Best hunting rifle and ammunition are the key gear for your hunting trip. The Editors and expert hunters at Hunt Alaska have selected their favorite firearms and ammunition to get the job done.

best hunting rifle

Best Hunting Rifle, Firearms & Ammunition

Winchester Copper Impact Ammunition

best hunting rifleWe tested the .300 Win Mag, 180-grain version of this ammo. It leaves the rifle at 2,950 fps. Velocity is still over 2,000 fps 500 yards downrange, with a little over 1,600 foot-pounds of energy remaining. In Editor George Krumm’s opinion, this makes this ammo effective on game to 500 yards—more than enough for Alaska hunting. George was able to shoot sub-1-inch, 5-shot groups at 100 yards with this ammo. The bullet itself is monolithic copper, which provides superior penetration and bullet weight retention, which may be a consideration in bear country.

The bullet has a large polymer tip—much larger than say, the Hornady ELD-X bullet. This larger polymer tip might result in more and faster expansion of the projectile, though we didn’t recover any bullets to verify or compare. Copper bullets in general penetrate well and expand well as long as velocity is still above 2,000 fps. If excellent penetration and outstanding bullet weight retention are important to you, this is excellent ammo.

Savage 110 Storm .300 Win Mag

Editor George Krumm had this to say, “The 110 Storm, with its synthetic stock and stainless action and barrel, is an excellent rifle for Alaska. With this rifle, I was able to shoot sub-MOA 5-shot groups at 100 yards using Winchester 180-grain Copper Impact ammo. The Savage 110 action has been proven accurate over decades of use. The adjustable AccuTrigger allows you to adjust trigger pull from about 2.5 pounds up to 6 pounds. This rifle arrived with the trigger set far heavier than I like, so I dialed it down until it consistently breaks at about 2 pounds, 12 ounces. This rifle has the AccuStock with aluminum internal chassis to provide rigidity (and thus, improve accuracy), plus you can also easily adjust length of pull and comb height to get a custom fit.

The receiver and barrel are Alaska-tough stainless steel, and the rifle comes with a detachable box magazine. In the case of the .300 Win Mag, the magazine holds 3 rounds.I like the 3-position safety. The mid-safe position allows cycling the bolt with a round in the chamber. I installed a muzzle brake to tame recoil. I topped it with a Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25×56 scope. Additionally, I added a short Picatinny rail to the fore end so I could use a Hatch Out West bipod with this rifle. Though the rifle shot sub-1-inch, I think it might do better with different loads. Since the rifle is essentially stainless and synthetic, it is an outstanding fit for Alaska hunting conditions from Southeast to the North Slope, especially in the .300 Win Mag caliber.”

best hunting rifle

Hi-Point Firearms JXP10 10mm Semi-Auto Pistol

For years, the standard bear protection for anglers was bear spray and/or a big revolver— say, .44 Magnum and up. But there is a new option in the firearm arena: 10mm semi-auto pistols. When loaded with the right bullets, 10mm semi-autos are a viable bear-protection option. They hold more rounds than your typical revolver, which could be helpful in a life-or-death struggle. Our tester commented that the JXP10 weighs the same as his .44 Magnum revolver, so it’s a wash on carry weight. But the JXP10 comes with a 10-round magazine.

The JXP10 is threaded (.578 x 28), has a thumb safety, locks open after the last round is fired, and the magazines are compatible with Hi-Point’s 10mm carbines. It also has a lower Picatinny rail for accessories. A second tester ran several hundred rounds through the gun and found it shot accurately (target was at 30 feet) and never jammed.