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

 
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  #29  
Old 12-01-2011, 01:42 PM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

My 338Edge is less than 11 pounds. It shoots pretty well. I like heavy guns for shooting through out the year but I am also recoil sensitive. I dont like carrying 12+ pounds on a sheep hunt but gladly do it on hunts that require more spotting than stalking. My comfort level for sheep hunting is 11-11.5#. I seem to notice a difference between 11.5 and 12#. It seems crazy and a drawn line but after anywhere from 6-16 hours packing 50 pounds on my back while carrying a 12# rig through the alders and up steep terrain, I definately notice a difference in that 1/2 pound. I have hunted the back country a few times with a 17# rifle and none of them were any fun. Successfull, but not fun. One hunt the 17# rifle didn't bother me but I was in some of the best shape I have ever been in. With the above in mind, I have found that the better shape I was in, the less I notice more weight. On my back AND in my hands. Sometimes getting into better shape can be a good answer.

All that said, a long range rifle does not 'have' to be heavy. It typically does not hurt and generally helps (minus your pain from carrying). Lighter guns can be just as 'accurate' as heavy guns but accuracy is relative. Are we talking cold bore accuracy? Are we talking the accuracy of the 3rd shot or the 10th? (hopefully you realize you should stop shooting at the animal long before you reach 10 shots), are we talking accuracy due to ergonomics or just raw barrel/action potential?

To each his own. It boils down to personal prefernce. Just because a rifle is heavy does not mean it will be more accurate. If it is heavy for the RIGHT reasons, those features that make it heavy can help consistency. The more rigid the barrel, the easier they can be to tune at times. The more rigid the barrel the less they can be affected by the cold bore shot etc.....If the stock is heavy for the right reasons ie: adjustable cheek piece, spacers for the right LOP etc....That can lend itself to your consistency making the rifle more accurate. Again, accuracy used here is relative. The barrel and action have the same potential regardless of the stock so long as they are fitted properly. The more ergonomic the stock, the more accurate you will be.

Then you need to look at accessories. OK, for an 800 yard shot are you going to want/need a bi-pod or other support? For consistent 800 yard clean kills you will typically need more than a back pack. The smaller the target (ie: coues deer) the more critical this is. How about an ACI type device? How about a level? How bad do you want to make that 800 yard shot? Then you need to be looking at other areas of durability. Bases, rings etc....This is a fairly easy fix. There are some GREAT rings and bases available that are very light weight. How about your scope? You probably need alot of elevation right? This typically requires turrets and a 30mm main tube. The list goes on and on.....All thes things add weight and unfortunately add up fast.

How bad do you want that precision shot? The smaller the target and the further they get, the more specialized tools you will need.

Weight in the right areas can help you be more accurate and consistent and other weight in other areas can help the rifle be more accurate in certain situations. Its up to you. How many yards and how small a target?

When you hunt coues, (I know you know this) there are a few things you CANNOT sacrifice for consistently finding, judging and keeping track of coues bucks. Optics and tri-pods etc....Shave weight with lighter packs, lighter food, lighter this and lighter that. Lighter optics and tri-pods are ok IF you dont sacrifice performance and stability. We both know that for trophy coues, optics is where it is at.
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  #30  
Old 12-01-2011, 02:36 PM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

This is exactly where I wanted this discussion to go. I personally believe there is a lot to be learned and a lot that has been learned from these vary discussions. In reality my 12.5lb rig may not be unreasonable for what I expect the rifle to do. In my opinion 1st shot, cold bore shots are one of the most critical parts of the game. Obviously, as Michael stated, there are certain attributes that lend to making that 1st shot, cold bore shot be what it needs to be.

I'll have to unload my pack and take pictures of all the goods that I pack around. In my opinion, I don't pack anything but the accessories. I have a buddy who is willing to trade my 80mm for his 65mm and maybe to shave a few ounces I'll have to look into that.

What technical packs do you guys recommend?
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  #31  
Old 12-01-2011, 02:47 PM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

My horse could care less how much weight i carry or if i,am going up or down hill...he also handles packing out the animals very well.
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  #32  
Old 12-01-2011, 04:00 PM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

I have a pretty light rig consisting of a Tikka T3 lite in .270WSM with a 4-14x scope. I have used it to take mule deer out to 670 yards with the 140 gr. Accubond. That is the farthest shot I have made on deer, but am fairly confident I could shoot further with success. That may not be considered long range on this forum, but certainly not the old standard 100-300 yard shot either.
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  #33  
Old 12-01-2011, 05:14 PM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

For what it's worth, how stiff or ridgid a barrel is has little to do with how accurate it can be. The frequency they whip at that causes the greatest angular movement of the bore axis at the muzzle is typically between 50 and 90 cycles per second. So the bullet's long gone before the barrel goes through one cycle.

The "harmonics" that's so often heard are just multiples of that base frequency and the muzzle axis changes very little at those frequencies. The first harmonic is twice the base frequency, the second is 3 times and so on. Harmonics are not an issue to be concerned about. The bore axis at the muzzle is on the up swing when the bullet exits and as long as the bullet exits before the muzzle's bore axis reaches the top, slower bullets will leave at higher angles, faster ones at lower angles thereby compensating somewhat for bullet drop down range and accuracy increases.

As long as the barrel whips or vibrates the same for each shot, it doesn't matter how much that is. Bullets leave at the same place every time.
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  #34  
Old 12-01-2011, 08:05 PM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

I think if I could get a 10lb rifle w/optics that I'd be happy.
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  #35  
Old 12-01-2011, 08:33 PM
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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs +?

my Mod 70 with custom work from MG arms weighs 8.75 pounds scoped and loaded. I have killed elk and deer at 500 yards, it is a 300wsm, I have a mec recoil reducer in the stock, for bench work it wears the break, hunting no break. If you cant shoot a 9lb or less rifle in 300 then drop down in caliber, I would put my rifle up against any 10lb + 300wsm all day long, it is practice, good ammo, and knowing your limits
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