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Thread: What would be the best self loading heavy caliber rifle?

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    Default What would be the best self loading heavy caliber rifle?

    What would be the best heavy caliber self loading rifle, say .338 Win. Mag. Or heavier, that would stand up best to the bush and harsh weather? Thanks! I am a fan of a self loader when things get complicated.

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    By complicated, do you mean dangerous situations where you want a fast followup shot? You can get the BAR in that caliber but I would rather have a SXS if I thought I did not have the ability to use a bolt action quick enough.
    I had a BAR in 7 Mag and it FTE when I needed to have a followup shot and sold it. No more auto's for me unless it is a 22 or a shotgun.
    And I will never buy a Browning anything again.

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    No such thing!

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    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    I have read of fellows opening up an M1 Garand to .35 Whelen, and made it operate reliably and without bending operating rods. At the moment, if not the Browning, there's the .458 SOCOM, .450 Bushmaster available in the AR platform, as well as several rounds that are pushing useable range, like .308, and some of the 'short' mags from Olympic. The Bushmaster upper and the Rock River should give good service, and 350-500 gr. weight bullets/loads at velocities approaching .45-70 from the .458.
    Other than those, there's the HK type rifles, the M1A, and the standard Garand, those of course in .308 and .30-06.
    There were some of the Remington semi-autos, the 742, I believe, in .35 Remington, as well as the old Browning design Remington semi auto.
    If none of these, nor the Browning BAR are what you're after, there's always the 40mm Bofors gun......

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    Browning Bar in .338 is the only game in town...and a .338 isn't really a heavy. It's properly a medium.

    A couple more options in .300 and several more in .308 and '06 but they're realistically a light rifle. I messed with a Benelli R1 in .300 and it shot well but its heavy and complex compared to a bolt gun.

    If its absolutely gotta work- a self loader is pretty far down on the list for me.

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    As an owner of several Remington semi-autos in .308 and 30.06 over the years, I cannot recommend them to be 100% reliable. I bought a new 7400 30.06 carbine a few years ago and I can't figure out why it has a fail to eject every now and again. I feed it premium stuff too! The only reason I keep it is that it kept us fed when we were on hard times in Colorado a few years back. I've sold or traded all the rest off.
    I'd go with a good bolt gun and practice, practice, practice until chambering the next round is second nature. Just my .02

    Mountaintrekker

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    50 Beowulf. Not a long range propisition, but out to 200 yds, look out...
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
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    I have a Saiga .308 but that would be too light in my eyes for sure. BARs I always considered but thought maybe they were to fragile...as for bolt guns I have some in lower calibers but would hate to use that action when crap hits the fan, just seems too likely for me to cause a jam manually in excitement. It seems .338 is the norm now for moose, brown bear and the like now as much as I have read. What is everyones thought on that caliber for such applications?

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    No such thing!
    I beg to differ

    338 Lapua

    And there's always the 82A1

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    Using a heavy caliber self-loader when things get complicated!! Using a self-loader in the bush in a difficult situation will always get complicated because self-loaders are complicated and will ALWAYS fail when you most need them. Using anything based on the AR platform for AK brush work is IMHO plain suicide. Don't get me wrong, the AR is a reasonable platform, but certainly not 100% reliable, especially when subjected to the rigors/weather that an AK bush trip can throw at it. Even more so when converted to a (relatively) unproven, for reliability, heavy caliber.
    As others have said, Browning BARs are not the most reliable, yet still a respected bush firearm.
    If you want things to get over complicated, then take a complicated self-loader into a complicated situation!
    Personally anything above 308 or 30-06 is pretty useless for the type of scenario you intimate as the ability to get rapid, on-target, follow-up shots from a heavier caliber is non-existent. Ever tried controlled pairs with a 338 Lap Mag!!!
    IMHO, for heavy (greater than 308/30-06) you are far better sticking with a lever or bolt gun for reliability. However if you are determined for a self-loader and want reliabilty and heavy (ish) caliber then a SAIGA 308, FN FAL, M1/SOCOM 16 or HK are your only bush reliable choices IMHO (there are others, but they would top my list for affordability and reliability). 20 or 30rds of 308 is pretty good at stopping most things - ever Bruin.
    Your other alternative is to look at self-loading shotguns, many types around from all manufacturers and if you want true anti-zombie style, then the SAIGA 12 is for you. Again however, self-loading shotguns are not hugely reliable with bigger slugs, you would need to research carefully.

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    The BAR's can be used, but they must be kept CLEAN. That means that they should be disassembled and cleaned each time they are taken to the field or to the range. Neglect in this respect will lead to failures to extract or eject. The gas cylinder/piston assy has tight tolerances and even though they are chrome lined/plated they can still freeze up with enough carbon buildup. This will lead to malfunctions, numerous and varied. Plus you can't let a bunch of dirt, silt, or grass get into the receiver, as this will also cause sluggish cycling. If kept clean, the BAR's run fine. However, they are not for someone who has limited mechanical aptitude, or who puts off cleaning their guns. Even though I like Remington products generally, I would never buy one of their auto rifles. Too many failures over the years, and a weak design in several respects.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    I have 2 Saiga 12's and love em. I wanted a hunting/protection rifle though that can group out at a distance well and be adequate for up close bear encounters. Shotgun slugs are only good pretty much up close. The other route is a .45/70 short Guide Gun, I want one of those too but that does not have the reach....338 Lapua would be a very heavy rifle it appears so more likely to be left in the boat, camp, cabin....

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    What has already been stated; FAL, M1 Garand, M1A, ect. Rifles engineered to survive. But as again has already been stated, you have to properly maintain them and know how to adjust them according to the conditions. This is why I like my FAL and its adjustable gas system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    I beg to differ

    338 Lapua

    And there's always the 82A1
    I know when I've been had

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Lets see 45/70 And Sandy Hook trials

    http://usarmorment.com/pdf/45-70.pdf
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Wow now that is raw power! I do have a soft spot for the old thumpers. It's like why I have more fun with Brenneke 3 inch 12gauge mag slugs up close than drilling paper at 300 yards with the .223's. Big holes! Yeah my Saiga .308 can kill really anything as long as I place the shot good but maybe not before I get bit by 1500 pound brown and nasty. What are the heavy bore rifles everyone here uses, above .308 (7.62x54)?

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    What is your definition of heavy? The 7.62x54 is only 0.311".
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    OK, in reality you are right, the ammo boxes do not tell the truth, such as .38's are not true to that size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by THE_HUNTERIAM View Post
    What would be the best heavy caliber self loading rifle, say .338 Win. Mag. Or heavier, that would stand up best to the bush and harsh weather? Thanks! I am a fan of a self loader when things get complicated.
    In Alaska, "complicated" means you are facing an animal big enough to end your life in weather conditions harsh enough to render all but the simplest, and most reliable weapons inoperable. An auto-loader doesn't fit here. A side-by-side big bore double ($$$$!!!!), a well-built, albiet slower big bore lever gun, or one of the hand canons that have come out in the last ten years would all be my choice over ANY auto-loader.

    Since I can't afford a high-dollar double, I have one each of the big-bore lever guns (Marlin 1895 in .450 Marlin) and the hand-canons. (S&W 460V revolver). The Marlin is getting worked over by a reputable 'smith, and the .460 is my constant woods-roaming companion.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Just to clarify .308 Win is actually 7.62 x 51 (not 54 as stated). 7.62 x 54 is a Russian rimmed cartridge. Anyway, back to the point, I take my trusty shortened, parkerised, tuned Guide gun everywhere. Not much that can't be stopped with a 45-70 within 150yds. You'd be suprised how quick you can make follow up shots with a slick levergun.

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