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Thread: Guide gun vs shotgun

  1. #1

    Default Guide gun vs shotgun

    A few weeks ago,I believe it was on this forum--there was an interesting debate on Marlin's lever action vs a shotgun for bear defense. Well,between working with my beagle pup trying to get him going on some hares--along with such things as work,etc.--I'm just now getting around to responding (my "bear response" would be faster--haha)! My first thought was that the 45-70 would be the better choice...but a lot of interesting points were made--some suggesting that the shotgun might point more quickly. Open sights are fast...never tried "ghost ring" sights... but I know a plain old shotgun bead is lightning fast and plenty accurate enough at close range. Of course,you can put most any sight on a gun that you prefer. The subject brought to mind an article I read in Outdoor Life quite a few years ago--can't remember the author's name--about which guns are best for bear defense. He fished up in Alaska and he recommended semi-auto high powered rifles and pump shotguns-- the Guide gun was not around yet at that time. But he suggested a simple test,which I gave a try--find a safe place to shoot,safe backstop,etc--probably best to only try this one alone,for safety sake--or with a buddy who would time you. Put out a pie plate (I used a milk jug) at 50 feet. Turn your back to it--then on the count of 3,turn and fire 3 shots into it within 3 seconds or less(which is a lot longer than it would take for a bear to cover that distance). I did it with a Remington 870 firing slugs,20 inch barrel, open rifle sights and passed with flying colors. So the point is--get ahold of these guns--and others if possible--and test 'em out! Take things like the position of the safety,etc into consideration.You might figure out which one is best for you--if nothing else you'll make some noise and have a lot of fun!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    When you put a slug in a shotgun it shoots just like a rifle. All things being equal you can snap shoot a rifle as accurate as a shotgun with a slug. I would guess that 99.99% of gun writers that write about bear protection have never had a DLP experance but say what they think should work

  3. #3

    Default

    A whole lot depends on experience and how you handle a gun.

    In my case, the Guide Gun is a ROTTEN fit for fast shooting with or without the holy grail of the 45-70 round. With the straight grip and relatively short butt, I can't cycle the action for a second shot without dropping the gun from my shoulder. Period. Aint no such thing as a quick second shot with it. My bad, but I can't trade in my body for a new one.

    The pistol grip stock on the standard 1895 suits me just fine, and with about 3/4" more length on the stock, it is just fine for fast second shots without dropping it from my shoulder. I've completely written off Guide Guns. Instead, I buy standard 1895's and clip the barrel for shorties.

    Like I said, experience and practice are big factors. If the gun doesn't fit you and you haven't practiced with it, shooting with a keyboard is a whole lot safer.

    Another experience factor is time in the field with the bears. Simply being able to "read" them and have an inkling whether you're facing a real charge or a false charge. I'm less likely that a lot of folks to shoot till the very last possible second. I know guys that are so bearanoid that they'll start shooting at 50 yards or more. I only get bearanoid at around 20 yards. Probably going to get my hiney bounced all over tarnation one of these days for being so reluctant to shoot, but so far my guesses have been right. I've never had a bear break my self-imposed 20 yard limit, but I've had the gun pointed and the safety off a couple of times when they stopped at 20.

    And inside 20, I figure you're going to be lucky to get off more than one shot. I'd be as happy with a shotgun as my 1895.

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    BB, I agree. I have the Marlin 450. Thought it would be the best bear knock down around. It would be if you make the first shot quick. Trying to handle the recoil and running the action and steady for a second shot is never quick.

  5. #5

    Smile choices...

    A trained person can really shoot a gun like a Rem 870 fast. But, the bigger the load the more recoil we get so fast and accurate follow up shots are usually slower. As Brown Bear stated, the 1895 Marlin and heavy loads also work better for me with a pistol grip instead of the straight stock. I have a decked out 18" barreled 870 and it's magazine will hold 6 of those 600 grain Breeneke Black Magic slugs. I also have a Marlin 1895 with a 20" barrel, a good recoil pad and the magazine holds 6 of those tough 405 grain Kodiak Bonded soft points. If I knew I had to stand my ground and stop a big bear I would want the 45-70. I am sure they both would work. Still, I prefer the Rem 870 with buck shot for house and yard work and the 1895 Marlin 45-70 for a walk in the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtm9 View Post
    BB, I agree. I have the Marlin 450. Thought it would be the best bear knock down around. It would be if you make the first shot quick. Trying to handle the recoil and running the action and steady for a second shot is never quick.
    Same one I've got, and I love it. If I ever go hunting brownies specifically, that will be the gun I'm carrying.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Default I'm currious

    I carry a Ruger 44mag semi auto and a 44mag Black Hawk. Though my only expirence is hunting California, and most of the bear run off, I hope to come to Alaska some day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce1965 View Post
    A few weeks ago,I believe it was on this forum--there was an interesting debate on Marlin's lever action vs a shotgun for bear defense. Well,between working with my beagle pup trying to get him going on some hares--along with such things as work,etc.--I'm just now getting around to responding (my "bear response" would be faster--haha)! My first thought was that the 45-70 would be the better choice...but a lot of interesting points were made--some suggesting that the shotgun might point more quickly. Open sights are fast...never tried "ghost ring" sights... but I know a plain old shotgun bead is lightning fast and plenty accurate enough at close range. Of course,you can put most any sight on a gun that you prefer. The subject brought to mind an article I read in Outdoor Life quite a few years ago--can't remember the author's name--about which guns are best for bear defense. He fished up in Alaska and he recommended semi-auto high powered rifles and pump shotguns-- the Guide gun was not around yet at that time. But he suggested a simple test,which I gave a try--find a safe place to shoot,safe backstop,etc--probably best to only try this one alone,for safety sake--or with a buddy who would time you. Put out a pie plate (I used a milk jug) at 50 feet. Turn your back to it--then on the count of 3,turn and fire 3 shots into it within 3 seconds or less(which is a lot longer than it would take for a bear to cover that distance). I did it with a Remington 870 firing slugs,20 inch barrel, open rifle sights and passed with flying colors. So the point is--get ahold of these guns--and others if possible--and test 'em out! Take things like the position of the safety,etc into consideration.You might figure out which one is best for you--if nothing else you'll make some noise and have a lot of fun!
    i passed up both the shotgun and the guide gun......I rock a browning lever rifle that shoots 250 grain 358 winchester @ 2,400 fps. these pointed spitzer type bullets retain much more downrange energy than most other flat point cartridges too......so has more range for more than just bear protection. The gun weighs 6lbs 8oz.........doesnt get any better than that.

  9. #9
    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arleigh View Post
    Though my only expirence is hunting California, and most of the bear run off, I hope to come to Alaska some day.
    Where most of the bears will also run off.

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    Default If a Shootgun works better, yeah fine, BUT....

    What about NOT loading your 45-70 Guide Gun to the MAX?

    Wouldn't the recoil be more managable, and the gun easier to shoot faster?

    I don't have a Guide Gun, but if'n I did, I'd load 405 Grain Cast bullets, at not much over Factory Velocities, and still think I hadda Bar Gun.

    Am I wrong? Do ya hafta use 350 grain boolits loaded at max safe velocities, to make it a bar gun? (Even, cut the barrel off shorter than it is already?)

    I've noticed that many Guide Gun shooters, don't seem to enjoy shooting them, and others have said, it's their favorite gun.

    Also, I believe "I" could design a better Straight Grip Stock for the Marlin Guide Gun, and someone is missing an opportunity.

    Shooting 600 grain slugs in a lightweight Shootgun, can't be fun either.

    I'm sure I'd prefer the Guide Gun, or better yet, a longer barreled Lever Action.

    If I don't enjoy shooting a gun, very likely, I won't shoot it much. IMO, shooting lighter loads for practice, doesn't help much when the loads you depend on, are unmanagable. Saying you don't notice the recoil and noise in a serious situation, seems like denial of the facts, to me, because they are there, and they hafta be dealt with.

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  11. #11
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    I have experienced exactly what BrownBear was stating and with factory
    loads. I just got my reloading dies and have not started that project yet.

    I bought a stainless guide gun about three weeks ago and have only fired
    factory loaded ammo in it. Both the Winchester 300 grain JHP and the Hornady 325 grain Leverevolution ammo have been used. The second shot
    is awkward and slow for me too.

    Without starting an argument about whether the guide gun or shotgun is best, I KNOW I can get off a second shot from my Remington 870 quicker than I can from the Marlin Guide Gun.

  12. #12
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    I have had a guide gun for about two years and really like it. I used it to shoot a grizzly last fall at about 50 yards. The performance of the 405 grain Buffalo Bore load was outstanding. The bullet entered right behind the right front shoulder and exited through the left shoulder and produced a very fast and efficient harvest of the animal.

    That being said. I agree with other posts that state that a shotgun is faster. No doubt in my mind about that.

    As far as preference goes, I would be comfortable with both in a DLP situation.

    Shane

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