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  #1  
Old 08-12-2011, 05:13 AM
rmr rmr is offline
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marlin 336( in 35 remington) or pump shotgun


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I previously had a thread regarding recomendations on getting a 45-70GG or a 44mag trapper gun and appreciate all the input from all those that responded.

For the record I am very ignorant when it comes to rifles and their balistics( Im a bird hunter/clay target shooter so my comfort/knowledge is with over/under shotguns). In my previous thread I mentioned the reason Im looking at a levergun is Im looking for a weapon to be used( actually hopefully it would never have to be used) for protection. What I specifically want is a wepon to deal with a home intruder( person) or possible black bear or mountain lion - both have been seen roaming around our place in MT. Im not particualry worried about the big brown grizzlies as they have not been seen in our region of MT for many years. Im also not wanting a weapon to serve as a hunting rifle - so I dont need a dual purpose gun.

I was initially looking at a marlin 45-70 ( based on a guys recommendation at our local gun shop). I recognize its a very powerful weapon and will take down anything in N America. My biggest hesitation about the 45-70 is the recoil. I havnt been able to shoot one so I dont know how significant it is- but for every person that tells me its no big deal - I talk to someone else that says it is a big deal and after 5 or 6 rounds you dont want to shoot it anymore. I also have to consider in an emergency situation if Im not around my wife or one of my children may be forced to use whatever weapon I decide upon- so it needs to be something they can handle also. I completely agree with a comment that was posted on my other thread that a gun is no good - even if its a howitzer- if you cant shoot it accurately and hit the intended target. Therefore I have decided against the 45-70- potentially too much recoil, doubt my wife or kids could handle it, and Im really not worried about grizzlies.

So here is my question- based on 2 other guys recommendations- one said if you really want a levergun look at the Marlin 336 in a 35 remmington caliber- recoil is very manageble for a women and or teenager and it certainly has the ability, if shot accuralety, to take down a person, a lion or a black bear. The other guy recommended getting a tacticle pump shotgun ( rem 870 or a moosberg 500) and using a combination of buckshot and slugs- his reasoning was it would be easier for a less than proficient shooter like my wife or kids to usea shotgun (with buckshot) and actually hit a target( lion/bear) than it would be for them to shoot a rifle where you either hit or miss the target.

I would like to get any feedback with regards to either of the above recommendations. Especially with regards to the recoil of the 35 rem and its ability to knock down a bear/lion. With regards to a pump shotgun- would 0 buckshot immobilize a bear or lion - if not I assume a slug would as I have haerd lots of guys in Alaske carry pumps with slugs???

Thanks you and sorry for the long thread

RMR
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2011, 06:32 AM
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I can tell you that a 12 ga shotgun loaded with buckshot or slugs will kick a lot harder than a 35 Remington. The 35 Rem is a good all around gun for deer and black bear. I have seen grown men just about in tears after having to qualify with a shotgun shooting slugs and buckshot.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2011, 07:55 AM
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I'd like to post another vote for the .35 Rem. It's great combination of fairly mild recoil (well under a stout 12 ga load as already mentioned) good frontal area, and with the right loads, excellent penetration. It's found in a light, short handy package too. I'd think it a great answer for your needs. A ghost ring peep sight might be a good sighting system for it as well.
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2011, 08:31 AM
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The gun that sits next to our bed is a 20 ga 870 pump with birdshot. Plenty enough for close range things that go bump inthe night. YOu can add slugs and buckshot to the mix, for longer range effectiveness.

Rifles are great for distance shots. If a threat is some distance away, you have other options. You don't really need distance accuracy for protection as you described your needs.

Last edited by mogwai; 08-12-2011 at 08:40 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2011, 09:55 AM
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A 20 ga is a useful step down. The .35 Rem is a favorite hunting rifle of mine. Truthfully a .30-30 is a good general purpose rifle too.
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
A 20 ga is a useful step down. The .35 Rem is a favorite hunting rifle of mine. Truthfully a .30-30 is a good general purpose rifle too.
Our HD shotgun is a Winchester Defender in 20 gauge. Besides myself, my wife and daughter can fire it effectively.

It recoils heavier than my marlin 336 in 35 remington.

Mike's right on with a 30-30 also;

simple to use and load, easy to shoot. Will stop stuff close on as good as the 35.
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2011, 01:40 PM
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You mention you are familiar with shotguns, so I would vote a 870 in 12 or 20. It has a variety of loads and barrels available. And I dare say if something goes bump in the night I am not going to remember the recoil. For defense it is really hard to beat a pump shotgun. My 5'4" wife qualifies with a military pump 12 gauge with 00 buck. Yes a shotgun kicks but until they start selling phasers and photon torpedoes I think I will keep my 870. Having said that I have a 336 in 35rem and it is a favorite of mine, and I wouldn't feel outgunned with it. YMMV.
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2011, 04:24 PM
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"Bump in the night" is one thing; a black bear is quite another IMHO. You fellas can face all the black bears & mountain lions with buckshot that you want, I'll stay with a known killer of both, the .35 Rem.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2011, 04:29 AM
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I do a bit of control shooting whitetails for crop damage each year, and use both a 12ga and 20ga shotgun for that. In some areas buckshot is just safer. Because of the cost of ammo, I use lower cost buck and foster slugs most of the time.

A 9 pellet load of 00 buck, at close ranges, is devastating. In my experience, several years shooting 20 to 40 deer a year, with slugs and buck, it's the winner. As soon as shot size drops off, or distances get past 35yds or so, it fades fast. Two legged pests would be down even at 50yds, maybe 75yds, but critters not. The newest 20ga loads are as effective as 12ga foster slugs 10 years back. But they are not cheap, and from a LW 20ga, kick worse than my 12's. 20ga Foster type slugs are marginal past 50yds, especially the 3/4oz variety.

I think if I lived in MT, and needed a portable, powerful ranch tool, I'd get a .44 Mag lever gun, or one of the Ruger 77/44's. Very light and handy, and at ranges where home protection was critical, plenty of power with factory ammo. One of the Rossi Trapper versions, with a recoil pad fitted would be fine for smaller shooter.

Face it, a really big black bear, and a lady/kid compatible anything is a hard mix to fix. Mtn lions get killed regularly with a .357 revolver. But a large bear, somehow turned aggressive, needs some punch.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2011, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmr View Post
I previously had a thread regarding recomendations on getting a 45-70GG or a 44mag trapper gun and appreciate all the input from all those that responded.

For the record I am very ignorant when it comes to rifles and their balistics( Im a bird hunter/clay target shooter so my comfort/knowledge is with over/under shotguns). In my previous thread I mentioned the reason Im looking at a levergun is Im looking for a weapon to be used( actually hopefully it would never have to be used) for protection. What I specifically want is a wepon to deal with a home intruder( person) or possible black bear or mountain lion - both have been seen roaming around our place in MT. Im not particualry worried about the big brown grizzlies as they have not been seen in our region of MT for many years. Im also not wanting a weapon to serve as a hunting rifle - so I dont need a dual purpose gun.

I was initially looking at a marlin 45-70 ( based on a guys recommendation at our local gun shop). I recognize its a very powerful weapon and will take down anything in N America. My biggest hesitation about the 45-70 is the recoil. I havnt been able to shoot one so I dont know how significant it is- but for every person that tells me its no big deal - I talk to someone else that says it is a big deal and after 5 or 6 rounds you dont want to shoot it anymore. I also have to consider in an emergency situation if Im not around my wife or one of my children may be forced to use whatever weapon I decide upon- so it needs to be something they can handle also. I completely agree with a comment that was posted on my other thread that a gun is no good - even if its a howitzer- if you cant shoot it accurately and hit the intended target. Therefore I have decided against the 45-70- potentially too much recoil, doubt my wife or kids could handle it, and Im really not worried about grizzlies.

So here is my question- based on 2 other guys recommendations- one said if you really want a levergun look at the Marlin 336 in a 35 remmington caliber- recoil is very manageble for a women and or teenager and it certainly has the ability, if shot accuralety, to take down a person, a lion or a black bear. The other guy recommended getting a tacticle pump shotgun ( rem 870 or a moosberg 500) and using a combination of buckshot and slugs- his reasoning was it would be easier for a less than proficient shooter like my wife or kids to usea shotgun (with buckshot) and actually hit a target( lion/bear) than it would be for them to shoot a rifle where you either hit or miss the target.

I would like to get any feedback with regards to either of the above recommendations. Especially with regards to the recoil of the 35 rem and its ability to knock down a bear/lion. With regards to a pump shotgun- would 0 buckshot immobilize a bear or lion - if not I assume a slug would as I have haerd lots of guys in Alaske carry pumps with slugs???

Thanks you and sorry for the long thread

RMR
For some reason, I'd forgotten about this very interesting article I'd read a while ago, which talks about bear protection, specifically. It might be of some interest to your situation, especially the couple paragraphs starting about par #12 :

Firearms for Defense against Bears
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  #11  
Old 08-14-2011, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnhunter View Post
"Bump in the night" is one thing; a black bear is quite another IMHO. You fellas can face all the black bears & mountain lions with buckshot that you want, I'll stay with a known killer of both, the .35 Rem.
Around the house, a 20 ga with bird shot or buck shot is a great defense round. If we decide to venture afield, that same 20 ga can be loaded with slugs and will be plenty for a defensive gun against black bears, mountain lions, and anything other boogie man that might scare you. It might not kill past 50 yds, but that is not the mission of a defensive gun.

Your cited article has very little bearing on the OP question.

Last edited by mogwai; 08-14-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-15-2011, 11:34 AM
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Well... I've used a .35 Remington Marlin 336 and Remington Model 760 many, many times. The recoil is fairly light (it still has some but it isn't a big deal to me, even when I was 12yo). Among my various family members and friends, the .35 Remington has put more meat in our freezer than any other cartridge... literally hundreds of whitetails... over the past 1/2 century. As a home defense cartridge? I dunno... any rifle is going to have a lot of penetration through interior walls and very likely into your neighbor's.

I also grew up using a 20ga H&R single shot for squirrels and deer. With #3 buck, penetration should be fairly low. I've taken whitetails with that at 30yds (well... that one particular one shot full in the face/throat because it was facing me). I used to shoot that one one-handed when I got older (shooting squirrels) so recoil isn't too bad.

Honestly, it seems you want two different firearms. Depending on where you live, it's kind of hard to get something that doesn't penetrate very much but yet you can also get ammo for it that is good for bears. I know some go with shot guns for this (and honestly, it's probably the best option given light shot and slugs) but the shotgun won't be nearly as good on the bear side as a rifle and a rifle isn't on the good side for home defense.
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  #13  
Old 08-17-2011, 11:54 AM
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For the OP's stated use, I opt for a 20ga double shotgun, with a slug in one barrel & the other loaded with buckshot.

FWIW, rifle bullets, at rifle speeds, can penetrated too many residential walls, even AFTER hitting the intended target.

In a HD situation - if the critter's 50-100 yds away, I wouldn't think anyone would be in aminent danger, unless it was headed towards them.

.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2011, 06:51 PM
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I bet you'd be more accurate with the rifle. The .35 336 is my favorite rifle and is more than enough to handle the scenarios you mention, so long as you do your part on the range. Recoil is very manageable.

The family will miss just as easily with both weapons if there's not adequate practice. Since both weapons are suitable, I'd make this decision on accuracy.

By the way, you can get a heavy .44 mag load with very manageable recoil in a lever gun. That's a 10 shot magazine. So you might still have five shots left once you recover from your shock and start using the sights. Then you could get a revolver to go with it.

Last edited by lever101; 08-22-2011 at 08:01 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2011, 05:34 PM
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I would never recommend a rifle for home defense. Even if you live on 20 acres in Montana, you would never be justified in chasing someone out in your yard where the rifle's range would become a benefit (I'm a police detective). While a rifle will certainly do the job over penetration would be your main concern, especially with friendlies inside. And even if there aren't I don't want to blow holes in my walls unncessarily. Though I certainly wouldn't say that anyone would have a better chance of hitting something with buckshot than with a rifle. Look around inside your house. Unless you live in a mansion the farthest you could ever possibly get a shot would be maybe 10 yards. And that's if you have your back to the wall and so does the perp. A more realistic engagement distance would be 5 yards or less. At that distance the pellets will only have an inch or 2 of spread. I would say a 12 gauge pump with an 18 inch barrel and maybe an extended magazine tube would be perfect. I would load it with 2 3/4 inch 9 pellet full power (not reduced recoil) 00 Buck. I wouldn't see any need for slugs in a home defense shotgun for the same reasons a rifle is a bad idea. Except for the fact that you have those mean critters in your area. So maybe an ammo cuff on the stock or a sidesaddle shell holder with a couple of 2 3/4 inch reduced recoil 1 oz rifled slugs just in case. No need for full power slugs, even against a bear at that kind of range. Though I have been in 2 gunfights and I can tell you under stress you will not notice recoil at all. So you could practice with reduced recoil loads and keep some full power ones for real use if you wanted to.

Last edited by JBG762; 08-25-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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