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Old May 17, 2013, 11:40 AM   #1
Doublea A
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Slugs For Black Bears

I keep hearing Black bears are usually not aggressive towards humans but apparently their attacks have been rising lately if you believe the news and the internet. My mindset is different in that all predators are capable of attacking and killing humans no matter how rare it maybe. I personally do not want to experiment with making yourself bigger and making loud noises theory. I don't want to take a chance on that. Now that this is out of the way. I recently bought a Mossberg 12GA 3inch shells in 20inch barrel and I need recommendation of defensive slugs should incase I am in a bear town.
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Last edited by Doublea A; May 17, 2013 at 11:46 AM. Reason: title
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Old May 17, 2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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For black bear, nothing special. What ever you find at Walmart or your favorite local gunstore will work. I'd avoid buckshot on bear, it is a poor performer. For larger grizzleis or Alaskan brownies then some of the expensive specialized slugs would be a good idea.
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Old May 17, 2013, 01:02 PM   #3
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Not much hits harder than a 12ga. slug. I think it's a fine choice for bear defense. I would load slug, buckshot, the rest slugs. The only reason I say buckshot for the second shot is b/c although it probably won't kill, it may blind. Your other 4 shots are killing rounds.
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Old May 17, 2013, 11:39 PM   #4
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The harder the punch the better off you're going to be. Nobody can give you a definitive answer. You could kill a bear with a .22 if you're a damn fine shot. If you're worried about bears from a self-defense stand point I'd spring for brenneke black magic magnums. They are pricier but you aren't taking them out for range ammo.

I think Publius is onto something but 12ga 00 buck only has 9 balls in it. I'd maybe even go with birdshot to blind.
Your 9mm could, and in all likelihood will expand. But my .45 will never get any smaller.
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Old May 18, 2013, 02:09 AM   #5
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3 inch slug

A 3 inch slug load kicks like a mule and I'm not sure the limited velocity gain is worth it, or you will get it, or get what they say, in a short tubed gun.

The standard 2-3/4 slug has been doing it, with much less fuss, to all sorts of critters for years.
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Old May 18, 2013, 03:20 AM   #6
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The old style Foster-style lead slug is best followed by a mix of #00 Buck and more deer slugs. First, second and third shot are deer slugs, last 2 are @00Buck since excitement is UP and accuracy fails at close range.
My last bear attack was at 10:30 at night in dark livestock barn. Bear came at me at full charge, my first shot was 15 feet away, my last was 3 feet away. All 5 shots fired from Ithaca 37 Pump Gun. He may have been dead on third or fourth shot, but was still sliding towards me. 462 pound spring boar bear.
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Old May 18, 2013, 05:32 AM   #7
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2 3/4" slugs, any style your gun shoots well should work. For buckshot, I'd probably go with 3", 000. In my experience with deer, those things break bones like matchsticks. You'll have to check your gun of course, but my old 3", 1100 would put the entire charge of 000 into a circle you could cover with a coffee cup at ten yards. (I discovered this when a little tree jumped between me and a deer once.) I suspect they'd be pretty bad bear medicine.
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Old May 18, 2013, 06:53 AM   #8
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Many folks here carry their 12g shotguns loaded
with Brenneke slugs. They seem to work well.
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Old May 18, 2013, 10:27 AM   #9
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Note: "Brenneke Black Magic" come in both 3" Magnum and 2.75" Short Magnum varieties.

If you don't want the mule kick of the 3", you have options.

reading oldmanFCSA's story I'd step up and get their 3" Magnum Crush load. I'm sure it kicks like 3 mules but I'm pretty sure I'd about **** my pants if a bear came at me full tilt, 10:30 at night or otherwise.

3,800 ftlbs, 1.5oz (666gr) slug.

In all fairness, I won't feel like my home is defended until I own an RPG, and then I'll start having bad dreams about robbers in tanks. So maybe I'm just overly cautious.
Your 9mm could, and in all likelihood will expand. But my .45 will never get any smaller.
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Old May 23, 2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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Old June 16, 2013, 01:07 PM   #11
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Avoid foster type rifled slugs. These soft lead thimbles tend to fragment and may fail to penetrate sufficiently, particularly if bone structure is engaged.
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Old June 16, 2013, 01:34 PM   #12
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first point: Don't charge straight up to condition red! You don't shoot bears just because messed you britches. Making noise and waving in 95% of the cases is good enough

to the smaller issue of shotgun ammo I just use copper plated 00 buck if I need it
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Old June 16, 2013, 02:19 PM   #13
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I'd use a Brenake slug. If a 30-30 (180 grain cast bullet) at 2200 fps will penetrate sufficiently well for a black bear, then a 600 grain 12 gauge at 1500 should penetrate REAL WELL.

The Brenake, out of my M37 has more kick than the nastiest 300wsm load I shoot.
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Old June 16, 2013, 02:57 PM   #14
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I have told this before here.In AK,a large black bear put his paws on my former spouse through the side of our small backpack tent and took a bite on her butt.She was hurt.

At first,I smacked Mr Bear on the face with my Win 97 riot gun.He backed off for a bit,but he did not leave.He was easing back toward me,staring at me with a blank look.I put my bead on his nose and fired a Foster slug.It took out his lower front teeth and knocked him down.Then he got right back up.I put one in his neck/spine and he went down dead.

The first shot broke up to lead cornflakes and did not penetrate.The second shot stopped at the spine,about 6 in penetration.The spine stopped it.

The soft foster slug may be great on deer,but they do lack penetration.

I would suggest a premium hard alloy slug.I would not choose a foster slug again.

If breaking bone and hitting central nervous system is the goal,a hard cast,heavy big bore handgun load will out penetrate a foster slug.
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Old June 16, 2013, 06:24 PM   #15
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Been thinking of throwing a 12ga loaded with slugs in the trunk of my car...
There has been a black bear roaming around within two blocks of the store I work at in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland.
We have an Italian restaurant next to us with an open, smelly dumpster. I am often there at wouldn't surprise me to see him there.
I would not want to have to shoot a bear...but a guy has to look out for himself.
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Old June 19, 2013, 11:17 AM   #16
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Black bears can get real big.
There was a news report a few weeks back of a 600 plus pound one in Florida.
Dress accordingly.
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