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Thread: My first rifle purchase - Grizzly Bear Defence in mind - SKS?

  1. #1
    Canadian again at last! Military Professional
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    My first rifle purchase - Grizzly Bear Defence in mind - SKS?

    Hi guys I need some advice on my first rifle buy. I take my test Monday which I am going to challenge. The words are big and it's a multiple choice test so should be sweet. I hope anything else comes back to me for the practical. I am back working at a mine so time is limited and the courses always seem to run while I am away.


    First off I live in Yellowknife, Canada. We do not have a gun store up here so my options are internet that can get me the rifle fast. Within days really or buy privately from someone in the area.


    I expect to pass my test and send off the papers Monday the 9th which allow me to legally buy a firearm. My road trip to the Yukon, Alaska and Northern BC starts on the 25th of August and I want a protection firearm in bear country. We will be wheeling and camping all over just myself and the missus. Even she wants a rifle and thought of that on her own for protection.


    I have a line on an SKS that has been in storage since after manufacturing. It still has packing grease in it. I can get this rifle now and give it to a friend who can own a rifle until my papers come in to be able to take it home. I don't want to get in any trouble of course.


    Here is the add.

    SKS RIFLE +CRATE of AMMO $400 FIRM (Lower price) - Yellowknife Sports, bikes For Sale - YKTrader Yellowknife Northwest Territories



    I know it would not be a great bear hunting rifle but perhaps as a last option it would be better than a stick. I would also like to go hunting for the first time, could I use this as my starter rifle? I've been invited by some friends I work with which I look forward to.





    I'm open to other ideas, I'd also need ordering ideas to go outside of a private sale within Canada. Unless an American company can get one to me quickly.
    Last edited by Repatriated Canuck; 06 Jul 12, at 05:41.
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  2. #2
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    SKS? You can't get close enough to any real game up there and those that would get that close, you want maximum load possible. I say nothing short of a .308, looking very strongly at a .30-06.

  3. #3
    Canadian again at last! Military Professional
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    For self defence I would be already too close. Plus I am limited to what I can get my hands on locally.


    I imagine I would want a semi automatic at least. What models should I be looking at in the calibres you suggest?


    My rifle knowledge is really limited as well. Anything I have fired would not be a choice for bush defence. .22's and a C7 along with a small shot gun for skeet shooting are all I have experience with. The C7 and shotgun where also one day only events. No budget for reservists in the late 90's. :(
    Last edited by Repatriated Canuck; 06 Jul 12, at 05:58.
    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    College students are very, very, very dumb. But that's what you get when the government subsidizes children to sit in the middle of a corn field to drink alcohol and fuck.

  4. #4
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    Self defence, nothing is cheaper than a 12 gauge. And for $400, you can get a very good 2nd hand pump. If your forearms are good, it's almost as fast as a semi-auto especially if you learn how to pump and reacquire your aim. You have to do that regardless of what action you use - reacquire your aim.

    $400 price range, you're into the REMINGTON 740 series and the WINCHESTER 100 series. However, you have to have a good eye on just how good the rifle is.

    Like everything else, there are good used rifles and bad used rifles. I rather go to a gun smith or a hunting store. At least there, you know the barrel is straight.

  5. #5
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    I would call LeBaron. They'll email you their catalog on request. They don't advertise their firearms on the internet but they're fast in getting you quality firearms at good prices ... well good prices for Canada.

  6. #6
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    I don't know enough about Canada's law to be of any help. However, a rifle that can be of any use against a large bear is too much for self-defense against pests of the 2-legged kind.

    SKS is good for prey up to a small deer. The round is roughly in the same class as the old 30-30 Winchester. It will seriously annoy a grizzley. It is a fun gun to shoot and fairly cheap to operate.

    Colonel has the right idea. A nice pump shotgun is cheap to buy, cheap to operate, and very versatile. Load buck shots for defense against crooks or a solid slug against larger animals. Not sure how a slug or sabot round works against a grizzley though.
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  7. #7
    Field mechanik Senior Contributor omon's Avatar
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    well you can shoot in the air, scare him away, cuz if you shoot at him with sks (espesialy large alaskan brown bear) you'll only piss him off.

    get a shotgun, slgus are way better against bear than sks. you can also use it for HD, with diffferent load.
    Last edited by omon; 06 Jul 12, at 19:53.
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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    I agree - a 7.62x39 is nothing to plan on shooting at a Grizzly. They might have a fancy sabot slug load in 3.5" magnum 12 gauge that would work on a big bear. Even a 30-06 is a little light for one of those monsters, you would need be able to hit it in just the right place. The best gun for the job would also be suitable for a rhino or cape buffalo. like a .458 Winchester - though it would be quite expensive I'm sure. I've read that guides like the 45-70 lever guns with special loads.
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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    Cheapest option is the 12 gauge with slugs or sabot slugs.
    Lever guns (.45-70 only with premium modern hot loads) or a .450 Marlin.
    Bolt guns in .338 Winchester Magnum, .375 H&H, .375 Ruger or .458 Winchester Magnum. If using anything smaller one would have use solid bullets only.
    The last time I checked one can get a semi-auto Browning BAR in .338 Winchester Magnum.

    An SKS would be considered marginal for a Black Bear not to mention an angry Brown Bear.
    Last edited by surfgun; 07 Jul 12, at 04:25.

  10. #10
    Senior Contributor bonehead's Avatar
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    I will second the 12 gauge pump for close range and affordability. In the extreme temp and weather you are going to experience my advice is to limit yourself to a bolt action if you chose a rifle. More things can go wrong with a semi auto and you are going to want rock solid reliability. The closer the bear gets the bigger caliber your going to want. .300 mag, .338 mag would be a minimum if brown bear is on the menu. You have to be careful about going too big/exotic because you cant be afraid of the recoil and you want good availability of ammo without having to pay an arm and a leg for it.

    An SKS has only one redeeming quality. Once you empty the mag at a charging bear and not slow him down one iota, you can fall on the gun's bayonet and hope like hell you bleed out before the bear gets to you.

  11. #11
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Okay, you're gonna make me say it: get a Barrett XM500 or a McMillan TAC-50. However, plan on spending some money; base models start out at $3,800 (plus, the ammo ain't cheap!).
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  12. #12
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    Ditto the 12 gauge for the best all-around DEFENSE (and small meat) gun. Slugs for bear, buck for deer and evil men, shot for birds and small game.

    But if I could have only ONE rifle, it'd undoubtedly be an AR-15. You can shoot everything from .22LR to .458 SOCOM by swapping just the upper. There is even a .50 BMG upper. But IIRC, an upper would be considered a separate firearm in Canada, whereas in the USA it is a mail-ordered accessory.

  13. #13
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    Rule of thumb when shooting grizzlies/browns/polars. Don't stop shooting until the bear stops moving.

    I found it extremely funny that while a novice can be forgiven for his lack of knowledge that we all jump on the band wagon that an assault rifle against a brown is a very very bad bad bad idea.

    This being all said, the .30-30 has been known to take down browns and it was a deliberate hunt. Back in the Great Depression, that was about all that was available and that little calibre did it all. Mind you the range was less than 100 yards, placement to the dot, and balls of steel.

  14. #14
    Senior Contributor bonehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    Okay, you're gonna make me say it: get a Barrett XM500 or a McMillan TAC-50. However, plan on spending some money; base models start out at $3,800 (plus, the ammo ain't cheap!).
    If you go that rout why not a 20 mm lahti? I can guarantee you that won't look like too big of a gun when an 800 pound man eater charges. The rifle would be a bear to carry around though.

  15. #15
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    I'm not going to flat out disagree with everyone here and say that I wouldn't appreciate a little more gun if facing a moose or a grizzly, but a 7.62 x 39 round will seriously mess up a bear. You aren't going to get many one shot instant kills but 3 or 4 rounds center mass will stagger it (and would long term kill it) and let you get a head shot which will put it down. People go blackbear hunting with pistols in .22LR, (though its not real common). As long as it can reliably penetrate the animals hide (and an sks can do that) it can serve as a defense rifle.... Would a shoulder cannon be preferable sure but he is on a budget and will be carrying the run in addition to other gear so its not a horrid choice.

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