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pete53 Offline OP
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i would like know what rifle brand you trust to carry in the ruff tuff cold weather in bear country if your life depended on that brand rifle . maybe the cartridge too ? i
have heard its mostly Winchesters and Rugers ? thank you ,Pete53


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Bears have great difficulty reading headstamps, barrel stamps, logos, cartridge boxes, frankly, just about everything. I even shot a Kodial bear with an A-Bort.

I would suggest the Remington count exceeds the rest combined.


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[quote=Sitka deer]Bears have great difficulty reading headstamps, barrel stamps, logos, cartridge boxes, frankly, just about everything. I even shot a Kodial bear with an A-Bort.

I would suggest the Remington count exceeds the rest combined.

what brand rifle in a dangerous situation in bad weather would you use when you are out in a camp for a week or two in bear country ? your skill level and knowledge of Alaska is much better than many . thank you,Pete53


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Pete,
I have a mix of pre 64 Winchesters, CZ 550s and Kimber Montanas as well as a Husqvarna 4100. It's not brand loyalty so much but it is obvious that I prefer CRF and Mauser style actions. I do not like removeable magazines. My rifles must fit and function reliably. My scopes are simple and mostly fixed power.

If I were hanging out in brown bear country, I'd probably have my 9.3x62 in hand but I'm usually more concerned about bullet than cartridge.

Of the rifles listed, none can readily be bought new off the shelf except for the Kimber Montana [perhaps].

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Originally Posted by pete53
[quote=Sitka deer]Bears have great difficulty reading headstamps, barrel stamps, logos, cartridge boxes, frankly, just about everything. I even shot a Kodial bear with an A-Bort.

I would suggest the Remington count exceeds the rest combined.

what brand rifle in a dangerous situation in bad weather would you use when you are out in a camp for a week or two in bear country ? your skill level and knowledge of Alaska is much better than many . thank you,Pete53



Ok Pete, this is what I'm packing, with regards to you question above..... [see attached]
Lj cool

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LJ's_.375_Weatherby_DGR_Photos 001.jpg (53.46 KB, 830 downloads)

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pete53 Offline OP
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nice rifle i am sure that would knock a big critter down ! thanks,Pete53


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So, is your question more about "Reliability", and "Dependency" of firearm design in adverse field conditions or something else......???


ALASKA is a "HARD COUNTRY for OLDMEN". (But if you live it wide'ass open, balls'to the wall, the pedal floored, full throttle, it is a delightful place, to finally just sit-back and savor those memories while sipping Tequila).
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pete53 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AGL4now
So, is your question more about "Reliability", and "Dependency" of firearm design in adverse field conditions or something else......???

YES , that`s a good way of putting it ? i have never yet hunted Alaska and if i did probably bring a Winchester model 70 with a claw ,no magazine/clip ,30-06 ? i have had Remington 700`s with cold , snow , wet problems it won`t be a 700 action anymore. maybe some of you Alaskan`s have had better luck with some actions that me ?

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Originally Posted by pete53
Originally Posted by AGL4now
So, is your question more about "Reliability", and "Dependency" of firearm design in adverse field conditions or something else......???

YES , that`s a good way of putting it ? i have never yet hunted Alaska and if i did probably bring a Winchester model 70 with a claw ,no magazine/clip ,30-06 ? i have had Remington 700`s with cold , snow , wet problems it won`t be a 700 action anymore. maybe some of you Alaskan`s have had better luck with some actions that me ?

At some point one learns (generally the hard and sad way) the "Field Maintenace" becomes critical to safety and the continuance of the hunt. I have several times been compelled to repair client's firearms (if possible). There are generally two component systems that are a problem, from debris, especially airborne silt. The firearm you prefer is at the top of the field repairable list. Others can be modified to offer the same features.


ALASKA is a "HARD COUNTRY for OLDMEN". (But if you live it wide'ass open, balls'to the wall, the pedal floored, full throttle, it is a delightful place, to finally just sit-back and savor those memories while sipping Tequila).
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My current carry is a Chiappa brand 1886 in 45-70. Before that I carried a Marlin 1895 in 45-70. I'm partial to lever-actions but if I was going to a bolt I would probably go with the Ruger m77 in either .375 or .338

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i have a very nice safe queen 98 % Winchester 71 348 special but i still prefer a Model 70 Winchester with a claw / 30-06 .

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M98, M70. M70 is likely the easiest to "fix" due to adverse weather conditions, like a frozen up bolt, if needed. 98's are danged near bombproof.

Never had a problem with my M77 tangers either, in wintery or "winter-mix"conditions.

In truth, the only field problem I've ever had was with my Rem725 SA - the "frozen" firing pin didn't drop the first time I triggered. Oil had frozen/thickened up - fired second try. I haven't used an oiled bolt since- only Eezox or Corrosion X, both of which are "dry to touch". Doesn't necessarily mean one can't get H20 in there to freeze tho.

If hunting in cold weather, do not bring the firearm into warm. Condensation can form internally and externally.

In Kotzebue, I would wrap the firearm in my parka before bringing it in to warm gradually, without condensation.

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Originally Posted by pete53
i have a very nice safe queen 98 % Winchester 71 348 special but i still prefer a Model 70 Winchester with a claw / 30-06 .

I would never take "ANY" lever action firearm into a deep hunting environment. There is basically no access to internal components. A day hunt maybe. No professionals in Africa or Alaska use a lever action firearm.

The most common problem is with-in the bolt housing. You can get into a Remington bolt with some basic tools including a penny and a way to overextend the firing pin mechanism, but it is risky in the wilderness. Especially if the penny gets knocked out. Most Mausers can be disassembled with a paper clip, sadly I rarely carry paper clips in the field.

The three-position safety is way out in front the best bolt/firing pin system. It allows for disassembly with zero tools. All of my a "Mauser" rifles and "Remington" rifles have been converted to three-position wing safety system.

Working the beach on the Alaska Peninsula, I have needed to dissemble the bolt/firing pin assembly more than once a day, on occasions. rinse in fresh water creek or puddle. A simple procedure takes two minutes with 3-position safety.


ALASKA is a "HARD COUNTRY for OLDMEN". (But if you live it wide'ass open, balls'to the wall, the pedal floored, full throttle, it is a delightful place, to finally just sit-back and savor those memories while sipping Tequila).
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I beg to differ but Ed Stevenson(RIP) and Ben Stevenson would call BS on the lever action statement. Levers saved Ed in both times he was getting mauled by brown bears. He liked big caliber levers more than any other rifle type because you could get them into action quickly in the brush. There places up Sheep River and on the Gulf of Alaska are about as nasty for weather and general gun conditions as can be imagined. Residents don't put pressure up the Sheep River on the sheep up there because the alder jungle is so bad. There were many guides who used both Model 71s and Winchester 1886s through time. They knew what they were doing. A lot of those old birds were lefties that needed a gun that could work well for them. There are also guides that look at rifles as tools. Go to the store and buy a Ruger Guide Gun in 375 Ruger or find a JM Marlin 1895 in 45-70 with hot loads. There are other guides that will run whatever is accurate and light. A lot of the more savvy guides in the Brooks Range run Kimbers of one sort or another.

Some of very old timers run Pre64s but most of those guys are gone. Many of the newer minted guides in the Alaska Range run custom Rifles Inc. rifles. One of my friends who makes custom rifles is taking a PreWar Model 70 that was originally in 35 Rem but rebored to 35 Whelen as his guide/back up rifle on his bear hunts this Spring.

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Originally Posted by kaboku68
I beg to differ but Ed Stevenson(RIP) and Ben Stevenson would call BS on the lever action statement. Levers saved Ed in both times he was getting mauled by brown bears. He liked big caliber levers more than any other rifle type because you could get them into action quickly in the brush. There places up Sheep River and on the Gulf of Alaska are about as nasty for weather and general gun conditions as can be imagined. Residents don't put pressure up the Sheep River on the sheep up there because the alder jungle is so bad. There were many guides who used both Model 71s and Winchester 1886s through time. They knew what they were doing. A lot of those old birds were lefties that needed a gun that could work well for them. There are also guides that look at rifles as tools. Go to the store and buy a Ruger Guide Gun in 375 Ruger or find a JM Marlin 1895 in 45-70 with hot loads. There are other guides that will run whatever is accurate and light. A lot of the more savvy guides in the Brooks Range run Kimbers of one sort or another.

Some of very old timers run Pre64s but most of those guys are gone. Many of the newer minted guides in the Alaska Range run custom Rifles Inc. rifles. One of my friends who makes custom rifles is taking a PreWar Model 70 that was originally in 35 Rem but rebored to 35 Whelen as his guide/back up rifle on his bear hunts this Spring.

EXACTLY how many guides "TODAY" in Alaska or Africa carry leveraction rifles......??? HELL, if you desire to jabber about long-ago history, single shot rifles were the latest thing. SORRY, I thought this discussion was fully relevant to today and tomorrow.

And for your information I have built 16 rifles in .458 Win. Mag. for resale. They were originally built on the first production stainless steel actions, which were RUGER M-77. They were born as 7MM Rem. Mag. Once Winchester developed their tooling I shifted to M-70 Stainless actions. It was a long period between the first stainless rifles, till factory built the first stainless .458 Win. Mag. for retail market.


ALASKA is a "HARD COUNTRY for OLDMEN". (But if you live it wide'ass open, balls'to the wall, the pedal floored, full throttle, it is a delightful place, to finally just sit-back and savor those memories while sipping Tequila).
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Horstman on Kodiak carries a Model 71 moded. Taj Shoemaker carries a Turnbull 1886 in 475 Turnbull. Earl Estailka carries a 1895 Marlin 45-70. Ben Stevenson still carries some of the old 1886s that his dad made up during the early days when he is out on the salt. Jeff Poore up in Henry Tiffany Country carries a 1895 in 30/06. Gilbert Huntington runs an old Winchester 1886 in 45-70 up the Koyukuk. That is just off the top of my head. There are a lot more assistant guides that run either the JM Marlins or the Ruger 77 guide rifles in 375 Ruger. Coke Wallace has been using a Savage 99 in 25-3000 as his backup sheep rifle for the last three seasons and uses during his wolf trapping trips as well. I know this because I hunt ammo for the critter.

The Fifthian boys all run 1895 Marlins from their horses in the Alaska Range. Most of the Perrins boys at the Rainey Pass Lodge run the 1895s as well.

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The gunmaker guide I am talking about is Steve Hallenbeck who runs Double Broomed Rifles. He charges between 4 and 5 K per rifle. He makes a lot of Kimber Montanas with Lilja barrels. He has a deal with Gunwerks and can get them at cost but he is loving Pre-64s right now. He donates a rifle to the Alaska WSF and the national WSF every year.

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pete53 Offline OP
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This is very interesting to me since i have never hunted Alaska yet ? its good rifle and cartridge education for all of us hunters from the lower 48 who may some day hunt Alaska. looks like Mauser actions , Winchester pre-64 actions , Ruger actions , levers is what many guides use ? also if i did take a Remington action rifle to Alaska it would be best to have the bolt made to work like a Winchester bolt somehow ?


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Not an Alaskan, but have lived in very wet environments before.

It is my understanding that the early Winchester Model 70 SS rifles were all stainless…..every metal component, pins, springs, ect. There may be other SS rifles that are made similarly!

This alone would put the Winchesters at the top of my list! memtb

Last edited by memtb; 01/16/23.

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Originally Posted by memtb
Not an Alaskan, but have lived in very wet environments before.

It is my understanding that the early Winchester Model 70 SS rifles were all stainless…..every metal component, pins, springs, ect. There may be other SS rifles that are made similarly!

This alone would put the Winchesters at the top of my list! memtb

and i wish i would have brought a couple more of these S.S. Winchester . Dang it !


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