View Full Version : Defense in the Sierras

Big Caliber
November 11, 2006, 10:43 PM
Hello. I'm new to shotgunning. Here on the left coast, I'm in the middle of my 10 day wait for a Rem. 870 express magnum HD that I thought would be a nice partner for my .45/70. After watching the last 1/2 of a PBS bio/documentary of a man who spent 35 years living alone in the Clark Lake region of Michigan (year round), I thought if I were him I'd want a nimble shotgun for the "unexpected", namely, an angry bear or wolverine. (Wait til my wife hears this one. The rifle is too much for squirrels & such, but would the 870 be able to "do" an accidentily surprised bear at very short range? The gun has a cylinder bore. Would 00 buckshot be enough, or should I just stick with my rifle. Oh, I wasn't sure whether to post this note here or in the hunting forum, since I'm not really lookin' for bear. Yeah, I know there ain't no wolverines in Kallyfornya, but maybe you could indulge my fantasies. Much thanks for any thoughts you wish to submit.

November 11, 2006, 11:10 PM
A good 12-gauge can be very effective on bear- WITH the right loads. Buckshot is not the best choice.

November 11, 2006, 11:23 PM
I thought there are Wolverines in the Sierras, they said there was none in MI anymore till one was caught on film in the thumb.

I would think a Copper Solid sabot would be the way to go on a bear, but with just a cylinder bore may as well just use a regular Foster type or rifled slug. Then again, after trying one on a bucket of drywall cement, would not want to count on it if penetration was a huge concern, and with a bear it most definately is. Still, a better choice than buckshot of any size. And remember, our slugs perform far better than the lead balls mountain men of old relied on to kill bear and other dangerous animals with black powder muzzleloaders.
You really need a rifled barrel or rifled choke at least, to take advantage of a sabot.
Or just get a Dragon's Breath shell and burn it if one comes at ya, :D

"Yeah, I know there ain't no wolverines in Kallyfornya, but maybe you could indulge my fantasies."
Napoleon Dynamite! "A friggin 12 gauge, what do you think!"

"Rem. 870 express magnum HD"
Is that the one that looks like a Black Marine Magnum? That's a sharp looking scattergun, sees plenty of action (proper techniques also) in the film The Way of the Gun.

November 11, 2006, 11:47 PM
check out dixie slugs. for the shotgun you want a hard cast lead slug, penetration for the thick skin and big bones. regular slugs will hit bone and fragment.

45-70 will get the job done but again with the right bullet.

870 can take everything from doves to bears...just need the right loads

November 12, 2006, 12:20 AM
Actually I don't know how, but I never heard of hard cast slugs before. that's incredible. A 12 gauge pump is the most versatile firearm ever.
Are those Dixies just the slug, or a loaded shell?

Big Caliber
November 12, 2006, 01:54 AM
I thank you all for you responses. I'll shall definitely look into the types of slugs available. I'm glad I stumbled across the "Firing Line". The threads have been most enlightening as well as entertaining. :)

November 12, 2006, 02:07 AM
The roundnosed Foster-type slugs are less effective in penetration and in tissue damage than several of the Brenneke rounds. The roundnose types are usually softer & displace tissue, and break up on heavy bone. The cookie-cutter Brennekes are mostly flat-nosed with sharp outer edges that cut or disrupt tissue better, and they're hard enough to handle bone & deeper penetration.

December 15, 2006, 05:44 PM
.351 winchester, dixie slugs you can buy just the slug or them already loaded, in various velocities. if you would like to know more about them, you can talk to the owner of the company on the dixie slug forum at www.shotgunworld.com he is quick to reply and you can read all about the loads that are developed by them, they are way harder than even the brenneke(sp?) slugs and are made to just drive straight through thick skin/bone ect and keep going.