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Thread: Whats the best rifle, not for hunting, but for protection?

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    Member SoldotnaDave's Avatar
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    Default Whats the best rifle, not for hunting, but for protection?

    What is your opinion about which is the best rifle to carry for bear protection. I dont care about one that can shoot 'flat' out to 400 yards etc, but one that is just all around great for close range, say 100 yards at most.
    Formerly known as one who clings to guns and religion

  2. #2

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    I've gotta say that ease of carry is at least as important as the size of the hole in the bore. A "carry" gun isn't going to be handy when you need it if it's a PITA to wear all the time.

    I've got a Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70 and it's prime for many folks. I've got Marlins in 444 and a couple of heavy wildcats, too. But I gotta say I'm more inclined to carry my Savage 99 in 358 Winchester. It just suits me better somehow with no consideration that the 45-70 might be a "better" round. Browning is promising their BLR in stainless 325 WSM, and that is more likely the way I would step up for more power if I felt I needed it, even though I already have the Marlin.

    There's one theme running through my choices--- The're all levers. I've got a very light 375 H&H, and in truth when I'm really worried about bears I'll pack that instead of any of my levers. Yeah I've got choices along with over 30 years luggin carry guns in bear country, so I've learned there's lots of room for personal choice.

    Okay, you busted me.... The BLR is a good excuse to buy another gun.

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    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    Depends what you feel comfortable shooting,for fast shooting a marlin lever action is probably the way too go,i would take my 375

  4. #4

    Default Bear rifle

    A Mod. 70 Winchester in .375 H&H Mag. and tough 300 grain bullets has a proven record on Brown Bears and was the preferred weapon of alot of Alaskan Bear Guides. If that is out of your reach then look at a Marlin 45-70 loaded with a tough 400 grain bullet. A 20" barrel will meet your needs and put a peep sight on the rifle with a solid white bead or post up front. Then shoot the heck out of it. I would prefer the .375 but the 45-70 should be fine because most of us won't have a run in with 8' to 10' bears that want to get a piece of us.
    Last edited by .338 mag.; 01-08-2007 at 07:49. Reason: forgot something

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    Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    Default Bear protection

    If the purpose of this weapon is really for bear protection only and not for hunting, then you probably shouldn't be concerned with devestating a bear out to 100 yards, since you shouldn't be shooting them at that distance in the first place. A big bore lever gun like a .45-70, a .444 Marlin, or some equivalent caliber, coupled with deep penetrating loads should suffice. Another option you might consider is a 12 guage shotgun with 00 buck or slugs.

    Good luck.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    If you are going to use a 12 gauge, use Brenneke Slugs or the Dixie solid slugs. (BIG HEAVY LEAD) Forget Buck shot. At self defense ranges it only spreads two to four inches anyway and will not penetrate bones. My riot-gun configured 1100 Rem has a spread of about 20 inches at 20 meters with buck-shot. OK for two legged critters but useless for dangerous game.

    In 1984-85 when I was working patrol in Petersburg Ak, my neighbor Steve shot a large black bear in the head at the range of 7 feet, from the end of his 28 inch 12 gauge barrel, to the bears head. (it was inside his garage)

    The 2-3/4 inch magnum 00 buck pellets did not penetrate the bears skull. They just stuck into the bone. The wad was also stuck under the skin.
    When I arrived a few minutes later, the bear was still alive and thrashing around.

    If it had been a ticked off brown bear, neighbor Steve would have had some big problems.



    As for rifles, the 45-70, 458 Win mag, 458 x two-inch American, 450 Marlin, 444 Marlin, 454 cas. carbines,

    I carry a Browning model 86 carbine in 45-70 if walking back and forth carrying moose ribs to the plane or while taking somebody out into the tall grass for a photo session.

    Bears have never bothered me in 48 years, they can read your mind.


    xx

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    Absolutely the first choice would be a plain jane double rifle in any caliber 9.3x74R or bigger.
    Second choice would be either a short barreled bolt action 338 shooting 250 gr. bullets or the same rifle in 375 H&H shooting 300's or the same rifle in 458 WM shooting 400 gr. bullets. I would cut the barrels down to 18 inches and also cut 1/2 inch off the length of the stock which will help getting it to your shoulder in the thick brush.
    Tennessee

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    Default Protection Rifle...

    I would want a short, light and powerful rifle. Easy to carry and easy to bring to the shoulder.

    I would start with a 375 and go up, caliber wise. This may be the perfect application for the 458 Win mag. But in any case I would stay with a twenty inch barrel and as Snowwolfe suggested, shorten the LOP also. Something on the order of the Ruger Hawkeye Alaskan in the 375 Ruger caliber if it ever gets here.

    Then I guess I would accept calbers as small as 338 win mag, 358 Norma mag, 375-338, 376 Steyr or any of the bigger 375's. The 416's and the 450 Marlin, 45-70, or 458 Win mag.

    As I think about this, a short barelled 458 winny with rapid access iron sights and load it with 450 grain Kodiak bonded bullets, or any good strong bullet of 400-450 grains weight. If I were to build one or buy the perfect bear defense rifle that's probably it. If I were to grab the one I already own for this use it would be my 21" 7# 416 Taylor. Come to think of it that would be about perfect. I would carry it muzzle down over the left shoulder. Heck, if I were a bear I'd run and hide from a rig like that. You really shouldn't depend on that though.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9

    Default I think I would

    walk the long way around.
    If I had to go through or into an alder patch I knew had a bear in ti I would probably reach for the Marlin 450 GG.
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

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    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    Absolutely the first choice would be a plain jane double rifle in any caliber 9.3x74R or bigger...
    How much $ should I expect to pay for a plain Jane double like that? Do doubles get used a lot in Alaska? I always wanted to own one, but thought they were cost prohibitive for a good one.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

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    New member AkBubba's Avatar
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    Talking forgot about the black rifles

    My fav bear protection is my .50 Beowulf.


    Last edited by AkBubba; 01-08-2007 at 20:07. Reason: added Treadwell pic

  12. #12

    Smile Protect Thyself

    The best rifle for protection is one that you practice alot with, are comfortable with and don't look for excuses to leave at home. Mine is a 416 Taylor on a 98 Mauser action. It launches a 400 grn bullet at a reasonable velocity and has a recoil 22% less than a 458 Win MAG.

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    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkBubba View Post
    My fav bear protection is my .50 Beowulf.


    That sounds like a good choice

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    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag_300 View Post
    How much $ should I expect to pay for a plain Jane double like that? Do doubles get used a lot in Alaska? I always wanted to own one, but thought they were cost prohibitive for a good one.
    You can pick up a Chapuis 9.3x74R UGEX with ejectors for $4,200 built to your spec's. Delivery takes about 6-8 months.
    http://www.chapuis-armes.com/Model-UGEX.html
    Tennessee

  15. #15
    New member AkBubba's Avatar
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    Talking Beowulf

    Quote Originally Posted by svehunter View Post
    That sounds like a good choice
    I really like it. Each magazine holds 10 rounds. So having 20 rounds of .50 ammo in a semi-automatic rifle that has the same basic performance of the 45/70 gov. What is not to like?

    I have pulled it on a grizzly but did not fire since she ran the other direction. 20 yards and quick pick up with the Aimpoint dot. I felt confident that it would have done the job.


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    Member svehunter's Avatar
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    Wow a aimpoint too!,this is like the ultimate bear protection rifle packs a big punch with the 50beowulf cartridge and you can aim very fast,plus its semi auto,awsome bubba

  17. #17
    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AkBubba View Post
    I really like it. Each magazine holds 10 rounds. So having 20 rounds of .50 ammo in a semi-automatic rifle that has the same basic performance of the 45/70 gov. What is not to like?

    I have pulled it on a grizzly but did not fire since she ran the other direction. 20 yards and quick pick up with the Aimpoint dot. I felt confident that it would have done the job.
    That .50 Beowulf makes a bolt action rifle seem like the 19th century throw-back that it is. Awesome rifle. Do you ever get hasseled by people because it looks like a military weapon? Alaskans are used to being around rifles and that might not be much of an issue there. Anywhere else in this great nation, you might get stared at and end up on some watch lists.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

  18. #18
    New member AkBubba's Avatar
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    Talking Watch This!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag_300 View Post
    That .50 Beowulf makes a bolt action rifle seem like the 19th century throw-back that it is. Awesome rifle. Do you ever get hasseled by people because it looks like a military weapon? Alaskans are used to being around rifles and that might not be much of an issue there. Anywhere else in this great nation, you might get stared at and end up on some watch lists.
    Don't get me wrong. I love my bolt guns. But you don't keep just one wrench in your tool box. My buddy took the caribou with my Kimber 308. I carried the Beowulf for the many bears we saw on this trip. I feel really comfortable with its performance and shoot it often.

    I've never had anything negative said about this rifle. Other than some hunters that passed me on 4 wheelers while moose hunting saw it and thought I was hunting with a standard AR during moose season. After a short conversation, they were all fondling it and saying "I gotta get me one of these"

    have fun,
    Bill

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    That's the coolest bear protection I've seen in awhile bubba.

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    I carry my 30-30. That way, I don't get trigger happy.
    Smitty of the North

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