy to leave camp without at least 3 liters of water. Another thing I think all western hunters deal with is freezing mornings and then warm days......you can't much glass when your shivering to death at first light because you didn't want to take warmer clothes, but obviously as the day goes on you can't just dump your clothes in some tree and leave them either......
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
--Frank Outlaw

Last edited by coues7; 12-01-2011 at 09:43 AM.
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Unread 12-01-2011, 09:35 AM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?


Your comments are true for the conventional hunter, no question there. We are talking about Long Range Hunting. Now I understand this is a relative term and with more people joining LRH.com, it seems that the focus of true long range hunting is going away. Personally, when someone asks me about a Long Range hunting rifle, that to me is a rifle intended to be used at a range of 600 yards and well past, no matter what the weight of the rifle is.

I am not saying that a lighter rifle will not make life easier hiking in the hills, obviously it will, but it will not help you out when that buck of a lifetime shows at 800 yards, your 6 to 7 lb rifles will be MUCH harder to shoot from field shots then even an 8-9 lb rifle. There is no question there.

Back to your comments, it seems your referring to conventional hunting. In that case, there is really no need for big accessary optics. If you will not be shooting over 500 yards, a pair of good quality 10x42 binos will easily tell you if you want to go after a big game animal or not.

Again, I think we need to realize what forum we are on and put everything into the perspective that we are talking about LONG RANGE HUNTING, not conventional hunting. Two totally differnet topics which seldom use the same equipment.
Kirby Allen(50)

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Unread 12-01-2011, 09:36 AM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

Who said anything about fixed power?
If you carry a 60x spotter what do you need a 22x scope for.

If you can't effectivly use 14X for a 800 yard shot you have eye issues.

I've recorded 900+ yard hits with 14x on targets smaller than coyotes.
I've used 9x on a 8lb 7wsm and shot with 1/2 moa accuracy on rocks way farther than I would shoot at deer.

the 2x10x32 NXS is 11oz lighter than a 3x15 or 5x22 NXS
A 1" leupold vx-3 4x14 or 6x20 is 13oz lighter
swaro has a 30mm tube z-6 3x18 that is 8oz lighter.

Why would someone complaining about rifle weight, use a 2lb scope?

But then what do I know, you obviously missed the whole point of my post #18 about lighter rifles.
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