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April 09, 2008

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Weight a Minute

A National Guard friend of mine, currently on active duty, tells me that the weight of the much-modified M-16 she is carrying (with red dot sight) is 9 pounds. This caused my semi-annual smile, because one of the selling points of the Armalite rifle from which the M-16 evolved was that it weighed only 7 pounds, and was much easier to lug though the rice paddies than the M-14 which was 9 pounds, or the M-1 which weighed 9.6 pounds (SIR!). So we are back to square one.

Actually, there is something to be said for heavy rifles. Some years ago in Texas, Craig Boddington loaned me an 8mm Remington magnum that had been built for him by John Rigby (in California, not London) and weighed 12 pounds. Because of its weight, the rifle had almost no recoil, and as fate had it, the shot I got was one where I had to jam my eye right against the scope. I resigned myself to a great scope cut, but nothing happened. The rifle hardly moved when I pulled the trigger.

The Thompson submachine gun weighed 12 pounds and was extremely effective because it recoiled very little. Ditto the Browning Automatic Rifle at just under 20 pounds. Civilian guns, too, profit by some weight. A skillful shot can hit with a 6-pound rifle (in a reasonable caliber) but an unskilled shot will have fits--the gun will be just too twitchy.

The real problem with a heavy gun comes in rough country, particularly mountain country. You not only have to carry the thing uphill, but because the footing is uneven, you'll be fighting the rifle every step of the way as it does its best to pull you off balance.


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Terrance Mahoney

found a simple solution to the heavy rifle problem. Went on a diet and lost 50 pounds,the old weatherby feels like a feather now. Also empty all the un-needed B.S. out of the fanny pack and you lose another 10-12 pounds.

Ralph the Rifleman

I think the big shift to a heavy weapon in military terms is no big surprize. It's just history repeating itself. I liked shooting the M-16, and the peep sights seemed ok for target practice, but I always like using a scope, or dot system, of some kind for more accurate shooting,and let's face it, weight always helps in the accuracy department.


Peter - I've been using a Winchester Featherweight .30-06 for several years now. On the plus side, it handles great and is truly a beautiful rifle (I found one on the rack with very nice wood). However, I've had a number of rifles that are much more accurate. The best I've done from the bench is about 1.5" - nothing to complain about, but not a tack driver, either. It works well for me, though.
Sarg - I've owned a Super Sling. I couldn't keep the thing on my shoulder. It was slicker than snot on a glass doorknob. I liked the design, and you're right - it adjusted quickly and easily. It was just too slick for my liking. Thanks, though.


Thank for the comment KJ. Now Im speaking from personal experience, but just what ive read from other bloggers and in gun magazines But/ supposedly the accuracy on M70's made in New Haven could be sketchy at times. But supposedly the new ones that are just coming out this year are supposed to be absolutely tack drivers because of the new way they are doing their barrels and action improvements. (I believe they are being made in SC by Heckler and Koch(i probably spelled that wrong) Comments anybody? on an other note . I love leather slings. I have one. Ive kept it oiled and after a few years of hunting with it, it has that nice "used","I could tell you some stories, but "will never let you down" look to it". Unfortunately its going with one of my guns Im selling.


"Now IM speaking" was supposed to be "now im not speaking" my bad. One day ill learn how to write. lol.


Dave P., I know this is a little off the subject, but I was wondering if you have shot the new M70 yet? Or anybody else here?

Walt Smith

The cool factor (M1 Garand, SKS, M14, Dragonov etc. far far far out weighs the weight factor. As long as it's fun to shoot who cares about how much it weighs.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Slings: i am righ handed and cary my rifle over my left shoulder ( witha large button sowed abut l/2 o my shoulder pad) I use a leather sling with soft sueade backing, it don;t slip at all. Plus I put a piece of elec tape over the muzzle. When time comes to shoot, I take my right hand grab the gun and let the sling catch over my left elbow,( and my left hand grabs the forend for addtional suport and makes the gun more solid for a off hand shot. I would never carry my gun with the gun hanging over my back, impossible to get in a shoting postion in a hurry,plus your hat or cap is in the way. The Elec. tap says on my gun till fired and if fired its replaced. Does not hamper your 0 at all.Now if slow walking and stopping along the way in thick timber with my 30-30, no sling, gun is at port arms at all times, as no time to fool with a sling.

My experience with a sling shot, true experience, I will tell you in a night or two. Time for me to ready for bed.Old man of 73 got to get him sleep. I think all hunters will enjoy my story of a Sling Shot, it does work, I know.I bet you will make/buy a sling shot after I tell you about what they good for in big, I mean big game hunting. No they don;t kill a Elk,Deer, etc. but you may.The Old Southern Gun Slinger

O Garcia

the thing with lightweight weapons (speaking only of military weapons here) is by the time you've added all those foregrips and weaponlights so desired today, including the various grenade launchers, they weigh about twice their original specification. when the Warsaw Pact armies began adding GL's to their folding stock AK's, the first reaction was that the wonderful balance of the weapon was lost (weight was never an issue with the AK, since the original pre-AKM weighed more than 10 pounds).

and this is what really bothers me. do we need to equip all troopers with all those attachments like they're all special forces or SWATs?

another virtue of a heavy weapon is that when you run out of ammo, it is at least a serviceable club or battering ram.

speaking of old weapons, I saw some recent footage of the British in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, and at least one of them was armed with the 7.62 converted Bren Gun. The one with a magazine on top, like in WW2 newsreels. Guess there's still life left in oldies like the M-14 and the Bren, especially when you really need to deliver a hard punch to a distant target.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

My sling Shot aticle is on the Scopes article. Got too many going now, forgot which one mentoned the Sling Shot on.I do believe there are 3-4 abutscopes now, and i don;t know which one I put it on.


Th AKM weighs 6.5 pounds unloaded and around 8 loaded up. I thought all that plastic and aluminum was supposed to make the stoner rifle light? Looks like Kalashnikov wins again.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Ishawooa: Do you live in the Cody area? 2 @ ys ago,I stayed in Cody 2 days and nights. Went into Yellowstone on the East side, neve been that way before. Also went to the Cody Museum an ate at a fine resturat near the Museum,+ great meal and stayed at a small Motel up on a hill.Did ate a greatsteak at a old Motel (I think was old Motel) downtown Also, had been looking for several years for a pair of low heel Western brown boots(Ropers by Justin). Found them on main street. A small store, sold Boots and hats, etc. Had just finished a great Lope hunt in Douglas, Wy and then drove to Misssoula, MT and looked around for a week, then hunted for 2 weeks in the Bitterotts.Great place to be. Hopefully will Draw again, but no word yet. Missed out on Draw in C0. but kinda glad as they got a 50%+ kill off per DOW. If gonna spend thousands for a hunt, sure want game out there , even if don;t get a shot. I still enjoy seing the Elk.,Deer and just being up high,can see forever. Suppose any wolves up there? If so, may be one less.Wish I could have gone out to the Spring Bear hunt, but one trip per year is all can afford. Sure wish had bought a Cabin and some land about 25-30 ys ago. Would be in hog heaven now, with cattle, horses and much game.BAck in 1990 could have bought 25 acrs, a new l8 x 20 cabin, with loft(2bunk beds) and front porch, chimney for heat of stove, Compose toilet, enclosed back porch 10 x 10 from porch to the JOHN, with a gas heater. A Chain saw, axe, Generator, a 30-06, a small Canoe,(no kiding) with creek frontage 200 feet about 100 yds from state road, but road permission to cabin( legal in writing) all for 49.995. Fool like I let it slide, was new. I;ve kicked my A-- many times, as would be worth over $l50K + today. But look at the enjoyment of Hunting and fishing I and the family could have had.With what I;ve paid in lst 20 ys for plane fare, Motels, meals out, could have paid for it and never missed a dime.Plus property joined BLM, so lots of hunting areas and not have to drive a mile.A 4 wheeler would have been fine for me.As disabled and can't walk far, with 2 hips replaced.Hey, any connections for Mulies and Lopes in your area. Would love a nice Mulie 5 x 5 and a l6"+ lope, got a l5" Lope and A Elk if available. Ok take care. Hey, Love my new MArlin XL7 in 270 my first 270, always used a 06 lomg shots or a 30-30 for woods hunting.Shot-um-straight and often. Hey, hows the snow your way?


I Love my 9.5 pound Garand,I do not love hauling it around with a bunch of 30.06 ammo,But its worth it to shoot such a Fine fireing weapon,the only thing i can find fault with that really Bothers me is When you fire Round number 8,and you get that all to Fimiliar ching,And anyone with in Hearing Distance knows you have an empty weapon.,I like my thompson also other than its all steel ,and along with several clips of .45 cal ammo ,And as fast as the thompson can shoot ,you better get some help carrying Ammo.I love my M-1 Carbine,its light and so is the ammo,The Round is kind of weak in stopping power but with 15 or 30 rounds its effective,My AR-15 shorty is also nice as the ammo is light its accurate ,But as for Firepower And weapon weight and effectiveness,I really dont think you can beat the AK-47,great stopping power in the round and the rounds dont weigh that much ,there interchangeable with the SkS,and both are very reliable when dropped or dirty ,and very simple to strip and clean and maintain,As much as i hate to side with something un American ,Plus there Reliable cheap to manufacture throw away guns,and parts are very interchangeable with the same weapon type.So cheap there everywhere in the world .

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