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Thread: 38 Special Bear Defense Load

  1. #41
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by John in WYO View Post
    I used a Chiefs Special against a grizzly.
    ONCE!
    Never again!
    Took jonp’s advice and stuck it deep in its ear and pulled the trigger.
    The exposed hammer was so deep in the ear canal it got hung up and the gun couldn’t fire.��
    Now I use a Centennial with an internal hammer.
    But do you use the same technique for Texas heart shots?
    WWJMBD?

    In the Land of Oz, we cast with wheel weight and 2% Tin, Man.

  2. #42
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    405grain's Avatar
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    Let's look at this scientifically: Cavemen used to take long, straight sticks and either use fire to make it pointy, or else strap a sharp rock on the end of it. Archeological evidence has shown that cavemen have used these spears to kill bears. There is no evidence in the archeological record for cavemen using the 38 special to kill bears. This means that, if attacked by a bear, a sharp stick would be superior to the 38 special.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by 405grain View Post
    Let's look at this scientifically: Cavemen used to take long, straight sticks and either use fire to make it pointy, or else strap a sharp rock on the end of it. Archeological evidence has shown that cavemen have used these spears to kill bears. There is no evidence in the archeological record for cavemen using the 38 special to kill bears. This means that, if attacked by a bear, a sharp stick would be superior to the 38 special.
    There was likely an economic component to that: I just went into Sportsman's Warehouse where 158 grain LRN ammo was being sold for $0.64 a round. For that kind of price, I'd probably choose the sharp stick too. . .and caveman times were HARD.
    WWJMBD?

    In the Land of Oz, we cast with wheel weight and 2% Tin, Man.

  4. #44
    Boolit Bub
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    Just use wadcutters
    The sharp edges will do massive damage

  5. #45
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    An Alaska fishing guide only had a 22 revolver in his boat when attacked by grizzly, emptied it but he died. IIRC others in the party survived and bear found later, dead.
    Whatever!

  6. #46
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    OK I haven't replied to this thread yet because of all the wonderful responses indicating the folly, which I actually agreed with. (Proper Handgun Calibers all start with a .4!).

    Then I got my new copy of Handloader Mag.

    There is an article in it about the new Kimber .38/.357 Wheel gun they are making. In that article there was .38 Special +P handloads that duplicated .357 loads. It turns out that Elmer Keith invented the .357 by loading .38 Specials up to +P for use in his 38/44 Revolvers. (.38's built on N Frames.) Turns out that lengthening the case was only done to prevent .357's from being loaded into Older Weaker Revolvers.

    So conceivably, You could load your .38 Specials up to .357 levels with like 173gr or 200 gr SWC's, Keeping in mind the strength of your gun needs to be high so as not to blow it up !!! Some think a .357 is adequate Bear Medicine? and if that is true then the .38 Special could be loaded up hot enough to deal with them? Right? Maybe?

    I personally would prefer a Shotgun with Slugs, but that's just me. In Churchill Manitoba at the bottom of the Hudson Bay where all the Polar Bears go in the summer to hang out, all the Polar Bear Guides carry 12 ga. Pump Guns loaded with Brenneke Slugs as back ups. I'd want my .44 SBH strapped on too, just in case?

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    An Alaska fishing guide only had a 22 revolver in his boat when attacked by grizzly, emptied it but he died. IIRC others in the party survived and bear found later, dead.
    Any idea when that happened or more details. I am not finding any matches. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._North_America
    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, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    OK I haven't replied to this thread yet because of all the wonderful responses indicating the folly, which I actually agreed with. (Proper Handgun Calibers all start with a .4!).

    Then I got my new copy of Handloader Mag.

    There is an article in it about the new Kimber .38/.357 Wheel gun they are making. In that article there was .38 Special +P handloads that duplicated .357 loads. It turns out that Elmer Keith invented the .357 by loading .38 Specials up to +P for use in his 38/44 Revolvers. (.38's built on N Frames.) Turns out that lengthening the case was only done to prevent .357's from being loaded into Older Weaker Revolvers.

    So conceivably, You could load your .38 Specials up to .357 levels with like 173gr or 200 gr SWC's, Keeping in mind the strength of your gun needs to be high so as not to blow it up !!! Some think a .357 is adequate Bear Medicine? and if that is true then the .38 Special could be loaded up hot enough to deal with them? Right? Maybe?

    I personally would prefer a Shotgun with Slugs, but that's just me. In Churchill Manitoba at the bottom of the Hudson Bay where all the Polar Bears go in the summer to hang out, all the Polar Bear Guides carry 12 ga. Pump Guns loaded with Brenneke Slugs as back ups. I'd want my .44 SBH strapped on too, just in case?

    Randy
    Loading up the .38 is conceivable....IF...the pistol is strong enough. I'd be careful loading some of the alloy frame guns with those loads, especially if they have shorter chambers.

    FWIW, I have fired many heavy (almost .357) loads out of .38spl brass in my .357mag pistol. There used to be several .357 molds with two crimp grooves, one for loading long in .38spl brass and one for 'std' loading.

  9. #49
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumbcocker View Post
    Does the bear ear wax increase the velocity out of the Chief's special?
    Makes it slide in easier.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by atfsux View Post
    For me, the data reinforces the first rule of any gunfight;..."HAVE A GUN". While not the best option, even the .22s made a difference!
    I have read of a native american in canada that always carried a .22 colt woodsman in a pocket sown into his pants. He was investigating a commotion in his smokehouse thinking it was his brother in law and a black bear came charging out through the screen dr with the door coming off the hinges on to the man with the charging bear running on top. He is said to have fired killing the bear. Old story and it might be true.
    Last edited by barnetmill; 09-18-2023 at 11:23 PM.

  11. #51
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    Last edited by M-Tecs; 09-18-2023 at 10:53 PM.
    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, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  12. #52
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    Quite a story and a beat up iron sight .22 single shot made in canada. The picture of that skull was really something.
    Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2017/06/bel...#ixzz8Diw5bgM5
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution
    Follow us: @Ammoland on Twitter | Ammoland on Facebook

    . Bella Twin is specifically recorded as reporting that she shot it with .22 Longs, not Shorts, not Long Rifles. I recall that into the 1960’s Longs were more expensive than shorts, but cheaper than Long Rifle ammunition.



  13. #53
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    Here is an old thread you may find interesting.
    https://castboolits.gunloads.com/sho...ear+38+special
    Chill Wills

  14. #54
    Boolit Mold
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    If I were to use a 38 Special to shoot a large brown bear, I would use a hard cast (linotype?) Keith 168/170/173 over the heaviest dose of Unique I think my revolver could handle. I would want to use at least a 4-inch barrel. I would practice fast aimed shots with it. Aim for the eyeballs if you have time. If I was successful, I would ask someone for a cigar and a sip of whiskey and a cup of black coffee and lay back against a tree and think how Elmer would have been proud of you.

  15. #55
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    I would only try the +P .38's in a .357 revolver, that's what I meant when I said "Strong Revolver." Plenty of new .357 3 and 4" revolvers out there. just look at the Ruger or S&W catalogs.

    But like I said earlier, proper Handgun calibers all start with a .4 so I'd look at the same catalogs and find a .44 Spec or Magnum like a S&W M69 or Ruger GP100/44 before I'd buy a new .357 for that specific use.

    Then I'd go to a few of Defensive Handgun Classes where I shot 200 rounds a day from the Holster, and get really good at my presentation and accuracy.

    Only then would I feel confident carrying a Pistol for Bear Defense, and I'd still carry a Shotgun as well !!!

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  16. #56
    Boolit Master Skipper's Avatar
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    38 Special bear defense load?.......

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Skipper; 09-19-2023 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Spell
    The strongest reason for the people to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against the tyranny of government.
    -- Thomas Jefferson

  17. #57
    Boolit Buddy Sam Sackett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skipper View Post
    38 Special bear defense load?.......

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yep. I don’t know I’d enter a gunfight with only a knife. I also would not knowingly go into an area that I would expect to have to confront a bear with only a 38 Special, no matter how you load it.

    Maybe I’m just a chicken at heart. ………

    Sam Sackett

  18. #58
    Boolit Buddy
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    I love how a satirical thread almost drifts into the serious. Human nature is fun. I'm not that fast anymore so I think I would have to take out BOTH knees of my partner to give me the best chance of escape. .

    Mike

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by 405grain View Post
    Let's look at this scientifically: Cavemen used to take long, straight sticks and either use fire to make it pointy, or else strap a sharp rock on the end of it. Archeological evidence has shown that cavemen have used these spears to kill bears. There is no evidence in the archeological record for cavemen using the 38 special to kill bears. This means that, if attacked by a bear, a sharp stick would be superior to the 38 special.
    I have checked all of my reloading manuals and can't find any loads for sharp stick. Are they loaded to max length or set like wad cutters? Also should sharp sticks be sized over or under bore size? I had some 7.62x39 rounds that were loaded with wooden bullets. They were marked as blanks I didn't know they were bear rounds.
    Remember the Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by foesgth View Post
    I have checked all of my reloading manuals and can't find any loads for sharp stick. Are they loaded to max length or set like wad cutters? Also should sharp sticks be sized over or under bore size? I had some 7.62x39 rounds that were loaded with wooden bullets. They were marked as blanks I didn't know they were bear rounds.
    I have seen a gunsmith modify a single shot .22 for two would be professional gator hunters some years ago. He bored it out to take or accept an arrow down the muzzle and .22 power charges were used to propel it. There are definitely somewhere loads for the greener converted harpoon guns.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check