Rifle Review: The Montana Firearms Summit Alaskan, Part I

Some weeks ago, I got my hands on a .375 H&H Montana Rifles Model 1999 Summit Alaskan, an all-weather rifle chambered in .338 Win Mag, .375 Ruger, 375 H&H, .404 Jeffrey, .416 Remington, and .458 Lott. This is a dangerous-game rifle that starts with MR's own barrel (the company began as a barrel maker) express sights, Montana's stainless action (which is a hybrid of the original Winchester Model 70 and the 98 Mauser, and incorporates the best features of both, including the original Model 70 trigger), and a fiberglass/Kevlar stock.

The weight, with a Leupold VX-7 1.5X-6X scope aboard, is 9 pounds, 2 ounces, which is just about ideal for a .375 H&H. The barrel, which appears to be a #3 contour, is 24 inches, and the magazine holds four rounds.

Those are the bare bones. What I haven't mentioned so far is this: I haven't handled all the medium rifles in the world, but I've groped a lot of them, and this is one of the two best--the other is Brown Precision's M-704 Express, which is no longer made--I've ever seen. It's a combination of flawless workmanship, perfect design, super accuracy, and wonderful balance and handling. Since it's called "Alaskan," it's meant to take beatings, bad weather, and flatten large, sullen creatures who believe you have wronged them and are looking for payback. You can take it to Africa where the animals are even bigger. Wayne Van Zwoll did just that on a safari to Botswana in the rainy season, and reported that the Alaskan did everything he could have wanted.

To be continued.