Rifle Review: The Montana Firearms Summit Alaskan, Part II

I shot the Summit Alaskan with Federal Premium Safari Cape-Shok ammo with the 300-grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullets, and got groups that averaged .740-inch. So I stopped shooting. If you want better accuracy than this, you're welcome to pay for my components.

The Summit Alaskan's weight is fine with its chamberings from .338 on up through .404 Jeffrey (which is a very mild-kicking load for something of its caliber) but when you get to .416 Remington it will seem a bit light, and in the very, very grim .458 Lott, you'll want about a pound and a half more. There is always a tradeoff in big rifles between making a gun so heavy that you cut way into the recoil, but render it impossible to carry all day, and making it light enough to carry forever, but cursed with a kick that will curdle your milk. If I were getting an Alaskan in .458, I'd ask the nice folks at Montana Rifles to screw in a barrel that's one contour heavier and bring the weight up to 9 pounds without a scope.

Speaking of scopes, if you're not familiar with it, the VX-7 on the Alaskan is Leupold's top of the line scope. Every refinement they can come up with is incorporated in the VX-7 line, and if you're looking for a dangerous-game glass, you can't do better than this.

Ah yes, the price. It's $3,599, which is a lot of money, but on the other hand, I don't know of anything else that is as good in this corner of the rifle world. If I were hunting something that viewed me as an ambulatory canape, I'd think it was money well spent. My experience of rifles like this is that long after you've forgotten what it cost, you still appreciate the hell out of it.

For Part I of the review, click here.