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Thread: Shotgun loads for bears in close quarters

  1. #1
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    Default Shotgun loads for bears in close quarters

    I'll be in Alaska this fall. I was thinking of having my 870 around camp for bears. I also thought about carrying the shotgun into the willows if I have to look for a wounded bear.

    First, for following a wounded bear, would you take your rifle or a shotgun?

    Assuming that I take my shotgun, what load would you recommend? I'm leaning towards five 3 1/2 loads of Dixie Tri-balls...
    http://www.dixieslugs.com/products.html

    But I've also heard that lotsof folks just use plain Benneke slugs...

  2. #2

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    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...rous-Game-Slug

    Here is some discussion about the DDGS.
    I load 2 brenneke slugs behind the bird loads in my 20gauge upland bird shotgun.
    If it were a camp gun it would be buckshot behind 3 brenneke slugs.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Brenneke slugs are what I use. And the shotgun gets my vote over the rifle too.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Member Spookum's Avatar
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    leaving a 12 gauge around camp is a great idea, you can keep your long gun under shelter encase of rain, ect and if there arnt any little ones around.

    the best that i have found to explain it is like this:

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/shotguns_protection_field.htm

    but i thought i saw a load around here that had double ot buck and a round slug on top? i cant find it any more. But it depends on who is shooting. good luck.

  5. #5

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    I don't agree with that article. IMO a fast light rifle bullet is not better than a heavy slow shotgun slug.
    At the distance mentioned, 10 yards, I'll take a shotgun every time.

  6. #6

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    The Dixies are a good choice for a shotgun. The Terminator slugs are excellent, as good or better than the Brenneke's.

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    It's interesting that he compares all this to the anemic 405 45-70 load at blackpowder velocities. That load will kill anything on this continent. It sure did a number on the bison herd here too. Jim

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    What about 3 1/2" triballs by Dixie? That seems like a lot more power than the 2 3/4" 00 buckshot. Rather than 9 slow, light, soft pellets, you get 3 pretty big balls going pretty fast...

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    I think the triballs would be fine. the point of the article is to show that if you take a large object and move it realitivly slowly, it still penetrates better and therefore kills better on dangerous game than a bunch of smaller objects at the same velocity. If they guys wants a normal rifle rather than a shot gun, so be it. Im sure if i had a semi auto or pump shot gun with anything but bird shot and it was a bear or me, id make the shot gun, a 30-06 or whatever work.

    the bottom line is, what ever you are confident in and accurate with will work. Even if you use a spear, that would work if you are good with it.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Big is better than small most times and thats why slugs are better than tri balls or buck can't have it both ways
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member 58dranger's Avatar
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    The Black Magic Magnum (12 GA 3) from Brenneke the only way to fly for slugs. 600gr slug producing 3014 ftlbs
    try them and you will love them. I usually have 3-4 in the tube with a few 8 shot or so in a saddle side mount for camp grub.
    GO BIG OR GO HOME

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    I second the black magic slugs. I use an alternating 00 buck, slug load in the shotgun. The 00 to get them a good chance at standing them up, and the slug as a follow up to the chest. I have seen a couple of black bears taken out this way.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 58dranger View Post
    The Black Magic Magnum (12 GA 3) from Brenneke the only way to fly for slugs. 600gr slug producing 3014 ftlbs
    try them and you will love them. I usually have 3-4 in the tube with a few 8 shot or so in a saddle side mount for camp grub.
    GO BIG OR GO HOME

    Hunt safe Hunt hard
    Will
    +1000!
    If it were easier to get those Dixie slugs up here, I'd use those. I can walk into just about any gun store here and load up on the Black Magic. Why mess around? You're trying to KILL the bear in camp right? Not just annoy it.

    Second choice would be my Marlin lever .45-70.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Brennekes. We have a documented track record with them.
    Now what ?

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    +1 for the Bennekes!! They have a 1 3/8 ounce slug that would but a hurtin on anything that moves. I like the idea of buckshot back up.
    Semper Fi and God Bless

  16. #16
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Slugs. Slugs. Slugs.

    Screw buckshot. It don't work. Anyone who sayz it does ain't tried it. Use only slugs. Period.

    P.S. If you ever use buckshot, then you WILL be tracking a wounded bear. Buckshot is worthless for anything but humans and rodents.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mad_angler View Post
    What about 3 1/2" triballs by Dixie? That seems like a lot more power than the 2 3/4" 00 buckshot. Rather than 9 slow, light, soft pellets, you get 3 pretty big balls going pretty fast...
    I've heard that 2 3/4" shells chamber just a fraction quicker than 3 or 3 1/2" shells and if it's a charging bear, time is crucial. I'd use a slug anyway.

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    One more vote for the 3" brenneke for a camp gun or a chase gun. My 12 ga. Mossberg 590 holds 6 of them and is extremely agile with a pistol grip on it, way quicker than any rifle (at least in my hands!).

    I love my .375 for "hunting" but the 12ga. gets the nod for "protecting".

    I've afraid of buckshot being too soft, particularly at close range but I have NO data to back that up, still when you can get a hardened slug in a 3" mag I don't bother researching...

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