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Thread: Dumb question from a newbie

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Default Dumb question from a newbie

    My situation is that I have (almost) never been big game hunting. I've killed a lot of birds and do a lot of duck hunting over the years but have never really been interested in deer or elk except for a short time I did some bow hunting for a few years, then I passed a number of shots at legal does (hoping for a buck) but have never taken a shot with a bow. Now I'm getting older and would like to go and bag a moose. Have several shot guns but no rifles. Looking at a Savage 99 in 308 at a pawn shop, pretty good clean rifle, iron sites. Would this be a ok gun to take moose hunting, maybe eventually a Caribu. Don't plan on a griz but I suppose I should have something that could stop one if need be, though I suspect that is few and far between that you need to shoot one out of necessity. Have a good laugh, and don't go overboard on the ideal gun, just something that would work for me. I don't like bolt actions. Thanks, Bud

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default I waited for the experts to reply

    The 308 can take a moose with a decent load bullet and good placement. It would be fine for caribou. Not so great for brown bear, though fine for black bear. I have never owned one, but one of my old hunting partners did, and he used it for moose and caribou. If I was you, and wanted a versatile weapon, I'd look for a .30.06 or a .338. Too bad you don't like bolts. That limits you to lever and semi-auto. Perhaps you could find a BAR.

    Lever guns have new loads that make them better than the old days.

    No such question is a dumb question. No laughing here.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The 308 is a fine rounds.The 180 and 200 grain bullets will work good on moose and caribou,deer,sheep, goat and black bear. For grizz good shot placement in the hundred yard area should work. The 99 is a classy gun and a fixed 4 power scope should do all you need if you want a scope

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great gun to me. I would shoot everything in AK with it except coastal brown bears and bison. It might be overkill on rabbits also...
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Probably Fine But

    I would look for a rifle with more punch.

    My experience is different (look at other threads) than many of the locals. Every moose I have shot took a minute or so to realize that it was dead. In that time, a moose can get in some ugly places (like cold water).

    If I were starting out, I would look at something in 338. Personally I have a 30-06, a 300 WSM, and a 375 Weatherby (a wildcat rifle that will shoot 375 H & H - NOT a 378 Weatherby). While I might not recommend any of these for you - they are all options if you can find them in semis or levers.

    On a side note, if the Savage 99 is under $400 - buy it as an investment. In good shape around here (upstate NY) they go for somewhere above $1000.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
    If I were starting out, I would look at something in 338.
    I have to disagree here. Being as you has never shot a centerfire rifle I think it would do you more harm than good to begin right out of the gate with a .338 WM.

    First off the recoil on the 338 WM is quite a bit for many people especially if they have never shot a centerfire rifle. Secondly you already stated you were trying to keep costs down so in order to become proficient with whatever rifle you'll have to practice, which means shooting the rifle. Being that on average a box of .308 with only cost on average 2/3s to 1/2 the cost of a .338WM.

    The .308 is a very capable round for everything you stated you wish to hunt with. Since you don't like bolt actions, if the Savage 99 is in good condition it'll work out well for ya. Good luck and happy hunting.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    . . . Have several shot guns but no rifles. Looking at a Savage 99 in 308 at a pawn shop, pretty good clean rifle, iron sites. Would this be a ok gun to take moose hunting, maybe eventually a Caribu. Don't plan on a griz but I suppose I should have something that could stop one if need be, though I suspect that is few and far between that you need to shoot one out of necessity. Have a good laugh, and don't go overboard on the ideal gun, just something that would work for me. I don't like bolt actions. Thanks, Bud
    The 308 is an excellent cartridge and the 99 is a fine rifle. Moose are big critters, but a 180 grain 30 caliber bullet is very effective so long as you place it properly. The 308 is practically made to order for caribou, deer and such. As for bigger bears, it might not be the best choice, but Alaskan pioneers rarely used rifles that are as effective as the 308. If their rifles worked 75 years ago, I suspect the 308 will work today. Iron sights look appropriate on the 99, but I would definitely recommend a good quality scope. A fixed 4X has been mentioned and that would be right at home on a 99 in 308. The bottom line is you will shoot much better with a scope and make your rifle all the more effective since you will be able to place your shots with greater effect. I wish you well as you take up big game hunting. If you like the 99 and its a decent price I say go for it. Hunting is about enjoying the little things and carrying a rifle you love brings a lot of pleasure on a hunt IME.

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    Default Muzzle loader?

    I would agree with what most everbody on this thread has said, but, just as an option , consider a muzzle loader? I have a 54 cal and it is my favorite gun. Other than no quick second shot it is quitet versatile and fun to shoot (inexpensive too)

    JMHO

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    Member MARV1's Avatar
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    Default another out of state expert

    .308 is fine, .30/06 is better IMHO. Record coastal grizz was taken with a .308. Lots of moose as well. The ones that get away are from those afraid of their rifles and/or can't shoot them well enough to drop them in their tracks.
    Last edited by Alaska_Lanche; 04-25-2010 at 17:31.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

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    Member ArcherBob's Avatar
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    Absolutely! .308 is and always has been my favorite calliber. It will work for everything you mentioned just fine. (.30-.06 is over rated IMO)

    Amigo Will: I had a fixed 4X on my model 788 for many years, an old weaver. Perfect IMO. Good call
    Bob

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  11. #11
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Get it, shoot it, shoot it some more, then go kill a moose with it!

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    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    I say go for it. My sheep partner uses a lever action .308 and loves it.

    I think LuJon answered it perfect.

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    Thumbs up

    .308 WIN 'can be' a versatile big-game cartridge here in Alaska from the 150, 165 & 180 grain bullets in most factory loadings for hunting. Sitka Blacktail Deer, D. Sheep, M. Goat, Black Bear, plus the Caribou and Moose you mention in your post have been successfully hunted with this accurate, efficient, and effective cartridge. It's also comfortable for most to shoot routinely, conveniently available everywhere, meanwhile easier on the pocketbook than 'more gun'.

    The Savage 99 lever-gun is now a classic and not produced anymore. If the gun is mechanically sound, and the barrel is still a good shooter... She'll make a good carry companion wherever your hunts will take ya. Iron sights as well as a reliable scope on dependable basses/rings would be nice to have*.

    *I have this set-up on an old 300 SAV. and it's a shooter!

    Now is this the 'Ideal Moose-getter'? It is "sufficient"... nevertheless... Heck NO!

    With this said, .308 WIN has more often than not worked out favorably and long been proven adequate. The NO part only comes into play concerning all the efforts, perfect timing, expenditures, and all that could go wrong in a potential once in a lifetime Moose hunting scenario. These things really should weigh in on your choices for an Alaska rifle.

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    Default Awesome responses...

    Really can't add much to what's been said, but yes, don't listen to outta staters that say "BIGGER IS BETTER" mantra....308 is a fine caliber, even for grizz...if you know where to hit them, & are accurate enough to hit them there...dead is dead, I've never heard a complaint from animals that said such cartridge wasn't enough...

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    More then adequate. I would be more concerned with the condition of the rifle then the caliber.
    Pick a quality bullet and place it well and you will have plenty of steaks. Heck I am going to use my Model 94 in 30-30 this year for an Elk hunt, during the rut.
    Just don't over extend your yardage. If you change your mind let me know, I'll buy it.

  16. #16
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Default 308 is plenty of gun

    I started out using a .338 in Alaska. Most people will say you need a big gun for critters in Alaska. Well, I got sick of hauling around a big gun and paying $60.00 for a box of ammo. My .338 is a baby to shoot, but it is heavy. I bought my wife a .270 and before you know it; she tells me to go buy my own and stop using hers. I bought my own .270 and hunt with that now. The .338 will only get used on brown bear hunts. I do believe the .270 is a lil light for brownies. The .270 has killed moose, black bears, grizz, and bou--all dead with one shot. You be the judge of what you think is the right caliber. .308 is plenty of gun.

    The best advice is get a gun you can sit at the range and pour a couple boxes of cartridges through without flinching and getting beat up. Accuracy is FAR more important than having a large caliber rifle.

    BTW--shooting a moose in the water is my preferred location. Have a come-a-long and 200 feet of rope to get the big boy to shallow water, and you will have the cleanest meat that will ever go in your game bags.

    Good luck
    Last edited by AFHunter; 04-24-2010 at 14:58. Reason: added info

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFHunter View Post
    BTW--shooting a moose in the water is my preferred location. Have a come-a-long and 200 feet of rope to get the big boy to shallow water, and you will have the cleanest meat that will ever go in your game bags.

    Good luck
    Apparently you have not shot one in the snow! At minus 4* it is clean and "in the freezer" just about as fast as you can get it cut loose and bag it up!

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    Dropped a cow south of the Tanana a few years ago. -30s during the day. It was -54 when we got it out that night. Gutted and cut her in half. Drug her out in 2 pieces with the sled. Besides being cold it was great. All the blood and gut pile froze, no smell.

  19. #19
    Supporting Member AFHunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Apparently you have not shot one in the snow! At minus 4* it is clean and "in the freezer" just about as fast as you can get it cut loose and bag it up!
    My family has harvested moose in the snow. Any hair on the meat still has to be picked off in the snow. In the water the hair does not stick to the meat.

  20. #20
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Thanks for everybodys advice, I most likely will pick up the mod 99 savage 308, looked like a good clean gun. They are advertising a gun sale now and the rifle was still there a few days ago. I forgot when posting, i did qualify with m14 in the army and had a m70 in 7mm rem mag for a couple years when i was young but that was over 40 yrs ago. I have a airboat and want to hunt a lot with it, just got it last summer and still learning, but the advise of shooting them in the water sounds good, have to see where i can find em at, I know minto is out with airboats, but lots of other swamps around, just have to find them. Any body interested, keep in touch. Thanks again, Bud

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