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Thread: Rifle Caliber

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    Default Rifle Caliber

    New guy here! Recently located to AK for the next few years and looking for a good all-around caliber (I know, this has probably been asked a million times, sorry). Currently I have a Remington 770 .300WM and its just horrible. Not even worth the small price tag, it's a piece of crap. Next gun will be either a Savage 116 or Ruger M77 Hawkeye.

    Looking to downgrade to a lighter 7MM or even 6.5 Creedmoor, as the .300WM is heavy to hike with and Im not entirely accurate with it either (recoil maybe?). Primarily I will be hunting blacktail, however I will have the opportunity to hunt caribou and elk (perks of the job). Im also going to try to hunt a mountain goat next year if possible. Are these calibers suitable? I've seen videos of the 6.5 Creedmoor being pretty effective on Elk at long range. Seems like an impressive round.

    Some people tell me a .300 or .338 are the "only calibers for Alaska", whereas others swear by smaller calibers such as .243 even. Seems that most people not from Alaska are the ones that think a huge caliber rifle is the way to go. I would rather be accurate with a smaller round than sloppy with a powerful one.

    Any help would be appreciated!

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    From your description is sounds like you are on Kodiak in the CG.

    7mm what? mag or 7mm08 or what?

    You'll want something to deal with a brown bear if you have to but still hit a deer or caribou at 400 yards.

    I recommend a 3006. Something in stainless.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    You will get 100 different opinions, but you are 100% correct in my book about focusing in on what really matters..............confidence in your weapon. I have a personal preference for the .308 vs the other alternatives that you seem to be gravitating towards. But get something you can shoot and have confidence in your shot.

    And I think the 116 is an excellent choice. Mine is far and away the most accurate rifle I've ever owned.
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    Good call AK Ray. Looking at the 7mm Mag.

    As far as bears, I have a friend that grew up here and will only use a .243. Shot placement is the most important part.

    Im not a 500yd shooter. I wont take a shot outside of 300 at most.

    I'll read thru that link ak_cowboy thanks.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    The 7 mag is just a necked down 300wm, long barrel, lots of recoil and you still are using a belted case.

    Get a quality 30-06 or 270 win and go hunt. Don't over think it.

    Steve
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    It's not so much the bullet size that's causing you to shoot poorly due to heavy recoil, but the insane amount of powder capacity. If you aren't worried about long range stuff, drop down to a more mild mannered medium bore.

    You have plenty of well mannered choices:
    338 Federal, 338-06, 358 winchester, 35 whelen, 338 Ruger Compact mag, 350 remington mag.

    You should give serious consideration to the 338 federal, and the 358 winchester. This will give you a carbine sized rifle with minimal recoil. The rifle will weigh between 6.5-7lbs.


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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Get a quality 30-06 or 270 win and go hunt. Don't over think it.

    Steve
    This should be someone's signature line....

    Yes- don't over think it.

    Rifle weight is more a function of rifle construction than cartridge but in general magnums weigh a bit more and generally recoil harder.

    A good 270, 308, 30'06 will probably do nicely for everything unless you're just a rifle nut who enjoys messing with a bunch of different guns.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    No matter your choice of caliber (I like 338 and 30-06 just cuz they are so wonderfully common) this is one more vote for the 116. My 116 in 338 shoots well, functions in all kinds of nappy weather, and you don't spend so much on it that you have to baby sit it in the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    The 7 mag is just a necked down 300wm, long barrel, lots of recoil and you still are using a belted case.

    Get a quality 30-06 or 270 win and go hunt. Don't over think it.

    Steve
    Definitely this.
    I personally enjoy my A-bolt Stainless in 30.06 and in 300Win Mag.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    My first "Alaska" gun was a 7mm mag that my sister gave me for christmas. I hated that gun. It stomped me into the ground everytime I pulled the trigger. I replaced it with at 338 mag. It was a much gentler stomping, but did not leave me realing from a concusion every time I pulled the trigger.

    I sold that 7mm to my Dad's boss in Nevada in 1985. He prompty took some 175g moose rounds and blew both the front shoulders out of a forky mule deer at 50 yards. One shot and half a deer was all that was left. He was mad at my Dad for some reason neither of us could figure out.

    I would follow Mainer's advice and get something big in a small case. Let the physics work for you rather than against you. The .338 Federal is a great round and can be found in a lot of good rifles. Or you can have an older 308 based rifle rebored by JES into 338 fed. So tempting.

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    I've spent a good deal of time on Kodiak and there are not a lot of ammo choices. Have a look at the bear Kotton killed in this thread, then ask yourself if you still want a 243. Just because you aren't hunting bears don't mean they won't hunt you. I have seen bears like this within a mile of the Kodiak CG station maingate. You can buy ammo for an 06 anywhere in Alaska and it has the most variety of about any caliber. Once you have been here a while, you can chase all the sexy calibers you see on the internet, I've wasted enough of my money learning this very thing.

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...iak-brown-bear!!

    Thanks for your service and happy hunting.

    Steve
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    I love my featherlight Win .306...a lot of different grain ammo to choose from for that one, and doesn't make a real huge hole in smaller big game, deer, sheep, caribou, moose. I won a real nice Ruger .338 M77 Mark 2 in a raffle drawing a few years ago, it is a little heavier to pack, but I think I would take that one on a bison or bear hunt, more dropping power. I wouldn't really take much less than a .306 if in bear country, which is everywhere up here.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    I agree with what most have posted on here. The 30-06 is a great rifle. The 338 WM is a great rifle. I decided to get a 338-06 built and I have never regretted it. I have shot moose, caribou, black bears with this rifle. I wouldn't feel under gunned for interior grizz either. I'm pushing a 210gr barnes at 2700fps and it just kills. I had a complete pass though on a 58" moose this year with a barnes ttsx. It is not a long range gun with barnes. It is a 300 yard rifle, and I have never had to pass up a animal because I couldn't get close enough. Also there is very little recoil. The rifle weights in at 8.5 scoped and kicks no more then a 165gr 30-06 load.

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    Quote Originally Posted by h20fowler View Post
    New guy here! Recently located to AK for the next few years and looking for a good all-around caliber
    Just so you know, the 338WM is still probably the most popular round in AK.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Wow, kotton hit that bear twice with a 300 win mag......it still rushed his buddies, even after some wait time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    you can chase all the sexy calibers you see on the internet, I've wasted enough of my money learning this very thing.
    Steve

    And Steve hits his second signature line worthy comment of the day!

    Yep. I have too.
    "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 4merguide View Post
    Just so you know, the 338WM is still probably the most popular round in AK.
    By most popular you mean after the 3006 and 300 win mag. Then yes, I agree its the most popular................3rd choice.
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    That 770 is rather light, a 300WM would bite a little. I have the M77 in 300wm, yes it's a heavier gun but it kicks less thanks to the weight than my friends Tika 308. Ain't nothing in America it won't take down as well as a 30/06. But stainless and synthetic stock is a good way to go.

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    Surprised no one else has mentioned it, but when I have this discussion I like to point out that a good "hunting caliber", even for bears is just about any that you shoot well, with modern bullets.

    In this state you need to also consider bear protection. What I mean by this is if I am hunting with a partner, who is carrying a large caliber pistol and i'm carrying a large caliber pistol, i'll "hunt" with a .243. If i'm hunting alone I don't go without a .375 H&H because i'm on my own for bear protection and it still works for "hunting".

    Lots of folks are much less concerned about "bear protection" than me, including my hunting partners, but I haven't been eaten!

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