Kifaru Universal Military Gun Bearer

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by jonoMT, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. jonoMT

    jonoMT Well-Known Member

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    Nov 14, 2007
    I'll start this review off with the negatives: I didn't like that there was no indication when I ordered this from Kifaru that it would take 6-8 weeks to deliver. They also charged my credit card at the time I placed the order (9/25). Now, I don't begrudge a small outfit that's probably busy trying to fill existing orders. But let's just say there's room for improvement.

    I really wanted this item to arrive in time for Montana's opener yesterday (10/26), especially since my LTR feels so top-heavy since I added a Harris bipod/podloc to it. I emailed them last Monday and Friday the UPS truck showed up. I installed the gun bearer on my 80's-vintage North face internal frame pack and was immediately impressed. It was easy to put on and the rifle felt comfortable and secure. The main reason I chose the Universal Military model was because of this old pack. Having two pieces, I felt that model would be more versatile, especially for a older, non-Kifaru pack. In fact, I ended up moving the bottom part of the gunbearer around to the back of my hip belt so that I could angle the rifle a little more.

    Now here's the reason I'm even writing this review: This thing really works. And I certainly put it to the test yesterday. Over a 13-hour period, I had the pack off for less than 45 minutes. The only discomfort I noticed was that the strap on the opposite side of the pack pulled on my neck a little and I was a little sore there. In over 12 hours, the gun only came out of the bottom pocket one time and that was as I was putting the pack back on and fiddling with it. Unbelievably, it never came out nor did the rifle bolt ever open as I was climbing through and around some of the nastiest mix of deadfall and new growth in the state. The area I was hunting in experienced some heavy forest fires 20 years ago. While I do my best to avoid that stuff, there are just a few spots where it's better to struggle through a few hundred yards of it than walk a mile around it.

    It was great to have both hands free at all times for climbing, pushing through the deadfall/new growth, glassing and checking my GPS. I also enjoyed not having to periodically switch the rifle from shoulder to shoulder or carry it sideways on top of my pack - all of which I didn't enjoy even pre-bipod and was reminded of during the opener of antelope season (although that was mostly driving with 30-60 minute intervals of walking).

    I highly recommend this item (or their other gunbearer offerings at kifaru.net).

    Jon
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  2. archdlx

    archdlx Well-Known Member

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    Nov 26, 2007
    o.k. Jon...nice review-BUT WHERE ARE THE PICS ;)
    Am seriously considering one.
     

  3. ol mike

    ol mike Well-Known Member

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    I've been planning on getting one for a while now ,thanks for the review !

    I'll have to check-out the differences between the military and civilian model.

    The gunbearer really is the common sense approach to carring a rifle ,carring something w/ the weight baring on your hips rather than your shoulder is the only way the go..
     
  4. Bulldog

    Bulldog Member

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    Dec 6, 2008
    The Gun Bearer is one of the best purchases I've made in a long time! It is the bomb. I use mine on Backpack hunts in the North Cascades. I'm very busy but I'll look and see if I have pics of the gun bearer in action. If I do I'll post pics within the week. It's a must have in my book!
     
  5. jonoMT

    jonoMT Well-Known Member

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    I still have nothing but good things to say about it. In fact, I'll be posting a review soon on the new Kifaru backpack I got recently. They made a believer out of me. I got to where I was confident enough in it to remove the sling from my rifle...one less thing to carry or snag on undergrowth.

    Jon
     
  6. Bulldog

    Bulldog Member

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    Ditto, rifle sling stays home on high country hunts. :)
     
  7. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    My 2 sons and I have used the Kifaru Gunbearer for a number of years and I can't tell you how many hundreds of miles that comes to. I have nothing but positive comments on their system -- But -- keep an eye on the upper strap connection that goes on the shoulder strap of your pack. We have had 2 of them where the stitching has come loose. There was no dropped rifles or anything so it was not a problem. We contacted Kifaru and they said they got a bad batch from their supplier and promply mailed us replacements at no charge. I now carry an extra one down in the bottom of my pack.
     
  8. Dewey

    Dewey Member

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    Jan 3, 2009
    I have been using these since July 2005 and will not be without them, I have both regular and "Combat" types and prefer the latter. I have installed one on each pack I use and also have a Kifaru Siwash with one on and had a Longhunter Rendevous.

    I have them on my Mystery Ranch NICE 6500 combo, NICE OK Crew Cab-Bivalve Lid combo, BDSB now called the Kodiak and Futura Deluxe and I just leave the rig on the packs, whether I carry a gun or not.

    I do have spare top straps and I also use a top strap from "gun corral" that is bombproof and you need a light strap on your gun to use this. Google this, they are in Oregon and the two items paired work superbly well, especially with heavier rifles.

    You could also rig a spare buckled safety strap for your gun by cutting down a Fastex-equipped sleeping bag strap and I did this before I found the Gun Corral rig.

    The Gunbearer is a great invention, but, the first poster is right, they are slow to ship and do process your card at time of order, whether they can ship or not.....I am not too keen on this as Mystery Ranch and most other small outfits I have dealt with do not charge you until they actually ship....seems best to me.
     
  9. WildcatB

    WildcatB Well-Known Member

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    Jan 27, 2008
    I've had one for about 8 years now and has never let me down until this year. It came off twice dropping my gun both times. This happened after I switched it to another pack. So maybe I installed it incorrectly or maybe the velcro is worn out? I've been meaning to call Kifaru about this.



    Paul