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Thread: A question about rifle selection

  1. #1

    Default A question about rifle selection

    Hello All-

    I have talked and talked to people and I thought this would be the best place to ask before I pull the trigger on a new gun. I am new to the Alaska Interior, and came up here with a Tikka whitetail hunter .270 SS/LS w/VX II 3x9x40. I plan to enjoy everything that this great state has to offer and realize that my current rifle doesn't exactly cut the mustard for all.

    I have looked into the "Best Caliber for Alaska" thread, and the way I read this is that if you could only have "one" gun which would it be. But if you already had a .270 would stepping up to a .300 or .338 really be wise?

    I've looked at the Browning A-Bolt 375 H&H w/BOSS. But haven't seen very many reviews for this rifle. My plan was to pair this rifle with either a VX-II or Ziess Conquest 3x9x40. Would this make a good combo, or is there another option that y'all recommend?

    Thanks in advance
    Kevin

  2. #2
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    You will get ten different answers from ten different people on your post. There is nothing wrong with your trusty .270. With premium bullets and proper shot placement you will put meat in the freezer. Personally I wouldn't use it on big, coastal brownies though. A .338 or one of the .375 calibers would be a great choice as a second rifle. I find that I carry my model 70 .375 most of the time now. I like the way it carries and the bullets go where I put the cross hairs. Plus, you always need just one more rifle, right?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Kevin,

    Lots of info you'll find on the search about this topic. There is nothing wrong with your .270 for most anything in the Interior and its almost ideal for carribou. Don't underestimate how much "other" stuff you'll need to hunt up here as well... in short I'd use the .270 until I made sure I had the other bases well covered.

    That said- a .300 or .338 is hard to beat for a "one gun" for AK. A .375 works well but realize a big gun comes with attendant baggage (weight, cost, recoil, etc). I do have a .375 that I rarely use anymore and carry my lightweight .300 almost all the time for nearly every thing. If I ever hunt coastal bears or bison I'll likely take it but for everything else I like the .300.

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    My opinion - worth exactly what you're paying for it - is that you "need" two rifles for Alaska. A lightweight, flat-shooting rifle for sheep and goat, and a heavier rifle for everything else. You just may find yourself hunting moose, bou and bear all at once, and no reason not to use the same rifle for all three even if just hunting one species.

    Sounds like you have a great sheep rifle, now just pair it with a 338 or 375 and you'll be set for everything. No rush, wait for a good deal, your 270 is fine for what you can hunt in the next year anyway.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I have no qualms about letting my daughters and son hunt with their .270 for anything short of coastal brown bears. I would use it too if I didn't already have a 30-06. There is nothing wrong with the rifle you have.
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    Member Toddler's Avatar
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    Use the 270 until you plan you Kodiak trip. Then buy the 375 if you need it. You will not be under-gunned. Go to the range a shoot prone sitting/kneeling and standing twice a month. You will find your groups will shrink and you shot placement will improve. if you shoot anything in the heart/lung it will die.

    Just my nickel,

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    Member jcorwin4278's Avatar
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    i say a .300 win mag is the perfect gun for all Alaska big game, including Grizzly. I shoot a .300 and it works great. Use a 180 grain bullet and just let 'em rip. Good luck and i hope this helps.

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    If I alredy had a .270 , Id buy a 12 gauge shotgun and a .22lr Rifle next, then a decent pistol.

    That way you WILL be armed appropriatly to enjoy all this state has to offer.

    Any accurate rifle in the 30-06 power area will do you fine.

    Bigger and faster is only better if it is accurate, and you have shells.

    Having a very popular round like the .270 is a bit of help.
    Out in the Bush, newer cartridges or bullet weights are not always available.

    I use a 7.62X54R 'cause its cheap and accurate in my economical/tough a can be use for a Mosin Nagant in the Finnish M-39 configurtion. Ammo by the case, and accurate enough for me....

    What ever you do, Have fun.
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    I am "one gun guy" and shoot a .338. I Handload 180g nosler accubond for deer, sheep, caribou ect... and 225g partitions for everything bigger. Your Tikka 270 is an an excellent rifle, especially if you can shoot it with confidence. But realilisticly its too small for the big critters. When you decide to step up (like we all do) just make sure that you are comfortable with the gun (length & fit) and the caliber (recoil & noise). A .270 shot to the heart is better than a .375 in the hind end any day.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    If I alredy had a .270 , Id buy a 12 gauge shotgun and a .22lr Rifle next, then a decent pistol.

    That way you WILL be armed appropriatly to enjoy all this state has to offer.

    Any accurate rifle in the 30-06 power area will do you fine.

    Bigger and faster is only better if it is accurate, and you have shells.

    Having a very popular round like the .270 is a bit of help.
    Out in the Bush, newer cartridges or bullet weights are not always available.

    I use a 7.62X54R 'cause its cheap and accurate in my economical/tough a can be use for a Mosin Nagant in the Finnish M-39 configurtion. Ammo by the case, and accurate enough for me....

    What ever you do, Have fun.
    I do have a Remington 870 Express Super Mag, 22 and a 30/30 that needs new stock.

    I guess that I'm in the same dilemma that many people are, go with a .338 or a .375. Yesterday I walked into Sportmans (Fairbanks)and was going to get a Remington 700 XCR in .338, but they didn't have any and Bill began talking to me about a .375 and he showed me the Browning, but haven't seen very many positive reviews.

    O yea, I plan to have fun as soon and I can make a decision!

    Kevin

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    Quote Originally Posted by mekaniks View Post
    I am "one gun guy" and shoot a .338. I Handload 180g nosler accubond for deer, sheep, caribou ect... and 225g partitions for everything bigger. Your Tikka 270 is an an excellent rifle, especially if you can shoot it with confidence. But realilisticly its too small for the big critters. When you decide to step up (like we all do) just make sure that you are comfortable with the gun (length & fit) and the caliber (recoil & noise). A .270 shot to the heart is better than a .375 in the hind end any day.
    The .338Wm is an excellent choice for the interior of Alaska, and well pared to the .270 as a rifle combo.

  12. #12

    Default Step Away From the VX-II...

    If you're going to do 3-9x40 anyway, for about the same money look at the Nikon Team Primos, which is the same optic as the previous model Monarch which sold for about $400, just has a BDC instead of a regular reticle. Not Zeiss quality, but at least as good as VX-III to my eyes. I haven't looked at the new Redfields if budget is tight.

    As others have said, though, you'll be surprised at how much you should spend on a lot of other gear. The .270 should be fine for quite some time. Try shooting a few mid-heavies before buying and make sure they won't teach you to flinch.

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    I have a few different rifles and have had others in the fleet but I've been killing moose, caribou, sheep and wolves with my trusty .270 in an old Ruger 77 for since 1977 or 8, I'm not sure. I agree with all of those who say that a well placed shot is most important. If you are familiar with the .270 and you can shoot it with confidence in all situations then you can use it for all but the big bears. I also have a .338 that picked up along the way. I kind of wanted to have one anyway, and it's ok, but I have absolute confidence in my old .270. I live in the Yukon and we have introduced free-ranging buffalo that can be hunted. The government has mandated hunters to use calibres of .30 or over so I keep the .338 around. There are many who worry about protection in the event of a bear attack. That's something you have to come to terms with personally. I can suggest that you make friends who shoot the bigger calibers and try them out. If the magnum punch is more than you like, you could consider an '06 in a Tikka.

  14. #14

    Default Thanks Guys

    Thanks to all that have replied!

    I think that I'll just keep my .270 and see how this year goes, I'll spend the money I was planning on a gun and buy a better tent and nicer bino's.

    Kevin

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    Member c04hoosier's Avatar
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    That is a wise decision. You will spend far more time glassing and/or waiting out weather days in the tent than you will shooting anyway.

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    I too am new to Alaska, being stationed at Eielson for all of five weeks before this deployment. I am surprised no one mentioned the 300WSM. Im looking for a good one gun for the interior and like what I see with the round. Am I missing something here?

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    the 338's and 375's are fantastic for big critters.If you handload and are a bit recoil sensitive consider the 350 rem mag or 35 whelen both can be had in a stainless ruger hawkeye, both have plenty for big bars when loaded with 250gr bullets

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    KRG:
    A suggestion. Since you are keeping the .270, when you are at the range try and shoot someones .338 and a .375 to compare their recoil. Old timers used to swear by the .375 and state that the recoil isnt bad. Something to consider is where and when you hunt. I wouldnt be doing much solo hunting in bear country with a .270. A 150 grain bullet .277 in diameter doesnt have much knockdown power or penetrating ability. Its a surgical instrument when sometimes you want a hammer. Nothing worse than shooting a caribou with a fatal shot and watch it continue to eat oblivious to the fact that it was dead ontil it laid down and died. Not the kind of result you want on a moose near water, a sheep near a cliff or a bear anytime....
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  19. #19
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bombboy View Post
    ... I am surprised no one mentioned the 300WSM. Im looking for a good one gun for the interior and like what I see with the round. Am I missing something here?
    Nope, several folks mentioned a ".300 Mag" I think this pretty much includes all of the .300 magnums- Win Mag, WSM, Weatherby and H&H. There's not a critter alive that can tell the difference in any of them. WSM and Win Mag run about neck and neck with 180gr bullets, Weatherby is a bit in front and the H&H is a little behind unless you're handloading, but we're really talking small differences rather than a quantum leap. The biggest difference is the shape of the brass powder bottle and the weight of the rifle you're toting around. In the Interior I know a lot of folks who use a .300 of some flavor with good results.

    I personally use a .300WSM as an "all around" rifle in the Interior and I've been happy with it.

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