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THE Alaskan bear defense rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by grizz, Dec 4, 2006.

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  1. grizz

    grizz Member

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    I just saw THE ultimate practical bear defense gun:

    It's a new model Marlin in 45/70. It's stainless, has a straight stock in grey laminate, and I think the barrel is shorter than the previous "guide gun". The thing handles great and has really nice fiber-optic sights.

    Just checked the Marlin website and couldn't find it. If I were Alaska bound I'd pick one up in a heartbeat.
     
  2. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    I always thought that the .458 Win Mag Garand would make the best bear-defense rifle...
     
  3. NailGun

    NailGun Member

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    Nope! As we recently learned from another thread, THE ULTIMATE bear gun is the 45 LC. Magnum Desert Eagle 12 Ga. Snubby Revolver! Gotta get me one.:D
     
  4. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Wouldn't a 12 gauge with slugs work just as well but quicker follow up shots?
    A friend of ours who did business in a lot of remote areas of Alaska (accessible by float plane) carried a .445 supermag as his bear gun. He sold it a while ago. I fired it once but didn't have enough money at the time to buy it :(
     
  5. EvisceratorSrB

    EvisceratorSrB Member

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    Yes definitely the 12g slugs are plenty of stopping power for Alaskan Bear. I'd choose this. It's important however that if you go this route you buy a rear sight and a slug barrel. Your 12g slugs' effectiveness will be much better that way.
     
  6. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    I wasn't sure but I've heard the best solution for a charging grizzly is start pumping slugs into him and hope he drops before he gets to you! Maybe Cosmoline or another Alaskan can tell us what they use up there in the boonies. I'm going up again this summer to do a little fishing on the Kenai. Might have to get me a grizzly gun :)
     
  7. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    The guide gun IS handy, but it's heavier than a shotgun, and is slower to operate.

    Great hunting rifle though.
     
  8. bclark1

    bclark1 member

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    I know the 1895G actually is heavier, but it doesn't feel that way to me in the field. Just seems handier. I've got slug guns, Marlin guide gun and a .44mag revolver, and I think the pick out of 'em would be the 1895G. Admittedly, you don't need the range of a rifle in a truly defensive situation, and the slug will work better, but just having handled everything I just feel like the 1895's dimensions make it much quicker off the shoulder to bear on a target, it's not clunky in any dimension and handles very nicely. From any serious cartridge, and maybe I'm just a scrub, but I can almost rack a bolt faster than I can get back on target after recoil. So a lever would be no problem.

    Easy for me to say from my chair here at home, I've never been close to a bear while hunting or fishing, but just having had all three of the mentioned options in the field, I'd opt for the comprimise between effectiveness and handleability, personally. My two cents are worth even less out there though, so just buy all three though and decide for yourself :D
     
  9. grizz

    grizz Member

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    When I was 18 and living in Palmer, Alaska the first gun I bought was a mossberg 500 for bear defense.

    Even with a 18 inch barrel it was too cumbersome for backpacking. I packed it, but on trips like Crow Pass (26 mile mountain pass) I regreted it every step of the way. Also, the sights were terrible, it wasn't stainless steel, and ammo was bulky and heavy.

    When I was 21 I bought a Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 mag. The revolver packed nicely, and I still believe that a .44 mag is adequate for backpacking.

    Now that I have more cash to play around with, and I do less backpacking when I go to Alaska to visit family and friends, I'd highly consider a compact lever-gun in 45/70 for bear defense.

    The new Marlin I saw would even be superior (IMO) to a shotgun w/ 3" slugs. Here's why: Follow up shots would be just as fast as a shotgun. I have to believe that there are loads for 45/70 that can offer far superior penetration then 12ga slugs. Accuracy, with the good fiber optic sights that were on the Marlin would be far superior to any shotgun. Handling and packability would be far better than a shotgun. The rifle is stainless steel (almost a requirement for AK).
     
  10. grizz

    grizz Member

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    Well, the only picture I found was here: http://www.chesterarmsllc.com/

    I guess it might have just been a limited edition guide gun, but it sure seemed shorter?

    Maybe I just have one of those love at first sight kind of moments, and wish I could justify buying it!
     
  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Marlin's craptastic safety is what takes it out of the running for me as a 'defensive' arm.

    1. half cock. You must shoulder the arm and cock the hammer, under duress this could be an issue without a lot of training. Add wet hammer, wearing gloves, bear charging...

    2. cocked with safety on. Well it's NOT "on" in the sense that a shot gun is. pushing the button puts a block between the hammer and firing pin, you can STILL pull the trigger and SMACK, you now have a hammer down on a rifle that didn't fire. If you weren't prepared for this you certainly are confused. You must now take the safety OFF, and re-cock the hammer. See above.

    Again, not a big deal in a HUNTING rifle, but in a defensive arm... nope, sorry. I love the way the guide gun feels, the short barrel, fat forearm makes it a dandy woods gun. Don't care for the porting on the early models. Love the way it shoots, esp with the 405 gr ammo.

    Also the extractor is a weak point on these rifles.

    A hammer offset extension (like for scoped rifles) helps make the hammer bigger--for use with gloves or wet weather, but that safety just bothers the heck out of me.
     
  12. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    I have never been there but from what I have read, I always thought that the best "brownie medicine" was a Winchester Model 71 rechambered to 450 Alaskan?


    Personally, As long as it made big holes I would feel somewhat safe...of course, the 458 WinGarand would be VERY NICE... :)

    D
     
  13. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    What is the meaning of this new word "justify"?
     
  14. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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  15. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah thats the 1895GS (stainless). It is a great little gun, I bought one last month right here in the THR rifle forum.

    The OP says he saw one with laminated stock, which is the XLR pictured here.

    [​IMG]

    Problem is the XLR doesn't come with the short barrel. What he probably saw was an XLR that someone had cut down. That is getting to be VERY popular.

    The XLR has a pistol grip stock where the 1895G/S has a straight stock.

    From asking many folks about this, and about why Marlin doesn't make a short XLR, the general concensus was that the guide gun purpose is to be compact and easily carried and the pistol grip is too bulky, so Marlin decided not to make one. Funny that the gun they stole this idea from, the Co-Pilot, has a pistol grip stock. Maybe they were afraid of being sued?

    MANY people (me included until I priced it) wanted the XLR laminate, pistol grip, but with short barrel.

    Only way to get one currently is to have a 'smith cut it, and I didnt' want to spend the money on it. The fact that the OP said the one he saw had fiber optic sights also leads me to believe it was built up.

    I'm hoping maybe Marlin will see the light and announce one at SHOT.

    Unless of course the OP has seen a new model, which is doubtful. He probably saw a homemade XLR guide gun, which would be a GREAT thing to have.

    As for the title "best", here's what Jeff Cooper had to say about this type. I agree with him 100%, but the price of the Jim West knocked me down.
    This article was one of the Col's online commentaries in 1999.

    If you have upwards of $2000 and a year to wait.......
     
  16. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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  17. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Pic from Davidson's. Notice is does NOT have the pistol grip stock, and even in the listing it says 1895GS-LTD, not XLR.
    So it's better, but still not what people really want; the pistol grip.

    And they only made 500 of them, at Davidsons request, and they are all sold out I think. So again hopefully Marlin will get the message that these are in demand and will introduce something at SHOT.


    [​IMG]

    And here's what we all REALLY want but can't afford.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    I always thought that...

    The Ultimate Alaskan Bear defense rifle would be a Browning BAR in 338 Win with a 18” barrel and an Aimpiont 1X or a holographic system… Lock an load… What up now Ballou?
     
  19. streakr

    streakr Member

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    I forget the company, but this firm will convert stainless Marlins (444.45-70 and 450) into takedowns that are popular in Alaska. The 450 guide gun weighs about 7 lbs. I shot a 450 guide with 18.5' ported barrel and recoil (IMO)was less than a 12 ga. slug. I will look in my bookmarks at home later.

    The Marlins can be slicked up to be smooth as glass and still deliver a tremendous punch. I have several Marlins in rifle caliber (more in pistol) and all (38-55, 30-30, 32-40) can cycle the long cartridges with a single finger.

    streakr
     
  20. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    The company in Alaska was probably Wild West Guns, WildAlaska was a member here but has moved on and still posts occasionally at TFL.
     
  21. Socrates

    Socrates Member

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    Well, the forest service studied this, and, they came up with 458 win mag, first, 375 H&H second, and 460 Weatherby, 3rd.

    45/70 was WAY down the list.

    I think I'd carry a 450 Ackley.

    S
     
  22. killzone

    killzone Member

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    shot gun , 12g slug

    SA Pistol, 50AE

    Revolver, 500SW ( Is SW the only brand that chambers it?)

    Bolt Action, 416 Rig! ( makes a nice Bear Gun)

    Lever action, 45/70

    SA Rifle , BAR in 338
     
  23. streakr

    streakr Member

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    Brian has it.

    Heres the website (don't salivate on your keyboard)

    wildwestguns.com


    streakr
     
  24. Nicolai

    Nicolai Member

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    Wild West Guns (www.wildwestguns.com) used to (?) base their Alaska Co-Pilot on the Marlin 1895, but I thought I had read somewhere that WWG went to making parts instead of using Marlins.
    Anyway, their website is pretty interesting and they've got a toll-free number for those of us in the lesser 48.
     
  25. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Could someone please tell me why Marlin don't put a full-length magazine tube on their .45-70's? I can understand the Guide Gun being a bit shorter (although I'd like to get an extra round in there), but why the same circumcised tube on the long .45-70's? Their Cowboy model had a full-length tube - why not the same on their other guns?

    :confused:
     
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