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What Gun For Bears?

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

  1. bnolsen

    bnolsen Member

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    would this be a use case for one of those mossberg shockwave thingies? I mean hickock45 easily dual wields these things and knock up his gong with one.
     
  2. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    No.
     
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  3. Gadsden2A

    Gadsden2A Member

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  4. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I went hiking and exploring in Alaska last summer and will go again soon enough I hope. I carried my 45-70 Marlin SBL with HSM 420 grain Bear Load. Next time I will also carry a Ruger Blackhawk in 45 Colt for when a rifle, even one as compact as the SBL, is too much (which when talking big browns, when is even a rifle too much?). Both will be loaded with Buffalo Bore heavy loads, +P or at a minimum HSM Bear Load. 3C

    The 45-70 heavy loads hit like a freight train going 90 MPH and it just keeps going.
     
  5. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

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    SA, SA, SA. You use it, at the gas station, or going to an ATM at night. Be aware of what you are doing, and what's going on around you, in bear country.
    While I personally prefer a S&W 629, I'm a big old Fudd. There's many
    fine choices, just don't skimp out on holster gear, if things head south, you'll need that pistol quick. IMO, 44 Magnum is the minimum caliber for bear.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
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  6. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Why yes I do you a single action at the gas station or ATM. Preferred cartridge is .45 colt. And last time I was in Alaska, and everytime I'm out and about in "bear" country, I carry a .45 colt Blackhawk. Then again, I'm above average with one. As an old TV western lead used to say, "No brag, just fact". Thanks Walter.
     
  7. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

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    I think by "SA" in triplicate he meant situational awareness.

    A Ruger Blackhawk with heavy load Colt 45 bear loads should do the trick at least as a back up but still I would want rifle horsepower if I could, that being a 45-70 for defense/stopping or for hunting them, a .338 Win Mag.

    For blackies, a .357 revolver ought to do just fine or the aforementioned Ruger in 45 Colt and a 30-30 Marlin rifle for a hunting or defense, either, rifle.

    3C
     
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  8. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Ah! I misunderstood. Oh by the way, my rifle preference these days tends to be an 1895 GS
    RvyHwmo.jpg
     
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  9. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    A3802D98-F4AB-4E7D-8330-98D748C19D89.jpeg I know of one silly old bear that packed a single shot cork tipped pop gun.
     
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  10. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    - Bear Rifle -
    M1_Garand.jpg
    Eight Rounds of 168 gr. Barnes TSX.
    (and a spare clip or two)



    GR
     
  11. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I'd like a heavier bullet than that.
     
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  12. Tradmark

    Tradmark Member

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    I have penetrated plenty well enough with barnes 168’s from a 30/06 and a 308. Wouldnt hesitate to use either with a 168 tsx on animals larger than brown bears. Saw a 13 year old girl kill a waterbuff with that same load in texas once. Took one shot
     
  13. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Rangers use 12 ga for Black Bears because they very often use less lethal rounds. There has been occasion when they mistakenly fired lethal slugs, and they endured the scorn of the public for having shot Yogi. This example involved a Sheriff deputy rather than a ranger: http://www.kolotv.com/content/news/...round-instead-of-rubber-bullet-421537543.html

    Generally speaking, Black Bear don't present a lethal threat nearly as often as they present a nuisance. It is exceedingly rare that they're dangerous except to the stupidest people. Deer are easily a much greater threat than Black Bear. But nuisance bears are often shot with less lethal rubber or bean-bag type rounds and flash-bangs are used to attempt to change their behaviors before the greater expense of trapping and relocating them becomes necessary.
     
  14. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Re deer being more dangerous that Black Bears. Deer are only a greater threat if you count the number of people injured in vehicle versus deer accidents. And let's face it, the deer isn't at fault. I always figured if someone is injured in accident of their own causing it's basically attempted suicide.
     
  15. ChanceMcCall

    ChanceMcCall Member

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    So what kind of bears are we talking about here? I agree with your statement about black bears as every black bear I've killed was with a .44 magnum out of a Ruger carbine and it worked just fine. I have also been fortunate enough to have taken a Polar bear and I would never have considered the carbine for that job. . I want, but have yet, to take a coastal brown and I want an even bigger gun for that!
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  16. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    There's no bear alive I would hesitate to take with the .44Mag. All you need is the right bullet.
     
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  17. Dibbs

    Dibbs Member

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    Never had an encounter with a bear, although I have been out in bear country a few times.
    I'm firmly in the "44 strapped to the chest" camp. The SRH Alaskan has a reassuring feel to it. But I also spend a lot of time glassing the
    area for wildlife, including bears. So I'd say even a small set of good binoculars is a good idea.
     
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  18. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    Craig, the only issue I have with the .44 mag for brownies is the range. The country where browns are often hunted, I would feel undergunned over 100 yards. It would break my heart to turn down a shot on a trophy bear
    At 200 yards because i brought my .44 mag instead of my .375. Drawing a tag for kodiak is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity unless your rich and can buy one. Theres alot of places there and on the mainland you just cant get closer, especially on a spring hunt. Under 100 or maybe 125 im all for the .44. Theres a few game management units on the mainland that allow baiting for browns now, that I would like to try with my .454 carbine. Anyhow, Ive strolled about kodiak island a few times, you always think you have plenty of gun until your neck deep in tall grass around a salmon creek and hear something else in the grass with you.
     
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  19. ChanceMcCall

    ChanceMcCall Member

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    I've got no issue with Craig. The Polar Bear I shot made me rethink what I would want to use to hunt the really big bears with, but remember that has something to do with the risk I'm willing to take after experiencing that encounter. It sort of seemed to me the 450 was OK but I'm not sure about a 45/70. I am certain that using a bolt action that some of the 30 cals would work well, but I wanted the faster action of a lever action because I wasn't sure I could get two rounds off and certainly not three out of a bolt if my first shot hit at 100 yards and the bear charged. As it was, my first shot was at about 75 yards. So, in the end, it is about me and my risk tolerance.

    You are correct that these types of hunts are once in a lifetime except for the very rich, and lucky locals. As an out of state hunter, by the time I hire a guide, pay for transportation and housing, and give up three weeks of time, the bill is going to be around $30,000 per person. That is not a time to miss taking a shot or miss a shot.

    I, for one, would appreciate anything your experience allows you to contribute on the subject of Alaska hunting.
     
  20. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    Ive always entertained the idea of a .450 marlin levergun and very nearly purchased one twice! I like the cartridge, Im just not quite convinced that its not a dying caliber. I think since im a reloader that .45-70 may be a better choice as i can push the pressures up to similar performance yet still have the ammo availability. I envy your polar bear hunt, its on my bucket list for sure and im certain they are the most dangerous bear. I too would enjoy hearing your experience or tips on where to start for a polar bear. I have friends and relatives that have put in for the kodiak drawing for 10+ years to no avail. I was lucky enough to draw a spring hunt. My brother and i were dropped off by airplane alone and after 4 days we finally spotted a large brownie 2 river valleys over. When we got to the edge of the last valley we were 130 yards away. I anchored him through both front shoulders with the first shot, and then hit him 3 more times. I didnt want to risk having to track a bear through thick alders, and my bro kept yelling “keep shooting!”.300 grain nosler partitions did a fine job. It squared 10’ 3 1/2” and the skull was over 29”. When we got back to town we weighed the pack frame and hide on the scale at the private airport. 166lbs without the skull! I packed it out over 3 miles! My knees and back still hurt 2 years later. If you look to the right of the tree in the picture you can see the bear on the far side of the valley. My coworkers wife has a spring tag for 2019 and I plan on tagging along as backup, cant wait!
     

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    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
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  21. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    Forgot to ask also, did you recover a bullet from your bear? How did it perform and what make was it? Was the .450 satisfactory? I had one pass through, one percectly mushroomed just under the skin on the far side, and the other two struck shoulder bone and im sure were somewhere inside the bear.
     
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  22. ChanceMcCall

    ChanceMcCall Member

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    Great Photos! My hunt was years ago and pre digital. One of these days I'm going to pay a guy to turn them into good digital photos. I've tried using our office scanner and they didn't turn out well, so it is time to give it to a professional.

    We were using professional guides. They flew us out of Juneau (1970) to Fairbanks to Kaktovik and we went from there. Today, given the laws, Canada is the only legal choice left as I'm sure you know and good luck getting your trophy back to the US.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  23. ChanceMcCall

    ChanceMcCall Member

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    n
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  24. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Actually, these days you don't need to reload to get a very potent 45/70 round. A couple of outfits make them in up to 525 gr loads at velocities that are more than sufficient for elephant. Yes, elephant have been with over the counter 45/70 ammo. Not to mention things like rhino, cape buffalo, and hippo.
     
  25. Alaskan Ironworker

    Alaskan Ironworker Member

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    I think your right jeepnik, i feel that 45-70 is just too ubiquitous to pick up a different caliber. I already have enough obscure dying calibers to worry about feeding .300 h&h, 30-40 krag, .375 winchester...
     
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