Which rifle for a sheep hunt?

COBrad

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Been on one sheep hunt as a packer... I carried a pack full of stuff for the hunt, and packed sheep out. I did pack the hunters Christiansen Arms carbon fiber everything rifle a good bit too. That was a sweet rifle. On my own goat hunt I used a Kimber Montana that was a particularly good shooter. That was a pretty sweet rifle too. I carried that rifle quite a bit hunting marmots here in CO, at elevations above timberline up to about 12500'.
I ordered a NULA this week in .284. Going back to a light rifle.
 

COBrad

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What's that rifle weigh, and what is that scope going to weigh? I debated a NF 2.5-10 with MOAR reticle, but putting a 20 oz scope in a 5 lb rifle... Instead I am mounting a Leupold VXi III 2.5-8 with Hollands ART reticle and cds knobs. Weight is just under 12 oz. My NULA with talley mounts and scope should come in around the 5 3/4 lb mark.
 

cheechin

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All other concerns being equal...take the gun that can survive abuse. The rams die easy when properly penetrated by any projectile, bullit, arrow, bolt, patched round-ball, ect. But the country is always tough and usually abusive to our weopons. Sheep country will test your mental toughness, and that will affect the way you handle your gun. So take the gun that you can use as a walking stick. Take the gun that already has 1000 alder brush scars and pack scars. Take the gun with abrasions on the scope from all the falls and slips, and still keeps its point-of-impact. Take the gun that has the rusty spots. Take the gun you can trust to hit at your max reasonable shooting range.
 

kukusya

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Sep 22, 2015
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Tomorrow I'm ordering a 6.5 CM Browning X-Bolt Pro Tungsten. 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.
Can you share your experience? Thanks
 

Buckshotaz

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Jan 6, 2019
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Arizona
At lest half of the fun and excitement of a special hunt is the anticipation and taking stock of the equipment you have on had. Questioning the rifle that you have and are very comfortable with is a normal thought process.

Use the rifle that you are comfortable with. if you need to lighten your load, look elsewhere.

Use this time before the hunt read everything you can find on the hunt, watch video, shoot more, exercise, hike with a heavy pack, and use you binoculars just to look at anything but for extended periods of time.

If your body and mind are ready and you can glass for a long time, with good shooting, you will do fine.
 

deerhunt01

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Aug 21, 2017
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91
All other concerns being equal...take the gun that can survive abuse. The rams die easy when properly penetrated by any projectile, bullit, arrow, bolt, patched round-ball, ect. But the country is always tough and usually abusive to our weapon. Sheep country will test your mental toughness, and that will affect the way you handle your gun. So take the gun that you can use as a walking stick. Take the gun that already has 1000 alder brush scars and pack scars. Take the gun with abrasions on the scope from all the falls and slips, and still keeps its point-of-impact. Take the gun that has the rusty spots. Take the gun you can trust to hit at your max reasonable shooting range.
I couldn't have said it any better, great advice
 

Litehiker

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Sep 15, 2012
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Mojave Desert, Nevada
P3141635.jpg
kukusya,
Here is my 6.5 Creedmoor Browning X-Bolt Pro. burnt bronze Cerakote on both metal and carbon fiber stock. 6 lbs. 1 oz. bare naked.

The scope is a SWFA 3 - 15 x 42, FFP, mil/mil, W/ side focus. Great glass for the money.
The rings are Talley special edition bronze Cerakote (match-matchy;o) and the rear ring has a bubble level.

I'm very strongly thinking of getting a MARCH 3 - 24 x 42 scope, same features as above with an illuminated reticle. It's just so [email protected] spendy though.

Eric B.
 
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memtb

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Dec 30, 2013
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Location
Winchester, Wy.
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?

If your in decent shape...
go with “ole faithful”! On a critical hunt, it’s difficult to beat familiarity! I’m sure that the money saved from “not” buying a new rifle.....can be put toward some good hunting equipment! On my sheep hunt, I used the only rifle I’ve used for hunting sinc ‘91. I used my .375 AI (9# even), and didn’t feel “undergunned”! :D

After posting.....I then went on to read the postings. But, my opinion hasn’t changed! memtb
 
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kukusya

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Sep 22, 2015
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152
View attachment 126899 kukusya,
Here is my 6.5 Creedmoor Browning X-Bolt Pro. burnt bronze Cerakote on both metal and carbon fiber stock.

The scope is a SWFA 3 - 15 x 42, FFP, mil/mil, W/ side focus. Great glass for the money.
The rings are Talley special edition bronze Cerakote (match-matchy;o) and the rear ring has a bubble level.

I'm very strongly thinking of getting a MARCH 3 - 24 x 42 scope, same features as above with an illuminated reticle. It's just so [email protected] spendy though.

Eric B.
Really beautiful rifle.
 

Litehiker

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Sep 15, 2012
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Location
Mojave Desert, Nevada
Thanks kukusya.
Yeah, purty, and it shoots Hornady 6.5 CM 140 gr. ELD-M pills into 1/2 MOA groups very regularly. ("Only accurate rifles are interesting rifles.")

I still have to see how many rounds it takes to heat up the barrel and make the rounds begin to "walk" on target. But hey, it's a hunting rifle, and a lightweight at that, not for competition.

Eric B.
BTW, Browning's new 3 lever "Feather Trigger" is even better than the very good SAKO triggers. I've tried them side-by-side.
AND... it you're thinking of getting an X-Bolt Pro it now comes in 6.5 PRC as well. Think of it as a 6.5 magnum.
 
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