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Hello all, myself and some friends, when we get our New Hampshire hunting licenses each year we get bear tags as well. What's exiting for me, this is the first year I'll be bringing my new Marlin 1895g. I brought it to the range, ran it through it's paces and I feel it's ready to go. I also always bring a backup gun. I have a 30-06, a 30-30 and a 12 gauge that I can shoot sabot slugs through because I have a rifled barrel for it. I would really like to bring my Marlin 30-30 with me but I was wondering what your thoughts would be. If I need the 30-30, I'll more than likely be shooting hornady leverevolution rounds through it at 160 grains. The woods are thick and my shots will most likely be under 100 yards. Not enough gun? Thanks in advance for any opinions.....Goose
 

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I doubt you will need a backup rifle for that Mountain Howitzer. Congrats on the new rifle. Gonna post some pics of it?
 

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There have been a lot of bears killed with a 30-30. I hear a lot about the gummi-bullets breaking up. I'd do some research on those before bear hunting with them. Otherwise I think the 30-30 is fine for bear.


Having said that, I'd probably lean toward the 30-06. I tend to use more rifle than I need.
 

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The 30-30 is a fine back up. I would pick another bullet however, my experience with gummies on 7 deer has been very bad as they breakup and do not exit on shoulder shots. I would not even dream of shooting a bear with them.... you would just make him angry.:ahhhhh:
 

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The 30-30 is plenty for a black bear if you do your job. If it was me I would opt for the 45-70 especially in the thick brush just cus I like the 45-70. If a small tree gets in the way a good bullet will go through the tree and hit your intended target.
 

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I'm not a 30-30 fan. I've taken many animals with it. Some were bang flops but I've also had long tracks with it and even lost some shot with it. The one that settled it for me was a deer that I recovered, only because of snow, that was hit in the boiler room. If not for snow I never would have recovered him. Most times with the 30-30 things will be fine but it's those other times I worry about. My choice for backup would be the 06 with heavy for cal bullets for bear. Bear tend to not bleed a whole lot, their fat plugs holes and if he runs off, an exit hole could be a savior.
 

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Welcome Goose
I'm reading your question a little different. I'm thinking when you say "backup gun" it's a spare in case something gets broken on your primary and you need another gun. Traditionally backup means something else you carry along with your primary, usually a handgun.
I usually bring a second shotgun while bird hunting unless I'm going to be hiking far from my truck for Chukker.
Your guide gun is all you'll need. A 405 to 450gr wide flat nose cast traveling around 1500fps will be more than enough for both animals.
 

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What 44fred said. 45-70 will take any thing you shoot. Might want a 44 mag pistol on your hip
 
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I would say it depends on the size of the bear. "Most" bears taken in my home state of PA are under 200 lbs., less than 2 years old. I have read that "young" bear meat is pretty good. However, if you run across a BIG bear, I wouldn't want to use a 30-30 to shoot it. Bears are resilient, and depending on where you hit it, they might live longer than you would like, and suffer greatly before expiring. You never really know what you are going to come across when hunting. I do believe that if you hunt an area you are very familiar with and you have tracked bears that use that area as their home range, you might have a better idea of what you will see. I have posted about a very large black bear that's around my favorite camping spot and is its home range. At least 450 lbs, it is a problem bear. All the years I have camped in that area previously, I never had a problem with a bear. I have seen them, I let them alone and they let me alone. However, this problem bear has spooked some of the people that have hunting camps in that area in the last couple of years. It has also spooked me. If that bear is around during bear season, you better believe I will have a 45-70 with me, as well as 180 grain 357 hollow points in my Ruger GP100 side arm.

A 30-30 is good for a backup, but if I'm bear hunting, my primary wearpon will be a 45-70. Better "too much" gun than not enough. One well placed round in a large bear will take care of business.

Happy hunting!


Mike T.
 

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My back up rifle is often a Take Down 30-30. Brown, Black and a few Polar Bear are taken every year with 30-30 here. Normal round is the Corelokt 170 grain. I prefer the 170 grain Nosler and have used it for moose with 30-30 and find much better effect. My hunting/camp rifle is now a 45-70 and normally carrying heavy Buffalo Bore ammo as it worked really well on the only grizzly I had to shoot in camp. image.jpg this is the TD 30-30 in an old spotting scope hard case. Very easy to bring along with the pocket and cheek piece to make it a grab and go (sling under foam) and the 45-70 image.jpg with a friend having enjoyed shooting it. Great tools. Really like the Nosler or at least Corelokt 170 grain in 30-30.
 

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That is a very nice little rifle wrapped up in a very neat little package AlaskaDawg. I would love to have one of those as we hunt a lot out of boats here.
 
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