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Why not doubles for grizzly protection?

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by PlayMaker, Jul 20, 2008.

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  1. PlayMaker

    PlayMaker Member

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    It's a general concensus that a 12 gauge with slugs is enough for grizzlies and most professional hunters in Africa would prefer a double rifle on dangerous game - for a quick follow up shot, quick break open reload and reliability - so why not marry the two for dangerous game here in America? especially Alaska?
     
  2. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    Because if you miss twice (which isn't altogether unlikely), you're facing a 1000 lb pissed off animal who wants to eat your face with nothing but an expensive club.

    You can have at minimum twice as many rounds ready with a pump than you can with a double, and that gives you twice as many opportunities to keep from being lunch.
     
  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Double rifle or double shotgun? Most double shotguns are not regulated or choked for slugs. Nor are they set up to take the recoil of the magnum hardcasts. Double rifles are great but cost a fortune. Bear country is hard on firearms, so there's a tendency to go with a beater Ruger 77 or slugster pump action. I've only seen one hiker with a double barrel shotgun, and it looked to be something more suited for knocking down birds or clays.
     
  4. PJR

    PJR Member

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    Slugs are worlds better than buckshot but if I KNEW I was facing a grizzly I'd want something more powerful with a .375 H&H as a minimum. The cartridges most commonly found in double rifles are far more powerful than a shotgun slug and have better projectiles and penetration.
    A PH with a client hunting dangerous game is a different prospect than having a gun around for bear defense while in the woods. When hunting dangerous game on a safari there is always one back-up rifle if not more.

    Another reason against a double shotgun is state of readiness. Doubles are typically either locked and loaded or open and empty. A bear defense gun is one you want at hand that can be easily put into action but is safe the rest of the time. A pump or semi with a full magazine and an empty chamber is better suited for the purpose.

    The merits of a double gun are shorter overall length when comparing guns with similar barrel lengths and easy of takedown and storage when traveling. But those merits don't cover the drawbacks IMO.
     
  5. Goblin

    Goblin Member

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    The real problem is that where there are grizzlies, you usually cannot carry a firearm!!!:mad:
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Friend of mine thought he would play safari bwana with his SKB double shotgun and slugs. Results were poor, so he bought a real express rifle. Not exactly cost effective, but fun to mess with.

    I have never seen an auto shotgun I would want to carry with the chamber empty and depend on getting into action in a hurry. If you are afraid of a loaded chamber, a pump is a better choice.
     
  7. Matt304

    Matt304 Member

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    Alright, I've never found a good answer to this question...sorry this is out of topic line with the original post, but I must finally ask.

    Why is it that a shotgun manufacturer can produce a fancy double barrel model in which the cost can be held around $1000, but when someone makes a double rifle, magically that number must be set to $20,000+?

    I feel that essentially, double rifle manufacturers are ripping people off. Does anyone in their right mind really believe there is $40,000, or $80,000 worth of labor or parts on a fancy double rifle? I won't buy that belief, ever. I think it is downright absurd, actually.

    When you examine the basics of a double rifle, or double shotgun, they seem to have all too much in common. One simply has a two rifled barrels which are thicker, and is regulated to fire at a certain range. There is no way those small differences can account for the price of another 20 firearms.

    About the issue at hand, I say either use a pump or a bolt-action shotgun, my choice being the latter. Most importantly, use a gun which is very reliable, and a gun which you can accurately place 30 yard shots with while standing. You can have the largest gun in the world with you, but if you can't make a quick stopping shot to the grizzly, it ain't gonna matter.
     
  8. PJR

    PJR Member

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    What I think is downright absurd is someone who's mind is so closed as to reach an opinion without finding out the facts.

    Maybe that's why you haven't found an answer to your question. No one can be bothered to explain it to you if your mind is already made up.
     
  9. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    Do you know how fast a grizzly runs? If you miss with the first two shots, you'll be lunch before you get a chance to fire the third one.
     
  10. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    Purdey SxS shotguns start at about $85,000 and their O/U's start even higher. So if you can find a handmade new double rifle for $20,000, grab it because you've got a hell of a deal.
     
  11. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Member

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    The reason double rifles were used successfully in Africa is because you usually had about five other guys waiting to shoot if you failed to bring down the animal.

    When you are on your own, it's a whole different ballgame.
     
  12. win71

    win71 Member

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    I don't know what would be worse than downright absurd in your vocabulary and you may even be speechless when you run across one of the several used double rifles for sale in the $140,000.00 range !

    I don't have any idea how fast a Grizzly runs but I doubt it's as fast as an African Lion. Professional hunters have depended on double rifles for decades.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  13. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    I think the Brits, who exerted a lot of influence in early Africa and India, have always preferred doubles, be it rifles or shotguns. And most of those they touted had sidelocks so you had redundancy should something mechanical fail.
    I would trust a pump, and I think Peter Capstick did to follow up a wounded leopard if my memory serves, but Jim Corbett surely used a British side by side.
    Those nasty repeaters are simply too peasant like for refined tatstes, don't you know ol'chap.
     
  14. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    Nope, not as fast as a lion. But at 30-35MPH, adult grizzly's can easily outrun the fastest Olympic sprinter. And when charging at you head on, they make for a very, very small target.
     
  15. Packman

    Packman Member

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    Definitely should use a Remington 1740. Even better firepower, with the best of both worlds!

    Deerhunter, I love that gun.
     
  16. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    some years back I read in F&S a story of an Alaska Forest Service man that was badly mauled by a grizz - barely survived it. he got a double 12ga and sawed it off to carry with him. said he didn't give a s&^% it was under length - they could arrest him if thought neccesarry.
     
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    You are unlikely to get more than one or two shots off on a brown bear in a DLP shooting. Nor can you predict when it will happen. A friend of mine had to shoot one on the 4th after visiting the outhouse. Thankfully she did have a rifle handy, but it was only the little .30-30. The bear (a mature boar) was hit and veered off but didn't die for another week when another neighbor shot him.

    While a regulated double would be cool, folks who live in bear country cannot usually afford to spend outrageous sums on some limey rifle. The only guy around here I know who has them is a plaintiff's lawyer and I don't believe he does much hiking. Even if he did, it would be insane to take such a firearm afield. Your firearm WILL be dropped. It WILL fall into water and muck. The steel WILL be scratched. The wood WILL get chunks out of it. That's the reality of Alaska. I remember after one active summer fishing I cleaned my Mossy slugster and sand poured out of the action.

    ? What's the Alaska Forest Service? Also are you saying you *read* someone admit they had an illegal shotgun?
     
  18. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    Well I don't, but there is a difference in what it's worth in labor and what it's worth. Have you ever held a premium double to your shoulder? You are left with a feeling of "damn I wish I could afford this" not "what a ripoff!"

    I've never faced a bear, but I'm thinking that if you miss with 2 shots on a charging bear, having a couple of more shots ain't gonna enter into it.
     
  19. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    30-35 mph.

    That all depends on distance and awareness. You could be bear food before you ever bring your firearm into the battle. At 35 mph, that is 3080 feet per minute or 51.33 feet per second. With a pump, you should be able to fire a min. of 1 round a second, faster if you are competent. So it all comes down to distance and awareness.

    Of course, you are assuming a worst case scenario of the charge not being a bluff charge and that the bear won't be dissuaded.

    Of course, if you don't think you will ever be able to get off a third or fourth shot, then you won't prepare for such a situation and likely you will be able to fulfill your own predictions.
     
  20. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    If you really think you can get off more than 2 AIMED shots with heavy slugs in a real life grizzly charge you really need to to do a reality check :confused: A grizzly coming out of the brush with bad intentions
    At 40-50 yards is going to be on you in less than 3 seconds missing isn't an option if you plan on seeing tomorrow . If money wasn't an object I know what I would carry in bear country. A quality O/U have it fitted with 2 triggers and a set of regulated ported 19"barrels with dixie hard cast slugs After i had shot it awhile
     
  21. RP88

    RP88 Member

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    you'll be much better off with some sort of pump or semi-auto. Shooting at a charging bear is like shooting at a truck. You will want to disperse as much lead as possible into it as quickly as possible.
     
  22. Tennessee Ned

    Tennessee Ned Member

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    There's a good article in Guns Magazine 2009 Special Edition entitled "His and Hers Bear Guns".

    She carries the S&W 329PD 44 magnum and he carries the S&W 460XVR when they're enjoying hiking, camping, etc. in bear country.

    I guess you have to worry about where you are and the legality of carrying but I think that 460 would allow quick access and would be more than enough for an aggressive grizzly.
     
  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    As to price, compare apples to apples. You can pay anything you like for a "fancy" double shotgun, just as you can for a "fancy" double rifle.

    At the entry level, a Chapuis African PH 1 double rifle in 9.3x74R, which is a good big game caliber, is $7950, while a Chapuis St Bonnet SxS shotgun is $3995, both from Chadick's in Texas.

    So a basic double rifle is about twice the price of a double shotgun of the same make. I think that fairly represents the expense of building a gun to handle three times the chamber pressure and regulating it to deliver bullets to the same point of aim.


    I don't get around bears and have to depend on reports from the field. I understand that the usual bear defense for fish & game employees, researchers, and fishermen is a pump gun with Brennekes. Cheap, light, and powerful. A reliable double gun is rather expensive. I don't want to go to war with the sort of stuff you see at Cowboy shoots.

    On the other hand, Phil Shoemaker, who is a guide in the business of helping clients find but not get eaten by bears, prefers a .458 Win Mag bolt gun. Ray Ordorica, who has lived in Alaska has gone with both a .470 double and a .416 bolt.
     
  24. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    My guess is regulating them.

    Rifles need to be truly regulated to one point of aim at one particular point - 50, 75, or 100 yards for example. So the centers of the bores are 1.5" apart let's say while on the rifle. Getting both of them to hit exactly to the say point at say, 75 yards take extremely meticulous alignment of the bores in the slightest non-parallel way.

    Shotguns on the other hand, spread their shot, so being 1.5" off from one another is not enough to make any difference, so they merely have to be perfectly parallel, not ever so slightly off parallel. Now granted, being perfectly parallel is not necessarily *easy* to accomplish, but being ever so slightly off parallel, to hit at one point at a certain long yardage away, is far more difficult.

    That's a GUESS on my part.
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Would that thing even rigged for shooting magnum slugs? My understanding was the good SxS's were set up for light shot, not break-your-shoulder brennekes.
     
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