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Which rifle for a sheep hunt?

Hi Guys, I have booked a Dall Sheep hunt and have to decide between two rifles. The rifle I want to take, but is heavy, is a pre 64 Win \model 70 in 30/06 with a 24 inch barrell. This is a fantastic rifle, very well ballanced which they are noted for. I use it when moose hunting and stand hunting for whitetails.

The second rifle is a Browning A Bolt, also in 30/06 with a 22 inch barrell, with a 1.5x5 Leupold scope which I use mostly for whitetails where I am walking a lot and it carries nice. The Winchester weights about 9 1/2 lbs with a 3x9 Bushnell scope. I haven't weighed the Browning weighs but it is noticable lighter than the Winchester.

The obvious choice is the A Bolt but I have much more confidence when shooting the Winchester. Shooting offhand at say 150 yards the Winchester will provide much better groups because of the balance and extra weight. But sheep hunting shots will most likey be from a good prone position so I am leaning towards the A bolt but would really like to take the Winchester. Any comments would be appreciated.

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And here I thought that we

And here I thought that we were going to get into a discussion on taking a .270 or a .300 magnum. 

For sheep where you are going to be doing a lot of hiking up and down mountains (not hills) I would take the lighter rifle.  Even a few ounces will feel like a ton when going up the hills that sheep like to frequent. 

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Which rifle for a sheep hunt?

Varmit, from what you posted, I'd say take the Winchester.   Sheep hunting dosn't necessarily mean long shots, but the potential is certainly there.   Bullet placement is most important, and that starts with an accurate rifle, and a rifle that you have confidence with.

I used to buy a Montana Unlimited Unit Bighorn sheep tag every year and I carried my 9 1/2 lb .257 Ackley into quite a few wilderness units.  I also carried it in Canada's MacKenzie mountains on my backpack Dall sheep hunt.

You didn't say anything about your physical condition and weight.  From what I've seen of most hunters (myself included), getting ourselves into better shape and losing a pound (or 10!) of weight ourselves would make for a better sheep hunt than carrying a 1 lb lighter rifle.

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I'm going to the MacKenzie

I'm going to the MacKenzie mountains with Stan Stevens. Who di you go with?

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MacKenzie mountains

varmit wrote:

I'm going to the MacKenzie mountains with Stan Stevens. Who di you go with?

I went with Gana River Outfitters, if I remember right their area was next to Stevens'.  We took a float plane out of Norman Wells to the base camp, then a Super cub out to a drop point, and backpacked from there.  Beautiful country.  It was about 15 yrs ago. 

There were 4 hunters in camp, all of us got nice rams, Mine and 2 others were a fraction under 40".   I also shot a Wolverine and a Mountain Caribou.

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I would take the rifle you

I would take the rifle you shoot better at longer range regardless of weight, within reason. You didn't say how well the Browning shoots actually compared to the Winchester in rested conditions or what kind of scope it's wearing.

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more info

hunter25 wrote:

I would take the rifle you shoot better at longer range regardless of weight, within reason. You didn't say how well the Browning shoots actually compared to the Winchester in rested conditions or what kind of scope it's wearing.

From the bench there is not much difference at 100 yards but at 200 the winchester is a bit better but not by much. the winchester has a Bushnell 3x9 3200 scope and I would move this scope to the Browning if I decide to take it on the hunt just to have the option of the higher magification. 

 

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Confidence

I would take the rifle I have the most confidence in at various differences.

You already said the Winchester is a hair more accurate at 200 Yards. That says a lot to me right there.

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