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3 bears-What gun?

Old 10-30-2009, 09:30 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Question 3 bears-What gun?

For the past 10yrs I've been dreaming of 3 bear hunts:

1) a lower 48 bruin
2) a Canadian (BC) grizz (+ caribou)
3) an alaskan kodiak (+ moose)

For each hunt, I would PREFER to use a handgun, but want to carry a rifle just in case I need to reach out a little farther, so I'm evaluating 2 weapons.

Buying new guns isn't an issue, but for sentimental value, I would like to use the same pairing for all 3 hunts, hopefully taking all 3 bears with the same gun (the revolver).

To add extra sentiment, I would like to use my first handgun, a .44mag Ruger Superblackhawk. I have a .454 Ruger Super Redhawk if the .44mag honestly WON'T do the job for the Kodiak, but I'd prefer the SBH for sentiment. I'll be amazed, but if I need something bigger than the .454, I'm ok with that too.

Secondly, my planned back up is my standby, a Marlin guidegun in .45-70. I may consider buying a .375H&H to add range, but the guide gun and I have trekked many a weary mile together. I could also use my .416Rigby, but I'm afraid it's too much gun for bruins.

So the 1st question is, is the .44mag enough for Alaskan Kodiak? If not, then is the .454 enough?

The 2nd question, is there any good reason to use a .375H&H over the .45-70? I shoot the .45-70 for deer out to 200yrds comfortably, but I'll be using heavier bullets for the bears. Remember, it's a back up, so if the scoped revolver can't reach a trophy bear, I need considerably more range from the rifle. (In my mind, the .45-70 would be enough for BIG bears out to 200yrds, but I've never shot one to know?)
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:20 AM
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I hate to disapoint you, but handgun hunting in Canada is not allowed (unfortunately). If you hunt BC for Grizz, the 45.70 or the 375 will have to do.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:05 PM
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Well that answers it I guess! If you want to use the same gun then use that .45-70.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:33 PM
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I think the 45-70 is a great choice for bear hunting. I also think the .44 magnum will be plenty for you, just make sure to use a premium bullet.
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:44 PM
Typical Buck
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I'd go for the guide gun since you've got it. As far as the revolver goes 44 mag, 454 casual, 500 s&w all seem to be good choices. I actually saw a revolver chambered in 45-70 at gander mountain if you wanted to simplify on ammo.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:59 PM
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the 454 and the marlin guide gun in the 450.if you do not have the S&W500 save the money i would put my 454 up to the 500 anytime.i have all 3 and the 500 stays home
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:30 PM
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Well scratch that idea then!

I may reconsider where to take the grizz hunt then, so I can use the wheelgun.

I've considered getting a Super Redhawk Alaskan, for defense, at least that way I'd feel a little safer than just having the .44mag Single action, but I think the guide gun will be fast enough and pack enough punch to keep even the grizzly's off my back if the first shot from the .44 doesn't cure what ails them.

Assuming I decide to hunt where handguns are allowed, what's the opinions on the .44mag for heavy bears?
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:45 PM
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for actually taking a kodiak, and griz with a handgun, I'd want a 500s&w, .480ruger, .454casull, .460s&w, not a .44mag.

a black bear in the states I think the .44 would be fine.

btw, get started on these hunts, thinking about it for 10years? It's time to check one off!

as a backup I think that .45-70 would be the way to go, compare TKO values...I'm guessing the .45-70's is higher than the .375H& least if you're shooting 400gr ...
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:05 PM
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take your 45/70, any handgun will feel pretty small when looking at a kodiak monster. will do find for the baited baears if you can shoot it good. 300gr cast loads should do.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:40 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,085

Well, you can't hunt Canada with a handgun, and you can't hunt grizzlies in Alaska without a GUIDE.....

So your problem is solved, if you want to hunt grizzly/brown bears with a handgun...

Don't hunt in Canada...

Use your .44 in AK..You'll have a guide behind you with suitable stopping rifle, so you can leave your rifle home...

Have a ball hunting black bears with your .44 in the lower 48...No place there to legally shoot grizzlies..
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