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Old January 8, 2013, 12:17 AM   #26
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I picture a bear attack going something like this... You hear a noise, look in the direction of the noise, and see an incredibly fast animal charging at you from a close distance. You pull out whatever gun you have and fire as many shots as you can in about 2 seconds.

Ive shot a 500mag, and I own and shoot regularly both 44mag, and 45 acp. Given the above scenario, I believe I could put more bullets on target with my 1911 than a magnum revolver. Now what those rounds will actually do, I have no idea and quite frankly neither does anyone else here.

I'd take my 44 if I had a choice, but I wouldn't let carrying a 45acp stop me. If you're in an area where the difference between a 45acp and 44mag is the difference between death or life..... GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!
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Old January 8, 2013, 12:31 AM   #27
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I would definitely file off the hammer and smooth out all sharp edges on the 45 if you carry it. It will be less painful when the angry bear takes your gun and shove it up your ......
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Old January 8, 2013, 12:51 AM   #28
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The above post is BULLCRAP! I've heard that line so many times. All from people who have NO IDEA what they are talking about. Americans think you need a .50 cal to take down a bear minimum. Lies. Bears can be taken in a SINGLE SHOT with. Well placed .22 round. My co-worked once shot a bear in the back of the neck area and dropped if in ONE shot with a .22!!! It was a medium sized bear. .22's, 9mm, .40, .45ACP, and .44 have all killed bears before. As I said before a 12 gauge is the BEST choice if you want to be 99% safe (highly higly unlikely a bear will live vs a 12 gauge). But as backup, or if its all you have, a .45ACP then it works. With the .45 a warning shot could scare away the bear. But if you had to shoot it don't believe all the BS of it won't work - nearly everyone who says it has NEVER tested it so how can they say what will work and what won't? A .45ACP will destroy a cinder block - imagine what it would do to a bear. Again, so man people claim the bear is pretty much "bullet proof" NO IT 'S NOT! If far, far from if. Rhino would be harder to kill than a bear.
Last best story in the area I lived was a bear who entered a home through the back porch. The guy grabbed his 9mm and killed it. Shot it 9 times total. Who knows if the bear died after 2 shots or if it took all 9 shots - fact is the 9mm killed the bear. Most people would say HOW!?! It's quite simply actually. The 9mm has superior penetration qualities. So the shots penetrated the bear, hit a vital, and the bear died.. I don't know why SO many people claim you need .44 mag minimum or .50 cal for handgun vs bears. No, you don't. Bigger is BETTER, but it doesn't mean the smaller calibers can't do it.

I bet you anything Thr people who claim it's better to just file off the sights so its "easier for the bear to stick it up your ass" - I BET THOSE SAME PEOPLE would use a .45ACP if its all they had and not just "throw the gun away" like they claim.
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Old January 8, 2013, 02:29 AM   #29
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Josh, correct me if I'm wrong but I believe you are referring to black bears and you're examples don't include having to kill a charging bear. While you need to be cautious while hiking in black bear country, they are normally a very timid animal and will not look for a confrontation. Exceptions always exist like camping in a tent at night or hiking in an area where their food source has been destroyed by a fire.

Grizzly bear's are a nightmare. Anecdotal stories or hard facts all back this up. If you read the link I posted you will see that they are wired not to feel pain instantaneously like most animals. There have been many attacks where these bears have been shot numerous times in the torso with high powered rifles, shotguns, and magnum caliber pistols but got to their intended target. They may have been mortally wounded but it doesn't register in their brain until they have torn you to pieces.

In most cases a person may only get one shot and sometimes none. They will be on you before you can pull the trigger and snap your neck or cut an artery. I don't care what kind of gun you have, most of the time it will do you no good unless you hit CNS or blast them in the nose. This is the only way to kill them instantly or turn them with a gun. A shot to the cardio system will kill them in most instances but many times not until they have had their way with you.

Last edited by dorc-1; January 8, 2013 at 02:51 AM.
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Old January 8, 2013, 04:13 AM   #30
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I would not feel comfortable in bear country with a 45 auto.

I carry a Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum in bear country, I have been known to pack my 338 as well. IMO, you want raw stopping power in bear country. I'm not sure if my .44 and 338 would be enough for me to walk around in grizzly bear country.

Walking around in bear country is like swimming in the ocean, it lowers your rank on the food chain considerably.

I have had a run in with a Black Bear, it wasn't huge but it was certainly bigger than me, fortunately it ran off, and was shockingly FAST! Did you know bears have really long eyelashes?
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Old January 8, 2013, 04:33 AM   #31
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I'm far from being an expert on the subject [or any other subject], and while I do favor a .45 for everyday carry....I'd want something a bit more stout if I had to venture into bear country. I'd think that a Ruger .454 Alaskan would be worth looking at, and that would be backup for something hot and shoulder-fired.
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:56 AM   #32
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Why not get a 460 Rowland conversion barrel , the you have 44 mag power in a 1911 . From what I've heard a 45acp will function in the 460 chamber. but not 460 in 45acp . Then you have a gun your used to with more power .
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:53 AM   #33
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Dorc-1, yes mostly black bears. But im sure there have been cases of other bears being taken down with say a well placed .22 shot. I know bears like the Grizzly can keep going even after fatal shots. But not always. That too is slightly "over said". Just like a human on drugs like PCP who have been shot many times and there have been cases where they keep attacking even after being fatally hit. BUT, a shot to the CNS or so would have dropped them in one shot, even on drugs like that. Granted its hard to get a shot like that on a bear, but it's possible to shoot a bear and stop it dead in its tracks, shot placement is what matters. One well placed (more like lucky) CNS shot can drop even a Grizzly instantly.

All in all, a 45ACP can and had taken many bears. Is it the safest, best choice? No way. But if it is all you have, then it can work if you're a good shot. Again, a 45ACP should not be a front line weapon vs grizzly or brown bears (small black bears it would be okay even as 1st line choice), but as a backup, or if 45ACP is all you have then it can work, too many factors to say if it will work for certain, but it *can*. Now a 12 gauge with slugs is still the best bet. Even Alaska recommends it for bear defense.

Last edited by Josh17; January 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM.
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Old January 8, 2013, 12:09 PM   #34
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Bear attacks are over-hyped, the lack of effectiveness of certain cartridges is over-hyped, the usefulness of ANY handgun in the event of a bear attack is over-hyped.

So yes, I'd feel pefectly fine walking around bear country with a .45acp.
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Old January 8, 2013, 01:00 PM   #35
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All in all, a 45ACP can and had taken many bears.
Really now.......
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Old January 8, 2013, 01:49 PM   #36
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I dont know if it would work or not, but your odds may get a little better running 45 Super for the first round or two.
Probably wouldnt make any regular habit of shooting that stuff thought, hard on most guns.
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Old January 8, 2013, 08:58 PM   #37
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Really now.......
Are you saying it hasn't? The cartridge has been around for over 100 years and for all practical purposes is a ballistic clone to traditional .45 colt loads which killed plenty of bears in it's day.
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Old January 8, 2013, 09:14 PM   #38
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Having hiked in the Cascades east of Everett..

I have carried either a 4" .357 using 180 gr Hot cast lead or my 1911 using the last of my Hornady 230gr FMJ-FP commercial ammo. I have never had to use either, BUT I never felt under-powered. This in keeping with talking to the Sierra Techs, that I should use the heaviest FMJ at the maximum controllable velocity to pentrate and cause maximum damage.
The bears out here are the black bear, any grizz you might chuckle of how a "pleasantly plump guy can RUN!

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Old January 8, 2013, 09:38 PM   #39
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The fact is that an Alaskan Brown Bear is 1,000 pounds, large bones, thick skull, heavy muscles, and requires a lot of stopping power. A 12-guage with slugs should be the minimum for someone wanting to pack light, yet effectively. Yes, you can kill an elephant with a .22 in the ear, but you're stupid to try it. In a handgun, .357 Magnum as a minimum, .44 Magnum or something like the .454 Casull, but what you really want is a partner on watch with the big rifle.
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Old January 9, 2013, 07:35 AM   #40
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Are you saying it hasn't? The cartridge has been around for over 100 years and for all practical purposes is a ballistic clone to traditional .45 colt loads which killed plenty of bears in it's day.
My skepticism doesn't come from being an internet keyboard jockey. I've killed a bunch of (black) bears in the last 25 years. They are NOT deer. Neither are they indestructible, but adult bears are not going down easily with an inferior caliber -- of which the 45acp most definitely is (when it comes to bears -- otherwise it's my go-to carry caliber).

I think it's irresponsible to say that 45acp can do the job easily on bears, and I don't mind saying so. Sure, bears have been killed by 22lr. But I'm not going to count on one when hiking / hunting in bear country.

That said, whoever said that even NEEDING a gun for defense agains black bears is almost ridiculous is right. They're a very common animal, and attacks are rare. I've encoutered sows with very young cubs, and they did nothing but retreat, or bark for the cubs to climb a tree and shuffled off a distance, waiting for me to go away. They aren't grizzlies, and they generally are not aggressive (the last one I shot in Maine is another story for another day..). The problem is that when black bears DO attack (and yes, they kill people), the attack is often brutal and tragic. Black bears rarely bluff charge like a grizzly, and they rarely attack just because you're near their cubs. BUT they do attack to eat you. Google the attack that occurred in a Canadian park -- old bear, bad teeth, human fatality.

It happens, and it's wise to be prepared for it. Will a 45acp kill or incapacitate a black bear at point blank range. Probably. But are you willing to bet your life on it?
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Old January 9, 2013, 07:50 AM   #41
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Let's settle down folks, there's no reason to get riled up here.

And, let's leave that "hysterical" bit about filing the sights off the gun... off the boards.

It's not that funny.
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Old January 9, 2013, 08:59 AM   #42
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You need pentration. 45 ACP is a poor performer in that aspect with any load and there are not many commercial loads specifically designed for deep penetration. Could it work in a pinch, yes. There is documtation to prove it has worked at least once. Still wouldn't be my 1st choice.

It is really the bullet more than chambering for the most part. A 357, 41, 44 mag, or hot loaded 45 Colt or even 10mm loaded with heavy for caliber hardcast bullets moving as fast as possible would be my choice. The monster guns such as the 454, 460 and 500 S&W are better on paper and the handgun I'd carry if I were hunting. But for everyday carry they are just too big.
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:16 AM   #43
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Agree with the .460 Rowland upgrade suggestion.
True .44 magnum power in a controllable single action auto for fast followup shots.

And you can still use standard .45 acp ammo. Why wouldn't you want that?
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Old January 9, 2013, 03:28 PM   #44
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A .454 Casull would be my first choice, but if your budget precludes you from purchasing another gun, then your .45 pistol with Buffalo Bore 255 grain flat nosed hard cast in .45+P is one possibility. But even Buffalo Bore recommends using a stronger recoil spring and possibly a shock buffer, if shooting more than a few rounds.

The other possibility is upgrading your .45 acp pistol to .460 Rowland which claims ballistics similar to .44 magnum.
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Old January 9, 2013, 07:31 PM   #45
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45acp is a pepole gun and doesnt penitrate enough for furry critters. Its a slow bumble bee bullet. I have taken several black bears. Our black bears in Central Pa are some of the largest in the world. 500-750lbs are quite common with one being shot(illegally)last year at 1000lbs. The average grizzley bear is 500-700 lbs. A honest 500lbs black bear would scare the crap out of anyone that has never seen a animal that large in the wild and any pistol does not feel like enough gun. That said, a pistol will work if you shoot him correctly but it doesn't give you a warm and fuzzy feeling like a shotgun does. I hunt with a 300Win Mag but I have gone up against a bear this big around my house several times and its always with a 12guage with a pistol by my side.
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Last edited by Mystro; January 9, 2013 at 07:38 PM.
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Old January 9, 2013, 07:51 PM   #46
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A .45 ACP works well on a 200 pound human. A grizzly bear can weigh up to 1100 pounds, have four inch claws and can run 30 MPH. I love 1911's but not for going up against a bear.
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Old January 9, 2013, 08:50 PM   #47
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Mystro, I have to believe that PA and some NE bears grow larger than normal because they are overweight. I doubt you see any 7 or 8 foot black bears in PA, and I'm not talking about measuring them stretched from snout to toes. They usually don't go much over 6' when standing on hind legs. Don't know for sure, but I'm willing to bet that habituation plays a role rather than genetics. Do they have access to dumps? Do people use bear proof garbage cans? Do people feed them like pets or leave dog food, bird feed and other attractants?

Last edited by dorc-1; January 9, 2013 at 09:24 PM.
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:31 PM   #48
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As to the original question would I feel safe carrying a 1911 while fishing in Alaska bear county. In a word NO. I would at the very least be as nervous as a politician in front of a grand jury all the time. The only thing I might feel "safe" with would be someone I trusted with my life, standing by with a good long firearm that he is very good with. Would a .45 ACP kill a bear, probably but there is no set solution to the huge variety of what if's. Heck just yesterday the forum was discussing the fact that a .38 isn't a good Self Defense round, because the one bad guy in the story got shot 5 times in the face and ended up running away! Bears killed with .22 LR sure, people shot with .30-06 and lived, yep, but I'll go with the odds and prefer to have extra power, and better yet an extra shooter should I ever be lucky enough to go fishing in Alaska.
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Old January 9, 2013, 09:33 PM   #49
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Not up north, no.
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:44 PM   #50
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45 ACP vs Bear
Would you feel safe using a 45 ACP for protection against a Bear if you were fishing up North where the Bears are big?
If that's the largest caliber you have, convert it to 45 Super - with the proper springs (recoil & hammer) & buffer... Should give you about the energy of a 357 Mag.

Oh, I wouldn't use a 357 on bigger bears from the North, though.
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Last edited by Onward Allusion; January 9, 2013 at 11:49 PM.
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