A guy stopped his car somewhere in the northwest or Alaska, and after stepping out, was startled by an attacking grizzly.
Fortunately he was a good shot, somehow kept his cool and had apparently trained well with his Lee Enfield Jungle Carbine.
He managed to stop the bear just in front of him, and the smooth action of the rifle, along with its caliber, is also credited with saving his life. Nerves of steel with a bolt-action rifle?
Although the Mosin Nagant's action is not nearly as smooth as that of the LE or Mauser rifles, a guy in a tree stand stopped a fairly large bear with two shots from his MN 44.
The LE Jungle Carbine supposedly has a pretty good kick, but the one I handled was a very handy, attractive rifle (some website sells lower-priced .303 ammo).
My brother's standard length LE kicks about like my MN 44.
I've never used a Mauser, but how about a shorter version of the standard, maybe a Yugo in standard 8 mm?
I've also never hunted (being a very, very late-bloomer with guns in a practical sense), but have read good arguments for the rifles described here.
Let's say that a carbine is strapped to your shoulder but you panic and run. Won't most people drop the rifle as they race away towards a tree or water?