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Old November 5, 2000, 04:58 PM   #1
james j
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Join Date: November 5, 2000
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I am moving to alaska and need advice as to which caliber carry. I really can't handle anything hotter than a .357 and have decided to go with either the 10mm or the .45. I know that neither of these are not genuine grizzly stoppers but these are the maximum recoil levels I can tolerate. Any suggestions?
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Old November 5, 2000, 10:13 PM   #2
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Although you claim to not be able to handle anything larger than 357mag, I'd strongly urge you to consider 41mag.

It can be loaded down to feel like a 40s&w for regular shooting, or it can powered up to be comparable to 44mag for bear-stopping.

I have shot a Ruger Blackhawk (SA) in 41mag, and it's very easy to shoot. You can also get a revolver MagnaPorted to drastically reduce recoil. I find the Blackhawk easier to shoot than the 1911's I've tried. Very accurate, too.

Abe Smith,
President of UW-Madison's
Student Alliance for Firearm Education and Responsibility

[This message has been edited by abrahamsmith (edited November 05, 2000).]

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Old November 5, 2000, 10:18 PM   #3
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1) If you could pack a little extra weight, a 12 ga pump w/ slugs & buckshot or a large bore lever or bolt action rifle with open sights is the best choice.

2) If you are set on a handgun, try ported versions of 44 mag on up (see if a freind's got one or if a range has one to rent)

3) If you go with the revolver (I'm assuming 357 mag), see if Randy Garrett loads a hot hard cast round.

4) If you go with the autoloader, I'd recommend a 45 Super. From what I hear, (other folks with real experience please chime in if I'm off base), the ballistics surpass the 10mm and the recoil is manageable (comparable to a 10mm). I'm pretty sure a full size all steel (not alloy) 45 ACP can be converted to 45 Super with a 30# spring and full length guide rod

Hope this helps, but it's all just my opinion. JWR
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Old November 5, 2000, 11:39 PM   #4
Nevada Fitch
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If you handload you might want to consider a mod 29 smith and load it up to where you can still handle it OK.Also the Ruger Bisley handles recoil better than the regular plow handle grips on a super Blackhawk.If it really come down to it I would rather have a Marlin guide gun in 450Marlin to any revolver for stopping a charge.I looked at one the other day.They are very compact and light.
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Old November 6, 2000, 04:29 PM   #5
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There's a fair bit of info about bear defense on the web. Here's one web site that has links to other info sources:

Keith Rogan posts here on the hunting forum. His web site has some good info, but it seems to be down at the moment:

Keith lives on Kodiak Island and is a survivor of a Grizzly attack. IIRC, his recommendations include:

1) travel in pairs
2) carry bear spray
3) carry a long gun (pump 12 ga with slugs, or 45-70 guide gun)
4) carry a double-action revolver in .44Magnum or greater.

When he was attacked, he was carrying a rifle, but the bear came out of nowhere so quickly that he couldn't even get off a shot. If the bear has got you by the leg, there's a better chance that you'll be able to draw and fire a revolver than that you'll be able to bring your long gun on target.

Note that .45ACP is significantly below full power 10mm loads. Note that many 10mm loads are loaded down to .40S&W levels, so if you go the 10mm route, you'll have to make sure you get full power loads.

Folks who seem to know what they're talking about say that ANY pistol round, including .44 Magnum is underpowered against Grizzly. But it's better than harsh language

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Old November 7, 2000, 02:05 PM   #6
Deaf Smith
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Like JWR said, get a 12 ga. Yes, it would be nice to have a good revolver. If .357, get a GP-100 fixed sighted 4 inch without the underlug (saves weight and can be broken down in the field to pieces for cleaning) and get some 180 gr sledgehammer hardcast loads (I think Federal makes some like that). The GP is only if you screw up and either drop your shotgun or it is out of reach. The shotgun can use any 12 ga. slug on bear and it will do (one of the reasons I like the shotgun, ammo selection is not critical as long as it is buckshot or slugs, we are talking short range bear defense, not hunting).

Look at it this way, no .44 mag, .45 super, even .454 magnum can even approach the power of a 12 guage slug. 400 plus grains at 1600 fps ought to do it.

Any good make pump (might want to get stainless steel if you are as lazy as I am) will do. I use a Winchester 12ga 1200 stainless Police model with Tac star side saddle. When hiking 6 in the magazine, 6 on the sidesaddle. A Ruger Speed Six on my hip. Not expensive. The Winchester I bought at a pawnshop for $190, the Ruger also at a pawn shop for $225. Both stainless. I have used the 1200 in shotgun schools (basic and advanced) with not one jam, malfunction. Worked evertime. The Speed Six I use in IDPA. Never any problem with it.

Yes, I have other guns, but these two I guess I use the most now when in the sticks. They are simple to use, powerful, easy to clean, and not expensive (yes, that is important as lots of people would leave their prized gun back at camp, these two I can drop in mud and I won't cry over it).

Hope that helps.

Deaf Smith
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