View Full Version : back-up guns for bear

July 11, 2005, 10:45 PM
I am looking for sugestions for back-up guns for bear or while out in the wild. Semi-autos. I am thinking like a .40 s&w or a .45 acp. Any help would be welcome.

July 11, 2005, 10:57 PM
For hunting, I don't think you need a back up gun. Take a large bore handgun that you can shoot well or take the rifle. Why carry an extra hunk of iron around with you when you already have a lot of gear with you?

Hiking and so forth: I favor a revolver in 357, 41, or 44 magnum with a 4" barrel.

July 11, 2005, 11:35 PM
what kind of bear are you talking about? a griz. wont be stopped by either one of those.

July 11, 2005, 11:50 PM
Maybe a teddy bear. I suggest a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan....if you can get your hands on one.

I've been wanting to start a thread on this very gun, but Jim Beam seems to stop me from it every night. :) :( :barf:

July 12, 2005, 01:54 AM
I live in washington so a cute cuddly brown or black bear. Maybe a mountain lion nothing huge. I think you could kill a grizzley bear if you shot in the head with a fmj.

July 12, 2005, 04:53 AM
Many rifle bullets can be deflected from certain angles on a grizzly or brown bear skull. Do not count on a FMJ pistol bullet doing anything - unless it strikes an eye socket, slips down an earhole, up a nostril ...... or you get just plain lucky ;)

Apple a Day
July 12, 2005, 10:29 AM
Why would a bear need a backup gun? :eek:
It's keep and BEARARMS... not keep and ARM BEARS :D
Sorry, I just couldn't resist!

July 12, 2005, 11:42 AM
The best you could do is to carry a 10mm pistol. You ought to find some videos of charging animals !! Then you would enter the real world .There was a fine film of a grizzly running down an elk calf.I recently saw one of a hunter getting charged by a lion that injured the hunter.Also a head on shot of a lioness attacking and swerving off at the last second. They accelerate quickly to 35-40 mph and they have enormous strength.Come out of the Disney/teddy bear world ! :rolleyes:

July 12, 2005, 11:47 AM
If you really want a semi-auto, then 10mm is about the meanest it gets. Unless you have a Desert Eagle in one of the magnum cartridges. You will have to go to a manufacturer like Buffalo Bore, or reload your own, to get its full potential, though. Most of the time, it is loaded similarly to the .40 S&W. For more reliable protection, a revolver would be better. That being said, I carry a .40 S&W (couldn't find a 10mm :barf: )

July 12, 2005, 12:15 PM
Skip the auto, bring a wheel gun .41 or .44

July 12, 2005, 02:59 PM
.454 casull or .500 S&W big cartriges huge animals

July 12, 2005, 07:50 PM
How about a CZ-52? From the responses to a question I asked on another post, these pistols seem to have fantastic penetration and are accurate. It is a semi-auto that fires a round originally designed for an SMG.

With animals you want penetration and location.

July 12, 2005, 08:05 PM
I agree with 22-rimfire that if you are hunting with a long gun, there is no benefit to adding a handgun on top of that.

For general woodsiness where you are worried that you would be attacked by bear, I'd say you want a revolver, in .41 or .44 Magnum, ideally with a 6" barrel. Not only are these more powerful than the 10mm, but there are readily available loads appropriate for bear for these magnum revolvers.

The odds are that you'll never have to defend yourself against a bear, but, if lightning strikes and you actually need to, I'd want to use something that has a real good chance of working. IMO that's at least a .41 Magnum with big game loads. For grizzly, .44 Magnum is more appropriate.

Handguns designed for antipersonnel use aren't going to be reliable on bear. Bear are thicker and have bigger bones than people. Your choice of firearm and load has to take that into account.

July 12, 2005, 09:55 PM
I live deepna hearta bear country. It may be surprising to you if I told you I carry a BHP loaded w/ 115 gr FMJs when I go running.
Your best defense is awareness early enough to give yourself other options rather than just shooting.
I know that my BHP isn't the best bear medicine available. I also know that they are likely out there watching me pound the pavement, but it's not going to be deployed until I'm at arms length.
However, when I'm purposely out in the boonies I carry either a 12 ga. loaded w/ Brennekes or a rifle loaded with premium ammo.

July 12, 2005, 10:05 PM
Your best defense is awareness early enough to give yourself other options

+1 on that - avoiding a bear attack, which isn't terribly difficult, is the high percentage way to look at this. If you plan on taking on all comers, gunfighter style, I'd get the .44magnum. Once you start shooting, the chances of an attack escalate considerably.

July 12, 2005, 10:37 PM
I'm no bear expert but I think that there is a big difference between what handgun you would carry for protection from bears depends on the species of bear that are in the area you're in. I know that if you are walking at night or just after dark in the woods and you come into an area where you can "smell" bear all around you, it will make you more than a bit nervous. They really stink! I've had black bears come very close while archery hunting from a blind. In the case of black bear, the standard big bores are fine in my opinion. If you are in the northern Rockies, I would carry at least a 44 magnum revolver and preferably something a bit larger. But as was mentioned, I think that awareness of your surroundings is the key. The recent predatory attack in Alaska was a very a-typical example of a grizzly attack. You can't defend or plan for every possible situation with either a handgun, rifle, or shotgun. I would never shoot a bear except as a last resort with a handgun (when not hunting). With the grizzlies and big brown bears, the chance of esculation becomes real after you start shooting. Better to move away slowly if you can and exhibit no behavior that would be challenging to a bear.

Big Yac
July 12, 2005, 10:45 PM
I'd say in no particular order(revolvers):
1. 500 S&W
2. .454 Casull
3. . 480 Ruger
4. . 475 Linebaugh
5. . 45-70

If you want something in a rifle then I'd say:
1. .458 Win Mag
2. .416 Rigby
3. .375 H&H

I love big guns :D