Define “Mountain Rifle”

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by horsemen61, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. Steve S.

    Steve S. Member

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    I hunt and take deer with a Kimber M84 Custom Classic in .308. Off the bench, it is a thumper but in the heat of battle, I don’t even notice the gun going off. I have never weighed the rifle/ scope, but it is very light (I would guess 6 - 6.5 pounds) - it is a pleasure to carry in MO (I do not hunt in any area that would be called mountains). Mountain rifle and light weight has always been my understanding of the definition. But I guess that literally, any rifle on a mountain or any lighter rifle hunting on any terrain could be defined as a mountain rifle - it has an ever broadening overview. Shot placement will always be the key with any firearm configuration - carry any weight you wish but shoot what you carry well.
     
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  2. Lnf Crzr

    Lnf Crzr Member

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    I don’t have that ability- I do have the target from when it was built. The company really stands behind the accuracy guarantee. It is a exceptionally accurate rifle.
     
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  3. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Mountain Rifle:
    A rifle so light in weight I don’t care to shoot or own one except maybe a .243.
     
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  4. mcb

    mcb Member

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    A very light rifle (ideally sub 7lbs with optics) chambered in a cartridge acceptable for large game (elk, deer, etc) and with sufficient range (300+ yard) to hunt in high-altitude mountainous-terrain. There is a big difference between ascending a 1000 foot climb at 2000 ft above sea level compared to starting at 10,000 ft above sea level.
     
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  5. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    A mountain rifle is a proven rifle and optic that will shoot a cold bore shot into 1.5 MOA or less consistently at 500 yards with adequate performance to take down Elk/Moose size game at those distances and down and it's weight is light enough to keep one from becoming too soft and using quads to hunt from, as a true mountain gun needs a mountain man to handle it, in which if a means of transportation is necessary a horse is the only choice to maintain the correct vernacular.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
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  6. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I was with you till the horse parts. A real mountain man takes a mule. A horse in the mountains is like a sport car on a dirt road. :neener:
     
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  7. Lnf Crzr

    Lnf Crzr Member

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    Here ya go-
     

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  8. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    4fe73ee32c02cd4d014d1b9565066a62ba45bc2e.jpg
     
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  9. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Yep
    Recoilless.... the ultimate "Mountain Rifle"!

    106mm Recoilless Rifle with the Ritter Range in the backround.
    Nw&riu=http%3a%2f%2fupload.wikimedia.org%2fwikipedia%2fcommons%2f4%2f49%2f106mm_Recoilless_Rifle.jpg
    For backpack hunting Mule deer in the mountains pictured above I used a Remington 700 Mountain Rifle™ in 7mm X 57mm Mauser wearing a 4X Luey M8
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  10. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    “Mountain hunting” for me has always involved out of state travel, which in itself means increased expense, lesser familiarity with terrain, and shorter duration for opportunity than hunting in state. It also means I’ll be a few thousand feet, or SEVERAL thousand feet above my home elevation. I have hunted deer in over 20 states in my life, so in recent years, about the last 7 years, out of state hunting also implies my primary target is a NON-deer species. My preferred method of mountain hunting is on foot, again, reducing cost and complexity (my horses also only live at 1300ft), and I prefer to travel deep backcountry where I can get away from other trappings, and other hunters.

    For me, that boils down to defining “mountain rifle” as a relatively lighter rifle than I might otherwise use at home, but also chambered in a more powerful cartridge than I might use at home, capable of allowing me to place a 600-750yrd shot with increased confidence in blood letting and fast anchoring.

    Far from what I consider to be ideal, my current mountain rifle for about 6yrs has been a Ruger M77 Hawkeye All-Weather in 300 Win Mag, which I restocked into a stiffer Boyd’s laminate stock. All in, as hunted, it’s over 11lbs.

    If I had my druthers and spent the money for an ideal rifle, as mentioned in the other mountain rifle thread, I’d build a Seekins Havak Element (aluminum receiver) with a carbon fiber wrapped Bartlein barrel, using the extra length Seekins short action carbon fiber magazine system in a mid weight McMillan Game Warden stock, chambered in 6.5 PRC. I’d be content with this, replacing the 7mm Rem Mags I’ve also used up-mountain many trips, capable of deer, elk, or bear out to 750yrds.
     
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  11. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    As we've seen from preceding comments, (some serious and some not so serious) about anything can be described as a "mountain rifle" but ask a hunter who seriously hunts on mountains where sheep live and you'll get a definitive description. Beginning with Rule #1 that any rifle that weighs more than 7lbs, scope and all, is NOT a mountain rifle.(Occasionally 7-1/2 will pass.) A workable mountain will be scoped with enough magnification to aim precisely at a distance target, and deliver enough downrange punch for killing hits. Plus sufficient and reliable accuracy to put it all together under any condition. These rifles, both .280 Rems, have been to the mountain many times over and fill the bill. The lower rifle is a Ultra Light Arms M-24, weight totals 6 lbs, even with the pudgy 3-10X Swarovski scope. Top rifle was built with calculated plans to save weight, beginning with small ring BRNO Mauser action. With super-light YAMA wood stock, light alloy scope mounts and bottom metal and 6X Leupold, weight comes to 6 lb 10 ozs. 21A_4241 (2).JPG 21A_4244 (2).JPG 21A_4250 (2).JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  12. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    Depends on the horse, we've had some great mountain horses at our disposal growing up. But they spent their youth transporting their owners up canyon and mountain trails, at never more than a trot.
     
  13. md7

    md7 Member

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    My one and only hunting rifle for almost 30 years is a Remington 700 Mt Rifle with detachable box mag in .270 Win

    Compared to some rifles, it’s got a medium to light barrel profile, slightly shorter barrel (I think), and a slim stock. I suppose those features make it a “Mt Rifle”. I’m not sure, but I’m happy with it and I’d be happy with a non Mt Rifle too if that’s what I had.

    Ive killed a bunch of deer with it, which is my primary concern so I’m not in the market for another.
     
  14. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    My question is how do you ever skin a mountain after you've shot one?
     
  15. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    I took the term to mean a lightweight yet fairly long barrel, usually long action ,flat shooting & scoped. Think the classic Jack Oconner rig.
     
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  16. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    The Recoilless Rifles above skins the snow right off of them. First layer of rock too, depending on how thick the snow is, and whether you used WP or HE loads.
     
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  17. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I’m going super traditional for this one. Mountain Howitzers were lightweight artillery pieces purpose built to be able to get them into places large artillery pieces could not go… up steep mountains and through thick woods. The mountain howitzers were made in such manner as to manually disassemble them and pack them onto a mule to be carried up a trail.

    Similarly, a mountain rifle would be a rifle built for similar terrain. For purposes of hiking and potentially even climbing it would need to be light. For use in the woods it would need to be compact. For mountain critters like deer, elk, sheep, bear etc it would need to be somewhat powerful so I would say something based on a .308 case or larger would be adequate if not optimal. Take all that into consideration and then plan on the rifle being dragged up the mountain beating and banging off of things along the way, so you go durable. Stainless steel and plastic… preferably with a matte finish. Forget the scope altogether because for the way a true mountain rifle would be used, a scope isn’t going to hold zero. Very robust and fast iron sights would be an absolute must.
     
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  18. Casefull

    Casefull Member

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    I replaced a custom Remington 700, 300 WM with this rifle five years ago. It weighs a little over 6 pounds with the scope, sling, and four rounds of 308 in the magazine. I love the light weight. Very quick to shoulder when a bull surprises.


    D2376CFA-7732-42CD-A3CD-F7D88D9B6ACD.jpeg 55C6A688-D82B-4CE9-B9B9-18F2194F045D.jpeg
     
  19. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Yeah, it seems like it would be quite different than skinning a scout.;)
     
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  20. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan Member

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    Scouts are pretty rare any more aren't they?
     
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  21. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Medium weight and hits what im aiming at so I suppose I'll stick with the Tikka T3 since I already own it.
     
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  22. cdb1

    cdb1 Member

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    Though there are a few horses that are excellent in the mountains, as a rule a mule or a hinny will be better. And of course there are very few hinny’s in the U.S. Producing a hinny in the states is usually a mistake. Hinny’s are as popular or more popular than mules in some countries for mountain riding and packing.
     
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  23. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    I don't have a mountain rifle per se, but I do have a mountain hunting rifle that I have been hunting with for quite some time. Most of my mountain hunting takes place at 8000 feet or above. I will admit that coming from sea level, I suck wind for a day or two getting acclimated. I like my rifle to be in the 7.5-9 pound range. I have found that lighter rifles carry very well but are difficult for me to hold steady, especially on the first day or two of the hunt. I would rather hit the weights a few more times than worry about shaving ounces off of a rifle.

    My current and most used mountain hunting rifle is a SS Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 that I bought around 1994. I ditched the factory stock years ago and put on an HS Precision. It has a Leupold VXIII 3.5x10 that is a good balance and allows me to shoot up close when needed or stretch the legs out to about 300 yards. I will admit that I am not good enough to shoot at a deer sized animal from field positions past 300 yards or so. I also find the most enjoyment from stalking game, so longer shots take some of the fun out of the game. It shoots under an inch and slay all things that I might come across. I have thought about replacing it many times, but in reality I will use it until I can't hunt anymore. We get along good together and it has proven to be a reliable friend over the year.

    I do appreciate all of the advancement is rifles, scopes, and stocks over the years. I see the value in these advancements but I just can't see how they would greatly benefit me over my present rifle.
     
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  24. kje54

    kje54 Member

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    To me it's any rifle that the fur trappers and mountain men carried in the early 1800s and that was anything from a flintlock Northwest Trade Gun to a percussion halfstock (towards the end of the fur trapping era). The most extensively used "mountain" rifles were the Pennsylvania (Lancaster style).
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
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  25. stillquietvoice
    • Contributing Member

    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

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    That was one of my first thoughts as well. 10 yes as a CW reenactor I've seen a few up close and personal, the concussion I'd one shot almost knocked me over from a kneeling position.
     
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