The Genesis of a Brainstorm
June 03, 2017 – How the plan for the project was hatched – It started with a simple question: “What would the ultimate sheep rifle look like?” Now, through an unprecedented collaboration of the foremost high-country authorities, that question will be answered. The Remington Custom Shop. KUIU. Barnes Bullets. Leupold Optics. We’re joining forces to build the superlative mountain rifle—a gun unlike anything ever built.
As a veteran high-country hunter, KUIU founder Jason Hairston is on a never-ending search for gear that will do three things: shave weight from his load, increase his effectiveness on the hunt, and stand up to some of the harshest terrain and most unpredictable conditions on Earth.
With Hairston’s input, gleaned from years of experience, along with the peerless technical expertise of the Remington Custom Shop’s gun makers, Barnes’ ballisticians, and Leupold’s optics engineers, we will design and craft the Ultimate Sheep Rifle. And you’ll have a front-row seat to the action.
Through postings on this blog, a series of behind-the-scenes videos, and regular updates on Remington’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, we’re pulling back the curtain on the build and granting total access to the process every step of the way.
Remington Ultimate Sheep Rifle
If there’s a universal mantra of any back country adventure—be it hunting, camping, mountaineering, or skiing—it’s “ounces become pounds.” That is to say, when you start making concessions for a few extra ounces here and there in the gear you carry, soon you’re hauling extra pounds. In the backcountry, extra pounds lead to fatigue and exhaustion, which ultimately can compromise a hunt.
Step 1: Choosing the Remington Ultimate Sheep Rifle Components
Building the lightest and strongest rifle possible
In March, KUIU founder Jason Hairston visited the Remington Custom Shop in Sturgis, South Dakota, where we presented him with a number of options for each component that will comprise the Ultimate Sheep Rifle. We discussed the pros and cons of each with regards to Hairston’s wants and needs for the gun. After hours of deliberation, here’s where we landed.
Remington Ultimate Sheep Rifle Action – Remington 700 Titanium; 8 oz.
Hairston opted for a titanium Model 700 action in 6.5 Creedmoor (more on the caliber choice in a future post). Remington’s custom titanium actions are so precisely machined, to such tight tolerances, that secondary blueprinting—a step required of nearly any factory action—is not necessary. The bolt will feature an M-16 extractor and dual ejectors, as well as a Badger Ordnance Mini Knob.
Remington Ultimate Sheep Rifle Stock – Manners EH8; 1 lb. 6.4 oz.
We showed Hairston a number of stock choices, including a few with comb and length-of-pull adjustability. In the end, this sleek, simple Manners won out. Like all Elite Hunter stocks, the EH8 has a carbon-fiber shell and a super-light fill. It’s compact and features a traditional straight grip with minimal palm swell. Designed specifically for Model 7 and 700 short actions, it’ll get a hand-laid epoxy bedding job for a rock-solid foundation. Scalpel Arms in Dallas, Texas, will apply a custom KUIU Vias paint job.
Remington Ultimate Sheep Rifle Barrel – Proof Research Premium Match Grade Stainless (Sendero Light contour); 2 lb. 10.4 oz. (unchambered)
Unmatched strength and durability for minimal weight. That’s the hallmark of Proof Research’s carbon-wrapped steel barrels. Oh, and the accuracy isn’t too shabby, either. We considered a super-lightweight barrel with a sporter contour, but opted for the added rigidity and strength of the Sendero Light. At 20 inches in length with a 1-in-8 twist, we went as short (and therefore lightweight) as possible without giving up any accuracy. The muzzle will be threaded for a brake.
Remington Ultimate Sheep Rifle Trigger – Timney Remington 700 (model no. 510); 1.6 ounces
Made from a solid block of heat-treated steel, Timney’s Remington 700 trigger features a pull weight is factory-set at a crisp 3 pounds with absolutely zero take-up.
Rounding out the rest of the components are an aluminum floor plate and trigger guard, a titanium recoil lug, an aluminum firing pin, and an aluminum Atlas bipod rail. All the metal work will be Cerakoted for supreme protection against the elements. Before the scope and bipod are added, the rifle will weigh right around 5 ½ pounds and will represent the pinnacle of the strength-to-weight ideal.