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Thread: 45-70 vs. 12 GA

  1. #1

    Default 45-70 vs. 12 GA

    I'm sure this may have come up before, but I can't find a post on it anywhere.

    For bear protection I currently use a 12 GA pump with slugs, but have been considering getting a 45-70 lever action.

    Any comments on one option vs. the other?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Lots and lots of very long and longer disCUSSion on this one in the archives. Lots of heat and smoke, but no winners or losers.

    Bottom line, chose whichever you're most comfortable with and shoot best. Then listen to the whines of the folks who think you should have gone the other way. There are some things folks just love to whine about. Watch and see as this thread evolves!!!!

  3. #3
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default

    The search function using "bear protection" brings back 55 threads on this subject or if you search by post it will bring back 101 individual posts...

    Short answer... whichever one you have with you will be the best.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  4. #4
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I have carried both while packing meat thru the tall grass. I have an old M-1100 Remington cut into a riot gun that I fill with Brenneke slugs. It offers 7 or 8 rounds of slugs as fast as I can pull the trigger.
    I also have a couple 1886s in 45-70. They are a touch slower to cycle, but have more range and better pinpoint accuracy.

    *I tend to carry the 12 gauge while packing meat back to the plane, if I am done hunting. Or out berry picking.

    *If I am helping pack somebody else's meat, then I take along the 45-70 in case I happen to run across a game critter for myself.

    If the area is more open with less short range cover, I don't worry about it and just carry whatever long range rifle trips my trigger that week.

    You are well served by either. The only advantage with either would change due to terrain and your personal abilities with either type of action.
    Last edited by Float Pilot; 01-27-2008 at 16:07.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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  5. #5
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 12ga

    For close range the 12ga loaded with full size Brenneke Mag 1 1/8 oz German slugs is excellent...not much better for close range .......50 yards or closer.

    I use a Ithaca 37 Deerslayer 20" 12 ga.......sweet little shotgun!

    I keep a 44 mag under the pillow at night in the tent.....

    Do not suggest Sabot slugs!

  6. #6

    Default 45-70

    Thanks, everyone for the replies! I went to look at a stainles 45-70 today, and man...they are nice! I would really like to get one, but I have to justify the $600 to myself.

    I think it would be great for bear protection.

    I don't hunt, but if I wanted to, could I also use if for deer?

  7. #7

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    Short answer, yes. Work great on deer out to as far as you care to practice. Very handy in the thick stuff as they don't hang on everything. Come in pretty handy if you should stumble on something bigger too.

  8. #8
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    Default 45/70

    I have both and carry one or the other to suit my needs, during the summer I carry the 45/70 but in the fall I usually carry the shotgun because I can use it for grouse and ducks etc. too............

  9. #9
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    For strictly bear protection, I'd stick with a Remington 870 12ga with quality slugs like Brenneke. Main reason is, they're just plain easy to shoot. If you're in a charge situation, the simpler the better. When you cycle a round both your hands remain where they need to be to fire the next round. With the 45-70, you've got to cycle the lever and then get your hand back into position before you can shoot. On a shotgun neither hand moves out of position...just slide your forearm back and forward to cycle the action (just don't short stroke it) and you're immediately ready to fire again.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by akfishinguy View Post
    For strictly bear protection, I'd stick with a Remington 870 12ga with quality slugs like Brenneke. Main reason is, they're just plain easy to shoot. If you're in a charge situation, the simpler the better. When you cycle a round both your hands remain where they need to be to fire the next round. With the 45-70, you've got to cycle the lever and then get your hand back into position before you can shoot. On a shotgun neither hand moves out of position...just slide your forearm back and forward to cycle the action (just don't short stroke it) and you're immediately ready to fire again.

    Thanks. That's some good advice. Around Juneau the bush is pretty thick, so I'm wondering if I would have a good chance to get a good shot, regardless of what I'm shooting? I've heard the stories of "it happened so quick, I couldn't raise the gun". However, the 45-70 and 12 GA would both give me a better piece of mind when bears are in the area.

  11. #11

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    Ruger01, "JUSTIFY $600.00 to yourself????? It's a new gun, man. Can't be more justification than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  12. #12
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfishinguy View Post
    ... With the 45-70, you've got to cycle the lever and then get your hand back into position before you can shoot...
    With a little practice, cycling a lever action can be done as fast, if not faster, than a pump shotgun. Ever watch a Cowboy Action Shoot? You'd think those lever guns are semi-autos.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  13. #13
    Member schmidty_dog's Avatar
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    If you don't have a shotgun then get the shotgun, you can get a short barrel and a longer barrel for bird hunting too. A good Remington 870 or even Mossberg 500 will last forever and just keep on workin, period.

    Now if you have a shotgun already, well then I'd say get the lever action, I love guns, and I use any reason I can to get more of them.

    You'll like whatever you get, they'll both be fun.

    schmidty

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I would get the 45-70 for the option of using it when a potiental chance to harvest an animal while assisting a friend with their meat as mentioned earlier. I like my mossberg cause I practice shooting it alot! Between clays and rabbits/grouse I am used to rapid target aquisition and quick follow up shots. Add to that I got mine for $250 with 2 barrels a pistol grip and a standad stock. I usualy use the 28" ported barrel for most of my purposes but throw on the short barrel with a small sling and it is a cinch to carry while packing. I keep it with #6 shot and the short barrel in the house it won't bust through walls as easily and kill my neighbors (duplex living...). Get 45/70 carry what you want on that day practice often with both but I am not saying anything that hasn't been rehashed at least 101 times.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruger01 View Post
    Thanks, everyone for the replies! I went to look at a stainles 45-70 today, and man...they are nice! I would really like to get one, but I have to justify the $600 to myself.

    I think it would be great for bear protection.

    I don't hunt, but if I wanted to, could I also use if for deer?
    The .45-70 is so versatile that with the right ammo you could use it for anything from medium game to elephant to T-rex. The reality is that when and if you ever have the unfortunate circumstance to be charged by a mad brown bear you will have a strange feeling that none of these fine weapons that we have been discussing are good enough or powerful enough. You will need to confront your fight or flight instinct and that's when plenty of people, even experienced hunters, instinctively drop the weapon and run. Equally as important as a defensive weapon is bear sense. Study up on bear sense and animal behavior to minimize trouble and maximize the odds of survival. I would not want to stand off a brownie with a shotgun but it could be done. My choice would be the .45-70 Marlin. Spend the $600 and you will get over the money when you shoot the rifle.

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