What to use against bears?


Alan Fud
September 28, 2003, 12:54 AM
I was going to put this in the huning section but I'm not really interested in "hunting" but more for the purpose of self-defense which is why I am posting it here. If the staff feels that this is not the proper place for it, kindly move it to the more appropriate forum and please accept my apologies in advance.

I've been seeing a recent increase in bear attacks (http://sigforum.com/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=674608412&f=320601935&m=29960472) and since I live in an area where bears have been spotted from time to time, I was curious if I would be better armed with a 6-shot Mossberg 500® Pump Action "Mariner®"
http://www.mossberg.com/pcatalog/images/0250273.gif (http://www.mossberg.com/pcatalog/Specpurp.htm)
or a 4-shot Marlin lever action Model 1895G Guide Gun in 45/70 Gov't. caliber
http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/images/firearmImages/1895GS_Th.jpg (http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/bigBore_levrAction/1895GS.htm#)

Opinions please?

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September 28, 2003, 01:04 AM
Tough choice, but of those two, I'd probably opt for the Marlin. .45-70 is good bear medicine. In Grizzly country, though, I'd probably tote my SAR-48.

September 28, 2003, 01:25 AM
I'd go w/ the 6 shot shotgun

September 28, 2003, 01:25 AM
The 45-70 would have better penetration. However, as few bear attacks as there are in the country, and if you stay "bear smart" IE, don't give the bears a reason to attack, the Mossberg would be a better choice. It could be used for dual purposes. Bear defense, and home defense. Most bear attacks could have been avoided. Keep food where they can't get to it, stay away from Mothers with cubs, keep garbage in bearproof containers, and lastly, don't annoy them if possible.


September 28, 2003, 01:28 AM
I'd get a Mossie 590 [8 shots] or an older 8 shot park'ed Ithaca. If it were me I'd get the Ithaca. The lack of a disconnect lets it be fired a bit quicker, or so I hear.

Matt G
September 28, 2003, 02:15 AM
TFL Thread on Buckshot For Bear Defense (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=130105&highlight=bear)
TFL Thread on carbine (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=144329&highlight=bear)
TFL Thread on handguns (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=5477&highlight=bears)
TFL Thread on "n house bear defense. 30-06 or 20 Ga slug" (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=114085&highlight=bear)
TFL Thread: "Bear Fear" (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=66829&highlight=bear)
EXTENSIVE TFL Thread: "Advice on grizzly bear gun?" (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=56458&highlight=bear)
TFL Thread: "More Bear Stupidity" (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=37058&highlight=bear)
TFL Thread: "Bear Defense" (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=36505&highlight=bear)
TFL Thread: "Which of THESE cartridges for bear?" (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=5477&highlight=bear)
TFL Thread: "Carry Enough Gun In Bear Country"(big thread) (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=31923&highlight=bear)
THR: "Which Shotgun For Closeup Bear Defense?" (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39750&highlight=bear)
THR: "Bear Defense Thoughts" (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=18980&highlight=bear)

Boy, am I ever tired of bear threads! :)

But, speaking as someone who just bought an 1895GS .45-70 for his father earlier this year and who has shot it a lot and is in love with it....

I'd still go with the stainless Mossy.

September 28, 2003, 02:27 AM
Yeah, Matt, they're getting unbearable...

:neener: :p :D

September 28, 2003, 02:31 AM
Please bear with us whilst we boldly beef bout bountious bare bear threads.:D


September 28, 2003, 02:37 AM
Boy I'm disapointed in this bunch. I've been waiting and kinda figured Sam would mention.... teenagers and M 80's...:D

I tend to go with wearing tennis shoes and being able to outrun anybody with me...all I go to do is outrun them...their problem if they can't outrun the bear. Firearm...good holter, good belt as always...one addendum...doesn't impede my running...I knew someday all that cross country running might come in handy :D

September 28, 2003, 04:39 AM
I'd take my Rem 870P extended 6+1 loaded with 00 buckshot and slugs.

No wild bear here, but hey, there's a zoo that keeps one 8 miles thataway... ;)

September 28, 2003, 05:44 AM
what would be a bear-proof container? an abrams?

Mark Tyson
September 28, 2003, 08:58 AM
If you opt for the shotgun, use some of those Brenneke slugs for maximum penetration. Actually, one of the best weapons may not be a gun: chemical bear spray.

September 28, 2003, 09:11 AM
A man gets bitten by a grizzly in the wilds of Alaska, which drives a citizen of Pennsylvania to arm up for potential black bear attacks...

Behold the mighty power of the internet! :scrutiny:

September 28, 2003, 10:12 AM
Please bear with me.

In New Jersey there have been 3 bear attacks against humans this year. There have also been about 35 home break-ins by black bears. Bears have also been killing farm animals.

One NJ farmer got himself a bunch of guard llamas. Seems they kick the living heck out of feral dogs and bears.

It probably bears saying that bears are not just an Alaskan problem.

September 28, 2003, 10:47 AM
Either option would be just fine for your situation.

Why not make a choice based on secondary uses of the gun? The Mossberg would make an excellent choice for two legged home invaders. The Marlin would make an excellent choice for hunting (and is more fun to play with at the range...).


September 28, 2003, 10:52 AM
There have been six different bears seen in my Mom's neighborhood in Colorado Springs, living on garbage and family pets, apparently. This is an established neighborhood well inside the city limits, not a new development up in the foothills.

Nice result of some idiotic people amending the state constitution to prohibit spring bear hunts.

Only a matter of time until someone gets hurt, IMO.

4v50 Gary
September 28, 2003, 10:56 AM
You could go with a platoon armed with Brown Bess muskets. They shoot a one ounce ball and with about 30 ounces of lead, that's almost two pounds of stopping power. :D

OK, I'd go 45-70 over 12 ga.

September 28, 2003, 11:21 AM
I'd go with the one with the least obtrusive front sight. :evil:


September 28, 2003, 12:01 PM
well, everyone knows that a .223 is more than enough to take any animal with a good aimed shot.... :scrutiny:

If you're really that paramnoid about bears, go 45-70

El Tejon
September 28, 2003, 12:11 PM
For bears I use the same thing that I use for unicorns--magic pixie dust. When I see a bear, I throw the dust on him and he disappears into the creative imagination of the Internet.

Please stand by while I use my Vulcan mind meld powers on Alan:

"There are no bears. They exist only in the lies of gun hacks and fictional stories about someone's second counsin in the gun shoppe.

There were bears here. We did our manly duty and shot them all dead. The bears will not hurt you because they do not exist. If do see a bear, kill it like you're suppossed to."

Whew! [wipes sweat away] That'll be the last of the bear threads.

September 28, 2003, 01:52 PM
El Tejon,

I know that in Indiana bears are not a real issue, but this is a big country and it really IS an issue in many places. People do get mauled by bears. People have their children and pets scarfed up by bears. People have their property damaged by bears. Heck, I've been badly mauled by a bear and I know others who have been as well. I don't know anyone who has been shot by a gangbanger...

Alan's issue (which he laid out in the original thread) was that he had black bears on coming on to his property. And he has two small dogs that need to go out on that property several times a day. It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask what kind of gun/load he should have ready in case of problems.

Not everyone lives in Indiana, and one size does not fit all...

Black bears are normally quite easy to get along with, but if you have them in close proximity it would be foolish not to be prepared for problems.


El Tejon
September 28, 2003, 02:01 PM
Shoot them. Worked here, I'll be it works everywhere!:D

September 28, 2003, 02:13 PM
Well, I'd have to go with my .458 SOCOM loaded up with 500gr bullets:


September 28, 2003, 02:16 PM
I tend to go with wearing tennis shoes and being able to outrun anybody with me...all I go to do is outrun them...their problem if they can't outrun the bear.

The other day,
I met a bear
In tennis shoes,
A dandy pair.

He looked at me.
I looked at him.
He sized up me.
I sized up him.

He said to me,
"Why don't you run?
I see you ain't
Got any gun."

So I did run
Away from there,
But right behind
Me came that bear.

Ahead of me,
I saw a tree --
A great big tree.
Oh gracious me!

But the only branch
Was 10 feet up.
I'd have to jump
And trust my luck.

So I did jump
Into the air,
But I missed that branch
A-way up there.

Now don't you fret
And don't you frown,
Cuz I caught that branch
On the way back down.

The moral is
No shocking news:
Don't talk to bears
In tennis shoes.


No, it wasn't original with me.

September 28, 2003, 02:28 PM
Where can I learn more about this, ".458 SOCOM"?

September 28, 2003, 04:58 PM

Check out http://www.teppojutsu.com/ . Marty at Teppo Jutsu can build you an AR-15 upper chambered in .458 SOCOM (what you see in my pic).

September 28, 2003, 06:55 PM
I had a friend who was a gold camp guard in Alaska back in the 60's and 70's. His flat, no question, preference was " A 12ga with slugs for the Grizzlies, a .44Mag for the feral hippies!"

September 28, 2003, 08:38 PM
There are no bears here. Why is everybody worrying about bears? In fact, there is no such thing as bears!...........Iraqi infominister

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