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Thread: Opinions on Good Calibers for Sheep and Goats

  1. #1

    Default Opinions on Good Calibers for Sheep and Goats

    I would love to one day hunt sheep and goats in Alaska.

    I also prefer not to own lots of rifles specialized to a particular game. So I thought that my 308 shooting lighter grain bullets would be a good rifle for sheep and goats.

    Would a 308 be a good choice or is it better to consider a 7mm? I know as far as 270 goes it is a good choice but a 308 shooting lighter grain bullets can achieve the benefits that 270 seems to have.

    What I don't know are the issues and topics to consider when shooting these animals that maybe a 7mm (or any other caliber someone may wish to discuss) may address that a 308 could not address.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Good sheep medicine

    Jeez, you're going to get a lot of opinion here, but I think a .308 with a good 165 grain bullet will work just fine. I'd prefer that over a lighter bullet, like a 150 grain.

  3. #3

    Default 308 vs ??

    Yeah I agree but I thought maybe something like the distance shots are made somehow got the 308 out of PBZ or something.

    I mean I can't understand why a 308 that can range from 120-130 grain to 180 with the sweet spot at 168 would not be prefered to something like a 270 or 7mm?

    As far as needing over 180gr, I would think a 338/375 would be the ticket.

    There must be some reason or it could be simply preference of fps/trajectory vs. caliber.

    Really, I have the same consideration as far as the 30/06 goes. I mean I know it is better for things like 200gr, it is not as good at lighter weight stuff like 120-130gr. And you can buy rounds at the local gas station while you hunt.

    Now I most certainly understand the emotional appeal to the 30/06 and I own one so I don't want to get into that discussion. So please no 30/06 vs 308; I do acknowledge the 30/06 is of cult status and clearly do not want to challenge that.

    But I do want to hear what are considered excellent sheep/goat calibers and ther merits, including if the 308 seems to be one most may choose.


  4. #4
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Fairbanks, Ak.


    As I see it, you just need to satisfy yourself that your willing to accept whatever limitations the 308 will place on you, vs. other calibers that might shoot farther/flatter, and hit harder.
    Several guys on here advise mountain hunters to have a caliber that also substitutes as good bear protection.

  5. #5

    Default caliber choices

    I'd be more worried about the rifle than the caliber. A good mountain rifle is a sweet thing. A bad mountain rifle isn't your friend.

    .270 is fine for sheep. I'm taking my 375 goat hunting this fall. .338 went last year. .308 would work fine, but I'd take a bigger cal if it was already in my safe. The white beast is a tough critter.

    Do yourself a favor and spend the money on boots and clothing rather than rifles.

  6. #6

    Default Not Buying

    Oh I am not buying a rifle. I just wondered what most were using.

    I LOVE my 308 and my 338. So in my mind that is all the calibers needed.

    I just wonder the allure of having all the others when the thrill is the hunt.

    So I am just little grasshopper trying to gain insight.


  7. #7

    Default 300 Wsm

    I have just gone through the thought process of chosing the componets for a light weight sheep rifle. I wanted a rifle that I could use for moose, elk, and Griz also. So I went with the 300 WSM. It's going to weigh uder 6 lb. with scope and rings. I know it will kick but I carry my guns a whole lot more than I shoot them.

    These are the componets I used does any one have any comments or recomendations
    Rock Creek barrel #2, 24 inches 2 lb
    Borden Timber Line action 1 lb 14 oz
    Hi Tech stock 1 lb 1 oz
    3-9 Leupold Light weight VX11 8 oz
    Talley one piece rings 2 oz

    Dr B

  8. #8


    I used a 338 with 225 gr partitions on my billy and at 40 yards it dropped him in his tracks. Its a bit heavy though so I went with a Kimber 300wsm for my sheep with 180gr accubonds. Fully loaded, with a 3x9 Luepold and sling it weighs 7lbs. Worked great on the sheep, but then they aren't hard to kill anyway. I like the 300wsm and will use it on a goat if I ever draw again. As for bear, I don't feel undergunned running around for deer here on the island with it either.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eagle River, AK


    My sheep gun of choice is a Remington Model 700 in 7mm Mag. Fast, flat, and accurate shooter and lightweight as well. I took my first sheep with a 30-06, but the other 3 were with the 7 Mag. The funny thing is, though, that the one with the '06 was over 300 yards, whereas the three with the 7mm were between 20-75 yards. Didn't really need the faster gun in those cases!


  10. #10


    Pick a quality bullet in a weight that shoots well from your gun and you will have no problems. Shot placement is the most important factor.

    A light rifle is nice but one that you shoot well is more important. It does no good to pack a 6# gun 20 miles on a sheep hunt and miss the one shot you get because you are not comfortable with the gun or it does not shoot well. That said, I have a Ruger ultra light 270 that I put a Kevlar stock on for sheep hunting. I even killed a griz with it on a sheep hunt, However I did wait for the perfect broadside shot.

    I have a Remmington 700 in 338 that I shoot very well and take on nearly every rifle hunt that I go on. I like heavy bullets and shoot 250 Noslers. The gun likes them and the animals don't so it works out perfect. I have taken a sheep with this rifle as well and did it with the same 250 Nosler bullet. The shot was much farther than I probably should have taken but my comfort with the gun and the perfect set up proved out. I would not have taken that shot with the 270 because I am not as comfortable with the gun.

    Like someone else said, if you have a gun that you shoot well, spend your money on boots, raingear, optics and a tent. Good luck on you hunts.

  11. #11

    Default caliber

    I used a 7mm.08 with a 140 grain nosler bullet, 4x9 variable scope. 300 yard shot. I did hit about 2 inches too low, but it did the job. My friend had the .338 incase we saw a bear... Worked good for me...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default 308

    I carry a 308 on sheep hunts. It is the gun my dad bought me when I was young, shoots with incredible accuracy and serves me well. Curious as to the make and model of yours.


  13. #13

    Default Make and model of my 308

    You asked as to the make and model of my 308.

    Well, it is a Remington mod 700, what else??

    I love the light short action and it is deadly accurate.

    It swings really quick because it is a short action, too.

    I have a Sako 338 but I am seriously considering a Kimber 338. In fact I probably will do the Kimber so the Sako may be for sale.

    I have s synthetic stock and blue steel on my rem 308.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I was in Mt. View sporting goods yesterday checking out the Kimbers, awesome rifles............Are you looking at the Montana SS?

  15. #15

    Default sheep gun

    For more then 25 years all i used was a regulat 300 winchester magnum. It was great and still is. Five years ago my wife bought me a 300 ultar mag stainless steel synthetic, what a great rifle. It is very accurate and the recoil is about the same as the regular 300. It shoots very very flat and does not drop much at all. Basicaly a great caliber! Viktor

  16. #16

    Default Which Kimber?

    I am looking into a Kimber Montana SS 338.

    I would also consider a 375 if they made it but currently it appears they are not.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Eagle River, AK

    Default comfort

    I have a light weight 308. Scoped it weighs about 7 lbs. It's the most accurate gun I have. And most importantly, I'm very comfortable shooting it. I shot a sheep at 300 yrds with a 150 grn last year. I also have a .338 over 10 lbs. I've used the .338 for goat in the past. But, I'm considering using the .308 this year.

    In my opinion, all the hype about flatter shooting guns is just that, hype... unless you feel comfortable shooting over 300 yrds. Accuracy and comfort are by far more important for me. My advice, shoot your gun a lot at 200 and 300. If you can shoot it accurately and you're comfortable with the gun at 300, its the right gun. If you have to make a slight adjustment for elevation, no biggy.

    If you're considering something for hunting and brown bear protection, I don't think the .308 is right gun. I use a heavier cal when hunting deer, moose, bou.


  18. #18


    Over the years, I've shot a lot of sheep and goats with a 244 Rem. Works great on sheep. They die easy. I screwed up one time and shot one in the lower front leg. He limped around like he was heart shot. I walked up and ended his misery.
    Goats however are a different story. They are tough. Shot one one time 5 times just behind the front leg, he climbed the hill and jumped, I had to go under a glacier to get him. After that I started using my old 30-06 on them. 180 grain Noslers worked for me.
    308 should be fine for either one.

  19. #19

    Default 308 Remington Model Seven Stainless

    Just bought a Remington Model Seven stainless in 308 for hunting everything in Alaska except brown brear. Putting a Leupold VXIII 2-5-8 on it. There are some good threads discussing barrel length in regards to cartridge capacity. The way I understand it, the longer cartridges and smaller calibers, 270 and 7mm Mags require longer barrels, making them less suitable for use in carbines. This is just my opinion. I know there are plenty of great, experienced Alaskan hunters who tote heavier, longer rifles in the mountains. I just don't want that much gun to lug. But then again, this fall will be my first Alaskan hunt ever, so I am relying on the advice of others (especially on this forum) for good input. That and the awareness of my own personal abilities.

  20. #20
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Big Lake


    i own two rifles, a ruger .338 and a ultra light arms .416 rem, that gun is on a 22in barrel and weights 6.25 without the scope, i have a peep for it but with the scope its right at 7lbs, shoots sub MOA groups if i'm having a good day and works great for sheep and goats....i like a good 350 grain for my all around bullet. nothing like owning a gun to cover the world. but your .308 would be my choice over the 7mm, i never liked fast guns, to much can go wrong it seems when speed is the main player. keep is simple, keep it slow and keep it heavy and keep it where it needs to be and you'll do great.

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