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Thread: Bear protection shotgun

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    Default Bear protection shotgun

    Hello. I am new to Alaska Outdoors and I am not sure if this is an allowed post. I am looking for a shotgun to buy. I am looking for a Mossburg Model 500, Winchester Model 1200 or Remington Model 870 in 12 gauge. I am looking for an 18" barrel, prefer slug barrel. If anyone can help me, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    I went for the Mossberg long, long ago. If you use it lots, count on it getting UGLY. And that's the point with the 500. It's really reliable in spite of horrible treatment, but not so expensive that you feel bad as it gets beat up. Mine has zero bluing and almost no original stock finish. I mounted a sling on it and made no other mods. The top tang safety is a plus for me cuzz I'm a lefty, but folks who have borrowed mine and later bought their own shotgun usually buy a 500- even if they're right handed.

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    Member aksportsmen's Avatar
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    i to have decided to go with the 500 it is reliable and tough enough for the rough treatmeant it is going ot get. although i would suggest getting a unrifled barrel for it and altenate slugs and 00 buck shot. the other plus with the unriffled barrel is if u see any tasty little critters along the way u can throw in some bird shot and dinner is served

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by aksportsmen View Post
    i to have decided to go with the 500 it is reliable and tough enough for the rough treatmeant it is going ot get. although i would suggest getting a unrifled barrel for it and altenate slugs and 00 buck shot. the other plus with the unriffled barrel is if u see any tasty little critters along the way u can throw in some bird shot and dinner is served
    Ditto! Mine is a "boat/camp" gun. Doesn't get shot alot, but manhandled with the best of them and when it does get shot, it works flawlessly everytime. It's ugly, but effective...

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    I talked my son into buying a pump Mossberg 500 that comes with a short barrel, a pistol grip, and stock. Later decided that it works best with the stock instead of the pistol grip. It's easy to point in the right direction, and is reliable. The pistol grip is not the best idea for accurate shooting.

    I have a Winchester 1200 (Defender), and have had problems getting the plastic shells of Magnum slugs getting stock in the chamber after firing. I imagine that I could polish the chamber to take care of the problem, but Winchester did not fix the problem when I shipped it to them under the warranty. It usually jambs on the second shot, so I don't trust it for bear defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aksportsmen View Post
    ...and altenate slugs and 00 buck shot.
    And there it is again. I fail to understand why this alternating shotgun loading idea continues on, but every time I hear it I do my best to talk them out of it. I have even managed to get one of our major oil companies to remove this from an old written procedure on remote work site bear protection in Alaska.

    The first question to ask yourself is, would you choose to shoot a bear with an old blackpowder .32 cal pistol? I haven't yet found anyone who will honestly claim that is a good idea. But 00 Buck is nothing more than eight to a dozen round lead .32 caliber balls. The accuracy is terrible and they don't do much damage to anything more than 25 yards away. Police made 00 Buck popular and even they are moving away from it.

    Now the concept of the alternate loading is pure madness. When training people to deal with combat and defensive shooting, the emphasis is always on simplicity without any requirement for conscious thought or fine motor skills. The reason is due to the body's natural fight-or-flight responses in a crisis. I guarantee an unexpected bear encounter is a crisis. I get the feeling that this alternating loading came from people who watch a lot of '70s Hollywood where the good guys could accurately count both their own and the bad guy's number of shots fired and knew when they could safely step out from behind cover because the other guy's gun was empty. This is simply impossible. It has been proven that critical incident shooters have no concept of how many shots were fired. Well, if you alternate ammo types, there is no way that you know what is coming out of the barrel next. And if the 00 Buck is worthless, then you have taken away half of your very limited shotgun ammo supply and simply put more time between the bullets that actually will work. You don't get time in a crisis.

    If it is a short-range engagement with a bear who wants a fight, and if you are carrying in a ready position you might have the chance for one shot (though a friend of mine who surprised a bear on a moose kill in the thick didn't even have time to raise his rifle that he was carrying in a ready position - instead he saved his life with the .44 in the shoulder rig that he was able to draw and fire while the bear was chewing on his face). If that one shot is 00 buck, you will probably die at the hands of a possibly wounded and pissed off bear. If that one shot is a Brenneke Magnum slug and you at least get a flash sight picture, you may have a chance. Don't bother with the standard round lead deer slugs. A Brenneke will punch a .69" hole through body armor, that's what you want in bear country. If the first hit has some effect, you might now have the chance to get off a second shot to ensure your survival. Do you want that to be an ineffective 00 Buck?

    Load it up, plumb full of good slugs. Forget about 00 Buck... it is an obsolete loading. And yes, throw a few field loads in your pocket for the grouse.

    As for the original question... you can't beat a Remington 870. I've shot a few 500s, but have to say the 870 is a better gun. The cost isn't that much more, so do you really want to go the cheapest route when planning on how to protect your life? If money is that big of a factor, there are always a number of good deals on used pump shotguns at the Pawn shops. I've seen a lot of good 870s in the 300 dollar range in there.

    Good luck.

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    Mossberg Model 590-A1, Steel receivr and trigger group, heavy barrel, ghost ring sights, Parkerized and bayonet lug for those close encounters. Speedfeed stock added later.

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    Default why alternate shot and slugs

    the reason i would preffer to alternate is the whole point is to stop or detour the charge. the shot is not meant to kill the bear it is meant to impair the senses. as most know bears eye sight is poor. it's primary sense is smell. 10x stronger then that of a blood hound. (or around that curtesy of the national geographic special on bear) so this being stated shot to the face of double 00 buck will more then likely tear up the nose and take out the eyes. if u ever have had a bloody nose u know u can't smell much of anything. same principle as teh bear spray the bear loses 2 of it's primary senses. i would start with slug for sure. with some practice u can keep a pretty tight grouping. of course there are going to be those oh S@#$ situations. in which case a small arsenal is not going to stop the bear from getting on u. the best protection is awarness and the buddy system and a bit of common sense. not saying my way is any better then any one elses this is just my reasoning why.

  9. #9

    Default )) buck and slugs

    "so this being stated shot to the face of double 00 buck will more then likely tear up the nose and take out the eyes."

    No offense, but that is simply foolishness. Even at 20 yards, the spread of the few buckshot in a 3" shell through a cylinder bore choke would in all likelyhood NOT take out the eyes and nose. If the bear is that close and pumped with adrenaline on a charge, messing his nose up might slow or turn him but chances are it'll keep coming. If you hit it right with the hopefully Brenneke slug, THAT wouls stand a much greater chance of stopping it. What I will never understand is if you have a slug as first shot, why would you have buck for the second instead of another big nasty slug? Never made any common sense to me.

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    It's best not to alternate buckshot and slugs, but to load only the toughest and heaviest slugs you can find. Since a bear that is moving so fast toward you will reach you before you can fire your gun, you will be lucky to fire one shot, so it must count.

    There is lots of good advise at the following page. At the bottom of the page you will find advise relating to shotgun use:
    http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/br...afeconduct.htm

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    Default ditto

    Quote Originally Posted by aksportsmen View Post
    the reason i would preffer to alternate is the whole point is to stop or detour the charge. the shot is not meant to kill the bear it is meant to impair the senses. as most know bears eye sight is poor. it's primary sense is smell. 10x stronger then that of a blood hound. (or around that curtesy of the national geographic special on bear) so this being stated shot to the face of double 00 buck will more then likely tear up the nose and take out the eyes. if u ever have had a bloody nose u know u can't smell much of anything. same principle as teh bear spray the bear loses 2 of it's primary senses. i would start with slug for sure. with some practice u can keep a pretty tight grouping. of course there are going to be those oh S@#$ situations. in which case a small arsenal is not going to stop the bear from getting on u. the best protection is awarness and the buddy system and a bit of common sense. not saying my way is any better then any one elses this is just my reasoning why.
    I agree with aksportsmen about the use of alternating slug/buckshot. Generally when I am carrying a shotgun for defense from a bear, it's usually on highly wooded trails. Seeing as how a black bear's top speed is about 25mph(or 36 feet per second) and a grizz/brown is 35mph (or 51fps) by the time you are firing they are just about(if not already) on you. How accurately can you fire a slug from the hip with a pistol grip at a range farther than 30 yards? say you fire the first round by the time the second is chambered that bear goes from say 30 yards to less than 15, in which case it is within range for the buckshot to do its job.

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    Confucious sayz, he who plans on shooting from the hip will miss every time.

    How about planning to fire a single, aimed and lethal shot? Further, planning to "wound" the bear with 00 Buck is senseless. A wounded animal is more dangerous than a healthy one. If you are planning to wound it, you have a moral responsibility to kill it anyway, so why prolong the process?

    I took a great class from a biologist several years ago about bear confrontations. He had spent years on the Alaska Penninsula studying bears and had some very good insight into their behavior. The most notable thing he said was that Browns will usually charge in an attempt to scare you away and establish dominance, but usually not with the intent to actually connect or kill. There are notable exceptions, of course, but they will often stop several feet away if you haven't found a mamma with cubs or a bear defending a kill. If you turn and run, you are signaling chase on. But this guy claims that if you stop and make your profile low, as in lying down, you are showing submission and they will often stop the charge. He showed video he took of bears doing this to each other during confrontations.

    If you put it all together, drop to a speed kneeling position while raising your gun up and taking bead on the bear, you may solve 2 problems. One, you are showing submission and may actually stop or slow down the charge. Second, you are taking a solid shooting position from where you can end it all with a single pull of the trigger. None of this will work unless your lucky stars are in alignment and you have actually practiced this at the range recently.

    I still think your best fail safe if you can't get a good shot off with the long gun is to keep that .44 short barrel revolver with bear loads on your flank. It is a better fall back than 00 Buck any day.

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    Default Remington 870 or Mossberg 500

    Both are fine firearms. I've been lugging a Remington Marine Magnum around for a while; quite pleased with it so far. The Marine Magnum is a tad shorter though a wee bit heavier than the Mossberg Mariner. The Marine Magnum handles getting damp well and really doesn't mind bouncing around on scree or talus.

    I've never had to use it; however, for me, the load is terrain and cover dependent. When the sightline begins to deteriorate and the cover closes in tight, I throw in a couple rounds of double 00.

    At night, alone in the tent, I load double 00 in the Ol' Equalizer. Amazing how well one sleeps with six in the tube.

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    There are more times than just a defense of life charge that a shotgun is a good thing to have for bear protection.

    For protection from the camp pest bears # 8 shot will run them out of camp and keep them from tearing up your gear. No you don't want to use big shot, you just want to scare them with pain to get them out of your camp and off your gear.

    Don't waste your time with any buck shot, go directly to slugs. No half measures in defense of life with a bear.

    Better practice the way the state makes there folks practice for bear protection.

    All of the named shotguns have good points and will yield themselves vary well in the hands of a skilled shooter.

    PRACTICE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    There are more times than just a defense of life charge that a shotgun is a good thing to have for bear protection.

    For protection from the camp pest bears # 8 shot will run them out of camp and keep them from tearing up your gear. No you don't want to use big shot, you just want to scare them with pain to get them out of your camp and off your gear.

    Don't waste your time with any buck shot, go directly to slugs. No half measures in defense of life with a bear.

    Better practice the way the state makes there folks practice for bear protection.

    All of the named shotguns have good points and will yield themselves vary well in the hands of a skilled shooter.

    PRACTICE!
    The 870 is the one all other shotguns are meaured by, but there is nothing wrong with a Mossberg. I like the way the shell lifter closes under the bolt giving unrestricted access to loading. They are also lighter than the Remington due to the aluminum receiver

    We use #4 steel to discourage brown furry dumpster divers. The idea is to get them running away from us and dump a load into their arse by aiming at that powder puff tail when they are about 25 to 35 yard away.
    The next shell is 00 Buck to break a charge and slow them a bit if they turn to fight and every shell after that is a Brenneke Original and they do shoot through bears.
    Now what ?

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    Default both are fine

    Both guns have a long history. Buy the one that handles best to you.
    As for the comments on only getting one shot off.......
    I'm rather new to Alaska, but one thing I've learned is that Bears can and do move very quickly even when just ambling along. They also seem to show up when you least expect it.
    You are very likely to depend on that first shot if needed, as that bear is going to be much closer for the second shot!
    My solution to living in bear country was to "invest" in a dog specially bred and trained to hunt bears. My Karelian has alerted me in a number of instances to both Bear and moose. The wild critters always wanted nothing to do with my dog.
    There is also the added benefit of his keen hunting nose helping put more than a few grouse in the freezer so far this year. I have a great buddy who watches my back (and gives me time to access the situation) and who helps bring home the bacon.
    Now my shotgun (or whatever gun) is backup to the dog!!
    If you want the best accessory for your shotgun, get a bear savy dog......
    I'll post pics in the future.

    ciao y'all...

    reuben...

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    Default win. 1300

    No mention of the win. 1300 defender?? anyone have/use one for said purpose?

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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    First off, stay away from the 1200 the 1300 WINCHESTER shotguns, vary unreliable and prone to breakage. Triggers vary poor, action can be unsafe due to poor design and material.

    A warning about dogs in bear country. Bear are known to chase dogs and some dogs will return to papa when chased, bring unwelcom company with.

    Now I know you folks just think that your dog would not do that, it just would not be the first time it ever happened.

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    During our pre-season training which included rapid fire sessions at a moving target with both a shotgun and a rifle my son qualified on a Remington 870 Marine Magnum, 6 round extended magazine an additional shell can be loaded in the chamber if needed. The shotgun came with factory iron sights which were sighted in for 50 yards. For ammunition he chose 2 3/4" Federal Power-Shok 1 1/4 oz magnum rifled slugs, muzzle velocity 1520 fps. Personally I prefer the 3" slugs, he chose 2 3/4" because he could handle the recoil better while shooting.
    After the firearms instructor during the classroom session compared energy levels between a 1 1/4 oz rifled slug vs a 210 grain Nosler Partition, I chose the rifle. A Ruger M77 Stainless 338 Win Mag with magna-ported barrel mounted with a Williams adjustable peep sight, which also had faster sight acquisition than the iron sights on the shotgun. These 2 firearms that I just spoke about are standard gov't issue when working in bear country at least in my part of the state.

  20. #20

    Thumbs up Mossberg 500

    Mossberg 500, 18 inch Breacher barrel with Knoxx Spec Ops stock. If you never tried one, The knoxx stock makes 3' rounds feel like shooting a bb gun. Special "shock absorbers" in stock and grip absorb 95% of energy. I was skeptical, but company claims are true and I hear many police departements are using them now. Stocks can be found here: http://www.knoxx.com/NewStyleKnoxx/P...ductReview.htm

    Also, the breacher barrel is a deadly weapon in itself, the muzzle edges are razor (well almost) sharp and could easily inflict significant damage with a proper head butt. Maybe not on a Grizz, but blackie or person it will. Would kill ahuman easy with a forceful blow.

    Heres a pic (without the stock):
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