Q: Today, there seems to be a trend toward making rifles as light as possible, with some barely weighing 2.5kg. This means that some outfits will be no more than 3kg field ready.
My rifles all tip the scales at 4-4.5kg. While they are more of a burden to carry in the bush, I believe the extra heft makes them easier to hold steady and shoot more accurately.
What’s your opinion about this?
– Bill Leonard
A: When I was young and a lot fitter, a rifle outfit weighing 4.5kg was pretty normal and not a problem, but now I really need something lighter.
I would not, however, go to the other extreme, because I think there’s a happy medium.
My Kimber .25-06 weighs 3.4kg with 3-9×36 Swarovski scope in Leupold mounts and I’ve found it to be an ideal combination of portability, shootability and power.
Comparing my two magnums, the Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon in 26 Nosler is half a kilo heavier. And my ‘big rifle’, a Mauser .338 Win Mag, weighs 4.3kg field ready.
It is necessary to balance all-up weight against the calibre. The more powerful the cartridge, the heavier the rifle should be, within reason of course. I think I have a nice balance with my hunting guns.
They all have stocks with high combs that bring recoil back in a straight line, and they all have a soft butt pad which makes them pleasant to shoot.