Bear firepower.

Discussion in 'Bear Hunting' started by tokatee, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. tokatee

    tokatee Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I are going to spend some time in Alaska .Debating what to take for protection if needs against bears. My wife has some medical concerns to deal with concerning recoil. She shoots her 308 good but slow,we are going to work on her speed.
    I'm thinking maybe a pump 2 3/4 "12ga. With slugs might be better. Plan to have bear spray handy also. I was going to take my BLR. 300 wsm. With 220 gr.round nose. I also could take my 375 Weatherby but don't really want to take the scope off or beat it up on the all terrain vehicle. If you all with big bear experience think the 12ga. Is good I could take two 870's that are the same and keep it simple. I will thank you for all comments in advance and set back and consider all advice ...Thank you.
     
  2. Scottytuned

    Scottytuned Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on where you will be in Alaska for part of it. Where are you planning on going, and what will you be doing? Is it all protection or is it hunting as well?

    If purely defense, my opinion is you should be fine with 12 ga slugs plus your bear spray. Know that opinions will vary, and you may get told you will need a 40mm cannon.
     

  3. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Re: Bear protection weapon / ammo

    For bear defense, you won't do any better than a reliable 12ga pump action with either the Brenneke Heavy Short Field Magnum slugs, or better yet, their Special Forces Maximum Barrier Penetration Magnum slug. Both of these are 2 3/4" slugs, which have the advantage of a shorter pump throw to eject the empties and feed a shell from the magazine.

    Smooth bore barrel in the 18.5 to 20" length range. Cylinder or Improved Cylinder choke.

    Make sure you've fired these in your shotgun at the range for confirmation of POI, and to test your recoil tolerance. The Maximum Barrier Penetration Magnum slugs kick more than the Heavy Short Field Magnum slugs, on both ends of the shotgun.
     
  4. tokatee

    tokatee Well-Known Member

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    Thank you guys for the replies,I'm still researching the trip,but plan to camp,fish and wheel some trails,start around Fairbanks late May ,then head south.
    Shot a big black in southeast Alaska a few years ago with a 338 ,broke the front shoulder ,guide said that's a dead bear,never recovered it,so I know they are tough critters.
     
  5. Catahoula

    Catahoula Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you choose, make sure you are very fast with it. I had a very serious charge from a black bear sow with 3 cubs last May. You cannot believe how fast they can cover ground. My 2 Catahoula Curs saved my butt.
    Thanks, Kirk
     
  6. Alaska2006

    Alaska2006 Well-Known Member

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    870 will do you well. To be honest most the Alaska bear stories are just that, bear stories. I suppose there is always a chance of running into a cranky one. I've lived in various parts of Alaska for 10 years and never had an issue. I've killed a few brownies and interior grizz and I've had to hunt for each of them I've taken. I've shared more than a few trails with these critters, shared a few fishing holes and slept in the same coastal bays and as I said never had any issue. Guess I've never ran into a cranky one yet, they are out there for sure but be smart about your camp and hiking and you'll not need to use the 870. I am not say to go "into btw wild" with nothing, that would be foolish. Be prepared and respect the critter and you'll have no issues.
     
  7. tokatee

    tokatee Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the informative replies fellas, will have to get the wife out with the old 870's.
    Sounds like a good date day to me. Take care.
     
  8. wyosteve

    wyosteve Well-Known Member

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    Just a consideration, in my 870 extended mag. version, I alternate the first couple rounds of some birdshot with slugs. i.e. first shot birdshot, second a slug, third birdshot, then all slugs. My thinking, right or wrong is that I'd try to take out the eyes with birdshot first and the use the slugs. Luckily, I've never had to try that theory. As mentioned above, chances of running into a cranky bear are much, much less than running into a cranky human!
     
  9. Alaska2006

    Alaska2006 Well-Known Member

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    I know of folks up there that run buck shot and slug alternate like you mention

    My take is if I'm going to poke a hole in one of these beast it's going to be for real
    Biggest think I've found with my limited knowledge is make the first shot your best
    These things get pumped up and they are hard to stop. Bad story here I'll share. I hit one bad with a .338 at about 200 yards. When it was finished I had hit him 3 more times and my son in law once. The distance had closed to about 60 yards by the time he stopped leaking. Bad first shot on my part and he was hard to stop.
    I should note the distance he covered was not that he was charging or after us, fact is he didn't know where we were until the final shot. He was just trying to get out and away from whatever it was that was stinging him.
    The first shot was the only bad shot, the remaining 3 from the .338 or the 1 from .280 would have put him down had any of them been the first shot.
    Son in law killed his bear same hunt one day earlier, one shot kill at 200 yards with .280. DRT. If you have to shoot make your first the best and save you and the animal the stress of what happens after a bad shot. AK is different than the lower 48 here you can protect your life and property and don't need a dozen attorneys to prove your kill was justified. Kill one in the lower 48 and by the time the courts are done you'll wish the bear had got you. Just my 2 cents and share of a bad experience on an outstanding bear hunt with my son in law.
     
  10. Alaska2006

    Alaska2006 Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed you are from Cheyenne, how was Frontier Days? Its been years since I've been but sure had good times in Cheyenne. Best rough stock event on the planet. Not many rodeos you can go to and see 2-3 bulls or bucking horses in the area at the same time. I was raised on the other side of the state, Afton. Still got some property there and we get back home a couple times each year.
     
  11. wyosteve

    wyosteve Well-Known Member

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    Frontier Days rodeo is as good, maybe even better than ever. Pretty much around 3 hrs. of non stop action. Got my griz and have done some fishing in your neck of the woods. Good post on how the bears can keep going with a bad hit.
     
  12. snox801

    snox801 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a good reason to purchase a .458 socom. Lol. Never feel bad about beating up a black rifle.
     
  13. 86alaskan

    86alaskan Well-Known Member

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    For protection while fishing you can't do better than a slick pump 12. Like it was said, the special forces penetrator slug or the black magic also by brenneke. I think the F&G fellas up here run the black mgics in their guns while out and about, so they gotta be good. I can say they're stiff, I've run a few through my Benelli and they still got some sting to em. Just get smooth and fast and you'll be fine. Most of staying safe up here has to do with paying attention. If you don't pay attention that's when you walk into bad situations.
     
  14. dakor

    dakor Well-Known Member

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    If your wife has an issue with recoil the last thing you would want her to use is a 12 gauge. SHOTGUN RECOIL TABLE

    Depending on the load and gun weight a 12 gauge can surpass even the largest magnums like a 458 win mag for recoil. I would take a look at a 338 Federal with a good muzzle brake she could hunt anything in the state with that including the coastal bears with the right bullets and if things go bad it will stop a bear.