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Opinions on choice of gun.

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  • Opinions on choice of gun.

    I am considering buying a Browning Safari (only for reduced recoil) in 338 win mag. I assume I could load down to maybe 180gr for deer size game. I could load up to 275gr for Brown and Grizzly. My question is, on the chance of ever hunting the Brown or Grizzly, even one time if you don't live in Alaska. How would a 12ga slug gun compare to the 338? Does anyone there ever hunt with a slug gun? Has anyone ever taken a large bear with one? Which slug is best to use? I have heard of the Dixie Terminator. Does anyone use these, or do most choose a rifle? Which one would be a better stopper on a charging bear?
    Thank You

  • #2
    Reply only on forum


    • #3
      slug gun?

      Why would you hunt brown bears with a slug gun? If you really are going for fork out a giant amount of money to pay a guide to hunt bruno, obtaining a big bore rifle is likey the least of your worries.


      • #4
        slug guns

        hunting b.b. with a slug gun is a bad idea. lack of range and penetration due to low velocity. i think you would have a lot of trouble finding an outfitter who would take you with a shotgun. you need a large caliber rilfe shooting heavy for caliber premium bullets and possibly a low magnification scope.
        Cold Zero
        Member: S.C.I., N.R.A. Life Endowment Member & L.E. Tactical Firearms Instr.


        • #5
          Read Tony Russ book on brown bear hunting, or any of the many books on this subject. I don't think you will find anyone using shotguns.
          My child was inmate of the month at Mat-Su pre-trial Correctional facility.


          • #6
            What gun to use

            Read the thread "what is your "go-to" gun. 30 or so people wrote in, on what they use. It may give you and idea.


            • #7
              I think its a really bad idea to use a slug gun for bear hunting,never heard of anyone who has...Go with a good scoped rifle and use enough gun.

              Good hunting


              • #8
                Browning BAR

                Browning Bar nice gun! In the 338 win I suggest one load for everything.

                Suggest a good Mauser or Winchester Bolt everytime!

                Barnes 225 Gr TSX ......that way it will be much easier!

                I keep a 12 ga Ithaca 37 Slug gun ( open sights) around the camp and while at the Kill site while butchering.........Brenneke Mag 1 1/8 OZ sabot or soft deer slugs for grizzly bears buckshot!
                Last edited by alaska bush man; 10-21-2006, 19:31.


                • #9
                  Choice of gun

                  Dixie Slugs Simply The Most Powerful

                  I was thinking of the Brenneke 1/38oz in three inch Mag.
                  Someone told me about the Dixie Terminator.
                  Tell what you think of them. So I take it a slug gun is ok for up close defense but not for hunting.


                  • #10
                    A .338 will kill any animal in North America. Much better range than a slug gun too..maybe even less recoil


                    • #11

                      Leave the dixie slug home use the Brennke mag sabot! Slug gun good over kill sight......338 Win very good for hunting.......cannot down load in Browniing auto......will not eject!

                      Never heard of dixie slugs........Breneke Slugs are proven in Alaska.......even on Polar bears!


                      • #12
                        get a .338 win mag

                        ...without repeating my long reply to the .338..375 question thread lauding thread, regarding the .338...just get one...
                        if recoil is a problem get a browning a-bolt with thier porting, or magnaport any of many factory or custom rifles...
                        ...rather than 275 grainers for heavy game, i'd go with nosler partition, barnes a-frames, or similar bullets, many available in good factory loads...
                        ....from antelope to what have you on the north american continent, i don't think there is a better choice for an all around could take it to africa with 300 grain solids, too...
                        ...and with a quality bullet 250 grain load, it will knock things down...this is the original american cartridge designed for big dangerous game, it has proven itself for decades...and you could find a box of 250 silvertip winnie loads somewhere in botswans, too...somewhere...
                        i went for it 35 years ago and it was's like the magnum 30-06...getting long in the tooth but you really can't match it, .338 ultra mag or .338 federal son's will still shoot my rifle and go down to the local walmart and buy a box of cartridges.....


                        • #13
                          I think your range would be limited.


                          • #14
                            I agree with Wolfhound; you can't go wrong with a .338 WM. I went throught the same decision process when trying to select a new pistol barrel for my T/C Encore. I settled on the .338 WM as the best cartridge for North America. If it weren't for brown bear I would have gone with the .30-06. The .338 can take bullets down to 165 grains for long range antelope hunting in the plains and up to 300 grain solids for Africa (although some countries in Africa have laws limiting caliber to .375 and up). Any where you go you would be able to go to a local sporting goods or even a chain store and pick up a box of .338 WM rounds.

                            In a Browning, I would always get the Boss option. I've used it and it does help with tuning in factory ammo for better groups. It also does a pretty good job at reducing recoil.
                            "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."


                            • #15
                              A shotgun is good for bird hunting, and under certain [limited] conditions a shotgun would be nice for self-defence against a bear trying to scratch you. However the reality is that not to many folks encounter a bear trying to bite them or scratch them, mostly just stories.............
                              I shot a bear w/ a shotgun one time, not a pretty sight! This particular bear crossed the line when he came into our tent, at night, with bad intentions. At the time I felt bad about killing that Bear, and still do, wished I would have had some other choice, but at the time I felt like my choices were limited, either him or me.

                              Another time we had a wounded Bear in a thick Alder patch that we were trying to dispatch. Through a series of events I came face-to-snout with this wounded Bear, shot at him while tripping over an Alder branch, but didn't hit him, shotgun.

                              During a Spring hunt once we had located a nice bear feeding on a Moose. Becuase the wind wasn't good for a stright-line stalk we ended up doing a huge circle that took longer than we wanted. After 2-3 hours we were getting close to the last known position of the bear, we were on a higher elevation, in some small timber, that over-looked a small drainage where the bear had been feeding. Earlier the bear had feed for awhile and then crossed a small stream and beded on the other side of the creeek. Because it had taken us so long to make the approach, we thought it was very posible that the bear was beded on the other side again. The snow was hard crusted from a freeze the night before, snowshoes were making LOTS of noise on the surface crust, wind blowing like heck from a quartering angle on our right side. As we neared an area that I thought would out us about 100 yards from an opening that we hoped would offer us a sighting again, I champered my trusted .338. Our "plan" was to get in postion near the Moose kill, range a bunch of area's around the kill where we thought the bear would be coming from, set-up a video camera, and get the archery hunter all ready....plans change.
                              Shorty after chambering my rifle, which I rarley do (only under certain circumstanses) we walked another 4-5 paces, still making more noise than I wanted from the snowshoes creeking on the hard-crusted snow. ALL OF SUDDEN the next thing I saw was snow flying, a flash of the front claws, legs digging and pulling hard, ears pinned back, eye's locked on me....a large bear coming DIRECTLY at me, at a fast pace, closing the distance of about 18 yards at a rapid rate. As quickly as my seemingly slugish body would react I droped to one knee, thumbed the safety off, and lined up,.... however my flip-open scope covers were still down. Too much time was passing, everything was happening VERY FAST, however in a weird way it was in slowww motion. As quickly as I could I got the scope covers up......this seem to take for everrrrrr, I thought I was working quickly, however it was alomst dream-like, everything was in slow motion. My full & complete attention was on this bear, I couldn't hear anything around me, couldn't see anything else. In the time it took me to flip the scope covers up and get the gun re-adjusted on my shoulder the bear had closed a signifigant amount of ground. In a nano-second I rember thinking of basic's "first shot is always the best", I was trying to make a choice to point a shot, or aim and shot... I made the choise to take MORE time to AIM. While aiming I made another choice, however this choice didn't take as long....when I first looked through the scope I could see the center of the bears skull, between the eye's, slighter lower than the eyes, but above the nose/muzzle, I made the quick choice to lower the aim-point and shoot for the center of the chest (thinking of the trophy ascpet of the skull), which I did. The bear swung to one side, left side, and kept coming at us at an angle...on the side my hunter was. The bear took another 3 steps and then turned back, over a small hill, slide down, and then rolled.
                              It took some time to gain our composure, talk about what happened, and generally settle down. We talked many times about what-if, and discusess several different what-if senerio's....
                              I shot that bear at 6 yards, .338 Win Mag, dead as wedge in 20 seconds, bullet did NOT exit the bear.

                              On a different hunt, Spring, a hunter had poped a good bear at a decent yardage, however it wasn't a good hit. In fact the hunter was laying down when he shot and really took a pop himself. He must have been choked up on the gun, like a guy does when laying prone, scope knocked him good and the guys sprung a leak. The bear was starting to go away from us and the distance was propably 200-250 yards. I was asking the hunter to shoot again, however we was leaking all over the place, blood running down is face, in his eye, he couldn't see to shoot. I was trying to find something quickly to wipe the blood out of his eye, bear was still going away from us. Finally the fellow pluged off the leak and got set-up to shoot, he cycled a couple rounds through the gun and then short-stroked it and jamed one in the action. I was doing my best to keep the bood out of his eye, get the bullet out of the chamber, calm him down, and keep an eye on the bear....I told him that he needed to shoot again quickly as the bear was going away from us, he fumbled with some shells, dropping them in the snow, and then grabed the shells & snow in one big handful and tried to cram it all in the gun...
                              At this point I had no other choice than to anchor this bear. I looked at the bear, aimed carfully at the back of his head as he was walking away from us at a long distance, figured the bullet would drop some,... and I was hoping for a spine shot. Let the air out of my lungs and gently squeeze....bear droped in his tracks! I was so HAPPY! Now....keep in mind that I'm a hunter and NOT a marksmen, that was a lucky shot because I sure don't consider myself a good long-distance shooter.. Nonetheless, it was an excellent spine shot at a long distance. Hard to beat a .338, more importantly use a gun you know well, can shoot good, and have confidence in!


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