View Full Version : bear hunt....'58 rem as back up ...?

the Black Spot
August 23, 2010, 09:50 PM
you can only use blackpowder revolver for back up here in arkansas' muzzleloader season(bear or deer).
here is the question; if accuracy was not an issue, would i be better off with a 30 gr charge of 3F and a .457 rb or 25 gr charge of 3F and 200 gr conical?
which would have better penetration?
thanks in advance.

August 23, 2010, 10:09 PM
I believe the Remmie will hold 35g fff and a RB will not be as likely to "pass through" the bear. Now, that's just my opinion.....however, if you "aim small, miss small", I believe it will do the job. Send pick's of your hunt.

August 23, 2010, 10:30 PM
Either one would likely get the job done although you would get better penetration with the conical.

August 24, 2010, 06:33 AM
I'm on the side of the rb. I believe that rb's expand better and thus do more tissue damage than conicals at short range, and if you're using a revolver as backup, short range is the operational mode.

That being said, there's no way I'd use a bp revolver against a bear.

August 24, 2010, 08:27 AM
The suggestion that it be a "back up" gun is to indicate that it is to act in a self defense roll against a wounded animal.
There is no way I would ever choose a black powder revolver in a situation that had my life in the balance. 41 mag or bigger with all the H110 or W296 you can get under the heaviest bullet you can find with the largest meplat.

Black bear aren't too big nor are they too hard to kill, but I don't want Yorkshire Terrier chewing on me, much less a bear.

Re-thought this with the additional bit that it must be a "muzzle loading pistol" as required by the season regulations.

In that case I'd buy a ROA and stuff it as full of 777 as I think the gun could handle behind a conical flat nosed bullet. This is a modern engineered gun and your chances would be improved.

Magnum Wheel Man
August 24, 2010, 08:39 AM
the O.P. states that he can only use a black powder revolver as a back up during muzzleloader season... if I read that correctly...

I use alot of round balls in my black powder cartridge guns for target use, but believe the conical will have better penitration

August 24, 2010, 08:39 AM
Civil War cavalry troopers preferred the round ball in battle, but when they were foraging for beef they preferred the conical, better penetration.

I would imagine that 2 or 3 conicals in the chest would slow a black bear down pretty well, try to miss the shoulder.

August 24, 2010, 08:49 AM
I'm skeptical that a round from your Rem. would even make it to the meat/bone of a black bear after going through the fur, hide and fat. I have shot muzzle loaders, including C&B revolvers, almost exclusively since 1970 and believe I have a pretty good instinct for such things.
As a 'back up', forget it. Useless. For a coup de gras to the head, it should be OK.
Years ago I stopped carrying a 'back up' ML pistol while hunting (BTW, I live in the Arkansas Ozarks). It is just useless weight. I've never killed a bear but when the time comes, I'll concentrate on the first, maybe only, shot from my .54 Jaeger flinter doing the job with finality.

August 24, 2010, 09:09 AM
I have to admit that I had no idea that there were any bear in Arkansas.

If the Remmie is what you've got, then I'm with the conical crowd. But if you've got options, how about a Walker, maybe? Ultimately, I think that Rifleman1776 is probably right, though. If your bears are like our bears here in Idaho, what he said matches up with what folks who've been there and done that have told me (for my part, most of my views have been of the south end of a northbound critter.)

On the other hand, as the small versus large caliber debates tend to go, the gun in your hand is better than the one that you left at home.

August 24, 2010, 09:12 AM
C'mon guys to OP asked a simple question. Without debating the wisdom or usefulness of a BP revolver on a deer/bear hunt in Arkansas. Which of the two loads has better penetration. Obviously that would be the conical.

August 24, 2010, 09:35 AM
Since it is allowed as your only back-up... I would say that your Remington is the very best choice.
I have shot them side by side with my Walker, 1851', and 1860 and the Remington out penitrated them all with a RB!
And would never leave it at home... I have stories from the 1800's that tell of many grizzlies being killed with the C&B revolver

Penitration on whitetails is very good, with many "pass-threw" shots.

What I notice most when butchering WhiteTales is that there is almost no tissue damage around the hole...so placement is important... heavy bone will trash a RB and send it off of its path....
Some have been misslead to believe that the RB will expand...but I have a jar of recovered round balls from game and can say that not one of them has expanded:rolleyes:...the RB is structurally stable so expansion is not likely from a pistol.

I found that 4FF will give a higher velocity than 3ff (mostly cause more will fit)...and NO it does not cause a dangerous situation, It just puts more powder and less air in your chamber..1000's of balls down the pipe of my Remingtons have proven that.

Pyrodex P acctually give me a high pressure and velocity.

I would choose the Conical because in your application..Weight will=Penitration

August 24, 2010, 09:37 AM
I would much prefer to have a .44 mag as back up but since that is not possible I would stuff as much 3f under a conical as possible. A ROA with a deeper chamber would be my first choice. The 1858 with a conical should get the job done. I don't think black bear in Arkansas go over 250 lbs do they? It's not like your looking for a 1200lb Griz.

the Black Spot
August 24, 2010, 12:53 PM
thanks for the replies. there have been some bears taken here in arkansas in the last few years that went over the 450 lb mark.
i thought about a walker, but carrying a 4.5 lb gun up/down two miles of mountains would probably require hip surgery in the end.
Rifleman1776- i plan on making the first shot count, passin up all angles except a slight quartering away shot.
i will probably go with the conicals, better to have a revolver and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
thanks again everyone, more replies are welcome.

August 24, 2010, 01:55 PM
I have read reports of bears killed that were found to have a number of bullets embedded in their hide or bones. These, obviously did not penetrate to the vitals for kills. Bear hide is tough. Arkansas hunts are in the fall when they are fattening up for a winter snooze. C&B revolvers are not powerful to start with, meaning energy drops off very rapidly. Penetrating the fur, hide and fat layers requires quite a bit of power. I wish you luck. I stand by my opinions.
BTW, for others, Arkansas bears are being found to be getting larger. Mature sows are usually no more than 250 pounds. Boars are more like 300 to 450 pounds with some much larger.
And, for the history buffs amongst us, at one time Arkansas was known as the Bear State. Bear hunting for the fur and oil was an industry. Some very interesting stories around that period of time. One of the stories, and I do believe it is a 'story' is that the bears were seldom shot. Supposedly, they were bayed with dogs and the hunter would go up to the bear and kill it with a knife. I have a copy of an original published story where the hunter claims just that. For the record, I don't believe it.

August 28, 2010, 05:53 PM
If you get one with your primary gun, please shoot it again with the sidearm so we can know the results.

the Black Spot
August 28, 2010, 07:24 PM
good idea, i will try to remember that.

August 29, 2010, 02:15 PM
For black bear I'd go with the conical. If confronted with a griz, throw the gun to distract him. It will give you(hopefully) a couple of feet worth of head start on outrunning him.

Gator Weiss
August 29, 2010, 02:34 PM
I have an old .50 caliber Hawken style single shot pistol. I would probably load that thing up to the max and then some with a very heavy conical bullet, or get a saboted jacketed bullet for it. Big healthy load of powder. Something that goes B O O M instead of boom.

If you are going to have to use a pistol, it would mean the bear is probably right on top of you, so you probably wont even have time for sights or time to fire twice. The Remington Revolver is the greatest thing since sliced bread. But I dont know that I would try to do bear-work with it. It was built with a different mission in mind.

Consider a large caliber single shot pistol with a thick wall barrel, heavy loading, and a good cap.

If your rifle doesnt work and your pistol doesnt work, you might consider running. If it is a black bear, chances are he will run the opposite direction anyway. But there again, we are using the word "chance."

I just dont think the Remington has enough horsepower for bear work, but I suppose it is better than using your bowie knife. Granted, the Remington .44 has a slightly larger cylinder and takes slightly hotter loads, but you cant consider it a Walker.

If you are going to use the Remington, dont use round ball. Get yourself a good conical bullet and load up slightly hotter charges. The conical will get in deeper and would stand a better chance of busting through some bone when working with pistol calibers and pistol velocities.

August 29, 2010, 07:13 PM
The Howdah pistol will get the job done.