If you’re a big fan of ultralight rifles you have my sympathy.

They are such a good idea on paper and the ones produced by the top gun makers are wondrous items indeed. I’m thinking here of craftsmen like Melvin Forbes who builds some of the sexiest and most accurate lightweight rifles on the planet (Model 24B pictured above). Making light rifles shoot well is no small feat. When you start shaving away lots of material from the barrel, receiver, bolt, and stock it is easy for the bullets to spray around like water from a lawn sprinkler.

But even if the rifle is accurate, it is one thing for it to shoot well and quite another for the person on the trigger to shoot it well.

Off the bench they buck and kick like a rodeo bull and from field positions their crosshairs tend to wobble about like a sailor on shore leave due to their lack of inertia when compared to full-weight rifles.

If you’re trying to shoot a featherweight rifle for group size, letting it recoil freely on the bags is sure to lead to disappointing results. A firm and consistent grip on the forend with the lead hand, coupled with moderate rearward pressure being exerted by the trigger hand to seat the rifle in the pocket of your shoulder, will work best.

The same goes for shooting from field positions. Grip the rifle firmly with the lead hand and double-check the seating of the rifle in the pocket of the shoulder. Before pulling the trigger, take a couple deep breaths and make sure your body is relaxed. Because lightweight rifles recoil harder, they can cause flinching even when shot with mild cartridges.

If none of this works for you, sell the damn rifle and get to the gym so you can bulk up enough to tolerate lugging around an 8-pound rifle like the rest of us.