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Old February 16, 2021, 09:57 PM   #1
Pistoler0
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Why magnums for USA, if AK Fish & Game say 30-06 enough?

Unless used in long range competition, is there a use for magnums in the USA when Alaska Fish & Game says this? :

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...nting.firearms
"Because of the presence of brown and grizzly bears, many hunters have been convinced that a .300, .338, .375, or .416 magnum is needed for personal protection and to take large Alaska game. This is simply not true."

I thought my .308 was a good all rounder except maybe for moose (1 in a lifetime tag draw here in CO) or big brown bears (which I will never have the cash to go hunt). I always saw a 300 Win mag in my future. But then I stumbled upon the above post by AK Fish&Game.

Assuming they are right, then why buy a magnum unless one goes to Africa?
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Old February 16, 2021, 10:36 PM   #2
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That's not what I got out of it. What I got is, people are purchasing guns for their trips. Due to not practicing adequately with their new guns and not being used to the recoil they have trouble with shot placement. Also guides don't like muzzle breaks cause they are noisy.

In short get the cartridge you want, practice, learn your gun, and leave the break off for your guides sake.
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Old February 17, 2021, 12:43 AM   #3
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They just use a whole lot of words to say you can't compensate for poor knowledge and technique with extra power. I like the suggestion of hunting a 1,500 lb brown bear with a 7mm-08--has a Hemmingwayesque quality that it's an open question as to who will end up who's dinner.
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Old February 17, 2021, 08:24 AM   #4
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Better bullets, powder, and optics have improved all cartridges. During WW-1 a 30-06 load pushed a 150 gr bullet to 2700 fps, by the 1950's that was up to 2800 fps. Today it is possible to get 2900-3000 fps with a 150 gr bullet from a 308.

Better bullet designs mean a 308 is impacting faster at 200 yards than a 300 WM was moving at 200 yards 50 years ago even though the 300 WM is 400 fps or more faster at the muzzle.

The introduction of compact affordable range finders and scopes that can account for bullet drop have largely eliminated the need for flat shooting cartridges.

The use of bonded bullets and solid copper bullets mean that todays premium bullets will out penetrate old school jacketed lead bullets.

All of those qualities combined mean cartridges like 308, 7-08, and any of the 6.5's are enough gun for just about any North American game. And for most of them at ranges out to 500 yards or more.

Of course the same improvements make the 300 and 7mm magnums even more effective, but very few people have the shooting skills to take advantage of it. Most shooters today are opting for cartridges with 1/2 the recoil that will do all they need to do.

Up close a 300 magnum offers no advantage over a 308 on bigger game. A 180 or 200 gr bullet fired from a 308, 30-06, or 300 WM does the same thing inside 50 yards. The bigger cartridges just mean more effective range before velocity drops off so slow that the bullet won't expand.

Going to a caliber larger than 30 only helps if you move up substantially in bullet weight. A 200-220 gr bullet in 30 caliber is much more effective, and will penetrate much deeper in game than a 200-220 gr 33 or 35 caliber bullet.

I've owned a lot of rifles in a lot of cartridges including several 300 and 7mm magnums. I've had 45-70, 338/06 and 35 Whelen. I hunted almost exclusively with a 30-06 for most of my hunting career, but have drifted to 308 and 6.5 CM for all of my big game hunting. I've sold everything else other than a 30-06 that has too much history to go.
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Old February 17, 2021, 09:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...nting.firearms

"Because of the presence of brown and grizzly bears, many hunters have been convinced that a .300, .338, .375, or .416 magnum is needed for personal protection and to take large Alaska game. This is simply not true."
That's only true if you're on a guided hunt, where the guide/ass't guides are themselves armed with magnum-level stopping rifles. That's in case the non-resident Bubba-hunter's '06 rifle doesn't cleanly put the Grizz or moose down .... and/or there's a charge.

If you live and work in AK, especially anywhere remote where you're outdoors a lot, then it's different.

I'd be toting my Remmy 600 carbine in bear-thumpin' .350 Rem. Magnum, or keep it ready at hand in a padded carrier in the snowmobile when checking traplines.


Definitely good advice for the AK-bound Fudds, this:
Quote:
That's not what I got out of it. What I got is, people are purchasing guns for their trips. Due to not practicing adequately with their new guns and not being used to the recoil they have trouble with shot placement. Also guides don't like muzzle breaks cause they are noisy. In short get the cartridge you want, practice, learn your gun, and leave the break off for your guides sake.

Last edited by JustJake; February 17, 2021 at 09:34 AM.
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Old February 17, 2021, 09:49 AM   #6
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Magnum rifles definitely have their place. However, I've never had a huge need for them. The only two rifles I own that can be considered a magnum is the .300 H&H and a .375 Ruger. I've killed big game with both, but nothing a smaller cartridge wouldn't have done just as well on.
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Old February 17, 2021, 01:32 PM   #7
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Pistoler0, I live Co also. What have you hunted with your 308 here that 300mag was in future plans?
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Old February 17, 2021, 01:47 PM   #8
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Magnum rifles definitely have their place. However, I've never had a huge need for them. The only two rifles I own that can be considered a magnum is the .300 H&H and a .375 Ruger. I've killed big game with both, but nothing a smaller cartridge wouldn't have done just as well on.
I've got a 300 H&H and, if loaded properly, you can get the heavier 200gn/220gn projectiles into Weatherby .300 range ... And certainly it's more than competitive with the .300 Win Mag for AK uses, whether for hunting or protection in the boonies.

But up there a .308 would be anemic. A 30-06 with the 200gn/220gn loads would be the minimum.
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Old February 17, 2021, 01:56 PM   #9
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That article is repeating the same stuff that any professional guide will tell you:
A rifle that you can shoot is better than a rifle you can't.

-

Also keep in mind that the current opinion on offensive and defensive firearms in Alaska has been heavily influenced by several studies.
Very important in those studies were three factors:
1. Hit probability.
2. Efficacy.
3. Real world data availability.

These were not theoretical concepts, worked up by assigning arbitrary weighting factors. They used real world data from actual encounters with bears, and post-hunt interviews with big game hunters.

When you use a real world data set, you have to work with the data that you're given. And that data had a *lot* of .30-06 in it.
Not only that, but you start getting into some of the same arguments as self-defense firearm usage, about things like follow-up shots, ease of use, and speed of operation.
Is one "really powerful" shot actually better than two "less powerful" shots?
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Old February 17, 2021, 02:50 PM   #10
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all arounders

Didn't one of the famous gun scribes state something like the " '06 was never a poor choice" or words to that effect? The '06 and .308 ARE good all arounders, and modern premium bullets make them more effective than they've ever been. There are lots of accounts of folks (besides Roosevelt) taking the '06 to Africa and doing quite well too. I'd say it certainly is more gun than one needs to take 150 lb whitetails, though everybody does (me included) on occasion.

As some sort of "stopping rifle" the big mags make sense for a guide or warden who must deal with a crippled or enraged dangerous critter. The flat mags make sense for those who understand and can shoot them well enough to take advantage of what they offer at longer range.
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Old February 17, 2021, 04:46 PM   #11
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Note that the AK F&G were not saying you can do away with a magnum for big bears. They said that people tend to up-gun when going for smaller game (caribou, elk, moose, sheep) because of the chance of meeting a big bear in some areas of AK.

One of my customers was a guide in AK. He told me my 7X57 would take anything I wanted to shoot (caribou, moose, elk). The reason he carried a 416 Weatherby when guiding is that things happen that are not in the plan. You may not spot a bear coming to the sound of a shot until he is right on top of you. When that happens, you want to swat them with something rough. Would your 30-06 kill a bear? Sure. Before he gets you? Maybe. Magnums change the odds for up close encounters. If you are going on a guided hunt, your guide will tell you what you should carry.

As far as why magnums for the rest of the USA (lower 48), magnums shoot flatter, making range estimation less critical. But with range finders and some practice with your rifle, you can hit game all the way out to where you stop feeling comfortable.
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Old February 17, 2021, 04:48 PM   #12
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if i have a 1000-1200 lbs animal that wants to see if i taste good or not, i,ll skip the 308-3006 and go for one of my .375 H&H rifles that carries 3000+fpe at 200 yards and 1600+ fpe at 500 yards with a 260-270gr bullet at 2700 fps. but thats just me.
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Old February 17, 2021, 08:31 PM   #13
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That's only true if you're on a guided hunt, where the guide/ass't guides are themselves armed with magnum-level stopping rifles. That's in case the non-resident Bubba-hunter's '06 rifle doesn't cleanly put the Grizz or moose down .... and/or there's a charge.

If you live and work in AK, especially anywhere remote where you're outdoors a lot, then it's different.
Well I do live and have worked and been in the bushes in AK since I was 2.

Yep, that one had me laughing. Nothing like them that lower 48 experts.

Yes a 30-06 is plenty for a Grizzly. My Step Grand dad took down like 8 of them to get them off his homestead (wife, kids, all that stuff).

I have yet to hear a successful use of a rifle in a charge. 20 mm cannot might work. Best bet is bear spray.

If you could tame one they would make the ideal linebacker, suckers are wicked fast. Happy to have seen them move only at a distance.

Basically from 1910 or so, what was the rifle in AK was the 30-06. Mostly because it was common cartridge, could be had anywhere, lots of them from 1894 to Sporter Model of 1903, 1917 and Model 30 commercial etc.

The biggest factor is the right bullet, not the cartridge. That and leaving them alone and they tend to leave you alone, worked well for 65+ years.

I camp with bear spray, usually have a pistol but if I go into Canada just bear spray (make sure its bear spray and not human spray, Canada does not allow the human one).
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Old February 17, 2021, 08:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old roper View Post
Pistoler0, I live Co also. What have you hunted with your 308 here that 300mag was in future plans?
Old Roper,
only big game I've ever bagged is:
- 2 mulies here in CO (one with compound bow, one with 308)
- 1 red stag back in my home country.
I am not much of a hunter, more of a shooter. I just enjoy shooting sports.

I'd like to get more serious about hunting but I don't have much time neither do I know people in my circle who do it and who I could tag along with and learn. The learning curve is really steep and it requires a serious time commitment.

But to answer your question of why I fancy a 300 Win Mag in my future: not for hunting, I'd love to get into very long range competition shooting: 1000 m, maybe 1 mile.

My bolt action is a 308, tack driver but not very long reaching.

Where in our beautiful state are you?
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Old February 18, 2021, 02:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
"Because of the presence of brown and grizzly bears, many hunters have been convinced that a .300, .338, .375, or .416 magnum is needed for personal protection and to take large Alaska game. This is simply not true."
the way I read it, I'd say its true, many people are convinced those calibers are needed, and that's simply not true.

They're not needed, but I note there's nothing saying that in the right hands they aren't useful!

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Old February 18, 2021, 04:22 AM   #16
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One of my customers was a guide in AK. He told me my 7X57 would take anything I wanted to shoot (caribou, moose, elk). The reason he carried a 416 Weatherby when guiding is that things happen that are not in the plan. You may not spot a bear coming to the sound of a shot until he is right on top of you. When that happens, you want to swat them with something rough. Would your 30-06 kill a bear? Sure. Before he gets you? Maybe. Magnums change the odds for up close encounters. If you are going on a guided hunt, your guide will tell you what you should carry.
I have a friend in Alaska that guides Caribou and moose hunts.
He tells his customers to bring whatever they shoot best, with good bullets, as long as it is .243 Win or "bigger".
"If you shoot it well, you know enough to do it well."

What does he carry?

.458 Win Mag.
And a .480 Ruger Alaskan.

"Because when the customer f*#*s up, I have to know that I can stop that man-eater or bulldozer from getting its f-#ing dinner."
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Old February 18, 2021, 11:14 AM   #17
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Shoot what you shoot well. Being familiar, confident and competent are all good things.

W.D.M. Bell killed 1,011 elephants. 800 with a 7x57, the rest with a variety
of small bore rifles--nothing larger than .32 caliber.
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Old February 18, 2021, 01:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
I have yet to hear a successful use of a rifle in a charge. 20 mm cannot might work. Best bet is bear spray.
Obviously, you live in the safe confines of Anchorage, or else don't stray much from the cabin.

Rifles, and handguns, have successfully stopped or turned bear charges for decades. Here's a recent example:

https://www.ammoland.com/2019/10/ala...#axzz6mqhGivIp

Bear "perfume," though popular with tree huggers, Green-worshippers, and other idjits often doesn't work ...The term "work" here meaning that the deployment of the spray actually stops or turns a charge, thus leaving the human alive and unmauled.

The stats from the studies of bears stopped by sprays versus those stopped by firearms are crystal clear - unless intentionally biased by fudged or manipulated data. A good read here:

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/th...ay-vs-bullets/

Sprays can work on "curious" or nuisance-type bears. They don't work often on aggressive, startled, riled, or hungry bears, leaving the human mauled and/or dead.

The bias studies with an agenda conflate the statistics, ignoring the critical distinction between curious bear encounter and aggressive bear attacks.

Overwhelmingly, the use of firearms stops or turns the bear before it reaches the human, again leaving him/her alive and unhurt. The studies used to promote carrying spray over a gun focus on leaving the bear alive as the priority.

Wind and distance, not to mention timing, are also variables in the effective deployment of sprays as well as the bear's reaction to the chemical agent, whereas bullets are unaffected by wind and distance, at least at the ranges within which bear attacks typically occur.

The time (literal seconds) related to getting your firearm into action IS a critical factor in stopping/turning the charge.

But if the human, whether armed with spray or a gun, is unaware of the bear's presence until it's too late, .... well, then it's too late in both cases, so it's a wash.

Last edited by JustJake; February 18, 2021 at 01:34 PM.
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Old February 18, 2021, 01:17 PM   #19
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my hide, my choice. your hide, your choice. if i,m hunting large bears i,ll be carrying a .375 H&H magnum. i have watched many hunting shows with large bear charges that ended with killing the bear very close range(a few with the bear at feet). not saying the smaller calibers will not kill large bears, but if i,m hunting them i want them dead as soon as possible.
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Old February 18, 2021, 01:23 PM   #20
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After shooting my Kentucky Elk twice at around 50 yards with 7mm Remington Magnum. These animals are really tough to bring down. I would have thought it would have rolled it, but it kept walking away. If I am in AK with Bears heck I would buy a bigger gun.

Not sure I would want to carry a 50 BMG, but I wouldn't mind having it.
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Old February 18, 2021, 01:32 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Logs View Post
After shooting my Kentucky Elk twice at around 50 yards with 7mm Remington Magnum. These animals are really tough to bring down. I would have thought it would have rolled it, but it kept walking away. If I am in AK with Bears heck I would buy a bigger gun.

Not sure I would want to carry a 50 BMG, but I wouldn't mind having it.
My Dad shot an Elk (in Colorado) at 80 yards, 3 times, nice tight ground in the middle of the chest with his 7mmMag. The Elk went back to eating. I handed my Dad my .30-06, one shot thumped it hard and it keeled over dead. I have seen similar with the .25-06 and .270 at close ranges.

I don't call that a gun problem, but a bullet problem. The bullets were going too fast and did not expand. They penciled right through. The .30-06 entered, expanded nicely and left a 2 inch exit hole.

Americans hunters have had magnumitis for years. But raw horsepower, if not matched with the appropriate bullet for the impact speed, won't anchor animals, just carry that energy through to the other side. My Dad also shot a Mule Deer buck at 300 yards with the same gun. Deer fell over dead and we never found any holes in the animal anywhere, but he still tagged it.
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Old February 18, 2021, 01:42 PM   #22
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Last week, I spoke at some length with an Alaskan guide. He personally favors his 9.3x62 for big bears, and reccomm
ends .300 mag and up. to his clients.
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Old February 18, 2021, 05:09 PM   #23
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What does he carry?

Quote:
.458 Win Mag.
And a .480 Ruger Alaskan.

"Because when the customer f*#*s up, I have to know that I can stop that man-eater or bulldozer from getting its f-#ing dinner."
And he will have a bead on the bear when the client shoots it and the first artillery round goes in right after.

That is the one place where you have a clear shot and can get a couple two or 3 rounds off, maybe better if its at range.

Its not how bear encounters go that go bad. There is a shift to 444 Marlins using hard cast bullets for penetration.
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Old February 18, 2021, 05:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by RC20 View Post
And he will have a bead on the bear when the client shoots it and the first artillery round goes in right after.
Naaah, Bears don't kill people,

the bear's teeth do!
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Old February 18, 2021, 05:15 PM   #25
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Huge difference in living in a bear world vs people parachuting in on guided hunts.

It was not magnums that whittled bears down, it was the 30-06 which was used on moose and caribou day in day out. 8 mm Mauser or a 6.5 Swedish would have been the same but the 06 was the common available and ammo for them.

My step dads father took 6 or 8 Grizzly with his 06 and its partly shot out (I know, I have it). All about picking your time and shot placement.
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