carrying a big rifle on a horse???

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by michael A., Aug 5, 2008.

  1. michael A.

    michael A. Well-Known Member

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    hi
    i was woundering if any of you have found a good way to carry a bigger than normal rifle on a horse? i am plannig a mule deer hunt for this fall that i will be rideing in on a horse, and i am trying to figure out how to carry my DE 338 edge in with me. i have been considering building a scabberd but the rifle is allmost as long as my horse. and i am not sure how to offset the extra 18lb of rifle on one side of the saddle and notheing on the other. any ideas would be great thanks michael
     

  2. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    My "big" rifle should be similar to yours. A bit smaller sounds like. I have a 27" barrell + brake. Leupold 6.5-20 with parralax on the objective (losing the side focus knob helps). Cabelas has a big scabbard made by Trail Max. They make a couple models. This one is the biggest. It's made of a pretty ridgid neoprene. My rifle fits snug with a 9-13 bipod on front. The limiting factors seem to be the bipod and the scope. I think the scabbard has room for a longer barrel. However, if you're running a Nightforce your rifle may not fit.

    I have another rifle coming I believe I'll have to build a scabbard for. I saw a very simple one a while back. It was pretty much an oversived leather soft case with about a 3/4 zipper. The zipper made the rifle, with big knobs and bipod drop right out. I also think it'd be a cinch to add straps and quick clips to a drag bag.

    For balance I add weight to both my cantle bags and saddle bags on the off side. The weight is bullets, spotting scope, tripod, revolver, and water. It takes a bit of consideration, but isn't difficult. You might also make your bags quick detatch so you can chuck 'em in your backpack quickly. This also allows you to weight your saddle bags unevenly without them riding that way.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008

  3. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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    Horse

    Maybe ya better talk it over with the horse:rolleyes:
     
  4. michael A.

    michael A. Well-Known Member

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    thanks grit

    that is what i was thinking about doing i will have to build a scabbard for my rifle it has a 30" tube + break and is topped with a big nightforce i was thinking of building one bigger bag to off set my rifle and fill it with my spotting scope, rangefinder, and such. but then i got to thinking i would want all that stuff in my backpack and not all loose in a saddle bag that i would have to unload and carry to my ambush spot every time i set up. so i am trying to figure out how to mount my backpack on there with a quick betatch insted of a bag. still working on it when i get it done i will post some pics
     
  5. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested to see what you come up with for scabbard and pack. If your day pack is the right weight, it's simple to just hang it off the horn and secure it. My other rifle should show up this month. I'll have something put together for it next month.

    I don't think the 30" tube would be a problem for the scabbard metioned. However the big nightforce would be. If ya got a Cabelas nearby, I'd take a look. The scabbard is a good one, if you can use it.

    Good luck!
     
  6. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    How are you guys carrying the rifle/scabbard on the horse.

    I tried under the fender but neither I nor the horse liked it.

    The way we both liked best was suspended from the horn/cantel and staight down and tied to the cinch ring.

    When I was in the saddle it was pretty good. When out of the saddle it left the entire butt stock from just behind the pistol grip sticking above the withers.

    This wasn't bad until I had to change horses and ride the one that hesitated to cross water and let the 3 others follow as the other hunters did a bit of a walk and stalk. Needless to say, the first itty bitty stream we came to the nag I was on balked just long enough for the others to go by. The last thing I saw was Mary Jane Elizabeth lowering her head to go under some pines with my thumb hole stock sticking up like a sore thumb.

    I got back to camp and no horses? Just before dark they loped into camp. The stock was still in tact. Wheeeeeuuuuuuu.
     
  7. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    Roy, I carry similar to how you do. I hang the scabbard on the near side, off the horn. I like a twist in the strap. I use a spring clip on the back strap and clip to the rear saddle ring. Easy on, easy off. The rifle hangs about at about a twentyfive degree angle. The barrel is under my calf to keep it stable. Hardly notice it. My scabbard covers the stock. Maybe yours is bigger'n mine! Seems everybodys is!

    My hunting partner carries his low and completely horizontal on the near side. But, he aint right...
     
  8. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    ...obviously you're under equipped and need another rifle of the same type. Its easy to sling them over a nag that way and the horse dont lose its balance.
     
  9. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    Personally I have the scabbard on the right side of the saddle which is my right side when mounted. I use extra long straps at the top and bottom of the scabbard. The top strap fastens to the same place as the rope tie on the swell. The lower strap on the scabbard fastens to the rear D. Set the scabbard to pass beneth the fender low enough to be below your knee and not cause a strain on your leg but above the bottom of the horses belly. You don’t want the barrel to drag and put pressure on the horse that he hasn’t felt before when going over large down trees and such or you might have a yee-ha on your hands.The rifle stock should be along the horses neck but high enough as to not enterfere with his movements but low enough to not hang up on anything especially when leading in bad spots where there are low laying limbs and such. If the horse goes down and its not a serious wreck your rifle slung properly will probably come through with out breaking the stock. Good mountain horses are knocked down by bad riders so get everything as balanced as best you can

    You should counter weight the saddle bags to off set the weight of the rifle wether its 6 lbs or 16. (16 lbs is the Idaho max weight for a hunting rifle).You should also re-set the saddle every couple hours if it rolls a little or you will sore the horse. If everything goes good it’s a great way to hunt.
     
  10. michael A.

    michael A. Well-Known Member

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    i was thinking of carrying the rifle with the muzzle at my stirrup and the cheek peace by the horses tail. i think the rifle will be easier to get to and easier to ride with especially considering the fact that my rifle is 52" long
     
  11. slymule

    slymule Well-Known Member

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    I also rig up my scabbard as kcebcj does, hang it on the "off side" under the fender a little higher than my ankle, butt of the gun towards the rear end of my mule. Gets tied off by using my front D ring, the one that the breast collar is attached to, and my back cinch D ring. I like the back to be higher than the front so it doesn't interfere with my leg position so much. I just offset the weight by putting everything else (fanny pack, binocs, etc) on the "near side". I also carry my holstered Ruger Redhawk in a steep crossdraw holster on my left side which adds more weight to counter the weight of my rifle. Been doing it this way for 30 years and never had a problem.

    My problem this year is finding a scabbard long enough to hold my new 338Edge w/a 30" barrel plus a muzzle brake. Might have to bite the bullett and have somebody custom make me one. Tried the TrailMax scabbard that Cabela's and alot of other outfits carry and its not long enough, guns too long it won't zip up.

    Maybe we should all get together and try and find someone to make us all an extra long scabbard, might get a better price on them if we put in a bigger order. Anybody know someone we can hit up for making such a scabbard? My preference is for a heavy cordura outer layer, sheepskin lined, with a HEAVY zipper. I also like the hood on the butt end with the quick connect buckle so it can be unzipped up to the back of the scope and yet held in place with the hood and the quick connect - makes for fast unsheathing. Big heavy D rings on front and rear of the scabbard with double thick nylon straps that go completely around the scabbard - no chance of being ripped apart if something goes wrong and all hell breaks loose. Whatdaya' guys think? Anybody else interested in trying to find someone to make us some?
     
  12. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    I'm figuring to talk to the guy at the local pack station. His work is top notch. I'm sure his price will be too. It's called Sonoma Mt Pack Station. Spanish Fork, Utah. Unfortunately, I won't be home until the end of the month. If you folks'd like, I'll relay his info.
     
  13. michael A.

    michael A. Well-Known Member

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    i think i am going to build mine this week i will post pics so you all can see what i come up with and maybe improve from there
     
  14. slymule

    slymule Well-Known Member

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    Grit, I'd be interested in hearing what he has to say. I'm also interested in seeing what Michael A. comes up with.