I am going on a brown bear hunt in the interior this fall. I do not have the money to buy a gun just for a single hunt so I have to use what I've got. My options are as follows.
.280 Remington- It's a stainless steel ruger hawkeye all weather. Not having to worry about getting it wet and rust is a big relief for me. It is not as powerful of a round as I'd like for brown bear but I do hand load and can work up a .175 grain load for it and keep my shots inside 200.
.308 Springfield M1A Standard. I like the .308 ballistics better than my .280 REM but the barrel is a parkerized and I do not have a scope for it. My shots would be limited to about 100-150 yards. As far as the parkarized steel it will not hold up to the elements as well as the stainless of my .280 and I'd hate to do any damage to a gun like that.
.45-70 in a NEF Single Shot 18 inch barrel with open sights. Obviously the .45-70 has the necissary power and can actually stop a bear if one was to charge me but I am limited to 75-100 yards with this gun. It also has a blued barrel and will not stand up to the elements as well as stainless.
Getting close is something I am use to doing and willing to do as I am also a bow hunter but this is going to be my last hunt in Alaska before I PCS and my last chance at a brown bear for the next several years. I'd hate to have a bear out at the 200 yard mark on the last day and not be able to shoot it.
I know there are better cartridges out there for bear and believe me if I could afford a gun I would buy one for the occasion but I can't so I will have to choose one of the above. Thanks for any pointers.