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A VERY lightweight rifle?

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

  1. Gordon
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    Gordon Contributing Member

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    I started looking for ultra light rifles in 1976 while still in active reserves at Hunter Liggett California. I was only issued a 2" S&W .38 revolver so I used my Plain Clothes allotment for a couple months and bought a Colt CAR and put the old Colt 3x carry handle sight on it and when we did the Big Sur Diablo Mountain range in 100 degrees was happy with the .5 1/2 pound load . My hobby at the time and for 30 years after was hiking that same coastal range and I sought custom flyweight hunting guns to use as my income increased . I met Chet Brown in his San Jose Garage in 1979 and he told me to go get a Remington 600 .308 carbine and he would make me an Ultra light that would weigh the same as the old SP1 Colt CAR . The first one was a glued in fiberglass stock, turned barrel and trued action and swiss cheesed everything using machined down Bushnell rings and bases and a Burris "mini scope" that just came out it weighed 6 pounds. After going to a Gunsite Orange class where I met the first Scout Concept rifle I took it back and had Chet put on a Forward scope mount and 2x Leupold LER scope in 1981 = 6.5 Lbs. I started to earn good money and Chet had started to use Kevlar in his Ultra light builds and he made me a gorgeous , shadow camoed little 600 that was skillfully machined all over with a fluted 16.5 " fluted & Ported barrel with Aluminum everywhere that could be used , custom scope mounts and a M3x Leupold scope that was right at 5 pounds unloaded which he finished in 1984 . The thing kicked pretty well but was 1" accurate for 3 shots and I killed afew deer and lots of pigs with it and it was the talk of Monterey county until it was stolen by a burglary in 1986 :( . I found it in a gun store for gunsmith repair 8 years later but thats another story. I never had another flyweight gun made up since, but had a few customs . My current and final Harry Lawson highly modified Remington 600 .308 weighs 7 pounds currently with a Swaroski scope (not pictured) and is pleasant to shoot with the effectie brake and delivers sub miniute of angle from a custom barrel (I forget whose) and is as light as I want to go. My Brown Precision Remington 700 .375 H&H weighs just under 8.5 pounds and is ok to hunt with . I still shoot my little .35 Remington 600 stocker with a 1-4 Leupold that weighs 6.5 pounds . Good luck, the Kimber 84M and the Ruger American Compact are GTG I believe. I am shooting more .243 these days :)
    P1020804_zps683b9b03.jpg
     
  2. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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  3. Seamaster31

    Seamaster31 Member

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    My Kimber Montana is a beautiful rifle in my eyes - but apparently nothing on this earth can make it shoot very well. Some guys win the Kimber lottery and other guys lose. I can not really recommend Kimber, but you might get lucky.
     
  4. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Luke

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    Kimber Mountain Ascent in 280ai. I will own one, one day. Should be right at 6lbs scoped, with a lightweight Leupold.
     
  5. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    I fondled one of these at Cabela's a couple weeks ago. Nice rig.
     
  6. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    My brother had a kimber montana, and a mountain ascent. Couldnt get either to shoot very well, not absolutely terrible, but not what you’d expect from the price tag.
     
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  7. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I've seen where many shooters can't shoot light rifles to well. But sometimes with a light contour barrel you have to chase the barrel node.
     
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  8. Legionnaire
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    Legionnaire Member

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    True that. I'm having to rework my technique to shoot my 700 Ti in .260 Ackley accurately. Not as easy as a heavier gun.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I had a Remington 700 Mountain rifle. It was in 30-06 and kicked too much for me. They also made the Model 7.
     
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  10. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    You cannot hold a light weight rifle as loosely as you do a heavier rifle. This really shows up from the bench rest position. Suck it in a little tighter to your shoulder and it will shrink the groups down. Light rifles do not do well if you want to set them on shooting sticks or resting on a branch, etc. I have a Montana in 300 WSM, a Montana in 308, and my Mt. ascent in 308. Once I realized I was not holding the rifles firmly enough, I found
    they all group 3 rounds under an inch with Barnes bullets which are not always the most accurate. Grip the forearm like you are shooting offhand.
    It is interesting that both Montana models were purchased used because the original owners thought there was something wrong with each rifle. Lol.
     
  11. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    I like that!
     
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  12. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    Don't discount the 6.5 Creed. Moose hunting is very popular in Scandinavian countries like Norway, where the 6.5 Swede is still very popular. The heavier bullets in that caliber tend to have high sectional densities, which gives them decent penetration, and moose don't have the reputation for tenacity that elk have.
     
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  13. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    This, exactly. I had to work on my technique with the Montana... after I did it suddenly began shooting much better. Lightweight rifles are unforgiving of any slop in your technique, the lighter, the less forgiving.
     
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  14. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    hq, the OP, hails from Finland.
     
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  15. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    Why yes he is! I hadn't noticed that.
     
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  16. hq

    hq Member

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    People do use 6.5x55 and, more recently, 6.5 Creedmoor for moose around here. Not as common as .30-cals but they'll do the job, allright. I'd prefer a little more oomph just to improve the odds, after a 10-mile hike another mile or two tracking a wounded moose on foot may get heavier than would be necessary. Adding yet another caliber to reload isn't a big deal but the load development has been mostly done on existing ones and could be utilized for another .308 rifle in a short order.

    Sounds like that the "easy" solution would be T3x Superlite, maybe even with an aftermarket carbon/kevlar stock. Available from any gun store unlike Kimber, custom or discontinued and vintage rifles. Six pounds or so should include optics in this case, though.

    I have quite a few regular and heavyweight rifles so it's about time to get one that's as light as reasonably possible. This occurred to me last week when I switched back and forth between rifle and shotgun, one in my hands and another on a sling, and the Centro Supersport felt featherlight compared to the 9lb, scoped 7600 no matter which way I carried them.
     
  17. Seamaster31

    Seamaster31 Member

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    Shooting light rifles does take a steady hand but not all light rifles are the same. I had a very light Forbes rifle that shot quite well. My Kimber Montana is a completely different story. My Montana is a pretty girl with no talent.
     
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  18. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Melvin Forbes pretty well wrote the book on making lightweight rifles when he founded his Ultra Light Co. back some thirty odd years ago. Then he recovered from a bum deal with Colt, then another rip-off from another outfit, then started over with NULA (New Ultra Light Arms). One feature that puts his rifles far above the other lightweights is their remarkable accuracy. The secret is the way he hand makes his stocks. I once spent a day in his shop, watching him put a stock together and saw why his prices are justified. My UL is a .280 ordered back at the beginning and it has seen lots of hunting since, and even with the bulky Swarovsky scope still comes in under 6 lbs.. NULA2.JPG NULA5.JPG .
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  19. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I am a fan of Tikka and use a T3 in 7-08 and really like it. I agree that .308 is a great caliber. The 7-08 has a little less recoil and is enough for the deer I shoot. 7600's are pretty heavy. I also have a 7400 which is semi-auto rather than a pump but other wise like the 7600. I vote for the Tikka.
     
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  20. hq

    hq Member

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    If I could justify blowing a boatload of money on a Model 20 with a few custom tweaks (hydrodipping the kevlar-graphite stock with a high grade walnut pattern, for the heck of it), I'd probably do it. In that case I'll have to budget the purchase price + US export paperwork + shipping + 7-11% in customs + 24% in VAT, so it'll be a $6k rifle when everything is said and done. And that's just the rifle without optics, biathlon sling and other necessities. :confused:

    Tikka and Sako are - unsurprisingly - over the counter alternatives. I live some 40 miles from the factory. Production rifles like Kimber Mountain Ascent are usually special order but at importer's wholesale discounts far more reasonable than one-off customs. Still... at a projected $1000 I either have to settle for 6lbs+, get lucky or keep a keen eye on second hand market. This thread is also about which rifles to look for in case an exceptional deal happens to come by.
     
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  21. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    hrrmm...what about starting with a relatively cheap rifle and going for weight reduction via cutting stuff off? that USUALLY ends up being a more expensive option, but its possible it might work out this time.
    Again dont know what something like a ruger american would cost, but the standard model 06 i just had came in at 6.5lbs. Bob the barrel to 18", do heavy fluting on that fat bolt, and Id bet youd be down around 5.75lbs or so.
     
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  22. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    I like your idea,
     
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  23. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Aren't the beading blocks for the ruger steel it was on my ruger rimfire i drilled them out and took off like 3 oz
     
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  24. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Or starting with a Tikka and removing weight form the tube? those actions are pretty light to begin with. The stocks are a little heavier than average tho.
     
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  25. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    yeah, they arnt super large but you could probably save some weight by ventilating them some what....tho on the newer ones they may not even been that heavy.
    The B&C with its aluminum block ended up almost exactly the same as my factory 7mag stock, which is supposed to be slightly heavier than standard.
     
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