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Thread: Semi Auto vs Bolt For Alaska

  1. #1
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    Default Semi Auto vs Bolt For Alaska

    Guys,

    I have several actions and calibers for hunting big game.

    I shoot my Remington 7400 30-06 semi auto as good as anything I have. I like the advantage of being able to fire several back up rounds real quick when hunting dangerous game. This is my favorite gun.

    I also have a Browning BAR, 300 win mag I shoot as well and would like this to be my gun of choice when I come brown bear hunting to Alaska.

    I have a few bolt actions in 300 win mag I shoot well and a Remington 7600 pump in 30-06 I shoot well.

    But, I understand weather plays a factor on semi autos in Alaska. I am leaning to the Browning BAR in 300 win mag with 200 grain Swift A-Frames over the 30-06's in 220 grain.

    What gun and what action do you guys recommend of the choices I have? I shoot all of them equally. But am concerned about the affects weather has on action performance.

    Thanks, Good Hunting,

    KatzMO

  2. #2
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    Default semi auto and cold weather

    My wife has a model 742 30-06 that is semi-auto. She really likes it and we've never had a problem with it in any of our fall hunts. However, I made the mistake of taking it caribou hunting in the winter one year. It was an EXTREMELY cold day and the semi auto would not fire. Ended up grabbing my buddies 300 win mag in a bolt action after he put his bou down to get mine.

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

  3. #3
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Default

    Most everyone will chime in and say that a bolt is the way to go. It's definitely more simple, less moving parts, more accurate, and less to go wrong. Those reasons are enough to choose a bolt over an auto. However, if you want to bring an auto you certainly can hunt effectively with one. There is a gentleman on here, Stid I believe, who hunts Alaska with a Benelli R1 very effectively and without issue. He does realize that an auto requires more maintenance and takes precautions to prevent malfunctions in the field. With the BAR and Remington 7400, the bolt is not field strippable and that could be an issue if the weapon freezes or gets dunked in the gooey stuff.

    If it were me, I would bring the bolt in .300 Win Mag and have one less thing to worry about.

  4. #4
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    Default Lever

    I usually hunt with semi-auto in the lower 48, thats what I grew up with. For alaska I chose a stainless lever action blr in 300WSM. I would not recomend a semi auto on a trip due to the complicated tear down if it gets dirty. bolts or levers are easy to service in the field. I prefer a faster action then a bolt, so I went with lever guns. Lever guns tamed america.

  5. #5
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    Default unkown

    I would say go for it if you had a proven action like an AR 10 or AR 15 in some such radical conversion.....300 WSM ...500 phantom.....458SOCOM..

    Those AR actions work anywhere in the world.

    Designed to be taken down and thoroughly cleaned easily with no tools.

    Got no idea about comercial semi rifles working in extremes....they may be a little persnickity.

    jedi

  6. #6

    Default Semi's in Alaska

    I shoot and use semi-auto's quite a bit, but there are a few situations where I feel a semi is definitely not prudent in Alaska. One is hunting in cold and cold and wet weather, and the other is when on a brown or grizzly bear hunt. The ONLY reason I wouldn't use one for bear is these bears can shoot back, and if you get a misfire or jam in a semi-auto, you can and probably will be in a bad position quick. A bolt, pump or lever gun can clear the bad round and keep firing as long as there are rounds in the gun. A semi can and will just turn into a club. Not good for a charging bear......

    The main problem with a semi is the cleaning and lubricant choices some make up here. Using one in the Lower 48 is a world of difference than using one up here in some situations. Folks not from or familiar with Alaska may not realize the vast differences in climate and weather we experience in different areas up here. I learned long ago to only use a dry lubricant, such as graphite, on my semi-auto's. I had a Remington model 1100 seize on me a few years ago while hunting geese in a cold and wet area. When you lube it, you must totally strip it and clean all of the "wet" lubricant from the action before applying the dry lube.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  7. #7
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    Default

    I once owned a BAR in .300 magnum,it was my first big game rifle.I handloaded for it a bit ,and never had any trouble.On one moose hunt in Hatchers pass:back when you could shoot any moose; I shot a young moose .It dropped in its tracks,but was still struggling a bit so I wanted to put a shot into its head to end it.I still had the gun shouldered from the first shot and went to shoot again but it had jammed.I finally cleared it and finished off the moose.Needless to say that was its last hunt with me.I went to a Bolt gun ,a FN mauser in .300 magnum.All I can say is "thank god',,if thats ok in here,,,,,grin,,,that it wasnt a charging bear.Dont no what caused it,maybe my cases werent sized right...dirty gun,,,dont no and aint taking that chance again....

  8. #8
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Autos

    I tend to agree with what as been said. I have used my Benelli R-1 in 300 WM, to hunt sheep, hunt Browns Bear in PWS, took a moose and a caribou with it. You must keep them clean; my Benelli is easy to field strip and clean. It has military style parts. I carried an M-16 and trusted it to protect me from 2-legged bears. Any gun can jam or malfunction. Pick a gun that you can shoot like it is an extension of your arm. I picked my Benelli because I have had 2 back operations and I'm recoil shy. I can fired 4 180 grain Barnes XXX as fast as I can pull the trigger and put them down range to within 1 MOA out to 400 yards. I don't hunt real cold weather. I have shot it at the range with the gun and ammo @ -20. I use Mil-Tec synthetic oil.

    Steve

  9. #9

    Default never again..

    I used a 7400 rem for a few years. It would jam at the range in decent weather. I was afraid to use it on a hunt. I was determined to make it my gun of choice. But after several trips to a gunsmith and being told it was in perfectly fine shape I decided it just wasn't a rifle I wanted to depend on . Go bolt or lever.

  10. #10

    Default

    The model 7400, 742 and new 750 from Remington are not even in the same class as the Browning or Benelli. I actually love Remington bolt actions, but for the life of me, I don't know why Remington insists on producing such crappy autos. From all the folks I have talked to, you either get a good one, or one that jams all the time. Hell, I have a buddy that has been using his in Louisiana as a single shot for 15 years because it jams EVERY time. I have not owned a Benelli, but I have owned two Browning BARs. They were both fine guns and never once let me down and I never cleaned either of them during multiple deer seasons. I'd like to own one of the Benelli's to see how I like it. Let us know what you choose and best of luck on your hunts.

  11. #11

    Default Maybe

    Got a REM. 742 in 30-06 and a 243. Both shoot excellent. Off a bench the 243 shoots .55-.600 groups with handloaded ammo. The 06' shoots under an inch. I've never had one jam, my dad owns one, my brother owns 2 and 2 of my uncles own 1,as well as several cousins ( they don't jam either). My dad ,brother and myself hunted in Wyoming at temps. of way below zero without problems.
    That said, the ammo pressure curve on these rifles are very finicky. NOT all ammo will function one of these automatics, The same can be said for reloading(not all powders work these actions). These being a major cause of problems, I've had with my autos.
    When we hunt in extreme cold weather we dissassemble the rifles and clean the entire action, bolt, barrel and trigger assembly( don't forget the gas port) with a gun scrubber to remove oil, grease, and carbon. Then we use a dry teflon lubricant to lubricate the action.
    Several years back Remington made a run of the autos in 35 Whelen, I have a friend who has one but won't sell it (even though I've tried to buy it several times), shoots excellent.
    While I would have no reservations about using a reliable Rem. auto in AK. I don't have any here at the time, I had limited space when I moved.
    Hope this helps, GOOD LUCK.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  12. #12
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Brav01

    I shoot my Benelli at Cushman range all the time. I would be happy to let you try it out. I did have the trigger worked, the factory trigger is a little stiff. I believe the ammo advise is spot on. Mine did not like some factory loads. I bought several factory loads and went to the range. I fired groups until I found one me and the gun both liked.

    Steve

  13. #13

    Default Ammo in semi's

    In a semi, ammo choice is everything, even on warm, clear days for proper function. I have 2 buddies that both have Browning BAR's in .338, bought roughly the same time and from Down Under Guns in Fairbanks. One will digest nearly everything loaded in it without fail, but the other one will only shoot a few select loads without jamming or failing to feed. They proved to me just how each gun is different, even the same make, type and model. A good dry lube and ammo it likes will cure 90% of all semiauto ailments, even up here.

    But, I still stick to my original post. I would not use it in cold and wet or extreme cold, or for big bears if I had other options..... That's just me, tho.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  14. #14

    Default Great

    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I shoot my Benelli at Cushman range all the time. I would be happy to let you try it out. I did have the trigger worked, the factory trigger is a little stiff. I believe the ammo advise is spot on. Mine did not like some factory loads. I bought several factory loads and went to the range. I fired groups until I found one me and the gun both liked.

    Steve
    In a month or so we'll try to work out a range day, I'ld be very interested in trying a Bennelli semi. I've heard a lot of good things about it.
    And while I don't advocate the use of a semi auto rifles in harse climates, if thats what you got-run what you brung. The worlds militaries use semi and full autos all over the world. I know the U S Government wouldn't send soldiers inadaquately or improperly armed into danger.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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