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Thread: Single shot big bore for bear defense?

  1. #1

    Default Single shot big bore for bear defense?

    I currently carry a Puma .454 Casull while camping, canoeing, etc., for bear defense.

    However, as most people say you'll be "lucky" to get one shot away, I've been thinking of either a single shot Ruger .458 Lott or maybe a Handi-Rifle .500 S&W. The Ruger is half the price of a bolt .458 Lott, and the Handi-Rifle is only around $300. I've seen a video of a bear shot with a .458 Lott and it dropped dead right now.

    So would anyone consider a single shot super big bore for bear defense? Yes, you have to hit it, but if realistically you only get one good shot, is a repeater in a smaller calibre any better?

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    It would really suck to have time for a second shot and not have one available.

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    Wink

    I love these endless questions of bears and attacks. Just holler lots while your in the woods ,,shouldnt be a problem then.
    Been here 38 years never really had a close encounter ,and i bushwack into most of my fishing spots, no trails,no people. But i have lost my voice a few times from all the hollering..........

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I'm shooting a Ruger #3 now in 45/70 and as I've never needed a second shot so I feel more than safe.The gun does reload very fast if needed plus there is always the handgun.I will say the Ruger reloads faster than the pistol can be drawn and fired on target. The H&R is slower to reload as much has to happen but with pratice should be fine. Your first shot will be faster than those that don't carry with a loaded chamber so your second shot will be as fast as their second shot.JMHO

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danthedewman1 View Post
    I love these endless questions of bears and attacks. Just holler lots while your in the woods ,,shouldnt be a problem then.
    Been here 38 years never really had a close encounter ,and i bushwack into most of my fishing spots, no trails,no people. But i have lost my voice a few times from all the hollering..........


    heheh... no kidding.


    the best bear defence is between your ears...40 years no bad encounters..
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default aw phooey!!!

    i'm just gonna carry a spear... and a .50 plains pistol.
    if it's a bluff charge it won't be close enough for the spear, and if the spear ain't enough i'll finish the job with buffalo ball-et at 500 ft/lbs, point-blank.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Bear defence with a single shot? Nope. However in the rare instance that I'm hunting with a firearm its a single shot 338 win/mag.

    Dave is not kidding about the spear, I've seen the spear head he intends to use and have a hardwood shaft ready to take to him next trip to homer.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Are you useing the ColdSteel spear head?

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    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    The hardest part for people that have a "bear encounter" is that they panic and don't make a good shot. Whether it be too early, a miss, or whatever.... That being said one shot should be ALL you need. But that is assuming you can be calm, wait till the shot counts, and dump one in a charging bear while your adrenaline is pumping and your instincts are telling you to either run, or crap yourself.

    I'd prefer the idea of a back up shot, just incase the first doesn't do it's job. May stop it, but may not end the encounter quickly. Last thing you want is a wounded bear, especially if you (or anyone else) has to go through the same neck of woods any time soon.
    Know guns. Know peace. Know safety.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default spear head

    i got it from 3rivers, not coldsteel.
    sort of a medieval assegai.
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  11. #11

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    Good points, thanks. As a poster mentioned, the single shot can be reloaded relatively quickly. I was thinking of keeping ammunition on a stock holder of some sort.

    In reality, I'm trying to find an excuse to buy a H&R .500 SW for $300 If I don't use it in the field my wife will get ticked off.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    Good points, thanks. As a poster mentioned, the single shot can be reloaded relatively quickly. I was thinking of keeping ammunition on a stock holder of some sort.

    In reality, I'm trying to find an excuse to buy a H&R .500 SW for $300 If I don't use it in the field my wife will get ticked off.


    well by all means then this is the ONLY choice you have... it is bar far the safest way to go... only a FOOL would not have one.... in FACT!!!!!!!!! you really need two of them in case she is with you and needs her own...
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  13. #13

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    On a related note, does anyone know something about the safeties on either the Handi or Ruger single shot? Do they absolutely prevent the firing pin from hitting the cartridge? I'd want to keep it loaded in my Eberlestock pack.

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    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
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    Smile bear defense

    My thoughts: It is a shame to shoot a bear just because he bluff charges when usually you can turn him around with a lot of yelling and a shot in the dirt in front of him. but, you need that second shot capability if he does not turn. I have guided fishermen in Katmai country and had to "warn" several bears with a shot. Never had to take that second shot, yet.

  15. #15

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    Yes, that's a good point. With only one (quick) shot, I'd more likely try to make it count.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_in_AK View Post
    My thoughts: It is a shame to shoot a bear just because he bluff charges when usually you can turn him around with a lot of yelling and a shot in the dirt in front of him. but, you need that second shot capability if he does not turn. I have guided fishermen in Katmai country and had to "warn" several bears with a shot. Never had to take that second shot, yet.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    On a related note, does anyone know something about the safeties on either the Handi or Ruger single shot? Do they absolutely prevent the firing pin from hitting the cartridge? I'd want to keep it loaded in my Eberlestock pack.
    No safety on the Handi rifle, or conversely, the best safety-the one between your ears!

    It does have a transfer bar and you have to pull the hammer back, just like on a modern single action. One of the fun things about the Handi rifle is how hard it ejects the cartridge. It can eject a loaded .45-70 round about a foot to 18 inches. It really throws the empties.

  17. #17

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    Thanks. As I understand it, if a transfer bar "fails" then the gun can not be fired, correct? (As opposed to a hammer block type safety which would allow the gun to fire if it fails).

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by danthedewman1 View Post
    I love these endless questions of bears and attacks. Just holler lots while your in the woods ,,shouldnt be a problem then.
    Been here 38 years never really had a close encounter ,and i bushwack into most of my fishing spots, no trails,no people. But i have lost my voice a few times from all the hollering..........
    I agree to a point.....I've been here boonie-busting longer than that and I have been charged a couple times. It's a pretty intimidating experience. Never had to fire a shot. I believe good judgement and noise are the best course of action. However, much changed when I started taking my kids with me into the woods. Me getting mauled is something I could live with (or not), but not being able to do anything about one of kids getting torn up is not. I always pack when in real bear country and my kids are along! How could you not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc View Post
    \ I'd want to keep it loaded in my Eberlestock pack.
    In my personal opinion a single shot in an Eberlestock backpack = -0- bear defense.
    If a bear charges from nowhere you have -0- chance of getting it out & on target in time.
    If you want a Handi Rifle get one, but your current gun is a better bear defense piece.
    If I were to change what you had at all it would be to a Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70 or 450. Maybe a little more slap factor.
    Vance in AK.

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  20. #20

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    I agree with you. I have bear spray on the belt for any bear that comes out of nowhere. The rifle is for when I get to camp, or the flyfishing spot, or that aggressive bear that won't leave, etc.

    I just don't know much about single shot safeties and I've never traveled with a round in the chamber. The power and penetration of the .500SW and the .458 Lott are so impressive, looks like they leave some room for error.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance in AK View Post
    In my personal opinion a single shot in an Eberlestock backpack = -0- bear defense.
    If a bear charges from nowhere you have -0- chance of getting it out & on target in time.
    If you want a Handi Rifle get one, but your current gun is a better bear defense piece.
    If I were to change what you had at all it would be to a Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70 or 450. Maybe a little more slap factor.

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