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Alaska Rifle

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by lazarus, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. lazarus

    lazarus Hard to Kill

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    I am planning a trip to Alaska for late summer. I haven't nailed down the details yet, but I think I want to do a canoe trip down a river, probably somewhere in the interior. I want to float down the river in a canoe, take pictures, fish, and do some opportunistic hunting. In other words I want to buy a tag for Caribou, Moose or whatever is legal that time of year, and shoot one if I see one.

    Other than Ar-15's and a muzzle loader, my only big bore rifle is a Remington 700 ADL in .30-06. I am thinking it is probably inadequate for taking Moose and Caribou reliably. I am also thinking it is grossly inadequate to reliably stopping an angry Grizzly who wants me for lunch.

    This would appear to neccessitate the purchase of a new rifle (what a shame :) ). I am thinking about something in either .338 Winchester Magnum or .375 H&H magnum. The .375 hits harder, but the .338 will shoot flatter.

    Does anyone have experience shooting at such large beasties? What's the best rifle to get?
     
  2. TFLWYO

    TFLWYO

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  3. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

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    The 30-06 is actually fine for a moose or caribou.I like the 375 for an all arounder--its a very good round.30-06 will work for large bear--but its pushing it--I would sure feel alot better with the 338 or 375.A friend of mine killed a large bear with a 30-06 and told me he would never attempt it again with that caliber--it was "almost" not enough gun.If you had seen a large bear in person as i have many times,you would probably opt for the larger caliber.I sure miss my home state and i wish i was going with you man--oh yeah--dont dont dont go alone.Period.
     
  4. anomad

    anomad

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    The 30-06 is plenty for moose and very popular up here. Caribou are much smaller of course. During moose and caribou season I couldn't go into a sporting goods store without seeing someone walk out with two boxes of 30-06. Don't worry about the bears, just don't smear yourself with fish guts a squeal like a dying rabbit when you get in your tent at night.

    Now, everyone needs a cool new rifle! But, if I were you, I would spend that extra money on a really outstanding float trip and save the rifle purchase for later. There are so many rivers in the interior I don't know where to start. Late August or early-mid september is the time to go. If you want some trip ideas I can toss a few out, depending on what you're after.
     
  5. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    I worked in an Alaskan gun shop for a couple of years when I lived up there, and we sold a LOT of .338 Win Mags to new folks. The recoil is still pretty manageable, there are some great loads available, and (best of all) the trajectory is VERY similar to the .30-06 at reasonable hunting ranges. So, if you know what the holdover would be for your '06 at a given distance, then you should be comfortable with the .338 using the same aiming point. A lot of the GIs took their .338s with them when they left, to use for Elk/Bear in the lower 48.

    BTW, the natives use .30-30s a lot for moose and caribou, so the '06 is just fine with the right loads and a good shooter. The problem with moose is they tend to wander-off after being shot, and sometimes they wander into the water (pond/swamp/creek) before expiring. This ain't any fun at all for the hunter. The bigger calibers have a slightly better chance of anchoring the moose to the spot, given good placement, IMO.
     
  6. tjpet

    tjpet

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    I went to college with a group of native Alaskans. To a man they all used the 30/06 but there was disagreement as to the best bullet weight. Most liked the 180 for all around use but a hardcore fringe loved the old Remington core-lockt 220's for the really big stuff. They weren't too concerned with trajectory but wanted penetration from all angles.
     
  7. Alsatian

    Alsatian

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    IMO, You might want to take a look at the .45-70. I own a single shot NEF w/22" barrel, this is a low cost alternative to buying a Ruger #1 or Marlin 1895 or other high dollar magnum caliber rifle. Mine is pretty beat and battered, but functions flawlessly and gets the job done. This rifle will easily handle the highest pressure loads available (ie. Garrett, etc.) and will flatten ANY animal on this continent out to 200 yards+. The .30-06 is fine for Moose and Caribou at modest range and a well placed shot, use a high quality 180-200gr bullet such as Barnes "X" or Nosler Partition. Do some research on the .45-70, I think you'll be sold on having one handy in the canoe or slung across your back while floating, hiking or fishing. When I hike into the wilderness areas for overnighters, I always bring the .45-70 along.
     
  8. iweb

    iweb

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    When I live up there I hunted moose every year with my 338 and every year I would shoot it 4 or 5 times to make sure it was still sighted and then one shot to knock down the moose. Love the gun.
     
  9. lazarus

    lazarus Hard to Kill

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    Thanks for all the god replies. I guess I'll see how my budget looks. I won't be hunting Brown bear this trip, but I want to be able to defend against one of need be. I'll get something heavier if budget allows; if not, it seems like the consensus is that I'll be OK with the .30-06.

    anomad,

    I would love to hear your thoughts on some good float trips. One are I am thinking about is Bristol Bay near Dillingham. I do want somewhere where Caribou is open to non-resident for most of August. It would be highly desirable to catch some Silver Salmon on the trip as well.

    Thanks.
     
  10. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    DJ Niner said.. ( quote)

    BTW, the natives use .30-30s a lot for moose and caribou, so the '06 is just fine with the right loads and a good shooter. The problem with moose is they tend to wander-off after being shot, and sometimes they wander into the water (pond/swamp/creek) before expiring. This ain't any fun at all for the hunter. The bigger calibers have a slightly better chance of anchoring the moose to the spot, given good placement, IMO. ( emd quote)...

    Amen! 30-30's, 35rem, 444 marlin, 45-70's, have all benn used to take down moose and caribou for years. And i agree that they can wander off with the lighter load, (30-30), but that is not as common as you might think. all plenty good enough.. but if this was a one time chance for you, i would consider the 30-06, or 7 mag. you should be able to get close enough for a good shot and a clean kill.

    Your not hunting Rhino! :)

    have a great hunt!


    CanyonMan
     
  11. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    Your 06 will do just fine.

    I've read some results of studies of what Alaskans' shoot. One was a survey of what calibers were sighted-in at the Rabbit Creek range. If I remember correctly the most common were 30-06, 300 mag, 338 mag and 375 mag.

    The thing to remember is this; Rabbit Creek Range is a city range utilized by anyone with a firearm. We are talking old-time hunters as well as first-time hunters, as well as "citified" hunters with their Walmart specials (never killed anything and never will).

    I don't live nor hunt in the city and what I see is, the 338 magnum is the favorite Alaskan cabiber. Hands down.

    So, if you want an excuse to buy a new rifle...the sky is the limit.
     
  12. Rabon

    Rabon

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    The 338 is for those times when you get a little closer than you really wanted to.;) It is the Alaskan cartridge.
     
  13. anomad

    anomad

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    Hey bustedknee, do you think the 338 is more popular on the peninsula than the interior? From what I've seen I'd say its more justified, the moose and bears are definitely bigger closer towards the coast.
     
  14. G22 Kid

    G22 Kid

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    What do you guys think of the BAR .338 win mags? My dad was looking at one the other day, looked like he really liked it. I know autos are prone to jamming, but he plans on going to Alaska for bear and moose. I would just think an auto would make a good big bore cause they seem to kick less and you stay on target better then with a bolt gun.
     
  15. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

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    I personally am not big on semi-auto hunting rifles--to much jamming going on...I would rather go bolt or lever...besides that the semi-auto rifles are just -----ugly!!! hehehe ;)
     
  16. G22 Kid

    G22 Kid

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    Personally, I would take the BLR as top choice, but they don't make them in .338 that I know of. The 45-70 is good, especially at stopping things, but the 338 is a better, flatter hunting cartridge in my opinion.
     
  17. Alaskan

    Alaskan

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    A .338 is plenty, and you could use it for a wide variety of game.
     
  18. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    I don't know if it MORE popular, but it is very popular. With the guys I know that are year-in and year-out longtime hunters.

    But what do I know? I've only hunted here 30+ years.
     
  19. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

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    You could bring your .30-06, and pick up a Marlin stainless Guide Gun in .45-70 in case of anything large toothy and dangerous gets too close. Handy rifle to carry with you and designed for short range dangerous game.


    My uncle whacked a moose with a single round of .338 up there. Good shot placement, and a good round.

    Me, I think the largest round I'd want to take is a .300 Win Mag (I'm not a large caliber shooter).
     
  20. DJ Niner

    DJ Niner Moderator

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    If you ask most guides, they'll tell you they'd rather have a guy that can really SHOOT his .30-06, then the average Joe that shows up with his brand-new .397 Belch-Fire Magnum, which he's fired about 6 shots through, because the ammo costs too much and the gun kicks too hard...but that's okay, 'cause a friend sighted it in, and he got his boy scout Rifle Merit Badge 20 years ago, not to mention, he was a sniper in 'Nam...blah, blah, blah ;f

    Just like self-defense, once you get above a certain caliber "floor", placement is everything.