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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What gun/caliber would you seclect for all around service in Alaska.

1. Handgun, Keep in mind this will be on your person 24/7?

2. Long gun?

Terry
 

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Beyond Any Shadow Of A Doubt ...

:santa: To begin with, there is NO ONE GUN for, 'All Around Service'. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.

1. A rifle is, always, preferable to use over any handgun.

2. A BOLT ACTION rifle is the most reliable action to use. (Especially if it's going to be frozen over or covered with snow.)

3. If I were a, 'poor man' living in Alaska, (Actually I'm a poor man living in Pennsylvania where they've, just, raised taxes, again.) and I could afford only one gun, that gun would be a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun. I'd keep birdshot for the birds, 4 through 6 for the medium stuff, 0000 buck through 2 for the tough stuff, and slugs and 00 buck for the real killers. I'd probably favor slugs for the latter; but I understand, on good authority, that at handshake distances nothing survives a blast of 00 buck!

(Peter Hathaway Capstick used a 12 gauge shotgun and 00 buck on wounded big cats that he had to finish off in heavy African brush. He made his shots at, 'kissing distance'; and he said that this was the only gun/load combination that he trusted for this sort of intimate life or death struggle between two totally committed antagonists.)

4. Many hunters would agree that the traditional 30-06 is the most versatile of centerfire rifle rounds. With bullet weights starting at 150 grains and going up to 200 grains, (or more) there's not too much that you can't do with an 06. (As long as you remember that's it's a little light for most bears. Many Alaskan hunters I've known used calibers like 300 Win Mag or 7mm Rem Mag.)

5. It's easier to chose a handgun. In today's world make it a Ruger; and, for reliability, make it a revolver, too. (Unless you're rich and can afford something from Freedom Arms.) Because availability of ammo is, always, an issue my choice of calibre would be 44 magnum. Barrel length should not be less than 6"; although, 7 1/2" would be closer to ideal. (This means that you're, also, going to need a good shoulder holster - like a Galco, 'Explorer' with, at least, one tie-down. Personally, I'd put an ammo carrier under the other arm.)

6. Oh, by the way, most of the bullets you'll need to use will, of course, be solid points.

7. Finally, everyone can afford some sort of 22 rifle. My farm/yard workhorse is a Winchester 9422 with a Leupold 4x sitting on top. Always shoots; never misses! (Yeah, unless I do!) If you need to keep a gun, you'll need to own a 22. Good luck! Alaska sounds like fun. One of my sister-in-laws lives outside of Fairbanks; and they shoot moose in the backyard. She sends us steaks that her husband bags out the window. I know; I know: Mighty White Hunter; but we've got farmers, around here, who process vension from field to freezer exactly the same way! (NOT me, though.) :D

Regards,

'AA'
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
AA
I aggree with you about the shotgun, but for home/cabin defence only. Most of my friends up North keep one handy in their homes.

I was looking for a pack around, take with you where ever you go, be it in the boat or trucking through the brush.

My personal favs are 44mag at least, 454's are gaining up there but suffer from ammo availabilty.
 

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When In, 'Podunk' Alaska ...

If it's your, 'butt' that you're trying to save? Years ago I did business with a home builder who loved to go hunting in Alaska. (He liked it sooo ... much that the Feds, finally, arrested him for acquiring and importing the wrong trophies into the lower 48.)

Well, one day over coffee, one of the boys asked him to tell me about his most recent Alaskan, 'close call'. It seems that while way out in the boonies, he gets out of the tent one morning and proceeds to the outskirts of the camp to relieve himself. He was groggy; but he remembered the guide's stern warning to never go anywhere without his rifle - so, tired or not, he grudingly took his 7mm magnum along. As he told it; 'I'm walking along the shoreline when I get this feeling that something is following me.' 'I turn around; and, here, is this huge grizzly walking slowly behind me sniffing at my tracks!' He said; 'I stopped, pulled the rifle off my shoulder, and waited.' 'When the bear saw me looking at him, he raised his head, growled, and charged!' It took 3 rounds to stop this bear; the last shot was delivered at less than 15 feet! The guide said he was the luckiest hunter alive; and one of the few rich, 'Southlanders' who listened to his advice.

Now, personally, I never liked this guy. He was affluent, smug, and indifferent. The whole thing sounded to me like the waste of a perfectly good bear! (See, it isn't just people who can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.)

The point is that if you want to BE SAFE in Alaska, then, you're going to have to carry a rifle, just about, everywhere you go while out in the brush. Personally, I'd rather carry a short barreled shotgun loaded with 2 slugs and three 00 buck than a rifle all day long. The problem with the shotgun is it lacks the range to be truly useful for most Alaskan hunting situations - But your emphasis appears to be on safety, not hunting. Therefore .... .

The hunting revolver I've carried for many years inside a shoulder holster is a Smith & Wesson Model 29, 44mag, with an 8 3/8's inch barrel. I love it! The Safariland shoulder rig I use is no longer manufactured; so, if you take this route, remember to get a shoulder rig with WIDE shoulder straps. I don't like the soft stainless steel Smiths are made out of today. If I were to buy another 44mag, it would definitely be from Freedom Arms; and the barrel would be, at least, 7 1/2 inches.

If I were to get caught by a bear the same way that builder did, I'd much prefer my old Remington 870 with its slug barrel and rifle sights over any handgun. (I've got sling swivels on mine and a very comfortable wide leather sling. I carry it on my opposite shoulder, muzzle down, and I can bring it up to fire in a, 'grouse flush' of a heartbeat.

I, still, say it was a damned waste of a perfectly good bear!

Happy New Year,


- Arc Angel
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The bear and builder situtation you describe is the reason for this thread, as well as my own experance.

My boat broke down and I had to spend 4 days on a small island before someone came a long and gave me a tow. I had my basic kit, tarps, MRE's, pack stove, ect. So was not in big trouble, just (bleep) at the outboard. At that time I had a Colt SAA in 45 LC loaded with factory ammo. I think that throughing the gun at a bear would do just about as much.

I now pack a super blackhawk in 44mag with hand loads 300gr flat point at 1200fps and the win 94 using the same load. Other then testing I DO NOT recimend this load for target or other practice shooting.

The other conciduration to keep in mind, in a survival situation, the deer in S.E. Alaska, are small, 50 to75 lbs on the hoof. I am not sure how much animal you would have left if you hit one with a 12 gauge 00 buck load. My best friend and I took one of these Sitka white tails two years ago, and it only took four days for the two of us to eat it. Not much meat!

Anyway to each his own; the shoulder rig you talked about is a great rig, I use one when I am in chest or hip waders, but use a high riding gun belt at other times, the blackhawk is with me 24/7 up there. (you do have to check them when you go to the bank in Wrangle)

NOTE: I'll be leaving for S.E. Alaska in the spring and have room for one more
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
PS this is not the boat that broke down, I was on the way back to the big boat in my skiff.
 
G

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Eli, I'd love to take you up on that offer - if I were, just, 20 years younger. The other problem is I've got this older Italian wife - picked her up at the Library, 30 years ago, and never returned the book!

She's, almost, insanely jealous of my time and attentions, too. (Thinks she owns me, or something.) Believe me, it's a stretch for her to, even, allow me onto the internet. (Two years ago her younger sister's husband started-up an, 'internet romance' and ran off to Las Vegas with the broad! Now, her sister doesn't, even, want a computer in the house, looks at me, 'funny' whenever we go over there for dinner; and every woman in the family regards computers as some sort of homewrecking pornographic device! Needless to say I'm carefully supervised; as a matter of fact, she's looked over my shoulder, at least, twice since I sat down at my desktop this morning!)

Not to complain, though: She's really smart and, about, the best looking woman I've, ever, seen. I made the mistake of turning her into a gourmet cook. (First thing she did was fatten me up so that no other woman would want me - Just so you know, I've, since, discovered that this is a classic Italian wife trick!)

I, certainly, envy you being able to take off to Alaska whenever the spirit moves you; but I'm going to have to pass on this one - probably for the rest of my life! Have you, ever heard the expression, 'Golden Handcuffs'?

Happy New Year; and have a safe trip!


- Arc Angel
 

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Can't argue with any of the advice so far

The only thing I might add would be one of the Marlin lever action variants, say the 45-70 guide gun.
I also saw in one of the latest G&A mags that Ben Forkin of Montana is building a .475 Linebaugh on a Marlin 1894 .44 mag carbine.
I carried a Ruger Blackhawk .357 mag as a hunting guide in Montana. I was young but soon learned and felt severly undergunned. I never had to fire on a bear, the .357 did fine dispatching many hooved creatures. My boss carried a S&W mod 29 .44 mag for years.
 
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since I am neither a pussy nor some

rambo wannabe, I would never bother to lug a rifle around. You are more likely to die of insect bites-stings than bear attacks. I might swap out the mag of 70 gr prefrags, if in Alaska backwoods, for the 90 gr, hollowbased .45 swc's, at 2100 fps in the lw commander, and I'd also carry some small, lw accurate .22, like the smith 2214, for taking grouse, squirrles, hares, trout, and so on. say a total of under 4 lbs of guns, holster, spare mags, and ammo.
 

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u can come to Durango, CO any time

you want, punk, and I will SHOW you, and you wont like it, one little bit. That's why punks like you NEVER bet, and never show up. You're an ignorant punk, and a chicken[bleep] on top of it. Coyotes don't bother grizzly bears, and that's EXACTLY where you "rank". Down there with the other carrion-feeders.
 
G

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s AINT hit the fan, punk. when it does

pos's like you will get a quiet .22, from the brush or darkness, and that will be that.
 
G

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i'd say

that falls under being discourtious to other members. (or is that under death threats?)

oh well, u huff and puff u ole grouch. just havin some fun
 

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Andy / 223Fan / Unregistered, you GOT TO get back on the Ritalin. For a while you were amusing, but in overdoses, you're pathetic.

DC
 

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pointing out the tactical realities of

shtf life is not a threat, per se, but I can see how the inept and the cowardly would take it to be such.
 
G

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the inept and cowardly

u sure know them well.

i think you are afraid of them so u try to puff urself up so u arn't scared. poor little boy
 

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John Linebaugh has several packable options in a handgun. I have a 500 Max., and it penetrates better than any factory loaded 500 S&W (also a fine, but really heavy piece), but not much better (if any) than a std. 500 Linebaugh. Plenty of help on the loads, and factory ammo available (for the std 500 Linebaugh) from Buffalo Bore, with several sources for brass and reasonably priced dies from Hornady (new item). Easily manageable with 440 LBT flat noses, can handle 400's, but some are pushing 595's and karger pills. The "Magic Number" seems to (with the 440's) about 1200-1300 fps, though you can push them much harder. The penetration is phenominal. When you compare accuracy levels with the 500 Smith, you will notice the Smith at nearly 60,000 psi, but not that accurate with the factory fodder at those pressures according to the test I read in Gun World. The Linebaugh 500's operate at about half or a little more of that. As a plus, they are real hammers on anything south of really big bear country with a 440 at about 900fps, and very pleasant to shoot.
 

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Unregistered said:
rambo wannabe, I would never bother to lug a rifle around. You are more likely to die of insect bites-stings than bear attacks. I might swap out the mag of 70 gr prefrags, if in Alaska backwoods, for the 90 gr, hollowbased .45 swc's, at 2100 fps in the lw commander, and I'd also carry some small, lw accurate .22, like the smith 2214, for taking grouse, squirrles, hares, trout, and so on. say a total of under 4 lbs of guns, holster, spare mags, and ammo.
andy's at it again. pay no attention to this or his other post. andy this thread is not about anything you have experance with, so do us a favor and shut up.
thank you very much.

well the last time i was in alaska i carried my 358 norma mag. i know for a fact it works on the local costal browns. if i was going to pick something that ammo would not be a problem for, i would go for marlin's 45/70 cowboy gun, only because it has a longer site radius than the guide gun. the 45/70 with factorie 400 gr sp bullets or lazer casts 405 gr ldfn, would work just fine. you can take soft skinned game to 200 yrds with no problems, and the 400 gr bullet is packing enough lead to give a brown bear a hard time. as for a pistol i would go for a 44 mag with a good hard cast 270 gr or a 300 gr bullet, at about 1200 to 1300 fps. i don't think any pistol pack enough punch for the bears, but at least with a 44 mag you can get back on target quick enough to take more than one shot if you have to. :cool:
 

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I read in Field and Stream a few years ago that there has never been a document case of someone saving themselves from a bear attack by shooting a griz with a handgun.......there are cases of the bear dying later, but not before killing the shooter.

No idea if it's true or not, but that's what it said.
 
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