Ultralight Bolt Action rifle build for Sniper Adventure Challenge

This is my blog page documenting my ultralight bolt action rifle build for the 2023 Sniper Adventure Challenge. I can always use my backup AR-15 build (a 7.5 lb JP rifle) but, I wanted to try a bolt action carbine instead to see if it was possible.

The Sniper Adventure Challenge is an adventure race where I need to carry a rifle for ~60 miles. I am trying to see how light I can make my bolt action rifle. To understand this, I need to know how much each of my bolt action rifle parts weigh. I am going to try to break these down for everyone in case it helps someone else as well.

The Goal is a 7.5lb rifle (including optic) with low recoil. [7.5lbs = 120 oz]

Current Total weight measured (7.71 lbs measured)

Mostly Fully Assembled rifle current weight = 7.71 lbs (action, barrel, chassis, trigger, rings and optic – no muzzle device)

Weighed Rifle 1

Action (21.4 oz – measured)

Zermatt Arms Ti3-SA Titanium Short Action Receiver

Zermatt Arms Ti3-SA

I finally received my Ti3-SA action!! I swapped the bolt knob for the lighter Diamond and it weighs in at 21.4 oz.

Interestingly enough, the various bolt knobs have a range of weights. The lightest is the Diamond at .48oz while the heaviest is the Tactical at 1.1oz.

Trigger (1.8 oz measured)

I threw some of the triggers I have on the scale and was surprised with what I found.

All the triggers tested were similar in that they are 2 stage, sealed design and have a top right hand safety.

XTSP Mod 22 Trigger Remington 7003.7 oz

Bix‘n Andy Tac-Sport 2 stage – 2.4 oz

Trigger Tech Diamond 2 stage1.8 oz

Stock/Chassis (25.3oz measured)

XLR Element 4.0 Magnesium – Factory – 28 oz (non-folder)

MDT HNT26 (Carbon & Magnesium) – Factory 26 oz (non-folder)

My modified XLR Element 4.0 MG is 25.3 oz (non-folder)

To keep track (and to replace with titanium) the Rem700 Element 4.0 chassis action screws are 1/4 28 thread pitch.

  • Front – 1/2″ long, requires 1/16″ thick stainless washer
  • Rear – 2″ long (actually 1.96″ measured), does not use a washer – a 2″ interferes with the bolt cocking piece, and needed to be filed down to avoid interference.

I replaced the factory action screws with XLR Titanium Action Screws which I now sell in my store.

Barrel (Hawk Hill 18″ #3 = 48 oz measured)

I am considering a Bartlein 3B barrel which is a light bull sporter contour. I am not 100% certain of the caliber at this point, so haven’t yet procured the barrel. I am considering a 22BR or 6ARC. (still waiting for the barrel blanks to arrive).

I received a Hawk Hill Custom barrel (#3 profile) that Shawn at Hawk Hill made me while I am experimenting. After talking it over with Shawn I decided #3 profile in 6mmBR since it is such an easy cartridge to get to shoot well. I had them cut the barrel to 18” so I can keep the weight light but still cut it shorter if needed. The barrel weighs 48 oz.

Scope Mount/Rings (3.7 oz measured)

Hawkins Precision Long Range Hybrid rings, which mount directly to the action.

I received my Hawkins precision long range hybrid rings, but as you may know my optic is a Leopold with a 35mm tube. Hawkins Precision still only makes the 30mm & 34mm rings, so Jonathan at Modacam Custom rifles is going to machine out the rings to 35mm for me so I can fit my scope into these lighter rings.

I weighed the 34mm Low long range hybrid rings with the screws and the total weight is 3.7 oz. it will likely be slightly less once Jonathan mills them out to 35mm.

The scope cap screw is 8-32 .375 long cap head.

Optic (25.28 oz measured)

I run the Leopold Mark 5 HD 3.6-18 since it is first focal plane, has a really nice hold reticle (Tremor3) and has a lot of elevation range (in case I need to dial), and is reasonable light for the magnification range.

I weighed my scope without scope caps today and it weighed 1.58lbs / 25.28 oz.