Moving to alaska, bear defense suggestions

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by 11B3OJ3, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. 11B3OJ3

    11B3OJ3 New Member

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    So I am going to be stationed in Fairbanks this spring and am planning on spending much of my free time hunting and fishing. I am wondering what suggestions everyone may have for a bear defense weapon, pistol, shotgun or rifle, Im pretty open.
     
  2. Copeman60

    Copeman60 New Member

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    That's like a dream up there. For bear defense you could carry something like a 500 s&w. I'm sure open carry would be better up there

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Firearms Talk mobile app
     

  3. Threetango

    Threetango Audentes Fortuna Iuvat Supporter

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  4. 11B3OJ3

    11B3OJ3 New Member

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    Yeah I am pretty excited about it, gonna change my residence and get a lifetime hunting/fishing license if possible. I know the 500 is the obvious choice, and the first thing most people say, but between the price, and the price of ammo I have kind of put things like that or the 460 etc out of my mind for now.
     
  5. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

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  6. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    just remember when in the woods that have bears, you are no longer at the top of the food chain!

    carry accordingly. large caliber pistol, or rifle or shotgun.
     
  7. 11B3OJ3

    11B3OJ3 New Member

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    Thanks for the link tango, I have read many like that and understand most of the points of view of the commenters, just wanted to see if anyone had anything outside the box or some first hand knowledge of something working or worse not working.
     
  8. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    police and game wardens in alaska pretty much all use 12ga 3inch magnum slugs in a pump gun. prolly a good reason they all use those over handguns.
     
  9. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I don't normally comment on these bear defense questions, because I have no experience in the matter. But, I do follow the comments most times. The "bear" minimum is generally regarded to be the .44 mag in a handgun, but bigger if you can get it, such as the .500 or .460 that you already said is out of reach for you.

    But, the biggest consensus is what JonM just mentioned. 12 gauge with slugs, or a LARGE bore rifle, such as the .45-70.

    It seems to me, just by browsing the internet, if you look at a gun manufacturer's website and they have an "Alaskan" model, or "big game", or "Safari" model of a rifle, you may want to look at those chamberings to get some ideas on the "bear" minimum you may need.

    (Y'all see what I did there? I'm a dork.)
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    there is also a difference in bear hunting and bear defence. hunting bear where you ae going to pick and choose the shot to take the bear gives you much more room in choosing a caliber and at what distance to engage the bear.
     
  11. Polygon

    Polygon New Member

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    Bare minimum, I would carry a 10mm with decent loads. But you're always better off with a long gun. There are plenty of rifles I could name off but I think you're better off with a shotgun loaded with slugs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  12. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

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    Everything about Alaskan bears I learned from Anna_Purna
    First pic would be a shotgun with slugs.
    Second would be a lever action 45-70.
     
  13. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Brenneke Slugs in a 12 gauge. Most use a pump but there is nothing wrong with a double. The pump carries more rounds but the double is faster and shorter. If the bear is charging, you probably wont have time for more than 2 shots if that. They are fast. I chose a 12 gauge pump over the 44 mag on very sound advice from some people that knew what they were doing. I was also told to carry the shotgun not sling it. No fancy sights. If you need sights a ghost ring or look at the dangerous game sights. If you are carrying a handgun, do not cover it. It has to be instantly accessible. The bigger handgun rounds were not around then. Long pistol barrels are too slow to draw so no more than 4". Some of the guides were carrying African class double rifles but they had to back up a client.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  14. wittmeba

    wittmeba New Member

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    Rule #1: Always travel in bear country with a friend.

    Rule #2: Always carry a gun to shoot him in the knee so you can out run him.
     
  15. 11B3OJ3

    11B3OJ3 New Member

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    Thanks for all the input everyone. The 12ga or a 45-70 lever gun was pretty much what I had planned on, I've already got a Mossberg 500 with a 20in barrel, but it seems like that is going to turn into a ton of weight when you consider that one may be carrying several days worth of equipment or a packed out animal or fishing rods, or an entirely different hunting rifle etc so I was thinking a pistol would be nice. But like axe said, carry accordingly. Also just throwing this out there, I have a ruger american rifle in 30-06, with the exception of bears will this caliber suffice for the majority of game species there or should I consider upgrading the choice of caliber?
     
  16. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    the 30-06 will work on just about any animal in North America.

    if packing alot of gear, a large bore pistol might be an option to help keep weight down.
     
  17. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    .30-06 has taken large game on every single continent on earth, and in damn near every country. It has taken every species of what is considered "large and dangerous" game, from mountain lions, Rhinos, Cape Buffalo, to Polar Bears and elephants.

    Is it the BEST for everything, or even some specific game? Hell no. But it's proven that it's up to the task, everywhere and for everything.
     
  18. wittmeba

    wittmeba New Member

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    You mentioned for bear defense.

    Joking aside if it were me I'd focus on a pistol. I think you will get very tired of toting a rifle if you are out walking, fishing or any other than a dedicated hunting trip. Much easier to keep it very near within reach while fishing for example.

    Most of the bigger bore pistols should work fine - either semi-auto or revolver - doesn't matter. Just something you can safely and accurately handle.
     
  19. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    If I was hunting in Alaska my choice would be my 45-70 loaded with hard cast 405 solids. You would need to handload or go with buffalo bore brand as off the shelf ammo for that caliber is excessively weak.

    30-06 is sufficient for anything in Alaska long as your not using hollowpoints or amax/vmax type bullets.

    I have fired big 500+ handguns and firing them fast or accurate is not easy. I couldn't imagine relying on one vs a bear charging me at full speed
     
  20. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    Bells tied to your boots/shoes when out in the bush and not bear hunting.