Alaska is known as a land of extremes: from its weather and mountains to its flora and fauna; and she can dish out lessons in humility faster than many hunters can keep up with. The men and women who have grown accustomed to successfully living and hunting the North Land become particular rather quickly about what works and what doesn’t in their neck of the woods. Enter Alaska Arms of Big Lake, Alaska.
Morris Melani, owner of Alaska Arms LLC manufactures high-quality parts for Ruger and CZ rifles and is well-known in the firearm industry as the genuine article. I met Morris in my search for a set of QD rings for a brown bear rifle I was assembling for some guiding work I had on the Alaskan Peninsula several years ago. After a couple of conversations with Morris himself, a set of rings showed up for my Ruger M77 Hawkeye chambered in .375 Ruger. After completing the build, I set out to put the rifle through its paces, hoping to work out any bugs before the season.
No matter what heavy-recoiling cartridges I shot, the rings stayed true to Morris’ claim of holding zero. Time and again I’d fire a round or two, remove the Leupold VX-6, shoot again and remount the glass. Boom, back on again. I happily cased my bear rifle, knowing if some close-up brushwork was required, I could remove the scope and rely on iron sights.
Having gotten to spend an afternoon with Morris recently, we spoke about Alaska hunting and all things firearm related as well as an exciting new offering Alaska Arms has released this year. Commonly known as a “drop box” on African dangerous game rifles, the magazine extension is crafted from a single piece of stainless steel bar stock. It easily replaces the factory floorplate, allowing an extra cartridge for magnum calibers and two rounds for standard calibers such as the .270 and .280.
After the tour of the shop where Morris crafts his parts, we stood over my partly disassembled rifle and I had to ask, “Morris, what brought this project on?” He closed the floorplate and turned a critical eye to his creation to inspect the fit. It was perfect. “Well, you shouldn’t need a fourth round out of a big rifle like this but if you do, it’s going to be close and you’re going to be damn glad you have it.” I couldn’t argue, nor would I as Morris’ new creation has been cheered by many in the Alaska hunting community already.
Alaska Arms’ new floorplate is available now in a stainless-steel matte finish and retails for $250.00 with a price break if three or more are purchased. Check out their website at Alaskaarmsllc.com or call Morris directly at (907)-841-8924.