How light is too light...pros n cons??

Westo5

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Dec 10, 2016
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Calgary
Ok,mostly interested in hearing the cons of buying/building a liteweight magnum for LRH?
It seems the trend in LRP shooting is relatively heavy rifles and barrels,presumably not only for barrel cooling but also aiming stability and accuracy??
I'm looking at putting together an all around deer/elk/moose hunting rig with the horsepower to make ethical shots on elk at up to 7-800 yards perhaps?
I've pretty much settled on buying a Fierce CT EDGE,and been wrestling with the pros and cons of 7mm RM vs. .300WinMag....then yesterday I visited a local gun shop,and they happened to have a BNIB CT Edge in .300WSM on the rack,for approximately $1000 less then what I'd have to pay to get the exact chambering I thought I wanted(leaning towards 7mm vs .300 winny) and in the exact camo pattern that I thought I wanted(KUIU Vias)......but,I've spent the last 24 hrs reading volumes of info on .300WSM as it was not a cartridge that I had previously considered,and now,not only do I think I can live with it,I'm actually somewhat excited about it......and I can always get the stock dipped to KUIU or hot pink cotton candy for that matter for relatively little money($150?).....and the back order wait time @ Fierce if I order exactly what I want is in the neighbourhood of 18 months plus these days.....soooooo...think I'm just gonna go ahead and buy the .300WSM?

So to make a long story short,before I drop the hammer on buying a $4000+ semi-custom,inventory rifle(new CT Edge here in Canada is now a cpl hundred bucks north of $5k if I want to wait 2yrs for it?)....is there any reason why I should not buy a magnum in a naked rifle that weighs 5.8lbs?
This is a major purchase for me and would be by far the most expensive rifle I've ever owned,I hope to not have any buyers remorse afterwards!!
I'm thinking with scope,sling,muzzle brake,and full mag,the entire rig will come in right around 8lbs??I plan to add a short 2" rail to the forestock to facilitate using a QD mount Atlas bipod on occasion?
Annnnddddd go......unless yer gonna try to talk me out of this,lol. ;)
 

lancetkenyon

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.300WSM is nearly identical to a .300WM performance wise. Great cartridge.

The 5.8# rifle is going to be light, and recoil won't be pleasurable. Add a good muzzle brake, and by the time you put a good scope, rings, base on it, a sling, and ammo, you will be at 8#. It will be manageable. But light rifles are not as easy to shoot well at longer ranges. But to carry...amazing.

I have a 14+# .300RUM that shoots lights out. But it is not a fun gun to pack all over deep canyons and steep mountains. I also have a 9.5# 7RM with a brake that is my carry rifle. Not too heavy to be a shoulder breaker, but not so light it is difficult to shoot well.

Please, put some good glass on that rifle though. No use spending $4k+ and putting a $500 optic on it.
 

toddc

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sw ks
With your LR being 7-800 yds, it should be doable.
Definitely not your average LR rig.
The WSM will be plenty of horsepower and with a good brake should be shootable at LR.
The weight worries me but 7-800 isn't that far.
If you are an experienced LRH guy then it MIGHT work.
If you are new to the arena, it might be smarter to go with a traditional well proven ie 11lb rig.
If you can shoot .5MOA with it, which any gun running $4k should be a minimum, then it could work for you.
 

Westo5

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Dec 10, 2016
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Calgary
Please, put some good glass on that rifle though. No use spending $4k+ and putting a $500 optic on it.
I already have a never mounted/BNIB PST 4-16x50 FFP,EBR1 MRAD that I bought for another project and never used.Its 23 ounces,so should help add a bit of heft and get me up around that 8lb mark all in?
I'm just not certain if I want a turret style scope on what will essentially be an all around hunting rig with typical shots from well under 100y in the bush to potential shots at elk/deer/sheep out to 700ish(?) vs a dedicated LRP rifle?Im kinda thinking of
going to a more simplified optic with a BDC to get me to 5-600y(?) calibrated at the highest magnification.....then backing off on the mag a bit to predetermine drop values at lower settings.
ie;I'm kinda looking at something like a Vortex HS 2.5-10x with BDC,which I think should get me to 600ish(?)......then back off to maybe 6x or so(?) and see where that lands me using the BD. in 2fp??
 

WildRose

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As a rule, "All else being equal heavier is steadier, and steadier is more accurate".

When you get onto to target it just takes more force to move a heavier rifle off of target than a light one so it's less affected by your breathing, heart rate, wind etc.

For a long range rig, I'd say anything under 8-9lbs is getting into the "too light" range

I have a lightweight .300wm, the Model 70 "Extreme Weather" edition that unbraked will flat slap you around pretty good when you pull the trigger and I found it to be too light for shooting any more than around 400yds so I dug out as much material as I could from the fore end and back filled it with tungsten powder mixed with epoxy which helped it quite a bit for both steadiness and muzzle flip.

Once I added the Northwest Precision Muzzle Brake to it, the rifle became a pleasure to shoot.

Muzzle Brake/Compensator Rifle or Pistol | eBay

I now have the slotted version on all of my bolt action rifles bigger than my .260's.
 

BEEMAN

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I collected the parts for my 300 WM and am not into it for 4K. This is all high quality stuff. Borden action,Brux barrel, Holland brake, Jewel,Mcmillan Game Scout. Finished at 10 lbs 2oz. Are you a member on Canadian Gunnutz? If you are somewhat patient it is a good place to collect parts such as actions and barrels. Another good place to call is Big Horn sales and talk to Gary Eakin. I would suggest pricing out a build first before pulling the trigger on the Fierce. I'm in Manitoba by the way.
 

Westo5

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Yes I'm on gunnutz.
I've considered a build,I guess right now I'm just kinda intrigued by Fierce lineup?
......and this gun is 20% off reg price,far be it from me to pass up a deal,lol
 

RobStar

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Dec 20, 2013
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Four or so years ago I had a custom 300WM built by Rifles, Inc. to weigh 4.5 lbs without scope. This was my all around elk hunting rifle as that's primarily what I do. With Scope I was at 6.9 lbs total. It was a great rifle!

The problem I ran into was as I began extending my effective range and shooting more often I simply could not deal with the recoil after 15-20 rounds. I found myself with 40 rounds of ammo and I'd look down at the box after 15 or so rounds and dread the rest of what I needed to do. I'm not a big guy but not a small guy either at 5'11" / 180 lbs

That led to nearly six months of research into building a slightly heavier rifle 6.9 lbs and 9.5 lbs with scope. It's not a lot more but every ounce counts. After months and months of research I settled on 7mm Rem Mag which is not a lot smaller but it is all incremental and additive.

By moving away from a 180gr 300wm TTSX, to a 7mm RM shooting 162gr ELD-X, the much better BC of the ELD-X gave me a full 200 yard reach over the 300 TTSX and still retaining the same terminal ballistics of the 300wm.

At least "on paper" I was able to guestimate / calculate about a 30% reduction in recoil. As for felt recoil it is like night and day. The 7mm RM is still a magnum round with plenty of punch but I can now shoot 50+ rounds at the range with little or no recoil fatigue.

I killed a bull elk, two mule deer bucks and two antelope bucks with the 7mm RM / 162gr ELD-X this year and they died just the same as they did with the 300wm. They all dropped right where I shot them other than one mule deer that ran 20 feet. They all still wiggled around on the ground a bit but only for maybe 30 secs or less. I'm loving this new gun and caliber! Photo below.

Now, if I were not hunting elk, I'd probably scale back to a 6.5 Creedmoor or variant. I'm sure a metric butt load of guys here kill elk and larger animals with 6.5 and much smaller but that's not my interest and I'm not posting this to debate it either. I have a moose hunt this coming September and if I don't use my bow, I'll use the 7mm with maybe a slightly heavier bullet.

That's my story of 300wm to 7mm RM and I'm sticking to it! Take a good hard look at 7mm and some of the new high BC hunting bullets. Compare those to similar weight traditional bullets for the 300 and I think you'll see how I came to my decision.

~Robert
 

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Westo5

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No argument here Robert,the 7mm was/is my first choice,I just happened to find an inventory rifle in the exact model I want other then it's in .300WSM,but for 20% less cost and won't have to wait 18 months for delivery.
I actually "had" a Ruger PR in 6.5cm last spring but had a slight financial emergency and ended up selling it after a cpl months still BNIB/unfired,and planned to replace it with Gen2.....but I've somewhat lost interest in the caliber now,as like yourself,I intend to target extended range elk and just prefer to have something with a lil more WHOMP for the task.
 

COBigJohn

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Dec 28, 2016
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Having done several backpacking hunting trips, I am a HUGE fan of an ultra-light rifle. When one has a 50lb pack.....every pound counts in addition. Sure, a 7# rifle is absolutely no fun to shoot at the range, but not once......

....Not once, can I ever tell you I was cognizant of recoil when I had an animal in my sights with any rifle.

Right now my little deer gun is a Howa MiniAction in 7.62x39 weighs 6.6lbs.....then a 13oz scope. Not a long range shooter, but certainly allows me to kill further than either my black powder gun or bow.

For several years I hunted with 270WSM that was in an ultra light package, but now I do bigger work with a 30'06, handloads with 180gr SPBT.

The older I get the more I appreciate light weight guns with very low recoil.


(I do have to admit, that if I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen the Howa MiniAction in 6.5 Grendel. But......my x39 is dialed in with reloads and darn, darn accurate and effective to 250yrds. Killed a nice little Whitetail at 268 yards this year.)
 

Westo5

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Good point re;hunting recoil vs range time recoil....I've never been aware of recoil while hunting neither.....but I also expect I'll be sending a lot of rounds down range beforehand.
'
 

Rick Richard

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What is too light? That is a very subjective question. I believe it is dependent on the shooter and how well they can "steady" a rifle. For me since I have a condition where I shake like a dog ******** (passing) a peach seed, then I need something more on the heavier end.

Now with that said, I am getting "long in the tooth" and still try to do a couple of mountain hunts each year, which means I need something not too heavy. So, a good range for me is somewhere in the 8 ish to 9 1/2 lb range.
 

Rshooter

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Feb 1, 2014
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Everything that I use for hunting out west anymore has to be as light weight as possible and still be a quality item. That includes pack, sleeping bag, tarp or tent, clothing, and especially my rifle. This lets me hike in, spike out and hunt areas that I would not be able to do with a bunch of heavy gear.
I use a Rifles Inc. Strata in 338 Win. mag. with a VX3 4.5-14 x40 LR with T32 moa reticle in Talley's that weighs 6 lb. 8.5 oz. My other LR rifle is a custom built on a model 70 CRF action, MPI stock, Pacnor #1 barrel with a Vias micro brake, chambered in 300 RUM. It also wears the same Leupold scope setup and comes in at an even 7 lb.
I also have a custom 338 RUM that is just too heavy to pack in anymore.
All of these rifles shoot better than I can and I'm confident with them out to 1000 yds.
Don't let a light weight rifle scare you, put a compact brake on it and buy a slip on soft rubber recoil pad to use for load development & bench work. As others have said, you won't even notice the recoil from the few shots you take in the field.

Ron
 

StrutNut

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Blaine, MN
One thing I will add that I noticed on my rig which comes in right around 10 pounds and is a 300 win mag is that recoil with the brake is not an issue. I can shoot it all day if I want. If I am solo hunting what is an issue is that even at 10 pounds I barely cant see my hits as there is just a little too much jump in her. Being able to spot ones own hits could come in handy if you are hunting solo.
 

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