12ga & bear?
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:12 PM   #1
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Default 12ga & bear?

I'm sure this is a stupid question, but I know next to nothing of rifles and shotguns and what would be best for defense against larger animals in the woods. I know handguns are pretty much useless for anything larger than a Coyote.

I go bow hunting and have come into woods fresh with bear and cat dung in the past. Where I'm from I don't have much for Brown bear, just black, and am curious as to what would be best to have around incase I come upon one of these beasts. I have access to a 30-30 lever and a Remington 870 15". I figured a slug in the 12ga would be best at anything 50yrds and closer, but like I said, what I figure isn't exactly based on experience or knowledge.

Would appreciate any insight or helpful hints. Currently I carry a 45acp as its the biggest I can carry easily, but am completely prepared for slinging on a rifle or shotgun.

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Old 12-25-2012, 09:58 PM   #2
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A short barreled .44mag .454 or .500 S&W may work, but those are generally hard to handle due too all that recoil. Maybe a Ruger Alaskan?

I'm pretty sure 12 ga slugs would work. Many big-bore rifle calibers will work as well.

I don't have much experience with bears, other than those on my commie states flag.

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Old 12-25-2012, 10:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueguns View Post
A short barreled .44mag .454 or .500 S&W may work, but those are generally hard to handle due too all that recoil. Maybe a Ruger Alaskan?

I'm pretty sure 12 ga slugs would work. Many big-bore rifle calibers will work as well.

I don't have much experience with bears, other than those on my commie states flag.
I actually thought about one of those Rossi Ranch Hands in 44 mag as an option as well. I like the shorter barrel, but didn't see that being any more effective than 12ga slug, actually less than.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:33 PM   #4
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12 g slugs or 00 buck. BTW, unless you have a Class III stamp for that 15" 870, or it is outside the US, you have a problem.

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Old 12-25-2012, 10:50 PM   #5
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If you already have a shotgun, you're good to go. Leaving Bear Spray out of the discussion, in the Lower 48 I have relied on a .357 handgun -- the bullets are the most critical point. In Alaska, a 5-shot .44 Magnum. Need very hard semi-wadcutters either way IMO.

The right slugs are fine for sure though, and people don't need to agree with this, but my longarm for defense (not hunting) in Alaska: 12 Ga. 3" Magnun #000 Plated Buckshot.

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Old 12-25-2012, 10:56 PM   #6
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12 g slugs or 00 buck. BTW, unless you have a Class III stamp for that 15" 870, or it is outside the US, you have a problem.
It's not mine, I just have access to it. It's my father's, we hunt together. Well, he hunts and I just have a tag that never gets filled. Lol

He's had it for a long time, since I can remember, I'm sure he's got whatever is necessary to own it legally. He's a retired County sheriff's deputy.

To be honest I'm not so sure is 15", just thought I remembered him saying that once, never thought to question or measure it. I've had it in my possession for a few months at a time though, after hunting gear gets mixed up.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HockaLouis View Post
If you already have a shotgun, you're good to go. Leaving Bear Spray out of the discussion, in the Lower 48 I have relied on a .357 handgun -- the bullets are the most critical point. In Alaska, a 5-shot .44 Magnum. Need very hard semi-wadcutters either way IMO.

The right slugs are fine for sure though, and people don't need to agree with this, but my longarm for defense (not hunting) in Alaska: 12 Ga. 3" Magnun #000 Plated Buckshot.
I wouldn't feel under gunned anywhere in N. America with that load! Admittedly it has to be administered at "how do you do" ranges but 3'' 000 will deter anything on this continent.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockaLouis
If you already have a shotgun, you're good to go. Leaving Bear Spray out of the discussion, in the Lower 48 I have relied on a .357 handgun -- the bullets are the most critical point. In Alaska, a 5-shot .44 Magnum. Need very hard semi-wadcutters either way IMO.

The right slugs are fine for sure though, and people don't need to agree with this, but my longarm for defense (not hunting) in Alaska: 12 Ga. 3" Magnun #000 Plated Buckshot.
Have you ever had to use the .357? I've heard some horror stories about bears and empty .357s.

Although I do know a guy whose dad once took one down with a .357 on a camping trip. The guy said it took all 6 shots.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:46 PM   #9
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Black bear are often easier to kill than deer. Many many are shot with a bow. Your 45 is fine for black bear. Or any "deer" rifle caliber or shotgun. You don't say what state you are in. I lived in Minnesota for 50 years, where many bears are shot each year. In that time I do not remember of any bear attacks in that state. I chased many away by yelling at them.

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Old 12-26-2012, 03:29 AM   #10
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In some respects I'd rather have a heavy FMJ .45 ball than the wrong .357. A soft point .357 can be deflected too easily. You need to punch through hide and fur, bone including a heavy skull perhaps, cut thru muscle, sinews, tendons, veins, and penetrate to the organ with a pistol.

Federal Vital-Shok CastCore is OK. Buffalo Bore and their excellent loads with Keith Semi-Wadcutters live in my light .44 Mag.

This stuff is always subjective, but you need to hit the right places with the right projectile. Kids particularly these days tend to overscompensate for poor shooting and the wrong ammunition with bigger caliber and more firepower.

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