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Thread: Need New Gun For Brownie Hunt

  1. #1
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    Default Need New Gun For Brownie Hunt

    Been a Silent Listener here for a while and have enjoyed the talk.

    Now Have a dilema of my own. I need a weapon for a brownie hunt in '09.

    I own a 300 W Mag. in M77-Wood but myself and my wife included hate to carry that hog kicken telephone pole up and down hills all day.

    Listening to the talk of the 375 ruger gets my attention. Definitely Large enough caliber - but the recoil issue? Ammo? Uses here in South Dakota?

    Also eyeing 338-06 or 338 Federal. More all around caliber - Wife may be able to shoot these better. But is the caliber enough?

    ANY INPUT GREATLEY APPRECIATED.

    OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS APPRECIATED.

  2. #2

    Default Also

    Consider a 35 Whelen, it might fit in your battery and has factory ammo.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  3. #3

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    Put a heavier stock and a better recoil pad on your 300 WM, it will certainly do the job on a brown bear. If you think the 300 WM kicks, you certainly won't like the recoil on a 338-06, 338 Federal or a 375 Ruger.

  4. #4
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    Default brown bear gun

    the 375 ruger is a great rifle/caliber my son just bought one recoil is an issue though if you reload you could reduce your loads for hunting at home. The ruger 375 is built how a rifle should be built. The 338-06 or 338 federal would both work, the 35 whelen even though i dont own one yet! is probably the best all around caliber for north America , i used a 358 winchester for years on all sorts of big northern game including bears and it just flat works! the whelen is better. you are on the right track good luck, I will be up there guiding brown bear hunters maybe we will meet up.

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    Default

    I refer you to the thread on the subject of minimum caliber in Alaska. Clearly an over whelming majority of Alaska hunters will deem any caliber you chosse as more than adequate as long as the bullet is well placed. This would include the 223 remington and possible other calibers even smaller.

    My personal perspective on this is that you are thinking in the right direction. More bullet weight with such calibers as the 338-06 and the 375 Ruger and of course the 35 Whelen. I do think the 338 federal is a little light for brownies.

    Any 375 would be a very good choice and the 375 Ruger Alaskan with its compact dimensions and more than the bare minumum in horse power would be agood choice. The Alaskan model is stainless, synthetic and is equipped with a good recoil pad. With any of the heavier calibers there will be more recoil but if you get the rifle early and spend some time at the range with it, develop a rapport with it become acustomed to the recoil and trajectory, you'll have a fine rifle. The 338 Win mag would be my minimum in power for larger coastal bears and many good lighter weight guns are available. When giving up weight we gain recoil so there is a comromise. I believe if you choose to hunt the great bears of the north you should rise to the challenge and develop your shooting skills to make effective use of this power range in a rifle.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  6. #6

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    Bullet placement is much more important than what you shoot it with. You're going to have a guide to back you up. All the calibers you mentioned would get the job done.

    The 375 Ruger shouldn't kick any more than an H&H given the comparable case capacity and velocities. H&H's are usually pretty easy in the recoil department but I would attribute that to their hefty full length actions and safari barrels as much as their moderate bullet velocities. A standard length action and a short tube will take some of that weight out of the equation. I, personally, would think through a new cartridge like the 375 Ruger before dropping the money on it. It is a fantastic idea and actually is an improvement on an old standby but that isn't always enough for it to take off. I've got a 480 that looks like it's going to be a wildcat in about 5 years. I don't mind reloading for it but not everyone is so willing.

    I've got an old 1917 enfield hanging around that I've thought about converting to 338-06 for much the same purpose you describe here. Not familiar with the Federal but assuming it's pushing a bullet as fast or faster than the 06 derivative it should be fine as well.

    Whatever you get make sure you can shoot it well at the ranges you plan on hunting with it and maybe a bit further for insurance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    Put a heavier stock and a better recoil pad on your 300 WM, it will certainly do the job on a brown bear. If you think the 300 WM kicks, you certainly won't like the recoil on a 338-06, 338 Federal or a 375 Ruger.
    I will beg to differ with this. I have substantial experience with all these calibers and in rifles of equal weight, the 300 mag delivers more recoil than the 338-06 or the 338 Federal. That is the one of the best advantages of the 338-06 less recoil, more punch. The 375 will deliver more to the shoulder than any of the others, as might be expected.

    Here again the answer must be the 223 or 243 or do those kick too much, too?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default My Vote is Swayed

    I believe You guys have convinced me enough that a well placed bullet from a 338-06 or 35 Whelen is sufficient.
    Am now looking into a Cooper Rifle in those Calibers unless other opinions steer me a different direction.

  9. #9
    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    Default Cooper Rifles

    I would be surprised if you will be able to get either of those chamberings in a standard production Cooper Rifle...perhaps a custom job from Cooper would be a possibility. Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Default 350 Rem Mag

    Go get yourself a Rem Model 7 in 350 rem mag. Load it with a quality 250 grain bullet, when you get home you have a 250yd deer and elk rifle. good luck at your picnick with Yogi.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

  11. #11

    Default

    Cooper offers their Jackson Hunter in 338-06 and 35 Whelen.

    http://www.cooperfirearms.com/rifles.php?rifle_name=jh

  12. #12
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    Default 375

    I have the new 375 Ruger, and I must disagree that the recoil is an issue over the 300 mag. I used to have a 300 and the recoil was much harsher. I dreaded firing the 300 and that is why I got rid of it, but find the 375 Ruger a pleasant rifle to fire. Don't get me wrong, it does have recoil, but unlike the 300 mags and the 338 mags which have a sharp jolt, the 375 is more of a heavy push, I have found this to be true with the 375 H&H as well. I have fired many calibers and think the 375 has very managable recoil. I would take any 375 over the 300 mags and 338 mags any day.

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    Default

    Similar disscusion going in the hunting forum. My personal fav is my Marlin 1895M 450 Marlin. I handload 475-gr Bullshop cast bullets. Have not had the chance to try on a bear yet but it sure works good on moose.

    Quote Originally Posted by CapnJack View Post
    Been a Silent Listener here for a while and have enjoyed the talk.

    Now Have a dilema of my own. I need a weapon for a brownie hunt in '09.

    I own a 300 W Mag. in M77-Wood but myself and my wife included hate to carry that hog kicken telephone pole up and down hills all day.

    Listening to the talk of the 375 ruger gets my attention. Definitely Large enough caliber - but the recoil issue? Ammo? Uses here in South Dakota?

    Also eyeing 338-06 or 338 Federal. More all around caliber - Wife may be able to shoot these better. But is the caliber enough?

    ANY INPUT GREATLEY APPRECIATED.

    OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS APPRECIATED.
    "All bureaucracies are the same. They drain the life out of the truly creative people and develop mindless paperpushers as their critical mass."

    "You are a den of Vipers.I intend to rout you out and by the Eternal God I will rout you out.If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system there would be a revolution before morning"--Andrew Jackson 1828

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    Default

    I would suggest putting a good synthetic stock on your 300WM and calling it good. Though I think they are a touch on the light side for a big coastal brownie in all situations. Which is something to consider. I have seen more bears wounded and lost with the 300 than anything else. As far as carrying it around all day goes, there usually isn't a lot of walking on a bear hunt. 90% of your time will be spent sitting and glassing. I carry a Rem 700 in 416Rem Mag and have never found weight to be an issue.
    If you really want a new rifle, I would go with a 338WM or 375H&H in stainless/synthetic. The coast can be wet! Skip on the 375Ruger and all the other less standard chamberings because if you lose your ammo, you may not be able to get it in camp or a bush store. You can usually always get 300WM, 338WM, and 375H&H in any town and camp I have worked in. The 375Ruger is a great round but is so new that availibilty may be an issue. At least with the others mentioned, someone in camp will probably be able to give you some rounds if you need them. Don't think it can't happen!

  15. #15

    Default Ditto tiger musky

    As I was reading through the posts above, I was mentally preparing a reply. Then I read Tiger Musky's reply, DITTO. He hit it right on the head. If you're hunting brown bear you definitely don't want to be hiking all over the place. The only thing I would add to Tiger Musky is that I'd suggest that if you use your 300WM, use Barnes Triple Shock bullets. I've had two brown bear hunters use 300WM with Barnes Triple Shocks and the recovered bullets looked like they had come right out of a magazine advertisement. However, bullet placement is probably a little more critical with the 300WM. I personally love the 375H&H, I use it for everything from blacktails on up.
    Say, has anyone heard that Ruger is pulling their 375 rifles for some sort of fix, or is this just a rumor?
    Mark

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigermusky View Post
    I would suggest putting a good synthetic stock on your 300WM and calling it good. Though I think they are a touch on the light side for a big coastal brownie in all situations. Which is something to consider. I have seen more bears wounded and lost with the 300 than anything else. As far as carrying it around all day goes, there usually isn't a lot of walking on a bear hunt. 90% of your time will be spent sitting and glassing. I carry a Rem 700 in 416Rem Mag and have never found weight to be an issue.
    If you really want a new rifle, I would go with a 338WM or 375H&H in stainless/synthetic. The coast can be wet! Skip on the 375Ruger and all the other less standard chamberings because if you lose your ammo, you may not be able to get it in camp or a bush store. You can usually always get 300WM, 338WM, and 375H&H in any town and camp I have worked in. The 375Ruger is a great round but is so new that availibilty may be an issue. At least with the others mentioned, someone in camp will probably be able to give you some rounds if you need them. Don't think it can't happen!
    I very good point about the availability of ammo. The Ruger or 338-06 will be hard to find in remote areas, the 35 Whelen may be easier but certainly the 300, 338 and 375 H&H will be the most common. I've never lost any ammo but have lost rifles in transit. I would think if you get to anchorage with gun and ammo you could get to the more remote villages and the bush. If you do not hand load, you should consider more mainstream calibers. The 338 Win mag is probably the most popular caliber for modern day active bear hunters and guides. A 338 and 250 Swift A-frames or other super premium bullet will put a big dent in any brownie. I will say that a properly loaded 300 mag wouldn't be a bad choice, but if you're looking for a bear caliber and a more suitable gun for this area, just s well get a bonifide bear caliber and learn it well.

    I do not believe in letting the guide kill my bear. If that is the case he can just go on out and shoot a nice one and mail the hide to my taxidermist. Obviously not an option. If we live by that axiom, there is no need for any caliber bigger than a 17 HMR. I'll shoot him with my 17 and the guide will quickly finish him with his 416. There may be guides that prefer that, but I'm not going to participate in that hunt. If the caliber of choice doesn't matter, because the guide will be standing by my side to finish him, then the placement of the shot doesn't matter either, or for that matter, that I even hit the bear at all. Certainly a bear shot any where with a 243 will be a wounded bear. I doubt that a between the eyes shot will do any more than irritate a crusty old bruin.
    Last edited by Murphy; 04-04-2008 at 20:29.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  17. #17
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 376 Ruger AK

    Suggest the 375 Ruger AK then send it off too Mag Na Port. I handload mine at the lower levels sure is a gem!

  18. #18
    Member Matt M's Avatar
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    Wink

    Cheapest and best thing is to take your current M77 and put a synthetic stock on it to lighten it up and hunt with that. No need to buy a gun for each animal you hunt. I have not tried that one on my wife...maybe I should?

    Matt

  19. #19

    Default DOH

    [quote=Matt M;240543}No need to buy a gun for each animal you hunt. I have not tried that one on my wife...maybe I should?

    Matt[/quote]

    SHHHhhh ! Your going to spoil it for the rest of us. You always need the latest Eargosplittin-Loudinboomer for some perceived hunt !! LOL
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  20. #20
    Member OKElkHunter's Avatar
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    Default Ruger O.K.

    Ruger is not pulling their 375s. The Alaskan Model had some issues with the Hoague Stocks breaking at the wrist. Hogue is offering to replace the faulty stocks free of charge. The African models have had no reported issues, however, there has been some confusion about the stocks. The problem was with the first run of Alaskan Rifle Stocks, which were the synthetic Hogues.
    Quote Originally Posted by wags View Post
    As I was reading through the posts above, I was mentally preparing a reply. Then I read Tiger Musky's reply, DITTO. He hit it right on the head. If you're hunting brown bear you definitely don't want to be hiking all over the place. The only thing I would add to Tiger Musky is that I'd suggest that if you use your 300WM, use Barnes Triple Shock bullets. I've had two brown bear hunters use 300WM with Barnes Triple Shocks and the recovered bullets looked like they had come right out of a magazine advertisement. However, bullet placement is probably a little more critical with the 300WM. I personally love the 375H&H, I use it for everything from blacktails on up.
    Say, has anyone heard that Ruger is pulling their 375 rifles for some sort of fix, or is this just a rumor?
    Mark

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