View Full Version : What to carry for dangerous game

July 24, 2006, 05:48 AM
I head up north once a year to hunt dangerous game. Bear and cat mostly. I normally just carry a .357 magnum for that "just in case" situation, not to mention, I am just used to carrying a gun for defense anyway.

Would a .454 be appropriate for big/dangerous game? Is there really a benefit to have a .480?

July 24, 2006, 08:19 AM
Yes, I think the .454 is a good choice. You can load it down to .45 colts for puma, wolves, black bear, wild hogs, and feral dogs, or up to .454s for brown & polar bear. But really, that .357 with 180 gr hardcasts may be just as good as a .454, if you can get 2 shots off for just 1 of the .454 (while you're recovering from recoil).

July 24, 2006, 09:54 AM
i like the 460 s&w. it can shoot all three (460 454 45 colt) and it shoots a 200 grain bullet somthing a little over 2000 fps. the only problem is youll have to bleed for one, so maybe a 454 is your best bet.

July 24, 2006, 02:18 PM
I have a 10.5 inch barrel .460 and it's actually fine shooting the Hornady 460's...not too much kick at all. Not sure how a smaller one would handle, tho

July 24, 2006, 02:40 PM
I don't want something with a big barrel. It's not going to be my main gun to hunt with, just more of a back up/defense gun. I was actually thinking something like the Alaskan.

July 24, 2006, 04:08 PM
You could get a 3.5" S&W 460, and as mentioned above have the best of 3 worlds.....460, 454, and 45.
Check out this little "kit" that S&W is putting together...though just the revolver alone can be had somewhat cheaper.


They have the survival kit in 500 too.


*I have no affiliation with those GB listings by the way

July 24, 2006, 07:02 PM
Oh, lawdie have mercy - $20 worth of survival gear, and an orange-handled 2.75" revolver in .500 or .460 mag, all in an orange case with a booklet of true bear attack stories. All yours for $1,200. For the man who has everything I guess. :rolleyes:

July 24, 2006, 08:15 PM
That was my impression, exactly. I thought the orange handle was a nice touch, though. :D

July 24, 2006, 08:31 PM
does it come in pink:D
i know what is for so you can color cordnate with your cell phone:D

July 25, 2006, 03:39 AM
O U C H ! ! ! I ain't shootin' that thing!

July 25, 2006, 06:02 AM
I would love to buy a Ruger Alaskan, but that is on the bit of the expensive side. I am getting quotes of almost $800. On the other hand, I can buy a 5" Raging Bull for about $650. I know the Raging Bull is not the greatest handgun, but it atleast has the barrel designed to relieve some of the recoil and it may be a pleasant gun to shoot.

July 25, 2006, 12:13 PM
As your just carrying it as a back up I say keep the 357, and stoke it with the Buffaloe Bore heavy loads,,,,, Now if your going to take up huinting bears with the hand cannons then opt for the 44mag and up,cats are thin skined and lite boned the 357 will work fine

No need to carry a horse pistol unlees the need or want is there

July 25, 2006, 12:18 PM
I see your point. I like the idea of the .454 simply because it's a little more versatile and capable than the .357 when it comes to big game/dangerous game. I can load it light or heavy, depending on what I am out hunting for.

They are a bit on the pricey side, so it may not be until Nov that I am able to buy one.

Between home buying, rifle/scope buying and other hunting supplies shopping, money def gets tight. :mad: lol Oh well, guess I can't have EVERYTHING i want all at once.

Anthony Terry
July 26, 2006, 02:23 AM
any of the "three digit" calibers will be adequate

July 26, 2006, 08:40 AM
I know the Raging Bull is not the greatest handgun

Someone's been lyin' to you, friend. I have one and it's a damn finely-fitted solid chunk of steel. IMO, the equal of the Ruger.

VaFreak, ok then, a .218 Bee raging bull it is (while on the subject of raging bulls)!

July 26, 2006, 08:55 AM
Troponin - I say a nice 3" S&W "Mountain Magnum .44", and a "Slow, short-legged,
Hunting guide..!" "Shove & run" seems a more appealing tactic to me than a handgun fight
w/ a "Grizzly Bear the size of a Mid-Sized Car..!" (LOL..!) :)

In all seriousness though, if it doesn't have to be a Handgun, a good 18" Remington 870
(w/ Mag. extension) w/ alternates of "0000-Buck & Slugs" is what's carried by many in
Kodiak, AK. :)

Jack O'Conner
July 26, 2006, 09:14 AM
I backpack into remote areas of the Bighorn Mts. each August for superb fishing.
This is black bear and mt. lion country and a long, long way to the nearest medical help. In other words, I'm on my own.

I always carry a lightweight 16 gauge shotgun. It's just a plain break open single shot that weighs about 5 lbs. But a stock shell holder carries 5 rounds of ammo. An assortment of #1 buckshot, slug, and high base #6 is carried. This is my self defense gun and it is light and deadly. I carry a K-Bar bowie knife on my hip that was issued to me a few decades ago.

Someone will point out that my shotgun is only a break open single shot. But these mts were explored by trappers back when un-friendly Indians and fearless grizzlies were common. Yet these men carried muzzle-loaders with confidence. My single barrel shotgun loads much faster than those old muzzle-loaders!

Anthony Terry
July 26, 2006, 10:30 AM
firstfreedom, hahaha, lets just say the 3 digit cals. that start with 4 or 5..:D

July 26, 2006, 06:15 PM
In addition to my firearm I believe I would carry a fire extinguisher sized can of bear spray. When danger presents itself I can spray my short legged guide friend. While he's hollering and flayling around on the ground the bear wont notice me sneeking away.;)

July 27, 2006, 01:59 PM
ive said it before and ill keep saying it, the only thing ill spray at a bear is lead:D
maybe copper!

Magnum Wheel Man
July 27, 2006, 03:43 PM
got an old Dan Wesson 44 mag that I had converted just for that purpose... got a 2" barrel & a custom ( no, not the stupid old Dan Wesson ) single chamber compensator, that replaces the barrel nut... a set of Houge rubber finger groove grips, & the gun pops off 6 rounds without raising off target...

also got a nice custom 50... ( 50 AE barreled blackhawk ) chambered for 5 rounds of slightly shortened 50 AE brass ( headspaces on the case mouth similarly to the 30 carbine ) the shorter brass allows the use of huge heavy cast bullets stuffed in far enough to clear the forcing cone on the barrel...

either of these guns I'd trust... as long as my guide was crippled... I personally feel that I've seen enough footage of dead bears charging 1/2 way to a rifle hunters position before dropping, that for close range, it may be best to try to cripple the beast so it can't walk, or blow it's lower jaw off, so it can't bite, cause the wrong place at the wrong time with a bear, it likely going to be ugly, no mtter what you're packing... ( that said, an accurate 357 that ypou are used to shooting accurately, & the right bullets, may be better off than a huge recoil machine, that you get one good shot off, & one bad shot, & the gun is pointing into the sky for any follow up shots...

Magnum Wheel Man
July 28, 2006, 07:49 AM
I'm not sure just how far "up north" is to you... but coincedentally I just got an e-mail from one of my northern e-friends, with a full set of pics of a polar bear who attacked a camper while he was sleeping in his wall tent ( he must have been snoreing like a bear ( sorry I couldn't resist the pun )... but I think the guy was by himself, & fought off the bear long enough to get his gun & shoot it, but it's really a miracle that he is still alive as badly as he is ripped up... I'd be happy to forward on the e-mail to anyone interested in sending me their e-mail addy... unfortunately they didn't say what the gun was... the pics were so bloody & graphic I wouldn't want to post them here, but I'll look over the e-mail again & ask my buddy if he heard what the gun was ???

Magnum Wheel Man
July 28, 2006, 08:01 AM
the tent is scary, but not to bloody... so I'll post that...

BTW... is there a way the insert a pic into the text on this forum... ( I'm not finding that option...)

July 28, 2006, 09:35 AM
I would be interested in seeing the pics and article. Is there a link or must you email it?

Magnum Wheel Man
July 28, 2006, 09:52 AM
it's not an artical but scene & hospital pics taken while they were trying to put the guy back together... along with a few written details in the e-mail... I have e-mailed him back asking for more details, particularly pertaining to the gun

it was listed as the "Off the Hook" bear attack, so there may be some other detail on the internet... been to busy this morning to look yet...

July 28, 2006, 09:22 PM
If you're carrying it as backup to a rifle, then I'd think that a .357Mag is not a bad choice. If it's your primary hunting firearm, I think that most would advise you to pick something with a bit more oomph.