How heavy a gun is too heavy for hauling?

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by 7mmpredator, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. 7mmpredator

    7mmpredator Well-Known Member

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    Looking for opinions on a basic issue. I'd love to take my 7wsm tactical/long range gun on my next mulie hunt in western Wyoming. The issue is it weighs just shy of 15 lbs. From camp to higher elevation hunting areas would be on horse back. From there it's shoe leather. I realize an appropriate pack (Gunslinger or the such) could help. On last years elk hunt my 6.5-284 Cooper at 9lbs. scoped was a non issue. I'm not weight shy, just want to know what lengths the rest of you go with your long range rigs. I'd hate to handicap myself but this gun is 1/2" and under all day long!
    Thanks for your feedback.
     
  2. OneLunG

    OneLunG Active Member

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    When it so heavy you don't want to pack it...Thats too heavy....
     

  3. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    My LRH rifle is 13.4#, but I would never pack it further than half a mile or so. I put together a 7.2# Sav .270 for high hunts, but I didnt liek the scope. So when I changed the scope and rings it went to 8.2 which I can sure pack along ways. Good luck on yours.
     
  4. TH

    TH Well-Known Member

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    I took my 20lb 338 lapua improved for a 42 mile horse back ride into the Thorofare. I was glad i had my long range tactical rifle with me. I ended up killing a very nice 6x6 at 1103 yards (one shot kill). One thing you might want to do is to have a custom scabbard built for your rifle. Many of the guides dont have scabbards large enough to handel a large rifle with a big scope. My rifle has a McMillan A-5 stock and a NSX night force scope.

    I went back to the Thorofare the next year and I took my Kimber Montana chambered in 300 wsm this is a 6lb rifle with a scope on it. My hunting partner Derek and I hunted very very hard. The last morning we found a 5x5 bull elk at 574 yards. Derek didnt feel confortable shooting that far so I decided to take the first shot. I hit the elk and it just stood there so Derek and I decided to keep shooting until the elk was down. Between the two of us 16 shots later the elk was down. To make a long story short my 6 lb light rifle had so much muzzle jump that it actually came up off my back pack and cut my forehead. I was completely embarrased because I do a lot of rifle shooting and could not believe that me. When we recovered the elk it had 9 bullet holes in it. I could not believe it did not go down sooner we had 5 great kill shots on the animal.

    Buy a large scabbard take your 15lb tactical rifle with you and be happy. Remember you are hunting from a horse and the horse will carry your rifle most of the way for you.
     
  5. TH

    TH Well-Known Member

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    On thing I forgot to mention is make sure you are in shap the higher altitudes will kick your ass. Our base camp was at 9748 feet. We hunted between 10 and 12 thousand feet. Make sure you jump on the stair stepper and the tredmill with the higest incline angle possible. Good Luck on your hunt and remember you cant train enough for the altitude.
     
  6. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    I've backpack hunted in Alaska for the past 32 years. Eleven pounds is about the maximum weight I'm willing to pack around in the wilds. Nine pounds is much more doable. I know two different guys that strained their shoulders carrying around 11+ pound weight rifles. Took them months to recover. If I'm going to cover a lot of ground in mountainous terrain, I won't carry any outfitted rifle that weighs more than about 9 1/2 lbs. But to each his own.
     
  7. OneLunG

    OneLunG Active Member

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    If I am carrying a rifle slinged - I defiantely agree with this! Deer hunting here in SE isn't a flat land affair. Your hiking to the tops of steep gnarly mountins to the alpine with a pack and gear.

    I find that I can handle the weight of a heavier rifle as long as I have a good carry system.

    I've been using the Kifaru gunbearer system which is worlds better than slinged. My only gripe would be that the side you have it on still gets strained as the weight distrubution is uneven. I am looking forward to trying out a gunslinger or similar pack from Ebelerstock to see how the difference of the integrated scabbord works.
     
  8. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    I've used the Kifaru gunbearer system for the past three hunting seasons. Three different sheep or Mt. goat hunts last season alone. Two of the hunts involved round trip mileage of 19-20 miles. The third involved about 12 miles round trip, up and down a mountain two different times. My rifle weighed about 9 1/2 lbs. My partner's rifle weighed about 8 lbs decked out. Every time I lifted his rifle compared to mine I was disheartened.

    I find that I can only use the Kifaru system in fairly open, brush-free terrain. I often have to carry the gun in the brushy angled terrain. But the Kifiru is a definite improvement when walking the glacial river beds or other brush free areas.

    If I knew I could ride a horse up to the location where I'd shoot from, rifle weight would only be an issue for the horse. When I expect to have to cover a lot of ground to engage the game I'm after, the thoughts of packing anything more than 11-11 1/2 lbs about makes me puke. But again - to each his own.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  9. OneLunG

    OneLunG Active Member

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    I have to admit. I had the same expierence last year...Hunting all day and the previous day with my 11-12lb rifle... Set mine down and picked up my buddies and it felt like a toy...So light in comparison..
     
  10. 300rum

    300rum Well-Known Member

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    for every one of you is different how the body react to stress.
    my rifle is 18lb, and i howl the rifle without hesitation every time.
    just use a good system and you will be happy..
    i used 2rifle leather slings tight together, so i havevthe rifle resting on both sholders...
    i can run without problems in this way.
     
  11. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree, and it is not just rifle, it is the binos,lazer, water food,flashlights, etc. My average day pack is 30 #,s bow or rifle, short hunts some time less, but they turn into long jaunts at times
     
  12. mopar440

    mopar440 Well-Known Member

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    i think training has every thing to do with it yeah a heavy rifle gets old but you need to confindent in your equipment to make that 900 yard shot if your scout with the equipment you hunt with or at least the weight or it (some parks and managment area frown on carrying a rifle in the off season) but during sqouting i will put a few bircks in a backpack just to make it the same weight as my rifle and carry my normal pack with wind meter, bio, range finder carts maps everything else just keep in shap and it will all be fine i had a buddy i was hunting with got so winded after the long fast hike to flank on a moving buck he could never finded it in the scope i watch it the bio walk right in to the woods
     
  13. IChaseCoues

    IChaseCoues Well-Known Member

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    We cover 6-12 miles a day hunting mulies and Barbary sheep in some terrain that can get pretty nasty. My 7WSM's hunting weight is 14.5# and it does get heavy about a half a mile from camp on the return trip, but then again so does my 20# pack and my feet.

    I don't have a sling on it, just carry it on my shoulder or in my hand. Everyone I know calls me crazy, but I feel comfortable with it and don't mind the weight.
     
  14. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    I'd bring the gun your most confident in that will do the job. IMHO I don't think lighter is good justification for taking a weapon that is less than the best one for the job.