When I hunt and fish Alaska I carry a 12 guage riot gun with a smooth bore. Never load buckshot into a slug barrel. It messes up the rifling and screws up the shot pattern. Loadings are slug - slug - buckshot - buckshot - buckshot.
shooting shot out of a rifled barrel will result in a wide circle shaped pattern, not good bear medicine.
Slug guns today pack an amazing amount of kinetic energy and are extremely accurate to boot you can easily hold a 2 inch group at 100 yards with one so 15 feet should be a chip shot deff use slugs I personally wouldn't alternate rounds ie buckshot slug buckshot slug plus in most states your limited on how many rounds your gun can hold while afield my advice would be to train train train and what I mean by that is don't just assume you can pick up that weapon and put rounds on target in rapid succession most people in a shtf scenario lock up and it usually ends bad train your mind practice trigger control and if these bears are this aggressive I would have my back up locked and loaded and on target before I ever took a shot with a bow stay safe out there n remember they make specific rounds for specific animals God bless let us know what you decide
-------------------- I love my cedar tree lcpl Jonathan Thomas Price USMC 5/4/88 - 6/21/14 gone but not forgotten , Semper Fidelis brother Java man Assyrian 60 41# @ 28 Black widow psa x 62 42 @ 29 Bear Montana 64 35# @ 28 Java man Elkheart 58 44# @ 28 Posts: 740 | From: kentucky | Registered: Nov 2014
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Something to think about. The lead used in buckshot is of a very soft antimony. Low antimony, soft lead, has a bad habit of splattering upon striking a hard surface such as the thick skull of a bear, grizzly in particular. With a black bear this is less of an issue but still present in the big Cannuck bears. The .38 cal 00 buck was designed for thin skinned deer and humans. It also has very little weight thus penetration is limited.
While this is true also for most lead slugs, a slug does have the advantage of mass. Add in a hardened slug or solid and it's your best bet.
If you aren't planning on going out with anyone and I would recommend a 44 Magnum or a 454 Kassul. Those are about the most realistic options you've got for a handgun that won't get in the way like a shotgun will or a huge revolver like a .500 S&W