Mountain rifles

Green Chile

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If you do much hunting in higher elevation for goats, sheep, etc, what is your rifle setup like? I've done a little bit of this hunting but want to do more before the mountains get too steep! I've owned Gunwerks and various carbon barreled guns but have never built one purposely for mountain hunts.

It all depends on your definition on mountain hunting. For me, it could be a mixed species hunt in BC where you might have a big black bear or moose opportunity while glassing for goats. That's a wide range of target weights and sizes and goats are notoriously tough to begin with. For that reason, I'm thinking bigger than my lightweight 6.5 PRC. That's a little lighter bullet than I would prefer for moose. Yes, you can kill moose with little bullets but you might only get an angle that needs as much bullet as you can put on it.

So I have a Christensen Arms 6.5 PRC that is light and accurate but again, the bullet weight is a little marginal for larger animals. I have a Gunwerks 300 PRC Nexus but the weight is 9.5# scoped. That's a little heavy for busting through nasty alders, etc. I'm thinking of something lighter in that 7mm to .300 caliber range and in a 20-22" barrel.

What are you using or what would you build for this application?
 
If you do much hunting in higher elevation for goats, sheep, etc, what is your rifle setup like? I've done a little bit of this hunting but want to do more before the mountains get too steep! I've owned Gunwerks and various carbon barreled guns but have never built one purposely for mountain hunts.

It all depends on your definition on mountain hunting. For me, it could be a mixed species hunt in BC where you might have a big black bear or moose opportunity while glassing for goats. That's a wide range of target weights and sizes and goats are notoriously tough to begin with. For that reason, I'm thinking bigger than my lightweight 6.5 PRC. That's a little lighter bullet than I would prefer for moose. Yes, you can kill moose with little bullets but you might only get an angle that needs as much bullet as you can put on it.

So I have a Christensen Arms 6.5 PRC that is light and accurate but again, the bullet weight is a little marginal for larger animals. I have a Gunwerks 300 PRC Nexus but the weight is 9.5# scoped. That's a little heavy for busting through nasty alders, etc. I'm thinking of something lighter in that 7mm to .300 caliber range and in a 20-22" barrel.

What are you using or what would you build for this application?
I would look on the used market for a Bansner Ultimate Ovis in .300 WSM (if brass doesn’t scare you) or .300 WM. They are awesome. In the alternative, reach out to Mark and have him build you one with his sheep hunter stock. I just bought an ultimate ovis barreled action in the oddball 6.5 Remington mag and will have Mark re-stock it.
 
Hey that's a great idea on the single shot. I always hunt from the mental concept of only getting 1 shot. That has really helped my success and choice of shots taken.

I just weighed my Blaser K95 .308 Winchester...unscoped it's 6.4 lbs but it's also a full octagon barrel. A round barrel should weigh less. I could get a lighter barrel in whatever caliber and it would be pretty light plus the benefits of being a breakdown single shot for travel. Of course, it's blued steel and wood but that's just a choice in the mountains.
 
Rifle inc , ( lex webeneck) pleaston Texas , classic in .280 Remington, weight 7lbs scoped ( I would probably go 7prc if buying new )
shoots 140 nosler AB @ .5 moa
about $6000 , but I inherited the rifle
 
If you do much hunting in higher elevation for goats, sheep, etc, what is your rifle setup like? I've done a little bit of this hunting but want to do more before the mountains get too steep! I've owned Gunwerks and various carbon barreled guns but have never built one purposely for mountain hunts.

It all depends on your definition on mountain hunting. For me, it could be a mixed species hunt in BC where you might have a big black bear or moose opportunity while glassing for goats. That's a wide range of target weights and sizes and goats are notoriously tough to begin with. For that reason, I'm thinking bigger than my lightweight 6.5 PRC. That's a little lighter bullet than I would prefer for moose. Yes, you can kill moose with little bullets but you might only get an angle that needs as much bullet as you can put on it.

So I have a Christensen Arms 6.5 PRC that is light and accurate but again, the bullet weight is a little marginal for larger animals. I have a Gunwerks 300 PRC Nexus but the weight is 9.5# scoped. That's a little heavy for busting through nasty alders, etc. I'm thinking of something lighter in that 7mm to .300 caliber range and in a 20-22" barrel.

What are you using or what would you build for this application?

If you want a new mountain rifle I say go for it. But your PRC and a good heavy bullet will take care of anything in NA without issue.
 
I use a custom Lazzeroni 7.82 Patriot with a 22 inch barrel that comes in at 8.2 lbs with scope. Firing 168 Grain Sierra MatchKing Long Range Hollow Point Boat Tail.
I’ve used it on 6 sheep hunts and it’s incredibly accurate and folds sheep with no problems at all.

Image1718290641.248806.jpg


HH
 
I definitely wouldn't hesitate to take the 6.5 PRC after sheep or goats or black bear. I took a big aoudad at long distance with that gun. If I thought moose were a good possibility, I might want a bigger bullet but I know the bigger 6.5 bullets would be ok. I just don't consider them ideal.
 
That's a monster bighorn. Love it. Love the character on that old ram. How old was it?
 
Kimber Mountain Rifle in 300WSM with Swarovski Z3 Scope with Warne Mountain Tech Rings (BRX). I suggest a Swarovski for being light weight.

Only con is shooting an ultralight rifle can be more difficult that an 8 lbs. + rifle with a heavier scope especially off of shooting sticks. But they are a pleasure to pack, less shoulder and arm fatigue.
 
The lightweight rifles are an interesting and somewhat polarizing subject. Some of them don't feel right to me. I have found the Gunwerks to be easy to shoot with their stock design and balance. I have a friend with a NULA and it doesn't feel right to me. It's light to the point of being whippy...it doesn't really settle in...or I have to fight to settle it down with lots of muscle tension if that makes sense. I think rifles can be too light.
 
Bansner's Ultimate Ovis (any caliber you like.) I have one in 6.5 WSM (7.5 lbs fully outfitted), but you should probably step up to a 7 or 300 using the appropriate bullets for your targets. Because of where goats tend to live, many guides swear by hot 338s to put them down where you can collect them, sans any damage. This is a fully custom rig, lightweight and capable of 1,000 yd field shots. Jim Shockey put his muzzleloader down and brought a hot .338 (Lapua or RUM?) Bansner to Namibia for huge kudu, H. zebra and gemsbok at range.
 
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I have a Winchester Model 70 push feed in .338 Federal with a 20in Douglas barrel and a Kevlar stock, Leupopd 3-9 x 40 VX-II scope. It weighs 7.25 lbs, holds 4+1 and likes 210g Partitions.
I custom built it for the purpose of having a reasonably lightweight backpacking rifle, but I like it so much that I use it all the time.
 
I think rifles can be too light.
I agree that rifles can be too light. But I love my mountain rifle.

I have to fight with my Kimber Mountain Rifle, scoped it is less than 6 lbs. It is very difficult to shoot at 300+ yards. So, I limit my shots to 300 yards but, in the mountains, you often need more yardage. Another, huge issue is sighting in a Mountain Rifle. My Kimber will throw a flyer on the third shot.

I wish I could try a few mountain rifles before replacing my Kimber.
 
If you shoot enough guns, you will find that some are fighting you...they are too light or the balance is off or the fit isn't comfortable. Some guns are harder or easier to shoot. I'm looking for that option that isn't harder to shoot and is lighter than 9 lbs because I know you really feel it on the mountain. Fitness is a whole other subject but that matters a lot also. We're just on a rifle topic here but I acknowledge the fitness side of things. I'm trying to trim weight in both subjects.

I was also going to mention earlier but you covered it here. With really light rifles, they sometimes don't group as well...they throw fliers. I'm not looking for benchrest accuracy but I want a gun I can shoot well in the field to 500 yards. I know I can get that in a Gunwerks Clymr in 7mm whatever but this discussion helps me see alternatives.
 
For "off the shelf" rifles, it's tough to beat a seekins havak element and perhaps an NF nxs 2-10 on top. That's my go to setup.
 
I am going to have a 7PRC built on a model 70 action and put it in a McMillan stock for this very purpose. I hope to hunt mountian goats with it at some point in the future. Not sure what it will weigh but I tend to like my rifles a bit on the heavy side. I used a browning 300 win mag to take my Dall sheep in 2021. Not what would be considered a light mountain rifle by any means but I was very familiar with the rifle and shot it well out to 500 yards. To me that would be the most important thing in a mountian rifle, one I could consistently shoot, accurately, as far as I am comfortable with. If that means a rifle that is a pound or even 2 heavier then I just need to train a bit harder to be able to tote it up and down the slopes. With all that being said, I shot my ram at 40 yards, after a 4 hour stalk so the long range ability didn’t factor in at all.
IMG_1967.jpeg
 
Beautiful ram. Love how we do all the work and then sometimes get a close shot. Well done.

I was also thinking about a 7 PRC as a good approach to the solution.
 
For "off the shelf" rifles, it's tough to beat a seekins havak element and perhaps an NF nxs 2-10 on top. That's my go to setup.
I don't know that rifle (rings of course) but that's a great scope. It would be perfect if it was first focal plane.
 

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