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Thread: Tiny wife, Kodiak brown bear rifle

  1. #1
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    Default Tiny wife, Kodiak brown bear rifle

    So 1st year drawing and my wife picked up a Kodiak brown bear tag. North Karluk River spring 2016. Im sure I will have numerous questions about the unit at some point, going to try and do some deer hunting this fall down there to get a lay of the land.

    But I am going to start out with something a bit more straightforward. My wife is 5"0 and weighs 98 lbs. She currently shoots a Ruger 308 in a youth model. Which is a great rifle for her and she enjoys shooting it. But we are quite afraid the .308 is a wee bit light.... so she is in the market for a new rifle.

    She cannot shoot a full size rifle, she is just flat out too small. But I cannot find any larger calibers with a short enough stock to accommodate her. We want something with more punch than the .308 and are thinking a .30 cal in a magnum round. Either a win mag or a wsm. Do any companies make a non custom rifle in a short stock (or youth size) that may fit her. We know we are going to have to add shoulder pads and a muzzle break to make it easier on her to shoot. But I would like to avoid a fully custom gun if possible.

    Thank you in advance!

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    My wife is about the same size (5' 110 lbs). She shoots a tikka T3 .300wsm, it is a 7lb rifle and yes it has a break.
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    I am by no means an expert in firearms... but why not the old standby - 30-06? I used to carry a 375 h&h and took from brown bear to caribou with it - I recently 'downgraded' back to an -06 because I was tired of lugging 11 lb around on my shoulder. LOL . I know a lot of people like the new mags and wsm's ... But I have always like the 30-06

    I have a tikka - which is fairly lightweight rifle and also very affordable. I would think you could get a muzzle brake on one and have the stock cut down to fit your wife.

    BTW - I am glad to know a woman drew my tag. ...
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    If she was my client, I would greatly prefer she used her .308 Winchester with a quality bullet, than any cartridge she was less proficient with. Been a lot of big brown bears harvested with a 30-30 cartridge in a Winchester model 94. Been thousands of "BIG" Polar Bears harvested with .222 Remington.

    Confidence and skill trumps "Magnum" Horsepower every-time in my book.

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    Savage makes a hog hunter rifle in .308 as well as .338 for $500. I bought my wife a .308 and put a precision arraignment muzzle break on it dipped the stock, the barrel and put a nice optic on it for under 1k. It kicks like a .223 and shoots lights out. Good luck on your hunt.

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    Default Tiny wife, Kodiak brown bear rifle

    Assuming you or a competent escort are going with a bear stopper, I wouldn't hesitate to have her shoot a 180 partition out of that .308 and call it good, otherwise I'd suggest a .375 h&h (or Ruger) over a .30 cal magnum. My wife is not small and she dislikes shooting her model 70 .300wm. It is a family gun or she wouldn't even bother.The recoil of a .375 is more of a push than a sharp kick like the .300.

    Your not going to find one with a small stick but you can find deals on used wood stocked guns and chop them for cheap.


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    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    The recoil of a .375 is more of a push than a sharp kick like the .300.




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    Totally agree... But at 98 lb... Well, the .375 might be a bit much .. Maybe not with a muzzle break however.
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    I'd have to mirror other comments...if she likes the .308 and shoots it competently...stoke it with good bullets and have at it- especially if she's backed up with a reliable person with something larger.

    A 180PT through the pump room is far better than a .375 through the rump. Adding gunpowder behind the same bullet helps trajectory and range, but not especially killing power.

    If she's ready to step up the caliber- you might consider re-barreling or re-boring her .308 to a .338FED or .358WIN. Same rifle, same dimensions...a nice step up in "oomph" without a lot more recoil (some, not a tremendous amount). Not terribly expensive either.

    Unfortunately, most ladies/youth models top out at the .308WIN.
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  9. #9

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    My wife drew a Kodiak spring bear tag for 2016 as well and likely will be using a 308 win with 180-200 grain partitions.

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    Might want to look into a 338 federal, pretty much a 308 with a 338 bullet. Personally I don't think she'd have a problem with a 30-06. My little sister is about the same size as your wife, and she hunts with one with no issues. Hers is a Ruger that had the stock cut down. As said before, you may just want to look at getting one with a wood stock and have it chopped.
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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    308 be fine. Confidence shooting is worth more than kinetic energy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuliW View Post
    Totally agree... But at 98 lb... Well, the .375 might be a bit much .. Maybe not with a muzzle break however.
    My little sister goes about 120 and didn't mind shooting my .375, a fairly mild load in a .375 is really easy to shoot and still packs a ton of energy.


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    308 in in the right spot over big lead in the wrong spot.
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  14. #14

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    Congrats on the tag!

    I got the same one

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    MainerinSK had some pretty impressive handloads worked up for 308 using 200 and 220 grain bullets. I might look into that first in the hand loading forums. The old 220 grain, 30 caliber bullet through an 06 was the bad boy on the block for 50 years or so. Definitely a lethal bullet, if you have some time and cash to refine a good handload.


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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    My mom used the .308 pushing 200 grain barnes for her bison tag a few years ago. She was 70 at the time and weighs 100 soaking wet.
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    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    I bought the Ruger Guide gun in 375. It comes with butt spacers and a muzzle brake. With no spacers and just the butt pad is around 31 inches from butt to trigger, and has room to be cut down more. You could always use the extra spacers to bump it out to fit you.

  18. #18
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    During my spring bear hunt in 2014, my hunting buddy killed a very nice brown bear with a .308 Winchester (16 inch barreled AR10) firing handloaded 155 grain Scenars, which many would not think is a hunting bullet. I'd not be at all reluctant to hunt with that combination for any brown bear. I'd focus on shooting her present rifle a lot more and using a bullet that you have confidence in performing (they're a bunch from which to choose) rather than investing in another rifle. I'd also say that moving from a .308 Winchester to any of the various .300 magnums is unlikely to provide any advantage for her and urge you not move in that direction.
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    Thanks guys, and ladies. Personally I would rather not drop another grand on a rifle so I guess I just need to convince her that her .308 will do the job. I really didn't know that .308 was such a common caliber for brown bear. Really thought you needed bigger, guess we just need to keep hitting the range with her rifle and make sure we don't make any "long pokes" on bears. BTW Juli, we probably should meet with a taxidermist at some point. Considering neither of us has skinned out a bear before. Ill have to shoot you a pm at some point.


    Also need to start figuring out some nice new camo for her. Unfortunatly I haven't seen anything from Sitka or KUIU in womens.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by quest32a View Post
    Also need to start figuring out some nice new camo for her. Unfortunatly I haven't seen anything from Sitka or KUIU in womens.
    This will likely be a big challenge. None of the good men's companies offer women's sizing (I have heard rumor that Kryptek may offer women's sizing, but don't think it's available yet). First lite is offering a women's line of base layers this season, but no outer layers at this time. Best bet is likely going to be quality mountaineering gear in earth tone solids. Companies like Arcteryx, Westcomb mountaineering, Rab and others offer quality hiking pants, insulation layers and breathable raingear in non obnoxious colors and women's sizing. I wear merino wool base layers by companies like smart wool, icebreaker and stoic. Not a lot of quality camo gear available in women's sizes, but I have never felt hampered wearing earth tones in the field.

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