The Last Frontier may soon have an official state bolt-action rifle.
Members of the House State Affairs Committee unanimously approved SB175 Tuesday, which names the pre-64 Winchester Model 70 as Alaska’s rifle.
Commonly dubbed the “Rifleman’s Rifle,” the gun is available in 18 calibers ranging from the small .22 Hornet round to the hefty .458 Winchester Magnum.
Two of those calibers — the .338 Winchester Magnum and .375 H&H Magnum — are designated “Alaskan,” said Eric Hollen, staff to bill sponsor Sen. Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla.
“Due to the varied calibers, the pre-64 Model 70 is very popular with outdoorsmen here in Alaska,” Hollen said, later adding, “It’s a very accurate and well-made gun, so I think it would represent Alaska well.”
Hollen said a constituent brought the idea to Huggins, and that they didn’t see a problem with identifying a specific brand as the official state bolt-action rifle.
The rifle was first manufactured for sale in 1936.
“It’s approximately my age — it’s a very old rifle,” said Rep. Bob Lynn, R-Anchorage.
To which Hollen quickly added, “but very well-made.”
The Senate already approved the measure unanimously last month, and now the bill awaits being scheduled for the House floor.