Ernest P. lives in Asheville with his family…
One day, he was working in his driveway with his daughter when a neighbor called to say a bear was heading his way.
Ernest went inside his home and grabbed a .30-30 hunting rifle.
He stepped outside and shot the bear, killing it. But the shooting outraged the neighborhood.
Prosecutors said Ernest went inside his house after spotting the bear, then returned with the rifle, but didn’t call law enforcement to report the bear.
According to Ernest, “I feel like I done what I had to do. It’s not like I wanted to do it.”
The Wildlife Commission charged Ernest with taking a bear out of season and a jury was tasked with deciding if the bear was shot in self-defense.
While he admitted to shooting the bear, he argued that he felt threatened by the animal (it weighed 150-175 pounds).
The jury deliberated for about two hours before returning a not guilty verdict.
After the trial, Ernest requested that he get his rifle back, and the judge agreed.
The fact is, Ernest used a good rifle to defend his life.
A .30-30 rifle has plenty of power to take down a bear and is also a generally good choice for hunting – or to use as a brush gun.
What is a brush gun?
Hunting rifles are sometimes called brush guns.
A brush gun is simply a rifle that is suitable for hunting in wooded areas and terrain with thick brush.
A good brush gun is a weapon that is easy to carry and handle, goes quickly to the shoulder, and isn’t so long that it can get hung up in the brush.
Most brush guns are a medium to heavy caliber. They are also usually lever-action carbines.
Most have 16-22 inch barrels and are chambered in 30-30 or .45-70.
The shorter barrels handle better in thick brush compared to bigger rifles. And the heavier bullets move at a lower velocity so they can plow through the brush.
The shape of the bullet used in these rifles also plays a part in the brush gun theory.
The bullets used in lever-action cartridges have a flatter tip and a cylinder shape.
The shape makes the bullet less likely to be knocked off course if they go through the brush.
So, a brush gun is a gun that meets the needs of delivering a powerful round through dense vegetation.
Do you need a brush gun?
If you compare an AR-15 to a typical brush gun, the AR will not shoot as accurately in heavy brush.
The .223 is a lighter caliber and the rounds move fast, and they can be deflected off course.
A .30-30 round won’t deflect as bad as a .223 round when shooting through the brush.
But, that’s not to say that a .30-30 would stay in a straight line. No matter how big of a bullet you use, deflection can and will occur in wooded terrain.
The theory is that a larger caliber will deviate a lot less than a smaller bullet. This is one of the reasons why cartridges such as .30-06 and .45-70 gov remain popular.
Even though smaller calibers such as the .223 are more than capable of taking down an animal, many shooters still prefer larger bullets.
Owning a brush gun comes down to personal preference.
If you live in a wooded area where you do a lot of hunting then this type of gun is a good choice.