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Thread: Your favorite Alaska hunting rifle

  1. #1
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default Your favorite Alaska hunting rifle

    I have many rifles strewn about my house and workspace, even a couple in another state. These rifles range in caliber from .17rem through the 458 Winchester with a bunch of stops in between. I have several bases covered in spades, last count numbered 3 rifles in 30/06, one in 300sav and a pair of identical 30/30s. I have a couple carbines in 44mag, screaming speed demon magnums, 3 or 4 heavies aside from the 458 and a handful of varmint calibers.

    But with all of those to choose from, I find myself drawn to one rifle time after time. Seems that every fall when it comes time to hop in the beaver and hit the hills for a spell I never reach for anything else.

    When I lived in the L48 I always grabbed my trusty 06 with a fixed 4x leupold and a box of handloads stuffed with Barnes 180s. I cannot recall how many deer, hogs,coyotes, and one big bull elk I laid low with that rifle, but after a while it became lovingly refered to as "old bloodnguts".

    After I moved to Alaska I decided that the 06 didn't have enough muscle, I know better now but this is supposed to be fun, so I spun together another non flashy rifle in a slightly bigger non flashy caliber. I used some gentleman's discarded 30/06 to build my 35 Whelen, aside from a new barrel it received a set of iron sights and another non flashy item, a fixed 2.5 Leupold ultralight in factory rings.

    Since the fall that I put "The Colonel" together, I have taken it along on almost every hunting trip I have been on. The only exceptions have been spring bear day trips and one jaunt toKodiak. It isn't anything most would consider too awful special, it weighs 8.5#, shoots most loads around 1.5", and isn't particularly good looking in its plain grained stock with matte finished metalwork. But it's record is untarnished and no game animal from grizzly on down has needed more than one shot to date, so I guess I just stick with what works.

    So if you have a favorite that you consitently reach for even though you have newer and shinier wiz bangs in the safe, pull up a chair and spin a yarn. Tell us what makes you grab it every fall over the new kids on the block.

  2. #2

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    Started out life as a used SAKO Finnbear, 7mm Rem Mag, At the time (early 80's) I did not know what a SAKO was (never heard of them) and the 7mm Rem Mag I was even more ignorant about. I went looking for a Browning BBR (pre- A Bolt) in 300 Win Mag because everyone knows a 300 win Mag is REUIRED to even look at alaska on a map. In a wonderful gun shop in Dothan Alabama we were joined.
    After many many miles, many animals, and adventures, and a few trips to specialty shops, she's got a 21 in fluted tube, parkerized, skeletonized action (yeah, I RUINED a SAKO...) sits in a MPI fiberglass stock, painted many times,, Leupold 3X9 and Leupold rings. Affectionately called "Ugly Stick"
    Dall Sheep, Moose, Caribou (never a bear) deer, hogs, antelope, and heading to Africa in 5 months!!!!
    Just aim and squeeze.

    BTW, you're up mighty early, or late, Kid???

  3. #3

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    DN:

    Have fun in Africa.Hunting there is like being a kid in a candy shop.Depending on where you are going, there may be up to 25 species available and you never know what you might bump into from dawn to dusk.

    July is primo time for the Dark Continent.Depending on where you will be, it should be close to perfect during the day and chilly to almost cold at night.

    Tell us more about your plans and chances are we can give you some tips to help out.

    7STW

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Down to a Rem 760 with Weaver 1 1/2 power use 220 gr 30-06 on everything.Mostly just grab a pistol.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    7STW,
    not to hijack the thread... going to Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth, RSA. Leving July 6th, arrive 7th, overnight at Afton House and fly the 8th to PE.
    Safari July 9 - 18. Plains gaem hunt and my son and daughter in law will be joining me for a few days.

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    I don't know if you specifically meant big game rifle, but I carry my savage 24 .22lr/.410 more than any other rifle I own, paired with a .44 mag pistol of course.


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    I have two that are hard for me to decide between. It's either the Pre 64 Win 70 in 300H&H or a 700Rem in 350Rem depending on what and where I'm hunting.

  8. #8
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've got a couple that I really like, but if I had to boil it down to the one I pick when something has to die….my Nosler 48 in .300WSM would be it.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I love my Springfield M1A.

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    the "one" used to be a 338 win mag but I shot the barrel out and while pondering on what kind of stuff to do to the new barrel I somehow wandered back to a 7mm Rem Mag and have been shooting a Tikka T3 superlight since but I've always been a little bugged about the drop out magazine and even though I carry 2 extras at all times in the field I recently got a wild hair and purchased a Colt Light Rifle on GB in 7mm Rem Mag and Mr Forbes is doing a complete upgrade, with ANY kind of luck it will shoot well and be very nearly as lightweight as a NULA and I'll leave it to my son when I'm "done" with it - I'd rather load for and shoot a 7mm Weatherby Mag but can't drum up enough "good reason" to change now, 15 years ago ? Yep

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    It's either the Pre 64 Win 70 in 300H&H
    I've been having an itch for one of those to sit next to my .375H&H in the safe, just for cool factor if nothing else!

  12. #12

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    Never been to Alaska but have planned to several times only to have life get in the way. My gun for Alaska comes out to be fondled once in a while and actually killed a nice tusker in Oklahoma. It's a dandy 98 mauser in 338-06 that I purchased from a gent on this forum several years back. I don't deserve it. It's kinda like the guy with a good bird dog that doesn't hunt birds. Deserve it or not I aim to keep it as it is a tangible that reminds me of dreams unfulfilled.

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    I have more then enough rifles in the gun safe, but the one that's gets used the most is my cooper 338-06 topped with a swarvoski Z-3 3x9. I have shot most of my animals with it. The rifle will shot half inch groups if I can do it that day. It likes 210 TTSX and 200 Speer hotcors.

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    I have a couple I like. I've got a 18.5" Marlin XLR 444 that I like to take with me when I'm riding/hunting. I take the Ruger 338 for reaching out farther too and I usually carry a 4" Redhawk.

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    Last year I bought a Kimber Montana 84L 30-06, it was gonna be my go to rifle forever but alas, it just didn't quite measure up to my accuracy "standards" and I sold it to a buddy of mine who had it rebored to a 338-06 - It shoots lights out and after a stock repaint job I am envious and wondering why the HECK I sold it ! I am thinking at 5 lb 10 oz , an accurate and well made 338-06 would be the absolute END ALL Alaska rifle (he won't sell it back to me)

  16. #16
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    Having an extensive battery of hunting rifles at my disposal I often wonder how on earth I ever got by with just one. But I think on it a minute and realize that I know lots of guys who only own one centerfire rifle. Guess that makes picking a favorite a lot easier!

    My Grandad has an old remington 721 in 30/06 that has been his only rifle since the fifties, many deer and elk have been lain low with that old rifle and he never had to choose. Same story with my Great Grandad and my Dad's two brothers, an 06 or 270 and never give it another thought.

    I guess if push come to shove I'd have lots of saleable assets in my other rifles, but I still just find myself reaching for the 35. I've even taken it back down south to chase hogs and elk. They say you can't pick a favorite child but at least I don't have to worry about my other rifles selecting my nursing home!

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    Supporting Member Hoyt-Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    the "one" used to be a 338 win mag but I shot the barrel out and while pondering on what kind of stuff to do to the new barrel I somehow wandered back to a 7mm Rem Mag and have been shooting a Tikka T3 superlight since but I've always been a little bugged about the drop out magazine and even though I carry 2 extras at all times in the field I recently got a wild hair and purchased a Colt Light Rifle on GB in 7mm Rem Mag and Mr Forbes is doing a complete upgrade, with ANY kind of luck it will shoot well and be very nearly as lightweight as a NULA and I'll leave it to my son when I'm "done" with it - I'd rather load for and shoot a 7mm Weatherby Mag but can't drum up enough "good reason" to change now, 15 years ago ? Yep
    Been thinking about buying a Tikka T3 light, what are your thoughts about yours?


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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    ...a dandy 98 mauser in 338-06...
    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    ...my cooper 338-06 topped with a swarvoski Z-3 3x9...The rifle will shot half inch groups if I can do it that day. It likes 210 TTSX...
    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    ...a 338-06 - It shoots lights out...
    ...M70 stainless 338-06 topped with a Kahles Helia-C scope...it likes 210 TSX's.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    I have a Winchester Model 70, 338 WM that I bought in the early 1970's that seems to be my 'go to' rifle. The barrel has been cut to 20" and it currently has a Leupold scope on it. Like others here, I have several other rifles that are nice and shoot very good, but the Winchester MD 70 always seems to go hunting with me.

  20. #20
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    My Tikka T3 lite in 7mm Rem Mag. First hunting rifle I ever bought, it took me a long while and many discussions with my friend Zach who is a lifelong gun nut. I've since picked up a Ruger 338 Win Mag, a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag, and another Tikka in 223. While I like shooting all of them at the range or the farm I always take the 7 mag into the woods or the prairie. I've even thought of selling or trading it for something a little smaller but I always come back to it. Probably keep that gun forever.

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