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Thread: Good all Around Alaska Gun

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    Default Good all Around Alaska Gun

    Just a thought on guns of Alaska.
    I have been reading a lot of threads on forums on Alaska guns and thought after being in Southeast Alaska now for two years, I would add my two cents and that is all it's worth opinion. I been working here as an Air Rescue Flight Nurse Indian health services. And have learned enormous amounts of information on the real Alaska not the **** I watched on Outdoor Life network for 3 years down in Arizona at the rescue base there.
    Stuff that may work every where else doesn't in Alaska, Including what they sell you in advertising.This goes for clothing,boots,camo,rain gear,guns and everything else cabalas sells.
    So just for the sake of it here are two of the guns I put together for Alaska from my experience and you guys can have fun tearing them apart.
    I tried a bunch of combinations since I got here and settled on a Ruger m77 compact blued used gun modified to what seems to me the best utilitarian gun I could find for the Southeast 5 3/4 pounds.
    Mind you this is used for in and out of the Beaver plane, on and off boats, and othe utilitarian purpases as well as hunting. Guaranteed you will bang the barrel on the boat roof at some point and it will fall over at some time in the boat. You will also fall down in the rocks at some point no matter how careful you are scrapping and banging the hell out of it ,or possible have to climb over a mountain with it. You will spend all day with it and at some point it just gets heavy. It will not stay pretty or shiny (I take care of my stuff immaculately and can hardly keep up with Alaska beating it up). WOW some of this sounds like a Alaska woman but anyway. It will be constantly wet, cold, salt water, raining, foggy low light, close shots with bears always around.
    Note This was not a gun to hunt bears with but just bear protection. I believe the 30-06 was best all around cal but the 308 came in short action almost competes.
    I found expensive guns and calibers not easy to get didn't work in Alaska. I would have to fly to Juneau just to get bullets sometimes or parts. For some I tried and that got very expensive and with Airline rules what they are very hard. But I get off course here.
    So I have been using a Ruger m77 compact 16.5 barrel that I had New England Gun customize with fiber optic front sights with a guard and rear peep, left it in wood stock for weight reduction. 308 cal. And added 1.5 in rubber to the stock for a longer pull this to me has been a great all around rifle for Alaska.
    I liked it so much I took another Ruger m77 Stainless cut the barrel down to 18 in with recessed target crown and put it in a Hogue rubber stock for being wet and scoped it with a Leupold 4x33 scope in low rings. ( This rifle is much heavier due to hogue stock being 3lbs by it's self but the grip is good when wet and the recoil reduced to min with extra weight.) These have been my two favorite all around rifles in Alaska. I post this to get opinions on these guns from real Alaskans, and to let others know don't believe the crap they sell on outdoor life network. Equipment that works is not always what they want you to buy, and Alaska puts everything to the test like no where I have ever been or seen.
    Short barrels, easy to get calibers, light weight, easy to find and fix, fixed sights and fixed power scopes for simplicity seems to me the best way to go in Alaska.

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    This is worthless without pics...

    Nice sounding guns....short actions, short barrels, open sights, fixed power scopes....all right my alley.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Here here!!!! How about a .444 Marlin in stainless with an 18" barrel twisted for 300gr WFN and light kevlar stock or a short action Howa 18" in .338 Fed with the old B&C "survival" stock and a Leupold 1.5 - 6 or something like that.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    I don't expect you will get much grief for your sensible choices, though there may be a fair amount who feel that a .308 is a bit light in the horsepower dept.

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    I am actually thinning out the heard after being up here a while now. I find that no matter what I am doing/hunting I always grab my custom Marlin 1895 in 45/70. 16" barrel and shortened stock. I am very comfortable with it from up close out to 200yds which is all I need. Had it parkerised so the elements won't hurt it. If I feel I may need a bit more reach I have a break action with 16" barrel in 30-06 which weighs nothing and I can just throw onto a pack.

    I do like the Ruger 77 Compacts, but as others have said, 308 is a bit light to fit in the 'all-round AK gun' niche.

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    Taudhunter - WOW ! you said a "mouthful" ... I personally think you are on the right track - I don't feel the Ruger is the "only" choice for rugged as a model 70, Kimber, Montana, Mauser 98, yada yada yada would work "at least" as well BUT the new Ruger action is pretty darn reliable - I agree with the .308 with all of your caviats - I agree with a fixr power scope too, anything up to 6x will work equally well I think - stainless and something like cerakote will allow you to pay needed attention to the bore and not worry quite so much about the other stuff (although you'd better not assume anything) a "scout" configuration may be a better choice given your back up irons, guys who use them swear by the way they "work" (but that narrows the scope options a bit too) Hogue stocks do feel good but they're heavy, you can coat a kevlar stock and get much the same "feel" for alot less weight (example: Bell & Carlson "dura-touch") overall I like your logic and choices - I was a career firefighter/medic and sometimes "life flight" paramedic and I truly have the utmost respect for what you do

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    a "scout" configuration may be a better choice given your back up irons, guys who use them swear by the way they "work" (but that narrows the scope options a bit too
    I've been using the "Scout" concept in a few different configurations for about 20 years... I don't choose it for all of my hunting but it simply must be tried to be believed.

    If I had to pick only one....that'd be it.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I've been using the "Scout" concept in a few different configurations for about 20 years... I don't choose it for all of my hunting but it simply must be tried to be believed.

    If I had to pick only one....that'd be it.
    I have a scout mounted 2x Leupold on my Guide Gun and maybe it is the wrong scope but I can never seem to be able to just throw up the gun and find the cross hairs...gota hunt for them. As much as I hate to say this but I'm thinking about an Eotech or an Aimpoint Micro like I use on my AR's. They work out as far as you can realistically shoot the .45-70....without a spotter.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Thank you.
    I was just referring more to set up than rifle brand and the utilitarian use of guns here in Alaska. I agree the scout rifle is a exceptionally good choice for many applications. Scope on or off sights already there no custom work, comes in 308. can find other stock options good points.

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    I carried a 16in barrel all the bells and whistles marlin 45/70 guide gun from Wild west guns Anchorage. Had it all peep sights,extra capacity mag, buffalo bore rounds for bear. But everytime shot a sitka dear with it blew it to hell unless a head shot. I reccomend this gun highly for bear protection probable the best you can get. But man that thing loaded up was heavy to lug around all day its a heavy gun.

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    I love the 338 probable one of the best powered rounds for distance shots you can have in Alaska but hard to get sometimes in the bush, very expensive and tough recoil in a small rifle package. But I love the round and many goat and sheep guy swear by this cal.

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    If I had to choose just one rifle for everything, including rabbits and grizzlys, I would get a 308 semi-auto battle rifle with an 18 to 20 inch barrel, with a Leupold 4X HAMR scope with Delta Point sight on top. and if I could add a pistol to that, a ruger MK3 6.5 inch bull barrel 22LR with open sights. you could harvest any animal in alaska with that combo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taudhunter View Post
    I love the 338 probable one of the best powered rounds for distance shots you can have in Alaska but hard to get sometimes in the bush, very expensive and tough recoil in a small rifle package. But I love the round and many goat and sheep guy swear by this cal.
    338 is overkill for anything but the biggest of grizzlies and polar bear. And there isn't a semi-auto made for it. I know I sound biased, but bolt-actions feel like blackpowder muskets to me. I like break-open single shots better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theunseenowl View Post
    If I had to choose just one rifle for everything, including rabbits and grizzlys, I would get a 308 semi-auto battle rifle with an 18 to 20 inch barrel, with a Leupold 4X HAMR scope with Delta Point sight on top. and if I could add a pistol to that, a ruger MK3 6.5 inch bull barrel 22LR with open sights. you could harvest any animal in alaska with that combo.
    Maybe a .338 Fed or .358 Win in an AR-10....pretty heavy combo to carry around all day.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Maybe a .338 Fed or .358 Win in an AR-10....pretty heavy combo to carry around all day.
    It would work, but then your ability to carry the rifle at the balance point is diminished due to the protruding magazines, you've lost 100 fps or more compared to a bolt or lever carbine with the same size barrel, and added at least two lbs or more weight (depending on which battle rifle we're talking about) that you have to carry. Then.....the M14 or AR-10 will be twice the price of a nice bolt action or lever action carbine.

    So: Extra weight, double the cost, less velocity and loosing the ability to carry the rifle at the balance point as opposed to a nice bolt or lever carbine.

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    As a Nurse, you should oughta know better than a 16.5 inch barreled 308. I believe it is a wrong cartridge for a short barrel, for a few reasons. The 308 is a high pressure cartridge. Noise, and Muzzle Blast will be serious, and you will lose a LOT of velocity. 20 or 22 inches is a better length.

    Other than that, I like your modifications, and your idea of what usage will be like.

    I certainly agree that what is advertised and sold, is too often not the best for Alaska, and probably other places also. Iím not sure that Alaska is that different.

    The Ruger 77/44, 44 Mag. rifle sounds like an ideal rifle for Bear Protection for your purposes.

    http://www.ruger.com/products/rotary...44/models.html

    BUT, some folks would not be comfortable, believing it not powerful enough. Others might not be comfortable with even more powerful cartridges. Itís a matter of what YOU are happy with and can deal with.

    I think that you are on the right track. Packin a handy rifle for bear protection, and whatever other needs, of an emergency nature.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    It would work, but then your ability to carry the rifle at the balance point is diminished due to the protruding magazines, you've lost 100 fps or more compared to a bolt or lever carbine with the same size barrel, and added at least two lbs or more weight (depending on which battle rifle we're talking about) that you have to carry. Then.....the M14 or AR-10 will be twice the price of a nice bolt action or lever action carbine.

    So: Extra weight, double the cost, less velocity and loosing the ability to carry the rifle at the balance point as opposed to a nice bolt or lever carbine.
    Certainly wouldn't be my choice...just trying to suggest a more effective round than the .308 in a semi-auto. Never seen one, but the Remington 750 in .35 Whelen would be a nice option if they actually work all the time!!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Gotta say I despise semi-autos for field use- handgun or rifle. Has nothing to do with reliability and everything to do with shooting lots in the field rather than on the range. It chaps my hiney to go shooting with a couple hundred rounds and come back with 10 rounds of brass. I shoot a lot but seldom on a range, and I simply can't afford to feed semi's at that rate of loss. They're fine for range rats, but a zero sum game for brush busters who do lots of shooting.

    As for caliber, heck. There's about a bazillion of them that will do the job for a competent shooter. I'd be happy with a 308, but the one I use most is a 375 H&H. No "power" reason for it, rather it's a case of the gun really fitting me and shooting flat enough for all my needs. Could just as well have been an 06 or a 338 or a Whelen, but the rifle that settled into my normal routine and shoots best offhand for me turned out to have a .375 hole in it.

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    I'm out and about but it's nice to find this forum when I can get online. I'm kinda with BrownBear on this. Caliber not so matters, don't care for semi-auto in the field either, hate loosing brass. (I think I've picked up brass in combat!!)
    Calibers for me that get lots of use include the 308, 30-06 and the 375, usually H&H. I've culled down my battery over the past few years but kept 308, '06, 338-06, 375 and my 416. It came in handy this past week but usually the 375 is enough for about any situation.
    As to the price of an AR type vs good bolt, I have expensive bolt actions I guess, but the terms "nice" or "good" being relative I guess. Some so called modern, popular, bolt action rifles I wouldn't carry afield. I like to carry a rifle in my hand and go for a walk so the AR platform doesn't fit so well. Though I have had my fill of walking here the past two weeks, man!! Africans can sure walk!! I carried my 8.25 pound 416 for about 40 miles this week! The 7.5 pound 375 seems like a feather compared. What a difference a pound or so makes. I'm not what I once was afoot but can appreciate where I've been.

    I have extensive experience on the African continent and most would say ...but this is Alaska..... but the gun you would want to carry would be very similar both in power and length, weight, etc.

    I have carried the lever gun a bit, preferring the larger bore size, I am a huge fan of the old 38-55, though anemic for most work but the newer 375 Win would be a good choice. Hopefully I'll have a shot at a Marlin when I get back. The 45-70 in an 1895 is a very appealing choice for Alaska or other spots around the globe. I think the pump is out though for many it is a good choice particularly in 35 Whelen. I guess I don't like the carry of pump or auto-loaders in the sporting style. I love a bolt and can run it as effectively as anyone can an auto and I'd say the lever is second.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Glad you made it out of the bush. How did it go in ZuluLand this time? Did you pack that little 500 with you everywhere?

    I'm beginning to think the Ruger Alaskan in 375 is about the right rifle in both Alaska and Africa. It has worked so well here and there.
    Mike
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    "The rifle brought man out of the mud". Cooper

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