Skip to main content

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

B&C Typical Mule Deer

B&C Typical Mule Deer

Doug Burris Jr's typical mule deer taken in 1969, could just be one record that will never be broken.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Practice under pressure with these high-intensity drills.4 Shooting Drills to Make You a Better Hunter How-To

4 Shooting Drills to Make You a Better Hunter

Jeff Johnston

Practice under pressure with these high-intensity drills.

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been7 Favorite Truck Guns 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...

Crossbow technology, accuracy and power continue to advance with demand, and this year's crop is the most impressive yet; here's a look at the top five that caught our eye.Ranking the 5 Best Crossbows for 2020 Bowhunting

Ranking the 5 Best Crossbows for 2020

Chris Larsen - September 21, 2020

Crossbow technology, accuracy and power continue to advance with demand, and this year's crop...

Montana's vast wilderness provides the backdrop for a test of fortitude on the hunt for trophy black bears.A Long Way Up: Montana Backcountry Black Bears North America Big Game

A Long Way Up: Montana Backcountry Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt

Montana's vast wilderness provides the backdrop for a test of fortitude on the hunt for trophy...

See More Trending Articles

More Guns

Traditionally stocked rifles are regaining ground in a market flooded with plastic.Traditional Wood Stock Rifles Regaining Ground Guns

Traditional Wood Stock Rifles Regaining Ground

Keith Wood - June 29, 2020

Traditionally stocked rifles are regaining ground in a market flooded with plastic.

Buying your first rifle can be a daunting task. How to Choose Your First Hunting Rifle Guns

How to Choose Your First Hunting Rifle

Craig Boddington

Buying your first rifle can be a daunting task.

Here are the impressive new 6.5 PRC rifles from SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada! New 6.5 PRC Rifles for 2020 SHOT Show

New 6.5 PRC Rifles for 2020

Lynn Burkhead - January 30, 2020

Here are the impressive new 6.5 PRC rifles from SHOT Show 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada!

This rifle offers the features of higher-grade guns without all of the cost.Bergara B14 Wilderness Ridge .300 PRC: Rifle Review Guns

Bergara B14 Wilderness Ridge .300 PRC: Rifle Review

Keith Wood - July 13, 2020

This rifle offers the features of higher-grade guns without all of the cost.

See More Guns

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

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

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now