Need help on shaving some weight

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Coues Sniper, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Go with the ABS barrel and the regular weight A-5. Good compromise, and you’ll like the balance.

    6 vote(s)
    20.0%
  2. Use the #6 Krieger barrel and ‘Edge Fill’. Barrel weight is important.

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  3. Shut up and grow a pair, 14lbs isn’t that bad and you’ll need that extra weight to shoot 1k.

    14 vote(s)
    46.7%
  4. Other solution (please post suggestion.)

    7 vote(s)
    23.3%
  1. Coues Sniper

    Coues Sniper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Asking for some advice here… Currently having a 7mm AM built that I would like to be a legitimate 1000 yard plus rig. However, this will also be a carrying rifle so weight is a concern. I’m trying to compromise a bit in order to ‘have my cake and eat it too’ so to speak. Putting the weights together for what I have planned (BAT HRPIC, Krieger 28” #6 fluted, McMillan A-5 with integral cheek piece, Leupold Mark 4 50mm scope) it looks like I’ll be around 14 lbs carrying weight with the rest of the components; bipod, ammo, etc. I want to be around 12. One way I could shave some weight would be to do the “Edge Fill” in the A-5, however I would then have to use an aftermarket cheek piece, and I’m afraid this will make the gun even more front heavy, which I really don’t like. Or I have kicked the idea around of keeping the A-5 the way it is, and using an ABS barrel (they claim the #6 contour at 28” would be a touch over 3 lbs). This would cut weight and help balance the rig also. These will both get me close to the weight I want. Heavier rifles are inherently more accurate, but does where you cut the weight affect accuracy? Where would you cut weight on this build? Or would you cut it at all? Thanks for any imput you may have.

    Kevin
     
  2. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,527
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Kevin- It sounds to me like your components of choice are going to make the rifle 2# heavier than you want. That is of course if I'm reading correctly. If it were me (it's not, and I don't know how hard the additional 2# will be on you), I'd get the exact goodies that I was dreaming of and deal with the extra weight because that's what I (you) wanted.
     

  3. AF Shooter

    AF Shooter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    53
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    get a Eberlestock pack to carry it in. very comfortable and frees up your arms
     
  4. Coues Sniper

    Coues Sniper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    jmason,
    I'd still be happy with the ABS barrel. I've heard nothing but good things about them (except turnaround :rolleyes:.) 12 lbs was what I wanted to keep it to, but if that 2 lbs is going to make a significant difference, then I may just have to put up with it.


    AF,
    I have a J107 and love it. The only problem is I use the scabbard for my tripod (it's a beast in itself). I was looking at the Kifaru gunbearer if the rig was too heavy to hand-carry. I like how it carries the gun in a position that lends itself to a quick shot if needed.

    Thanks for the opinions guys - keep them coming.
     
  5. MagMan

    MagMan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Double check with Rock Creek as they have someone else doing carbon wrapped barrels, just another option. Cheaper & better turn around if I remember correctly. Keep in mind I have no first hand knowledge, its all hear say.

    I'm sticking with "suck it up" if you want to save weight buy some lighter boots.:D

    14 lbs isn't that bad. My rifle started life at 14 lbs and I managed to trim it down 2 lbs with a different stock and rings/base, in the end it meant precisely squat. You think I can tell the difference now.....no.
     
  6. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Messages:
    5,085
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    You can drill out some of the aluminum of the cheekpiece. The bolts on the side that tighten up against the rods of the cheek piece weigh about six tons each. If you could thread some dielrin or aluminum properly you could shave some weight there.
     
  7. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,158
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Not sure of any of what you want, just for the fact I can't afford it, but cutting weight is cutting weight.
     
  8. canderson

    canderson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    300
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    I would try to keep the components that you want. You might try to use lighter rings or bases. Also try to think about drilling holes or shaving a little metal here are there. I have a friend that has a Rifles Inc. that has a fluted bolt with the bolt knob drilled out. It also has a slot machined in flat part of the bolt handle. You might can do a little shaving and get a pound or two. Also, I think that the 14# will help at 1K.
     
  9. JCFORD

    JCFORD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    73
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    My advice would be, tell Kirby what weight you want the rifle to be and let him work his magic. If weight is of very great importance. Kirby has some very light weight 7 AM's of his own, but he only shoots them to about 7 or 8 hundred yards IIRC. But really, I would talk to Kirby tell him what you want and what you want to be able to do with it and listen to what he says. He will get you there or advise you to not go there if he thinks you will not be happy with the outcome.
    Great Smith and builds Great Rifles.

    I have been using the Stoney Point bi-pod and it will save alot of weight over a Harris, but nothing is as solid as a Harris.
    I have a 13 lb 7 oz. 270 AM, it has a 30" #7 fluted Lilja and an A5 stock with a NF 5.5X22X50 on it, and if I want to shoot 1000 yards that is what I carry. I do have Kirby currently working a a 7 Dakota that will weight about 10 to 10.5 pounds so I do understand where your coming from.
     
  10. Coues Sniper

    Coues Sniper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Losing 6 tons would be nice :D. Thanks for the tip BB. Getting some threaded aluminum shouldn't be that difficult.

    Agreed. Whatever Kirby suggests, goes.
     
  11. RDM416

    RDM416 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Kevin,

    I tend to fall into the "grow a pair and don't complain about a 14 lb rifle". It is a simple fact that you will be able to shoot a heavier rifle more accuratly. Notice I did not say a heavier rifle is more accurate, just you will shoot the heavier rifle better. If you truly want to shoot critters out to 1000 yards, then heavier is certainly better and I would look at 14 lbs as a minimum rather than a max.

    I do put my money where my mouth is on this subject as I elk hunt every year in New Mexico, on foot. My rifle weighs in at 16.5lbs with no bipod. I also carry a Zeiss 80mm spotting scope with a Bogen tripod, along with bino's rangefinder and other assorted gear. By the way I'm a little guy, 5'6" and 140lbs and I'm pushing 50 real soon. So, no sympathy here for a 14 lb rifle. If you want to shoot a long way, having the proper gear to do so is a big part of the equation.

    That said, I do have a couple of practical suggestions. Someone else mentioned this too. Get a pack that will allow you to attach your rifle to the pack rather than carry it with a sling. I use a Kifaru pack with the "gun bearer" system which can be purchased separatly and attached to any pack. This gets the weight of rifle off your shoulder and onto your hips, and it frees up both hands. It is also faster to get the rifle into your hands ready for a shot than a sling. The other suggestion is "the rest of your gear". Most guys will worry about the weight of thier rifle and make compromises to shave off a few pounds, then throw all kinds of unnecessary stuff in thier pack. Be very selective about your gear. If you will pay attention to your gear you can shave off ounces everywere, and ounces add up to pounds. Everything from your boots, clothes, rain gear, pack, food, do you really need aother bottle of water............it all adds up. Good lighweight backpacking or mountaineering gear can be expensive, but you can certainly shave some weight off. I would be willing to bet I could go through your "ready for the days hunt" pack and shave off the 2 pounds you are trying to get out of your rifle, out of your gear.

    Every one has has an opinion!!! That is mine. Good luck, and by the way you can't go wrong with getting Kirby to build you a rifle!
     
  12. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,829
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Sounds like we have alot in common. My comfort zone is around 12-12.5#. I have hunted the high country out of a back pack with a 16.5# rig and that was just too much. It was worth having the weight when the shot was taken at the time but after I got home I remember how much my upper body hurt. The "pair" I had grown to get that rig to 5000+ feet and back was shriveling up! That is when I ordered an ABS barrel with a titanium break.

    First I will tell you the good things. Then the bad.

    The rifle balanced very very well after installing the barrel and it did shave ALOT of weight off. I cant remember how much but after the rebarrel and moving to a 2 piece base and NF UL rings the rifle is just over 12# with scope and bipod. Accuracy is good but not phenominal. It is a SOLID .58 MOA rifle. It has shot a couple groups just over 0.5" at 300 yards and several sub .25" groups at 100 yards. On a bad day it shoots around .75 MOA with pet loads. On a good day it is .2-.3 MOA. On a really good day sub .2 MOA. Most days are .5-.6 MOA. When I average the groups it is around .58 MOA.

    Now the bad. It took forever and a day and much coin to get. 2nd. It did some really crazey things during the development. When it was all said and done it took over 200 rounds to break in and settle down. The pressures kept going up as well as the velocity over the first 200 rounds. It is 250 FPS faster today as when I started on day one. I started with 95 grains of Rl-25 with a 180 and now I am at 88 for safe operation. The good news is that she has settled in and is concistent but the first few weeks was pretty frustrating. It didnt foul at all in the beggining and now it is a pain to clean.

    Was it worth all the headaches? I think so, but barely. I may never own another ABS barrel again. I may look for different options the next time I need a barrel. Not sure yet.

    One thing is for sure, I knocked off over one pound by getting rid of the steel one piece base and the badger ordinance rings and going to a 2 peice base and aluminum/titanium rings.

    All in all it is a sweet big game rig and light enough I can get her to the high country without killing my upper body.
     
  13. Coues Sniper

    Coues Sniper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    309
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Great point about making the pack lighter. I too carry a big Bogen, 80mm Swaro scope, and a pair of 15x56's in my pack so I know about a heavy pack. I do tend to carry more than I need with other things and could probably lose a pound or two pretty easily. Hadn't thought about that. I do plan on getting a Kifaru gunbearer for my Eberlestock pack to carry this build. Great information, thank you.

    Mike, thanks for that information on your experience with ABS. 200 rounds to get settled in is excessive (250 fps faster??? That's crazy) and a ton of barrel life just to fine tune. Interesting.

    Great information, thanks guys.
     
  14. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,829
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    I know of one other shooter that had the same experiance in the same caliber. Most everybody else that I know of has not had that issue. At least not that anyone has claimed.