Which rifle for a sheep hunt?

mnhunter2

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Jul 9, 2008
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Planning a sheep hunt and was thinking about rifles, have a 300 weatherby that I have shot for yrs on many hunts, very accurate with sub 1” groups at 200yds and have many kills on deer from 400-500 yds but it weighs about 8.5 pounds. Do I shoot my old reliable or build a new light weight mountain rifle?
 

GA Sheephunter

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I went back and forth on all kinds of gear for about 2 years leading up to my sheep hunt, and bought a total of 4 rifles in that time including a sako finnlight and a barrett fieldcraft....ended up taking my 9.5# (all up) Cooper 300 win mag with a 26" barrel because I was the most confident with it. I carried it for 12 days and never noticed the weight. Made a perfect shot on my ram at 257 yards and then on a caribou at 317. If I went on another sheep hunt I would take it again.

Get a good sling for your pack...that probably helps alot. (I used the weapon sling by stone glacier with their sky tallus 6900 pack)
 

Threejs

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I was a hot mess 6 months up to my sheep hunt. I had a 6.5-284 built. Was afraid I would lose my ammo. My outfitter said he used a 270. So I bought one, also a sako finnlight. I wasn’t feeling the vibe from it. So I got a Rem 700 AWR. It was about 7.25# bare. It shoots the hornady PH ammo tight. I killed my ram way too far away with it. I never noticed the weight. So don’t be concerned with an “ultra light” rifle.
 

Gravel Road

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No doubt, go with your 300 Weatherby. When the chips are down and you have a last day shot on a sheep, you want the confidence of your long time rifle.
I've hunted sheep with several different rifles, and although it's great to have a light rifle, it isn't as important as a rifle you are familiar with. I started sheep hunting with an old Rem 700AS in 300 Wby and it was a great choice. Heavy, but it really put the critters down (always shot the same 200gr Partition). By the way, sheep hunting is hard on the equipment, so if you are really picky about the looks of your rifle that is a different factor.
 

jjmp

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There's not much your 300 Bee can't do or handle, however if yur in the market check that box, its great to Have choices . What Calibers you thinking about .
 

Litehiker

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Tomorrow I'm ordering a 6.5 CM Browning X-Bolt Pro in burnt bronze Cerakote. Kinda spendy but it weighs 6 lb. 1 oz. W/O the rail or rings. It has a 360 deg. wrapped carbon fiber shell with high density compressed foam inside to deaden sound when a branch whacks it.

Take a close look at it or the X-Bolt Pro on Browning's site. Lots of custom features like grooved barrel, spiral grooved bolt and bolt handle, 3 lever trigger (great trigger when I tested one), that nice stock, bronze Cerakote on the entire rifle (for the Pro version), locking bolt when loaded and on safe (unlike my "for sale" Ruger Amer. Predator), high impact magazine (again, unlike my RAP).

Looking at Kimber, SAKO model 85 and some other semi-custom lightweight rifles I feel that the X-Bolt Pro is the best for the money. When checking the X-Bolt Hell's Canyon and a SAKO 85 side-by-side the X-Bolt action felt smoother and the trigger was at least as good. I insist on a 3 lug bolt so the X-Bolt checks that box, as did the SAKO 85. The SAKO 85 Carbonlight is almost 1 lb. lighter than the X-Bolt Pro but almost $900. more!

So that's my reasoning for ordering my "semi-custom" X-Bolt Pro.

Eric B.
UPDATE: Above is my new 6.5 CM X-Bolt Pro with matching Cerakoted Talley rings W/ bubble level on rear ring. Scope is an SWFA 3 - 15 x 42. FFP, mil/mil, side focus. Very good glass. Possibly a nice MARCH 3 - 24 x 42 illuminated scope by late summer.
 
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ramrod79

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Alberta Canada
I’m a long time sheep hunter 27 years in fact. I’ve went through countless lightweight rifles through out the years and have figured out stay with what’s comfortable for you. You can always use the money saved on not buying a new rifle for ultralight gear to offset the weight. My current sheep gun is a custom that weighs 9 1/4 loaded.
I often think about building a lighter rifle but then I think save money lose 2 lbs or shed some gear weight somewhere.

I have to laugh my sometimes sheep partner has a Kimber Montana it’s 6 lbs then he put a 2 lb NF Actar on it. I was puzzled by this as it’s not to light any more and shoots mediocre out to 3-400 yards.

Haha I forgot about his 1 lb leather sling from the 40s too.
 

GA Sheephunter

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Also, sheep are not “tough” animals. You don’t need a big rifle for them.
This is true, sheep are not that tough, but if you are in grizz country, the larger calibers give some folks peace of mind. I had a caribou tag, a moose tag, and saw many grizz, including two while we were hauling sheep meat...we had to fire warning shots to get them to bugger off. I was very glad then and throughout the trip that I had the extra juice of the .300 WM.
 

JMack

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This is true, sheep are not that tough, but if you are in grizz country, the larger calibers give some folks peace of mind. I had a caribou tag, a moose tag, and saw many grizz, including two while we were hauling sheep meat...we had to fire warning shots to get them to bugger off. I was very glad then and throughout the trip that I had the extra juice of the .300 WM.
I’ve never hunted sheep. Hopefully someday. But I’ve always wandered about traveling to and from sheep areas and even hunting in some areas with smaller cartridges. I’d sleep better at night knowing I had a .30 cal with a little oomph, just in case.
 

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