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Rifle Weight Vs. Distance capability...

 
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  #1  
Old 08-09-2012, 12:27 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 90
Rifle Weight Vs. Distance capability...

What are your views on this for yourself personally?
The last few years I've been hunting and packing a 12.5 lb rifle on some pretty knarly hunts and while it serves double duty as my competition rifle, it is a bit heavy for backpack trips. Though I do feel comfortable out there on game to 700 yards or so depending on conditions (steel much farther). We are in the process of putting together a 300 Norma in hopes of it performing well enough to be our large 30-cal option for our upcoming hunting rifles. Trying to get rifle without scope to come in under 9 lbs.

Where do you draw the line for packing rifle weight? Do you feel the added distance capabilities of a semi-custom rifle is worth the extra weight over your typical factory Tikka/Rem/Savage? I'm trying to see what the majority consensus is as you are all potential customers, and we want to put rifles together that fit you and your hunting style! Thanks for the input ya'll...

Mike
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2012, 12:45 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Gillette Wy
Posts: 302
Re: Rifle Weight Vs. Distance capability...

Depends on a lot of factors. How old you are, how good of shape, recoil sensitivity and caliber are just a few. My new rifle should be done tomorrow. I want to be able to pack it, so I told the smith no more than 8 lbs before the scope. My scope is 18 oz so around 9 1/2 total when loaded. I'll be 55 next mo. and that is all I want to pack. At my age lighter is better. Its a 6.5-06 so recoil shouldn't be an issue. If it was a .338 of some sort I'd want it a little heavier. Lots of different scenarios. Generally speaking ,for hunting, most of us appreciate a rifle that weighs under 10 1/2 with everything on it. If you sit in a stand and can drive to within 1/4 mile of it then a 15 lb rifle is not a big deal. If you are sheep or goat hunting then every oz counts. Bruce
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2012, 01:39 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 5,373
Re: Rifle Weight Vs. Distance capability...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HellsCanyonArmory View Post
What are your views on this for yourself personally?
The last few years I've been hunting and packing a 12.5 lb rifle on some pretty knarly hunts and while it serves double duty as my competition rifle, it is a bit heavy for backpack trips. Though I do feel comfortable out there on game to 700 yards or so depending on conditions (steel much farther). We are in the process of putting together a 300 Norma in hopes of it performing well enough to be our large 30-cal option for our upcoming hunting rifles. Trying to get rifle without scope to come in under 9 lbs.

Where do you draw the line for packing rifle weight? Do you feel the added distance capabilities of a semi-custom rifle is worth the extra weight over your typical factory Tikka/Rem/Savage? I'm trying to see what the majority consensus is as you are all potential customers, and we want to put rifles together that fit you and your hunting style! Thanks for the input ya'll...

Mike
In My opinion a rifle about the size and weight of a Sendero is near perfict for all round
weight,accuracy and usability.

The up side to a heaver rifle is steadiness under all conditions (Wind,out of breath,poor position
and consistency/predictability).

I believe in sacrificing weight in other areas (What goes in your pack)rather than in the rifle.

I once hunted with a friend that carried a six pack of coke in his pack and complained about
the weight of the rifle. It 'was' nice to have a coke on occasion as long as he was carrying it.

Lighter rifles can be made to shoot very well under normal conditions, but how often have
conditions been perfict in all categories while hunting ?

So in truth, it is just a matter of opinion how much weight is the best compramize.

I personally like a dressed out rifle to weigh between 10 and 12 pounds for longer distances
in the mountains where packing is required. 12 to 14 pounds where long shots are the norm
and distance to pack is under 4 or 5 miles.

The only advantage a light rifle has is weight. all other advantages go to the heavy rifle.

9 to 10 pounds is about my minimum weight preference where long shots are the norm.

Where Shots are under 3 or 400 yards, weight is not a consideration IMO.

J E CUSTOM
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2012, 04:24 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 90
Re: Rifle Weight Vs. Distance capability...

Quote:
Originally Posted by J E Custom View Post
In My opinion a rifle about the size and weight of a Sendero is near perfict for all round
weight,accuracy and usability.

The up side to a heaver rifle is steadiness under all conditions (Wind,out of breath,poor position
and consistency/predictability).

I believe in sacrificing weight in other areas (What goes in your pack)rather than in the rifle.

I once hunted with a friend that carried a six pack of coke in his pack and complained about
the weight of the rifle. It 'was' nice to have a coke on occasion as long as he was carrying it.

Lighter rifles can be made to shoot very well under normal conditions, but how often have
conditions been perfict in all categories while hunting ?

So in truth, it is just a matter of opinion how much weight is the best compramize.

I personally like a dressed out rifle to weigh between 10 and 12 pounds for longer distances
in the mountains where packing is required. 12 to 14 pounds where long shots are the norm
and distance to pack is under 4 or 5 miles.

The only advantage a light rifle has is weight. all other advantages go to the heavy rifle.

9 to 10 pounds is about my minimum weight preference where long shots are the norm.

Where Shots are under 3 or 400 yards, weight is not a consideration IMO.

J E CUSTOM
Mirrors our own thoughts for sure...
Adding up some #'s and what not, we're looking at 5 lbs before recoil lug, barrel, and optics are added. That includes rings n base... Should give us some wiggle room with the larger calibers!

With a Vortex PST at 23 oz and a 3 lb-ish barrel that should make for a good carrying rifle right around 9.5... Throw a bipod on there and you're around 10.5.

Mike
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2012, 07:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 8,046
Re: Rifle Weight Vs. Distance capability...

12 pounds is a bit heavy to carry in mountain hunting conditions. One of mine weighs that but the area is well covered with ancient logging roads. The few strolls directly up the mountains are not overly uncomfortable. The problem is the weight is in the barrel which makes it tough to shoot off-hand....

The 10 pound 338 RUM is great to carry in all conditions and is comfortable to 1200 on rocks and 900 on game (should the opportunity arise ) limitation due to scope reticle and turrets.

Idaho says anything over 16 pounds can't be used for big game which leaves the real heavies out of the running.

For me the trick of the lighter rifle at long ranges is special attention to shooting position. However, as stated above, some positions are simply miserable. The more miserable the less range the lighter rifle offers.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2012, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: OK
Posts: 81
Re: Rifle Weight Vs. Distance capability...

I'm an older hunter (61 yrs old) and most of my hunting now is backpack hunting/stalking deer and elk. I haven't been in a tree stand for several years now. My heaviest rifle is my Rem 25-06 (just under 10 lbs) which I will soon be re-scoping and changing out the leather strap to lighten the rifle. My other rifles are all under 9 lbs with my lightest being my X-Bolt 300 WM that is a little under 8.5 lbs with scope, strap and fully loaded magazine.
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2012, 07:55 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northeast
Posts: 2,226
Re: Rifle Weight Vs. Distance capability...

Not very scientific, but I have settled over the years on my chosen rigs. For under 500 yard expectations I use rifles that are typically 8.5-9.5 pounds with sporter weight barrels. For over 500 yard expectations my rifles will have 26" minimum, #6 or larger barrels that run in the 10.5-12 pound range. My accuracy has proven to be better at longer ranges with the added weight.
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