Thoughts on rifle weight and hunting

Tiny Tim

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Jan 26, 2015
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447
A lot goes into this decision. For me, in general, 10# ready to go is a good balance. If shots aren't long and/or you are hunting extremely rugged country, lighter may be better. If your only carrying it 200 yds to the blind, Why not use an 18# bench gun. Your stature, physical shape, and home elevation vs hunting elevation also factor into these decisions.
 

FEENIX

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Dec 20, 2008
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Great Falls, MT
Thank you all for your opinions I was told by several people I was crazy for thinking about taking my bergara terrain in the mountains for elk being its 13.5lbs if I have my bipod on it.
It's your rifle and your personal choice ... have fun with it. Below is my .270 AI (~12 lbs as seen and loaded) with a 30" Lilja barrel + MB barrel Sendero contour. I am not a young pup anymore and still doing it. 😇

.270 AI atop the mountain.jpg
 

Bravo 4

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Jul 20, 2007
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The South
Tim, Feenix, and some others hit it (in my opinion), you’re ability to lug that weight around and shoot it will differ from others. A few years back (as a flat lander basically at sea level) I carried a 25 pound rifle and all the fixins at 8500 asl, and we went up that first day. I’m not working out like a mad man, running 5-10 miles a couple times a week, and a 12-18 mile ruck with a 60 pound pack thrown in every Wednesday. I’ve surpassed that 40 mark and live a much more sediment life, would prefer something closer to a 10 pounder. Had a light rifle (about 8 lbs scoped) strapped to my pack last trip for a couple of days and kept reaching back to see if it was still there.😁
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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Texas
I try to approach everything from the core needs and for long range shots the heavy rifle has nothing but advantages. Like everyone, I enjoy the lighter rifle when knocking around in heavy brush where shots will normally be less than 200 yards. but for longer shots weight just adds precision to the shot and helps make up for poor shooting positions and heavy breathing or heart beat.

The heaver the rifle, the greater the range under hunting conditions. So if I plan on a long shot, weight is my friend.

As far as a particular weight, I pick the rifle that is best suited for the job and don't worry about carrying it. So my philosophy and normal practice is to carry light handy rifles in thick brush, (6 to 8 pounds), medium to heavy rifles for stand hunting (8 to 10 pounds) where shots can be from 300 yards to 800 yards, And heavy rifles (10 to 14 pounds) for shots over 800 yards. I find that rifles around 10 pounds will/can work at the extreme distances, bur 12lbs+ always gave the best results.

So I would recommend using the best rifle for the job and make adjustments for the weight and carry of any rifle weight. A feather is much easier to carry than a bowling ball, but not very good for knocking down the pins, or for accuracy at distance ;)

Just my opinion

J E CUSTOM
 

smokepoler

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Aug 15, 2009
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144
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Delaware
Weight? It depends on the condition of the hunter. An out of shape one might be better off with an eight pound even on flat ground. Humping steep terrain, even lighter. Some one who is of medium build and in good physical condition, twelve pounds.
 

Backcountry sports

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Sep 19, 2019
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Bend Oregon
I have recently purchased a few rifles a bergara ridge and a terrain and they both are fairly heavy i know that weight is a benefit to shooting but wanted to see what some peoples cut off is for a rifle being to heavy the ridge i own is about 10lbs with scope and the tereain is almost 12.5lbs been looking at possibly replacing these guns for something a bit lighter such as a browning xbolt or tikka wanted peoples thoughts on the subject.
Get a cooper model 92 5 5/4 lbs with a good scope a little over 7lbs great shooters
 

Don Garlow

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Jun 6, 2012
Messages
12
Location
Central PA
As a young guy in my 20s, I favored lighter guns (<8.5 with scope) so I could run up the western mountains. I found those rifles to be easy to carry but too light to swing smoothly on moving game. One day I gabbed my Sako varmiter in .243 and took it deer hunting. I killed a running buck and noticed how smoothly it swung through the moving deer. Now, as a 75 year young hunter who shoots mostly long range, I still carry rifles that weigh between 9.5# and 10.5# with scope on trips to Colorado and Wyoming. I use the Eberleystock pack with scabbard that others have mentioned. Heavier rifles are smoother on the swing and more stable off the pack or shooting sticks. They simple don't move around as much or as quickly when a precision shot is required. I favor rifles that have weight toward the muzzle and shoot leupold scopes to reduce overall weight. Good Luck with your setup no matter what you decide.
 

Quintus

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Apr 15, 2013
Messages
481
I would keep what you have and get a light rifle to use as needed. I don't shoot at game I intend to eat past 500 so I am not a long ranger. Even at 500 yards after a hard climb in shirt or light jacket the ol heartbeat pushing on a 7.5 pound rig will make things bounce.
 

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