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The right rifle for bear protection...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2011 at 21:32
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My brother surprised the hell out of me today...he wants to buy a rifle...He is a small guy, who although isnt a hippie, is somewhat close....thus the surprise.   Apparently he decided he wanted a short barreled, semi auto, 30-06 to take with a group hiking in alaska for self defense from bears.
 
He also mentioned possibly doing some elk hunting, surpising me again.  Any suggestions for a rifle/caliber for this?
 
My thoughts were Browning BAR, go to a lever action something like Marlin 45/70 (concerned about recoil for him as hes pretty small framed), or possibly even a bolt like a Sako A7 or lower end Savage Edge.  He doesnt want to break the bank, keep total set up under 1,000 with optics, rings, base, etc.
 
thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2011 at 21:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2011 at 22:10
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Something in the 35 whelen would be my choice.  The recoil is simular to the 30-06,  I'd load it with a 250gr bullet.  If at a later date he wants to hunt elk or deer a 200-225gr bullet shoots pretty flat.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2011 at 23:36
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Well, I have a 45/70 guide gun that I carry a lot hiking in griz country.  Kicks like a mule with the Buffalo Bore 350 gr magnum rounds.  But I let a guy shoot it that couldn't have weighed more than 120, and off hand he was fine.

Anyway, I would go something larger than the 30-06.  Not a huge fan of the Whelen, but it could be a good choice in this case.  If he wants it scoped, I would stay to a 1-4 or 1.5-6, or at most 2-7 for what he wants if for.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 05:08
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Ditto what helo said.  Garrett Hammerhead also a choice for stopping rounds.  Can load down for smaller game.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 08:31
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338 federal would also make a nice choice if he's considering a bolt gun, then again a 30-06 with a 220gr bullet is pretty decent medicine.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 08:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 08:39
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Dan, if the bear is danger close, I want more than one round!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 08:45
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Since your brother's stated objective is bear defence while hiking, a heavy hard hitting calibre in a shorter handy rifle would be my prime consideration.  Good recommendations above, and I can assure you if he is on the pointy end of a bear confontation recoil will not be an issue.
 
-it sounds like he does not have much experience in firearm handling so using lighter loads for lots of practice beforehand is advisable


Edited by Dogger - October/30/2011 at 08:46
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 08:46
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458 Lott... "guaranteed to knock down anything that walks on the planet"...

I only need one...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 08:47
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But that's you Dan, and it sounds like this fellow is very inexperienced!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 08:56
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Then this, 50 S&W, might be appropriate, but shooting experience is necessary with ANY firearm used for any type of defense.  If one does not put in the time...  probability of success is low...




Edited by Kickboxer - October/30/2011 at 09:08
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 09:11
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Thanks for all the input.  Right now, im steering him toward the Marlin 1895 SBL in 45-70.  He has done some shooting before, probably not above a 22 rifle and maybe some 20 gauge shotgun.
 
The SBL will give him stainless and laminate for durability, ghost ring sights included so should be good for 50 yds and in, rail to mount optics if he wants to later, and a nicer pachmeyer recoil pad.  Think that and load some Hornady 300-350 grains, should be less then 12 gauge for him I am thinking.
 
If he would scope it, thinking either 1-4 or fixed 2.5 ish.  Not sure if he should scope it when hes using it for defense, throw scope on if he ever does want to hunt.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 09:28
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That'll  work wonderfully!

Edited by lucytuma - October/30/2011 at 09:28
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 09:32
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Bad part is ive talked myself into one for no reason at all, trying to find a nice priced one on gunbroker....im out of room in the safe, but this is also why i sell a lot of rifles that have been fired only a few times :)

 

Need to keep them all, my kids inheritance program.  I wish to god that i could cash out 401k without penalty to buy all  guns and ammo...should be tax deferred investments, much better then gold or silver....i would have the most kick ass safe room and weapons set up....i can picture it now.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 09:44
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Like your choice JLud. 
 
My only other recommendation since this is only for protection right now is to leave the ghost rings on and forget the scope for this intended purpose.  He's not hunting bear.  Don't need the extra weight and more to go wrong in inexperienced hands, he can add the scope later if he broadens his needs.  As noted from Dan,  practice makes perfect and may reduce the need for him to change his underwear under stress!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 09:51
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Originally posted by JLud JLud wrote:

My brother surprised the hell out of me today...he wants to buy a rifle...He is a small guy, who although isnt a hippie, is somewhat close....thus the surprise.   Apparently he decided he wanted a short barreled, semi auto, 30-06 to take with a group hiking in alaska for self defense from bears.
 

He also mentioned possibly doing some elk hunting, surpising me again.  Any suggestions for a rifle/caliber for this?

 

My thoughts were Browning BAR, go to a lever action something like Marlin 45/70 (concerned about recoil for him as hes pretty small framed), or possibly even a bolt like a Sako A7 or lower end Savage Edge.  He doesnt want to break the bank, keep total set up under 1,000 with optics, rings, base, etc.

 

thanks


Sounds like your brother may be growing up? You may have an opportunity here.

I want two really different things for an elk hunt and bear swatter. I drug my mossberg mariner all over Alaska with me when I lived there. And even though I took good care of it, a bear gun has a rough thankless job.

What about a 12 gauge with a short barrel for Alaska and a scope mount barrel for trying his hand at elk hunting?

A bolt action rifle with iron sights would be my other choice, if I was really only going to have one gun. I'd put a scope on it for elk season.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 09:55
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Originally posted by JLud JLud wrote:

If he would scope it, thinking either 1-4 or fixed 2.5 ish.  Not sure if he should scope it when hes using it for defense, throw scope on if he ever does want to hunt.


No way I'd want a scope for a bear swatter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 10:14
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Well 30-06 is considered the minimum caliber for a bear.  The 30-06 will shoot a 220 gr bullet  in a bolt action but you better ask about using the heavy bullet in a semi auto as most semi autos are designed for medium weight bullets.
 
The 338 Win Mag is the rifle of choice for hunting in Alaska it retains almost as much energy at long range as a 375 H&H which is the measuring stick of dangerous game calibers.  Guns less powerful than 375H&H are not allowed for hunting dangerous game in most African countries.
The Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun is a lever action short powerful rifle designed specifically for self defense from Bears but it has plenty of recoil and is about a 160 yd rifle.  Browning did make a semi auto 338 Win Mag and I happen to know that there is a used one at Scheels in West DesMoines  (515) 727-4065  There are not very many of  the 338 WM semi auto Brownings around.  I ordered one in 1974 and it has not come in to this day so you might want to buy this one its in excellent condition.
One other really good possible is a DPMS  AP4   .308 with 19 round mags


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - October/30/2011 at 10:51
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 10:38
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Think I know one of the managers at that Scheels, he used to be a pilot in my guard unit, should see if hes still there...thanks for the heads up, might be something to look at.  Heading to Iowa soon anyways, will be going through Des Moines before too long.

How much recoil we thinking on the semi 338?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 11:08
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I know who you are talking about I saw him about a month ago but have not seen him last couple times I was there.  I was talking to him about going Air Guard to finish his 20 since he already has so much time in.  He's just  tired of sleeping in a hole in the ground or under his helicopter.
I have no idea how much it kicks I would guess about half as much as a bolt gun
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 11:31
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I have 2 Marlin 45/70's and am a big fan of Buffalo Bore's ammo . I've used both their 300 gr and 350 gr JFN loadings and results were as good as they can get .. I also have a 338 Win Mag and it's a shooter . It's a bolt action Stainless Vanguard, and with 250 Gr Fed'l HI Energy loads, it kicks just a touch less then the full power 45/70 stuff . I am not that recoil sensitive, but its still not my favorite thing in the world either. That being said, the 338 is a softer kicker than the 45/70 and does have the advantage of longer range , but gives up portability of the shorter Marlins .  Too close to call, but I will say I would steer clear of semi-autos as a full time gun in that climate.. It would just be too maintenance intensive and not available in weather fighting finishes .. Pick a stainless finish and top it off with a low power variable optic and your set

Edited by martin3175 - October/30/2011 at 11:32
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The 45-70 is an admirable big game caliber.  The "defense" aspect makes it a little less desirable to me than the 500 S&W pump or lever, as the 1895 has a 22in barrel the 500 S&W an 18in barrel.  However, I do love the 45-70 and would never fault its choice.  Another on my list of "I SHOULD have had one of those a long time ago and just never got around to it... yet".  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 11:52
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Preston just brought home one of these  45-70   18.5 in barrel Stainless Marlin
 
Six shots  Very Portable but they do kick and the heavy 350 to 405 gr bullets do drop like a musket at longer distances.
 
Dan you NEED one of these, trust me.


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - October/30/2011 at 11:55
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/30/2011 at 12:00
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That Browning 338 Win Mag is a pretty sweet rifle.

Thunbs Up I want to pick up a Tikka T3 in 338 Win Mag sometime but for a guy who is not a big guy the semi auto browning might be a way to use a caliber with more punch.
JF4545 has a Browning  auto in a 7mm mag and  has to limit recoil due to his neck surgeries.


Edited by Urimaginaryfrnd - October/30/2011 at 12:04
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