Guns your packing in with??

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by lazylabs, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

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    I have been shooting long range for quite a while but have never built a gun that is really mission specific for packing. I don't want to spend $2000 on stuff to save weight and then strap my 15lb 338-378 on top of it. I have never hiked in and setup a solo hunting camp so I am really working on the logistics at this point. Weight and long range shooting are at odds but I am sure some of you guys doing long packs in have found a good compromise. What's everyone using?

    Thanks
     
  2. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

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    Win 70 Coyote in .300 WSM with a 4.5-14x Leupold is my latest LR hunting rig.

    Don't know the weight - it's not bad though. Sometimes I'll just pack in a standard hunting rifle - like my Rem 700 CDL which is fairly light, but shoots well. I don't think it's that big a deal. Some rifles are a heck of a lot heavier than others though...

    Regards, Guy
     

  3. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    10 twist , 26" Rem 700 BDL LSS in 300RUM shooting 240SMK at 3K over 104.5g US869. Leup 4.5 x 14 Vari-X III, Seekins Precision 20 MOA scope base, Seekins Precision scope rings, Nightforce ACI, Jewell trigger, lapped barrel/action junction, lapped lugs while barrel was off with lapping tool, full floated, Alum. pillar bedded and skim bedded, Stoney Point MOA knobs, anti-cant device, chopped off front 2" of forend and took chunk out of buttstock to lighten it up a bit (still plenty strong and stiff), 9 lbs 2 oz., Wyatt's 4" mag box, Sims Lab recoil pad and some other stuff that I can't remember. I've been working on this poor thing off and on for several years now. Adjustable cheekpiece.

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    880yd target. First shot high at 15.5 MOA second and third at 15 MOA. Hadn't gotten Exbal yet... No wind day...still working on those skills...

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    A bit heavier than I'd like and it'd be nice to have 30" barrel chambered in my 300RUMBO and DE brake. In time...
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  4. lazylabs

    lazylabs Well-Known Member

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    Thats a cool looking rifle. What did you use to make the cheek piece out of? I am working on one for my BMG. Thanks
     
  5. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    1/8" ABS--used my wife's hair dryer to bend it slowly and then held it in a clamp for a couple of days. Used a jig of sorts and a Forstner bit on my drill press for the holes in the buttstock for the cheekpiece as they cut very clean holes. Being able to completely rest my head on that cheekpiece seems to have helped keep my head from moving so much and the rest of my body relax and make the whole setup more stable for those prone shots. I think other folks are using Kydex (sp) for these. Probably responds better to bending with heat? I might try to find some and play around with it a bit before next season. Good luck and have fun!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  6. lerch

    lerch <strong>SPONSOR</strong>

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    I've been packing a APS 270AM that wieghs around 11lbs with scope and bipod. It aint the lightest but i am more than happy with it so far. 27" 1-10 twist bbl, #5 contour fluted with a 2" DE brake. I will get some pics of it up soon.

    steve
     
  7. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    My current gun with scope weighs about 8 1/4 lbs. My scope weighs more than I'd prefer but I like the 3-18x option for long range shooting. 7mm RM.

    Fiftydriver is building me a rifle now in 300 WM and my goal was to keep the bare rifle's weight down to about 7 1/2 lbs max. He's putting a #3 contour Lilja barrel on a Lawton 7000 action.

    I carried a 338-378 single shot rifle up goat hunting once when I was younger. The rifle alone weighed about 10 1/2 pounds. Probably 12 -12 1/2 lbs with the scope and sling. I shot a goat from about 225 yds. More or less blew him off his feet. That rifle was a bit more than I cared to pack. The fellows I was hunting with packed it for me some on the pack out because my pack was full of goat. They also complained about the rifle's weight. But again, that was hunting in the mountains where the mountain goats live,about 6 miles in from the road.

    Lighter contoured barrels can shoot pretty darn good for their first two or three shots in my experience. Then the barrel starts to heat up and the groups from a thin, light barrel will start to open up in comparison to a heavier, thicker barrelled rifle.

    My rifle weight goal is a bit of a compromise. I'm willing to pack a little more weight than an ultra-light rifle scope combination because I'll be attempting shots at far greater ranges than most other hunters packing around their 6 lb rifles. I think the additional weight help's to control the shots at longer ranges. If you're going to shoot at less than 500 yds, the lightweights will generally get the job done and that would be ideal for a lot of back-country packing, particularly in the mountains. I decided I'll carry a couple extra pounds of rifle/scope weight for the added accuracy out past 5-600 yds. My rifle scope combination will likely weigh around 9 lbs, in part due to a 25 plus ounce scope/ring attached to the rifle. But lighter scopes will also work if you're really putting on the miles in the rough country. Now that I'm older, I don't push myself as hard as I used to, and an extra pound or two isn't as energy draining if you're not on the move from daylight until dark.
     
  8. WyomingShooter

    WyomingShooter Well-Known Member

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    I have been serious backpack hunting for 35 years and after this past season am reconsidering my rifle. I have always packed a 12-14 pound long range rifle built on a wby mk 5 action which is heavy. For years now it has been a 338-378 wby. Early on hunting/guiding only after seeing 50 or so elk shot I realized the smaller calibers were definitely not made for big elk. So I switched from the 7mm/300 wby class and everything else small caliber necked off the standard magnums and carried the big heavy rifle. I am a big guy at 6'3" 220 and it just didn't bother me until age caught up with me.

    So now I am rethinking this thing again to shave several pounds off my rifle I have got to shave a few hundred yards off my range. The overbore magnums all need barrel length or suffer greatly so I am looking again at the larger calibers where barrel length has less effect. Rethinking all the hunting through the years most times I could cut the range to 650 or so yards. So I'm looking at that range and a light rifle. The short mags on a short action with a 26" barrel look good to me. There are getting to be better 8mm bullets and that one wouldn't lose much in velocity or just necking a 8mm to 338 for the better bullets. I figure by next year they will offer a 338 if they don't already have one. I haven't looked so I don't know.

    Also I could easily shoot this one without a brake so that would also help a little. I have seen some amazing shots with the 338 win mag through the years if I wanted to lengthen the action a little over the short mag. I have a super trophy backpack deer area and thinking about necking the short mag to 264 and take advantage of some super BC bullets in that caliber. I had a friend years ago who had good success with the 300 wby necked to 264 years ago until he tried it on elk. I think for deer it or the high BC 7mm bullets might be a good one.

    Keep us advised as you research this thing. I am looking to. I have about a hundred custom rifles in about any popular wildcat you could imagine but the short mag stuff wasn't around when I did all of those. I have had great luck with the Gibbs line and they will virtually equal the standard magnums performance but still that is a standard action based off the '06 case. Weighs a few more ounces than the short action.
     
  9. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

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    WyomingShooter,
    I am having a 7WSM built for that same reason. You can shoot a 168gr Berger VLD's with a BC of .643 at 2900-3000fps. It should just be the ticket for long range mulies.
    If you need help carrying your rifle up to those trophy mulies, let me know.
     
  10. WyomingShooter

    WyomingShooter Well-Known Member

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    I agree, that high of a BC at that velocity would be a good one for backpacking high country mulies. I have no experience with the short mags and have no idea what velocities I can get with them. I was looking at that 142 match king in 264 and hoping to get 3200 out of it in the short mag but have no idea if that is possible. I have volumous personal loading and shooting data on most popular wildcats based off the 220 swift, 250 savage, 30-06, standard magnums, ultramags, and 378 wby cases. But I have not done a thing with the short mags so now I got something else to play with I guess.

    Keep me advised on your progress with the 7mm. I really like that setup. There are a few hard to reach places in this state where a few mulies can grow old but it takes a man to get there and a real man to get a big gun up there. Not going to see many deer but for a guy who has shot a ton of them and just wants a chance at a monster they are good spots. I just need a super light rifle to do it right. But the shots are typically long, at or above timberline and most times you just can't get any closer. So I guess I am looking for the lightest gun that can shoot the furthest.

    I saw two bucks fighting this year while elk hunting that were both well over 30". They were above timberline hanging just under a craggy rim with no way to approach from the bottom. The only way would have been over the top of those crags and mountain climbing gear would probably have been appropriate. If deer season had of been in I would have tried it but with that big 338-378 it would have been a load. Then when I got there I could have killed either with a 243 at 200 yards. But most situations up there you climb the high rims and peak over and the shots are where they are. Point blank to eternity and typically no way to get closer because of straight down rocks and such. You just shoot him, then figure how to get up from the bottom.
     
  11. RockZ

    RockZ Well-Known Member

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    I should get my 7WSM in a few months then I will put it throught it's paces.
    There are many guys on the site that have already been shooting it.
    Just make a post requesting 7WSM info and search some previous posts and you will find more info than you can imagine.
    The lightest rifle I have built so far is a 6.5 WSSM, I built on a win wssm action. I shoot 130 VLD's at 3000fps and can go to 3100+ no problem. The 130 VLD's have the same BC as the 142 SMK's. The only thing is that I have to load it single shot since they are loaded way longer than mag length. It is a great little cartridge.

    The 6.5 WSM would work great for you, but the 7WSM is what I feel is the best use of the short mags ballistic capabilities. I like the extra oomph the heavier 7mm bullets give you, especially on larger animals. Not sure if it is necessary, but it makes me feel better. The 7WSM should also give better barrel life.
    I had the good fortune of hunting in Idaho last year and shot a decent 5x5 mulie.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2007
  12. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    I use a factory Mod 70 26" Black Shadow 7mm RemMag with Nikon 3-9x40BDC and Hornady 139SST Heavy Mag ammo. It aint light to carry.

    Gonna buy a grocers scale soon and weigh all my guns.

    I've been thinking of finding a 600 or 660 Rem or a Mod 7 to try and trim some weight for longer hikes, maybe in 7mm-08 or something. Maybe even in 243 cal as my wife has a 243 she likes a lot, then for elk I'd just use the Hornady Lite Mag ammo in it. 2008 will see how this all shakes out. I like my Mod 70 so much I hate to think of using other rifles, tho I have more than my gun cab will hold now. Guess I need to get a good pic of it posted.
     
  13. Charles A

    Charles A Well-Known Member

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    M70 300WM weighs about 9.5lbs as pictured.

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    M7 243w weighs 7.2lbs as pictured.

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    One needn't a 15 pound gun to kill at distance. Nor do you need a 15x scope...
     
  14. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    I lug my Mod 70 26" 7mm RemMag with Nikon BDC 3-9x40. And I LOVE IT.
    Not the lightest rig but certainly not 15#. Am thinking on getting a Remmy Mod 7 in 7mm-08 with Leupy 2-7x32 as I move kicking and screaming to the 'old fart' stage of life. Doc now says both me and my rifle need to shed some pounds. With a light rifle I can carry more food or ammo.