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Old February 15, 2014, 12:38 AM   #47
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Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,317
The marketing in rifles seems to be focused on being light, as if all hunters were hiking several days into the wilderness.

I live in Minnesota, and frankly it seems like most people don't want to walk 100 yards beyond their trucks. I see some guys parking their vehicles immediately below their stands even. I tend to go far beyond that, walking 1-2 miles regularly, but carrying a 9-10 lb rifle is still realistic. Soldiers used to march with M1 Garands that weighed 9.5 pounds.

Thus, from an accuracy and recoil standpoint, wouldn't the heavier rifles be better for your average stand hunter? If you don't have to carry a rifle a long ways, wouldn't there be advantages to a heavier rifle?
In Minnesota and many places back east, there's not much of a reason to argue that a 10 lb rifle is perfectly fine for a great number of hunters.

But, when I hunt deer, I often cover 12-15 miles in a day. Some days, I might cover 20+ miles. ...and that's not gentle-rolling-hills-through-bean-fields mileage, that's Rocky Mountain mileage, though nasty forests that haven't been logged in 80+ years (if ever). So the forest floor, mid-mountain mind you, is covered in an interlaced pile of rotting logs, precariously perched logs, and sharp, broken limbs that are just waiting to impale you. It takes its toll on you.

For Elk, the mileage is the same, or even a little lower, but it's in rougher terrain. And, just when you think you're going to get a break from the blow-down timber, you end up in tight, nasty scrub, on a mountain face that's covered in loose shale.

Lugging a 10 lb rifle around is irritating and tiring. So, the question becomes: Why carry a 10 lb rifle, when you can use one that weighs 6.5 lbs?
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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