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on specialized gear, when with a bit of intelligence and ability, something that's FAR more versatile can suffice just fine. Like the guys who "think" that what they want for "bear defense in ALASKA" is a 45-70 lever action. Wrong, what you want is a BAR, in 300 Win mag, with a BOSS compensator. You will have better penetration, FAR faster repeat hit speed, less recoil, and a LOT more versatile gun, because the 300 can easily reach mountain goat, sheep, big bears, elk, caribou, etc, at 3x the range at which a 45-70 can reliably do the same.

The 9lb, gas op Browning auto rifle, in 300 Win, recoils no worse than a 7 lb bolt action in 308, because the gas system removes about 25% of the felt recoil, and the BOSS compensator removes about 15% more of it. The BOSS also lets you "tune" the barrel for best accuracy with any given load.

Now, the bozo's who "think" a $200, used pump action 12 ga, with slugs is the answer. It MIGHT be, IF they use one of the solid copper slugs available, but not with typical Foster type 12 ga slugs. Not only do such slugs lack enough penetration for body shots (trying to break the spine or the shoulder "hump" of the charging bear) but they also tend to merely glance off of the sloping skull. The 2-3x higher velocity of the 300 Win makes it MUCH more likely to pierce the skull.

The .45-70 lever user is lucky to get off 2 shots per second, the BAR user can hit twice that fast, at typical "bear charge" ranges (ie, inside 25 yds). The 12 ga, however, is WORTHLESS for the other, long range type of hunting. The 12 ga offers the taking of hares and grouse, but SO does an 18 oz, 6" long Smith 2214 .22 auto pistol, or the very lw, mostly polymer Mountain Eagle .22 pistol.

I greatly prefer, however, to use the M21 Beretta, because it's smaller and lighter than the m2214, it's just as accurate once it's smithed into a trail gun, it's got an external hammer, its safety is easy to manipulate (once it's had a speed lever added to it) and the 2214's safety sucks in that regard. The M21 is also far easier to suppress, so it gets the nod over the Smith, but if I couldn't do the smithing myself, I'd probably not bother with the M21. I have tactical reasons to choose the M21, that very few others would share. If I didn't, I'd use the "chopped" Detonics length Colt .22 unit on an alloy 1911 frame, but I do realize that almost nobody is going to spend the $1000+ that such a pistol costs.

Why make all the noise of
 
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