Alakan Bear
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:40 AM   #1
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I have a great opportunity to travel to Alaska with my brother and friends this summer to ride for a week or more. Of the group, I am the only gun fighter w/ a carry license, massive hunting experience and lots of range time. I currently own several handguns including a 357. mag short barrel, a colt 45 full size, a 45 long colt, sa cowboy gun and a mossberg 500 short barrel.

None of these are obviously the best choice for bear defense, yet one must be better than the others, and I must choose amongst these as cost dictates no other options. The shotgun maybe my best choice but slinging it over my back while riding a KLR 650 is far less than optimal. The 357 mag with 180 grain solid cast rounds seems best, yet is commercially unavailable. Can anyone recomend a load that will perform?



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Old 02-10-2012, 02:49 AM   #2
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If just for defence of your self I would recommend tha s&w .500. They make a kit for what you are doing. The pistol is not what you want to go plinking with but if a bear comes at you it will become your next living room rug.

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:22 AM   #3
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Buffalo Bore makes just what you are looking for.

For Alaskan bear, .41 mag would be my MINIMUM. If you are riding motorcycles, don't crash and keep your tank topped up. You can outrun a bear on a bike.
In life, strive to take the high road....It offers a better field of fire.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:40 AM   #4
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The 500 smith would be perfect, thanks for the suggestion, but with flight and bike rentals, etc. I don't have an extra grand to drop. The link to the 180 grain cast bullets is perfect and just what I wanted. I have zero expectations of needing to use these, but better to have it and not need than to need it and not have it. A friend suggested the 460 Rowland drop in conversion for my 45, but it has an old Remington Rand slide which Brownells says is too weak, and probabaly is. So, I will order the cast bullets and like my carry gun, pray I never, ever need it.

Thanks again

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Old 02-11-2012, 04:32 AM   #5
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I dont agree with the 357. You would be better served with the 45LC if it is a stout one like a Blackhawk. Buffalobore again. My choice of what you have is the shotgun loaded with Brenneke slugs. It would also be easier to transport on the airlines as it is not considered a concealable weapon. I was in Alaska and carried a 12 gauge pump loaded with Brenneke slugs as recommended to me by some of the local guides. They knew bears and scoffed at the 44 Mag as marginal and not really enough gun for a big bear. The shotgun with slugs has 2x the power of the 44 Mag and it will break a shoulder. 454 Casull would be the minimum handgun caliber I would chance. You better be able to hit the nose of a charging bear if you carry the 357 or you will probably just make it madder. Remember that hunting a bear and having a bear hunt you are two very different situations. You want the biggest and heaviest chunk of lead you can shoot. You can get a scabbard for the bike.

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Last edited by JTJ; 02-11-2012 at 04:35 AM.
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