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Buyer's Guide: 8 Hunting Rifles That Won't Weigh You Down

From Bergara to Winchester, these rifles all weigh less than 7 pounds for easier hikes into trophy hideouts.

Buyer's Guide: 8 Hunting Rifles That Won't Weigh You Down

Carbon-fiber components have become prevalent on many lightweight rifles, such as the Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT. (Photo courtesy of Christensen Arms)

It's a simple tactic but one that works: Get away from crowds by hunting areas that require long walks to access. Not many hunters are willing to put in the effort to go the distance, and pieces of public ground that are relatively undisturbed often become havens for game.

A hike measured in miles instead of yards is more enjoyable, and typically takes less time, when your gear isn’t a burden. Even when the hike isn’t a long one, lightweight rifles encourage you to keep them in your hands, ready for a quick shot, instead of slung over a shoulder. There are some extremely lightweight rifles available from manufacturers who specialize in cutting weight, but any well-balanced model that weighs less than 7 pounds will usually feel pretty good cradled in your arms. Rifle makers have made strides in producing easy-carrying bolt guns, and the following are among the best.

Bergara Premier Canyon

Bergara Premier Canyon
Bergara Premier Canyon

With an AG Composites carbon-fiber stock and Bergara No. 4 contour barrel, the Canyon offers excellent balance that prevents it from feeling whippy. The stainless steel barrel undergoes Bergara’s proprietary honing process that produces a smooth bore finish and enhances accuracy. It’s married to Bergara’s action that features a two-lug bolt with a floating head and cone-shaped nose for reliable feeding and consistent lockup. The Canyon is available in seven chamberings and with two barrel lengths.

  • Caliber: 6.5 PRC
  • Capacity: 3+1 rounds
  • Barrel: 20" stainless steel
  • Stock: carbon fiber
  • Sights: none; drilled and tapped for bases
  • Finish: Sniper Grey Cerakote
  • Overall Length: 41"
  • Weight: 6.2 lbs.
  • MSRP: $2,429
  • Info: bergarausa.com

Browning X-Bolt Speed Suppressor Ready

Browning X-Bolt Speed Suppressor Ready
Browning X-Bolt Speed Suppressor Ready

The shorter barrel on this X-Bolt is designed to be used with a suppressor, but whether you hunt with a can or not, it makes for an easy-to-carry rifle. Browning includes a radial-style muzzle brake and a protective cap for the 5/8”-24 threading. Cerakote protects the barrel and receiver from the elements, while the stock is finished in Browning’s new Ovix camo pattern. The rifle is chambered for cartridges from .204 Ruger to .300 PRC.

  • Caliber: 6.8 Western
  • Capacity: 3+1 rounds
  • Barrel: 20" steel
  • Stock: composite
  • Sights: none; drilled and tapped for bases
  • Finish: Smoked Bronze Cerakote
  • Overall Length: 40"
  • Weight: 6 1/4 lbs.
  • MSRP: $1,479.99
  • Info: browning.com

Read More: Peace-of-Mind Backcountry Handguns

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT

Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT
Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT

Carbon-fiber-wrapped stainless steel barrels are a hallmark of Christensen rifles, and now the company combines them with a new carbon-fiber stock, floorplate and bolt knob to cut weight even further. The latter three components are produced with Christensen’s Flash Forged Technology (FFT) that creates an aerospace monocoque shell to eliminate the need for internal support elements while still exceeding strength and safety margins. The company offers the Ridgeline FFT in 19 chamberings, seven of which are available in a left-hand version.

  • Caliber: .270 Win.
  • Capacity: 4+1 rounds
  • Barrel: 20" carbon-fiber-wrapped
  • Stock: carbon fiber
  • Sights: none; drilled and tapped for bases
  • Finish: black nitride
  • Overall Length: 41 1/2"
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs.
  • MSRP: $2,399.99
  • Info: christensenarms.com

Read More: 5 Classic Lever-Action Guns You Should Try

Mossberg Patriot Synthetic Cerakote

Mossberg Patriot Synthetic Cerakote
Mossberg Patriot Synthetic Cerakote

Here's a bargain: a Cerakote-finished bolt action that weighs 6 1/2 pounds and retails for about $500. The Mossberg Patriot isn’t an ultra-lightweight rifle, but at that price it’s light enough. Features that add even more value include Weaver bases and an LBA trigger that’s user-adjustable for a pull weight of 2 to 7 pounds. And unlike many lightweight rifles that give up a round or two in capacity, the Patriot has a detachable box magazine that holds five standard cartridges. Magnum versions come with a threaded muzzle.

  • Caliber: .30-06 Sprg.
  • Capacity: 5+1 rounds
  • Barrel: 22" steel
  • Stock: synthetic
  • Sights: none; Weaver bases included
  • Finish: Stainless Steel Cerakote
  • Overall Length: 42 3/4"
  • Weight: 6 1/2 lbs.
  • MSRP: $518
  • Info: mossberg.com

Read More: Best New Air Guns for Hunting 2022




Savage 110 Ultralite Camo

Savage 110 Ultralite Camo
Savage 110 Ultralite Camo

A Proof Research carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel meets Savage’s factory-blueprinted 110 action in a rifle that weighs less than 6 pounds. To help hunters harness the accuracy potential of these components, the Ultralite Camo is built on a Savage AccuFit stock with an adjustable length of pull and comb height for the ideal fit. The stock includes overmolded surfaces to prevent hands from slipping and is finished in KUIU Verde 2.0 camo. Other noteworthy features include the user-adjustable AccuTrigger and a threaded muzzle.

  • Caliber: 6.5 Creedmoor
  • Capacity: 4+1 rounds
  • Barrel: 22" carbon-fiber-wrapped
  • Stock: synthetic
  • Sights: none; drilled and tapped for bases
  • Finish: Melonite
  • Overall Length: 42 1/2"
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs.
  • MSRP: $1,699
  • Info: savagearms.com

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint

Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint
Springfield Armory Model 2020 Waypoint

Think of the Waypoint as a lightweight precision rifle that's at home both in the treestand and on the 1,000-yard steel range. Despite weighing less than 7 pounds, the Waypoint comes with an accuracy guarantee of 3/4 MOA. The Model 2020 action features a bolt with a fluted body and two lugs that ride on EDM raceways for smooth operation. Adjustable from 2 1/2 to 5 pounds, the TriggerTech trigger utilizes a free-floating roller for crisp, consistent breaks to help hunters maximize accuracy.

  • Caliber: .308 Win.
  • Capacity: 5+1 rounds
  • Barrel: 20” stainless steel
  • Stock: carbon fiber
  • Sights: none; Picatinny rail included
  • Finish: Desert Verde Cerakote
  • Overall Length: 41 1/2”
  • Weight: 6.9 lbs.
  • MSRP: $1,797
  • Info: springfield-armory.com

Read More: 10 Must-See 6.5 Creedmoor Rifles

Recommended


Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Ti

Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Ti
Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0 Ti

A titanium action certainly cuts the weight of this Mark V, but Weatherby doesn’t stop there. The combination of a No. 1 or No. 2 contour barrel (depending on chambering) and Peak 44 Blacktooth carbon-fiber stock results in some of the lightest magnum rifles in the company’s lineup. To help reduce felt recoil, Weatherby gives the Backcountry 2.0 Ti the Accubrake ST muzzle brake and the 3DHex recoil pad, which collapses to lengthen the time element of the recoil impulse thereby lessening its sharpness.

  • Caliber: .300 Wby. Mag.
  • Capacity: 3+1 rounds
  • Barrel: 26" steel
  • Stock: carbon fiber
  • Sights: none; drilled and tapped for bases
  • Finish: black Cerakote
  • Overall Length: 48"
  • Weight: 5.6 lbs.
  • MSRP: $3,449
  • Info: weatherby.com

Winchester XPR Stealth Suppressor Ready

Winchester XPR Stealth Suppressor Ready
Winchester XPR Stealth Suppressor Ready

The XPR Stealth follows the trend of offering a short barrel that comes from the factory with a threaded muzzle to accept a suppressor. It’s a super-compact rifle without a can and one that continues to be fast handling with a suppressor onboard. The XPR action has a three-lug bolt, Winchester’s MOA trigger set at a 3 1/2-pound pull weight, a two-position safety and a bolt-unlock button that permits cycling unfired cartridges while the safety remains engaged.

  • Caliber: .350 Legend
  • Capacity: 4+1 rounds
  • Barrel: 16 1/2" steel
  • Stock: composite
  • Sights: none; Picatinny rail included
  • Finish: matte black Perma-Cote
  • Overall Length: 36 1/2"
  • Weight: 6 1/2 lbs.
  • MSRP: $719.99
  • Info: winchesterguns.com

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