Hiking Rifle cartridges

Rimshot

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When I really don't want to decide what I'm hunting today, I hike around with the German made 'Swiss army knife' with a little Swedish attitude. (6.5x55/22 Hornet/20g mag). Maybe a tad heavy for you Rocky Mountain boys though. My ultimate targets of opportunity gun.
20210214_181728.jpg
 

ldmay375

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Hmmm, I have only one type of rifle that I originally bought as for hiking. Marlin 45-70’s with barrels cut to 20”. One blued and one stainless.
Otherwise all my regular hunting rifles serve the purpose. I try to be mindful and consider the possibility of a pissed off bear in close quarters when hiking. Had one experience like that and I try to keep that in mind.
If using a rimfire, small bore, or shotgun for smaller game, I will definitely be carrying a larger bore revolver.
 

1dirthawker

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buy a tikka t3 lite or ultra lite, get a cartridge that you like...270 win, 6.5, 3006 etc put a 2-7 scope on it and hike all day, shoot an accurate, OVER THE COUNTER, accurate bolt gun that even an old man like me can pack. then take a manly hike!
 

Alaska Luke

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Here is mine, not pretty but a work in progress so don't laugh.
20210124_164739.jpg

I took a Ruger American 358 Winchester and modified it.
  • I cut the barrel to 16 inches and installed iron sites (the rear is a removable peep site).
  • I replaced the stock with a slimmer and lighter stock from a Youth model 308, this saved 2 oz.
  • I trimmed the fore end down to save 2 or 3 oz.
  • To hide the trim I put the tip of the fore end back with a screw. I then smoothed it out using Brownells bedding compound and painted over the seem.
  • The recoil pad is missing so I taped a peice of foam on as a stop gap fix.
The rifle is now 5.5 pounds with iron sites. I was planning to run it with a 1-3 scope. But I have a 4oz Prism site in the mail that I might try.

This rifle has a special job. Where I live there is a fairly narrow window of time for hunting moose and caribou. So I spend a lot of time scouting good hunting areas but not actually hunting. However, bear season is open year around. The plan is to do a lot of scouting trips early in the summer to prep for moose season. If I see a bear while I'm doing that the 358 will enable me to hunt opportunistically.

I'll also carry this rifle as backup when I take kids hunting (they have a 308). Who knows I might hunt with this little rifle when moose and caribou season starts. With a 2-7 scope I could probably reach out to 300 yards. That's good enough most of the time.

I need to clean things up a bit bit so far I really really like this rifle. It handles better then my old 30-30 but it has way more wallop and range.
 
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Here is mine, not pretty but a work in progress so don't laugh.
View attachment 389982
I took a Ruger American 358 Winchester and modified it.
  • I cut the barrel to 16 inches and installed iron sites (the rear is a removable peep site).
  • I replaced the stock with a slimmer and lighter stock from a Youth model 308, this saved 2 oz.
  • I trimmed the fore end down to save 2 or 3 oz.
  • To hide the trim I put the tip of the fore end back with a screw. I then smoothed it out using Brownells bedding compound and painted over the seem.
  • The recoil pad is missing so I taped a peice of foam on as a stop gap fix.
The rifle is now 5.5 pounds with iron sites. I was planning to run it with a 1-3 scope. But I have a 4oz Prism site in the mail that I might try.

This rifle has a special job. Where I live there is a fairly narrow window of time for hunting moose and caribou. So I spend a lot of time scouting good hunting areas but not actually hunting. However, bear season is open year around. The plan is to do a lot of scouting trips early in the summer to prep for moose season. If I see a bear while I'm doing that the 358 will enable me to hunt opportunistically.

I'll also carry this rifle as backup when I take kids hunting (they have a 308). Who knows I might hunt with this little rifle when moose and caribou season starts. With a 2-7 scope I could probably reach out to 300 yards. That's good enough most of the time.

I need to clean things up a bit bit so far I really really like this rifle. It handles better then my old 30-30 but it has way more wallop and range.
@Alaska Luke
Personally I would have left the barrel at 18 to 20 inches to keep the muzzle blast away from my ears. For the extra few ounces I would prefer that length.
Apart from that it will be a great little rifle with plenty of oomph. I would limit shots to 200 to 250 yards with that short barrel tho
Bob
I love your choice of caliber.
 

Alaska Luke

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I figured you'd like it Bob. Sort of a 35 Whelens little brother.

Long shots will be taken carefully if at all. On bears I plan to keep range short to ensure plenty of energy. That explains the 1x prism site. Hopefully more precise than irons but without the weight and bulk of a scope.

I'm hoping to do a fairly long backpacking trip to check out multiple moose spots. This little rifle will fit nicely on the side of my pack.
 
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I figured you'd like it Bob. Sort of a 35 Whelens little brother.

Long shots will be taken carefully if at all. On bears I plan to keep range short to ensure plenty of energy. That explains the 1x prism site. Hopefully more precise than irons but without the weight and bulk of a scope.

I'm hoping to do a fairly long backpacking trip to check out multiple moose spots. This little rifle will fit nicely on the side of my pack.
@Alaska Luke
What is the recoil like and what load are you using. Look at the Woodleigh 200grain RNSP and the 225 grain PPSP, both flat based bullets that will help with power space or the 225 Sierra game king. It is a short bullet for its weight.
Have you tried H2895 in it
Bob.
 

Alaska Luke

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Bob I worked up a rather hot load of RL10 that gives me 2416 fps with a 225 gr bullet (yes it is a bit over spec, there was no data available originally so I worked up the old fashioned way). Recoil is rather stiff. Doesn't seem overly loud. It's not as blasty as a short 308 for sure.

I've got some 225 grain Game Kings. Probably too soft for a grizzly but okay for other stuff I assume. I also have Swift A Frames which I assume are a bit tougher than necessary for anything except grizzly or moose.

Originally the plan was to use Nosler Partitions for everything. But they are all gone now. Too bad because they were great on caribou. Good news is all 225 grain bullets seem to have essentially the same POI.
 
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Bob I worked up a rather hot load of RL10 that gives me 2416 fps with a 225 gr bullet (yes it is a bit over spec, there was no data available originally so I worked up the old fashioned way). Recoil is rather stiff. Doesn't seem overly loud. It's not as blasty as a short 308 for sure.

I've got some 225 grain Game Kings. Probably too soft for a grizzly but okay for other stuff I assume. I also have Swift A Frames which I assume are a bit tougher than necessary for anything except grizzly or moose.

Originally the plan was to use Nosler Partitions for everything. But they are all gone now. Too bad because they were great on caribou. Good news is all 225 grain bullets seem to have essentially the same POI.
@Alaska Luke
Don't go pushing the envelope to much and make sure the load is safe in your rifle. Have a look at the 225grain woodleigh PPSP. It is a bonded bullet that expands well.
Bob
 

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ldmay375

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spike.t:

I fully agree. The terrain, weather environment, and animals that could be encountered would dictate my choices.

Usually for me, it is one of my 20” barrel 375 Ruger or 416 Rugers. The same rifles that I normally hunt with.
Different terrain other rifles might be a better fit for purpose. But, I do enjoy these rifles so they make nice companions.

Mmm....kinda depends what country and where you are going for a hike in me thinks ....
 

MS 9x56

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Since my preferred method of hunting is still hunting almost all my rifles could be considered hiking rifles. My 4 favorites are 9x56MS model 1905 Mannlicher Schoenauer CZ 550 FS 9.3x62, Ruger 77 RSI in 250-3000 (my light rifle), and my Browning BLR in 358 Winchester. The MS 1905 is my absolute favorite as it is so well balanced and light weight 6.75 lbs. If I am liable to run into bears I take the CZ. Sometimes I take my Savage .model 99 in 308 with a 3x9 Leopold scope loaded with 165 grain round nose bullets. I prefer round nose bullets as the have visually seriously more oomph when they hit an animal. The areas I hunt you can rarely see more that 100 yards so there is no advantage to using Spitzer or boat tailed bullets.
 

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Pretty much all my hunting rifles fit that bill.

As others have noted, it pretty much depends where I am "hiking" - though I have never been into hiking for hiking's sake - I did way too much hiking in my chosen profession to find much pleasure in it (bit like "going camping"). So yes, give me a properly balanced and accurate rifle appropriate to the game I am hoping to encounter.
 

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Mmm....kinda depends what country and where you are going for a hike in me thinks ....
I like this thought. When I saw hiking rifle I actually thought about hiking not long hunting based patrols. For hiking I'd go with an AR based pistol because it could be concealed and suppressed. This is important for national and state parks because inorder to have a loaded rifle you have to have a hunting license and it must be during a hunting season. Not wanting to be bothered with technicalities, legalities, and formalities I opt to be lower key. Also on the off chance you need to elicit help from a snowflake hippy...any port in a storm...there are less issues precluding approachability.

If I need horsepower for a hike I'd take my Encore .375 H&H. It's fairly light, it's stainless, and it has the ability to reach out (1-10" twist 28" bbl) and touch or deliver close range stopping power for anything I might encounter.
 

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