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Here's a somewhat hypothetical situation, but it could happen. If you were planning a hunting expedition deep into dangerous woods, where predators of the biting, clawing, and eating kind lived, which of the following style rifles would you be more comfortable with in such tight quarters: a bolt action or lever action rifle? Which caliber would you choose? Is there a certain barrel length that you would be more comfortable with?

Kindest regards,
Timberwolf ;)
 

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Well, I tend to want to travel as light as possible, so I would probable choose a stout load for my OM BH .45 Colt.

However since your question was about rifles, I would choose a lever gun in either .45 Colt, .44 Mag, or one of the new short barreled ones in .45-70 or 444 Marlin.

I would want a barrel no longer than 20", perferably 16" to 18".

If it were a .45 Colt, I would load it with either Elmers load, or the Corbon 325 gr load.

I have never been coordinated enough to do rapid fire with a bolt gun. Something about moving my hand from the trigger up to the bolt then getting it back where it belongs.
But I'm fairly good with a lever gun.
 

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Funny you should ask this, I'm having a rifle worked up just for this purpose. I do a lot of moose and deer hunting in big brown bear country where visibility is limited. Lots of salmon streams and more bears than moose or deer. The rifle is a 1895 Winchester lever action (Teddy Roosevelt's Big Medicine rifle) and the cartridge is the 411 Hawk. Kind of a improved 400 Brown-Whelen. Barrel length is 22" with express V rear sight set into a quarter rib. Actually there will be two folding leaf V's. One regulated for 350 grain Swift A Frame at maximum point blank range and the other regulated for the 400 grain Barnes X at 50 yards. When in the deep thickets with limited range, the load will be the 400 grain and in more open areas, the 350 grain spitzer. Sectional density is quite high for both and am hoping to get velocity in the 2200-2300 fps range for the 350 and around 2000 fps for the 400 grain (we'll see). The rifle was originally a 270 Winchester and the action was smooth as silk right out of the box. It does need trigger work though. The rifle comes to my shoulder (or it did before I sent it off for work) very fluid and balance is good. It appears to be a good snap shooting rifle. I won't have it back in finished form till around the first of the year and will let you know how it is.

Having said all of that, the bear guides up here typically carry a 20" barreled, CRF bolt action rifle in 458 Win Mag with 500-510 grain soft points.
 

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Thats what I got my .44mag Whinchester Model 94 for. I would feel better with a lever action than a bolt merely because I am faster with that than a bolt. But some people are real flashes with a bolt action also.
 

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Good question,as long as I'm here on this continet I wouldn't mind having my 50-110 lever gun ,but if it was going to include the African part of the world it would have to be a CRF in 458 Lott or 416Remington.

alyeska338,have you got the rifle back yet? I have been talking to JD at SSK about having my browning 95 in 30-40 krag done up in his 416JDJ round,sounds like it should be real close to the Hawk round.:)
 

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Nossir I haven't. Zeglin's been really busy this year, what with teaching the wildcat course and all. He told me that it would be around the first of the year before it would be finished, when I sent it in so I am not complaining. He's including the dies and the recipes for the loads he regulates the sights with, which is mighty neighborly, I think. I'm pretty anxious to shoot it, but am still in no condition to shoot since falling off the mountain a couple of months ago, so I guess it's a good thing I haven't gotten it.

I'll write something up on it when I get it in. I don't have a chrony, so I'll have to hunt one of those down, if folks here are interested in the numbers. Matters not to me, as long as I get the type of trajectory I want and the performance on game I hope for.
 

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If I can't use my belt fed 105mm recoiless rifle ;) then I guess it would have to be my Marlin 1895G reworked by DRC. I love bolt guns but one look at that picture Joel B. or alyeska338 posted of that big grizz and its a mag tube full of Buffalo bores or Garretts for this child! As fast as I am with a bolt gun, I'm twice as fast with a levergun and with something big and hairy trying to chomp on me that lever gun is gonna sound like a full auto machine gun :D CEJ..
 

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CEJ,
It's amazing what kind of war you can it make it sound like with a lever action when the adrenaline starts pumping.

By the way, I said I would hunt down a chrony to see what those loads are cooking at, does anybody have a favorite method for sneaking up on a chrony? Do you hunt 'em from tree stands or spot and stalk? :D
 

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alyeska338, Amen to making a levergun sing when your scared out of your wits! :D Generally you hunt chronys from tree stands in the mornings and late afternoons but be sure your stand is set up close to the 100 yd range benches ;) During the day its spot and stalk and you'll have the best luck when it's coffee time :D Your best bet though is to surpise a group of old chrony's around a stove in huntin camp! ;) CEJ...
 

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I have had the best luck with new firearms. Especially when developing loads. I always figured you had to be sighted in and use the most accurate load. Bagged mine about a month ago with a new 454 Cassull. Seemed a little tough, do you have to marinate before grilling?
 

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No crock pot? Seems that would make them more tender??
 

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I've been pit-trapping mine for several years now, then slow roast them over a campfire:D

By the way, faster with a lever.... But then there is my straight pull bolt!!!! like lightning, but never really caught on...

pull push bang!!
 

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I dont know bout other areas but there fairly small here (couple pounds) and my wife goes out back after dark and gets them with Nr. 10 Grizwald Cast Iron Skillet.
Cleans them on the way back and has them in the pan ready to deep fry. :D
But am much faster with the lever than with the bolt action

Gun Runner
 

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Maybe it's because I grew up shooting bolt action rifles (and pump shotguns) and I am newer to lever actions, but I can shoot and make hits just as fast with a bolt action. I guess I can technically shoot the levergun faster, but I've experimented shooting at a 4" dot at 50 yds with both types and I actually hit better with the bolt gun. I'm probably just weird.
Anyway, I guess I would pick my Mod 70! ID
 

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ID,
I think most guides and Professional Hunters will agree with you. It seems to readily accepted that a CRF bolt action is stronger and probably the most reliable action type. I've never had a failure of any type, so I can't say. The bolt does provide a more aggressive/positive feed and extraction mechanisms, so if you tend to load hot or need a high pressure magnum chambering, a bolt is definitely the way to go.
 

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Alyeska's 411 Hawk Model 1895 sounds pretty darn near perfect. It would even allow for pretty long ranging shots since it can use spitzers. A close second place, in my opinion, would be the Winchester 1886 Extra Lightweight carbine, of course in .45 Government.
 

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You don't mention the size of these critters, so I'll assume bears you refer to. I'd opt for an 1895 Marlin in one of the big-bore chamberings - .444, .450 or 45-70 with 400gr+ bullets. These carbines are light, short and handy in heavy cover and brush. I've got the .450 so would choose that myself since that's what I've got.
 

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Simply, my blue, ported 1895G with some hardcast 45-70 Buffalo Bore loads, (or handloaded equivalent).
 

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Any such situation of encountering dangerous game at close quarters is going to boil down to instinctive, reactionary shooting. So whatever style of rifle one is most comfortable with is the best choice. I grew up with levers so my choice would be my 1895G with Garrett ammo though I have hundreds of reloads of my own to choose from. My second choice would be my BLR in .358. Now, I don't happen to own a Mini-Thirty with a 30-round magazine but being experienced with the Mini-14s I would theoretically make the Mini-30 with beaucoup ammo my third choice.
 

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As a soldier I would pick either a FAL or M14 in .308 as my tastes are with autos. However, I'm comfortable with either a bolt or lever. My choice in a bolt would be either a M1903A3 Springfield or Mauser K98. Lever rifle either a Winchester 1886 or Marlin 1905 (Savage 99 in .358 would be in running but never owned one)

But of course the best he man way would do away with the bullets all together and just mount the pig sticker at the end and go after the big hungry's. LOL
 
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