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 Self defense against bears. Shotgun vs rifle? Most powerful lever action? What would you carry?
alfred10  [Member]
6/2/2010 6:08:01 PM
I am thinking about getting a very powerful rifle that is quick to aim and bring into action for when im hiking/camping on private property in bear country.

I was considering a shotgun loaded with slugs. The mossberg mariner looks like a sweet gun that I could put a folding stock on and hide in my pack. What rifles are more powerful than a 12 guage magnum 3 inch slug? Will this work on a bear even if you cant get a really good shot? Whats the most powerful leaver action made? What other rifles are popular for defense against dangerous game?




Now I am also looking for a handgun for hiking/camping/hunting back up when bow hunting, or hiking in an area where game wardens will be all over me if i am carrying a rifle. Is the .500 Smith and wesson more powerful than a BFR 45.70 or .450 marlin? The double action 500 smith is what I think I will get but was just curious.
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Dashammer  [Member]
6/2/2010 6:18:21 PM
Remington 870 with slug barrel (has a great site system on it) and slugs (interchangeable barrels you can use it for everthing.)or .357 mag revolver with wad cutters. Carrying one of those cannon hand guns is like having a cinder block attached to you leg.
B44T  [Team Member]
6/2/2010 6:18:27 PM
My advice would be gun and cartridge combo that you can handle most effectively under stress.
Defense against bears would be just as deeply a personal subject as defense against two legged predators. Neither subject to be taken lightly.

You might ask the folks in the Alaska Home Town Forum for their opinions and experience.
youngAR  [Member]
6/2/2010 7:30:13 PM
A lever action in 45/70 will probably be your best bet for a rifle. Marlin makes the 1895SBL which would be a great choice. Or you could carry a .44 mag Marlin with a Ruger Redhawk. What kind of bears do you plan on encountering?
UFGatorAR  [Member]
6/2/2010 7:40:02 PM
Originally Posted By youngAR:
A lever action in 45/70 will probably be your best bet for a rifle. Marlin makes the 1895SBL which would be a great choice.


This.

Any of the Marlin Guide Guns in 45/70 will do the trick. Fun guns to shoot too. It's all my uncle uses out west hunting large game at up to 300 yds.
Hero  [Team Member]
6/2/2010 7:41:02 PM
+1 to the lever .45/70
fsjdw2  [Team Member]
6/2/2010 7:58:05 PM
well i dunno about you but i carry a LAW in a cross body holster... actually a .44 mag 4.5 inch is my carry piece in the woods, I can empty it pretty darn fast into a pie plate at 15 yards and it ought to do the trick so i only get mauled not eaten... .45-70 is marlin is on the list.
alfred10  [Member]
6/2/2010 7:58:26 PM
I ran into a grizzly once and thank god it ran the other way... Just from experiance I would want a semi auto rifle if possible. I know how hard it would be to shoot a charging bear. Is .308 heavy enough? An M1A socom would work good with semi auto ability. What rifle compares to a 12 guage shotgun with a magnum 3 inch slug between 1 and 100 yards?
Shotgun would be easiest to keep in my pack.

Out of curiosity would a 45.70 work on elephants? How many yards would the marlin be accuret out to?
Slopes-2-Shores  [Member]
6/2/2010 8:06:03 PM
I recommend bear spray first and foremost. Then, if you can manage a rifle, +1 to the 45.70 lever action carbine pack gun. Plus, I've always wanted a sweet short lever action gun for packing.I really don't shoot .44mag or .454 Casull very well and everything else in a handgun is questionable. That said I carry .45acp because I control it best of the larger bores. I went with it over .357 mag due to capacity and reload capability.
I definately recomend a good firearm AND proper BEAR SPRAY.

Gen. Schwarzkopf

-JC
Essayons  [Team Member]
6/2/2010 8:20:28 PM
Personally, I'd use it as an excuse to build a big bore (.450 Bushmaster, .458 socom or .50 Beowulf) AR carbine

IMO there's a lot to be said for a short and relatively lightweight option capable of putting multiple rounds on target quickly. A big bore AR carbine with an Aimpoint T-1 would fulfill that specification pretty well, IMO.
GLOCKshooter  [Team Member]
6/2/2010 8:38:51 PM
.45 ACP with at least 10 rounds and you should be fine, based on recent AAR.
alfred10  [Member]
6/2/2010 9:30:37 PM
http://cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-550-safari-magnum/

I am thinking it would be good if it could double as a self defense against people, long range SHTF defense, and hunting for emergency food.

What rifle does a 12 gauge 3 inch magnum compare to? My problem with the 45/70 is that its only good for 150 yards? Would a 12 gauge out power a 45.70?

Seems like an M1A socom has mid range, high cap, and semi auto. This would give me the ability to have multi shots for when a bear is comming.

Where can I find the most powerful starting with the barrett down to a .308?

I like the .458 but figure if I get stranded out in the woods for awhile I want something that can take a deer at long range. What big bore rifle caliber has long range ability?
SevenSixTwoxFiftyOne  [Member]
6/2/2010 11:13:11 PM
12 guage loaded with hp rifled slugs or sabot slugs will kill anything you will encounter in north america
a 44 mag can do double duty if you load 3 hollow points and 3 bird shot rounds leave it set on the hollow points (bear or cougar) can always rotate the cylinder to dispatch rattle snakes or grouse or the unlucky turkey or squrrel that gets close enough
Psamtik  [Member]
6/3/2010 12:44:07 AM
You need to think about the actual situation. Retrieving a gun from a pack while facing an angry bear? Using a bolt-action safari rifle against people? If you're going to be entering into these life-or-death situations with little warning, it seems like you need something quick to access that gives you a fast followup shot.
inthe605  [Member]
6/3/2010 1:17:19 AM
45-70

Yep, kill all round.

Cheap gun, holy shit on cartridge prices.

So dont get used to training on it.
KnightofTheOldeCode  [Team Member]
6/3/2010 5:42:33 AM

.375 H&H would be optimal, 30-06 very good.


Originally Posted By alfred10:
http://cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-550-safari-magnum/

I am thinking it would be good if it could double as a self defense against people, long range SHTF defense, and hunting for emergency food.

What rifle does a 12 gauge 3 inch magnum compare to? My problem with the 45/70 is that its only good for 150 yards? Would a 12 gauge out power a 45.70?

Seems like an M1A socom has mid range, high cap, and semi auto. This would give me the ability to have multi shots for when a bear is comming.

Where can I find the most powerful starting with the barrett down to a .308?

I like the .458 but figure if I get stranded out in the woods for awhile I want something that can take a deer at long range. What big bore rifle caliber has long range ability?


bullyforyou  [Member]
6/3/2010 7:23:17 AM



this topic comes up from time-to-time, and all the guys from AK typically suggest a 12ga. slug gun.

i'm inclined to follow the advise of folks who actually have to deal with large, agressive, bears.


squirrelslayer1  [Member]
6/3/2010 7:40:03 AM

Towner .500 pump action. end of discussion
scottryan  [Member]
6/3/2010 9:53:54 AM
A .308 cal assault rifle.
XM287  [Member]
6/3/2010 11:36:58 AM
What kind of bears? Alot of people hear the "b" word and they immediatly start thinking .408 Cheytac. In all honesty, that level of fire-power isn't necessary to destroy a bear or deter an attack. During my time in AK, I saw 3-5 Polar bears that were destroyed with 5.56 carbines. One shot to the dome and they became Period bears... The indigenous population was using FMJ ammo, i'd guess some type of non-fragmenting 55grn load. I'm not advocating hunting large bears with a 5.56, I'm only suggesting that its imminently possible to destroy the nastiest of bears with single/string of well placed rifle rounds.

Conversely, many people who venture into bear country get the biggest/nastiest magnum handgun they can find, sans the proper skills to use it effectively. I have destroyed a charging animal with a semi-automatic service pistol, it was no magnum and it was no bear. However, life and limb was in jeopardy and I was forced to respond with lethal force. Animals move very rapidly and one or two misses and they will literally be on top of you, tearing you up. A S&W .500 Magnum isn't something thats good for rapid fire/accurate fire on a moving target. Its great if you get a head shot, but when you consider your gonna be in rough terrain, terrified and doing the reverse-groucho shuffle, accuracy becomes a real problem.

For the larger species, a 12 gauge "combat type" shotgun loaded "Dutch" with 1oz slugs and 000 buckshot is as good as it gets. A close second would be some type of semi-automatic, .30 caliber military style rifle. An under/side folding AK, Para FAL, G3A4 or even an "AR10" carbine would be very effective.

If were talking black bears, these are regularly destroyed with your average duty pistol.

A gun will only do so much to protect you. Stay away from bear habitats and if you see cubs, you better have your head on a swivel because mom is nearby or dad is coming to kill the cubs to fuck mom. Eiether way, bad news. When you are walking through a wooded area, look for freshly rubbed/scratched off bark. Keep your eyes peeled for tracks/scat. When you are walking through tall grass/brush, sound off or blow a whistle. The majority of attacks occur when people happen upon a bear and the animals individual nature decides fight or flight. Its usually the latter, but you never know...
Combat_Diver  [Team Member]
6/3/2010 12:22:56 PM
I would carry whatever I'm comfortable and can effectively shoot under stress. My case it would be my M58 Smith with a 250 hard cast bullet. Second thing is that it needs to be portable and with you at all times. Stick in side your ruck is not going to help you nor when you set the rifle down to put up the bear bag in the evening or answer natures call. Thats why I like a sidearm on my hip. The 45-70 is capable of hitting out to 1000 yds but are you? The 45-70 out of lever guns has also taken everything in Africa.

CD
joeblack261  [Member]
6/3/2010 1:42:42 PM
http://www.cabelas.com/story-123/carlson_gunreview/10201/The+little+gun+that+can+-+Gun+Review.shtml
Marlin 45 70 guide gun, what your looking for is the reason this gun exists.
Has saved my life in bear country.
Blast  [Member]
6/3/2010 2:07:11 PM
Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter:
.45 ACP with at least 10 rounds and you should be fine, based on recent AAR.



themagikbullet  [Team Member]
6/3/2010 3:07:13 PM
I'd feel pretty confident with a benelli m2 and low recoil slugs.
brentwal  [Team Member]
6/3/2010 3:17:34 PM
.45-70 lever gun + =>.44 Mag handgun

Handi-rifle in .500 S&W or .45-70 second choice
SGB  [Team Member]
6/3/2010 3:46:19 PM
HiredHitman  [Member]
6/3/2010 3:52:45 PM
Originally Posted By Blast:
Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter:
.45 ACP with at least 10 rounds and you should be fine, based on recent AAR.





TeeRex  [Team Member]
6/3/2010 3:55:56 PM
If I had to pick what I had in my safe today. 12 gauge loaded with slugs. A mag extension would be good too. I have a .44 super redhawk that handles 300+grain bullets too. I would want something fast reliable, easy to cycle under stress that would put the bear DRT.

I do like the idea of a .458 SOCOM upper though.
M4-Stag  [Team Member]
6/3/2010 4:17:26 PM
When we go salmon fishing there are always bears during the run, each of us carries a 1911 configured with the .460 Rowland with 10 rd mags and two spare mags each to cover each other while in the water. Its like a .44 magnum on steroids. If they get too close we move on. I've had my ass tightened up many a time, ya got to keep your cool.
Coop4570  [Team Member]
6/3/2010 4:53:47 PM
RRA .458 Socom or Marlin 45/70 Guide gun.

Factory Ammo is pricey but if you reload it drops the cost way down and gives you a wide variety of whup-ass to maximize your loads with.
LedZeppelin  [Member]
6/3/2010 5:09:03 PM
I always had my M1 with a couple 8rnd clips loaded 50/50 with incendiaries and FMJ with the bullet loaded backwards (pretty much a blunt hollowpoint- Amazingly they feed and shoot normally). That was kind of a joke to myself, though, because I really doubted I'd ever be attacked by anything.
dfariswheel  [Member]
6/3/2010 7:15:40 PM
I'd carry exactly what the real experts carry: A 12 gauge pump shotgun loaded with slugs and 00 buckshot.

When "Bear Boy" got himself and his girlfriend killed and eaten in Alaska, the State Game men flew in in a small plane.

As soon as they stepped out the bear came for them. Two wardens opened fire with Remington 870P Police shotguns and one with a .40 handgun, killing the bear. They found the remains of Bear Boy and girlfriend in the Bear's stomach.
It's hard to argue with people who do this for a living.
fearme  [Member]
6/4/2010 2:27:24 AM
I laugh at these threads. Such fun. The Inuit have been killing Polar bears with various .22 caliber centerfire calibers for a long, long time. If you can dump 15 out of 30 75gr solids out of an AR into a charging bear It'll probably drop and die right there.

Will a 12g w/ slugs or 000 magnum super-whoopie shells work? Yep.

Will a .44 magnum handgun loaded with 300+ grain hardcasts work? Sure....

Will 5-10 rounds from an old beat-up AK47 work? Absolutely.

Will a bunch of .22LR Velocitors work? Yep. Long after you're eaten though....

Bears are not magical nor are they armored. They are large and very, very fast. Chances are good that if surprised you will have little to no time to react. So what you choose to carry for "protection" should be whatever falls to your hand quickly and that you can shoot instinctively. That means a LOT of practice with whatever you've got......

Every huge animal on this planet has been killed DRT with just about every caliber out there. Packing some huge caliber you're not totally comfortable with and trained on just doesn't make any sense....
Diver9  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 3:21:50 AM
I think I may be somewhat able to answer this, being an avid bowhunter here in the great state of Alaska

Only real choice-12gauge. The 45-70 guide gun is a good choice too though.
ALWAYS strapped onto my chest is my S&W .500 There's been times where for whatever dumbass reason, the long gun is leaning on a tree 10 feet away. That brownie starts to charge from 30 yards, and it'll be on your ass before your hand touches that long gun. I shoot my .500 regularly at the range 1 handed. No, it's not fun, but if I can do it 1 handed at the range I know damn well I can do it with all that adrenaline flowing!
Whichever you choose, shoot it til you're competent with it, then shoot it ALOT more.

There's been cases here where people have dropped a charging bear with a 9mm or killed bears with 5.56. Yeah, it's happened, but there's also alot of cases where Fish and Game finds a dead bowhunter laying alongside a dead bear-bear's got a big ass hole in him, but even a heart shot bear will live long enough to seriously fuck your shit up.

If using a handgun-hard cast lead with a decent sized meplatt-you don't want to kill with that first shot-chances are, you won't kill it quickly enough, you want to shatter bones-my .500 is always loaded with 440 grain buffalo bore

Best choice is to be bear aware enough that you don't find yourself in that situation to begin with-but not always possible if you're quartering a moose to pack out!

Mosin_Nagant  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 3:41:51 AM
I carry an AK-47 with folding stock when I hike in the mountains. There are probably better options, but I feel 30rds of 7.62 would be sufficient for anything I encounter out here, four legged or two.
Bigshot64  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 9:58:16 AM
s&w 500

kills 99.9% of germs/everything
blackhawkhunter  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 10:40:37 AM
Originally Posted By SevenSixTwoxFiftyOne:

a 44 mag can do double duty if you load 3 hollow points and 3 bird shot rounds leave it set on the hollow points (bear or cougar) can always rotate the cylinder to dispatch rattle snakes or grouse or the unlucky turkey or squrrel that gets close enough


Have you ever killed a turkey with a 44 shot shell?

One thing you need to realize is that your shooting may not be optimal on a charging bear. Its a lot different than sniping at one from a stand. You may have marginal hits. Bigger is better...

A big +1 for 45-70 here with some good hard cast bullets. You want deep penetration and bone busting force... dont worry about expansion. IMO the reason shotguns are so popular is that they are inexpensive and do multiple things... IMO they are not the best bear protection, but they are not a bad choice either. A lot of people are used to operating them so the training time is way down.

A hangun of at least 44 mag should be had for those times when you are away from your rifle. It can be hard to fish with a rod in one hand and a rifle inthe other... or outhouse trips.... Again, go for heavy, solid bullets.... no XTPs or anything like that.

If you are protecting yourself against a bear your shooting range will likely be measured in feet, not yards. Dont worry about perforamnce and accuracy at 100 yards unless you are also hunting with that firearm.

ETA: Marlin makes some better calibers than 45-70, but you can find 45-70 ammo for sale where ever you find big bears... and if you mail order or reload you can get some hotter ammo in 45-70.
KimberTLE45  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 11:25:57 AM
Originally Posted By M4-Stag:
When we go salmon fishing there are always bears during the run, each of us carries a 1911 configured with the .460 Rowland with 10 rd mags and two spare mags each to cover each other while in the water. Its like a .44 magnum on steroids. If they get too close we move on. I've had my ass tightened up many a time, ya got to keep your cool.


After reading about the .460 Rowland.... DO WANT!!! That is kick ass!
dbd870  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 11:45:19 AM
Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
I'd carry exactly what the real experts carry: A 12 gauge pump shotgun loaded with slugs and 00 buckshot.

When "Bear Boy" got himself and his girlfriend killed and eaten in Alaska, the State Game men flew in in a small plane.

As soon as they stepped out the bear came for them. Two wardens opened fire with Remington 870P Police shotguns and one with a .40 handgun, killing the bear. They found the remains of Bear Boy and girlfriend in the Bear's stomach.
It's hard to argue with people who do this for a living.


I have to agree & that's what I'd do. (however a 45-70 levergun or 458SOCOM sound like fun)
JamesP81  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 12:21:06 PM
Originally Posted By UFGatorAR:
Originally Posted By youngAR:
A lever action in 45/70 will probably be your best bet for a rifle. Marlin makes the 1895SBL which would be a great choice.


This.

Any of the Marlin Guide Guns in 45/70 will do the trick. Fun guns to shoot too. It's all my uncle uses out west hunting large game at up to 300 yds.


Fun for about the first 5 shots or so
JamesP81  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 12:29:48 PM
Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter:
.45 ACP with at least 10 rounds and you should be fine, based on recent AAR.


Not this stupid shit again

If one must use a pistol, use something that gets deep penetration. Frankly, you're far better off with 357 magnum than 45. If you must use a pistol for bear defense, 44 magnum is the minimum.

You're best advised to man up and carry a 12 gauge with slugs, 45-70 lever gun, or a controlled round bolt gun in 375 H&H. My own proclivities push me toward the 45-70 lever. Although I think a 458 SOCOM AR would be nothing less than tool grade awesome for bear country.
JamesP81  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 12:30:44 PM
Originally Posted By inthe605:
45-70

Yep, kill all round.

Cheap gun, holy shit on cartridge prices.

So dont get used to training on it.


Reloading. It's fairly cheap to reload with cast boolits.
alfred10  [Member]
6/4/2010 9:13:43 PM
Originally Posted By Diver9:
I think I may be somewhat able to answer this, being an avid bowhunter here in the great state of Alaska

Only real choice-12gauge. The 45-70 guide gun is a good choice too though.
ALWAYS strapped onto my chest is my S&W .500 There's been times where for whatever dumbass reason, the long gun is leaning on a tree 10 feet away. That brownie starts to charge from 30 yards, and it'll be on your ass before your hand touches that long gun. I shoot my .500 regularly at the range 1 handed. No, it's not fun, but if I can do it 1 handed at the range I know damn well I can do it with all that adrenaline flowing!
Whichever you choose, shoot it til you're competent with it, then shoot it ALOT more.

There's been cases here where people have dropped a charging bear with a 9mm or killed bears with 5.56. Yeah, it's happened, but there's also alot of cases where Fish and Game finds a dead bowhunter laying alongside a dead bear-bear's got a big ass hole in him, but even a heart shot bear will live long enough to seriously fuck your shit up.

If using a handgun-hard cast lead with a decent sized meplatt-you don't want to kill with that first shot-chances are, you won't kill it quickly enough, you want to shatter bones-my .500 is always loaded with 440 grain buffalo bore

Best choice is to be bear aware enough that you don't find yourself in that situation to begin with-but not always possible if you're quartering a moose to pack out!




What size barrel does your 500 have? Seems like the new 6.5 inch is perfect for me. I wonder how much power I lose if I go with a 6.5 vs an 8 inch. What animals wont a .500 kill? Will a 12 gauge slug drop a bear better than a 45.70? What type of 12 guage slug?
coyotesilencer  [Member]
6/4/2010 9:35:25 PM
I think a Browning BAR or Remington 7400 or 7600 in 30-06 could do double duty, hunting, bear/people defense, etc.
skich  [Team Member]
6/4/2010 10:22:05 PM
I carry a 4" Ruger Redhawk .44 in a chest holster. I have a couple of 18" 870s but leave those at home. It is too cumbersome to carry a shotgun any distance.
Radjxf  [Member]
6/4/2010 10:29:55 PM
How many here with these 500 S&W's can actually fire several rounds quickly and accurately on a charging animal? Few if any I'd guess.

I like my 870P with good slugs. Distant second is the Redhawk with Hammerheads.
alfred10  [Member]
6/4/2010 10:41:20 PM
A shotgun might be best. I can get a Mossberg 590A1 AOW with a 14.5 inch barrel and throw a folding stock on it. Seems like ammo is everywhere and I can use buckshot on smaller dangerous animals like coyotes and cougars.
fearme  [Member]
6/5/2010 1:50:19 AM
Originally Posted By Radjxf:
How many here with these 500 S&W's can actually fire several rounds quickly and accurately on a charging animal? Few if any I'd guess.

I like my 870P with good slugs. Distant second is the Redhawk with Hammerheads.


I'd bet none.

Practice would also be expensive.
akcaribouhunter  [Member]
6/5/2010 3:14:22 AM
Odd man out here i guess.

Carried 243,ar15,mini14,45/70,40s&w,44mag and a 45.
It's all about where you put the shot or shots.
I do not feel under gunned with any of them.

Do have a shotgun loaded with slugs and 000 buck at fishcamp for dad as he does not really know autos.
silley  [Member]
6/5/2010 10:29:55 AM
saw a 45-70 revolver at cabelas the other day..... that would probably do just fine. my wrist hurt just looking at it
GLOCKshooter  [Team Member]
6/5/2010 10:55:27 AM

Originally Posted By JamesP81:
Originally Posted By GLOCKshooter:
.45 ACP with at least 10 rounds and you should be fine, based on recent AAR.


Not this stupid shit again

If one must use a pistol, use something that gets deep penetration. Frankly, you're far better off with 357 magnum than 45. If you must use a pistol for bear defense, 44 magnum is the minimum.

You're best advised to man up and carry a 12 gauge with slugs, 45-70 lever gun, or a controlled round bolt gun in 375 H&H. My own proclivities push me toward the 45-70 lever. Although I think a 458 SOCOM AR would be nothing less than tool grade awesome for bear country.

While you speculate, I offer the most recent real life example. Enjoy your internet tough guy fantasies.


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/outposts/2010/06/grizzly-bear-shot-killed-denali.html
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