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Old February 12, 2011, 02:27 AM   #1
WildBill45
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If you were going to Alaska, which revolver, and/or rifle 4 bear protection

I carry my S&W 500 as my revolver protection, you can see it in other posts in this forum. I Have attached a photo of me fishing the Russian River with my 458 Lott...

When I was there we were warned of a bear that was charging people, and taking their fish! He had a fishing lure in his cheek, so I nick-named him "Captain Hook!" When I was advised of this problem bear at our fishin' hole, I left the handgun behind, and took the .458 Lott only!

I carry handguns as a just-in-case gun up there, but, and there always is a but in life, if I know there is trouble brewing, I carry a rifle.

What would be your choice in handgun and/or rifle in Alaska for Bear protection? WHY?

Also attached is a photo of #1 son fishin' the Russian River, for effect so you can see the area I am taking about! He has my 500 up there, my Lott, and his own Browning BLR in 450 Marlin...

I just added another photo of my S&W 500 along with my Wilson Combat...
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File Type: jpeg Me Fishin'.jpeg (168.1 KB, 406 views)
File Type: jpeg S&W 500.jpeg (169.9 KB, 401 views)

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Old February 12, 2011, 02:49 AM   #2
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First of all in bear country I would have my Blackhawk .45 as a back up to my Marlin 45/70. What part of Western PA are you in? I grew up in Monongahela.
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Old February 12, 2011, 02:58 AM   #3
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Bear spray... works on pitbulls, real bulls, people, and most anything that has a nose and eyes... On a side note I wonder how many "which gun for bear?" threads there are... I'm going to research
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Old February 12, 2011, 02:59 AM   #4
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Well I'm no expert since I have only been here for like 17 years, but most Alaskans who fish, especially on the road system, just carry a handgun.

If Mr. Bear leaps out of the brush at you, you arent going to get that rifle off your shoulder before you get your beating

And ya cant shoot him for stealing your fish or the FishCops will toss you in jail.

Carrying rifles on the Russian River is like wearing Bermuda Shorts, black socks, PennyLoafers and Hawaiin Shirts in Paris

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Old February 12, 2011, 03:00 AM   #5
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AK or wild areas with dangerous game....

If I were to travel in remote areas of AK or any west USA places with wild game(bear, boar, panther, wolf, etc), I'd pack a Ruger SuperRedhawk with a 4 or 5" barrel or maybe a S&W 29/629(sans lawyer-lock if possible ) with a 4" barrel.
A Ruger AK snub in .454 or .44magnum may work too but I'd want the 4/5" barrel first.
A good single action robust revolver could hold up well but a regular DA or DA only snub would seem better for general use.
Custom add-ons like Mag-Na-Port CT lasergrips, NP3+ or Black-T coating, action jobs would be useful also.
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Old February 12, 2011, 03:18 AM   #6
WildBill45
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Mac1, and WildAK

Hey MAC1, I am east of Pittsburgh...

WildAlaska... In a lot of cases you are right in regard to having the rifle on the shoulder, but that is only when I can see... IN the bush I carry it by hand if it is suspect of course. I learned in Africa the best gun to have is the one in your hands, so I make sure the one is my hands is the best gun!!!
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Old February 12, 2011, 11:41 AM   #7
Glenn Dee
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I'm going to limit my choices to gun's I actually own.
Handgun... S&W 29 4" bbl in 44 Mag.
Rifle......... Remington 660 bolt action carbine in .350 rem-mag.

Having made those choices I must state that I have absoloutly no experience whatsoever at fishing in Alaska with wild bears about. Although when I was about about 5 or 6 My dad was stationed at Elmendorf A/B and we lived outside Ankoridge (sp). I did get to see a kodiac in the field behind our home. Big bear.
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Old February 12, 2011, 11:57 AM   #8
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Rossi 92, 16" .45 Colt and an Old Vaquero in the same caliber. The 335 Keith load does over 1350 from the rifle and about 1050 from the revolver.

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Old February 12, 2011, 12:05 PM   #9
Shadi Khalil
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How bout a Ruger Alaskan? It's got alaska right in the name!
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Old February 12, 2011, 12:22 PM   #10
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The cattle ranchers around where I live carry 12 gauge shotguns loaded with slugs for when they run into a bear. Hard to argue with the effectiveness of that setup.

I'd also consider an AR-15 setup for .50 Beowulf. Its got the same power as the .500 S&W, but a lot easier to control.

As for handguns, a Ruger Redhawk in .44 mag. I'd want a .44 mag because I can shoot a .44 faster than I can a .454 or a .500 S&W. The .44 mag doesn't hit as hard, but if I miss with my first shot I have a better chance of getting off a second.
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Old February 12, 2011, 01:24 PM   #11
natman
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If I lived in Alaska I would definitely have one of these:



Marlin 1895SBL. Stainless steel and laminated wood, just in case it ever rains in Alaska. 45-70, ghost ring sights. Perfect with some 400 grain handloads.

I probably wouldn't take it fishing though. I'd probably take my Ruger Redhawk in 44 Mag, simply because once a handgun gets more powerful than that I have trouble shooting it accurately. I'd load it with these:

http://www.federalpremium.com/produc...un.aspx?id=347

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Old February 12, 2011, 01:29 PM   #12
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Give the bear the fish.
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Old February 12, 2011, 01:49 PM   #13
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i don't speculate on guns i don't own, so i would favor my model 44 taurus 4" 44 mag over my 7 1/2" 44 mag ruger redhawk. why? the taurus works just as well, is just as accurate and a hell of alot easier to carry and draw than the 7 1/2" ruger. as for long guns i have i would probably take my marlin 1895 cowboy in 45/70, or my weatherby in 7mm rem mag or my short barrel mossberg 12 ga pump. on tv it seems that 12 ga shotguns are favored by the game wardens up there.
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Old February 12, 2011, 01:58 PM   #14
WildBill45
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To dalegribble

Never go by what some Government agency issues, such as shotguns to the game wardens. Even Police agencies are not to be trusted, as the folks who decide what they will issue are desk jockies who hardly ever worked the streets, must less know anything about guns! They meet the lowest bid price ... period!
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Old February 12, 2011, 03:45 PM   #15
Wildalaska
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Quote:
Give the bear the fish.
Ya think

Quote:
Never go by what some Government agency issues, such as shotguns to the game wardens. Even Police agencies are not to be trusted, as the folks who decide what they will issue are desk jockies who hardly ever worked the streets, must less know anything about guns! They meet the lowest bid price ... period!
In point of fact a 12g far beats anything else for bear protection except spray. Most locals dont carry rifles when fishing on the road system hint hint

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Old February 12, 2011, 04:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Give the bear the fish.
Ya think
I third that! If he just wants the fish, let him have them. Kill a bear should only be done in true self defense situations. I live in bear country, have them around the house frequently, in the garage occasionally, and if they ever find their way into the kitchen I'll sneak out the back door and call my insurance agent. And I never call the DOW because they have a three-strikes-you're-dead policy.
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Old February 12, 2011, 04:25 PM   #17
WildBill45
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"In point of fact a 12g far beats anything else for bear protection except spray. Most locals dont carry rifles when fishing on the road system hint hint"

I beg to differ, slugs are too fat--poor penetration on bone, and break apart on bone under some circumstances, and not the best for bear protection.

That is nice the 'locals' don't carry rifles, as it is a cultural thing ... not unlike old cops who, after years of never having an incident, get carefree as well. I treat my first call, and my last call after almost 30 years of service, the same. I don't hold it against anyone to be casual about it, but I prefer to do my vigilant style. The old guys didn't practice as much, never did martial arts, and that is fine for them. Me, I am a little different in that regard. I would rather carry it all day, every day and not need it, than to NOT carry it and NEED IT! It is your life, do as you please...

I did not, nor did I intend to shoot any bear for taking fish, as some have hinted at such. I carry protection to protect life and limb only. In Colorado I had to deal with bears almost everyday, on duty and off. I had them constantly on my mountain property, and they did major damage to the house. I never shot one. I did shoot a few on duty ... with rubber bullets only!

Last edited by WildBill45; February 12, 2011 at 04:26 PM. Reason: add 4 words
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Old February 12, 2011, 04:43 PM   #18
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I would also have a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70.
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Old February 12, 2011, 05:19 PM   #19
Wildalaska
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Quote:
I beg to differ, slugs are too fat--poor penetration on bone, and break apart on bone under some circumstances, and not the best for bear protection.
And you're talking from experience are you?

I managed to snag Jim West today. He is a registered guide here in AK. He has killed 5 bears in DLP situations, all with a 12g shotgun 3'' Mag 00 buck.

Fish Cops prefer slugs

The foregoing is good enough for me.

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Old February 12, 2011, 07:33 PM   #20
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I have no experience regarding bears and everything I've learned is from talking to others. From what I've been told a revolver is not ideal, but a whole lot better than nothing. My hobby will not allow me to carry any long guns at all (photography). I already have a backpack full of epuipment plus a tripod. All that epuipment leaves me with only one hand for everything else. With that in mind I'll be carring a S&W 629 in 44 mag with 4" barrel and will fire it only as a last resort. I plan to avoid any and all contact with bears, assuming they cooperate.
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Old February 13, 2011, 12:48 AM   #21
WildBill45
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And you're talking from experience are you?

Yes I am in regard to big game penetration, and projectile penetration. I do not have personal experience on a Griz, but I have killed 6 bears, one over 600 pounds, one with a flintlock in Northern Alberta on my two feet, and he on his, one with a flintlock in Colorado, and 3 with a .270 winchester, and one with a 30'06. The biggest one, see attached photo, with a .338 winchester.

I also have a little experience in Africa with one World Record Blesbok, taken again with a black powder rifle, and SCI Silver class Kudu with a .338.

I also did testing of slugs, pistol and rifle rounds over the years on my own. I have seen hundreds more of other folks kills, and the results in the last 45 years in the field. Plus I can read, and people have been killing bears for over 150 years at great lengths with anything that shoots. Some of these stats are available.

1. A rifle slug of medium to large bore with a high SD, proper bullet will out penetrate a slug under the same circumstance ... period. I am sure native
Americans in Alaska have killed polar bears with a .22, but I won't carry one. IT is a personal choice, and this is why i am asking. I now have, and respect your choice. You have my thoughts on the subject. I appreciate your experience though, like Fords and Chevys right???
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Last edited by WildBill45; February 13, 2011 at 01:16 AM. Reason: add word, add photo, one more bear to add
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Old February 13, 2011, 12:55 AM   #22
B.N.Real
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44 magnum Smith six inch barrel.

FN-FAL 308 rifle with a twenty round mag.

And a slow guide to run behind me as I run away from the bear.
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Old February 13, 2011, 01:34 AM   #23
WildBill45
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I forgot one, one with my .44 mag...

I forgot one! I killed a medium size Black Bear, around 300 pounds or so, with my .44 mag. S&W Mountain gun, but, I do not count it under hunting statistics or self defense. It was purely a test shoot.

A game warden I knew in Colorado who worked the mountains where I lived called me, and said they captured a trouble bear with a very bad attitude. He knew I wanted to test the .44 up close and personal on a bear.

I shot it almost point blank. They were going to destroy it, but I did it for them to test the .44 as a protection gun. I think I used the only rounds that I had around that day, and I believe they were Federal Hydra-shoks,not 100 % sure at the moment, as I would have chosen solids if I had them.

I was quite impressed though! The bear dropped instantly ... lights out. I aimed under his chin, and took out his spine, the bullet passed all the way through, and dented the steel side of the bear trap! Quite impressive, I was surprised...
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Old February 13, 2011, 03:53 AM   #24
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Hmm... I suppose that since my father carried a suitably loaded Ruger Blackhawk in .357 Mag while in Alaska, and that was good enough for him, I'd be just as comfortable carrying my S&W 686 with my handloaded 180 gr wide flat nosed hard cast handloads in .357 Mag. Nice sectional density for bone crushing penetration (which is king), and lower recoil for faster follow-up vs the larger big-bores.
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Old February 13, 2011, 05:37 AM   #25
Wildalaska
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That is nice the 'locals' don't carry rifles, as it is a cultural thing ... not unlike old cops who, after years of never having an incident, get carefree as well.
Nice. So the guys in Alaska who do it every day, for years, are idiots, while the guy from PA who reads books and fishes 100 yards from the road on his annual trip, has all the answers, most of which seem to be derived from shooting herbivores with black powder rifles.

So anyway, before I leave this one, for the edifiction of those who seek to come to Alaska to chase the elusive salmon, in most cases right off the highway, please note that all you need is a big bore revolver or 12g pump with buck. You can leave the artillery at home. And that bear better be dead within 20 yards of ya, not 100 yards away, to avoid those costly court appearances.

And if you are going on a guided fishing trip, remote, your guide will have the artillery, usually a shotgun I may add.

Oh and I forgot....Fish Cops? Shotguns. USFWS? Shotguns and .375s, depending on application. BLM? Shotguns. AKGFG Biologists? Shotguns. USGS? Shotguns or 457mags, depend on application. Park Service? Shotguns or .375s depend on application. Contractors? Shotguns.

And the .375s mentioned herein are usually used for the removal of problem bears, instead of DLP.

If y'all want to learn about Bear attacks, please go to Amazon and look up Larry Kaniut's Alaska Bear Tales and Stephen Herreros treatises.

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