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Thread: updated handgun or pistol against bear attack

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    updated handgun or pistol against bear attack

    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, thereís absolutely no point."

    Ė Amber Veal

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Oooookay.........a .44 Mag for me then!

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    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I know that 50AE has worked twice, love my 44 mags but prefer the speed and volume and meplat of a 50AE

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy ACC's Avatar
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    A hand gun would not be my first choice for bear, but I wouldn't throw it away either. Here in south Texas we are seeing bears that are coming up from Mexico, so I would be prepared.

    ACC

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    44 was my choice years ago and what I carry today. I wasn't willing to tote a long gun, it had to be something I could wear. The power level is manageable and it's reasonably inexpensive to load for. Which is good because it took a lot of rounds for my shooting to get decent. I've settled on 260g Keiths at 1300 fps in one of two 4 inch revolvers. It's my basic target load. Why practice with a different load?
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACC View Post
    A hand gun would not be my first choice for bear, but I wouldn't throw it away either. Here in south Texas we are seeing bears that are coming up from Mexico, so I would be prepared.

    ACC
    I take note of two things, neither surprise me. The first is look how many were black bear vs grizzly (even a couple polar bear). Were even half black bear attacks? Then realize there are only about 50,000 grizzly bears in the entire world, most far away from people. There must be close to a million black bears, even in urban areas of the USA. Black bears are no real threat. Not compared to something like a bad person, a dog, a mountain lion, a feral pig, etc.

    The second is that every single case I read that the rounds hit the target, they successfully stopped the attack. I only saw three failures, and all three involved misses.

    One other thing, note how many of those cases involved a rifle that jammed or was otherwise not in immediate reach.

    A handgun of any decent cartridge worn on the body is the best choice for defense, and always has been for good reason.

  7. #7
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    I was just having a discussion TONIGHT, about this very thing, with a friend of mine, who lives in central Minnesota. He says he see black bears all the time when cutting firewood in large wooded areas. He has carried a 357M, but he told me he wants to switch to 9mm, as it's more universal.
    >>> I didn't ask him what he meant by universal?
    BUT, I can say, I think I have my work cut out for me, trying to convince him to carry something more betta than a 9
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ďIf someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.Ē
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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Good write-up, enjoyed it. A lot to learn about bears v. people.
    R/Griff

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    I take note of two things, neither surprise me. The first is look how many were black bear vs grizzly (even a couple polar bear). Were even half black bear attacks? Then realize there are only about 50,000 grizzly bears in the entire world, most far away from people. There must be close to a million black bears, even in urban areas of the USA. Black bears are no real threat. Not compared to something like a bad person, a dog, a mountain lion, a feral pig, etc.

    The second is that every single case I read that the rounds hit the target, they successfully stopped the attack. I only saw three failures, and all three involved misses.

    One other thing, note how many of those cases involved a rifle that jammed or was otherwise not in immediate reach.

    A handgun of any decent cartridge worn on the body is the best choice for defense, and always has been for good reason.

    Totally agree if you take the time to learn to hit with it.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Notice no failures with a 44!

    That means that no one flopped because a 44 was too much for them. A woman even drilled drilled a POLAR bear with a 44, took a few rounds too. She did not fail either!

    Three44s
    Quit fretting about climate change. Itís how much stronger gravity is getting every day that is bothering me!

  11. #11
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    I think recoil disappears when adrenaline starts pumping. After seeing just 12x12 poo piles and 8 inch paw prints at my cabin for years I finally saw "my" bear. He was huge, trying to sneak past camp but he'd step on a branch and CRACK. I figured if we ever had a disagreement I would go for center mass hoping for the spine. He's gone now and the small bear run when they see me but I hear mountain lion now and again.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  12. #12
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    Some interesting points were the number of people that shot into the air and the number that fired warning shots in general. Also interesting was the number of close range misses. I havenít been charged by a bear but I have been charged by a large wounded feral sow hog. It never occurred to me to fire any warning shots. I had to shoot from the hip because I had a scoped AR-15 in my hands and no time to draw the Ruger .45 Colt on my hip. I fired four rounds quickly and she dropped dead about seven feet from me. Iím guilty of believing that only big bore, more powerful handguns would be effective for bear. Clearly that is not true but Iíll still choose a .44 Mag or Ruger in .45 Colt with stiff loads.

    The guy in Alaska that used a .454 and had to call his wife for a rifle was on the radio several years ago. It was very interesting to hear him tell the story first hand. He bought bear handloads from someone in Anchorage. The gun jammed because the fifth roundís bullet pulled out from recoil due to insufficient crimp. The fourth round had severed the bearís spinal cord in the neck. It was immobilized but still breathing until his wife arrived with the rifle.
    Last edited by David2011; 03-30-2020 at 01:41 AM.
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    That's quite a good link you put up and very interesting. I'm curious as to why so few 10mm as I understand many are going to it for the power but also the round count. More is always better in my book.

    I'm also surprised by the few 45LC postings. Maybe because most that carry don't handload because as most on here know, a healthy dose of 2400, H110 or Unique under a 260 300gr cast is quite an awesome combination.
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  14. #14
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    Just my thoughts on the 10mm. Lots of folks consider it's power coupled with the rate of fire adequate. I think the biggest factor is ease of carry. Fishing in a bear infested river for a week or two is one thing but living and work in a high bear encounter area is somewhat different. Wearing and carrying the big bulky guns get old really quick.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, thereís absolutely no point."

    Ė Amber Veal

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    Boolit Master dakotashooter2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    I was just having a discussion TONIGHT, about this very thing, with a friend of mine, who lives in central Minnesota. He says he see black bears all the time when cutting firewood in large wooded areas. He has carried a 357M, but he told me he wants to switch to 9mm, as it's more universal.
    >>> I didn't ask him what he meant by universal?
    BUT, I can say, I think I have my work cut out for me, trying to convince him to carry something more betta than a 9
    I once attempted to dispatch a badger will a 9 mm. The 3rd shot center of mass finally slowed him down. Shot 5 finally stopped forward movement He finally stopped moving after shot 8. 9mm for bear? No thanks

  16. #16
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    Handgun for a bear? Not me.

    Any handgun that might come close to working on a bear is such a clunker to carry I would rather carry rifle. I like carrying a rifle and I think carrying a handgun is a nuisance.
    EDG

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    Handgun for a bear? Not me.

    Any handgun that might come close to working on a bear is such a clunker to carry I would rather carry rifle. I like carrying a rifle and I think carrying a handgun is a nuisance.
    I used to think like that, but reality and necessity caught up with me and I bought my first “bear gun”, a 7.5” Ruger Redhawk in 44 Magnum.

    While that revolver was a bit more frame than what I needed, I found that not only is it a suitable defensive cartridge, but in a smaller gun, the 44 Mag was still very capable, controllable and accurate!

    My sweetest gun is a S&W 629-4 Mountain Gun 44 Mag. With a 4” long barrel and an unloaded weight of 39 oz, I would not dream of calling it clunky.

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 04-01-2020 at 08:52 PM.
    Quit fretting about climate change. Itís how much stronger gravity is getting every day that is bothering me!

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    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    A 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk in a simply rugged holster worn cross draw is inconspicuous enough for me to run a chain saw stack wood and do other chores without being in the way. In a chest rig it is not too inconvenient..
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I had a friend who used to work for forestry in Alaska. Their weapon of choice was a short barrel shotgun with an extended magazine loaded with slugs, and they practiced extensively shooting from the hip, from a slung over the shoulder position. Their goal was to keep every shot inside of a kill zone from a marked distance, I believe 25 yd, by instinctive shooting. This fellow had a story of a close encounter with a brown bear that left me laughing so hard I was crying, but here is not the place for that.

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