Considering some lightweight rifles...

Vermin93

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Jul 2, 2020
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13
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Texas
I drew an Arizona desert bighorn tag and figured that's all the reason I need to justify a new rifle. I've only done one western hunt, and that was a Utah muzzleloader hunt for mule deer. The lightest rifle I have is a Model 70 Featherweight Deluxe in 270. It's a great shooter that I'm really confident with and have taken many whitetail at over 300 yds with it. With scope and ammo it weighs about 8.4 lbs. I was thinking it would be great for the sheep hunt, but I like the idea of getting something new and lighter that isn't blued with really nice walnut.

I was looking at the Bergara Premier Mountain rifles. Europtic has some of the version 1.0 rifles on sale for $1600, including a 270 with 22" barrel. At 6.2 lbs it would get my rig below 8lbs, which would be nice. I've found very little owner feedback on these rifles and have never held one, so I'm a little hesitant to go this route.

I've got an opportunity to buy a new Barrett Fieldcraft in 270 with 24" barrel for around $1400. I've read lots of good feedback on this rifle, and with a reported weight of 5.6 lbs, I could get a beefier scope and stay well under 8 lbs. Right now I'm thinking this is the way I want to go. I could also get the Fieldcraft in 308 with 21" barrel, but I'm more of a 270 guy and think it would be perfect for the sheep hunt and future antelope and deer hunts.

Another rifle that got my attention is the Weatherby Mark V Weathermark LT. One thing I noticed about this rifle is how much the weight varies based on caliber. Chambered for a Wby mag, the rifle weighs 7.2 lbs. But when chambered in 6.5 CM or the new 6.5 Wby RPM, it's only 5.9 lbs. I found a pair in 6.5 Wby RPM with 24" barrel and 6.5 CM with 22" barrel for just under $1700, which is still in my $ range.

The last rifle I'm considering is the Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS. This would basically replicate what I currently have but in a synthetic/stainless config that I won't mind beating up. I would shave off about 4 oz with a 6.5 CM or add 2 oz with a 270. This rifle would be the practical choice, so I probably won't do it. I drew a sheep tag and turn 50 this year, so it's time to splurge a little!

I think I've ruled out the Bergara and the Winchester, so I'm probably down to choosing between the Barrett in 270 or the Weatherby in 6.5 CM or 6.5 Wby RPM. It would be great to get some thoughts on these before I hit the purchase button. Thanks.
 

LightFoot

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Feb 21, 2016
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Texas
I like the Bergara action. Too bad that's off your list.

Barrett is a fine choice. You get accuracy and reduced weight. That is not a wrong choice gor sure.

The new Weatherby rifles look like they will be awesome. Cerakote and a trigger tech are great features. The new recoil pad has problems on the new mark v backcountys.

The kimbers and the tikkas get great reviews here on Rokslide.

A lightweight mountain rifle about the whole setup, not just the weight of the rifle.

For a once in lifetime sheep hunt, I would probably go semi or full custom. Alamo Precision is in your neck of the woods I think.

I just ordered a Seekins Havak Element in 6.5 PRC. Might be worth consideration.

Guess the real question is what's your budget.

>>>----JAKE----->
 
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6mm Remington

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Oct 19, 2012
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Western Montana
Best of luck on rifle choices. Hard to go wrong with a 270 for sheep. Classic caliber and Jack O'Connor would be proud. 130 gr. Nosler Partition or Accubond and you would be set. H4831SC and Federal 215 primer's used in working up your load. Can't wait to hear more of your adventures. You must take many pictures and keep us all posted.
 

Sam Colt

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Jun 27, 2020
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When I saw my first Kimber Mountain Ascent, it was on the rack behind the counter of a local shop. The rifle was hanging there with the bolt open. When I asked to see it, the clerk smiled, reached over with one hand, took the rifle by the muzzle brake, and swung it effortlessly across into my waiting hands. It honestly felt like it was made from the mythical element upsidaisyum from an old Bullwinkle cartoon. It seriously feels like you'd have to tether it in a stiff breeze or it would blow away.
 

SDHNTR

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Aug 30, 2012
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Hold the phone! You drew the most coveted tag in North America! You’re gonna risk that on a new and unproven rifle? That’s crazy! You ever read any Jack Oconnor? You already own THE most perfect sheep rifle on earth AND you have confidence in it! Save the money and use it on better binoculars or pack, or better yet, a personal trainer to get in better shape! Something that will actually add value to your experience!

FYI, when it was time to pull out a rifle on my desert sheep hunt, it was a wood/blued Win M70 in .270! One shot at 270 yards (quite fitting) and a dead B&C ram. You don’t need a new whiz bang rifle!
 

brsnow

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Joined
Apr 28, 2019
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1,202
I have 24” fieldcrafts in 6.5cm and .270, kimber in .308. The FC .270 is my favorite. The weights are accurate. All 3 shoot great. Once the fieldcraft are sold, that might be it. So get one soon if you want it.
 
OP
Vermin93

Vermin93

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Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location
Texas
Hold the phone! You drew the most coveted tag in North America! You’re gonna risk that on a new and unproven rifle? That’s crazy! You ever read any Jack Oconnor? You already own THE most perfect sheep rifle on earth AND you have confidence in it! Save the money and use it on better binoculars or pack, or better yet, a personal trainer to get in better shape! Something that will actually add value to your experience!

FYI, when it was time to pull out a rifle on my desert sheep hunt, it was a wood/blued Win M70 in .270! One shot at 270 yards (quite fitting) and a dead B&C ram. You don’t need a new whiz bang rifle!
I was guessing, and kind of hoping, that someone might post such a reply, so thanks for that. I would love to make it happen with my M70. Killed my first deer with it.

I appreciate the feedback and suggestions from others. Lots of good options to think about.

I may get the Barrett and practice with both...maybe take both on the trip.
 

Bubblehide

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Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
1,333
Hold the phone! You drew the most coveted tag in North America! You’re gonna risk that on a new and unproven rifle? That’s crazy! You ever read any Jack Oconnor? You already own THE most perfect sheep rifle on earth AND you have confidence in it! Save the money and use it on better binoculars or pack, or better yet, a personal trainer to get in better shape! Something that will actually add value to your experience!

FYI, when it was time to pull out a rifle on my desert sheep hunt, it was a wood/blued Win M70 in .270! One shot at 270 yards (quite fitting) and a dead B&C ram. You don’t need a new whiz bang rifle!
It's Az and he wants a stainless weather appropriate rifle. He has plenty of time to know if a new rifle shoots accurately or not.
 
OP
Vermin93

Vermin93

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
13
Location
Texas
I like the Bergara action. Too bad that's off your list.

Barrett is a fine choice. You get accuracy and reduced weight. That is not a wrong choice gor sure.

The new Weatherby rifles look like they will be awesome. Cerakote and a trigger tech are great features. The new recoil pad has problems on the new mark v backcountys.

The kimbers and the tikkas get great reviews here on Rokslide.

A lightweight mountain rifle about the whole setup, not just the weight of the rifle.

For a once in lifetime sheep hunt, I would probably go semi or full custom. Alamo Precision is in your neck of the woods I think.

I just ordered a Seekins Havak Element in 6.5 PRC. Might be worth consideration.

Guess the real question is what's your budget.

>>>----JAKE----->

Did they give you a lead time on that Seekins? Tempting!
 

Runningwater

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Joined
Jan 11, 2016
Messages
469
Location
Broomfield, CO
As mentioned, you'll be just fine with what you have. You aren't likely (I think!) to be backpacking in 7 miles at 12k in AZ for desert BH, the extra pound probably won't be too noticeable, and generally in AZ you should be fine with blued and wood. Plus you'd look classy! That said, I've got an 3006 Fieldcraft and my buddy has a v1 Bergera mountain in 280ai. They are both great rifles. His Bergara is about 3/4 pound heavier and has 2 inch shorter barrel, but it is well made and very accurate. I'm really tickled with my Barrett in all aspects. Both are hopefully heading to AK this fall for a proper field test. Good luck and congrats on the tag.
 

HuntnPack

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Aug 10, 2014
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123
Location
The Wilderness
Consider the Seekins Element. Only 5.5#
Check out the rifle specs on their web page.
My 6.5 PRC weighs in at 7.86#.
That’s Rifle, Seekins Rings, 5/8-24 Brake,
bipod rail, NX8 4-32x50 MOAR.
Shoots well with 156 Berger’s.
(8.1# with Jäger Suppressor)
 
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Montana Slim

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Aug 16, 2019
Messages
193
There are absolutely no flies on a M70 featherweight in .270.... I think you have a classic rifle for a hunt of a lifetime. Especially since you have good history and confidence with the gun - I'd use it for nostalgia's sake.

If you want a new rifle, by all means get it (I would go for the fieldcraft). But you certainly don't need it! Congrats on the tag and best of luck.
 
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