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Thread: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Talking PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    We serious hunters, from all across the country, tend to be an odd lot, often obsessed with lightweight hunting gear. We’re fascinated by lightweight packs, tipis, stoves, knives, clothing, sleeping bags, spotting scopes, saws and a whole lot more. But in no area are we more fanatical than with our rifles. We often worship light, accurate rifles.



    It occurs to me that the posting of the photos and details of specific lightweight hunting rifles would be both fascinating and informative. In a sense, it would provide a baseline for what could be done by any of us.

    It’s generally accepted that there are three ways to obtain an especially light hunting rifle.

    1. A growing number of standard gun companies now offer exceptional lightweight hunting rifles. Kimber, Weatherby, Remington, Ruger, Browning and Sako, for example, now all feature particularly trim hunting rifles in their factory lineups.
    2. A custom lightweight can be ordered from any number of talented gunsmiths. Companies with names like Rifles Inc., New Ultra Light Arms, Bansner Ultimate Rifles, Wild West Guns and others all offer fine hunting rifles that are leaned up considerably.
    3. Or, you can assemble your own lightweight rifle, switching stocks, bobbing barrels and installing lighter hardware.

    Plenty of the guys on this forum have previously referred to their own pet lightweight hunting rifles. Some are customs rifles. Others are hand-assembled rigs. Many are lightweight factory jobs. Sawtooth, for example, hunts with a Weatherby Ultra Lightweight. Kevin, on the other hand, has a custom .270 that’s seen much service. Huntsman22, CCH, Smokepole, Elmbow, Bushcraft, Brad A and many others tote exceptional, lightweight Kimber Montanas. I’m partial to Remington Titanium Model 700s. A lucky few have early Kifaru Rambling Rifles. Kifaru guru Patrick Smith has more, interesting lightweight rifles in his gun safe than democrates have platitudes in their speeches.

    We should be clear, though, that the definition of the word “light” is relative when it comes to hunting rifles. What one hunter considers a fairly light rifle may not be so for the next guy. One hunter may hold that anything below 8 pounds scoped is a comparative lightweight. There are certainly lots of scoped rifles heavier than that. Another hunter may lean toward rifles that weigh in the neighborhood of 7 pounds when scoped. Still others might believe that lightweight rifles begin at 6 pounds scoped and go down from there. In the end, it depends on what you like, will carry and to some degree where and what you hunt.

    Here’s what I suggest – we all post the photos (can be hunting photos) AND the basic details of our light hunting rifles, whatever they may be. If your light hunting rifle weighs 8.5 pounds scoped, that’s fine. It may be perfect for you and where you hunt. To participate, simply post a photo of your lightest hunting rifle(s) and be sure to also provide the following:

    1. Make and Model
    2. Caliber
    3. Barrel Length
    4. Scope-Mount Description
    5. Scope Description
    6. “Scoped-Weight” in pounds and ounces. To stay on the same page, let’s consider "Scoped-Weight" to be the weight of the unloaded rifle with mounts and scope. It does NOT include slings, scope caps, ammunition or anything else. Just the rifle, mounts and scope, in pounds and ounces.
    7. Any additional details you care to include, such as where and what you generally hunt with this rifle.

    I’ll kick it off with two of my own favorite lightweights.

    The first is a custom Rifles Inc. Lightweight Strata in .270 Winchester. I had it built some years ago with a 23-inch barrel (to ensure a slightly forward balance) and I have it equipped with Talley Lightweight One-Piece Mounts (2 oz.) and a Leupold VX-III 2.5-8 scope (11.5 oz.). The scoped-weight for this rig is 5 lbs. 14 oz. This rifle, my lightest, carries wonderfully, shoots 130-grain Barnes TSX bullets very well and is a joy to hunt with. I’ve used it throughout the West to take antelope, whitetail deer, mule deer, sheep, caribou and elk.



    The second is my old and much-traveled Remington Model 700 KS Mountain Rifle chambered in .338 Winchester Magnum. This is the rifle shown in the avatar photo with all my Kifaru posts. It's from the Remington Custom Shop, has a 24-inch barrel and I've set it up with Conetrol mounts and rings (4 oz.) and a Leupold VX-III 2.5-8 scope (11.5 oz.). I’ve recently repainted the stock. The scoped-weight for this setup is 7 lbs. 12 oz., which many might consider light for a .338 Winchester Magnum. Still, this rifle handles and balances very well and, thanks to an excellent stock design and plenty of barrel weight, recoil is surprisingly moderate. It also happens to be one of the most accurate rifles I've ever owned, routinely putting 225-grain Swift A-Frames into tight little groups. I’ve successfully used this compelling setup on all manner of North American big game, including antelope, mule deer, elk, mountain goats, sheep, caribou, moose and grizzly.



    Who’s next? We’d love to see your light rifles.

    The more rifles we show and list here the more valuable this post will become as a resource for all those thinking about lightweight hunting rifles and their basic components.

    P.S. – Relatively inexpensive digital fish-weighing scales work perfectly for weighing rifles. Otherwise, a Pelouze 10 lbs. Digital Postal Scale, which is available at Office Depot ( http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...rpose-Digital/ is the best scale I’ve found for weighing all manner of packable hunting gear.
    Last edited by Timberline; 12-22-2009 at 03:46 PM.
    "Don't let the things you can't do, stop you from doing the things you can do."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Central Oregon
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    3,209

    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    I can't resist the temptation to do a little bit of funnin' here:
    • Marlin 45/70 cowboy
    • cut and crowned at 16.25" by Brockman's Rifles
    • Ashley "lever scout" mount
    • Ashley peep sights
    • Wild West Guns light mount
    • Leupold new generation IER 2.5x in Leupold QD rings
    • 7# straight up, 6.25# without scope and rings. Add 5 of those asparagus sized cartridges and it gets heavier.
    I've only carried it hunting once on an unsuccessful Alaskan moose hunt, but it is probably my favorite rifle for knocking about. I can tell you it's mighty comforting to have in hand when busting through alder and willow thickets.

    I plan to replace the scout mount with a couple of barrel mounted weaver bases for lighter weight and lower profile when the scope is off.

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    Last edited by evanhill; 12-22-2009 at 12:49 PM. Reason: another pic
    We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Wyoming
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    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    Only photo I have of my favorite lightweight. A stock Rem. 700 MTN rifle in 7mm08 in a Lone Wolf Summit. I put it together in 2001. Two bull elk, 3 cow elk, several mule deer and pronghorns, and one big horn ram have fallen to it. It just occured to me I need to get a whitetail with it and I ever draw mnt. goat, go for cougar, or get another moose tag I will probably grab it. It weighes 6# 6 oz all up with the sling, 4 rounds, and the current scope, a Leupold FXII 6X LR duplex held on with crappy old style weaver rings. The deer in the photo was the longest shot at just under 440 yds ( well beyond my usual limit but that is another story), to less than 25yds for one elk and the ram.

    Maybe if it had more mass it would be more accurate and I could shoot it better These huge groups must be because I shot the Hornaday 139s (top group) right after confirming zero with the old style 140 Barnes XBTs, it loves, without a thorough scrubbing. It must have been all that nasty copper that resulted in such bad stringing from a whippy, hot, light barrel Luckily the first shot always hits where it should out of a cold, dirty barrel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    E. Oregon
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    931

    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    Now dead animals in my photos, but I'll try for some possible points with inclement weather.

    Here's a photo of my stock 30-06 Rem Ti (22" barrel) w/ a 6x36 Leupold FXII in Talley LWs during an early morning break last deer season. That's a Siwash buried under that rubble BTW. Most of the messy look is actually just a synthetic vest that does compress very well, and a poncho which should have been on ME rather than the cargo chair. Anyway, the rifle comes in just under 6.5lbs including sling and scope cover. It balances well, and is light enough for me.


    Back at the truck after a few hours of heavy snow fall. My '06 Ti rides like a dream in the Gun Bearer. I was actually getting over a half inch of snow buildup on the tiny muzzle of that rifle before it would fall off.


    BTW, this trip further cemented my opinion that wool is the only material to wear in the mountains, and so is a lightweight weather resistant rifle.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    Here is my Remington 700 XCR in 270 win, wearing a Bell and Carlson lightweight stock,Leupold base and rings, Nikon 3-9x40 scope. Rifle weighs 7.5 all up.Not a real light weight but a just right weight.

    Just a decent blacktail.

  6. #6
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    Colorado
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    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    Here's my favorite "little" gun. It’s a Model 7 in 7mm-08. I won it at a local banquet and modified it a bit. I added a HS precision stock Talley lightweight low mounts and Leuplod 2.5-8 scope. It's small light and compact and shoots straight every time I pull the trigger. I think in weight in at just about 6 lbs. It so small and light my father in law liked it so much he bought one for his wife so now we have matched set in the family.

    I took on my Dall hunt in 2006 because I knew I'd be doing some hiking and climbing. When I landed at the base camp strip in Alaska the guide asked me what I planned on shooting with that "little pea shooter'. I told him anything I had a tag for. We set up the make shift range and another client with a big scope and high end custom gun shot first. He had 3 hits all in about 1.5 inches. The guide said you shouldn't have let him go first. I said if I just hit the Ritz cracker box he had set up at 100 yards I'd be happy. I took out my "pea shooter" and fired 3 prefect rounds 2.5 inches high in a classic clover leaf pattern all touching. The guide was VERY impressed. I still have the target at home.

    In the first 2 years I used this gun his little gun took a turkey, 3 whitetails, 3 antelope and a Dall sheep and black bear in Alaska. It has since been often overlooked for my new custom 300WSM but I still love it. Maybe I'll take to for cow elk or lion hunting next week.

    Sandbrew
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    Last edited by Sandbrew; 12-22-2009 at 06:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    One more pic from a Texas whitetail hunt
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    sandbrew, great pic!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    Here's a pic of the rifle in a gun bearer and Siwash.

    We had just hiked 4-5 miles up stream and then climbed 2500+ verticle up the top mountian behind me and got to within 356 yards of a whopper.....40 inch, full curl plus, twister dall when the wind shifted and busted us. That's why I'm not smiling.....
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: PHOTOS of Your Light Hunting Rifles!

    Timberline, That skull is some kind of awesome.
    Last edited by Huntsman22; 12-25-2009 at 07:13 AM.

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