PDA

View Full Version : .45 acp for a mountain gun?


357MagFan
November 7, 2009, 12:02 AM
Would .45acp be good enough for self defense against say a black bear? I don't intend to hunt with it, I know .45 isn't ideal or even very good for that. Just a woods self defense gun.

I would rather not buy another gun at this point but if .45 is really that bad for a mountain caliber, I may consider it.

Out of curiosity HAS anyone tried hunting with .45? If so what were your results?

FrankenMauser
November 7, 2009, 12:33 AM
.45 Auto should be just fine for a mountain gun.

The biggest challenge, when it comes to dangerous creatures, is actually putting the rounds on target.

I have been mock charged by a black bear sow (with a cub) twice, and actually had to scare her off once. I can tell you, almost unequivocally, that I really doubt I could have gotten more than 2 rounds into her entire body; had I needed to fire. (As things usually go... I was unarmed for the first 2 charges, and the third had my rifle and pistol locked inside the truck door I was backed up against. I had to throw a muddy log at her {about 15 feet to her and cub}, and run like hell to the driver's door. The charges took place separately, over about a month.)


.45 Auto may not be as super-awesome-cool as .500 S&W Mag or .50 AE, but I would trust my life to it.

Big Bill
November 7, 2009, 12:59 AM
MagFan - How big are the bears where you live? Frankly, I'd feel more comfortable carrying a Marlin 336 30-30, if I were you. The 336W even comes with a sling, etc.

357MagFan
November 7, 2009, 01:29 AM
Big Bill, there are no bears where I live. Its where I will be going. I plan to hike the appalachian trail starting in the spring. I know there are black bears around parts of the trail and am going to bring a gun. Not just for bears but 2 legged rogue critters. You never know.

I definitely don't want to be hauling something like a rifle or a shot gun and even my 6inch .357 686 might be to big to haul considering I plan to hike around 2000 miles and will have lots of other gear.

So I have been contemplating using my Glock 21.

357MagFan
November 7, 2009, 01:33 AM
Thanks FrankenMauser, I think I will go ahead and use what I have then. But I wouldn't mind hearing other opinions if someone has something to say.

T. O'Heir
November 7, 2009, 02:38 AM
Yogi won't bother you unless you bother him. Ditto for Cindy, unless you get between her and her kids. A .45 won't phase either of 'em unless you're good enough to make a head/spine shot. You'll never be fast enough if Yogi is PO'd.
"...rather not buy another gun..." Have a pump shotgun?

lachanceent
November 7, 2009, 02:44 AM
sounds like a job for fmj +p ammo

357MagFan
November 7, 2009, 02:57 AM
Heir, no I don't have a shotgun but I do have a lever action .357. Its an 1894c.

jgcoastie
November 7, 2009, 03:34 AM
Short answer? No. (IMO)

If you want a semi-auto "mountain gun", I think the best one out there would be the Glock 20/20SF (10mm)... Loaded with 200gr WFNGC Beartooth rounds from Mike over at DoubleTap. Hotter than a .357 Magnum and more rounds to boot...

Been carrying mine every day I've been in the field up here... Been at touching distance from mad brown bears. Never felt under-gunned.

Best option would be a $35 can of bear spray. I carry one in addition to my G20SF in the field.

kayakersteve
November 7, 2009, 07:22 AM
If you don't intend on buying another larger bore gun, this is your choice. I would feel comfortable on the AT with it becuase you are more likley to run into bad people than bad animals. For bear coverage, I would use FMJ +P or a good +P JHP by Buffalo Bore or another premium company. Have fun!

riggins_83
November 7, 2009, 09:19 AM
For Black bear I'd steer clear of 45ACP. Go with the Glock 10MM or a 44mag/454.

Art Eatman
November 7, 2009, 10:28 AM
While it wouldn't be my first choice, it beats heck out of having nothing. Since the odds of problems are rather low on the App Trail, I'd go with my own LW Commander. I'd probably go with a max load of 200-grain SWCs over the usual hardball. Regardless, I'd go for a penetrating load over an expanding load.

It's mostly a matter of your own ability to control adrenalin and your skill at multiple hits on a target in a very short time. Not "double tap" but "quadruple tap". :) (Thanks, IPSC.)

jrothWA
November 7, 2009, 01:40 PM
various ammo makers.
For .357, it was recommended either 180 gr Hardcast lead or the FMJ @ max velocity.
For .45, it was indicated that the old Hornady 230gr FMJ-FP load would be good.

Have never needed to use, the two times I "strategically withdrew". :)

30-30remchester
November 7, 2009, 07:09 PM
Let me first state I am a big fan of the 45 ACP and have hunted a couple animals with one. I shot a small doe antelope with a 45 using Win 185 grn Silvertips.The results were very dissapointing. Also shot a javaline with a 45. Acording to bear guides the only way to stop any animal instantly is to penatrate the brain or spine. From my limited experences with the 45 would confirm they do have ample power to break a bears skull IF proper non expanding bullets are used.

GeauxTide
November 7, 2009, 09:59 PM
9mm, 357, and 45acp were designed for.......people shooting! Nothing less than a 45LC 275LFN@1100fps, 41Mag 210RemSP@1300, or a 44Mag 240Rem@1300 for my hide on the line with a critter that can overpower and eat me.

koolminx
November 7, 2009, 10:28 PM
Anything from a .22LR on up will kill a bear. If you are hunted by a bear and it attacks you the pistol is the best defense because you can use it from any angle and can't with a rifle...

Bear coming at you and you unload 8 shots into it's face and head with your .45 ACP, if it does NOT die or run away, then a 454 casul nor a 460 weatherby would have helped you...

Shot placement is your best friend no matter what caliber you shoot. But when attacked, I vote for volume of hellfire... 9mm X 15 or 12 rounds in a clip, or a .45 with 6 or 10 rounds (however many fits) and your survival chances go way up.....

Big Bill
November 7, 2009, 10:44 PM
MagFan - under the conditions you specified, the Glock you already have will be just fine. How many bears have killed people on the Appalachian Trail? Common you guys, let's get real. A Glock 21 is ample gun to take in this situation. If it were me, I'd carry my Glock 19 and feel comfortable. However, MagFan, you might want to carry some bear pepper spray just in case. You don't want to have to shoot a bear, if you don't have to.

jgcoastie
November 8, 2009, 12:02 AM
Anything from a .22LR on up will kill a bear. If you are hunted by a bear and it attacks you the pistol is the best defense because you can use it from any angle and can't with a rifle...
- A .22lr may kill a bear, but rest assured that a .22lr will not stop a bear, which is the most important factor when attacked by any animal/human. Stopping the threat immediately is much preferred to the threat dying eventually...

- Bears generally don't hunt people...

- Handguns are the absolute worst weapon for stopping a bear attack. Depending on which study you reference, handguns are between 40%-60% effective at stopping bear attacks in Alaska. Bear spray is between 99%-100% effective at stopping bear attacks, regardless of wind conditions. You know the saying "Handguns are only good for fighting your way to a rifle."? It's not just a funny saying. Your odds of stopping a bear increase dramatically when you move from a handgun to a rifle. There's probably a reason that professional hunters/guides use big-bore rifles for game protection in Africa. If handguns were really better, don't you think they'd be carrying them?

Bear coming at you and you unload 8 shots into it's face and head with your .45 ACP, if it does NOT die or run away, then a 454 casul nor a 460 weatherby would have helped you...
- On a smallish black bear, a .45acp may do the trick. Anything is better than nothing.

- That .454 or .460 won't help him a bit if he doesn't have one with him.

Shot placement is your best friend no matter what caliber you shoot. But when attacked, I vote for volume of hellfire... 9mm X 15 or 12 rounds in a clip, or a .45 with 6 or 10 rounds (however many fits) and your survival chances go way up.....
- Your only valid point thus far... Shot placement is your friend.

- You vote wrong. In an actual bear attack, those 12 or 15 rounds will not do you any good. You'll have enough time for two, maybe three shots tops.

- It's called a magazine, not a clip.

- Your survival chances would be nil. Your entire post is full of fallacies and misinformation. You apparently do not have any actual experience dealing with bears. As such, your misinformation would be foolhardy at best and fatal at worst. I'm sure you have a wealth of information to offer to the firearms community, just not on this particular subject. Stick to what you know, mkay?

MTT TL
November 8, 2009, 07:31 AM
Would .45acp be good enough for self defense against say a black bear?

But I thought you were a .357 mag fan? :)

Yes, of course it is enough for black bears.



- Handguns are the absolute worst weapon for stopping a bear attack. Depending on which study you reference, handguns are between 40%-60% effective at stopping bear attacks in Alaska. Bear spray is between 99%-100% effective at stopping bear attacks, regardless of wind conditions.

I don't know about all that

The Herrero and Higgins study found sprays 94% effective in actual encounters but no study I know of has ever been done on handguns.

ligonierbill
November 8, 2009, 08:17 AM
The unfortunate truth in today's world is that danger on the AT is far more likely to come from people than bears. Bears are best deterred with bear spray, but evil people are not. Carry your .45 and enjoy.

treg
November 8, 2009, 08:20 AM
Any of the "big three" auto pistol calibers would be a good choice for your intended use. Bullet choice is what will make the difference.

Ball ammo may not produce enough of a wound channel on the 2 legged's.

HP's may not penetrate enough for the 4 legged's.

A SWC, TCFP, or RNFP solid bullet should put you right where you want to be.

A reliably feeding bullet among those choices in that order is what I'd take. Gun familiarity would trump buying a new one simply for a different caliber.

Yankee Doodle
November 8, 2009, 08:57 AM
Just a thought. How are you planning to carry a .45 through all the states you will have to pass through if you intend to do the A.T.?
I know for a fact, that if you are caught in NY without a valid NYS Pistol Permit, you will be spending a lot of time dealing with the Police and the courts.
Unless you are an active or retired LEO, with the correct papers, fuggedaboudit.
Just a bit of advise, take it or not, your choice.

Dragon55
November 8, 2009, 09:04 AM
Guns are still not allowed in the Great Smoky Mountains national park – at least not yet...

Firearms that are loaded have been long banned from the Great Smoky Mountains national park since President Regan signed into law that guns in national parks must be unloaded and inaccessible.

jgcoastie
November 8, 2009, 01:25 PM
I don't know about all that

I do.

I live up here. Humans share this island with the largest carnivore on earth, don't you think I'd be well-versed in the best tools for stopping bears? I've only been charged thrice... Bear spray made them all tuck tail and run...

What are you confused about? Ask any reasonable, sane person what weapon they would rather enter a fight with, when encountering any animal or human. Most all will tell you they'd rather enter a fight with a long gun.

But if we would rather fight with long guns, then why do we carry handguns?

Because handguns are much easier and less cumbersome to carry. And rifles/shotguns are kinda hard to conceal... It really is as simple as that...

The Herrero and Higgins study found sprays 94% effective in actual encounters but no study I know of has ever been done on handguns.

The state of Alaska looked at statistics compiled by ADF&G over a number of years. They looked at all cases of reported bear attacks, and what weapons were used to stop each. Even in considerable opposing wind, the sprays were effective.

I guess there are some who refuse to accept that they don't know of everything that happens...:rolleyes:

Crankylove
November 8, 2009, 05:22 PM
While it wouldn't be my first choice, it beats heck out of having nothing

Yep. The best gun is gonna be the one you have on you.

I have 45 ACP pitols, and .357 mag. They both get carried about the same amount of time when out in the boonies, and I have never felt undergunned yet.

When I am out hiking/hunting/camping, my self defense gun isn't so much for four legged vermin, but to protect my self from the two legged kind.

Double Naught Spy
November 8, 2009, 08:08 PM
While it wouldn't be my first choice, it beats heck out of having nothing
e
Is 'nothing' now the standard against which we gauge self defense choices? I think more often than not, the issue isn't whether something is better than nothing but whether something is better than some other viable choice.

The state of Alaska looked at statistics compiled by ADF&G over a number of years. They looked at all cases of reported bear attacks, and what weapons were used to stop each. Even in considerable opposing wind, the sprays were effective.

I can't find the report on this. Got a link?

I did see where ADF&G thinks carrying a gun is more dangerous to the carrier than being attacked by a bear...

You are allowed to carry a gun for protection in state parks. Remember, though, that more people are hurt by the guns they carry than are hurt by bears.
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/safety/bears.htm

This Ph.D. in Alaska cited Herrera's work, but noted of the Alaska cases he studied, pepper spray was only effective 87% of the time.
http://www.absc.usgs.gov/research/brownbears/pepperspray/pepperspray.htm

jgcoastie
November 9, 2009, 01:06 AM
Ask and ye shall receive...

http://gf.state.wy.us/downloads/pdf/RegionalNews/dh-bear%20spray.pdf

"Of all persons carrying sprays, 98% were uninjured by bears in close-range encounters. All bear inflicted
injuries (n¼3) associated with defensive spraying involved brown bears and were relatively minor (i.e., no hospitalization required). In 7% (5 of 71) of bear spray incidents, wind was reported to have interfered with spray accuracy, although it reached the bear in all cases."

This isn't the study I referred to in my initial post, but it brings up some of the points... I'll have to find the good one, I read it over a year ago...

Double Naught Spy
November 9, 2009, 07:49 AM
Excellent, and thank you. However, no wonder I could not find it. While the data are from Alaska, the % was off (which befuddles search engines) the report isn't by the ADF&G, but by several scholars not part of the ADF&G and jointly published in JWM.


It should be pointed out that residue from the spray can have negative effects and be an attractant. In the cited study in JWM, there were folks who reported everything from minor irritation from the spray to near incapacitation. So after using pepper spray in an attack, a thorough washing might be in order.
http://books.google.com/books?id=gFlz6UKGqrcC&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=pepper+spray+bear+attractant&source=bl&ots=aliAX7R-KH&sig=CFpkx0r4CU0PV8SiMLpMtUmVJO0&hl=en&ei=7A74SoeJBcuZ8Ab-9b3zCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=pepper%20spray%20bear%20attractant&f=false

Still, pepper spray seems to be a very good way to go against bears.

Brasscatcher84
November 9, 2009, 11:36 AM
So now we know without a doubt that a .45 acp either will or will not work on bear. Glad I read this thread.

Buzzcook
November 9, 2009, 12:04 PM
If you use the search function you can find a story of an Oregon man killing a bear with a 1911.

The only problem I've heard of with bear spray is that bears find the smell attractive. So make sure there's no residue or leaks from the sprayer, or you'll smell like a taco with hot sauce.:eek:

jgcoastie
November 9, 2009, 07:44 PM
Excellent, and thank you. However, no wonder I could not find it. While the data are from Alaska, the % was off (which befuddles search engines) the report isn't by the ADF&G, but by several scholars not part of the ADF&G and jointly published in JWM.

I noted this in my response:

This isn't the study I referred to in my initial post, but it brings up some of the points... I'll have to find the good one, I read it over a year ago...

RMcL
December 31, 2009, 11:01 PM
For the best in 45acp impact and penetration:

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_34&products_id=156

9Para
December 31, 2009, 11:38 PM
As far as a pistol goes, a .45 is dammm good. Especially for the big critters. If you're seriously treading in wild bear country, consider a carbine. You'd have better aim, less recoil, and more firepower. Even a little .223 carbine, like a mini or an AR, would suit you better. Wouldn't be able to carry it on your hip though! That's the thing with pistols vs. carbines.

longrange08
January 1, 2010, 07:28 PM
i know little about bears however i have had alot of experience with armed people in defensive situations and people are not even CLOSE to 87% accurate in a situation like that. and when in doubt listen to the man who live on KODIAK ISLAND!!!!! isnt that like bear attack headquarters
i say take both and use the pistol as backup due to legality issues.



oh my two sense btw yes it would kill the bear as it was walking away from your cooling corpse :p

W. C. Quantrill
January 1, 2010, 08:01 PM
In answering your question, I have killed one black bear and one whitetail buck with my .45 ACP. First off, the whitetail. I had been hunting, walking, and was totally tired out, having walked all day and had seen nothing. I was in a big deep canyon, that had a little dry creek in the bottom that was washed out about 4 feet deep. I had been walking that canyon when I decided to rest, and had sat down and leaned back against a big hackberry tree about 10 feet from the little dry creek. I dozed off then woke up to see the head and rack of this white tail buck ***** footing towards me in that little creek, and not being able to get my rifle, I pulled my .45 out of my shoulder holster and popped him in the neck when he passed by me. Grave yard dead right there.

The bear. About 20 years ago I had taken a youth group into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado. From previous experience, I knew that area had bears, and I took my .45. One full moon night, I awoke to find Yogi with his head in my tent. I reached under my pillow and got my .45 and pointed it up at him and he took it in his mouth, and I pulled the trigger. I must say that it did the job.

There wasnt time to get scared in that situation, however the next half hour was traumatic. God and I had a personal visit. Technically, the .45 ACP will work. However, it is not a legal cartridge in many states. You need to contact the different states and get their advice. If I were to do that again I would certainly take my .45 Colt.

It is better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6.

alaskaman94
January 4, 2010, 07:58 PM
Bear spray is between 99%-100% effective at stopping bear attacks, regardless of wind conditions. hahahahahahahahaha im gona go ahead and disegree with that the last bear that tried to eat me did it though a glass door!

N.H. Yankee
January 9, 2010, 09:12 AM
We have quite few large black bears in N.H. and the last bear attack was well over 100 years ago. Many people run into then picking berries, not that it couldn't happen but the 2 legged would be my greater concern. As far as the 45acp, I would rather have a Ruger GP100 357 with 180gr Nosler partitions for bear. The GP100 is rugged, accurate and small and light enough for easy carry. If I were set on the 45acp I am not sure if I would opt for ball ammo for bear, but then again a good bonded 230 grain may be the answer. As far as 2 legged predators I would want a good hollow-point.

turbotype87
January 11, 2010, 10:43 PM
a .45acp in my opinion is not enough gun for large game like a bear. I would take my ruger chambered in .454 casull that will take care of any game in the woods.

Havamal
January 11, 2010, 11:35 PM
Want to kill the bear in 2 hours+ or stop the bear from closing the last 2'?

At minimum, I'd want a hand-loaded 180grain "hard" cast alloy bullet full charged in a 357 revolver, but I'd feel safer with a 44RM, 454 Casul, or S&W 460 revolver if I wanted to stop a bruin.

My all-steel 44RM revolver's bear-load I buy from Garrett Cartridges.
garrettcartridges.com/products.aspl

hardluk1
January 12, 2010, 04:56 PM
357magfan You do know as a 357 fan you can get 200 gr and 180 gr rounds that are hotter than the baddest 10mm and out of a rifle,, better yet, If you can access it when needed. Good to have a gun but do by a bear spray, one of those big bottles just for them bears. And rely on a pistol/rifle only as a last chance or personal protection. A 12gauge with remington buck hammers in it would also be tough on anything and would keep people away. !8" barrel and folding stock would carry in top of pack with little notice. Just keep the spray handy.

Daryl
January 12, 2010, 05:38 PM
Technically, the .45 ACP will work. However, it is not a legal cartridge in many states. You need to contact the different states and get their advice. If I were to do that again I would certainly take my .45 Colt.


Every state I'm aware of only sets spec's for hunting. I've never known one to specify restrictions for self-defensive use against bears. It's usually a matter of "use what you have".

But I agree; I'd prefer a heavy loaded .45 Colt, and in fact that's usually what I carry outdoors.

Daryl

hardluk1
January 13, 2010, 08:39 PM
daryl , We have to have a 357 power level and a barrel of 6 inch's but this would be a last resort weapon and not a hunting gun.. To think that these 2" short barreled s&w 460's and 500's would not be legal here. But how far can it hit a target with it if it's running and grawling? Take a buddy you can out run, then you have less to worry about.

Daryl
January 13, 2010, 09:28 PM
Hardluk,

Here our reg's just say, "centerfire rifle" and "centerfire handgun".

According to the law, a 2" barreled .25 acp would be legal for bear hunting. I reckon they expect Arizona hunters to use common sense.

I mostly carry a SA .45 Colt with a 4 5/8ths inch barrel, and I don't have much trouble hitting what I aim at with it.

Daryl

youp
January 13, 2010, 10:23 PM
Black bears I know a little about. I have a hunting partner that tried to whack one with a 45. I cannot begin to tell you what his load was. I can tell you he now carries a 44 Ruger. He did kill the bear, with my 308. An agitated bear with hounds etc is harder to kill than a relaxed bear. I would guess a bear looking to eat you would also be somewhat agitated.

I did have a she bear with cubs charge me, twice. She came at me, ran away, then came back again, then went up a tree with her babies. I didn't feel much fear at that time. I do remember reaching for the bolt snap on the hounds, thinking she ain't gonna get us all tied together.

Had a bear charge me once, turned him with a 308 under the chin, through everything that he needed to function and stopped under his hide by the hip. Knocked him down, but he got up. He was under 200 pounds dressed. A bear is a tough animal.

IMO a 45 is far superior to a sharp stick.

I have no experience with the Appalachian trail. Are there that many bad guys out there? Few will call a 45 under gunned for a BG.

I know about bears that have been trained to take food packs from hikers in the Porcupine Mountains. They are destroyed by the Rangers. Hikers train the bear. Goes like this see a bear, drop food pack and split. Yogi likes picinic baskets. Some become very insistent about the packs. It makes it easier for the Rangers to figure out which one to neutralize.

!0 years ago or so a black bear tried to make off with a boy scout in NW Wisconsin. The lad had a brave leader that ran the bear off. A houndman was called out the next day and he neutralized the bear.

I would say you have a better chance of being hit by lightning than have a bear try to eat you. However, should a bear be trying to eat you, a 45 would be better than nothing. It won't do you any good in your pack, that's for sure.