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Thread: Another 12 ga slug vs bear thread...

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    Default Another 12 ga slug vs bear thread...

    I was going to post this on an old thread that had reached four pages long, but it was locked. So... today I learned some particulars on one of the "Treadwell bears" that was shot by the Troopers. As you may recall, one of them was shot right in the head with a Brenneke slug as he was charging. However, the bear did not die from the slug to the head; it died from another one through the lungs. During the necropsy of the bear it was discovered that the famed Brenneke slug did not penetrate the brown bear's skull. These slugs have been around for a long time and are made of some pretty tough lead. Apparently not tough enough to penetrate a brown bear skull. I know of a lot of bears that have been killed with Brennekes, but this gives me pause about recommending a 12 gauge for bears.

    Thoughts?

    P.S. Please, I beg of you, don't write that buckshot should be used for bears.

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    Default Brown Bear Skull vs Brenneke Slug

    Does anyone know the angle that the slug hit the skull?

    I assume that the bear was looking at the shooter and the angle of incidence was probably small. At low angles it would be difficult NOT to ricochet off. At a right angle, penetration is more likely, but the shape of a bear's skull coming at you would require you to be right above it to get that angle.

    I have been told that a bear coming at you straight on presents almost no good shot for a swift kill. (At least, swift enough to prevent a mauling is the bear is close) So, to slow the bear down is your first priority, probably with a shoulder shot that breaks the front shoulder. That way the bear is slowed down enough that you can keep away from it long enough to take a better killing shot.

    Am I correct or completely clueless?

    Larry

  3. #3

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    I want a central nervous system hit. Otherwise, things have a better chance of getting messy on my end. I don't like that.

    If I remember correctly (I can't find the picture) the bear was hit just to the side of its snout, just below an eye. The slug was apparently lodged just under the surface. It didn't ricochet; it just didn't penetrate. That's a freaking "A" zone head shot in my book.

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    I guess my memory served me fairly well. Here's the photo. You can see the shotgun slug wound below the left eye.

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    The only question I would have is was it a tactical slug? The cop types (and the Park Service is one of them) likes to use the tactical slugs because they don't kick as much. They work wonderfully on humans but not so wonderfully on bears. Jim

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    I always get a yuck out of tough bear skull stories. Pick a skull up and handle it (I've handled a bunch). Their brain case is really no thicker than the shoulder blade on a good sized deer.

    But it is small and the skull is pretty flat angled when it is pointed right at you. Lots of opportunity to miss or for a glancing blow. Every bullet has a good chance of glancing when it hits something at an angle. Heck, I glanced a 175 grain Nosler Partition 7 mag bullet off a deer skull at about 25 yards. Cut a groove from between the eyes to the top of the skull and knocked the deer senseless for sure, but it never penetrated the brain. Does that mean deer skulls are tough or that the Nosler isn't tough enough?

    Here's a question for you. Was the killing lung shot a double lung shot? Only way to get one of those is from the side. Any chance that the head shot turned the bear?

    Way, way, way too many variables to indict a 12 gauge or the Brenneke specifically based on one shot with very little data in addition to to a so-so photo.

    I know of one Kodiak killed instantly by a handgun shot with a 22 long rifle to the head.

    Simple explanations are often the best. In these two cases, the Brenneke missed the brain and the 22 hit it. Goodnuff for me.

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    Dear Clueless in Anchorage, (I just had to do that)

    I think the term ricochet doesn't apply here, the slug or bullet doesn't leave the head, it just fails to penetrate through all the bone and lodges there or is deflected up under the hide. I have seen bullets fail to penetrate a skull and stay under the hide and follow the cruvature of the skull into the neck of animals.

    I have said many times a slug is a piss-poor round if you need any penetration at all, and I don't care how many F&G departments use it. I want a big, heavy bullet. Also there is always some angle when shooting at an oddly shaped mass of bone like a bear melons.

    Maybe I'm not as good of a shot as our super hero F&G guys but I think when a charge is coming in fast, shooting for center mass with a big gun is all we can hope for. The head of a bear, fortunately (for us), is in the center of the mass of bear so that is the aiming point, which is really the snout, coming at you.
    Aiming at the end of the nose will put our bad shots around the general area and that would hopefully get into the vitals of the body, if not central cranium. High shots maybe spine or upper lung cavity, low shots center chest, heart area, left or right would take out the wheels with a shoulder hit, you get the idea. I think a heavy bullet form a large caliber gun such as a 458 Win/Lott, etc would come in handy for just such an occasion. Personally, for those up close and personal moments with the not so friendly beasts, I'd want nothing less than a forty caliber and preferably, 400 grains at about 2400 fps.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdb3 View Post
    The only question I would have is was it a tactical slug? The cop types (and the Park Service is one of them) likes to use the tactical slugs because they don't kick as much. They work wonderfully on humans but not so wonderfully on bears. Jim
    I don't know what the park service uses, but the Troopers don't use "tactical" slugs. They use full house 1-oz 2 3/4 Brennekes. It's my understanding that this bear was shot with one of these same loads.

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    Sometimes even a perfectly placed bullet doesn't perform like it should.

    This was one of those times.

  10. #10

    Default .12 ga. slugs for bear?

    I haven't seen enough data carefully analyzed and compiled from .12 slug bear shootings vs. heavy rifle shootings of head-on grizzly/brown bears to come up with a scientific answer. I have carried a .12 Mag., loaded with Brenneke 3" mag. slugs in brown bear areas, on their trails, in streams, etc., but that was with some trepidation. I have seen .12 ga. mag. slugs fail to stop brown bears even with skull shots !???! I concur with Murphy on this. My .458 Win. hasn't failed me, or anybody else that has used it. With Barnes-X 400 grain bullets it is very convincing on heavy, nasty animals. It does a lot of structural damage. You can count on it. It will penetrate a brownie or a moose from end to end, leaving a big hole and broken bones in it's wake. That's good enough for me, and I don't much care for anything less. The recoil from the .458 does not hurt. It is SATISFYING and COMFORTING. I have been known to cuddle right up to it in a tent, and sleep with both hands on it. It has a Surefire light that screws on under the barrel and a switch taped to the forestock.
    Jack.

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    Default are there penalties for killing a bear in this situation?

    hope I'm not hijacking the thread ....
    I've read that there's severe penalties in places like Africa & elsewhere for shooting an animal that's not on your list or don't have a tag for. Does that apply in this scenario (ie must be self-defense, as opposed to "I was a bit worried"!)?
    For what it's worth, I haven't seen any bear bigger than a koala in a gum tree, so in this situation I reckon I'd feel a lot more comfortable with a 40+ cal in my hands rather than any slug gun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Morgan View Post
    I haven't seen enough data carefully analyzed and compiled from .12 slug bear shootings vs. heavy rifle shootings of head-on grizzly/brown bears to come up with a scientific answer. I have carried a .12 Mag., loaded with Brenneke 3" mag. slugs in brown bear areas, on their trails, in streams, etc., but that was with some trepidation. I have seen .12 ga. mag. slugs fail to stop brown bears even with skull shots !???! I concur with Murphy on this. My .458 Win. hasn't failed me, or anybody else that has used it. With Barnes-X 400 grain bullets it is very convincing on heavy, nasty animals. It does a lot of structural damage. You can count on it. It will penetrate a brownie or a moose from end to end, leaving a big hole and broken bones in it's wake. That's good enough for me, and I don't much care for anything less. The recoil from the .458 does not hurt. It is SATISFYING and COMFORTING. I have been known to cuddle right up to it in a tent, and sleep with both hands on it. It has a Surefire light that screws on under the barrel and a switch taped to the forestock.
    Jack.
    Anyone know if the 8mm rem mag and 358 sta are bear stoppers? also if anyone shoots the super 90 with slugs for a camp gun? I ask this as i am contemplating a move to Alaska and the people writing into this forum have had much to do with bears, and i am ever so thankful about this forum and the advice shown in these writings seem to me to be lifesaving, to say the least. I seem to get that i am talking to modern day FRONTIERSMEN. Coutro

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    Quote Originally Posted by KM4 View Post
    hope I'm not hijacking the thread ....
    I've read that there's severe penalties in places like Africa & elsewhere for shooting an animal that's not on your list or don't have a tag for. Does that apply in this scenario (ie must be self-defense, as opposed to "I was a bit worried"!)?
    For what it's worth, I haven't seen any bear bigger than a koala in a gum tree, so in this situation I reckon I'd feel a lot more comfortable with a 40+ cal in my hands rather than any slug gun!
    This scenario was quite different. The bear appeared to be "stalking" (as opposed to an all out charge as I initially said) them and was at a distance of 12 feet. A bear in the area had also recently killed two people. This bear was also killed by Park Service personnel; it was not a "hunt."

    Yes, if you kill a brown bear without complete justification, there is no doubt you will be prosecuted.

    I found an excerpt from a book about the event. This excerpt appeared in ADN, but you have to be a member or some crazy thing to see archives there.
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=153604

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by COUTRO View Post
    Anyone know if the 8mm rem mag and 358 sta are bear stoppers? also if anyone shoots the super 90 with slugs for a camp gun? I ask this as i am contemplating a move to Alaska and the people writing into this forum have had much to do with bears, and i am ever so thankful about this forum and the advice shown in these writings seem to me to be lifesaving, to say the least. I seem to get that i am talking to modern day FRONTIERSMEN. Coutro
    See if you can inflate the Alaskan ego any larger than it already is.

    Seriously, imo your 8mm Rem Mag will be a nearly ideal all around Alaska firearm. It will also kill brown bears. However, if I was looking for a brown bear gun in particular, I would probably get something that shot larger bullet. Note that "bear stopping" is not equated with "bear hunting" in my mind. Of course, they can overlap, but hunting is generally done at a distance greater than the aforementioned 12 feet. "Stopping" implies more of a defensive situation and many opt for a large caliber, relatively short-range rifle. Of course, you never know when "hunting" will suddenly require "stopping" which is why the .375 H&H is so popular.

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    About 40 years ago, I made exactly the same shot on an interior grizzly with then new 338WM and 200 gr softnose......almost the same results....glanced off without penetrating the skull....several more shots in lung area finally killed the bear...rug is still on floor

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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    About 40 years ago, I made exactly the same shot on an interior grizzly with then new 338WM and 200 gr softnose......almost the same results....glanced off without penetrating the skull....several more shots in lung area finally killed the bear...rug is still on floor
    Glanced off or disinetegrated on the skull bones? A 200 grain 338 is not the best bear load, or moose load for that matter. It would probably work well on broad side lung shots but where big bones and tough muscle is involved it will pale against any 250 grain bullet.
    Last edited by Murphy; 12-10-2008 at 08:10.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    I doubt if the bullet disintegrated....even the poor bullets first available....I think it was a silvertip but not sure....eventually loaded 265 gr Herters for better performance.....

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    You can get a failure with anything. That's why you should keep shooting until you are either out of ammo or the thing you are shooting at stops.

    I've taken three DLP bears with Brennekes. The performance was exceptional and I absolutely trust them. However, I do know that at any given time I may not get the results I've come to expect for a variety of reasons.
    Now what ?

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    Thumbs up Brennke Slug

    I would trust my Life with anything in Alaska with my Ithaca 37 and Brennke Slugs!

    Great Slug!

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    Default bear spray

    Well, there is always bear spray. I've been working with bears in Alaska for the last four years, and have lived among them a lot longer. I carry a can of Counter Assault at my hip and a bolt action .375 with 300 grain bullets. Bear spray has been proven to be faster, safer, more effective than bullets or slugs. I've used the bear spray effectively on a charging brown bear, but have never had to use the .375 on a bear. While other brands of bear spray may work just as well, I only trust the Counter Assault, because it is the only bear spray that has been scientifically tested on bears. A lot of folks balk at bear spray in favor of guns. I say, take both, and know how and when to use them.

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