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Opinions on Good Calibers for Sheep and Goats

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  • 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
    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
      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
        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.
        I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
        I have less friends now!!


        • #5
          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
            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
              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
                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
                  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
                    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

                      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

                        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.

                        Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.
                        Genesis 9:3


                        • #13
                          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
                            I was in Mt. View sporting goods yesterday checking out the Kimbers, awesome rifles............Are you looking at the Montana SS?


                            • #15
                              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


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