Rifle Carry Options

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by RockChucker30, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. RockChucker30

    RockChucker30 Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'd like to get some feedback from the long range crowd on rifle carry.

    In the past I've used a Kifaru Gunbearer setup but never got used to it or liked it. I typically just put the rifle butt in the side water bottle pocket and compress it, like this:

    [​IMG]

    But obviously this has a couple of disadvantages. First, you don't have quick access to your rifle, and the barrel sticks up a good bit above the pack.

    So if I'm in a situation where I may see game and want quick access I typically just shoulder the rifle using a sling. But slings are a bit annoying when they constantly slip off your shoulder. With our frame you can actually hook the sling over the top of the pack frame which works pretty well, but I don't know that I'd call it a perfect solution.

    The crowd here at LRH has a bit different needs compared to most because you're taking heavier rifles, additional optics, and in general more shooting related gear.

    What is your perfect solution to rifle carry? Do you want fast access? Would you rather have full protection of the rifle and carry the weight closest to your back? Or something else?


    Thanks,
    Nathan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2013
  2. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    You might want to talk to Len Backus, about advertising here on LRH! It's his site. Nice pack anyways!
     

  3. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Quick access is not a big deal to me. If my rifle is strapped to my pack, it means I am on a mission to get up to my camp site or glassing spot. If I'm in a scenario where I might take a shot, I have my rifle in my hands or slung over my shoulder. To me, the scabbard like Eberlestock Dragonfly promotes is added weight I dont need. I know that sounds ridiculous, but most veteran high country hunter knows that we are counting everything down to the ounce. Our first hunt we packed every cool piece of gear we own and might need. After one trip of packing around unneeded weight you are more interested in what you can leave at home, so adding extra weight to a pack for a feature that I (personally) dont think you need would cause me to not buy the pack. One of the guys I hunt with who is an average size guy owned a Dragonfly for a couple years and always had a hard time pulling the gun out of the scabbard. Taller guys probably wouldnt have this issue.

    I have never been a huge fan of having the gun on the side. Although it seems like it is a great solution, I dont like having extra weight on one side that causes the pack to feel lopsided. I try and pack my pack as evenly as possible so I notice uneven weight distribution.

    To me, I prefer to have it on the back of the pack. I think the ideal set up is to combine what the Outdoorsman pack and Badlands pack do. I like the pouch that swings over the scope to protect it. I have tall turrets and I want the scope to be covered so they dont get bumped and the scoped doesnt get too beat up. But one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to hunting packs, is when buttstock pouch extends below the bottom of the pack. I literally despise that about my current pack. When you sit down for a break, you have to take off your pack, or sit at an awkward angle. You cant just have a seat because the buttstock will always be hitting something. If you just sit on a log the weight is still on your back, defeating the point to your quick break. For me the best set up will be a pocket on the back that doesnt extend below the bottom of the pack, and has a pocket that will protect the scope. I always throw a gunsock over my rifle while going in to avoid getting all scratched up.
     
  4. canuroper

    canuroper Member

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    I have a large daypack/small pack that I use 90% of the time. I generally have my rifle in my hands, but it has a butt pocket located lower middle rear that lets me carry my rifle on the back of the pack. Butt is very slightly below level with bottom of pack. I can carry it outside or under a small compression pocket similar to your Talon set-up. A strap at the top secures the forearm. Outside is fairly quick access, under the compression pocket affords more protection. This system works well and allows some carry options. I prefer this over a side mount.

    Perhaps tuck the butt in the load shelf panel (or add a butt pocket there) and utilize a strap from the upper side/top of the frame to secure the forearm
     
  5. RockChucker30

    RockChucker30 Member

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    We had a guy take a butt bucket off another pack and add it to our pack. He compressed his rifle with the Talon on the outboard side of the pack bag, but the butt dropped below the pack. That's a pet peeve of mine as well because I've used that system in the past.

    I like the center of the pack carry, both for weight distribution but also to get the barrel behind your head. If the rifle were between the pack bag and the frame then the barrel would be closer to the head, thus easier to navigate timber and brush. The down side of that is you're adding a potential discomfort spot in your back.

    I'll throw another question in - what specifically is the difference in a long range hunter's gear vs. me with a Kimber Montana? I assume that it would be a heavier possibly bulkier rifle, maybe a bipod, possibly heavier optics? What are the challenges?

    Good points so far, keep it coming. I want as many opinions as possible.
     
  6. mtnwrunner

    mtnwrunner Well-Known Member

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    I personally like the rifle and the weight closer to my body. Where your rifle is on your pack would work as long as you could drop it a little. Maybe a drop down pouch that the buttstock would fit in.
    And as someone else said, you should talk to Len about advertising before ya all get into trouble.:)

    Randy
     
  7. BearDog

    BearDog Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I think all of what you said is correct. I hunt with a Sendero and swapped out the stock and added a McMillan Game Scout. My scope is a Vortex Viper PST 6x24x50. Swapping out the stock saved me half a pound, but is also made it a lot more comfortable to carry. The whole set up is heavier than your Kimber, coming in at about 10lbs, but I am willing to lug it around since I am typically presented with longer shots. With all the time we spend getting everything perfect with our rifles, you want to make sure it is well protected. Securely strapped to the pack, and if the option is available, scope covered. Thats why I like the feature that the Outdoorsman pack had. Offers some protection if you take a spill and hopefully keeps your turrets from getting knocked.
     
  8. midnightmalloy

    midnightmalloy Well-Known Member

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    Theres really 4 options.
    1. Eberlestck style scabbard thats built in-good protection yet SUPER HEAVY
    2. Adding a scabbard to an existing pack
    3. Kifaru gun bearer
    4. Stone glacier rifle carrier

    You can just strap it to the pack but thats not a tailored solution.
     
  9. Wyodog

    Wyodog Well-Known Member

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    Ok here's my 2 cents worth. For day hunts this year i am using an Eberlestock gunrunner. What i like about this pack is that the rifle is centered on the pack and close to my back. Also i can access the rifle quickly. The rifle is also protected in the scabbard. I think the pack carrys lighter with the rifle close to the boddy. What i dont like so much id the fact that the rifle has to be removed so that i can sit down.

    I use a different setup for longer trips and i have to lash the file to the side of the pack. I dont mind the side load too much because i put the tripod and spotter on the other side. What i dont like is the fact that i have to remove my pack to get to the rifle.

    To me the best setup would be a setup that allows for gun removal while wearing the pack and also provide some protection for the rifle. I also feel that the barrel sticking way above my head is worse than the barrel or butt below the pack.

    My rifle weighs about 10.5 lbs with a bipod attached.
     
  10. .284

    .284 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm. Here's my opinion.

    The eberlestock's don't hold enough gear for real backcountry sheep hunting. If you add their super duffel or whatever it is the weight is way too far back. Their scabbard system works well for day hunts but like already posted you can't sit down for a quick break and when descending a steep hill I have to take it out so I don't hit the muzzle and then I can't really get the rifle back in with out taking the pack off because its loaded up.

    I like to take a quick break with out taking the pack off because its kind of a pita to be taking a 60ish lb pack on and off and readjusting it to fit every time for a five minute breather.

    Just like you, I can't get used to the kifaru system. It's just not right for me.

    I run mystery ranch packs and put the rifle in the water bottle pocket like you do and I balance it out on the other side with water bottles and spotting scope. When I'm up on top of the hills and not concerned about bears I strap it in just like you have yours. Problem is, as you know it's not coming off without taking off the pack if you need it. I have tried to use accessory straps and buckle the top strap that secures the rifle to a point where I can un buckle it but it pulls too much on the shoulder straps when it's tight and makes the pack a little off balance and uncomfortable to wear. What I end up doing when I'm going through the timber on my way up and want the rifle available is putting it in the water bottle pocket with the shoulder sling around my head. It works but it pulls on your neck after a while. Or I just carry it.

    If you're looking for opinions/suggestions I would love to see a pack that carries my rifle butt down not much lower than my waist belt, has 6500-7000 cubic inches of volume, is an internal frame( to keep weight down because ounces add up to lbs), is as tough as my mystery ranch packs and if possible a little lighter but not at the expense of quality and allows the rifle to be easily/quickly removed if needed. As well as being able to put it back in while wearing it. The deal breaker is being able to sit on a log, rock or stump without having to take it off or bump my rifle.

    I don't think it's an easy task as I'm not aware of something with these qualities yet and I would tend to think that mystery ranch would of nailed it already if it was easy. I'm not trying to knock you or your company at all with that statement. :)

    I hope you do try to make something like this and also that you join as a sponsor so Len doesn't remove all these posts especially since I actually typed it all by finger pecking :)
     
  11. Wyodog

    Wyodog Well-Known Member

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    Even though .284 and i have different needs in a pack i think the thing we both agree on is that we want to be able to remove and replace the rifle while wearing the pack.
     
  12. Sikadog

    Sikadog Active Member

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    On my day pack I use a Gunslinger Corral compact rifle holster fastened to the waist strap of my pack with a safety strap around the opposite shoulder strap.

    Because of the type of hunting we do in the UK your rifle needs to be ready at any moment just a quick squeeze on the safety strap and a popper near the trigger guard and the rifle is in your hand.

    It is also handy when crawling as the rifle stays on your shoulder.
     
  13. Ultramag45

    Ultramag45 Well-Known Member

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    ++++1 on the gun slinger corral...I use one on my eberlestock j107.. and have for 2years now, a few hundred miles on it in Wyomings toughest back country, I pack a legit 60 -70 lbs in every year and the 10.5 lb gun isnt noticed what so ever... When I come down with a big buck the gun is in the corral and my hands are free for my ski poles...very quick to get gun out ..great product...gun)
     
  14. .284

    .284 Well-Known Member

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    Would you be able to post a pic using the sling with your j107?
    Thanks