12ga for Black Bear -- Slugs or Buckshot [Archive] - Glock Talk


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06-09-2002, 13:57
My wife and I are going to our cabin in New Mexico for vacation next week and our neighbors up there say the local drought has brought the black bears down into the neighborhood. Most of them are juveniles, but a few big ones wander around occasionally.

I've never hunted bear, so I was curious which is a better load from a smooth barrel 12ga 870: slugs or buckshot? The houses are about a mile apart with heavy forest and hills in between, so over-penetration isn't an issue.

The bear in the region are usually very shy around humans so I doubt we'd have a problem with them, but we take our dogs for walks in morning and evening, so it's a possibility, though remote. Thanks for any advice.

06-09-2002, 14:02
I would say slugs. Penetration, penetration. Big chunk of lead going all the way through the bear if possible is nice. I've never hunted bear (or anything else really) but all the "shotgun" proponents as opposed to big-revolver proponents of the perpetual Alaskan-killer-attack-bear posts seem to agree slugs are the way to go.

Keep posting, someone will chime in who actually knows more.

06-09-2002, 14:40
I was thinking the same thing. Slugs seem to be the common sense answer, but since the biggest thing I've ever hunted was white-tail, I wanted to get some more input to make sure I was thinking correctly. Especially since white-tails are much less likely to maul you!

I've got a few 2.75" Federal Hydra-Shok slugs in the safe, but I may go pick up some 3" roundnose slugs before I leave. A 3" Remington 1oz slug at 1340fps hits with over 3000ft/lbs, which is a bit better than my G23 can do! ;)

06-09-2002, 14:49
here is my answer....

indoors if the bear gets in your cabin BUCKSHOT, outdoors and for all other use Slugs.

I load my bear gun with 4 slugs and then 2 OO buck shot as the last two in the magazine. if it is still close enough that I am using the 2 00's then he is close enough for those to be effective.

I also have a speedfeed stock and a 6 shell side saddle on my defence gun for a total of 16 shells in the gun to start it off with.

06-09-2002, 15:07
Thanks Westicle...

Would a 3" slug be a good option or are the 2.75's adequate (with room for more in the mag, too)? Hollowpoint or roundnose? These are just black bears...no Grizzly's or Kodiak down here!

06-09-2002, 19:19
When I carry a Shotgun in the Bush I use the 3" 1 3/8 ounce Brenneke slugs, they have a very good track record, all though recoil is somewhat heavy. A large Black Bear wouldn't weigh much over 400 lbs. I would be comfortable with a 2.75" 1 ounce Brenneke slug and the recoil is very manageable.
Have a nice evening, Rabon...

06-09-2002, 20:54
I know you said shot gun BUT
I think it's called stratification, it's when the bullet hits so hard and fast it turns the blood to a solid. Then you have a hydraulic affect.
7 mm mag
300 win
if you do go with the trusty 870 get the biggest hottest load you can [slug]. When you pull the trigger it's going to heart
be shirr to pull that stupid plug out of the gun to load 5 shells. The plug is for hunting only.

Remember the black bear main diet is fish and mice, not people.
make lots of noise, don't have food out, those long quiet walks in the dark might be a bad idea, if you do see a bear, give a warning shot hell probably run like his head was on fire and his ass was catching
handling bears is a lot like getting mugged know your surroundings,
If he gets in to your garbage he probably wants it more than you. Just call the DNR
I have bumped in to a bear waking out to my tree stand in pitch black, scared the heck out of the bear. my dum but just stood there with a bow and arrow in the dark by my self.
I have alleyways felt at home in the woods and do not need a gun.
Remember the animals have instinct they know what fear smells like.
Put a Glock 26 in your back pocket for BG's and dog's. no no a g17 no no a g21 no no a g22
have fun
Mike;4 ;j b

06-09-2002, 23:40
Either would be pretty good, but slugs would have an edge IF you can hit the bear in a good place.


06-10-2002, 03:04
Thanks for the info guys. I agree the bears are generally pretty timid around there and they will usually run if you yell at them or throw a stick/rock. But once, two years ago, my neighbor was mauled pretty badly, so since then I've been a bit more worried about them.

Like I said, they are hungry since their food supply is almost exhausted up in the hills, so dogs and cats supplement their diet. The bears can be seen at all times of the day, too. I keep the dogs inside at night and when we aren't home, but they have to go out sometime. I've never had a problem with the bears trying to get in the house, although i've had them walk up on the deck and sniff around the windows a bit. We keep an air horn (like the ones you hear at football games or on boats) in the house and that will usually scare them off. Sometimes just the sound of the dogs barking will send them scurrying into the woods.

In the past, I've carried a .41Mag with me and never felt undergunned, but my dad is using that pistol right now so the largest handgun I have is my G23. My 870P is easy to carry and packs a pretty good punch, so it will be my dog-walking gun.

06-10-2002, 11:25

Slugs are the only proper medicine for bears (black or brown) in a purely defensive situation. I have had encounters with and have hunted bruins and 3" slugs are nothing less than devestating. The trick with a shotgun is being able to keep cool during a frontal charge. I feel more than comfortable with a side arm for defensive use against a bear but the "experts" do not recommend this and this is appropriate for general recommendations for self defense. Do not let any tree hugging retard tell you that pepper spray is more effective than a shotgun with slugs. This argument has no basis in objective fact. You are morally right to think ahead to protect your wife and youself with a firearm. There are many who listen to the liberal press and do not arm themselves when exploring in bruin land and pay a very dear price. If you are interested in "expert opinion" on the subject you need to check out jame gary Sheldon's books and web page: http://www.direct.ca/cabc/ He is THE MAN when it comes to bear attacks and how to survive them. He trains the Canadian wardens on bear defense techniques and has great reads on the subject. For defensive predator situations, I feel that in choosing a weapon you should go with a close quarters weapon that will inflict the most tissue damage and supply a relative amount of firepower. First choice = shotgun with slugs, second choice = high kinetic enrgy side arm, last choice = hunting rifle. I know that someone mentioned a 7mm rifle; but this is a poor choice when the predator is hunting you (paralax/low fire power/ operating a bolt under stress/ etc . . .) If you don't believe me read about these well armed offensive hunter that became prey http://www.direct.ca/cabc/6ReAc.html . Enjoy yorself, be mindful of your surroundings, and carry a devastating defensive weapon and all will be well.


06-10-2002, 14:03
a 7mm rifle; but this is a poor choice when the predator is hunting you (paralax/low fire power/ operating a bolt under stress/ etc .

I think you are right the all time big game thick skinned rifle round moving at over 3600 FPS, at 260 g 7 mm mag. that can't do any damage. You know these come in semi auto. Try to be mature when you respond to other members opinions. don't just bash.

06-10-2002, 14:34
Not a flame, but I wasn't asking about rifles. I was specifically asking about 12ga shotguns. My 338 Lapua would probably kill a bear, but it's not near as handy as my 870. Plus, can't find many 8 shot 7mm or 338's for $300. Thanks for the input, though.

06-10-2002, 14:40
If it doesn't already have it, I'd add a SideSaddle (6 extra shots, or 4 if you have the sporting fore-end), good way to carry extra rounds for $25.

Also, add a sling. Good way to make sure your shotgun is on you, not in the truck/behind the door whatever.

06-10-2002, 14:55
Just make lots of noise, wear some bells, and load up on several slugs.

Buckshot may not even penetrate the fur.

Or a Redhawk or 629 with some hot SWCs.

Mark 19
06-11-2002, 15:28
You are morally right to think ahead to protect your wife and youself with a firearm. Here in New Mexico it is your legal right as well.

06-19-2002, 13:31
I agree with Verybigstick, I ALWAYS carry my shot gun when walking here. The only thing I do differently (and it's my own thought) is put a bird shot into the magizine first then fill it up with slugs. My reasoning is that if the bear does not get stopped with the slugs then that last thing I fire before I become dinner, is the bird shot in hopes of blinding the bear and killing his sense of smell. I figure that at that point he will pretty darn close and it will be the last option.

I also carry bear spray "just beacuse"....We have all sorts of makes and models of bears here, even in town, so if I have a juvenile black bear then I MIGHT think about the spray (for a split second).

06-20-2002, 02:16
It wouldn't be a bad idea to have more then one person (wife) armed as well... a bear can only chew on one of ya at a time you know!:)

I'm not kidding either.

06-23-2002, 14:32
These two guys from the city were going hiking in bear country, where the chance of encounters with both black and grizz were about equal. The guy in the general store where they bought some supplies gave them some advice. He said to put some little silver bells he had for sale on their clothes... the noise will scare off the black bears. He also sold them some pepper spray that he said will chase off the blacks as well. He told them that if they came across black bear droppings on the trail, don't be alarmed... but if they came across grizz droppings, turn around and vamoose, pronto! The hikers asked how to tell the differance between black and grizz droppings. "Easy" said the old man... "the grizz droppings have little silver bells in them, and they smell like pepper". :)

Use the slugs. Knockdown power, especially up close, is something to behold. Remove the plug on the 870. If you can fit an extra round by using 2 3/4" vs 3", I'd do so. Five 2 3/4s is better than four 3" shells. I'd also buy a big can of pepper spray made especially for bears, for the wife to carry. The big cans can spray a stream about 30-40'. Let her "fire" first in an encounter with a non-fleeing bear, but BE READY with the shotgun! Unless of course he's advancing toward you menacingly, and he's close. Remember... center of mass... it's easy to panic and miss.

BTW, start jogging today, if you don't run regularly. You don't have to be able to outrun the bear... just the wife. ;f;f;f

06-23-2002, 22:39
Originally posted by rfb45colt
BTW, start jogging today, if you don't run regularly. You don't have to be able to outrun the bear... just the wife. ;f;f;f


Glock You!
06-26-2002, 17:31
Definitely slugs!

tanto trader
06-27-2002, 11:58
Slugs and I would rule out side sadle slim chance of a reload. If Capacity is a concern go 8 Shot when I lived in griz country I had 8 shot winchester defender loaded with slus nearby. Any make should be fine but do your self a favor and se how your loads and gun perform. Chris

06-27-2002, 12:47
Ran a fishing camp in Canada and used a slingshot to whip mothballs all around the area. Pretty much keeps any casual critter from sniffing around. Worth a try.

For shooting, I would really go with good quality (expensive) slugs.

By the way, don't know were they get those huge moths, but you buy the balls in boxes at most hardware and general stores.

taa, cha;f

06-30-2002, 01:19
I don't have much knowledge about shotguns - should the selection be for smoothbore or rifled barrel? I am assuming that if by selecting a smoothbore shotgun, I'd need to get rifled slugs? At this close range, maybe MOA accuracy is not required?