Lightweight Elk Rifle Build

L.Sherm

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Jul 26, 2017
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I'd take the Swarovski Z3 or Z5 over the Leupold if your worried about wieght
Not in his budget, well the Z5 isnt.
Personall 12x ain't enough for me.
The Z3 only has 43 moa so if your in the middle your likely gonna run out of adjust around 900 unless you were to use a 20moa rail
 
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GrayCreed

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Jun 17, 2020
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Colorado
Not in his budget, well the Z5 isnt.
Personall 12x ain't enough for me.
The Z3 only has 43 moa so if your in the middle your likely gonna run out of adjust around 900 unless you were to use a 20moa rail
True but as clear as the Z3 is you can probably,.. possibly see more at 12x than you can out of a vx3 @18x and if you use the BRH reticle you have plenty of elevation.
 

CBH Australia

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Dec 12, 2020
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161
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Australia
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!
G'day
It's a light rifle in the price point.
Overall is probably still light.
You could spend a fortune and come in at the same weight.

Enjoy what you have and if you don't break the bank you can get out hunting.

Cheers,
Chris from Australia
 

L.Sherm

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True but as clear as the Z3 is you can probably,.. possibly see more at 12x than you can out of a vx3 @18x and if you use the BRH reticle you have plenty of elevation.
I didn't even think the O.P considered a VX3 unless I missed it.
How do do know the reticle would even work for a 280AI to hold over. Personally ive never see ones that do. Anything past 500 I would want to dial.
 

spitfire_er

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Aug 2, 2009
Messages
186
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Southern MN
Well, still researching scopes and will most likely end up going to vx5 route or something in that simlar price/magnification. My plans for the cartridge are also evolving. Being that a wait for a Defiance action is too long, and nobody has any, I have a guy with an AnTi X action, but mag bolt face that I'll be buying. Unless I find a stadard AnTi LA 308 bf in the next couple months, I'll use the Mag action. While I love the 280 imp, I'm going to have to go with ether the 7RM which I have everything for, or I have always wanted to do a 300 PRC as well. I'm starting to learn towards the PRC. I made a wildcat several years ago that is basically a beltless 308 Norma Mag with a slightly improved shoulder to 30 degrees, basically a little smaller capacity than a 30-375 Ruger. It shoots very well, but again, it's a 9 lbs rifle w/o glass, and not a standard cartridge by any means. All I would need is the reamer and brass.
 

spitfire_er

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Aug 2, 2009
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I think I'm going to get the leupold vx5 that seems to encompass most of what I want and in the ball park price range.

Just ordered a Mesa Precision Arms Altitude stock. It was the closest style that I liked in the 25 oz range and it didn't completely break the bank. 4-6 weeks out. Picked up a trigger tech special and am going to order the other parts once I figure a cartridge.

Still trying to decided between 300 prc and 7RM.
 

D$tring

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May 13, 2020
Messages
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Location
Idaho
I think I'm going to get the leupold vx5 that seems to encompass most of what I want and in the ball park price range.

Just ordered a Mesa Precision Arms Altitude stock. It was the closest style that I liked in the 25 oz range and it didn't completely break the bank. 4-6 weeks out. Picked up a trigger tech special and am going to order the other parts once I figure a cartridge.

Still trying to decided between 300 prc and 7RM.
I have loved all things 6.5/7mm in the past. I now have a 300 SM (300 prc improved) that I love. I would have done a 300 PRC but I had all the other components and we couldn’t find a reamer in the timeframe we wanted. Rich Sherman is amazing to work with and got us a 30 Sherman Mag reamer in record time. it shoots factory 300 prc ammo 1/2 to 1 MoA. And I am just starting to work up loads on the fire formed brass.

The 300PRC was the first 30 cal that ‘spoke to me’. My hunting partner got one last year in a Seekins and the thing just flat out shoots. Doesn’t matter what factory ammo he feeds it—it is 1/2 MoA all day. I’ve had ‘06, .308, 300wsm, 300win and sold them or mothballed them in the safe. Just not enough of an advantage over the heavy 6.5 and 7s to outweigh the disadvantages. But the 300PRC had the right spin and throat and configuration to shoot heavy for caliber high BC bullets faster than the other readily available 30s out there. And this 30SM should do it even better.

I say if you really want to reach out and touch something, go with the 300 prc. Or, if you’re daring, do a 30 Sherman Mag that will shoot factory prc better than most people can shoot and add some speed with the heavies to really extend the distance. Either one will kill anything that walks the earth (at least on this continent).
 

CBH Australia

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Dec 12, 2020
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I have loved all things 6.5/7mm in the past. I now have a 300 SM (300 prc improved) that I love. I would have done a 300 PRC but I had all the other components and we couldn’t find a reamer in the timeframe we wanted. Rich Sherman is amazing to work with and got us a 30 Sherman Mag reamer in record time. it shoots factory 300 prc ammo 1/2 to 1 MoA. And I am just starting to work up loads on the fire formed brass.

The 300PRC was the first 30 cal that ‘spoke to me’. My hunting partner got one last year in a Seekins and the thing just flat out shoots. Doesn’t matter what factory ammo he feeds it—it is 1/2 MoA all day. I’ve had ‘06, .308, 300wsm, 300win and sold them or mothballed them in the safe. Just not enough of an advantage over the heavy 6.5 and 7s to outweigh the disadvantages. But the 300PRC had the right spin and throat and configuration to shoot heavy for caliber high BC bullets faster than the other readily available 30s out there. And this 30SM should do it even better.

I say if you really want to reach out and touch something, go with the 300 prc. Or, if you’re daring, do a 30 Sherman Mag that will shoot factory prc better than most people can shoot and add some speed with the heavies to really extend the distance. Either one will kill anything that walks the earth (at least on this continent).
It wasn't that long ago my mate was telling me he is considering a .300PRC, He is pretty switched on in regards to specs and stuff.
He basically thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread! He was so excited.
Great, but someone stuffed that up and created the improved version,. A 300sm,
Bugger, back to the drawing board.
I can't keep up with the latest developments but good luck with the Sherman Magnum.
 

D$tring

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May 13, 2020
Messages
41
Location
Idaho
It wasn't that long ago my mate was telling me he is considering a .300PRC, He is pretty switched on in regards to specs and stuff.
He basically thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread! He was so excited.
Great, but someone stuffed that up and created the improved version,. A 300sm,
Bugger, back to the drawing board.
I can't keep up with the latest developments but good luck with the Sherman Magnum.
Haha! I know right! So many things to consider...they all kill and can shoot well when built well.
 

CBH Australia

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Dec 12, 2020
Messages
161
Location
Australia
Not really interested in the Sherman.
Then do you need a 7mm or .30 cal?

Myself, I would not go with a Sherman because I'm more of a standard chambering type person.

If it is a hunting rifle and you travel or hunt out of your own area then i would stay standard.

I think there is some valid points suggesting .30 has advantages in a similar class case and magnums at long range.

I have a .300wm ,
 

vancewalker007

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Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
498
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.
I built a similar rifle, ended up 6lbs 10oz bare. I am using a bigger scope because it was a light weight replacement for my 11lb 7mm LRM long range hunting rifle. I chose the 6.5 PRC for cartridge, this was 3 years ago, I'd still choose the same cartridge now. The Berger 156 EOL at 3040fps is plenty for my needs. I used the following components.

26in Proof Sendero Carbon 1:8 with capped muzzle brake prep and long throat for the 147s and 156s
McMillan Game Hunter Carbon Fiber Stock in Urban Camo with the Edge fill and 2 front sling studs - it was 23oz btw
Defiance Deviant Ultra Light XM Length Action
Defiance XM BDL kit
Timney 2 Stage Calvin Elite trigger

I am using the VX6 4-24x52 HD for my scope currently, 24ish oz. Makes those Coues bucks easier to see at 700 yards.

On scope bases I'd have Defiance pin their base on the action or step up to the -X and stop worrying about bases forever. Or, have them pin the Tallys on. I have used Tallys on mountain rifles and they work great. There are a ton of great 30mm picatinny rings out there. I'm using Seekins 34mm rings, a little heavier but solid.

If you can ordered your stock without pillars, but set up for them. This will allow your gunsmith to fit custom height pillars to perfectly match the metal to the stock. I think that 280AI will be a great cartridge. I'm more of a short mag person but the 7mm bore has a place in my heart.
 

spitfire_er

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Aug 2, 2009
Messages
186
Location
Southern MN
I'm the gunsmith. I've built a lot of rifles, but not many in the light weight area. Usually varmint/target rifles, or more classic styled wood stocked rifles and heavy barreled rifles. Putting it together is the easy part for me. Getting feedback for a build like this gives me a couple things. Very good components to choose from that I may not be aware of, and an idea for demand amongst the general public for this type of rifle and what people prefer. DNZ rings is one example of a product that I was not aware of.

I've hunted antelope and whitetails, but No experience with elk. Ill take all the info I can get.
 

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