CHOICES..CHOICES..CHOICES....Help me out guys!

This is a discussion on CHOICES..CHOICES..CHOICES....Help me out guys! within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Alright, right now I'm currently enlisted in the US Navy stationed in OKC. My wife is originally from Alaska and we have plans to head ...

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Thread: CHOICES..CHOICES..CHOICES....Help me out guys!

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    Member Array Gbboykin's Avatar
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    CHOICES..CHOICES..CHOICES....Help me out guys!

    Alright, right now I'm currently enlisted in the US Navy stationed in OKC. My wife is originally from Alaska and we have plans to head north when I seperate. I've been shopping around for a new semi-auto handgun, but the past few weeks I've been thinking to myself, I need a good long range hunting rifle. This necessarily won't be for home defense, but possibly field defense and for basic big game taking. I need a little help choosing brand, caliber, stocks, etc...
    I'm not new to the hunting scene, I'm an avid duck hunter from Arkansas I have plenty of shotguns ranging from Remington to Ithaca. I just need something that's gonna take big game down quick from long distances. Something that will last a while and will be reliable. Again, sorry for it being off topic of defensive rifles and shotguns...just need a little input.

    Thanks guys

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    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, this response has very little to do with your question and won't help you much, but a few things struck me as funny:

    The Navy in Oklahoma City? Now that's a port I didn't know about.
    "Basic" big game taking? What would be considered complex big game hunting?

    Sorry ... just poking fun, in a wierd mood this morning. Carry on.
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    Hey Gbboykin,

    Welcome to the DC crew and thank you for your service to our country.
    I think if I were going to choose a rifle for general purpose hunting & field defense, I would probably stick with an AR platform. A quality lower as the starting point and one or more uppers to satisfy task requirements. Complete uppers are available in a staggering variety of chamberings, from sub-caliber rimfire to single-shot .50BMG

    Something like a .308 or a .458 SOCOM would drop right onto a standard lower and offer sufficient engery to annoy most north American game and pull two pins to drop a basic 5.56 upper in place for "social work" and plinking.

    best of luck !
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    Member Array Gbboykin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigmacque View Post
    I'm sorry, this response has very little to do with your question and won't help you much, but a few things struck me as funny:

    The Navy in Oklahoma City? Now that's a port I didn't know about.
    "Basic" big game taking? What would be considered complex big game hunting?

    Sorry ... just poking fun, in a wierd mood this morning. Carry on.
    Yeah I'm on the aviation side so that's why I'm stationed in OKC. Ever heard of doomsday plane? That's me. I would call an elephant complex big game.
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    Get a bolt action rifle from any of the major makers. Remington 700, Winchester Model 70, Browning A bolt or X bolt, Ruger 77 or a Savage 10 or 110 will all be plenty accurate and last a lifetime with care. Go to a gun shop that has a big inventory and handle as many of the above brands that you can. Sooner or later one will jump out at you because it will "fit" you the best.

    The basic hunting bolt gun is unchanged in design since before WW1. There are no bugs to be worked out anymore and all of the major players bring a solid product to market.

    To the second part of your question, caliber, I will suggest at least a 30-06 and at most a .338 Win Mag. More specifically I think the Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) cartridges might be just the thing for you. The WSM family of cartridges wring the most performance out of a shorter barreled rifle. I think a 300 WSM or a 325 WSM would be heavy enough to hunt anything in Alaska including the big bears while not knocking your teeth loose every time you shoot. They're not for hunting bears up close in the brush, but other than that they're just right.
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    An Alaskan Big Game Rifle is the same as a big game rifle anywhere else, 'cause most serious American hunters have hunted or are planning to hunt...in Alaska. Quick answer, synthetic-stocked Remington 700 in .338 Win Mag. Problem is that "big game" & "long range" are very subjective word-combos. To get more specific, hopefully more helpful answers, answer the following questions. How big? How far?
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    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
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    For Alaska big game, I would recommend a lever 45/70 guide rifle. This round would take anything in North America and then some, however, so will give up "long range" with it. Quick, light, and a devastating round.
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    Member Array Gbboykin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost tracker View Post
    An Alaskan Big Game Rifle is the same as a big game rifle anywhere else, 'cause most serious American hunters have hunted or are planning to hunt...in Alaska. Quick answer, synthetic-stocked Remington 700 in .338 Win Mag. Problem is that "big game" & "long range" are very subjective word-combos. To get more specific, hopefully more helpful answers, answer the following questions. How big? How far?
    Bull moose, carribou, rain deer at about 1000yds or more

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    Ex Member Array Piratesailor's Avatar
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    I'd agree with others hear that a good bolt action is the way to go. I prefer a 30.06 but have used a 7.65 Mauser.

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    Senior Member Array txron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gbboykin View Post
    Bull moose, carribou, rain deer at about 1000yds or more
    Well that definetly rules out the 45/70
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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gbboykin View Post
    ...at about 1000yds or more
    Whoa! I realize you're an experienced Arkansas duck hunter and all but "...about 1000 yards or more" with the wind & elevation variables in Alaska is REALLY picking the fly scat out of the pepper. I've got 40 years of extensive rifle shooting under my belt & that's wayyyy past realistic expectations IMHO. I have no recommendations beyond lots (and lots and lots) of range trigger-time at 1000+ yards. Whew! You the Man!
    Last edited by ghost tracker; October 31st, 2012 at 01:34 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gbboykin View Post
    Bull moose, carribou, rain deer at about 1000yds or more
    Dear Sir, that's just crazy talk. There is no rifle on the planet that would be ethical to hunt with at 1000 yards. EXTREME long range shots on game are considered to be 500 to 600 yards. Those shots take years of practice and a very skilled rifleman who is familiar with his rig, bullet drop and wind doping. Long range shooting in the real world (for hunting) starts at 300 yds.

    Most tactical rifles and sniper rigs are capable of 1/2 moa at 100yds. Those rifles are large and too heavy to carry in the field. The gold standard for a hunting rifle is 1 moa at 100 yds. Factor that out to 1000 yds and you have a rifle that is only capable to shoot a 10 inch group (with a hypothetically perfect shooter). Then you factor in human error, drop, wind and heart beat. This makes an ethical shot on game completely impossible.
    Last edited by atctimmy; October 31st, 2012 at 04:34 PM.
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    Remington 700 in 300 win mag. But it still will not be ethically lethal at 1000 yards that's a bit much for any rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gbboykin View Post
    Bull moose, carribou, rain deer at about 1000yds or more
    If you can't get closer than that, you don't need to be out there. I lived in AK for 3 1/2 years and hunted caribou on the North Slope and moose in the interior (Fairbanks). Trust me, caribou are incredibly curious (might say stupid) and are easily stalked or ambushed at close range--if they don't come to you! I've literally ridden right up to 50 yards of them on my 3-wheeler.

    I used my Rem 700 .30-06 on everything using handloaded 165 and 180 grain bullets. I didn't hunt bears, and would have used the -06 with 200 grain bullets on up to grizzly size, but for the big brown boys I'd go with no less than a .300 Win Mag or up to .338 if you can handle the recoil. Both are ample for anything AK has to offer. The 45-70, while sufficiently powerful, lacks the range you could easily find youself hunting in. My caribou were taken at about 350 yards for the fartherest, the moose at about 200 yards. Because the AK game laws require you to carry out every scrape of meat, you don't want to carry 1500 pounds any farther than necessary!

    While I don't care for synthetic, lightweight stocks (they just amply recoil), AK is very wet and you'll have less issues with plastic than wood. Many excellent brands out there in a wide range of prices. I'd concentrate on a getting good variable scope over rifle price.
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    Senior Member Array munch520's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gbboykin View Post
    Yeah I'm on the aviation side so that's why I'm stationed in OKC. Ever heard of doomsday plane? That's me. I would call an elephant complex big game.
    Thank you for your service!

    E4? Nice...I thought they were mainly out of Wright-Patt and Andrews though?
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