Need advice on caliber for Moose and bear in Alaska.

Discussion in 'How To Hunt Big Game' started by joshua99ta, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. joshua99ta

    joshua99ta Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking to pick up a new rifle for a hunt scheduled at the end of august.

    Im considering 338 RUM, 375RUM, 375 H&H, and 416 Rigby....

    I want a larger bore rifle as long as it'll shoot pretty good to 300 yards I'm fine with it.
     
  2. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I would favor a large 338 type for the 300 yard you mention or much further after that hunt. The RUM, edge , lapua etc.They will Knock down what you are looking for, can run 300 gr. for ko or long range,many bullets avaliable and a future long range rig
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    All of the above.

    I like the bigger bores just in case you run into a nasty tempered bear and for the knockdown But
    any of those will do on moose.

    Recovery is sometimes easier with the big bores because you can pick the place you would like
    to process a large animal. Most animals will run into the water after being hit and retrieving
    them can be a chore and processing can be worse. (Hard to drag a moose out of the water).

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    Can you ask your guide what they would prefer you to show up with. If its not a guided hunt and you are not sure as to what to take you need to find out. unless a person has big bore experience the .416 is definately harder to shoot consistantly. .338 and .375 both top out at about 300gr. bullets. The Super .338 magnums produce more recoil than the standard .375 magnums. I don't personally see the .338 as being a dangerous game cartrigdge, While the .375 is reguarded as adequate in most circumstances. It would be highly beneficial to get information directly from those that hunt that exact area, not regional favorties.
     
  5. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

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    Ken, I like your answer & would like to add to it...

    To the OP, what are YOUR capabilites? Can YOU handle a big bore? A solid hit with a 338 win is WAY more effective than a close miss with a 378 WBY. I would personally Max out with my .375 Ruger, I still like my .458 Lott but am willing to admit it beats the snot outta me & i'm not used to it.

    Granted, your shots will have a limited range, (extremely limited if mama griz takes an interest in your quickly departing backside). :D

    If you can handle a big bore, by all means roll with it, but if you can't (reliably) don't be afraid to step down a few notches.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  6. 300grains

    300grains Member

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    I use 375 H&H and am very satisfied. Used for hunting many different bullets. The ones in use now are Accubond 260 grains and Norma Oryx 300 grains.
    I have used non bonded for many years from Sierra, Hornady and Speer. CanĀ“t tell much if any difference between them, but somehow feels more secure when using bonded. Maybe just brain trolls. All bullets give clean kills.
     
  7. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Any of those four should be good out to 300 yards. The .338s will kill bears and moose cleanly with a decent bullet and good hits. I've only shot a couple moose and bear with a .375 Weatherby (like a 375 H&H Improved). Not sure I could tell any difference between it and the 338 Win Mag or 338 Imperial or 338 Edge.

    If you're sensitive to recoil or you might use the rifle at longer distances in the future, the 338 might be the better choice. The heavier the bullet, the greater the recoil. The 338 bullets will have a little better Ballistic Coefficient for equal weight bullets. I've lived and hunted Alaska for the past 33 years, and I've ended up using 338 caliber cartridges for many moose and several brown bear. So I guess I favor the 338 caliber cartridges. But I've been known to take some pretty long shots over the years.

    Again, if your range is limited to 300 yards or less, the 375 and the 416 should work every bit as well as the 338s - provided you can shoot them equally well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  8. comfisherman

    comfisherman Well-Known Member

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    Solid advice given above, it boils down to can you take the 375 beating.

    338 works on both, and if profficient with it can cleanly kill to 300. Id rather put up a paper plate and have a guy send 4 downrange on target with speed and ease than to have them pull up and flinch when shooting their 375 whizzumbang and miss.
     
  9. ken snyder

    ken snyder Well-Known Member

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    I feel that cartridge case for cartridge case the .338 and .375 are recoil indentical. They both shoot the same bullet weights and the larger .338 cartridges definately have more recoil than the standard .375 magnums. the .375 H&H - 375 Dakota are easier to shoot than the cartridges in the 338/378 and above category. Nothing wrong with a .375 H&H recoil, Small men and women get a lot of use out of them. There is an ocean of difference between bench shooting and hunting. Shooting off the sticks my 4 foot eleven inch tall wife is quite the tiger with a .416.
     
  10. skey01

    skey01 Well-Known Member

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    I have been to Alaska a couple times, have 2 friends that have guided up there.. One also worked for the park service and carried a 375 H&H issued by the park sevice.. I have asked the question more than once & the most popular 2 calibers are 375 H&H & 338 Win Mag for the guides... Of course shot placement is key.. I have shot bears with my 338 win mag it works great.. I shot a griz in BC with a 7mm STW with a quality bonded bullet shot him at 290 yards behind the shoulder and he died within 40 yards of where he was shot.. we were hunting black bears and grizz up there.. That particular day we were not supposed to see grizz just black bears well guess what, WRONG!! I say take the biggest gun you can shoot well, most guides will tell you the same thing..
     
  11. joshua99ta

    joshua99ta Well-Known Member

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    ohhh wow I forgot about this thread.

    BTW I didn't get to go on the trip, the outfitter backed out on us, he needed a few more people to go and we didnt have anybody else. He says we can come in 2012 though.

    Looks like I'm going to build a 338RUM, that way factory brass will be easy to come across for reloading and IF it happens that I get caught somewhere and my ammo gets lost or messed up it shouldnt be too hard to get some from a large sporting goods store.
     
  12. Elkmen

    Elkmen Well-Known Member

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    joshua

    If you get stuck out somewhere in Alaska, the chances of finding 338 and 375 ammo probably exceed the RUM greatly.
     
  13. hatfield954

    hatfield954 Well-Known Member

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    A .50 cal would be big enough to do what you want..
     
  14. alaska great dane

    alaska great dane Member

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    Try a .338 win mag off the shelf. The best advice I can give you and probably more important than the type of gun or optics you bring is this - get in the best shape you can. Alaska is tough and most successful hunting is done on foot.