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Old December 22, 2019, 08:55 PM   #1
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Shot placement

This just a question about bears. This NOT the best pistol to carry or the best caliber, but a genuine question.
IF you are faced with a bear standing upright, is it feasible to shoot it in the leg?
I’m not going in bear country, but an idle question.
Thanks for putting up with this!
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Old December 22, 2019, 09:11 PM   #2
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My thoughts, if the bear is standing up, it isn't a threat. At least not yet. They will often stand up to get a better look, or scent of something they are curious about. If you're hunting then I'd shoot the vitals if one were standing. But I'm assuming you're talking about a defensive shooting.

In my personal opinion I'd not want to shoot a bear unless I had to, or if I were hunting one. And if I did I'd shoot to kill, not wound. And I've killed bear while hunting. Otherwise I'm going to give it every chance to go away.
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Old December 22, 2019, 09:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for the replies, I have no intention of shooting a bear, but it was an idle question.
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Old December 22, 2019, 09:35 PM   #4
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Its' a terrible idea. Purposely wounding a dangerous animal is likely to get you, or any one with you, killed.
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Old December 22, 2019, 09:49 PM   #5
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IF you are faced with a grizzly gracious enough to stand in front of you, and you have made the decision to shoot, you better not waste it on a leg shot. You ever see a meth head take a beating, a tasing or 4, and still manage to wear out 6 cops as they eventually cuff him? Well, that is nothing compared to what a grizzly can do or the damage they can take when they get enraged.

I haven't shot a bear and don't care to, but I will be going for the CNS. I know the 2 types are very different. If a grizzly attacks you, if you can't kill it, you need to play dead and hope you can sneak away after it craps on you and covers you up. If a black bear attacks, you most likely have to just wound it and it will run off. But if it doesn't stop attacking, you have to keep fighting no mater what or it is going to eat you. Those are just the guidelines I have learned over the years. So pick your shots wisely.
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Old December 22, 2019, 10:10 PM   #6
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Go to YouTube and search for bears fighting each other. They are vicious.
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Old December 23, 2019, 05:17 AM   #7
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IF you are faced with a bear standing upright, is it feasible to shoot it in the leg?
Absolutely not....
If faced with a dangerous game animal & you believe your life is in danger & you are 100% sure it's a you or the animal life/death situation - then you try as hard as possible to make as clean a kill as you can.

Unlike defense against another human being - you should try to kill, not just stop the animal.

If you don't kill it - - then some other poor bastard is going to have to track down and dispatch a now wounded and extremely PO'd dangerous animal.

I suggest starting with the excellent books by Peter Capstick - that deal with hunting dangerous African game animals - and continue on reading about African hunts of the last century.
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Old December 23, 2019, 09:46 AM   #8
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There's not a cop in the world who'd try to shoot a dangerous perp in the leg in a life and death situation. Why? Because you can't count on being that accurate under stress and it may not stop the attack. Don't believe it? Ask any cop. They aren't trained to take leg shots, shoulder shots,etc. There's a reason for that. As stated above, the next guy's now dealing with a wounded animal. Also, the animal would in all probability die a lingering death. I've shot major handgun competition for years, and you simply can't believe what adrenaline does to really good shooters just trying to beat the clock, not save their lives. Actually fearing for your life is only going to make it worse. Good luck hitting the leg on an animal that's about to attack you. Just shoot it as best you can for a lethal shot and hope you hit there and it stops the threat.
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Old December 23, 2019, 09:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies, I have no intention of shooting a bear, but it was an idle question.
You mean kinda like a drive by?
Intentionally shooting anything, bear, or bad guy, in the leg is a very bad idea!
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Old December 23, 2019, 10:20 PM   #10
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My idea of going into the wild? Is the kids' park. So no dangerous animals there, just human ones. And no, you do shoot to incapacitate.
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Old December 24, 2019, 12:04 AM   #11
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I have killed 2 black bears with 44 magnums. Both shot in the point of the shoulder and both quartering towards me. One was with a Hornady 265 grain semi pointed jacketed bullet and one with a 260 grain Keith SWC. The one hit with the SWC bit at the wound and ran in about 3 tight circles and dropped. The one hit with the jacketed bullet did a bit of a "half-back flip", got his feet under him and tried to run but dropped in about 10 feet. The one hit with the Hornady was quite small. Maybe 125 pounds. The one killed with the Keith SWC was about 265 pounds. Neither went far after the shot and both died quickly. Both bullets exited the bears.

Now Grizzlies are a bit of a different story. I have not killed any grizzlies. But a 265 pound black bear sure looks like a teddy bear compared to a 450 to 700 pound grizzly. Where I live I am only about 45 minutes away from a large area that is just full of grizzlies and I hunt elk around them every year. EVERY time I go into that area I see grizzlies. So far I have not had a problem with one, but I have seen them kill animals 2 times (one elk and one cow on a ranch) and I have seen freshly dead animals they have killed about 40 times. They are the real-deal and not something you would EVER want to wound and make mad.

A big handgun with the correct bullet will do, if you can put the bullet where you need to, but where you need to is not a forgiving target. "Fairly close" is not going to do it.
When I hunt up there I carry large rifles. Larger then anyone needs to kill elk or moose, but I am not carrying this kind of power for the game I am hunting, but because I may be the one being hunted. I also carry a 454 Casull loaded to the top power level with 370 grain LBT WFN bullets and I and I wont even go "water a bush" at night" without having the Casull on me. It's not at all a macho thing. It's because when you see what they can do a few times you understand that you may NOT be the boss man out there and that makes you want to have the "largest club you can use well". For me that is usually a 9.3X62, 9.3X74R or 375H&H rifle if I am hunting. If I am guiding or just hiking when I am not hunting, my old M1 Garand loaded with 220 grain Round nose bullets with 3031 powder at about 2350 FPS make me feel a lot better.

In my experience with killing black bears I have come to believe that any black bear up to about 350 pounds can be killed with about any firearm you can use on deer as long as the bullet you use will not break up badly. Even a 357 Magnum handgun with a good bullet is OK for most black bears. I am sure there can be exceptions, but I have hunted them in California, Oregon Idaho Montana and Wyoming and I never saw any problem killing them or breaking them down if you have a tough bullet.

One man who was the local "bear man" in Idaho only used a 30-30 with 170 grain bullets and a Ruger 357 mag with 158 soft nose bullets, and he told me in 50 years of killing them he never had a problem with any black bear. He went to Alaska 2 times in the 60s to hunt Grizzlies. Now that was totally different he said. He used his 30-06 for them and made a good shot on both, but said a hit with his 30-30 in the same place on many many black bears dropped them, but his hit with the 30-06 on the Grizzlies did not, and both ran off and he had to go track them. He said it never scared him to follow up a black. He was "sweating bad" following up the Grizzlies. He got both and both were dead when he found them, but he told me both went far enough to make him very edgy following them by the blood trails.
He was a man who killed more black bears by the time I met him in the late 70 then I have ever seen, before and since. When he told me "to be afraid of a grizzly was not a bad thing", I think such advice is likely to be very good and worth believing.
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