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Thread: 12ga as a emergency bear gun

  1. #1
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    Default 12ga as a emergency bear gun

    Some one told me that a heavy 12ga slug works wonders on angry bear and some one on this forum said 308 works fine.

    What would be a good back up gun for those unforeseen attacks? What slug would work the best (I'm assuming slug)?

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I think Rick Sinnot of Fish and Game here in Anchorage has gacked a few bears with a shotgun and slugs but I dont know what brand of ammo those guys use or if they are shooting 2 3/4, 3, or 3 1/2 loads. I cant say if they use shotguns because of some percieved performance advantage, or if they are more concerned about the consequences of a miss with a high power rifle...................

    If you already own a shotgun then I would assume it would double as a bear defence gun and work just fine.

    Personaly I prefer large caliber lever action carbines but to each his own.
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  3. #3

    Smile These 2....

    Brenneke makes a "Black Magic" slug in 2 3/4 and 3" version that throws a 600 grain slug at about 1500 FPS MV. They also make a 1 1/4 oz. slug called the Special Forces Short Magnum. It is a hardened projectile nicknamed the "car killer" so maybe it gives deep penetration, which you want for a bear charge. Dixie Slugs makes one called the "Terminator" that weighs about 700 grains with a MV of 1200 FPS. I think all of these 12 ga. slugs are .73 caliber and would stop a bear charge if put in the right spot at under 15 yards. These are what I would put in my shotgun for your intended use. The Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game has probably shot more bears with shotgun slugs then anyone else. My guese is they use them because they are cheaper then a heavy caliber bolt action rifle and work up close. Only experience and research will help you define a bear charge so you need to have a mental picture of what that is and what you are going to do.

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    I'm hoping to take a trip to Alaska sometime in the future, so I read any thing I can get my hands on. I never thought that a 12ga slug would stop a Grizzly, looks like it does. So for a trip up there a 12ga pump would do just fine as a camp gun.

    Are those slugs for smooth bore or rifle barrel?
    What shotgun does the Dept. of Fish and Game use?

    I came across this one
    http://www.remington.com/products/fi...press_deer.asp
    I guess that a fully rifled barrel might give better precision, but how accurate does it need to be at 15 feet.

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    Fish and Game pretty much uses Rem 870s. Most are also smooth bore, you are not going to be shooting at very long ranges if you have to DLP a bear. The conservation agents on Elmendorf carry the same.

  6. #6

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    The Dixie Terminator Slug is the most Devestating slug that I have ever witnessed

    The Terminator Slug is a 730 grain Wide Flat point hard cast (not soft lead)




    At The Linebaugh Seminar in Jackson, Miss. the Terminator Slug made my 416 Rigby look puny



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    Default Remington Buck Hammer

    Check out Remington's web site and take a look at the Buck Hammer. That is what I now carry in my 870 with rifled barrel. I haven't seen these other slugs mentioned, I will definetely check them out. The Buck Hammer has some pretty impressive accuracy and balistic stats.

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    Default breneke

    2 3/4 slugs they will always eject, had a 3" empty get hung up in my 590 mossberg not good. I also shot a 4x6 piece of wet oak with 3" remington and federals with no exit where the 2 3/4 breneke blew right through.
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    I've whacked 3 using Brenneke Originals 1 1/8 oz. All were DRT with complete pass-throughs. I have no problem thrashing around in the alder bushes armed with an 870 stoked with these things. I tread the earth without fear when so armed.

    I like the originals because I know they work. I know nothing about the K.O., Black Magic, or Special Farces slugs.

    Stay away from 3" shells. You gain nothing useable with them and you run the risk of the gun gagging on them. Like Ironartist, I have had 3" empties hang up on me which required the use of a knife to clear.

    Fortunately at the time I was on a training range. Afterwards I got rid of all our department 3" shells and we strictly use 2 3/4".
    Now what ?

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    Great replys from all.
    I got a 12ga 870 for HD, If I take of the mag extension I guess that it would do.

    I gotta get my hands on some Dixie Terminator and Brenneke Slugs, and I will try the 3" just to see if I can get it to hang up.

    I do need a rifled barrel for the Dixie's

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    Default Interesting observation on Brenekees

    Ok, folks may call me crazy but I use my Mossberg 500 in 20ga for midnight bear protection up here. I grew up with it and can get it into action far faster than anything else I own... but thats not the point of this - just a disclaimer that I don't want to hear about the 20ga being inadequate for bear defense... this is a note about the 3 inch shells.

    First of all: I have yet to ever have a 3 inch shell hang up on any of my shotguns... But I do know of an aquaintence who had this happen to him and after I looked at the shotgun the problem was obvious. It was an 870 that had been chambered only for 2.75 shells, but had a 3 inch barrel on it, so while the chamber was for 3 inchers, the receiver port was considerably shorter and the entire action had given him problems depending on the brand of ammo he was trying to shoot. He had bought it that way from some guy in the newspaper...

    I have noticed an interesting phenomena with the Brenekee 20 ga shells over the years--- in comparing 3 inch slugs I purchased this year with some I had from several years ago, I noticed the new ones are about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch shorter. I presume this is because someone with a 20 gauge had a problem with it once upon a time, but I know I have run a few hundred of these slugs through over the years - ALWAYS 3 inch and out of an assortment of Mossberg 590's (12GA) , my 500 (20 Ga) and a Browning Gold 12 Ga... never had any problems... but definitely something you should check out for your own gun. Keep track of lot numbers, and only shoot proven lot numbers... this is a rule I keep for any of my ammo that absolutely MUST function in a pinch.

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    Limetrude... Have you shoot any bears with 20ga slugs?

    I had a Remington 12ga 3 1/2" shell hang up on me a few years ago. It was a unfired shell and it hanged on the extractor. I had to pry it out. I was duck hunting so it wasn't a big deal at the time.

    I threw it away with out looking at it, so I don't know what the problem was.

  13. #13

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    Interesting that some of you have had hang-ups with 3 inch hulls. I had this happen a couple of times duck hunting and thought nothing of it as the gun was pointing up. The gun is an 870 magnum designed for 2.75 and 3inch shells. A bit worrying in a defense situation. Do remington pumps have a larger ejection port in 3.5 inch models? That might allow use of 3inch shells in a 3.5inch gun.

    Cheers

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    Default Go 12

    Over the years I have used Remington 870s, Winchester 1200s, Mossberg 590s and Benelli Novas for bear carry guns as well as a number of handguns and rifles. I always have felt better carrying the shotguns because, for me, they point quicker and I know I can get off more accurately fired shots quicker than with other firearms. I may grab something else on occasion but usually go for the shotgun. In the field the shotguns also have the benefit of being able to fire non-lethal, less than lethal and noise makers. On fish weirs, around residences or when you do not want to harm the bear these options are key when I don't want to send a slug down range.

    In the Nova and 870 Magnums (I have never shot one designed for 2.75" shells, only 3" or 3"+ models) I have never had shells hang, even 3.5" fired rounds. I can't say the same for the Mossbergs and Winchesters; there have been occasional hangs in these guns usually through operator error. One place I have seen problems is where a gun fires a lot of 2.75" shells in a 3" chamber and then fires a 3" shell and that shell and following 3" shells are stiff to eject.

    Elmer Keith was always a proponent of wide meplats and large calibers over high velocity and that is good enough for me.

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    Default hard to beat

    For bear defense there is probably nothing better than a good pump 12 gauge. I have used it twice once with slugs (black bear) and once on a grizzy with buckshot, I have heard since that buckshot wont work, but it sure did for me. If I had to go in after a wounded bear and had my choice it would be with a 12 gauge loaded with buckshot

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    Interesting that no one has mentioned leaving a skeet or birdshot load in the chamber, backed up with slugs or buckshot. If a bear charges it is most often a bluff charge, designed to scare and intimidate, and will stop short. Trouble is you don't know it's a bluff till he's pretty close and by then the slug's killed him (hopefully). A load of #8s in the face at 30 yards won't kill him, so if it's a bluff charge then no or little harm. On the other hand, if it's not a bluff, those #8s let him know you bite and maybe he changes his mind about the wisdom of biting you.
    This being said, I was charged by a grizzly about 4 years ago up in the Brooks Range while packing in on a sheep hunt. At the time my rifle was bungied on my back pack and I never had a chance to get to it, otherwise I'd have shot. Lucky for me it turned out it was a bluff charge and the bear stopped about 50' away. After it was over I recall thinking about slugs/buckshot/skeet loads and decided that what I really wanted at the time was a belt fed .50 cal, a laws rocket, and a flame thrower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Mauler View Post
    A load of #8s in the face at 30 yards won't kill him, so if it's a bluff charge then no or little harm.
    Ah man.........

    Wash that thought from your mind. Nothing like leaving a wounded and potentially blinded grizzly behind for the next folks to come along.

    I've had the sickening job of following up a brown bear that was "peppered" in this way. After almost two miles in the alders following occasional blood spots with never more than 30 feet of visibility, I was real happy that the owner of the shotgun had boarded a plane and left by the time I got back. I'd have butt swiped him up side the head as an opening statement, then used that shotgun to give him a proctal exam.

    If you feel the need to put a discouragment round ahead of your slugs, make it a rubber bullet or something. But please, please, please don't use bird shot. I'll guarantee that I won't remove the front sight before beginning my exam!!!!!

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yukon254 View Post
    For bear defense there is probably nothing better than a good pump 12 gauge. I have used it twice once with slugs (black bear) and once on a grizzy with buckshot, I have heard since that buckshot wont work, but it sure did for me. If I had to go in after a wounded bear and had my choice it would be with a 12 gauge loaded with buckshot
    Please share your entire buckshot story. I've yet to hear of anyone killing a griz with buckshot. The concept of favoring 9 little .32 cal round balls over an ounce block of solid hardcast lead simply escapes me.


    And the birdshot idea presented by another poster is one of the worst I've ever heard. Why would you want to cause permanent facial trauma and make the bear blind without the intention of killing it? That's the kind of stuff that makes a bad name for outdoorsmen in the public perception world. There are more than enough bears and they make more every year, so having to kill one in DLP is not a big deal. No need to wait until the last second to be sure they are not bluffing. They charge, we kill.
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    I have heard of people claiming buck shot worked well, but I don't think I'd use bird shot. If you want a discouraging shot there are several typs of shells you can buy that will be unlikly to harm the bear.

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    Default buckshot story

    Joat heres the Buckshot story, I run a fly in fishing lodge in southeast Yukon, (real thick bush country) every couple of years it seems we will have a bear problem, we keep our camp super clean but it seems we still have problems, anyway at the time all 3 of my kids were still young and I wouldnt put up with a bear that hung around camp to long. Well a young sow grizzly had been around all summer and I finialy got a shot with my 45/70 and I flubbed it bigtime, I hit that bear to far back way to far back. So I waited 2 hours then loaded my defender 12 gauge with buck and went and finished the job. She was laying behind a log waiting for me, and its only by the grace of god that i got suspicious and saw her before i got to close, anyway 1 shot with the buck was all it took from about 15 steps, 1 pellet entered just above the eye and went into the brain, a couple more would have killed her anyway. I had experimented with buckshot long before this and knew it would work. You asked why i would choose buck over a slug, heres why I have been guideing hunters for over 20 years now and have been in on my share of wounded bear hunts, I know somtimes they will wait for you somtimes they wont, but if they do they will come from VERY close range and the simple truth is most guys are not good enough to place their shots in those conditions, and thats exactly the reason PHs in africa (at least some) carry a 12 when going in after Leopord. I look at it this way they cant hurt you until they are close, and at close range when **** is happening fast if i can get my 12 pointed in the right direction I have a chance. That being said when Im guideing I carry a 45/70 the reason is simple, if i have a wounded bear it will work, and most of the time if i need it it will be to shoot a wolf, or a wounded moose or caribou that a bowhunter has messed up on, in those circumstances a 12 is useless. hope this helps explain my position

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