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Thread: Camp/Bush rifle, possible bear

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    Member wildwilderness's Avatar
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    Default Camp/Bush rifle, possible bear

    Looking for a camp rifle to take on my Alaskan hunts (I'm from CO). I mainly bowhunt, but like to have a rifle available (don't like following a blood trail into the bush with a bow.) I have taken my old ss ruger m77 270win on a couple hunts (and a couple blackies with it) but wouldn't mind more power. Also my Bro-in-law is looking to buy a lodge with brown bears to hunt so that may be in the future..... hopefully! I want a quick handling rifle, for range out to 300yds. (I have long range rig in rem 700, 300wsm but its not handy 26"bbl+mb) I like the mauser action and controlled feed of the ruger.

    So I have thought about two options.

    1. sell the ruger, put the money towards a new rifle. What new rifle/caliber do you recomend?

    2. rebuild the m77 stainless action- new barrel, new stock. with the standard long action I was looking at going to the 35whelen,? also what barrel length? any good stocks? LOP?

    Also what sights/scope would you put on it?

  2. #2

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    You don't own a Shotgun............???? There are birds to shoot & eat in camp.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    375 ruger would be a nice little gun for such and occasion....
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    Lots of good short handy rifles in many calibers suitable for bears. I would say 338 to 45/70. The kicker is the up to 300 yard range rifle requirement. The Heavy slow bullets are not always the best at long range. Neither are the real short barrels generally. I would pick 338-375. The 375 Ruger Alaskan is a nice package if you get a new set up. I love to re-barrel old rifles. So, the 338-06 or the Whelen would be good choices to use what you have. You will probably spend about the same amount of money either way unless you really trick out the remake. A new custom hand lapped floated barrel, trued and bedded action and a bell and carlson stock. Make it a short barrel with good iron sights and a removable 3x-9x scope. You will leave all the other gun behind up here with something like that to tote around. You have a long range gun. Now you absolutely must have a mountain super light sheep gun. I suggest the 270.

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    Member wildwilderness's Avatar
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    I do own a shotgun but honestly have not been that impressed with slugs or buckshot out of it. I have shot deer with both and it has not been convincing, not to mention the limited range. I have shot a number of birds on the ground with my bow, its fun.

    I guess I don't need the 300yds, just thought it would be nice to have as a back up elk rifle or a loaner for taking friends elk hunting. I have thought about the 338-06 but didn't seem like a big step up over my 300wsm, plus I don't reload....

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    300wm 338wm 375h&h... if you dont reload I have found ammo for all three in most every small store in Alaska so its a real nice feeling when your ammo is lost. I like the ability to shoot out to 300 yards.. I have shot a wounded bear at a long distance and a short scopeless brush gun most likely wouldnt of done it ...well at least in my hands.. controlled feed...well thats up to you, I honestly never knew my weatherby was a push feed till recently(and still dont care ) and neither did any creature sitting or charging know either when I shot them... length well again I spent more hours in alder then I care to remember and I dont think a couple of inches in barrel length matter...it just plain sucks...my pack gets held up wayyy more then my rifle..lots of good ones out there for sure..

    sounds ike you like the ruger so go with Brwnbr's advice and get you a 375 ruger ...



    edit: for the record dont discount shotguns as they are the gun of choice on most all bear guard jobs I know of...

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    I've got a couple of the .375 Ruger Alaskans- really pretty nice rifles for what you're describing. I've scoped one with a 1-5x20 Leupold and the other I put a NECG receiver sight on. Both are fast handling and efficient with all the power you'd really need.

    With 260/270gr bullets in the scoped version I'd consider it to be a 300yd rifle without much issue. Up close the 300+ grain bullets would shoot stem to stern through about anything up here.

    As much as rebarreling an older rifle appeals to me- the price you can pick up a used Alaskan for is pretty reasonable, probably cheaper than working on an existing rifle would be.
    "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 wildwilderness View Post
    I do own a shotgun but honestly have not been that impressed with slugs or buckshot out of it. I have shot deer with both and it has not been convincing, not to mention the limited range. I have shot a number of birds on the ground with my bow, its fun.

    I guess I don't need the 300yds, just thought it would be nice to have as a back up elk rifle or a loaner for taking friends elk hunting. I have thought about the 338-06 but didn't seem like a big step up over my 300wsm, plus I don't reload....
    best
    A 12ga. with the PROPER slugs is an unbeatable brush gun in my opinion, having said that a 12ga. with soft deer slugs is best left at home. Brenneke slugs are all that ride in my gun. Doesn't solve the 300 yard dilema though...

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    Member wildwilderness's Avatar
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    I don't mind a shotgun for protection, its just so limited for what I want. Do you really go on a bear hunt and just bring your 12ga? I am sure some do...

    This rifle would also be a back up hunting weapon. I am planning a archery moose hunt, but if I can't tag out with my bow I wouldn't mind picking up the rifle to fill the tag. I'm not ready to go home empty handed yet, since I have never tagged a moose yet. Also for future caribou hunts the same plan. Also to have some protection packing out meat etc. I don' want to bring multiple firearms and a bow on a limited bush flight.


    So that's why I threw out 300 yd range as well.

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    I agree that the 375 Ruger in the Alaskan model. It meets all of your critera as a light, short, powerful, and moderate range (300 + yds) rifle. I personally have the African model and love it, but it is 3 inches longer than the Alaskan. Test the trigger before buying and find one with a tight, crisp trigger; ruger isn't known for having consistent triggers. I had mine reworked and it is now a crisp 2.75 lbs of pull which greatly improved the accuracy of the rifle. Originally it was almost 7 lbs of pull and a little sloppy. The smith told me that it wasn't as bad as some he'd reworked and that almost every ruger trigger he worked was different.
    “Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong." ~Calvin Coolidge~

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    I would suggest the 45-70. Marlin 1895ss or Guide.
    I have used the 458 , 45-70 and shotgun with slugs.
    All on bear with no(major) issues.
    I prefer the 45-70 as back up when bow hunting in the interior.
    Its light and does well out to about 150 yds with the right load.
    Also does well on Elk.
    I have always had a shotgun in camp, slugs and bird shot come in handy, has multiple uses as others have mentioned.


    just my .02

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    375 ruger would be a nice little gun for such and occasion....

    Ditto, get the Alaskan rifle with it's 20 inch barrel and factory iron sights. Stainless with a syn stock. Absolutely perfect for a camp rifle or to carry when following up a critter.

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    Ruger .44 Carbine comes to mind. Quick to handle and wicked fast follow up shots for that in yoyur face brush encounter.

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    .44 carbine....i think he wants to use it in alaska and while the 44 carbine would be a fun camp gun to shoot at sticks in the lake with i think something with a bit more oommmpphh would be better suited for what he's looking to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turk Hunter View Post
    Ruger .44 Carbine comes to mind. Quick to handle and wicked fast follow up shots for that in yoyur face brush encounter.
    It would make a great grouse or hare rifle

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    or ground squirrels!!
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    450 bushmaster would do.
    BK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turk Hunter View Post
    Ruger .44 Carbine comes to mind. Quick to handle and wicked fast follow up shots for that in yoyur face brush encounter.
    Cute little gun for sure, and I'd like to have one to go with my 10/22. But imo a little light in the ass against a thousand+ pounds of hungry teeth and claws. Besides the op also said again....a possible 300 yard shot. I know I wouldn't be too worried if I only had a 338 close by.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Money Pit View Post
    It would make a great grouse or hare rifle
    Would.nt work for me. I shoot grouse and Hares to eat, not to see feathers and hair fly. Happy New Year.

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    Are those Rugers even rated to fire the 340gr loads? You know those ground squirrels just don't fall over! The Ruger Alaskan in 375 would be a fine choice as already discussed. I have the same rifle only in 416 Ruger over the 375. Everyone has a 375 you know!


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