Grizzlies, black bears, kodiaks and polar bears - weapon

SaraFoit

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Hi friends,

Again we're packing up and moving north - way, way north. Glad to be here! Alaska and Northern Canada – Yukon, Northwest Teritories and Nunavut. So, I'd like a few inputs on what to get. We'll need rifles - for when we're travelling, and sidearms for daily wear around town and in camp.

I 've got experience around polar bears and arctic conditions, so minimum rifle calibershould be .308. We have Magnums, Mausers, Mossberg and Lee-Enfield due to their reliability in the harsh arctic environment over long periods of time - Northern Norway, Svalbard, Greenland, Lapland and Siberia.
The weapons must be 100% reliable, even in -40 deg C. It doesn't matter if the barrel won't last through a lot of shots, it just has to work when it's needed, and of course for target practice. I would think that of course typical northern sled dogs are one of the best alarm systems around, not to mention a possible deterrent and distraction when it comes to big bears.

In Alaska and Northern Canada the say .30-06 is minimum for the great bears, which is roughly the same recommendation.
I suppose all the regular hunting calibers are OK for Alaska and Northern Canada.
I'd start looking at the Winchester model 71.
Comes to mind and with proper bullets at reasonable velocities would work very well .444 marlin, that's what my friend took in Baffin Island, Resoluteand on the northwest coast of Hudson Bay.

Given the legendary popularity of the Winchester model 71 in Alaska.
I have been told many times that the Winchester model 71 is well liked in Alaska, at least by enough people that they only last seconds if they come up for sail. Supposedly quite a few were converted from .348 to .450 Alaskan as well precisely to have more oomph for the great bears.
Local gun dealer said the Winchester and Remington .375 H&H magnums was the weapon of choice.

Part of the problem with this thread is that local knowledge trumps all, and few of usknow either the conditions or the practical reality of what is allowed under law and/or commonly available.

So, any recommendations on what to get?
Thank you all for the education :)
Thanks for making me family outdoor directory.
This forum has been such a great help with some many helpful people.


Have an awesome day
Cherish the great outdoors!
Greetings
Sara Foit
 

cjustinm

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i like a .300 win for the range not so much the power. most people i know that have a .375 wont fire it more than a couple times due to recoil with doesnt do much good if you cant hit what your aiming at. 06' wouldnt be bad either.
 

Smitty of the North

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You've got more answers than questions.

To help you make up your mind, I'll suggest you get a 30-30 LA, in a Win. 94 or Marlin. And, use 170 grain bullets. Practice may be more important than the choice of firearm.

It follows then, that you'll need something that you can USE, AND practice with.

Smitty of the North
 

1Cor15:19

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IME, if someone asks if they need a 375 H&H then they don't need one. I'd go .308 without a second thought. There is nothing I'd want a 30/06 to do that a .308 won't do as well and do it with less recoil. I'm not saying that the 30/06 doesn't have more, just that the .308 has plenty.....

Buy a quality .308 Winchester, use decent ammo and you'll be perfectly well armed.
 

martentrapper

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. We'll need rifles - for when we're travelling, and sidearms for daily wear around town and in camp.


Just where will you be living that you need a sidearm around TOWN?
Just where are you coming from that you don't already know that answer to your questions?
Just what will you be doing that will take you so far north?
 

Float Pilot

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Winchester model 71 lever actions, chambered in 348 Winchester, were very popular back in the 1950s and 1960s. Particularly in south-east Alaska which is heavy rain forest. However they are now obsoleted and ammunition is scarce.

We Alaskans tend to possess several firearms, and we also like to disagree on which is best. It is part of our culture.

In reality, the threat of bear attack is greatly over-exaggerated and we only use it as an excuse to buy more rifles.


The best bear defense is using what is between your ears.
 

Float Pilot

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Very True...

I only shoot them with a camera these days.
Why get paid once to shoot one, when you can get paid several times to show folks the same bear over and over.
One dose of bear worms was enough for me... I can't even look at bear meat anymore.
 

GrassLakeRon

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Sara,

Can you shoot a 12 gauge accurately? If you said, yes then recoil is not an issue. My remington 375 h&h felt recoil is similar.

Ron
 

Spdcrazy

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i enjoy shooting my 375 more than my 300. with 300gr vrs 180 respectively. but in your situation the 300 will reach further with less drop, and in my arsenal the 300 has 3+1. and the 375 is a single. so i'd rock the 300.

as stated, make sure you can shoot whatever it is you carry. in the dark, cold, rain, snow, with gloves, off handed, sitting, lying down, middle of a jumping jack, etc. if your really in a dangerous place it might come in handy.
 
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