Rifle carry weight for walking a few miles?

lamiglas

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Mar 20, 2008
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I think everyone has agreed, the heavier the better for managing recoil, spotting your own shots etc. Cartridge selection plays into this. You can get away with going lighter on a 6.5 of your choice versus a 338 edge for example. Everyone I have seen make an effort to go lighter has recognized the trade off between going lighter and the ability to spot their own hits and consistently manage the recoil in difficult terrain. Several, I know that have gone in the 7 to 8 pound range have gone back to a heavier rifle. For me the perfect balance is in the 10 pound range on a 6.5 or similar cartridge and 12 ish on something in the 300 win mag range. I have also noticed a huge difference in the stock choice. I have carried a 12.5 pound and 14 lb 338 edge for years. The weight difference does not seem huge, but the stock is wider on the 14 lb rifle and I can tell the difference for sure. I prefer to shoot the 14 lb rifle but prefer to carry the 12.5 lb rifle.
 

Quintus

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I like to stay under 12 pounds. When I was a young man I was fine with 15, but now that have to strap my recliner to my pack, I had to cut some weight somewhere, and it wasn't going to be rations for sure.
 

Frank Kalisz

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Carrying a 10-12 pound rifle thru rough terrain can be tough. But I think a good sling helps a lot.

I eventually used this guy’s advice to try an old style cotton Garand sling and it seems to work best for me.
 

djfergus

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Recoil management is a funny topic because people will call you a p***** if you discuss it in the sense of wanting to reduce it.

@BrentM I totally agree. I've shot 10 gauge & 12 gauge shotguns off of a bench before and would do it again so I can handle the recoil, I'm a big fellow. Managing the recoil for accurate shots is a whole nother story. Just because someone can handle the recoil doesn't mean they can manage it. I for one like a rifle weight & cartridge combination that isn't a handful in recoil management.
 

30Nos

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TRICER USA makes a product that allows you to use trekking poles as bi- or tri-pod legs for glassing and rifle stabilization. The bi-pod system weighs 5.9 ozs and fits in your pocket. With this all you need is your trekking poles, a pan head, and binoculars. The tri-pod system is 7.5 oz. The legs can be easily attached to the Spartan bi- pod head for using the TRICER system to support a rifle. Saves weight and space. At 71 years old the TRICER system is a game changer for me. It saves me hauling my bulky Outdoorsman tri-pod at 3.1 lbs. https://tricerusa.com
 

azmetalman

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Apr 23, 2012
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Arizona
My .300 win mag is slightly over 12 lbs. Atlas bipod with leg extensions is carried in a pocket in my Eberlestock pack. I am 5' 10" @ 150 lbs. and just turned 74. AZ Coues country is not very forgiving. My advice regardless of your rifle's weight is stay in hiking shape 12 months a year.
 

TRG65

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Dec 21, 2017
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My 338 WM is 13#. I hiked it on a Colorado elk hunt. I would like to get a cf barrel in 7RM and put it on a burned out rifle I have, that would finish about 10 or a bit more. but I'd probably still reach for the 338.
 

nksmfamjp

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Jan 5, 2004
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I’ve used 9-15lb rifles all set up. I find weight helps calm aim and mitigates recoil. I like that.

i tend to prefers 2 pt sling with rifle on my front side. Backpack on my back.

i will lighten my load sometimes dropping a spotter in the truck.

i worry more about rifle balance in the hands over pure weight.

I hunt MT and OH like this....Mostly spot and stalk, but often walk to get to a sporting point. I’m not really just walking 8 hrs a day. More walk, setup, spot, repeat and then shoot.
 

Pacecount

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Nov 23, 2015
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Boise, Idaho
I like a rifle that has a little weight to it. A rifle I can take to the range and feel confident It will perform consistently, a rifle and scope that if dropped or banged will be able to perform.

I find a light rifle in many cases will not hold up to the rigors. I generally “shoot” for a rifle that is 8 lb or slightly less + scope and bi pod. My McWhorter, H&H Precision (both have a Vortex AMG 6-24 x50) and my Tikka compact Tac (nightforce 2.5-10 x44 w a better FOV for shorter range). Each rifle with scope and bi pod is about 10 lbs.
 

PNWdude67

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Ridgefield WA
I know this has been done too many times but here goes again.
Not necessarily asking about a mountain rife for walking steep terrain but what is your preferred scoped with bipod total rifle weight for a couple miles of carrying on foot and being able to routinely make shots on game out to 800 yds or so.
12-15 lbs including bipod, scope.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
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Hermosa, South Dakota
I know this has been done too many times but here goes again.
Not necessarily asking about a mountain rife for walking steep terrain but what is your preferred scoped with bipod total rifle weight for a couple miles of carrying on foot and being able to routinely make shots on game out to 800 yds or so.
Depends on the game hunted (to a degree), the strength and physical condition of the hunter, and the anticipated weather conditions and time of year. When I went on my last walking hunt in 1981, I was 32 and in very good condition, carried a Ruger .270 Win with military sling and 4x Leopold scope. Whole thing probably weighed about 9.5 pounds, the weather was nice and it took place above Half Moon Lake north of Pinedale, Wyoming. Hope this helps.
 

Gcan

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Sep 29, 2017
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I know this has been done too many times but here goes again.
Not necessarily asking about a mountain rife for walking steep terrain but what is your preferred scoped with bipod total rifle weight for a couple miles of carrying on foot and being able to routinely make shots on game out to 800 yds or so.
I’m not trying to sell a gun here. Just perspective.

We build a lot of tactical/surgical guns and build our hunting rifles like tac guns. Most are short actions on Q chassis with Proof barrels. Its not traditional but IMO it works far better for a gun you are going to carry than any traditional stock does. We have made a few long/magnums but the WSMs are absolute killer out to 1000 yards.
Personally, I like chassis for rifles that pack for several reasons. There are so many attachment option for slings, bipods, folding stocks, etc., that allow our guns to fit into packs or be hung on 1 or 2 point slings for hands free movement. Side and under mounted cups or attachment points allow immediate changes to carry methods and balance. This alone can make a 10lb rifle carry like an 8lb rifle.

The 300WSMs weigh 8-9.4 lbs with a Sig Tango 4 on them. With a lighter Leupold or similar glass they are In the 8s. They fold, are ergonomic and flat *+^ shoot. We will build them on carbon stocks if a client simply must have a stock.

We are also build a bolt pistol line on short actions with 12-14” barrels on a pistol chassis with folding stock. 5-6 lbs. with the new ATF rules, they can be shouldered or easily shot prone, on a pack, offhand or with a bipod. In 308 they will shoot one hole at 100 and hold 1moa or less at 500 to 700 like its free. We started building them for pig hunting but discovered they make incredible carry rigs. I’d be fine hunting deer out to 600. Probably not Elk past 500ish.

I’m not trying to sell anyone
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a gun. Just showing you options that 10yrs ago were blasphemy.
 

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