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 barrel­ — 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.


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.


Current Magazine Cover

Don't Miss

The Essentials Gear Box.

Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.

Learn More

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

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Kevin Steele treks to the cedar breaks and coulees of north-central Nebraska for a shot at a big prairie whitetail.

Cedar Break Bucks

David Draper is with Dory Schoby talking about the benefits of using red dots for hunting and taking a look at the Aimpoint Micro H2.

Aimpoint Red Dots for Hunting

David Draper is with Nathan Robinson of Winchester talking about the 6.8 Western Cartridge. It offers impressive long-range accuracy, low recoil and staggering knockdown power when you need it for both long-range shooting and hunting.

Winchester 6.8 Western

Joe Ferronato is joined by Luke Thorkildsen from Weather by to check out the Backcountry 2.0, which builds on the classic steel Mark V action — with some key updates.

Weatherby Mark V Backcountry 2.0

Nosler has some exciting new products. Mason Payer of Nosler shows our own Joe Ferronato new suppressors, 21 Chassis Rifle and Trophy Grade Ammunition.

New from Nosler!

Shawn Skipper of Leupold explains their Custom Dial System to Petersen's Hunting's Joe Ferronato.

Leupold CDS

Kevin Steele gets a chance to test this impressive rifle at Roundtable 2022.

CZ 600 Range

Petersen's Hunting's Dale Evans is with CJ Johnson of Bushnell checking out their new Elite 4X.

Bushnell Elite 4500 4X Scope

Tim Herald shares tips on how to best use a ground blind.

Trijicon Tip: Ground Blinds

Petersen's Hunting Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

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

Get the top Petersen's Hunting stories delivered right to your inbox.

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 and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now