Big Bore Guns from Wild West Guns

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Has anyone here watched Wild West Alaska? I’ll be honest–I never have (and didn’t even know it was a show). I was running tight on my schedule and didn’t do any research before I hit the booth of Wild West Guns at SHOT. I was surprised at how much traffic was hitting the booth as I walked up. A number of big guns were readily visible.

After I made my introduction there was a brief moment of awkwardness and confusion as it was clear I knew nothing about the show and was not there for a signed bit of memorabilia. But then it all cleared up as I was actually interested in their products and I was actually able to spend some time chatting with Jim West and his son Jerimy West.

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They have a master engraver, Jim White, that does some really impressive work.

 

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The two guns they were showcasing were the Alaskan Co-Pilot and the .454 Wolverine Revolver. The Co-Pilot is a big bore takedown rifle chambered in .457 Magnum (a round, Jim informed me that just got SAAMI approved). It is also capable of firing the 45/70 round (or a .410 shotshell). They also make a version chambered in .50 Alaskan. You can get the rifle in barrel lengths from 16.5″ to 24″.

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I have no idea why I like the way this looks.

 

The other interesting piece was the .454 Wolverine Revolver capable of firing from .45 ACP up to the .454. It is also available in .480.

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More work from Jim White. Bear tracks are on top of the boot prints…

 

I didn’t know I would be interested in either of those platforms, but after handling them I’d love to be able to test fire and run rounds through them. Does anyone here have time on either? If so, I’d love to hear some feedback. I imagine .457 Magnum rounds are rare as unicorns, but looks like there is availability of .454 (at ~$1.25/rd).

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Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • Jerry Blank

    I’m headed back up to Alaska this summer to work and I have root beer budget for a bear gun, and I’m being tortured by the delicious champagne of Wild West Guns.

    (Yes, I have bear spray, and an 870, and a .338, and all are great bear stoppers, but none of the three listed are NEW guns.)

    • Doc Rader

      Yeah, not new, but were being showcased. And definitely new to me… 🙂

      • Jerry Blank

        I was talking about my trusty bear spray, my old 870, and my old .338, the “new” indicated my intent to buy an additional firearm.

        Sorry for the confusion.

        • Doc Rader

          Oh Ha! No worries. Sometimes my wording can be confusing myself.

  • dan citizen

    Neat article, I always like to look at weapons outside of what I normally work with.

    • Doc Rader

      Yeah, I’m starting to enjoy craftsmanship a bit more these days. I’m not sure how rifle functions, but the engraving is nice.

  • jagersmith

    I have a wwg alaskan co-pilot. II have shot it quite a bit in .457 and .45-70. The porting does wonders for recoil reduction, as does the buttpad. The trigger is the best I’ve experienced in any lever gun, none of that usual wobble/play. My only issue was with the company the used to subcontract to to manufacture .457, velocities varied a bit too much round to round, but now that it is SAAMI approved, hopefully there will be other options. Hard-hitting, comfortable to carry, and great option for any hot buffalo bore .45-70 loads as well. The co-pilot is a real winner.

    • Doc Rader

      See, now I really want to try one out… 🙂

      • CSO NORVELL

        never mind

  • Ken

    I think re-runs of the show are playing on Animal Planet. Don’t waste your time. Another scripted “reality” show with all sorts of phony drama added in.

    • Jerry Blank

      Huh? I didn’t say anything about a tv show.

      • Ken

        Huh? The writer of the article did. Very first sentence. I wasn’t responding to you.

        • Jerry Blank

          The gray lines on the left have me confused. It’s hard to tell which comments are connected to what.

  • JQP

    oh man, I’ll take one of these and a side order of Phred and I’ll be good to go

  • Don Ward

    Pro Tip: The majority of Alaska “reality” shows are make believe garbage with characters out of central casting who are placed into contrived situations in order to heighten drama.

    • Chris Durkee

      NatGeo’s “Life Below Zero” seems to be fairly authentic. Granted, they still fall into the trap of doing the suspenseful buildup music and kitschy pre-commercial garbage. When I’m on my biweekly Alaska reality show binge, it’s usually Life Below Zero or Alaskan State Troopers. NatGeo for the win!

      • J.J

        yeah any who says Sue or Agnes are fake don’t know what real is.

  • Don Ward

    Also, I see zero reason for a “take-down” lever action carbine. If you’re on the trail you’re carrying it ready to go with a sling, on a gun rack or in a scabbard on your 4-wheeler, etc.

    • Big D

      The take down idea was aimed towards the many bush pilots up
      here as a space saving method while packing your Super Cub or other small bush
      plane, plus it just looks cool and works great for those of us who have one.

      • Don Ward

        Yeah. I’ve been on more than my share if bush flights… Ehhhh… It’s still pretty gimmicky. Other than the smallest of planes, a thin rectangular case isn’t that much different than a thin squarish case in terms of stowing it.

        • Tassiebush

          Mighty handy when taking a gun into an area where discreet entry enables exclusive access… nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

  • Blake
  • MK262 MOD1

    They also offer components as well as complete firearms. My Marlin 45/70 has a WWG trigger and big loop lever. That trigger made the Marlin into a different gun. It’s smooth, precise, and predictable. The large lever makes manipulating the rifle under stress (the large boar that just emerged from under a palmetto stand 30 feet away) easier and, admittedly, just looks too damned cool.

  • ghost

    A little known fact, grizzles, browns, kodiaks, polar bears can not live off of doo-doo and tennis shoes. Leave both behind, they will drop off. On the other hand, black bears just do not care, they will eat anything. Be sure to have a buddy along, shoot him, or her, in the knee and run. I don’t really have much experience with bears, mostly alligators and the occasional butterfly. I get them mixed up.