Based on reading lots and lots of National Geographic Magazines and watching old documentaries about Alaskan Settlers and Alaskan Eskimos?
(Inuit) it seemed that from the 1940's until about the 1980's, if you saw a gun in a photo, most of the time it was a .22 Rifle, or it was a Winchester Model 94 in .30-30. Is that true anymore? I realize that Winchester kinda died. Now, if I see a .30-30, it's always a Marlin. Also, down here in the lower 48, I haven't seen anyone hunt with a lever action .30-30 since my childhood. Everyone now has some plasticky, stainless steel bolt action, with a gigantic scope and in some exotic caliber.
- RichardLv 610 months ago
There's nothing wrong with using what's available.
- 10 months ago
Glacierturd will be along shortly to type no less than 10,000 words containing mostly lies.
- GlacierwolfLv 710 months ago
I arrived in Alaska in 1982 but did not get into hunting until we moved to Kodiak Island around 1986. Kodiak is a wet climate - so much rain folks would fly to Seattle for sunshine - about everyone had a favorite rifle that died from a few hours neglect of salt water or rain. People moved to stainless and synthetic stocks soon as they could afford them.
Not just the sea coast. At -45F when you brought a rifle into the house it instantly flashed covered in ice like a frosty beer mug in summer - about every molecule of moisture would stick, freeze and if you did not deal with it immediately on a blue gun the thing was a goner. Again, stainless to the rescue.
Only difference between the new stainless guns of the 80's and now - the new alloys don't develop a brown film like 18-8 stainless. And the laminated stocks look like a million bucks even with dings and scratches.
I seriously doubt the lever guns in those pics were 30-30. 45-70 probably or something borderline obsolete with more punch than a 30-30.
I adopted the 338 Win mag - stainless Ruger M-77 - as my dangerous bear area and moose gun. Its my 'go to' rifle when hunting brown bear or moose. However, my day to day 'toss it on the ATV' rifle is a stainless 45-70 Marlin with nicer 'ghost' iron sights. When the bear is just across the trail 15 yards from you - that is no time to be fumbling with a scoped rifle. You see allot of lever guns in Alaska once you get out of the area with non-resident hunters.
- Adam DLv 710 months ago
You work with what you've got, and what you can afford. The .30-30 was typically affordable, had affordable ammo, and was readily available. The same for various .22 caliber rifles.
Most of the hunting they were doing for survival was very different from how we hunt game in Alaska for sport. It was typically some sort of ambush situation, often involving multiple people. The firearm was often there to dispatch the animal from up close, not taking 150 yard shots out in the open as we would do with a more powerful rifle.
If you're up close, or keeping things in a more moderate range, then a .30-30 has no need of a scope - and the Model 94 is a fine gun. I agree with John's answer that the Marlin is a better gun. Tons of people are out there hunting with .30-30's right now. It's a great firearm for someone just beginning to hunt whitetail - it has low recoil, affordable ammo, and requires you to develop your skills as a hunter to get within a reasonable range to take a shot. Anyone hunting in places where you'll never see a 200 yard shot, and the bulk of your shots will be in the 50 yard range, should consider the .30-30.
I'm not sure what you qualify as an exotic caliber. Most folks are hunting with extremely common calibers - .243, .270, .30-30, .30-06, .308, etc. The 6.5 Creedmoor has been around for more than a decade now, and has become very common.
There definitely isn't anything that looks better than a wooden stock with a blued finish, but when you read accounts of the guns people are using when hunting for survival in the north, one word tends to pop up a lot - rusty. It's a harsh environment, often coastal, and that takes its toll on firearms. Most of the people who travel to Alaska to hunt are taking stainless with polymer stocks for a reason. And if your hunt requires you to hike for miles and miles, sure that wooden stock looks great, but a synthetic stock weighs pounds less.
As for the giant scopes, people are typically idiots. Most folks are trying to be prepared for a much longer shot than they will ever really attempt. But what's the use in having the capacity to do something that as a responsible hunter, you shouldn't be doing?
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- RickLv 510 months ago
A lot of what you're noticing is technological advancement. If you broaden your search to other sports most all equipment has changed. Tennis rackets are no longer laminated wood strung with catgut. In golf, very few 'woods' are actually made of wood and a wound rubber golf ball is a thing of the past. As new advances in equipment evolve sportspeople in the field adopt them.
- Anonymous10 months ago
Guns are banned
- JohnLv 410 months ago
I can't put a certain timeline on what sort of weapons "were in vogue" amongst the Alaskans. With the Alaskan Native peoples, as with other similar indigenous groups in North America, they leaned toward a .30-30 because ammunition was cheap and plentiful, and Winchester 1894s were relatively inexpensive compared to other rifles of the times, such as a Winchester model 70. I might add that North American Native peoples would also use military surplus rifles if the ammunition was available for the same reasons -- the rifles were less expensive.
For these people, cost and availability of both the rifles and ammunition, as well as reliability and durability were the driving factors behind their choices. While the .30-30 was not one of the better options for shooting very large and sometimes dangerous animals, it could be made to work, if that was all they had.
Winchester is a "has been" company, as now it is just a name and a manufacturing patent by which "Winchesters" are being made these days. Marlin began to take the lead in the world of lever rifles back in the 1970s because they were better made than Winchesters at that time. They could be scoped and were generally stronger than the '94 action.