I would love to hear who carries a 12+ lb rifle around the mountains and what do you use to pack it around? Pics would be great. How much does your rifle weigh? I’m looking for some ideas for a upcoming hunt. Thanks
I pack a rifle that is about 15 lbs without optics. I put a Nightforce NXS on it and pushing 18 by the time I load the magazine. I've hauled it all over the Rockies chasing deer, elk and buffalo. It's heavy and not a joy to pack. But well worth it when I've needed to make a shot. It all depends on your own tolerance. I put it on the double shoulder sling sold in the online store on this website and it works very well. It helps to keep the rifle from sliding off my shoulder and distributes the weight pretty well when adjusted right. I also have an Eberlestock pack with a scabbed if I need more supplies for a longer hike that works well.
+1 BJH, mine w/ NXS tops 14lbs. Got a great sling and Eberlestock pack with scabbard for when I need both hands and rifle well protected. I'm just past that 60 marker and have been hauling this rig for about 10 years. Works so well for me and as always "Your mileage may vary".
Mine is right around 12-12.5 with my bipod. I use a ebelestock pack to get into my area but during the day when I'm hunting I usually just use a quality sling. To me the advantages of my heavy rifle over my lighter are worth the extra weight. I'm building a new rifle that should be around 10.5-11 with a NF Atacr.
Mine is a touch over 14 lbs. It's a .260 AI with a 29"+brake barrel, modified B&C stock, PTG bottom metal and 10 round Alpha AICS mag.
If I dont have a backpack, such as while antelope hunting, I use a backpack sling with the QD mounds I installed on the side of the stock. Otherwise, I take off the bipod and hold the barrel while the rifle is over my shoulder, or carry it in my arms. If I don't think I'm going to need it quickly, I attach it in my backpack which has a spot to strap in a rifle.
It might be a lot of weight, but with 20+ one shot kills on critters from antelope to elk ranging from 250-925 yards, its hard to grab any other rifle.
Last year I toted a 21.5 pound .375 Snipetac (it’s now 24) around in Colorado, year before that an almost 25 pound .408 Cheytac. Before that a 13.5 and 16 pound .338 Edge. Kifaru gun bearer seems to work best for me. Also carried in a pack and M60 style (over the shoulder, holding barrel).
Feels weird picking up my 9’ish pound .338 or 7.5 pound 30-06. If the barrel wasn’t held in from of my face with the gun bearer I’d swear I had set them down somewhere and left them.
I have used my .50 BMG and my Cheytac in the past. Carried them a decent distance. The .50 has two points that one can affix an M60 sling and you can carry it just like an M60. That was all before my injury, have not attempted to hunt with those two rifles in a long time.
I do sometimes. I just carry it in my hands. If I'm backpacking in, I strap it to my backpack but for hunting, I just carry it. When it gets cumbersome is if you end up packing meat up the steeps, plus your regular gear, a heavy rifle can get a little miserable. It's not to bad if your arm is in shape. Gripping a 10+ lb. anything all day for days on end is not a normal thing. Just like getting your legs in shape, you won't regret giving those arm muscles a little advance preparation.
My hunting rifles have weighed in at the 12-13# range for over a dozen years. Initially, it was an adjustment having carried rifles in the 8-10# range for decades, but I quickly became accustomed to the weight. For distance a good sling and support of the butt with a straight arm neutralizes the weight on the shoulder.