Light weight rifle build

Thread starter #1
I’ve been bit by the big of building a light weight hunting rifle. More than likely it will be a savage or Remington 700 ripped out and out in a b and c stock and have some other smithing done to it to try and keep it below 7lbs...

Here’s the quandary. I already have a 243 and a 6.5 Swede and I reload. I am looking at the 260 due to brass and bullets already being in my stock. It I have an affection for the 25/06... I know ballistically there’s on a few FPS difeeence with both shooting 120g bullets. Anyone have first hand experience on sounding capabilities of both. I have yet to take a deer with my Swede so that has yet to weigh on the decision.

Bullet selection is better in the 6.5, but it seems that the 25/06 may be a better wounding performer. Thoughts, opinions, recommendations?


Senior Member
I have no experience with the .260, but have some with the .25-06, its a devastating round with 110-120gr reloads, but being a long action cartridge I'm thinking you might be better off with a short action round like the .260 in a lightweight rifle, I'm assuming you're going to want a short barrel ? probably 18inch to save on weight ?
Light weight hunting rifle you say. The best method of weight reduction I have found also drastically improves the handling and that's to cut the barrel down. After that check out the Leupold ultralight VX2 at 8oz and some quality aluminum mounts. Shedding steel works way better than trying to lose ounces with plastic and wood.
If you are at the mercy of retail aftermarket to do a build, its most likely going to be way way more economical and practical with a better end result to buy a Savage Lightweight Hunter ready to rock at 5.5# and less than $500 in stainless. It comes with a spiral fluted bolt, lightweight stock, lightening cuts milled out of the receiver, and a thin profile 20" barrel.
When it comes to caliber for a lightweight hunting rig there are a whole host of reasons I prefer .308.
Good Luck
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Thread starter #4
No. I wouldn’t shy away from at least 24” on a 25/06 and no shorter than a 20” on a 260.

Basically gonna try and build something similar to a Kimber Hunter without the accuracy/feeding worried associated with them.


Senior Member
If you're wanting to stay light as possible I believe I'd go with the .260 then, you'll want a slim profile barrel, and those are better when they are short, You might be better buying a used 700 somewhere for the action, and then get a competent smith familiar with them to recommend you a barrel for your specific purpose ?
The 25-06 is a great caliber, no doubt, but if your going for lightweight, and compact, I'd go with the .260 and 20" barrel over 25-06 and 24" barrel.
If you're going to buy to build, why not look at a Savage M11 lightweight. I have one that I'm putting together as a gift rifle for our WW gift hunt next month.

Scalloped receiver, fluted bolt, thin barrel and hollowed wood stock really has pared weight off of it. I'm not typically a big Savage fan, but this rifle is much lighter than any of my comparable Model Sevens, which are also lighter than a M700.

[QUOTE="AVS23, post: 11539410, member: 127524Basically gonna try and build something similar to a Kimber Hunter without the accuracy/feeding worried associated with them.[/QUOTE]

FWIW I’ve got a Kimber Hunter in 6.5 creedmoor and it’s been great. Super light guns are typically much harder to get groupings out of to begin with. It took me a little time at the range and reloading bench to find a round it likes, but now I’ve got it shooting 0.5 MOA. Total weight of the rifle with scope and loaded magazine is right at 7 lbs.
I'd go with the 700 over the Savage for sure, in .260 or 6.5 Creed, and look at a stock other than B&C. They aren't a bad upgrade from a flimsy plastic stock but they typically aren't lightweight either. Stockys has some carbon fiber stocks under 30oz or you could look for a second hand McMillan or Manners.

I did a similar project last year, but in .308 Winchester and weight wasn't a big deal to me as this is a GA deer hunting gun. I went with the 700 ADL from Academy ($375), pillar bedded in a used B&C BDL stock that was given to me, tuned evil Walker trigger, and had planned on replacing the barrel but it shoots so good I kept the factory one. It will put 5 rounds in 3/4" MOA with several factory loads, handloads even better. For a gun that I've got less than $700 in, including the scope (Bushy Elite), I was pleased.
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I been shooting a 22" barrel . 25/06 (Browning A-Bolt) since the late '80s .... None of the many deer I have killed with it have complained at all about the 2" differences ...
Tikki TX3 lite is available in .25/06 and it comes with 22" + barrel . ... every one of the Tikki I shot have been shooters ...
.308 specifically because it's the most versatile short action period. More bullet weights and load combinations by far than any other short action cartridge. Everything from light varmint and medium game loads to heavy thumpers in factory loading's with varying degrees of recoil and muzzle blast and even more if you hand load. Deadly at any sane distance even with a short barrel. Ammo and components are plentiful. So what if everybody and their brother has one. There area good reasons for that.

25-06 is a fine caliber and as stated above. It will put deer down with authority with a 22" barrel as far as you'd dare make a shot, Built one for my son at age 10 or 11 he still uses as a grown man and then liked it so much I slicked one up for myself. Makes a darn fine hunting rig and though it can come close just not as conducive to a "lightweight" rifle as a short action. The heavy (115-120) bullets dont seem to shoot well for me but believe me a 100-110gr bullet is plenty. Been loading 110 accubonds for quite a while close to 3200FPS in a re worked 110 22" sporter and 110FP heavy 24" with great success and like BP99 said not one complaint that the 22" barrel was too short from hunters or the deer. 110gr accubond at 240yds from a shooting house over a green feld. Savage 110 sporter 22" barrel exit side 1547412629801.png


Senior Member
I am partial to lightweight carbines. I have the old standard Marlin 336 in 30-30 and that is like carrying a Red Ryder BB gun here in the mountains, but I have to be ready to sacrifice some range with the iron sights; I typically limit my shots to 100-125 which is fine, but....
My other lightweight took some time to locate. Its the older type Rem Model Seven youth in .308 Win. The gun is svelte! 18" bbl and topped off with a Leup VX3i 1.5-5x20mm This makes for a fine mountain rifle that is easy to carry for long periods and the Leup makes this as accurate a rifle as you will find and great out to about 150-175 ( YMMV) The short throw bolt is a joy to operate and man is it fast! The bset part is it is aa nice warm walnut. carbines.jpg
Another vote for Rem Model 7. Bought one for my son in .243. Like carrying a .22 Rimfire. Going to rebarrel to .260.

Had a 700 LSS Mountain rifle in .260 that I sold. Had the laminate stock, was heavier than the Model 7. Scoped with a Zeiss 3x9x36, was just under 8 pounds.

I have a couple B&C medalist stocks. Really like them, but they won’t save you any weight. About the same as a walnut stock.
Thread starter #19
Look at a couple model sevens, barrels seem extremely light to me. Guess I may need to re-evaluate my “light weight” lol