Step 1: Choosing the 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 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.
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.
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.
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.