Suggestions for "best" sheep hunting caliber ... 200 to 350 yards?


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1858
May 19, 2009, 03:55 PM
Here's my dilemma ... I have the opportunity to go on a three-day sheep/pig hunt at the end of August. This will be my first hunt for anything over 10lb so I don't have any experience in caliber selection. However, according to the organizer (an experienced hunter), my Remington 700 in .300WSM is too much gun for 80lb - 120lb sheep between 200 and 350 yards. I have a .308 Win and .300 Win Mag both they're both set up for long range matches with heavy barrels so they're definitely not hunting rifles. I have a couple of Marlins in .45-70 but I don't think that they'd be a good choice for sheep at that range (please correct me if I'm wrong).

I have an Alaskan Ti in .300 WSM for deer/elk hunts in the future and wasn't planning on a sheep/pig hunt at this stage. The Lyman manual lists a 150gr bullet but that may still be too much for sheep. I feel that I should have a .30-06 in my collection, but would that be a good choice? Ballistically (and in terms of felt recoil) it seems to sit somewhere between the .308 Win and the .300 Win Mag. How about a 7mm-08 or .25-06? Here are some of my options but what would you do?

1. Work up a 150gr load for the .300 WSM and hope it's not too much.
2. Buy a .30-06 and select an appropriate load for sheep (assuming there is one).
3. Go with another caliber altogether (would most likely be a Savage Weather Warrior).
4. Use the XLR in .45-70.

In case you're wondering about the pigs, I'll be using a Marlin 1894 in .45 Colt with 250gr OT Laser-Cast bullets and 23.0gr of H110. I could use 300gr OT Laser-Cast bullets and will probably work up a load over the next month or so. The pigs are fairly close range shots between 50 and 100 yards.


Any help is MUCH appreciated

Thanks.
:)

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bailer
May 19, 2009, 04:06 PM
I don't see the problem with your 300wsm, if you want to use something you already own. If the guide insists you could load a 150 in the 2900fps range and call it a .308. If you want to buy a new rifle there's a long list of flat shooting cartridges that would work great: .243, 25-06, .257 weatherby, .264 win mag, .270 win, Weatherby, WSM, 7-08, WSM, Rem Mag, etc...

Art Eatman
May 19, 2009, 05:16 PM
For all that I have the attitude that says there's no such thing as "too much", I'd agree that there is "more than you need".

The starting load in most books is about 10% below the max, which would turn the WSM into a 308 for performance. If your groups are within 1.5 MOA you're good to go.

Zero at 200; you'd be about 5 or 6 inches low at 300 and about a foot low at 350.

Or you can always figure that this guide won't have a chronograph. :D

~z
May 19, 2009, 05:20 PM
A few things, where are you headed for this hunt? I ask because if it is anywhere August is pretty hot and care for the meat becomes a pretty big deal around then, more with sheep and pigs than about any other critters. Pigs will pretty much liquefy in their skin in the August sun. Don’t know about the sheep you are hunting, but we do some long range hunting for feral sheep in W TX and they have about 18” of matted thorn filled wool which acts like a shield. The 300 would not be “over kill” on those. My rifle of choice for the 750+yd shooting of those poor critters is the 300WM, presumably set up similar to your long range target rifle. For shorter distance I use a 7-08. If you are thinking of another rifle for this purpose, think antelope gun, somewhere between 25-06 and .243.
~z

1858
May 19, 2009, 05:46 PM
bailer and Art, thanks so much for your comments. I've been doing some more "research" and found an article on exotic sheep hunting by Chuck Hawks (http://home.earthlink.net/~manzanovalph/ExoticSheep.pdf). For sheep he recommends at least 800 ft-lb of energy at impact and staying within MPBR for +/- 3". I've been running some numbers for the .300WSM and a 150gr Hornady InterLock SST boat tail bullet. Over the typical MV range of 2,900 fps to 3,100 fps, it has about 1,700 ft-lb and 2,000 ft-lb of energy respectively at 300 yards. You all know a lot more about hunting than me so if you feel that this is acceptable then I'll order some 150s and get to work with the chronograph. If this is a case of too much for too little then I'll get busy with selecting my next rifle.

The MPBR for a 150gr moving at 3,100 fps and a 6" target is 150 yards to 300 yards with a 250 yard zero.

~z, it'll be in the mid '80s where I'm going with humidity in the 60% to 75% range but most of the hunt is for eradication purposes so it's not an issue if the meat spoils. The guides do dress a few sheep (and possibly pigs) on the last day for the local residents but I'm not planning on shipping any meat home.

For shorter distance I use a 7-08. If you are thinking of another rifle for this purpose, think antelope gun, somewhere between 25-06 and .243.

I've always wanted a .243 Win but the 7mm-08 is appealing too ... hmmm ... if another caliber is the way to go it's going to be tough to decide.

:)

~z
May 19, 2009, 06:07 PM
Sounds like a good time. We have been trying to slowly eradicate feral sheep on a buddies place in W TX. Where are you hunting?
~z

1858
May 19, 2009, 06:15 PM
~z, the hunt is on the island of Niʻihau in the Hawaiʻian Islands. Commercial flight to Kauaʻi followed by a helicopter ride to the island. The island isn't open to tourists (invitation only) so it's a great opportunity to see a unique place while helping the local residents. From what I gather, the feral pigs and sheep are destroying the native plant species and are preventing the indigenous Hawaiʻians from growing taro.

:)

R.W.Dale
May 19, 2009, 07:26 PM
use the 300wsm you have with a somewhat tougher projectile and part throttle reloads. You won't blow your animal up with such a combo.

The too much gun myth comes from folks splattering their deer all over with full throttle handloads, shooting light fragile bullets (nosler b-tip or similar) at ranges less than 100m with a big magnum

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 19, 2009, 07:40 PM
The answer is #1 (use the Alaskan Ti - excellent choice for a rugged hunt). Distant second choice: #3**.

However, according to the organizer (an experienced hunter), my Remington 700 in .300WSM is too much gun for 80lb - 120lb sheep between 200 and 350 yards.

Yes and no and sorta. Generally, yeah, it's a bit 'too much'. At 200 yards it may be 'too much'. At 350, *in high winds*, it's definitely NOT 'too much' - the faster it gets to the target, the better - that's a long ways, and the wind can blow it off its true course a lot in that much time, and a LOT of wind can do even worse. That's precisely what .300 maggies are for - long range - albeit with 350 yards being on the 'near side' of 'long range'. Besides, what about the pigs? Which are tougher animals. Work up a moderate *accurate* load, get GOOD with it, kill the game, and show your organizer how the gun was 'too much' by showing your harvested animal to him.

**If buying a new one, .243 win, .25-06, .257 robts, .260 rem, or 6.5x55 would be in the ideal range.

1858
May 19, 2009, 08:36 PM
use the 300wsm you have with a somewhat tougher projectile and part throttle reloads ... The too much gun myth comes from folks .... shooting light fragile bullets (nosler b-tip or similar)

krochus, I know you're an experienced hunter so would the 150gr Hornady InterLock SST (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=261581) be a good candidate for "part throttle reloads" or does it fall into the "light fragile bullets" category. It seems to be highly regarded for .30-06 and .308 (and a couple of .300WSMs) based on the 34 reviews on Midway's site.


Dr. THW, thanks for the help and sorry to see you go ... you're one of the fixtures here so I hope you stick around. It looks like everyone here (bailer, Art, ~z, krochus and you) is of the same opinion ... download the .300WSM a little and use it. I think that's about as good a recommendation anyone could want. I'll be ordering 150gr bullets this week and working up a load over the next couple of months.

Thanks to everyone for your help ... I really appreciate your expertise.

:)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 19, 2009, 08:38 PM
SSTs rock - they penetrate well - I researched them, and almost universally they had good reviews for both penetration and expansion - not to mention excellent accuracy.

rmuzz
May 19, 2009, 09:13 PM
If the hunt is for erradication and most of the game is not actually going to be collected, what is the problem with bringing too much gun? Do you think that the guide would trust your ability to make head shots on game thats going to be eaten and let you use what you feel comfortable using instead of going out and buying something new? unless your looking for a good excuse to do so, haha. Ill admit I don't have any experience in this area, just some of the questions that came to mind reading this.

kmrcstintn
May 19, 2009, 11:44 PM
use what ya got and yer comfortable with; you'll destroy a bit more meat with a larger caliber (eg: your .300 wsm shooting a 150gr to 180gr .30 caliber bullet at fast velocities will destroy more meat that something like a .243 shooting a 100 gr .24 caliber bullet or a .25-06 shooting a 100gr to 120gr .25 caliber bullet); use what ya got and don't make an excuse to waste money...

I got stoopid and bought a .25-06 and put a 6-21 x 44 scope on it to shoot groundhogs (to 'keep up with the jones' in my hunting group); do you think we have shot 1 groundhog as a group??? nope...I would have been better off spending the money on something more usable like a climbing treestand or paying for more practice sessions to get good at archery (now that I want to archery hunt, I have to cut corners {like buying an older bow and buying a used climbing treestand instead of getting what I like}

keep what ya got and use it!!!

jmr40
May 19, 2009, 11:56 PM
I don't think the 300 WSM you have is the ideal rifle for the hunt, but if you do not want to buy another rifle it is definately your best option.

1858
May 20, 2009, 12:01 AM
SSTs rock - they penetrate well - I researched them, and almost universally they had good reviews for both penetration and expansion - not to mention excellent accuracy.

Good to know ... looks like I'll be ordering a bunch.


If the hunt is for erradication and most of the game is not actually going to be collected, what is the problem with bringing too much gun?

I think part of the issue is killing efficiency and cartridge weight. The guy organizing the hunt from this end (not one of the guides) took more than 40 animals over three days when he went to Niʻihau last year. He took a .223 on his last trip so that he could bring more ammunition but it wasn't as effective as he would have liked. We're officially only allowed to put 11lb of ammunition in checked baggage so weight is an issue particularly since I'm bringing a bunch of .45 Colt too.

This year he's decided to bring a .308 because he feels that it'll be effective while at the same time allowing him to bring enough ammunition so that he won't run out over three days. Once you're out then that's it for the trip ... this place is remote i.e. no stores, no phones, no bathroom, no roads etc. I can see his logic that if your caliber of choice is just sufficient to kill sheep humanely at 300 yards, then you can pack more rounds compared to say bringing a .50 caliber which would be effective on the sheep but you'd be a spectator by 10:00am on the first day.

Anyway, based on the excellent advice here, I'm going to take the Alaskan Ti and will satisfy my urge to spend some money by replacing the 15 year old Leupold Vari-X II currently on that rifle with a new, better optic from Zeiss or similar.

:)

1858
May 20, 2009, 12:21 AM
I got stoopid and bought a .25-06 and put a 6-21 x 44 scope on it to shoot groundhogs (to 'keep up with the jones' in my hunting group); do you think we have shot 1 groundhog as a group???

This is a slightly different situation in that I'm definitely going to use either what I have or what I was thinking of buying. I genuinely wanted to know if my .300WSM would be a ridiculous option and it seems like it isn't.

I don't think the 300 WSM you have is the ideal rifle for the hunt, but if you do not want to buy another rifle it is definately your best option.

Succinctly put. I think it's fair to say that no one here would buy a .300WSM specifically for this hunt, but as you've all said, since it's what I have, why not make it work.

Thanks again for the help.
:)

1858
May 20, 2009, 01:51 AM
This is more of a reloading post rather than a strictly hunting post but it's related to the topic at hand. I was just looking at Hodgdon's reloading data on their web site to see if I have any powders that they recommend for 150gr bullets. They actually list a load for the .300WSM and 150gr bullet using TRAIL BOSS!! :what::eek::D That would be an interesting load to try if only to feel how much recoil it would generate.

Bullet Weight (Gr.) = 150 GR. SPR GSSP
Manufacturer = IMR
Powder = Trail Boss
Bullet Diam. = .308"
C.O.L. = 2.780"
Grs. = 16.3
Vel. (ft/s) = 1473
Pressure = 26,400 PSI
Grs. = 23.3
Vel. (ft/s) = 1758
Pressure = 31,600 PSI

Hodgdon also lists other powders that I have such as IMR 4895 and Varget so that's good news. They also have loads for 110gr, 125gr, 130gr and 140gr bullets. Lyman only goes as low as 150gr ... interesting.

:)

noob_shooter
May 20, 2009, 02:05 AM
any magnum rifle rounds should be fine and even those non-mag rounds such as .308, 270, 30-06 + more... can easily achieve that too. The shooter matters more than the round being used

41 Mag
May 20, 2009, 06:32 AM
If you have any H-4895, you might give the Hodgdon Youth Loads a look. Using the Barnes 130gr TTSX you should be able to get a good shooting load in the mid 2800 - 3000fps range and it would be great for both critters.

I spoke with them a while back on using this powder and loads for my .308 when looking for something for my oldest grandson. They said the great thing was that you could start with the Youth data and work all the way up through the max load listed in the standard rifle loads. Our load now stands at 42grs. I can tell you that this particular bullet moving at only 2650 fps is deadly on hogs out to 200yds, giving us complete pass through penetration on up to 200# hogs, from the short 16.5" barrel on my Ruger Compact.

I know they are a bit more expensive, but if your looking to save weight this might give you another box of ammo, verses a heavier load. Just another option for your short mag.

Good luck on your loads and good hunting on your trip.

~z
May 20, 2009, 11:13 AM
My only caution with the 150s would be on seating depth. If your rifle likes bullets seated close to the lands, 150s may not work well for you as you will have very little bullet in the case neck. The last thing you want on a remote hunt is bullets falling out of the cases. This is a problem I ran into a few years back when I was loading 150s. I shoot 168 SMKs for what you are doing and I have had excellent results. I have pictures but they are a bit graphic and I’d rather not post, so you will have to take my word on that one.
Another option for this hunt and the weight restrictions on bullets would be to bring your press along so you can make more in the field.
~z

ArmedBear
May 20, 2009, 12:31 PM
Chuck Hawks relies on bull**** numbers way too much. Ignore that crap.

His tables say that a 405 grain .45-70 is insufficient for 600 lb. game like elk at the muzzle. That's about the most ludicrous thing I've ever seen written. The cartridge made a name for itself by, and is probably still best known for, nearly exterminating the North American Bison, that weighs more than twice that.

WRT your guide, look at this chart: http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/comparative_ballistics_results.aspx?data=R308W1*R300WSM1

A factory 150 grain .300 WSM at 300 yards has just a hair more "oomph" than a .308 at 200 yards. If a .300 WSM is "too much" at 300, then the .308 is "too much" at 200.

Furthermore, if you want a +/- 3" MPBR at 350 yards, you can only approach that with something like one of the small Weatherby calibers (.240 or .257). VERY FEW calibers offer a +/- 3" MPBR over 300 yards.

Here's the thing: .300 WSM will work fine on the sheep, and it'll shoot flat enough that you can hit them. What does "too much" mean, anyway? .300 WSM isn't really THAT impressive. Yeah, it's a bit hotter than factory .30-06, but it's not .338 Lapua or anything.

A .45-70 will drop any sheep you hit at 350 yards. But unless you're an experienced BPCR match shooter, good luck hitting the sheep. The trajectory is a bitch.:)

I shot a jackrabbit with a .45-70 Sharps once at about 80 yards. Took 8 shots with the right windage, before I got the elevation right. When the rabbit moved away 10 yards, I had to start over and see where the dust kicked up.:D

Seriously, I wouldn't buy a gun for this hunt unless you want a gun for this hunt.

If I wanted an excuse, I'd get a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .270. Check those out -- very nice guns! Great handling, light weight, perfect for a mountain hunt, and the .270 actually can be set up for +/- 3" MPBR past 300 yards.

But when you really look at all the numbers, it's usually not worth buying a gun just because someone thinks your bullet weighs 20 grains too much.

I have a .30-06 and a reloading press. I might get a .308 because I want a short-action Model 70, now that I've handled them. Ballistically, though, there's no reason that, having the .30-06, I'd get a .300 WSM, a 7mm-08, a .308... The 7mm-08, especially, is a bit of a disappointment when you explore the numbers. Might as well get a .308, which is much more common.

For the sheep hunt, I'd love to have a gun with a flat trajectory, but I wouldn't sweat the difference between a .277", .284" and .308" bullet diameter.

~z
May 20, 2009, 12:51 PM
I can only assume you forgot a zero here:
"I shot a jackrabbit with a .45-70 Sharps once at about 80 yards"
or were you hip shootin in a tornado?
~z

kd7nqb
May 20, 2009, 12:52 PM
the hunt is on the island of Niʻihau in the Hawaiʻian Islands. Commercial flight to Kauaʻi followed by a helicopter ride to the island. The island isn't open to tourists (invitation only) so it's a great opportunity to see a unique place while helping the local residents. From what I gather, the feral pigs and sheep are destroying the native plant species and are preventing the indigenous Hawaiʻians from growing taro.

So my info might be wrong but a good friend of mine grew up on Kaua'i and she always told me that that Ni'ihau was not part of the US that it was essentially a sovereign nation. Does that cause any legal issues with hunting? Obviously if your invited to go hunting that's tasid approval to bring in your guns but I was just wondering.

ArmedBear
May 20, 2009, 12:55 PM
No, I was buzzing after shooting my first buffalo with the rifle.

It was dark, and I was using sights that were almost invisible.

A 525 grain bullet going just over 1200 fps at the muzzle drops A LOT, and if you're sighted in at a bit over 100 yards, you have to deal with several inches difference in elevation as soon as you get a little closer or farther.:)

ArmedBear
May 20, 2009, 01:00 PM
Ni'ihau is all private property. The Robinson family bought it from Kamehameha V in 1864 (I guess he screwed his people over, but that's what being a king is all about). The Robinsons closed it to access without special permission, in 1915.

It's part of the US, though. Many of its inhabitants are on Federal welfare. The US Navy has a small installation there, and trains there, too.

~z
May 20, 2009, 01:38 PM
Your jacks must be much more tame than mine! Mine will not tolerate the sound of that much shooting. Congrats on the Buffalo (and the jack-bunny).
~z

ArmedBear
May 20, 2009, 01:49 PM
80 yards away, in the dark, I don't think the thing really had much idea that there was a threat.

One guy was pissed off because the rest of the group wanted to drive off and get home. He wanted to go get the bunny and eat it.

JShirley
May 20, 2009, 04:27 PM
.300 WSM sounds like a pretty decent choice to me. A .270 might be a tad better, or a 7mm Remington Magnum, but the .300 sounds fine.

John

2dswamp
May 20, 2009, 05:45 PM
1858-

I've got the perfect rifle for you. Remington 700 Mountain Rifle in .280.

Might be interested in trading you for one of your Marlin 45-70's if interested!

chas08
May 20, 2009, 06:26 PM
I've always wanted a .243 Win but the 7mm-08 is appealing too

I shoot a 7mm08 for whitetails, My Wife uses a .243, and My Daughter uses a .270. All Remington 700's with Leupold optics. All very adequate for what you are planning to do. I'm especially fond of the 08. But unless you're going to use this trip as an excuse for a new gun, (nothing wrong with that) why not just use your .300 wsm and save your money.

ArmedBear
May 20, 2009, 06:35 PM
BTW in Hawaii, the Ti might just be the ideal gun.

I wouldn't buy a nice new blue/walnut rifle and take it there.:)

moosehunt
May 20, 2009, 06:56 PM
Sheep don't take much to kill. I use a 6.5x55 and have shot Stone, Bighorn, and Dall, from 125 yds to 320 yds. I'm not saying a 6.5x55 is the ideal sheep rifle/caliber, but the point is, what you shoot well and know the drops with will work fine. I'd make a sincere check into firearms importation where you're going. Just passing through Hawaii is a hassle from what I've heard (admittedly, I've not been there). It might be a whole lot easier to just borrow a rifle from your host. I've seen .300 Win Mags and 7MM STW's , even .30-.378 Wea. etc in sheep camp many times. The guides invariably roll their eyes back--way more gun than needed .Have fun!

snakeman
May 20, 2009, 07:12 PM
i would recommend a 25-06 or a 130 grain tsx or other premium bullet loaded light in the wsm.

Geno
May 20, 2009, 07:50 PM
On our sheep hunts we carried a .270 Win and a .300 Wea Mag. Both were effective. The ranges were 200 yards out to about 350 yards. None of the 4 required more than a single round.

1858
May 21, 2009, 01:49 AM
ArmedBear, I particularly enjoyed your posts but thanks to everyone for your observations and suggestions ... all very helpful. I'm now 99% sure that I'll be taking the .300WSM but bullet selection is still up in the air at this point. I'm leaning towards 150gr but after ~z's post I'll have to investigate the COL issue before ordering any 150gr bullets so thanks for the heads up on that. I'm currently shooting 168gr and 190gr SMKs out of the .300WSM with good results. I also have 200 Barnes 165gr TSX bullets but according to the ballistic calculator that I use, the 150s fly faster and hit harder.

~z, you suggested bringing a press but there's no way to get powder to the island. Loaded ammunition (11lb) can go in checked baggage but "loose" powder is against FAA regulations. I haven't done the math yet to figure out how what combination of 250gr .45 Colt and 150gr .300WSM rounds comes to 11lb but I will.

Thanks again for all the help and I look forward to making a post at the end of August describing the adventure (hopefully with lots of photos).
:)

JShirley
May 21, 2009, 05:47 AM
Honestly, the rifle rounds will be a lot more versatile than the Colt.

1858
May 21, 2009, 07:07 AM
Honestly, the rifle rounds will be a lot more versatile than the Colt.

The reason for taking the Marlin '94 in .45 Colt for the pigs is that they're typically in the 30 to 75 yard range, there are lots of them, and semi-autos aren't allowed. Hopefully, 10 rounds of 250gr Laser-Cast bullets in the tube plus one in the chamber will result in plenty of dead pigs without a reload. Given the limited round capacity of most bolt action rifles, and the fact that semi-autos aren't permitted, a lever gun seems like a good idea. Once again, I'm new to this so any advice is much appreciated.

I weighed a .45 Colt round (382gr) and calculated that 11lb = 202 rounds. I also weighed a .300WSM round (190gr SMK = 490gr) and estimated that a 150gr load would weigh about 450gr, so 11lb = 171 rounds. Since I'll be bringing both, I entered an equation in Excel and here are some combinations of the two resulting in 11lb total weight.

.45 Colt .300 WSM
100 86
105 82
110 78
115 73
120 69
125 65
130 61
135 57
140 52
145 48
150 44
155 40
160 35
165 31
170 27
175 23
180 18
185 14
190 10
195 6
200 1


It's possible to pack more than 11lb and hope that the nice lady at the check in desk is in a good mood. The hunt organizer advised me to "distribute" my ammunition between a gun case and another checked bag. He managed to get quite a bit more than 11lb over there last year but another hunter got "caught" and was forced to leave a bunch of ammunition with an airline representative. They told him that he could pick it up on the way back ... very nice of them I thought!

:)

MCgunner
May 21, 2009, 09:53 AM
The main problem I see with a belted magnum and sheep hunting is the terrain and having to haul that ton of bricks over hill and dale in rough country. I think I'd use my little short action Remington .257 Roberts, myself, but if it's all you got, start hitting the gym now.

~z
May 21, 2009, 10:40 AM
Mc, the difference in weight equates to about a bottle or two of water.

1858, have you looked into the possibility of getting powder on the Big Island? Maybe do some research, find a shop and pay for it in advance and give them a few extra dollars to hold onto it for you till you get there? Nothing worse than running outta ammo. From your calcs, I'd vote for the 140/52 split. Dont forget you will want to verify zero on the rifle. Ideally that will be 2 shots (1 to verify, 1 to be sure) but things to happen.
~z

ArmedBear
May 21, 2009, 01:14 PM
The main problem I see with a belted magnum and sheep hunting is the terrain and having to haul that ton of bricks over hill and dale in rough country. I think I'd use my little short action Remington .257 Roberts, myself, but if it's all you got, start hitting the gym now.

He's got the 700 Titanitum wundergun in .300WSM. It weighs 6 lbs., a good deal less than a Model 7 does. So that's not a concern.

http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_700/model_700_Alaskan_Ti_specs.asp

1858
May 21, 2009, 04:34 PM
1858, have you looked into the possibility of getting powder on the Big Island?

Wrong direction ... Niʻihau is at the Northern end of the chain (near Kauaʻi) but you make a good point. :) I agree with your thinking re the 140/52 split. Most likely I'll go with 150/52 (two sighters as you mentioned) and be done with it. I might sneak 50/25 into the other bag and hope for the best.

He's got the 700 Titanitum wundergun in .300WSM. It weighs 6 lbs., a good deal less than a Model 7 does. So that's not a concern.

It'll weigh a bit more once I mount the Zeiss Conquest 3x9x40mm (RZ-600 reticle) that I ordered. In its current configuration with an old Leupold Vari-X II it weighs about 7-1/2 lb which isn't bad.

I hike on a regular basis with my dogs but I'll be going more often and further to prepare for the trip in August. This hunting trip may add years to my life!

:)

JShirley
May 22, 2009, 06:10 PM
The reason for taking the Marlin '94 in .45 Colt


Ah. Somehow I overlooked that you'd be taking a Marlin. Makes sense. :)


john

ArmedBear
May 22, 2009, 06:20 PM
Some Hawaii residents hunt pigs with big knives. It's a short-range proposition in heavy cover, AFAIK.

The sheep rifle would be a handicap, but a lever gun would be a wonderful thing.:)

byrnesy94
May 24, 2009, 06:08 AM
.243 is my vote

1858
May 24, 2009, 10:23 PM
I ended up taking the advice of the majority of the members that posted replies to my question, so I am VERY grateful for the feedback. I decided to take the .300 WSM and I ordered a bunch of Hornady InterLock 150gr SST Boat Tail bullets. These bullets may not be the best hunting bullets out there but they're supposed to work well given enough distance to scrub off some of the velocity. They appear to have a problem at under 100 yards in that they disintegrate when they hit bone! The sheep will most likely be a good ways off so that shouldn't be a problem.

Another issue is load development and practice. I'll need to work up a load and then practice with it. I can't see doing that with Barnes TSX bullets at close to a dollar a bullet!! :what:

Another less obvious benefit with the 150gr bullet is that if I get it moving at 3,000 fps, the RZ-600 reticle will be "calibrated" at 9x which is the maximum power setting on the Zeiss scope that I've ordered. In other words, the 3, 4, 5 and 6 holdover lines will be perfect for 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards. It couldn't get much easier than that.

Thanks.
:)

~z
May 26, 2009, 11:53 AM
Verify, yes it goes without saying but varify at all these distances. Also consider the difference in altitude from home to hunt. And a good quality range finder and wind meter are your best friends.
~z

1858
May 26, 2009, 03:52 PM
And a good quality range finder and wind meter are your best friends.

~z, this trip has "forced" me to pick up a bunch of things I need/want but would have put off until a later date. I've got a Swarovski Laser Guide range finder and was thinking about ordering a Kestrel 4500 NV weather meter (shown below). I finally upgraded my 8 year old backpack too ... I got a Badlands Superday with a 100oz bladder. I also ordered a holster, belt and ammo pouches from Galco to lug my Redhawk (.45 Colt) around. This is getting EXPENSIVE but it's FUN!!

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/hunting/kestrel_4500nv.jpg

:)

~z
May 26, 2009, 04:26 PM
I have a step down in the wind meter dept, a 4500, the yellow one. The only difference is mine is not directional. Very handy. provides altitude, BP, temp...oh, and wind speed (max, average, and instant)
Very interested in your trip. I have one in Nov for the same critters...till then it is vicarious living.
~z

1858
May 26, 2009, 05:01 PM
~z, does your model provide/calculate altitude density?

:)

~z
May 26, 2009, 05:47 PM
Mine gives:

Current Wind Speed
Maximum Wind Gust
Average Wind Speed
Air, Water & Snow Temperature
Wind Chill
Relative Humidity
Dewpoint
Heat Stress Index
Barometric Pressure
Altitude
Wet Bulb Temperature


All I ever use is the 3 wind functions, bp, and alt.
temp is nice to know too but can usually be summed up porage style (either too hot, too cold, or just right)
~z

1858
May 27, 2009, 04:45 AM
The 4500 NV sure can do a lot of stuff, much of which isn't that important to me in terms of actual values, but it's required in order to spit out the density altitude.

* Digital Compass
* Wind Direction
* Crosswind
* Headwind / Tailwind
* Current Wind Speed
* Max Wind Gust
* Average Wind Speed
* Temperature
* Wind Chill
* Relative Humidity
* Heat Stress Index
* Dewpoint Temp
* Wet Bulb Temp
* Barometric Pressure
* Altitude
* Density Altitude

:)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 28, 2009, 12:13 AM
1858, here, this one is cheaper!

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/community_apopka_blog/WindowsLiveWriter/SirensWeDontNeedNoStinkinSirens_C053/weather.rock4_1.jpg

1858
May 28, 2009, 12:33 AM
Doc, that's TOO funny!! :D Is that weather gauge MOLLE compatible? If so, I guess I'll have to cancel the order that I submitted yesterday for the Kestrel 4500 NV and tactical carry case!!

:)

1858
June 9, 2009, 10:08 PM
My only caution with the 150s would be on seating depth. If your rifle likes bullets seated close to the lands, 150s may not work well for you as you will have very little bullet in the case neck.

The Hornady InterLock 150gr SST bullets arrived today so I measured the maximum OAL in the Remington using a Stoney Point/Hornady O.A.L. gauge and here's what I found.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/rem700_300wsm/hunting/300wsm_150gr_sst.jpg

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/rem700_300wsm/hunting/300wsm_150gr_sst_2.jpg

Looks like there's plenty of shank on the bullet to seat them 0.020" off the lands but they wouldn't be crimped. I don't use a crimp for my .300 Win Mag, .308 Win or the .300 WSM, but then again, I've never taken any of them hunting. So, to crimp or not to crimp? Is there a common approach when it comes to reloads and hunting? I use a neck sizing die so I could size the neck down an extra 0.002" or more to reduce the likelihood of any bullets moving in/out. If crimping is the way to go, then I'll start load development with a crimp and just experiment with the charge.

Thanks.
:)

~z
June 10, 2009, 10:16 AM
Yes, looks like you have plenty of neck tension on that setup. Mine (also a 700 action) has a longer throat. When I load 150s I can barely get a calibers lenth in the case. With boat tailed bullets, forget about it, I can push them out of alignment with my thumb. I can obviously seat them deeper but they shoot considerably better seated long. Does not appear you are having this problem.
As to the crimp or not to crimp question, you may be better served to open up a new thread to get answers dedicated to that question, but since I’m here…I don’t crimp anything but wheelgun bullets. (and tube fed rifles) You can check to see how your ammo will hold up to the abuse by loading up a inert round (obviously no primer or powder) record the OAL and placing it point down on a hard surface strike it with a mallet with about as much force as you would expect it to receive under recoil in your box magazine (not much) and measure it again. Another option is to throw that inert round in your magazine during load development and let it ride in there for 10-15 shots and then measure it.
If you are putting decent neck tension to your bullets you should not have a problem. I am very interested to hear about your hunt. I will be out on my sheep and goat hunt in Nov, we will have to compare stories.
~z

1858
June 10, 2009, 04:14 PM
Another option is to throw that inert round in your magazine during load development and let it ride in there for 10-15 shots and then measure it.


That's an EXCELLENT idea ... I'll put a dummy round in the magazine as you suggested. It'll give me a chance to see if the ballistic tip deforms too.

I am very interested to hear about your hunt. I will be out on my sheep and goat hunt in Nov, we will have to compare stories.

That we will and thanks again for all the help.

:)

~z
June 10, 2009, 04:28 PM
heres one of the rams from last hunt
99786

DAN CARROLL
June 10, 2009, 04:34 PM
I went sheep hunting last year in oregon. Shot mine at 320 yards with a .270 130 gr ballistic tip. And it did the job. Sheep hunting is generally done in very steep terrain. My advice is use a flat shooting cal. That is going to put the animal down immediately. The last thing you want is the sheep to run farther down hill.

1858
June 10, 2009, 05:15 PM
~z, great photo ... and it gives some idea of all the matted wool that the bullet might need to get through. I hope to have some equally good photos by the end of August.

DAN, very good points there ... thanks.

:)

~z
June 10, 2009, 05:24 PM
High shoulder shots, neck, or head shots are the only way to go. Disrupt the CNS and they will anchor. The only thing worse than a sheep running farther down hill is one running down the wrong hill.
~z

1858
June 10, 2009, 05:48 PM
I don't know if you've seen these photos but this sheep "fell" off the wrong hill ... along with a nice mountain lion.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/hunting/1.jpg

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/hunting/7.jpg

:(

~z
June 10, 2009, 06:10 PM
Have not seen that pic. That would be a good example of the "wrong hill" if there ever was one
~z

1911shooter
June 11, 2009, 02:46 PM
No question .280 Ackly Improved. with 140gr Barnes tsx wont kick the crap out of you and will do everything the 7mm mags will do with less recoil.

Sebastian the Ibis
June 14, 2009, 04:37 PM
~z, you suggested bringing a press but there's no way to get powder to the island. Loaded ammunition (11lb) can go in checked baggage but "loose" powder is against FAA regulations. I haven't done the math yet to figure out how what combination of 250gr .45 Colt and 150gr .300WSM rounds comes to 11lb but I will.

Why don't you just ship ammo ahead of time? There has to be someone that can receive it for you.

devildog32713
June 16, 2009, 11:56 AM
.270, a flat shooting, accurate cartridge that will put sheep down in a hurry.

1858
June 16, 2009, 02:25 PM
Why don't you just ship ammo ahead of time? There has to be someone that can receive it for you.

Not an option ... :(

For what it's worth, I ended up ordering a 7mm-08 for this hunt too. :D

:)

~z
June 16, 2009, 03:11 PM
So how does the round count break down now?
~z

1858
June 16, 2009, 03:35 PM
The 7mm-08 will be used by a friend who doesn't have a hunting rifle per se. All of his rifles are built and set up for PALMA shooting and the like. My wife told his wife (who she works with), that he can borrow "one of ours". Since I don't have anything suitable, that's all the excuse I needed, and she raised no objection when I told her that I'd ordered a Savage Weather Warrior for him to use. :D Anyway, he'll be packing his own ammunition ... that I've reloaded for him. Since he's a highly accomplished competitive shooter, I figure he'll owe me some coaching.

Now I just need to figure out what he can use for the pigs. I told him that he can take my Guide Gun but he's leaning towards .45 ACP.

:)

~z
June 16, 2009, 03:49 PM
Shhh, don’t type that too loud or you will end up starting another “is .45ACP enough for hogs” threads. Refresh me on your Guide Gun, what cal?
~z

1858
June 16, 2009, 04:02 PM
~z, the Guide Gun is chambered in .45-70. Currently I'm shooting 405gr JSP bullets but have considered downloading it to a 300gr hard cast bullet with less velocity. With four in the tube and one in the chamber it'd be quite effective I'm sure. The hunt organizers don't allow any semi-automatic firearms so I suggested to my friend that he use my 629 (4") or the Guide Gun since a 1911 isn't allowed. We'll see.

:)

~z
June 16, 2009, 05:20 PM
I am a big fan of the 629 for such critters, that or the 57, I vacillate between the two as a hip gun on pig hunts. If the choice was mine to make I would be quite happy with the 7-08 and 629. To be honest it is my normal setup. Nothing against the Guide Gun, but if much walking is going to be done (and you don’t have a gun bearer or Sherpa along) it is much easier to carry a pistol butt forward on the weak side hip and a rifle slung on the strong side shoulder.
~z

mbt2001
June 16, 2009, 06:34 PM
For sheep at distance, I think it would be very hard to beat a 6mm Remington. A flat shooting cartridge that can bring the pain at distance... I wouldn't use it for anything larger than sheep / whitetail deer though.

30-06 should be fine with any Remington hunting load. At that distance it isn't going to have an explosive effect. For distance shooting, choose bullets in the 150 grain size...

Arkel23
August 18, 2009, 04:30 PM
1858 You took those pics?

1858
August 18, 2009, 05:11 PM
1858 You took those pics?

No ... a member here sent them to me.

:)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 18, 2009, 05:53 PM
That photo is amazing - where was it taken? Most likely the puma was going after the sheep at the time of the incident.

1858
August 18, 2009, 06:34 PM
That photo is amazing - where was it taken? Most likely the puma was going after the sheep at the time of the incident.

IIRC, the photos were taken in Glacier National Park. This photo shows the lion with fur in its mouth so you're correct about the circumstances.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/hunting/3.jpg

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/hunting/4.jpg

:)

RDA 226sig
August 18, 2009, 11:43 PM
I guess maybe I am a little dense or maybe I don't hear too well but I have never heard a game animal complain about having been taken with too much gun. Some guns may be impractical for the hunter to carry but other than that if the shooter can make a clean shot using a magnum for smaller large game is fine. You can have too little gun but on goats any center fire rifle that can produce a good trajectory out to 500 yards will get the job done. A nice little 7-08 would carry great but it is really a personal preference thing.

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