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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new to the forum and really enjoy reading about other members experiences.

For the past 9 years I have hunted Alaska with a .338 WM. I really like the rifle. Even though I have hunted in Alaska for at least 15 years my kill numbers have been low considering I hunt at least one week each year for big game. I have only personnally killed one caribou, one moose and one Sow Brown Bear on a charge (lucky hit). In each case the animal died spectaculary with only one shot: the moose completely back flipped during recoil and didn't move, the caribou just layed there(purhaps not so spectacular). The brown bear folded in mid stride about ten feet off my muzzle. The load has always been either a 250 grain Hornady spire point clocking 2630 Fps or a swift A Frame (again 250 grains clocking at 2670 Fps) and regulary produces 3" groups at two hundred meters with both bullets. I shoot this rifle a lot and shoot it well (don't mean to brag) and not from just a bench --but from sitting kneeling and standing positions. I am completely familiar with this rifle. It is the Win Model 70 classic in sythetic stock and has never let me down.

So, why am I asking about the 30-06? First I do not consider my "spectacular" kills to be enough statistical information to justify anything.

Second, I have three 30-06s and love shooting them much more than the 338. One of my rifles is a svelt new stainless steel model 70 featherweight 30-06 in a walnut stock that thrives off of 180 nosler bullets and remington Corlocks and even swift 200 grain A-Frame bullets. It regularly prints 1 1/2" groups at 200 meters. I love carring this rifle --usually during informal hunt such as a day hunt for black bears.

Another factor is it easily holds five rounds as opposed to three, feeds perfectly, and is easy to reload for. It also just feels right, not too heavy, not too light, not too short or too long--just right. And I love the way it looks......

Probably most importantly I am kind of an nostalgic kind of guy and the 30-06 was THE gun for a good many years and old timers seem to have no problem depending on it.

Each hunting season for about the last four I have agonized on taking the 30-06 out instead of the 338 --but each time I think about what happens if I run into a gut pile with a brown bear on it or get charged again--will the 30-06 serve me like my 338 --so in the past the 338 it what goes with me. But I would like to change this if anybody can tell me about some of their experiences with the 30-06 good and bad.

Sorry for being so long winded but thanks for any resonses.
 

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Interesting topic!

My own big game rifle is a .35 Whelen. It does not kick as hard as a .338 and is about equal with the larger bullets as the .338. I love the gun but as you say, the recoil does bother me sometimes. When out on Prince William Sound and I know I am on an island without browns, I carry a NEF .243 for deer. Up on the Bering Coast after the bears are in I carry it there too for caribou.

The 30/06 is certainly powerfull enough for caribou/moose/deer and black bears. Why not load up some 220's and carry them with you and if your worried about browns, load up the mag. with them. I have read that many guides would rather have a person that can shoot a 30/06 with 220's well than a recoil conscience flinching hunter beaten to death with a magnum. Which is better, a well placed accurate shot or a slight miss with a heavier load. For fun sometime, have someone time you at 50 yards and see which gun you can shoot faster and more accurate for three shots. More fun: a target at 50, 30, 10 - one shot each as fast as you can from 50 in.

This should be a good topic for a while. The 338 and 30/06 are the two most popular calibers in Alaska.
 

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Does anybody use the 30-06 for all their Al

I've never even shot an -06, so can't comment on that. When we moved up here, I had a 308, and figured it was all I needed. After living here a short while, I built a 35 whelen, which I subsequently had re-chambered as a 350 Rigby.

My personal thought is, if you shoot a medium bore as well as you can shoot a small bore, then why would you want to hunt with a small bore? Who cares that it holds more rounds in the mag, as your experience shows, you've only needed one shot each time. If you can't get it done with the first shot, and have a couple extra for insurance, more in the magazine certainly isn't the answer!

Nothing wrong with the -06 mind you, but I'd personally take a 338 over it any day.
 

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Does anybody use the 30-06 for all their Al

I've got to agree with Paul, that 338 seems to be your ticket. It's mine, though I do use other cartridges from time to time. I wouldn't hesitate to use the 30-06 for moose or caribou, but would not want to run into a bear long about sundown packing a quarter of caribou and being charged with it. The 338, as you have already seen, is perfectly at home with what, where and how you hunt. My advice is shoot it a lot in the off season and get more use to the recoil and weight. In my humble opinion, the 338 is a grand caliber for Alaska. There's nothing it won't do up here with the proper loads. I've used my on deer, sheep, caribou, moose and goat. It handled the situation perfectly every time.
 

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Lots of Alaskans use the 30-06 for everything

Lots of Alaskans use the 30-06 for everything. They tend to be the folks that don't talk about it a lot - they just go hunting. You hear about all the super whompers but I'd bet each year more Alaskan game dies to 06s than anything else. The 338 WM is excellent but 30-06 will do most jobs. Get out and use those other guns. I mostly carry a 300 win mag but often think I might be better off with a lighter, lighter kicking, quieter, higher capacity, cheaper to shoot 30-06. A friend of mine on Kodiak has stopped 2 charges with his 06 - probably using some factory load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Does anybody use the 30-06 for all their Al

I appreciate the replies. I have great confidence in the 338 but on the other hand I have never killed anything with the 30-06.

I work with a lot of avid hunters at my job. They don't seem to know much about ballistics. They kill game every year with their 30-06's. None have been charged by a bear that I know of. But they "just go hunting".

To me they seem to go against conventional wisdom. Some of them hunt moose with 150 grain bullets (Remington Corlocts and Winchester Power Points) and are perfectly confident with this arrangement.

Sometimes I just wonder if I am missing something. The best hunters I know just buy the cheapest ammunition they can find and go hunting. They would'nt even think about using a premium Nosler partion.

Again thanks for the replies and keep them coming...
 

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My two cents:

I vote for the .338, with either the A-frames or Partitions. My M77 was especially fond of the 250 grain Partitions, and would put 300 grain Barnes RNs into the same group as well. I shot my first moose up near Wasilla with this rifle with a Hornady RN. Hit the shoulder broadside from about 50 yards and that slug disinitgrated. The moose dropped after running in a 100-yard circle, dropping almost right where I shot it. I switched to Partitions after considering what a bear could have done if hit similarly... The next year I shot a Nelchina caribou bull with the Partition. Hit it broadside, on the shoulder, and dropped like a rock. Nice exit hole, too. Granted, 'boo ain't as sturdy as moose.

I also preferred the .338 when laying in a wet tent at night on the far end of the tundra, awakening to the sound of something (??) shuffling in the brush nearby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Does anybody use the 30-06 for all their Al

DennisB,

Did that Hornady round nose penetrate through the sholder of that moose or was it complete desinegration? Just currious because I use the 250 grain spire point a lot. But then again I have only used it on two animals and very little bone was hit. Did you have to put any follow up shots into it your moose anchor it ?
 

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Does anybody use the 30-06 for all their Al

Balto: It punched through to the lungs. I didn't do a thorough post-mortem. Once ya pull the trigger the work begins. I'm not knocking the Hornady's, mind you, I just took a likin' to the Partitions.
 

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.30-06 in Alaska........

Balto,
With premium bullets the .30-06 will do everything you need in Alaska!
I've used mine a lot with 180 grn Nosler Partitions, both hand loads and the Federal Premium factory ammo. This combo has harvested: Sitka Blacktail deer, Dall Sheep Ram, Caribou, Moose, & Grizzly bear. I've always got total penetration w/bullet exiting, except on a couple moose that were way out there - and even on them the bullet stopped just on the off side hide.

The rifle is stainless / synthetic w/a Leupold compact scope, it's lightweight and accurate - I've shot a number of 3/4" - 1" groups w/it at 100 yards. And like yours, it "just feels right". Finally I have a lot of confidence with it to put the bullet where it needs to go - and that's what really matters!!

I say use premium bullets in your .30--06 and "just go hunting"!

Have fun, Del
 

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Del

Welcome to Graybeards Outdoors. It is nice to have another fellow Alaskan on board. There seems to be more and more comming to the site every week. I think you will find that there is no profanity or bickering here as on other sites. I just quit one site today because of all the profanity and personnal attacks.

We all welcome your input here and appreciate your participation.

Dave :D
 

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Dave:

Ya mean there's other sites?!?!?!
 

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Dennis

Yes Dennis, there are other sites out there. Just none as good! :agree: [/color]
 

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Does anybody use the 30-06 for all their Al

I mainly just hunt moose, black bear and brown bear, and I always grab for my semi-custom 338 Win. Mag with factory High Energy Nosler Partition's 250 grain bullets. It's my favorite set-up and I just love the gun! :grin: Though, I do plan on using my 375 H&H and 300 WSM this year a few times.
 
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