Bear Gun

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#1
I don't post much here, but for some reason I've gotten several emails asking me about firearms I take to Alaska bear country.

I thought some here might be interested.

I'm not guiding up there, I'm the cook. For the past few years Ive mostly been in a hardsided cook shack or on a boat instead of a wall tent, so the risk of bear attacks while I'm cooking is near zero.

I had a tactical 12 gauge Mossberg, but it was stolen and was recovered in Arizona. It's now evidence so I may not see it again for years.

What many here likely already know is the price of some firearms is dropping. I bought this piece brand new for $290.

When I journey out of my cabin or the cook shack to pick blue berries, dump garbage, fish, cut firewood, or out to the meat house to carve up some moose tenderloins, I'll be carrying my "little friend".

Remington 870 Express Tactical Pistol Grip 12 gauge. 18.5" Barrel. 6+1 rounds.

IMG_0211.JPG
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#3
Buck and Ball, Trapper: that oughta do it! or a flame thrower if you can find one:eek:
Yup. 00 buck and slug alternated.

The sling lets me carry it hands free and it's easy to deploy. The bears in Alaska are huge but they get down in the alders and are hard to see until they stand up. The good part is during the salmon runs they have plenty to eat and seem pretty docile. No sane person is going to bet their life they'll remain that way.

One alert you don't ever ignore is this slurping sound. It means your buddy has seen a bear too close for comfort and he's sucking his Goretex waders up his butt.

The bears get more aggressive in the fall as they enter hyperphagia stage.

It makes a damn nice home defense weapon too. The stock won't get in the way in a doorway etc. Plus, there's just something about the sound of a 12 gauge round getting racked into a pump shotgun that seems to be universally understood as a "Get Close To Jesus" moment.
 

shotgunner

Anywhere ~ Anytime
#5
Great looking tool.. my kind of security blanket / home defense policy. Hope you never need it but have it on hand should that moment ever materialize.

In this house only sound home invader/s might hear is the light steel on steel "snick" as a safety gets snuffed.. working the action would just result in a live round hitting the floor.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#6
I keep ready access to 1 of a couple short-barreled shotguns, but in the event I'm forced to use either a "racking" sound would be the second noise heard (assuming the imminent threat's auditory system would still be functioning:D). Nice choice, Trapper!
 
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Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#7
Great looking tool.. my kind of security blanket / home defense policy. Hope you never need it but have it on hand should that moment ever materialize.

In this house only sound home invader/s might hear is the light steel on steel "snick" as a safety gets snuffed.. working the action would just result in a live round hitting the floor.
Shotgunner. Yup. I also keep a round in the pipe so in real life it would only be the click of the safety they might hear. I added the other part because, well hell because it was pretty damn funny and well understood by everyone who frequents this part of the forum. :)
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
#8
How are those pistol grips for control... particulalrly round 2? I bought a Mossberg 500 many years ago that had both the 18.5 and 28 inch barrels. Having the standard stock adds a bit more weight, but affords a bit more control I would think?
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#9
I always enjoy the stories about big pistols for bear protection . Especially when all the real deal pros I have encountered are packing short barreled shot guns when out and about.
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#10
How are those pistol grips for control... particulalrly round 2? I bought a Mossberg 500 many years ago that had both the 18.5 and 28 inch barrels. Having the standard stock adds a bit more weight, but affords a bit more control I would think?
I had a Mossberg 590 with a pistol grip. None of them are pleasant to shoot, but it's not a piece I shoot for fun; it's a last option solution so a stinging wrist is a small price to pay.

I found it better than a .454 Casull or even a heavily loaded .44 mag with 330 grain Garrett Hammerheads.
 
#11
I carried one several years working up north. Ballistics on these convince handgun fans to file the front sights off their pistols, so it doesn't hurt too bad when the bear shoves it....

Practice with it. You'll find you get pretty good from the hip, I always thought recoil actually less than a heavy caliber handgun.

Folks used to discuss slugs/buck alternations endlessly. For my money, 6 3 inch magnum slugs would be plenty good medicine at the ranges I was worried about...say 10 feet or so.
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#12
I carried one several years working up north. Ballistics on these convince handgun fans to file the front sights off their pistols, so it doesn't hurt too bad when the bear shoves it....

Practice with it. You'll find you get pretty good from the hip, I always thought recoil actually less than a heavy caliber handgun.

Folks used to discuss slugs/buck alternations endlessly. For my money, 6 3 inch magnum slugs would be plenty good medicine at the ranges I was worried about...say 10 feet or so.
I too find the recoil easier to handle than a big bore wheel gun. The arthritis I have doesn't much care for it though. I practice out of necessity rather than out of fun.
 

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
#13
Shotgun over pistol in bear country for sure. I'm not a pistol grip shotgun guy, though. I think I can rack five shots out of a shoulder mount, full stock gun, faster than folks I've watched shoot pistol grip guns. And I am not "a one shot, it's down, I'm done" dangerous game guy, either.

I seem to remember a story about a bird hunter in Montana a few years ago. His dog ran up on a sow grizzly with cubs and the dog brought the chase back to its master. Any body else read about it? The hunter reportedly killed the sow at very close range.
 

Trapper

Author, Writer, Photographer
#14
Shotgun over pistol in bear country for sure. I'm not a pistol grip shotgun guy, though. I think I can rack five shots out of a shoulder mount, full stock gun, faster than folks I've watched shoot pistol grip guns. And I am not "a one shot, it's down, I'm done" dangerous game guy, either.

I seem to remember a story about a bird hunter in Montana a few years ago. His dog ran up on a sow grizzly with cubs and the dog brought the chase back to its master. Any body else read about it? The hunter reportedly killed the sow at very close range.
There are grizzly-human encounters in Montana every year. You may be referring to this one although the dog didn't bring the bear to the hunter.

http://www.choteauacantha.com/news/article_d220fe14-6238-5363-9100-c9498fdb54e2.html

I don't doubt you can fire successive shots from a conventional stocked shotgun at the same rate as someone with a pistol gripped tactical weapon. But that was never a consideration.

My Remington 870 hunting rifle is 48" in over all length. The tactical 870 is 28". I carry it slinged while doing other things like fishing, blue berry picking, trips to the meat shack, because it frees my hands and it wouldn't be banging the back of my legs with each step if I had chosen to sling my long shotgun.

As quoted in the article, the Alaska hunter never brought the shotgun he was carrying for bird hunting to his shoulder. Things happened too fast.
 

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
#15
That would be it, the guy who told me the story put a McManus twist to it apparently. Great to hear a 20ga. Can do the job, I can't imagine the guy's reflexes, impressive.

I still maintain that a stocked gun is more accurate even in low gun position but that is just opinion. To each his own.
 

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