pump action 12 ga versus 45-70 lever rifle for alaskan bear defense

mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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Personally, I would have one of these on my side If I was in heavy bear country.


Or something of the sort. But it certainly would not be a pump shotgun as I have personally watched a lot of pump shotgun short stroke failures in the heat of the moment.
 

memtb

Member
Jan 19, 2019
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27
With a carefully chosen projectile.....perhaps the shotgun. Otherwise, I’d prefer the 45-70! If all I have is the typical “across the counter” slugs..... it would be like shooting “softballs” at the bear! The typical shotgun slug, already very large frontal area and being pure (or nearly so ) lead, would flatten to a pancake.....giving minimal penetration! memtb
 
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AKaviator

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When I was working, I carried a take-down Marlin converted to .457 Wild West Guns. Very authoritative and reliable. It fit great in the back seat of a Supercub. I checked a lot of kill sites carrying it but never had to actually use it on a bear. That said, I'd be comfortable carrying either that or a shotgun with good loads. I liked Brenneke slugs in the 12 gauge.
 

mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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I started to cast and powder-coat my own HV 3.5" 00 buckshot shells.

I dont think there is an animal in North America could survive a direct hit to the face with that stuff. I have no doubt a brown bear is tough. But I dont think they could take that kind of a beating.. Never killed a brown or grizzly so I guess I wouldn't know. I would like to do a skull test just to see.

It will flat 100% tear a railroad tie to shreds and I mean devastation at 0-20 yards. They have some pretty substantial recoil as well...

00 buckshot TSS would be the ticket.....that would be unbelievable if you could push it at HV speeds of about 1500 FPS.

I like the wiggle room of buckshot. Always have.

You put a SuperX2 with a 24" barrel in my hands with a tube full of my buckshot shells and any bear would have a damn tough time getting me on his dinner plate. At a minimum, if he did make it to me he would have a damn hard time chewing on me. lol
 
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mallardsx2

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Jul 8, 2015
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OUCH.


If you could get #1 buckshot up to a HV speed thats some serious woopass...Surprised someone hasn't come out with something yet.
 
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mcseal2

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Mar 1, 2011
1,118
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midwest
To the OP I'd be the odd one and go with the lever action. I shoot lever guns quite a bit and like the way they pack. A gun that packs better is more likely to be with me when it's needed, I know myself. I feel like I'd also be more likely to have the lever action in my hand instead of on a sling when it was needed. That's my reasoning more than the effectiveness of either. I think with the right loads both would do a good job. I think if the first hit turns the bear and it starts leaving, the lever gun is a better tool to finish the job with. The way I read the regs if you start shooting the bear they prefer you finish the job. I feel like that's the ethical thing to do anyway if it's reasonable to do so, I don't want someone else to have to clean up my mess if I can help it.

I hope to be in grizzly country in AK this fall if the corona virus settles down. I have a caribou hunt booked that I will go on if I feel like it's a safe choice for my family to do so. I'll be packing a 300 win mag with 180gr Nosler E tips and a 10mm handgun with 200 grain Underwood hardcast ammo. I'm still deciding between my Glock 20 and my Sig 1911 on which 10mm. I shoot the 1911 better, especially past 20 yards, but the Glock is lighter and easier to take down if I get it gunked up. Both have a Razco holster that attaches to my bino harness that holds the gun and a Streamlight TLR-1 light. Both also have night sights. I love my revolvers but I don't shoot any revolvers bigger than 357 as well as I'd like. I tried a Ruger Redhawk and couldn't shoot it quickly as well as my smaller frame 357's. I then tried a S&W 69 and the recoil with even the milder 255gr Buffalo Bore loads was more than I can handle without flinching. While the power is similar, the 10mm's have some advantages over my 357 revolvers with their night sights and light attachment I decided. On the tundra I might be using 2 trekking poles and have the rifle strapped to my pack at times, so I'll take the handgun also.


This is from the AK game and fish website:

If You Kill a Bear in Defense of Life or Property (DLP)

You may kill a bear in defense of your life or property if you did not provoke an attack or cause a problem by negligently leaving human or pet food or garbage in a manner that attracts bears and if you have done everything else you can to protect your life and property (5 AAC 92.410).


Property means your dwelling, means of travel, pets or livestock, fish drying racks, or other valuable property necessary for your livelihood or survival. While game meat is considered your property, you may not kill a bear to protect it unless the meat is critical for your survival. Even in this situation you still must do everything possible to protect the meat (i.e. proper storage, scaring the scavenger, etc. See Safely in Bear Country) before you may kill the bear.


If you have to shoot a bear, be sure you shoot to kill - wounded bears are potentially more dangerous than healthy bears. Also be very careful of what lies beyond your intended target - stray bullets can travel over a mile and still be deadly.


Bears killed in defense of life or property belong to the state. If you kill a bear you must remove the hide from the carcass and must also salvage the skull. You must give both the hide, with claws attached, and the skull to ADF&G. You must also notify your local ADF&G Wildlife Conservation office or Alaska Wildlife Troopers immediately. You are required to fill out and submit a Defense of Life or Property Report Form (PDF 114 kB) questionnaire concerning the circumstances within 15 days.
 
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Bonecollector

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Mar 9, 2014
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Ohio
To the OP I'd be the odd one and go with the lever action. I shoot lever guns quite a bit and like the way they pack. A gun that packs better is more likely to be with me when it's needed, I know myself. I feel like I'd also be more likely to have the lever action in my hand instead of on a sling when it was needed. That's my reasoning more than the effectiveness of either. I think with the right loads both would do a good job. I think if the first hit turns the bear and it starts leaving, the lever gun is a better tool to finish the job with. The way I read the regs if you start shooting the bear they prefer you finish the job. I feel like that's the ethical thing to do anyway if it's reasonable to do so, I don't want someone else to have to clean up my mess if I can help it.

I hope to be in grizzly country in AK this fall if the corona virus settles down. I have a caribou hunt booked that I will go on if I feel like it's a safe choice for my family to do so. I'll be packing a 300 win mag with 180gr Nosler E tips and a 10mm handgun with 200 grain Underwood hardcast ammo. I'm still deciding between my Glock 20 and my Sig 1911 on which 10mm. I shoot the 1911 better, especially past 20 yards, but the Glock is lighter and easier to take down if I get it gunked up. Both have a Razco holster that attaches to my bino harness that holds the gun and a Streamlight TLR-1 light. Both also have night sights. I love my revolvers but I don't shoot any revolvers bigger than 357 as well as I'd like. I tried a Ruger Redhawk and couldn't shoot it quickly as well as my smaller frame 357's. I then tried a S&W 69 and the recoil with even the milder 255gr Buffalo Bore loads was more than I can handle without flinching. While the power is similar, the 10mm's have some advantages over my 357 revolvers with their night sights and light attachment I decided. On the tundra I might be using 2 trekking poles and have the rifle strapped to my pack at times, so I'll take the handgun also.


This is from the AK game and fish website:

If You Kill a Bear in Defense of Life or Property (DLP)

You may kill a bear in defense of your life or property if you did not provoke an attack or cause a problem by negligently leaving human or pet food or garbage in a manner that attracts bears and if you have done everything else you can to protect your life and property (5 AAC 92.410).


Property means your dwelling, means of travel, pets or livestock, fish drying racks, or other valuable property necessary for your livelihood or survival. While game meat is considered your property, you may not kill a bear to protect it unless the meat is critical for your survival. Even in this situation you still must do everything possible to protect the meat (i.e. proper storage, scaring the scavenger, etc. See Safely in Bear Country) before you may kill the bear.


If you have to shoot a bear, be sure you shoot to kill - wounded bears are potentially more dangerous than healthy bears. Also be very careful of what lies beyond your intended target - stray bullets can travel over a mile and still be deadly.


Bears killed in defense of life or property belong to the state. If you kill a bear you must remove the hide from the carcass and must also salvage the skull. You must give both the hide, with claws attached, and the skull to ADF&G. You must also notify your local ADF&G Wildlife Conservation office or Alaska Wildlife Troopers immediately. You are required to fill out and submit a Defense of Life or Property Report Form (PDF 114 kB) questionnaire concerning the circumstances within 15 days.
I get that it's the law, but if I shoot a bear in self defense and then have to call the law to investigate, they will be helping with the hide/skull removal.... I know these laws are in place so folks don't shoot and lie to acquire a trophy, but the defendant will probably be rattled and need some assistance.
They may be busy cleaning themselves up over in the bushes... :LOL:
One thing is for sure, I'll grab some pictures of the MF'r that tried to kill me and lost. It's funny you don't ever see many, hence my "over in the bushes" theory.
 
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RICMIC

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Feb 21, 2012
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Two Harbors, Minnesota
Buckshot would seem to be a fabulous deterant but the reality is that it is unlikely to penetrate through the scull or through to the vitals in the chest cavity. Hard cast slugs in my opinion.
A very good friend of mine was guiding two 70 yr. old bow hunters for moose in the Wyoming Range several years ago, and was charged by an adult male griz. He luckily had a Marlin .450 Guide Gun in his hands and stopped the bear with a head shot (at 4'), and jumped to the side and gave it two neck shots as it skidded past him. He told me that you would have thought he had shot the Pope judging by the investigation that was done. The 1st shot penetrated the scull, and it was DOA.
Keep in mind that if you go with a 45-70, most commercial ammo is loaded well below its potential due to the number of old guns still in use. It can be handloaded to approximate the .450 Marlin.
 

AKaviator

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Jul 26, 2012
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Anchorage Alaska
The defense of life or property regulation is more complicated than it seems. It's based on a state-of-mind, not a measured distance. The warden needs to establish that you were in fear for your life, or at least an imminent attack. Also that you didn't cause the issue by being overly stupid; seeing how close you can get, trying to play with the cute cubs...etc. Of course, you still shoot the bear if you were stupid, but you get a ticket and get to visit a judge.

The fear factor is difficult to prove. Some people are more afraid of bears than others. I almost always wanted to see the bear was shot in the front, not the butt.

Be careful when using DLP as the excuse when you "have too" shoot a bear. It WILL be investigated and if you you're found to be at fault, it can get real expensive!
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
4,407
876
Ohio
The defense of life or property regulation is more complicated than it seems. It's based on a state-of-mind, not a measured distance. The warden needs to establish that you were in fear for your life, or at least an imminent attack. Also that you didn't cause the issue by being overly stupid; seeing how close you can get, trying to play with the cute cubs...etc. Of course, you still shoot the bear if you were stupid, but you get a ticket and get to visit a judge.

The fear factor is difficult to prove. Some people are more afraid of bears than others. I almost always wanted to see the bear was shot in the front, not the butt.

Be careful when using DLP as the excuse when you "have too" shoot a bear. It WILL be investigated and if you you're found to be at fault, it can get real expensive!
Evidence #1 - Shot in head
Evidnece #2 - Chit--Pants
:p