I am trying to choose a .338 Win Mag right now but can't decide if I want a heavier rifle or a light one.
Does anyone have preference for weight in the heavier calibers. I am thinking about a 7 3/4 pound model. This almost seems too heavy to me for doing a lot of walking, spot and stalk hunting. Then I look at models around 6 1/2 pounds and they almost seem too light for the recoil.
I am leaning towards 6.5 pounds... the trade off in weight and recoil seems worth it to me.
For what it's worth .... for me, the only time I would worry about rifle weight is if I were going to do some hunting in extreme environments - like mountian goat hunting above the tree line, Bongo hunting in the thick jess of CAR, etc. I generally hunt on public land, which means I have to hike in several miles to get away from everyone else. I have rifles that weigh in at just under 8 pounds when fully loaded and others that weigh over 10. I personally don't seem to notice much difference, but that is just me. My recommendation is find one you can shoot well, and don't worry too much about a few ounces ....
When I first became aware of the effort to drastically reduce the weight of rifles it was primarily by custom rifle makers to accommodate those individuals who were into ‘mountain hunting’. Many hunts for mountain species such as sheep, goats, ibex, etc., can be three steps forward in the shale only to then slide two steps back. It is therefore advantageous to have your pack and all other gear as light as possible. However, as time passed the trend seems to have become the manufacture of super lightweight rifles for all occasions and hunts of all types.
As a matter of personal choice I don’t care for the light weight rifles, nor do I like the ear shattering muzzle brakes so commonly used to reduce their recoil. Although I imagine a removable brake wouldn’t be so bad to sight in with on the bench and then remove it for the field.
In any event, I much prefer the heft of a traditional sporting rifle (no brake) for general hunting purposes and I’ve never found the extra pound or two to be an undue strain to carry.
Like ‘BangFlop’ said; “find one you can shoot well, and don't worry too much about a few ounces ....”
I agree with the last two posts completely. I guided for sheep and goat for a lot of years and honestly, I think much of this light weight rifle hype is just in peoples heads due to a lot of press about it. Sure no one wants to pack a 12 pound rifle around all day in steep terrain, but really...........if packing a 6 1/2 pound rifle is going to make that much difference to me over an 8 pound rifle, well I probably shouldn't be clambering around in the rocks and shale in the first place....................but that is just my take on it and many will disagree.
Like Big5 I prefer a rifle of normal heft and I abhor muzzle brakes. I have seen some of the ultra light weight rifles with their short, pencil barrels and Star Wars stocks and they leave me cold. But hey, maybe it is just old guy syndrome setting in.:D
Honestly, it has been around 12 years since I purchased a rifle. I just could not figure out why some rifles were weighing in at 6 pounds and others at 10. Didn't have this problem when I bought my 7mm in 1997 :rolleyes:
All tricked out with scope, ammunition, and sling my 24 inch .338 weighs 10 1/4 pounds. It holds rock steady over the sticks; is no problem at all in a typical plains game environment; and if I head off for mountain goat or dall sheep, I'll be carrying a different caliber. You will absolutely hate a light .338 from the bench, and it is hard to forget you hate it when you are trying to line up on the trophy of a life time 250 meters across the thorn. I don't think you will find the heavier rifle a problem at all.
I use a Browning A Bolt to hunt Sambar Deer in fairly hilly country. All up this rifle probably comes in over 9 lbs. I find that this is an advantage when I am breathing hard following a climb and therefore can hold much more steady on a target then with a light rifle. Obviously all this depends on your body size and strength.
Originally Posted by husb0023