CAMPING & HIKING

Best Backpacking Rifle: Which Rifle to Take While Camping?

Backpack and rifle
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Hunting is an ages old sport, and people love it to this day. Hunting is great, as long as you are doing it in a permitted area and according to the guidelines, as long as you keep yourself safe. Guns can be dangerous, no matter how experienced you are. This is why when you decide to buy your very own rifle, you should do extensive research and learn about the firearm.

The more familiar you are with the parts and working of your rifle, the safer you will be. Ideally, the best backpacking rifle should be very effective, lightweight, easy to handle and safe.

Man with rifle walking in the forest

If you are planning on going for hunting and need to choose which gun to buy, we are here to help you. There is such a huge collection of rifles in the market; the task of choosing one which will suit your needs can be rather daunting. Don’t worry, though, as this article will provide you with the information you need to know about buying a rifle.

There is e also prepared a list of the best ones in the market so you can choose with ease.

Things to Consider when Buying a Backpacking Rifle

So you have decided to purchase a backpacking rifle – now it is time for you to learn more about different firearm features and which ones will suit your need.

Caliber

For beginners, always go for a smaller caliber rifle as it is easier to handle. .22 LR is the perfect rifle as it can be shot easily. It is also good for small game like squirrels or even rabbits. However, if you are more experienced or want to hunt bigger game, you can choose a greater caliber rifle like .30 or even 7.62

Rifle caliber

Weight

As you will be carrying your rifle with you while you go backpacking, it needs to be lightweight. Rifles around 5 or 6 pounds in weight are easily available.

Scale for weighing rifles

Takedown or Solid Rifle

For backpackers, takedown rifles are a better option. These rifles can be broken down into their parts and thus stored in a bag, which can then be easily carried. Solid, one-piece rifles are cumbersome and difficult to handle while traveling.

Parts of rifles in a bag

Compactness and Ease of Takedown

Before you buy a rifle, take it down and assemble it to ensure that you can do it quickly. Modern takedown rifles are built in such a way that they can be broken down and reassembled in as little as 30 seconds.Some rifles let you store the magazine in the stock when the rifle is taken down, which makes the packed gun more compact.

Rifle on grass

Barrel Length

Short barrel rifles are easier to carry, although they are a little less accurate than long barrel length rifles. However, if you are using a scope, the difference in length won’t matter as far as the accuracy is concerned.

Hunting equipment

Scope

Having a scope can give you a better chance at hunting. Make sure that the rifle you buy is drilled and tapped so you can mount your scope on it.

Rifle scope

Recoil pad

Having a recoil pad in a rifle can be advantageous as you will be able to fire the gun more comfortably.

Recoil pad in a rifle

Durability

Parts made of stainless steel are durable as they resist corrosion. Also see if the rifle you are buying comes with a warranty.

Part of rifle

Best Rifles you should Consider Buying

Now that you know all about the different rifle properties, it is time to choose a rifle for yourself. The following is a list of the most amazing rifles out there.

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifle

Ruger takedown rifle

Weight: 4.6 lbs.

Dimensions: Barrel length – 18.5 inches; Overall length – 37 inches

Best Used for: Small game; Target shooting; Backpacking

Special Features: .22 Caliber; Easy takedown; Quick reassembly; Easy to use magazine; High precision rifle; Combination scope base adapter; Durable; Abrasion resistant; Heat-stabilized housing assembly; Adjustable, folding rear sight; 10-shot rotary magazine; Semi-automatic; Carrying case included

 This is a rifle which is very accurate and precise. It is perfect for small game, as well as for target practice. The most amazing thing about this rifle is that it can be taken down and then reassembled very quickly and easily. It does not lose any of its accuracy when it is reassembled. For takedown, all you need to do is lock the bolt back and then ensure that the gun is not loaded. Then push a recessed lever, twist the subassemblies and separate them.

The rifle is ideal as a backpacking rifle because it is durable and will withstand the elements. The barrel is made of stainless steel and will resist corrosion. The Scope-based adapter has both Weaver-styles .22 tip-off mounts included. There is a gold bead front side and an adjustable rear one.

Related: If you want an auto-loading rifle, you should consider Ruger SR-22 Rifle. It offers a patented 10/22 10 round rotary magazine which can be detached. The rifle has very little recoil and is very precise.

The Ruta Locura Pack Rifle Kit (PRK)

The Ruta Locura Pack Rifle Kit (PRK)

Weight: 15 ounces

Dimensions: Length: 32 inches; Length is 20 inches when taken down; 13 – 5/8 inches trigger pull

Best used for: Hunting; Backpacking

Special Features: Very lightweight; It is a conversion kit which can convert your Crickett rifle into a lightweight one; Barrel made of carbon fiber with aluminium tube; Caliber .22 LR; Single shot bolt action rifle; Precise; Durable

You can change the stock and barrel and the wing nut/bolt of your rifle with replacement, lightweight ones from this kit and thus have a rifle which weighs about 19 ounces.  You can remove the stock of the rifle by taking out a screw in its bottom. Draw the bolt back as far as you can and pull the trigger to remove it. The barrel is secured with a screw, which can also be removed. Now take out the roll pin and your rifle is dissembled. Add the replacement parts in their place and your lightweight rifle is ready.

This lightweight rifle is easy to carry and comfortable to use. It is very accurate and you will not be disappointed with your purchase. The only drawback is that the kit is a little expensive and so, along with the gun, the cost can amount to quite a lot.

Related: Other Pack Rifle Kits by this producer includes 17 HMR PPK. It is meant to convert your Crickett or Chipmunk youth rifle into  lightweight one. The barrel is made of carbon fiber with an aluminium tube. The converted rifle weighs 16 ounces.

22 WMR Pack Rifle Kit is another example , which allows a total conversion rifle weight of 17 ounces. It is also very accurate and easy to use.

Pack Rifle – Survival 22 LR

Pack Rifle – Survival 22 LR

 Weight: 15.5 ounces

Dimensions: Length – 33 inches; Pack down length – 17 inches; Height – 4 inches; Width – 7/8 inch

Best Used for: Backpacking and hunting

Special Features: Lightweight; Durable; Compact size; Caliber .22 LR; Very accurate and precise; Stainless steel construction; Barrel made of carbon fiber composite outer layer; Carbon fiber butt stock tube; Precision button rifled barrel; Easy and quick takedown; Storage in the handle and butt stock tube; Adjustable peep

This is one of the most lightweight rifles present. It also has a takedown length of only 17 inches, which makes it easy to pack this rifle and carry it with you. The receiver is made of aluminium while fasteners are of stainless steel. Carbon fiber barrel ensures that the rifle remains lightweight.

The rifle can be taken down and reassembled in just a few seconds, without any hassle. It is also very tough and durable. You can get accessories for the rifle like a scope and even a laser. It is highly accurate and shoots very precisely.

Related: This manufacturer produces several rifle accessories like scope and adjustable sight. However, this is their only rifle.

M6 Scout Rifle

M6 Scout Rifle

 Weight: 4.7 lbs.

Dimensions: Barrel length: 18.25 inches; Total length: 32 inches.

Best used for: Backpacking and hunting.

Special Features: Combined rifle and shotgun; Mainly made of steel; Butt plate and cheek rest are made of rubber; Over-under barrel combo; Stock holds four .410 shells and fifteen .22 cartridges; Accurate; Easy to shoot; Simple design; Very few movable parts.

This gun is amazing because it combines the properties of both a shotgun and a rifle. The barrel has an over/under style and the rifle can fire both rifle and shotgun ammo. The butt stock has an ammo storage compartment which makes it easy to store your ammo. The gun is very durable and will easily withstand the elements.

The negative point is that for takedown and reassembly of this weapon, a small pin is required. If you lose this pin, you will not be able to handle this rifle. The rifle is good for small game, and for survival purposes. It can easily fit in a backpack and therefore works well as a backpacking rifle.

Related: Springfield Armory produces several rifles, all of which are known for their simple parts and high accuracy. M1903 is one of these rifles, which is a caliber .30-06. It is an extremely precise rifle which was also used by the U.S Army in Second World War.

Henry Lever Action Rifles

Henry Lever Action Rifles

 Weight: 5 ¼ pounds

Dimensions: Overall length: 34 inches; Barrel length: 16 1/8 inches

Best Used for: Backpacking

Special Features: .22 caliber; Shoots accurately; Large loop lever; Hooded front sight; Adjustable rear sight; Grooved receiver for scope; Steel barrel; Accurate; Can hold 15 rounds of .22 LR

This rifle looks amazing, and can shoot as well as any .22 rifle. It is very accurate and precise and you will love how well it works. It feels smooth in your hands and you will find that shooting with this gun is easy. The large loop lever means that you can grasp and use the rifle easily even if you are wearing gloves. The rifle offers side ejection as well.

The rifle can also fire .22 Shorts, and can hold 21 of these rounds. It is made of strong, durable parts which will not get damaged easily. The gun can be carried with you anywhere. Overall, it is perfect as a backpacking rifle as it is easy to use.

Related: Henry Big Boy Silver is another rifle offered by this manufacturer, which is a .45 Long Colt rifle. It has a strong 20 inch octagonal barrel and a capacity of 10 rounds. Overall length is 38.5 inches.

Henry Repeating Arms Golden Boy is a .22 caliber rifle which has a 20 inch barrel and a 16 round magazine. It has an overall length of 38.5 inches, and weighs 6.75 lbs. The rifle has a strong grip and shoots accurately.

Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle

Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle

Weight: 3.5 lbs.

Dimensions: Barrel length: 16.5 inches

Best Used for: Hunting, Target shooting; Backpacking

SpecialFeatures: .22 LR; Barrel can be stored inside the stock; Adjustable rear sight; Blade front sight; Steel barrel and receiver; 8 round magazines; Lightweight; Packs to a compact size

This is a survival rifle which has found favour among backpackers because of its lightweight nature and easy packing. The rifle is very portable. It is also accurate and precise, though it is only good for small game and at a close range. The stock is water tight, which means that you can easily store the magazine, barrel and receiver inside it during rain. The rifle is also very durable, with corrosion resistant steel barrel.

Takedown and assembly of the rifle is easy. One negative point is that it feels a bit uncomfortable on the shoulder, and might take some getting used to. The trigger is also a little hard.

Related: This Company makes many types of rifles. Lever Action .22 Magnum Rifle is one example. It has a 19 ¼ inch barrel is and highly accurate. It weighs only 5 ½ pounds and is very durable.

Browning BLR Takedown Rifle

Browning BLR Takedown Rifle

Weight: 6 lbs. 8 ounce

Dimensions: Barrel length: 20 inches; Overall length: 40 inches; Length of pull: 13 ¾ inches

Best Used for: Hunting; As a survival rifle

Special Features: Caliber: .223; Stainless steel barrel; Laminate stock; Alloy trigger with gold plated trigger finish; Short action; Detachable magazine; Magazine capacity: 4; Quick takedown; Precise and accurate; 16 inch barrel

This rifle is a great option for serious hunters as it can withstand all conditions and hunt all sorts of game. The barrel has a matte finish while there is a satin finish on the receiver and stock, which means that your weapon will not reflect any light or glare and will not scare your game away.

Takedown of this rifle is very quick and easy, and allows you to store it in your backpack for traveling. The gun looks very stylish and shoots highly accurately. It is one of the most accurate rifles mentioned in this list, which is why it is great for hunting both small and big animals.

The only negative point is that the gun is a little heavy and there are lighter rifles available in the market.

Related: Browning produces other highly accurate rifles, too. X-Bolt is one example, which has a three-lever-Feather Trigger. This trigger is easy to pull and adds to the accuracy of the weapon. It also has very little recoil and a lightweight, rotary magazine.

BL-22 Grade 1 Rifle is a .22 Caliber, high quality precise rifle which has an easy-to-load magazine. Made mainly of steel, the rifle offers high accuracy and is very durable.

Aero Survival Rifle

Aero Survival Rifle

Weight: 5.5 lb.

Dimensions: Barrel length: 16.25 inches (U.S), 18.75 inches ( Canada); Overall length (Collapsed Stock): US 29.5” Canada 32.0”; Breakdown dimensions with barrel removed: 17.25”

Best Used for: Backpacking; Hunting

Special Features: Upper and lower receivers made of aircraft aluminium; Hard anodized coating; Semi-automatic; Child trigger lock; Available calibers: 9mm, .40S&W, .45ACP, 10mm, or .357SIG; Magazine is Glock style; Removable barrel

This rifle is great because it has convertible caliber changes. For small game, you should use smaller caliber while larger calibers are more ideal for bigger game as well as for self-defense. The rifle is lightweight and can be packed with ease, which makes it a favorable option as a backpacking rifle. The detachable barrel makes it easy to pack this rifle.

The rifle can be dissembled easily. It is also very accurate, particularly till a range of about 50 yards. Another advantage is that the rifle is very tough and will not get damaged easily, so you can hope to have it in working condition for many years.

Related: This producer also makes SDI Rifle, which weigh 8 lbs. and has a barrel length of 16.2 inches. It also has interchangeable calibers and is very accurate.

Safety First!

If you buy the right weapon, you will really enjoy your hunting trip.If you are planning to hunt, make sure you have the proper rifle license as well as hunting permit. Pack your gun with care and always be cautious – after all it is deadly weapon and you may end up injuring yourself or a companion.

Young man with rifle and his dog

Do you own a rifle that you want us to know about? Let us know in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Tommy Alexander

    I have Ruger 10/22 and it’s my favorite so far. First of all, it is easy to carry with you when you are backpacking. Aside from that, it is also very easy to clean and store. And the most important thing, it is accurate, making it the best for target practice.

  • Mark Williams

    This article is really helpful because I cannot decide what rifle to buy. I have Ruta Locura and Survival 22 on the top of my list because of your reviews. I really want a rifle that is not hard to carry around during hunting and backpacking trips. Its precision is a big factor too.

  • Mark Foster

    Having a heavy rifle can make it hard to lug around, so we can agree there! We are happy you have narrowed it down to 2 to choose from and wish you luck with your choice!

  • Mark Foster

    Accuracy is one of the most important features of a rifle, as it helps you make your shot. We agree the Ruger 10/22 is great for this. Excellent choice!

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