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Thread: One good rifle...

  1. #1
    Member Blaster's Avatar
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    Default One good rifle...

    Been reading here for a lil while, figgered I'd ask a question.

    I'm planning a trip to AK, to stay this time. Drove up from Tampa, Florida 4 years ago during the winter..not the best time to drive but why do things the easy way? I stayed in North Pole with friends I met over the Net.

    I am thinking of getting just one more rifle to take with me..prob a good idea as all I have are rimfire rifles right now. I've owned and shot just about every caliber there is, I was store manager of a gunshop here in Tampa for three years and had access to some private property...plus I just plain ol' love guns.

    Leaning towards two calibers, .3006 or .338. I know, the .338 would be a much better choice for hunting bear but I really don't think I want to hunt a grizz or Kodiak for that matter. Methinx ammo for both should be readily available just about anywhere, plus I'd bring a decent supply with me.

    I love hunting small game and the occasional deer, don't kill many deer as I don't have alot of people to feed and hate to waste the meat.

  2. #2
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    Default Betcha can't have just one !!!

    The 30-06 is hard to beat as a one rifle choice. For several years I carried around an old mauser in 30-06 loaded with 220 gr bullets. Down south you should be able to find some good deals on a used rifle.

    Remember, Canada has rules about bringing guns across the border. You would probably be better off shipping it to your destination, and picking it up upon your arival in Alaska.

    I'm envious that you are getting to drive up. I always liked the trip either way through Canada. It's still an adventure even though the road is mostly stright, wide and paved now.

    Regards.

  3. #3

    Thumbs up Blaster

    First, good luck on your drive to Alaska!! You say "don't think you want to hunt grizz or browns", I said the same thing when i got up here. Well since then, I have had a change of heart and will looking for one this spring or fall. The 338 is a very popular round up here, Personally I don't think you can go wrong with that caiber choice. You might also want to consider having 2 rifles, I have a 270 i use for medium sized game, i.e., sheep, caribou, black bear, and blacktail deer and I am currently in progress of getting a 375 H&H for the big boys, moose, brown bears/grizz, and mountain goat. For me, those are the 2 perfect choices for hunting up here. Either way, welcome to Alaska and some of the best hunting on the planet!!

  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Ultimately, you can't go wrong with either one. I have a 30-06, along with a 7mm Mag for sheep, and have found it to be more than adequate - even for moose and grizzly. I might want something larger if I hunted coastal browns (which I don't plan on), and I borrowed a 375 H&H when I shot my bison, but otherwise I have been very pleased with my '06. You'll hear a number of things here, such as suggestions that it's best to go bigger, as you never know what you'll run into in the woods - that a 338 isn't too big for deer, but the '06 might not be enough for an angry bear - that you should bring whatever rifle you shoot best.... But at the end of the day, the fact remains that either of these calibers is a great choice. I had been thinking for some time about selling my '06 and buying a 338, but just recently I have been rethinking this idea. I can shoot my '06 all day long without killing my shoulder, I don't need a muzzle break (not that I necessarily would with a 338, but...), it's lightweight, I know this rifle well and its capabilities, etc. I'll probably give the 338 a try someday, but for now I'm just thrilled with my '06. Lots of deer, caribou, moose, sheep, and more can't be wrong!

    -Brian

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    Default One-gun

    Very sound wisdom from the others. For all the reasons they mentioned, I would go with an '06.

    .338 is a good choice for AK, but if you arent accustomed to the reoil (like me), it can be discomforting, which equals less practice.

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    Member whateveri8's Avatar
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    You poor little boys, big mean magnum go Boom and recoil on your little shoulder?

    Better to have a tender shoulder than your guts clawed out by a big Brownie. In Coastal Brown bear country carry a Bear rifle when hunting deer or risk being food. It's your call, Shooting a big magnum all day at the range - yea right! Most normal people sight in their magnums and put them away until hunting time. If you going to shoot all day then get an AR15 or a Ruger 10/22 for range fun. I hear all this "it kicks too much" crap from all you lightweight liberals and it makes me sick. Magnums kick. That is what they do. Can't handle it or you are too fragile, then don't hunt! Get out of the woods before something eats you or your guide has to bail your sorry ass out of trouble with his .458 Lott.
    Recoils too much? take up quilting you old ladies!!!!

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    Default 30-06

    Can't go wrong with an 30-06 and as far as bears go works great have never had one coplain. Plus if you don't reload alot cheaper shooting. What 458 Lott bail my sorry @@$ out I know a couple old guides that only pack 30-06's I know one that packs a masin nagant (sp). The one thing I do know is 9 outof 10 times the bigger the caliber the worst the shotter!! Horse

  8. #8
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whateveri8
    Shooting a big magnum all day at the range - yea right! Most normal people sight in their magnums and put them away until hunting time.
    With all due respect, this is exactly the problem. Far too many hunters only shoot a few bullets a year to make sure their rifle is sighted in - something I've been guilty of as well. No, I don't particularly enjoy spending time at the range...I'm not a shooting nut who knows every little detail about ballistics, etc...but I respect the animals I hunt enough to spend the time working with my rifle so that I am 100% confident when I go into the woods. I'm not knocking you, but not being able to shoot it all day is exactly the reason that I think some people shouldn't go with a magnum. It doesn't make someone "tougher" to own one and only shoot it a few times just to sight it in.

    -Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by whateveri8
    Better to have a tender shoulder than your guts clawed out by a big Brownie. In Coastal Brown bear country carry a Bear rifle when hunting deer or risk being food. It's your call, Shooting a big magnum all day at the range - yea right! Most normal people sight in their magnums and put them away until hunting time. If you going to shoot all day then get an AR15 or a Ruger 10/22 for range fun. I hear all this "it kicks too much" crap from all you lightweight liberals and it makes me sick. Magnums kick. That is what they do. Can't handle it or you are too fragile, then don't hunt! Get out of the woods before something eats you or your guide has to bail your sorry ass out of trouble with his .458 Lott.
    Recoils too much? take up quilting you old ladies!!!!

    I've hunted with and taken big game with 161 different firearm/cartridge combinations. From rifle too pistol. I have even spent many of days in the woods of SE Alaska with a 243, 270 Win, 260 Rem, 7mm-08, 410 shotgun, 357 magnum and on and on. I'm not afraid of the BIG BAD COASTAL BROWNIES, are you? It doesn't matter what you are carrying, if you can't get a hit in the CNS at too close of range, your toast anyways.

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    Default Recoil and Magnum madness

    Yes, the 338 is good, as is the 30-06 or 9.3 Mauser, but as in real estate it is "location, location,location"... the first shot has to be the haymaker. Shot often and shot well....

  11. #11

    Default whateveri8

    Shouldn't post when you've been in the sauce!

    I have seen enough of the tough guy magnum shootin he men to last a lifetime. I hunted deer in Missouri with one such guy one year. He was hunting whitetail deer with a he man maucho 358 norma magnum because he was a tough guy and could handle the recoil. I was shooting my little Marlin 44mag lever gun. I made two clean kills and he shot the @ss off two deer and blew a leg clear off the third deer .......none were recovered. That kind of shootin in big bear country would have left three very pissed off bears roaming around for someone else to deal with....magnum or not!

    There is no substitution for knowing your gun and being able to shoot it.

    I wonder what the hell our forefathers did in bear country before there were any super duper magnums?? They learned to shoot straight with what they had!

    One more thing! Anyone that would label fellow hunters as "liberals" because they choose to shoot non magnums is either very narrow minded or very thick headed or mabe was just hammered when they posted!

  12. #12

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    The most brown bears I know of shot by one man, including two shot at close range in self defense, were all shot with a 30-06 using Federal 180 grain factory loads- not even premium bullets. He also has a whole house full of excellent trophies of many species, including large moose and elk. All taken with the 30-06 and the Federal factory loads.

    But it's the only rifle he owns. And I wouldn't want to get in any kind of shooting contest with this guy. It's the only rifle he's ever owned, and he shoots it better than most folks can even shoot a 22. You've never heard of him, and you never will.

    Real men don't measure their bore size and wave it around in public. They spend their time shooting and hunting. Pick either of the rifles you contemplate, then shoot the hell out of it and spend lots of time in the woods. You'll get lots more game for learning the ways of the woods than for flaunting your bore.

  13. #13
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default Re:One good rifle

    I would have to agree with the one rifle you shoot well and are comfortable with for most species.

    I do though somewhat disagree about some of the smaller calibers for the larger bears, err to the side of caution IMHO. If a trip like that is planned, take some time with a larger bullet weight caliber (338,375 etc) and learn to shoot it well. Mercury recoil reducers and much better recoil pads have really made shooting some of the larger calibers much easier. I am 6ft and 180lbs so definitely no big bruiser I am just saying that technology has really done a lot for the shooting sports.

    Resighting and just plain playing around prior to the black bear hunt I just took I shot my 375 23 times and my neighbors 12 year old son took 3 shots at the range in a couple hours time. With the mercury reducer and a gel pad and 10# weight it is very tolerable and fun to shoot. I would prefer lighter for long term carrying but that is a sacrifice I made and can deal with.

    Doug

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    Default whateveri8....

    Im hoping your post was simply good spirtited in nature, a harmless taunt if you will. I will assume that is was. Interesting to note your comments regarding "having a brownie claw your guts out". Correllating that with the caliber of choice in the field is a big mistake. Forgive me, but I would really be curious how much experience you REALLY have with weaponry (any kind!), how much time you have spent in the woods (or do you bench fire your LOTT as many do, and draw all your experience from paper brownies). It seems to me that most guys who get their guts clawed out by angry bears either simply lack proper situational awareness, or end up at the wrong place at the wrong time with ZERO time to do anything about it and that means no matter WHAT kind of cannon you have it will probably not matter. I've always been from the school of "carry what you shoot well." Doesnt mean that Im carring my 6.5 Swede or my .22-250 into dense brown bear country, but dissing guys for not wanting to carry magnums is a seriously misguided and pretty ignorant implication. My own experience as a hunter has been to walk carefully, quietly, meanfully. Stalk my prey and wait for a well-placed broadside shot. I have shot more animals in Alaska with 180 grains Nosler partitions, and cor-locts from a .30-06 than anything else. Followed by my .300 WinMag for some longer range shots for deer, most of them were overkill as well. And yes, I carry and shoot a .338 WinMag for brown bears AND black bears because I shoot it very well and it shoots better than I do. At the range I fire at, I would likely be better served by a .35 Whelen, another very effective NON magnum rifle. I know lotsa dudes that shoot '06 and 20 gauge shotguns...period! They kill every year very effectively. Give me their experience, patience, and common sense, and ethics anyday. If you like the big magnums because they make a big noise and fill you with bravado, more power to you. But given a choice, I'll walk into the woods with an experienced '06 shooter anyday before a narrow-minded cannon junkie. just my 2 cents...

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    Talking Brownbear...

    After my long-winded post I finally read yours. I should have just said "ditto" and been done with it. All this talk about '06 makes me want to go and buy a little 100 year birthday present! Anyone ever shot the BLR in '06??

  16. #16
    New member George's Avatar
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    Talking ditto also- BrownBear

    Seems velocity, bore size, amount of recoil, etc. sometimes are more closely related to ego or need for testosterone.

  17. #17
    Member Blaster's Avatar
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    Wow! That thread got a life of it's own there

    I've shot a .338 offa the bench before..a whole box of 250 grain bullets. And lemme tell u...I knew it the next day. I am leaning towards the .338 now. It won't be a benchgun, definitely a meat gun.

    AkHunter45...I made this same trip in 2002, ended up in North Pole..stayed with people I met over the Net. Long drive for sure...made it in 6.5 days. I love to drive and literally drove for as much as 18 or hours a day. I'da made it sooner but I stopped at Cabelas in Sidney on the way and stayed overnite in Great Falls before crossing the border..I was pretty much wupped when I got to AK.

    I went in early April..figgered the winter weather would be gone...WRONG! Made the trip very interesting.

    I've brought my guns through Canada that time too, wasn't much of a hassle really.

    Thanks for all of the input...although that .3006 sure looks good too...
    Just remember...there are no bad calibers, only bad shots.

  18. #18
    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rifle

    Double check Canadian laws first, I think you have to do paperwork in advance and each firearm costs 50.00 or something like that, Second hand info.

    The last time I drove the Alcan (98) it was easy as well, I just told them what I had in the back and went on.

    Doug

  19. #19

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    Great point of view Blaster. You'll be happy with the 338, but some day I would still back it with the 06. I've got a bunch of heavies, a bunch of small cals and most everything between. Like you said, it's the shot that counts.

    As for bench shooting, I have built an "upright" benchrest. Basically a benchrest with legs long enough so you can stand upright while you are shooting heavy boomers. It takes the hurt right out of thumpers when your whole body can move, rather than simply your shoulder. The worst recoiler was a friend's Ruger #1 rechambered from 458 to 460 Wby. Light and viscious on both ends. I could hardly shoot it from a regular bench, but put 60 rounds through it testing loads in one session from the upright bench. No prob.

  20. #20
    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    A Remington 700 SS in .338 became my weapon of choice years ago. I prefer 250 gr. Nozler partition bullets and I'm no recoil junkie. I had this rifle fitted with a muzzle break and it's very comfortable to shoot off the bench. I shoot it a lot throughout the course of a year and am very, very confident in it. I've never lost a bear, moose, caribou, or deer with this rifle. However, my oldest son's first rifle and still his primary hunting weapon is the 30-06 my wife and I bought for his 12th birthday. When my youngest son turned 12 he insisted on taking my Remington 7mm mag rather than a new rifle. I carried the 7mm for many years in Idaho and then here in Alaska. It was a sentimental thing with him and it has served him well as it did for me. I guess it just depends on which rifle and caliber you are more comfortable with and shoot best. Just my opinion.

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