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What Gun For Bears?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Art Eatman, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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  2. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    A big one!!
     
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  3. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Are you going to hunt them or just be in the area where they are? If your going to hunt them you need a big bore. If just in the area, pepper sprays work or let them have their space.
     
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  4. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I don't have a vast array to choose from that I own. When after black bear, I bring my 30-06. For grizzly I'd use my 45-70 with garret Ammo. I also figure a pump action shotgun with some of the harder Bremeke slugs would be just fine.
     
  5. gbran

    gbran Member

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    If a person is say in Alaska and hunting big bears, any number of 30+ caliber hunting rifles will do, but if you want protection, a much bigger more powerful rifle would be wise. H&H Hunter, I'd bet, would just take a 375. Some guides use big bore lever guns, some use shotties with buck and slugs. I've had guides up there that used both these options.

    Most black bears don't take much to put down.
     
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  6. der Teufel

    der Teufel Member

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    There are some photos of large hogs here: http://www.monsterhogs.com/

    But of primary interest relating to this thread is a comparison of black bears, large hogs, and grizzly bears. Apparently black bears average around 300 Lbs, making them no bigger than a really large hog.
     
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  7. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I got limited experience in this area. When I went to Maine for black bear last year, I used a 30-06 with a 3-9x scope dialed down to 3 the whole time. Wished I had brought my iron sight 30-30 (hunting over bait in forest). I saw them killed nicely with the following: 45-70, 308, 300 B-O, 7-08, 300 WM. They all worked fine. I also learned that the best person to ask questions like this are people who know this stuff cause they do it for a living. Like a guide in the area you will hunt, or at least people with a lot of experience actually doing it.
     
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  8. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    For hunting, anything from a .308 up. If, as with the last one I took, the bear is unaware of your presence it may just fold up. Granted I had good shot placement and was using a 30-06 but I'm convinced that since the bear had no idea any danger existed it wasn't pumping any adrenalin.

    On the other hand, if you want something for bear defense, either a 12 ga with slugs or 45-70. Both work very well.

    You can, though I haven't personally, hunt bears with handguns and be successful. But a handgun for bear defense is always iffy. Though I do often carry a .45 colt Blackhawk with heavy for caliber cast lead when I'm out and about.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Jeeze Art!

    Now you just opened up this can of worms again!!

    What were you thinking down there in beautiful Terlingua TX this time of night??

    One of them pet bar tarantulas finely got tired of it, and sank his fangs in you???
    Or was it the worm in the bottle??? :D :D

    Just messing with you!!
    De Debble made me do it!! :evil:

    rc
     
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  10. caribou

    caribou Member

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    I live around White, Brown and Black Bears.

    If your gonna hunt them, use the rifle that you can shoot most accurately. Shoot the caliber your confident in. my rule of thumb is that if you cant kill it with a 30-06, you should hide. Short of a Sasquach, theres not much in the way of big game or predators that a 30-06 and its 'class' of rifle cartridge cannot handle.


    In my experience, 243w/100 grn and a well placed shot are good to go, but most Bears I have caught were done in with 7.62x54r, no problemo.

    I double tap all Bears, even the ones who have dropped in their tracks, no matter what rifle Im useing.

    A 12 gauge with slugs would be best for defense.

    The best "Bear Pistol" is a Rifle.

    Im looking forward to seeing how a 345grn .50 soft lead Minie' ball will do..... :D
     
  11. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Better work, cuz what you are describing usually fits only in single shot pistols.:what:
     
  12. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    ART, no response on the bear caliber, just want you to know that I enjoyed the TV documentary on the killing of the nightclub owner in Terlingua. Interesting place!
     
  13. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    This should be 2 questions [1]guns for hunting bears, or [2]for defense against unexpected bear attacks. Very different situations.
    [1] On a dedicated brown/grizzly hunt I carry a .375. General hunting where a bear black or brown is a chance encounter a 30-06 is what I carry. It's proven it's self to me on bears but not my first choice.
    .[2] This is where you do not want to lug around a 10 lb .375. You'll be fishing. hiking. berry picking etc and I can tell you that big rifle will be leaning on a tree out of your reach while you are doing some thing else.
    I deal with the defense issue differently depending. High or low risk.
    Fishing on a skinny salmon river with bear tracks everywhere and at best 20 yds visibility? High risk. I carry a 20 inch barrel 12 ga Ithaca 37 with slugs.
    Just out for a hike in the woods or tundra? Low risk. I drop a Ruger Bisley in .45 Colt with very hot loaded 325 gr LBT's in my pocket. Don't even notice it, but it's there on the slight chance I need it.

    Enough about me. I can tell you ADF&G here in Anchorage is called out to dispatch many problem bears in a year and they all use Rem 870's, rifle barreled with slugs.
     
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  14. Deog

    Deog Member

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    12 gauge with high fps slugs.
     
  15. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    .454 Casull

    Bear_zps8ccr2ln0.jpg
     
  16. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Nice bear Tim. Did that bear plunk it's hindquarters down in the river as it looks in the photo?
     
  17. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    Jim, that photo was right where he dropped. Slug went through both shoulders, and traveled under the skin to its cheek on the opposite side. Only slug I've ever recovered.

    bearbullet2_zpsm0u2y5iq.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  18. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    It's just your photo reminded me of this. Supid moose walked 2 steps BACKWARD to put his butt in 2 feet of ice water.

    CCF03292011_00000-3.jpg "] CCF03292011_00000-3.jpg [/URL]
     
  19. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    If we're strictly speaking in terms of protection, it would be my belief that a big bore lever gun (.35, 444, 45-70) with irons or possibly a reflex sight. Also an AR (308, 450 Bushmaster, or 458Socom) also with irons or reflex. Handguns? 44mag, 45 Colt, 454, 460, or 500 S&W. But that's a lot of gun to master in a charge scenario.

    Most people have never and will never see a brown bear in the wild. I am included on that list. Bit I have seen them up close. And the comment made in the article about bears being fast is an understatement. Should you be in thick country and have a bear charge that you aren't aware is there, you're odds of recognizing the threat, clearing a sidearm or bringing up a rifle, and being able to get off even one good shot, aren't really that great. But the article also points out that the best defense for bears is your brain. And that point is undebatable.
     
  20. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    Bear Defense

    I've heard that the US Park Rangers were armed with 12 ga. pumps shooting slugs, for Black Bears.

    I have no idea about Grizz or Polar Bears.
    My guess would be .30-06 and up ?:confused:
     
  21. murf

    murf Member

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    caribou,

    where do you place your second "double tap" shot?

    murf
     
  22. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    I was in Alaska fishing with a .454 Casull on my side. I caught a nice pink salmon, and tossed him in the grass about 10' behind me, as it was almost time to cook dinner. I resumed fishing, and out of the corner of my eye, a see a 150lb blackie and her a cub wander away about 50 yards behind me with a salmon in her mouth that looked a lot like mine. I started looking for the one I saved for dinner right behind me, and it was gone. That young sow never even asked what caliber my gun was, or what kind of ammo I had been using, how well it penetrated, or how well I could place a shot. Had she wanted to get nasty about that fish, it would not have mattered.

    The key is recognizing a threat before it's too late. The movie version of it running across the field towards you for 20 seconds before it gets there is fantasy. They move like ghosts and sneak up behind you. If they are committed, you are likely toast.
     
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  23. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Handgun? Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull.

    Rifle? A lever gun in .45-70.

    Those would be my choices. A lever .45-70 is lightweight and compact, and hits like a ton of bricks. It's a proven recipe for dead bear.
     
  24. caribou

    caribou Member

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    I place the second shot where I can, Murf

    If its possible, I put it in the temple, between the eye and ear.

    If not I will pump one into the chest, neck or head, just to be sure, and I'll not hesitate to shoot again.

    Black Bears die faster from body hits than Brown Bears, I think its sheer size and the obvious exception for brain shots being about equal.

    Once I was stupid enough to set a rifle down on my sled, after a shoulder to shoulder hit, on a nice fat old guy, and after stopping to have a drink of water and get out my lunch and skinnning knife, as I approched his eye opened and he was looking right at me about 10 yards away,....... I was pretty lucky he tryed to run left , down hill, as I levitated right and made it to my snowmachine faster than the rifle on the sled behind it, up hill, before I looked back, expecting him to have me at any moment.... Both his shoulders were broken, but not his spirit and he wasnt going fast but he was still going. If he had just waited a few yards more....
     
  25. AlfonsDeWolf

    AlfonsDeWolf Member

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    Simple. Not super fast but fat n heavy that guarantees penetration. But don't hurt em, dey cute :)
     
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