Looking for the best lightest sheep rifle Ė any ideas?
Looking for the best lightest sheep rifle Ė any ideas?
Well that covers a broad area of calibers, brands and cost. I'll go first. Certainly you need to have something lightweight and weatherproof, that goes almost without saying. I think a nice balance between speed and recoil is the .270Winchester. It brings 81 years of experience to the table and has a nice variety of factory and bullets available to handload. That being said, you should stick with the reliable bolt action for sure. There is an argument between crf and push feed but it is not that important here.
At the more affordable level is the Ruger All Weather, Ruger Ultra Lite (put their synthetic on it). Then there is the Remington LSS Model 700. The Tikka T3 Lite is a fantastic rifle for the price! Up from their is a lighter and pricier Remington Titanium (at least $1000) and the Kimber LA Montana (around $1000). Obviously you can go much higher with a variety of custom rifles. Winchester is out of the game for now.
To save more money, you might watch the local used gun racks and a few internet sales sites.
If a short action caliber suits you, then you will save a few more ounces in weight, ie. for the .308 and 7-08.
I would stick to a 40mm or less objective and not get carried away with reticle gimmicks. A goal to reach in my view is not to have a "sheep rifle" go over 7#'s "all up" as they say. Closer to 6 #'s is even better.
Its hard to beat a .243 for a sheep rifle. You can get pretty light rifles in most models as well. As for ammo All the 100gr softpoint varieties out there shoot well out of my ruger mkII. Synthetic stock is very nice to have as bizymocha said.
I am a big fan of the 243 because i do alot of predator hunting and carabou hunting as well.
I suppose it would depend too on how you define "best." If weight is among your biggest concerns, and you don't want to go the custom route, then I would say look at the Kimber 84M Montana (http://www.kimberamerica.com/rifles/84m/montana.php). Chambered in 7mm-08 it tips the scale at only 5lbs 5oz without scope and sling, and is historically an accurate, flat-shooting caliber. May not be the best rifle if you are beating through alders in bear country, but would take a sheep without hesitation...
Another vote for the Kimber Montana, I've got one in 300WSM and I cant imagine a better sheep rifle.
O.K., I spend too much on sheep hunting. But I have a .284 Winchester by Ultra Light Arms. Hard to beat if accuracy and light weight are your concerns.
in one of the short actions. I will get mine at the Sportsman's Show from Boondocks in .308. I will affix a VX-III of modest power to the rifle.
End of discussion.
Well, since I have one and shot my first ram with it and my buddy shot his first ram with it (his gun jammed) I have to vote Kimber also. Surprise, surprise. With the 2.5-8x36 VXIII and sling it weighs 7lbs 2oz, and it's a 325. 06 or 270 would be about a lb less I think. I suppose if I had a Rem Ti or a T3 I'd vote for one of them.
I held a titanium A-bolt the other day that had some kind of plastic coated camo stock on it. It think it was an 06 and pretty darn light and only about 6 bills.
EDIT: Whoops, it was 16 bills!!
A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again
I'd go for a good 25-06, 270, 308, 7-08. As for manufacturer, thats up to you. If I was looking for the ultimate lightweight sheep rifle, I'd be going custom. you can have one made for maybe a little more than a factory gun (if you do it right), plus it would be made to your specs.
Perry, what are you trying to do hex us with that pic by your name. I could do without those temps for a while. grin
If your on a budget the Tikka is a great choice. Light and accurate.
I've used a Ruger M77 in 300wm and dropped many sheep. Not too heavy but theres lighter guns out there. The Rugers are reasonable, good shooters, and they will take major abuse and still shoot well..
I recently got an ultralight weatherby MkV in .30-06 (stainless, fluted, skeletonized, kevlar) around 6 lbs. We'll see how she does. Right now it looks like a great mountian gun.
Personally, I would recommend a .30 cal and above for sheep. Yes, sure many have been killed with .243's and .270's etc. But if that sheep is bedded on the edge of forever (straight down) I want something that will plant him as quick as possible. Plus often the chance for other game exists whether anticipated of not. Its nice to have a bigger load with griz around.
If you have the coin to spend check out Christiansen Arms. They make many calibers in accurate, light rifles.
i like the remington 7mm mag.
I have to second what Frank said about a .30. I have been up close and personal with griz more than once while sheep hunting in the Brooks. Its nice (if only in your mind) to think you are prepared to deal with the other critters you cross in search of sheep. I did take a 270 Win on a sheep hunt this year but my partner had a 300 WM and between us I felt things were good. We did see some pretty big tracks accompanied by little tracks (cubs) which is never any fun in an alder choked drainage.
It that depends on your price range. I'll suggest three rifles in different price ranges all synthetic and stainless. The caliber depends on if you want a rifle specifically only for sheep, or if you want one that would be appropriate to take a bear out if the need arises. The above mentioned .300WSM, .325WSM are excellent for the latter need and can be had in very light rifles.
Savage makes a durable, accurate, and fairly lightweight rifle. You can get one in .300WSM (along with a myriad of other calibers) at 6.75 pounds for about $470 or so.
Tikkas are guaranteed MOA accuracy and the T3 Lite Stainless is available in a wide range of calibers from .223Rem to .338 Win Mag. The standard calibers (short and long) weigh 6#3oz while the magnums (short and long) weigh three ounces more. They'll run you about 6 bills.
The Kimber 8400 Montanas are phenomenal and you'll pay for them. Get it in .300 or .325WSM which tip the scales at 6#2oz. They'll run you a bit less than $1100.
You might want to look at the Sako Finnlite ($1100+) too! You've got a lot of options! Have fun looking.
I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.
sent you an email Jim...
He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
I bought a tikka t3 in .300 wsm. Put a 3.5x10 vari x III on it. AWESOME RIFLE and very light. I don't have the $2,000 into it. There is $1,000 into it and for the money, don't think you can find a lighter, more quality rifle.
I think when push comes to shove, I'd opt for a 300WSM in a Kimber Montana ($1050ish) or if money was a concern, a 300WSM in a Tikka T3 Lite($600).
You cover all the big game in AK. excluding coastal brownies. Right now I am thinking of covering all big game options with my new Montana 300WM and a Rem Ti .270Win.. If the Ti doesn't shoot than its off to the gunshop and traded for a Montana in 7mm-08 or a Montana in .270Win..
I think the .243 is a little on the light side "imo".
i may be outa the norm here on this one, but i have a .416 rem mag by ultra light arms, its 7.2lbs i shoot 350 trippple shock as my "sheep load" if you can shoot it, it'll handle 400 yard shots with no problem, no need to talk about loss of energy or knock down power, or having a gun that'll handle the grizz either. great mt goat gun as well, works super on deer, a bit to big, bullets don't expand and the deer do alot of walking in circles after you hit them with it. like say i can't afford alot of guns, even if i did buy cheap ones!