Suggestions for bear rifle


January 1, 2012, 08:01 PM
I have a client that wants a lever action short barrelled rifle in a caliber larger than the 30-30 and I don't have a clue what to get him.
He summers in Canada and has a large population of grizzlys and large brown bears around his cabin and fishing holes. He is uncomfortable with the 7mm autoloader that he bought from me two years ago and is afraid of jams.

Any thoughts?

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January 1, 2012, 08:04 PM

January 1, 2012, 08:09 PM
Wild West Custom Marlin 1895 Co-Pilot take down in .450

January 1, 2012, 08:09 PM
Marlin 1895 .45-70 in an 18.5 inch barrel

January 1, 2012, 08:16 PM
Get a USED Marlin 336C in 35 Rem. or go big and get a USED 1895G 45-70 or the Marlin 444. Do not buy your client a new remington-made Marlin rifle. They are not gift-worthy material.

January 1, 2012, 08:59 PM
Take a look at the Browning BLR in 450 Marlin (caliber). Take down or fixed.

January 1, 2012, 09:17 PM
If the guy doesn't reload, the 450 Marlin will absolutely do the job. Here's a beauty of a Browning stainless BLR at


January 1, 2012, 09:18 PM
I would prefer the Marlin .444 . But who would argue a 45.70. Mr. Bear won't know the difference.

January 1, 2012, 09:22 PM
sorry, missed that it had to be a lever action, disregard.

January 1, 2012, 09:27 PM
The only problem with the .450 Marlin is, you probably won't find ammo for it at the Moose Spit SK gas station.

A 45-70 would be a better option, as you can find some sort of ammo almost anywhere.

My personal preference would be a good used Marlin Blued 1895G Guide-Gun.

Or 1895GS stainless Guide Gun.

Marlin 1895 production is reduced or totally stopped right now due to the factory move, so a real good used one would probably be more available and of better quality then the most recent production.

Buffalo Bore makes 45-70 ammo that will almost reach the .458 Win Magnum performance level.
It will knock the socks off Attila the Hun & the horse he rode in on, on both ends of the gun!

But Wally-world standard pressure 405 grain 45-70 ammo ain't nothing for a bear to trifle with either.


January 1, 2012, 09:48 PM
From all that I have read. You can't go wrong with a Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70...

January 1, 2012, 09:56 PM
45-70 or rossi 454 casull

January 1, 2012, 10:04 PM
If he has a large caliber revolver, you might want to consider the same caliber lever gun.

Otherwise, .45-70.

January 1, 2012, 10:07 PM
got me a 16.5 ss marlin 1895 in 45/70,points nice,feeds/ejects no probs.year old

January 1, 2012, 10:13 PM
If he must have a lever action in a caliber larger than 30-30 then a Marlin in 45-70, 444, would be my recomendation. If ammo is available then maybe 450 Marlin.

He'd be better served with a 7600 pump or a quality bolt rifle in 30-06 or 35 Whelen loaded with quality ammo though.

January 1, 2012, 10:15 PM
I have read articles about such topics since about 1985. A consistent theme that I have seen runs contrary to what your client wants. Lever-actions are fine. I have used the .444 Marlin, as well as the .45-70 Govt, and I appreciate both. That stated, the consistent theme I have seen in print has been that a pump-action 12 gauge shotgun, is perfection for close-quarters defense against large bears.

I suggest that you do some literature research regarding 12 gauge penetration, and defensive application. I also suggest that you read Larry Kelly's experiences with large bears at close quarters.

I know that my answer contradicts, or at least does not answer what your client wants, but if he/she had to ask, obviously he or she has no clue. Since you had to ask, I assume that you don't know much more than the client. That makes me question just how serious you are. At that point, I have an ethical responsibility to redirect you so at the minimum you can be safe.


john wall
January 1, 2012, 10:35 PM
Anther vote for the 450 Marlin, or Browning. He can buy enough ammo to last a while, and this cartridge will take ANYTHING LIVING on this side of the pond.

The Browning is a very classy rifle. It is as strong as most bolt guns, and it is a BROWNING!

January 1, 2012, 10:37 PM
Since no one else mentioned it let me suggest the Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70 - I have an older one and it runs very well - fast and points very well.

January 1, 2012, 10:46 PM
All the guns suggested in this thread -- and many many not listed -- are perfectly capable. In addition to long guns, revolvers are highly successful for wilderness defense. Many different guns will do the job, the big unaccounted variable is generally the shooter.

For any type of self defense, the shooter must be careful to select a gun he can run reliably, a gun he WILL carry everywhere every day, practice awareness and caution, and discipline himself to practice and train with that gun so he can deploy the weapon effectively when needed.

January 1, 2012, 10:50 PM
Welcome to the Forum, grunt69. Stick around and be part of the community.

Art Eatman
January 1, 2012, 11:20 PM
grunt69, you have some good "thinking material" in this thread. I suggest you start over in the Hunting forum, as several Alaska guys hang out there more than here and have a good bit of bear experience.

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