Best Backpacking Rifle: What to Consider & Top Backpacking Rifles Reviews

Backpacking rifle
Written by Shawn Harrison

The best backpacking rifle is one that you can easily pack without it consuming too much space. As much as easy packing is a necessity, you have to consider all the factors that will make a rifle simple to backpack. Regardless of the outdoor activity or shooting event, a modest selection of rifles, and ammo could make a huge difference.

Unique rifle features, such as easy takedown, simple assembly, and legendary action to mention a few play significant roles in the selection of the best.

Generally, the best model should have a simple design, but offers high performance. The list of product reviews provides crucial buying information.

What to Consider

Easy Takedown

The most convenient rifle is one that you can easily takedown without any complications. You should be able to quickly and effortlessly detach the barrel from the action for ease of storage and transportation. Takedown should be as easy as locking the bolt backwards or flipping the lever.

Take-Down rifle on the grass

Easy Reassembly

Make sure that your rifle of choice is easy to reassemble. It should not be difficult for you to restore the gun to its operating position every time you want to use it. How well you reassemble your rifle will determine how secure the connections will be.

Special Features

Every gun has its features that make it unique from other models in the market. Always make sure that there are as many features as possible that will improve on the performance when you put your rifle to action.

Some of the useful special features include: caliber; detachable magazine; cross-bolt manual safety; heavy-duty stock, barrel, and trigger material and finish.

Possible Design Flaws

Most people are usually carried away by the good things said about a rifle to the extent that they completely forget to check for possible design flaws. Some appearances may be seen as imperfections, but they may turn out to be part of the construction. Nevertheless, it is good to know from the very beginning.

Top 8 Backpacking Rifles Reviews

Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifle

Barrel Length: 18.50 Inches

Special Features: 10/22, weighs 4.6 pounds, 10 rounds capacity, standard barrel feature, black synthetic stock, clear matte finish, adjustable rear sight, and gold bead front sight.

Best Use:Backpacking, Action-Shooting, Small Game Hunting, Plinking, & Target Shooting

Ruger 10/22 Takedown is America’s favorite as far as backpacking is concerned. There are so many .22 caliber rifle in the market. However, the Ruger Takedown, which was launched in 1964, has taken hold of the market. This unique autoloader is legendary. Over the years since the first model was produced, the manufacturers have made a lot of improvements. The latest variation is the real deal. It is state-of-the-art takedown rifle with a handy, compact, and attractive design.

I suppose Ruger engineers had a very distinctive idea when they released the 10/22 takedown. The construction is everything you would want your rifle to have, including: standard barrel, stainless steel material, black synthetic stock, clear matte finish, adjustable rear sight, gold bead front sight, and 6 grooves. The easy takedown feature allows for swift detachment of the barrel from what holds it, which is the action.

This makes transportation as well as storage easy. In the simplest of terms, takedown is as simple as pulling different parts apart. If you think the takedown is easy, wait until you do the reassembly.

Magazine feeding is a very important part of a rifle.  The Ruger is fitted with a detachable, patented rotary magazine that is installed with a rotor for cartridge separation and quick feeding. The drawn-out magazine release offers non-fuss and smooth removal. The complete package is even better. Backpacking is made easier with the black nylon case with a Ruger logo. You will like the interior design of the case.

There are several pouches that accommodate the different parts, including accessories and magazine. The Ruger 10/22 takedown should definitely be your first choice.

The Ruta Locura Pack Rifle Kit (PRK)

Barrel Length: 17 inches

Special Features: .22LR, 1:16 twist, single shot bolt action, stock cricket sights, 13-5/8-inch trigger pull, 20-inch long when collapsed, 32-inch overall length, & press in cap.

Best Use: Ultra-backpacking

The RutaLocura is the ultimate ultra-backpacking pack rifle for the money. Only weighing a few ounces, this is the ideal piece for most outdoors. The general construction of the rifle is remarkable. The receiver, as well as other parts of the gun, is engineered from high-quality material (hard wearing aluminum). You will like the barrel, which is a cro-moly liner, precision button rifled fitted in composite carbon fiber outer.

The butt stock tube is also made of carbon fiber, which makes the design highly weather-proof and ultra-lightweight.

Ruta Locura provides you with two separate kits. The individual kits are equipped with a barrel wrapped with carbon fiber. The tube stock profile features a small tube that you can use as a stock. The stock design is reduced to its minimal form that provides a traditional appearance. If you have never used this rifle in your life, then you should know that the stock, barrel, and other accessories are minimal.

In actual fact, it will be remarkably comfortable and easy to use. Assembling the rifle is exceptionally easy. Regardless of its size, it is engineered to make out some serious shots.

Anticipate extraordinary results when shooting a paper target at 25 yards. Release a few shots at twenty five yards, and observe your outcomes on the target paper. The shots should be between half and one inch. Basically, this simple, skeletonized rifle will shoot precisely as you had intended to. There is one simple problem, though; the stock kit is quite expensive. Cleaning and maintaining the rifle is easy, you just need the basic rifle cleaning and maintenance skills.

Pack Rifle Survival 22 LR

Takedown Length: 17 inches

Special Features: 22 LR, bolt action, single shot capacity, adjustable peep sights, carbon fiber stock, and carbon fiber button rifled outer barrel, and carbon fiber/ aluminum finish.

Best Use: Ultra-Backpacking

Insofar as backpacking rifles are concerned, the 22 LR pack rifle is the best. Basically, it uses small caliber magazines, which are .22 LR. These cartridges are very effective for hunting, plinking, and survival. This is a simple, takedown, single shot rifle that will surprise you with its outstanding performance. It is a skeletonized firearm; therefore, not a very convenient piece for serious shooting. You can view the Pack Rifle as a last resort type of gun.

In a perfect setting, you will not actually have to use you Pack Rifle, but it can come in handy in so many unusual circumstances. The receiver along with other accessories is engineered from high quality, hard wearing aluminum. Vulnerable accessories, such as parts and fasteners are made of hard wearing stainless steel material, which is scratch and rust free. It is installed with a precision match grade barrel made of cro-moly liner as well as composite carbon fiber outer.

The stock tube is also engineered from carbon fiber. The aluminum, stainless steel, and carbon fiber construction give this rifle its elegant appearance and lightweight nature.

It collapses to seventeen-inch of space for backpacking. The hollow stock and handle provide additional storage space. Assembly and disassembly processes are extraordinarily easy. In actual fact, assembling, loading, and disassembling involve pretty similar steps.You will need approximately 2 seconds to complete the assembly and reloading processes. Presume the best performance as far as accuracy is concerned. You will get amazing results at 25 yards.

M6 Scout Rifle

Barrel Length: 14 inches

Special Features: 22 LR, M6 Scout variation, over/under barrel combo, ammo storage compartment

Best Use: Backpacking, Hunting

M6 rifles have an amazing reputation. The most resourceful and versatile variation is the M6 Scout. You will find this gun to be an amazing piece. The over/under barrel combo will blow your mind; it’s quite remarkable to have a rifle/shotgun competence in a survival status quo.

The butt stock is fitted with a good construction ammo storage section where you can conveniently store your ammunition. This ensures that you will never lose your ammunition not unless you lose the whole machine.

The design is extraordinarily simple and compact thanks to the few moving parts construction. You just have to make sure that all accessoriesfit to the required parts. This easy to use machine is also chambered in the following calibers: 22 Hornet and 22 Magnum. The 22 LR is the most recommended and preferred caliber for the M6 Scout because it is inexpensive, efficient, and the most accurate for foraging and small game hunting.

Most users consider the 22 LR to be a highly versatile chambering, just make sure you use the right ammo.

There are a number of things that you will observe at first glance once you have completely assembled the rifle, such as the peep sight. Basically, you will have to do some modifications to improve aiming. One of the things you can do is have the front sight tip painted with red nail polish; this will remove any glaring. As with any designed object, flaws are inevitable.

The M6 Scout takedown pin is poorly secured. It seems the pin is only effective when the whole thing is assembled. By the way, do not lose the pin under any circumstances.

Henry Lever Action Rifles

Barrel Length: 18¼ inches

Special Features: Level action; 22 LR/L/S; 14-inch length of pull; magazine capacity-21 rounds for 22 S, 17 rounds for 22 L, & 15 rounds for 22 LR; 1:16 twist; straight-grip American walnut stock; blued barrel & lever finish; and adjustable rear, hooded front sight.

Best Use: Backpacking, Hunting

Lever Action Henry rifle is an American-made classic machine chambered in 22 LR, 22 S, and 22 L. Its popularity is not by chance, but by design. At an affordable price, you get a noteworthy rifle that looks, feels, and shoots great. It is fitted with a very good-looking American walnut stock withdurable finish. It is available in three 22 calibers: 22 LR, 22 L, and 22 S. Each of these calibers has different magazine capacity.

The 22 S comes with 21 rounds magazine capacity, the 22 LR comes with 15 rounds magazine capacity, while the 22 L comes with 17 rounds magazine capacity. This lever action gun has an unbelievably smooth action, at times you may think it was designed without moving compartments. The large loop lever is very convenient and effective when wearing gloves, especially in extreme conditions.

The hooded front and adjustable rear sights are additions that improve the performance of the rifle.

Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle

Stowed Length: 16.5 inches

Special Features: 22 LR; 8 + 2 rounds magazine capacity; ABS plastic stock; coated steel barrel & Teflon coated receiver finish; and adjustable rear, blade front sights.

Best Use: Backpacking

If you have been searching for the best backpack rifle, then you should look no further than the Henry AR-7. You can conveniently store the magazines, receiver, and barrel inside the floating stock. The most amazing thing is that the AR-7 is designed to float. Do not be too much concerned with the assembling and takedown of the rifle, because it is super easy. You only need practice; remember practice makes perfect.

You will observe, after your first assembly, that the rifle is somehow awkward towards the shoulder.

As per your observation, you will notice that the receiver is a bit off-center of the rifle stock. Well, this is not a construction problem, but part and parcel of the actual design necessary for the desired performance. This design feature ensures that all parts are conveniently and neatly stuffed inside the stock.The magazine is easy to access, and you can effortlessly activate it from any side. You might complain about the trigger being on the heavy side; however, this is not a varmint machine but a survival one.

Browning BLR Takedown Rifle

Barrel Length: 20 inches

Special Features: BLR lightweight; short action; 223 Rem; stainless barrel material with  matte finish; laminated stock material with satin finish; alloy trigger material, gold plated trigger finish, and buck mark in gold trigger guard engraving; aluminum alloy receiver material  with matte nickel finish; and detachable magazine.

Best Use: Backpacking

This is the best takedown rifle for the money. This lightweight ’81 stainless is engineered to survive the harshest of environments. This is clearly indicated by the material and finish of the various parts. Including laminate stock material with satin finish; alloy trigger material, gold plated trigger finish; and aluminum alloy receiver material with matte nickel finish.

The various materials and finishes prevent reflections from startling your price. Performance is always enhanced with sights as far as rifles are concerned.

The BLR ’81 stainless does not disappoint. It is installed with fiber optic front sights (TRUGLO/ Marbles) that offer you the much-needed accuracy even in low light. Takedown is unbelievably quick and easy. All you have to do is flip the lever, then twist the barrel and receiver at ninety degrees to detach. This makes backpacking so easy. The rifle’s status is further improved by the detachable magazine and barrel contour sporter.

Related: BLR Black Label Takedown, 16-inch Barrel

Aero Survival Rifle

Barrel Length: 16.25 inches

Special Features: Blowback operated semi-automatic; 10mm caliber; 6160 aircraft-grade aluminum receivers w/ hard anodized OD green finish; parkerized 4140 chromoly steel barrel; 15 + 1 rounds capacity; six rifle grooves; and accessories (manual, one Glock magazine, QD sling swivel, removable accessory rail, and scope).

Best Use: Bug out Backpacking

One of the people’s favorite TNW Firearms is the Aero Survival Rifle (ASR). This is a semi-automatic blowback takedown machine engineered for survival. The simplicity and resourcefulness of this unique rifle are attributed to its various features. The several accessories and parts are constructed from high quality and long wearing materials for resiliency and strength.

To begin with, the tubular upper receiver along with the lower receiver is made from high-quality aircraft grade aluminum. The bolt profile’s weight, as well as the buffer spring, help slow down rearward movement once a shot is fired.

The barrel profile includes 10mm (16.25 inches of length and 1:16 twist) and 9mm (16.25 inches of length and 1:10 twist). The need to keep the carbine lightweight and smaller affects the ergonomics. However, a close look at all the parts and their various functionalities should tell you that the ASR is a reliable survival and backpacking rifle.

The gun faces considerable competition from brands such as Beretta CX4 and Kel-Tec Sub-2000, but it is still the best, given its reputation in the field.

In Conclusion

Backpack rifles are anideal choice for anyone looking for convenience. A feature unique to these rifles is the easy takedown.

A wooden rifle in autumn

Most of the guns come with bug out backpacks, which are incorporated with pockets/ pouches for storing ammunition and gun parts and accessories. They are chambered in the desired calibers, such 22 LR/S/L and 223 Rem, effective for hunting among other activities.

There are some brands that are remarkably lightweight, such as Pack rifle. Generally, these are highly user-friendly weapons designed to perform. Do you think we have missed any resourceful rifles? If so, let us know in comments


Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is our expert in hunting. He was born in Alaska, so hunting was his hobby since high school. Later, Shawn took a Hunter Training at Alaska Department of Fish and Game to structure his knowledge and now he is open to share his knowledge with our readers. Shawn is taking ‘Safety First’ approach on all of his trips, especially is some people are going hunting for the first time.