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Posted: 3/31/2006 5:31:17 PM EDT
I may do some backpacking this summer and the only gun I have that I would carry is a .44 Rem Mag Ruger Redhawk. Great pistol, but heavy. I have a chance at a GP-100 in .357 Magnum (A price almost too good to pass up regardless whether it's good for bears or not.). With appropriate loads could this be recommended and used as a defensive gun against grizzlies? If so, what kind of load are we talking? I have already convinced myself .45 Auto is out of the question.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:48:29 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:53:18 PM EDT
For a grizz, I would reccomend a FAL, minimum.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:01:20 PM EDT
Ok I did a quick search on this topic on Ask.com and all info I found was basically for hunting purposes. Several articles stated that .44 magnum is the minimum caliber for black bears. This could just be an internet myth as I have ZERO experience in this area but if it was my ass out in the woods I'd take a heavier more powerful weapon. In other words for me the .357 would be out. I'd be seriously considering a S&W 500 for grizzlies.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:05:15 PM EDT
No, if you need your Redhawk it won't seem near so heavy.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:29:43 PM EDT
Only on teddy bears.

Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:35:52 PM EDT
The caliber-for-bear thread has been beat to death here....

Most will agree that a pistol of any caliber isn't a reliable bear weapon, but if it's 'pistol-or-nothing, .44 mag....

Some will say 12GA with sabot-slugs

Others '.308 or larger'

One seemed to indicate that he shot a bear with an AK in 7.62 short....

Remember: a weapon that can kill a bear in a hunting scenario may not be a good choice to kill a bear that's trying to kill YOU...
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:41:53 PM EDT
Hunt in Wy / Co mountians and alot of guys would carry a backup.

Mine was a .357 Mag. 180 gr heavy load. Still have a box of those reload and they are not fun to shot! Once in while just for grins with people and everyone just goes WOW.

Just have someone very experianced work the loads out for you and your gun. Not something I did or would do on my own.

I saw a lot of guys carry .357 because of weight issues. Not all of us are Dirty Harry.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:18:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 8:19:57 PM EDT by sandboxmedic]
One of the guys on another board I'm on who lives in Alaska carries his 1911. He say's he shoots it best of all his handguns (he owns a 44 too) and can empty it faster and more accurately- he highly recommends a 12 gauge though. Me, I have zero experience with anything larger than a small black bear.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:24:22 PM EDT
I'm trying to find the video of a guy fending off a charging bear with a .357 revolver.
P.S He's dead now.(The guy)
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:10:48 PM EDT
Yes, depending on the species. I was with a SD GFP officer who had to destroy a charging bear with his service pistol. He was using a G17 with 124grn Hydrashoks. The bear was dropped immediatly with 3 shots to the neck/face. Incidently, two seperate guides we hired for bear hunts both used G17's for bear defense. Against a black bear, a 9mm using decent ammo would be an adequate/excellent choice. In Montana, a GFP agent was releasing a bear when he was attacked and he discharged his G22 into the bear while it was on top of him, killing the animal. Alot of guys do carry revolvers, but with the smaller species its really not necessary. If you are retreating/firing while the animal is charging, you are going to need more than 6 shots to protect yourself. Against larger species, nothing short of a .500 Smith or equivalent would be acceptible, though still limited by capacity and reloading speed. Depending on where you are hiking, you may be able to use a long arm.When I hike, I use a Remington 870 police with a 18.5 inch barrel attached to a Spector single poing and carried in a quiver attached to my pack. This works very

well and is discrete and easily deployable. I "dutch" with 000 buckshot and 1 oz Hydrashok slugs. I also carry my Beretta M9 with 124grn +P Gold Dots. In all my years hoofing in bear country, I have only encountered one in which I was scared. I had inadvertantly wandered between a mother and her cubs and she was none to appreciative. I had my gun ready, but I just slowly backed away....all was fine. Against black bears, a 9/10/40/45 would be acceptible choices for anti-bear duty. Considering one of the larges Walrus in AK was taken with a .357 magnum, I think it will work for a 100 lb black bear, especially if a 9mm Glock will do the trick.I would reconsider using a revolver, personally unless I was concerned about Grizzley, Kodiak or Polar bears which would only charge harder after being "stung" by a 9mm sized projectile, reguardless of velocity.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:25:51 PM EDT
there have been grizzlies killed that have had old .44mag slugs recovered.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:31:01 AM EDT
.357 is ok for Black bears but a 45-70 or better for BIG Bears.

Smaller guns can kill the Grizzlies but how long will it take? You need to stop it before it kills you. You don't want a gun that will allow the bear to kill you then wander off and die later. You need a caliber that will kill it NOW!!!!
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:48:49 AM EDT
A bear's speed and mobility are in it's front legs.
To stop it you need to break a shoulder, leg, or whatever.
To kill it, is another matter.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:08:16 AM EDT
for black or brown bear 357 witha heavy load is fine for bigger bear 44 mag is like you a 32 auto in a gun fight. think 480 or 500
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 1:19:28 AM EDT
General rule: If you have to ask, it ain't enough gun.

But if you gotta do it....do it as best you can.

Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:01:03 AM EDT
Buffalo Bore is some great stuff.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 5:29:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/1/2006 5:32:29 AM EDT by Wave]
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 11:27:25 AM EDT
I think the general rule of thumb is "any gun with a small front sight".

When the bear sticks it up your ass, it won't hurt as much.


- BG
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 11:38:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BUCC_Guy:
I think the general rule of thumb is "any gun with a small front sight".

When the bear sticks it up your ass, it won't hurt as much.


- BG




No...you carry a .22....and when you see a bear, you cap your buddy in the knee with it.
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:06:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By yekimak:

Originally Posted By BUCC_Guy:
I think the general rule of thumb is "any gun with a small front sight".

When the bear sticks it up your ass, it won't hurt as much.


- BG




No...you carry a .22....and when you see a bear, you cap your buddy in the knee with it.



Even better
Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:21:53 PM EDT
The smallest calibre I would even think about using against bear would be a 44mag. Bigger in this case equals better.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 3:04:11 PM EDT
hes right, you dont have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your friend. Id say get a .22lr with a 2 inch bbl, because its so small and light. Kneecap your friend than kick him in the same place and run like a little bitch.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 5:52:27 PM EDT
I'd want a .375 carbine of sorts for the Grizzlt bars.

For blackies, I think I'd be a fine choice if its what you have, and you can thump the damn thing in the skull several times over. Beats a sharp stick in the eye. Or a sharp stick period.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 5:58:11 PM EDT
.44 is better, ALL pistols are marginal at best, even the .500.

Whatever you get, get hard cast bullets that are loaded hot, like Buffalo Bore or Garret. Penetration is the main concern.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 6:24:34 PM EDT
General consensus is you'd be better off with the Costco size Pepper Spray.

I would still take the .44 for two legged threats.

Link Posted: 4/3/2006 5:48:31 AM EDT
..........12 guage with 3"magnum slugs.....or 3 1/2" mag lead slugs...if you can find them.....
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 1:48:24 PM EDT
A better choice would be the .88 mag, it shoots through school busses......
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 2:33:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GaryM:
A better choice would be the .88 mag, it shoots through school busses......

............BUT....a little bit "heavy"............
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 2:50:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 2:54:38 PM EDT by LgAnimalVet]
I have hunted Grizzly in Alaska extensively and have always carried a .454 Casull, yes heavy gun but the grizzly ain't no black bear. About each time I go back up there, I always say I am going to carry my G20 with me but somehow never do. They are tough, I have killed several and had some close calls over the years, they are nothing to fool around with, especially if they are pissy.

Edit: Black bear (or mountain lion for that matter) are a completely different critter all together, we have hunted them with hounds and handguns for years with anything from 9mm to you name it.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 3:02:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 3:56:48 PM EDT by vaughn4380]

Originally Posted By triburst1:
For a grizz, I would reccomend a FAL, minimum.



Kind of small IMHO, I usually carry a .50 BMG in bear country, but only because I get weird looks when I try to hike with my mountain howitzer slung over my shoulder...

Seriously, a FAL would be good, I use to carry a 12 guage full of 1 oz slugs when in large bear country and never needed it. I switched to a .30-06 remington 7400 autoloader for large bear country and have still never needed it. When in black bear country I carry a 9mm or .357.

As a side note: When I lived in Africa I personally witnessed many guides carry 1911s in .45 ACP as side arms when hunting lions. Of course they had rifles, but they assured me that the 1911 would handle a charging lion in an emergency. I will admit that I never have seen a lion shot with a 1911 but it is what the guides carry.

ETA: You might find the new ruger alaskan revolver in .454 or .480 is what you need. IIRC, it was designed for those who camp and hike in bear country but don't want to carry a rifle.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 3:15:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 3:16:32 PM EDT by michael_aos]

Originally Posted By double_trouble_2003:
General consensus is you'd be better off with the Costco size Pepper Spray.

I would still take the .44 for two legged threats.




I think you're on the right track. Pepper spray for bear and 9mm for everything else.

Mike
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 5:41:45 PM EDT
.357 Mag appropriate for bears?

No, I'd never arm a bear with a 357 Magnum.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:51:26 AM EDT

Desert Eagle + Beamz + 350 grain jacketed soft points

Link Posted: 4/4/2006 3:27:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By michael_aos:

Originally Posted By double_trouble_2003:
General consensus is you'd be better off with the Costco size Pepper Spray.

I would still take the .44 for two legged threats.




I think you're on the right track. Pepper spray for bear and 9mm for everything else.

Mike



There are severe limitations on pepperspray, one being that you gotta be way to damn close for comfort to use it(Sprays advertise "up to 30 feet"). Another is wind, in many places here it regularly blows 20 MPH or so on average and there is no telling the bear to always approach from a certain direction or telling the wind to only blow one way. Getting a snootful of spray when there is something big and pissed off right there next to you is totally unacceptable.

Bear Spray may be effective against curious bears, but I would not bet my life or my family's life on it.

Link Posted: 4/4/2006 1:37:18 PM EDT
It's like the old joke:

Old Timer: "Always wear a small bell and carry pepper spray in grizzly bear country. And be on the lookout for bear scat."

Hiker: "How do I recognize grizzly bear scat?"

Old Timer: "It has small bells in it and smells like pepper."
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:19:42 PM EDT
Any pistol is inadequate. You won't mind how big and heavy that .44 mag is when it comes time. All I can say is stay calm and aim for the mouth and save one for yourself if it comes to being ate! Ugly scenario
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 2:24:56 PM EDT
Stick a poly underfolder full of steel core in your pack with a 5rnd mag in it.
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 7:13:17 PM EDT
this is funny..

i have a home video..of a bobcat..yes a B.O.B.C.A.T taking 2 federal 180gr jacketed hollowpoint..into its chest at 30 yards.

it was alive..dear god was it ALIVE...and moving 2 minutes..later..
it was pissed..blood everywhere..but that damn thing was growling and hissing..at me.. when i finished it off with a rock on the head.

BTW..
it was only a 45lb cat.

the .357 is an excellent manstopper..
but mother nature will not be impressed and possibly laugh...at you.

i now carry a .44 in the woods..

i have the pelt..and 4 perfect ( 2 entrance-2 exit) .38 caliber holes..in the boiler room.

Link Posted: 4/4/2006 7:56:01 PM EDT
I dissagree as the .357 mag being an excelent man stopper(too much penetration),but a great black bear stopper! With a 158 grain JSP it will break bones,and penetrate to vitals!

When shooting dangerous game you want the bullet to go plumb through the animal,head shoulders,spine,and out the ass if possible!

Go to canadiangunutz and you will see men useing 4 inch .357 mags for blackies,with great results!!

Bob
Link Posted: 4/4/2006 7:57:01 PM EDT
I always carry a .357 mag revolver when I hike/camp. I have it mostly for the two legged threats, but I did have to use once on a critter.

At 4:30am high in the mountains of West Virginia I was camping with my girlfriend. I was awakened by this most surreal sound of a growling pissed off cat. I grabbed the gun and poked my head out to see a huge 6 foot long mountain lion about 30 feet away. He suddenly charged and I fired one shot just to the right of it, it had the desired effect and the cat did a u-turn in mid-air and dissapeared.

I had powder burns on my neck because of my awkward position leaning out of the tent. I was using hot handloads I created just for bear. I would expect a similar reaction from most wildlife upon discharge of any gun. I had always read that a .44 mag was best handgun for bear, but a .357 for black bear was adequate. When I was deciding which to get, the .44 mag was a lot heavier and I opted for the lighter .357.

One thing to be aware of is that bears have a really thick skull and when facing you running it will also be sloped so as to deflect anything you shoot it with. The point is, don't waste a shot on the top of its skull.
Link Posted: 4/5/2006 8:41:56 AM EDT
out of over 200..gunshot victims in oklahoma that i have been involved in their care..

i dont think i have ever worked on a survivor of a .357 when shot above the waist.
this includes 4 fatalities who were shot below the waist line and in the legs.

i think i still hold the record of number of units of blood given to a GSW victim ( a .357 )...he still died after working on him for 8 hours..and 147 units of blood products later. most dont even make in for a couple of hours.

its hard to patch the pieces to together and fight the bodies' natural mechanisms of "DIC" and system shut down.

the 125gr JHP is defensive karma..
remember back in the day..when the only handgun you would see on a cops rig was a 66 or 686.
police shootings averaged 2 shots and more than likley a fatality.

now..thugs are fighting and wrestling you. ( booze and drugs have always been an issue)

people who think pistols are for large game ought to watch humans with bullet holes walk into ER and tell you they cant breath.. only to find out they have 4 slugs..in them of various calibers.

most humans can actually carry on decent conversations..after taking a pistol bullet..atleast till the morphine kicks in.

bears = long arms..take you pic..rifles and shotties..

i have some cool ass pics from doing 2 years of bear research in eastern OK in college..
we carried 870's or a .338. i did carry a 30-30 a few times..when i knew i was going to cover some ground. i'll dig them out and post them sometime.

Link Posted: 4/7/2006 8:01:26 PM EDT
I don't disagree as it being a good round for killing,just not excellent!

I keep my Trooper loaded with 115&125 JHP,for around the house(don't want to shoot a perp and a neighbor at the same time)just like my 10 mil (for the same reasons)!

But I prefer a Colt Government in 45acp,or a 10 mil!

I concider these excellent man stoppers!

I'm sure no one whom owns a .357 will argue with the right bullet,that it is just about as good as it gets for this CAL.

Bob
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 3:07:14 PM EDT
I don’t care what any one here says! Anything by double tap shot from an 8inch barrel will kill the biggest bear that hoe called nature can throw at me! And if that doesn’t work then give the bear a swift nee to the happy sacks and it will drop like any one else!
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