they say that the brenkke slugs are the best for bear. most rangers and guides have them loaded. there is a big layer of blubber on big bears and the buckshot barely get past itA slide gun in bear country and goin fishin? I'm taking my 18" 12 gauge pump with 8 rounds of 00 buck! Unless you make the miracle shot up the snout into the brain, he's gonna maul you real good.
yes I have a marlin 45-70 .loaded a few hard cast 400 gr at around 1850 fps just to see what they would do on 6" trees. did not load them for bear have no intent on killing a bear unlike guys that have wet dreams of fending off bear attacks every day. you could melt wax on the slug to make is close to waterproof12ga slugs aren't generally very waterproof. buckshot isn't going to penetrate as deep if all you get is a body shot.
That's why guides carry a .45-70 with hardcast