Ultralight Hunting: Towards a Coherent Definition
Apr 25, 2015 at 10:07 am #2194583
light, maybe for grouse at 10 yards?
Starts at about 11.5 minutes.Apr 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm #2195394Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
Dave P, thanks for posting (and thanks Ken for pointing out in another thread). Does the one-handed neck adjustment work quickly and easily for you?May 4, 2015 at 5:42 pm #2196781Dave PSpectator
Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
Replied to you via original thread. Pasting URL so the conversation in this thread is more coherent:May 21, 2015 at 3:44 pm #2201354Dave PSpectator
Just thought about this today after watching a Russian documentary. It's amazingly simple– no fancy RealTree, old Baikal shotguns, nothing but the content of their canvas ruck and a tomato can on a bail.
Could duck-hunting fit into the definition of ultralight hunting?
They don't use decoy, and they rely on a tarp for a tent and a blind. So, I have been thinking:
20-gauge is considered to be the bare minimum in duck and goose-hunting, and many prefer 10- or 12-gauge and dedicated duck guns tend to be heavier. But the type of shooting is the exact opposite of grouse-hunting where the person want a sub-6 lbs shotgun for walking many hours in the forest. 7 to 8 pounds are considered "light" for a duck gun.
So, really, one could take the same list except turn the shelter into a blind with camoflagued pattern. Too bad the camo cuben are see-through, and silnylon are difficult to find.Oct 5, 2020 at 8:30 am #3678512
Geeze- how did I miss this thread :)
Thanks Dave for the article!
Getting a lightweight kit together for a big game backpack hunt is a tough chore no doubt.
Im headed out midweek for a couple of day, barebones bivy hunt. I’ve got my shelter/sleep setup under three pounds (eVENT bivy, Apex quilt, Xtherm pad), but that is more than offset with a 4.5 lb pack :)
I found an outfit (just down the road) Kramer Designs that makes a very lightweight tripod- 10 ounces with a ball head. Wouldn’t use it with a heavier optic, but works well with my 10×42’s.
Ive got my rifle about as light as I can get it- 6 lbs all in.
I’ll have to weigh my pack before I leave.Oct 5, 2020 at 12:46 pm #3678530JacobBPL Member
What caliber are you using?
I have also heard of using pistols to hunt big game.
But I’m still learning a lot about hunting. Do you have any opinions on these or other sub-6lb options?Oct 5, 2020 at 3:41 pm #3678545
Ruger American in .308 here, 7 pounds, 3oz. all in. Just like tents, I guess it’s the difference ~$500+ makes in a rifle!
But I just lost my entire local archery and rifle season to fires…
So I’ve been hunting the ocean instead…That’s 12lbs of lead on my dive belt; sort of the opposite equation vs. hunting on land!Oct 5, 2020 at 4:46 pm #3678555David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Jacob: I’ve seen Manfred be incredibly effective with his Kimber (Mountain Ascent?) in .308. If I’ve got the model right, it’s 4 pounds 13 ounces before optics.
That light, in .308, and it’s got some kick to it, so he added a muzzle break. So it’s got some blast to it and you really want hearing pro.
Also Jacob: Sure, people handgun hunt, but I see it mostly as an additional challenge they choose to undertake. You greatly reduce your effective range and even a 3 to 4 pound .44 magnum has 1/2 or less the muzzle energy of a deer rifle, that energy drops off faster with distance, as does the bullet’s trajectory.
But I know someone locally that got all the Alaskan critters with his rifle and then went back and completed the set again with a bow. Obviously the stalk becomes paramount and he got a lot of exercise on days when he couldn’t get close enough. So I could see someone switching to a handgun if they really enjoyed that added stalking.
We were going for caribou on Adak and someone brought a Glock (in addition to a rifle) and I proposed he could start a Youtube channel, “The Glock Hunter” and video himself going for all the American big-game animals with a plastic Austrian pistol.Oct 5, 2020 at 5:47 pm #3678568
Mine is a Kimber Hunter (also in .3080; relatively inexpensive in the scheme of things (compared to Kimber’s other offerings anyways and nearly as light).
I think one would be hard put to find a more all around caliber than the .308 (one could argue .30-06 and possibly .270)- has a very wide range of different bullets (composition and weights); ammo is widely available and doesn’t kick much (even at sub 6 lbs).
If we ever get back to grizzly hunting or I luck out on bison tag, I would consider something with a little more oomph, but deer/elk (sheep/goat) a .308 with a good bullet is all a person really needs.Oct 6, 2020 at 11:35 am #3678619Luke SchmidtBPL Member
There was a thread on Rokslide where Alaskan hunter trimmed a Kimber down to 3 lbs, 9oz without optics. Basically chambered in 358 Winchester, trimmed the barrel, trimmed action and put a super light MPI stock on. Not a cheap project. But barely heavier then a handgun and way more capable.Oct 7, 2020 at 2:19 pm #3678728
Cabela’s had a sale in the 308 Kimber Hunter -$599.
Had a bunch of Cabela’s points, added some Leupold rings and was out the door for $180!
Weight with a Redfield 2-7 is 6.38 lbs.
Still working on some loads. Hornady 178 grain Eld-x look good so far. Not yet ready to claim the rifle is a shooter.
The action and barrel are the same on the Hunter as the more expensive versions, a new stock could bring the weight down a near a pound or so.
Mike, what did you do to bring down the scoped weight under 6 lbs?Oct 7, 2020 at 2:28 pm #3678730
So is there a rifle weight threshold where we get silly light and performance suffers?Oct 7, 2020 at 3:08 pm #3678736
Shortening the barrel costs velocity. Thin barrels will get hot faster and mess with precision if you are shooting more than a few shots. Lighter scopes may be smaller and let in less light. Smaller cartridges weigh less but produce less energy.
Kind of depends on what you are hunting and how. Those 22 pack rifles? You could probably make one in low pressure 38 special and have a legal big game rifle in some states and with open sights probably weigh close to one pound. Comparable to using a bow or magnum handgun in distance/type of hunting?Oct 7, 2020 at 3:33 pm #3678742
Mike, what did you do to bring down the scoped weight under 6 lbs?
had a gunsmith shorten the barrel to 20″, titanium bolt (guy on 24campfire sells them), but the biggest (and cheapest) loss in weight was removing all the gel in the stock- was close to a 1/2 lbOct 7, 2020 at 3:37 pm #3678743
So is there a rifle weight threshold where we get silly light and performance suffers?
lighter rifles are a tougher to shoot, but a little practice fixes that
currently, as far as modern big game rifles are concerned, only so far you can realistically go with lowering weight- you still need an action, barrel, stock and optics
even spending a ton money, only gets you fractionally lighterOct 7, 2020 at 4:59 pm #3678751
heading out tomorrow for a short bivy hunt
23 lbs 13 oz for pack/rifle, 3 lbs 8 oz for bino harness (binos/bear spray) so base weight of ~ 27.5 lbs, not too shabby for a rifle hunt
unfortunately will have to carry close to 8 lbs of water where I’m headedOct 7, 2020 at 6:03 pm #3678756
From what I’m seeing it strikes me that a ~6# rifle is a solid practical benchmark that won’t break the bank.
I’m *hoping* another one of my local forests opens this week, the rifle season opens this Saturday. It’s not burning but closed because of risk and lack of manpower due to adjacent fires. This would leave zero time to scout but I might as well try…I always learn something.
If I can get out I’ll weigh and post my hunting kit. I have the “advantage” (if hunting in hot weather is an advantage!) of not needing much gear for weather.
Good luck tomorrow Mike! I’d love to see a list/details of your hunting specific gear on this trip sometime.Oct 7, 2020 at 7:09 pm #3678763
Thanks Craig! The weather looks good for bivvying, but not so good for hunting (sunny/warm).
Hope you’re able to get out.Oct 8, 2020 at 1:46 pm #3678835
Season opens here on the 17th.
What is the purpose of the gel in the stock? How did you figure out to remove it? Any downsides other than recoil?Oct 8, 2020 at 2:12 pm #3678842
I know the Ruger American fore/butt is hollow, but not sure about the grip. Most mods I see on it are about adding weight and bedding, not removing weight…Oct 8, 2020 at 4:30 pm #3678860
Yes. I understand the want to add some weight.
Here is a Buffalo and Bear “Ultralight” rifle with a hollow stock.
375 ruger, 7.2 lbs. scoped, 300 grains at 2600= ouch
no bench or prone shooting with that load, mostly use cast or trail boss reduced loads for practice
People have asked why buy a $300 rifle that shoots $100 ammo? Reloading keeps it cheap. The cast loads (suitable for deer at closer ranges as well as target practice) are about $.40 a round not counting labor, an elk load with a nice Sierra Bullet are about $1.00 and a grouse load with a roundball and a pinch of pistol powder is about $.12! It is the backup big game rifle that if damaged in bad weather, bouncing around in a jeep or mistreated when loaned etc wouldn’t be a big loss. It is fun to try a bigger bore.Oct 9, 2020 at 4:50 pm #3679010
the gel may simply be a way to keep the Hunter from outpacing their higher priced entries??
I honestly don’t know what it would be
this thread is where I got the idea
my hunt was fun (but tough), no elk thoughOct 9, 2020 at 11:00 pm #3679058David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I was reminded as I shopped today, that it is hunting season locally.Oct 10, 2020 at 7:48 pm #3679169
Is that for first aid or for bleaching Euro Mounts?Nov 22, 2020 at 7:33 am #3685165
everyone likes a happy ending :)
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