I finally found my bear rifle errr, I mean bear shotgun. It is an original model Ithaca Deerslayer III. It may not sound like anything special to most folks. However it is a steel receiver Model 37 Ithaca with a very heavy fully rifled bullbarrel screwed into that steel action just like a rifle for a solid connection. It also comes with a laminated stock for a solid connection stock to action mating. The parkerized matte finish on the metal action and barrel takes out all the shine from the metal surfaces that might spook game unlike the new Ithaca Deerslayer IIIs produced by the newly reconstituted Ithaca Company under new owners. The new Deerslayer III has a polished wood stock and a lighter polished fluted & blued barrel. That is why I have searched so long for an original model because to me the original more suited my ideal for a hunting weapon for field use in all weather.
I love the heavy .73 caliber bullbarrel. No, it is not a feather weight at almost 11 ½ pounds with a 1x4 scope on it but I love its feel of heft. Being a large person of 6’5” and 300 lbs., a former defense tackle and weight lifter, I find the heft allows the gun to track well and helps steady my breathing. My two choices of loads until I find something better are the Dixie Terminator and the Winchester 385 grain Partition Gold.
The Dixie Terminator I plan for my Black Bear load. With the 25” barrel on the Deerslayer III the Terminator should clock at 1350 FPS and with a solid heat treated 730 grain .73 caliber fullbore slug offer all the power I ever need.
For Deer I plan to use the Winchester 385 grain Partition Gold at 2000 FPS. Since I am going to mount a Leupold Mark 4 1.5-5x20mm scope on it I will have a range card to be able to change the setting on the tactical scope between the two zeros with minimal hassle.
I can hardly wait to get the total package together and to the range.
Can't comment much on the gun. Never shot or even for that matter ever handled one. Too heavy for me.
I like the partition gold slugs. I shot a doe last year at 102 yards with the 2.75" version. I would try those as well as the 3" you are using now. The 3" slugs didn't shoot quite as good out of my gun, and I've heard similar results from most other people that tried them. They are cheaper, and kick less. Given the shear heft of your gun recoil shouldn't be too bad either way.
The recoil in my mossy 500 is bad with the cantilevered barrel and 4x scope. It's near intolerable with the open sighted barrel.
The deer I shot with mine was the first time I ever shot a deer with a slug gun, and all but forgot about the range. Didn't even think about it until I saw her on the ground. I hit where I aimed, and the insides were completely mush. The off side rib cage was completely blood shot. I don't think the 3" version would have made it any more dead.
Yes I have Harrysigafoo. Those are some unbelievable ballistics but I will pass on the recoil. While I have hunted with rifles like the .375 H&H I would not care to touch one of those off in a hunting weight weapon.
Nice gun,,but a little to heavy for me,,buy the time you mount a scope, rings, bases, sling, and 3-4 shells,that going to be bruiser.. Good for tree stands or blinds,not for 3-4 mile trek in woods.. My first choise for bears would be the Federals, 3 inch using the BARNES slugs..
Any game that can do bodily harm to the shooter/hunter! Examples would include wild boar hogs and large bears. For game like these, the hunter/shooter must have a specialized load delivering a heavy hard bullet for a smashing impact within dangerous game distances! These animals must be put down hard and quick! Many times the hunter gets only one shot and it must count!