Alaskan Brown Bear
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  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    Alaskan Brown Bear

    This has probably been hashed out before but I have a notion of hunting Brown Bear in Alaska maybe within 5 years, I know its a little ways out but I like to put thought into things, not just leap before looking. Anyways, the most powerful rifles I own are a 444 Marlin and a 30-06. Now I have been wondering if I really need a magnum or if these would get the job done. The 444 would be close up and the 06 if I needed anything over 150 yards. I have looked this topic up in internet searches and the results have always been a mixed bag. It seems like getting a bigger caliber is a comfort thing for most and others say just shoot what you are proficient with. If I did step up I was thinking probably a Win. M70 in either .338 Win Mag or .375 H&H. I'm not really wanting to beat my self up with recoil and shooting a rifle out of a lead sled is fine to sight in, but then I would have to pay the piper practicing. So, my esteemed Marlin Owner brothers, what say you? Do I really need to go big or go home for a longer range option as apposed to the 06?

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    I'd use the 444 with a scope out to 300 yards...I currenlty use it to 200 with no issues(I have the 444P)...I don't think you'd lose much at those ranges, but I don't hunt brown bear either!....what length bbl do you have?
    Lots of Marlins!

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    Any guide worth his bear scat shouldn't/wouldn't allow shots over 150 yards on dangerous game. Your .444 with proper bullets should get the job done within that range limitation, if you do your part.

    I have a Sako Safari .375 H&H that I bought 25 years ago with the intent to someday hunt Brown Bear. I couldn't afford the hunt then...still can't...but I've got the tools necessary. Start saving now...the price of a coastal Brown Bear hunt rivals that of a new fully-loaded pickup truck.

    Roe
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  5. #4
    Marlin Marksman
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    The .444 will be better out to your 150 yds. Use extra heavy WFN hard cast bullets. Great knock down power. Mt. Sourdough has a thread: 422 huckleberry success that may be of interest to you. Have fun and bangaway.
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  6. #5
    Gun Wizard
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    Bigger is better. Biggest is best. You may not get a long range shot.

    DD
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    I'm not as good as I once was but I'm better ONCE than I ever was.

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  7. #6
    Gun Wizard
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    Thanks guys, sounds like the T4 is the ticket if I get the chance!
    utahtrapper and Highhawk1948 like this.

    Team 444 #269
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    "a Smith & Wesson beats Four Aces"

  8. #7
    Gun Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazer View Post
    I'd use the 444 with a scope out to 300 yards...I currenlty use it to 200 with no issues(I have the 444P)...I don't think you'd lose much at those ranges, but I don't hunt brown bear either!....what length bbl do you have?
    22" barrel with 2-7x33mm VX-II Leupold. Its a great combo and I'm super confident with it. Nice little cloverleafs @ 100 yds.
    336ER, hogbear and pondhill like this.

    Team 444 #269
    Team 45/70 #948
    Team 30-30 #374
    Team 1894 #274
    "a Smith & Wesson beats Four Aces"

  9. #8
    Wrangler
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    DS444 i use a good ole .45-70 up here for everything but sheep. The range you encounter bruins at is usualy within 200 yards. a good hard cast heavy bullet is choice. you want penetration on old brownie, also the lever gun brings a large amount of peice of mind with being very fast for repeated shots. once you shoot and that bear sees where you are they start in on you. might drop after a few feet might not. Mind your topknot!
    " I may have been on the losing side, but im still not convinced it was the wrong one." Capt. Mal Reynolds

    "We deal in lead friend"

    TEAM .45-70 #980

  10. #9
    Wrangler
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    OK, so this is from someone who has NEVER hunted big bears, but...I bought my 45-70 guide gun in hopes of someday making that hunt. My thoughts are between the two, the 444 close range gives you more than the '06. You might be a bit better off longer range with the '06, but I think you are more marginal at that point. Sooooo, if you are going to keep it close, the big bore lever should perform well. If you want to be prepared for a longer shot then I would step up from the '06 to something like a 338 or 375.

    I say get in under 150 yds. and do work with the 444
    Team 30-30 #816
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    Team 45-70 #976

  11. #10
    Wrangler
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    I'd use your 06 with premium 180 or larger bullets. The 06 will kill anything you are apt to run into on this continent! Phil Shoemaker states it is a very viable round for brown bears and he is one of the best experts I can think of. Jim


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