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Old February 23, 2021, 05:22 AM   #26
Cosmodragoon
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There are no grizzlies in my neck of the woods either. Most of the larger wild life tends to stay away or can often be scared away. That includes black bears, cats, coyotes, and moose. Of course, bad situations can happen so it's wise to be prepared.

While I reserve 9mm for civilization, I don't feel like I need a hand cannon for any of those animals. I used to carry a 686 in .357 magnum but as I've gotten older, it seems to have gotten heavier. Now I usually carry either .40 S&W or .357 Sig in the woods.
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Old February 23, 2021, 11:47 PM   #27
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Glock 20 or 29. Problem solved.
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Old February 24, 2021, 09:50 AM   #28
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Anything that can eat me gets a 45 Colt with a 280gr RCBS SAA SWC. At 1050fps, it blows through Bears, leaving fist sized holes to 40 yards. If you don't reload, get a 357 Ruger and use Buffalo Bore Hard Cast. I prefer the Blackhawk because of it's ruggedness. Many will say DA for follow-up shots; however, when a lion or bear comes for you, it's at close range and you won't get a second shot. That's why I like the 45 - if you're off center a little, it will still gravely injure them.
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Old February 24, 2021, 09:54 AM   #29
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I'd first break down if you prefer to own and shoot a Revolver or an Auto-Loader.

I'd be looking at 10mm in an Auto-Loader and something starting with a .4 in a Revolver. 10mm, .41Mag, .44Mag, .45Colt.
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Old February 24, 2021, 10:19 AM   #30
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I think your own skill level and the ammo used will matter more than the platform.

A few years ago, a guide killed a brown bear in Alaska with 7 rounds of 9mm from a compact Smith and Wesson pistol.

He used buffalo bore 147 gr 9mm hardcast I believe. I think it may be +p.

There are also the outdoorsman rounds in 38 special (a 158 gr +p hardcast) , 357 (180 gr hardcast), 45 and most other rounds.

There is even 380 acp hardcast rounds. 100 gr. You have to wonder how much they would really differ from the 9mm used effectively.

If you've ever seen combat then you know how you'll respond in a seconds matter life or death situation (which an attack by a bear would definitely qualify).

Suppose the guide carried a sig p238 loaded with 7 rounds of the 380 100 gr hardcast, would results be the same?

Personally, I vote yes because the guy could handle himself, he knew bears anatomy so he knew where to aim, and both rounds will get significant penetration even through barriers (in this case, fat, muscle, bone).

The point being: training, know how you react. Platform, know what you shoot best and what you're willing to carry (all the time). Today, ammunition exists that can get the job done in most calibers.

Would a 44 magnum have been better? It's the traditional bear medicine. That guide probably wishes, but he got it done and chose the right "arrow".

Loaded up with premium jhp rounds, that story would have a different ending.

Hardcast plus p flat points in numerous calibers can get the job done, so know the anatomy and which type of gun you can fire quickly and accurately.
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Old February 25, 2021, 11:18 AM   #31
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Live and walk in areas with bears and large cats; normal is a 9mm H&K, and meeting up with three cats in the past few years, the 9 has been excellent. Just shoot into the ground in front of them and they take off. Bears, with two large dogs, they usually go about their business as I do. Best things to learn is do not surprise them and do not go near if there are cubs.

For the lions you don't see, it makes no difference what you are carrying, they will be on you before you know what's happening.

When I camp in grizzly area, which I do all the time (MT/WY) my normal carry is a .40 FN HC Buffalo bore 200 gr. Sometimes, if the area is noted to have active bears, my .44 with some 305 gr ammo.

At the campsite, I do have a 12 gauge loaded with 600 gr Brenneke black magic slugs.
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Old February 25, 2021, 11:37 AM   #32
Carl the Floor Walker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDW4ME View Post
Under stress making good hits might be a challenge on a moving target.
Sure would suck to fire off all 6 rounds in a revolver and the threat (attack) not be stopped.
10mm Glock 20SF or 29SF if under a 10 round mag limit.
A 10mm 1911 wouldn't be bad either.
Even with the 1911 you get 50% more capacity than a 6 shot revolver.
As far a grizzly, I doubt you would even get more than one shot Imho. High Capacity is not the answer to every thing in defensive shooting for man or beast.
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Old February 27, 2021, 08:42 AM   #33
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Three choices as far as I'm concerned. A .357, a 10mm or a .44 mag. A 10mm is probably the easiest to carry and shoot in a semi auto platform but all of them are up to the task.

At this point, it really depends on what you prefer.
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Old February 27, 2021, 10:57 AM   #34
Carl the Floor Walker
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In Grizzly country, I doubt there is much of any advice I would take other than just stay out. I normally shoot a ton of 9mm ammo in practice and training. IF i had to go into Grizzly country, and had to choose a weapon, I am not sure at all what I would carry, but you can bet that I would train consistently as I do for self defense EDC which means thousands of rounds. Perhaps even more. Having to be so damn good a shot as to hit a massive Machine coming at you with ultra fast speed solid muscle mass, thick massive bone structure is for the best of the best. You have to hit this lightening force in the center of the brain that is akin to hitting a Baseball size object throwm at you.

Check out this one PAW. It alone is a heinous weapon in itself. I would not go charging off to Alaska in Griz territory just from listening to internet posters without having a whole lot of Preparation and packed with a whole lot of experience.

https://media.spokesman.com/photos/2...y_bear_paw.jpg
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Old February 27, 2021, 03:39 PM   #35
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Bullet construction seems to be one of the most important factors. If all I had was a 9mm with FMJ ammo I'd use it in an emergency. However a 40 with FMJ or a 10mm or a 357 with 158SP would be better. I think the main thing is you must figure out what you can carry comfortably. Even a 38 super properly loaded may work but you won't know until after you survived.

I'd say avoid 45 ACP due to low speed and more limited penetration. 9x23 is also an option.
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Old February 27, 2021, 05:58 PM   #36
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The G29 in 10mm was my solution. I had the slightly larger G20 and liked it, but the smaller G29 gives up nothing in accuracy for me and if having a compact gun is important it comes with 10 round mags. I can use the 15 round G20 mags in it as well. As a camping pistol I like the ability to use a mounted light at night. I've camped in Yellowstone a few times, the 10mm went with me, the Smith 629 in 44 mag stayed home

The key is the better bullets. The heavy for caliber hardcast bullets in 10mm, 40 S&W, 357 mag, and even 9mm have proven effective. In tests the 147 gr 9mm bullet gave the deepest penetration 5'+. They only had 5' of gel and didn't recover the bullets. That is the load Phil Shoemaker used to take down an attacking Alaskan Brown bear a few years ago.

https://www.americanhunter.org/artic...th-9mm-pistol/

But I still can't wrap my mind around 9mm for that role. The 200 gr 10mm and 255 gr 45 ACP didn't match 9mm for penetration, but I feel better with either of those.

When I made the move to 10mm these bullets weren't available. Today I'm not so sure I wouldn't just as soon have a 45 ACP with those loads.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...uct_list&c=155
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...uct_list&c=161
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Old February 27, 2021, 06:41 PM   #37
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So if I get a handgun I want it to have a chance of stopping the aforementioned creatures. If it will do that, a human should be no problem. I really don't care if it is a revolver or semi-auto.

What would you recommend?
You don't currently have a handgun, right? Or previous skill with a handgun??

Heavy recoiling rounds (particularly .44Mag) are POOR choices for beginners.

If you are a beginner, I'd recommend getting a .22LR and learning to shoot a handgun well, THEN go looking at a bigger, more powerful round.
(in normal times, that's the way to go. Currently with the shortages of everything, get something you can get ammo for, and go from there)

No handgun is going to stop anything if you don't hit it, and hit it in the RIGHT place.

Unless you are one of the rare "naturals" learning to shoot a handgun accurately takes practice and learning to do it FAST and accurate is toughest of all. Lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) are not impressed with what it says on the barrel or the size of the hole in the muzzle.
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Old February 27, 2021, 10:34 PM   #38
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I chose the S&W 629 4". Others choose the Ruger Redhawk or Super Redhawk. You can put hotter loads in the Redhawk. The downside to the Redhawk is that it is very heavy and feels a bit unbalanced in the hand. I tried to like my RH 4", but it didn't work out. I liked the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in 44. It jumps a bit but is really fun with Remington UMC 180 grain SJHP 44 Magnum ammo.
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Old February 27, 2021, 11:25 PM   #39
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You know you want one. Go ahead and do it. Get it over with. Everyone needs one. Some of us want more, or even buy more, but you need at least one. You will love to hate it, but you will not sell it. Yep, a hand cannon. All of the big boys make at least one model. They get great mileage because a box of ammo lasts longer than 357s of 44s of any variation. You can sleep at night without bear scare. Hand cannons make folks smile. See, even thinking about owning one reduces your fear of bears.
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Old February 28, 2021, 01:01 AM   #40
rc
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I had a 5.5 Rendhawk. It had light strikes in double action and I sold it. I bought a 629 and while it's not as strong it's a much nicer gun and reliable. Anything I want to shoot in a 44 mag it can handle!
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Old February 28, 2021, 09:52 PM   #41
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I had a 5.5 Rendhawk. It had light strikes in double action and I sold it. I bought a 629 and while it's not as strong it's a much nicer gun and reliable. Anything I want to shoot in a 44 mag it can handle!
I did NOT know redhawk is DA and SA. I have been thinking it'd SA that you have to cock everytime!!!
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Old February 28, 2021, 10:24 PM   #42
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The Blackhawk and various Blackhawk variants are single action.

The Redhawk and Super Redhawk are typical DA revolvers--they can either be cocked or just fired by squeezing the trigger.
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Old March 1, 2021, 05:35 AM   #43
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Ruger revolver are very robust. I had the Speed 6, Ruger is the only revolver I know that have metal wall on both side of the frame. Unlike S&W, you can take off the side plate, the frame only have one side. See this video in disassembling the RedHawk:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSPi3ZHUCeY

Impressive......but huge!!!

My Speed Six was very big and heavy for a snub nose, it's 31oz for 2 1/2" barrel. I sold it since I got the S&W 36 J frame snubbies. But for 44 magnum, you need all the metal on the frame.
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Old March 1, 2021, 06:34 AM   #44
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I’ve seen a grizzly shrug off 3 rounds of 300 Win Mag and keep going. His lungs and heart were hamburger inside yet he ran another 50+ yards. Good luck with your pistol.
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Old March 1, 2021, 02:22 PM   #45
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Strictly speaking the OP wants a very powerful handgun, target pistols are the original heavy duty handguns-how much use do they get?
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Old March 1, 2021, 02:27 PM   #46
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"...yet he ran another 50+ yards..." No handgun round is going to stop Yogi if he's PO'd at you and coming from under 100 yards in his tracks. Keeping in mind that he or she can cover 100 yards in less than 6 seconds. Neither will a varmint cartridge AR-15.
However, where you are has more to do with it than anything else. Not many Griz in the Lower 48 and a blackie doesn't need a magnum.
Up in Alaska, a .44 Mag(or the like) is considered minimum according to real guides on assorted forums.
A 10mm Auto is just a .45 ACP that got out of hand. It won't do anything other like cartridges will not.
Last I heard, big mountain kitties are hunted with .22 mags. Kitty comes from above and behind so you need to be lucky. You'll never be fast enough anyway.
"...revolver or semi-auto..." It has to fit your hand either way. Pistols like Desert Eagles are gigantic. 'N' frame Smiths, like a 629, are big things too. The SuperRedhawk has the same grip frame as a GP100 though. Still big, but far more likely to fit. Go try 'em on for size. Like AMP says, you got to hit it to do anything.
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Old March 2, 2021, 12:13 AM   #47
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Sure it will. It just has to hit in exactly the right place. Garen Brenner stopped a charging grizzly with a 9mm handgun and killed it. Was luck involved? Sure. But the point is that bears aren't bulletproof. They're just big and strong and fast-moving which makes it harder to stop them.

For what it's worth, heart shots often don't kill animals instantly--they don't even always kill humans instantly.
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Old March 2, 2021, 12:30 AM   #48
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As mentioned before, with black bear, a sow with cub will be the most dangerous bear, if grizz aren't around. And most likely your only problem encounter. I've seen many black bears while in Montana. They've always scooted as fast as they could away from me...huge boars at that. Never saw a cougar in all the years hunting there. A cougar is seldom seen until they already have your throat, because they hunt you.

Pain doesn't deter wild animals that attack. They need to be put down by something which will incapacitate and hopefully kill them fast.

I go with the .44 magnum crowd. But I would never be caught in the woods without a large caliber rifle. People have hit grizz in non-vital areas with high powered rifles and the bear doesn't miss a step.
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Old March 2, 2021, 01:21 AM   #49
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Hell, scary just reading this thread. Luckily I don't have any urge to walk in the woods of any kind. The only "woods" I go to is my back yard( with an orange and apple tree!!!).

Only few times I went into remotely wildness was when I had to do system testing where it had to be set up in area without any radio interference and it turned out to be on the side of a hill. I told everyone with me I carried my S&W659 fully loaded and it's not for human. They said there are mountain lions. Nothing happened.
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Old March 21, 2021, 09:28 PM   #50
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I spend quite a bit of time in the woods too. We have feral hogs now. I have carried all manner of rifles, shotguns, and handguns. For the last several years, I have settled on a Glock 32 (357 SIG). It's not my favorite handgun but, for the woods, it has the right combination of caliber, capacity, weight, size, and robustness. In my experience, weight has become a very important issue. I leave the heavy revolvers at home but like Pete says, the LCRx is good to go. The handguns I have carried in the woods have all turned out to be for nothing other than peace of mind or occasionally a final shot for a downed pig.
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