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Thread: A recommended caliber for sheep and goat?

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    Default A recommended caliber for sheep and goat?

    Not being very well versed on ballistics, I am looking for some input for a rifle to hunt sheep and goat. My wife got a goat permit this year, and I am planning a sheep hunt as well. If I have to buy a rifle, I would like to buy one versatile for both. Any suggestions?

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    what do you shoot everything else with?
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    I have a .338 RUM for moose, and a Mathews bow for elk and deer. Just started rifle hunting two years ago. Have shot bow for 17 years. Also have a S&W 500 that is my favorite to shoot, but very expensive. My wife also likes the 500. She shot her moose last year with a .338 Win. Recoil is not that big of issue with her, I am concerned about packing weight, and having enough punch at 250 yds. for both animals.

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    7mm-08 chambered in a lightweight rifle would be a great setup for hunts up high.

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    6.5x284 is pretty popular for long range as is the 7mm Mag.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    7 MM/08 ideal for smaller shooters.

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    I have a kimber 84 in a 7-08 w/ a burris signature scope & talley rings: really light & accurate. This is what I take while hunting in high mountains & will take it to Kodiak goat hunting this year. A long range shooter.. The best caliber ballistically for recoil, sec. density, B.C. choice of projectials. It will handle everything but the largest bears & I have killed those w/ this caliber.. my 2 cents

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    I have a tikka T3 lite chambered in .270 Win. I am amazed at how flat it shoots. At 300 yards I don't even have to hold high. It weighs in at under 7 pounds. I think this rifle is going to be great for sheep and goat. A 7mm would also be a very good choice. Just make sure the rifle and scope are lite, and accurate.
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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    The .284's are nice and so is the 270Win. If I was buying a sheep rifle I would look at the 280 Remington. Faster than a 270 and better ballistics than a 30-06, it's a good all around package.

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    Tikka T3 Lite in 300WSM. Plenty of available loads, hits hard and has excellent ballistics. It handles the wind better than the lighter rounds. The Tikka rifle seems to really perform well in that caliber from what I have experienced as well.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    325wsm,, my favorite way to launch it is with my Winchester Extreme Weather Model 70. 200 Grain Accubond.





    But then again the same can be done with about any old 30-06.




    Goat being the harder of the two to kill.
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    or you could use them .338's with out any worry at all.. Unless of course your looing for reason to purchase new guns..

    those 338 you already have will more then do the job even out to 300+ yards.. i set mine 1-1.5 inches high at a 100 yards... and that keeps it in a 8-10 kill zone out to 300-350 depending on load... for sheep and goat.. i would stick to the lighter faster end of the 338.. ~200 grain... and practic e with them... PRACTICE ALL SUMMER...

    if your shopping on purpose..and want to go lite you cant really go wrong with any of the calibure these guys are talking.. i would lean towards my .270's personally...but those .338's will out reach the abilities of many shooters. no worry
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    Member akula682's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    The .284's are nice and so is the 270Win. If I was buying a sheep rifle I would look at the 280 Remington. Faster than a 270 and better ballistics than a 30-06, it's a good all around package.
    I vote for the 280 too,

    This is exactly the reason, (and only reason), i bought a M70 and had it rebarreled to 280Rem... now i just need to get back home long enough to actually go sheep hunting.
    Josh
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    Thanks for all the input. I know a lot of it has to do with personal preference, and all will do the trick. I am looking at purchasing for two reasons, 1 - I plan on doing more sheep hunts and hopefully more goat, so I would like a light gun to pack, 2 - I don't want to destroy any more of that delicious sheep meat than necessary with a larger bore rifle. I am thinking of the 7 mm because of the multiple loads that will allow it to adapt to larger game. But I believe the 300 win. is as versatile as well? Between the two which would you lean towards?

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    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Between the 7mm and the 300, I favor the 300WM. That is my current favorite caliber. Wider range of bullet selection. May be too much for sheep but too much is better than not enough. You will have to see if the recoil is too much for your wife though. Good luck on the goat and sheep hunt.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I have a Browning A-Bolt in 270 stainless/synthetic that I haven't killed anything with yet.....haven't tried. It's under 7 pounds empty. Pretty comfortable to carry around especially after lugging my cannon (8mmMag) up the mountain and killing 3 different rams. I have no doubts about the 270 killing either animal with a well placed shot...especially the sheep. I drew a goat tag this year and will be using it. But I've heard many horror stories about goats that just won't go down, or go down and then get up and fall off a cliff. So no doubt I will be looking for the best slug to use in it. Goat and sheep are two different critters. I would look at a caliber with the goat in mind. That said, If I had to do it over again I would "probably" go with something in a lightweight 30 cal.

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    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmondson View Post
    I have a .338 RUM for moose, and a Mathews bow for elk and deer. Just started rifle hunting two years ago. Have shot bow for 17 years. Also have a S&W 500 that is my favorite to shoot, but very expensive. My wife also likes the 500. She shot her moose last year with a .338 Win. Recoil is not that big of issue with her, I am concerned about packing weight, and having enough punch at 250 yds. for both animals.
    I also prefer the 300WM over the 7mm. But, lets consider one more. The 338 Federal, perhaps in the light weight Kimber 84 (5.7 lbs). 1. Someone wrote on this forum their opinion that the 338 federal is ideal for sheep/goat because you can load a lighter/flatter bullet for your hunt (say a 160 grain ttsx or a 180 grain Accubond for example) and also have a heavier load for the trip back down for bear protection (say 250 grain Hornaday roundnose). I agree with this whole heartedly. The lighter bullets are plenty flat to 250 yards. 2. If you reload you can use/share 338 bullets with your 338 win magnum. 3. Plenty of wallup for heavier game like elk and moose.

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    Member akula682's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eastwoods View Post
    I also prefer the 300WM over the 7mm. But, lets consider one more. The 338 Federal, perhaps in the light weight Kimber 84 (5.7 lbs). 1. Someone wrote on this forum their opinion that the 338 federal is ideal for sheep/goat because you can load a lighter/flatter bullet for your hunt (say a 160 grain ttsx or a 180 grain Accubond for example) and also have a heavier load for the trip back down for bear protection (say 250 grain Hornaday roundnose). I agree with this whole heartedly. The lighter bullets are plenty flat to 250 yards. 2. If you reload you can use/share 338 bullets with your 338 win magnum. 3. Plenty of wallup for heavier game like elk and moose.
    and dont forget the 338-06, the 338 federal's big bro.
    Josh
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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmondson View Post
    Thanks for all the input. I know a lot of it has to do with personal preference, and all will do the trick. I am looking at purchasing for two reasons, 1 - I plan on doing more sheep hunts and hopefully more goat, so I would like a light gun to pack, 2 - I don't want to destroy any more of that delicious sheep meat than necessary with a larger bore rifle. I am thinking of the 7 mm because of the multiple loads that will allow it to adapt to larger game. But I believe the 300 win. is as versatile as well? Between the two which would you lean towards?
    well... between the 2? bought a 7 mm years ago.. just traded it for my 5th 300, i have them in both Win and Weatherby... sure cleans up the reloading bench.. as .308 cal bullets fit most them now... my 2 338... sit in the box.. going to have to make them find a new home...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I don't see to many of my rifles getting much field time now that the 280AI Montana has migrated into my collection. I need to pick a powder to go with the box of 165 accubonds I picked up to test.

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