recoil sensitive bear defense
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  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    recoil sensitive bear defense

    I know bear defense is a totally played out and still controversial topic. But I'm still gonna ask this question. I am planning a future trip through ak and my gf is kinda recoil shy. she is comfortable shooting my model 94 in 30-30 but that is about the most she feels she can handle. I know for browns that a 30-30 is considered too small but what would you hand her for this trip that would be better without much increase in felt recoil?
    Last edited by Mr Fixit; 03-13-2015 at 06:45 AM. Reason: spelling corrections

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    Gun Wizard
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    Take a look at Ammunition Test Results under Focus on the the 190 Hawk and 35 Remington. Lot of calibers, velocities and bullet types tested into some realistic test media. Note the 30-30 with the Factory Winchester Power Point 170 had the greatest depth of penetration of [U]any[U] load tested. While the load may not have power of some of the 338 Mag and 35 Whelen loads tested, it should get the job done. Since she is familiar and comfortable with the 94 would choose this load and call it done. Do recall a thread or two on the 30-30 where Alaskan natives with experience mention this very load as good for heavy game.
    Last edited by graymustang; 03-11-2015 at 12:46 PM.
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    Tenderfoot
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    Thanks for the info. I know a 30.30 will kill a bear but with the energy levels and small frontal area I just wonder if there could be a better choice. I'll have her shoot my 35 to see how she likes it as it is my go to gun in colorado, just cannot ever find the ammo for it as I do not as of yet hand load.

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    ochute, do you reload your own? Or only buy factory ammo? Reason I'm asking is that if you are limited to factory ammo your choices of caliber are limited. Especially with Brown bear in mind!!
    If no reloading, with your wife being sensitive to recoil, I'd look into a pistol caliber Marlin, 44mag would be my first choice, most folks will use the 44mag as a back-up against these bears in a snubby revolver...if this is for defense only! If you reload you could consider a 45LC since you can load a heavier bullet (300-350gr). My first preference would be the 45-70 though. If you reload you could definitely tone it down so she could handle it very comfortably....say with a 350gr or maybe a 405gr cast bullet. You'd be amazed at how mild you can make these loads and still get very respectable penetration.
    I use 30-30 and 35Rem for black bear....I don't know how comfortable I'd be with those calibers for anything bigger and nastier!
    Lots of Marlins!

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    Certified Gunnut
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    This is a cold hearted answer. If you/she wants to go play where the great bear lives, you/she need be prepared to protect yourselves. That includes being able to use things like Marlin guide guns in .45-70, Remington 870 3" properly loaded, or at least a .30-06 sporting rifle. Unless you are willing to put your life into a can of bear spray (I'm not) find a good zoo to go watch the bears.

    BTW, I take my own advice. I got too old and physically limited to go to Africa on a fair chase safari. The money is there, the can do is not. I should have gone 15 years ago.

    Back to recoil. Handling it can be learned. There are also compensating devices such as good pads, recoil reducers that can be implanted in the butt stock, and muzzle brakes. Got a bad case? Use all three.
    Highhawk1948, Macoz and oh-behi like this.
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    hitting twice with the 170gr's is much better than missing once with an '06....you most likely wont have a need anyway...but if you do...the one she shoots best is the pick...
    graymustang likes this.

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    Gun Wizard
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    there isnt much trouble handlng the recoil of the 105 howitzer, and you cont have to be very close either. a little hard to carry or pull around tho. the 30/30 should be enugh, if someone dosnt get too excited ( my wife freezes up) and would not be much help.

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    ochute, welcome to Marlin Owners.

    No doubt you're going to get varied answers/advice on your question. I will simply convey a true story for your consideration.

    There is a Native American gal who has hunted every year for over 40 years in Alaska. She harvests Moose and has certainly had her encounters with big browns in that time. She has owned only one rifle her entire life and the caliber is very similar to a 30-30. It's a 32Special and as you're probably aware they use the same case. She has never read a gun rag to know that both of these chamberings are not adequate to take large game nor be preferable against Mr Griz. She simply knows how to hunt and works in close to make her annual harvests.

    She is still alive and well hunting Alaska. And the old Native American women has only used 170GR standard factory ammunition. And there is something to say about being comfortable with your rifle.

    That said, I wouldn't discount what graymustang posted. Buffalo Bore sells a 30-30 load using the 190GR Hawk bullet that is more potent than the 32Special. If your rifle hasn't a recoil pad you could always use a Limbsaver slip on recoil pad. My wife loves hers and with it she thinks my 338MX is a cream puff.

    Jack
    Last edited by JACKTW; 03-11-2015 at 04:34 PM. Reason: typos
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    I'm kinda' with mazur above on the handgun idea regardless, it's not like she/you has to shoot it all the time, but good insurance to have handy. I'm not sure off-hand how to address her recoil issue if stepping up in caliber, except along the lines of better pads, or even heavier weight rifle maybe if she can take it... porting barrel maybe? I have no clue if those buffers some install inside stocks are really that/enough effective for her or not either?
    Good luck to you.
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    ochute, if spending some money isn't an issue you might consider a Ken Rucker's Bump Buster. They tame recoil like no other. Check it out here: Speedbump Stockworks - Official Home of Ken Rucker's Bump-Buster!

    Jack
    All that the South has ever desired was that the Union, as established by our forefathers, should be preserved, and that the government, as originally organized, should be administered in purity and truth. – Robert E. Lee

    My avatar is dedicated in honor of my
    Great Great Grandfather who fought at Bunker Hill and survived to continue his fight in The American Revolutionary War for Liberty and Freedom.



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