What type of shotgun would be best for protection from grizzly bears?

A friend recommended I purchase a Mossberg 6 shot retractable stock 12-GA pump shotgun (18.5" barrel) for protection against bears on my wilderness trip to Canada this summer. He said it would be easy to pack and handle, and provide ample power in case I find myself facing an aggressive grizzly or brown bear.

Any input or other suggestions? Leads on where to get a good deal?

12 Answers

  • dumdum
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    This is an excellent choice . Contrary to what some people think , at close range with 00 buckshot you will have all the fire power you need for the bear- people do not understand the damage at close range the 00 will do- they think of the shotgun as not being effective at the longer yardages, and they are right. But it is a different story when nearly all the buckshot hits the animal-in Africa, this is the weapon of choice by the professional hunter when tracking a wounded lion or leopard in the thickets.

  • 1 decade ago

    Mossberg makes an excellent product so if thats the way to go for you then good choice... Retractable stock?? -- Forget that idea... A regular stock is the only way to go... If a bear is giving you a problem you dont want to be futzing around with a stock... If its legal to bring into Canada then consider the Mossberg 500 Persuader # 50577. Its got a 20 inch barrel, 8 shot capability, and a full stock. I own one of these and it shoulders well and has a nice pointable feel to it... I practice with it all the time and can easily hit a 15 inch steel plate target at 75 yards all day long...... If its not ok to bring that shotgun then consider a regular Mossberg 500 slug gun. These have a 24 inch rifled barrel. I also happen to have one of those and they shoulder well and are more accurate due to the open iron sights.... The Persuader just has a bead on the end of the barrel but the slug gun has regular rifle type sights........ I should point out that I'm not trying to brag or toot my own horn here but I can knock down any animal to 100 yards with any Mossberg shogun loaded with slugs... Doesnt matter if its the police models, field models or slug gun models. I own all three and have run thousands of rounds thru these to become the marksman I am...... WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS??? -- NO matter what kind of shotgun you use its worthless unless you regulary take the time to practice with it... You have to be comfortable with the shotgun. Its not some last minute practice before the trip thing..... Know your firearm!!!! See the below links.....

    Source(s): Read this first.... An excellent article on protection shotguns in the field.... http://www.chuckhawks.com/shotguns_protection_fiel... My personal favorite..... A Mossberg 500 Persuader 12 gauge with a 20 inch barrel.... Very nice pointable feeling this has... http://www.mossberg.com/images/Mossberg_Guns/930/N... If the powers to be say you cant bring the Persuager into Canada then consider the slug gun. Its got a 24 inch rifled barrel..... Heres the regular specs page for the hunting models..... http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=3&... Heres a Mossberg slug gun 24 inch barrel....... http://www.mossberg.com/images/Mossberg_Guns/930/N... Now let me let you in on a little secret.... Buy a Mossberg 500 Turkey gun with a 20 inch barrel.... Change the choke to a more "open" choke. That way you can fire slugs (not sabots)or buckshot thru the barrel... It looks like a plain hunting shotgun but in reality its similar to there 8 shot police model but only holds 6 shots like Mossbergs other police models...... http://www.mossberg.com/images/Mossberg_Guns/930/N...
  • 1 decade ago

    I am a long time Alaskan hunter, brown bear hunter, and professional Alaskan bear photographer. I lived on Kodiak Island for many years and have lots of experience with these guys.

    If you can find a copy - look for a video called 'Take a Closer Look'. It is a neat brown bear video identification guide that will teach you how to recognize brown bears. This is handy since a three year old has really big ears, and, a trophy 10 footer will have tiny ears compaired to the size of the head. Knowing the difference means you can scare away the young one - won't work with the older one. Video is worth it's weight in gold for understand bear body language.

    12 ga with sabot slugs will put down a brown bear just as good as any rifle at close range - however - do not count on your first shot sending it to heaven. You need to break bones and hit vital organs to stop them - they are built very strong and powerful and can recover from a lethal shot for several minutes. One swipe and your life is ruined. Rule of thumb when bear hunting or protecting yourself from a bear is to keep shooting until it stops moving.

    You cannot bring your retractable shotgun to Canada - these are classifed as assault weapons. Only certain shotguns are allowed. When you cross the boarder be sure t have a nice pretty vent rib barrel used for skeet or bird hunting. When it is time to hike - put on the smaller yet still legal barrel.

    Your first two or three round coming out of the 12ga should all be sabots. After that OO Buck. Reason being if a bear is charging you, or, you have to shoot it off a buddy - with a sabot you have a good chance of being somewhat accurate. And after your 3rd sabot is expended you will be in 'panic fire mode' and the OO Buck should get you more hits.

    Don't cheap out and just buy a box of each and hope for the best. You won't do anyone any good unless you practice with the sabot and OO Buck. Standard shotgun qualification course for the military is 40 rounds............ so at least do this.

    What ever you do - do not tell 'em at the border you have the shotgun for bear protection. Right now they don't let anyone in with Bear Spray for fear someone might accidentally spray another person in the woods thinking they might be a bear. Gimme a break!

    The Canadian government has a web site set up just for folks visiting with firearms. Be sure to read up on the latest and greatest. I do know for sure you cannot have a shotgun with a pistol grip, colapsing stock, or a heat shield.

    Hope this helps!

  • 1 decade ago

    People who regulary encounter grizzly bears recommend a short barreled shot gun loaded with slugs

    The set up you are looking at is one of the best I have seen

    I don't like pistol grip only shotguns and the adjustable stock is better than the full stock with a pistol grip that I use

    The only thing I don't like about it is the Mossberg safety

    It is very hard to access a tang mounted safety with this type of stock

    If I am expecting bear encounters I want one in the chamber and ready to go

    This requires that the safety be on and easily accessible

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  • 1 decade ago

    Remington 870 or the Mossberg 590. I always bring my Mossberg 590 mariner 12ga with me when I go camping, but if I were in Grizzly bear territory I would also carry a 357 or a Glock 10mm along with bear mace.

  • 1 decade ago

    See if you can find an old Savage-Stevens 311 or some similar inexpensive side-by-side. There will be no reason to shoot unless you're being charged, and then you'll want two fast shots (and there won't be time for a third). That's why double rifles were so popular in Africa in the days of the famous PH's.

  • a remington bear stopper holds9 in the tube one in chamber , its just like the police carry but dont use bird shot use a hi-brass slug and keep some buck shot handy , u might knock his front end out with the slugs where then u may out run him. if that dont work when hes about to eat you shoot close range in the face to take out his eyesight and smell then run and fast. But what I would do is leave those bears alone.


  • 1 decade ago

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    with a grizzly you need real stopping power, much more than for brown bear.I would see if the Canadian park service might have a suggestion or maybe the national park service in Alaska

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