The SKS types are going to be way over weight...and as they use the action as a lock, can't go the light weight reciever route (as you can with actions that lock into the barrel breech or near by). A larger action converted to the smaller case (sa a BAR, REM 742) is kind of wasteful of weight, and still not going to make that weight limit.
Have trimmed all the weight I could from an SKS but can't beat a 7.5 pound limit unless I start drilling holes and making mill-cuts..and even then, it would only come close to 6.5 pounds (and possibly be prone to breakage).
I can't think of an action in the right size range other than the AR types that is able to be made truely light....don't know what the advertized weight of the new KelTec is, but does seem like it as a pretty heafty barrel/gas tube system.
If I had to, and had big big $ to spend, would try for an AR type...light lower (perhaps the synthetic)..either a thin barrel or a composite one....short barrel...short magazines (this assumes you count the loaded weapon in the weight limit).
Would be a costly project.
Have to ask...how much ammo do you plan to take with you? IF you are cutting the rifle weight to 4.5 pounds but want to take 300rounds of ammo...seems like you could opt for lighter ammo (.223) and a heavier rifle and still come out with the same weight load.
Seems like the idea of a semi-auto would be volume of fire...which leads to the assumption there would be a lot of ammo being packed in. Tally up the total weight of both the rifle and the expected ammo.
IF there is no expectation of volume fire, and a limited number of rounds are being taken in, then why the semi-auto?
It's a good "people bullet" but I only know of one offering in a Hunting config....(Federal)
A mediocre deer round, as the 6 pointer I shot with my mini-30 at 50 yards took 2 shots to drop using the Federal Hunting Ammo (both in the Boiler room!!) Just gonna piss a BIG bear off!!! Bunnies and such I believe you've got over kill.
Because of the round, I think the receiver is the issue here. All the weight is in said receiver. How 'bout a mini thirty or SKS/AK in a carbon fiber stock? Still over 4.5lbs. An AR configuration is still giong to give you about 5 lbs....
How about the Contender or encore in that caliber with a Ghost ring sight set-up for a "survival" gun. It does not fulfill your Semi capacity, but would be light weight and compact....
OK...KelTec lists their .223 at 5 pounds...even though it's an untested weapon (and butt-ugly) it seems to be the lightest weight...but not made in 7.62X39.
Figure if you are going to the expense and trouble of getting a super-light weight survial gun, reloading ammo shouldnt be too big a reach....and there are some good expanding .311" bullets in the 150gr. range. that work fine t these velocities.
Better bet would be to get a .44mag. lever gun (becasue they are smaller/lighter not becasue they are better than other lever-calibers...isn't the "Puma" being offered in .454?) OR a light weight 12ga. (but please...not 4.5pounds). Inside of 50yards, there isn't much that the new shotgun slugs won't take care of (outside of Africa).
So at your weight limit, there isn't anything...in fact, there isn't anything in any centerfire rifle caliber in your weight class.
loader, I haven't heard anything from AR15.com guys on this issue yet. I called Professional Ordnance out in AZ and they're closed for the next two weeks. Their Carbon15 semi auto 223 weighs between 3.9-4.5 lbs pending which version. Now I do not know if you can use a Colt/Bushmaster/Oly 7.62x39 barrel in their receiver. As I mentioned earlier you will also need a different bolt. Bolt carrier should be the same. You can use standard GI 20rd mags, however you can only get 5-7 rounds in the mag for realiable feeding. Has something to do with the M43 tapered case (thats why AK mags are all curved). Very few (reliable) and expensive hi-cap mags availble. I keep researching.
Thanks for the research. I find it interesting that there is not a product sitting out there, because there is definitely a market for a light 7.62X39 "camp rifle", or even a tactical entry rifle. For any desired expansion ratio, it need 4 inches less bbl than the 223, and they have the same available case capacity.
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