Sheep hunting rifle

thinhorn_AK

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Jul 2, 2016
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Alaska
This is a boring but very practical answer .... jump on the scale ..... if you can potentially lose a little body fat .... let's say .... 5 pounds ..... keep your accurate... trusted in the moment rifle and be lighter on the mountain.... but heavier in the wallet
Or do both.
 

fatbacks

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Aug 26, 2017
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Interior AK
Not sure where you’re hunting but if in grizzly country I would pack more than a 6.5 CM. Had some good run ins over the past few years and I now pack a little more heat


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RazAlGhoul

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Jun 29, 2019
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111
I'm using a Nosler M48 Sporter in .300WSM. Kinda overkill for sheep but just right for most other stuff.
 

300wby

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Jan 13, 2020
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I had a Weatherby Mark V Ultralight Weight in .270win a few years back. Ran a Burris fullfield 2, 3x12 scope if I recall right. it loved federal premium 130gr trophy bonded bear claws, the originals. Shot pinky finger nail sized groups at 100 yards. For some stupid reason I decided to trade it in. One of the dumbest things I’ve ever done..

this rifle was special.
 

Spiral Horn

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Oct 19, 2019
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136
Like my sheep rifle to max out at no more than 8lbs completely tricked out with a full mag. But I also like something with all rugged components that will stand up to tough mountain conditions. What I’ve noticed is when a rifle (bare gun) goes below 6lbs the additional weight loss begins degrading other features, components, handling or consistent accuracy. Some comments on those you mentioned and a few others to consider:

Kimber — Never Again = after numerous attempts and a lot of $, it still wouldn’t shoot

Barrett Fieldcraft — am familiar with it and a few friends own them give nothing but glowing reports

Bergara Premier Mountain — after considerable research I almost bought one and still might

H-S Precision PHL - they just started making it again. Have one, and it is my “go-to” 6.5CM sheep rifle. A bit more expensive, but extremely well made, handles like a dream, and gets 1/2 MOA groups with several loads.
 

vonb

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Jan 2, 2020
Messages
9
I handled a Sako 85 Carbonlight a few years back and was really impressed. The short action models weigh around 5.5 lbs and balanced really well. They weren't cheap and may be hard to find. However, they are worth a look.
 

xrangerx

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Jun 2, 2015
Messages
252
I’ve got a kimber setup like the one posted earlier that is sub 6lbs ready to go (in 308). Super light (for me), accurate enough, and easy to pack. I agree with the others that I would prefer a rifle in the 8lb area for overall shoot ability. There is a place for 6lb rifles for sure and I doubt mine is going anywhere, but 8-9lbs is my sweet spot for a good combo of shootability and weight.
 

Bezamaelee

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Joined
Jul 8, 2018
Messages
44
Location
Great Smoky Mountains
I haven’t been sheep hunting yet but will make it happen one day! I think the tikka rifles are a tough to beat for a lighter weight option. My 7-08 with leupold vx3i 4.5-14 will probably go with me when I do go on a sheep hunt. It’s right at 7.5 pounds empty which for me is about perfect. View attachment 145704
Agreed. I have a T3 in 270 with the same scope in 3.5-10x40. Love the setup.
 
OP
Elite

Elite

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Sep 4, 2018
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Not sure where you’re hunting but if in grizzly country I would pack more than a 6.5 CM. Had some good run ins over the past few years and I now pack a little more heat


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There is a lot of grizzlys around where I hunt usually see 4-5 every trip. Now you have me thinking about maybe stepping up to a 270WSM or a 300WSM. I would like the rifle to be under 7lbs when finished but I am worried about the recoil of a large caliber with a light rifle. I currently shoot a 30-06 with 165gr and rifle weighs 8.2 pounds. The recoil doesn’t bother me much. I have been reading about the 7mm-08 as a good sheep round but would be light for elk/bear


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Runningwater

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Jan 11, 2016
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Broomfield, CO
There is a lot of grizzlys around where I hunt usually see 4-5 every trip. Now you have me thinking about maybe stepping up to a 270WSM or a 300WSM. I would like the rifle to be under 7lbs when finished but I am worried about the recoil of a large caliber with a light rifle. I currently shoot a 30-06 with 165gr and rifle weighs 8.2 pounds. The recoil doesn’t bother me much. I have been reading about the 7mm-08 as a good sheep round but would be light for elk/bear


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If your after a primary sheep rifle, I'd not let the grizzly scenario impact your decision much. A 7mm-08 will knock a grizzly flat - much more so than any handgun you'll ever carry. It's also an excellent elk round at reasonable distances. If you are hunting grizzly then by all means something stiffer may be appropriate. Not that there is anything wrong with a 300wsm - I have one. But if you want a light, easy shooting sheep gun - a sub 6 pound 300wsm is not one of those. You'll either want it heavier or accept that it will have sharp recoil. My 2 cents.
 
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Elite

Elite

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Sep 4, 2018
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If your after a primary sheep rifle, I'd not let the grizzly scenario impact your decision much. A 7mm-08 will knock a grizzly flat - much more so than any handgun you'll ever carry. It's also an excellent elk round at reasonable distances. If you are hunting grizzly then by all means something stiffer may be appropriate. Not that there is anything wrong with a 300wsm - I have one. But I'd you want a light, easy shooting sheep gun - a sub 6 pound 300wsm is not one of those. You'll either want it heavier or accept that it will have sharp recoil. My 2 cents.
Thank you for the Input! I would like to be able to practice a lot with rifle and not develop a flinch so I might stick with a smaller caliber. I have narrowed it down to a few rifles. Looking for some input. Would like to stay close to 6lbs with a scope on

Howa alpine rifle
Savage 110 lightweight storm. (Top pick)
Kimber hunter
Tikka t3 (gun is already over 6lbs)


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Runningwater

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Jan 11, 2016
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392
Location
Broomfield, CO
I don't have direct experience with any of those, but I think even with lightweight rings and scope your are closer to 6.5lbs. - not that there is anything wrong with that. I have a 15 year old kimber that I struggled mightily with to get a hand load to shoot an inch, but I've heard positive reports on the new stuff. On the other hand I prefer the twist rate on the kimber over the others for the 7mm-08. Might not be an issue for you depending on what pills you want to feed it! Good luck!
 
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