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Old July 4, 2013, 01:46 PM   #1
Old Ugly
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.338 Marlin Express for Bear Defense

.338 Marlin Express for bear defense, good idea or bad?
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Old July 4, 2013, 02:13 PM   #2
tahunua001
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bad, too much kick, too much weight, too slow operation. go with something smaller, lighter and faster like a 308 semi auto or revolver.
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Old July 4, 2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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Levers are only slow if you don't know how to run one...

Somewhere around here there is a video of a guy that got sick of being told that he can't possibly run a lever 'fast enough' for bear defence...

If I find it I will post it...
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Old July 4, 2013, 03:21 PM   #4
Paul B.
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"bad, too much kick, too much weight, too slow operation. go with something smaller, lighter and faster like a 308 semi auto or revolver."

HUH! Dependig on what kind of bear you're talking about, your rifle should be just fine, although for Grizzly and Alaskan Brown Bears I would want something a with a bit more punch like a hot loaded 45-70. A riot type 12 ga. shotgun with iron sights loaded with Brenneke slugs might also be an option, especially for the big bruins.
Much of the time I only carry a handgun when using the hiking trails in my local mountains. Sometimes I carry a 4." Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag., sometime a 5.5" Ruger Super Blackhawk in .45 LC stocked with hot John Linebaugh type loads.I did way back in 1959 kill a Black bear with a .38 Spl. It was on a 4th of July church camp out for young adults. Bear came into camp and was dragging one of he young wome from her tent. I had the only gun in camp and it was the most potent handgun I owned at the time. Thankfully it was enough. Damn! Tahe was 5 years ago today. I still emember it like it was yesterday.
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Old July 4, 2013, 03:44 PM   #5
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sorry guys, for some reason I was thinking of 338 lapua, MX wouldn't be bad but I'd still prefer a revolver.
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Old July 4, 2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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With the right bullets the chambering would work just fine. The rifle is heavier and slower to operate than I'd like. Lever guns in light recoiling pistol calibers can be fired pretty fast. In heavier recoiling rifle calibers that require a much longer lever throw they are no faster than a bolt rifle and much slower than a pump.

If that is what I had, I'd use it with confidence. I wouldn't buy one specifically for this.
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Old July 4, 2013, 08:23 PM   #7
GeauxTide
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Bad Choice for Bear Defense.

Basic design is a 308 rimmed case. Factory rounds are 200 grains at less than 2400fps. An '06 with 200grain Noslers would be superior. A 12 Guage pump with Brenneke slugs would stop with authority.
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Old July 5, 2013, 06:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Factory rounds are 200 grains at less than 2400fps
Factory Hornady FTX advertise 2550fps, and 2900+ ft/#'s...

That puts it just shy of .30-06 performance with 200gr bullets...

Rem. Core-Lokt 250gr:

Ballistics Information:
Muzzle Velocity: 2189 fps
Muzzle Energy: 2659 ft. lbs

Hodgdon LVR powder under their 200gr will give you 2500fps...

Not saying that it is 'better' than an 06 or 12ga, just that it is no slouch for a lever...
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Old July 5, 2013, 09:19 AM   #9
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alright can I just point out that:
1. OP has not given what kind of bear he expects to need protection from so for all you know he's worried about little 150LB mountain black bear sows with cubs and just about anything bigger than 223 would do the trick for bear protection.

2. even if he was in grizzly country, it does not take a 30-06 to drop one. 30-30 has killed more griz than just about any other cartridge and that is pretty much limited to 170gr bullets traveling quite slow compared to 308 or 06. 338 MX would be more than sufficient.
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Old July 5, 2013, 10:54 AM   #10
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The type of bears I would need protection from are any kind you can come across in Wyoming.
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Old July 5, 2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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If you already have the 338 marlin, it is enough to kill any bear you will meet in the lower 48.

If you are looking to add a bear defence specific gun to your collection, I would recommend a handgun in 44 mag or 45 colt. And a can of pepper spray. Pepper spray is more likely to stop charges and nuisance activity without harming you or the bear. Most bear charges are bluffs, but it is hard to tell when the bear is coming at you. Both pepper spray and a handgun can be worn on your belt. A rifle has more power, but that does you no good when your rifle is 15 feet away when a bear decides you are too close for comfort. Chances that you need either are slim, but it is comforting to know you have what you need, at your fingertips.
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Old July 5, 2013, 03:19 PM   #12
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My dad has had a lever gun( 94 win 30-30) in his hands for most of his 70+ years. When I was a kid he could empty it accurately in about 2 seconds. Lever guns are quite quick if you practice regularly.


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Old July 5, 2013, 07:11 PM   #13
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That's scary Paul B.

We keep a shotgun loaded with hardened 3" Mag 12 ga. 000 Buckshot "spray" (over pepper spray) in brown bear country and hardened 2-3/4" 00 Buckshot "spray" for camp where there are only blacks.
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Old July 5, 2013, 07:55 PM   #14
tahunua001
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Quote:
My dad has had a lever gun( 94 win 30-30) in his hands for most of his 70+ years. When I was a kid he could empty it accurately in about 2 seconds. Lever guns are quite quick if you practice regularly.
if that was the case your dad should have been competing for guiness records. 7 rounds in 2 seconds is beyond the skills of most people with a semi auto and world class shooters probably average about 3 shots per 2 seconds...

somehow I think there might be a slight exaggeration somewhere.
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Old July 5, 2013, 10:33 PM   #15
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Old Ugly, your .338 is about as good as any rifle short of an African "stopper", assuming you get a chance for one or more good shots. The only guy I knew in Idaho to kill a bear in self defense shot a black bear that wouldn't leave camp with a .308. As I'm sure you know, that's a lot different than a grizzly surprised while napping or defending a kill or cubs. It's not an experience I've had, and not one I'd like to have. Bear spray does not depend on precise aim, and it uses the bear's sensitive nose against him. Of course there's that story about differentiating grizzly doo doo from black bear by the little bells and peppery smell. A good head shot with your rifle or a heavy revolver may stop him, but anything else is likely to kill him not quite soon enough. But hey, that country would be overrun with tourists if not for the bears. Enjoy 'em.
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Old July 8, 2013, 04:00 PM   #16
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I've backpacked into the Bighorn Mts. of Wyoming many times and never had a single problem with a bear. They're shy and spooky animals. I've always carried a lightweight single barrel break open shotgun loaded with a deer slug.

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