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Thread: Polar bear protection question



  1. #21
    Marlin Marksman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    I remember going to see the film of the world record polar bear being taken. Think it was around 1972. Some rich guy from NYC had scouts combing for record Polar Bears. He shot the bear with a 460 Whby or 458Win. I forget but I don't forget all his backups unloading on it too. I've never hunted polar bear or Browns. If you are ever in airport in Anchorage the one they have mounted there will give you pause of playing with 45/70 & 450. If it was me it would be 375H&H or better to open.
    Depends on where I am, but in self-defense against a bear, the shot's going to be close. I'd rather have an 18.5" 45-70 throwing 425 gr or 525 gr at 1600 fps than a 24-26" 375 throwing 300 gr at 2500 fps.

    If I'm out actually hunting bear, then yeah, a 9.3x62 or 375 H&H/Ruger would be a better choice, I think.
    miket156 likes this.
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  2. #22
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    My earlier post was rushed to provide the answer to his question regarding load data. I had to run out for awhile but agree with wanting to use a heavier pill and with either Grizz or Polar bears, 400gr would be my minimum. If not a Swift A-Frame, then a good HCL bootlit would do the trick. It's all about penetration with big bears. I've been bluff charged by a Grizz and trust me, I was carrying my 35 Whelen w/250gr pill at the time but felt there is no such thing as too much gun. And a polar bear is larger than a Grizz.

    Then again, we have a member who is an Alaskan guide and his rifle choice is a 444Marlin loaded with Hornady's 265gr superformance. He shot a bruin of a Grizz at close range and it was dead before it hit the ground.

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  3. #23
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    I'd rather rely on multiple rifles and shooters than worry about the ideal load.
    The Anchorage airport bear was taken by an archer, I would guess he might have had some (fire)armed backup, I sure would have.
    miket156 likes this.

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  5. #24
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    I do agree it would be a hassle to bring a rifle on international travel. I think I would quiz my guides or outfitters regarding your question of which gun. If they are “renting” ‘06 mausers then they must work. If I was going to bring the Marlin I would go with a hard cast lead bullet or a solid copper pill. Like Judson, I have zero experience with polar bears but quite a bit ballistic knowledge. Good luck and take a lot of pictures to share with us.
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  6. #25
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    I feel well armed for griz carrying my .44mag w/300gr HC. That's minimum requirement around here, but I don't lose any sleep.

    I'd be way more comfortable with my own rifle, and 450 will get it done.

    Post some pics after the trip!
    JVtater likes this.

  7. #26
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    Cartridge : .450 Marlin
    Bullet : .458, 300, Sierra HPFN 8900
    Useable Case Capaci: 61.266 grain H2O = 3.978 cm³
    Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.550 inch = 64.77 mm
    Barrel Length : 24.0 inch = 609.6 mm
    Powder : Vihtavuori N130


    Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
    incremented in steps of 2,0% of nominal charge.
    CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !


    Step Fill. Charge Vel. Energy Pmax Pmuz Prop.Burnt B_Time
    % % Grains fps ft.lbs psi psi % ms


    -20,0 83 44,00 1820 2207 20784 2966 84,9 1,676
    -18,0 85 45,10 1863 2312 22030 3064 86,1 1,634
    -16,0 88 46,20 1906 2420 23355 3161 87,2 1,593
    -14,0 90 47,30 1949 2531 24765 3256 88,3 1,553
    -12,0 92 48,40 1992 2644 26264 3349 89,4 1,514
    -10,0 94 49,50 2036 2760 27861 3440 90,4 1,476
    -08,0 96 50,60 2079 2879 29564 3528 91,4 1,439
    -06,0 98 51,70 2122 3000 31378 3613 92,4 1,404
    -04,0 100 52,80 2165 3123 33314 3696 93,2 1,369
    -02,0 102 53,90 2208 3249 35380 3775 94,1 1,335
    +00,0 104 55,00 2252 3377 37588 3851 94,9 1,302
    +02,0 106 56,10 2295 3508 39951 3923 95,6 1,270
    +04,0 108 57,20 2338 3641 42479 3991 96,3 1,238 ! Near Maximum !
    +06,0 110 58,30 2381 3776 45191 4055 96,9 1,207 ! Near Maximum !
    +08,0 113 59,40 2424 3914 48091 4115 97,4 1,177 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +10,0 115 60,50 2467 4053 51182 4170 98,0 1,148 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!


    Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
    Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    +Ba 104 55,00 2368 3736 45300 3867 99,0 1,211 ! Near Maximum !
    Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    -Ba 104 55,00 2103 2945 30646 3657 87,2 1,413


    In my opinion you can easily take your Marlin and be safe with it. I don't know about UK gun laws but I know that in UK you can get 405 grain cast bullets. I would recommend those cast bullets with flame shield or what was that copper plate under bullet.
    Last edited by MSiekkinen; 03-03-2019 at 11:33 AM.
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  8. #27
    Sidewinder
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    Cartridge : .450 Marlin
    Bullet : .458, 425, RCBS FN GC 45-405-FN+
    Useable Case Capaci: 46.527 grain H2O = 3.021 cm³
    Cartridge O.A.L. L6: 2.550 inch = 64.77 mm
    Barrel Length : 24.0 inch = 609.6 mm
    Powder : Vihtavuori N130


    Predicted data by increasing and decreasing the given charge,
    incremented in steps of 2,0% of nominal charge.
    CAUTION: Figures exceed maximum and minimum recommended loads !


    Step Fill. Charge Vel. Energy Pmax Pmuz Prop.Burnt B_Time
    % % Grains fps ft.lbs psi psi % ms


    -20,0 86 34,40 1453 1993 19331 2383 88,6 2,073
    -18,0 88 35,26 1489 2092 20702 2457 89,8 2,011
    -16,0 90 36,12 1525 2193 22164 2529 90,9 1,952
    -14,0 92 36,98 1560 2297 23726 2599 91,9 1,896
    -12,0 94 37,84 1595 2402 25392 2666 92,9 1,842
    -10,0 97 38,70 1631 2509 27175 2730 93,8 1,790
    -08,0 99 39,56 1666 2618 29081 2792 94,7 1,741
    -06,0 101 40,42 1701 2729 31119 2850 95,5 1,693
    -04,0 103 41,28 1735 2842 33302 2905 96,2 1,648
    -02,0 105 42,14 1770 2956 35643 2957 96,9 1,604
    +00,0 107 43,00 1804 3072 38154 3006 97,5 1,562
    +02,0 109 43,86 1839 3190 40848 3050 98,0 1,521 ! Near Maximum !
    +04,0 112 44,72 1873 3310 43746 3091 98,5 1,482 ! Near Maximum !
    +06,0 114 45,58 1907 3431 46849 3128 98,9 1,445 ! Near Maximum !
    +08,0 116 46,44 1941 3554 50184 3161 99,2 1,409 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!
    +10,0 118 47,30 1974 3678 53774 3189 99,5 1,374 !DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!


    Results caused by ± 10% powder lot-to-lot burning rate variation using nominal charge
    Data for burning rate increased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    +Ba 107 43,00 1887 3362 46804 2927 99,9 1,455 ! Near Maximum !
    Data for burning rate decreased by 10% relative to nominal value:
    -Ba 107 43,00 1691 2699 30423 2932 91,1 1,706

    Quick load data for 405 grain cast bullet
    Gareth Holland likes this.
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  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSiekkinen View Post
    In my opinion you can easily take your Marlin and be safe with it. I don't know about UK gun laws but I know that in UK you can get 405 grain cast bullets. I would recommend those cast bullets with flame shield or what was that copper plate under bullet.
    Gas check.

    But having said that, most folks find gas checks not necessary at pressures which yield less than about 520 m/s at the muzzle. And for heavy lead, 405 gr and heavier, 460-490 m/s at the muzzle is an excellent place to be.
    mulemanhayes likes this.
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  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    I remember going to see the film of the world record polar bear being taken. Think it was around 1972. Some rich guy from NYC had scouts combing for record Polar Bears. He shot the bear with a 460 Whby or 458Win. I forget but I don't forget all his backups unloading on it too. I've never hunted polar bear or Browns. If you are ever in airport in Anchorage the one they have mounted there will give you pause of playing with 45/70 & 450. If it was me it would be 375H&H or better to open.


    you mean this bear?

    Anchorage Polar Bear.JPG
    JVtater likes this.
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  11. #30
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    Guys thanks all for your contributions and advice; upped it to 350gr and with the fps and fpe it is well within the governor of Svalbard's requirements. I really value your input as while we did not (and under circumstances where I'd need a rifle I hope not to) see a polar bear, as it was interesting talking to 'seasonaires' living there and their ideas about bear defence.

    The Norwegians were very pragmatic and as one might say 'did not piss about', whereas some people out there from other countries had strange (cavalier?) ideas about it all.

    It was also interesting to learn about storage when bringing your gun in from the cold to the warm - regards condensation drying out, or not, before you head back out where it will freeze again and could lock up the action. I was told to let it dry out, and if that's not possible, find something that works for you...

    Anyway here are a few pics of this stunning land, Svalbard 78 degrees north:

    IMG_2673.jpg
    _MG_9290.jpg
    20190310_141800.jpg
    IMG_2886.jpg
    _MG_9228.jpg20190312_123008 (1).jpg


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