View Full Version : Bear Hunting

July 25, 2009, 05:26 PM
I'm sure this thread is already started on here but.....

What would you say is the best large black bear hunting load on the market today in a pistol. I've seen lots of stuff on the S&W 500 mag. and thats probably what I'm going to go with. I just kinda wanted to see if there is anyone that wants to stick up for the .460 or .454 casull. I'm also a total noob to bear hunting and any other advice is welcome. (Except using a rifle instead).

July 25, 2009, 05:53 PM
Actually, the .44 mag is plenty for black bears, as well as the .45 Colt with the right loads (no SASS stuff).

I use a .45 Colt, and a buddy of mine uses a FA .454 Casull.

.454 Casull will shoot through a black bear at 100 yards and keep going, regardless of what it hits on the way through. Heavy .45 Colt loads will kill a black bear just as dead.

.500 S&W? It's way overkill, but it'll work fine. If that's what you want to use, go for it. Few will argue that you don't have enough gun, as long as you can shoot it well.


July 25, 2009, 06:32 PM
I know several bear hunter's and most seem to like the 44 mag using solid lead bullets. With that being said some of them have been moving toward the .454 Casull the last couple of years. One of them that has changed said he wished he done so earlyer being it has so much stoping power.

July 25, 2009, 06:49 PM
Where are you going to be hunting. Most Black bears where I live that get killed by hunters weigh under 200 lbs. In other places that weight may be closer to 350lbs. A big black will weigh 500 and those are prettty rare anywhere. They are not that hard to kill and a 44 used at normal handgun ranges is more than enough. If you are going to scope your handgun and start shooting at 100+ yards then you can justify the bigger rounds.

W. C. Quantrill
July 25, 2009, 07:23 PM
The last one I took was with my .45LC with 270gr Keith SWC cast out of wheel weights. They were loaded over 10.5 gr of Unique, and they went through ol Ephraim and just kept on going. Needless to say he died right there. I'd put his weight at about 350.

July 28, 2009, 10:36 AM
I'll stick up for the the .460 (since I have one).

Gives you all the flexibility in the world - .45 Colt, .454 Casull, or the .460

July 28, 2009, 11:07 AM
Most people either use dogs to tree them or else they hunt over some kind of bait/lure. So the shots are fairly close and black bears aren't all that tough. That said though, I would probably use my .480 Ruger just because I have one and it's very accurate. But if I didn't have that, I'd use my 44 mag. I don't think I'd use my 357 on purpose though unless it was up in a tree.

Usually though I just have a bear tag while I'm elk hunting in case I happen to run across one I might shoot it. I dunno though, I don't really have any great passion to shoot a bear. The only time I ever tried it, I didn't like the meat and it seems like a lot of work to get a bearskin. Lately I haven't even been buying a tag.