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Old February 15, 2014, 11:56 AM   #51
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Most of my hunting rifles weigh between 8 3/4 and 9 1/2 pounds field ready and loaded. My 375H&H weighs 10 and 7 oz. I do have a light AR in 6.8 SPC that weighs only 7 pounds and 7 oz with scope and fully loaded.

I also hunt with military rifles now and then, M-1, Smith M14 and FN FAL. The FAL is scoped and is heavy, but not too heavy to hunt with even in the mountains for mule deer and elk. My wife and I hunted 2 years ago with AK-47s for deer and antelope. We both have folding stocks on them and I have to say the compactness of the AKs was really nice when we were dragging the game back. Between us we killed 5 antelope and 4 deer with them.
So my FAL is heavy and my AR and AK are both light. I do not find I favor one rifle over the another for the reason of weight. I just hunt with what feels right to me on the day I go out.

Heck, a LOT of my hunting is done with a 62 caliber flintlock rifle. Quite successfully too I might add.

I have made many light weight rifles in my life. Many weighed only 6 pounds and change. All shot well (or I would not have let them out of the shop. Dissatisfied customers are BAD juju)

I love a light rifle, but I guess I have not loved them enough to make one for myself.
I don't notice the weight on my 375 at all, so I guess any rifle up to about 10 1/2 pounds if ok with me. I don't enjoy shooting light and very powerful rifles, and so if I were to make one for myself I am sure I would make nothing more powerful than a 30-06.

I made a super light 416 Taylor for a man about 10 years ago. The rifle weighed only 7 pound and 1 oz when it was done and had a 4 blade sight on it that I had to zero at 100, 200, 300 and 400 yards THAT was not a fun part of the job. He was (and is) delighted with his rifle and has taken it all over hunting. He sends me pictures of his kills now and then, from Alaska, Australia and Africa as well as some elk in Montana. I am happy he's happy, but I can tell you a 7 pound 416 rifle is for hunting, not sport shooting! It does kick.

I can handle recoil pretty well, but I don’t choose to do it is there is not a reason to do it.
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Old February 15, 2014, 12:41 PM   #52
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I hunted deer and black bear for many years with a Remington Model 8 in .35 Remington.

I walked for miles through thick woods carrying that 8lb. rifle and never thought once about the weight.

Now I like them with a little less weight.
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"A man should never be parted one step from his weapon; neither on the road, nor on his field."
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Old February 15, 2014, 05:54 PM   #53
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To the OP I can say this:
Whenever I bought any rifle, for whatever reason, the weight of the rifle never came into play.
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Old February 16, 2014, 02:25 AM   #54
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To the OP's question"Isn't a heavier rifle better for a typical stand hunter"

OP,if you determine that is what is better for you,I'd say you are right..for you.

I figure as long as the hunter can make a clean kill,they might have just what they want,or,they might be hunting with the rifle they have,or it might be Dad's old rifle,or grandpa's.

I like light rifles.I spend more time carrying than shooting.I shoot better fresh than tired.A light rifle is more likely to be in my hands than leaning against a tree.

But,other things come into play,last antelope season I used a military trim 1903A4 copy.Not so light.Worked fine.I used it because I built it and I just wanted to.

On a stand,for a deer,If I had (I don't) a mini mauser in 6.5 Grendel with a 20 in fwt barrel in a foam core Kevlar stock with a light fixed 4x scope,say all up < 6 lbs,I'd think 250 yd deer would be no problem.

If my bro chose to carry an AR-10T,just because he is a one rifle guy,no problem.
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Old February 16, 2014, 03:35 AM   #55
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It depends on where you're hunting. If you don't have to walk far to get your deer, a heavier rifle is fine. But frankly, no one wants to tote a heavy rifle around for miles. Keep in mind you need to carry your deer out, too. That extra weight is something you just don't need.

That said, I have hunted with a 10-pound rig before. I had my reasons, though. At the time it was my only caliber-appropriate rifle, and I have unsteady feet so I needed to shoot sitting or prone, hence a bipod. Since then, I have added lighter options to my gear kit. Hiking in rough terrain with a heavy rifle was NOT fun.
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Old February 16, 2014, 09:28 AM   #56
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My Dad often told of marching north throughout Italy carrying his heavy Garand each and every day. When he returned from the war, he bought a featherweight 300 Savage lever gun. What's the point? Dad was physically up to carrying a much heavier hunting rifle but he didn't want to do so.

I agree that modern hunters tend to focus upon lighter rifles than the past. It's not laziness, just preference. My main deer getter is a Glenfield carbine in 30-30 that has taken literally dozens of animals for me. Short and fairly light with good accuracy and power for the forests and foothills.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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Old February 16, 2014, 11:01 AM   #57
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I'm all for it.

If you have access to an area where you can set up a hide and wait for an animal to wander into range where 300+ yards is common then yes. Carrying a heavy rifle through the underbrush or up and down mountain ranges gets old really quick.
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Old February 16, 2014, 03:10 PM   #58
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Why not use a heavy rifle for typical deer hunting?

Why not use a heavy rifle for typical deer hunting?

Because it is too heavy.
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Old February 16, 2014, 08:42 PM   #59
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I fail to see what a heavy rifle does better than a light rifle. I can take a factory Tikka t3 Lite, or whatever and make it group just as well as a heavy barreled 700 all day.

Your shooting at vitals... not for group size, so really why burden yourself with a heavier gun for something that should be 1 shot and done. Even IF you needed follow up shots (Sorry I can't relate, I was taught to shoot accurately and humanly on big game, so I don't shoot unless I am 100% sure.) A pencil barrel will still hold a group size that is certainly lethal.

NOW on the flip side of the coin. If someone is lacking in shooting fundamentals, a light weight rifle can make that persons mistakes more prevalent, (flinch, poor trigger control, ect.) but it is not the fault of the gun.
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Old February 18, 2014, 04:51 PM   #60
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My best offhand centerfire is my older Rem 700 ADL. It won a lot of turkey shoots!!! The pistol grip and nice trigger, along with the nice stock fit, makes it seem like part of my body. I had it re-barreled to .243 Win (from .22-250) and it's a great coyote and deer rifle, especially for the grandkids.
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Old February 19, 2014, 08:14 PM   #61
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. . .the difference between a .2 MOA 15 lb rifle, and a .3 MOA 6 lb rifle makes a difference. For a deer hunter @ under 500 yards the extra .1 MOA is not worth the weight. In fact from typical hunting shooting positions you can't really take advantage of anything much less than 1 MOA.
This is my point. I would love to see a real .2 MOA all day long rifle! Really! IMO, .6 MOA is a great shooting field gun. 1 MOA is a great shooting hunting rifle.

I have some experience with both. Also, IME, these threads tend to bring out the guys who will tell you their 6lb hunting rifle never shoots over .3MOA. . .Really, 100 shots through the same hole = .3MOA?

So, to qualify my .6 or 1 MOA, I'm talking about 1 shot per minute, 5 shots, 100 yd, good shooter, FR and RR sand bag/pedestal rest groups. I've never seen consistently better except from a benchrest rifle off a real benchrest setup. Maybe my life is limited! I have seen many a 3 shot shooter talk about their .3MOA varmint gun when it was shooting .5" or bigger groups.


My real point is a 6 lb rifle just does not settle in a field expedient rest or in my std position hold like a 13 - 15 lb rifle. I can be much more accurate in the field with some weight. With a 6 lb rifle, even a heart beat moves it a bit.

So, what to hunt with. . .? I go as heavy as I'm willing to carry for longer range stuff. For 0 - 300 yd stuff, I can see going with a fast handling 2 - 3 MOA (field) rifle for quickness and an easy carry.

I hope I live long enough to see a real 5 shot, 100 yd, .3 MOA, 5 shot group, everytime, 6lb rifle. . .Until then, I guess I have to use what I know.
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Old February 19, 2014, 09:26 PM   #62
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Since we're talking about deer hunting, in this thread, itsy-teensy groups are irrelevant. Or claims thereof.

From the opening post (remember that?), the salient question was, "Thus, from an accuracy and recoil standpoint, wouldn't the heavier rifles be better for your average stand hunter?"

From the standpoint of needed accuracy for a deer rifle, no a heavy rifle is no better than a light rifle.

As to an opinion about the weight, that seems to me to be a personal choice.
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Old February 20, 2014, 01:04 AM   #63
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I would think the weight would be proportionally important to the distance carried. If you are in a tree stand or blind all day, heavier is good. If your packing through hills or heavy brush, it isn't so good.
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