Originally Posted by Brewmaster
I have to disagree with you ghostdncr - shooting buckshot at a large bear sounds like a great recipe for the bear eating "hunter du jour".
Inside ten yards, I'm thinking a bear won't recognize the difference between a slug and a solid wad of #00 buck but once inside, the buckshot is going to splay off in all different directions. That's the multi-point wound dynamic I based my statements on.
Looking at it from a real-world perspective though, a 590 Mossberg is heavy and a PITA to carry and fly-cast around. In line with the OP's original question, my choice there would likely lean toward S&W's M29 Mountain Gun using a hardened Keith-style SWC gas-checked at 1150-1200 fps (~11.5 grains of Unique) and LOTS of practice. Not a perfect solution by any means, but one I'd be likely to have with me should trouble arise.
I had a Winchester 1300 with the pistol grips fore and aft. It was an impressive weapon after a bit of training and practive. Perhaps the most elegant solution to the pistol vs. shotgun argument? I couldn't agree more with your statement regarding the 2 3/4" shells. In a situation like we're discussing, 1/2" of stroke would be catastrophically easy to overlook.
FWIW, two rules that have served me well and could easily apply here: 1. You can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight. 2. The perfect weapon is the one you actually have with you, not the one back home in closet because it's too heavy/long/expensive for everyday carry.