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Old January 9, 2013, 10:55 PM   #51
TinyDee
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In short,no. I knew a Alaska trooper who would not use slugs in a 12 gauge either. He used 4 BUCK. They are big and you will be in more trouble than you want.
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:56 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilimanjaro:
The fact is that an Alaskan Brown Bear is 1,000 pounds, large bones, thick skull, heavy muscles, and requires a lot of stopping power.
Man, I get into that scenario and I am looking nothing less than a fairly light-weight rifle in .375H&H loaded with 300 gr. Sledgehammer Solids.
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Old January 10, 2013, 04:10 AM   #53
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The fact is that an Alaskan Brown Bear is 1,000 pounds, large bones, thick skull, heavy muscles, and requires a lot of stopping power.
"The normal range of physical dimensions for a brown bear is a head-and-body length of 1.4 to 2.8 m (4.6 to 9.2 ft) and a shoulder height of 70 to 153 cm (28 to 60 in)"

"an adult brown bear in nearby coastal Alaska living on a steady, nutritious diet of spawning salmon may weigh as much as 680 kg (1,500 lb)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_bear

Alaskan author Larry Kaniut has a framed photo in his home of a man who survived a bear attack standing next to the stuffed/mounted bear which is also standing. The top of the man's head is just past the middle of the upright bear.

Just because Larry has documented a bear attack where a person defended himself against a bear with a folding Buck knife does not mean that I carry a folding Buck knife for such a purpose.

If you want to read about actual bear/man encounters I suggest reading one or more of Larry's books.

http://www.kaniut.com/

So, to recap: in Alaska a "normal" Brown Bear can weigh 6 - 10 times more than most men, when standing tower between 3 - 4 feet over most men, and is almost as tall as many men standing when it's standing on all fours.

Then you can consider the record/larger than normal specimens.

"This nine year old girl from the Yukon shot this record brown bear in Alaska on the Alaskan Peninsula in October 2006. Skull size – 33 1/16, 11 feet 9 inches nose to tail, estimated weight – 1,800 pounds. Supposedly this was her first ever bear hunt."
Read her father's link, it was a little smaller; really very little.
http://www.skinnymoose.com/bbb/2007/...rd-brown-bear/

So, where I live and hike, no .45 auto for the great outdoors.
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Old January 10, 2013, 04:20 AM   #54
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A 9 year old girl took a bear that big? Pretty impressive. But that's kinda more proof they are t bullet proof.

No 45ACP isn't a front line weapon. But it can be used if necessary or as a back-up. Either way it's been around for a very very long time and has obviously taken numerous bears too. Just as .22's have. Doesn't meant its the 1st line defense. But to those saying 45ACP is just gona **** the bear off - you're wrong. If that was true then how have people taken down bears with 45ACP? Or dropped them with the low .22 in one shot? Now if your going against a HUGE bear in say Alaska, a 45ACP is risky. Can it work? Of course. Would I use it as first line? Heck no! But nearly any caliber can take out a bear. So if a .22 has taken numerous bears, I'm sure the more powerful 45ACP can too. Again, it's not the best FRONT LINE/1st choice but it can and has worked before.

Heck I read a story where a man used a can of axe deodorant and lighter on a bear and got it in the face! Needless to say the bear ran off stumbling into things and hitting things since it just got blasted in the face with fire. But that was a can of axe spray and a lighter that stopped a bear. I'd feel much safer with a 45ACP than a can of hairspray and lighter.
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Old January 10, 2013, 04:42 AM   #55
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Quote:
Can it work? Of course.
You can defend yourself and a loved one with a pair of binoculars:
http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...&pg=7167,59618

You can win a million dollar lottery:
http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/08/...1-million-win/

The question is, "Would a reasonable and prudent person expect to or seriously consider defending oneself against a bear with a .45 auto pistol; especially if other alternatives are available?" (In my case in Alaska, I do see these bears every single year when they are out and about.)

Given that my personal closest non-hunting bear encounter in the bush ended at about 4 feet, I can assure you that my .45 Automatic Colt Pistols sit in my safe when I am out and about.

But, if you want to try the binocs or the lottery tickets...
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Old January 10, 2013, 04:56 AM   #56
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Quote:
A 9 year old girl took a bear that big? Pretty impressive. But that's kinda more proof they are t bullet proof.
No one said they were bulletproof, but that isn't a .45 acp she's holding either. Killing a bear and STOPPING a bear are two completely different things.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:12 AM   #57
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Pennsylvania is home to some kick ass large bears...

http://blogs.wvgazette.com/johnmccoy...-killed-in-pa/

Over the years I've seen several (one in the wild, two shot by hunters) that EASILY topped 6 feet in a standing pose, NOT a reared up paws over head pose.

Habitat and food availability ALWAYS plays a role in a critter's ultimate final body size (not just whether they are overweight or not). A critter with the genes to be very large, but which is chronically starved for adequate food, isn't going to grow out to its potential.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:31 AM   #58
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Are PA bears big because they are forced to subsist on people who eat philly cheesesteaks?
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Old January 10, 2013, 10:02 AM   #59
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Bears and guns

I have never shot a bear, black, brown or white. That being said, one doesn't have to have had the encounter to know something about the situation.
There is more than a little silliness in some of the posts above as far as the big Bears are concerned.
More shots on target with a 1911? Maybe more shots....but on target? In the unfortunate situation wherein we might have to shoot a big bear, it will be charging..over broken ground and moving at close to 30 mph. Maybe I could hit the bear.....but the target is the CNS and much smaller than the whole bear.
Hitting that is another thing entirely.
And.....one has to get the gun out before shooting....unless you walk around with the gun in your hand. Kinda hard to do when you are walking through the woods to the river to fish and are loaded down with stuff (that I know from experience).
Bears have been killed with a .22 rim fire......no doubt. We are not discussing hunting here. We are discussing dealing with an upset bear who is charging at you. You don't want to just kill it, you want to STOP it. Right there and now. Please don't stick to the line that a .22 is a bear stopper.
Kill is one thing. Stop is quite another.
The last time that I was fishing along the Kenai in AK, I had to hike a couple of hundred yards through the scrub to the river. I was getting out of the car at the same time as another group of guys. There were three of them. Two carried the "stuff", the other carried a .375 H&H. I walked with them.
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:35 PM   #60
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I would think the issue is a slow-moving bullet failing to penetrate ... No bears in my neighborhood but if I was going somewhere they might threaten, I'd have a bigbore revolver, maybe .357 up ...
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:39 PM   #61
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Mike, the bear is certainly large and you are right there are BB's that are over 6'. An anomaly may even reach 7' as a genetic freak, but that bear was also fat. The picture itself can distort with the head up front and a person in the rear. The article even said it was fed by this woman for years. Food sources must be good in PA, as a number of bears of the close to 3000 taken each year are over 500 lbs.
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Old January 10, 2013, 09:18 PM   #62
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PA. Black Bears are not big because they are overweight or garbage dump bears. It's genetics and habitat. Vast isolated mountains cover the North central part of the state. The big ones are taken in the big mountains far away from towns and civilization. North Central Pa looks closer to Montana than what people would believe in the East coast. I know several +500lbs right around my home. Many hunting/Outdoor magazines do stories every year about the big bear taken in Lycoming and Clinton County.

This is a 879lbs Black bear. He barely fit end to end in a 8' pick-up box. Most all the world record Black bears come from north central Pa.
Remember, these bears are field dressed in these pics.



A nice 700lbs


A 750lbs with a 23 9/16" skull

This is a 650lbs Black Bear.


They don't call it the Pine Creek Grand Canyon for nothing. In Clinton/Lycoming county. This is also why some of the most famous long distance wildcat cartridges were born here.
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:00 AM   #63
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Nice looking bears.

I just saw I screwed up on my bullet weights. I didnt test with a 135gr it was a 235gr TC. And with a heavy load it penatrated ALMOST the same in wet phonebooks as a 45 colt and a 315gr WFN and 24gr of 110.

As for a WFN not feeding in a 45ACP, it would be trial and error. The Lee 200gr FN feeds great in everything we've tried it in and they dont come with a bigger meplat that I've seen, though 200gr is too light.

It wouldnt be ideal, but I know a man in Alaska that has killed 2 bears with a 45 ACP and wont carry anything else because of quick recovery time.

Last edited by reloader28; January 11, 2013 at 12:07 AM.
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Old January 11, 2013, 12:12 AM   #64
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Quote:
But, if you want to try the binocs or the lottery tickets...
You wanna compared a 45ACP vs a bear to a pair of Bincos? C'mon now that's a little ridiculous. A .22 has killed many bears. And dropped them dead in one shot. Does it mean its a one shot one kill vs a charging Grizzly, or is a one shot one kill ALL the time? NO WAY! My point simply wad even a .22 has worked before, and its done the job in one shot, so if a .22 can then obviously a .45ACP can. Again, its not for certain and Bear size, shot placement, etc all matters. If read my post i said a 45ACP would NOT be a good front line/1st choice. I said a 12 gauge with SLUGS. You must have mis-read me, I said its not a good 1st choice at all, perhaps as a back- up or if its Thr ONLY thing you have it's better than nothing. BUT as a backup or if its all you have, IT CAN work. But as I I said countless times over, the 45ACP can work. Can doesnt mean "will work 100% no matter what". No. It means the 45ACP is capable of taking out a bear, but it's not a wise first choice weapon. CAN work is totally different then you claiming I said a 45ACP will drop a bear In one shot. Where did I say that anywhere in my posts? I never did. I just said a .22 HAS before, never said it will everytime that's stupid to assume.

Last edited by Josh17; January 11, 2013 at 12:24 AM.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:07 AM   #65
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Quote:
You wanna compared a 45ACP vs a bear to a pair of Bincos? C'mon now that's a little ridiculous.
Not at all ridiculous if you name is Deane Lengkeek.

Quote:
A .22 has killed many bears. And dropped them dead in one shot. Does it mean its a one shot one kill vs a charging Grizzly, or is a one shot one kill ALL the time? NO WAY!
Just a reminder of the OP:
Quote:
Would you feel safe using a 45 ACP for protection against a Bear if you were fishing up North where the Bears are big?
And you still continue to state:
Quote:
IT CAN work. But as I I said countless times over, the 45ACP can work.
I do realize that you also state:
Quote:
It means the 45ACP is capable of taking out a bear, but it's not a wise first choice weapon.
Quote:
CAN work is totally different then you claiming I said a 45ACP will drop a bear In one shot. Where did I say that anywhere in my posts?
As far as I have read, you have not stated one shot, one stop with a .45ACP; just with a .22.

Quote:
I just said a .22 HAS before, never said it will everytime that's stupid to assume.
I have assumed nothing, just read your posts. While the OP asks about feeling safe relying on a .45 ACP for bear protection against big Northern bears, you continue to promote/argue the ability, while not 100%, of the .45ACP and the .22 to stop a bear.

In your own words:
Quote:
IT CAN work.
I don't recall the OP asking if it "CAN" work.

Again I state:
The question is, "Would a reasonable and prudent person expect to or seriously consider defending oneself against a bear with a .45 auto pistol; especially if other alternatives are available?"

I personally know a fair number of Alaska Guides and not one of them carries a .45 ACP or a .22 for that matter for bear protection when out in the bush.

While they "COULD", they "DON'T".

Just because something is possible does not make it wise.

YMMV
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:17 AM   #66
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The OP never said anything about having other alternatives available. And I think that's an important aspect of this conversation. Not to put words in his mouth....(like the above post) But I think it's a question of going out with a 45acp, or not going out at all.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:23 AM   #67
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Quote:
The OP never said anything about having other alternatives available.
You are correct, I specifically did discuss other alternatives, as I do live among "Big Bears" in Alaska; just as others also discussed other alternatives, and the difference between hunting and defense.

I believe that if the OP can make it from Florida to where the "big northern bears" live to go fishing, he can probably afford at the minimum a can of bear spray.

But if not, I will personally lend him one of mine if he ends up in my neck of the woods.

Quote:
or not going out at all.
And where did this assumption come from?
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:27 AM   #68
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He also never said anything about going to Alaska. From Florida, "going up north where the bears are big" can just as easily mean Maine.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:30 AM   #69
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Quote:
From Florida, "going up north where the bears ate big" can just as easily mean Maine.
Sure. And what does a can of bear spray cost? (Versus how many gallons of gas to make this trip?)
And again, where did this, "or not at all" assumption come from?
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:33 AM   #70
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This is a gun forum, not a bear spray forum.
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:36 AM   #71
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A follow up post by the original poster would probably prevent a lot of this conjecture.
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Old January 11, 2013, 04:24 AM   #72
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Everyone here is making assumptions as stated above the OP never said where he was going.

I said a .22 had dropped a bear in one shot. That is a fact. I also said dont count on it. But it CAN happen. It's just rare. BUT it goes to show with proper shot placement even the "all mighty bear" can fall to a mere .22 caliber. So if a mere .22 can do that then surely a 45ACP that had much more power could, no?

The .45LC had been around for a long time and has been used to take out many bears. Hell I remember a quote from a movie or a game "6 shots... Enough to kill anything that moves" (referring to .45LC). Yes, just a movie/game, but I do agree, 6 shots of 45 cal is enough to kill nearly anything. Nearly. I think 6 well placed shots vs a Grizzly would take it down. But will you be able to get 6 good shots? Unlikely. Get a 12 gauge and load it up with slugs then carry the .45 as a sidearm and your set! Or if you want to be really safe: a 12 gauge for main weapon, and .44 magnum for sidearm. Or even a .500 SW as sidearm. With a 12 gauge and a .500 SW I'd feel safe even in Alaska!

I guess since the OP did say only one gun, then AZAK you are right. For a 45ACP as the only weapon vs large bears? no no no! A .45ACP isn't a good "only weapon" if he's up against big browns or Grizzly bears. It still *CAN* work but bringing it as your *ONLY* gun is a bad idea. If you had a 12 gauge, and a 45ACP pistol as a side-arm you'd be fine.

Now if a 45ACP is still all you had for whatever reason it is 100 times better then having nothing at all. Much better. Still I wouldn't feel safe with it as the only weapon in large bear county. If in small bear county I'd feel okay with just a 45ACP but not vs large bear. 12 gauge with slugs would be your best bet. If you ONLY want to carry a handgun then get a .44 magnum or .500SW. It's much better than a 45ACP. Still not good as your only gun in big bear county but they are much better choice.

Last edited by Josh17; January 11, 2013 at 04:34 AM.
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Old January 11, 2013, 04:32 AM   #73
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I simply leave my opinion based upon:
literally many thousands of days in big bear country hiking (I realistically get out 350 days a year for hours a day, and also extended trips out into the bush), hunting, fishing, boating, tracking in bear country obtained over decades, knowing and having read Larry Kaniut's books (many of which document first hand bear/man encounters obtained over decades), knowing a number of professional guides including what they do and don't do again over decades, reading research on bears and bear encounters, knowing wildlife biologists, specifically tracking and watching bears, the fact that I have had close bear encounters over the years (four feet being the closest non-hunting encounter) etc... I could go on...

Basically I have come to "feel safe" with my personal choices regarding my behavior in bear country and my approaches to bear defense. And they are not similar to Timothy Treadwell's or a .45 ACP.

I am not the bear whisperer and know others with far more bear experience than myself; and many others whom I do not know, but are out there.

Realistically, we are all more likely to die of heart disease, or in an automobile than be attacked by a bear.

I think that the very 1st response to the OP was very insightful.

I respect everyone's right to their own experiences and opinions; I may or may not agree with them.

YMMV
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Old January 11, 2013, 06:32 AM   #74
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Wow, that is quite a bit of experience I must say. Pretty damned lot to be honest. I don't have that experience or have read those books so you definitely do have a lot of knowledge and personal experience to bring to the table. I honestly wish I could spent that much time outdoors.

I do see that we both agree a 12 gauge is the best option

Not sure where the OP went lol. But I think he got his answer.
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Old January 11, 2013, 08:05 AM   #75
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Quote:
I said a .22 had dropped a bear in one shot.
Josh...man...we know you love the .45. I love the .45, too. Just had my 1911 out yesterday afternoon for some outdoor plinking. One of my all time favorite calibers.

That said, you're right. The OP has been answered. Most would not feel safe with .45acp as bear defense if it were really needed.

You're bringing up a lot of "lots of bears killed with .45's" and then the above quote about the .22....No offense, and I've enjoyed this thread, but I'm guessing you've never dealt with real-life bears or the business of killing them. A small bear bent on killing you will not go down easily. If I had a .45 in my hand at the point a 65 pound bear was charging me, I would expect to be severely hurt.

I've shot 3 of my bears with my 30-06. None of them dropped in their tracks, despite heavy bone damage and heart/lung hits. Same goes for 50 cal muzzleloader. They are tough animals.

Maybe I need that .22 of which you speak.....
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