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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going black bear hunting in Ontario next September. I believe I've got an appropriate rifle for the hunt (.300 Winchester Mag) but all I need is the smallest excuse to go buy a .45-70 lever.

Somebody help me out. Any excuse will do. Something like "The buttpad on a .45-70 will most likely be black and so is the bear". Anything, really.

Brad
73 de KD5HRM
 

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I suppose I would save the money and use it for hunting unless your a gun collector. I have hunted throughout NA with a 30/06. You have a 300 mag which should do equally as well, or possibly a bit better at the further ranges.

It's funny to me how many people I know say they cannot go on a specific trip because they can't afford it yet they have a dozen rifles in the closet. I have been a professional hunter in Alaska and Africa. I know lots of these kinds of guys. They have a gun for evey situation but only read about those situations. This is not golf where you need a cart full of "clubs" for each shot.

I decided long ago when I was in a conversation just like this with another older gentlemen. He said "you need to decide if your a hunter or a gun collector" If you want to be a hunter get a good rifle you can use on everything and then spend you money where it will do the most good, Hunting!

If your a gun collector buy a good fire resistant gun vault and then buy all the guns you want. That turns out to be some of the best advice I have eve had regarding hunting. My experience shooting big game around the world far surpasses the ownership of a single gun that would be sitting in my gun vault!

After 20 plus years of hunting now I own a Model 37 Ithica 12 guage shotgun my dad bought me when I was 12, I own a .22 bolt action rifle, a 30/06 and my Alaska work rifle the 375HH. After several years of working in Africa I had to buy a bigger rifle for the large dangerous game there. I had a custom made 458 Lott built.

So there are two hunting rifles( 30/06 & 375HH), a shotgun, a 22 rimfire, and a 458 lott backup gun I have only used because of my job. Not much of a collection! The truth is in the USA I use the 30/06, 99% of the time. I have never used the Lott in the USA, My wife and daughter use the 22 rimfire and I have not used my shotgun in 10 years but it's the only one I have.

Oh hang-on I also own a .44 magnum revolver but that's not a long gun. I do pack that with my all the time on the wilderness pack trips in the mountians here in Wa. State. I have alos killed a whole bunch of bears and lions with it too! These are the only guns I have in a 20 plus year career of hunting for my living.

How many guys do you know who have a special gun for every situation and can never go and do anything because they cannot afford it? How many can shoot every gun they have perfectly well? Few I have met can shoot multiple guns perfectly especially when under stress of a stalk or quick shooting situation in the brush. I can't even count the times I have heard a guy say "I'm not as comfortable with this rifle" or "I could not find the safety on this gun is much different then the others" Maybe the scopes are different and the AO was out of focus?

There is a lot to be said for the guy with one gun who really knows how to use it. I think if your really a serious big game hunter planning trips outside your area for bears, what's next? Hogs in California? elk in Montana? Sheep in BC? Goats in AK? the 300 mag will do all of those things. It's Probably almost 10:1 the most popular cartridge I see my hunters bringing to Africa for their plains game hunting.

Sorry for the reality check but, like the old man told me. Are you a hunter or a gun collector?
 

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Brad
Congrats on getting to go bear hunting in Ontario I have never hunted in Canada Well maybe we crossed over on snowmachines by accident a few times but out in the bush it can be hard recognize the Ak and canada Border.

Your 300 will do fine a lot of hunters get excited before their hunt
that they have saved and planned for and wonder if they need this or that to make every thing go well. Now if ya want a levergun in 45-70 and
are lookin for a excuse i will give ya one they are fun and a American icon of the old west.The old 45-70 has had a lot of life brought back into it
but it still has some limitations but for up close on blackies it will do just fine.
JJ is correct on dont let buying another rifle get in between you and your next hunt if ya already have what will work.I have alot of rifles
and most were given to me or inherited.I have a favorite that always seems to find its way to camp and the others set.
SO GO GET THAT BEAR

Dabigmoose
 

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Discussion Starter #4
JJHACK, I appreciate your advice. There's much to be said about owning one gun and shooting it well.

I've owned the .300 for 20 years and have never taken it hunting. Ever. I inherited it from my father in the early 80's and the only thing I've ever shot with it is paper. It's a 13 pound rifle that I am not willing to tote around the woods.

The only other gun that I have that MIGHT be suitable for black bear is a Marlin 336 in .30-30. It's the only thing I've hunted whitetails with my whole life. Though it will do the job on a 140 lb. whitetail, I just don't know if it has enough stuff for a 300-500 lb bear.

Brad
73 de KD5HRM
 

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Hunting over bait a 30/30 is plenty. Think about this. Same bullet diameter as the 300 mag right? The 300 mag is good to what 300, 350, 400 yards? Its likely about the same power that far out as the 30/30 is at 30 yards!

My wife uses a 30/30 and has killed plenty with it. She shot her first bear with one over one of our bait sites. The difference bteween 30 caliber rifles is the range they shoot. The bullets are for all practical purposes the same.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting somebody load a 170 flat nose in a 300 mag. What I'm saying is the functional use of the 30/30 is well within its design for black bears over bait. By the way I would not want to pack around the 13 pound 300 mag either! I would certainly be looking for a better "all arounder" Mine is an 8 pound 30/06 and has served me perfectly from northern Alaska to southern Africa.
 

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NO! NO! NO!

kd5hrm;

I just bought a 45/70 in a Marlin guide gun, I also have a Handy rifle and a Conterder pistol in the 45/70, Thats my favorite cartridge!!! I have others but for close range I love that BIG slug!! The sound it makes when you pull the trigger and the look on the targets face when that slug gets there!!!
Go for it!! you only live once!!

I hope this helps you out? now go ask the wife!! :-D
 

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Thinking of bying anew gun

I don't need to think about bying a new gun. If I were going hunting in Ca, That would be the only excuse that I would need, as far as a lever gun can any one have to many lever guns?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did it. Bought myself a Marlin .45-70. I got the blued, un-ported version. I've shot the one with the muzzle-blast enhancer on the end and decided I didn't want any of that. Loaded up 40 rounds of 350 gr Hornady flat points with varying amounts of IMR 3031. We'll see how it does from the bench next weekend.

Brad
 

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Muzzle blast enhancer!!!!!!!!!

great term! Muzzle blast enhancer - I like it :-D Your neighbors at the range will appreciate your considerate attitude - so will any hunting partners.
 
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