Group Build Thoughts, 2022 SH Rifle build from Spartan Precision

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    So,

    I was thinking about a group buy type of build like Sniper's Hide has done in the past. This time I am thinking more of an NRL Hunter Style rifle and having Marc Soulie of Spartan Precision put it together.

    We. initially spec'd a Hunter Rifle out, and I think we have a nice build, but I don't want to assume. So in the spirit of the past group builds I want the members to weigh in, and straight up say, would you buy this rifle?

    Our initial thinking was:

    Defiance AnTi Action
    Bartlein Steel Barrel
    TriggerTech Diamond
    MDT Hunter Stock*
    Spartan Kopis Brake
    1 Magazine

    That was opening idea on the build, but then I got to thinking. We have so many choices today, it's not like when we did the Headhunter and the options were less available. With that in mind I wanted to open the door a bit wider for people.

    Potentially offering:

    Barreled Action Build
    Hunter Build
    Alternative Chassis / Stock Build

    Then there was calibers, I think the 6.5 PRC is the perfect answer, but that is me. And finding 6.5PRC is currently tough. So with that in mind, I was thinking, a 6.5 initial build, PRC or Creedmoor, you can choose. Calibers are not a big deal but we want to stick to short action options with the PRC being the maximum consideration.

    So, if we offered a limited number on this build, working to leverage some discounts, and had it put together by Spartan Precision what does the community, first off, think and second want us to consider
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    With the modern prefits and lack of a need for a gunsmith, I think it will be a hard sell. Its not like in the old days where a smith had to build the whole gun and options were very limited so it was easy to spec a gun. There are so many options today and everyone has their preferences. Someone who is going to drop $4K on a gun, is going to buy one speced exactly the way they want it. The price would have to be really good, kinda like the GAP PPR with the economy of scale to bring the cost down cheaper than someone could piece together. 6.5PRC or 7 SAUM would make it a good crossover.
     

    kriller134

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    For a cheap option cause I’m poor:

    Zermatt Origin

    Proof prefit (if they can make a light contour steel barrel)

    Triggertech special

    MDT XRS/KRG Bravo
     

    lowlight

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    Well that is the question with this,

    12LBS is expensive, 16LBS is a little cheaper to manage

    We have options, and the purpose of this post is to explore those options to find the most desirable solution or combination of solutions
     
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    wyliecoyote

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    A fluted steel barrel in 7 SAUM (or even better yet carbon) ticks off the lighter option when paired with a light weight stock. In my quest to find a “one and done” NRLish set up, I’ve sourced all manners of components out of the PX to give my smith something to work with, long and short action, 100% committed to 7 SAUM. Everything I’ve put together is adding up right around the $3K price point with a Mausingfield action (trounces anything Defiant IMHO) sans optic. ADG has been quite reliable in turning out 7 SAUM brass if you’re patient. Just no way to beat 7mm ballistics in rough, windy settings. My January 2022 sheep hunt was proof positive of this concept, 667 yards with a 30 mph 9:30 wind, fresh off of a SH Fort Morgan class two months prior.
     
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    reubenski

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    If it's for NRL Hunter there's no incentive to shoot anything heavier than 6.5CM, unless you go short barrel.
     

    n2ishun

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    Not trying to take a dig at your choices.
    I'd want more grunt, 300 mag, 338....hell, even 30-06 for the choice of light to heavy bullets.
    Any of those 3 you can easily tone down for Bambi, yet still have plenty of whack for a griz or moose.
    Again, no offense intended but I personally hunt with a rifle labeled a hunting rifle :/
    Not even the young bucks want to hump a 16 lb'r (although they will lie to your face and say they do it all the time :) ).
     
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    akmike47

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    Not trying to take a dig at your choices.
    I'd want more grunt, 300 mag, 338....hell, even 30-06 for the choice of light to heavy bullets.
    Any of those 3 you can easily tone down for Bambi, yet still have plenty of whack for a griz or moose.
    Again, no offense intended but I personally hunt with a rifle labeled a hunting rifle :/
    Not even the young bucks want to hump a 16 lb'r (although they will lie to your face and say they do it all the time :) ).
    I'm guessing you don't know what NRL Hunter is?
     
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    n2ishun

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    Honestly, not really.
    I assume it's some sort of new match type thing.
    Just looked it up.
    Sorry for wasting anyone's time, I've never been much for punching paper.
    Unless it involves a direct 1 on 1 bet of course :)
     

    Secant

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    I’m interested! I’m moving towards a similar build. I already have an action & trigger, but I could repurpose depending on how this group buy plays out.

    Personally, I think the MDT HNT26 looks very appealing for this type of build. Would we be able to pick arca forend and/or folding vs fixed? I’d want arca, and wouldn’t care about fixed/folding.

    I would go TT Special over Diamond. I think a 1 pound trigger is plenty light for a “hunter” build and would save a few bucks, but not a big deal either way.

    I almost shoot suppressed exclusively, so it would be cool if the brake was an option and not a base cost.

    I think you’ll see some want for CF wrapped. For a steel barrel would lengths be optional, or would that be too big a hassle? Again, shooting suppressed, I’d want to be in the 18” - 22” range, depending on cartridge.

    For cartridges, I’d say 6.5CM, 6.5 PRC, maybe 7 saum.

    Would the AnTi be nitrided? Or maybe an up charge option?
     

    Jack Master

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    Well that is the question with this,

    12LBS is expensive, 16LBS is a little cheaper to manage

    We have options, and the purpose of this post is to explore those options to find the most desirable solution or combination of solutions
    I say if we're going to build a hunting rifle, lets build it for hunting. If fellas want to cross it into the NRL hunter then they can. @lowlight Think about the rifle you would have taken on your Alaska river trip and then carry it 12 miles hiking.
    #1 Functional - (weight, caliber, ergonomics, dimensions, price)
    #2 hammer caliber
    #3 Light

    Functional - Defined purpose would be to carry hunting. We need the rifle to be light but still shoot well. Where is that weight limit? (I honestly don't know this metric) With a hunting rifle we only need to get 3 rounds (max) off to do the job. So heating the barrel should be too much of a concern. NRL hunter stages are 8 rounds max and only 4 if you shoot well. Does this mean we can go with a light steel contour to keep cost down? or do you think the carbon fiber is warranted? In my opinion, Just a light steel barrel would get the job done.

    Hammer caliber for a minimum of elk size game - I would push for a magnum bolt face and 30 caliber?? (up for discussion). Then have the smith chamber to what round the order wants. I think the caliber discussion is probably limited to 6.5, 7mm or 30 cal. (IMO)

    Weight - if we can get under 12lbs total would be awesome but not a defining limit. Really the weight will come down to scope and bipod selection. Pull out 2Lbs for scope and rings then 1.5lb for bipod leave us 8.5lbs for rifle and stock. Is this possible? Will it shoot well?

    Does a 12lb total magnum fit the bill of the the intended use? and can it be shot well? If we have to sacrifice weight to get more functionality that is the direction I would go and push up to 14lb total weight max.

    I guess my real direction is - stop thinking competition rifle and think hunting rifle.
     

    2aBaCa

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    If 6.5 PRC ammo would have to be included in the deal. The industry way over sold that caliber and way under produced ammo and components to support it. At this point I kinda wish I didn't own one.
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    Yea its not like it came out right before the biggest ammo run and component shortage of all time or anything. Hard to blame the industry

    You could have bought brass and reloaded. 6.5 projos have been aplenty.
     

    lowlight

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    The question I have is where is the pressure point,

    The response so far to this is pretty light, so that begs the question, what is the interest in a group buy and would people support it. That usually means money and if we spec'd it like i would that puts us around $4000 today, give or take a $100 here or there.

    I would build one, I think a lighter, heavier carbon fiber barrel for a tiny bit extra time, version that allows me to actually shoot it and dope would be nice.

    I love where Ted went above, it's the right questions so what you say
     
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    2aBaCa

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    Yea its not like it came out right before the biggest ammo run and component shortage of all time or anything. Hard to blame the industry

    You could have bought brass and reloaded. 6.5 projos have been aplenty.
    That only compounded the problem. Even before this fuckery 6.5 PRC brass and ammo was hard to come by.
     

    Guns&WhiteWater

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    I really like the 6.5 PRC as the first cartridge option. Components are slowly starting to become more available. 20-22” steel barrel, fluted or non-fluted (doesn’t matter to me), I feel the muzzle brake should be an upgrade since I use a can when hunting, barrel contour just large enough diameter for a 5/8x24 to keep it light, don’t have a preference for the action as long as prefits are available, but would prefer steel to titanium. TT Special for increased pull weight if desired.

    Stock is the tricky part, to me it’s the most personal component. Maybe offer both a stock and a chassis option?
     

    DeathBeforeDismount

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    That only compounded the problem. Even before this fuckery 6.5 PRC brass and ammo was hard to come by.
    What do you expect? It came out 3 years ago. You have Hornady, Lapua, ADG and Peterson making brass plus who knows who else. Factory ammo was on the shelf before in a few different flavors before the plandemic.

    You think when 6.5CM came in 2008, by 2011 the stocks were full of it? LOL

    If you wanted componets you would have sourced them in that time. I have seen Lapua PRC brass come in stock a few times since then.
     
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    So what I shoot is varmints, and I know very very few here would care about, oh, a .204 or god forbid, the tiny 17 Hornet (a fav of mine 😢). And I don't compete.

    But you could think about this from a different viewpoint. Prices are rising fast, and a huge problem is availability of…everything. Help solve that problem for the "user" or his son (daughter?) that he might buy the following for (see below).

    There's a factory rifle class, right? Perhaps partner with, oh, Beretta/Tikka or someone that makes a decent and affordable factory rifle (offer a variety of calibers?) and spend your effort on the sourcing the FACTORY AMMO/scope/rings/tripods/ballheads/LRF binos/ballistic software/superman underwear/whatever etc. to round out the group buy package.

    Crucially, the package is setting right there, all available, just lay out your cash.

    Perhaps allow the contributing manufacturers to use images, videos, etc in their own marketing material in trade for providing gear for a reduced cost (or gratis)?

    Focus the effort on providing a fairly complete PACKAGE to compete with, something a feller can then toss in the truck and use to actually hunt. Maybe there are options on the scope or whatever. Pick a/b/c caliber and a/b/c scope. Might get more manufactures in to play ball?

    Just brainstorming out loud. Please be nice.
     
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    DocRDS

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    If I put on my "I am a tightwad" hat--I would probably pass.

    My pressure point: Cost. $4k WHile I can hear someone saying "Go be poor elsewhere" Its more about what I can get elsewhere:
    In the 2-2.5K range we have the 'Production' PRS Rifles. Throw out the PRS part--As a rifle package goes, that is tough competition. I see similar packages around 2.5k. Where I think the demand might be is for a lightweight build.

    Not to undercut a gunsmith, but it begs the question, what upgrades am I getting?
    (1) Lightweight -- ok thats a good benefit and may be worth some coin
    (2) Custom vs Semi-Custom same as #1
    (3) Caliber--6.5 is a good one, possibly with 7mm. Will a 308 sell for a hunting rifle? probably--the guys interested in it may favor the magnums though. I don't like light 30 cal magnums. So that is not a seller for me. but based on previous dicussion of an approximate final weight 12-16 lbs is a good spot (I think my AT-X is heavy at 18 lbs, so on the one hand, light is good--on the other hand shooting light magnums is bad---AGH!!)
    (4) Flexibility: We all have are niche: I'd rather have a threaded barrel than a brake--then I can choose my brake which is really a suppressor. Caliber might help attract all those 7mm closet cases, but man 6.5 is a sweet spot.

    So no to be a cheapskate, but this would be more attractive at the 3-3.5 k range for what I am seeing. $4k might be a stretch.

    Just my asshole opinion
     
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    UpSideDown

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    I cannot imagine having any real-world hunting application with a gun around the weights being discussed, that might also be competitive in that league. In a world of 6 pound <$1,750 hunting rifles I don't get why this crossover would be attempted.

    Trying to cross over a competitive NRL Hunter rifle with an actual hunting rifle sounds like you're either doing really good with one and bad with the other, or you're doing modestly bad at both. It sounds fun to compete and hunt with the same rifle but this is a hard sell between weight and caliber selection.

    I specifically went .308 with my new hunting rifle last year, as unpopular as that is. I can buy premium hunting cartridges any time for that caliber and go from Elk to Blacktail with the same caliber. But who wants to compete with .308 in a world of 6mm's. I don't handload and I'm probably not the target of this rifle, so the points about weight and caliber selection are what come to mind to me.
     

    Secant

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    I can see where cartridge selection could run off the rails. I think it’s smart to stick to a s/a length, and probably only standard & magnum bolt faces. Long action .30 cal magnums have a place, but it’s an itty bitty niche. As I read the initial post, my understanding was this would be an NRL Hunter type build - so a hunting/game gun cross-over. I live/hunt “out west”, and if needed could do everything with a 7-08, 6.5CM, 308, etc. My main hunting rifle is a 7mm Rem Mag, but that’s probably not a good cross-over cartridge for most. If this turns into a l/a magnum type build, I’ve got that covered & I’m out.

    I must’ve glossed over the weight initially. At 16 pounds, I’m out. 12 pounds is even a little too much. My current plan is to use a steel Lone Peak Razor, TriggerTech, HNT26, 20” Proof carbon in 6.5 CM. Throw in an Ultra 7, Atlas CAL (or TBAC), Tangent Theta 3-15, and total weight will be about 10.5 pounds. Good for playing games, packing, and killing antelope, deer, black bears, etc. IMO.

    As a dude that kills several things out west every year, and spends a bit of time at the range between seasons, that’s where I’m at and just my two cents. Well, four cents if you count my previous post.

    The group buy sounds kinda cool, but if I’m the minority with what I’m thinking, I’ll rock-on with my original plan.
     

    BND2763

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    Sounds like a nice rifle. The parts list is a lot lighter than the weights being discussed.. more like an 7-8 lb rifle depending on barrel contour. What am I missing?

    Defiance AnTi Action 21 oz
    Bartlein Steel Barrel 64 oz (3b, 24”)
    TriggerTech Diamond 2? oz
    MDT Hunter Stock* 26 oz
    Spartan Kopis Brake 6? oz
    1 Magazine 3 oz

    But at $4K I’d rather build exactly what I want.
     
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    FWoo45

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    I’m definitely interested in a premium, group buy type hunting rifle that I could compete occasionally with. 12+ #s without glass is too much for me though.
     
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    rope

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    @lowlight @Jack Master Hunting rifle I am interested in. I like the specked gun, the profile of the barrel would be nice with a #3 Bartlien a S/A (maybe a choice of sa mag caliber) like 6.5 PRC, 7 SAUM ( heavys) or 300 wsm? I have a Sniper’s Hide GAP Kopfjager 260 from ‘05-‘07 time frame. I just had GAP built a 22” Bartlien CFW, EVO Ti from Mack bro’s in a Manners EH6A in a 6.5 GAP. This is gen 2 of the caliber for hunting here in Alaska.

    Love the idea LL! Let’s get this rolling.
     
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    jb313

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    I like this idea.
    I have no idea what the rifle weight requirements are for the NRL class is but if its 12-14 pounds, thats a mighty big stick for climbing up and down mountains to hunt with,

    That MDT hunter stock is pretty nice and pretty light, check this vid out, something along these lines may be a nice build if you were not to compete,

    Just thinking out loud on the ammo situation, maybe somebody like hendershots could put together an ammo package of a few thousand rounds or so, or whatever if enough people went in,
     

    lowlight

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    If we are talking about a precision hunting rifle, I would hope it would come in around 7-9 lbs without the optic. Otherwise why drop the coin?
    You won’t get the barrel we need at that weight

    I don’t want a one shot gun, or even 3 shot, it’s needs to shoot 10 rounds without walking that is where the money goes
     
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    lowlight

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    Guys

    Think about it, NRL Hunter is a competition

    I see one shot hunting rifles every single class in Alaska, we have taught over 700 students there. I get it you’re fucking pussies and can’t out walk me carrying the same gear.

    Seen it in Colville at the SHC, whining about walking cause you’re lazy and dumb. You carry too much and nobody thinks about exercising for comps.

    You guys will cry about the rifle but then carry an eberlestock pack that weighs just as much empty because you want a big dumb heavy Cordura pack, and then load the kitchen sink in it. You can carry less.

    The problem we all acknowledge with the hunting world is, they use old school thinking and don’t practice. And you can’t really shoot because the barrels are tiny. We can get a better barrel today that can shave weight and handle 10 round strings vs 3 rounds

    The Phantom G3 pack weights 8LBS empty, fucking 8LBS and we’re talking dripping weight in the rifle. Genius
     

    lowlight

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    Since this is a brainstorming session

    We are talking to people to change how we view packs - next step.

    Look at tripods, same thing

    Those pounds can become ounces there, if you save 6 LBS on the pack and then put 4 back into the barrel, boom your hunting rifle just won the race
     

    Guns&WhiteWater

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    You won’t get the barrel we need at that weight

    I don’t want a one shot gun, or even 3 shot, it’s needs to shoot 10 rounds without walking that is where the money goes
    Gotcha, for sure I’d want a barrel that will handle a dozen or so rounds without walking. But light is right for me. If I’m climbing trees with my rifle, or hauling out game, or staring down a deer until he moves from behind a tree and trying to keep still, a lighter package is nice. I’m not familiar with the hunter comps though. I’m sure heavier is better for those.

    That MDT HNT26 looks like a sweet chassis either way.
     

    rope

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    KUIU, Initial Assent, Kirfaru packs here looking at EXO’s. All are carbon fiber or titanium pack frames. Trying to keep packs as close to 6 pounds.
     

    lowlight

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    Again it’s the familiarity of it

    You got little girls in PRS comps carrying a 20+ LBS gun and a 6LbS sand bag, they learn to adapt because they carry it all the time

    In short, they practice.

    Next to No hunters do that, today we are a bit more athlete in some ways, we have tools to help and monitor more. So you see some very dedicated people. But generally speaking the only time you practice hunting is when you do it.

    Sure exceptions to the rule
     
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    You can get them to 2 and less

    I am ordering a 28oz full size one shortly
    Cool, what you getting? Mine are all used for sheep hunting @ 6,000 ci or bigger. I bought my boys the 3,600ci carbon fiber frame pack KUIU, they are super light, a good 3 day or 1 day Alaska pack. Our packs have the nice suspension system/shoulder straps and hip belt plus all the extra pouches to pimp out a pack.
     

    lowlight

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    The Gossamer 50L is 28oz in my size I am gonna look at it for me,

    I was looking at some new ones ( best of ) and a 3400c from Mountain gear was like 2LBS 3oz so stuff is getting g crazy light, we just need to look at configuration for use

    It’s shaving weight
     
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    reubenski

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    I have a Gossamer Gear pack. I think it's like a pound or pound and a half. Good for ultra light weight backpacking which is their niche. But I'm betting it wouldn't stand up to 80lbs of meat on the pack out after a successful hunting trip. That's why hunting packs are a bit more burly.
     

    reubenski

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    I guess you could, but doesn't that just add weight? Or you leave it in the truck and walk down the mountain to drop your pack and grab the frame? Neither is a good solution to me. I really like the pack raft style of hunting pack. A frame with a dry bag that I can ditch and carry meat. So the frame needs to be more burly.

    The Gossamer Gear is delicate and tops out at something like 40lbs of load. It also isn't as comfortable as a pack that isn't trying to be super light. It won't last as long because all the straps, buckles, and netting are super light. It is a niche solution.

    I agree there are some dumb, heavy packs out there. Eberlestock and Mystery Ranch are really heavy, dry. You make a solid point about cutting weight elsewhere but packs are no different than rifles. At some point you go to far and sacrifice capability.
     
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    lowlight

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    I can agree with that, there is always a point of diminishing returns.

    It’s good to try the edges sometimes to see where the limits fall

    I wanted to see, so I am, we are talking to others as well, but I just need a frame of reference so we can cherry pick and choose as we stumble around for new answers.

    We’ve looking more than committing, but we have a plan so I feel good.
     
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    God's country
    The Gossamer 50L is 28oz in my size I am gonna look at it for me,

    I was looking at some new ones ( best of ) and a 3400c from Mountain gear was like 2LBS 3oz so stuff is getting g crazy light, we just need to look at configuration for use

    It’s shaving weight
    Is that for this falls moose hunt or a comp bag?