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Thread: The best big game rifle/caliber for Alaskan Young uns

  1. #1
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    Default The best big game rifle/caliber for Alaskan Young uns

    Hello folks,

    I just wanted to share some of my thoughts regarding youth rifles for Alaska. I figure that I ain't the only one who is in the process of equipping a child, or a family member who hasn't hunted with a rifle for Alaska. Hands down.....I feel that the 308 winchester is the greatest youth caliber for the new hunter in our state. Beginners shouldn't be subjected to large amounts of recoil, but the caliber should be of sufficient size in regards to being versatile enough to hunt all game in Alaska. The beginner shoudnt have to tote around a heavy/long 24 in. barreled rifle either. How do you do this? With the .308 Winchester of course! The beginner should be able to take it to the range and have a blast shooting the rifle all day, without being beat up, tapped in the face with a scope, or bruised shoulder and rattled jaws. The beginner deserves this friendliness that the 308 offers. If you are not a reloader I'm sure that you could post a thread like this in the hand loading forum: "Need someone to load these 110 grain bullets as a target load for my youngster" Any forum member who hand loads would jump to the task of creating a starting load in the 308 with those 110 grain bullets that you bought from midwayusa.com. I'm certain that any forum member would want to be a part of introducing a youngster to the shooting scene. As the youngster blasts away from the various shooting positions you instruct..........you just grinn......knowing that when it's time for the hunt.......you're going to throw a 180-200 grain premium bullet in that youngster's rifle.......and that youngster will cleanly and effectively take his/or her first moose or black bear. A 165 grainer someday for sheep, caribou, goat, or deer. When that young un grows up......that rifle will still be there. That rifle will still be ready for the task at hand.....it may even be grabbed up over that "new magunum I bought with my own money" sitting in his or her safe. You see.......stocks can always be swapped out for a full length of pull stock when the youth length of pull has been outgrown. Best magnification for that wonderful lil rifle? how about a nice light weight scope that only weighs around 8 ounces (give or take)? weaver 1-3, Leupold 1-4, Nikon 1.5-5, Burris 2-7. Give that youngun a nice big field view for that exciting first pull of the trigger on a big bull moose 30 yds. in front of you. I hope this info helps narrow the choice of what type of rifle you plan to equip those beginning shooters in your family........ahem.......ruger ultralight (20in. barrel) with the stock cut down an inch or two with a pachmyer recoil pad.

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    Member BigWag's Avatar
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    Good post, i'm looking at picking up my oldest son his 1st rifle, besides his .22. I'm looking at either a 30-30 Win or 308 Win.
    Brandon

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    oh.......the kids don't get a new rifle till they down their first caribou or moose with dad's ol rusty 30-30 model 94.........

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    oh.......the kids don't get a new rifle till they down their first caribou or moose with dad's ol rusty 30-30 model 94.........
    I'll go a little sideways on you, or is it backwards? The 308 is one of my favorite rounds, but in starting my own kids and several others, we've come to regard the 7-08 as a better choice. It can do most things a 308 can do, but for our uses the selection of big game bullets lighter than 150 grains is better. They've got similar ballistic coefficients to heavier 308 diameter bullets, so let you do similar jobs with a little less recoil.

    In truth, both my daughters and my wife got their starts on 7x57's, also with similar ballistics, but with handloads. That's just pure sentiment on my part, and therefore there were always several 7x57's in the house during the critical years, and the 7-08 wasn't on the market then. As adults, they've all settled on 7-08s as their choice, in my daughters' case because hubbies don't reload and the selection of factory ammo is better than for 7x57. In my wife's case, it's because she really likes the specific rifle, a sweet little custom I made for her. If I'd happened to have built it in 308, that would have been her top pick too, I bet.

    The 7-08 is ballistic hair splitting around the same basic case as the 308, but my daughters and wife and half a dozen others completely outnumber my vote for the 308.

  5. #5

    Default .308 rocks!!!

    I'm biased toward the .308 as well. Mainly cause thats what I grew up shooting. I had a model 7 rem. in .308. Great little gun. Started shooting it when I was 11-12 I believe. A little sharp recoil for me then but manageable. Now its my wife's gun. Since then I have bought a 300 WM (sold it for a Kimber in 300 WSM) I'm selling it and going to a Kimber in .308. This way my wife and I will each have the same caliber when going out together and if one gun fails the extra rounds we both carry will be just as useful in the other person's rifle. Also the ammo is much cheaper than for the 300 WSM.

    Yeah I got a sweet spot in my heart for it growing up with it. If the 7-08 had been for prevelent when I grew up I would think that would be fantasic little round as well. I've taken plenty of moose, bou, and even a couple grizz with my .308. Both my wife's and my .308s will have 3-9X40 (correctly spelled out for MARV1 ) scopes on them. Don't think you can go wrong with either caliber, but the .308 may be a shade easier to find in most stores, I don't know that for sure as I never look to buy that round. Mainer, I'd hit ya up with rep points for this, but I gotta "spread the love" Yes the .308 ROCKS!!!

  6. #6

    Thumbs up good choice...

    With todays powders and bullets it is probably as good as the 30-06 was 40 years ago and that was plenty adequate. Given the reasonably light weight and compact factory rifles we have available today it is even a better choice for younger kids. I plan on getting a Rem. Mod. 7 in .308 and stuffing 150 grain Barnes X bullets in it.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    lol,
    yeah thank goodness that your .308 isnt equipped with a 3X9X40 mm. i hear they are inferior to a 3.0000000123 - 9.00000001 power x 40.1111 mm. scope......especially when there are starving bears around that aren't scared of helicoptors (buzzing in the sky)

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    Default rifle

    My son got his first sheep at age twelve with a 243 and also took his first deer a couple of years before that with the same gun. My granddaughter is toting a 7x57 with handloads, which she pretty much put together herself with my eye watching her every move, but so far she hasn't connected with it. If you have the capability of reloading I would consider putting together some fairly light loads for a 30-06 or 308 as another means to get them started. I have always had them practice with a 22 or some other light gun before having them shoot anything with significant recoil. In fact, although I have had them practice how to load a gun, the safety positions, etc with the real gun, I have actually had them do almost all practice shooting something lighter. They slip into the bigger gun on game with no problem.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Yep 308 is a very fine round and about equal to the 06.The 7x57 and 7mm08 are also nice but not quite equal. Most believe the 06 can do it all up here only being a bit iffy on the biggest of bears.With the right bullets the 308 can probably do the same thing but dropping to the 7's is pushing to far.JMHO My three favorite 308's through the years were a Winchester mod.88 then a Ruger RSI and last a Browning BLR and all were great little guns

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Yep 308 is a very fine round and about equal to the 06.The 7x57 and 7mm08 are also nice but not quite equal. Most believe the 06 can do it all up here only being a bit iffy on the biggest of bears.With the right bullets the 308 can probably do the same thing but dropping to the 7's is pushing to far.JMHO My three favorite 308's through the years were a Winchester mod.88 then a Ruger RSI and last a Browning BLR and all were great little guns
    You sound like me! I had 308's and 06's around the house and they shot them all. But it was their choice and they voted differently than I would. I still own and shoot the Pre-64 Model 70 Featherweight I bought new in 1962, plus an assortment including M-88 and M-100 Winchesters, a standard M-77 and Ultralight and #1 Rugers, plus a Remington 700 and 788-- all in 308. They tried them all and rejected them in favor of the assortment of 7x57's. Now they've moved on to the 7-08.

    I've got my own strong opinions in favor of the 308 as seen by my assortment, but I just didn't get a vote. That's the way life is with wives and daughters, isn't it!

  11. #11
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    When shopping for a rifle to bring my wife into hunting and shooting I found the Ruger m77 compact in 308 and it has proven to be a fantastic choice for all of the reasons Mainer mentions in the opening post. With the short barrel she can accurately shoot it offhand which she proved by taking her first moose last year. She is 5'3" tall and her length of pull puts her into the "youth category". I know that this is the only rifle she will every truly need. The 308 will do everything from black bears to moose. It is probably not the best choice for Browns and she has zero interest in hunting them so that works.

    I don't have a 308 for myself YET but since my wife and I are planning some hunts w/ Alaska_Lanche and his wife so that will likely change in the future so I am not the only one with an odd caliber.

    I told my wife that I have needs in my life now that can only be fulfilled by NULA. When asked what NULA had that was so great I responded that she is 20. Sure the wife was not super pleased about how much money I was planning on spending on NULA but she seems to have softened to the idea now. So it looks like I will be adding NULA to the family durring my next deployment in 2010. I can't wait!!




    http://www.newultralight.com/HTML/custom-rifles.html
    Last edited by LuJon; 08-03-2009 at 01:58.

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    I figger Brown Bar be rite agin.

    I would choose the 7mm-08, OR a 7x57.

    I'm partial to 7mm Cal. anyways.

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    The .308 is a great round. I have one in a Rem 700 mountain rifle and really like it. I got the girls a 7mm-08 because it is also an excellent starter caliber and the rifle had a srock with spacers that allowed it to "adapt" as they got older and bigger. It works great on caribou. My youngest wants to go bear hunting so when she hits the minimum school grades we mutually agreed on, a spring bear hunt will happen. I'll have her start shooting the .308 soon for the black bear although the 7 will also work.

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    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Default Ruger compact

    My boy shoots a Ruger compact in 7mm-08 and has done just fine with it for moose, bou and ox. The big advantage of the compact is the short barrel feels lighter to a kid. Spend $30 and slap a Simm's pad on it if they are recoil shy.
    When he hunts in the lower 48 he borrows a Browning 25wsm which he actually shoots better and likes more.

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    Youth??

    Modle 7 Remington in .243W with 100grn. Reminton coreloks.

    Look no further.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    My boy shoots a Ruger compact in 7mm-08 and has done just fine with it for moose, bou and ox. The big advantage of the compact is the short barrel feels lighter to a kid. Spend $30 and slap a Simm's pad on it if they are recoil shy.
    When he hunts in the lower 48 he borrows a Browning 25wsm which he actually shoots better and likes more.
    I am slowly building a 25wssm AR15. It is going to be my varmint gun but it would also make a great bou rifle for kids w/ the 6 position stock.

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    Default youth cartridge

    I really love the .270 Win. I think this is a good youth cartridge. I still would agree that the .308 or even .3006 would be a better all around gun for this state. There are a number of reduced recoil rounds available if you don't reload. Shot placement is more important than most of the slight differences in the calibers discussed. SHOOT EM UP!!!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Youth??

    Modle 7 Remington in .243W with 100grn. Reminton coreloks.

    Look no further
    My daughter shoots the same, but in a Ruger compact. A little light for moose, but I have no issues with it on close black bears and caribou. She'll be working on shooting a .270 of her brother's Friday. If she takes to it well she'll use that on her cow moose hunt. If not, it's the .243.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milo View Post
    My boy shoots a Ruger compact in 7mm-08 and has done just fine with it for moose, bou and ox. The big advantage of the compact is the short barrel feels lighter to a kid. Spend $30 and slap a Simm's pad on it if they are recoil shy.
    When he hunts in the lower 48 he borrows a Browning 25wsm which he actually shoots better and likes more.
    A big disadvantage is the horribly sharp noise from the very short barrel of the compact. I would never subject a child to that. Besides many, if not most, would lose interest in a hurry.

    I like Ruger, but sometimes they make and market some really bad things.

    Smitty of the North
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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Default Reduced Recoil loads

    Has anyone shot the Remington managed recoil loads in .270 caliber at game? how did it perform. my grandson is shooting them well but I don't want him to get flinching with the regular loads. I realize all the shots at game I've taken I usually didn't feel any recoil or hear the report. Send me a PM. Thanks.

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