Cutting weight on a rifle

Jun 8, 2010
220
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Mississippi
#1
I'm trying to get an idea of how much weight I can knock off my rifle. I only use it for hunting now and its a pain in the ass to carry. Just sold my XLR Evolution stock and will be searching for something lighter. So I have a 20 inch Kreiger MTU contour 308. I am considering cutting it to 18 inches and fluting. Can anyone give me a fairly accurate guess on how much that would take off? Also is fluting the bolt worth doing? I've tried selling the gun to get something else, but apparently I can't get anything for it. Barrel has 1300 rounds.
Whats the approximate cost of chopping a barrel, fluting and threading?
 

kortik

Sergeant
Apr 6, 2010
566
16
18
60
Michigan
www.borkatools.com
#2
I'm trying to get an idea of how much weight I can knock off my rifle. I only use it for hunting now and its a pain in the ass to carry. Just sold my XLR Evolution stock and will be searching for something lighter. So I have a 20 inch Kreiger MTU contour 308. I am considering cutting it to 18 inches and fluting. Can anyone give me a fairly accurate guess on how much that would take off? Also is fluting the bolt worth doing? I've tried selling the gun to get something else, but apparently I can't get anything for it. Barrel has 1300 rounds.
Whats the approximate cost of chopping a barrel, fluting and threading?
I've done something like that on several different rifles. This is what I've found:

1. Cutting 2 inches of the barrel will not achieve meaningful weight reduction.
2. Did not flute any bolts, but it's easy to predict that it will not realistically do anything for weight.
3. Did flute barrels, nothing to get impressed about in weight reduction department.

What seems to work, at least in my experience:

1. Finding or making a rifle stock which is no more that 2 - 2.5 lbs. in weight
2. Finding a lightweight scope, for close-med. range hunting. It is possible to get a good scope under 1 lb. in weight.
3. Getting rid of thick rubber recoil pad, there is no need to have it if you hunt while wearing some sort of a jacket.


 
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Aug 4, 2007
41
1
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#5
Save up and build a different rifle. My friend told me once if he wanted to shave 3-4 lbs off his rifle he would just eat salad.

Casey
 

mdesign

Gunny Sergeant
Nov 2, 2004
2,086
0
36
Nebraska
#6
What seems to work, at least in my experience:

1. Finding or making a rifle stock which is no more that 2 - 2.5 lbs. in weight
2. Finding a lightweight scope, for close-med. range hunting. It is possible to get a good scope under 1 lb. in weight.
3. Getting rid of thick rubber recoil pad, there is no need to have it if you hunt while wearing some sort of a jacket.
Completely agree .... start over with a new rifle using the above 3 points and I would add the following

4. Get a light weight barrel contour (Bartlein 2B) with a shortened shank profile.
5. Lightest bottom metal that fits your needs. Hard to beat factory if you are not set on a detachable mag.
6. Avoid stocks with bedding blocks (saves money ob bedding but adds weight) Thinks Manners EH series
7. Avoid adjustable comb - adds weight.
8. Use Talley light weight rings to go with light weight scope.

A wise gunsmith once told me steel is what makes a gun heavy so reduce the amount you need as much as possible.
 
Jun 8, 2010
220
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Mississippi
#7
I don't necessarily need a light weight rifle, I just want something lighter. Maybe 10 pounds or so. What yall are saying makes more sense, trying to cut weight on the stock and scope should help out the most.
I weighed the stock and it was 4.6 pounds and the barreled action is a little over 7.3.
Does anyone know the weight of a 18 inch medium palma barreled action? That's what I was looking at building.
 
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Moose

Sergeant
Jul 3, 2005
840
6
18
Red Bank, NJ
#8
Time for a new rifle.Why waist lots of money for a couple of ounces in weight.Check out Lone peak Arms Ti action and Mcmillan edge stock.Also smaller contour on a barrel.I also agree about a light weight scope.If you got the cash go custom build.
 

Edds

Sergeant
Jan 19, 2012
491
6
18
37
Oklahoma
#10
I'm trying to get an idea of how much weight I can knock off my rifle. I only use it for hunting now and its a pain in the ass to carry. Just sold my XLR Evolution stock and will be searching for something lighter. So I have a 20 inch Kreiger MTU contour 308. I am considering cutting it to 18 inches and fluting. Can anyone give me a fairly accurate guess on how much that would take off? Also is fluting the bolt worth doing? I've tried selling the gun to get something else, but apparently I can't get anything for it. Barrel has 1300 rounds.
Whats the approximate cost of chopping a barrel, fluting and threading?
Cutting two inches off the barrel will remove about 6.75 ounces. Cutting eight flutes 12.75" long and .100" deep with a 1/4" ball cutter will remove about 8.25 ounces. That's a total of 15 ounces. Based on prices I've seen, my guess is it will cost you about $300.
 
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Ledzep

Chancellor
Jun 9, 2009
1,272
106
63
Black Hills
#11
The barrel is most of it. Get a #3b Bartlein, or #4 barrel (probably about as light as you can go and still cut muzzle threads) and you'll go a long ways. Swapping stocks (depending on what you have) may also be something worth looking into.

I went from a Savage Varmint contour 22" .260 in a KRG Xray sporting a Vortex Gen2 Razor to a 28" Proof Research CF "Sendero" 6.5 SAUM in a Manners EH1 with a March 3-24x52 and cut out like 5 or 6 pounds. Bare rifle is somewhere around 10lb. Could easily shed more weight by going with a shorter barrel. If you're Okay with a shorter barrel, look more at a thinner profile steel barrel than a carbon wrapped one. CF just let me keep weight down AND have muzzle threads at 28".
 
#12
I'm trying to get an idea of how much weight I can knock off my rifle. I only use it for hunting now and its a pain in the ass to carry. Just sold my XLR Evolution stock and will be searching for something lighter. So I have a 20 inch Kreiger MTU contour 308. I am considering cutting it to 18 inches and fluting. Can anyone give me a fairly accurate guess on how much that would take off? Also is fluting the bolt worth doing? I've tried selling the gun to get something else, but apparently I can't get anything for it. Barrel has 1300 rounds.
Whats the approximate cost of chopping a barrel, fluting and threading?
Like many have already said leave it alone an build or buy something else. Heavy has it's place, but in the field light is right, regardless of what most think or tell you. Why be a pack mule for no reason, bone up on field-craft and just get closer. All that heavy is better is correct if your riding to the hide, bench or mat. Humping your gear for days on end, is much different than perception I assure you.
 

ddavis

Sergeant
May 26, 2011
856
1
18
Texas
#13
Barrel makes a bigger difference than anything. No major drawbacks if you are shooting a handful of rounds with plenty of cooling time between. Even if you go with a lightweight stock and scope while keeping a heavy barrel, the balance will be terrible.
 
Jul 16, 2017
101
4
0
Arizona
#14
What do you hunt and how far do you need to shoot with this rifle?
​​
Could you go with a smaller caliber? This could allow you to drop another barrel contour and maybe allow a shorter barrel without loss of accuracy or increasing your trajectory.
 

Temper

Sergeant of the Hide
May 29, 2011
405
0
18
FL
#16
You could just have the barrel recontoured. Rem var contour would cut off around 1.5-2lbs. Light palma prolly another half pound. I wouldn't bother with fluting for weight savings, it doesn't save that much unless you go really deep and with a lot of flutes. What optic are you running? I dropped a pound from switching a gen 2 Razor to a Schmidt 3-20.
 
Jun 8, 2010
220
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Mississippi
#17
I sold my scope and stock and will be able to cut 3 or 4 pounds with that. That should help out enough. I may get it fluted eventually, but probably not now. I was running a SWFA 5-20 and will most likely get a VX6HD. I was using the XLR evolution stock and will get the KRG Xray. Also will get a little smaller rings and maybe an aluminum base. Not sure if there is a polymer AIC 5 round mag but that would help.
 

Temper

Sergeant of the Hide
May 29, 2011
405
0
18
FL
#18
Magpul makes a 5rd AICS mag. They work really well.

Here was my attempt at a full feature rifle while trying to keep the weight down as much as possible. I still need to do a couple modifications on the barreled action but you get the picture. Comes in right at 12lbs with no bipod. 700 SA with fluted 25" Rem Var(soon to be 24" and threaded) T6A Elite with mini chassis, S&B 3-20 in Seekins rings. I could shed another 6-8oz by going with lighter rings and base.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,854
329
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#19
Win Mod 70 Featherweight .30-'06, 7lb before the optics/mounts. Don't look back.

It likes FGMM 168's and Federal 165 Fusion. I'm a Wheezy Old Codger who hates weight in a hunting rifle, and also has issues with recoil. This one works very well.

Yes, the recoil pad adds weight that's not really needed on the hunt.

However, the rifle also needs to be shot rather a good bit back at the range in order to develop proficiency with that system. That's where the recoil pad will have some value.

Or, you can use a Limbsaver Slip-On Pad at the range.

Greg
 
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Oct 8, 2012
486
6
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47
Glendale, AZ
#20
I am rebuilding a rifle right now. I built it 14 years ago for an antelope rifle. R700 LA BDL, B&C Medalist w. full budding block, Shilen #4 @ 28" .257" 1:10" bore/twist, Badger steel 20MOA Picatinny, Seekins 34mm "medium" rings, Steiner T5Xi 5-25x56. Weighed in at 11lbs 7oz.

I started a quest to lighten it up and make it more carry friendly, and add a bit of heavier bullet options. Building a .280AI.

Just by swapping scope/rings and stock, I dropped it to 9 lbs 14 oz.

I weighed bolt before and after fluting. 14.2 oz untouched, 12.5 oz after bolt fluting. I still have to weigh it after I cut off the steel knob and install the carbon fiber knob, But the CF knob weighs .7oz alone. Weighed a factory steel shroud (4.1 oz) and an alloy shroud (2.5 oz).

Here is my findings.

Swap B&C Medalist for Manners EH-1 = 15 oz
Swap 28" #4 Shilen for 26" Proof Research .284 bore = 16 oz
Swap Badger steel Picatinny for Seekins alloy Picatinny = 3 oz
Swap Steiner T5Xi for Premier Heritage Light Tactical 3-15x50 = 8 oz
Swap 34mm medium for 30mm low = .5 oz
Flute bolt = 1.5 oz
Carbon fiber bolt knob = 2 oz
Alloy bolt shroud = 1.5 oz

That is a full 48 oz (3 lb) savings. This rifle should finish out at 8 lbs 7 oz with scope. Not too shabby.

One of the scopes it wore over the years.

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i642.photobucket.com\/albums\/uu142\/lancetkenyon13\/Customer%20Paint%20Jobs\/20160515_094545_zpsio6uhfgu.jpg"}[/IMG2]

After swapping stock, scope and rings

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i642.photobucket.com\/albums\/uu142\/lancetkenyon13\/280AI%20Build\/20170612_164611_zpsmyja1qko.jpg"}[/IMG2]

Bolt fluted

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i642.photobucket.com\/albums\/uu142\/lancetkenyon13\/280AI%20Build\/20170619_205946_zpsu1jaz9kj.jpg"}[/IMG2]

The barreled action (so far)

[IMG2=JSON]{"data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"http:\/\/i642.photobucket.com\/albums\/uu142\/lancetkenyon13\/280AI%20Build\/24670_zpspgvne81p.jpeg"}[/IMG2]


I had a Rem Sendero Contour Rock Creek barrel spiral fluted, and it took off almost 10 oz. Well worth it.



I am also having a Bartlein #3 spiral fluted, but I do not know what the weight savings will be on that until I get it back.

 
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Jun 22, 2008
121
0
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#21
The problem is the MTU profile. That's a truck axle. I find the Remington varmint and med to light Palma contours the best balance between weight and stability.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Mar 3, 2017
169
8
18
Birmingham, Michigan
#22
I am at the tail end of a lightweight build right now. Started out with a Remington 700 in .260 Rem. Here is a list of all the places I was able to cut weight. Must people are gonna think these changes are absurd. In addition to having the action blueprinted:

-Selected a carbon fiber barrel (CarbonSix)
-Lightest Chassis, ended up with MDT LSS + XLR Tactical Lite Buttstock=3.11 lbs. Afterwards I discovered that the MPA BA Lite chassis is the lightest at 2.90 lbs.
-Titanium 2-port muzzle brake (Hawkin’s Precision)
-Titanium recoil lug (Pierce Engineering)
-Bolt knob modification (Badger Ordnance)
-Skeletonized bolt handle (Kampfeld Customs)
-TI Bolt Fluting (Kampfeld Customs)
-Replaced Badger Ordnance Tactical bolt knob with a carbon fiber bolt knob (tacticalworks.com) (saved 22 grams)
-Eliminated need for picatinny rail by using direct mount scope rings (Hawkin’s Precision)
-Replaced XLR buffer tube with PWS Enhanced Pistol buffer tube (saved 1.73 ounces)
-Used a V Seven lightweight castle nut
-Replaced Remington firing pin with Gre-Tan Lite Firing Pin (saved 24.77 grams)
-Replaced Remington bolt shroud with PTG aluminum bolt shroud (saved 32.5 grams)
-Replaced Remington trigger with TriggerTech R700 Special Trigger (saved 15 grams)
 
Nov 24, 2013
920
48
28
Dallas
#24
I'm in the middle of a lightweight build now... Boyd's Prairie Hunter stock (just weighed at 2.4 pounds, with some material left to remove from the barrel channel), Thompson/Center Icon action (has built-in pic rail), Burris signature tactical rings, 1st gen Sig Tango 6 3-18, factory bottom metal, 26" .338 bore heavy Sendero contour Proof barrel, and an SAS TOMB brake. Barreled action isn't done yet, but I'm hoping that the whole thing will come in under 10 pounds or so.
 
Mar 6, 2017
25
0
1
Medinah IL
#25
I building a similar build for coyote hunting and a cheep practice gun 223 build. Mpa light , with a med palma 22 inches , no brake. It should be very manageable to carry in the field and verry accurate build.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
4,854
329
83
Arizona, good place for me...
#26
This whole question comes across as an attempt to make a sow's ear out of a silk purse; with undertones of reinventing the wheel.

What you want, they make; both effective and affordable. What you currently have is probably something that at least a half a dozen members here would probably be very happy to own. There need not be any smithing involved.

Same problem, different approach, might be wiser in the long run. Easier for sure.

Greg
 

snarkscarbine

Still a Private
Mar 1, 2014
846
16
18
Dallas
www.dallasrifle.com
#27
The fastest way to make a rifle feel lighter is going to be a carbon barrel. Hardys are about the lightest on the market right now, and shoot extremely well.

Removing the the majority of the weight hanging off of the front of the rifle changes the balance point dramatically, and even with a "heavy" (or normal weight) stock, will make your rifle feel like it weighs feathers.
 

Fursniper

Captain, USMM (retired)
Feb 13, 2017
2,210
30
48
Arizona
#28
Cutting off 2 inches & fluting an MTU profile would be very ineffective for a significant weight reduction & for the cost for a smith to do this, well, let's just say you would be way better off by simply rebarreling with either a CF barrel or at least a lighter profile steel one &/or a new stock (a CF hunting stock would be nice too) or sell your current rifle (try the PX here) & start over with a new rifle.
 

XTR

F-TR junkie
Sep 4, 2010
1,728
54
48
Lebanon, NH
www.onlinehumidor.com
#29
Get a Fluted #4 if you have to have a muzzle device. If not get a #3. As stated above, the MTU is a truck axle.
Hardwood stocks are lighter than laminates, or get a light fill stock from McM
Don't use steel scope mounts, and use NF ultra light rings.
Use a Swaro Z5 with a 44mm objective or a Z3 with a 42 and a BRH reticle. The Z5 is sub 16oz, the Z3 is in the range of 12oz. (I have both, they are awesome hunting glass) That cuts a pound.
 

Red_SC

Redheaded Stepchild
Nov 26, 2003
1,906
0
36
Florence, SC
#30
The barrel is the problem. You can save the most weight by having it turned down to a Medium Palma or Rem Varmint profile, you will save a lot more weight than having it fluted. Before I started doing gun work, I sent an MTU barrel back to Bartlein to have it turned down, the cost was pretty minimal and it didn’t lose any accuracy.