Black bear defense gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns - Pistols & Revolvers' started by Deplorable Me, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Upstate43

    Upstate43 .40 S&W

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    Go to a firing range (where rentals are allowed) and fire both.

    A lot of people preach the .44 as if it is the minimum bear cartridge (within the pistol world) worth considering. But even for people who are competent shooters and are in good shape, the recoil on the .44 is quite significant, and that issue is exacerbated as you decrease the weight of the .44 pistol. Personally, I don't like doing any extended shooting with the .44, especially without gloves (the cartridge can literally pivot the pistol right out of your hands if your grip is compromised, like sweaty hands). Yeah, I know the old adage: you only need to be worry about 1 shot, because a charging bear will be on you before any follow-up shots are possible. Whether or not that holds true for all bear encounters (no 2 encounters are the same), you will definitely want to familiarize yourself and practice with whatever sidearm/cartridge you choose. .44 mag ammunition is more expensive and the recoil is not pleasant for extended range sessions. If you’re okay with those drawbacks, go with the .44 mag.

    If not, go with the .357 mag. Before the invention of .44 mag, .357 was widely regarded as a capable wilderness defense cartridge (it was used to fend off bears and dispatch dangerous big game). And despite the arrival of more powerful cartridges, it’s still very capable for such duties. Recoil is still substantial compared to the regular self-defense cartridges (9mm, .40), but it is certainly more manageable than .44 mag and the other big magnums.

    Truthfully, your chances of running into a black bear, much less one that is aggressive enough to attack you, are very slim in the northeast. Bear spray works, in most situations. Otherwise, if you already have a self-defense pistol chambered in 9mm, .40 or .45, you could look at getting ammunition that is better optimized for hunting. None of those cartridges are preferred for tackling big game, but they can work in a pinch with the appropriate ammunition and good shot placement.
     
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  2. Willjr75

    Willjr75 .450/400 Nitro Ex U.S. Military

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    If I was specifically out hunting a bear with a handgun, I wouldn't use a smaller caliber. It wouldn't be ideal. I'd have the biggest handgun I could find that's suited for the job. The shot wouldn't be up close. I'd take my time and aim for the optimal area to shoot the bear. Recoil and quick doubletap follow up shots wouldn't be a factor in that scenario. The distance between myself and the bear would allow another shot or 2.

    Now if I was just hiking with the old lady and the dog, I wouldn't take that cannon. The extra weight and recoil wouldn't be ideal in that situation. I'd be closer to the bear. My follow up shots would be compromised. I'd be better suited with my subcompact 11 rd carry pistol loaded with the heaviest hard cast that I can actually control. In that situation, I'd want to put as much shots on target as I can just like that Alaskan guide did. He used a 9mm loaded with hard casts. He put all 8 rds on target for good measure. He didn't stop firing until he was empty. Maybe that particular caliber isn't ideal but it got the job done and has before as well in the past multiple times. There are other guns out there in larger calibers like the 10mm or .45 Super that are subcompacts and more controllable than a revolver when you have sweaty hands and an increased heart rate if you don't trust that smaller caliber.

    Plus we are talking about black bears down here and not grizzlies.
     
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  3. stokes

    stokes .44 mag

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    Better carry 2 of them....so you have a back up when the bear stuffs the first one up your ass.
     
  4. togmaster

    togmaster .338 Win Mag

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    upload_2018-10-4_15-48-15.jpeg
     
  5. meketrefe

    meketrefe .338 Win Mag

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    I would kill me to shoot a bear, specially a mother with cubs. But it will kill me more if she actually kills me.

    I like all recommended,

    A) Make lots of noise
    B) the pepper-spray idea.... etc..

    but the gun or carbine in the other hand.

    I want to have a plan C... You know....similar reason they make airplanes with two engines vs just one.
     
  6. ECU Pirates

    ECU Pirates 6.5 Creedmoor

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    False will. He did not fire until empty. He saved one. That dude was a pro haha
     
  7. Willjr75

    Willjr75 .450/400 Nitro Ex U.S. Military

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    Okay?....
     
  8. ECU Pirates

    ECU Pirates 6.5 Creedmoor

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    You said he emptied. I think I read In the story he shot 7 and saved one Incase the bear was not down. I would never be able to count 7 shots and save one just Incase under that kind of stress. To keep calm while dropping a grizz with a pistol is amazing to me. I’m just making sure the guy gets all the credit deserved!
     
  9. Criticalt

    Criticalt .308 Win

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    When I was 12 years old I ran from a mamma black bear with 2 very young cubs.
    I wasnt between the mom and cub but the cubs were about 15 feet from me.
    The mamma was about 30 feet.
    I saw them and ran like hell.
    She just stood there watching my dumb ass run from a bear.

    Now I prefer my G20 instead of running. :)
     
  10. S&W Fan

    S&W Fan .308 Win

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  11. Phauxtoe

    Phauxtoe .338 Win Mag

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    After shooting heavy loads with both guns, give me the 44mag for bear!

    (How about a 870 Tac-14 with arm brace - for extra steady shooting! and alternating 00 buck and slugs?)
     
  12. Shoots100

    Shoots100 .40 S&W

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    I usually carry two Taurus 444 ultra lite .44 mags in a double shoulder holster, or 1 an IWB while hiking + outdoors, or a duty rig with two speed loaders while deer driving.
    28oz's apc.
    There a hand full, but very accurate and reliable.
    12 rounds of 240 grn HP goodness and no time wasted reloading.
    If you can't get it done with 12 rounds of .44 mag, shoot 11 and save one for yourself !
    IMG_1157.JPG
    IMG_1158.JPG
     
  13. FLA45fan

    FLA45fan .223 Rem

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    That's just bad ass!!
     
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  14. Edwardteach72

    Edwardteach72 .308 Win

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    MV5BMTkyMTM4Njc5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTI3ODU5NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1361,1000_AL_.jpg
     
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  15. nortatoga

    nortatoga .308 Win Yearly Shot Winner Monthly Shot Winner

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  16. GOYABEAN

    GOYABEAN .450/400 Nitro Ex

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  17. Deplorable Me

    Deplorable Me .450/400 Nitro Ex

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    No it's not. Needs a dozen speed loaders.
     
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  18. Willjr75

    Willjr75 .450/400 Nitro Ex U.S. Military

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    Yep. Carrying a heavy low, capacity revolver is like saying that it's better to carry a a heavy, low capacity rifle into combat. It's not no matter how much convincing you do to yourself. Some of these guys don't like advancements in technology and convince themselves that the old way is better. It's not.
     
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  19. FLA45fan

    FLA45fan .223 Rem

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    Um, a Taurus 444 weighs less than a lightweight commander, produces somewhere around 900 ft lbs of energy in a 180 gr jhp vs half that in 45acp with a 185 gr jhp.
    A pair of lightweight 44 mags is, in my opinion, bad ass.
    Besides, nobody needs a dozen speedloaders to shoot a bear.

    Mic drop . . .
     
  20. FLA45fan

    FLA45fan .223 Rem

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    And while I'm at it, nobody was commenting on your choice of Tupperware ten 9mm or whether it was a better choice. Nobody said this was the ultimate choice for you. It's not an argument. It's his choice. Maybe he doesn't care for the others. Maybe it's what he can afford now. Maybe he's shot wheelguns all his life and that's what he likes. It's a choice, his choice. You shoot yours and he'll shoot his.
    Nice choice Shoots100! It's bad ass!
     
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  21. Willjr75

    Willjr75 .450/400 Nitro Ex U.S. Military

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    And maybe he's just an old dog that won't learn new tricks. Or maybe he's lighting quicker with a revolver than an average guy with a semi auto. But if he is, imagine how fast he'd be with a semi auto with more than half the recoil, more capacity, and a 4 pound trigger. Or maybe he really likes them and thinks he looks cool in the mirror when he put on his 20 pound 12 shot rig. (I know it isn't 20 pounds. I'm exaggerating.)

    Maybe I have a right to say what I want to say on an open forum. Maybe I have a right to say that your Tupperware statement explains a lot.

    Just maybe, but the fact of the matter is that a revolver is an inferior, outdated, system. If it weren't, it would still be fielded by the police and the military. Those are facts and not maybes though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  22. Edwardteach72

    Edwardteach72 .308 Win

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    There is really only 1 main reason for a revolver. And that is for a primary hunting gun, and that's because there isnt really a semi-auto that can match a .500mag or .460 or a .454

    But that does not make them an ideal or even a good choice to carry as a defensive gun, when in those situations you are going to have to draw and take a shot usually at something charging you and mad.

    5 fast rounds of 10mm in a bear is going to be better than 1 round of .44mag into a bear 2 misses and 2-3 still not fired because the bear is eating your damn face
     
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  23. Willjr75

    Willjr75 .450/400 Nitro Ex U.S. Military

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    I can just picture someone with 2 revolvers in each hand with no additional hand support mitigating recoil all over the place losing all sight picture squeezing 12 pound triggers while the bear is charging him.

    He sure will look good though doing it.
     
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  24. FLA45fan

    FLA45fan .223 Rem

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    The original post . . . Answered. Which one, "A" or " B" ?

    What? You didn't like the answer?

    Yup 10 mm is fine. Frankly, a Sig 220 in 10mm gives me the warm fuzzys. And yes you do have a right to say on an open forum. But a guy posted his answer to the question and you dump all over his particular choice. I thought it was cool, in an old school sort of way. Ya don't see too many titanium revolvers, not to mention TWO of them in a double rig. Now I don't know if you have ever had a chance to actually shoot a Taurus 444 - I have, and with 240 hard cast IIRC, and surprisingly enough, with those red recoil inserts in the grips (sorta like LimbSaver for handguns) is very controllable. It has it's place. So, yeah, IMHO that makes it bad ass.

    And yet, some of those "heavy, low capacity rifles" do get carried into combat. Mission specific, like a Barrett .50BMG. It has it's place too, don't you think?:cowboy:kinda bad ass too . . .

    So, deplorable, Whadda think? 7 shot .357 or 5 shot .44 mag?
     
  25. Upstate43

    Upstate43 .40 S&W

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    In response to that last part, how much of that is based on real-world experience and how much of that comes from anecdotal hearsay? The 10mm proponents like to throw that claim out, but in a realistic bear charge scenario, I truly wonder how many more rounds a 10mm semi-auto can get off versus a heavy barreled .44 mag or .357 mag. The 10mm's recoil is perhaps a bit lighter (compared to the .44) but its still quite noticeable. Based on the speed with which bears can move and how these charge scenario's unfold, I'd say anyone who can get more than 3 shots off (with a semi-auto or revolver) is lucky.

    I think the relevant principle, which you were indirectly addressing, is that its better to shoot a medium-powered pistol accurately rather than to shoot a high-powered pistol inaccurately. I definitely agree with that. Some people are physically and mentally capable of handling the .44 mag's recoil and employing it in an effective manner; for them, .44 mag is undeniably a better choice (the .44's energy and penetration advantage is pretty well proven). For others, the .44's recoil is too stout, and mentally they're giving up shots before they even pull the trigger, in which case a more tame cartridge (.357 mag, 10mm) is likely a better option.

    There is no right or wrong cartridge (I'm talking in generalities here, as obviously no one should try to take on a grizzly with a .38 special). There are different shooters, who ought to use cartridges that are best suited to their particular needs and capabilities.

    As for the revolver vs semi-auto debate: both types have their advantages and disadvantages in certain situations. There was perhaps a time when the revolver was considered to be the more reliable option, but modern semi-auto's are very reliable. The main advantage of the semi-auto is its round capacity, which is largely a moot point for predator defense. The main advantage of the revolvers (magnums in particular) is their reliability in handling a wide variety of loads and their ability to fire magnum loads (both of which are very relevant to predator defense). Even the .357 magnum, which is ballistically comparable to 10mm, has a slight advantage in terms of energy and a very obvious advantage in terms sectional density (those two factors combined play a large role in determining penetration). With that said, I hear of a lot of hunters in Alaska switching to 10mm semi-auto's. Maybe it's a temporary trend, maybe not. Even if it is, that cartridge has proven its ability to take on bear (black and brown) with good shot placement.
     
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  26. Deplorable Me

    Deplorable Me .450/400 Nitro Ex

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    Some great feedback overall, I love how the hive wanders about in their thought-decision making process. It's chaotic but really a part of the creative process if you can tolerate it. It requires patience.

    The reason I thought .357 vs .44 was what I currently reload for and what my wife can shoot as a firearm when we hike. My wife is NOT a fan of semi-autos (yet) so I have to accommodate her technical skills. Both can be reasonably ported to reduce recoil. My wife can manage reloading the revolver and fire it without hesitation, at close quarters no one will be aiming. In a panic, all rounds will be sent down range, I'm assuming 3 of 7 or 2 of 5 will hit the target. I've never seen bears run in gangs so although a magazine fed firearm would would be my choice, my wife is ALWAYS right. Probably going to go with the .357, 7 shot for eastern black bear. (Alaska and the Rockies would give me a different requirement.) I have a friend who has fished Alaska, north of the Arctic Circle; he packs a 12 gauge semi-auto with lead slugs as advised by his outfitter and pilot, they work out of a base camp and weight is not a big issue. As we hike NY and PA my wife and I will probably each be carrying a .357 in our gear. Personally I carry a 5 shot SP-101 but the .357 x 158gr recoil is murder, the larger mass of a 686+ for my wife, she's comfortable. (Don't piss my wife off I think she could take a bear with a K-Bar.)

    .357
     
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  27. stokes

    stokes .44 mag

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    Big difference between bears in Alaska and the more docile variety we have here in the north east.
     
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  28. Upstate43

    Upstate43 .40 S&W

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    Agreed.

    My post was addressing the relevance of magnum revolvers in general, and not necessarily their relevance to a northeastern hiker looking to defend against black bears.
     
  29. Willjr75

    Willjr75 .450/400 Nitro Ex U.S. Military

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    Everyone has a choice and they are entitled to it and can do what they want even if it's a poor choice like a pocket knife for bear defense when other methods are available or a good choice that some may consider overkill.

    However, a point is being made that cannot be disputed due to physics. A semi auto with 11 rounds is still more controllable and faster than a revolver with a 12 pound trigger and no recoil spring no matter how good you are. If you are good with the recolver, you will always be better with the semi auto. The semi auto will always be more controlable than a revolver because it is more ergonomic for 2 handed control, has a recoil spring, and has a lighter trigger with a shorter reset.

    Hunting and defense are 2 different things though. When hunting, you have distance and the elements of terrain and surprise in your favor. With defense, you don't. And again, we are talking about black bears here.

    But like my first paragraph states, "Anyone can use what they want."
     
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  30. Deplorable Me

    Deplorable Me .450/400 Nitro Ex

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    You can tell my wife.
     
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