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Old January 27, 2021, 01:03 AM   #1
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Join Date: August 20, 2009
Posts: 895
which rifles catridges are superior/inferior to a 12 gauge for bear defense?

This is entirely hypothetical. I have no intentions of having run-ins with bears in the near future.

To narrow the focus, I'm thinking defense (not hunting) against grizzlies/brown bears. Assume you can use whatever ammo you figure is best (Brenneke slug, Foster slug, buckshot, or whatever)

I've often read that 12 gauge shotguns are popular for defense against grizzlies/brown bears in Alaska. Part of this may be because people can shoot a semi-auto or pump shotgun fairly quickly, the guns can be relatively lightweight (easier to carry and maybe faster to employ?), and they can be inexpensive compared to many rifles.

Those considerations shouldn't be ignored, but in terms of the effectiveness of the projectiles on an aggressive bear, where would you say a 12-gauge ranks in relation to some of the rifles people might use?

For example, is a 12-ga better or worse than a .30-06? A .35 Whelen? How about a .45-70? Or one of the .300 or .338 magnums? I suspect that when you get up to .375 H&H and bigger, they would be more effective, but I really don't know.
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