The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

View Poll Results: Which revolver has the better double action trigger?
Colt Anaconda 2021 1 4.17%
S&W 629 Classic (not Performance Center) 12 50.00%
Ruger Redhawk 3 12.50%
Other (please explain in the comments) 8 33.33%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 5, 2022, 05:40 PM   #1
xDeadBeef
Junior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2022
Posts: 2
Best double action trigger for bear defense?

(I promise, not another typical "which gun/caliber for bear" thread)

So, I wanted a handgun for defense against black bears in some mountain property I just bought in a Southeastern state. New neighbor showed me some trail cam pics of a momma bear with some cubs on the back of his property next to mine.

I'm pretty set on some large frame revolver with a 5 or 6" barrel, most likely in 44 Magnum, carried in some sort of chest rig or bandolier.

I was considering the options in the poll. The main thing I care about (and the main purpose of my question) is double action triggers as it's meant to be used in a lightning-quick self-defense against predators scenario. It may be used in the future as a deer/hog hunting pistol in single action as well, but this is more of a secondary consideration at the moment.

Of course, this is addition to bear spray, bells, airhorn, etc.

I'm leaving a 4th option open, in case you want to suggest something different.

Much appreciated!
xDeadBeef is offline  
Old July 5, 2022, 07:33 PM   #2
RoyceP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2020
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 128
A S&W 460 or 500 Magnum is appropriate for big grizzlys. Anything smaller is nice but likely to make a grizzly mad. Maybe a 454 Casul.
RoyceP is offline  
Old July 5, 2022, 08:51 PM   #3
105kw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 30, 2017
Location: Columbia Basin Washington
Posts: 340
For the Southeastern States, your not dealing with a Grizzly threat.
I would like to suggest a 44mag S&W 29-2 with a 4in or 6in barrel.
A tough 240gr jacked bullet, like an Hornady XTP should give all the penetration you should need.
The 29-2 is lighter than most of your options, and have a good DA trigger.
The only other suggestion, practice, get familiar with what you are going to carry.
Good luck.
105kw is online now  
Old July 5, 2022, 11:36 PM   #4
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 25,856
welcome to TFL

I agree with 105kw, and my choice in the poll was "other".

The "other" is chose is the one that I have, a S&W M29-2 6".

While still a large gun, it is lighter than the two of the others, though you might find a new 629 in the same weight range, the current 629s are not the quality of the old original model 29s. And, to me they don't look right, either.

The gun you are asking about will be worn a LOT more than you'll ever need to use it.

Your focus on DA and a lightning-quick self-defense against predators scenario implies extreme short range and short time for response. However, even an very short response time is enough time for a shot of adrenaline to amp you up (along with the thought of being chawed & clawed) and in that situation, I doubt you could tell the difference between the worst DA and the best DA trigger in the guns you mention.

Power is not the issue. Black bear have been killed by standard service pistols, .38s and .45s. Even 9mms. Placement is what matters and only proper placement will stop a charging bear, and that's the worst possible case, right? Having to stop a bear attack.

Mr bear wears a shaggy loose fitting bear suit, and compared to deer and similar animals, the vital spots are not quite where you think they are just be looking at the outside of the bear. Do some study, your butt might thank you someday.

Black bear are not harmless Yogi's only after your pic-a-nic basket, but they are also not armor plated demons from the pit which take nukes to stop, either.

Your best "defense" against black bear (or any bear/predator threat) is awareness. Your eye, and your ears, and even your nose, and the willingness to put your feet in action and retreat. And note, I'm not saying "run" I'm saying retreat. Run is for when retreat fails, and shooting should ALWAYS be the very last resort, when you're not hunting bear.

As to grizzly bear? The only ones I know of in the SE states are either in zoos or painted on the wall of a highschool gymnasium as their mascot.

and the hand cannon .460s & .500s, even the .454 are, in my opinion, VERY poor choices for most people. They are very specialized pieces, huge and heavy, poorly balanced (at least the longer barrel ones I've handled) and the recoil is more than most people can manage in order to fire a rapid and accurate second shot. Given a choice between a 460 or .500 revolver, and a Desert Eagle in .44 Mag, I'd pick the DE. If you're going to lug around that much iron, you should at least pack something you can learn to shoot fairly fast and accurately. Just my opinion, based on nearly 40 years experience shooting .44 Mag SA, DA, and semiauto.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 05:48 AM   #5
Schlitz 45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2018
Location: Colorado
Posts: 332
My Ruger SRH has a smooth 8lb double action trigger pull (3lb.2oz single) & is perfect for what I use it for. A compact, quick on target snubbie that packs a punch. It’s taken a few sight changes & a lot of practice to get proficient with it but I can rapid fire full strength loads & keep ‘em all on a paper plate.

Last edited by Schlitz 45; July 6, 2022 at 05:53 AM.
Schlitz 45 is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 08:24 AM   #6
wild cat mccane
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2011
Posts: 3,136
Lucky. Wild life in what sounds like a wild area. Sounds like you got exactly what you wanted.

Bear spray shoots to 40ft at pressure. That's pretty far and isn't just mist at this distance.

They sell a trainer bear spray. If you buy in combo, it's actually pretty cheap and won't send you to the ground, though you are suppose to test a new can of bear spray each time. My experience has been it spreads but isn't a thin mist as it goes out.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/SABRE-Fro...pray/915681506
__________________
My wife is a pulmonologist (respiratory Dr) and epidemiologist. If you have any questions on COVID, please reach out to me in PM.
wild cat mccane is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 10:25 AM   #7
totaldla
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 10, 2009
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 1,170
Get a 4" barrel SW M69. If you get serious about carrying long distance then get the M329pd. Both 44mag. Any 240gr and up ammo will handle bears in your part of the country.
__________________
SCCY DVG-1 Review
totaldla is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 11:14 AM   #8
shafter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2009
Posts: 1,588
Choose something that you can afford to shoot often enough to get really good. Bears are very silent in the woods and can move faster than you would think when being aggressive. You're going to need to get that pistol into action quickly and shoot accurately.

The good news is that I've been around a lot of bears in my life including numerous face to face encounters and they always run. Even with cubs. They chase the cubs up a tree and follow them up.
shafter is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 08:46 PM   #9
Blue1
Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Posts: 63
While I don't speak from personal experience, bears can be on one really quickly, I would say if your first instinct is to grab the bear spray, well, you will be holding that if you get lucky or it will fall to the ground while you are being eaten if you are not.

When I am fortunate enough to move to an area where this is a concern, I will be carrying at least a Ruger-only load .45 Colt or a .44 Mag. Screw bear spray.
Blue1 is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 09:08 PM   #10
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near
Posts: 6,501
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyceP View Post
A S&W 460 or 500 Magnum is appropriate for big grizzlys. Anything smaller is nice but likely to make a grizzly mad. Maybe a 454 Casul.
Have you had much experience with shooting Grizzlies in Tulsa Oklahoma?
dahermit is offline  
Old July 6, 2022, 09:08 PM   #11
reddog81
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,569
With a little practice I think any would be acceptable. There are variations in trigger pull from gun to gun so it’s hard to make across the board Generalizations. A holster that allows for easy access, grips that naturally fit your hand and sights that facilitate a quick sight picture are probably equally important for getting off a quick and accurate shot.

If I had to choose between the 3 listed I’d probably go with the S&W.
reddog81 is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 06:32 AM   #12
RKG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 540
My bear defense handgun is a stainless S&W 2-1/2" .41 Rem. Magnum, in a chest holster. I drill with this revolver in DA mode only. The load is 210 grain hard cast lead. I forget the precise load, but recall that it chronographed at about 900 fps.

However, whenever feasible whilst trekking in what might be considered bear country, I tote a 12 gauge Winchester pump loaded with 1 oz. slugs.

So far, neither has been tested versus a bear.
RKG is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 09:28 AM   #13
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,959
Black bears have been photoed on trail cams within a mile of my house. I don't worry about them because they typically work hard not to be spotted.

On the occasion that I venture out into the national forests I carry my Redhawk .44

I can't speak for OP's poll because it has been about 15 years since I have fired a .44 that wasn't mine. As to what trigger is best... The one you have and practice with. With the price of factory .44 mag ammo these days, I hope you reload so you can get enough trigger time on your magnum wheel gun.
__________________
"9mm has a very long history of being a pointy little bullet moving quickly" --Sevens
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 11:42 AM   #14
Drm50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2014
Posts: 1,220
While I’m not big fan of 4” guns, I am a 29-2 guy. I think best DA for Bear defense is a 29-2 4” barrel. 240gr / 250gr ( I forget) Sierra silo bullets. I shot deer with one and it buzzed on through exploding opposite shoulder but kept on going. I don’t think there was much bullet expansion. I’ve never shot Grizz or Brown but Blacks aren’t any harder than Hawgs. I’ve had them plow around running into stuff but death throws. They weren’t charging wounded.
Drm50 is offline  
Old July 7, 2022, 02:00 PM   #15
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 25,856
Two (more) points about bears...
Where you hit them matters most.

I once saw a black bear that had taken 5 (five) .30-30 shots in the head. 4 of them glanced off the bear's skull. The fifth, from a slightly different angle, penetrated and dropped the bear, DRT. Freakishly rare, but it DID happen.

Second point is something Elmer Keith used to say....
(paraphrasing) If you have a decent handgun and you keep your nerve, you can stop any bear attack. Every bear opens its mouth when it attacks. Shoot through the mouth break the bear's neck.

Elmer never said you wouldn't get "clawed or chawed", only that if you kept your nerve you would win.

Personally, I would prefer to stop the bear before that, but I can't say Elmer was wrong....
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old July 9, 2022, 02:52 PM   #16
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,576
Best is the gun you'll actually carry, trigger pull matters not much. Despite the old wives tales about needing a cannon to stop a bear real world data says otherwise.

https://www.ammoland.com/2020/03/upd...#axzz7YZXnXbKD

These guys have been researching documented cases of bear defense for several years and update periodically as they obtain more data. According to them common rounds such as 9mm and 45 ACP work as well as anything else.

Especially in the Southeast. The average bear here in GA is around 180 lbs. Smaller than most adult men.

If you want to hunt with it a 6" or longer barreled magnum revolver is a good idea. But for defensive purposes something much smaller and easier to carry is the way I'd go. I hike a lot here in GA, TN and NC in black bear country. I'm fine with a small 9mm, 10mm, or 45ACP. Especially if loaded with heavy for caliber hardcast loads from Double Tap or Buffalo Bore.

We hike a lot in the Smoky Mt NP and I usually have my Sig 365 loaded with 147 gr Buffalo Bore ammo. It is small enough that no one else has to know, but I'm 100% sure it will work as well as anything bigger.

If you're not comfortable with that one of the Smith or Ruger 5 shot 357 mag revolvers would be an option. But I'd still recommend good 180 or 200 gr hardcast loads.

Quote:
I once saw a black bear that had taken 5 (five) .30-30 shots in the head. 4 of them glanced off the bear's skull.
Aiming for the head in a frontal shot is a very difficult shot. About the only way to get a bullet into the brain is if you hit the nose. The bone is sloping in such a way that bullets will deflect off the skull. It is much like the frontal armor on a tank. Even a shot to the eye may leave it blind in one eye but won't hit the brain. Take a good look at these photos and you'll see what I mean. From the side can be very effective.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...=0&vt=0&sim=11
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old July 9, 2022, 05:11 PM   #17
rclark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2009
Location: Butte, MT
Posts: 2,523
Yeah, to add to what 44 Amp says, I'd be more worried about how 'fast' I can get the gun (whether DA or SA, gun maker, or caliber) into action, Ie. uncork revolver from holster (under coat/shirt?, strap over hammer?, etc.) , and then be 'cool' enough to stand there and get on target to make a solid 'hit'.... A good finely tuned trigger isn't going to help you here!!!! See I had a demonstration of how fast a bear can move. At a company I worked at, they brought a bear trailer down simulating a bear coming out of a cave 'on the move'. 'Knowing the bear was coming' (you may not have this option being surprised), you had to turn around, unclip the bear spray from your belt, pull the safety pin, and then point/spray before the bear hit the end of track.... It was 'very' enlightening. Seemed easy ... but it wasn't. And it took me a couple of tries to get there 'bearly', and regardless the 'bear' was close enough to bowl me over/take a swipe, if it felt the need! So yeah, boils down to 'nerve' to stand there and 'do something' instead of freeze for a few precious seconds. Taught me if I 'really' wanted to survive that type of encounter, I'd have to rely on 'muscle memory' to get the gun/spray into action. That means lots and lots of practice drawing and firing which, of course, I don't do . I am a slow fire (non-moving) target shooter generally. While hunting, you can 'pick' your shot... Not as easy when a bear/moose/elk/hog is bearing down on you.... Glad I never had to 'experience' the real thing. That said, I carry a .44 Special or .45 Colt SA revolver for SD purposes out here if woods walking.

My grandfather's story of his black bear experience here in MT. He was out with his brother and he had only a .22LR rifle. His job was to flush the deer toward his brother. But he flushed a bear instead, which charged. He shot, hit it in the head and the bear went down. Grandfather took off running for a tree. Bear got up and took off again. Shot again, and bear went down. Made it to a tree and up it. Then kept the bear at bay until his brother arrived and dispatched with an '06. As above the .22LR only flattened on the skull and didn't penetrate, but did ring it's bell so to speak....Enough to get to a tree... Thought I'd relate...
__________________
A clinger and deplorable, MAGA, and life NRA member. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes colloquially referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. That said, the .44Spec is right up their too... but the .45 Colt is still the king.

Last edited by rclark; July 9, 2022 at 05:29 PM.
rclark is offline  
Old July 10, 2022, 11:16 AM   #18
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 25,856
Quote:
The bone is sloping in such a way that bullets will deflect off the skull. It is much like the frontal armor on a tank.
In general principle, yes, but not so much like the sloping frontal armor of a tank (which is also its thickest armor, for the purpose of stopping incoming rounds) but more like the soldier's helmet.

It is the curve of the helmet (or skull) and the angle of impact that can deflect a bullet, not the thickness of the material stopping it. Shoot the helmet square on, the bullet punches through. Hit at nearly any other angle and it will probably be deflected to some degree. PROBABLY.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old July 10, 2022, 11:40 AM   #19
Drm50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2014
Posts: 1,220
I’ve never had this experience with wild game but with hogs I’ve had 22Lr hit skull and run the surface, instead of penetrating. This at arms length. You try to shoot them with head down but sometimes they move at wrong moment. On the other hand I once shot 800lb Angus steer at 30yds with a 22lr and kilt it deader than a clam, instantly. I shouldn’t have done it. The steer was half wild and was causing me all kind of trouble. We were trying to load it to take it home and we couldn’t get near it. We were a good ways from home and 22 is all I had in truck.
I guess it’s possible for larger calibers to deflect but a large caliber lead bullet being deflected multiple times would be exceptional occurrence.
Drm50 is offline  
Old July 12, 2022, 08:21 PM   #20
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 5,971
As to your trigger question. They are all pretty similar. Until you get into custom shop stuff, they are all not bad and not great. I guess the colt has an ever so slight edge.I personally would pick the gun I like and if trigger does not suit you, send it off for a trigger job.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old July 12, 2022, 09:43 PM   #21
SSGN-Doc
Member
 
Join Date: September 7, 2021
Posts: 37
For bear I don’t think the trigger will matter. You won’t notice during the adrenaline dump.
SSGN-Doc is offline  
Old July 13, 2022, 11:30 AM   #22
xDeadBeef
Junior Member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2022
Posts: 2
Thanks for the responses.

My main concerns about the double action trigger is missing subsequent shots (if they end up being necessary).

At the moment I'm leaning towards a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .44 Magnum.
xDeadBeef is offline  
Old July 13, 2022, 01:21 PM   #23
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 5,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by xDeadBeef View Post
Thanks for the responses.

My main concerns about the double action trigger is missing subsequent shots (if they end up being necessary).

At the moment I'm leaning towards a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .44 Magnum.
Buy the RedHawk Alaskan. Send it off to Mundin Six Gun Magic and get the trigger done, action tuned, forcing cone cut, and cylinders honed. You won't regret your decision.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old July 13, 2022, 06:07 PM   #24
kenny53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2015
Location: My back yard
Posts: 959
For me it is my Ruger SP 101, 357 mag. I picked this gun up at a gun show. NIB unfired, the guy had a table at the show saying it was an Estate sale. Got a great price and found the DA trigger was just as good as the SA trigger. I am beyond pleased with this gun.
kenny53 is offline  
Old July 13, 2022, 07:37 PM   #25
Drm50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2014
Posts: 1,220
A pre-lock S&W in 357-41mg-44sp-44mg-45Colt or 45acp in your preferred barrel length will fill you needs, No extra work and expense needed. I’m not saying the newer models aren’t ok, I just don’t have the experience will them. I do have a 29 mountain gun 4” blue 44mag that is awful nice carry but haven’t much trigger time on it yet.
Drm50 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2021 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Page generated in 0.07539 seconds with 11 queries