Back up rifle for big game hunts

davey crockett

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Dec 20, 2000
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sudbury,ontario,canada
I've got a .35 Wailin' as my main rifle with an old Enfield P-14 .303 Brit. as a backup. I know it can do the job, because I dropped my first moose with it. I think it allows me to poke around in areas I might not because I worry that if I breeak my rifle due to a fall, that my hunt would be over.
I haven't needed my backup yet and I hope I never will.
 

Calif. Hunter

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Dec 13, 2000
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La Palma, CA, USA
If I'm going out of state to hunt, I always bring a backup rifle. Just last year, I slipped on some ice in camp the third day of the hunt and dropped my rifle right on the scope. I was glad I had my .30-06 along as a backup, and used it to take my buck. (The fall had knocked the scope on my primary rifle enough that it was off by 3 inches at 100 yards.)
My primary rifle is usually my .300 Weatherby with a .30-06 or a .270 as a backup.

[ 09 April 2001: Message edited by: Calif. Hunter ]
 

elk 45/70

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Jan 24, 2001
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Martinsville,In. USA
When hunting out of state I always take along a backup gun ( 1917 enfield 30-06 that has been customized some).I have never had to use it, but a couple of hunting pals have. And they were glad I had it along.
 

hntrjohn

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Dec 10, 2000
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California, or Texas
Since I only have 3 centerfire rifles. Browning in 7mm rem mag is primary. Remington 270 second. My new lever action 30-30 that my wife got me might be taking its place.

John
 

Slamfire

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Jan 18, 2001
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Location
Coker Creek, TN
Actually neither of my rifles fits the description of backup. They are both .260s, the long one is for open country, and the short one is for timber. Having two rifles that like the same load, mine do, is sure a worry stopper on a cross country hunt. I've done it the other way carrying one for a larger cartridge than the backup, but have simplified since retiring. :cool:
 

Delw

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Dec 10, 2000
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Peoria ,Az
my primary is a 300 win mag, then a .243 for backup. I always carry them nomater what I am hunting. not only that I also carried my contender with me in 30-30 and 45 long colt just in case,we'll I sold the contender to a friend years ago and now carry a striker in .243 14"barrel . If i'm hunting in the north kaibab I always have a 22cal cenetr fire with me. when I go hunting I like to shoot coyotes also. but the most important piece of back up I carry is my bore sighter. I know exactly where to have my cross hairs on it if I drop one of my rifles.and I would be safe shooting at 300 yards with it if I had to boresight one in.

that boresight only works for me and my way of shooting I couldnt do dads or a friends and guarentee a shot but mine I could.

Delw
 

Pecos

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Mar 10, 2001
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Location
Breckenridge, TX
Most of my hunts are close to home, but I do travel a bit and when I do I always carry a backup, usually a bold action 45-70 and a 30-06, primary gun now is a 300 UM.

Pecos
 

olefish_99

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Jan 9, 2001
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Shoshoni WY
Well my back up is the gun I have carried since 1981, 300 win mag. I now carry a 358 win hand gun as my primary peace. I love the chalange and this gun gives me that. It will out shoot me and with 200 grain bullets 200 yards are possible. I also have a 25 06, 30 gibs, 257 roberts, pre 64 win and pre 64 270 that get their turns to. I have just picked up a 308 in a striker that should be fun. I have been known to fall walking across flat ground so a back up is always with me. olefish
 

arffdog875

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Jul 12, 2009
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Western Colorado
I have to agree, I always have a back up rifle or 2 and always carry an extended insurance policy on my hip either in .45 acp or .44mag and my new found camp gun is a Marlin guide gun in 45-70 cal. Lately we have had more problems with the 2 legged animals VS. the 4 legged ones!! Call me crazy but I like to be prepared for just about anything!!!
 

TexAk

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Jul 15, 2009
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Location
Kenai, Alaska
It depends on the cost of the trip or the importance = it seems.

I carried two shotguns to Canada on a goose hunt. I was 2600 miles from home and just me and the dog drove every mile.
Big game so far has just been with one rifle, but I can see a trip that would see two rifles making the trip.
When I first was the Thread title, I thought it was about a back up hunter for dangerous game.
 

Ridge Runner

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Sep 21, 2003
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On the ridge
Always take 2 and depending on game, area, and conditions which one I hunt with on the day is decided on the day. always been the 257 Roy and A 300 ultra mag. now the ultra mag has been traded in for the 340 Roy. The bases are pretty covered with these two rounds IMO.
 

duckhead59

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Jul 3, 2009
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Omaha, NE
I always have 2 rifles on a hunt with me.
For 25 years I've used a 7mm rem mag as primary...and a 270 win or my Encore 50 cal MZ for back up. This spring...I decided I wanted a change...decided I wanted a levergun with a handy cal throwing good knockdown. After researching I decided on a Browning BLR in 358 win. I like this thing...the lever, the 20" barrel...handles like a 20 ga bird gun. Now I'm reloading for it and can't wait to carry as my primary this fall for deer. Will have the 7mm mag as my back up...gonna see if I miss the mag.
 

schmalts

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Aug 22, 2002
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WI
I never take a backup for 2 reasons. One, i fly most always and the added weight is a problem. Second, i would feel really un-easy leaving that backup in my truck or camp for someone to steal. If I fell and broke my scope (unlikely) I would go get the cheapest pile of crap I could find and a box of ammo to sight in and make due. Flying to hunt took me years to whittle down what and what not to pack, and a spare rifle is not one of the things that makes the cut. Bowhunting I do take a spare string and cable but that takes up a zip lock bag, and bow strings are a lot harder to find than a scope or rifle
 

mike-ind

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Jul 24, 2009
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Location
NW Indiana
I always try to have a back-up. For elk, primary is a 338 RCM, back-up either the 30-06 mod 70 or 460 S&W mag (encore pistol). If going ML, Encore 50cal with the Traditions 54 side lock for back-up. Only time I didn't have a back-up was last years moose hunt in Newfoundland because I flew up there. My back-up plan was practicing 3 rounds with the scope on, then take off the scope and shoot 3 rounds with open sights, just in case something happened to the scope. (Using the new Ruger 338 RCM). Guess it's the Eagle scout in me= Be Prepared!!
 

1_pointer

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Dec 20, 2000
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Indiana
If I'm driving to a hunt, I always have another with me. The two times I've flown to hunt I did as schmaltz did, however on one of those trips the transporter did have a spare if it was needed.
 

lilbiggun

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Mar 19, 2001
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711
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AK
Usually I never take a back-up. Last spring I did for the first time and I am glad I did.

I brought my 416rem to knock a bear over and when I took a practice shot off the cabin porch, I sheared the scope base screws. So I had to use my 30-06 to knock one over. I never had a problem with a rifle until then.
 
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