Thinking about rifles I
Thinking about rifles II
Thinking about rifles III
Thinking about rifles: Comments
Thinking about rifles IV
Thinking about rifles V
Thinking about rifles VI
Thinking about rifles VII
Thinking about rifles VIII
Rather than derail his thread I thought I would publish a small tangent to his discussion on my site.
Pawpaw repeatedly notes that the nature of where you hunt, how you hunt and what you hunt should have a great influence on what defines "practical". A gun for popping prairie dogs at 300 yards will be different than a gun that is useful for tracking wounded bears into willow scrub.
Canada and Alaska
Canada and Alaska offer hunting experiences that are vastly different from most of the rest of North America. Heck, living in northern Canada or in Alaska is vastly different than living in most of the rest of North America. Filling the freezer is not sport or luxury, it is a necessity. They have animals with claws and teeth. Most homes near the permafrost do not have running water. That has implications.
There are two major predators of concern. These predators don't just kill and eat chickens. They can kill and eat people. Those two predators are wolves and big bears.
The ideal firearm for wolves is probably an AR platform shooting stoutly constructed .223 55 or 60 grain bullets. Most wolves weigh between 80 and 120 pounds. They are fast and can change directions quickly. They function as a coordinated team when hunting. Misses are common. Ample ammo and quick follow-up shots are a must.
The ideal firearm for big bears launches a wood cookstove at 2400 feet per second. Failing that, any 30 caliber rifle launching a stoutly constructed 170 grain (or more) bullet between 2000fps and 3000fps will work. The quality of the bullet becomes progressively more important as the impact speed goes up.
The biggest game animal is moose. They can go to 1200 pounds and are notorious for living just long enough die in the deepest water available. Caribou are another common game animal. They run in herds. They don't lie down and die, they keep running across the squishy (your boot sinks in 8" at each step) muskeg until they die.
Phil Shoemaker, a highly regarded professional guide in Alaska, informs us that there is a special class of guns that are suitable for outhouses.
A surprising number of animals are shot from outhouses. The local wildlife gets used to the smells and the comings-and-goings (excuse the pun).
Predators seem to sense that people on their way to the outhouse are distracted, or sometimes inebriated, or not entirely healthy (diarrhea, viruses). That makes them juicy targets for alpha predators thinning out the slow, the lame, the weak, diseased and drunk.
|Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield|
Most importantly, it is labeled for use in outhouses, an important consideration in these days of the far reaching EPA and the Canadian equivalent.
It is after all, called the SMLE, pronounced "Smelly".