Winchester 70 in 375 HH. Good variety of bullets and a fantastic action. I have one and have taken everything from springbok to buf. One gun for everything that walks the planet.
Wow! Thank you for all of the great input and recommendations folks. Here's a little bit more information about me and some of the rifles I have and have used.
I've used the Ruger Guide guns in both 375 and the 416. I'm currently working on testing some reloads in the .416Ruger guide gun with the 350gr Barnes TTSX bullets for a friend. I will be at the range this weekend checking out load development and what kind of accuracy and velocity I can get out of the 20" barrel.
I already have and own a custom 375WBY rifle that I've used to take a coastal bear with. It's built on the M70 classic action in a High Tech synthetic stock and 24" Brux barrel. It's a superbly accurate setup, but is missing a few components I'd like (barrel band, iron sights, short barrel). I know the barrel could be shortened, but I'll probably leave this rifle as-is, rather than have it modified. I also have a Kimber 8400 that I had customized as well. It has a 20" barrel with a brake, McMillan stock, Ceramic coatings and Iron sights. It's main design intent was for deer hunting, with the always possible threat of bears being in the area, especially with dead deer. The surprising thing with the 338 is that factory Barnes ammo with the 225TTSX still keeps a velocity of 2750fps. My hunting partner has an almost identical rifle and it too has similar velocities. I thought I'd give up a lot more speed with the short 338Win barrel, but it didn't seem to happen.
I remember Gary and his shop he used to have here in town. He put together some nice looking rifles in that shop. Thanks for reminding me about devil's club....ugh.....I'll be down in Sitka here soon hunting goat and deer and can't wait to be reacquainted with those nasty little thorns.
Although I have a couple of possible rifles that would work, I'm really looking for that "niche" rifle that will knock a big bear down if necessary, is handy and compact and totally reliable. The Ruger seems to check all the boxes and I'm really looking into that option. Besides the Ruger and some of the other manufacturer's mentioned, which custom gunsmith would be the go-to person for a build like this? The gunsmith I've used for both my 375WBY and 338 is Kevin Weaver out of Colorado. He's done a great job on everything he's built. They all funtion and I've looked at the Bansner Classic safari rifle as well and that looks like a very nice rifle package for this task.
If you had to break it down into two types of categories on customs, I'd say the one category would be sky's the limit on budget and optics . The other, more reasonable side is what does a nine to ten thousand dollar with optic setup look like and who would build it? The third option is the off the shelf Ruger/Montana/Winchester choice.
I guess my five hunts to AK (2 on Kodiak) were all a dream. Obviously you are vastly more experienced than me! I’ll bow to your suggestions.I know exactly what an alder thicket is. I have no idea what a 2 inch shorter barrel has to do with walking through a devil’s club thicket though... as one poster mentioned- I guess to sound more “sage” about AK.
Ok I want one. Just becauseI'm thinking outside the box. There are a couple gunshops (one I believe in Alaska) that can take a Browning BLR lever gun takedown model (which comes in stainless) and can chamber it to a 375ruger
If you ask me, you couldn't ask for a better bear rifle - compact, quick to rack another shell un without the perceived negativity of a 45/70 (if you are one who subscribes to the theory that it is not the best for brown bear), and certainly fits the bill for dangerous game in Africa.
I believe someone here owns said rifle. If interested, you could search
Africa is NOT like AK. [/QUOTE said:Well, that depends on your view of each. Narrow or realistic. What part of each?
ranging from the cool Cape of South Africa through the equator to the Sahara desert. Alaska is the largest state, over twice the size of Texas going from coastal rainforest in the Southeast to arctic tundra. Each with wide open spaces such savannah and tundra, various open brush and forested areas to tangled thick brush of all sorts, wet rain forests, and cof course open mountainous areas where we chase Dall sheep in Alaska or rhebok in South Africa just as an example.
So yes, as a matter of fact Africa and Alaska do have a lot of similarities
I already have and own a custom 375WBY rifle that I've used to take a coastal bear with. It's built on the M70 classic action in a High Tech synthetic stock and 24" Brux barrel. It's a superbly accurate setup, but is missing a few components I'd like (barrel band, iron sights, short barrel). I know the barrel could be shortened, but I'll probably leave this rifle as-is, rather than have it modified.
First time post for me here on this forum. I've read a lot of information on this site and it definitely looks like the place to post my question regarding rifles for dangerous game. I live in Alaska and am searching for input on having a custom rifle built. This rifle will mostly see use on the coast hunting bears. Wet, nasty weather with the salty type environment in horrendously thick brush (alders) is pretty typical for these hunts. The other intended use is to take it to Africa at some point to hunt. I'm not super particular on caliber at this point, but need one that will work well with a 22" or shorter barrel without horrible recoil that makes a second shot difficult. I'm more interested in what components as well as top gunsmiths are recommended. While I love the looks of the fancy rifles so many of you have on here, this rifle just needs to be reliable 110% of the time in less than stellar conditions. Here's a list of items I'm pondering on a build. Maybe some of you could provide your thoughts or first hand accounts (positive or negative) on this list and gunsmiths.
I appreciate any help on this project.
- Action (Model 70 CRF)- Yes/No? I'm told the stainless "Classic" action is ideal, but am open to other suggestions. 3 position safety with bolt lock (nothing likes to open a bolt like climbing in alders)
- Barrel: No longer than 22" with backup iron sights. What's the best type of irons around for low light, dangerous game survival?
- Stock: Synthetic stock: Is there one that stands out as a better performer for a dangerous game setup?
- Trigger: Upgrade or get the original Winchester trigger tuned?
- Gunsmith: Who builds the best and most reliable repeater rifle?
- Coatings: Nitride metal to prevent corrosion?
- In trying to keep within a certain budget, is there likely going to be problems if say I purchase a five thousand dollar custom rifle from a reputable gunsmith vs. a gunsmith who has a specific "dangerous game" classic type safari rifle build in their products that costs three thousand dollars more? What is (or isn't) necessarily gained by the price difference?
I personally would go a savage weather warrior and have it rebarreled to the 35 Whelen or 9.3X62. Bother heavy hitters without the magnum recoil.