What Weight For a Hunting Rifle?
When hunting, it’s important to have a rifle that is light enough to be carried without strain or hardship, but heavy enough to moderate the recoil of the cartridge for which it was chambered. In addition, a hunting rifle should balance correctly, swing smoothly and handle swiftly.
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The correct weight of a hunting rifle can be controlled, within certain limits, but the optimum is often more about a hunter’s personal preference than it is about practicality. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for hunters to carry a hunting rifle that is too heavy and have to put up with unsatisfactory handling and recoil management.
Ultimately, a gun that weighs too much will be a burden for the shooter and can cause serious injury or death. The optimum weight for a hunting rifle depends on the caliber of the cartridge, the intended use of the rifle, and the shooter’s personal preferences.
Caliber and Stock
Hunting rifles come in a wide range of calibers and are chambered for a variety of different cartridges. The size of the barrel is also a factor in determining the caliber, so keep that in mind when choosing your next gun.
Long Barrel and Handicap
Rifles with a longer barrel can be more accurate, but they can also make it more difficult to maneuver in the woods. If the rifle will be used in a vehicle a lot during the hunt, a shorter barrel will be better.
Synthetic versus Woodstock
There are many benefits to having a synthetic stock on your gun, including lower maintenance costs and an easier time cleaning the rifle. However, some prefer the look and feel of wood stocks.
A lightweight synthetic stock like the Tikka T3x Lite ($680) is a great option for those looking to cut some of their load weight while still keeping a high-quality recoil pad and good accuracy. This model is available in seven different calibers, and it has a nice range of options to customize the stock for your needs.
Unlike many injection-molded stocks, Howa’s over-molded pillar bedded stock is ergonomically designed to provide excellent control and support. The pillar bedded stock is made from hard-wearing composite and has a textured surface to help the shooter grip the rifle.
The pillar-bedded stock is also very comfortable, with the right amount of give to keep your fingers from sliding and catching on branches or trees while you’re holding your rifle. It also helps reduce the likelihood of chintz – an unpleasant plastic covering on the upper part of the stock that is typically found on many rifles.
Browning Mountain Pro Tungsten $1,439
The Browning X-Bolt platform is a solid production mountain hunting rifle, and the Mountain Pro shaves some weight by using a carbon fiber stock, spiral fluted bolt and barrel, and beefy Recoil Hawg muzzle brake to cut around a 1/4 pound from the heft of other similar models.
A full cerakote finish and Browning’s Inflex recoil pad and Recoil Hawg muzzle brake also help take the sting out of this ultra-lightweight, long-range mountain rifle. With a short throw, smooth action, reliable feeding, and all-weather coatings, the Mountain Pro is an excellent choice for your next hunting rifle.