I have a Marlin Stainless Guide Gun and I live in bear country. Mine is loaded up with 525 grain BearTooth Sledge-Hammers. Not easy on the shoulder but makes me feel very comfortable while out in my boat, this is my boat gun. I love the 45/70 and know it packs on heck of a wallop. Big bears fear me for a good reason!For all around hunting, Id' lean to 45 Govt. But, for bear country, .50 Alaskan, for sure.