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Old 09-02-2012, 08:01 AM   #121
HardCase
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Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
Yeah, I don't know much about the .444 either. I do know that I read up on it a while back, and would feel OK about using it for black bear... but black bear aren't gonna be your problem where you're headed.

If it were I, and I was hoping to save $$$ by using that, I'd look into what people thought of super-hot loaded .444 hollow-nose or solid bullets might do to larger bear. It's certainly gotta be better than something like a .30-06, the question is how much better?
The 444 actually shoots .429 bullets, same as a 44 Magnum/44 Special. As such there are quite a few bullets available if you handload. I would think that with good solid hard-cast gas-check, flat nose or SWC style bullets in the 300-320 grain weight range, it'd be a very respectable griz gun, right up there with all but the hottest of 45/70 loads. It isn't a gun I'd go out and buy, there are better choices available, but if I just happened to have one I don't think I'd be too hesitant to use it for bear defense.

I have a short barreled S&W 629 (2 5/8") that I've loaded with 300s and carried as a backup in the woods/mountains here in NW Montana. I feel much better armed with a 500 S&W Mag, assuming a handgun as opposed to a rifle, but those big slow bullets out of a 44 are pretty potent. In the 500 I load 440 grain flat-nosed hard-cast bullets to max.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:31 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by ktm360mx View Post
I'd love your opinions on the .444 Marlin. I am planning a trip to AK and western Canada for 6 months next year and this is one of the tools on the list. My uncle gave me a brand new .444 Marlin - nice gun, referred to it as a hog gun.

Wondering what you think besides that it's an oddball cartridge.

Thanks
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by ktm360mx View Post
I'd love your opinions on the .444 Marlin. I am planning a trip to AK and western Canada for 6 months next year and this is one of the tools on the list. My uncle gave me a brand new .444 Marlin - nice gun, referred to it as a hog gun.

Wondering what you think besides that it's an oddball cartridge.

Thanks
Everything you wanted to know about the .444 (a four part article):
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech...h_notes.htm/17
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:59 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by skysailor View Post
Being that I'm in Canada (read Granny State, as far as hand guns go) it has to be a long gun or shotgun.
I do a lot of hiking and biking in bear country. I don't hunt. I would only shoot anything to avoid being eaten!
What do all you gun savvy Yanks recommend for a defensive bear gun? I know if I was hunting bear, I'd use something along the lines of a .300 WSM with a big old scope, but what's best if the bear is hunting ME?
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:51 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktm360mx View Post
I'd love your opinions on the .444 Marlin. I am planning a trip to AK and western Canada for 6 months next year and this is one of the tools on the list. My uncle gave me a brand new .444 Marlin - nice gun, referred to it as a hog gun.

Wondering what you think besides that it's an oddball cartridge.

Thanks
The .444 isn't that odd of a cartridge, since it is available from Buffalo Bore:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/545...c=subv1_436189

I think this would be an excellent bear gun (self defense). The larger diameter bullet has more air drag, so it looses a lot of velocity very quickly. For this reason, the .444 is best used for ranges of 150 yards or less, so perfect for defense. This will be very effecive for bear at 20 yards.

You don't want a lightwieght expending bullet for bear (often used in high velocity applications), because it won't penetrate as well as a hard cast or jacketed controlled expension bullet. Buffalo Bore is the best for these kind of uses, but you can do a bit better hand loading up to max power.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:22 AM   #126
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Just so those who live in suburbs and cities understand, this is why there is a thread like this. We have seen a big momma bear with a little cub hanging around recently and heard of others. Here is what they left yesterday about 50 feet from our bedroom door that opens to the back yard so they are pretty bold. The dogs have been pretty jumpy, I guess this is why...

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Old 09-07-2012, 11:04 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by FatChance View Post
Just so those who live in suburbs and cities understand, this is why there is a thread like this. We have seen a big momma bear with a little cub hanging around recently and heard of others. Here is what they left yesterday about 50 feet from our bedroom door that opens to the back yard so they are pretty bold. The dogs have been pretty jumpy, I guess this is why...

Oh hell, that's not so bad! No bear bells, cans of pepper spray, wimpy handguns, Birkenstocks, Patagonia duds, or assorted/sundry body-parts in there. Must be a black bear!
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:12 PM   #128
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Oh hell, that's not so bad! No bear bells, cans of pepper spray, wimpy handguns, Birkenstocks, Patagonia duds, or assorted/sundry body-parts in there. Must be a black bear!
Yeah, we're not "supposed to" have any of those BIG bears down here (though I have heard differently from some locals up by the Weeminuche) like you have up there in the Last Best Place. Still, they are big enough when we see them standing outside the bedroom door!

I guess I should also state, for those who might let their minds jump to conclusions, that the bear gun I keep next to the night stand is only for those bears who might want to come into the house uninvited or think they have to fight the dogs for some unknown slight to their delicate sensibilities. Otherwise, we can all share the area happily.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:35 AM   #129
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Yeah, we're not "supposed to" have any of those BIG bears down here (though I have heard differently from some locals up by the Weeminuche) like you have up there in the Last Best Place. Still, they are big enough when we see them standing outside the bedroom door!

I guess I should also state, for those who might let their minds jump to conclusions, that the bear gun I keep next to the night stand is only for those bears who might want to come into the house uninvited or think they have to fight the dogs for some unknown slight to their delicate sensibilities. Otherwise, we can all share the area happily.
I wouldn't doubt that there might be a few griz lurking in the mountains in Colorado. That would seem to be perfect habitat for them.

I've seen some damned big black bears over the years. I've not seen that many griz outside of Glacier Park where they are often seen......just had a very close encounter with a mama and two cubs on the trail to Iceberg Lake a couple of weeks ago. It was apparent that she was pretty accustomed to people and didn't pose a threat, but it was still an awe-inspiring sight. I'm guessing she weighed 600-700#.

I live in town so don't have to deal with bear, but they can be quite a problem in some areas.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:33 AM   #130
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Since I'm in black bear country, and probably can live without a .375 H&H, I'm looking at a Marlin lever action in .44 mag. My thinking is, it's fairly cheap to feed .44 Specials, so I can afford to "play" with it on a regular basis. It also comes in .357, and will digest .38 Special for "play" time. Plus, I really like the look of the Marlin. Thoughts?
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:36 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by skysailor View Post
Since I'm in black bear country, and probably can live without a .375 H&H, I'm looking at a Marlin lever action in .44 mag. My thinking is, it's fairly cheap to feed .44 Specials, so I can afford to "play" with it on a regular basis. It also comes in .357, and will digest .38 Special for "play" time. Plus, I really like the look of the Marlin. Thoughts?
Lyle
I really like the Marlin .44mags/.357mags. Want one of each. Great general purpose carbine. The longer barrel really adds some zip.

I'm guessing Ok,but not ideal for Black Bear with a heavier/better constructed bullet. The .357 can approach the .30-30 in power at close ranges and the .44 would have even more. And I believe the .30-30 has taken many a black bear in hunting situations.

I do think for "bear defense" in a long gun I'd want more power in a similar size package.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:41 AM   #132
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I live in town so don't have to deal with bear, but they can be quite a problem in some areas.
I would think your area would be pretty prone to town bears.

Hell, we had one in my town. And we edge the desert, not the mountains.

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Patients at a medical clinic were shocked to see a new patient one Friday morning, when a hungry, young black bear walked in through an automatic door without disturbing anyone.

The 125-pound male bear who was probably hungry from a winter of hibernation, wandered into the Presbyterian Medical Group gastroenterology laboratory, a relatively small building off one the main roads in Rio Rancho, north of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, in the early morning hours.
I think the bear just wanted a colonoscopy, may have had bells and birkenstocks in its scat.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:21 AM   #133
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Okay, the jury came in. I'm buying a Remington 870 "Deer" slug gun, with open sights for my back country hiking gun. AND I'm buying a Marlin carbine lever action for my "play" gun, in .357 mag. I can use .38 Specials that I can get "really" cheaply from a buddy who reloads, and stuff some hot .357 loads in it for anything "serious". Picking up one of them tomorrow, depending on which one Cabela's in Winnipeg has in stock. I know they have the .357 Marlin in stock. Hand guns are just stupid restrictive up here, and I really needs a new toy! This, and my wife wants to learn to shoot. Can't think of a better learner than the Marlin with .38 Specials in it? I don't want a .22.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by skysailor View Post
Okay, the jury came in. I'm buying a Remington 870 "Deer" slug gun, with open sights for my back country hiking gun. AND I'm buying a Marlin carbine lever action for my "play" gun, in .357 mag. I can use .38 Specials that I can get "really" cheaply from a buddy who reloads, and stuff some hot .357 loads in it for anything "serious". Picking up one of them tomorrow, depending on which one Cabela's in Winnipeg has in stock. I know they have the .357 Marlin in stock. Hand guns are just stupid restrictive up here, and I really needs a new toy! This, and my wife wants to learn to shoot. Can't think of a better learner than the Marlin with .38 Specials in it? I don't want a .22.
Lyle
Great combo platter you have there. I have debated myself between .357 and .44, like I said I'd like both but... For me, I think the .357 makes more sense. Good for a bunch of stuff, but not really a bear gun.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:51 AM   #135
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I once used one of these for bear hunting.


Back in '77 we got to an island off Washington that had trophy bear, elk and deer. No vehicles, no firearms allowed, bows only. Wish I'd had those tits along...
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