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Thread: Which Caliber For Dall Sheep

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Which Caliber For Dall Sheep

    I am going to hunt Dall Sheep with Max Schwab in 2009. I have a 264 win mag and a 300 win mag. I am pretty set on using the 264. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice. Is a 130gr Barnes tsx enough, I will also use this for high country Mule deer and Blacktail here in Wa. Or should I use my 300? Thanks for any help.

    Dan

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    Default gun?

    I just used my trusty 300 win mag with 180 loads. Just shot it a bunch so I knew what it would do at distances. I shot my ram at over 300 yards. I would think the 130 grainers would be good on a sheep being they are not that big of a animal. I don't know much about the 264 so I just speak from my experience. Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default This will work

    Barrett .50 Cal. Mount to the bed of your truck, sit down in a valley and shoot him off the ledge....k

    (I'm kidding here folks)....just with all the late 338/300 chatter, couldn't resist....

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default sheep guns...

    Use either of those guns and have a great hunt. I have watched 26 rams fall over. Sheep die easy. Sheep die as easy as a pronghorn antelope. Shoot them where your supposed to shoot them, with any caliber... and it will be a good death. Shoot them where your not supposed to shoot them, with any caliber... and it will be a bad death.
    Killing the ram is easy. Its that fantastic country that will test your conditioning and committment.
    Have a great hunt. Train hard, and I hope you have the greatest experience of your life.

    Dennis
    Alaska True Adventure Guide Service

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    Default

    If 'twere me, I'd take whichever weighs less, provided I could shoot 'em both accurately. If they weigh about the same, I'd opt for the .264; just because I think it's a more unique cartridge than a .300.

  6. #6

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    Never shot a dall sheep, but the bighorn I shot here in Idaho in Hells Canyon - 25.06 115 Ballistic Tip at 309 yards. I hit him in the base of the neck and he droped so fast the ticks didn't have time to catch up. Sheep die easy.

  7. #7

    Default

    I shot my Bighorn ram with a 7mm Rem Mag, 160 gr partition.

    I think either rifle will do but if it were me, I would take the 300. It's flatter, reaches farther and gives you more flexability.

    As already mentioned, be in shape. There's no better way to get into mountain shape than hiking mountains.

    Good Hunting

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    Default

    I appreciate the help. This is pretty much what I thought but I wanted some reasurence. I shoot a Thompson Encore rifle, Both of my barrels are custom made from Christensen Arms so they are light rifles. I think I will use the 264, it is a very flat shooting gun.

    Dan

  9. #9

    Default sheep die easy???

    So I heard until I did my only fly in sheep hunt. That sheep did not die easy and in fact didn't stop and couldn't catch up with it. So much for that saying "sheep die easy". Keep the bullet where it should be and you'll be fine. Either gun will work. Take the one you feel best with.

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    Default gun

    [quote=AlaskaTrueAdventure;284926]Use either of those guns and have a great hunt. I have watched 26 rams fall over. Sheep die easy. Sheep die as easy as a pronghorn antelope. Shoot them where your supposed to shoot them, with any caliber... and it will be a good death. Shoot them where your not supposed to shoot them, with any caliber... and it will be a bad death.
    Killing the ram is easy. Its that fantastic country that will test your conditioning and committment.
    Have a great hunt. Train hard, and I hope you have the greatest experience of your life.

    This is right on; my son killed his first with his 243 when he was twelve. The ONLY reason to have a larger caliber is if you are concerned about bear protection. The lighter the gun is to carry, the easier it is to make the climbs.

  11. #11

    Default sheep can be tough

    shot my 2nd ram last year at a steep up angle with no time to range find; they were bugging out over the ridge, all but one was legal. when he got to the top he did the famous one last look back and i was in prone and let him have it in the shoulder. we could see the hair blow out the other side and him stumble over. when we got to the top about 45 min later we expected him to be lying there. we saw the others on the next ridge minus mine. we looked and found nothing. then we saw him walking at the bottom of the bowl falling on occasion at about 800 yds. we kept him in our sites until he was out of site then chased him down. found him bedded down still alive at 300 yds and finished him. the first bullet hit a little high took off the top of his shoulder blade and exited out his neck just under the spine the hole was grapefruit size. wow I thought. an inch eithier way the sheep dies quick. 300WSM 180gr accubond at about 225yds. thought it was closer to 300 at the time. killed a 8 foot grizzly with the same rifle thy next week. and did i mention that nothing is easy for me. it was the perfect shot not to kill this sheep. shot placement is everything.
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    Default .264 Win Mag

    Quote Originally Posted by akrogers View Post
    I would think the 130 grainers would be good on a sheep being they are not that big of a animal. I don't know much about the 264 so I just speak from my experience. Good luck!
    I would look at 140 grain bullets. IMHO I think the 264 Win mag is a bit overbored, especially if your barrel is only 24", and the 140 grain bullets do a better job of burning up the powder. The longer 140 bullets do a better job bucking the wind and drop less than the lighter bullets too. I load for a couple different 264's, one has a 24" barrel and the other has a 26". I can get within about 100 fps with my 6.5-284 of the 264 WM with the 24" barrel. The 264 WM starts to shine with a 26" tube.

    Woody

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    Member Jason in Anchorage's Avatar
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    Default 300 win

    I would use the 300 win
    Psalm 18:34
    He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

  14. #14

    Default go with .264

    I would recommend the .264 Win Mag. You will get a much flatter trajectory and the 130 grain bullets will do nicely on sheep. I shoot a .264 Win Mag with 130 grain Accubonds and with a zero of 200 yards it only drops 5 inches at 300 yards and at 400 yards about 15 inches. At 400 yards it should be cranking out 1828 ft lbs. I have heard story after story about the .264 Win Mag being a barrel burner and being overbored, but I have not found that to be true, it is a very consistent shooting caliber and I have only a 24 inch barrel, getting 3300 fps with 63 gr of IMR 4831, and CCI 250 primers. Neck sized. I would be interested in knowing your ammo of choice or reload data if you don't mind sending a PM. I truly hope you enjoy your sheep hunt and stay safe!

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CHAPS View Post
    I would recommend the .264 Win Mag. You will get a much flatter trajectory and the 130 grain bullets will do nicely on sheep. I shoot a .264 Win Mag with 130 grain Accubonds and with a zero of 200 yards it only drops 5 inches at 300 yards and at 400 yards about 15 inches. At 400 yards it should be cranking out 1828 ft lbs. I have heard story after story about the .264 Win Mag being a barrel burner and being overbored, but I have not found that to be true, it is a very consistent shooting caliber and I have only a 24 inch barrel, getting 3300 fps with 63 gr of IMR 4831, and CCI 250 primers. Neck sized. I would be interested in knowing your ammo of choice or reload data if you don't mind sending a PM. I truly hope you enjoy your sheep hunt and stay safe!
    I shoot a 26in Christensen Arms barrel and I have Superior Ammo load. I have been shooting 140 barnes, the blue ones, they shoot good but not great. That is why I'm trying 130 tsx.

  16. #16

    Default TSX try

    I would be interested to hear how your TSX 130gr shoot. I have not tried them yet. Good luck with that bullet!

  17. #17

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    Would have to add one more thing. I have shot a lot of antelope and one ram. The ram was a lot tougher than any antelope I ever shot. A mature ram is over twice the size of an antelope and lives a tougher life.

  18. #18

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    I have to agree with Montana...Hells Canyon sheep do live a tough life and are quite bigger than antelope. But in reality, the only reason to carry something bigger than a 25.06 or .270 would be for bear protection.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHAPS View Post
    I would recommend the .264 Win Mag. You will get a much flatter trajectory and the 130 grain bullets will do nicely on sheep. I shoot a .264 Win Mag with 130 grain Accubonds and with a zero of 200 yards it only drops 5 inches at 300 yards and at 400 yards about 15 inches. At 400 yards it should be cranking out 1828 ft lbs.
    Not sure how you came to this conclusion? But a 300 WM will push a 130 gr TSX 3500 fps and the best you can expect out of the 264 is about 3200 - 3250 fps. I would realy like to know how you arive at 1828 ft lbs of enrgy at 400 yds?

    The 264 WM is a good round, the 300 WM is better. It will push a 165 gr bullet almost as as fast as the 264 pushes a 130 gr bullet at about the same trajectory. Ant it will push a 130 gr bullet a lot faster and flatter.

  20. #20
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default Bullet proof rams

    MtMan...Your ram probably was tougher, possible even bullet proof. But the 13 rams and 8 pronghorns that I have personally tipped over were all easy. All were flesh, (soft rib) bone , and filled with some blood, and with some thin skin covering the outside. All got shot (with various caliber rifle bullets and arrows) in the lungs. That blood leaked out in a sufficient quanity to make them very dead. All mine died easy.

    If ones projectiles strike either species of animal in a non-lethal or marginal area it will be a tough recovery and a bad death.

    If a projectile, any bullet or any arrow, opens up a lung or two, of either species it will be a good death and probably an easier recovery. Avoid the legs, hit 'em where your supposed to hit 'em, the blood leaks or flushes out. A good death and an easy death.

    I still contend that either species dies very easy. Neither are as tough as brown bears or cape buffalo or anything big.

    And I still believe that DRDANDC can use either of his guns, either the 264 or the 300 and he will cause enough trauma to a rams thin skin, soft ribs, and lung(s) or heart and the ram will leak enough blood to be very dead, easily.

    Probably, we will all agree that dall sheep habitat is rougher and tougher than pronghorn antelope habitat.

    This years hunt for me will be in the DCUA with a client-hunter I've known for 22 years. He is the first outfitter I guided for back in my days in Wyoming and Utah. He will be shooting one of my 7 mil mags. If we see a large ram and he decides to shoot it, his 3rd and hopefully my 27th (observed kill), I believe it will die easy.

    Well...just my personal observations and observations...

    Dennis
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