Quantcast

A VERY lightweight rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by hq, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. hq

    hq Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,731
    Location:
    Finland
    Last couple of trips up north have got me thinking. When you just hunt moose, carrying a medium-weight rifle like Remington 7600 in my case isn't a problem at all, that's exactly what it's for and does its job admirably.

    However, when you combine that with upland birds, it gets a bit tricky. The rifle is on your back when you carry a shotgun, and after a few hours 9lbs+ for a scoped, loaded gun gets a bit uncomfortable.

    Finding a now-discontinued Remington 700 Titanium is next to impossible around here and having a second hand example shipped from the US means a metric crapload of red tape and expenses. 5¼lbs (+ a few oz for a biathlon sling and a red dot scope) sounds tempting, though.

    What alternatives do I have? I'd prefer .308 or .30-06, repeater so single shots are unfortunately out of the question. Deep in the sticks you want to anchor the moose with a second, maybe even a third shot just to make sure it won't run, unless the first shot is genuinely DRT. Budget is around $1000 when everything is said and done, mainly because this is a special rifle for a single purpose and won't see much other use.
     
  2. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,999
    Location:
    Up State New York
  3. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    9,104
    Location:
    Hawaii
    ^ agreed

    I looked pretty hard and for the cost the Kimbers are about the lightest gun you can get for the money. Couple that with a low power Leupold, or small dog sight, and an ultralight shotgun and your whole set ups probably 12-13lbs.

    If your willing to spend more there are the Barret Fieldcraft, and NULAs, as well as custom builds, but they are well north of 1k.


    With my rifle stuffed into the gunboot of my Badlands I'll sometimes forget I'm carrying it till it gets hung up on a tree branch of something. All of my rifle are quite long and stick a foot or two over my head.
    If you have plenty of time to swap out kit, or run a short gun you maybe able to do something similar with your pack.
     
    troy fairweather likes this.
  4. DocRock

    DocRock Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Christensen TI. 5.5 lbs. Tough to beat.

    Or, haven't you just actually justified buying a drilling! 20-20 over 9.3x62 . Richtig verdamt.
     
    Texas10mm, js8588 and Demi-human like this.
  5. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Messages:
    434
    Location:
    Wasilla
    Nothing beats a gym membership.
     
  6. hq

    hq Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,731
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks for the input. Drilling is definitely out of the question, it's incredibly heavy to hand-carry, single shot for the rifle round (vierling... even heavier) and in wilderness hunts guns get dented, wet and snowed on.

    However, Kimber, Barrett and especially NULA are quite a bit over $1k. Colt Light Rifle isn't, but not exactly a masterpiece of workmanship. Sako Carbonlight would be the gold standard of lightweight and accuracy (5.3lbs, detachable mag & ~.5"@100yd... yay!), at an eye-watering $3k-ish.

    Tikka T3x Superlite is incredible value at around $750, but 6lbs is a bit more than I'd like.

    This is why this is so difficult.

    ps. Alaskan Ironworker: these are the kind of hunts that make gym guys (you know, the proverbial Hulk Hogans as well as lean types who eerily resemble a c*nd*m filled with peanuts) whimper after first day or two. Most of my hunting buddies - including my son - have an arctic long range recon military background and while I'm by no means tiny or in bad shape, I feel like a pencil-neck in this company. So trust me, every ounce counts. :)
     
  7. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    4,999
    Location:
    Up State New York
    You can get a number Hunter for under $700. And there are kimber Montana's for $950.
     
    robhof and LoonWulf like this.
  8. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    9,104
    Location:
    Hawaii
    might be more for hq because of location and availability
     
    troy fairweather likes this.
  9. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,256
    Location:
    Under A Rock
    Howa Alpine Mountain is an option

    5.7# w/o scope and short action cartridges


    Orrrrr super cheap, Ruger American compact listed at 6#
     
  10. LoonWulf
    • Contributing Member

    LoonWulf Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    9,104
    Location:
    Hawaii
    oh! might check out the savage lightweight hunter.
     
    JeffG and js8588 like this.
  11. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,999
    Location:
    Hawkeye East
    I spotted a brand new Kimber Hunter, SS/FDE in 7mm-08 on clearance for $525. At that price it’s screaming buy me now but I don’t have a practical purpose for it and my wife really wants a new cooktop to replace the one the kids busted. Deals are out there if you hunt hard though in this case it’s all location, location, location.
     
  12. film495

    film495 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    194
    out of curiosity, can you take Moose with shotgun slugs? what is the range you're taking moose at? would it be possible to double up function of a shotgun, get a scope on it, and then have some sort of a quick disconnect for the scope if you don't want a scope for upland bird? I've never hunted Moose, but around here when you see them hiking, they seem to just wander out of the woods in front of you about 50 feet away and stare at you for a while, then slowly walk off. another thought would be bring along another person who wants to learn, and set them up just to carry extra gear for the group - let them take a few tries at some game birds, and that's one more person to help move a Moose when the time comes.
     
    JeffG and LoonWulf like this.
  13. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    4,152
    Don’t dismiss the Colt Lt Rifle.
    The only “cheap” thing about them is the stock. However, it’s “fixable”.
    Mine is my most accurate big-game rifle. It gets 2,900fps with a Nosler 180gr Accubond or BallisticTip over 60.0gr of RL22. Shoots 3-shot cloverleafs, 5-shots under 1”.
    I’ve further releaved the forend, and slightly reduced sear engagement for a 3.5lb+/- trigger with a very clean break. I spray painted the stock camo and put some strategic strips of skateboard tape. With a Leupold VX2 3-9x, it weighs 6.8lbs. Recoils not bad.
    I paid $400 for mine in 2008. It’s hunted Wyoming and Colorado.
    I got my money’s worth.
    Mel Forbes bad mouths them for obvious reasons. I like his rifles, but my two conversations with him totally turned me off.
     

    Attached Files:

    LoonWulf likes this.
  14. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    12,546
    Location:
    Georgia
    I spent years chasing lightweight rifles. For the money a Kimber 84M is about as good as it gets. Mine is in 308 and with a lightweight Leupold scope in Talley Lightweight mounts it comes in at 5 lbs 15 oz. They are 5 lbs 2 oz naked. I've upgraded to a Zeiss Conquest 3-9X40 on it and weight now is 6 1/4 lbs. Which is still pretty light. I"m thinking they sell new for around $1200. Anything else in that weight class will be $3000+.

    The 84M comes with a high quality hand laid Kevlar stock comparable to a $600 McMillan Edge stock. If you want to save a little money, the Kimber Hunter comes with a plastic injection molded stock that is a bit heavier, but a lot cheaper. The barrel and action is the same.

    The Colt Light Rifle is a good option, but they haven't been made in years and are hard to find. If you do find one in 2019 it will be closer to $1000. But if you can find one I'd seriously think about it, especially if you want a long action cartridge.

    That said. Even though I usually hunt in steep rugged terrain I've modified my thoughts on extreme lightweight rifles. I've come to the conclusion that somewhere between 7-8 lbs, but closer to 7 is about ideal. I don't have any trouble carrying a 7.5 lb all up rifle in my hands. Once the weight starts approaching 8 lbs I find it spending more time slung over my shoulder. From a bench I shoot the 5 lb Kimber as well as 9 lb target rifle. But from field positions shoot a rifle with a little more weight better.

    If buying new, and not wanting to add a lighter aftermarket stock I'd buy a Tikka. Even with a heavier scope on one the weight will be just over 7 lbs. Choose the scope carefully and you can keep it under 7 lbs. And I doubt you'll find a more accurate rifle at any weight.
     
    Gordon, LoonWulf and troy fairweather like this.
  15. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6,905
    It’s certainly out of the budget, but the new Seekins Element is an exceptionally light action. I’m waiting for the action to be available, instead of simply complete rifles, as I’d love to stick a 20” Proof barrel out front, chamber it in 7-08, a Manners Compact stock underneath, and have an exceptionally handy, light and short, big game bolt gun.
     
    LoonWulf and Gtscotty like this.
  16. homers

    homers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    438
    Ruger American rifles are surprisingly light weight
     
    JeffG, Gordon, LoonWulf and 2 others like this.
  17. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Arizona
    The Ruger American Compact lists at just 6 lbs, but the OP has stated that 6 lbs is too heavy for him (post #6).....



    .
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
  18. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6,905
    Adding to my post above

    22841A3E-690C-4EE4-9CB3-64977AE82A7C.jpeg
     
    LoonWulf, Skylerbone and DocRock like this.
  19. Casefull

    Casefull Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,409
    Location:
    Sawtooths
    My Kimber Mt ascent in 308 with 3.5 x 10 leupold is well under 6 lbs. it has accounted for 3 large elk and several deer. Also shoots under an inch groups. Better hunting rifle than my custom builds.
     
    Gordon, LoonWulf and troy fairweather like this.
  20. DocRock

    DocRock Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2019
    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    That's the same weight as the Christensen Summit TI at half the price and nobody can question Seekins quality.

    Personally, 30-06 180s would be my minimum for moose, but if you think that 308 can do the job, the Seekins above is gold.

    The weight savings potential, for the money, is in the shotgun. Weatherby SA08 20 ga youth.
     
    Gordon and LoonWulf like this.
  21. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    6,905
    Right now, the Seekins Element is only offered as a factory complete rifle (or factory custom), and only chambered in 6.5 PRC.

    My personal interest in a hyperlight 308 is only an idea of using their aluminum/steel Element action, at a fraction of the cost of titanium, in a non-list, pure custom build. Someday, that is, when the Element action is available as a bare action, or when I find a great deal on a used Element rifle.
     
    LoonWulf likes this.
  22. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    788
    The Remington 600 is very light at 5.5 pounds. I just bought it, and have very minimal experience with it so I cannot speak on much other than the weight. Very handy.
     
    Gordon and LoonWulf like this.
  23. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Messages:
    3,146
    Location:
    Missoula, Montana
    Kimber, Proof Research, Christensen Arms, Match Grade Arms...all good choices. Just be advised that as you get into exotic materials like titanium and carbon fiber, the price goes up rather quickly. Also be advised that as weight goes down, recoil goes up. Physics catches up with you at some point.
     
    LoonWulf and troy fairweather like this.
  24. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,130
    Location:
    Wyoming
    My vote definitely goes to one of the Kimber rifles. After I had a few inches cut off of my Montana's barrel it weighs in at half an oz under 5 lbs bare, 5 lbs 13 oz with a 2.5-8x36 VX-3i in Talley lightweight rings. The Hunter is a few hundred dollars cheaper and is almost as light, it may even be lighter if you pull the sound deadening material out of the stock. Current production Kimbers have a reputation for being pretty good shooters as well (accuracy woes from years ago seem to be a thing of the past now).

    I personally really like the shrunken Mauser type action and the 3 position safety on the Kimbers as well.
     
    troy fairweather likes this.
  25. hq

    hq Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,731
    Location:
    Finland
    Wow! A lot of great suggestions and ideas in the air. A big thank you for all the contributors.

    So it seems I should take a better look at Kimber offerings, price/value/weight -ratio is better than I thought. The Mountain Ascent looks great, except for its MSRP but you never know when you stumble across a great deal on one. A second hand rifle will do nicely too, so I won't dismiss anything, not even the Colts hovering around the auction sites every now and then.

    Caliber choice is a compromise. Moose around here are mostly small, 1000lbs or less, and by far the most common caliber to hunt them is .308 so it'll do the job, even though I might prefer .30-06. Any of the .30-caliber magnums or 9.3x62 in a light rifle is a bit much for me and may cause shooter-induced bullet placement problems even though they're decisively more powerful than either of them. Temperatures can drop below -40°F so I most likely wear heavy winter clothing that'll take the worst edge out of the recoil.

    Shooting distances vary greatly. 50-100yd is common but chances are you'll need to take a longer, 200 or even 300yd+ shot across a swamp or from a fell slope to another. 6.5 Creedmoor would be nice but a bit underpowered and only borderline legal (139gr+ & 1991ft-lbs @ 100m or 155gr+ & 1475ft-lbs @ 100m minimum) for moose around here. Still a possibility, though.

    Availability is the key, unless I want to special order a rifle. Fortunately I have time, there's less than three months of this moose season left and I've given up hope of having the rifle by January, so the next deadline is the beginning of September next year.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice