Alaska Rifle [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : Alaska Rifle


lazarus
02-03-2004, 10:18
I am planning a trip to Alaska for late summer. I haven't nailed down the details yet, but I think I want to do a canoe trip down a river, probably somewhere in the interior. I want to float down the river in a canoe, take pictures, fish, and do some opportunistic hunting. In other words I want to buy a tag for Caribou, Moose or whatever is legal that time of year, and shoot one if I see one.

Other than Ar-15's and a muzzle loader, my only big bore rifle is a Remington 700 ADL in .30-06. I am thinking it is probably inadequate for taking Moose and Caribou reliably. I am also thinking it is grossly inadequate to reliably stopping an angry Grizzly who wants me for lunch.

This would appear to neccessitate the purchase of a new rifle (what a shame :) ). I am thinking about something in either .338 Winchester Magnum or .375 H&H magnum. The .375 hits harder, but the .338 will shoot flatter.

Does anyone have experience shooting at such large beasties? What's the best rifle to get?

TFLWYO
02-03-2004, 15:16
There are some Alaskan hunting forums at:
www.accuratereloading.com
www.24hourcampfire.com

The people who post there generally know their stuff. You should find a lot of insight on Alaskan calibers.

Dogbite
02-03-2004, 18:43
The 30-06 is actually fine for a moose or caribou.I like the 375 for an all arounder--its a very good round.30-06 will work for large bear--but its pushing it--I would sure feel alot better with the 338 or 375.A friend of mine killed a large bear with a 30-06 and told me he would never attempt it again with that caliber--it was "almost" not enough gun.If you had seen a large bear in person as i have many times,you would probably opt for the larger caliber.I sure miss my home state and i wish i was going with you man--oh yeah--dont dont dont go alone.Period.

anomad
02-03-2004, 23:09
Originally posted by lazarus
I am planning a trip to Alaska for late summer. I haven't nailed down the details yet, but I think I want to do a canoe trip down a river, probably somewhere in the interior. I want to float down the river in a canoe, take pictures, fish, and do some opportunistic hunting. In other words I want to buy a tag for Caribou, Moose or whatever is legal that time of year, and shoot one if I see one.

Other than Ar-15's and a muzzle loader, my only big bore rifle is a Remington 700 ADL in .30-06. I am thinking it is probably inadequate for taking Moose and Caribou reliably. I am also thinking it is grossly inadequate to reliably stopping an angry Grizzly who wants me for lunch.

This would appear to neccessitate the purchase of a new rifle (what a shame :) ). I am thinking about something in either .338 Winchester Magnum or .375 H&H magnum. The .375 hits harder, but the .338 will shoot flatter.

Does anyone have experience shooting at such large beasties? What's the best rifle to get?

The 30-06 is plenty for moose and very popular up here. Caribou are much smaller of course. During moose and caribou season I couldn't go into a sporting goods store without seeing someone walk out with two boxes of 30-06. Don't worry about the bears, just don't smear yourself with fish guts a squeal like a dying rabbit when you get in your tent at night.

Now, everyone needs a cool new rifle! But, if I were you, I would spend that extra money on a really outstanding float trip and save the rifle purchase for later. There are so many rivers in the interior I don't know where to start. Late August or early-mid september is the time to go. If you want some trip ideas I can toss a few out, depending on what you're after.

DJ Niner
02-04-2004, 03:56
I worked in an Alaskan gun shop for a couple of years when I lived up there, and we sold a LOT of .338 Win Mags to new folks. The recoil is still pretty manageable, there are some great loads available, and (best of all) the trajectory is VERY similar to the .30-06 at reasonable hunting ranges. So, if you know what the holdover would be for your '06 at a given distance, then you should be comfortable with the .338 using the same aiming point. A lot of the GIs took their .338s with them when they left, to use for Elk/Bear in the lower 48.

BTW, the natives use .30-30s a lot for moose and caribou, so the '06 is just fine with the right loads and a good shooter. The problem with moose is they tend to wander-off after being shot, and sometimes they wander into the water (pond/swamp/creek) before expiring. This ain't any fun at all for the hunter. The bigger calibers have a slightly better chance of anchoring the moose to the spot, given good placement, IMO.

tjpet
02-04-2004, 09:50
I went to college with a group of native Alaskans. To a man they all used the 30/06 but there was disagreement as to the best bullet weight. Most liked the 180 for all around use but a hardcore fringe loved the old Remington core-lockt 220's for the really big stuff. They weren't too concerned with trajectory but wanted penetration from all angles.

Alsatian
02-04-2004, 11:17
IMO, You might want to take a look at the .45-70. I own a single shot NEF w/22" barrel, this is a low cost alternative to buying a Ruger #1 or Marlin 1895 or other high dollar magnum caliber rifle. Mine is pretty beat and battered, but functions flawlessly and gets the job done. This rifle will easily handle the highest pressure loads available (ie. Garrett, etc.) and will flatten ANY animal on this continent out to 200 yards+. The .30-06 is fine for Moose and Caribou at modest range and a well placed shot, use a high quality 180-200gr bullet such as Barnes "X" or Nosler Partition. Do some research on the .45-70, I think you'll be sold on having one handy in the canoe or slung across your back while floating, hiking or fishing. When I hike into the wilderness areas for overnighters, I always bring the .45-70 along.

iweb
02-04-2004, 19:36
When I live up there I hunted moose every year with my 338 and every year I would shoot it 4 or 5 times to make sure it was still sighted and then one shot to knock down the moose. Love the gun.

lazarus
02-04-2004, 22:26
Thanks for all the god replies. I guess I'll see how my budget looks. I won't be hunting Brown bear this trip, but I want to be able to defend against one of need be. I'll get something heavier if budget allows; if not, it seems like the consensus is that I'll be OK with the .30-06.

anomad,

I would love to hear your thoughts on some good float trips. One are I am thinking about is Bristol Bay near Dillingham. I do want somewhere where Caribou is open to non-resident for most of August. It would be highly desirable to catch some Silver Salmon on the trip as well.

Thanks.

CanyonMan
02-05-2004, 17:01
DJ Niner said.. ( quote)

BTW, the natives use .30-30s a lot for moose and caribou, so the '06 is just fine with the right loads and a good shooter. The problem with moose is they tend to wander-off after being shot, and sometimes they wander into the water (pond/swamp/creek) before expiring. This ain't any fun at all for the hunter. The bigger calibers have a slightly better chance of anchoring the moose to the spot, given good placement, IMO. ( emd quote)...

Amen! 30-30's, 35rem, 444 marlin, 45-70's, have all benn used to take down moose and caribou for years. And i agree that they can wander off with the lighter load, (30-30), but that is not as common as you might think. all plenty good enough.. but if this was a one time chance for you, i would consider the 30-06, or 7 mag. you should be able to get close enough for a good shot and a clean kill.

Your not hunting Rhino! :)

have a great hunt!


CanyonMan

bustedknee
02-07-2004, 15:36
Your 06 will do just fine.

I've read some results of studies of what Alaskans' shoot. One was a survey of what calibers were sighted-in at the Rabbit Creek range. If I remember correctly the most common were 30-06, 300 mag, 338 mag and 375 mag.

The thing to remember is this; Rabbit Creek Range is a city range utilized by anyone with a firearm. We are talking old-time hunters as well as first-time hunters, as well as "citified" hunters with their Walmart specials (never killed anything and never will).

I don't live nor hunt in the city and what I see is, the 338 magnum is the favorite Alaskan cabiber. Hands down.

So, if you want an excuse to buy a new rifle...the sky is the limit.

Rabon
02-08-2004, 00:27
The 338 is for those times when you get a little closer than you really wanted to.;) It is the Alaskan cartridge.

anomad
02-08-2004, 01:57
Originally posted by bustedknee
I don't live nor hunt in the city and what I see is, the 338 magnum is the favorite Alaskan cabiber. Hands down.


Hey bustedknee, do you think the 338 is more popular on the peninsula than the interior? From what I've seen I'd say its more justified, the moose and bears are definitely bigger closer towards the coast.

G22 Kid
02-08-2004, 04:02
What do you guys think of the BAR .338 win mags? My dad was looking at one the other day, looked like he really liked it. I know autos are prone to jamming, but he plans on going to Alaska for bear and moose. I would just think an auto would make a good big bore cause they seem to kick less and you stay on target better then with a bolt gun.

Dogbite
02-08-2004, 22:10
I personally am not big on semi-auto hunting rifles--to much jamming going on...I would rather go bolt or lever...besides that the semi-auto rifles are just -----ugly!!! hehehe ;)

G22 Kid
02-08-2004, 22:51
Personally, I would take the BLR as top choice, but they don't make them in .338 that I know of. The 45-70 is good, especially at stopping things, but the 338 is a better, flatter hunting cartridge in my opinion.

Alaskan
02-09-2004, 00:43
A .338 is plenty, and you could use it for a wide variety of game.

bustedknee
02-09-2004, 18:22
Originally posted by anomad
Hey bustedknee, do you think the 338 is more popular on the peninsula than the interior? ...

I don't know if it MORE popular, but it is very popular. With the guys I know that are year-in and year-out longtime hunters.

But what do I know? I've only hunted here 30+ years.

MrMurphy
02-10-2004, 11:03
You could bring your .30-06, and pick up a Marlin stainless Guide Gun in .45-70 in case of anything large toothy and dangerous gets too close. Handy rifle to carry with you and designed for short range dangerous game.


My uncle whacked a moose with a single round of .338 up there. Good shot placement, and a good round.

Me, I think the largest round I'd want to take is a .300 Win Mag (I'm not a large caliber shooter).

DJ Niner
02-11-2004, 04:29
If you ask most guides, they'll tell you they'd rather have a guy that can really SHOOT his .30-06, then the average Joe that shows up with his brand-new .397 Belch-Fire Magnum, which he's fired about 6 shots through, because the ammo costs too much and the gun kicks too hard...but that's okay, 'cause a friend sighted it in, and he got his boy scout Rifle Merit Badge 20 years ago, not to mention, he was a sniper in 'Nam...blah, blah, blah ;f

Just like self-defense, once you get above a certain caliber "floor", placement is everything.

AK_Stick
02-12-2004, 21:04
myself I'd go with nothing smaller than the 300 winnie, and I'd feel better with a 338 or my 375 ICL,

moose are not hard to kill but I think the 06 is just a little too weak for me. it will kill anything on earth, but I prefer a little more power than it gives me.

2240
02-16-2004, 00:35
Bustedknee is right. The most popular caliber up here is the 30-06 at 20%. The 300 Win Mag was at 19%, and I believe the 338 came in at 14%, so on so forth. I would stoke the '06 with a good premium heavy bullet and save the money to use for something else. Bear encounters happen but it's kinda like the drunk driver thing. I definitely take precautions but feel pretty comfortable sleeping outside when hunting. BTW, there are over 3000 rivers in Alaska but few roads. Good luck on your trip and let me know if I can help you with anything.

Timberwolf
02-18-2004, 21:20
MrMurphy has it: Marlin stainless Guide Gun in .45-70. Quick pointing and reliable. Then practice with it before you go.

lazarus
02-24-2004, 10:36
So, I am leaning towards a Winchester model 70 Classic Stainless chambered in .338 Win Mag. I am thinking ot needs a Leupold VX-II 2-7x33. My only real issue is that the rifle isn't available with iron sights. In fact, I don't think any of the big manufacturers make a .338 with iron sights. I hate to buy a brand new rifle and then pay to have sights installed but, I am loathe to go on an extended trip in the backcountry without a backup aiming system.

I guess I could always buy two scopes, and bring the spare with QD rings already sighted in. Seems like a waste though.

The Marling 1895GS (Stainless Guide gun in .45-70 is also tempting. It is surely a very handy rifle, and it comes with pretty decent sights. I mainly hesitate because the .45-70 just doesn't have the range of the .338.

Any advice and comments are welcome.

Dr. J
02-26-2004, 20:03
One option might be to use a low-profile rail such as
this one (http://www.laruetactical.com/marketplace/servlet/Marketplaces?webEvent(ProductDetailAddPage,loadProduct)&productID=1862&scrollTop=0)

with QD rings and a backup Aimpoint ML2... I think the Aimpoint should be fine on the front base.

Dr. J

Rabon
02-27-2004, 00:19
Some of the Ruger Mark 11 s chambered for the 338 Win Mag are available with sights.:)

firminw
03-05-2004, 00:13
Someone mentioned the BLR.This is as good a gun as any for any animal in Alaska and the 358 is plenty of power esp.in 200 and heavier bullets.The 338's are fine esp. in the 338-06.Why bother with all the slam and bang of magnums esp. when we've taken the killing power thing completely too far.The 358 is very close in power to the 350 Rem.Mag and the 338-06 is over that in power.If it cant be killed with something in that power range then dont bother to mention all the nimrods who have taken the big growlies with a bow.I know from personal exp.that you should always bring along enough gun but it should not be more gun than we can shoot effectively.If you develop a flinch at the range it may get you killed in the field,esp.by an animal that can equal a cow in size and eat you without remorse.Just my humble opinion.

fireslayer23
03-05-2004, 02:38
Sako makes a rifle in 338 with iron sights.

You might check out the Remington 673 in 350 Rem Mag, I've got one NIB for sale. ;f

MrGlock21
03-06-2004, 17:55
If you do your job, the 180 grain 30-06 is enough gun. However, if you wanna upgrade I recommend the 338mag. I took a Winchester 70 338mag to South Africa last summer and it was fun shooting.

akoldnav
03-07-2004, 18:35
I live in Anchorage and have for 22 years, my hunting rifle shoots a Win 300 Mag bullet. It doesn't matter much who makes it as long as you have a good scope (one that doesn't fog). Many people here also hunt with the 30-06. My wife uses one of those. I have seen caribou taken with a 25-06 at 250 yards and even one crazy fellow going for girz with a 25-06, I don't know how that turned out.

Have fun when you visit and if you are driving a motor home please pull off at the pullouts to let others pass. Following a motor home can get annoying after several miles.

MrGlock21
03-21-2004, 15:39
also the 376 Steyr Scout..this gun is awfully cute hmmmmmmm, I think CDNN has one on sale, you might call 800-588-9500

fireslayer23
03-21-2004, 16:27
The Scout in 376 gives new meaning to the term "Bring the pain" I bet.

f1b32oPTic
03-21-2004, 18:32
http://www.wildwestguns.com/

guns for alaska, made in alaska

loadedround
03-22-2004, 16:25
I have done a lot of hunting, shooting and reloading in my 65 years of life and if I were to take a medium rifle on a trip like you are planning it would certainly be a 338 mag with with Nosler Partitions in 250gr weight. This round will handle any game one may come across in Alaska and not kick much harder than a 30-06. It will also be much cheaper to find a new or used 338 rifle than one in 375 H&H. However If I were just hunting the large bears there is nothing more comforting than a 375 H&H in your hands, but it would be overkill in the lower 48 unless loaded down to 30-06 specs, but why. Just my two cents worth.

MrGlock21
03-23-2004, 00:21
Originally posted by fireslayer23
The Scout in 376 gives new meaning to the term "Bring the pain" I bet.

When I grabed the 376 Steyr Scout for the first shot I was prepared to suffer a stout monster kick. But you know what? No big deal. Stout yes, but no monster. I think this round is well designed. However, it "brings the pain" when you run out of ammo. Ask in a random gun store for the 376 Steyr round and they look at you as though you had asked for a pound of licorice.

MG21

MrMurphy
03-23-2004, 14:38
That Remington 673 handles very well. And finally for once they put halfway decent iron sights on a rifle! All around a pretty decent job.

kenny31
03-29-2004, 13:20
Hmmm.... .338 seems to be the ticket for Alaska. I'm sort of looking forward to when Winchester comes out with a .33 caliber short action magnum. I think that in a light weight rifle (read muzzle brake) would be perfect for something like that. Not to mention for bears.

Sixgun_Symphony
03-29-2004, 23:37
The 1895 Winchester in .30-40 Krag or .30-06 would be great. The 1886 Winchester in .45-70 or .45-90 using the real gunpowder would be useful and more fun.

Andy Holzrichte
04-12-2004, 22:04
Originally posted by MrGlock21
Ask in a random gun store for the 376 Steyr round and they look at you as though you had asked for a pound of licorice.
MG21

I went through the entire Tulsa gun show about a year ago. I found a grand total of TWO boxes of 376 Steyr ammo. It's a fun caliber. I converted 2 of the workers at the range with my 376 the other day.

MrGlock21
04-13-2004, 10:51
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Andy Holzrichte
[B]I It's a fun caliber.


I perfectly agree! And it's an original design.

firminw
04-16-2004, 21:23
Lever,Pump or Semi is the way to go.In adverse situations they are just too slow,bolt actions that is.In levers you can go with many fine cals suitable for the big growlies.In pump you can go all the way to 35 Whelen and even larger of the Whelen family.In semi you can go up to 338 Win.Mag.Stay away from exotic cals if you have to purchase ammo for any reason.A good ol' 405 Win can be a comfort in uneasy situations.