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The do-all, end-all, Alaskan rifle.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Any Cal., Jun 15, 2006.

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  1. Any Cal.

    Any Cal. Member

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    Hi all. I was just at the gun shop and saw a new Savage in .375 H&H. It is a new model that is stainless with a newer style composite stock. The rifle has controlled round feed and comes from the factory with iron sights, as well as tapped for scope mounts. The barrel looks to be a heavy sporter, and about 20 inches long. My rifle is supposed to weigh 7lbs, 1 oz, and this one feels very similiar. I would say it probably comes in a little over 7 and a half. Anyhow, the thing handles like a shotgun, is stainless, and less than half the cost of a Ruger. I do not own one yet, but it is definitely worth a look, especially if you are a reloader. My 2 cents, but so far this is the best heavy caliber walking around rifle I have ever seen.:)
     
  2. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    I agree that the caliber is a wonderful choice for an all-round medium-to-heavy rifle. If I were back in Africa and limited to one rifle, there's no question that it would be in .375 H&H. For Alaska, it's an equally good choice, able to handle anything up there with aplomb.
     
  3. grizz

    grizz Member

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    If you had to pick 1 gun, don't you think a .375 is probably too much for most species in Alaska. Also, cost of ammo is something to consider.

    List the game animals in Alaska that a .375 is better suited for then a .338 (or other caliber). There are only 2 (Kodiak brown bear and Musk ox).
    Both of those hunts require by law that non-residents pay a guide (w/ an average cost >> $10,000). So, if you've got that kind of money, why have 1 gun for Alaska anyway? Why not 3 or 4?:scrutiny:
     
  4. HankB

    HankB Member

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    Isn't the .375 H&H a new cartridge for Savage? I was under the impression that they didn't make a "long" action suitable for that round.
     
  5. pcf

    pcf Member

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    You might want to shoot a rifle in that caliber and weight range before buying one. I'm sure it's a handy rifle but it's gonna' thump ya'.
     
  6. Ultima-Ratio

    Ultima-Ratio Member

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    As An Alaskan

    The best all around Alaska rifle (and best buy!) is an SKS, it's been regularly used on everything that walks here and Yes I mean bears..
     
  7. pete f

    pete f Member

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    I dream about well made winchester 86's 71's and 95's made in stainless and think nothing else would come close for the stuff i have seen in Alaska.

    a 1886 stainless with 45-70 or similar. a 71 in 348, 450 alaskan or maybe a 95 in 33, 35, or 405 winchester.
     
  8. Chris Orndorff

    Chris Orndorff Member

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    I wonder how many guides carry an SKS?
     
  9. Hardcorehunter

    Hardcorehunter Member

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    Hey Any Cal, I am a big savage head and have never heard or seen of such a gun. can't even find it on their website. Give me more info please.
     
  10. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    Most of us seem to do just fine with the century old .30-06.:scrutiny:

    I have to agree with Ultima-Ratio, a lot of the younger bushkins are toting SKSs around.

    Guides have to hedge their bets with awestruck Lower 48ers of whom a lot are long on money and short on brains and woods savvy.
     
  11. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Member

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    Wow, an Aleutian Islander eh?

    Now that is damn near about as far out there as you can get. And they have internet now! :what:

    Crazy!
     
  12. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    For a few of us, the romance of the 375 H&H still holds sway over other calibers that will get the job done. I'm one of those.
    there's not anything in North Carolina that can't be killed with a 30/30 just as dead as with that legendary round. Somehow, I have one. And, one day soon, it'll get on a plane with me and go to Africa.
    and, hopefully, I won't get ebola.:uhoh:
     
  13. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    There is a negative report on the Savage offering in the linked page:

    http://www.alaskahunts.net/alaska/gear.htm

    However, that is just one man's experience and doesn't mean the Savage rifles are junk. Perhaps they didn't have the bugs worked out yet...
     
  14. musher

    musher Member

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    It's the new mini-14 which was the arm of choice of many of the older set of bushkins.

    I've not gotten the impression that woods savvy drives the decision so much as the cost of the ammo/rifle.
     
  15. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't see a CRF .375 Savage on their website either... I'd be curious as hell to see one.
     
  16. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Member

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  17. mikewalker

    mikewalker Member

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    I was just thinking about that...

    I was just at the Savage web site 12 noon PDT 6/16...could not find the 116SE or anything over 338 ?????Was the 116SE 375 discontinued?:banghead:
     
  18. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    No quite an island as I'm still on the tip of the AK Pen, but might as well be an island in practice.
    I miss Fairbanks and the Interior.:(

    Yup. In my gf's village the vast majority of bushkins my age (early 40s) and older all have Mini-14s as boat, snowmachine and camp guns. I've seen more wolves and ice chunks floating down the Yukon:D get smoked with Mini-14s than anything else.
    It's our kids that are carrying the SKSs..........thanks to the fall of communism.:neener:
     
  19. Any Cal.

    Any Cal. Member

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    I had never seen the gun before. A guy I worked with told me a local shop had it because he knew I liked Savage. I have a 116 in .06 and love it, but keep thinking about a heavier caliber. I keep considering buying a 338.06 barrel for mine. Anyway, I was checking a set of grips on a gun, and I asked about this .375 savage I heard about. He says "it's right over there." I go look, and suddenly my life has purpose.:D :p It says Alaskan Guide on the bolt where it usually says savage. The open sights are plain, and the rear is mounted on the barrel. I would probably put a WGRS peep on the rear mounting holes, like I have on mine currently. I don't know that a .375 would kill any better than a .338, but I want to like them. It seems they would be a nice round even loaded down some. The best part of the gun to me was that it handled extremely well without the weight. I understand there is a reason for the weight, I just don't like to carry it.:) When I get back by there, I will see if I can get any more info.
     
  20. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Member

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    Any Cal, very interesting. What kind of magazine system did it have? Savage used to offer loong action guns a few years ago (116 SE) in 375 H&H and the RUMs.
     
  21. Any Cal.

    Any Cal. Member

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    I was not paying close attention to the magazine. I was thinking the other day that I did not know if it was a blind mag or not. It had a black plastic follower just like all the other savages. All I can tell you till I see it again.
     
  22. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I've been on a quest for a rifle meeting that definition for a long time. A .375 H&H is a good choice for larger game, but "do all" would have to include the vast array of medium and small game in the state. Plus out of a seven pound rifle--ouch! I like the .375 H&H out of a big CZ magnum better.

    For all-around Alaska rifle I actually like a .30'06 or something in that class. Heck back in the day sourdoughs used the .30-30 to great effect. Early guide Peter Kewan killed 48 Kodiak bears with a beat up .30-30 and even smaller rifles before the 49th finally got him. Nobody these days racks up kill numbers like that on brown bear, so it's hard to say that a .375 H&H would have any better luck on No. 49. The 7.62x39 is in many respects inheriting the role of the .30-30 in the bush. It's better by far than the .223, that's for sure.

    As far as what modern guides use, they have to back up clients from outside who may not know what the devil they're doing. But their rifles are a far, far cry from a "do everything" Alaska rifle. A "do everything" rifle is one that does everything for your needs on the homestead.
     
  23. Any Cal.

    Any Cal. Member

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    I think that a rifle like this would be more useful to a reloader. If it handles like an .06, who cares what caliber it is. Load it down or up. No way I would pack a big CZ around. My current setup is different though, so it may all be semantics. I figure it is a lot like carrying a .357 and having the option of using .38's. To each their own however. Have a good one.
     
  24. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    If we're talking about a "do-all" rifle, then based on 35 years of residence and hunting in Canada's Arctic I want a rifle which strongly leans to the heavy side, rather than the light. When situations get hairy at close range, I want the rifle adequate for THAT time and place, not the lighter rifle suited for "lighter game". I've been there, and at bad-breath range the bigger rifle is a Godsend. A BIG cartridge reliably kills smaller game. The reverse IS NOT TRUE under emergency conditions!

    Just last year I fell into a good deal on a Savage left-handed 116 (stainless/synthetic) in .338 Winchester, and took it north with me for an elk/whitetail hunt on my brother's place in NW Alberta. My shot at a whitetail buck came in failing light at 295 laser-measured yards. The shot was a bang-flop affair, and the 225-grain TSX wasted NOTHING, not a single pound of meat, with a ribcage hit. There's not a lighter rifle in the entire world that could have done the job any better, and I was still perfectly prepared for the elk and grizzly common to the area.

    You can't sensibly carry a rifle "adequate" for the easiest cases, and still expect it to carry the load when it's eyeball-to-eyeball with a large and nasty critter. Prepare for the WORST case, not the best.

    I think the stainless Savage 116 in .375 (if available) would be just fine, assuming the use of good bullets. Otherwise, the .338 is also great with GOOD bullets. I'd likely cut the barrel to 20 or 21" for an all-round rifle, and this would have very little effect on velocities while making it handier in tight quarters.
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I've never heard of anyone taking a ptarmigan or hare with a .375 H&H :neener:
     
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