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Old July 24, 2017, 02:50 PM   #1
Tawaliga
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.308 Win or .300 Win Mag for Sheep, Caribou, Moose

I am going on a backpack hunt next Aug (2018) in Canada where Dall Sheep, Mountain Caribou, and Moose are all on the menu.

The .308:
Sako Finnlight, 20" barrel, 2-10x40 Razor HD LH weighs 7# 3oz

The .300:
Cooper Excalibur, 26" barrel, 3-18x44 Swaro Z5 Sheep Hunter, weighs 9#

If it were just sheep, or even caribou, I would take the .308. But the moose has me thinking .300 wm. I can only take 1.

They are both shooters.

Since it is a backpack hunt, I am thinking I might be kicking myself for that extra 2# on the second or 3rd day of the hunt...if not sooner.

Also, given what's at stake and the caliber of trophy I will be after, I will not be planning on shooting over 300 yards...same projectile so I wonder what I am gaining from the .300 besides more weight on my back and a longer barrel getting snagged?

But then I think about a big bull moose quartering, or a sheep that needs to be dropped in his tracks so he doesn't run off the side of the cliff. I'd sure like to have more than less in those situations....

I go back and forth.......please give me your opinions.
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Old July 24, 2017, 03:06 PM   #2
zipspyder
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You should be able to get within 200 yards of a moose easily. The .308 is enough. Just use the right bullets and take good shots. Lugging a 300 mag around mountains is not fun, especially in a 26" barrel.
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Old July 24, 2017, 03:11 PM   #3
AllenJ
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If you are limiting your shots to under 300 yards I don't see any reason for the 300 Win Mag. The 308 Win should do just fine assuming you do your part and hit the animals where they need to be hit.
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Old July 24, 2017, 04:01 PM   #4
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At 300 yards there is no animal that will know whether or not it was hit with a 308 or a 300 WM. No way I'd lug around 9 lbs in addition to all the other gear. I don't use it often, but this is one of those hunts where I'd be taking the Kimber 308. It is almost a full pound lighter with optics than your Sako.

No mention of bullet selection, but with the right choice the 308 will easily be enough
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Old July 24, 2017, 04:23 PM   #5
Tawaliga
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Thank you for the replies thus far.....if I went today it would be the 180 grain Interbond. I am trying out different handloads from 165-180 grain.
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Old July 24, 2017, 09:08 PM   #6
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I've never hunted moose, but Since you handload, you might try some partitions, too.
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Old July 24, 2017, 09:59 PM   #7
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Talk to a guide about it, but moose are not terribly hard to kill. Most moose hunters carry 300 or 338 mags because there are usually bear in the areas you kill moose.
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Old July 25, 2017, 09:22 AM   #8
GeauxTide
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I've never hunted moose, but Since you handload, you might try some partitions, too
I would use 165gr Partitions in the 308. A 20" barrel will chop too much velocity off 180s.
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Old July 25, 2017, 09:38 AM   #9
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Scorch hit it 100% right here;
Most moose hunters carry 300 or 338 mags because there are usually bear in the areas you kill moose.

I have killed 4 moose in my life. One, killed with a 62 cal flintlock dropped at the shot. The rest seems unimpressed with my rifles, (375H&H and 348 Winchester) but they don't seem to get scared and run like an elk will. They just went about their business after my shots ----and then fell over.
I loaded some ammo for a hunter a few years ago for her 270 winchester. One shot at her moose and it stood there for about 5 seconds, tried to walk and only made it about 1 body length then fell.
I used to go to church with a man that killed his moose with a 243, one shot through the heart. Again, the moose seems a but underwhelmed and decided to walk away. But then it fell dead.

Big bears however are a different story.

In many of the areas I hunt here in Wyoming we have a LOT of grizzlies, and so I have a tendency to carry a powerful gun when hunting elk or moose (when I can get a license) not because I need the power for my game, but because I feel better with a big hammer in my hands when I know I may not be at the top of the food chain.

I had hoped to hunt elk with my 6.5X54 Mann/Scho this year, but I drew a license as a 2nd choice area, and that area is full of bears, so I will be taking my 9.3X74R, my 375H&H or maybe my 300H&H. My 1st choice has a lot of wolves, but not many big bears.
I will still try the old 6.5 on deer however.

One last note that needs to be pointed out.
If you are carrying a big rifle for the use on a bear in an emergency, it's a waist of effort and folly to use ammo made for the elk or deer. About 12 miles from Dubois Wyoming, about 20 years ago there was a very bad mauling that was in all the national outdoors magazines. It happened about 300 yards from where I was at the time and I heard the screams and the shot. I big sow attacked a man and had him down, ripping him up bad and pulled his are out of the socket. his partner ran up to the bear and at powder burn distance shot the bear with a 300 Win mag. Wrong bullet! It was a 165 gr. Sierra loaded in Federal Premium ammo as I recall. The bullet hit the bear in the shoulder and didn't do the job. thankfully the bear was diverted from the mauling and had enough so it ran off. US fish and Wildlife and Wyoming game and fish as well as Fremont County Sheriffs all converged on the seen. Even with dogs a 2 day search turned up nothing of the wounded bear. Game and fish was going around to hunters and camps and telling them there was a wounded grizzle near. It was tense for a while. They never found the bear and we all hoped it succumbed to the wound and died. But before it did it made it over 1.5 miles and the dogs lost the sent at a few of the mountain creeks.
The point?
If you carry a big gun for bears when you are hunting elk, load with bullets for the bears! Not the elk. Bear bullets are those that can get through heavy muscle and bone at close range and not blow up. They will still kill your elk just fine. Don't fall for the fad of needing some "VLD long range" wizz-bang uber slick arrow" bullet. Even in open country you almost have to try to get shots over 400 yards, and if you can hunt at all, you will kill 99.5% of your elk an any country at 300 and closer. It's unwise to prepare for the 1 shot in 1000 instead of the 999 shots out of 1000.

As a "go to" ammo for elk and moose where there are grizzlies, I'd recommend a 180 grain bonded or partition in either the 308 or the 300 and in the case of the 300 I have had a lot better luck with 200 and 220 grain bullets. My experience with the 300 vs the 30-06 is that there is no difference at all in how well they kill, but the 300 gives you about 100 yards of extra range for an given point blank trajectory. Any 300 magnum works better not with more speed(the current fad) but with more bullet!
A 300 with a 220 grain bullet shoots plenty flat enough for elk out to 400 yards and a 308 with a 180 is just fine too, but you need to learn your hold overs at 250 and farther. Not as big a dea,l as some magazine articles will have you believe.
#1 elk vitals are a BIG target.
#2 If you know how to hunt, it's very likely you will get a shot at under 200 yards so hold overs are not even in the equation at all on an elk at that range.

Last edited by Wyosmith; July 25, 2017 at 11:11 AM.
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Old July 25, 2017, 02:35 PM   #10
muzzleblast...
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Wyosmith gives good advice. In Alaska the benchmark is the .338 Win. Mag., mostly because of large bears. Tony Russ, renowned sheep hunter, guide, and author used a .338 for sheep hunting because in his words "sheep country is also grizzly country."

For moose and bear, bullet construction, weight and sectional density are more important than velocity. If I were to to carry a .30 cal. for a hunt as you describe, it would be a magnum with 200 grain bonded bullets.
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Old July 25, 2017, 02:40 PM   #11
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That's all well and good but he's hunting in Canada not in Alaska. A 165-180 grain NP will kill any bear dead fast that's not a Coastal or Kodiak Brown.
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Old July 25, 2017, 04:17 PM   #12
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300WM provides about 100 yards more range than a 308. If the user isn't capable of utilizing that range advantage, the extra is wasted.
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Old July 25, 2017, 10:34 PM   #13
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When hunting such large heavy weight game in bear terrain. Better to be over gun'ed than under gun'ed. You're first shot you want any of the animals listed dispatched not wounded and on the run. If that happens (wounded) your rifles weight won't make a spot of difference. You'll dislike toting either on such a recovery.
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Old July 26, 2017, 08:16 AM   #14
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They both use the same size bullet. Under 300 yards and more realistically under 200 I see no benefit in lugging around a larger weapon. Shot placement kills quicker not more fps. Exactly where is this place that has huge grizzly's around every other tree not called Alaska? You have a better chance of being hit by lightening than being attacked by a bear. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for using magnums when appropriate but this trip seems more suitable for the lighter gun. If hunting with a partner then that is double the rifles.
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Old July 26, 2017, 08:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipspyder View Post
That's all well and good but he's hunting in Canada not in Alaska. A 165-180 grain NP will kill any bear dead fast that's not a Coastal or Kodiak Brown.
LOL. From your reply, it is obvious that you have never had the pleasure of attracting the interest of a bear while smeared with blood and carrying a pack full of fresh meat on your back.
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Old July 26, 2017, 09:06 AM   #16
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LOL. From your reply, it is obvious that you have never had the pleasure of attracting the interest of a bear while smeared with blood and carrying a pack full of fresh meat on your back.
No I have not but hope to some day! The meat part not the bear. I have hunted my share of black bears though. I do have some .308 ammo I reloaded with 200GR NP and max powder I'd be happy to take grizzly hunting.

That being said it still doesn't make my quoted point any less valid?
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Old July 26, 2017, 10:28 AM   #17
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It is interesting that Nosler doesn't list loading data for the .308 caliber, 200 grain partition for the .308 Winchester cartridge. It is unlikely a 200 grain bullet could be driven over 2400 fps out of the OP's 20" barreled Sako Finnlight, and, if his rifle has a 12" rate of twist the 200 grain bullet would be challenged to stabilize.
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Old July 26, 2017, 11:32 AM   #18
zipspyder
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It is interesting that Nosler doesn't list loading data for the .308 caliber, 200 grain partition for the .308 Winchester cartridge. It is unlikely a 200 grain bullet could be driven over 2400 fps out of the OP's 20" barreled Sako Finnlight, and, if his rifle has a 12" rate of twist the 200 grain bullet would be challenged to stabilize.
I never said he would shoot those out of his 20" gun. I told you what I shoot out of my rifle. I get on average 2475-2495 fps out of my Savage 22" with my chrony so a 20" should push around 2400 fps or close to it. Look at Hodgon's website if you want to see what a 200 gr bullet would do out of a 308. I'm sure a 180 gr bullet would work just as well at 2600 fps. I'm not sure what kind of point you are trying to make but it's clear you don't have enough experience with the caliber. If he wants to lug the 300 win mag around the mountains that's perfectly fine by me as well but at least have an open mind once in a while. wow
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Old July 26, 2017, 11:34 AM   #19
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Guide friend of mine had a grizzly get on one of his hunters. The hunter shot the bear with a 7 Mag just before he knocked him down, or thinks he did. The guide shot the bear four times in the side point blank with a 44 Mag pistol. He got off the man and the hunter was beat up pretty good, but OK. They trailed the bear several miles in the snow and never found him.

You need to take them seriously, coastal brown or not.
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Old July 26, 2017, 12:24 PM   #20
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I'd carry the Sako, I'm sure it's faster handling and you can get it on target quicker than the Cooper. In a bear encounter you usually don't have a lot of warning, and the rifle that you can get an accurate shot off faster with can make a big difference. If you were purposely hunting grizzly or brown bears then the .300 Win is probably a better choice, but in this case I'd carry the .308 Win. Plus if there is any chance of a bear encounter your guide should be carrying a firearm as well.
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Old July 26, 2017, 01:07 PM   #21
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There's absolutely no need for a .300 Win Mag for sheep, caribou or moose, anywhere. There is no beastie in North America a 165 or 180 grain .308 Win won't kill. Mind you, those critters are killed with .270 Win just as fast.
Suggest you lose the 2-10x40 too. 10X is far too much magnification. So is 18X for a .300Win Mag.
Where are you hunting? It matters cost wise. (Non-resident licences tend to be very expensive. Seems you need a passport now too.) A 12 day sheep horse back hunt in the Yukon runs about $22,000US plus Harvest fees of 6 grand plus 5% tax on both, for a Dall sheep, $150Cdn for a Non-resident licence, $50 for the firearms permit, $125 for the Yukon Hunter Preservation Fund(dunno, but there's 5% tax on that too) plus air fare and hotel costs. The outfitter(required in most places) will look after the carcass so you won't be carrying it out.
Do not leave anything to the last minute. Except organizing for your Canadian firearms possession permit. You can do that at the border. No handguns at all, of course.
Oh and think in terms of walking for roughly 10 days or so in coldish and wet (and the biggest meanest mosquitoes and black flies you ever saw in August)with 50 to 60 pounds on your back. Get fit before you go.
Read this. http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/f...visite-eng.htm
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Old July 26, 2017, 02:21 PM   #22
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The .308:
Sako Finnlight, 20" barrel, 2-10x40 Razor HD LH weighs 7# 3oz
I vote for this. As far as what O'Heir said about the scope....it is variable power, so keep it and just dial it down if need be.
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Old July 28, 2017, 06:37 AM   #23
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I've shot only one moose so I'm no expert but my .308 carbine did the job nicely with two quick shots through the chest organs. Distance was approx 125 yards during a hunt in Saskatchewan. During this 1986 hunt I also toppled two caribou. Distance was about 175 yards or so. All animals were taken with 180 grain core-lokt ammo. The bullets performed well for me.

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