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Old December 2, 2012, 11:47 AM   #1
WV_gunner
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Making a rifle lighter?

I need to make a Savage 110 lighter. Shaving a pound or two off is what I need. Any ideas?
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:55 AM   #2
Willie Lowman
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How is this rifle outfited now? Stock, scope, barrel length, etc?
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:00 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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Light weight stock, cut the barrel down to 20-21 inches, fixed power, smallish objective scope.

Need to know what exactly it is now to be more specific.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:06 PM   #4
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.243 caliber with scope and a synthetic stock. Unsure of the barrel length, I'll have to check. Thinking of possibly cutting 2 inches off and getting it fluted. Possibly the bolt too.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:12 PM   #5
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You'll be looking at maybe 2oz per inch of barrel, give or take. Its most likely 24" now. So going to 20 would save you 8oz, maybe.

You can't get a much lighter stock.

Fixed objective scope would save a few ounces.

Getting the barrel fluted might get pricey. I'm not sure, but I think you'd want it stress relieved after fluting.

You can get a brand new barrel in any length, material and fluting you want for under $400.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:30 PM   #6
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Anyone ever dealt with Proof Research? Supposed to be good, but I can't find prices. I'm sure it's out of the budget though.
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:32 PM   #7
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This is a hunting rifle and max range is about 400 yards. This gun will be carried all day. Need it to be lighter and slightly more compact.
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Old December 2, 2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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What's it's weight on a baby scale, now ?

If it already weighs only 7lbs, there's no way 2 lbs can be shaved off it - the only 5lb CF BA factory rifles I'm aware of is a NULA. or a Weatherby UltraLite (in standard cals), but LW customs can be had from Rifles, Inc or Christiansen Arms.

FWIW, Weaver 2-piece bases are about the lightest around, and even WallyWorld sells alloy rings to fit them.

"Some" BA rifles can be run w/o the sheet metal magazine well liner (not very heavy, but still weighing something )- unless your rifle has a detachable mag (you haven't given a complete description, as yet).


.

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Old December 2, 2012, 02:04 PM   #9
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Sometimes working on the gun and making it what you want is part of the fun but it sounds to me it may be the wrong rifle to take hunting . For the amount of money you may spend on fixing this gun you may be able to buy a Ruger American or a Savage Axis . Both are well under $400 , less then 7lbs and very accurate . My American is sub MOA no problem and pretty light at 6-1/4 lbs .

Just a thought

EDIT: I was just looking at all the 243 savage heavy barreled guns they make . They all look like really nice rifles that I would not want to mess with . If it's not a heavy barrel I don't think you can have it flutted . If you can have a light spoter type barrel flutted . I would think you would not be able to remove enough meterial to make a difference .
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Old December 2, 2012, 02:07 PM   #10
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It may prove to be cheaper in the long run to buy a lighter rifle. Something like on the single shot take down rifles. Something like a T/C Encore with a fixed power scope. In my years of hunting I have never taken a follow up shot. If you needed another shot you should not have missed with the first one.
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Old December 2, 2012, 03:51 PM   #11
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Why not just sell it and put that money and the "upgrade" money into a new Savage "Lightweight Hunter" ?

They're running $710-775 out-the-door, around here (including 6.75% sales tax, $7.50 background check, and any additional "dealer fees").
Or would that be beyond the budget?
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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When I hunt, I don't like using a sling. But by the end of the day I'm doing good to still carry it without the sling. I hunted this buck season with a much more compact and light gun than usual, but it's range limited. So I'm wanting to make this gun a little easier to carry. I'm not buying another gun though. And just to make it clear, I'm not afraid of hunting with a single shot. Did it when I was a kid and just this year I took a single shot bear hunting. I'd use one to deer hunt with too, but I'm using this gun.

So it looks like I don't really have options. Guess I'm going to look into a carbon fiber barrel.
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:21 PM   #13
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About the comment saying you don't need a follow up shot, you are mistaken and you must have good luck. I've seen a deer run with about half of it's head missing. It needed another shot. And even with a fatal shot, not every deer magically drops instantly. Many run. Running a few hundred yards is somewhat common and they were shot in the heart. Just yesterday one ran about 3/4 of a mile that was shot in the chest with a .300 magnum where I was hunting.
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:29 PM   #14
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Cool man , sounds like you know what you want happy huntimg
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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Two lbs isn't practical. About 3/4-1 lb is possible if you consider the total weight including optcs, but can get expensive. If you want 2 lbs, sell it and buy a Kimber.

Your stock will probably weigh about 30-36 oz. The cheapest aftermarket stock that will save you any weight is a McMillan Edge. About 22-24 oz and $518. There are some other companies making 16 oz. stocks, but they are even more expensive. Going with a blind magazine vs floorplate will save you about 4 oz. Having a short action such as a 308 instead of long action in 30-06 will save you about 4 oz.

Look at your optics and mounts. Many common scopes are 16 oz or even more. Steel mounts are 6-8 oz. Going to a Leupold fixed 2.5X or 1-4X will get you down to 6 or 8 oz. for you scope. A 2-7x or 3-9X will be 10-11 oz. If you want lightweight don't even consider anything but Leupold. For mounts look at Talley lightweights or DNZ (2-3 oz).

Don't foget your sling. A Butler Creek Mountain sling weighs 4 oz. Many common slings I see hunters luggng around are as much as 2 lbs just for the carry strap.

You could shorten and flute a barrel, but the benefits are not worth the cost. Same with lightening the bolt handle. By the time you pay for all of the modifications you could buy a Kimber, have a better rifle, and have money left over. Mine is still under 6 lbs with scope and mounts.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:42 PM   #16
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WVgunner I have never had to track a deer in my 29 years of hunting. That includes archery, and hand gun hunting as well. I have passed on taking an iffy shot more times than I can count. Never had an animal go more than 50 feet from where I hit them. All except for one shot have been broad side shots. The one that was not was a head shot that took out the brain, and spine. It was my first deer shot almost exactly 29 years ago to this date.

Oh and I know there is no magic bullet that works as a death ray. I have seen family member have to track the deer that ran half a mile with both lungs collapsed. Though making a good clean shot will go a long way.
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Last edited by m&p45acp10+1; December 2, 2012 at 07:58 PM.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:09 PM   #17
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Sell the 110 and get a 10. Short actions are lighter by nature.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m&p45acp10+1
WVgunner I have never had to track a deer in my 29 years of hunting. That includes archery, and hand gun hunting as well. I have passed on taking an iffy shot more times than I can count. Never had an animal go more than 50 feet from where I hit them.
50 feet?

16 yards?

With a bow?

I'm sorry, but unless you're talking about a very small number of deer, and even then you'd have to be astonishingly lucky, that is simply unbelievable.

Even with guns that's unbelievable. I've seen A LOT of deer get shot. The average distance traveled on ANY shot that does not sever the spine is MUCH farther than 16 yards.
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Old December 2, 2012, 08:44 PM   #19
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Brian I killed 14 deer with a bow. never took a shot over 15 yards in all of those. The one that made it the farthest bounded, took a couple of stutter steps, dropped, and kicked all over the place. Much to my dismay it went down in a huge bed of prickly pear cactus. Rifle, and hand gun most when hit their legs looked like the folded under them. I am not the great white hunter. Most of my shots have been at very close ranges of 30 yards or less.

A hand full of rifle shots have been around 100 yards, and my first deer I hit with a head shot at 200 yards with an old 1903 Springfield with iron sights. I was 7 the rifle was longer than I was tall. I wound up on my back with the rifle pointing at the sky. I am still surprised I hit the thing to this day. Bullet went in under the eye, and blew out the brain, and spine. I was aiming at the white star area. Never took a shot that long a white tail since.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:21 PM   #20
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It's already a lightweight gun so unless you drop the scope and put on iron sights and replace the stock with a youth model stock you aren't going to lighten it up without doing something bad to it.

Dos Centavos from an old dinosaur who thinks you already have a great gun and wouldn't mess with it.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:32 PM   #21
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I can't believe someone who says they've hunted any decent amount and a deer has never not dropped in sight. I've shot a buck straight through the center of the heart with an arrow, and had it run 200 yards. I shot a buck with a 325gr FTX out of a muzzleloader at 10ft, through the front, destroyed virtually every organ in the animal before stopping in the back ham. The deer covered 150 yards just from the shock of the shot so close. Not a week ago a shot a doe through both lungs and took out the top two chambers of the heart with a 44Mag carbine, and she covered 100 yards.

Now shots at >150yds, where they don't hear the shot so close, those are virtually always bang-flops.

And a deer going 3/4 mile after being shot with a 300WM, someone needs to either choose a better shot angle, a more appropriate bullet, or both. I hunt with one and the only animal it hasn't been massively overkill on is an elk at 700 yards.

As for lightening a rifle, IMHO you are probably cheaper to start with one that is already made to be light and choose light mounts and a small, lights scope. If you won't be hunting over 400 yards you can get away with pretty minimal optics.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:48 PM   #22
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With apologies for my part in the thread drift, let's forget the "how far deer go" question and get back to lightening a gun.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:25 PM   #23
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Savage's 11/111 Lightweight Hunter looks close to what you want. 5.5lbs in short caliber, 6.0 long leaves room for a modest scope. Making your barrel, bolt, and stock lighter might cost as much as buying the Lightweight Hunter outright.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:13 PM   #24
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Truthfully the cheapest way to get a lighter rifle is to buy a new one as suggested earlier. To have Proof Research or Christensen arms rebarrel your Savage will cost more than that LW Hunter as suggested. I don't know if either will sell you a pre-fit barrel you can install yourself if you planned to DIY.

If you go with just the acton weight of a Savage you'll probably come in somewhere around 2.5 lbs so that will give you 4.5 lbs to play with to keep it under 7 lbs all up. A 22" fwt contour barrel will average around 1lb 13oz finishing .550" at the muzzle, a McMillan Hunters Edge will average 22 oz, Talley lwt mounts 4.5 oz, and Leupold 2.5-8X36 which is about the best variable scope for a lwt build will weigh in around 11.4 oz. So your roughly looking at a 6.75 lb rifle before you add a sling and ammo. You can trim about 3-4 oz off the build if you use a fixed power or 3-9X33 Ultralight by Leupold.

For the price to mold your Savage into a lightweight rifle you could buy a Kimber Montana in .243 ($1200) or one of the new Forbes rifles (not CLR, NULA or ULA) in .25-06 or .270 ($1300) for about the same money. The way I figure it a bare Savage action is worth $250-300, $350 for a prefit barrel, $500-700 for a lwt stock by the time it is finished, and $350-450 for scope and mounts. So for $1700 +/- if you were to buy all new parts you could come out with a rifle and be right at 7 lbs by the time you add a sling and ammo.

Sure you could do some other things and maybe shave another 4-6 oz off of the action by skeletonizing or running as a single shot. You'll probably carry the same amount of rounds hunting as you would if it had a magazine, so you might as well carry as many as you can in the rifle. Then to remove metal from the action and bolt would put your build over the $2K mark easily.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:28 PM   #25
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As stated you can only go so far. I homebrewed a Savage 110 in .243 a couple years ago with an 18.5" McGowan Striker barrel from savagebarrels.com, a Boyd's lightweight laminated thumbhole stock and Redfield 2-7x scope and it's still not what I'd call a lightweight. I do think the el'cheapo Choate (?) stock I had on it before hand was lighter but I've never scaled em out to be sure. But other than that you're gonna have what ya have and either that or stay home.

BTW, the main advantage of the shorter barrel is not in the weight savings. Just makes for a quicker handling gun with different balance that catches less crap when you're in the thick stuff.

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