Rifle for Alaska backcountry?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by TennDECA, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. TennDECA

    TennDECA "Let's Roll!"

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    Hello all,

    I'll be doing some extended backcountry camping in Alaska next summer and I'm trying to decide on which firearms to take. I won't be hunting. These are strictly for protection from mean people ;f and large animals, should the need arise.

    I'll be camping out of my truck/camper for almost four months (coming to town every 10-14 days for supplies) so size/weight isn't necessarily an issue. I prefer semi-auto for my firearms.

    So far, I'm considering my Glock 20/29 in 10mm, my Benelli M1 Super 90 with slugs and shot, and my Springfield M1A in .308 Rem.

    Any other suggestions or thoughts?
     
  2. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Ok, don't know if typo, or something I'm not familiar with.

    You mean .308 Win?

    Anyway, do you need a special bear round? Maybe the .308 would be ok, but will the semi work well with stout loads?
     

  3. TennDECA

    TennDECA "Let's Roll!"

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    Oopss. Sorry for the typo.

    I don't need any particular round, other than one that would be adequate for both bears and people. I don't know if .308 would be enough for the bear (or other large animals.)

    I simply prefer a semi-auto over a lever or bolt action gun.
     
  4. bustedknee

    bustedknee The Snowflakes have invaded GT

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    You should be well served with your Glock 29.

    However...if you are charged by a Brown Bear it will take only a micro-second to come to the decision that you don't have enough gun.
    Or, if you are charged by a drugged-up no-account, you will again decide the Glock 29 just ain't enough gun.

    So the question is, how worried are you about a threat? Really worried about bears? Are you going to be hanging around streams that the bears frequent?

    If yes, you need a 12 gauge.

    Are you going to be prospecting around private claims, remote homesteads, meth labs, etc.?

    If yes, you need a 12 gauge.

    Personally, the bears don't scare me, it is two-legged varmits that are most unpredictable. I try to stay away from drunks, druggies, and crazies. But for the ones I can't avoid, I carry a Glock 33.
     
  5. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Black bear, yes. Alaskan bear? My guess is it would be marginal in some instances against some bears.
     
  6. veryolddog

    veryolddog

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    I would suggest that you consider the following: a Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun or a Ruger 375 H&H, at minimum. Have fun. It sounds like a wonderful experience. P.S. You might want to carry a Ruger SRH 454 7.5 inch barrel. Never mind the short stuff. Regards.
     
  7. JD HHI 6092

    JD HHI 6092

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    Wouldn't any bear in Alaska be an Alaskan bear? ;z ;N I couldn't resist.

    All kidding aside. When we lived in Alaska and hiked I carried my custom 44 mag. I was loaded with some of my stout handloads.
    As for a bolt action rifle, I would say a 30/06 would be minimun. A handy lever action would be nice, chambered in 45/70, 444 or 450 Marlin. There are a few compainies that load ammo for these lever actions claiming awesome results.

    Buffalo Bore
    Garrett Cartridges
    Grizzley Cartridge Company
     
  8. CaliTheKid

    CaliTheKid

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    I read an interesting article that put things in perspective for me regarding bear attacks in Alaska. One thing in particular that stood out was that in a study done on Kodiak Island,it took an average of 4.2 shots from a high power rifle to take down a large bear. That's when the hunter had a controlled advantage-- not in an attack where conditions are much more chaotic. My walk away from what I had read was carry the biggest gun that you can get multiple shots rapidly and under stress on target with. For me, I'd pick a .308 that I knew and was like second nature, over a .45-70 that I might have trouble wielding under pressure and thus have limited hits. BTW out of what you listed the 12 ga with slugs seems to be a very good choice.

    Also-- the article stressed be smart enough to know when and when NOT to shoot.

    Here is the article:

    http://alaskanha.org/bears.cfm
     
  9. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

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  10. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

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    Or a Remington Competion Master loaded with 8+1 rounds of 12 gauge slugs.

    clic pic

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Weston

    Weston

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    recommend a 12 guage, 3" magnum pump action slug gun with minimum five round capacity. pistol grip if you want handy but a well padded stock is my preference. check with local rangers if you want the drill for bear but my recommendation is the first round be 3" heavey bird load, such as turkey, followed by a 3" 000 buck and then all 3" magnum slugs. sabots. in close quarters the drill with which i am familiar is blind it, make it rise, and pump its chest. practice.

    if its a rifle you select recommend a large caliber magnum, starting with 338 and working up. 375 h&h isn't too large for alaska. bolt action. reliable. rugged. iron sights.

    you won't need a pistol. alaskans are very intelligent, thoughtful, and friendly people ready and able to help one another out. you too. can't recall meeting a mean one looking for a fight but i suppose they're out there. alaskan bear are roughly the same, just don't get between them and their cubs or fish and stay aleart along the rivers. keep a clean camp and use common sense. keep it safe.
     
  12. JD HHI 6092

    JD HHI 6092

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    When living in Alaska I ment 3 people who each taken a Grizzly/brown bear with a pistol. All three took the bear with one shot; 1 used a 375 JDJ and the 2 used a 454 Casull. I also spoke with a guide at a Sportsman Expo and he told me he guided one hunter do took his grizzly with one shot from a 475 Linebaugh.
    Reguardless of what is used, shot placement and bullet construction is the key.
    Carry something you can shoot quick and accurately, with enough power.
     
  13. TennDECA

    TennDECA "Let's Roll!"

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    Gentlemen,

    Thank you for your insight. I live in the Sierra-Nevada and am very familiar with how to deal with/avoid the local black bears. However, a 400 lb black bear wandering up onto the deck and a 2,000 lb Grizzly bear wandering into camp are two entirely different things.

    And while I will certainly use common sense and maintain "bear discipline", I DO want to be well-prepared to deal with a bad situation should it arise. I am not too concerned with people. I'm too well trained and too well equipped to worry too much about any threat someone may pose. And I'm not too concerned about bears (or other wildlife) for that matter, either.

    I do want to be safe, though. And neutralizing a hostile bear would seem to be much more of a challenge then neutralizing a hostile person. So far, my Benelli M1 Super 90 filled with 5+1 slugs sounds like the best bet (for me). It is fast into action. It packs a wallop. And most importantly, I have trained so much with it (tactical applications) that I can shoot it with my eyes closed ;P (j/k).

    Keep the ideas coming!
     
  14. Ak.Hiker

    Ak.Hiker

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    What ever gun you take with you on your Alaskan trip make sure you can take it thru the border with you. I can tell you that the 10mm is very popular in Alaska. Most people that do carry it in the field carry a high performance FMJ 200 grain load. Think of the Glock as a back up to the shotgun. Check out the Alaska Fish and Game website at adfg.state.ak.us. It is loaded with good information about traveling and fishing in bear country.
     
  15. PennGlock

    PennGlock

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    Since you're only interested in protection and already have the 12 guage, you might as well stick to that. If you were hunting brown bear, 375 h&h would probably be your best bet.
     
  16. Chuck TX

    Chuck TX CLM

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    I'd opt for the Marlin in .45/70, .444 or .450 which ain't overly expensive and has plenty of capability. A friend of mine took a bear in Alaska with a .270 WSM in one shot, but the SOB can shoot a rifle like nobody's business. I'd rather have plenty or more than needed.
     
  17. johnstrr

    johnstrr In the Garden

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    [​IMG]

    When you get back buy some more barrels and have a blast!
     
  18. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt

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    but I did manage to make 14 day trip w/ my best buddy and no guide. We took a nice moose and had ton of fun. I carried my Glock 20 in addition to my rifle (.338-06) and felt well armed. I was surprised to see how mant folks used the 10mm up there. I even found 10mm ammo in the village of Aniak.

    When I go again, I will take my Marlin Guide Gun. I have a flash light mount from WWG and will use it with a good light. We had no real problems with bears, but the guide gun is ideal for camp.

    I know you like semi-auto's, but you might want to look at the marlin.

    Hope this helps,

    Matt