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Discussion Starter #1
I have given this one some thought and have come up with some good choices with two loads, but not with one. Although using two loads that shoot close enough to one sight setting (my method thus far) is an OK solution, a single load capable cartridge would be the ideal of simplicity. KISS is a good philosophy for a gun and load that is intendend to just be there and ready.

Requirements:

1) Able to take either small or big game as opportunity or need presents.

2) One gun, one load.

3) Portability counts.

4) Meet Canada's and Alaska's regulations requiring a firearm for wilderness travel.

5) Durable.

Your thoughts.

Fireplug
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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I'll bite with my choice!

I'd pick my Winchester Trapper in .45colt.

1. Equally able to take small and big game.

2. I'd load Marshall's 265 Keith bullets in a "stout load"; something using H110.

3. The 16 inch barrel would make it very handy and portably lightweight.
4. As I am not aware of the firearm requirements of Alaska and Canada here in New Jersey, does it meet them???

5. The 94 action has obviously proven itself durable and dependable.

I have used the trapper in 45 to kill rabbits to bear (black), it's simple fixed sights are fool proof, and with the addition of a peep such as a Williams or Lyman I believe you would have a proper wilderness gun.

Chris~
 

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Discussion Starter #3
m141a,

What range are you comfortable to with the .45 Colt? Does your Colt carbine leave anything to eat from a bunny or squirrel?

Yes, the requirements a not too specific. They only require that you have a longarm with you, but of course Canada has some prohibitions on action type and length.

Fireplug
 

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UHM, it kinda vaporizes squirrels and the cottontails I've hit (200grain) were I guess lucky shoulder shots... You're right though, big hole in rabbit:eek:
As far as range goes with the 265 grainers, I shot out to about 110 yards with them accurately, but the holdover is tremendous! My chrony says they are leaving the bbl at about 17-1800 from the 16", but the bullet I'm sure loses velocity fast at that range. Within 50 yards though it's still "screaming" for .452.............

Question about the requirement.....Is a sidearm optional or is it ALOT of red tape. ( not trying to wander from your topic)
 

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I don't have a large amount of experience with the arm, but the guide gun from Marlin, particularly the 1895GS in stainless, for durability, would likely do the job. A solidly constructed bullet that will take big game will cause as little damage as is going to be possible on smaller game and would be very suitable for medium game with proper placement. I'd alot rather have to shoot a rabbit with a 45-70 than a grizzly with 45 LC. The 454 in the new Rossi carbine might be another thing to take a look at since the performance, according to others on this forum, is top notch and the power is massive in a short rifle. I'd leave the load up to you, I'd get the most powerful loading with a heavy bullet of tough construction for the times when it might save you bacon to have it. It would be better to eat half a rabbit than be half eaten by a toothy critter. If you're in the woods, you can always "bark" the squirrels. It plays **** with the trees, but it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
M141,

Both Canada and Alaska specify, I understand, longarms are required to meet their regulation for wilderness travel. In Alaska I think it would be no issue at all to add a handgun, but I do not think you can take only a handgun and be technically legal. One of the Canucks can answer better about handguns in Canada, but I think the red tape may be substantial and have never taken one when going into Canada.

Fireplug
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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30-06, hands down -

Loadable with plinker bullets and reduced powder loads for small game, stuffed with up to 220 gr bullets for anything that walks the North American continent.

Find the ammo anywhere they sell the stuff

Has the accuracy and energy to satisfy all your needs.

Can be had in single shot, bolt action, pump, semi-auto and lever guns.
 

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You guys have been reading my mind.

As I was driving to town today I was pondering something that a gunshop owner said to me the other day. I was looking at one of the Rossi's in 45colt (along with the .454) and he stated "It would be a good gun for black bear from a treestand"

Not three minutes later he is going on and on about using his .454Casull handgun on African D.G.

For the life of me, I cannot figgure out how his handgun perfomed like that when a .45colt rifle pushing the same bullet at the same speed was only usable for close range black bear? HUN? Wuzzup widdat?

I doubt I will get rid of my 45-70GG but I believe that I could suffice just fine with one of the little Rossi's in either 45Colt or, better yet, .454Casull. I like the idea of a rifle that will digest my favorite handgun ammo. Having the Casull would prevent me (hopefully) from chambering a rifle round in my S&W MG but the rifle would easily digest the handgun ammo.

If restricted to one load, I would also pick a 255gr Keith or similar cast bullet. I believe it would make meat out of just about anything if I put any effort into the stalk

As it sits now, the Guide Gun will, without a doubt, kill anything that walks my neck of the woods and do it consistantly.

I eagerly awiat developments on this thread (well, up intill the bolt action 30-06 guys get here anyways. LOL!)

Scotty
 

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Hi, Gents:
A 16" barreled lever action is legal in Canada, as long as it left the factory that way. Otherwise 18.0", or 18.5" on a semi-auto. Handgun permits are pretty well impossible to get, forget them.

You're not likely to find much .45 Colt ammo in Canada, .44 Magnum is a better choice if you'r using a handgun calibre. I favour a .30-06 myself. There's too much open country up here for the revolver calibres or the .45-70.

Bye
Jack
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Guide gun. Shoot rabbits in head, problem solved.....
 

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MikeG, ifin you shoot that rabbit head on with the 45/70, with a hard cast 405gr gc on top of a healthy load of RL-7, he's Dead, Skint, Cleaned, and half Cooked. At least Lunch will be half ready.

Gun Runner:D :D
 

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Fireplug,
Do you have to worry about the open plains country in Canada? With your mention of Alaska, I thought you'd be in the mountainous areas. I'll still stand by the two choices I made, but I'd hate like **** to try to shoot a whitetail at 300 meters (that's for you Cannucks, gimme 2 Blues) with a 45-70 unless I had a vernier sight. Now that I've read your post and see that it doesn't have to be a lever gun, there are some other choices, but I don't think many would be much better than the 45-70/450 Marlin/454 for a handy gun that will kill most things. If you look at the European Amereican Armory website, you'll see that they make some reasonably priced drillings or combos that could include a shotgun barrel for a reasonable price. **** the Savage might be the deal for you, if you're not worried about big toothy animals. I'm not a lever maniac, I only own 3 out of 45 or so firearms.
 

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Gentlemen,

Very interesting thread, good responses.

In this situation, there are few clear performers that would exceed or even meet all of the criteria listed. Some of the criteria then would need to be weighted, and a priorities established. Compromise may be the order of the day.

In that part of the world, where we compete for the top spot in the food chain, something with reasonable enough power to keep a fellow from becoming bear dung, ought to take first place, priority wise. Food for the larder is a close second, and lastly portability.

Mine would be a synthetic stocked 7mm Rem mag, and a 40mm objective mid range varible scope. Load would be in the 160 grain class, Barnes or Win failsafe, as I'm figuring they would act like FMJ bullets on the smallish game, and the extra heavy construction would be a plus if the game got serious in a hurry.

The length may be a handicap if a fellow had to work close and fast, but i reckon they are compact enough to take on planes, and depending on the barrel contour, some longer rifles pack better than short ones.

My thoughts. Have a great Monday.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
You guys have some good answers to this, and it is tougher than it seems at first look. If you get to pick to match the area the choice can be a less severe compromise, but one to be simply left in the vehicle for any area throws a wrench in the works.

The obvious catch is to have anything left of small game from a rifle powerful enough to humanely and reliably take game the size of moose. A tough heavy bullet at rather low velocity like most of you suggest sounds like the best compromise to me, but even this is a serious compromise that may leave one picking up the bunny bits to improvise a sausage with rather than roasting a whole rabbit.

I guess that I will confess that except when required to, going hunting, or shooting that all I usually have along in these vehicles is either a compact .45ACP or a six inch .22. This choice is due to the limited chance of really needing a gun weighed against portability. I haven't made it back to Alaska since I was a wee one and these things were my folks' concern. In Canada thus far the choices were a M336 .30-30 one time and a M600 .350 mostly. None come close to my criteria for this post, but allowed two loads the .350 can do very well.

Thanks for some ideas,

Fireplug
 

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Open your mind.

Remington 12 gauge pump with 28" barrel and magazine extension (8 shot total). For dangerous stuff, use a high velocity 3/4 ounce sabot slug. For big things to eat use a 1 ounce rifled slug. For medium things to eat, 00 buck. For smaller stuff, No 2 and No 7 shots.

Another option would be those new Russian shotguns based on the AK with 22" barrel. Detachable box magazine, and I'm sure they offer 5 or more round mags as replacement for the standard 2. Fill a mag or two with each type of round for quick and easy access and off you go.

3/4oz HV Sabot
1oz rifled slug
00 buck
No 2
No 7
 

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Hi, Searoy:
Your choice is OK, if you don't have to reach out and touch something. I live south of the treeline, and have lived north of it. There's a real storage of small game on both sides, and the 300 yard shot might be necessary. So the .30-06 is in first place still, but a 7mm RM or .303 would do. Something like a .350 RM is OK until you need more ammo, then where do you find it?

Bye
Jack
 

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The fact that a handgun in Canada isn't a reality really makes this a tough one. A 32-20, 32 Mag, or 357 Mag in a sidearm would make the rifle choice very easy, unless you are a cartridge junkie, like myself. 375 H&H over a 12 gauage has got to be the answer. Big gun with a slug under the rifle in bear country. Deer, bear, moose gun with a load of 6's otherwise, unless waterfowl is on the list. I will leave the ammo queston unanswered, since a good boy scout always has plenty of ammo. I think you can get some of the Russian combos in a cartridge very similar to the 375 with 12 guage for reasonable prices. I'll let you figure out what to do about the trigger :) I only wish I was faced with such a dilemma.
 

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From mouse to moose.... Dead is dead...I will norrow my opions down to say a 30-06 in whatever action you have (personal I like a Springfield 1903) or a 12 ga shotgun as already listed. The hardest part of your equation is the one load. Suggestion might be for a combination gun such as Savages 24 in 30-30/12ga or Valment 412 in 30-06/12ga. CZ makes a combo in 9.3x74R/12ga but I don't know if it is being imported to the states? Another option could be a chamber insert for the 30-06 to either 30usc/32acp but then that would again be two different loads.
 

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"Pesky Moose and Squirrel!" - B. Badinov

Neat thread. I favor the .44mag/.45colt trapper sized win/marlin for lower 48 and a guide gun for up north, because you've got to have it with you (compact or breakdown) to use it. West makes the "Co-pilots" for just this use, and though expensive, I can't think of a more optimal solution. His .457's shoot .410, I think.

http://www.wildwestguns.com/

Maybe that winchester .410 with slug and shot? (I don't know how adequate the .410 slug is.) A slug bored Model 12 would do, too as they breakdown nicely.

All said, a net acquaintance one-shot dead a brownie with a .44mag 1894 last spring standing on his Cessna's wing with his family.
 

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All very interesting here.

Fireplug threw a wrench in the works with the "one load" criteria. I gleefully noticed that mose of us skirted the issue (loopholes, they are not just for lawyers!!)

Another thing I notice is that the terrain has a great effect on choice. Those who find themselves in the plains states, out west, or perhaps the barren ground arctic would gladly sacrifice portability for long range ability. This thought mirrors my experience in Alaska. Once you get north of the treeline, the weapons of choice amongs the eskimo hunters, who are quite fruegal our of necessity, are the flat shooting .22 centerfires. When they go after the ice bears, they count on close range head shots.

I also note with interest the number who would favor something like the Savage O/U with rifle/shotgun barrels. One of these little jewels is stashed in the aircraft that we use for our guide service.

One thing that has not entered the mix yet is the ammo weight/bulk issue. If the sceneario plays out, one must consider this factor. A small handfull of heavy, hard hitting ammo will suffice to defend oneself or put down a great supply of meat with one large animal, but perhaps the reality is that the bulk of shooting would be for more stewpot sized critters where our handfull of ammo would perhaps be of more use if it was of the .22longrifle varitey.

This is like trying to figgure out the perfect packing pistol!

Scotty
 
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