Let’s build a Mountain Rifle

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

  1. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Ok gents here is the deal I am in a debate with my mentor on what would suit him best for a “Mountain Rifle” So for the parameters of this exercise 2 rules he wants something Uber light and I am trying to talk him into something around 8/9lbs

    1.) Bolt action

    2.) 6.5 PRC (no other options in this hypothetical)


    So if you were building a Mountain Rifle what would you build and why as far as budget let’s say $5,000 tops for gun and glass as always have fun! :)
     
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  2. Gun4Fun90

    Gun4Fun90 Member

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    I mean something like a styer scout rifle seems like what you are describing.
     
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  3. stillquietvoice
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    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

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    A blue printed m7, 700 or clone action, pencil weight after narket barrel is keiger 22in or less, carbon fiber light weight stock and Leopold 2 - 7 compact scope.
     
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  4. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    As mentioned in the other thread,

    I'd grab a Tikka T3x Lite. 6.5PRC would be a good flat shooting cartridge.

    I'd spend the rest on optics and ammo. Maybe a trigger and stock if you can't jive with the factory ones.

    4k puts a real nice piece of glass on a very capable rifle.
     
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  5. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Mauser 98 33/40 or a vz-33 from the mountain carbine.
    Custom 22-24" carbon wrapped barrels.
    custom carbon stock, aluminum bottom metal.
    Tuned trigger, 3 position safety.
    Qd rings and barrel sights, 2-8 leupold scope
    Metal dlc finished.
     
  6. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Start with a Pierce Titanium Action
    Get a pencil or carbon barrel
    Titanium bottom metal
    Carbon stock
    Whatever trigger as they all weigh the same
    Smaller objective scope. Maybe Leupold 2.5-8x36
     
  7. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    I'd get the rifle built by Alamo Precision Rifles. Probably their Maverick line for under 3k or the Maverick Lite for 3400.

    That leaves you somewhere around 1500-2200ish for a scope. Leupold VX6, Swarovski, etc...
     
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  8. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    This isn't even a contest. Just contact Melvin Forbes at New Ultralight Arms and be done with it. He has been building mountain rifles since 1985 and knows what he is up to. newultralightarms.com.

    First, anybody that advocates a 9 lb rifle rifle as a mountain rifle must be young and really in shape, or hasn't climbed much. You want as light as you can get. You carry a rifle a whole bunch. You shoot a rifle on a hunt maybe once or twice. Melvin Forbes' Model 20 Mountain Rifle has an action in the 20 to 24 OUNCES range. His Kevlar Graphite stocks weigh 20 OUNCES. His completed M20 rifles weigh on the order of 4.75 to 5 lbs without optics. Barrel it long enough to actually benefit the cartridge. That means probably 22 inches. That rifle will set you back around $3500. Now scope it with the lightest scope that will do the job, which is making a shot that is close enough to actually recover the animal (sheep or goat I presume). Mountains, remember? Recovery may very well be the hardest part of the whole trip.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
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  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    • Seekins Havak Element action (aluminum)

    • Bartlein 400Modbb carbon fiber barrel

    • TriggerTech Diamond Flat Shoe

    • McMillan Game Warden Adjustable comb

    • Seekins Havak bottom metal

    • Seekins Carbon fiber 6.5 PRC magazines

    • Seekins scope rings

    • TBAC Ultra 7 suppressor

    • Kahles k525i SKMR4

    If I can’t get it done with that, I can’t do it.
     
  10. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    As a middle aged flatlander who lives 6000-8000 feet below where we commonly hunt out of state, I don’t sweat carrying an 11lb rifle up mountain. I’ve used 6-7lb rifles, and hate everything about the experience.
     
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  11. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I find even light kicking 6.5-7lb rifles hard to shoot consistently, tho Ive had little issue using the ones ive had at the ranges I shoot.
    Im in fairly poor shape these days, and I find carrying myself is more burden than any rifle I might tote along.....tho Ill admit 12+lbs isnt something Im gonna carry in my hands for the most part.

    THAT said My list would look like VTs.
    Except I dont really care for the Game Warden stock shape, and would prefer a more "conventional" sporter.....tho Im not sure WHICH one id go with atm.
    Id also lose the suppressor simply because I cant own one. I WOULD take a couple extra " of barrel length just to drop exit pressure a tad, and get it a little farther from my face.....little more velocity never hurt either.....

    Scope wise Id probably go with something lighter.....Id have to look at options again.

    As is, my first "mountain" rifle ended up being a Christensen Ridgeline in 280 AI, currently wearing a Meopta meopro HTR in talley rings. Comes out at just under 9lbs.
    My second is a Christensen Mesa in 7-08 wearing a leupold vx-3hd 2.5-8x36, that one weights 7.25lbs

    Both together cost me less than what i put together when I was shoping for parts to build a 280AI....I think the Havak Element is noticeably more expensive than the Defiance action i spec'd a couple years ago.
     
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  12. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    I suspect my version of mountain differs from yours a bit. I am interested in why you hate 6-7 lb rifles though? Chambered too stoutly perhaps?
     
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  13. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    i think it's a difference between hunters and shooters.
     
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  14. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Member

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    How about a Springfield Waypoint 2020 in 6.5 PRC and the rest on glass, ammo, and maybe a good bottle of whiskey?
     
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  15. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    Well, that's fairly cryptic.
     
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  16. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    In fairness, when I say “6-7lb rifle” meaning a bare rifle, but the “11lb rifle” I take up mountain each year is a rifle and scope, 11lbs as hunted.

    Regardless of chambering, instability on target is instability. Movement in recoil is movement in recoil. Recoil tolerance isn’t part of my equation.

    I don’t pack only the most minimal weight possible, so I don’t prioritize minimizing my rifle weight. I can cut 2lbs out of my load by using a lighter frame “hunting” model pack (nearly identical pack), but I like the “tactical”frame better than the Hunting version. I can cut about 4lbs out of my daypack by reducing my water carry, and can cut a pound out by eliminating my emergency water purification pump and overnight camp. I can cut a pound and a half of weight out by eliminating my koolaid powder mix I like to have with supper each evening, and another pound by eliminating Oreos and Snickers which I take for after supper comfort food planned for 3 out of 10-12 nights. I can cut a pound out of my pack by using a lighter tripod, rather than the carbon fiber pod I use which can support my rifle and is more steady than my lighter tripods. I can cut a pound and a half by carrying my G20 10mm instead of my Ruger Toklat 454C. I carry about 50% more daily food than I need. The only weight savings omission I have made in many years is to stop taking a spotting scope, in favor spotting with binos. I can cut a pound out by leaving my Satellite communicator at home - a relatively new device I lived without for many years, but appreciate having available now. I could reduce my body mass by about 8lbs as well, which typically offers a doubling effect to make my pack feel lighter and more manageable as well... I’d cut any one of those extra weight choices long before I made effort to cut ~3-4lbs off of my rifle. I know I could scrub a pound and a half off of my rifle as it is today, but after changing the stock 4 years ago, I simply have not been motivated to do so...

    ...because the rifle weight is worth it to me when the time comes.
     
  17. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    Hi, Loon, how's things? My Tikka T3 Hunter walnut stocked 260 weighs in at 7.8 lbs with scope and under 7 without. It's pretty darned consistent. That being said, I would like a couple of pounds less if it only has to make one or two good shots. New Mexico mountains require that you carry other things. Priority one is water, which is pretty heavy.
     
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  18. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    I suspect most of us could do with a bit of body mass reduction. Where I am, water is a priority. Anyway, I am much older than you and I have found that as the years go by, my desire and capability to carry heavy objects uphill has decreased dramatically. Care to share what your 11 lb rifle is?
     
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  19. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I had a 700 mountain rifle in 30-06. It kicked too much so now I shoot a Tikka T# in 7-08. I'd go Tikka but I have had great results with Remington 700 type actions. Either one is good. Lot's of great options out there in custom rifles. Narrow it down the features you want and pick whatever rifle you lust after from a quality builder.
     
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  20. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Exactly what I was going to say. Unless a person enjoys sourcing and assembling his own rifle, I think this is the way to go.
     
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  21. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    And then you made an 800 yard shot at a running animal and everyone applauded?
     
  22. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    I think Loonwolf"s Christensen is a very good set-up. I prefer lighter rifles even before I broke both shoulders and hurt my back. I had shoulder surgery in May and 2 weeks ago had cataract surgery in my right eye so I am good to go for deer season I think. By next year I will have my other shoulder done and other eye so I should be able to carry a cannon and shot for miles, or maybe not. LOL.
    BTW I am 73 and recovering from a bad motorcycle accident last year. I sold both Harley's so I hope not to break anymore critical body parts.
     
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  23. BreechFace

    BreechFace Member

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    Winchester Model 70 Extreme
    Proof Research Carbon Fiber Barrel (custom throat for desired hunting projectile)
    Carbon Fiber Stock (pillared and bedded)
    Nice brake (or Ti Suppressor)
    Reworked factory trigger (or aftermarket)
    Top it off with some nice lightweight Leupold VX6 glass
    Good quality sling

    Should get you an exceptional lifetime mountain rifle, depending on how much off season shooting the barrel sees.
     
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  24. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    It would take us a long long time to build up as much experience as Melvin Forbes has. $3500 is a bargain all considered.
     
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  25. HowieG

    HowieG Member

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    Here is my interpretation of mountain. 45 minutes from the house. 9200 feet of rock slides, rattlesnakes, cliffs and knife edges. I climbed it back when I was 40. No trails. It was all I could do to haul myself and water. Perfect for a 5 lb mountain rifle if you have to take a rifle. Bighorn sheep reside here from a previous release. The technical name is Sierra Ladrones in Socorro County, NM on BLM land.

    Ladron Peak both summits via the west ridge - YouTube
     
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