Is This the Lightest Rifle Ever?

Is This the Lightest Rifle Ever?

Maybe it is lazy, maybe it is just smart, but the older I get, the less I like carrying weight up a mountain. Hence lighter rifles have started to have more appeal. Five-pound offerings like the Kimber Mountain Ascent and the MG Arms Ultra-Light tend to take up most of my fantasy time these days. Knowing this affinity for featherweights, David Faubion, Petersen's Hunting Associate Editor, popped into my office the other afternoon and exclaimed, "I found your dream rifle: a full-size .22 LR that weighs only 15 ounces!"

"Fifteen ounces? A full ounce under a pound? You have to be kidding me," I replied. Then he sent me the link to the website. To say I was intrigued is an understatement.

Ruta Locura, a company specializing in ultra-light mountaineering gear, offers a Pack Rifle Kit (PRK) that essentially replaces the stock and barrel of a standard Crickett .22 youth rifle with a carbon fiber wrapped barrel and carbon fiber tubular stock. Amazed, I ordered one immediately, but I had to find a Crickett rifle to salvage the action from before beginning. Luckily, since Savage introduced the Rascal (a much safer and better-designed youth rifle), a used Crickett can be found gathering dust in nearly any gun shop in America for not a lot of coin. I found one at Pekin Gun Shop right down the road from our office. It sported a horrific hot pink stock and a scratched-up barrel, but since I would be tossing both, I didn't mind. A hundred dollars later, I walked out of the store with pink rifle in hand, head bowed to avoid running into anyone I might know.

When the kit arrived, I pulled off the existing stock and barrelĀ­ — one bolt for the stock, one screw and a pin for the barrel — and slipped in the new carbon barrel. One wing bolt later, and the stock was installed. All told, the conversion took less than 10 minutes. Completed, I set the gun on our postage scale and watched as the magical 15.0 ounces appeared.


Range Time


At the range, I fired a selection of ammo from Federal, CCI, Eley, and Winchester. At 25 yards, using the existing rear peep and triangle front sight, I was able to keep all of the ammo under half an inch for five-shot groups. This is the practical accuracy of the unit as allowed by the sights.

I thought the rifle might be uncomfortable due to its unconventional stock design, but a half-dozen men shot it and were amazed at how comfortable it was.

Optic Compatible

If you really wanted to test the accuracy of the gun, Crickett does make a scope base, and the receiver is drilled and tapped. My guess is the accuracy would be far better with a scope, but for what I intend to use the rifle for — namely keeping it in my pack on backcountry hunts to shoot grouse, rabbits, and squirrels — the factory sights are lightweight and plenty accurate. However, If your eyesight is failing, it would add less than an ounce to the package to install a Trijicon RMR or a EOTech MRDS for improved aiming in low-light conditions.

Accessories

My PRK came with a thin nylon sling and a lightweight, water-resistant nylon case with a compartment for a box of ammo. In addition to the accessories, the hollow-tube buttstock (with a liquid compass in back) has ample room for a small survival kit, making the PRK a grab and go "must-have" for any backcountry adventure.

Fully kitted out with 50 rounds of ammo and a survival kit, the whole package doesn't even break the pound-and-a-half mark. And with CCI's new Quiet-22 frangible ammo, the report is like a BB gun, enabling you to harvest small game without disturbing the area.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 10: Snowbound Chamois

Host Brittany Boddington gets more than she bargained for on what turned out to be a grueling, snowbound and extremely physical hunt for chamois in Romania's Carpathian mountains.

Cheeseburger Poppers

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 11: Wheelgun Buffalo

Host Craig Boddington lays claim to hunting more than 100 Cape Buffalo over the course of his 40 plus year career, but he never took one with a handgun. That changed in South Africa when Craig faced down "black death" with a magnum wheelgun.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 12: High Plains Elk

David Draper teams up with Fred Eichler to hunt elk on the high plains of southern Colorado.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great black North America

Best States To Hunt For Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great...

The Top 10 trophy whitetail states featured here are the best of the best in terms of B&C entries over the past ten years. North America

Top 10 Trophy Whitetail States

Joseph von Benedikt - December 18, 2017

The Top 10 trophy whitetail states featured here are the best of the best in terms of B&C...

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

Dream of a job in the hunting industry? Here's the inside scoop on some of the most coveted positions in the outdoors. Stories

17 Dream Jobs in the Outdoor Industry

Kali Parmley

Dream of a job in the hunting industry? Here's the inside scoop on some of the most coveted...

See More Trending Articles

More Guns

In our testing, the Savage 110 Storm AccuFit has been among the most reliable and comfortable to carry and shoot. Guns

Reviewed and Tested: Savage 110 Storm AccuFit

David Draper

In our testing, the Savage 110 Storm AccuFit has been among the most reliable and comfortable...

Every hunter needs a rimfire workhorse for varmints and predators. Guns

Best Rimfire Rifles for 2019

Keith Wood - April 23, 2019

Every hunter needs a rimfire workhorse for varmints and predators.

Everyone loves the Creedmoor, but does it have the power to ethically kill the biggest of Western game? Guns

Is the 6.5 Creedmoor Best for Elk?

Craig Boddington

Everyone loves the Creedmoor, but does it have the power to ethically kill the biggest of...

The 10mm may be the perfect sidearm when a grizzly charges. Guns

Is the 10mm Enough Gun for Bear Defense?

Joseph von Benedikt

The 10mm may be the perfect sidearm when a grizzly charges.

See More Guns

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.