.45 APC on bears for self-defense


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SamlautRanger
March 15, 2005, 09:24 AM
Ok, here is a question. Like to carry a semi auto with me when I go into the woods. Question, how do you think a .45 APC will work on say a grizzly or black bear coming at you, if you have to use for self-defense. I know a .454 or a .44 mag is better. But, here is what I am thinking. I can get off several shots of a .45 APC with my Glock or 1911 in the same amount of time I can get one shot off with a .44 or .454. And probably be more accurate and deploy the firearm quicker also. This of course is a last ditch effort in the event of an attack.

Ok, now say I am using .45 APC, what type of bullet will work best? FMJ ball for penetration or hollow points. What Grain weight fo you think?

Ok, thanks.

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hillbilly
March 15, 2005, 10:25 AM
I figure any bear in the world would be instantly dead once you ran over it with 45 armored personnel carriers.......

hillbilly

Art Eatman
March 15, 2005, 10:35 AM
Forget grizzly for a moment. Let's "p'like" it's a 250-pound black bear, wanting supper. Or a mama who's irate because you got between her and her cubs.

How good are you at even an accurate first shot if 250 pounds of claws and adrenalin are headed at you? How good are you at close-together, multiple hits? How calm can you remain when the world is turning to garbage?

How well can you deal with "Draw, front sight, press." at a 5 o'clock target?

If all I had was Old Slabsides, I guess I'd go with 230-grain hardball. Maximum weight and penetration, seems like the consensus.

A buddy of mine bought one of the first Raging Bulls. He demonstrated that with hot loads of 260-grain bullets, you can do a great job of double-tapping center hits at ten to fifteen yards. The load matched the capabilities of the porting. With some 70% more muzzle velocity, that's around three times the Oomph! of a .45 ACP. Looks like a good starting-point load to me. :)

Art

GE-Mini-Gun
March 15, 2005, 10:36 AM
I read a letter to the editor of a gun magazine (Guns I think) years ago and the guy asked the same question as you. I’m paraphrasing here but it went something like this.

“…make sure you have the best self defense ammo you can afford, load gun to maximum capacity, and if you are unfortunate enough to be attacked by a grizzly or black bear be sure to put all 7 rounds into the center of mass and save the last round for you. It will make the mauling you are going to get a lot more comfortable…”

I think what he was getting at was a 45 wasn’t going to do anything but piss off the bear. If I were you I’d get one of the S&W Scandium 329 and hope I never have to fire it.

Lennyjoe
March 15, 2005, 10:39 AM
The .45 is better than nothing but I think if you live in a black bear only area I would rather have a magnum round or a 10MM minimum.

For grizzly territory, I wouldn't want anything under a 44 Mag minimum and would rather have a .454 or .480 instead.

13.45
March 15, 2005, 02:19 PM
it beats a sharp stick... ;)

spacemanspiff
March 15, 2005, 03:17 PM
beware of those who advise that small -caliber handguns are adequate against bears. i have heard more in the last month about how '40s&w and 10mm are great for killing bears' than i care to recall.

more often than not, those who advocate such do so on the basis that they have used maybe a 10mm in hunting bears. what they fail to comprehend is that hunting is worlds different than defending.

i have also heard the other side of the spectrum say things like 'my deagle in 50ae will kill a bear if it hits it anywhere!'

the relatively few times a small handgun has been used successfully in defense does not prove that they are good tools for the job.

Shootcraps
March 15, 2005, 07:22 PM
The minimum I would carry for defense against bears is a .44 Magnum. I wouldn't even consider a 45ACP.

Wildalaska
March 15, 2005, 07:31 PM
45 acp has enormous killing power...if you hit a bear wiht it it will get blown back about 20 feet and die instantly.

Wildlearnedthatina9vs45threadAlaska

buzz meeks
March 15, 2005, 07:47 PM
This is a topic I've considered a number of times over the years mainly because the 45 ACP's ancestral home- the 1911- has so much to recommend it. It's thin and carries easily. It can be fitted with a lanyard loop as easily as swapping out the mainspring housing. The 1911 has an almost century long history of enduring horrid field conditions and maintaining firing function. And like so many shooters, I have found that the 1911 is by far the easiest pistol in the universe for me to shoot with a balance of speed and accuracy.

Most people would agree with at least some of what I have said above. The debate comes about when we get back to the 45 ACP itself. Most feel that what has worked so well in conflicts from the Somme to Fallujah fails in the woods. 230 grains at a nominal 800 fps just isn't enough. And indeed maybe it isn't. However, with today's powders, it shouldn't be too hard to get a 230 grainer to speeds in the 950 fps range. Then, all of a sudden we are talking about ballistics that are nearly comparable to the old blackpowder loadings of the 45 Colt. And that cartridge and several like it- the 44-40 springs to mind- evidently provided enough comfort and security for our nation's pioneers.

Will it be enough? Will it do what you want it to do? I don't know. One area where the ACP might come up short is in the area of bullets. Hardball seems like a good idea at first blush. But in my experience, FMJ 45 slugs usually have a core of dead soft lead that deforms in everything it hits. And for reasons I do not fully understand, round nosed projectiles can often penetrate less than a bullet with a wide meplat. I would refer you to Keith, Seyfreid and Linebaugh for further research on that topic. So find the widest, heaviest bullet you can cram into that stubby little case, load it to the gills and hope for the best.

In the end, I went revolver. A .452 325 grain slug at 1,000 fps is just so much more comforting than anything the ACP could churn out. But then I live in grizzly country. Maybe the Cascades are different?

Preacherman
March 15, 2005, 10:57 PM
I'd want to use .45 Super loads, or at least the Buffalo Bore 230gr. FMJ-FN at 950 fps. I wouldn't be really comfortable with either option. I'm with Shootcraps - for me, .44 Magnum is the minimum acceptable caliber for such situations.

Art Eatman
March 16, 2005, 12:18 AM
The spiff pointed out a very real thing: There is a vast difference between hunting and defending. In the first instance, odds are that you are the sudden aggressor. You have some distance, and you have time to place your shot.

In the second instance, good luck.

:), Art

Kevlarman
March 16, 2005, 01:29 AM
.45?

Maybe if the bear was asleep and you held the barrel up to his eyeball. :what:

jamz
March 16, 2005, 01:32 PM
If you do carry a .45 for bears, you have to make sure it's a short barreled version- a 3.5", or commander length at absolute longest.

That way, when the bear shoves it up your ***, it won't hurt so much.

















:p


/obligatory joke

-James

airbornekyle1
March 17, 2005, 12:07 AM
a .45 acp will do nuthing but piss it off use bear mace its the best.

RyanM
March 17, 2005, 01:34 AM
If I were dead set on carrying a 1911 in bear country, I'd get one of those .460 Rowland drop-in conversion barrels.

http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/rowland.htm

Sunray
March 17, 2005, 02:49 PM
"...will kill a bear if it hits it anywhere!..." Don't be daft.
Shooting a griz with a .45ACP will just annoy it more. Using ball ammo even moreso. Maybe a .45ACP silvertip IF you can put it in the heart or head on a black bear. Even then, it wouldn't be 100% reliable.

jamz
March 17, 2005, 02:56 PM
Hehehe, I think someone's sarcasm detector needs to be reinstalled. ;)



-James

patentmike
March 17, 2005, 04:57 PM
.45 ACP is "ACP". What you want in bear country is a "magnum". That means a .22 magnum is the smallest you would want to carry. If you're going to polar bear country, make sure you practice. Put your gun in the freezer for at least an hour before you go to the range.

El Tejon
March 19, 2005, 05:11 PM
Sifu, just how many bears are in Cambodia anywho? :D

Now that I'm being watched--I must go practice. ;) :)

sm
March 19, 2005, 05:34 PM
Good points about the difference in hunting and defending. Ditto for "can you run what you brung" when the situation is serious .

If all I had was a 1911, please make it a Plain Jane Gov't Model , with USGI mags, stoked with 230 gr hardball. I want that sucker to run.

Laynard would be nice, 'cause I might just be beating feet and not real worried about getting re- holstered. Then again worse comes to worse...just follow the gun, the laynard....

SamlautRanger
March 20, 2005, 04:01 AM
Bears in Cambodia: In the area that I am working, we have 2 types of bears. Confirmed by camera traps placed in the area. Asiatic Black Bears and Sun Bears. They are very rare though and threatned. Very endangered. At another National Park in Cambodia, one Ranger was mauled pretty bad by one. They can be very aggessive if encountered. Besides the tigers, which there are very few of here (About 8 years ago, in the area just south of me in Cambodia there were a group of 4 tigers that killed about 50 men in a year period-they were hunted and killed. they had gotten the taste of human flesh from an area the Khmer Rouge had disposed of some bodies) the Bears and the Gaur are considered the most dangerous wild animals to encounter in the forest.

Thanks for all the responses. Again, my question was how a .45 ACP would work against Black, Brown, or Grizzly Bears. Yeah, of course a .44 mag or .454 would work best. Better yet, carry a 45-70 0r .375 rifle. The best defense is avoidence. The problem with any bear, is if it is attacking you, the time it takes for you to deploy your handgun and get off a couple of "stopping" shots will be very hard, very hard! I have also read some good accounts where Pepper Spray (specifically designed for Bears) has been used with great results at close range. Again, though it is my reasoning, that if a magazine of .45 ACP was unloaded in the right areas (head and chest) it would do some damage to the bear. I mean a good arrow placed the right spot on a Grizz will kill it. But, will the bear fully stop or die before it rips you to shreads, probably not. I experienced the power of a Black Bear myself, when I was stupid enough to volunteer to wrestle a pet Black Bear a friend had. It was declawed, and just playfully bit me and threw me around -but it kicked my ass, I was black and blue all over and sore for over a week!! Truly amazing animals.

griz
March 20, 2005, 09:45 AM
You've got a unique perspective. I'll bet of all the posters here you are the only one who has been in a fight with a bear. You might have only "won" in the sense that you lived, but it brings up a question. If it had been an attack by a fully clawed angry bear, would you have been able to draw a handgun?

I ask this because most of what one hears is conjecture, I like first hand better.

azrael
March 20, 2005, 10:13 AM
AHHH another bear thread...I just never get tired of them... :D

.45acp would NOT be on my list of weapons to use on a bear...If I were to use said round, it would be in 230gr. at around 900 fps...Ya might get lucky and break a bone...

Yo Wildalaska,

45 acp has enormous killing power...if you hit a bear wiht it it will get blown back about 20 feet and die instantly.

Dude, it is 10-15 ft down here...Ya gotta remember to allow for higher temps...The air is thicker and causes more drag on a "flying bear" :neener:

patentmike...+1

jamz, you ruined my keyboard...Now I gotta make a "how to remove coffee from a kewboard" thread over at APS :evil:

El Tejon
March 20, 2005, 11:01 AM
Bears in Cambodia? Tigers, sure, but bears? Learn new stuff everyday! :eek:

H&Hhunter
March 20, 2005, 12:10 PM
Having seen a little ole about 200 pound black bear soak up three 230 gr hollow points then run off with out so much as a indication of hit I'd have to say. We never recoverd that one either.

IXINEAY .45APEY ON BEARABEY.


In plain english that means NO WAY JOSE'.

carebear
March 20, 2005, 02:47 PM
I think most effective "defensive" handgun usages have been the "warning shot" to break what may have been a bluff charge anyway and the "put it in the things ear" shoot it off you technique.

Actually getting one or two handgun rounds in the right place in the short period of time and actually having a near-instant effect is coming down to the damn near metaphysical when bears are involved.

I wish I were Spiff, he just calls them "Brother" and they pass on their ways. Must be nice to still be in tune with nature.

sm
March 20, 2005, 03:13 PM
Somewhere in Cyberspace there must be a Forum that Bears subscribe to.

Rocking right along with Hibernation tips, Berry picking, Favorite Fish, Favorite Salmon Runs...some bear posts a "human thread"....I just know it. :D

SamlautRanger
March 20, 2005, 04:20 PM
Just read an interesting account in Traditional Bowhunter magazine, Sep 2004 issue. Story of a bowhunter, Ed Bangs, who had a Brown Bear sow charge at him. He was able to kill the bear in self defense, by drawing his .357 mag and getting several shots off in the face of the bear. One of the few documented cases of a charging bear being killed in self defense by a handgun.

there was another post discussing whether a .357, .41, or .44 would work best on bears. Kind of same thing. Argument was for the .357 and .41, that you could control the getting the shots off quicker and they might actually even have more penetration.

Again the best thing for bear defense, would be a rifle in 375, 416, 45-70 or 12 guage slugs. But, if you are solo bow hunting, many will just carry a handgun as backup (where it is allowed.)

mr.trooper
March 20, 2005, 09:59 PM
HOT .357 and 10mm are the minimum for bears...SMALL bears. while people have killed Grizzle bears with bolth of them, the 44 is the minimum id feal safe with...but then again i wouldnt feal safe with anything but a long gun .338 minimum

What about a 45-70 revolver :D

.45&TKD
March 22, 2005, 12:06 AM
Really stupid question- Would a warning shot possibly scare away a bear or would it just make it angry?

carebear
March 22, 2005, 02:30 AM
Not a dumb question.

Just think, do YOU like gunshots going off near you?

Bears are pretty smart, as long as they have been hunted they do associate armed humans as threats.

There might be the odd rogue that has a beef with gunshots but that one is probably gonna stomp you on general principles anyway.

Like so much else in life, if the bear is bluff charging or reacting out of fear, a warning shot may spook it. If it is determined to get you, shots to the heart and brain might not stop it in time.

spacemanspiff
March 22, 2005, 12:32 PM
I wish I were Spiff, he just calls them "Brother" and they pass on their ways. Must be nice to still be in tune with nature
only the black bears respond to my calling them 'brother'. :D

with grizzlys ya gotta pimpslap them and show them whose boss.

.45&TKD
March 22, 2005, 12:57 PM
How would a SKS do against a Bear?

I always thought I would make my SKS my camp rifle, but maybe not after all this talk. Maybe the M38 Mosin would be a better choice, even though it is not semi-auto.

Guns_and_Labs
March 22, 2005, 01:40 PM
I second the .460 Rowland suggestion... I just put one on my Kimber and ran some rounds through it. It seems to match .41 magnum performance in the familiar 1911 format.

Of course, a very hot load in a 10mm Delta would do that, too.

That said, I'll still stick with a S&W 329 with Garrett's loads, and hope never to have to touch them off. I made it through sighting in, barely, and hope to never fire it again (unless with .44 Special practice loads).

mbartel
March 22, 2005, 07:04 PM
samlautranger-

What kind of ammo you have in your 45 doesn't matter. You will need some bacon grease though. Because after you empty your gun into the bear, smear the bacon grease on the weapon, then throw it at him, so he will lick the gun and you can escape with your life. But if he chases and catches you...it will be good that you put that bacon grease on the gun, cause it will slide easier when he shoves that gun up your a**

seriously though.....45 acp as a manstopper...very good.
45 acp as a bear stopper....NOT TOO GOOD!!!!!!!

rick_reno
March 22, 2005, 11:26 PM
Pepper spray? I was talking with one of the local state forestry fellows tonight about bear protection - we're in the Idaho Panhandle and can encounter bears (black and grizzly). This year they've been out for awhile (winter missed us) and food is in very short supply. This combination results in some very PO'd bears. He said pepper spray is something you use if you want to taste good when the bear bites you. He carries a Ruger BH he's shortened to just over 3 inches. He likes the BH because it's light and it's easier to cut down than the RH.

sturmruger
March 23, 2005, 12:59 PM
Do they even have bears in Cambodia???

Is there a US city named Cambodia, because the only Cambodia I know of is in Asia somewhere.

SamlautRanger
March 23, 2005, 03:59 PM
Sturmruger,

read the previous posts on the first page.

SHOOT1SAM
March 23, 2005, 08:21 PM
SamlautRanger:

As to your question (which wasn't an invitation to tell you what other guns/calibers you should carry), you may want to check out DoubletapAmmo.com

They have 230 gr. FMJ and Gold Dots @1010 fps for 521 ft/lbs, at under +P pressures. They also have 200 gr. Gold Dots @1125 fps for 562 ft/lbs, also at under +P pressures.

Sam

White Horseradish
March 23, 2005, 08:55 PM
I always thought I would make my SKS my camp rifle, but maybe not after all this talk. Maybe the M38 Mosin would be a better choice, even though it is not semi-auto.Make sure to have the bayonet attached. Better, yet, use a full-length 91/30 mosin with a bayo, that should put some distance between you and the bear. They say you should stick a bear between the third and fourth rib. Ask the bear to stand still while you count. :neener:

black bear
March 25, 2005, 11:41 AM
I bought a Colt Anaconda .44 Magnun 4" barrel for protection from bears, while I fly fish in bear country.
When hiking during the day I don't expect to find a bear, so I use my Colt .45 Goverment which is more comfortable to carry with heavy packs.
I load the magazine and chamber with 230 grains ball ammo, for its penetration.
For wild people management I like to use 230 grains Federal Hidra-Shock.
black bear

bad LT
March 31, 2005, 01:23 AM
White Horseradish: The correct method of using a bayonet is as an "old school laser sight." :evil:

and if you use an M44, you will cook the bear too :neener:

Cosmoline
April 1, 2005, 08:18 PM
The problem with .45 ACP is that the bullets have a very low SD. Lower than the hardcast bear loads available for .357's, .44 Mags and .45 Colts. That, coupled with their relatively low velocity, means they may not give you enough penetration. Also, keep in mind that the .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, modern .45 "Hot" colt loads, and so on were all developed for hunting. Using them for bear isn't very far from their initial purpose. The .45 ACP, OTOH ,was never intended for use against any game with four legs. It's a man stopper, pure and simple.

Instinctivshot
October 4, 2005, 02:06 AM
I think that the original post inquired about the 45ACP because that is probably the only handgun readily available. I doubt that the larger hunting calibers are available in Cambodia (unless you have $$$). In the Philippines the 45ACP is considered the king of handguns.

SONICMASD
October 6, 2005, 03:11 AM
i remember seeing a post awhile ago from a guy who was charged by a black bear and drew his desert eagle 50AE and the thing just dropped. I remember he said it cracked bone and just kept on going.

What do i think?

honestly, I think shot placement is the bottom line. A bear skull wont even stop smaller loads than 45ACP. sure a 9mm is a bad choice especially if a bear is charging but no matter what caliber (9mm and up i'd say) in the head you should be able to stop the attack. Although I would prefer a 45ACP at the very least.

Geno
October 6, 2005, 07:14 AM
Browing designed the cartridge to be able to kill a horse to stop the charge. But, that was with a 230 grain FMJ, not a hollow point. Can a bullet kill or how effective/efficient or moreover how prudent the bullet are all very different considerations.

I have had Russian Boar (most consider these the black bear's equal) soak up 300 grain FMJs and run on 200+ yards over 4 minutes time. I have it on video. I have also dropped Russian boars in their tracks at 33 yards with one shot from an Encore .444 Marlin with 240 grain hollow points.

For my comfort, I would NEVER hunt bear with a .45 ACP. I wouldn't hunt one with less than a rifle bullet .444 Marlin or .45/70 Gov't. in an Encore, if I were to use a pistol at all; and I probably would not. Even then, I would have a nice 12 gauge shotgun with slugs over my shoulder.

If you ever want to understand fully why, read Larry Kelly's (Mag-N-Port's) book, and his experience with bear using a .454 Casull!

Doc2005

killzone
October 6, 2005, 09:15 AM
.45 would be my choice of weapon against a back bear,,, HEAD sHOT maN tHAT THE WAY TO GO... ;)

Carl N. Brown
October 6, 2005, 12:50 PM
Head shots with a .45 on a charging bear are not easy.

Recently fired both 45 ACP from 5" pistol and 16" carbine
at my swinging metal target at 60 yards. The bullets smeared
lead and jacket metal on the metal plate (3/8 inch or 10mm thick).
Fired three rounds of .357 Mag (125 gr Remington) and
had three craters in the plate that bulged the other side.

My son has seen bears while ATVing on my uncles farm.
I think I will leave my .45 at home and take the .357 with
158 gr (only for self-defense kill-or-be-killed encounter).
When camping there three years ago I took a 12 gauge
double with buckshot for protection. Not easy to carry
readily on an ATV.

Shootcraps
October 6, 2005, 05:06 PM
It amazes me that people would even consider 45ACP against a bear. The cartridge just doesn't have enough power against that type of animal. It's not that freakin' complicated. :rolleyes:

Bwana John
October 7, 2005, 01:20 AM
If I was really that worryed about bears Id have a 12 guage with slugs. Because all we got around here is blackies, I aint that worryed.

Byron Quick
October 7, 2005, 01:42 AM
I like the idea of my Marlin Guide Gun. When the bear charges my 1911 can stay where it'll do the most good. In my holster.

carnaby
October 7, 2005, 02:05 AM
well, all I have is a kimber ultra compact .45 1911. So if I go hiking it goes with me. I don't go anywhere ordinary unarmed hikers don't go anyway, and if I encounter a black bear (no griz around here), then I'll try to avoid it first. If it comes to the worst case scenario and the bear attacks, I'm certainly not going to keep the 1911 in the holster because it's not good enough.

And who here would shoot at a charging bear at 60 yards? If you had that kind of distance between you and the bear, get behind a damn tree or rock and wait till you can see the blacks of his eyes.

Better to have the bear shoving an empty 1911 up your aSh than a full one. With or without the bacon grease or short barrel. :p

I do like the idea of pepper spray, in that if the bear is that close and you pepper both him and yourself, it'd be a good AFHV moment with the two of you rolling on the ground in mutual agony. :)

Sir Aardvark
October 7, 2005, 03:21 AM
I remember reading this thread at the beginning of the year.

About 10 years ago or so there was a cow that got off a cattle truck on a freeway nearby; the local cops shot the thing about 40 times with their .45 ACP handguns and could not kill the thing.

It was pretty hilarious - in a sad sort of way - watching these cops on the news unload on a cow that would not die.

If 40 shots from a .45 ACP will not kill a cow, how good do you think it will do against a bear?.

(If I remember correctly, this happened on Interstate 5 in Orange County, California and it was Buena Park PD and CHP involved in the shooting - shotguns were involved too, but also lacked the penetration necessary - look it up if you don't believe me)

jashobeam
October 7, 2005, 05:35 AM
I will begin by saying that though I am not an expert, I have read many books and articles about people's encounters with bears, both black and grizzly. Just as there is much debate over which handgun calibers offer the best and most consistent stopping power against humans--with stories and statistics on how each caliber has at one time or another failed to incapacitate a human being in the way it was expected to--there exist accounts of bears failing to succomb to "proven" bear cartridges, in both hunting and defense scenarios. Killing or stopping a bear depends on the placement of a sufficiently powerful bullet (objective); deterring a bear depends largely on the bear (subjective). To bet on the subjective is to gamble with your life.

Shooting a grizzly in the chest is not the best way to stop it from attacking. There are a number of stories of bears continuing to charge and attack even after their hearts had been completely shot out. The bear must be stopped; a wound, even a fatal wound, that fails to accomplish this is useless.

A charging bear must be disabled; he must be rendered incapable of rapid forward movement. Many people recommend shooting at a bear's shoulder so as to break the foreleg or damage the shoulder girdle.

Severing the spine by shooting a grizzly bear in the hump located on his back between his shoulders has been shown to drop a charging grizzly. It seems to me that this would require a very good shot and a steady hand.

Head shots. Someone posted in this thread that even smallish calibers, like the 9mm, are capable of penetrating a grizzly bear's skull. While I am not competent to say which calibers will or will not penetrate a griz's skull, I will say that there are many, many stories of grizzly bears being shot in the head, face, and jaw with sufficiently large and powerful rifle cartridges but with little initial effect. Bears have been known to pick up grown men in their mouths though their jaws have been practically blown apart on one side. My point is that a head shot may not necessarily be a brain shot, and, therefore, may not save your skin.

There are also several accounts of bears, after being shot in the face with .38's and .357's, dancing around wildly while slapping themselves in the face as if stung by a bee.

While some bears are frightened off by warning shots, others pay absolutely no attention.

OTOH, A .45 ACP, or any other horribly inadequate cartridge, may serve the same purpose with which one man employed his knife: he inflicted later-to-be-fatal wounds on a grizzly bear by stabbing it repeatedly in the stomach as it lay atop him chewing on his head and face.

BTW, I think a .45 ACP might prove useful in deterring--possibly even stopping/killing--a black bear. If you choose, however, to protect yourself in grizzly/brown bear country with a .45 ACP, save yourself some embarrassment and don't tell anyone you meet that you brought such a gun for that purpose. There are many good books on bear safety, such as Bear Attacks--The Deadly Truth, by James Gary Shelton. Read, read, read, and read some more. Also, read my post about Bear Spray--it works.

cookekdjr
October 7, 2005, 09:23 AM
I've done alot of reading about repelling bear attacks, and a few things have stuck out in my mind.
One is, a 9mm in your hand beats a 30-06 in the truck.
A bear self defense gun is one you will ALWAYS have with you, available at a quick draw. It is not a bear hunting gun. It is a self defense weapon, designed to slow the bear long enough for you to get to your rifle or for your friends to help you out. Its better to have a Glock 19 that you will always have at your side than a .454 that you sometimes leave in the tent because its to heavy and uncomfortable.
For me, I'd want either a lightweight seven-shot .357 revolver, or something Glock-like in 9mm/.40/.45/10mm. I'd also want friends with me who also had always everywhere guns with them.
RE: Ammo choice, no hollow points allowed. FMJ and hard-cast only.
I know what I'm saying sounds radical, but I have not found a single report of someone dying from a bear attack where they got a shot off. In every case where the person was got off a shot, they made it out ok. Either the bear was killed by the pistol, or the pistol slowed the bear down enough for other friends to shoot the bear with their pistols, too, or the pistol slowed down the bear enough for someone to get their rifle.
Bottom line, everybody who got off a shot lived. None were mauled either.
Don't think of the pistol as a bear hunting gun.
Think of it as peppar spray +P. :)
-David

jashobeam
October 7, 2005, 03:15 PM
I know what I'm saying sounds radical, but I have not found a single report of someone dying from a bear attack where they got a shot off. In every case where the person was got off a shot, they made it out ok. Either the bear was killed by the pistol, or the pistol slowed the bear down enough for other friends to shoot the bear with their pistols, too, or the pistol slowed down the bear enough for someone to get their rifle.
Bottom line, everybody who got off a shot lived. None were mauled either.
Don't think of the pistol as a bear hunting gun.
Think of it as peppar spray +P.

Sir, I do not know what form of literature you have read that would have given you such false information; I can only assume that it was either a very limited selection of stories or it was a fictional work. While forums are for sharing opinions, to give dangerous advice such as you did potentially places others' lives in jeopardy.

"Bottom line, everybody who got off a shot lived. None were mauled either." How unfounded a claim is that? Partially consumed victims have been found with their recently fired weapons nearby. In some of these cases, the bears were never found. Did you simply disregard everything I wrote? Full-size rifles chambered in .30-06, .300 and .338 Win. Mag. fired at a charging bear have at times been ineffective at "slowing down" a bear; how then would a small pistol "slow down" a charging grizzly well enough to allow someone to retrieve a larger weapon? Many people with whom a grizzly makes contact end up scalped.

.44 Magnums have been successfully utilized to drop grizzly/brown bears in their tracks. Any handgun at least as powerful as a .44 Magnum should therefore have the potential of renderring a bear incapable of following through with its attack.

I must leave for work now or I would site references of specific attacks where firearms were involved but proved unable to prevent actual contact and subsequent mauling.

BTW, pepper spray is far more effective than an inadequately powered cartridge or a poorly placed shot.

cookekdjr
October 7, 2005, 03:57 PM
I must leave for work now or I would site references of specific attacks where firearms were involved but proved unable to prevent actual contact and subsequent mauling.
Please do, I'd love to read them.
I will say, I have never shot a bear, and I have no first hand experience with them.
I was considering taking a job in Alaska. That led to me reading quite a bit on bear attacks.
While I found multiple instances where bears seemed unaffected when shot by large-caliber rifles, these stories all related to the hunting and pursuit of bears.
The bear self-defense stories all had one recurrent theme:

The person had a handgun on their person, ready to draw and fire.

Many folks had hi-powered rifles, were charged by bears, but couldn't raise the rifle fast enough. So they were injured and/or killed, even when their buddies were able to respond with rifle fire to kill or repel the bear.

But the folks with handguns on their hips all lived (calibers included 9mm, .45 LC, 10mm, .44 mag, and .40 S&W).
However, that was just my research on the internet. I would love to see any evidence to the contrary. I'd rather learn that I was wrong and learn from it than be right and be ignorant. :)
Please post whatever you find,

Thanks,

David

JShirley
October 7, 2005, 03:59 PM
I'll second the previous post. Off the top of my head, I think of a case where a man hunting elk was attacked by either a griz or a brown after taking his elk. He unsuccessfully attempted to stop the bear with his .270...I *think* the bear died later, but the man definitely did.

John

jashobeam
October 8, 2005, 03:09 AM
Thank you for seeking the truth on an important subject such as defending oneself against a bear attack. BTW, I absolutely love reading stories about bear attacks and bear encounters of all kinds. The most interesting aspects have less to do with the physical damage done by the bear and more to do with the amount of damage the human body can sustain and endure, and the thought process of the victim during the attack and the psychological impact that results, often lasting for many years. The following people used guns on bears but were still unable to prevent contact and subsequent mauling.

The first story is from More Alaska Bear Tales by Larry Kaniut. On pages 168-170 a grizzly mauling victim, Jack Naus, tells his own story in a letter written to the book's author. I will pick up the story where the bear comes in.

"As Dave cried, "It's big, whatever it is!" a medium-sized brown/grizzly bear, weighing three hundred to four hundred pounds, broke through brush and charged from approximately thirty yards away.

"Dave jumped to his right and I to my left, allowing room for the bear to escape. About ten yards into its charge, the bear made a sudden ninety-degree turn toward me. I immediately snapped off a shot--using a .300 Winchester Magnum, 180-grain factory loads--hitting the bear between the head and the left shoulder. He was so close that I saw the dust fly. He bowled over.

"As I fired, I had a feeling my bullet wouldn't stop him, and sure enough, the bear made a forward roll and bounced back onto his feet. Although Dave later told me that I fired in rapid succession, the next few seconds seemed to take place in slow motion. When I reloaded, I thought the round was never going to chamber. My next shot must have hit his skull as I tripped and fell backwards. I still carry lead in my right arm from where the bullet fragmented and ricocheted into my arm. That's how close he was!

"The next thing I knew, I had a large brown bear with his jaws wrapped around my hip. At that point, things got hazy. Dave shouted at me to lay down and take it easy. He shot the bear twice, and the animal false charged Dave and then ran back into the woods.

"I sustained about five half-inch round punture wounds spread below my navel and around my left hip to my buttocks; a five-inch gash on the inner left leg and groin; a gash from the mid-cheek of my face to the top of my ear; and four to six entry wounds on my left arm from my own bullet."



300-400 lbs. is a relatively small grizzly; a .300 Winchester Magnum is a large and powerful weapon. The second story is from the same book, pages 178-183, told by the victim, Ben Moore. Again, I will pick up the story where the bear enters it.

"I came to a wide, open clearing, and I lifted my binoculars to glass for animals. Suddenly, I noticed a bear through the glasses, and my heart skipped a beat. The image was so close it was fuzzy. The bear was on the same ridge where I was standing, about one hundred feet away. At about the same time I put the binoculars down, the bear stood up on his hind legs with his head above the brush. It bobbed its head, opened its mouth and looked at me for severa secons, then dropped out of sight.

"I was a little startled, but not too concerned about being in danger. I've read quite a bit about bears and figured if I didn't react, the bear would move on. I relaxed, standing perfectly still. As I was glancing around, the brush exploded and I saw a ball of fur hurling toward me like it had been shot out of the bushes. I reached down and pulled out my revolver, a .357 Ruger single-action. By the time I drew and cocked my gun, the bear had practically reached the end of the barrel. I pulled the trigger, hitting the bear somewhere in the chest.

"Still the bear charged forward, grabbing me by my lower right leg as he ran by. He picked me up, swung me over his head and actually threw me like I was a feather pillow. I landed on a rock several feet away, barely hitting the ground before the bear was on top of me, chewing my upper right leg.

"Miraculously, I hadn't dropped my revolver and managed to get off another shot; but I was shaking so uncontrollably that I completely missed the bear. I struggled to cock the gun again, fired and hit the animal in the stomach, about a foot from my face. A huge hole opened up in its abdomen and blood poured from the wound, but the injury only angered the bear more. It grabbed me by the head, picked me up and shook. As I heard the bones in my face cracking, the bear dropped me. I fell on my back, staring up at the bear directly over me with its mouth open. The grizzly saw me move and came down for my head again. But as the bear lowered its head, I lifted my right arm, cocked the gun and jammed the pistol clear into its mouth. I pulled the trigger. The timing was perfect. When I fired that final shot, the pistol and my hands were in the bear's mouth.

"The bear shook its head and shuddered. It reared back and took a powerful swing at me with its paw. And, almost as if the bear knew what had caused the hurt, it tried to knock the gun out of the way, but I clasped it tightly with both hands. Then the bear staggered over the ridge and down into the brush."

"My nose was actually hanging off..."

A quick comparison in ballistics:
The energy of a .300 Winchester Magnum at 0 yards is between 3500 and 3800 ft-lb.

The energy of a .357 Magnum at 0 yards is between 400 and 625 ft-lb.

10 mm: 425-649 ft-lb.
.41 Magnum: 600-790 ft-lb.
.44 Magnum: 720-1035 ft-lb.
.45 ACP: 320-540 ft-lb.
.454 Casull: 938-1923 ft-lb.

This post is long enough, but quickly: The energy of a cartridge does make a difference in terms of penetration and damage. If a .300 Win. Mag. is able to glance off of a bear's skull or fragment and ricochet, how can anyone suspect that an inferior (less powerful) cartridge could possibly do any better? Carry the most powerful weapon possible. If someone would like, I could site stories in which bear spray successully repelled a bear.

In the book Arctic Homestead by Norma Cobb and Charles W. Sasser, Norma tells of her husband Les Cobb successfully killing charging grizzly bears with his .44 Magnum revolver on several occasions.

JShirley
October 8, 2005, 03:53 AM
I remember reading an article in one of the gun rags several years ago. It talked about close-range testing of various firearms to determine their efficacy on charging bear. (If someone remembers the article or test in question, please chime in.)

Anyway, as in other types of "hunting"- yes, I know this is self-defense, but it's against a dangerous game animal- the velocity of the round had to be considered, along with construction. With some calibers, extreme close range made an effective hunting round a poor SD round, due to the higher velocity. A bullet that might work wonderfully at 150 yards might fragment at 5.

Since this was several years ago, the velocity problem is probably no longer an issue with premium bullets, but it's something to consider.

John

Art Eatman
October 8, 2005, 11:05 AM
I've been reading stories about bear attacks since somewhere back fifty-plus years ago.

Rifle? Pistol? Shotgun?

Sometimes any of the above; sometimes none of the above.

Luck. Puredee luck.

I joined on with TFL in 1998. Been reading lots of bear stories there and here from Alaskan residents. The consensus of their opinions over the years has been that a .44 Mag is a beginning, a minimum cartridge.

FWIW, Art

cookekdjr
October 8, 2005, 09:43 PM
Jashobeam,
thank you for sharing what you have found. I have little doubt that the stories are true. I have read many accounts of bears being unfazed by EVERY caliber of gun, with the possible exception of the 45-70.
Considering all the information above, I think there is no way to bear-proof yourself when going into their habitat. Its just not possible.
That being said, I'd change little of I have recommended. It seems there is little difference in the failure/success rate of handguns and rifles in repelling bear attacks, regardless of the huge differences in velocity and muzzle energy. Although I'd rather hunt a bear with a high-caliber rifle than a .40 cal Glock, I'm more likely to keep the glock at my side when fly-fishing. And when a bear is charging, it seems like little can stop him.
I guess the best solution I can think of is to have at least one friend with you, for both of you to have handguns, and both to have a rifle nearby.
Finally, both of you need good life insurance, because there are no guarantees with a big, charging bear...

LHB1
October 9, 2005, 12:01 AM
If anyone is foolish enough to choose a .45 ACP as personal protection from a bear attack, would you please name a good charity group as beneficiary on your insurance policy beforehand?

Good shooting and be safe.
LB

Horsesense
October 9, 2005, 01:35 AM
There is no sure thing when it comes to bearsespecially Grizzlies, bigger is always better!

That being said, about two years ago on the Russian River, a guy killed a charging sow griz, who was protecting her cub, with a 9mm! I dont recommend that you try the same but it illustrates that anything can happen.

I also know of two grizzlies being killed with a .357 and one black bear that was on a killing spree, something like six dead people, and it was killed with a .38

Then there was the guy who shot a griz several times, point blank in the chest with a .44 mag and it didnt stop it. His buddy shot it with a rifle and when they skinned it, they found the .44 slugs panicked on the breastbone, the guy was using hollow points.

All in all I would say that some of the key words to keep in mind are: luck, big heavy hard cast solid slugs, luck, shot placement, luck and the ability to shoot fast.

I have also heard of people using fire works to stop an aggressive griz.


PS: I wouldn't recommend a .45 to stop a charging griz, but I'm sure it would make for an interesting story.

horge
October 9, 2005, 06:31 AM
Originally posted by hillbilly
I figure any bear in the world would be instantly dead once you ran over it with 45 armored personnel carriers.......

That's just vicious, hillbilly :D

Glad we don't have bears in this corner of Asia.
The crocs can be a handful, though.

Shootcraps
October 9, 2005, 09:52 AM
That being said, about two years ago on the Russian River, a guy killed a charging sow griz, who was protecting her cub, with a 9mm! I dont recommend that you try the same but it illustrates that anything can happen.


Yes, anything can happen. But do you want to roll those dice and bet your life on it?? I sure wouldn't because that's called a sucker bet. :what:

cookekdjr
October 10, 2005, 09:14 AM
That being said, about two years ago on the Russian River, a guy killed a charging sow griz, who was protecting her cub, with a 9mm! I dont recommend that you try the same but it illustrates that anything can happen.
I was shocked at how many stories I found like that by running various google searches on bear attacks. The stories were typically newspaper accounts from Alaska.
If the above account is the same one I read, the guy was using 124 gr fmj ammo. He shot the bear in the shoulder, disabling the bear, and then he and the other fisherman finished the bear off with their handguns. His buddy had a shotgun, but could not get it raised fast enough to fire it, and ended up throwing the gun at the bear.
The inability of folks relying on long guns to shoulder and fire them fast enough to repel the attack was a common occurrance in my research.
-David

rborensr
October 12, 2005, 01:06 AM
I had a bad expierience with a black bear and a 357. After it was all said and done the bear finally died but after only one of the rounds making it into the vitals. The others were cureled up just under the skin :eek: . The longest show was 20 feet. After that eye opening event, I gave my brother back his 357 and went a bought a dessert eagle 44mag and am very profissiant with it. I have a 45 also, but that is for fun and self defense only and not for the outdoors. Animals are way too resilliant and you need all of the help you can get.

Cosmoline
October 12, 2005, 03:02 AM
What loads and bullets were you using? I've test-fired 200 grain hardcast .357 through dead moose for testing, and they drove right through no problem. It sounds like you were shooting 125 grain HP self defense rounds or something along those lines.

spacemanspiff
October 12, 2005, 12:11 PM
That being said, about two years ago on the Russian River, a guy killed a charging sow griz, who was protecting her cub, with a 9mm! I dont recommend that you try the same but it illustrates that anything can happen.
I was shocked at how many stories I found like that by running various google searches on bear attacks. The stories were typically newspaper accounts from Alaska.
If the above account is the same one I read, the guy was using 124 gr fmj ammo. He shot the bear in the shoulder, disabling the bear, and then he and the other fisherman finished the bear off with their handguns. His buddy had a shotgun, but could not get it raised fast enough to fire it, and ended up throwing the gun at the bear.
The inability of folks relying on long guns to shoulder and fire them fast enough to repel the attack was a common occurrance in my research.
i know the guys from this incident. need to make a few clarifications.
the sow wasnt charging, it just got too close for comfort, most likely it was looking to snatch some of the fish that had already been caught (bears are learning that they can easily get fish strung on a line left by fishers who exit because of the bears presence). it did have a cub, not a young one though.

the first guy who saw it had a shotgun slung on his back, but couldnt remember if he had chambered a round, so he threw the shotgun at the bear and yelled for help, then dove into the river.

his two buddies turned around after hearing him yell, didnt see him diving underwater, only saw the bear. one had a ruger p89, the other a sks. both opened fire, as i recall 7 or 9 shots were fired. one of the bullets did indeed shatter the bears shoulder. a few more headshots were delivered to make sure the bear was dead. the 9mm rounds were indeed fmj, i forget if it was 124 or 147 gr.

although fish and game determined it was a good shoot, i am told that some of the locals were not convinced. by the guys own words, the bear was not charging, did not do any of the things an attacking bear normally does, but they were indeed in fear for their safety nonetheless.

oh yeah, they couldnt find the shotgun that was thrown, but a few weeks later another fisher hooked on to it. instead of trying to work the action, the angler aims the muzzle into the air, and pulls the trigger.
it was loaded.

rborensr
October 12, 2005, 12:36 PM
Cosmoline,
158 gr jaketed soft pionts. There wasn't any hollowpoints I save those for home. I realize now that a good hard cast would have done the job, but I take no chances. I was young then but now am a bit older. I loaded up some 180 gr laser cast bullets, have you tried those?

Gunpacker
October 13, 2005, 01:56 AM
First case, as told in Elmer Keith book, related that one of his hunting companions killed a grizz with a 9mm Luger.
Second case is one that I saw on TV. Park ranger was releasing a trapped grizz from a big round container. He pulled up the door while standing on top of the trap about 6-7 ft. off the ground. Bear came out and promptly pulled him off the top of the trap. He defended himself with a .357 mag. handgun and killed the bear. I have carried both .357 and .45 acp in bear country, since they were the only choices I had at the time in handguns. Didn't have to use them. They were carried using the "any gun is better than no gun" theory.
That said, if one has a choice, a heavy caliber such as .44 mag mimimum is much more sensible, and is the logical choice. These too are not adequate for a fast stop without a CNS hit, but if handgun is the only choice, that is the intelligent route to go.

tango3065
October 15, 2005, 10:49 PM
If I lived in grizzly country I would even go in the woods with a pump 12 with slugs, but thats just me. PS dont trust your life to a 45 when facing a bear (no flames intended just my honest opinion)

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