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Old April 18, 2013, 01:28 PM   #51
newfrontier45
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Not trying to derail the thread, but even a powerful handgun has relatively low energy when compared to a shotgun or a rifle. If you are trying to kill a bear, big bore handguns will do the job nicely. If you are trying to stop a charge, you need to kill the bear NOW and not in 30 seconds, because a sprinting bear will cover the 50 yds between you in a little over 2 seconds, and those 28 seconds when the bear is gnawing on your skull will be the longest 10 seconds of your life. So, while I understand the attraction of a large bore handgun, if I were in big bear country and they posed a credible threat, I would carry a rifle or shotgun for backup.
Energy is meaningless and far too dependent on velocity, the most rapidly diminishing factor. If a 250gr .45 at 900fps will pass completely through any deer that walks yet only produces a paltry 450ft-lbs of energy, then something should tell us that maybe energy is not the proper gauge of a cartridge/load's effectiveness. The only disadvantage of one of these heavy sixguns is that they are more difficult to hit with than a shoulder-fired arm. A heavy hardcast bullet with a sectional density of .250-.270 will break a shoulder on its way in and break a hip on its way out and anchor a charging bruin as quickly as any rifle.

Shotgun slugs have a pitiful sectional density but a heavy rifle is a superior stopper because it is quicker and easier to place an accurate shot. The problem arises when you're doing things that cannot be done with a rifle in your hands or slung on your shoulder. The heavy sixgun is with you ALWAYS and that is its biggest advantage.
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Old April 18, 2013, 08:35 PM   #52
big al hunter
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Thanks for the link newfrontier45. Very informative. Kinda makes me want a 475 Linebaugh. Now I see what your saying. Heavier is more important than velocity to a point. It appears that the law of diminishing returns has burned me. Lesson learned.
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Old April 19, 2013, 02:36 PM   #53
Pond, James Pond
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Everytime there is one of these .44 vs .454 threads, I have a look to see what is written and I end up coming to the same conclusion: I am happy with my 4" Ruger Redhawk.

I have 240gr FNFMJs loaded to 1300 FPS or 1200 FPS, depending on the load. One member did some calculations on penetration a while back using formulae by Macpherson and Schwartz and, give or take, those 240gr bullets would achieve soft tissue penetration of about 1 metre....
On top of that they have mean meplat of about 45% of the frontal area.
And on top of that they flatten out nicely against harder material without loosing mass.
That will do some damage to a bear.

I take the greater possibility of getting of an extra shot as being more useful to me than yet more penetration. To each their own.

As for the "click of the gun" debate on bear responses, I personally believe that it is the combination of unfamiliar visual stimulus (upright human), unfamiliar olfactory stimulus (human smell) and unfamiliar aural stimulae (human screeching like a banshee and/or a clicking noise) is enough to make a most animals stop and think " 'ang-on-a-minute... wossis-all-about?" and go away, unless they have a big enough stimulus pushing them forward such as protecting young...
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Old April 19, 2013, 03:04 PM   #54
Ought6
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More "Clicking"

As for the "click of the gun" debate on bear responses, I personally believe that it is the combination of unfamiliar visual stimulus (upright human), unfamiliar olfactory stimulus (human smell) and unfamiliar aural stimulae (human screeching like a banshee and/or a clicking noise) is enough to make a most animals stop and think " 'ang-on-a-minute... wossis-all-about?" and go away, unless they have a big enough stimulus pushing them forward such as protecting young...
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Scream all you want, clicking the action or simply pulling your gun out of the holster and having a bear simply run off most likely won't happen like Skidder said he has had happen to him. Maybe it did happen, but if a bear has decided to go after you it's going to take much more than a clicking action or just the removal of a gun from the holster to make him change his/her mind. It's what happens after you pull the gun out and click the action that makes the difference. Let's be honest here, on this forum, and all others most of us have not been charged, attacked or chewed on by a bear, just a lot of "what if" scenarios posted everywhere.
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Old April 19, 2013, 05:20 PM   #55
bowfishn
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I know you have already decided what to get and it sounds like it will be fine. I want to add that I have had many 44 mag Ruger handguns and only 1 Ruger 454 in a 9.5" SRH, I currently own a 44 9.5" SRH . To say that the 454 is 50% more recoil than the same 44 mag handgun is a bit of a stretch to me. I used to shoot 300 grain cast GC bullets from my 454 at 1700 fps and in my 44 mag I shoot the same weight cast GC bullet at 1550 fps. The only difference to me is the 454 always black and blued my middle finger after 6 shots, the 44 does not. As long as you shoot a heavy bullet preferably cast with a large meplat it should get adequate penetration with maximum tissue disruption. The key is shot placement as everyone tells you and you probably already know. A 12 gauge slug at close range will not do much of anything if it travels through the animal without hitting vitals. My buddy found that out on a Black Bear last year, he did not want to damage the skull and placed the shot entering the chest and exiting the back end. 20 minutes later when they thought the bear was dead he crawled in the cave after it and found out he was wrong, putting another shot into the bear this time hitting the heart and dead bear in just a few seconds.
I use my 44 for Whitetail Deer and Black Bear Hunting, if I was to rely on it for bear protection, I would use a shorter barreled 4 - 6 inch (easier to pack) and a 330 to 340 grain cast at about the 1300 - 1400 fps, although 1200 - 1300 would be more than adequate. I would hope that after 6 shots through its chest cavity it would have changed its mind from wanting to eat me to its instinct of wanting to try to survive.
I really like the Ruger Alaskan, looks great for up close and personal, and with the time it takes for a bear to cover 50 yards that is what it will be. The 480 intrigues me, but I already have all my loading gear and cast for the 44 Mag.
Just my long winded opinion.
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Old April 19, 2013, 06:40 PM   #56
three-fifty-seven
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Get a .44 Magnum; all a .454 gives you is more recoil and a swore hand.
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Old April 19, 2013, 06:46 PM   #57
spaniel
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I want to see someone post a video of them rapid-firing a 454 and a 44 and then show the targets. The most powerful handgun in the world is useless if you miss on your first shot and can't follow up before the bear is on you.
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Old April 19, 2013, 08:26 PM   #58
feets
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I have a 7.5" Super Redhawk in 454. There's no way I'd carry that tank any farther than I'd have to. In fact, I've been entertaining the idea of trading it for a Redhawk in 45 Colt.

Since you want to get into reloading, grab a 4" Redhawk in 45 Colt and get on with life. It will do anything the 44 Magnum will do if you hand load and still carry the bonus of the larger diameter bullet.
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Old April 19, 2013, 08:50 PM   #59
Rick R
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I recently got a chance to shoot a co-workers scoped 7.5" SRH IN .454 with a near max loaded 300gr XTP. I also had my 4.2" Redhawk in .45 Colt loaded with a max load of 2400 under a .45 270SAA boolit. IMHO The recoil of the two guns wasn't that much different or too much to handle. We fired my loads in both guns and there wasn't any real difference in recoil.

All that to lead up to, there was a big difference in the effect of the .454 on the steel targets at 20 yards. I still want to try some 340-360 gr boolits out of my Redhawk but the .454 is impressive.

I also got a chance to fire a friends .44 Alaskan and found recoil to be much worse than my .44 Mountain Gun with similar loads.

For general packin' I prefer my Redhawk, in the OP's situation I'd think a custom SRH with the barrel bobbed to 4 - 5" might be a good thing.
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Old April 20, 2013, 12:29 AM   #60
Pond, James Pond
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Scream all you want, clicking the action or simply pulling your gun out of the holster and having a bear simply run off most likely won't happen like Skidder said he has had happen to him.
That is why I said combination of factors.
I never claimed that clicking a gun, in isolation, would be sufficient. I said that such an alien sound as a click of a gun along with a whole lot stack of even stronger alien signals would make a bear less sure of its actions.
I believe that the mere fact that the bear was faced head on with full eye contact may well have been enough given that humans would not be giving any of the signals of their natural prey unless the person started running away.

Animals don't attack without reason.
They attack for food, defence of self, territory, young or mating rights. If they can get the desired affect by intimidation it is to their advantage as they avoid risk of injury themselves, hence why bears often do fake charges.

Quote:
Let's be honest here, on this forum, and all others most of us have not been charged, attacked or chewed on by a bear, just a lot of "what if" scenarios posted everywhere.
And yet you're the one who tried to pull apart first hand accounts of certain members....
By your own logic, perhaps you should give those who have been charged some credence...

Incidentally, please use the quote button in the reply box tool bar: it is the speech-bubble icon: much easier to see what is your text and what is being quoted...
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