Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

coues7

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I just got back from my Coues deer hunt here in Arizona and I WILL NOT pack a 12.5lb rifle anymore! With my pack (Eberlestock), 80mm spotting scope, Swarovski LRF, carbon tripod and head and a few other miscellaneous items, I am packing around an additional 50lbs.

I know the forum is very diverse when it comes to location of hunting, but our here in Arizona, you simply cannot kill "good" buck hunting the roads. So when I'm covering 5-7 miles a day packing around 50lbs of gear it gets old real quick.

So the question is: Why do we, as long range hunters, build rifles that are so heavy? What benefits are there? If we do our homework and practice we shouldn't need to be taking repetitive shots that would heat the barrel up. Do we really gain that much stability and accuracy from having a 12lb + rifle?
 

wnroscoe

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Just a suggestion

6.5x47, 6.5 Creedmoor, 260, 7/08 or an AI version

90% Carbon Fiber Stocks
LW Talley Mounts
6x42 fixed power glass (scopes)
#1 or #2 contour barrels @ 22" or Carbon Fiber Barrels
Internal Box Magazine
Mod. 7 style receiver

7-8#'s all up

Kills at 600 with ease
 

hank440

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

I will take one Roscoe
grin.gif
 

wnroscoe

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: hank440</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I will take one Roscoe
grin.gif
</div></div>

My cell phone is always on, I'll be waiting on on your call for rifle specs and down payment
wink.gif
 

FCS

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

My former tactical rifle partner shot a 260 with a sporter weight barrel. Rifle was a hammer and didn't give up any accuracy to heavier barreled rifle until the mirage on longer strings looked like a straight boil.

Carry lots, shoot little there is no reason a high quality barrel in light sporter weight will not get the job done.
 

hank440

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

wnroscoeMy cell phone is always on, I'll be waiting on on your call for rifle specs and down payment

the specs are no problem the down payment you will have to pry out of the wife's purse
eek.gif
 

nfoley

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Did you get a good buck? I just killed one Sunday night down here in 35A. Had been packing a heavy 300 WSM for several days, then went to a lightweight 280 (felt like a feather compared to the 300). Shot my buck at 420 yds.
I have since been asking myself the same question you posed. The heavy guns lose their appeal real quick while coues deer hunting!
 

VaFarmer1

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Even with a 7-8 lb rifle your still @45lb on your back.
I guess it'll help a little but know way around that type of hunting/hauling
And then if you get one you have the added weight of dragging or packing out your deer.
But at least you'd be smiling
 

coues7

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

IMG_2973.jpg


I have not taped my buck yet, but he is nearly identical to my 34A buck which scored right at 89". Not a monster, but a nice 3x3 coues buck.
 

Longshot38

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Simple as this. When hunting take this:

Rifle plus 10-20 rounds, water, pack of tuna and some crackers, LRF, weather device, ballistics chart/calculator, a knife, a map and compass, and a poncho.

When going out for a day of recreation shooting:

Rifle(s), several hundred rounds of ammo, water, snacks, spotting scope, tripod, LRF, weather device, ballistics calculator, tools appropriate for your rifles, a gps, a pistol and ammo, and a shooting mat.

Point is we prepare for the task at hand and hunting is a different task then tactical comps or recreational shooting. Thus our load out should vary and our tactics should change. But my rifle will not. I will always have the rifle that is chambered most appropriately and I am the most confident with on my hunt.
 

coues7

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: VaFarmer2</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Even with a 7-8 lb rifle your still @45lb on your back.
I guess it'll help a little but know way around that type of hunting/hauling
And then if you get one you have the added weight of dragging or packing out your deer.
But at least you'd be smiling
</div></div>

Just prior to shooting my buck the thought crossed my mind: "now what the hell am I going to do with a 45lb pack and a 100lb deer......I'm screwed and in the future I need to dump some weight somewhere".

I wish Eberlestocks weren't so heavy right out of the chute......I could loose 10lbs right there.
 

JGorski

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

I wouldnt hesitate to take this rifle on a LR hunt, 700 Classic in 308 topped with a 4-16 Burris Sig, the rifle shoot 5 shots just over MOA out to 300yds, havent tested it at 600 yet, but might do it next year. If it holds its MOA out to 600 were talking a sub 7" group, Ill take that.
Picture001.jpg
 

ogonzalez13

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

this is a great topic. I had a very similiar discussion with another member last night via PMs. Time to go back to the drawing board for me.
 

coues7

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ogonzalez13</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> this is a great topic. I had a very similiar discussion with another member last night via PMs. Time to go back to the drawing board for me. </div></div>

Care to share what you learned? What's making you go back to the drawing board?
 

Willys46

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

My brother and I solution, hunt with a buddy, it's much more fun and you can cover a lot more ground grassing,

We take turns packing the heavy gun and the other packs a light weight sportier and all the spotting scope and gear.

It gives you a break every other day!
 

wbeard

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

I would rather think of it like this....you shouldn't hunt where you wouldn't want to pack out from...and packing a 12 lb rifle is just good conditioning for the 300lbs of elk or big buck you'll be packing out
smile.gif


Besides...we need priorities right? who needs water anyway.
 

nexusfire

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

My GAP non typical is about 7lbs and shoots 1/2 moa ..............
 

nfoley

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Nice buck. Here is mine, with my 'guide' and daughter. She didn't want to shoot, was wanting to hold out for a bigger buck we had seen. She shot a 102" last year and wants a bigger one. She's a little pickier than I wanted to be. Gonna try one more time tomorrow to find her buck.
IMG9530331.jpg
 

frankythefly

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

You should of said why does my hunting rifle need to weigh 12 lbs.

Anyhow just be glad you are not hunting terrorists, as 50lbs is really not a lot to pack around.
 

greyson

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wbeard</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I would rather think of it like this....you shouldn't hunt where you wouldn't want to pack out from...and packing a 12 lb rifle is just good conditioning for the 300lbs of elk or big buck you'll be packing out
smile.gif


Besides...we need priorities right? who needs water anyway. </div></div>

Hahahaha! Nice.

I also run a heavy rifle. But it's my only rifle. I refused to buy a deer hunting rifle. Why would I want to spend years mastering my rifle only to change to something different when shooting deer?

The reality is, I am looking for an excuse to use my precision rifle more and more for the experience. I know it's heavy and not practical on some level. But I make the sacrifice. In my circle there are a lot of very accomplished competitive shooters and SWAT snipers. Every one of them humps a lightweight rifle. But these are guys who shoot everything and have tons of experience.

I'll never get that experience. So I get what I can when I can and do what I can. So I hump a 13-14# rifle. Personally, I strap it on and walk on my treadmill at 10-15 degree inclines to get used to the weight. Flat out nuts, and nobody ever sees me doing it, but it gives me the experience. And I learned a few tweaks that needed to be make to my gear as well. And learned it at home, not out in the wild hating life. Well...more than normal.

To the OP's question, no. Your rifle doesn't need to be any of what you describe. You are carrying a rifle that is able to shoot what? 1/3rd MOA at 100 yards? You switch to a hunting rifle that can shoot 1/2 MOA to under 1MOA and you are gold.

Most of the weight of your precision rifle isn't from the super-tight group it shoots cold-bore zero. It from being able to do that over and over and not string out with the heat.

A 1 MOA rifle in heart/lungs will easily kill your deer at 300 yards with a crappy shot.

And personally....looking at your list, I wouldn't hump a spotting scope anywhere other than the firing line. Personally glassing with a spotting scope would just bother the hell out of me after a while. At least any spotting scope that is THAT much better than some nice comfy binos always at the ready.


Regards,
Greyson


2011hunt1.jpg

By greyson at 2011-11-24

2011hunt2.jpg

By greyson at 2011-11-24

2011hunt8.jpg

By greyson at 2011-11-24
 

BgBmBoo

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

I started this thread awhile back: http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthre...550#Post2847550

These are just a few of the light weight long range hunting rifles we are building. These are all in WSM calibers. My friend took a bull elk in CO. In Oct. with the green one (.270 WSM) at 575 yards. Then the next day took a deer at 450 yards.

There are many options out there for light, accurate, riles.

Take care,Stan
 

Anti-Materiel

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

I like a heavier rifle for stability. Less recoil too! I don't have to hump it through the bush too much since I hunt from a tree stand.
 

T.Mihm

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Also, (Disclaimer - not attempting to hurt anyone's feelings or call anyone a fattie) your physical shape can make 50lbs feel like 200. If your hunting trip is the only time you carry 50 pounds of gear for five or six miles, it's not going to be fun.

I small game hunt with a .22LR that weighs upwards of 10 pounds and take most shots offhand supported while stalking. It develops a considerable amount of muscle memory I think. The 12lb centerfire doesn't feel like hauling a Ford 9" around the woods, anyway.

-Travis
 

Pat M

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

"So I hump a 13-14# rifle. Personally, I strap it on and walk on my treadmill at 10-15 degree inclines to get used to the weight. Flat out nuts, and nobody ever sees me doing it, but it gives me the experience. And I learned a few tweaks that needed to be make to my gear as well. And learned it at home, not out in the wild hating life. Well...more than normal."

good idea, and i know those FN's are heavy
smile.gif
 

Jig Stick

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wnroscoe</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Just a suggestion

6.5x47, 6.5 Creedmoor, 260, 7/08 or an AI version

90% Carbon Fiber Stocks
LW Talley Mounts
6x42 fixed power glass (scopes)
#1 or #2 contour barrels @ 22" or Carbon Fiber Barrels
Internal Box Magazine
Mod. 7 style receiver

7-8#'s all up

Kills at 600 with ease
</div></div>

Its funny you listed these components. I just ordered the very same stuff yesterday. Im fortunate to know my gunsmith personally, and hunt his property. I carried my 300winmag around the past 5 days. its in a McMil A3-5 stock and has a heavy varmint barrel on it. I refuse to take it out again.

He suggest that I build a lighter gun. Im going with a 6.5x47 in a McMillan Varmint hunter stock, Krieger #3 contour barrel, Bat action, jewell trigger, and remington bottom metal. Im using the talley rings as well. Im thinking a decent Vortex scope on it, and I should be at 10lbs or under. He has used the 6.5x47 on deer and the internal destruction is impressive. Lungs were completely mush, and the heart looked like ground meat. He is pushing them up to 3000fps with R15. Im more pumped for this build than my 300win build
 

psinclair

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

bearhunt2010014.jpg


Almost identical to my .260, only a .308, this rifle weighs less than 8 pounds. The bear above was taken at 450 meters.
 

Young_Engineer_89

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: nfoley</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Nice buck. Here is mine, with my 'guide' and daughter. She didn't want to shoot, was wanting to hold out for a bigger buck we had seen. She shot a 102" last year and wants a bigger one. She's a little pickier than I wanted to be. Gonna try one more time tomorrow to find her buck.
IMG9530331.jpg
</div></div>



That's a nice buck. I like the symmetry. Also very pretty daughter who is interested in hunting = I'm interested in her :p
 

Arbiter

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

The last backpacking trip I did in Utah was with an Eberlestock loaded up to 50lbs with tent, food, water, etc. It's heavy, but if you're hiking all day and getting worn out, something's wrong somewhere in the equation. I'm young, but definitely not in tip-top physical condition (yet). Even after 20+ miles with the Eberlestock, my shoulders still felt fine. Either you're fitting the pack incorrectly, or you're doing some really serious climbing, or you need to get into better shape. As mentioned before, cut down the things you don't really need (like the spotting scope) and figure out what's important.
 

trevor300wsm

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Since getting into precision/tac shooting, it seems that all my rifles are now "heavy". Ive come to realize like others have already stated above, it doesn't take a 15lb rifle to shoot deer/elk at 600yds. I went to the safe the other day and pulled out a little light weight browning bolt with a 20" sporter barrel in .22-250 and a Leupold 2-7 and it felt like a toy almost. Yet, before I got into the heavy gun stuff, that lil browny was as accurate as I was. Shot many coyotes out to 300yds with it off sticks and never had any doubts about it. I don't have any problems toting a heavy rifle or a pack. I'm in excellent shape physically. I work out everyday. However, it's still not "fun" running the rockies at 11,000-13,000 ft with a Gunslinger II and a 13lb rifle. Even for someone like me, it can be exhausting at times and unless you live in that country year round and are used to the altitude, it's rough.

My first attempt at a "lighter" rifle was this:
6.5x47
Defiance action
Carbon fiber ABS barrel
Manners T5A with the 90% carbon shell
Leupold Mark 4 scope at 22oz
Seekins rings.
1b89f2eb.jpg


Now, this rifle has turned out considerably lighter than my others. However, it's still not as light as I wanted for just everyday general hunting around my house. So, I'm trying again with a lil different build list. This rifle should be done in a couple weeks.

6.5x47
Rem700 action
Manners MCS-T with 90% Carbon shell
Krieger #5 (bull sporter)barrel at 23" threaded.
BDL bottom metal
Leupold Mark 4 4.5-15x50 at 22oz
NF Ultralite rings.

**the barrel should finish at ~ .700" at the muzzle. I think it will be a great combo between a skinny lil sporter and a varmint countour. It should still be enough barrel for my Shark suppressor that I'll get in about 4-5 months.

I think this should get me about where i want to be for a general use hunting rifle, or atleast alot closer. I'm not a fan of the standard style hunting stocks, they do not fit me as good as the T5A's I have, but inside 500yds, it shouldnt be a problem.

 

clintb

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

I like my coyote rifle to be no less then 10 lbs
It sits steadier on my shooting sticks
The extra weight plants the sticks firm in the ground
 

Cactus Kid

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

I don't tend to think about humping around a heavy rifle, I tend to think what rifle will be best to take that once in a life time shot. For me that's a heavier rifle. Heavy barrel holds steadier when I can't keep my composure when fur is in the cross hairs.

I'll save weight elsewere in my pack.
 

One Holer

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

The short answer is that you're hunting rifle does not have to weigh 12 lbs.

In the early 90's I lived in Alaska and hunted every chance that I got. I climbed many a mountain and hiked a lot of miles humping two different rifles. The heavier of the two weighed in at 10 lbs loaded. It was a Winchester model 70 stainless synthetic with a 26" tube rechambered to .340 Weatherby Mag. That rifle kicked like a mule from the bench and its best groups were around 1 MOA. Did I feel hampered? No, not at all. It was minute of bear. Though not a lightweight by any means, I took that rifle on a sheep hunt in the very rugged Chugiak Mountains. I shot a beatiful full curl ram with it, but did come to realize why serious sheep hunters end up with skeletonized Remington 700 rifles from Ultra Light Arms. Yes, pencil thin barrels will heat-up quickly and possibly affect groupings but for hunting where you normally only take one to two shots who cares? Those lightweight rifles are a breeze to hump and are plenty accurate for the job they were intended to do.

I'm not saying that heavy tactical rifles don't have their place because we all know that they do. I'm just suggesting choosing the right tool for the job.

One Holer
 

jasonZ

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Try calling gunwerks or christianson arms and they'll build you a light weight, long range hunting rifle for just this use. Just depends on what you want to pay. I don't own either, as I cant/won't pay the price for em! I do like the optics/turret system gunwerks uses though. That's all just from what I've seen on tv. I'm sure that you could buy a sporter weight quality barrel and get a very nice lr hunting rifle built around it though and probably save some money.....maybe!

I think the reason a lot of people build heavy rifles is simply for accuracy, say tactical or lr shooting, to reduce recoil and make the rifle more stable overall under multiple shots and barrel heat up. However in a hunting situation, the is really only 1 or 2 shots, well at least it should be anyhow.
 

KPK

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

In my opinion the weight is a big deal, but bulk is an even bigger deal for me. Carrying a rifle around with an A5, T5, a 26"+ barrel, and a heavy scope is just plain bulky. If you had a MCS-T, HTG, a light Leupold scope, and a short varmint barrel at 10-11lbs you would be much better off.

I say sleeker is cooler, lol...

In this case I feel the McMillan A3 is one of the best middle ground stocks out there. It's about the same weight as one of the hunting stocks McMillan offers, maybe .5 lbs heavier, and way less bulky with the slimmer forend and no hook on the butt.

Here's my build list for an up coming "lighter weight" 10-12lb +/- job:

.260
Surgeon RSR - 2 lbs ? ~
Bartlein Rem Varmint at 22" - 3.75-4 lbs
Surgeon DBM and mag - 1 lb
McMillan A3 - 3 lbs
Leupold MK4 3.5-10x40 - 21 oz
Miscellaneous - Rings, Bedding, etc. - 1 lb

I feel like my weights are probably over doing it a little, but I'd rather be supprised of it being lighter than heavier. I'm considering a #4 or #5 Contour barrel as well. Would save a little more weight and maybe finish at 24".
 

Graywolf.260

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

It's funny, I'm just now going the other way- I figured why does my hunting rifle have to be less than 8 lbs? I've always hunted with light weight rifles but I've gotten more demanding about what my rifle should be able to do. I decided to go for it and ordered a TRG22 .260 from euroOptic that will be my all round gun. Should be close to 11 lbs after I shorten the barrel to 20", less than 3lbs heavier than my lightweight rifle, I figure I can hump that.
 

was21

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

Remmy Titanium with a Leupy 1.5-5.... just over 6# loaded and slung has served me well for the AZ mtns.
Started with a 7-08 until I found one in 260.

The 7-08 is stupid accurate but the 260 will still hold MOA out past 600.

FWIW
wes in AZ
 

Wannashootit

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Re: Why does my long range rifle have to weight 12lbs

I just bought a Savage FM Sierra on GB to use the action for a build. It's an older "mountain" or "scout" type built with a 20" barrel and lightweight stock with pillars in 7mm-.08.

I was gonna pull the barrel and replace with a heavier contour.
Weighs six pounds. Guess I ought to see how it shoots before I tear it apart...

I think the nod may still go to the bull or varmint contours though, even with a cold bore shot.

Barrel harmonics are a funny thing. No doubt a skinny barrel whips more than a bull; question is, will the skinny barrel's "whip" be consistent and repeatable with every cold barrel shot so that it will translate to the necessary accuracy.