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Thread: Bear Protection

  1. #1

    Red face Bear Protection

    I am hiking into my cabin, haven't been there since last summer. I am 5"4 and not very heavy....what kind of gun/rifle would you recommend, that would stop a grizzly dead. Hand gun/verses rifle? weight, not spendy......
    Any advise would be appreciated.......

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default 12 gauge

    You might try a Mossberg Model 500 with folding stock. I picked one up at a pawn shop for a little over $100. Mine has a sling and is very handy to carry. I don't favor handguns for bear protection in Alaska.

    -Mike
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  3. #3
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    Default ?

    This kind of question will give you 100's of opinions. My advice is what do you allready have? Does if make you feel safer while caring it? Than stick with it. If you don't have anything yet. What can you get to give you the most bang for your buck or get the most use out of it. If you also plan on big game hunting treat yourself to a 30-06 or somthing along those lines.If you also want to get into birdhunting get a shotgun.Or are you wanting just a little peace of mind out in the woods and in town? Get yourself a handgun and shot the snot outof it atleast you will have some fun. Horse

  4. #4
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    Default

    I've got to agree with Mike, a 12 ga full of slugs and/or buckshot for the first round would be a good bear deterent. A folding stock is ok but at your height and weight, you better darn well have time to unfold the stock. A rem 870 can be hand at a reasonable price with a short barrel.

  5. #5
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    Wink Bear guns

    Imagine,

    The best way to stop a grizzly is with a well placed shot from a large caliber rifle. This can be done with a large caliber handgun but requires a great deal more skill and fortitude than than most can muster. The esiest gun to shoot well, under periods of mild stress, is a shotgun. A shotgun also requires less training (practice) than either a rifle or a handgun to gain profeciency. It is not more effective than adequate caliber of either just easier to hit with and therefore essentially more effective, given the human element.

    If you are not a shooter and are looking for advice as to what to buy for protection against bears, you probably should have made the purchase some weeks back and practiced up. If you are a hunter, carry what you hunt with.
    If you are not an accomplished shot with a handgun, cross that off your list.
    If you are relatively new to guns but still feel the need and want one I would recommend the Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun with18" barrel and a fixed stock. It is about $300 and lightweight and points very well. Also get a little training from someone with experience with a combat shotgun. Use 600 grain Breneke slugs and wait for a close shot then always shoot twice.
    Good shootin'.

    Murphy

  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Marlin Guide Gun In 45-70

    I have a Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 just for that purpose. Went on a canoe trip up in the Noatak 2 years ago and saw 21 brown bears in 7 days. Some closer than I would prefer. I came home and bought a guide gun. I am going back in the area this Aug for 13 day canoe/fishing trip and will have that and a S&W model 500 with 4" barrel. Both with Buffalo Bore brand ammo. Powerful stuff. I could not recommend it high enough. Overall length 37 " and weighs 7lbs.

  7. #7

    Default

    I recently bought a Winchester 1300 Defender to carry on hikes and for protection around the house. I shoot Brenekke's Dangerous game slugs and feel at 20 yards and under the bear won't know what hit him or her.

  8. #8
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    Default winchester 1300 scabbard

    I SEE WHERE AKHUNTER SAID HE GOT A WIN 1300. JUST MADE ME THINK OF SOMETHING I RECENTLY SAW. IT IS A HANDMADE LEATHER SHOULDER CARRY SYSTEM FOR A 1300 WITH PISTOL GRIP. SUPER NICE STUFF. MADE IN CANADA BY A SADDLESMITH. WEBSITE IS WWW.OKANAGANSADDLERY.COM TOP OF THE LINE STUFF. ON THE MAIN PAGE GO TO SCABBARDS AND IT IS AT THE BOTTOM. ALSO MAKES BACKPACK SCABBARDS FOR LEVER ACTION RIFLES. AWESOME LOOKING STUFF. BUT TAKE LIKE 8 WEEKS TO GET PRODUCT. ALL HAND MADE.

  9. #9
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    Default gun

    a shotgun is very handy. i have a mossberg 590 with mmc ghost ring sights. I will be getting a guide gun soon that i will peep and i believe those are very handy in the brush. my favorite is my 375hh sako. it has a 20 inch barrel, teflon coat, and its peeped. I love it when i crack a shot with that gun

  10. #10
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    Default

    I'll stick with the 45/70. I dont trust shotguns. I've seen alot of slugs that were taken from dead bears from shotguns that were in the bears for years and I'm not to impressed. grant it most are fosters. If you use a really good modern slug a shotgun can be a formidiable weapon.

    Like I said my wife has a pile of old slugs and some rifle bullets that have been in bears for a long time that she found while fleshing the hides.

    Whatever you decide practice, your skin may (I hope not) depend on it.

  11. #11
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Default Buckshot?

    When I was growing up in Anchorage I remember several debates about whether the "camp gun" should be loaded with 00 buck or slugs. Debates centered around deterrence vs. killing power, chance of missing (given the panic element), stopping power, and the like.

    My dad decided that, since his shotgun held 5 rounds, the best solution to the argument was to alternate big buckshot and slugs, and keep shooting 'till the shotgun was empty.

    I'm pleased and proud to report that he never had the chance to test his theory. It made sense to me, and that's what I do with the 11-87 when I'm camping with my kids. I just hope I never have to find out whether or not it was a good choice...

  12. #12
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    Default

    To the 00 debate, realize a single 00 pelet has about the same killing power as a 32 acp pistol. So the hope your lack of accarucy will be saved by a magic pellet is a very foolish approach. Most slugs lack penetration. The only way to kill a bear is to accurately place your shot, not spray and pray. A real bear attack will allow you one shot at best. What would you stake your life on if you had only one shot?

    If you're going to carry a long gun, make it a rifle, the bigger the better.

  13. #13
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    Thumbs up 12 gauge with Brenecke slugs

    The Long gun does have the potential to be a better platform than a shotgun, but... An 870 with 18" barrel and 7 shots can be had for under $300 new. A suitable rifle cannot. That makes it affordable to take anywhere anytime as I would not do with a rifle I liked. The large Brenecke slugs are hardened and will penetrate right up with a 45-70. I would not recommend buckshot or other slugs, but feel for the money the 12 gauge with Breneckes is as good an option as anything. I read about the mauling this weak near Homer and guess what the officer took back to the scene of the mauling to kill the bear.

  14. #14
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    Default If guy is not good with a rifle, less accurate with....

    shotgun. Most shotguns don't have sights. buckshot is or can be almost useless on large bears (Browns), so slugs are the way to go for a shotgun. If without sights only as accurate as shooter is at pointing well. Rifle, even used a pointing like a shotgun at close range is better than shotgun. I would recommend 45-70 in lever gun. If one does not shoot alot and well with a large caliber handgun and I mean lose the male ego portion of "I can shoot a handgun really well" then leave it unless it is a stuff in his neck as he bites you gun.

    I don't claim to know much...I have shoot hundreds if not thousands of rounds of combat shotgun of the years and used one in my old line of work before coming up here. To be truely good (accurate) with a shotgun with slugs can be harder than using a rifle. There is a reason shotgun manufacturers are putting sights and rifling in their shotguns used for deer and other larger game (non-bird of course).

    By far, I would recommend a Marlin guide gun in 45-70. I would also recommend practicing with it and being very familar with the safety.

    Just my two cents.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I'd go with a 45-70, I carry a Co-Pilot($$). If you prefer the shotgun then I would recommend looking into the "Dixie Slugs" these rounds are strickly for dangerous game. I have shot them and they are brutal but will kill anything walking. Just my opinion.

    BG

  16. #16
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Somehow saving a few bucks on something you'll bet your life on is the hight of foolishness. I've done it, and fell for the 12 ga with a big magazine argument when I moved up here. Then I shot it a bunch with 00 and slugs, and analized the results. Not something to trust your life on.

    If you look around you can find a used 338 mag for $400, and a new Ruger with sights can be had for $500 on sale, and no more than $600. In the same price range is a 45-70 or 450 marlin guide gun.

  17. #17

    Default bear protection

    I have hiked, hunted and fished in coastal AK for over 20 yrs. & never had a problem with bears. I must say however that most of my time has been spent fishing & hiking and I ALWAYS made as much noise as I could muster. The old rock in a pot, fire crackers & the mini aerosol boat type horns let everythinh know where you are. Surprises are the biggest problem from what I hear.
    I got into trout fishing a while back and setup myself a Remington 870 with a pistol grip and rifled barrel. I used Federal's sollid copper slugs assuming they would hold together better than lead. I never really tested the setup (BAD) and I decided to rotate the stock of my carry shells one day. Took it down to the range and setup a milk jug at 100 yrds. I had heard they are good for 4 inch groups at that range so I thought I would try it out. I was really shocked at the recoil of those sabot rounds. Worse than a 338. I quickly removed the pistol grip and continued to use that as my defense weapon with the standard butt stock.
    I have recently moved to Kodiak and took up deer hunting. The whole sneaking around in bear country is new to me and the rifle I first used was a 243. This is OK (one shot kills) while I was hunting with someone that was carrying a larger rifle but I went ahead and moved up to a larger rifle for this year. The 870 would probably have been fine for the deer here but I wasn't happy with my accuracy and I pulled goat tag for this fall.
    I had been planning on a buying a 338 for quite a while--just never had a real reason while on the mainland. I took a good look around and decided to go with a light rifle that had a good reputation. I did not want to go through the trigger & feeding work I had heard might be neccesary with the stock (Rem, Win or Ruger) rifles. I decided on a Kimber Montana in the 325WSM.

    The rifle is quite light and the caliber is reported to have fairly good ballistics. It should be good to go for goat, deer & anything else I choose to go against for meat. I have never had the inclinatioon to shoot a bear if I didn't have to. The 8mm diameter will put a decent size whole in anything I would need to and a 220gr solid copper slug (Barnes X type) should hold together just fine (at 2800 fps) as a defense round. I know the shoulder angle is a little steep for a defense round but it feeds fine and I will try not to put myself into any situation where I will need defense.
    The whole decision was a compromise. Light weight for carrying, ballistics for a little longer range shot if neccessary and knock down power for larger game and defense. All wrapped upp in a nice stainless/glass package that is finished well and points real nice.
    This whole sneaking around in bear country is new to me and I am a little nervous but I think if one keeps very aware of his surroundings and thinks a little all should be OK.
    I was told by many whos opinions I respect that I should just get a 30-06. I wanted the range and flat shooting of a 300 win. My decisioon may have been somewhat foolish but I don't think dangerously so. I will break the weapon in the shoot/clean manner while sighting it and becoming comfortable/familiar with it. If I can't end up shooting it OK and become completely comfortable with using it I will sell it in heartbeat. Lives could be at stake with this decision.
    While the 12 g sabot rounds are a pain to shoot I am comfortable with that as a defense weapon and will use that for deer if I have to. I purchased some new Hornady 300 gr. ballistic tip sabot rounds to try out with it and think they might be pretty good as well. For a carry weapon that is easy to shoot I would recomend that setup. Shot gets a little messy through the rifled barrel but it would work for a grouse/ptarmigen in a pinch & I always carried a couple just in case. The smaller/faster/harder rounds available in the sabot style would give most what they need for defense.

    Everytime I pass by the BIG stuffed bears you see (airport, Sear's mall etc..) I stand in front of them and think how comfortable I would should that thing be alive and wanting to eat me.
    I am comfortable with my choices and I think I could even help you out of yours if I had to.

  18. #18
    Member whateveri8's Avatar
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    Default

    get a really stupid dog. the kind no one likes that will charge anything and never stops barking.

    Better yet, take the neighbor's dog that keeps you awake at night and turn it loose when confronted with a bear and run like hell.

    Or carry a spare cat. Cats are great for throwing at Bears, wolves and other predators. If you are not confronted by a predator, then pretend the cat is a charging Brown Bear and practice with your 12 ga 00 Buckshot or slugs, after all if you can hit the cat, a charging bear is not a problem

    Be sure to carry plenty of spare cats as they take trap and skeet shooting to a whole new level.

    (for humor only, I do not condone mistreatment of any animal)

  19. #19
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    Talking Most “Bang for your Buck” Bear defense guns

    Most “Bang for your Buck” (plus least expensive to also practice with) is going to be a 12 Ga. loaded w/ 3” Rottweil Brenneke Magnum Slugs. Don’t get sucked into imitations or these very slugs loaded by other brand names. In many shotguns either smooth or rifled bore - they make the proper (check out your exacting needs) ammo to fly straight and provide sensible knock down power.

    One poster said Buckshot. No way! Not Good @ all!!! If anything 1 or 2 dependable skeet/trap loads that reliably function in your action or stiff goose loads and then nothing but slugs.

    Like others related the mid to larger bore magnum rifles are superior stoppers… bigger the better --- but you are the most important part of the equation – not just the gun and how it is set up for close range surprise. These rifles and equipping them to shoot well will cost more $$$$ for quality and the ammo isn't cheap!!!

    The larger magnum handgun revolvers & autos are obviously somewhat compact and handy… but concealed away or deep in a retention holster will not be the quickest trigger finger --- plus handguns take much practice to apply them in dangerous circumstances with any accuracy and follow-up. With a single shot you are not being too premeditated in your own defense. Again, practice and Ammo isn’t inexpensive.

    What do I recommend? #1 if you know some gun folks – ask if they’d take you to the range (likely they’ll love to) and try shooting a few of the guns mentioned here.

    Then #2 - Generally speaking… acquire something that fits, of good quality, does not need excessive care in the field, and keep it straightforward to operate.

    Tho’ “my” first line of defense Brown Bear stopper would not be a 12 Ga. --- In your set of circumstances and very reasons you shared (I recognize you are looking for an answer) Go out and get yourself a Benelli NOVA tactical 12 Ga. w/ ghost ring sights. Also purchase the extended tube magazine accessory. This gun will take up to 3 ½ “ shells, has an expediently positioned magazine cut-off for dumping in quick shell changing/options, is extremely weather resistant like a Glock, storage compartment in the stock or for a proprietary recoil reducer… And shoots very well w/ the 3” Rottweil Brenneke Magnum Slugs. Another helpful accessory would be a lithium powered tactical light.

    I’ll tell you my experiences w/ the Nova are that it is built for steady digestion & performance at a practical cost --- not something complicated and fancy requiring habitual cleaning with outrageous price tags. I grew up on REM 870 and 11-48s… and love ‘em --- However…. The smooth bore NOVA is a great deal more accurate than all my 870 Remingtons w/ 3” Rottweil Brenneke Magnum Slugs.

    Brian Richardson
    http://www.northernrim.com

  20. #20

    Default bear gun advice

    I live (newly relocated) in an area which is highly populated by black and brown bears. So far haven't had any close encounters. However, I like to hike and rarely have the opportunity to do so with others. I am afraid of bears (got chased by one when i was a kid) and don't want to use bear spray. If the wind is blowing in your direction you end up as spicy dinner. Haven't shot a gun in 35 years (rifle), don't know what to get. Weight and overall size are issues. Think a rifle is the best bet. Cost not that important but certainly don't need collector's item or anythhing hand-made, etc.

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