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Thread: sheep rifles? how light is right?

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    Member winibezold's Avatar
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    Default sheep rifles? how light is right?

    hello all, really starting to get into the whole hike and hunt for big sheep and would like to lighten the load with a new rifle. What do you take sheep hunting and how much does it weigh? I already have a nicely setup Tikka T3 in 25-06 but would like something with a bit more punch just in case things get hairy, maybe a 300WSM or so?

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I use a Nosler M48 in .300WSM- weight is right at 7.5 lbs ready to hunt. It's become my favorite rifle for everything. Several friends use the Tikka T3Lite in similar calibers and weights and several more use the Kimber Montana. Everyone I personally know who uses a nice light rifle pretty much uses them all around now.

    I wasn't crazy about the .300WSM when I bought it but I really liked the rifle. Now, several years and critters later, the cartridge is growing on me.

  3. #3

    Default Sako Finlight

    I bought a Sako Finlight in 300WSM a couple years ago and boy is it a great, light, mtn rifle! You might want to go to the Sako website and take a look at it. I'm pretty sure they guarantte 5 shot less than 1" group at 100 yards and I've been super impressed with it. It's pretty tough to beat Sako for a production rifle. The Tikka seems more like a cheap plastic toy in comparison but I've heard a lot of rave reviews about Tikka and the Tikka is a fraction of the price. My Sako is solid and everything about it smells quality!

    The only thing I don't like about the 300WSM is it is a stubby short case that is fairly difficult to chamber. I believe Browning makes a bolt action that is supposedly smoother. My 300 WSM seems to kick about the same as my 270. I've shot 300 Win and 300 Weatherby's and they both kick like mules without a muzzlebreak. Take a look at Sako..you won't be disappointed!

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimss View Post
    I bought a Sako Finlight...
    I passed up a Finnlight in .270WSM at a price that amounted to a song... I still regret that. Those Sako's do reek of quality.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    I have a Weatherby Mark V in .30-06. Weighs 5 3/4 pounds without a scope. Shoots excellent and you've got the power to take down any unwanted 4 legged creatures.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I shoot a Kimber Montana in .300wsm. I weighs in at just over 7 lbs. with 3.5-10 VXIII and sling. No issues with this gun, I like it a lot.

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Well I'll say until this year all my mountain hunting rifles have been pigs loaded likely around 9-10 pounds. Thanks to a forum member I get to try a 6 pound real mt. Rifle. My thought is if it and you can shoot the lighter the better. There has to be a point of diminishing returns though where durability gets compromised. My Ruger m77 stainless synthetics always get the nod in that regard, they just take a beating and keep working. With modern materials and engineering there are alot of great options to choo$e from.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Mine is currently a 7lb (w/ scope and sling) 30-06. I could go slightly lighter in that caliber, but at some point I find the super light hard kickers tough to shoot from field positions. For me personally, I would say 6.5-7.0 lbs in a 30-06 or 7.0-7.5 lbs in 300 WSM class rifle is about as light as I want to go. Those weights are including scope.

    The other issue with the featherweight magnums is accuracy consistency when using from different field positions. As an extreme example, my walk-about bear protection rifle is a 7.1 lb (scoped) .375 H&H that is sub MOA IF I can maintain a very consistent hold. Any changes in how I grip the forend results in vertical stringing simply due to the velocity that sucker comes back at.

    Yk

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    There is nothing wrong with your Tikka 25-06 as not being light enough. Its 6# 4 oz. out of the box. Plenty light with a sensible scope.
    Certainly the cartridge is excellent for sheep. As for bears, its would be foolish to ignore "situational awareness" but bringing a cartridge for that 1% encounter is something I would not do and haven't. Others may differ. Good luck. Post pics of your sheep.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with with knikglacier. If I had a Tikka T3 in 25-06, I'd spend my money on better glass or cub time... but hey, it's your choice and new rifles are always fun.

  11. #11

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    I have hunted with 8.5 pound 338WM backpacking and never really felt like I was lugging around too much at the time.

    But then I bought a Kimber Montana in .308 and it is exactly 6 lbs (96 oz) scoped. When carrying a rifle in your hands all day it makes a difference. I certainly wouldn't want to shoot a 6 lb 338WM though. I tend to agree with Knikglacier though, I wouldn't base caliber selection for sheep hunting on the "what if" you run into a grizz situation.

    I like the Tikka T3s myself and if they would have had a real short action model to save some weight in .308 length caliber (just my personal pref) I would have went that way over the Kimber. Like yellowknife stated new guns are fun, but I'd rock the 25-06 and focus on cub time or apply it towards a spotting scope or the like.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    if we packed on sheep hunts for the "what if's", we'd need a dozen sherpas....go with what you've got.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  13. #13

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    My sheep gun is a tikka t3 .300 wsm. If there is something a whole light lighter it is going to cost a lot of $$.

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    If you really just have to change--- you could not go wrong with the Tikka T3 lite in 300 wsm. I got at least three of them, and they will normally shoot into 5/8 of an inch or smaller with a decent 180 gr projectile. I like the trophy bonded bearclaw. I just weighed the one I am setting up for Kodiak next fall, and with a leopold scope and sling (and three rounds of ammo) it weighed just over 7 pounds. I believe the stainless model is a little lighter than blue. But, I choose stainless for this rifle due to the salt environment it will be facing. Have to admit this one likes the seirra loads better than my bearclaws. first group - (started break-in) - was 3/8" w/seirras. next group was bearclaws and they went into 1 1/2" at 100 meters. If you reload - try to stay in the 2900 to 2950 fps range - seems the barrel twist rate just thrives on this velocity. Even if you use 165 gr or 180 gr bullets. Heavier bullets just don't seem to give the best long range results.

    Chris

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    I never much considered the carry weight of any rifle into the field, it never seems to bother me. I think the best answer is what you feel comfortable with when carrying it through heavy brush, while sidehilling and ascending/descending steep and rugged terrain. While I have no regrets or qualms carrying around a 8.5-9lb rifle, you may hate it and desire a 7lb rifle.

    If you have something "heavy" at hand take it for a good hike, afterwards take the "light" rifle for a hike and see how you feel about the difference. You are the only one that can honestly answer your question.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i used to carry a 9lb .416 everyday for several miles on end...now i carry a 7lb (6.25 without scope) .416 every day i'm in the field, which is usually between 150-200 days each year. i'll NEVER go back to a heavy rifle, had to take my ruger .338 last year on a hunt because a client broke the stock on my .416...ohhhh man i missed my light gun. shoots 1" groups off the bench as long as i can, handles easy and don't feel like a burden.
    don't let people tell you light rifles kick worse either....they are all different, the kick on my lighter .416 is wayyy easier to handle than the kick on my heavier one.... better than the kick on my ruger .338 too.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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    Semi Related question: are there any good replacement stocks that are fairly light, fairly strong, and not in the $600.00 range.....?

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    Member BrentC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Semi Related question: are there any good replacement stocks that are fairly light, fairly strong, and not in the $600.00 range.....?
    Bell and Carlson ultralights are really nice, and they offer a great value in aftermarket synthetic stocks. For the price, they're hard to beat.
    http://www.stockysstocks.com/servlet...cks/Categories

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentC View Post
    Bell and Carlson ultralights are really nice, and they offer a great value in aftermarket synthetic stocks. For the price, they're hard to beat.
    http://www.stockysstocks.com/servlet...cks/Categories

    Thanks.......exactly what I was looking for, rep point sent.

  20. #20
    Member BrentC's Avatar
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    Last time I ordered a stock from Stockys I entered the promo code "freeship" to get free shipping. I'm not sure if it will still work, but it's worth a try to save a few bucks.

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