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Thread: How big do I need to go?

  1. #1
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    Default How big do I need to go?

    Im an avid hunter and will be goin to Ft. Wainwright in about four months. I need to find a large caliber rifle that can be used as an all around gun. I was thinking a 300 WSM but after doing some research I think that might be a little on the small side for the large game in Alaska, including bear. I hope to hunt as many different species of game as I can while im stationed in Alaska. I would greatly appreciate the info you guys could provide.

  2. #2
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    Cool Your not asking for much are you?!?!

    This is a mighty big can of worms to open. LOL Everyone will have a opinion. Most will be good. Enjoy the ride.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK4Life View Post
    This is a mighty big can of worms to open. LOL Everyone will have a opinion. Most will be good. Enjoy the ride.
    Ak4life, haha. I was thinking the exact same thing! I didn't even see your reply at first. There's no doubt about it. Everyone's a gun expert these days.
    In short. I'd rather have someone with a .270 that can make consistant kill shots than someone with a .375 or a better yet a .418 that doesn't shoot much. The proper kill shot, and realistically a 300 Ultra Mag. or higher will do the job. I shoot a Remington .338 Ultra Mag with a Swarovski high powered scope. I think even good optics can definately make more of a difference.

    I am waiting for the rest of the crazy off beat calibur types to chime in.
    Marc Theiler

  4. #4

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    300 wsm or 300 rum will do the trick(I use the RUM)...what do you have? I know of many people just using 30-06. Unless you are going for coastal brown bears, I don't see a reason to go with anything muxh bigger.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Right now ive got a 270 Tika T3 with a simmons atec on it. I use it for everthing from whitetail to coyotes to the occasional hog. In OK we really dont have any need to go bigger than that. Yeah there are some guys who think that they got to have a 7mm mag or a 300 wsm, but the deer down there aint nothin but glorified goats. Hell most deer haversted were shot with a 22 LR

  6. #6
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    Default

    My Father in law has been here since the mid 40s, & guided from late 50s thru early 70s. His favorite gun is the 30-06. He did have .300 H&H for a brown bear gun. Pretty light by today's standards but all he ever saw a need for.
    What bothered him was what Marc mentioned. Too many guys shooting "big" guns poorly.
    Thanks for your service to our nation, & hope you enjoy our great state.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  7. #7

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    300 WSM should do fine. I don't have one, but have noticed that it loses out a little to the 300 Win Mag with heavy bullets. Not enough to make a difference. I would stick with a 30 caliber or bigger. A 30-06 with 180 to 220 grain bullets is much better than a 7MM with 165s for large animals at normal ranges (my opinion). I you bump up to a magnum you will get more power, more muzzle blast, and more kick. If you can handle the recoil and blast I'd vote for a magnum. I use a 338 win mag for my big gun. It is more than I need, but I like it and have a muzzle brake that tames it down to a 270 win. It is hard on the ears when hunting.

    I think an 06 or bigger should work well for an all around gun. If you go after the big browns you might want a little more gun, or use premium bullets and only take easy shots.

  8. #8
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    Wink caliber options

    87norris;

    if you want a gun just for ak., then the .338 w.m. would be a good way to go with factory loaded 250 gr. for the bigger animals and 210 gr. for everything else. if you can hand load, now you can get 300 gr. bullets, making the .338 almost like a .375 h.h.. if you go .338, then when you leave you will have no trouble getting a top price for it in ak. as there is big demand for it, especially if you stainless and synthetic. i would look for a winchester with pre 64 style mauser action.

    if you want a gun that can be used at home also, that you will keep, then look at the .300 wthby. with 180, 200, 220 gr. factory loaded ammo for ak. use and they have lighter bullets for use at home. if you hand load, woodleigh now has 250 gr. bullets that would make this gun like a .338, but more versatile, as you will get more use out of it in the future at home.

    thanks for your service.

  9. #9
    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default

    From a slightly different angle.
    Find out what your'e hunting buddies are using, especially if they reload. You can buy the same caliber and save money on ammo if you can get them to reload for you, maybe throw in some bullets or powder.
    Probably can't go wrong with a 300 or 338 winmag.

    For every 1 hour you fret over gun caliber, spend 3 hours on worrying about safety, survival equipment, medical stuff, getting in shape, proper gear.

    No matter how big the rifle is you can't use it if you are a shivering mass of hypothermia.

  10. #10
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    Thumbs up good advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Mkay View Post

    For every 1 hour you fret over gun caliber, spend 3 hours on worrying about safety, survival equipment, medical stuff, getting in shape, proper gear.

    No matter how big the rifle is you can't use it if you are a shivering mass of hypothermia.


    +1
    now there is some often forgotten about good advice.

  11. #11

    Default Learn to reload

    Mkay:

    I would agree with you statment about getting with your buddies and find out what they shoot, however, I learned long ago to trust no ones reloads except my own. If I am going to be injured by a faulty round, I want it to be my mistake and not the other guy.

    I will not shoot my father or my freinds reloads. One near death experiance has taught me that reloading deserves the same attention to details that flying a plane requires.

    If you are going to reload, then learn from the best. Do your homework and do not take shortcutts.

    Bigmnt

  12. #12

    Talking Best all-around rifle for Alaska.

    My vote is for the .338. For Alaska, I feel it is the best all-around rifle. When hunting in Alaska you are most always in bear country. It can shoot light loads for caribou or sheep if you want. It can be loaded heavy for the dream Brown bear hunt. When deer hunting you will find it does less damage to the meat than a fast light bullet. Personally I shoot .225's for everything except bear for which I use .250's. My paticular rifle likes .225's better than .210's. My rifle is old, ugly, and well used but it fits me good and I am very comfortable with it.
    I am able to buy rounds for it just about every store that sells amunition and the price doesn't break the bank.

    So that's my 2 cents.

    Good luck.

  13. #13

    Default gun caliber

    I guess I'm partial to the 300 win mag. As a kid I was fortunate to know an old German gunsmith in MT who was regarded at the time as one of the top 5 gun-smith's in the world. He made some of the most beautiful custom rifles I've ever seen. He commented that the 300 mag is the best all-around gun on the North American continent as it will kill anything. I have since watched this gun perform on just about every game animal on this continent. That includes 2 brown bears here in AK this spring, one at 70 yards and the other at 250. That's not to say it took one shot to kill them, but it performed better than our partners' 338 and 45-70 on their bears. Obviously there are lots of variables depending on shot position, and an animals state before the shot. We have always had great luck with hand-loaded 180 grain grand slam bullets made by Speer. The balistics and knock down power have been awesome. Just my 2 cents.

  14. #14
    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default 250 yards?

    I probably am not the accomplished marksman that I am in my dreams, but 250 yard shots at brown bears seems a bit long. I congratulate your shot, but I was under the impression that big bear shots should be under 150 yards, 100 yards even better. The small grizzly I took in May was about 30 yards with a 375 h&h. What type of bullet was that coming out of the 300 win mag that did the trick. I load 200 grain noslers in mine.

  15. #15
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    Default

    .338 Win works for an all-around Alaskan rifle. 225-250 grain premium bullets, sighted 2" high at 100 yards and you're set for anythin in Alaska, from blacktails to brown bears.

    I shot my brown bear at 250 yards (gully betweeen me and him I couldn't get across...)sometimes if you don't take a longer shot, you might not get a closer one. 250 grain Nosler Partition.

  16. #16
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    Default here is the answer

    A similar question was asked in this forum. Take a look:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ead.php?t=4997

    Also, if you look in this forum, you will notice the post WHAT IS YOUR "GO-TO" GUN? This one will tell you what rifles people use in Alaska.

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