Mountain Rifle Advice

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Flametop7, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. Flametop7

    Flametop7 Active Member

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    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.

    Flametop7

    "ounces equal pounds"
     
  2. tjbill

    tjbill Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010

  3. Flametop7

    Flametop7 Active Member

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    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.
     
  4. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  5. Flametop7

    Flametop7 Active Member

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    Michael,

    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?
     
  6. Long Time Long Ranger

    Long Time Long Ranger Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    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:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    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!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  8. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I have had great results from the 338 in every aspect. 10# with the 300 grain pills is about all the recoil I care for even with a brake. The few times I have had it at the range 3 days in a row, the recoil is too much. So long as I only take her out once in a while and keep it to 6 or 7 rounds, the recoil is managable. With 225's it is a dream to shoot.

    The rifle is balanced perfectly, weight is managable to shoot, weight is comfortable to carry. The accuracy, consistency and minimal wind drift is awesome. It has quickly become one of my favorite rifles of all time. ABS barrels are not the cure all, but the overall and all things concidered, I would do it all the same over again.

    You may think the 338 is overkill but again that is relative. I dont shoot the 338 Edge for high muzzle energy, I shoot it for excellent energy way out there and the minimal windage. Seriously, in a 10 MPH 90 degree wind, it has nearly half the wind drift as alot of popular caliber at a full 1000 yards. That is why I use it. 2000 foot pounds at 1K with 48" of drift is DANG HARD to beat. The accuracy of the big 338's is awesome as well.

    Honestly, I have never had a rifle that if it became lost, stolen or destroyed I wouldnt change something about it when I had a new one rebuilt. I dont feel that way about my 338. I would try and duplicate it as closely as possible. I meen there are always minor asthetic flaws that I would hope didint get duplicated, but as far as specs, it is perfect for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  9. Flametop7

    Flametop7 Active Member

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    Derek awesome pics and thanks for the advice. The biggest thing that I know is that there is no one true all around caliber.

    Michael 6-7 shots max a day is manageable as my friend that has a 338LM said he has never had to shoot more than once at any game that he was hunting so the recoil wasn't that big of a deal when he shot only once per animal.
     
  10. Rocky Mountain

    Rocky Mountain Well-Known Member

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    If you like the 338 edge you can lighten the rifle up alot by adding light parts to get the weight down eg:Titanium action rem 700, McMillian Rem classic stock in McMillians special light edge technology, keep the scope to 16 ounces or lighter eg: swarvoski Z5 3-18-44, light weight firing pin and spring( from Pacific tool and gauge), light weight nightforce rings and basses, and a number 5 contour flutted 28 inch barrel with good titanium muzzle brake. You might end up with a 338 edge weighing 8.5 to 9 pounds with scope included, now that would be something that I wouldnt mind carrying sheep hunting lightbulb
     
  11. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    FLAME -I would listen closely to michael i believe he has shot quite a few dall. derek - i really like the "shoot more and aim for the head". ron
     
  12. Flametop7

    Flametop7 Active Member

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    Ronin,
    Michael definitely gave me some points to consider and I would definitely lean toward a 338 for the simple fact that, that caliber will hold its own to any predator in AK which is always a concern. The problem always becomes i look for a new rifle and end up wanting 4 more.
     
  13. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Well-Known Member

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    I like the WSM rounds, but something to consider is the intrusion on powder capacity of heavy weight high BC bullets. The 175-180gr 7mm bullets will take up alot of case capacity when seated for a short action magazine. I looked at getting a 300WSM and shooting 200gr accubonds for an elk rifle but wasn't sure I could get the velocity I wanted from that heavy a bullet.

    I had a 7mm WSM and have a 270WSM and really like the gun/caliber, but the WSM's will generally perform best with a midweight for caliber bullet. The midweight bullets generally don't offer the best BC for long range. It becomes a trade off of what's more important. My 270WSM weighs under 8lbs ready to hunt and my 264 win weighs 10lbs and is 4" longer. What I carry depends on the type hunting I expect.
     
  14. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

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    I built a working mans light rifle. Well I put it together. I bought a Sav 111 .270 and weighed it, and the mounts and the screws, and the rings, and the scope all as I bought them or before. My whole rig weighs 7.9# and is zeroed at 300y. It shoots inch at hundred, 1.5 at two hundred and 3.5 inches at 300y. The only thing thats important is that it weighs 8.1 with sling, and the first shot is always in the bull. Groups dont mean anything in hunting esp the sub-moa stuff. Only the first shot or two is critical. At 425 it shoots 8" low. And I can carry it alllll day long with no backache etc. Gun was used so I have <500 in the whole rig. Weighing everything was the most important part of it all. Good luck on yours.