"Kel-Tec P-32, 7+1 rounds of .32, 6.6 Ounce (with safety and trigger guard!). And, as any ULer knows, 6.6 oz < 15.5 oz."
"My" Kel-Tec P32 loaded with 8 winchester silver tips weighs 9.8 ounces. Just saying. It is the old original version though, the newer ones may be lighter?
I have to put "my" in quotes because my wife stole it from me the very day I took it home and it now lives in her purse ( we have concealed carry permits ).
I usually carry a heavier pistol when backpacking, but have considered the little .32 auto. It can ride in the hip belt pocket of my Golite Jam backpack just fine. It isn't much gun, but it's better than nothing and it is a surprisingly decent little belly gun. I'd certainly recommend one to a female hiking alone for self-defense.
But the P-32 has no real sights – Mine has dots on the top that can be lined up, the new version has rather rudimentary fixed sights machined into the top of the slide, and they have a long double action trigger pull. I’d be amazed if anyone could tag a grouse with one of these little toys.
And .32 ACP ammo is quite expensive.
I’m not a bad shot, and my first inclination when considering a “kit gun” would be an accurate .22 handgun, something with adjustable sights.
The Charter Arms Pathfinder revolver with a 4” barrel and adjustable sights is about 20 ounces. Not bad for an all stainless steel gun that will last a lifetime, and I’m sure I could tag grouse, squirrels, rabbits, marmots and what-not quite well with one of these.
Note they have a 22 magnum version of this as well!
Strictly for defense and not hunting, Charter Arms also makes a fine array of snubbie revolvers in the caliber of your choice
Weights are down to about 12 ounces, and the new Charter Arms products I have used are excellent. Since I always carry a sidearm for defense ( today it’s a Glock 26, also one of my backpacking favorites ) I have considered getting one to lighten up a bit, but by and large the lighter the gun the less competent it is as a defensive piece.
The Crickket single shot rifle is a fantastic idea – And is a popular pack rifle with some survivalists.
It’s also cheap, which helps. Some folk take the butt plate off and stuff ammo and “survival” supplies inside the hollow synthetic stock ( be sure to tape a screw driver to the sling.)
These guns also come with good sights and are said to be accurate. It might well be possible to create a lighter stock for one, perhaps skeletonized or even a lightweight aluminum tube folding stock.
Other ideas -
The Ruger 22/45 Lite is listed at 22 ounces, and there should be no doubt that this fine firearm is up to the task if the shooter is.
The Marlin Papoose, a takedown .22 semi-auto rifle of high quality - http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/selfloading/70pss.asp
Bit heavy at over three pounds, but said to be among the best.
A single shot 20 gauge shotgun – Any good pawn shop should have a few of these. The barrels can be cut down to just a tad over 18 inches, and you can install a “youth” sized synthetic stock, or gouge out the wooden stock to skeletonize it.
H&R still make the “Tamer” - http://www.hr1871.com/Firearms/Shotguns/tamer.asp
But the weight of these seems to have climbed a bit. They used to make a .410 version that was quite light and small.
Rossi makes break open single shot rifle and shotguns that might also have potential. In particular they have a youth sized single shot .22 with a synthetic stock that probably weighs under five pounds and could be modified to be considerably less.
A note on weights – Never belive the manufacturers or distributors web site, they are often wrong. Some guns surprise you and turn out to be lighter, many are heavier, especially when actually loaded of course.