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Old 08-31-2004, 12:54 PM   #1
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Default Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

If your comparing lightweight rifles (rifle minus scope= 6 1/2lbs or less)vs an average weight rifle(rifle minus scope = 7 1/2 to 8.5) which is preferable for all kinds of hunting? Does anyone have preferences or opinions on using either in a high altitude situation much like that found in our Western states?
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Old 08-31-2004, 01:17 PM   #2
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

For Western hunting, a lightweight is the way to go. First time I went to Canada, I took a 11lb rifle. About killed my shoulder. But I managed. Since then, I have been light nuts. What I did was extreame and I should not have did it. Truth be told, the sporter versions like a 700BDL would be a nice balance of wieght and carry. You will know the difference in a lighter rifle like a 700ti. I couldn't believe that 2lbs can wiegh so much more after 10 miles of humping.
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Old 08-31-2004, 02:08 PM   #3
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

I had a average weight 270, probaly more than average,probably 9lbs that I used for years. It was a old family gun then i retired it and bought a remingon mountain rifle and could definatley tell the difference. Its nice packing the light one around.
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Old 08-31-2004, 02:29 PM   #4
 
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

I still pack the moutains of West Virginia, not quite the Rockies but still up there. For many years I carried a custom Winchester mod 70 with a medium heavy contour barrel in .270 Win. Weight was right at 9.5 lbs. w.out scope. I did not mind the weight one bit, especially for the time this combo was much more accurate than the light weights and I had the apportunity to make long shots whitetail. Today with a little age on my side and with the vast improvements in rifle manufacturing, I am using a rifle still in .270 Win but weighing in just under 6.5 lbs. It is every bit as accurate but much easier to carry and point. In .270 the recoil is about the same in the light rifle, not sure about the big boy calibers.
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Old 08-31-2004, 03:43 PM   #5
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

I'll have a lightweight rifle as often as I can.....it's another reason that Magnums are not carried on my trips. I can get a featherweight rifle in .30-06 or .280 Rem and a Magnum will normally be a pound (or more) heavier.
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Old 08-31-2004, 03:54 PM   #6
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

Next year I plan on packing a Remington Titanium rifle. Provided they still make them on 2005? I would like it to be chambered in 270-Winchester or 280-Remington.
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Old 08-31-2004, 04:19 PM   #7
 
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

I suppose one day I'll run into someone in the woods, carrying a 3 pound rifle and wearing jogging shoes and a hunter orange jock strap and that is it --- all trimmed down for weight, but IMHO, there are trade offs.

Currently use a M70 Supergrade in 375HH for elk, 4 to 8 miles a day in gentle 1000' vertical gain/loss country at 8500 to 9500 ASL. It weighs 11.75 scoped and loaded and along with a 25 pound day pack it is plenty to carry. I love it though --- feels very steady in my hands in those few seconds that it really really counts.

If I'm going higher or farther or harder OR if I start acting my age, then I have a Sako in 338WinMag with synthetic stock that weighs 7.0 pounds scoped and loaded. However, it is a waspy little thing to handle at the range, okay in the field though; very light, but almost too light for steady sighting purposes, in my opine.

I like a heavier rifles for as long as I got the horsepower to carry them. Just "feel" better to me when it comes "show time".

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Old 08-31-2004, 05:35 PM   #8
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

I have a bias towards carrying a longer, heavier piece. Out of all the stuff I hump into the bush, a 7-9 pound rifle is not that much. For an experienced shooter that understands recoil & deals with it, it is not such a big issue. But for the average office pogue who dreams about light rifles and 500 yard shots with a 300 Win Mag..., well, that is the kind of guy that may be selling his rifle the next season. Sorry, I don't believe in short barrels for high velocity rounds, squirrel rifles for standing armies, and tinker toys for heavy calibers. Flinch city.

I think production rifles are too light and short for the 30 06, especially, although I see more 24 and 26" barrels today than years past. To me, that was a magnum that just wasn't belted. My view.

My packs going in were 100 pounds easy. Get a good sling! Take 5 when you need.
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:38 PM   #9
 
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

As far as I'm concerned, the lighter the better...most "real hunting" is done at ranges no farther than 200-250yrds, and that's a stretch!!! Compact bolt rifles or short leveractions are very capable of sufficient accuracy at this range, probably double it in fact.

Compact bolt rifles tend to recoil much more than their leveraction bretheren, but then again, they're typically chambered in much higher pressure rounds at higher velocities...while as you mentioned, a compact bolt gun might weigh 6.5# naked, a compact levergun can get as light as 5#!!!!

I don't necessarily believe that weight is the only thing that makes a rifle easier or harder to carry afield. IMHO, the more important aspect is the size....Compare a Ruger 77 compact, Win 70 featherlight (pre-64), a Marlin Guide gun, Marlin 1894 carbine

The Ruger compact is 6.25# naked and 35.5", the Win. is 6.5# full length, Guide gun is 7# 37", and the 1894 is 6.5# 37".... Between the two bolt guns, there isn't much difference in weight, but the compact is MUCH MUCH easier to carry...However, the Guide gun, only a half pound heavier, seems much more difficult to carry than the 1894. IMHO, leveractions are much easier to carry in general, if for no other reason than the flatness of them and the fact that they're designed to be carried.

Try some on, see how you like them, whether you think they'd feel better or not has no effect on how it actually feels...I always think I'd prefer a 3.75" bbl on a vaquero, but it never handles well for me. If you can't keep steady with a compact rifle, it doesn't matter how handy it is to carry.

I ALWAYS prefer to carry the "handiest" rifle I can, which, to me, means the best combination of weight and size, without compromising power and accuracy...typically the Marlin Guide gun or 1894 wins out for me, while my new Winchester 94 Ranger Compact (33" 5.25# .30-30) is probably going to take the place of the best long WALK, mid range hunting rifle I have.
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Old 08-31-2004, 05:39 PM   #10
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Default RE: Light vs Average weight hunting rifles

Most people can more easily lose 5 lbs off their bodies that they won't have to carry around than shave another pound off their rifle.
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