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Mountain Rifle Advice

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Old 10-10-2010, 07:03 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 32
Mountain Rifle Advice

Hello everyone.

I am looking to buy/build a custom rifle that I plan on using in the mountains and remote areas of alaska on long backpack hunting where I will only use my two feet for a while to say the least. I currently have a 300 Wby Accumark that shoots like a dream .50 -.75 MOA. This rifle however is a beast and most other rifles calibers that I would love to have 338LM etc do not lend to lighter rifles. I have a friend that had a remington alaska ti in 300wsm and that was a good size. I was considering a 7mm wsm or 300 wsm. Pending any comments on working out, toughen up, grow a pair can what are your thoughts.


"ounces equal pounds"
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Old 10-10-2010, 08:50 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Skagit Valley WASHINGTON
Posts: 160
Re: Mountain Rifle Advice

My mountain, and a lot of other things, rifle is a Kimber Montana in 300WSM topped with a Leupold VXIII 4.5-14 with B&C reticle. Kimbers get some mixed reviews, but mine has worked out so far. I can out to 500+ with a VERY light setup. I know it's not custom, but if you're not concerned with very long range (relative term) something like this might be the way to go. The lack of weight is the biggest disadvantage of shooting at extended ranges with a mountain rifle. Give a little more info on what you hunt, the conditions, etc. and you will get some great ideas from the guys on here. Welcome to LRH!
Bill C
Ignorance is bliss...unless you're aware of it.

Last edited by tjbill; 10-10-2010 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:10 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 32
Re: Mountain Rifle Advice

I like to go after Dall Sheep and Mountain Goats which pack on the lbs when packed out. It would also be useful for going after Caribou on the Dalton Hwy. The only concern is that as far as I know a 7mm is not an ideal round to go after a Grizzly if the opportunity presents itself or if im found in that situation. The heaviest round i have consistently seen is 175 grains in 7mm.
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:33 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The rifle range, or archery range or behind the computer in Alaska
Posts: 3,515
Re: Mountain Rifle Advice

Get in shape, carry what you want. Light weight meens different things to different people. My 'lightweight' is my 338 Edge. She weighs 10# on the nose scoped. To me, 10# is light for a solid longrange rifle. My 308 is 12# scoped. I will carry either for sheep and goats but prefer to carry the 338. Ultralights are great to carry and suck to shoot. You will spend more time walking than shooting. Even at that, to some people, the shooting is more important.

All that said, what is your idea of light weight?
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (where the shot goes, how big the group is, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:00 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 32
Re: Mountain Rifle Advice


Good point on the weight i guess to each his own. What im trying to determine and get ideas and view points on is finding a balance between weight and accuracy. I understand the heavier the barrel and stock the more accurate but I dont want a Barrett conversely i dont want a 3lb rifle that will jump like a frog and can only shoot once a minute because the barrel is red. Ive hunted in the mountains with a rifle that probably was about 15lbs total. All said and done i would say 10lb would be the upper limit of what im looking at.
The next point is that I would like to match the caliber to the game. As ive hunted goats with a 300wby and seen the effects I wasnt sure if a 338 Edge or LM would be overkill. Do you have good results with your 338 and harvesting meat from the game?
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:14 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,615
Re: Mountain Rifle Advice

My tikka t3 light stainless in 338 win mag is the best alaska rifle I have hunted with. It will kill anything at any reasonable distance.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:40 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: OHIO
Posts: 2,419
Re: Mountain Rifle Advice

A few things come to mind for me with this question. Big bullet in light weight rifle, or smaller faster bullet in light wt rifle.

For Alaska, and in a light weight rifle, I don't think you could go wrong with either a 30.06 or a 338-06. You should be comfortable with either of those with a 20-21" #2 barrel contour custom built rifle with as light stock from lonewolf.

If for whatever reason you felt "undergunned" with either (which I can't imagine why personally), then I'd opt for a 300 saum or 300 wsm.

My 30.06 wears a fluted #3 22inch PacNor. It has the factory wood stock that has been painted and pillar bedded. The bolt is fluted. The scope is a Leupold 4.5x14.40. I could carry this rifle all day long for weeks. Imagine that with a fluted #3 barrel, 20" long and a little 12oz lonewolf stock!

Slam some 180 TSX, partitions, or Aframes, or Northforks in there and anything coming your way is toast so long as you know how to shoot. Stuff those bullets over a powder that gives you top velocity for the 30.06, like Reloder 22, or possibly Reloder 17 (no experience with that one yet).

Here's my 30.06 with a bear from BC and some wolf pups from Ontario:

The trick is, with a 30.06, if you encounter something that scares you or makes you feel undergunned, KEEP SHOOTING!! And aim for the head!!
Derek M.

Last edited by Derek M.; 10-10-2010 at 01:44 PM.
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