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April 09, 2008

Weight a Minute

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

A National Guard friend of mine, currently on active duty, tells me that the weight of the much-modified M-16 she is carrying (with red dot sight) is 9 pounds. This caused my semi-annual smile, because one of the selling points of the Armalite rifle from which the M-16 evolved was that it weighed only 7 pounds, and was much easier to lug though the rice paddies than the M-14 which was 9 pounds, or the M-1 which weighed 9.6 pounds (SIR!). So we are back to square one.

Actually, there is something to be said for heavy rifles. Some years ago in Texas, Craig Boddington loaned me an 8mm Remington magnum that had been built for him by John Rigby (in California, not London) and weighed 12 pounds. Because of its weight, the rifle had almost no recoil, and as fate had it, the shot I got was one where I had to jam my eye right against the scope. I resigned myself to a great scope cut, but nothing happened. The rifle hardly moved when I pulled the trigger.

The Thompson submachine gun weighed 12 pounds and was extremely effective because it recoiled very little. Ditto the Browning Automatic Rifle at just under 20 pounds. Civilian guns, too, profit by some weight. A skillful shot can hit with a 6-pound rifle (in a reasonable caliber) but an unskilled shot will have fits--the gun will be just too twitchy.

The real problem with a heavy gun comes in rough country, particularly mountain country. You not only have to carry the thing uphill, but because the footing is uneven, you'll be fighting the rifle every step of the way as it does its best to pull you off balance.

Comments (64)

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from Smal wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

I Love my 9.5 pound Garand,I do not love hauling it around with a bunch of 30.06 ammo,But its worth it to shoot such a Fine fireing weapon,the only thing i can find fault with that really Bothers me is When you fire Round number 8,and you get that all to Fimiliar ching,And anyone with in Hearing Distance knows you have an empty weapon.,I like my thompson also other than its all steel ,and along with several clips of .45 cal ammo ,And as fast as the thompson can shoot ,you better get some help carrying Ammo.I love my M-1 Carbine,its light and so is the ammo,The Round is kind of weak in stopping power but with 15 or 30 rounds its effective,My AR-15 shorty is also nice as the ammo is light its accurate ,But as for Firepower And weapon weight and effectiveness,I really dont think you can beat the AK-47,great stopping power in the round and the rounds dont weigh that much ,there interchangeable with the SkS,and both are very reliable when dropped or dirty ,and very simple to strip and clean and maintain,As much as i hate to side with something un American ,Plus there Reliable cheap to manufacture throw away guns,and parts are very interchangeable with the same weapon type.So cheap there everywhere in the world .

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 6 days ago

Ishawooa: Do you live in the Cody area? 2 @ ys ago,I stayed in Cody 2 days and nights. Went into Yellowstone on the East side, neve been that way before. Also went to the Cody Museum an ate at a fine resturat near the Museum,+ great meal and stayed at a small Motel up on a hill.Did ate a greatsteak at a old Motel (I think was old Motel) downtown Also, had been looking for several years for a pair of low heel Western brown boots(Ropers by Justin). Found them on main street. A small store, sold Boots and hats, etc. Had just finished a great Lope hunt in Douglas, Wy and then drove to Misssoula, MT and looked around for a week, then hunted for 2 weeks in the Bitterotts.Great place to be. Hopefully will Draw again, but no word yet. Missed out on Draw in C0. but kinda glad as they got a 50%+ kill off per DOW. If gonna spend thousands for a hunt, sure want game out there , even if don;t get a shot. I still enjoy seing the Elk.,Deer and just being up high,can see forever. Suppose any wolves up there? If so, may be one less.Wish I could have gone out to the Spring Bear hunt, but one trip per year is all can afford. Sure wish had bought a Cabin and some land about 25-30 ys ago. Would be in hog heaven now, with cattle, horses and much game.BAck in 1990 could have bought 25 acrs, a new l8 x 20 cabin, with loft(2bunk beds) and front porch, chimney for heat of stove, Compose toilet, enclosed back porch 10 x 10 from porch to the JOHN, with a gas heater. A Chain saw, axe, Generator, a 30-06, a small Canoe,(no kiding) with creek frontage 200 feet about 100 yds from state road, but road permission to cabin( legal in writing) all for 49.995. Fool like I let it slide, was new. I;ve kicked my A-- many times, as would be worth over $l50K + today. But look at the enjoyment of Hunting and fishing I and the family could have had.With what I;ve paid in lst 20 ys for plane fare, Motels, meals out, could have paid for it and never missed a dime.Plus property joined BLM, so lots of hunting areas and not have to drive a mile.A 4 wheeler would have been fine for me.As disabled and can't walk far, with 2 hips replaced.Hey, any connections for Mulies and Lopes in your area. Would love a nice Mulie 5 x 5 and a l6"+ lope, got a l5" Lope and A Elk if available. Ok take care. Hey, Love my new MArlin XL7 in 270 my first 270, always used a 06 lomg shots or a 30-30 for woods hunting.Shot-um-straight and often. Hey, hows the snow your way?

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from Bill wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Th AKM weighs 6.5 pounds unloaded and around 8 loaded up. I thought all that plastic and aluminum was supposed to make the stoner rifle light? Looks like Kalashnikov wins again.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

My sling Shot aticle is on the Scopes article. Got too many going now, forgot which one mentoned the Sling Shot on.I do believe there are 3-4 abutscopes now, and i don;t know which one I put it on.

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from O Garcia wrote 6 years 1 week ago

the thing with lightweight weapons (speaking only of military weapons here) is by the time you've added all those foregrips and weaponlights so desired today, including the various grenade launchers, they weigh about twice their original specification. when the Warsaw Pact armies began adding GL's to their folding stock AK's, the first reaction was that the wonderful balance of the weapon was lost (weight was never an issue with the AK, since the original pre-AKM weighed more than 10 pounds).and this is what really bothers me. do we need to equip all troopers with all those attachments like they're all special forces or SWATs?another virtue of a heavy weapon is that when you run out of ammo, it is at least a serviceable club or battering ram.speaking of old weapons, I saw some recent footage of the British in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, and at least one of them was armed with the 7.62 converted Bren Gun. The one with a magazine on top, like in WW2 newsreels. Guess there's still life left in oldies like the M-14 and the Bren, especially when you really need to deliver a hard punch to a distant target.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 1 week ago

My experience with a sling shot, true experience, I will tell you in a night or two. Time for me to ready for bed.Old man of 73 got to get him sleep. I think all hunters will enjoy my story of a Sling Shot, it does work, I know.I bet you will make/buy a sling shot after I tell you about what they good for in big, I mean big game hunting. No they don;t kill a Elk,Deer, etc. but you may.The Old Southern Gun Slinger

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Slings: i am righ handed and cary my rifle over my left shoulder ( witha large button sowed abut l/2 o my shoulder pad) I use a leather sling with soft sueade backing, it don;t slip at all. Plus I put a piece of elec tape over the muzzle. When time comes to shoot, I take my right hand grab the gun and let the sling catch over my left elbow,( and my left hand grabs the forend for addtional suport and makes the gun more solid for a off hand shot. I would never carry my gun with the gun hanging over my back, impossible to get in a shoting postion in a hurry,plus your hat or cap is in the way. The Elec. tap says on my gun till fired and if fired its replaced. Does not hamper your 0 at all.Now if slow walking and stopping along the way in thick timber with my 30-30, no sling, gun is at port arms at all times, as no time to fool with a sling.

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 1 week ago

The cool factor (M1 Garand, SKS, M14, Dragonov etc. far far far out weighs the weight factor. As long as it's fun to shoot who cares about how much it weighs.

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from Peter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave P., I know this is a little off the subject, but I was wondering if you have shot the new M70 yet? Or anybody else here?

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from Peter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

"Now IM speaking" was supposed to be "now im not speaking" my bad. One day ill learn how to write. lol.

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from Peter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Thank for the comment KJ. Now Im speaking from personal experience, but just what ive read from other bloggers and in gun magazines But/ supposedly the accuracy on M70's made in New Haven could be sketchy at times. But supposedly the new ones that are just coming out this year are supposed to be absolutely tack drivers because of the new way they are doing their barrels and action improvements. (I believe they are being made in SC by Heckler and Koch(i probably spelled that wrong) Comments anybody? on an other note . I love leather slings. I have one. Ive kept it oiled and after a few years of hunting with it, it has that nice "used","I could tell you some stories, but "will never let you down" look to it". Unfortunately its going with one of my guns Im selling.

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from KJ wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Peter - I've been using a Winchester Featherweight .30-06 for several years now. On the plus side, it handles great and is truly a beautiful rifle (I found one on the rack with very nice wood). However, I've had a number of rifles that are much more accurate. The best I've done from the bench is about 1.5" - nothing to complain about, but not a tack driver, either. It works well for me, though.Sarg - I've owned a Super Sling. I couldn't keep the thing on my shoulder. It was slicker than snot on a glass doorknob. I liked the design, and you're right - it adjusted quickly and easily. It was just too slick for my liking. Thanks, though.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I think the big shift to a heavy weapon in military terms is no big surprize. It's just history repeating itself. I liked shooting the M-16, and the peep sights seemed ok for target practice, but I always like using a scope, or dot system, of some kind for more accurate shooting,and let's face it, weight always helps in the accuracy department.

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from Terrance Mahoney wrote 6 years 1 week ago

found a simple solution to the heavy rifle problem. Went on a diet and lost 50 pounds,the old weatherby feels like a feather now. Also empty all the un-needed B.S. out of the fanny pack and you lose another 10-12 pounds.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Never weighed it, but my Browning A-Bolt topped with a Leupold 3x9x40 Vari-X II, loaded with Hornady 225 grain at 3000fps ( 72 grains of IMR4350 and caped with a Federal 215) with a leather GI 1 ¼ sling sure makes a dandy reach out and knockem down John rifle! Still too much bullet for Caribou at 700 yards! 7mm with a 150 grain would be ideal.

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 1 week ago

ishawooa,case you are still listening, yow, yow! Icelandic for yes.dickgun

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Flip: I have had the chance to examine Hamilton Bowen's revolvers at a few guns shows. They are indeed works of art and some are rather unique, fantastic workmanship and attention to detail such as fit and finish. John Linebaugh takes a slightly more practical approach to creating the revolver in that he remodels mostly Rugers into larger calibers of his own design. Try www.customhandguns.com to see his site. His weapons are not cheap but he is always behind on production even with some assistance from his family members and a few hired hands. His big bores have downed lots of big animals on all continents. I hate to admit it but they are actually more than I prefer to handle so I stick with .44 mags and hot .45 Colts. Thankfully he did rework the old 3 screw way back before anyone knew of him and the internet did not exist as we know it.Sarg: Used to be a huge guy from Vicksburg, MS who lived in Cody. We often joked with him about he would be the perfect bear hunting partner for the reason you submitted. One day he got a little riled as we all were sitting at the morning coffee table and we realized that he was probably more dangerous than a mad sow with two cubs and sore teats. No more joking with him.Rocky Mtn Hunter: Except for the plains all I hunt is the mountains of Wyoming and Montana and I agree with you.By the way I thought over ordering a NULA .300 and decided it was too much like a couple other rifles I have but only less weight. They are indeed excellent rifles if you require a light powerful weapon.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I'vebeen peaching rifles in teh 10 lb range for months, hopefuly afewhave listened. Yes climbing a Mtn out west is hard work, but not l/2 as hard as it will be coming down with that missed shot from a light wt gun that you could not hold steady. A wt of near l0 lbs will steady itself at the top. If 2-3 lbs is the difference in your hunting or not, then you need to loose a few lbs or get in god shape. 2-3 extra lbs will pay of when that 2-300 yd shot comes arond. Compare a gun to the horse that will carry you up part way, will a 500 lb horse or a l000 lb horse carry you better and easier?????Light is not always better by far. I will continue at 73 to hunt with a l0 lb rifle even if I must sit all day. When shot time comes I will know that I can make it with that heavier gun. I supose next the Arm Chair hunters will demand a sling-shot as a hunting rifle. O' no time tonigh, but will tell you a story about sling shots in a few nights.It's good to know we got a few people who think heavier is better.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 1 week ago

The best thing about muzzle breaks is that anyone within twenty feet in front or behind you will be able to experience firsthand the fireball in your face instantaneous ear ringing what the hell just happened sensation that used to be reserved for accidental discharges... luckily the one who pulls the trigger only gets the temporary loss of hearing symptom so he is immune to his hunting buddies death threats.Weight, balance, stock design, recoil and proper fit are all the variables in this "why can I hit with this gun" equation and when I come up with the formula I will let you know.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ishwooa, I heard something almost like the bear trick. when two hunters were confronted with a bib boar , one said to the other,"Think you can outrun him". the other hunter said "don't need to, just outrun you.."

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from sarg wrote 6 years 1 week ago

KJ, I like the Super Sling in 1-1/4" . It is so easy to adjust simply by pulling on one end and will stay where you leave it.. It can be adjusted for comfort or shooting as terrain changes. Try one, I have several on different rifles. you could probable add a pad from an older sling if need be. I gave all my other slings away. Gave a guy a new Military style the other day, too hard to adj..

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from Flip wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ish:Hamilton Bowen is another smith who does outstanding work on revolvers, and you can spend hours on his website -bowenclassicarms.com. His work will bring tears to your eyes (as will his prices, but boy, does he turn out some fantastic stuff). I haven't been able to find Linebaugh's website - can you help? And thanks in advance.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I have an old 3 screw Super Blackhawk that I bought back in the late sixties. After years of packing the 7 1/2 inch barrel around I decided I needed less weight. I asked John Linebaugh to do an action job on it and trim the barrel down to 4 5/8" plus reinstall the original front sight. Boy did he complain about lopping off the barrel on the old Ruger. My reply was "John this is my revolver and always will be and I want the barrel shorter". Reluctantly he did the job and I have never regreted it. It is so silky smooth that the uninitiated will touch off a round withut meaning to do so. The short barrel did not decrease my velocities to any significant degree, it does not ride up my side when I am horseback, and is ever so much lighter to pack in the hills. No Mag-na-porting or any of that sort of thing. I will say that she roars like a bellowing T-Rex and blows out fire similiar to a bazooka when you touch off one of those 300 gr. hard cast bullets. Oddly enough the front sight proved to be tall enough inspite of normally shooting heavier than 240 gr. bullets. I will look into what you guys can do who have started filing. Maybe John can replace them for you. He has a cool website that you might want to check out sometime.

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from Peter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I always liked the Winchester Featherweight. seems to be just the right weight. Not too light..but with a scope, sling. it seemed prrrrrrrrfect. I have never bought one..and it will be a while before I can. Im sort of in the process of selling most my guns. Partly because I need some money right now. In a couple years Ill get back into shooting.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave,Suspect you have been reading my posts about light guns and recoil.I have a custom made Penn. longrifle. It is a joy to carry and very accurate from a rest. Built with a Getz swamped 39" barrel, Siler flint lock, Davis double set triggers in a curly maple full stock. The balance is perfect and the gun only weighs about 6.5 lb. There is the problem. While standing offhand is my best position I can't hit a thing with this particular gun beyond 40 yd because it is so light. Had good success with other flinters built with straight barrels which are of course heavier and more weight forward.I always shot better with the M16A2 than the A1 for same reason.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ish:What!! You were kidding?!?!?! Now where in the hell am I gonna get a front sight for my .44 Blackhawk?!? And it's an old 3 screw, no less!!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 1 week ago

ish, oh now you tell me and my sights half way off !!!

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dickgun: The old timers around here say that not only should you file the sight off but also add a coating of vaseline to the barrel. The multiple purpose of this endeavor is that it provides a quicker draw from the holster and, if you do miss 5 times, allows an easier insertion for that last "center shot" to ease the pain of the bear attack.I am also told that the ultimate bear gun is a S & W Model 34 in .22 LR. When you see the bear coming you simply shoot your hunting buddy in the knee and haul butt yourself. I better quit before this gets any worse. Guys please realize that all of this is a joke and stated purely for entertainment purposes...DO NOT TRY IT AT HOME OR IN THE WOODS...it should be known that Mr. Petzal most likely does not approve of these actions and that I will not accept responsibility of anyone stupid enough to follow this advice...

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from Mike Reeder wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I think DP has it about right; ie, it all depends. I toted my Dad's custom, combination varminter/deer .243 up and down the big, brushy, rocky hills around Uvalde once many years ago, when I was young, fit and tough as nails, and I was ready to shoot myself with it by the end of the first day. The thing weighed right at 11.5 pounds and my arms were hanging around my ankles by the time I was through. It also had a heavy, 26" barrel that hung up on all kinds of things in tight spaces. On the other hand, it's a nice rifle to have in your lap on a stand, provided the stand's not very far from where you park. All my rifles but one weigh about 8 to 8.5 pounds, fully loaded and equipped, and that strikes me as about right. All have 22-inch barrels and they all balance well. I think if you go much lighter or shorter than that it does make it more difficult to swing smoothly or hold on target. My one personal exception is a little Rugar 77 Mannlicher-stocked carbine with an 18-inch barrel that I use only for still hunting in heavy cover. It flashes to the shoulder and doesn't hang up on brush, and since any shots will be short the tradeoffs aren't bad. The largest caliber I shoot is an '06 so recoil is tolerable in an 8-pound rifle, although I'll admit my tolerance begins to wear thin after about 15 shots from the bench.As for the military's long fascination with light rifles, I would assume that's all part of its historic search for firepower as opposed to marksmanship. The lighter the rifle, the more ammo a soldier can carry. Now that the services are composed of professional volunteers instead of hastily trained draftees, better marksmanship should probably allow for slightly heavier weapons at the expense of more ammunition.

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 1 week ago

ishawooa,Sixth shot! - that's why you file the front sight off the barrel.dickgun

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave,You are right on the money re: the Dick Murray slings. I bought a dozen of them back when and many have seen extensive use in the field - couple are still NIB. Dick is a personal friend and in addiition to making great leather products he is just a damn good guy! I like the SS hardware with the lockdown screw on the attach points.Re: lightweight rifles, it seems that, usually, the answer to the recoil on the extreme lightweights, in other than very light calibers, is the G..D... muzzlebreak which is a mixed blessing to be sure. I hate to think of how many guides have lost an eardrum before learning to get the heck back away from the muzzle before it is fired - all too often prematurely by an over anxious client.dickgun.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

John R: Thanks for the comments on the sly observtions but in truth I cannot honestly take credit for creating a single one of them. They are just things that I have heard around shooting ranges and in elk camps that struck me as particularily humourous if you happen to be a gun nut. A couple of old timers who are no longer with us could spit this sort of thing out constantly. I sure wish I had written down what they said but often I was too busy laughing just as they intended. Oh and more on the morbid side of funny always remember to only shoot at the charging grizzley 5 times with your .44 (or whatever), you might need the last one for yourself in case your accuracy is faulty.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I prefer nothing less than 9 lbs.

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from Zermoid wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Sling your rifle right!I may be weird but I don't like it across my back, holding it like I'm about to shoot it the barrel gets slid up the left arm and over the head and slung across the chest, removal is opposite of placement and the rifle forend comes down to the left hand ready to shoot, at worst you may knock off your hat un-slinging it. And as I already have plenty of excess weight to carry in front of me the rifle weight is hardly noticed!Also is easier to steer clear of brush and limbs when it's in front than on the back.

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from 007 wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I have an Interarms MK X in 7mm Remington Mag. that weighs 9 3/4# fully dressed. It hits like Thor's hammer with 160 gr. Speer Magtips and is accurate if I do my part. Despite it's weight, recoil is still comparable to a 3" 12 ga. I use it when watching the open hay fields because of the weight, and switch to a Ruger Ultralite in .257 Rbts. (6 3/4#) when it comes time to assemble the deer drives. It is always a balancing act between weight, recoil, and performance, but is not impossible. Question for all of you knowledgable folks out there. Like that Magtip a lot but Speer offers very limited selection in that configuration. Wonder why? Good shooting, all.

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from KJ wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave, RWR,Thanks for the sling recommendations. I've used a Vero Vellini sling in the past, which did a lot to help carry a Mark X Mauser that weighed about 9 lbs, scoped and loaded. It was no good, though, to steady shooting from a standing or sitting position. Most nylon slings I've used slide off my shoulder every step, so I'm partial to leather. I appreciate the advice.

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from ChevJim wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I agree with Chuck B, and think that we should hold the line on rifle--and shotgun--weight. Can a rifle or shotgun be TOO light? Of course. They can definitely be too heavy! I know that I can get my Remington Mountain Rifle in .30/06 on target faster than I can my Weatherby Mark V in .300WM, or my Model 70 Safari Express in .416 Remington Magnum. As others have said, balance is important, too. A rifle should be just a little bit muzzle heavy--if the weight is primarily in the receiver area, the rifle is going to be muzzle light and the barrel is going to be hard to steady. I also think that decent recoil pads help immensely. I don't do muzzle brakes because my shoulder can heal, whereas hearing damage is permanent. I like less recoil these days because I have also had to deal with a detached retina. Our bodies do wear out, folks, and we are unrealistic to not make accommodations--thus I prefer a lighter rifle these days, with lighter recoil, and my next shotgun will be a 28 gauge. Improved bullets and shot have reduced the need for magnum cartridges and gauges. These days, the magnums are actually more niche cartridges than mainstream hunting cartridges--and that's due to improvements in bullet construction. Today you don't necessarily have to shoot a bigger caliber for the bullet to hold together and penetrate deeply. It could perhaps be said that today's .30/06 with high tech bullets would outperform yesterday's 7mm or .300 magnum with "previous generation" bullets. When you throw in "light magnum" loads, you would be hard pressed to find a deer or elk that could tell the difference from a .30/06 or .300 magnum hit. Now, when I can get "virtual magnum" performance out of my .30/06 in a Mountain Rifle that doesn't feel like I'm carrying a howitzer, why would I want to lug a 12-pound Weatherby on most of my hunts? No, weight doesn't matter too much in a tree stand or in a horse scabbard, but when you're climbing slopes or even when you are still hunting in the woods, that extra weight takes a toll. Like ChuckB said, those extra pounds can leave you huffing and puffing, and it's hard to shoot any kind of rifle when fatigue takes over!

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from SD Bob wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I have mixed emotions on lite rifles versus heavy. When I lived in Michigan and walked 1/4 mile to a mile to a stand and sat all day it was a moot point. Hunting the bluffs along the Missouri river or the Black Hills at first made my m700 lengthen my arms after an all day foray. Now that I'm 3 years into that form of hunting and my body has acclimated, I am able to handle it much better and don't notice the weight difference in my 300 win mag (rem 700) of my 7-08 (rem 700 in a mountain rifle). Add 20 years and maybe I'll change my mind.Ishawooa is correct about those damn ammo manufactures loading shotshells with no shot! Tuesday this week we started our weekly skeet shooting and I opened with a 24 (never did better than a 21 previously), then shot a 20 and followed up with a 15. The only logical explanation was shells with no shot.

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from retired waycar rider wrote 6 years 1 week ago

KJ-- Cabelas sell a sling called the Hush Stalker--comes in lots of colors --made of nylon with a great rubber shoulder piece--won't slip and makes going up the hills in our pine ridge seem much easier. this is the sling I use on my Ruger #1B in 280 Remington wihh Hornady 154 SST bullets and H4350 powder and a Burris 6 power scope--a bit heavey for an old fart like me --but-- what a shooter

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from John R wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ishawooa, you have finally answered a lifetime of questions I have had about my hunting "gear". I have found in my experience that the shot shells manufactured with no shot are not limited to any particular ammo manufacturer. Additionally the Dove and Quail loads sold at a special price have a higher percentage of no shot than standard shotshell loads.Seriosly that was pretty funny. You should consider writing a small column (they still call it that right?) for F & S or another premium hunting and fishing magazine. I'd bet my strained barrels you'd be successful.

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from duff wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I really like C_S's comment about weight. And in todays fitness obsessed world, the additional hoop some carry around their waists could be the offset they neeed to lighten the carried load.My 7.62 instructor told me to shutup and learn to shoot and carry it. If weight is the omnipresent thing on one's mind, the rest of the intended activities will be seriously compromised-hunting or not.The heavy barrels of my old "working guns" and my varminters are great for the appropriate jobs. I shoot most deer these days with a Savage Model 20 stainless in .250-3000. It's a featherweight to say the least. Diff guns for different jobs and conditions/scenarios...but that's what most of the posts have said one way or the other.A bit off subject but related to slinging and weight: my dad just returned from Costa Rica and he's a real birder. He was mad because he missed a couple of day's pictures when his Nikon binoculars swung and took out the lens on his Nikon camera while he was climbing some canopy gizmo. I think he smiled about it for the first time when he told me the story and we talked slings and some of what we've slogged and dragged in days gone by.Thanks!

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Bernie I assume that you were aware that the "misses" being gone is a joke. But also let me warn you not to shoot your rifle too far as it might strain the barrel. Another little known fact is that firing a small weapon, say a .243, into a large mammal, perhaps a rhino, could possibly damage the rifle. It is quite readily apparent that the speed of some of the bullets we shoot at deer and elk causes the bullets to self destruct before reaching the target, what else could account for the animal trotting off to live another day. Of course everyone knows that about half of the shells in a box intended for shooting doves obviously have no shot in them. Also approximately 5 shells in every box of AA trap are also missing the shot. Be sure to keep these facts in mind when in the field or on the range.Snowpack in the Cody country mountains finally is about 110 to 125% depending on where and who you gather your info from. Last weekend there was over 3 feet of snow in the parking lot at Pahaska and the North Fork was frozen completely across. Of course here in Cody there is only brown and dry.I applied for area 5 also. I have never drawn it for sheep (only area 3 has been successful) but love the country. It is easily transversed, difficult to get lost, and we have killed nice bulls there. As a matter of fact I have more than once watched 130-160 B & C rams intermingled with the elk herds on Venus and Eleanor Creeks and have ridden by bedded down rams who nonchalauntly watched me pass by. On Jack Creek the daughter of a friend had a cow permit and shot a big calf who was obviously living with about a dozen ewes and lambs. Walking up the sidehill for a couple hundred yards we encountered a dead and rotted cow elk which we assume was the mother of the calf. The point of all this jibberish is that area 5 is easier to move about when you are 60 years old than areas 2 or 3 which are mostly vertical. I still think 3 the best but my is it full of grizzlies and wolves.So far there have been 3 wolves killed outside the trophy area in Wyoming and maybe a fourth since the person involved has ten days to report the kill. I also heard but cannot confirm that three more wolves were legally killed by ranchers on Heart Mountain and will be reported soon. Apparently there will be a wolf season in the trophy area this fall. It will be a quota system much like black bears and mountain lions in Wyoming.Chuckb you are probably right about the NULAs in spite of my previous remark. Others have told me the same thing but it is hard for old farts like me to change. It took me from about 1978 to 1989 to ever accept a synthetic stock but after that time I rarely use anything else. Let's see what caliber should that NULA be? I think a .300 mag of some sort but I need to sleep on that one...good night.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Give me a M14 Match rifle and ample supply of Armor Piercing and Starburst Incendiary Ammo; I’ll give the bad guys the HELL they never seen before! Besides, why would I want to shoot into a wall, when I can shoot thru it!!!!

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ishawooa: That is an interesting concept that you mention--shooting all the "misses" out of a rifle. Yes, those .270s with Sako actions are excellent.How is your snowpack in the Cody country this spring? Very good up here in southwestern Montana. We are above normal in many drainages, which is a revelation from almost a decade of drought.Where did you apply for WY bighorn this year? Area 5 for me.

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from brian wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I wrestle with the balance between a light rifle and a heavy one all the time.

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from chuckb wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave: Crazy talk! No reason to carry a 9-pound rifle, when gunmakers like Melvin Forbes make 5 1/2 pound pieces (I have a .338 and a .270)that are stocked so well that much felt recoil is just absorbed.And it takes a little shooter technique, too, holding the rifle firmly into the shoulder and getting a snug spot-weld with the cheek. Mounting the scope with just the right eye-relief is part of it, so that stock 'crawling' is minimized.In my four years in the Marine Corps, I learned to my regret theat the decimal point falls out of the M-1's 9.5 pounds after the first five miles. Now I'm old and fat and 70, and 2000 vertical feet with a 9-pound rifle will ensure that I arrive in the shooting position out of breath and shaky, while the same climb with a 5 1/2 pound burden has a better chance of seeing me arrive still able to shoot.No brainer. Stop spreading this 9-pound nonsense.Chuck B.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I don't mind the weight of the rifles that are made today. Its pretty standard for most, and I think its correct. What I hate, and I think makes all the difference in the world is the shape of the stock. Most manufacturers make them so fat they must think all us guys have hands like Andre the giant.

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from Regolith wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Couple of weeks ago during spring break, my father and I pulled out his old 1886 Winchester chambered in .38-56 that he had obtained from a relative several years ago and never fired. Most commercially available .38-56 brass is fire formed from .45-70 brass, so before I fired it I was expecting similar levels of recoil.However, since the .38-56 is a black powder cartridge, and the 1886 (manufactured sometime in the 1890's) weighed something on the order of 10-12 lbs (thanks in part to its heavy octagonal barrel), the recoil was nothing but a slight shove. It surprised the heck out of me.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Bernie:My favorite "lite" which is no longer considered lightweight is also a 60's vintage L-61 Finnbear in .270 Win. It weighs about the same as yours but has a Vari-X III 2x-8x. Boy if that rifle could talk it could tell you some tales and maybe a few lies. Recoil is very comfortable and I think I have finally got all of the "misses" shot out of it.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

My kid likes those black stretchy nylon type slings from Stony Point expecially for heavy rifles. He maintains that they are easier on your shoulders and don't constantly slide off. To some degree I have to agree with him. Personally the Murray that I have are much more practical, appealing and durable. It is a little pricy but you will never wear it out or tear it up. I swap it around on whichever rifle I am taking. Like Dave said other than the original mineral oil coating you don't have any upkeep on it. Murray's are not those silly cobra headed things with your initials on them and actually will fit into the rifle scabbard on your horse and slide out easily. They have a website.A fellow who passed away last year used to make a sling he called and sold under the tradename of Wyoming sling. They came in both cordura and in leather. Their unique feature was a split down the center of the strap. You could slip each arm into the slit and wear the rifle up the mountain like a backpack leaving both hands free to hold onto tree roots and rocks. I am not certain that anyone is still making them.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 6 years 1 week ago

To all who are afflicted with heavy burdens, consider this: In 100 B.C., the Consul Marius enacted the Marian Reforms, changing the way the Roman legions did business. He did away with the mule trains which carried their gear, and decreed that the ignorant snuffies who made up the infantry would henceforth carry their own stuff (on forked sticks over the shoulder, no less).So each legionary, who stood about 5'6" and weighed 140 pounds or so, ended up humping 70 pounds of equipment. He was supposed to march 20 miles each day with this load, from first light to early afternoon, and then build a fortified camp in which to spend the night. These guys were Regular Army.And nothing changes.

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I always have believed that the M-14 was a better battle rifle than the M-16. The M-14 didn't have to be as heavy as it is either--a better stock configuration could remove a pound of wood from the stock. I carried 85 pounds of crap on my back in Vietnam with 1st Marine Division, plus the M-16. Today, the poor bastards still carry pack-mule loads. Funny someone hasn't figured out how to lighten things up. Troops would be more combat effective.Nowadays with arthritic knees and a hip replacement, I am a "has-been" sheep hunter, but in nine sheep hunts from Arizona to Wyoming, B.C., NWT, the Yukon and Alaska, I carried a custom-stocked .270 with 22" Douglas barrel and Finnish Sako L-61 action. I had a 4X Redfield on it, then gave that scope to my wife and put a 4X Burris on the rifle. The .270 weighs about 8-1/4 pounds with sling. With today's ultralights I suspect one could find a .270 that is a couple pounds lighter, but I think it would be tough to shoot. My last ram (Stone in Y.T.) was shot in a gusty wind, uphill from about 150 yards. The sun, which I hadn't seen in a week, came out and was in my eyes...I don't know if I could have made the shot with an ulralight.I own a couple Mark V Weatherbys--7mm and .300--which I treasure. Both are 45-50 years old, and on their second barrels--25" medium-weight Douglas and Weatherby brands. The .300 is custom-stocked, and each rifle weighs more than nine pounds. Not great rifles for scrambling on scree slopes, but for much big game hunting they are fine. Much of the recoil is absorbed by the rifles' weight. Also, there is nothing like squirming into a shooting position and seeing those crosshairs steady rather than bouncing all over the place as in the case of a too-light rifle!

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from Concerned_Soldier wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave,9lb rifle with around 50 lbs of Body Armor, extra ammo, water and other gear gets a little heavy.But after walking in Baghdad for a day or two in the heat, you really don't notice the weight of the rifle, more the weight of the stares and glares from some of the people.Watching a child of 5 or 6 tug on my sleeve and ask me for clean water will weigh on me forever, much more then any rifle ever will.Call me post traumatic... It's all good, at least I can say I did it for something bigger then myself.V/RC_S

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from Jay wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I usually stick with Weatherby rifles for the magnum loads; they are heavier than most of the rifles being built today.

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from Robert wrote 6 years 1 week ago

My first several deer hunts were with my .50 flintlock. It's a traditional style long rifle with a 38" barrel at 15/16 diameter. It must weigh 9-10 pounds, never weighed it. But I've never once had an issue with being unable to hold it on target or worry about recoil. It can get a little heavy after several hours of walking, but that's no big deal to the peace of mind I have that I can hold on target without shaking too much when the time comes. Since then I've always been more comfortable with a heavy rifle than a light one, and still do most of my hunting with that flintlock.

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from ray wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I'm disabled, so mostly hunt from a stand. I have a ruger 10-22 that is accurate but that short 2"x4" shape of it will not hold steady for me. I can shoot three times as good with a marlin bolt,or lever, a rem 552, or win 67. balance and fit(which the ruger doesn't have) has as an important part as weight inMHO.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 6 years 1 week ago

To KJ: The best sling I know of of is made by Murray Leather in Texas, and is called the A-1 Murray Quick-Set Rifle Sling. If you put a little vegetable cooking oil on it after it gets wet, it never wears out. Adjusts quickly, holds its adjustment fairly well, and doesn't get in the way. A broken-in Murray sling has unbelievable funk and character.

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from PbHead wrote 6 years 1 week ago

It's easier to take the weight off the rifle than off the hunter.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Weight is nice, but in my experience length seems to be more important and no I'm not going down that road. A heavy short rifle like a No.1 A at 38" overall length is harder for me to shoot off hand than one 42" like a 700. Don't know why this is but I also have two barrels for an 1100 shotgun because it was old with no ventilated rib or choke tubes 26" long so I got a new 30" and can hit with it much better. I know everyone will say longer sight plane but really it is because it swings and handles so much better for me. That weight out front steadys my ability to hold on target. Heavy does soak up recoil though...

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from KJ wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave, it seems the main argument against a heavy rifle is the one you mention - carrying it in rough country. A good sling that distributes the weight effectively and doesn't slide off of your shoulder could help here. Can you recommend any slings?

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Yooperjack: I forgot to mention that the local gun store has a wall full of targets with extremely impressive tight groups which were fired from newly purchased T-3s. Apparently the locals like to show off the results and the store owner wants to sell the guns. I have never shot one in my life but they are light, accurate, and apparently rugged enough. I am told that they have SAKO barrels but have not verified that statement. The guys who have T-3s love them even if they are as ugly a homemade sin.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

As I age (heading for 61) my rifles seem to gain as much weight as me. Most are in the 9 to 9.5 range complete with scopes and mag cartridges. I let the horse worry about hauling them around and none have even complained. I have found that invariably the elk or deer will be further up the mountain or on the other side of it whenever I locate them. This often causes an old man to attempt a quick trip up what is usually a significant vertical challenge. As a result the heart is racing and the lungs pumping. Nevertheless the 9.5 lb .338 will settle right down with the Leupold's crosshairs just about where I want them for a successful hit. I cannot say the same thing for my custom lightweights or even for the lamented Rem Mtn Rifle that I traded off years ago. As we all are quite aware shooting from the bench after a leasurely walk from your pickup or SUV is different in numernous ways from shooting from a windy hilltop when you are out of breathe and worn out from 4 or 5 days in the hills.Given one gun give me the heavier one...sorry NULA and other lites fans, they are great rifles but usually that extra few pounds is beneficial when the reason you are hunting happens. Besides leave that ridiculous backpack (and whatever is in it) in camp, only take 6 Snickers instead of 12, don't haul around those extra rifle magazines, take only 2 knives and small flashlights, and on and on. Pretty soon you have more than made up for the difference in rifle weight that you are carrying. That's my side of the story, I do what works for me.

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from DINFOS wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Mr. Petzal,I recently picked up a "heavy" rifle you did a short review on awhile back, the Savage Model 40 in 22 Hornet. As you stated, it has some heft to it, but to be honest, I actually enjoy the extra weight to it. When its steadied....it is truly steady.

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from YooperJack wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I happened to be in a large sporting goods store in Green Bay recently. They had several of the new left hand Tikka T-3 lites in stock. I was able to hold them and work the bolt. Nice rifle but I think it's really to light to hold on a target. Had they been heavier, I might have bought the 30-06 that day.YooperJack

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from Smal wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

I Love my 9.5 pound Garand,I do not love hauling it around with a bunch of 30.06 ammo,But its worth it to shoot such a Fine fireing weapon,the only thing i can find fault with that really Bothers me is When you fire Round number 8,and you get that all to Fimiliar ching,And anyone with in Hearing Distance knows you have an empty weapon.,I like my thompson also other than its all steel ,and along with several clips of .45 cal ammo ,And as fast as the thompson can shoot ,you better get some help carrying Ammo.I love my M-1 Carbine,its light and so is the ammo,The Round is kind of weak in stopping power but with 15 or 30 rounds its effective,My AR-15 shorty is also nice as the ammo is light its accurate ,But as for Firepower And weapon weight and effectiveness,I really dont think you can beat the AK-47,great stopping power in the round and the rounds dont weigh that much ,there interchangeable with the SkS,and both are very reliable when dropped or dirty ,and very simple to strip and clean and maintain,As much as i hate to side with something un American ,Plus there Reliable cheap to manufacture throw away guns,and parts are very interchangeable with the same weapon type.So cheap there everywhere in the world .

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 6 days ago

Ishawooa: Do you live in the Cody area? 2 @ ys ago,I stayed in Cody 2 days and nights. Went into Yellowstone on the East side, neve been that way before. Also went to the Cody Museum an ate at a fine resturat near the Museum,+ great meal and stayed at a small Motel up on a hill.Did ate a greatsteak at a old Motel (I think was old Motel) downtown Also, had been looking for several years for a pair of low heel Western brown boots(Ropers by Justin). Found them on main street. A small store, sold Boots and hats, etc. Had just finished a great Lope hunt in Douglas, Wy and then drove to Misssoula, MT and looked around for a week, then hunted for 2 weeks in the Bitterotts.Great place to be. Hopefully will Draw again, but no word yet. Missed out on Draw in C0. but kinda glad as they got a 50%+ kill off per DOW. If gonna spend thousands for a hunt, sure want game out there , even if don;t get a shot. I still enjoy seing the Elk.,Deer and just being up high,can see forever. Suppose any wolves up there? If so, may be one less.Wish I could have gone out to the Spring Bear hunt, but one trip per year is all can afford. Sure wish had bought a Cabin and some land about 25-30 ys ago. Would be in hog heaven now, with cattle, horses and much game.BAck in 1990 could have bought 25 acrs, a new l8 x 20 cabin, with loft(2bunk beds) and front porch, chimney for heat of stove, Compose toilet, enclosed back porch 10 x 10 from porch to the JOHN, with a gas heater. A Chain saw, axe, Generator, a 30-06, a small Canoe,(no kiding) with creek frontage 200 feet about 100 yds from state road, but road permission to cabin( legal in writing) all for 49.995. Fool like I let it slide, was new. I;ve kicked my A-- many times, as would be worth over $l50K + today. But look at the enjoyment of Hunting and fishing I and the family could have had.With what I;ve paid in lst 20 ys for plane fare, Motels, meals out, could have paid for it and never missed a dime.Plus property joined BLM, so lots of hunting areas and not have to drive a mile.A 4 wheeler would have been fine for me.As disabled and can't walk far, with 2 hips replaced.Hey, any connections for Mulies and Lopes in your area. Would love a nice Mulie 5 x 5 and a l6"+ lope, got a l5" Lope and A Elk if available. Ok take care. Hey, Love my new MArlin XL7 in 270 my first 270, always used a 06 lomg shots or a 30-30 for woods hunting.Shot-um-straight and often. Hey, hows the snow your way?

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from Bill wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Th AKM weighs 6.5 pounds unloaded and around 8 loaded up. I thought all that plastic and aluminum was supposed to make the stoner rifle light? Looks like Kalashnikov wins again.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

My sling Shot aticle is on the Scopes article. Got too many going now, forgot which one mentoned the Sling Shot on.I do believe there are 3-4 abutscopes now, and i don;t know which one I put it on.

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from O Garcia wrote 6 years 1 week ago

the thing with lightweight weapons (speaking only of military weapons here) is by the time you've added all those foregrips and weaponlights so desired today, including the various grenade launchers, they weigh about twice their original specification. when the Warsaw Pact armies began adding GL's to their folding stock AK's, the first reaction was that the wonderful balance of the weapon was lost (weight was never an issue with the AK, since the original pre-AKM weighed more than 10 pounds).and this is what really bothers me. do we need to equip all troopers with all those attachments like they're all special forces or SWATs?another virtue of a heavy weapon is that when you run out of ammo, it is at least a serviceable club or battering ram.speaking of old weapons, I saw some recent footage of the British in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, and at least one of them was armed with the 7.62 converted Bren Gun. The one with a magazine on top, like in WW2 newsreels. Guess there's still life left in oldies like the M-14 and the Bren, especially when you really need to deliver a hard punch to a distant target.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 1 week ago

My experience with a sling shot, true experience, I will tell you in a night or two. Time for me to ready for bed.Old man of 73 got to get him sleep. I think all hunters will enjoy my story of a Sling Shot, it does work, I know.I bet you will make/buy a sling shot after I tell you about what they good for in big, I mean big game hunting. No they don;t kill a Elk,Deer, etc. but you may.The Old Southern Gun Slinger

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Slings: i am righ handed and cary my rifle over my left shoulder ( witha large button sowed abut l/2 o my shoulder pad) I use a leather sling with soft sueade backing, it don;t slip at all. Plus I put a piece of elec tape over the muzzle. When time comes to shoot, I take my right hand grab the gun and let the sling catch over my left elbow,( and my left hand grabs the forend for addtional suport and makes the gun more solid for a off hand shot. I would never carry my gun with the gun hanging over my back, impossible to get in a shoting postion in a hurry,plus your hat or cap is in the way. The Elec. tap says on my gun till fired and if fired its replaced. Does not hamper your 0 at all.Now if slow walking and stopping along the way in thick timber with my 30-30, no sling, gun is at port arms at all times, as no time to fool with a sling.

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from Walt Smith wrote 6 years 1 week ago

The cool factor (M1 Garand, SKS, M14, Dragonov etc. far far far out weighs the weight factor. As long as it's fun to shoot who cares about how much it weighs.

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from Peter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave P., I know this is a little off the subject, but I was wondering if you have shot the new M70 yet? Or anybody else here?

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from Peter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

"Now IM speaking" was supposed to be "now im not speaking" my bad. One day ill learn how to write. lol.

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from Peter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Thank for the comment KJ. Now Im speaking from personal experience, but just what ive read from other bloggers and in gun magazines But/ supposedly the accuracy on M70's made in New Haven could be sketchy at times. But supposedly the new ones that are just coming out this year are supposed to be absolutely tack drivers because of the new way they are doing their barrels and action improvements. (I believe they are being made in SC by Heckler and Koch(i probably spelled that wrong) Comments anybody? on an other note . I love leather slings. I have one. Ive kept it oiled and after a few years of hunting with it, it has that nice "used","I could tell you some stories, but "will never let you down" look to it". Unfortunately its going with one of my guns Im selling.

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from KJ wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Peter - I've been using a Winchester Featherweight .30-06 for several years now. On the plus side, it handles great and is truly a beautiful rifle (I found one on the rack with very nice wood). However, I've had a number of rifles that are much more accurate. The best I've done from the bench is about 1.5" - nothing to complain about, but not a tack driver, either. It works well for me, though.Sarg - I've owned a Super Sling. I couldn't keep the thing on my shoulder. It was slicker than snot on a glass doorknob. I liked the design, and you're right - it adjusted quickly and easily. It was just too slick for my liking. Thanks, though.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I think the big shift to a heavy weapon in military terms is no big surprize. It's just history repeating itself. I liked shooting the M-16, and the peep sights seemed ok for target practice, but I always like using a scope, or dot system, of some kind for more accurate shooting,and let's face it, weight always helps in the accuracy department.

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from Terrance Mahoney wrote 6 years 1 week ago

found a simple solution to the heavy rifle problem. Went on a diet and lost 50 pounds,the old weatherby feels like a feather now. Also empty all the un-needed B.S. out of the fanny pack and you lose another 10-12 pounds.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Never weighed it, but my Browning A-Bolt topped with a Leupold 3x9x40 Vari-X II, loaded with Hornady 225 grain at 3000fps ( 72 grains of IMR4350 and caped with a Federal 215) with a leather GI 1 ¼ sling sure makes a dandy reach out and knockem down John rifle! Still too much bullet for Caribou at 700 yards! 7mm with a 150 grain would be ideal.

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 1 week ago

ishawooa,case you are still listening, yow, yow! Icelandic for yes.dickgun

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Flip: I have had the chance to examine Hamilton Bowen's revolvers at a few guns shows. They are indeed works of art and some are rather unique, fantastic workmanship and attention to detail such as fit and finish. John Linebaugh takes a slightly more practical approach to creating the revolver in that he remodels mostly Rugers into larger calibers of his own design. Try www.customhandguns.com to see his site. His weapons are not cheap but he is always behind on production even with some assistance from his family members and a few hired hands. His big bores have downed lots of big animals on all continents. I hate to admit it but they are actually more than I prefer to handle so I stick with .44 mags and hot .45 Colts. Thankfully he did rework the old 3 screw way back before anyone knew of him and the internet did not exist as we know it.Sarg: Used to be a huge guy from Vicksburg, MS who lived in Cody. We often joked with him about he would be the perfect bear hunting partner for the reason you submitted. One day he got a little riled as we all were sitting at the morning coffee table and we realized that he was probably more dangerous than a mad sow with two cubs and sore teats. No more joking with him.Rocky Mtn Hunter: Except for the plains all I hunt is the mountains of Wyoming and Montana and I agree with you.By the way I thought over ordering a NULA .300 and decided it was too much like a couple other rifles I have but only less weight. They are indeed excellent rifles if you require a light powerful weapon.

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from Rocky Mtn Hunter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I'vebeen peaching rifles in teh 10 lb range for months, hopefuly afewhave listened. Yes climbing a Mtn out west is hard work, but not l/2 as hard as it will be coming down with that missed shot from a light wt gun that you could not hold steady. A wt of near l0 lbs will steady itself at the top. If 2-3 lbs is the difference in your hunting or not, then you need to loose a few lbs or get in god shape. 2-3 extra lbs will pay of when that 2-300 yd shot comes arond. Compare a gun to the horse that will carry you up part way, will a 500 lb horse or a l000 lb horse carry you better and easier?????Light is not always better by far. I will continue at 73 to hunt with a l0 lb rifle even if I must sit all day. When shot time comes I will know that I can make it with that heavier gun. I supose next the Arm Chair hunters will demand a sling-shot as a hunting rifle. O' no time tonigh, but will tell you a story about sling shots in a few nights.It's good to know we got a few people who think heavier is better.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 1 week ago

The best thing about muzzle breaks is that anyone within twenty feet in front or behind you will be able to experience firsthand the fireball in your face instantaneous ear ringing what the hell just happened sensation that used to be reserved for accidental discharges... luckily the one who pulls the trigger only gets the temporary loss of hearing symptom so he is immune to his hunting buddies death threats.Weight, balance, stock design, recoil and proper fit are all the variables in this "why can I hit with this gun" equation and when I come up with the formula I will let you know.

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from sarg wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ishwooa, I heard something almost like the bear trick. when two hunters were confronted with a bib boar , one said to the other,"Think you can outrun him". the other hunter said "don't need to, just outrun you.."

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from sarg wrote 6 years 1 week ago

KJ, I like the Super Sling in 1-1/4" . It is so easy to adjust simply by pulling on one end and will stay where you leave it.. It can be adjusted for comfort or shooting as terrain changes. Try one, I have several on different rifles. you could probable add a pad from an older sling if need be. I gave all my other slings away. Gave a guy a new Military style the other day, too hard to adj..

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from Flip wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ish:Hamilton Bowen is another smith who does outstanding work on revolvers, and you can spend hours on his website -bowenclassicarms.com. His work will bring tears to your eyes (as will his prices, but boy, does he turn out some fantastic stuff). I haven't been able to find Linebaugh's website - can you help? And thanks in advance.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I have an old 3 screw Super Blackhawk that I bought back in the late sixties. After years of packing the 7 1/2 inch barrel around I decided I needed less weight. I asked John Linebaugh to do an action job on it and trim the barrel down to 4 5/8" plus reinstall the original front sight. Boy did he complain about lopping off the barrel on the old Ruger. My reply was "John this is my revolver and always will be and I want the barrel shorter". Reluctantly he did the job and I have never regreted it. It is so silky smooth that the uninitiated will touch off a round withut meaning to do so. The short barrel did not decrease my velocities to any significant degree, it does not ride up my side when I am horseback, and is ever so much lighter to pack in the hills. No Mag-na-porting or any of that sort of thing. I will say that she roars like a bellowing T-Rex and blows out fire similiar to a bazooka when you touch off one of those 300 gr. hard cast bullets. Oddly enough the front sight proved to be tall enough inspite of normally shooting heavier than 240 gr. bullets. I will look into what you guys can do who have started filing. Maybe John can replace them for you. He has a cool website that you might want to check out sometime.

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from Peter wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I always liked the Winchester Featherweight. seems to be just the right weight. Not too light..but with a scope, sling. it seemed prrrrrrrrfect. I have never bought one..and it will be a while before I can. Im sort of in the process of selling most my guns. Partly because I need some money right now. In a couple years Ill get back into shooting.

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from Del in KS wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave,Suspect you have been reading my posts about light guns and recoil.I have a custom made Penn. longrifle. It is a joy to carry and very accurate from a rest. Built with a Getz swamped 39" barrel, Siler flint lock, Davis double set triggers in a curly maple full stock. The balance is perfect and the gun only weighs about 6.5 lb. There is the problem. While standing offhand is my best position I can't hit a thing with this particular gun beyond 40 yd because it is so light. Had good success with other flinters built with straight barrels which are of course heavier and more weight forward.I always shot better with the M16A2 than the A1 for same reason.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ish:What!! You were kidding?!?!?! Now where in the hell am I gonna get a front sight for my .44 Blackhawk?!? And it's an old 3 screw, no less!!

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 1 week ago

ish, oh now you tell me and my sights half way off !!!

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dickgun: The old timers around here say that not only should you file the sight off but also add a coating of vaseline to the barrel. The multiple purpose of this endeavor is that it provides a quicker draw from the holster and, if you do miss 5 times, allows an easier insertion for that last "center shot" to ease the pain of the bear attack.I am also told that the ultimate bear gun is a S & W Model 34 in .22 LR. When you see the bear coming you simply shoot your hunting buddy in the knee and haul butt yourself. I better quit before this gets any worse. Guys please realize that all of this is a joke and stated purely for entertainment purposes...DO NOT TRY IT AT HOME OR IN THE WOODS...it should be known that Mr. Petzal most likely does not approve of these actions and that I will not accept responsibility of anyone stupid enough to follow this advice...

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from Mike Reeder wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I think DP has it about right; ie, it all depends. I toted my Dad's custom, combination varminter/deer .243 up and down the big, brushy, rocky hills around Uvalde once many years ago, when I was young, fit and tough as nails, and I was ready to shoot myself with it by the end of the first day. The thing weighed right at 11.5 pounds and my arms were hanging around my ankles by the time I was through. It also had a heavy, 26" barrel that hung up on all kinds of things in tight spaces. On the other hand, it's a nice rifle to have in your lap on a stand, provided the stand's not very far from where you park. All my rifles but one weigh about 8 to 8.5 pounds, fully loaded and equipped, and that strikes me as about right. All have 22-inch barrels and they all balance well. I think if you go much lighter or shorter than that it does make it more difficult to swing smoothly or hold on target. My one personal exception is a little Rugar 77 Mannlicher-stocked carbine with an 18-inch barrel that I use only for still hunting in heavy cover. It flashes to the shoulder and doesn't hang up on brush, and since any shots will be short the tradeoffs aren't bad. The largest caliber I shoot is an '06 so recoil is tolerable in an 8-pound rifle, although I'll admit my tolerance begins to wear thin after about 15 shots from the bench.As for the military's long fascination with light rifles, I would assume that's all part of its historic search for firepower as opposed to marksmanship. The lighter the rifle, the more ammo a soldier can carry. Now that the services are composed of professional volunteers instead of hastily trained draftees, better marksmanship should probably allow for slightly heavier weapons at the expense of more ammunition.

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 1 week ago

ishawooa,Sixth shot! - that's why you file the front sight off the barrel.dickgun

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from dickgun wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave,You are right on the money re: the Dick Murray slings. I bought a dozen of them back when and many have seen extensive use in the field - couple are still NIB. Dick is a personal friend and in addiition to making great leather products he is just a damn good guy! I like the SS hardware with the lockdown screw on the attach points.Re: lightweight rifles, it seems that, usually, the answer to the recoil on the extreme lightweights, in other than very light calibers, is the G..D... muzzlebreak which is a mixed blessing to be sure. I hate to think of how many guides have lost an eardrum before learning to get the heck back away from the muzzle before it is fired - all too often prematurely by an over anxious client.dickgun.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

John R: Thanks for the comments on the sly observtions but in truth I cannot honestly take credit for creating a single one of them. They are just things that I have heard around shooting ranges and in elk camps that struck me as particularily humourous if you happen to be a gun nut. A couple of old timers who are no longer with us could spit this sort of thing out constantly. I sure wish I had written down what they said but often I was too busy laughing just as they intended. Oh and more on the morbid side of funny always remember to only shoot at the charging grizzley 5 times with your .44 (or whatever), you might need the last one for yourself in case your accuracy is faulty.

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from Visitor wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I prefer nothing less than 9 lbs.

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from Zermoid wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Sling your rifle right!I may be weird but I don't like it across my back, holding it like I'm about to shoot it the barrel gets slid up the left arm and over the head and slung across the chest, removal is opposite of placement and the rifle forend comes down to the left hand ready to shoot, at worst you may knock off your hat un-slinging it. And as I already have plenty of excess weight to carry in front of me the rifle weight is hardly noticed!Also is easier to steer clear of brush and limbs when it's in front than on the back.

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from 007 wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I have an Interarms MK X in 7mm Remington Mag. that weighs 9 3/4# fully dressed. It hits like Thor's hammer with 160 gr. Speer Magtips and is accurate if I do my part. Despite it's weight, recoil is still comparable to a 3" 12 ga. I use it when watching the open hay fields because of the weight, and switch to a Ruger Ultralite in .257 Rbts. (6 3/4#) when it comes time to assemble the deer drives. It is always a balancing act between weight, recoil, and performance, but is not impossible. Question for all of you knowledgable folks out there. Like that Magtip a lot but Speer offers very limited selection in that configuration. Wonder why? Good shooting, all.

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from KJ wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave, RWR,Thanks for the sling recommendations. I've used a Vero Vellini sling in the past, which did a lot to help carry a Mark X Mauser that weighed about 9 lbs, scoped and loaded. It was no good, though, to steady shooting from a standing or sitting position. Most nylon slings I've used slide off my shoulder every step, so I'm partial to leather. I appreciate the advice.

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from ChevJim wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I agree with Chuck B, and think that we should hold the line on rifle--and shotgun--weight. Can a rifle or shotgun be TOO light? Of course. They can definitely be too heavy! I know that I can get my Remington Mountain Rifle in .30/06 on target faster than I can my Weatherby Mark V in .300WM, or my Model 70 Safari Express in .416 Remington Magnum. As others have said, balance is important, too. A rifle should be just a little bit muzzle heavy--if the weight is primarily in the receiver area, the rifle is going to be muzzle light and the barrel is going to be hard to steady. I also think that decent recoil pads help immensely. I don't do muzzle brakes because my shoulder can heal, whereas hearing damage is permanent. I like less recoil these days because I have also had to deal with a detached retina. Our bodies do wear out, folks, and we are unrealistic to not make accommodations--thus I prefer a lighter rifle these days, with lighter recoil, and my next shotgun will be a 28 gauge. Improved bullets and shot have reduced the need for magnum cartridges and gauges. These days, the magnums are actually more niche cartridges than mainstream hunting cartridges--and that's due to improvements in bullet construction. Today you don't necessarily have to shoot a bigger caliber for the bullet to hold together and penetrate deeply. It could perhaps be said that today's .30/06 with high tech bullets would outperform yesterday's 7mm or .300 magnum with "previous generation" bullets. When you throw in "light magnum" loads, you would be hard pressed to find a deer or elk that could tell the difference from a .30/06 or .300 magnum hit. Now, when I can get "virtual magnum" performance out of my .30/06 in a Mountain Rifle that doesn't feel like I'm carrying a howitzer, why would I want to lug a 12-pound Weatherby on most of my hunts? No, weight doesn't matter too much in a tree stand or in a horse scabbard, but when you're climbing slopes or even when you are still hunting in the woods, that extra weight takes a toll. Like ChuckB said, those extra pounds can leave you huffing and puffing, and it's hard to shoot any kind of rifle when fatigue takes over!

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from SD Bob wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I have mixed emotions on lite rifles versus heavy. When I lived in Michigan and walked 1/4 mile to a mile to a stand and sat all day it was a moot point. Hunting the bluffs along the Missouri river or the Black Hills at first made my m700 lengthen my arms after an all day foray. Now that I'm 3 years into that form of hunting and my body has acclimated, I am able to handle it much better and don't notice the weight difference in my 300 win mag (rem 700) of my 7-08 (rem 700 in a mountain rifle). Add 20 years and maybe I'll change my mind.Ishawooa is correct about those damn ammo manufactures loading shotshells with no shot! Tuesday this week we started our weekly skeet shooting and I opened with a 24 (never did better than a 21 previously), then shot a 20 and followed up with a 15. The only logical explanation was shells with no shot.

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from retired waycar rider wrote 6 years 1 week ago

KJ-- Cabelas sell a sling called the Hush Stalker--comes in lots of colors --made of nylon with a great rubber shoulder piece--won't slip and makes going up the hills in our pine ridge seem much easier. this is the sling I use on my Ruger #1B in 280 Remington wihh Hornady 154 SST bullets and H4350 powder and a Burris 6 power scope--a bit heavey for an old fart like me --but-- what a shooter

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from John R wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ishawooa, you have finally answered a lifetime of questions I have had about my hunting "gear". I have found in my experience that the shot shells manufactured with no shot are not limited to any particular ammo manufacturer. Additionally the Dove and Quail loads sold at a special price have a higher percentage of no shot than standard shotshell loads.Seriosly that was pretty funny. You should consider writing a small column (they still call it that right?) for F & S or another premium hunting and fishing magazine. I'd bet my strained barrels you'd be successful.

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from duff wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I really like C_S's comment about weight. And in todays fitness obsessed world, the additional hoop some carry around their waists could be the offset they neeed to lighten the carried load.My 7.62 instructor told me to shutup and learn to shoot and carry it. If weight is the omnipresent thing on one's mind, the rest of the intended activities will be seriously compromised-hunting or not.The heavy barrels of my old "working guns" and my varminters are great for the appropriate jobs. I shoot most deer these days with a Savage Model 20 stainless in .250-3000. It's a featherweight to say the least. Diff guns for different jobs and conditions/scenarios...but that's what most of the posts have said one way or the other.A bit off subject but related to slinging and weight: my dad just returned from Costa Rica and he's a real birder. He was mad because he missed a couple of day's pictures when his Nikon binoculars swung and took out the lens on his Nikon camera while he was climbing some canopy gizmo. I think he smiled about it for the first time when he told me the story and we talked slings and some of what we've slogged and dragged in days gone by.Thanks!

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Bernie I assume that you were aware that the "misses" being gone is a joke. But also let me warn you not to shoot your rifle too far as it might strain the barrel. Another little known fact is that firing a small weapon, say a .243, into a large mammal, perhaps a rhino, could possibly damage the rifle. It is quite readily apparent that the speed of some of the bullets we shoot at deer and elk causes the bullets to self destruct before reaching the target, what else could account for the animal trotting off to live another day. Of course everyone knows that about half of the shells in a box intended for shooting doves obviously have no shot in them. Also approximately 5 shells in every box of AA trap are also missing the shot. Be sure to keep these facts in mind when in the field or on the range.Snowpack in the Cody country mountains finally is about 110 to 125% depending on where and who you gather your info from. Last weekend there was over 3 feet of snow in the parking lot at Pahaska and the North Fork was frozen completely across. Of course here in Cody there is only brown and dry.I applied for area 5 also. I have never drawn it for sheep (only area 3 has been successful) but love the country. It is easily transversed, difficult to get lost, and we have killed nice bulls there. As a matter of fact I have more than once watched 130-160 B & C rams intermingled with the elk herds on Venus and Eleanor Creeks and have ridden by bedded down rams who nonchalauntly watched me pass by. On Jack Creek the daughter of a friend had a cow permit and shot a big calf who was obviously living with about a dozen ewes and lambs. Walking up the sidehill for a couple hundred yards we encountered a dead and rotted cow elk which we assume was the mother of the calf. The point of all this jibberish is that area 5 is easier to move about when you are 60 years old than areas 2 or 3 which are mostly vertical. I still think 3 the best but my is it full of grizzlies and wolves.So far there have been 3 wolves killed outside the trophy area in Wyoming and maybe a fourth since the person involved has ten days to report the kill. I also heard but cannot confirm that three more wolves were legally killed by ranchers on Heart Mountain and will be reported soon. Apparently there will be a wolf season in the trophy area this fall. It will be a quota system much like black bears and mountain lions in Wyoming.Chuckb you are probably right about the NULAs in spite of my previous remark. Others have told me the same thing but it is hard for old farts like me to change. It took me from about 1978 to 1989 to ever accept a synthetic stock but after that time I rarely use anything else. Let's see what caliber should that NULA be? I think a .300 mag of some sort but I need to sleep on that one...good night.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Give me a M14 Match rifle and ample supply of Armor Piercing and Starburst Incendiary Ammo; I’ll give the bad guys the HELL they never seen before! Besides, why would I want to shoot into a wall, when I can shoot thru it!!!!

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Ishawooa: That is an interesting concept that you mention--shooting all the "misses" out of a rifle. Yes, those .270s with Sako actions are excellent.How is your snowpack in the Cody country this spring? Very good up here in southwestern Montana. We are above normal in many drainages, which is a revelation from almost a decade of drought.Where did you apply for WY bighorn this year? Area 5 for me.

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from brian wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I wrestle with the balance between a light rifle and a heavy one all the time.

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from chuckb wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave: Crazy talk! No reason to carry a 9-pound rifle, when gunmakers like Melvin Forbes make 5 1/2 pound pieces (I have a .338 and a .270)that are stocked so well that much felt recoil is just absorbed.And it takes a little shooter technique, too, holding the rifle firmly into the shoulder and getting a snug spot-weld with the cheek. Mounting the scope with just the right eye-relief is part of it, so that stock 'crawling' is minimized.In my four years in the Marine Corps, I learned to my regret theat the decimal point falls out of the M-1's 9.5 pounds after the first five miles. Now I'm old and fat and 70, and 2000 vertical feet with a 9-pound rifle will ensure that I arrive in the shooting position out of breath and shaky, while the same climb with a 5 1/2 pound burden has a better chance of seeing me arrive still able to shoot.No brainer. Stop spreading this 9-pound nonsense.Chuck B.

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from Jim in Mo. wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I don't mind the weight of the rifles that are made today. Its pretty standard for most, and I think its correct. What I hate, and I think makes all the difference in the world is the shape of the stock. Most manufacturers make them so fat they must think all us guys have hands like Andre the giant.

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from Regolith wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Couple of weeks ago during spring break, my father and I pulled out his old 1886 Winchester chambered in .38-56 that he had obtained from a relative several years ago and never fired. Most commercially available .38-56 brass is fire formed from .45-70 brass, so before I fired it I was expecting similar levels of recoil.However, since the .38-56 is a black powder cartridge, and the 1886 (manufactured sometime in the 1890's) weighed something on the order of 10-12 lbs (thanks in part to its heavy octagonal barrel), the recoil was nothing but a slight shove. It surprised the heck out of me.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Bernie:My favorite "lite" which is no longer considered lightweight is also a 60's vintage L-61 Finnbear in .270 Win. It weighs about the same as yours but has a Vari-X III 2x-8x. Boy if that rifle could talk it could tell you some tales and maybe a few lies. Recoil is very comfortable and I think I have finally got all of the "misses" shot out of it.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

My kid likes those black stretchy nylon type slings from Stony Point expecially for heavy rifles. He maintains that they are easier on your shoulders and don't constantly slide off. To some degree I have to agree with him. Personally the Murray that I have are much more practical, appealing and durable. It is a little pricy but you will never wear it out or tear it up. I swap it around on whichever rifle I am taking. Like Dave said other than the original mineral oil coating you don't have any upkeep on it. Murray's are not those silly cobra headed things with your initials on them and actually will fit into the rifle scabbard on your horse and slide out easily. They have a website.A fellow who passed away last year used to make a sling he called and sold under the tradename of Wyoming sling. They came in both cordura and in leather. Their unique feature was a split down the center of the strap. You could slip each arm into the slit and wear the rifle up the mountain like a backpack leaving both hands free to hold onto tree roots and rocks. I am not certain that anyone is still making them.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 6 years 1 week ago

To all who are afflicted with heavy burdens, consider this: In 100 B.C., the Consul Marius enacted the Marian Reforms, changing the way the Roman legions did business. He did away with the mule trains which carried their gear, and decreed that the ignorant snuffies who made up the infantry would henceforth carry their own stuff (on forked sticks over the shoulder, no less).So each legionary, who stood about 5'6" and weighed 140 pounds or so, ended up humping 70 pounds of equipment. He was supposed to march 20 miles each day with this load, from first light to early afternoon, and then build a fortified camp in which to spend the night. These guys were Regular Army.And nothing changes.

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from Bernie Kuntz wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I always have believed that the M-14 was a better battle rifle than the M-16. The M-14 didn't have to be as heavy as it is either--a better stock configuration could remove a pound of wood from the stock. I carried 85 pounds of crap on my back in Vietnam with 1st Marine Division, plus the M-16. Today, the poor bastards still carry pack-mule loads. Funny someone hasn't figured out how to lighten things up. Troops would be more combat effective.Nowadays with arthritic knees and a hip replacement, I am a "has-been" sheep hunter, but in nine sheep hunts from Arizona to Wyoming, B.C., NWT, the Yukon and Alaska, I carried a custom-stocked .270 with 22" Douglas barrel and Finnish Sako L-61 action. I had a 4X Redfield on it, then gave that scope to my wife and put a 4X Burris on the rifle. The .270 weighs about 8-1/4 pounds with sling. With today's ultralights I suspect one could find a .270 that is a couple pounds lighter, but I think it would be tough to shoot. My last ram (Stone in Y.T.) was shot in a gusty wind, uphill from about 150 yards. The sun, which I hadn't seen in a week, came out and was in my eyes...I don't know if I could have made the shot with an ulralight.I own a couple Mark V Weatherbys--7mm and .300--which I treasure. Both are 45-50 years old, and on their second barrels--25" medium-weight Douglas and Weatherby brands. The .300 is custom-stocked, and each rifle weighs more than nine pounds. Not great rifles for scrambling on scree slopes, but for much big game hunting they are fine. Much of the recoil is absorbed by the rifles' weight. Also, there is nothing like squirming into a shooting position and seeing those crosshairs steady rather than bouncing all over the place as in the case of a too-light rifle!

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from Concerned_Soldier wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave,9lb rifle with around 50 lbs of Body Armor, extra ammo, water and other gear gets a little heavy.But after walking in Baghdad for a day or two in the heat, you really don't notice the weight of the rifle, more the weight of the stares and glares from some of the people.Watching a child of 5 or 6 tug on my sleeve and ask me for clean water will weigh on me forever, much more then any rifle ever will.Call me post traumatic... It's all good, at least I can say I did it for something bigger then myself.V/RC_S

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from Jay wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I usually stick with Weatherby rifles for the magnum loads; they are heavier than most of the rifles being built today.

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from Robert wrote 6 years 1 week ago

My first several deer hunts were with my .50 flintlock. It's a traditional style long rifle with a 38" barrel at 15/16 diameter. It must weigh 9-10 pounds, never weighed it. But I've never once had an issue with being unable to hold it on target or worry about recoil. It can get a little heavy after several hours of walking, but that's no big deal to the peace of mind I have that I can hold on target without shaking too much when the time comes. Since then I've always been more comfortable with a heavy rifle than a light one, and still do most of my hunting with that flintlock.

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from ray wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I'm disabled, so mostly hunt from a stand. I have a ruger 10-22 that is accurate but that short 2"x4" shape of it will not hold steady for me. I can shoot three times as good with a marlin bolt,or lever, a rem 552, or win 67. balance and fit(which the ruger doesn't have) has as an important part as weight inMHO.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 6 years 1 week ago

To KJ: The best sling I know of of is made by Murray Leather in Texas, and is called the A-1 Murray Quick-Set Rifle Sling. If you put a little vegetable cooking oil on it after it gets wet, it never wears out. Adjusts quickly, holds its adjustment fairly well, and doesn't get in the way. A broken-in Murray sling has unbelievable funk and character.

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from PbHead wrote 6 years 1 week ago

It's easier to take the weight off the rifle than off the hunter.

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from Dr. Ralph wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Weight is nice, but in my experience length seems to be more important and no I'm not going down that road. A heavy short rifle like a No.1 A at 38" overall length is harder for me to shoot off hand than one 42" like a 700. Don't know why this is but I also have two barrels for an 1100 shotgun because it was old with no ventilated rib or choke tubes 26" long so I got a new 30" and can hit with it much better. I know everyone will say longer sight plane but really it is because it swings and handles so much better for me. That weight out front steadys my ability to hold on target. Heavy does soak up recoil though...

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from KJ wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Dave, it seems the main argument against a heavy rifle is the one you mention - carrying it in rough country. A good sling that distributes the weight effectively and doesn't slide off of your shoulder could help here. Can you recommend any slings?

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Yooperjack: I forgot to mention that the local gun store has a wall full of targets with extremely impressive tight groups which were fired from newly purchased T-3s. Apparently the locals like to show off the results and the store owner wants to sell the guns. I have never shot one in my life but they are light, accurate, and apparently rugged enough. I am told that they have SAKO barrels but have not verified that statement. The guys who have T-3s love them even if they are as ugly a homemade sin.

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from ishawooa wrote 6 years 1 week ago

As I age (heading for 61) my rifles seem to gain as much weight as me. Most are in the 9 to 9.5 range complete with scopes and mag cartridges. I let the horse worry about hauling them around and none have even complained. I have found that invariably the elk or deer will be further up the mountain or on the other side of it whenever I locate them. This often causes an old man to attempt a quick trip up what is usually a significant vertical challenge. As a result the heart is racing and the lungs pumping. Nevertheless the 9.5 lb .338 will settle right down with the Leupold's crosshairs just about where I want them for a successful hit. I cannot say the same thing for my custom lightweights or even for the lamented Rem Mtn Rifle that I traded off years ago. As we all are quite aware shooting from the bench after a leasurely walk from your pickup or SUV is different in numernous ways from shooting from a windy hilltop when you are out of breathe and worn out from 4 or 5 days in the hills.Given one gun give me the heavier one...sorry NULA and other lites fans, they are great rifles but usually that extra few pounds is beneficial when the reason you are hunting happens. Besides leave that ridiculous backpack (and whatever is in it) in camp, only take 6 Snickers instead of 12, don't haul around those extra rifle magazines, take only 2 knives and small flashlights, and on and on. Pretty soon you have more than made up for the difference in rifle weight that you are carrying. That's my side of the story, I do what works for me.

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from DINFOS wrote 6 years 1 week ago

Mr. Petzal,I recently picked up a "heavy" rifle you did a short review on awhile back, the Savage Model 40 in 22 Hornet. As you stated, it has some heft to it, but to be honest, I actually enjoy the extra weight to it. When its steadied....it is truly steady.

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from YooperJack wrote 6 years 1 week ago

I happened to be in a large sporting goods store in Green Bay recently. They had several of the new left hand Tikka T-3 lites in stock. I was able to hold them and work the bolt. Nice rifle but I think it's really to light to hold on a target. Had they been heavier, I might have bought the 30-06 that day.YooperJack

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