Big Game Hunting in Alaska

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by soldstatic, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. soldstatic

    soldstatic New Member

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    My step dad, dad, brother in law and brother and I are considering organizing a trip to Alaska in a couple years to do some big game hunting. I have so many questions, but am not sure who to ask so I'm hoping you can help!

    What is the best bang for buck type of gun I should get? From what I've read I am thinking some kind of 338 magnum, but i'm not sure what brand/model to be looking at. Preferably one where I can add on a magazine of some kind so that I could get 4 or 5 shots off without reloading. I'm terrified about not getting a good hit and having an animal suffer, would really like to be able to put it down with another shot.

    I'm not really super experienced with scopes, but would definitely like a good scope. What would you suggest for minimum magnification?

    Also is there some kind of scope that would have some kind of read out that would tell you the distance to the target? I built an ultrasonic range finder in college but it was for a small distance, nothing like 200 yards or whatever.

    Preferably I would like a scope that had a decent or variable magnification, some kind of range finder, and nightvision. We have problems with some nocturnal vermin at my mom's, nightvision might be helpful.

    Man if I had a rifle with a night vision / range finding / variable magnification scope, and a 10 round clip, that would be the ultimate. But it'll prob be out of my price range.

    Thanks for your thoughts!
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    welcome to the forum! stop over in the introductions section and say hello and tell us a little about yourself.

    first question, how much experiance with shooting and shooting large magnum calibers? these can be very brutal in the recoil. i have owned and shot a 338 win. mag. and it has some recoil! a decent rifle in 338 magnum isn't going to be cheap.

    a scope for something in that type of caliber, i would say in the range of 2-7 power should be fine for that type of hunting, but others may have different recommendations.

    yes some scopes have range finding reticles to estimate holdover based on distance. lots of people also use a seperate rangefinder to get the distance, then estimate the holdover needed for the shot.
     

  3. Muliemaster

    Muliemaster New Member

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    Bushnell, burris to name a few make laser range finder scopes they are around $ 800 I shoot a 338 alot but u need to know its a belted magnum an kicks like a raped ape. If u have very little shootin time under yer belt well to say the least u will not like it. The recoil will cause less than average shooters to develope a serious flinch due to the recoil. Start smaller work yer way up to the big dog magnums
     
  4. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Ruger m77s are great guns for that type of hunting. As to caliber a good 30.06 with good ammo will work. Remington 700 is another great rifle. 7 mm mag is another mag option and as mulie can attest to a 7mm wont usually take your head and shoulder off. If you are recoil sensitive then an 06 or good 270 would probably be your best bet. Then you can use it for deer or elk and such also.
     
  5. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Welcome to the group also. Hope you enjoy it.
     
  6. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

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    I study firearm design and terminal ballistics. First off you have chosen a great cartride as long as good stout bullets are used. I shot alot of big game with this caliber and never found it wanting. Second, the scope, the bigger the scope the more likely it is to get damaged and knocked out of alignment. The bigger the scope the easier it is for recoil to damage it. I would suggest a compact Leupold 2x7. I can easily see game beyond legal hunting light. As for firearms, of all common models out there, either the Ruger77 or the Winchester 70 are very rugged and reliable. While I dont own a newer model 70 or a Ruger I have studied them both and would buy either one long before I would buy any other. As to NEEDING a 10 shot repeater? I suggest you need practice and experence far more. I have hunted big game for 47 years and have never emptied my 5 shot magazine in well over 100 head of big game taken. As for night vision, better check your regulations as I know of no state that allows you to hunt big game at night.
     
  7. lonewolf101

    lonewolf101 New Member

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    As for gun I would go with either Marlin guide gun 45/70 or a 338 win mag. or 416.
     
  8. soldstatic

    soldstatic New Member

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    Wow so much great feedback! Thanks everyone!

    I very little experience with large magnum calibers. but i'm not very afraid of recoil. I've shot a handheld magnum before, and it wasn't too big of a deal. i know its big, but everything I saw thus far suggested it. Maybe it's over kill, but I'm a little worried about being underpowered when we get up there. :/

     
  9. soldstatic

    soldstatic New Member

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    I'm not too worried about the recoil, except that it will hurt my shoulders probably. I'd be much more worried about the ape hahaha.
     
  10. soldstatic

    soldstatic New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions I'll look into the m77 and remington 700.

    Thanks!!
     
  11. soldstatic

    soldstatic New Member

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    Yea the 10 round magazine was just an idea, not a necessity. i trust your experience more than my idea, so i wont worry about it.

    I hadn't thought about the recoil damaging the scope. That's a great point. Will keep that in mind and get a smaller more compact scope.

    The night vision idea was more for my shooting nocturnal vermin at my parent's where I'd be using a different rifle. I found some fairly moderate priced monoculars w/ head gear that would probably work instead of an actual night vision scope.
     
  12. soldstatic

    soldstatic New Member

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    ok thanks for the feedback. I don't know anything about the marlin i will check it out.
     
  13. jjfuller1

    jjfuller1 New Member

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    my sister and her husband have taken a trip to alaska. my sister used a 7mm08, and her hubby used a 7mm mag. both took a caribou with one shot. at about a range of 200 yrds for my sister and 340 for her hubby. rem 700, m77, and winchester model 70 would all be good rifles, also look into savage, and tikka.

    for a scope i would suggest any of the following 3x9's burris, nikon, bushnell elite, leopould. with a little practice you should be able to do just fine
     
  14. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Marlins are awesome guns. I usually recommend the x7 series but there isnt one in the series out yet chambered in what you are wanting. If you decide to go smaller than a 300 then the marlin x7 comes in 270 and 30-06. As to the 45/70, 338 win mag, or the 416 rigby- they are definately IMO not for someone who doesnt have much experience with hard recoilling guns. You said you arent scared of recoil but i have seen big burley guys pick up a hard kicking gun and think it wont be that bad shoot it and now they all flinch like you wouldnt believe. Iv been shooting since i was 5 and recoil isnt that bad to me usually and im 6' 175 lbs. Thats alot of experience with that though. What was the "hand held magnum" you shot?
     
  15. soldstatic

    soldstatic New Member

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    by hand held i meant pistol, i don't remember the model however.

    I'll look into smaller guns though. Thanks!!
     
  16. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Thats what i thought you ment. A magnum pistol is NOWHERE near the recoil you would feel from any rifle magnum. Besides rimfire that is. Your welcome
     
  17. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Solidstatic,

    Like the rest here! If you are not accustomed to shooting big magnum rifles with the minimum experience as you advised. I would not recommend the 338 Magnums. The reason is once you inherit a flinch it is very hard to break. And as mentioned the 338 has some real recoil. Just sighting it in you would quickly find out what we are telling you. And hopefully you would not develop a flinch that could cost you an opportunity of a lifetime while you are in Alaska due to a missed shot caused by the flinch. If you are just not targeting Grizzly Bears you do not need that big of a magnum. As mentioned the 30-06 is the old reliable with tolerable recoil and a vast selection of bullet weights and compositions to do most jobs. I have a 7mm Rem Mag and it will drop an elk for example with no problem. There are a lot of good rifles out there. One of my favorites is the Remington 700 CDL or variants. Savage makes an excellent rifle and a fair price, Howa, Tikka, CZ, Marlin, and many more. But selecting a good scope is the real key. Don't skimp on the scope! You get what you pay for. You sure do not want anything that will malfunction on you on a trip like this one! You do not get to do that but a few times in your lifetime if you are like most of us. And the last thing you would want is the scope to fog up on you in the middle of no where!
    I prefer Leupold 3.5X10 in the 30mm Tube diameter with 50 Obj. Lens, Nikon, IOR Valdada and Bushnell's top of the line scopes. There are other good scopes out there. Depends on your price range. Good luck and keep us informed regarding your Alaskan hunt!
     
  18. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i have to agree, the 338 win. mag. has some nasty recoil. now you could tame it down somewhat with a muzzle brake, but that means sending it off and having one installed, just an option if you still wanted to go withe the 338. if you reloaded, powder selection would be another option in helping with recoil, but if not then you are limited with factory ammo. a good recoil pad would be a good choice to make too, and there are way better ones than the factory recoil pad. given your limited experiance with magnum rifles i would recommend the 30-06 too, modest recoil and the widest selection of factory ammo of any caliber made. as said before don't go cheap on the scope, buy the best you can afford, $250-500 will buy a very nice dependable scope.
     
  19. oldman45

    oldman45 New Member

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    I own a variety of rifles to use in hunting. For flat shooting when hunting large North American game, I would say a .270 would not be bad and the recoil is minimum.

    If you want a magnum, then I would say use a .270 mag, still just minor recoil.

    My right shoulder was actually dislocated from the recoil of a 7mm mag but it was due to a previous rotator cuff tear and would not have happened had the rotator cuff not been severered.

    It would be my suggestion for an inexperienced shooter to stay away from magnums.

    Scopes? Get a decent brand without breaking the bank. A person can easily spend $3000 on a rifle, scope, case and shells. There is no need of doing such. Buy a nice used Remington and put a moderate scope on it for a couple hundred. You can come out for less than $1,000.

    The one thing I am going to suggest. Get a bolt action rifle and stay away from the auto loaders.
     
  20. skeniger2002

    skeniger2002 New Member

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    I agree with sniper I started out shooting magnums. They made me flinch now I'm finally getting over it. Took me over ten years to do that