Light Weight Craze

Forestryguy

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Jan 23, 2014
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Wisconsin
Not knocking anyone was just thinking about this last night as I laid awake in bed.

Why are so many people going to these ultra light rifles? I understand not wanting to carry the weight while hiking to the top of a mountain, but what are you giving up in accuracy? I have not seen match shooters and snipers going to light weight rifles. In the military they are carrying them to the top of mountains. Personally I would want to know that I am going to be solid when I am about to take the one shot you are going to have and make it count.
 

Elkfitness

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Jan 2, 2013
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Colorado
I think it's a balance. For a mountain rifle I personally want to shoot the lightest rifle that I have acceptable accuracy with for the distances and animals I want to shoot.
 

beachbunny

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Oct 12, 2013
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age may having something to do with it.
I'm learning that curve right now, hahaha
 

JWP58

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Boulder, CO
Not knocking anyone was just thinking about this last night as I laid awake in bed.

Why are so many people going to these ultra light rifles? I understand not wanting to carry the weight while hiking to the top of a mountain, but what are you giving up in accuracy? I have not seen match shooters and snipers going to light weight rifles. In the military they are carrying them to the top of mountains. Personally I would want to know that I am going to be solid when I am about to take the one shot you are going to have and make it count.
Match shooters carry their guns to a bench and set it down. Game animals haven't started shooting back at me yet, so I'm not real concerned with what snipers are carrying. Hunting is not match competition nor "sniping" and vice versa.

Being "solid" has little to do with the weight of your gun, unless you're shooting off hand which is going to be inherently inaccurate. Maybe folks have decided they want a lightweight rifle, and that's that? Contrary to the current belief that a .5 moa gun is needed to kill stuff....it isn't.

This is tantamount to compound vs trad, etc. Use what you want and enjoy it. Heck maybe even experiment a little.....
 

durangobrad

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Feb 20, 2014
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Southwest Colorado
My arms get tired from carrying around a rifle or bow all day long and I can tell when carrying something lighter. The lighter and faster I am the more animals i am going to encounter. Do i need bench rest or sniper accuracy to kill them? Nope. Does being less fatigued from carrying a lighter rifle all day make me more accurate? Maybe.
 

GKPrice

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Sep 27, 2014
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Western Oregon
Our military guys are for the most part less than 1/2 my age plus I'm sure if any one of them could spend or get authorized a meaningfully lighter weight rifle that could do the job each needed to do when it was needed there would certainly be a base albeit limited, of military users - My knees and back told me to stop carrying all that "stuff" and especially that HEAVY stuff ... and I'm listening
 

mtnwrunner

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Oct 2, 2012
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Sweet, Idaho
Whatever works for YOU. I personally feel that rifles can be too light and it is all a matter of what feels good and shoots good. One of the worst rifles I ever had was a custom and it weighed 5 pounds and it was just to "whippy." I like my backcountry rifles to be around 7.5 to 8 pounds fully equipped. And contrary to popular belief, lighter rifles can shoot long range.

Randy
 

ams

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Feb 26, 2012
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Northern CA
My Howa Aline is 6.5 pounds and when shooting it at the range it feels whippy, and gets old after a box of ammo....but I hit what I'm aiming at. It took a bit of getting used to but I'm confident with it to 300 yards. If shots will be longer I'll use something else.
 

idig4au

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Jun 1, 2012
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Back to Central Asia again...
Whatever works for YOU. I personally feel that rifles can be too light and it is all a matter of what feels good and shoots good. One of the worst rifles I ever had was a custom and it weighed 5 pounds and it was just to "whippy." I like my backcountry rifles to be around 7.5 to 8 pounds fully equipped. And contrary to popular belief, lighter rifles can shoot long range.

Randy
Exactly this. I couldn't have said it better
 

Felix40

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Jul 27, 2015
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New Mexico
My model 70 is 10 pounds even with a bipod. It gets freaking old packing it around but its so smooth, good looking, perfectly balanced, and shoots .65 MOA. I would like to build a super light rifle to hunt the timber with but if Im going on a big trip or into big country I know that model 70 will turn animals into meat every time. Inside of 300 yards its defintely overkill though.

Nothing is best at everything so you just have to decide whats best for YOU.
 

JeffRaines

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Oct 24, 2015
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For me personally, I don't mind a heavier rifle if all I'm doing is hiking in for a day hunt or clearcut jumping... typically you're just carrying a couple snacks, water, the rifle, your kill kit and some optics. When I'm hiking in for a multi-day trip its different, you're talking about the rifle and kill kit, optics, camp, food, water... I want the lightest stuff thats going to do the job, and that includes my rifle. Notice I said do the job - I'm not going to trade accuracy for weight. Thats my two cents.
 

Axlrod

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Jan 8, 2017
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SW Montana
For sure you need to have rifle you KNOW will deliver. With light weight comes the ability to go farther. I go as light as I can because I plan on bringing back a pack full of meat!
 

16Bore

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Lighweight was the only direction left to go.

Which is kinda funny with all the Mtn Ops, Wilderness Athlete, cross-fit, and everything else that's been pushed for better personal performance. 2lbs of rifle is the killer.

And even funnier is Rinellas Carolina Custom was almost a 13# rig. I'd say he's been a bit "deep"

IMO, it's just a "thing" that fellas are convinced they "need". The market talks though. Same kinda thing happens with just about everything. Who'd a thunk the average weekend rider needed a carbon fiber bike?

Been down that road and did a U turn. I've got one last rifle to trip before I'm back to where I started.
 

ams

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There's a place for them..... like when you're gripping a granite wall at 9000 ft, loose rock under you, followed by a cliff.
Running and gunning for pigs.
Grabbing it out of your back seat with one hand, of course it is nice because of the 20" barrel too.
And it just comes up fast and easy. There's also the fact that alot of light weight rifles are compact and easy to put in or strap to a pack. I like to throw mine in the bottle pocket, one strap around the barrel, and go. It only sticks up a few inches from the pack. All that being said I just put together a 9# 270 for an all arounder that feels good too. I think a nice light weight rifle in the 243, 6mm, or 6.5 is a pretty nice setup considering bullet weights, recoil, and performance of those offerings.
 
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Military is low bidder...lol. Seriously though. Everything iin the military is heavy....everything. I am a die hard 375 h&h guy. My cz is heavy. So I built one that is about 6.5 lbs all up. That is a single shot though. I am currently building a light weight bolt gun. I went to light weight for one reason. I hunt thick, heavy and very steep terrain. I got tired of lugging heavy guns. They would usually be slung on my shoulder or in my pack when they should have been in my hands. Also always catching on struff. A rifle like all other things is a tool first and foremost. If it doresnt do the job...what good is it? A lot of it is just getting past what were all think we know and need. Do I need a magnum...no. Do I need a long barrel....no. The one 375 I have only has a 18 inch barrel and it shoots great and is way handy. My new one is a 6.5 with 20 inch though. Light, handy and doesn't beat you. Food for thought.
 

AlaskaEd

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Mar 13, 2017
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North Pole
When a 6lb rifle can easily shoot under MOA, my question is what reason do you have to not carry a lighter rifle for hunting? No reason to lug around an extra 2+ pounds for a negligible, and unnecessary, increase in accuracy. I wouldn't replace a perfectly good rifle solely for weight savings, but for a new purchase why not add weight to the criteria?
 

luke moffat

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Feb 24, 2012
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I guess same could be said about the "long range" craze.

I have come to conclusion after 20 or so years of big game hunting and seeing well over 100 big game animals killed here in Alaska that I don't need a rifle that shoots 500-600 yards which most people seem to be asking.

I can count on one hand the number of animals I have seen shot at over 500 yards and on two hands over 300 yards.

In reality I only need a rifle that can get a 8" or larger target at 300 yards. Its boring but I don't feel too hamstrung with that limitation.

I have 4 rifles that go less that 5 pounds before optics and one of those is actually under 4 pounds. To me its merely a tool. If I can get the tool lighter weight and still accomplish my end goal then why not.

I realize 100% that my parameters or requirements are MUCH different than most and most need a rifle that is capable of shooting to 500 yards to be succesful. But I feel I have a HUGE advantage with a 300 yard rifle over anyone with a bow so I can live with that. :)


All that said I have a a 3 rifles that also go over 9 pounds all up as well but they don't get used that often and certainly not on backpack based hunts where you are living with what ya have on your back. 3 pounds is over 2 whole extra days of food to just stay in the backcountry longer.
 

hodgeman

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Mar 4, 2012
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Delta Junction, AK
If you can buy a light rifle that kills game, why tote a heavy one to do the same job? Accuracy? Most of the advantages of a more accurate, heavier rifle don't translate all that well to field shooting for single shot.

I hunted a lot with a 10 pound rifle when I was a younger man...but now that I've got a 7 pound rifle that shoots just as well and kills game just as dead...what advantage does that 10pounder give me?
 
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