FOR a long time, I’ve been looking for a lightweight just-in-case rifle for trips into wilderness areas. The Pack-Rifle—manufactured by Mountain View Machine & Welding, Inc.—weighs in at under a pound, collapses to 17 inches, and could be the perfect choice.
The receiver is machined from highstrength aluminum. Parts and fasteners that are exposed to wear are constructed of stainless steel. The barrel consists of Cro-Moly liner with a carbon-fiber composite outer shell. Carbon fiber is also used for the stock of the rifle. My particular rifle also has a built-in fishing rod and can be converted from a rifle to a fishing rig quickly and easily. The rifle as I carry it—including fishing rod, reel and case—weighs just one pound, five ounces.
Multiple sight options are available for the rifle. It ships with peep sights. Scope mounts, a scope and laser sight are also available at additional cost. Because most of the shots I am likely to take with a .22 Long Rifle (LR) are close range, I tested the rifle with the included peep sights. I tested the rifle from a bench rest at 50 feet and was able to shoot a 1.75-inch group with my first five shots. In my hands, the rifle shot a fairly precise group, but it was shooting several inches to the left of my aim point. After the first five shots, I was able to adjust my shooting accordingly. Having fired a couple hundred rounds, I was comfortable shooting at small game.
The only thing I would change about the rifle is the rear sight. I would like the option of an adjustable standard rifle sight. I am not the best shot with peep sights, but I was able to learn to shoot the rifle well.
The operation of the Pack-Rifle is intuitive. I figured out how to operate it without instruction. The same mechanism used to break the rifle down is used to load it. To arm the rifle, you simply pull back on the bolt. Ejecting a spent cartridge is accomplished by pulling back on the ejector mechanism.
The Pack-Rifle is single shot and, as expected from such a design, it fired numerous brands of .22 LR ammunition without a single malfunction in over 500 rounds.
The handle of the rifle is hollow and can be used to store things like ammunition, fishing tackle, or survival items. A small flashlight is mounted underneath the barrel.
As mentioned above, the rifle can be converted into a fishing rod. The rod is built into the stock and collapses into it. My rifle came with two different reel options. The fishing rig is quite functional but definitely falls into the ultra-light category of fishing gear. I wouldn’t try catching monster fish with it, but small pan fish are easily within range.
I have carried the rifle into the woods with me quite a few times. It’s an excellent small-game getter. When I’m deciding what to carry in my pack, I look for gear that’s lightweight and serves multiple functions. Saving weight means I can cover more ground while expending fewer calories and be considerably more comfortable doing so. The facts that the rifle is under a pound and can double as a fishing rod make it a very good fit for me. I hardly even noticed I was carrying it.
Ask ten different people about a good caliber choice for survival, and you will likely get ten different answers. My answer is .22 LR. It may be a controversial choice, but consider these points.
First, ammunition is cheap, readily available and low recoil. With any caliber, shot placement is the key. The only way I know to get consistently good shot placement is to practice. I am much more likely to practice with a .22 LR than a .30-06. I can shoot a .22 LR for hours on the cheap. A .22 LR doesn’t beat me up and cause flinching after a dozen rounds like a .30-06 does.
Second, I have seen most common small-game animals in North America killed with a .22 LR. I have seen large animals like horses and cows put down with a .22 LR as well. I can tell you from experience that the .22 LR is grossly underrated as a performer against twolegged predators. Again, it’s all about shot placement.
Finally, both the rifle and ammo tend to be lighter weight if you are shooting .22 LR.
The $425 MSRP of the rifle may put some off, but I ask you to consider a few things. The Pack-Rifle is made in a small machine shop to extremely high standards. It’s not a mass-produced piece of junk. Everywhere you look on the Pack-Rifle, you find precision and fine workmanship. The fit and finish of the Pack-Rifle are flawless. Just when you think you have discovered all its clever designs and features, you find another. The Pack-Rifle is the perfect solution to a very specific problem—a lightweight multifunction survival rifle. To me, it’s worth paying a little more for a highquality American-made product that does its job perfectly.
I brought the rifle to my weekend shooting club. The most common reaction I got was, “What is that thing?” When I showed people how the Pack- Rifle worked, everyone loved it and wanted to know where to buy one.
The Pack-Rifle is like a well-kept secret. I am very glad to have discovered it and highly recommend it.