Shooting a lightweight rifle well

Newtosavage

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Guess I've never had a truly "heavy" rifle so I can't say, but I have no issues shooting sub-MOA with even my lightest rifles. In fact, I had a Howa Mini 6.5 Grendel that might have been my most accurate rifle ever, and it was under 6 lbs. scoped IIRC. Shot a lot of 1/2 MOA groups at 200-300 with that one.

Most of my hunting rifles fall between 6.5 and 7 lbs. I get rid of them if they aren't routinely sub-MOA.
 

Lawnboi

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I have no problem on the bench or prone with a light gun. It’s when I’m not on a bench or prone I have problems. Specifically with recoil management.

I’ll carry an extra couple pounds for a rifle I know I can hit something with relative certainty. At least for now.
 

Newtosavage

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I do like a heavier barrel for off-hand shooting, which is why I swapped out my lightweight barrel on my Savage LW Storm with a sporter weight. Still kept the whole package right at 7 lbs. but the weight being out front sure helps when you're shooting from field positions. It's a 6 oz. penalty I'm willing to accept I guess. Helps with load workup too since I get a few more shots before the barrel really heats up.
 

eaglemountainman

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Lighten up that trigger. I shoot both my Montanas much better since I lightened them both to 2.25 lbs each. Be sure to pull your glove before shooting a light trigger.

Practice a lot of dry firing so you know that trigger break like second nature.

A personal thing, but I keep my scope magnification no higher than 3-4X while on the move where a quick shot might present. When I have time to set up on my pack or sticks, I'll max it to 7X. None of my guns wear more magnification than that anyway, but I can just imagine a 14X shaking like a nervous dog trying to pass a peach pit sideways.
 
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Blue72

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I’m surprised no one mentioned a muzzle brake

a good one will reduce recoil dramatically

depending on your rifling, try lower weight bullets too
 

SavedByGrace2001

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Please give tips and tricks.
I will be coming in possession of a rifle in .270 win that is reported at 5 lbs, currently wears a vxiii 2.5-8x36 with boone and crockett reticle that I believe weighs 11.4 oz and some talley lightweight ring/mounts.
It will be the lightest rifle I've had or will keep and I'd like to learn from others tips they have for shooting it well
One can read lots on why they abandon light rifles, I'd like to preempt that with here's how you shoot one well.

I am a decent shooter, have some Tikka's and a recent Kimber Classic that's pretty light, but not as light as the incoming. Have some heavier ones as well.

Thanks in advance,
Jon
Hey Jon what type of rifle did you end up getting?
There's lots of good information here on shooting lightweight rifles. I've never had issues with my fieldcrafts, but just got a kimber to try, so I guess this thread is for me too😁
 
OP
JonS

JonS

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Hey Jon what type of rifle did you end up getting?
There's lots of good information here on shooting lightweight rifles. I've never had issues with my fieldcrafts, but just got a kimber to try, so I guess this thread is for me too😁
It’s a Rifles Inc Remington 700 that was lightened and their barrel put on! Great little shooter and my friend who used to own it and passed away was definitely there to guide bullets on its first trip with me and two other of his buddies! Here we are with some of its work!
 

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peterbozeman

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Light rifles can be a fast track to a flinch. I do all my sighting-in and practice shots on a lead sled so there is no felt recoil. Then, when I take a shot on an animal, my heart is pumping so hard I don't feel a thing.
 

Hoodie

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I do basically the opposite. I noticed a slight POI difference from zeroing off bags to shooting off my pack (Which is how I shoot in the field). Always had to make a small adjustment going from bags/bench rest to field positions.

Now I just zero off my pack from the start and do 100% of my practice shooting off a pack. The most stable position I'll shoot from is prone over a pack with a jacket for a rear rest (which is pretty close to bench-rest stable anyway). Most practice is sitting or kneeling off the pack. It can be hard to get prone in most areas I hunt.

I wouldn't personally advocate not shooting from field positions because of the potential to develop a flinch. Especially with lightweight rifles. A person could get a very inflated idea of their realistic effective range (assuming they have to shoot from a different position in the field).

For me, if flinch was that big of a concern I'd just drop down to a smaller cartridge.
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

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Light rifles can be a fast track to a flinch. I do all my sighting-in and practice shots on a lead sled so there is no felt recoil. Then, when I take a shot on an animal, my heart is pumping so hard I don't feel a thing.
It is recoil intolerance that can lead to flinching. Too many people blame an inanimate object's weight rather than acknowledging that their recoil tolerance levels are not nearly as high as they believe it is.

The lack of weight (in and of itself) does not cause flinching; otherwise no one would able to shoot the powerhouse 22lr as they tend to be lightweight.
 

peterbozeman

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It is recoil intolerance that can lead to flinching. Too many people blame an inanimate object's weight rather than acknowledging that their recoil tolerance levels are not nearly as high as they believe it is.

The lack of weight (in and of itself) does not cause flinching; otherwise no one would able to shoot the powerhouse 22lr as they tend to be lightweight.
You are correct. I did not mean to imply that all lightweight rifles have recoil.
It is recoil intolerance that can lead to flinching. Too many people blame an inanimate object's weight rather than acknowledging that their recoil tolerance levels are not nearly as high as they believe it is.

The lack of weight (in and of itself) does not cause flinching; otherwise no one would able to shoot the powerhouse 22lr as they tend to be lightweight.
You are correct. I did not mean to imply that all lightweight rifles of all calibers have a felt recoil impulse. I guess I should have specified that.
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

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You are correct. I did not mean to imply that all lightweight rifles have recoil.

You are correct. I did not mean to imply that all lightweight rifles of all calibers have a felt recoil impulse. I guess I should have specified that.
No worries and it is all good.

I always get a mental image of a little pink Savage Rascal rimfire invoking fear in Rokslide members when they mention issues shooting lightweight rifles accurately.
 

hicountry1

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Jan 15, 2022
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I try and maintain consistent shoulder pressure.

Also, when working up loads, and accuracy testing, I make sure the cross hair is right on the target aiming point by adjusting the front and rear rest, before touching the rifle.

Then I snuggle into it, and apply consistent shoulder pressure...somewhat light at that.

Light rifles want to walk in the rest more easily than heavier ones. By starting with the rifle dead on the aiming point prior to grabbing it, seems to make mine shoot very consistent.

Also, make sure the front rest hits the same spot on the stock, shot to shot.

And, watch those sling swivel studs, don't let them touch the rests

My 6lbl 2oz 280ai shoots as consistent as my 9lb 7stw
 

Dennis

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May 18, 2014
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I have had an on again off again relationship with light rifles. My current favorite is a Cooper Model 92 Backcountry 6.5x284 Norma with 24" barrel, muzzle-break and Swarovski Z5 3.5-18 x 44 BT 4 W scope. It seems to like light pressure and is a dream to shoot with a good rest. I use a Spartan bipod, along with Davros tripod head and my pack in the field. Light rifles seem to take longer to settle down on the target which can make shooting them difficult if you are excited or breathing hard. If I expect off hand shooting then I would lean towards a heavier rifle without question. I think you will have to experiment with any light rifles to find what works best for it and you.
 

AkRyan

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Jan 15, 2021
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I find vertical grips help a ton with light rifles or heavy recoil cartridges. Lean into the shot with solid shoulder pressure and keep your eyes on the scope like you going to do a fast follow up shot. Lots of folks have a tendency to look where there bullet hit and it get your body out of position.
 

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