Sheep build, UL backpacking rifle

SSG Graybush

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Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
112
Location
Winchester VA
I’m interested in putting together a sheep rifle. Thinking something around a 6.5 PRC and now for the tricky part.. would like the overall weight to be sub- 5lb scopeless sub 6 scoped. Would love for it to be carbon if possible but I get that may be unrealistic. Would prefer bolt but open to single shot if I could keep the barrel carbon.

What components could help me achieve this?
I would look at a Ti action like the anti-x. McMillan ultra-lite Game Warden with a OMR 22" CF barrel in 270 wsm 9T and the new Razor LHT ffp scope.. At attitude, 7500 ft +, any caliber bigger then a 270 wsm will carry 1000#'s of energy to 1000 yards with a .575 g1 bc bullet or better. I would consider the 270 WSM 8T. Why, is because this cartridge does very well with RL16. A farely fast temp stable powder allowing you to kept the barrel shorter and still get a good burn. I'd do a 22" barrel. My 270 wsm hand loads are meek at 3089 fps with a 130 gr vld-h from a 24" barrel, switching to 129 LRX. I just need fast and flat at intermittent distances. You should be able to get a 150 gr to go about 3000 fps even with a 22" barrel.. A 150 gr .277 Berger vld-h has a ok bc .519 and the 150 gr LRAB is .591 g1. Ive talked to the Berger tech, the 170 gr EH needs a LA or single fed. I'd go SA 9T with a 130-150 gr. That combo should be about 6-6.5#'s scoped. My 270 wsm with a 130 gr has killed a cow elk and a few mullies and whitetails all 1 shot. Its kinda too much on deer under 150 yards with a BT or Berger so am switching to a LRX for less meat damage. And to save more weight consider a ADL. The 270 wsm looks like the 6.5 prc's bigger brother side by side. If you must do a 6.5 get a 6.5 sst. It looks like a 270 wsm necked to 6.5.
I’m interested in putting together a sheep rifle. Thinking something around a 6.5 PRC and now for the tricky part.. would like the overall weight to be sub- 5lb scopeless sub 6 scoped. Would love for it to be carbon if possible but I get that may be unrealistic. Would prefer bolt but open to single shot if I could keep the barrel carbon.

What components could help me achieve this?
 

duckhunter175

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Mar 4, 2015
Messages
858
Location
DFW
Ahhh the ABLR, have ever used an ABLR or tried to develop a load. That's a whole other black hole discussion. Plus it's impossible to determine what velocities you're going to achieve with a short light barrel and any given bullet, but a PRC will still be faster then a CM from say a 22 inch barrel.

A Defiance XM Anti X + a Proof Sporter stock + a 22in Proof Sendero light might put you in that 5lb ish range.

The following major components would be a good start
Defiance Anti-X Short 22.1 ounces
Proof Light Weight Mountain Hunter 20ish ounces
Proof Sendero Light 22in .264 45 ounces

85 ounces, a hair over 5lbs. Once the barrel is threaded, chambered, you'll loose a little more weight.

I built this exact rifle
-anti SA
-proof 22” Sendero lite 7mm SAUM
-3 port titanium brake
-proof lightweight hunting stock (with Spartan adaptor installed)
-Hawkins Hybrids
-vortex 4.5-22 LHT

7lbs 1 oz
 

Les Szabo

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2018
Messages
24
Location
Colorado
I’m interested in putting together a sheep rifle. Thinking something around a 6.5 PRC and now for the tricky part.. would like the overall weight to be sub- 5lb scopeless sub 6 scoped. Would love for it to be carbon if possible but I get that may be unrealistic. Would prefer bolt but open to single shot if I could keep the barrel carbon.

What components could help me achieve this?
I would contact Grant at Viking Armament
They guide sheep hunters in Alaska every year with Dillinger River Outfitters.
They build ultra light models in 6.5 PRC for the specific application.
Vikingarmament.com
 

Weatherby Fan

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Jan 10, 2011
Messages
658
Location
Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
I’ve built several U/L rifles, it’s difficult to get under 5lbs when building a magnum bolt face cartridge, but not impossible, my 280AI is 5lbs 2.4oz on its own, Defiance Anti Action, Alloy Bottom Metal, 23 inch Benchmark #1 contour fluted 1-9 twist barrel, Wildcat Ultra Light CF stock with palm swell and high comb added, if you add a Leupold VX3i 4.5-14x40 ZL-CDS and Talley’s it’s an extra pound.
You can use a 3.5-10x40 ZL-CDS and save 2oz
My 280AI


And ultralight rifle do shoot even with pencil thin barrels, 100 yard group


292 yard group


Titanium action is an option to save a cpl ounces but not my fav way to go, you could lighten a Rem model seven SAUM/WSM action as another option, if building a non magnum SA cartridge Kimber Mountain Ascent or Montana action is a no brainer but the 8400 action they use for Mag Bolt face WSM cartridges is to heavy to get to your desired weight goals.

I’m going to build a 6.5 PRC on a Defiance Anti Action, Defiance Bottom Metal, Wildcat CF stock, 22 inch Hells Canyon Lite Hunter CF barrel, Alloy Brake, should be around 81-82 ounces so 5lbs 2oz
 
Last edited:

greenejc

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Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
846
Location
Colorado, currently
I’m interested in putting together a sheep rifle. Thinking something around a 6.5 PRC and now for the tricky part.. would like the overall weight to be sub- 5lb scopeless sub 6 scoped. Would love for it to be carbon if possible but I get that may be unrealistic. Would prefer bolt but open to single shot if I could keep the barrel carbon.

What components could help me achieve this?
Look on Kimber and Ultralite websites. You may find what you want there. You will need a muzzle break for a rifle in that caliber that's that light.
 

hunter2405

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
16
Location
united states Tennessee
I’ll tell you , if it were me , I would go with a Kimber . I have 18 of them and love every one of them , I have had to work with a few of them to get them to MOA but they will all shoot , they have a great feel to them and are already light , you could go with a MPI stock and shed several oz.
 

D$tring

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Joined
May 13, 2020
Messages
133
Location
Idaho
carbon stock #2 lilja shaved rem SS 700 fluted handle/bolt aluminum shroud etc. and its shoots really.. obviously not a bench rifle ..
ultra lite builds aren't that hard, but they come with their ups and downs .. the main one is the stock.. your going too have to have a slim trim sporter style too cut the weight were it counts ... and another problem is most build it thinking over all rifle weight then add a 24or 28 oz scope!!! when you should be designing it with your perfect scope in mind then build the rifle around the optic .. there are simply not very many scopes that will allow a sub 6 pound rifle scoped .... the optic has too weigh 14 oz or less ... that's were it becomes tricky and get quality.

i have a 308 ultra lite build going now that the parts weigh 5# 12 ounces un machined that's with a carbon barrel.. that's with very little effort in trying too shave weight.. and still have a 600 yard rifle pretty easily
☝🏼This is truth. I just did the same exercise in a 7SAUM. I did however end up compromising and went with a heavier stock and a 19oz scope instead of a lower power lighter one, both of those decisions were to allow me to max out the range that the 22 inch proof sendero light was capable of. Have not tried 1000 yards yet, still in load development. But it is pleasant to shoot and shooting tight little groups at close ranges. My set up is just over 7.5 lbs scoped and suppressed, and very balanced. If I lost the suppressor and went lighter with the stock and scope it would be sub 6 lbs. your quest is doable; just have to decide the range you want to reach and decide if you can achieve the accuracy you want at that range in the light set up, when considering recoil, scope capabilities, and all the other variables. Good luck. Post pictures.
 

GeorgeB52

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2021
Messages
7
Location
Langley
I’m interested in putting together a sheep rifle. Thinking something around a 6.5 PRC and now for the tricky part.. would like the overall weight to be sub- 5lb scopeless sub 6 scoped. Would love for it to be carbon if possible but I get that may be unrealistic. Would prefer bolt but open to single shot if I could keep the barrel carbon.

What components could help me achieve this?
How can a man worry about six ounces,when you hope to carry on your back a sheep down a few mountains?
Are there any men left in the sheep hunting fraternity???
 

vancewalker007

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
686
I built this exact rifle
-anti SA
-proof 22” Sendero lite 7mm SAUM
-3 port titanium brake
-proof lightweight hunting stock (with Spartan adaptor installed)
-Hawkins Hybrids
-vortex 4.5-22 LHT

7lbs 1 oz
How does it perform? What kind of velocities are you finding? I am hunting with a 6.5 PRC right now built on the Deviant Ultra-Light XM with a 26in barrel for a balance of max performance and weight. I built it as a light weight replacement for a 11lb 7mm LRM. It's about 6lb 13oz bare. When my 6.5 barrel dies I might go back to 7mm and the SAUM is one of the possibilities. I am also considering a Sherman 7mm MAX as it will fit nicely in the XM action as well.
 

Rich Coyle

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Aug 14, 2013
Messages
4,810
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon
Not to argue. But we are probably missing some components to make this function correct? Bottom metal. Mag box of some
Type. Trigger. Unfortunately all those add weight and realistically over 1/2lb. So closer to 92oz.

Additionally in my experience and research CF barrel is not the way to save weight in a UL build. Much better with sporter flutted barrel. Obviously cost is larger threading for suppressors. The lightest CF barrel I’ve found is the featherweight carbon6. I asked a member last week who had a 19” one for sale what the weight was and it was 39oz I believe. You should be able to get a similar length sporter closer to low 30s.

If I am wrong please advise because I’d love to save that weight!

Once I ordered a Christensen carbon wrap 26" in 6.5mm and a Pac-Nor stainless 26" to match the Weatherby six lug ultralight contour in 6.5 and had it fluted by Twisted Barrel. Before threading and chambering both weighed forty ounces. Twisted barrel fluting reduced the weight by seven ounces. That's getting close to half pound!
 

Rich Coyle

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Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
4,810
Location
Grants Pass, Oregon
How can a man worry about six ounces,when you hope to carry on your back a sheep down a few mountains?
Are there any men left in the sheep hunting fraternity???

Very few! I used to carry my 115 pound wife on my shoulders when she got tired while hiking. That way we could keep on going. My rifle weighed eleven pounds. I am no longer a man at 77 years old. My rifle now weighs seven pounds and there is no way I could carry 150 pound wife up a hill.
 
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