Lightweight Elk Rifle Build


New Member
Mar 23, 2021
Gilroy California
Don't have the dollars to build a custom LR rifle like yours "wish I did", started with the Savage 110 Ultralight in .280 AI. Have made several performance upgrades to it and it is topped with EGW rail, Vortex Precision matched rings, Viper HSLR 6 - 24x50 MOA FFP, really wanted the 4 -14x50 but has BDC which I am not a fan of, and the Diamondback Tactical 4-16x44 FFP would be my number one although it doesn't have a zero stop!

Rifle 5 lbs. 14 oz.
Rail, Rings, Scope 1 lbs. 13 oz.
Total 7 lbs. 11 oz.

Going to add a NeoPod (2.9 oz.) and four rounds (3.5 oz.) all in when done 8 lbs. 2 oz.

Good luck with your build and the hunt!


Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
Looking for a few suggestions on a few components for an elk rifle I'm building myself for an upcoming MT trip. Will be hiking 7-10+ miles a day so trying to keep weight down. I run my own rifle shop so I can build whatever I want. I have plenty of other rifles that will do the job, but they are for the most part 9+ lbs w/o glass.

This week I'm going to start ordering components.
-Defiance AnTi LA
-AG comp. CAT stock
-Trigger tech special
-Proof barrel
-bdl bottom metal

Leaning towards a 280 improved with an 8 twist barrel. I've shot one of these with one of my competition rifles and it does very well. Otherwise ide go with a 7rm or a 30, but would like to use this for antelope and deer too if I wanted to do more backpack style hunting.

Main question here is what would be a good scope/base/ring combo for light weight? I'm use to building accurate rifles, but I'm usually not worried about building as light as possible. Last PRS rifle I built was 18lbs complete.

In doing a little research, the vx5hd in 3-15x44 looks to be a good bang for the buck at about 22oz, was also looking at a NF 4-14x50 F1 SHV MOAR, but that's about 30 oz.

With the 280 imp and a 0 MOA base i was thinking the Hawkins LR Hybrid rings. That should get me to 800 yards w/o a canted base. I don't plan to shoot past 4-500 yards which I am extremely comfortable shooting accurately. The NF has 90 MOA adjustment, so I wouldn't need a canted base, but I don't plan to shoot that far on elk, but maybe smaller game.

Trying to decide if the extra 8 or so oz is worth it when I'm going to be hiking several miles a day with the NF. I don't care about the CDS dials on the leupold because I can do my own dope.

I figure my rifle will be 6lbs, 8 oz w/o a scope, hawkins hybrid rings 4 oz.

Rifle with NF 8lb 10 oz
With leupold 8 lb 2 oz.
The old reliable.300 win mag. If I was hunting on foot I think I would make sure the round I was using is capable of dropping em in his tracks. I know bigger isn’t always better but closer to the truck is always better. Had some friends from Illinois where planning an elk hunt in Colorado I kept asking what the plan was if by chance they got one as how where they going to get it out. Well you got it one one of them actually got a decent 5x but they didn’t realize they where going to basically going to carry a horse well a couple locals made some good cash for hauling it out on a sled


Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2012
I think your 3-15 19 oz. Leupold sounds excellent for rifles that don't recoil too much. Personally, I've usually recommended Nikon because of their extreme ruggedness vis-a-vis Leupold and 5" eye-relief in some models, typically weighiing in at 15oz. But that is for heavier caliber 338 to 375 for fun, and 416 and up more seriously.
Your Leupold is great. Unfortunately, Nikon has dropped their heavy duty scope lines (poorly marketed to shotguns and muzzleloaders) and they are only available in left-over stock clearance.

On caliber there are no flies on a 280, even if I would prefer mediums for elk and plains game (both 338wm and 375 Ruger should be fittable to your action). The 8in twist will give you a full range of bullet selections. I would check out Absolute Hammers.

Myself, I'm debating whether to select my Kimber Hunter in 308, under 7lb with Nikon scope, or a recently acquired Mossberg in 375Ruger, about 7.5lb scoped. The Kimber shoots great with Absolute Hunters, and the Mossberg has potential although the barrel shows its quality through needing more cleaning than my Tikkas or the Kimber.

Pic: 308, consistently under MOA.


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New Member
Oct 2, 2020
I might catch some flak for this . 20 plus ounce scopes with 50 mm objectives with 30 mm tubes and turrets for a back country rifle ? 1000 yard capability ? Way too much weight and complexity. The Ackley is a great cartridge choice .


Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Jul 26, 2017
Nice to see all these rifle set ups and what they come in at. At the moment, I cannot source a Defiance AnTi and the wait time from Defiance is about 8-9 months out. I may need to look at another action. Wanted to try a Defiance.
Did you try Red Hawk rifles, for an Anti


Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2009
Southern MN
Here's my build in a 7 Sherm Max. Weighs just a tad over 8 lbs scoped.

Defiance anTi, nitrided.
X-caliber 26" CF barrel in a #1/#2
Grayboe Phoenix stock
Vortex Razor LHT 3-15x42
TriggerTech Primary
Grayboe DBM
PVA Ultralight Muzzle brake
Talley rings
Hows that CF X-caliber barrel shooting? I put a heavy ss X-caliber on a 6br that shoots tiny little groups.


Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2020
Rome, GA
TS Customs just built one for me last year. 6.5PRC Proof and 300WSM Benchmark Carbon barrels.

Lone Peak Fuzion TI Mid action
Both barrels are 22"
McMillian A3A Carbon
Hawkings Trap door BTM
TT trigger
Hawkings Rings
Henderson Precision Bedded M-Loc Rail
RRS Arca
TT 3-15M
TBAC Ultra 7
Right at 10 lbs with out bipod



Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2020
Oakdale, CA
Hows that CF X-caliber barrel shooting? I put a heavy ss X-caliber on a 6br that shoots tiny little groups.
Haven't started load development for it yet...

Put the rifle together this past weekend, loaded up some mild loads to fire form the brass and was able to centerpunch 800 yards, working my way up from 250 with only 25 rounds.

Dope from Strelok was on the money the whole way through. I'd say she's a shooter!


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