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View Poll Results: Which non-magnum handgun would be most effective again a bear, or mountain lion?
10 mm, with it's best hunting load 18 78.26%
9 mm, with it's best hunting load 1 4.35%
357 sig, with it's best hunting load 1 4.35%
40 S&W with it's best hunting load 0 0%
45 ACP with it's best hunting load 3 13.04%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 27, 2006, 09:26 PM   #26
Socrates
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To step outside the box, I'd take a 45 ACP, have it milled to lock over top dead center, and shoot 45 Super, 230 grain bullets, at 1100 fps, or, find a load with flat points, in 230 grain, and use that.

Oh, I've done that already...

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Old August 27, 2006, 10:11 PM   #27
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That's interesting. You'll note that .45 super is not a caliber on the list however. If it was, I'd pick it also. You guys must take a lot of mulligans in golf - you don't follow the rules of the game.
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Old August 28, 2006, 10:16 AM   #28
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I have bowhunted for Elk in the Bob Marshall for several years.Carry a 44Mag because it makes me feel better.A few years ago a friend of mine and a hunter he was guiding came across a grzzly on an elk carcass.The hunter misunderstood the hand signals ,not seeing the bear,and moved in too close.The bear charged the man and he shot the grizzly once point blank with a 7 Mag before the bear knocked him down.My friend rushed to the man and shot the bear three times point blank with a 44 Mag.At this point the bear left the man.Luckily the man was not mortally wounded.The bear was trailed for about seven miles in the snow and never found,and of course there were hours of conversation with the wildlife people.Point I am getting to is that unless you have the talent to make a head shot with these animals ,you are probably screwed.

Last edited by ZeroJunk; August 28, 2006 at 11:00 AM.
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Old August 28, 2006, 06:43 PM   #29
FirstFreedom
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And "Bob Marshall" would be in what country & province & locale?
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Old August 28, 2006, 08:33 PM   #30
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Sorry,It's the Bob Marshall Wilderness.Part of the Lewis and Clark National Forest in Montana.There are quite a few grizzly bears there.That same guide that was involved in that episode I related killed the last legally taken grizzly in Montana before the courts declared them endangered in the late 80's.I have been about 40 yards on one,could hear it and thought it might be an Elk coming in to a mineral lick I was hunting on.Luckily when it came in sight on the other side of the lick I was down wind and the Elk trails were so well worn that I could move away quietly.My cousin was hunting in a ground blind on the same lick a year earlier and had a sow grizzzly and two cubs come up on him.He took off up the tree above the blind and at about ten feet broke a limb and fell back into the blind destroying it.The bears took off scared to death.Bobby hit the ground like a rubber ball and right back up the tree he went.It took us several minutes to convince him the bears were gone and coax him out of the tree.Keep in mind we are bow hunting and only have a side arm.Mark got about 20 yards on one four years ago.He ran one way the bear ran the other.They are unpredictable as hell.The wildlife people will tell you in private that the bears in the Bob Marshall are not endangered and never were,and that as many are killed getting in to some mischief now as when there was a season,but that is another story.Sow bear with a cub and any bear on a kill is your most likely bad scenario.You stumble in to that and I don't know that any pistol is going to help you unless you are able to shoot the animal in the brain.
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Old August 28, 2006, 09:16 PM   #31
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I use to train with a genteman that was a LEO in Achorage for a couple/few decades. People would ask him what kind of sidearm should they carry for bear.

His response: "A long gun". I believe his advice was good.
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Old August 29, 2006, 08:41 AM   #32
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All of your choices are inadequate for a mature boar black bear. I have personally seen the 45 in action on two bears. Way too much shooting and too little killing. The bears were both killed, one by a 308 and the other a 30-06. The 308 was mine.

People kill treed lions with a 22 mag.
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Old August 29, 2006, 05:36 PM   #33
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I have a .308 and it's a good gun for dropping a black bear.

I love my .308 automatic browning know doubt about it. I would shoot a bear with it in a heart beat if I needed to to kill the animal.

However, I was just interested in which auto handgun would be the best just in case I don't have my .308 on me and needed use the most effective handgun available.

Rifles are far better for killing a bear.

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Old August 30, 2006, 07:49 PM   #34
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The Forest Service did a study on bullet performance specifically for bear protection. Unfortunately, it was done in the early 80's so many of the newer cartridges have not been studied. However, it has some GREAT information.
Here is the link:

http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/gtr152.pdf

Personally, I live in Alaska and have seen more Brown and black bears than I care to while fishing and hiking the backcountry. It is a little different up here as the coastal Browns can get upwards of a halfton. Personally, I would not carry anything less than a 44 mag as backup, and typically a shotgun with slugs is the preferred bear protection. Don't have the cougar issue you have, so I will refrain from commenting.
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Old August 30, 2006, 10:09 PM   #35
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Good link, adfraiser. A sticky along these lines would save some bandwidth.

They seem to have reinvented the dangerous game rifle used in Africa. Not suprising, since that's what bears are. There is alot of good advice in this document, 20 years old or not. It ought to be required reading for anyone that wants to make a "bear" post. Their comments on handguns as primary bear defense weapons were very "enlightening".

I don't think that recent developement in cartridges would change their recomendations that much. I'm sure the 45/70 would do better, they'd recommend stainless steel and there are certainly more powerful handgun cartridges available today. Still very pertinent.

Does anyone know if the Forest Service still not only encourages it's employees to go armed as a matter of policy but also trains them and supplies the arms? They should.

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Old August 30, 2006, 10:24 PM   #36
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I guess I would have to pick the 10mm. If I had my own choice I would choose my Security Six (.357 magnum) loaded with heavy solid bullets.
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Old August 30, 2006, 11:13 PM   #37
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I know up here the Feds still have at least one person carrying when survey crews and archaeology crews are out in the field. You have to get certified, which includes a test with a shotgun, and they supply the arms. Again, this is a different country up here, and you can run into trouble at any time. In fact, a jogger got mauled today, and I believe it is the second one this year. Neither were fatal, but last October a rafting couple were eaten, and the year before man was mauled and is now blind in both eyes at a popular fishing hole.

http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/81...-8031487c.html
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Old August 31, 2006, 01:34 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
Please don't say 'bear' and 125 grain hollowpoint in the same sentence.
Socrates, thanks for saying this so I don't have to. People don't realize that even a black bear has a good chance of taking mutiple .45/.40/9mm rounds and shaking it off right before it disembowels the fella that disrespected it. Even .357/10mm/.44 mag is marginal at best.

For me, the lightest load I would use would be the Buffalo Bore .357 mag 180 grain LFN-GC for 1400 FPS and 783 ft-lbs. http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#357

The 10mm definitely would not be as effective as this load as the sectional density of the 10mm would not be a high, nor would the velocity. Hard cast bullets have been proven time and again to be more effective against heavy animals than lighter jacketed bullets or hollow points. The 10mm would, however be the best of the choices listed. I would not even think of using a .40 S&W. There is a reason they call it the little brother of the 10mm.


I would also think a heavy loaded .500 magnum would be better than say a .243 win I don't care if the .243 is a rifle or not. It still will not have big, heavy bullets that smash through bone and muscle tissue and cause immense amounts of damage. So, if it has to be a handgun, give me one of those.
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Old August 31, 2006, 11:10 AM   #39
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I have thought about this .David said there was 10 inches of snow on the ground and when the Grizzly came after the man he was kicking black dirt into the air.I think if a 600 pound Grizzly is coming at you at 40 miles an hour,a good use of the pistol would be to shoot yourself.
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Old August 31, 2006, 11:32 AM   #40
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You can kill big blacks bear with a .40 S&W some times

I found this tread about a home owner in Alaska some of you may have seen it before. It's about a home owner who drops a large bear with Glock .40 S&W. It is the 10 mm little brother but it can do the job. I have heard that it has killed a couple of black bears with one shot in the past.

I'm not in anyway reccomending it for bear hunting, but it can kill them.

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/wildl...-7706309c.html

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Old August 31, 2006, 03:28 PM   #41
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Quote:
Their comments on handguns as primary bear defense weapons were very "enlightening".

I don't think that recent developement in cartridges would change their recomendations that much.
I would agree with that - the .454 casull and .500 sw mag are still pipsqueaks compared to to the .375 HH mag, etc., recommended there.
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Old August 31, 2006, 05:23 PM   #42
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Of the choices listed, the 10MM through and through.
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Old August 31, 2006, 10:25 PM   #43
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Oregongundude, .40 S&W can definitely kill a bear, and so can a .22, but there's no way in hell I would use a .22 for bear defense. Especially since they are considered back-up nose guns for human defense. Using a .40 on an animal that can run over 30 miles per hour, has huge claws and teeth, has heavy bones, and extremely strong is very unwise and potentially deadly for the person behind the gun.
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Old September 1, 2006, 09:01 PM   #44
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2 things

ZeroJunk, thanks for explanation.

adfrasier, that 1983 U.S. Forest Svc. link is very interesting; thanks.

I find it interesting that the top four choices, after the testing are the .458 winmag, the .375 HH mag, the .338 winmag, and the .30-06 220 gr, and that BOTH the .30-06 220 gr, and the .30-06 180 ranked FAR higher than the .300 winmag, .300 Wby mag, and 8mm rem mag. Not that their numbers system is the end-all, be-all; it's not, but interesting, balancing energy, penetration, retained weight, and expansion, all equally.
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