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Thread: Building Alaska hunting battery

  1. #1
    Member Boreal's Avatar
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    Default Building Alaska hunting battery

    I'm looking to build up a small, 3-4 rifle Alaska hunting battery. I'm starting with my X-Bolt 30-06, good shooter. Feel comfortable with that for just about anything, but thinking about more specialty rifles like a mountain rifle, dense brush deer rifle, large bore bear safety rifle, etc. So the question: starting from the 30-06, what calibers would you recommend, and what models, if you care to get that specific?

  2. #2
    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    .243, 375, and a 12ga

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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_cowboy View Post
    .243, 375, and a 12ga
    Very good choice!
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  4. #4

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    After your 30-06, a 22lr and you may be all set. Instead of separating rifles according to targeted species, separating them by geography may be better. A faster flatter cartridge for high elevation and long range for sheep/goats/caribou and something slower bigger for low elevation and short range for moose/bear or deer with bears around. I would think your 30-06 would be fine for both.

  5. #5

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    Might sound off the wall until you think about it, but how about a muzzleloader? Pass the exam and you qualify for all sorts of primitive weapon hunts around the state. Won't cost you an arm and a leg either, like lots of the other options.

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    7-mm08, 22 LR, 12 gauge..

  7. #7
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    You X-Bolt in '06 would do about anything, I use mine in .270 for a mountain rifle and open tundra caribou gun. I'd shoot a moose with it without hesitation and a griz under the right circumstances.

    Add a .22LR- a GOOD bolt action one with a scope for practice and small game hunting.

    A shotgun of some persuasion if you want for ducks and grouse.

    If a guy was into predator hunting- a decent .22 Centerfire would be a good addition.

    I'm a big fan of the .375 with irons if you want a bigger bore or a lever gun in 45-70 for hiking around but I think BrownBear's suggestion of a muzzle loader makes a lot of sense...you'll qualify for draw tags year after year and get some great opportunities out of 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 BrownBear View Post
    Might sound off the wall until you think about it, but how about a muzzleloader? Pass the exam and you qualify for all sorts of primitive weapon hunts around the state. Won't cost you an arm and a leg either, like lots of the other options.
    Hey so maybe it's like that ADFG bio who used a plane to finish his moose, but:

    Can you use a non primitive gun to finish off something that you wounded with a muzzleloader?

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    280 BA,
    30-30. LA,
    22 volver,
    357 volver
    20 gauge SB shotgun.

    SOTN

    PS Could sub 7 mag for 280, and 44 for 357
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    Can you use a non primitive gun to finish off something that you wounded with a muzzleloader?
    As far as I know, nodamway.

  11. #11
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    The 30-06 is a good start, next I would add a 45-70 lever gun, a 22-24 caliber for varmints and a good 22 LR bolt action rifle.

  12. #12
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Ruger American 22lr, ugly but they shoot and are durable.
    .223, Either AR-15 SDM configuration, or a kimber montana
    Kimber Montana in either 7-08 or .308 for mountain rifle, dense brush rifle, pretty much all around deer, caribou, sheep and goat rifle.
    I'd look for a used Ruger all weather in .338 win mag for your moose, bear or backup rifle, though a Mdl 70 375 H&H ss would also be a fine choice.

    I know that excludes your -06, but it's too heavy for a mountain rifle, and while the -06 is a great round, it doesn't quite have the reserve power of .338 or larger.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  13. #13

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    One that I would invite you to consider is 6.8 SPC II especially in a quality AR-platform. There are many times when a person is not really hunting, they are Ski-Dooing (Hehehehehehe) and have a shot at a wolf, lynx, wolverine, etc. The 6.8 SPC II is perfect for caribou & black bear. It is very functional out to 300 yards on thin skinned targets.

  14. #14
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    .375h&h, .22lr, 12ga.

    You could cheat like me and get a .22/.410 combo gun, I love mine!


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    Cover the basics - Pistol (44mag ?), shotgun (12ga), two rifles (22lr & your 30-06Sprig). Very soon you will be fleshing in your collection in all 3 categories depending on interests and focus. Can't say I disagree with BrownBear. Muzzleloading guns are fun to shoot and open up restricted hunts.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by abreitzm View Post
    Muzzleloading guns are fun to shoot and open up restricted hunts.
    I'll go one step further and recommend traditional muzzleloaders to the real gun goofs in our crowd. Don't know of any other guns you can build yourself on the kitchen table, then use for everything from snowshoe hare to moose. Your "reloading bench" is right there in the bag hanging over your shoulder, too.

    If you get goofier than a crow eating fermented berries like I am, you'll even get into making all your other gear while spending darned little money at all. I'm hunting with a rifle, shooting bag, powder horn, bullet board, bullets, patches, knife and flints I made myself. About the only thing I have to buy now to shoot is powder, and some guys even make that themselves. Putting it all together, I spent less than you'd spend on the average centerfire rifle without a scope. Meanwhile I've had a mountain of off-season and rainy day fun doing it. Different strokes for different folks, for sure, but take a close look if you're looking for more fun.

  17. #17
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    Anyone can build a basic group of guns for Alaska. It only really gets interesting when you start to flesh out the collection. That is when your battery starts to reflect your interests and time spent in the Great Land. Are you a pistol shooter? Do you like exoctic calibers and enjoy reloading? Have you gotten into black powder and muzzleloading? Do you primarily purchase for hunting, personal protection, target shooting, or all of the above? Are you a minimalist and want to keep paring down your collection to the perfect 3/4 guns?

  18. #18
    Member Redlander's Avatar
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    What I bring to Alaska - a 30-06 SS Model 70 Featherweight. What I leave in the truck in Alaska, an 870 12 gauge and a SS Ruger 10/22 take-down. At the cabin is a 20 gauge single shot for grouse, but a .410 would work also but I like the ability to have a slug round or two in a pocket in case of a bear encounter and with heavy shot, it'll work for ducks also. For big bears would be my .375 H&H SS Model 70, but if I was looking now, it would probably be a .375 Ruger SS Model 77. However, I'd get a McMillan stock for it. If I was there more in winter, I'd probably get a good AR in .223 for carrying on a snowmachine for the opportunistic shot at a wolf.

    For handguns, right now we've got snubbie .357 and a snubbie .45 Colt - hard cast heavy bullet loads in each. However, I think a 10mm Glock 20 small frame is on the 'to-buy" list, one mag with hard cast for bears, and one mag with hollowpoints for 2-legged predators. Of course, a .22 LR pistol would be handy for camp meat, but it's just not as high on my list right now - got one at home though.

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    The .30-06 is one caliber that I don't have, but I will also argue that it is one of the most versitile calibers around. I would honestly say that here is my recomendation for the "top 4 guns" to have... the .30-06, 12 guage, .22lr and .45-70. But since it seems that everyone is having a hard time finding the .22lr ammo, then I would recommend the .32 cal muzzleloader.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterofalaska View Post
    The .30-06 is one caliber that I don't have, but I will also argue that it is one of the most versitile calibers around. I would honestly say that here is my recomendation for the "top 4 guns" to have... the .30-06, 12 guage, .22lr and .45-70. But since it seems that everyone is having a hard time finding the .22lr ammo, then I would recommend the .32 cal muzzleloader.
    Why the .45-70 and the 12ga?


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