Gun Digest
 

Light And Right: Nosler M48 Mountain Carbon

Light as a feather, the Nosler M48 Mountain Carbon is more than just a dream to carry into the backcountry. It's also a dream to shoot.

What The M48 Mountain Carbon Offers Rugged Country Hunters:

Historically speaking, I have not been a fan of light rifles. Yes, they carry very nicely, and their lack of weight—although it’s often no more than 2 or 3 pounds—surely feels good going up a mountain.

But it usually comes at a price. A seriously light rifle doesn’t seem to balance well; recoil can be ferocious; and when it comes time for the shot, it can take what seems like forever for the muzzle to settle down. It’s a classic tradeoff—reduced weight or “shootability”—and I’ll almost always opt for a well-balanced, heavier rifle and gladly carry a bit more weight.

That said, I’ve “met” a handful of light rifles that seem to have “it” and that handle very nicely; they were, in fact, properly proportioned and balanced well. For me, I know it when I feel it. Among those light rifles that grabbed my attention is the Nosler M48 Mountain Carbon.

The Mountain Carbon most definitely complements Nosler’s M48 line of rifles.

I was visiting with my pals at the Nosler booth at the 2019 SHOT Show when Jeff Sipe handed me a rifle. I’ve known Jeff for years, and although he’s been at Nosler for just over a year, he’s made his mark on Nosler’s rifle line. I grabbed the rifle from Jeff; in fact, I grabbed it too hard, because I thought there was more weight to the gun than was actually there.

“There’s nothing to this thing!” I exclaimed. “What’s it chambered for?”

Sipe gave a sly grin and uttered in a completely deadpan voice, “.33 Nosler.”

I made a wincing face, knowing the muzzle velocity the .33 Nosler generates and thinking about the recoil in a rifle this light.

“Phil, with this brake on board, you’ll sit with this rifle at the bench all day with no problem,” Jeff pointed out.

I don’t like muzzle brakes either, but I could see that on this rifle, it was a matter of necessity.

Note the dual lugs, spring-loaded extractor and plunger ejector of the M48 bolt face.

“I want to send you one to shoot, and I’ll bet you’ll be a believer,” Jeff said confidently. He knows how I feel about rifles … and damn it, he was right.

The Rifle

Nosler’s M48 is a push-feed affair, with the action blueprinted and hardened. An adjustable Timney trigger is mounted to a Remington 700-style two-position safety—situated on the right side of the receiver on a right-handed rifle. An aluminum hinged floorplate and trigger guard keep the fixed magazine in place, and all the metal work of the receiver is coated in a tungsten-gray Cerakote finish. That receiver is mated to a 24-inch, carbon-fiber-wrapped barrel with cut rifling.


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