I do a lot of my hunting on horse back therefore must carry my rifle in a scabbard. I've seen some wierd mounting methods out there and have had some discussions on the topic. I have good reasoning behind how I do it, I'd like to hear back from others who do it also.
1. I place my rifle on the "off" side or the right hand side. Because I mount and dismount mostly on the horse's left side. I don't want to kick the crap out of my gun getting on or off. Some guys who mount it on the left claim they want quick access when the get off. Personally, if you're gonna shoot that close to your horse's ear, you walk home. Ok for John Wayne maybe.
2. I mount my gun with the butt end closest to the horse's butt, pointing forward. That is usually where you will have a clear path to get the gun out of the scabbard, assuming the ol' nag is tied up to a tree. Also, you're less likely to spook your horse by slipping the gun past it's head.
3. I place the gun in the scabbard scope up. I just find it not good practise to not have the gun's weight on top of my scope.
So there it is, on the right, facing forward and butt back. Goes against all the other things Joe Back ever taught me, but what the hay, works for me.
elkfirst, I say if it works don't fix it! I also hunt a lot off horses (got to justify all that hay!!). Now, I do it differently. I carry two ways depending on the rifle. On a short custom rifle (like I usually carry), I mounnt my scabbard off the pommel on the right side. Obviously, the butt is up with the scope forward. The scabbard is almost vertical. I ride big horses and I have short legs. No matter how I place it from your position, I rub under my fender and get sore due to short legs that have no "arch" under the fender. On rifles too long to mount up front (which I try to avoid), I mount on the left side, butt to the rear. Since I carry bolt actions, I ride scope down to get the bolt handle away from my horse. I have a special strap on my scabbard over the pistol grip area which pulls the rifle snuggly up and keeps pressure off my scope. I know outfitters who ride this position always without my strap and have never had a problem with their scope moving. I'm just cautious. My main concern with your position is that you can't get your rifle out in a hurry unless you are a big guy who can reach over your horse and draw your rifle out as you dismount. From the oldtimer who taught me to hunt off horses, this was a necessity. If your horse goes one way and you another, you must be able to draw your rifle as you dismount! Isn't normally needed, but it only takes once to miss a golden opportunity! Just my thoughts. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
wapiti13, that's just way too funny, I mean your short legs and big horses. I'm about 5'6" on a good day, short legs. I ride an appy/percheron cross and a big paint. Good thing my hunting buddy is well over 6' tall, comes in handy for the packing chores. No one that I ride with has yet to notice that I always put myself on a knoll or my horse in a hole to mount-up, and none frequent this board thank God.
It sounds like you have quite a bit of experience with scabbards, so I would like to ask you a question.....
I usually go on one or two horseback hunts each fall. Sometimes (not always) I carry one of my big long range rifles. I long since gave up on depending on the outfitter having a scabbard that my rifle will fit in. A few years ago I bought a leather scabbard by Triple K and extended the end of it to fit my long barreled rifles. The problem I have now is that I want to carry a rifle with my Nightforce scope on it. The 56mm objective and target turrets hang up and I can't get the rifle in without forcing it.........then I can't get it out [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
Do you have any suggestions for a scabbard that will work with long barreled rifles with large scopes?? I have thought about taking a tough soft sided rifle case like a Boyt and adding the necessary straps to make it usable as a scabbard.
Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated........except "carry a smaller rifle" I've already been told that one several times. I'm not very smart and I'm stubborn too, so I have not taken that bit of advice [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
RDM416, from what I can gather, your rifle outfit is not a cheap one, therefore I say go to a custom leather shop or saddle maker and have yourself a custom scabbard made up. I don't think it'll cost you much more than a standard off the shelf unit except for a bit more leather. Take your outfit to the saddle maker and he can outline your gun & scope and build from there. Be sure to know how you want to mount, take into consideration my opinion (even though I may be Bass Achwards) and that of the others who post here. It's all a matter of preference. However, your gun is probably heavy, it you mount it on the left (side that you get on), your saddle will already tend to hang a bit to that side. When you mount, you'll drop the saddle further to the left and have to re-adjust once atop of ol' Bessy. If you attach your scabbard on the right, the saddle will naturally hang to that side, when you mount up, it's a natural course of event that it will straighten up. If you shoot a long range rifle, then there should be no need for "quick draw" access which the left side provides. Just my thaughts.
Jon A, I clicked on your "These" link and came up with nothing, but then again, I'm not a computer guru either. Anyhow, for sure I may be Bass Ackwards (no offence taken) you're actually not the first to tell me that. But you know what?...I've been living in them there mountains with horses since I was knee high to a grass hopper, and I am proud to say that I've never had a wreck. I've packed salt blocks, barbed wire, tools, stoves, tents, bails and a bunch of other stuff including a picnic table. Looked up to and idolized an old wrangler named "Joe Back", even he thinks I'm backwards, but hey - works for me. I look forward to checking out your link to see that rig you speak of as soon as I can get a picture of it.