StoppingPower.net Forums
Home
Forums
Commentary
H&S
About
StoppingPower.net Forums

StoppingPower.net Forums - rifle for Alaska
StoppingPower.net Forums
StoppingPower.net Forums
Forums Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ | Invite a friend
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Shooting
 The Rifle Rack
 rifle for Alaska
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 3

perrodelucha
Senior Member

USA
927 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  1:57:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm looking for opinions on what rifle in what caliber would be the best all around choice for Alaska. Maybe a Marlin guide gun in 45-70? Or maybe a Browning x-bolt in 375hh? All opinions and a brief explanation why are appreciated.

Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2638 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  3:17:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All around in what sense? Living there in town or Subsistence? Hunting trip? Fishing trip? Hiking/ATV/Snowmobile?

Bears are generally hibernating in Winter, though in rare occasion they willl wake during winter, perhaps because they didn't get enough food before winter. Anyway those bears tend to be very hungry.

Personally I think any decent centerfire 30-30 on up is good general choice for Alaska, if your concern is bears then just make sure to have something like Nosler Partion, X bullet or similar.

I'd use whatever my favorite rifle was that fit likely shooting ranges, basically scoped vs irons, and probably carry my S&W 629 or Glock 29SF (10mm). I normally CCW 2 guns so staying with 2 guns makes lot of sense IMHO.

Placement & adequate penetration are all that's needed.

Phil Shoemaker recently stopped a DLP Grizzly with a S&W 3953 loaded with Buffalo Bore's 9'mm 147 grain HC Lead Outdoorsman load. Multiple shots at very close range, though I don't believe any were headshots.

Zanesville OH incident included a one shot stop on a bear with a 40 S&W, as well as one shot stop headshot on bear with 5.56 AR.

The AR's were loaded with 55 TAP at beginning & resupplied with FMJ.

Only critters that AR's didn't fair well with headshots in Zanseville incident was Bengal Tigers, but then Bengal/Siberian tigers are known to prey on Brown bears.

If carrying 44 mag for handgun instead of 10mm then I might add a 22LR or WMR handgun for Ptarmigan.

Edited by - Dov on May 07 2017 3:23:13 PM
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  3:50:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Anywhere I might encounter a big brown bear with a bad attitude?

I'd opt for a Marlin 45-70 lever action in my hands, loaded with Garrett 540-gr +P Hammerheads--- and a .44 Mag Ruger Super Redhawk, loaded with Garrett SuperHardCast +P 310- or 330-gr Hammerheads, in a holster on my belt or chest.

Why? Mr. Shoemaker's famous 9mm bear kill notwithstanding, I'd want a round that will hit as hard as possible and penetrate Mr. or Mrs. Grizz from any possible angle--- as powerful of a round as I can shoot accurately at close range.

Of course YMMV--- but carrying the least gun you think you might could get away with doesn't make a lot of sense from my perspective. I mean, the 9mm doesn't always stop humans.... why would I take a chance on it stopping an 800-pound bear?

Guess I'm more of a 'better safe than sorry' kind of a guy....



Stories about bears being stopped by pistol rounds or .223s are certainly interesting.... and I realize our ancestors killed plenty of grizzlies with .30-30s....but more to the point would seem to be the stories of the bears that weren't stopped.... maybe those are rarer because they require someone alive to tell the story....


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 07 2017 5:08:04 PM
Go to Top of Page

perrodelucha
Senior Member

USA
927 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  4:24:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dov, bear defense, moose, caribou etc. mainly concerned about what action type is best suited to the environment and which round has sufficient power. I'm also considering a 338wm. I have a friend that lives there and I'd like to go visit when I get a chance.
Bill, I was leaning toward the 45-70 for a smaller rifle and quicker follow up shots.

Edited by - perrodelucha on May 07 2017 4:26:19 PM
Go to Top of Page

Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2936 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  4:30:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've never been to Alaska, except for a brief transcontinental air flight stop from the Nam for a refueling. I know nothing about Alaska. But, some years back I did meet an Alaskan hunting guide who was 'on holiday' to the Florida ranch where I guided hog hunters.

He told me that deer hunters in Alaska were big fans of the .375 H&H Magnum with 270-grain bullets. That power isn't, obviously, needed for those small coastal black tailed deer. But, it was favored because a big bear might interrupt the hunt.

He seemed like he knew what he was talking about. You didn't mention what 'use' the gun would be put to, but for general hunting I would strongly consider his advice. If for self-defense, then maybe an 8-shot 12-gauge loaded with Brennke slugs. The Alaskan State Troopers seem to like those when they have to deal with a problem bear.



Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on May 07 2017 4:32:59 PM
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  4:56:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For years now, the gun mags have had occasional articles on 'favorite guns of grizzly guides'.

.45-70 and .450 Marlin leverguns, 12 gauge pump or semi-auto shotguns loaded with Brenneke slugs, and bolt actions along the lines of the .300 and 338 Win Mag seem to be perennial favorites.


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 07 2017 5:08:18 PM
Go to Top of Page

perrodelucha
Senior Member

USA
927 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  5:14:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chris and Bill, Thanks! Its going to be used for hunting. I would like something that has no problems with available bullets. Kinda like a Wal-Mart caliber if you will.
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  5:34:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
Go to Top of Page

jle3030
Advanced Member

USA
4989 Posts

Posted - May 07 2017 :  10:11:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From watching the Alaskan "reality" TV shows, I'm getting that having to shoot a brown bear is not all that common, but there is a whole lot of meat hunting to be done. Some of those shots seem beyond the practical range of a guide gun.

Climate issues would steer me toward a stainless steel rifle with fiberglass stock. Quality scope, but backup iron sights. Caliber: Brown bear and moose capable, within the limits of what the shooter can shoot very well. Handload for the gun to develop lighter loads for less dangerous game. Maintain a "cheat sheet" for sight settings with the different loads.

Being comfortable with the rifle and knowing it well would be more important than the details of make, model, and caliber.

I've noticed that some of the Alaskan reality TV personalities are carrying more expensive rifles than when the series started.
Except for Mrs. Hailstone, who sticks with her surplus Mosin Nagant. I suspect there's a lesson to be learned there. Sometimes we overthink things. We could probably walk into any Alaskan gun store and come out with a rifle that would satisfy our needs for years to come.

Jeff

jle3030
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 08 2017 :  07:11:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
True. But factoring in all of perrodelucha's criteria: good for hunting and brown bear defense, and passes the 'Wal-Mart test'--- i.e., readily available--- would cut down the field considerably in terms of caliber.

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
Go to Top of Page

jle3030
Advanced Member

USA
4989 Posts

Posted - May 08 2017 :  08:18:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LittleBill

True. But factoring in all of perrodelucha's criteria: good for hunting and brown bear defense, and passes the 'Wal-Mart test'--- i.e., readily available--- would cut down the field considerably in terms of caliber.

Point taken. But I would expect that Wal-Mart in Alaska might stock a wider variety of calibers than they do here in the lower 48. And the nearest Wal-Mart might be a long way off. Are we located in a town and venturing out into the wild for sport or are we way out on our own in a cabin hunting for subsistence?

In any case I'd rather be overgunned for deer and black bear than undergunned for moose and the big bears. Being a handloader anyway, I'd look to a classic magnum caliber that can be loaded down as desired for the lighter game. Probably .300, .338, or .375.

Jeff

jle3030
Go to Top of Page

Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9431 Posts

Posted - May 08 2017 :  10:26:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

I've never been to Alaska, except for a brief transcontinental air flight stop from the Nam for a refueling. I know nothing about Alaska. But, some years back I did meet an Alaskan hunting guide who was 'on holiday' to the Florida ranch where I guided hog hunters.

He told me that deer hunters in Alaska were big fans of the .375 H&H Magnum with 270-grain bullets. That power isn't, obviously, needed for those small coastal black tailed deer. But, it was favored because a big bear might interrupt the hunt.

He seemed like he knew what he was talking about. You didn't mention what 'use' the gun would be put to, but for general hunting I would strongly consider his advice. If for self-defense, then maybe an 8-shot 12-gauge loaded with Brennke slugs. The Alaskan State Troopers seem to like those when they have to deal with a problem bear.




I too have not hunted Alaska (more's the pity) but I had a cousin that lived up there and worked for the Corps of Engineers - it was one of the few districts where they sort of turned a blind eye to normal regulations and actually equipped some of their cars with electric locks for shotguns which they carried with Brenneke slugs. He also carried a 5.5" Ruger Redhawk .44 on him in the field.

I've known a couple of guides from there - they echo what Chris said.

I do agree that a good .30 caliber rifles would work for the smaller sized big game, including caribou - but if I did not have the ability to take more than one rifle afield I think I'd put up with the discomfort of a heavier rifle in order to stop a bear if I absolutely had to right now.

I do have an Alaskan rifle if I get the chance - it is a Winchester Model 70 in .416 Taylor with a synthetic stock - even has iron sights for back-up.

The downside of course is ammo might not be available at just any old outpost - my guess is a .375 or .458 would be a bit more practical.

I like the 45-70 just fine but for meat hunting at 200+ yards I think it might require a bit more talent than I have.

Jim H.

Get the Weaponcraft Journal on Amazon: Print or Kindle!

Edited by - Jim Higginbotham on May 08 2017 10:29:03 AM
Go to Top of Page

JD
Junior Member

USA
102 Posts

Posted - May 08 2017 :  3:51:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I was living in Alaska, the most popular "all around" rifle caliber was by far the 338 Mag. The US Forest Service issued 12 ga. shotguns with Brennke slugs, and from all reports, it worked just fine.....

Also, you're far more likely to have to defend yourself from a pissed off moose than you are from a bear. Moose attacks are far far more common than bear attacks...... Moose are the only animal that I know of that when confronted by an oncoming railroad locomotive, will often just lower their head and charge.... It usually doesn't work out too well for the moose, however....

JD

Edited by - JD on May 08 2017 3:54:23 PM
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 08 2017 :  5:52:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ouch!

Moose are a lot bigger than I'd realized too....

So.... do the moose and bear more or less leave each other alone?


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 08 2017 5:54:48 PM
Go to Top of Page

Yonder
Junior Member

USA
242 Posts

Posted - May 08 2017 :  10:06:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not to common, but look into the 350 Remington Magnum. Loaded with 200 grain Barnes TSX it is a good consideration.

...And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 09 2017 :  07:09:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had that same thought. But likely not gonna pass the Walmart test.... but then again, as Jeff points out, maybe Wally-Worlds are different in Alaska.

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
Go to Top of Page

gw
Advanced Member

3983 Posts

Posted - May 09 2017 :  08:38:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
depends on the rifleman, most people show up with more gun than they can hanfdle.

If you got dad's old 30-06 and shoot it well, it's probably ideal. with good ammo it can kill it all and has.

I'll keep my 30-06

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 09 2017 :  09:41:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For many years Scandanavian explorers in the Arctic have killed polar bears-- the only bears that match grizzlies in size and aggressiveness-- with the 6.5X55: chosen because it's easy to shoot accurately, and it penetrates.

I understand it's their equivalent of the .30-06 in terms of popularity.

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 10 2017 6:47:12 PM
Go to Top of Page

revjen45
Advanced Member

2234 Posts

Posted - May 09 2017 :  10:01:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Karamojo Bell killed lotsa elephants with a 6.5x54, but then he could shoot seagulls out of the air @ 100yd with it.
Please let us know what you finally pick.

Better to perish in the struggle for freedom than live to see defeat.
Go to Top of Page

perrodelucha
Senior Member

USA
927 Posts

Posted - May 09 2017 :  10:16:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I want to say THANK YOU to everybody for the replies. I like the marlin 45-70 because of the rifle but I think that the 375 is the better bullet. I looked at the 338wm also but I couldn't find an iron sighted, stainless steel, polymer stocked rifle. I've narrowed it down to the Marlin and the Browning x-bolt in 375. Probably going to get the Browning due to the better ballistics. Thanks again for everybody's help.
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 09 2017 :  4:47:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Isn't this forum great? More accumulated firearms experience here than anywhere else I'm aware of.... and folks that are more than willing to share it.

Thanks, Evan!


"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast
Go to Top of Page

perrodelucha
Senior Member

USA
927 Posts

Posted - May 09 2017 :  5:18:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Absolutely!
Go to Top of Page

Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9431 Posts

Posted - May 10 2017 :  08:41:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Boy you guys are singing my song!

I love the .338 W.M. but I have a little lightweight 338-06 (which you can actually get factory ammo for!) that is super nifty.

I love both of my .350 Rem Mags (finding ammo for that can be...well...a "bear").

I also love my 30-06s in all flavors. As GW says, it will kill anything that walks (including an elephant with the right bullet).

That said, I'm not too sure it would be my pick for stopping an angry Brown Bear or Grizzly who's head is bobbing as he charges at close to 50 mph (which I've read they can move at though it sounds a bit incredible).

I have a friend who's killed some 800 lbs critters with an '06 - he uses 200 gr. Nosler Partitions at 2750 fps - but he did not choose one for his bear and was not allowed to shoot a cape buffalo with it - he did take it to Africa as his "meat gun".

The odds of me running into a big bear or a cape buffalo are not great so if I could only have one center-fire rifle I think it would be an '06. Alaska, I'd sure want two choices (3 including a .22 Rim-fire).

Just Ramblin'

Jim

Get the Weaponcraft Journal on Amazon: Print or Kindle!
Go to Top of Page

LittleBill
Advanced Member

4363 Posts

Posted - May 10 2017 :  08:46:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the only running grizzlies I've seen were on film, but it's amazing how fast those big boys (and girls) can move when they've got a mind to!

Faster than I can, for sure....

"Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point"--- C.S. Lewis

"There are some ideas so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them"--- George Orwell

Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast

Edited by - LittleBill on May 10 2017 9:01:36 PM
Go to Top of Page

Ace
Advanced Member

USA
5045 Posts

Posted - May 10 2017 :  2:08:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In the FWIW column, we don't have to worry about bears, elephants, or Cape buffalo around here, we have special fences to keep them away.
Some people call them 'utility poles and electric lines', but some of us know better. Ace

Give me $1 every time a Liberal lies, I'll give you $5 every time one tells the truth; I'll end up a wealthy man, you'll end up broke.
Go to Top of Page

Yonder
Junior Member

USA
242 Posts

Posted - May 10 2017 :  2:09:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
35 Whelan? There's something about that increased .358 frontal area I like

...And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
StoppingPower.net Forums © 2002-16 StoppingPower.net, Inc. Go To Top Of Page
Thispagewasgeneratedin0.5seconds. Snitz Forums 2000