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Old March 24, 2023, 10:45 AM   #1
taylorce1
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Still on the quest for a light .308 Win.

I'm still on the hunt for a sub 6 lbs .308 Win rifle and I've boiled it down to a few choices. My goal is 8.5 lbs or less with loaded magazine, sling, Nightforce SHV 3-10X42, and suppressed. I haven't been able to find any of these rifles anywhere within 135 miles to handle (save one) to know if I'd like it. These are the rifles that fit in my budget right now, allow me to meet my weight goals, and how I'm ranking them.

1. Howa Superlite, 4 lbs 7 oz lightest of all rifles almost a full pound lighter, and middle of the road on price at $1000, carbon fiber synthetic stock. Cons, proprietary short action smaller than the normal 1500 action. This rifle will weigh between 7.5 and 8 lbs without having to change anything except my current scope base.

2. Christensen Arms Mesa FFT, 5.5 lbs and $1300, with M700 footprint, carbon fiber synthetic stock. The only con I have is I'll have to change out my current rings and bases to keep it at 8.5 lbs.

3. Kimber Montana, 5.5 lbs and $1350-2000+, stainless steel rifle, lightweight sythetic stock. Cons, are none currently available. I can backorder at $1350, or pay $2000+ for a used or NOS rifle. New scope mounts required.

4. Kimber hunter, 5 lbs 6 oz for $900, stainless steel rifle. Cons, injection molded stock and new scope mounts required.

5. Savage Lightweight Storm, cheapest at $700, stainless steel. Cons, injection molded stock, and new scope base required. I have handled this rifle, I'm really just not fond of the Accufit stock.

I'm really leaning towards the Howa SL and the Mesa FFT. However, I'm having a hard time wanting to spend $1000+ on a rifle I've never had in my hands.
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Old March 24, 2023, 11:58 AM   #2
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i have a kimber montana in 257 roberts with a 2x7 leupold scope in light weight rings-mount that comes in a 6.3 lbs. it keeps 3-4 shots on a nickle at 100 yards with a 115gr bullet at 2900 fps. a dream to carry and accurett enought for shots to 300 yrds. i paid 750.00 for it as no one seemed to want a 257 roberts.
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Old March 24, 2023, 04:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
My goal is 8.5 lbs or less with loaded magazine, sling, Nightforce SHV 3-10X42, and suppressed.
Net says the scope is 22.2oz. Call 5rnds of .308 about 5 oz. Sling? no idea, 4oz? 8oz? scope mount &* rings? varies a bit. And I have no idea what a suppressor weighs.

Sounds like you need to start with something under 6lbs.

Sorry I don't have any suggestions.

Are you familiar with the saying in engineering that goes,
"Light, Strong, Cheap....pick any two...."
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Old March 24, 2023, 04:43 PM   #4
taylorce1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Sounds like you need to start with something under 6lbs.
Yes, and all rifles are under 6 lbs. My current suppressor weighs 16 ounces exactly. I can buy suppressor that'll weigh 8-10 ounces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Are you familiar with the saying in engineering that goes,
"Light, Strong, Cheap....pick any two...."
There are a lot of similar sayings. These all stay under my self imposed budget of $1500 out the door price. Not having a chance to view these rifles in person, I was hoping to get opinions of members who might of.
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Old March 24, 2023, 05:04 PM   #5
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My cousin bought a Christensen Arms Mesa in 6.5 Creedmoor. It is the lightest rifle that I have ever handled.

Note that it has a labor intensive barrel break-in procedure. It has you take 6 shots, then a 30 minute cleaning procedure using nylon brushes and bore guide. I've had bottles and bottles of Hoppe's cleaner from many cleaning kits, and after breaking this rifle in I only have an ounce or two left. It has you do this for the first 50 rounds. I got the cleaning procedure down to 20 min or so there towards the end! Whew!!

It is a nice smooth rifle, and it was fun breaking it in. I'm excited to start reloading for it. As soon as I get current projects caught up.
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Old March 24, 2023, 05:10 PM   #6
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Easy.
Kimber Hunter. Super light, you can get Talley mounts for it, IIRC about 3 oz. Get a good scope, insert your choice here, maybe 1.5 lbs. Nylon sling, maybe 4 oz. This leaves you about a pound for a suppressor. Bad part, very few aftermarket accessories, barrels are very skinny.

Second choice, Christensen Arms Mesa. Nice rifle, relatively lightweight, but the core of the rifle is heavy, I don't see you getting it all together under 8 lbs. Good part, they tend to be very accurate. Good part, lots and lots of accessories available since it's a 700 clone. Bad part, they are a little spendy.

Either way you go, not bad choices.

If light weight and 700 clone is important to you, there are titanium 700 actions on the market, but tend to be a little pricey, about 2 grand last time I looked.
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Old March 25, 2023, 12:28 PM   #7
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Got to thinking on it, and I actually do have a suggestion, but you won't like it, and it probably won't fit your requirements.

My light weight .308 Win is a Rem Model 600.

18.5" barrel, wood stock, blind box magazine (4+1 capacity) Weaver mount & rings, JC Higgins (Weaver) 2.5x post scope, leather sling goes just over 7lbs all up.

No suppressor, almost no aftermarket parts, no factory support, been out of production a bit longer than the 50 years I've had mine, and Remington has gone away...

Good deer rifle, mine puts everything into 2 inches @ 100yds and that's good enough for me. Plus, I just like it, despite the fact that it kicks a bit.

Unless you happen to find one on the used rack in a local shop (and they aren't common) you won't be able to handle one. They do show up on the Internet for sale, from time to time, still.

Can't recommend any new, or current production guns, sorry. I've got mine and simply have never looked for anything else.
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Old March 25, 2023, 06:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorch
Second choice, Christensen Arms Mesa. Nice rifle, relatively lightweight, but the core of the rifle is heavy, I don't see you getting it all together under 8 lbs. Good part, they tend to be very accurate. Good part, lots and lots of accessories available since it's a 700 clone. Bad part, they are a little spendy.
Model 700 clone isn't necessary, but it does KISS most things in the future. Also 5.5 lbs for the 20" model isn't a heavyweight by any means. I have light rifles 6lb .250 Savage and a 7lb .30-06, but they are both rifles I'll never thread.

I've talked with my buddy who has a Kimber 84m in 7-08 and a Hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor, and has owned a Montana in .280 AI. He's advised against the Hunter, and said wait for a Montana. He said it was a mistake to trade off his Montana after surgery for the Hunter.




Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
My light weight .308 Win is a Rem Model 600.
I've handled the M600 more than once, and now a nice example sells for more than what I'm wanting to pay. A well used rifle is close to my bottom end with the current market.
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Old March 25, 2023, 08:29 PM   #9
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The model 7 is just a modern 600. You should be able to find one at a better price.

With a scope that heavy and a suppressor you're going to have a hard time making weight. You may not be able to check off all the boxes but come close.

I'd start with a Tikka. With the barrel chopped to 18" you'd be at or under 6 lbs. Then go from there and let weight fall where it does.
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Old March 25, 2023, 09:31 PM   #10
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I've shot both the Kimber Hunter and Savage LWS,both in 6.5. They both shoot and handle well. The Kimber has a 22" barrel vs. 20" for the Savage so you might get a little more oomph from the Kimber but not enough to make any real difference in the field. Without weighing each on a scale, I could't say which weighs more. They both feel light.

I have handled, but not shot, the Howa Superlite. It is definitely light but the balance seems to be noticeably muzzle heavy (if that is possible in a 4.5lb rifle). I would think putting a heavy scope and suppressor on that would make it even more muzzle heavy.
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Old March 25, 2023, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr40
The model 7 is just a modern 600. You should be able to find one at a better price.
Obviously you haven't been following the prices of Remington rifles since the bankruptcy . The model 7 on average is selling for more than the 600. Plus you can't build light as affordable as buying it, I think you'd agree. As far as Tikka, I like them in theory just not in practice. They just don't feel right in my hands, the few I've shot have all been accurate though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasoninSD
I've shot both the Kimber Hunter and Savage LWS.....I have handled, but not shot, the Howa Superlite.
I'm pretty sure I don't want the LWS, it is just an option at 5.5+/- lbs. I'm not worried about 2" of barrel, I wouldn't be afraid to hunt with a 16" .308 Win. Thanks for your opinion on the Howa. All rifles tend to be muzzle heavy with a suppressor, nature of the beast so to speak.
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Old March 26, 2023, 06:45 AM   #12
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Your gonna have a hard time doing that with that optic snd a suppressor. Gonna be spendy, probably gonna need something with a carbon fiber stock and barrel. And you might have to change optics.
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Old March 26, 2023, 08:33 PM   #13
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@Shadow9mmn

All rifles mentioned will keep me 8.5 lbs or less.
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Old March 27, 2023, 08:47 AM   #14
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Is it really worth an extra 1, 2 or 3K$ or more to shave a pound or two off a rifle's weight? In my book, no. I've shot a few carbon wonders, don't care for the way they feel or recoil.
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Old March 27, 2023, 10:29 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by taylorce1 View Post
@Shadow9mmn

All rifles mentioned will keep me 8.5 lbs or less.
Should keep you under 8.5lb. Does not mean they will. Is that including rings? is that including a sling? are you mounting direct thread or QD? did you account for the gun being loaded?
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Old March 27, 2023, 10:31 AM   #16
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Is it really worth an extra 1, 2 or 3K$ or more to shave a pound or two off a rifle's weight? In my book, no. I've shot a few carbon wonders, don't care for the way they feel or recoil.
Depends on what your doing with it. If your going to be carrying it long distances regularly, and you have the $$$$$$ taking a pound off might be a worth while investment.

I have only held a carbon wonder once, felt/handles strange to me. Never got to shoot one.
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Old March 27, 2023, 11:22 AM   #17
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Depends on what your doing with it. If your going to be carrying it long distances regularly
Did previous generations of girly-men get that memo?

Actually, you're right--I wouldn't want to shoot one for an extended period of time, and they can be very accurate--probably have a good market with guys going on long trek hunts (though I wonder what happens if they have to haul meat out??)
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Last edited by stagpanther; March 27, 2023 at 12:29 PM.
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Old March 27, 2023, 02:09 PM   #18
taylorce1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow9mm
Is that including rings? is that including a sling? are you mounting direct thread or QD? did you account for the gun being loaded?
Simple answer is yes to all of the above. I have everything in hand and weighed that'll I'll add to the rifle, to include scope, rings, sling, ammunition, and muzzle device for mounting my suppressor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
Is it really worth an extra 1, 2 or 3K$ or more to shave a pound or two off a rifle's weight?
Have I stated I'm spending $2-3K plus for weight savings. How many rifle now cost around $1000? I've handled carbon fiber stocks, and they don't feel differently than most of my fiberglass stocks.

I think 7.5lbs to 8.5 lbs is a sweet spot to carry and shoot for a hunting rifle. That's where I'm trying to end up.
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Old March 27, 2023, 03:46 PM   #19
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Have I stated I'm spending $2-3K plus for weight savings.
I didn't say you did, but to keep the whole shebang configured as you described very light most likely means going with ultralight composites and at least fluted barrel--though maybe something like a lightweight Tikka could get reasonably close. Carbon composite rifles and barrels with fluted bolts and barrels seems to be the direction the industry is headed in for long distance hunter needing a featherweight rifle, I just wouldn't be willing to spend that kind of money myself. I've shot a Christiansen Arms in 300 win mag and I liked it (have a couple of "conventional" ones including a howa), but that weight savings also makes it jumpier on the shot and hit a bit harder in recoil IMO.
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Old March 27, 2023, 05:03 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by stagpanther
I didn't say you did, but to keep the whole shebang configured as you described very light most likely means going with ultralight composites and at least fluted barrel-
Composite stocks for sure, not one fluted barrel in the bunch. The Savage does have a fluted bolt. 20" barrels on everything but the Kimber rifles they have 22" barrels. All lighter than any offering from Tikka, weights taken from importer/makers websites.

Howa Superlite 4 lbs 7 oz


Christensen Arms Mesa FFT 5.5 lbs


Kimber Montana 5 lbs 2 oz


Kimber Hunter 5 lbs 7 oz


Savage Lightweight Storm 5.6 lbs
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Old March 27, 2023, 10:27 PM   #21
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ruger?

I can't advise on the naked weight of my suggestion, but what about the Ruger Predator/308 with the 18" bbl? I sure am happy with mine.
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Old March 28, 2023, 02:26 AM   #22
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@bamaranger, 6.2 lbs naked per Ruger. I had researched the compact, thinking it might be an option.
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Old March 28, 2023, 02:44 AM   #23
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Hmmmm...if I was asked to build something like this I'd look at an MDT LRS chassis made to the SA receiver of your choice and then order a custom lightweight sporter barrel, though you might be limited by how thin they can go based on needing the muzzle threaded for your suppressor. Polymer AICS mag, and assuming this is a pack-in hiking rifle I'd put a minimalist AR folding stock on which reduces the size enough to pack and carry.
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Old March 28, 2023, 11:50 AM   #24
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For some reason this thread puts me in mind of a scene in the 13th Warrior.

The "arab" is given a large sword, and says "I cannot lift this!"
The Viking replies with a laugh, and says "Grow stronger!!!"

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Old March 28, 2023, 02:55 PM   #25
taylorce1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stagpanther
Hmmmm...if I was asked to build something like this I'd look at an MDT LRS chassis made to the SA receiver of your choice and then order a custom lightweight sporter barrel
They already exist, its called the Sig Cross or Q The Fix. They weigh 6.5 and 6.2 lbs respectively, and one puts me way over the agreed upon budget that I set with my wife. Even using an magnesium chassis with minimalist carbonfiber buttstock and pistol grip I can't get to 8.5 lbs or less. I certainly cant build a custom rifle and meet my weight goals on my budget. Especially with a $400-1000 chassis, $1200-1400 action, and $400-1000 custom barrel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
For some reason this thread puts me in mind of a scene in the 13th Warrior.

The "arab" is given a large sword, and says "I cannot lift this!"
The Viking replies with a laugh, and says "Grow stronger!!!"
Well would you rather carry a 7.5-8.5 lb rifle or a 9lb + rifle and hunt elk and mule deer in a wilderness area between 7,000 and 12,000 ft ASL? Only options to get in and out are on foot or pack animals, no wheeled transportation allowed to include game carts.

Also what are you willing to compromise on with your firearms. I like my suppressor and my NF optic, why should I not use them? I already have a 9+ lbs bunting rifle using both, it didn't stop me from getting my elk. All I can tell you is never once have I ever wished to carry heavier equipment on a hunt or as an infatry soldier.
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