Leupold Banner

What Would Be Your Rifle of Choice for Such an Adventure

Mustangs Rule

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
488
What Would Be Your choice of Rifle for Such An Adventure?



Laying on my bed stand, is my “sleep aid”,,,,no pills, no potions. Instead a vintage copy of

“A Treasury of Outdoor Life”, with 458 pages of the best stories ever published in that magazine.



Several stories stand very tall in my mind. One stands tallest, “Red Letter Days in British Columbia” by Towsend Whelen.



It details a live off the land, horse packing, big game hunting adventure, of two men, beginning in July 1901. No return dates are given, which adds a timelessness to this true story. They simply returned when the snow was getting too deep.



The area they went into was officially labeled “unexplored” on the map. Simply described as an area of enormous mountains and glaciers, rivers and lakes, filled with game and fish. During the Klondike Gold Rush three men went in there and were never heard from again.



Along with his friend, they took just two rifles,,,no spare. One was his friends Winchester model 94 in 38-55 and Whelen’s own rifle was a Winchester model 95 in 40-72. They brought spare firing pins, main springs and front sights. Both rifle’s were equipped with Lyman aperture sights.



Given all the rifles from then and now, what rifle, in what caliber and with what type of sights would you choose for such a trip?



I thought it interesting that they said a lot about hunting wild sheep, but never once mentioned bears.

To be honest,,,I must give some thought regarding my answer. My first thought was a bolt action, but they can be bulky in the saddle scabbard.

MR
 

Mustangs Rule

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
488
Ohh, and I think it would be of value to include the factors which came into play with this decision. For me,,,I am wondering what stock woud be stronger and more repairable,,,wood or some typle of synthetic. I do care about stable, but not as much as I care about strong.
 

Steiny

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
699
Location
North Central, IN (the corn belt)
That's a great story, have read it several times.

I'd probably carry a scoped .300 mag, bolt action with sights on the barrel, if the scope got dinged. I like wood stocks.
Would also carry a .22 pistol for grouse, etc.
 

Harrier

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
177
Location
Texas
Are you contemplating making a similar trip, or is this more of a thought exercise? If I were doing a live-off-the-land excursion and could only take one firearm, I think I’d opt for the versatility and ease of operation of a 12 gauge pump shotgun.
 

Mustangs Rule

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
488
Are you contemplating making a similar trip, or is this more of a thought exercise? If I were doing a live-off-the-land excursion and could only take one firearm, I think I’d opt for the versatility and ease of operation of a 12 gauge pump shotgun.
I am 73, when I was 23 I crossed the Canadian Rockies with a cheap boyscout back pack and a USN Pilots knife.

I did two trops to Alaskain in my mid to late 60's hunting small game, hare and grouse with a 35 whelen using light pistol loads and custom shot loads.

I have one more trip left in me,,,been conteplating where,,???????????????? and how.
 

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
1,985
For myself i think the perfect rifle for that trip would be my old Rem 660 in 308. fence post for a stock but rugged and shot absolutely great. That old gun had a fairly heavy barrel but only 20" and balanced like a dream! Wore a 2 3/4x fixed Denver Redfield that I still have and use today! My pet load was with 165 gr Hornady spire points but considering where I'd be going think I'd step up to 200gr Hornady SP. Used that load in that rifle going in fishing a wild river south of Anchorage, Alaska. Lot of really big bear tracks down there and felt good with that rifle along.
 

std7mag

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2016
Messages
2,123
Location
central pa
I'm thinking it would be something like my old Stevens 200 in 7mm-08.
Something that can handle most anything, at most reasonable distances.
 

pilsner

Active member
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
147
Just ordered that book!
Seems i got the last copy on Amazon - thank you for the tip.
My treestand and tent reading list is now much better

Pistol: 44mag with shot loads, heavy bear loads, and some 44 SPL loads.

Rifle: 7mm-08 Model 70 scout-style rifle in a laminate stock. 2-20x NightForce in QD mounts and backup iron front/peep rear.
 

Mustangs Rule

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
488
Fun topic,,,imortant to remenber that for six months,,,that is how long they were gone, thier schedule was ride horsebak for four days, hunt for two, rest for one. So any rifle had to be saddle scabbard friendly. And that means as narrow as possible.

For me having a fat rifle in a scabbard is hell. Usually makes a bump where my knee is. Literally a real pain,,,okay for a sort ride,,but not for 4 days a week for 6 months.

So here would be my short list, Savage 99 in ,358 or 300 savage. A newer Browning BLR in 308 or 358, A used Big Bore 94 in 375,,,maybe the angle eject for scope use,,,or, i was just looking at a used 94 with a 24" inche barrel in 38-55,,,great with tang sites.

Don Fisher above always seems to match my prefereces, I like his choice but it might be a bit fat for saddle scabbard use,,,maybe , maybe not.

Any bolt action should have a very narrow Shnabbel style forend,,,like my model 54 Winchester in 30-06,,that would work.

Last thought,,,,bear spray has really been so over and over proven, that a having a "bear gun" no longer really is needed. Great as backup,,,I guess.

My first big adventure was crossing the Canadian Rockies 50 years ago without bear spray and just a USN Pilots knife. So a 38-55 model 94 would seem like a canon to me now.

Reading thier story is so great,,,imagine a 6 month long trip,,,intentionally planned on extending from summer till XMas,,,deep into the cold part of the year,,,what grit!!

The first thing they shot an ate by the way was a porcupine.

Last last thought. They brought along 10 thick wool US Army blankets,,,with double use,,,for them to sleep under,,,and foldeed up as saddle blankets. How they must have smelled. Kinda makes me smile.

I did the same things 50 years ago,,,went on small game and big game (small deer only) desert hunting trips with a very well trained horse. I had two rifles,,,a marlin model 39 .22 for rabbits and a various other riflles for desert deer in the canyons. I used my thick saddle blanket at night and my saddle for a pillow. I would be gone for days a a time,,,during the cold months,,,rattlers are hibernating,,,mostly

Boy did I smell coming home, smell of sweat, horse and deer. I had a little cabin 4 miles into the desert mountains on a dirt road

A couple times a week I had this mountain maiden hippy young lady visit me, spend the night. Used to drive a Ford falcon station wagon . Was fine if the road was dry

Once I came back in such real smelly condition and she was there. Came up to give me a hug and almost gagged. She told me to take a bath.

I suggested that I brought the meat home, that she should give me a bath instead.,had an old claw foot tub under a shady mesquite tree outside. Nearest neighbor was miles away. She did,,,and did a fine job of it too.

Happy Trails Until later

MR
 

VikingsGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
8,585
Location
Twin Cities
If I went "modern" - It would be a custom AR-platform .308 with 2-7xscope with 16" barrel (and fold-down backup sights) for everything bigger than a fox + a .22LR ruger taken down for everything smaller than a fox. With the space savings of takedown, I would add a Sig P220 in 10mmAuto as a sidearm for troublesome two-legged predators, wolves bears.

If I went more "traditional" - It would be Winchester Model 71 in .348 Win with a 1-4x scope (with fold-down backup sights) for everything bigger than a fox + a .22LR lever action for everything smaller than a fox. Would add a .41 magnum revolver per above.
 

Mustangs Rule

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
488
If I went "modern" - It would be a custom AR-platform .308 with 2-7xscope with 16" barrel (and fold-down backup sights) for everything bigger than a fox + a .22LR ruger taken down for everything smaller than a fox. With the space savings of takedown, I would add a Sig P220 in 10mmAuto as a sidearm for troublesome two-legged predators, wolves bears.

If I went more "traditional" - It would be Winchester Model 71 in .348 Win with a 1-4x scope (with fold-down backup sights) for everything bigger than a fox + a .22LR lever action for everything smaller than a fox. Would add a .41 magnum revolver per above.


Please recall, they ony took one rifle each,,,no spare, no shotguns or pistol,,,,and they spent four days a week travelling on horse back. one rifle for one man,,,stop roght there i have yet to see a saddle scabbard for an AR.

My model 54 30-06 winchester bolt action is only 1/8" thicker where it counts than my 30-30 model 94. Still i might not want to take it. Horses, Winchester lever guns or old Marlin lever actions,( so sweet to carry) fine rifle saddle scabbards, buckaroo saddles with oxbow strrups all embody such grace, dignity even.

With light loads they could shoot the heads off grouse in trees

I have been there and miss such experiences dearly.

Any breach of proper gear will result in your horses farting at you in contant protest.

MR
 

RevJim

Active member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
141
I bought the volume through the Outdoor Life Book club decades ago, ha. today, I'd go with the Browning BLR (laminate stock, cerakoted metal)in .358 win with 200 TSX. Leupold 1.5x5 or similar. I could "live" with it in .308. FA 97 5" .45 colt with a 270gr GCHC around 1000fps. Heck I could live with a Marlin 1895 22" Hornady 350rn with good peep sight too! :)
 

VikingsGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
8,585
Location
Twin Cities
Please recall, they ony took one rifle each,,,no spare, no shotguns or pistol,,,,and they spent four days a week travelling on horse back. one rifle for one man,,,stop roght there i have yet to see a saddle scabbard for an AR.

My model 54 30-06 winchester bolt action is only 1/8" thicker where it counts than my 30-30 model 94. Still i might not want to take it. Horses, Winchester lever guns or old Marlin lever actions,( so sweet to carry) fine rifle saddle scabbards, buckaroo saddles with oxbow strrups all embody such grace, dignity even.

With light loads they could shoot the heads off grouse in trees

I have been there and miss such experiences dearly.

Any breach of proper gear will result in your horses farting at you in contant protest.

MR
Just having fun with this, but I know I could build a modern semi-auto that would work in a custom scabbard. As for one rifle each - I was compliant - one carries the centerfire and one carries the rimfire. As for the sidearm - you also didn't say they carried bedrolls or mess kits, so I assumed various necessary personal items would be assumed - I put a sidearm in that category.
 

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
1,985
Just ordered that book!
Seems i got the last copy on Amazon - thank you for the tip.
My treestand and tent reading list is now much better

Pistol: 44mag with shot loads, heavy bear loads, and some 44 SPL loads.

Rifle: 7mm-08 Model 70 scout-style rifle in a laminate stock. 2-20x NightForce in QD mounts and backup iron front/peep rear.
I like that! 44 mag with some shot loads, heavy bear loads and 44 spl loads! Great! So what do you carry around in it? If you got bird shot in it and need a bear load real quick, how quick can you change ammo? Or if you have bear loads in it and spot a grouse for dinner, your back to changing ammo again. Oh and if it is the bird shot in there and you have to change to bear loads you'll probably need to get rid of the rifle to do it!
 
Caribou Gear

Forum statistics

Threads
100,336
Messages
1,584,767
Members
31,492
Latest member
dustin.906
Top