Gunshop conversation - SCARY!


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Airwolf
April 17, 2003, 09:15 PM
I was at the toy store today. Turner’s had Beretta 9000’s on clearance for $360 – got a .40S&W and my GF put a Browning Hi-Power MkIII on layaway.

Anyway, I had this customer ask me if I shot handguns. “Yes”, I responded and he told me that he’s a shotgunner only and began asking some questions.

First one was “What’s the difference between a Beretta (the 9000 in this case) and a Ruger P series?” Something about “Ferrari vs. Chevy” came to mind but I bit my tongue and told him the Beretta was a finer fit and finish, something that I’d take greater care of. The Ruger is simpler and something that I’d be more likely to use a “toss in the bag and forget about” ruff-and-ready weapon. I’ve fired a P-95 and found it to be a good shooter. My GF has a Cougar 8000 and 96 Elite II. He then told me he backpacked in Montana from time to time and wanted something as a backpack gun for bears and really liked the how the Beretta felt in his hands.

:what:

I told him that a 9mm or a .40S&W was NOT suitable for bears and he acknowledged that with a “Yeah, it would be a last resort thing... Better to avoid the situation in the first place.”

I ended up getting pulled away to finish the paperwork on the 9000 before I could make some realistic recommendations. I *REALLY* hope that the sales people managed to talk him into a .44mag or 10mm.

I feel so fortunate that I used the collective knowledge available at TFL and other sites and did nearly a year of research before buying my first gun. I have a very hard time believing that someone would even imagine using a small caliber handgun for bear defense.

The encounter really opened my eyes to the fact that just because you own a gun doesn’t mean that you know anything about firearms (or anything beyond what you own).

Scary stuff. :scrutiny:

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Safety First
April 17, 2003, 09:21 PM
Yup Airwolf, You are right, and with that I second this is a great place to further your knowlege about guns as well as interesting reading,great since of humour by many of the posters here..

gudel
April 17, 2003, 09:24 PM
he's probably new in handguns, i think it's acceptable and reasonable to ask questions specially in things that you dont know about. the gun shop people would've told him not to use small caliber for bear.
i suppose you don't mind that he asked you? not a big deal, and definitely not scary.

SodaPop
April 17, 2003, 09:30 PM
The encounter really opened my eyes to the fact that just because you own a gun doesn’t mean that you know anything about firearms (or anything beyond what you own).

I was yelled at by this idiot at my gun club for some unbelievable stuff. A few months ago, while walking back from the 500yd targets he asked me what bullet weight I was shooting and what my barrel twist was. After I told him he started yelling at me for shooting 69gr .223 rounds out of a 1-9 twist barrel at a 500yd target. He said that the bullets won't be stabilized unless it's a 1-7 twist. While he was scolding me I was holding a 12inch target in my hands that had 29 holes in it out of 30rds rounds:rolleyes: I guess if I had a 1-7 I wouldn't have missed that one round.:confused:

He also told me I shouldn't practice shooting at a 50yd target with my Colt 1991A1 because I would never have to shoot that far in a self defense situation. I was like "I'm just target shooting.":rolleyes:

His points on self defense were laughable. I asked him if he was ever in a self defense situation where someone tried to kill him and he said, "NO" and then I started talking about an incedent that happened to me and he finally shut up.

TFL members were far above the average shmoe. I learned so much by hanging out there.

goon
April 17, 2003, 09:42 PM
"I told him that a 9mm or a .40S&W was NOT suitable for bears and he acknowledged that with a “Yeah, it would be a last resort thing... Better to avoid the situation in the first place.” "

That depends on the bear.
If you are just talking about a regular 200 or so pound black bear, then a .40 should do OK. Not ideal, but definitely not useless either.
If you are talking about a Grizz... well then I must concede that you are right.

mothernatureson
April 17, 2003, 09:57 PM
guess the best gun, is the one you happen to have with you at the time.

blades67
April 17, 2003, 10:13 PM
A 9mm will take a bear down. All you have to do is shoot it in one of its eyes.:neener:

Airwolf
April 17, 2003, 10:21 PM
i suppose you don't mind that he asked you?

Oh, absolutely not! I'm always willing to help someone out when asked, up to the limit of my knowledge. I'm also glad that he had the inclination to ask someone to answer his questions. I'm firmly in the camp of “the only stupid question is the one that doesn't get asked.”

I guess I'm really so used to researching the heck out of most things I get involved with before showing up to make a purchase that the encounter caught me off guard. Most gunshop Q&A’s (for me) usually revolve around reliability and accuracy type questions.

I personally wouldn't be too thrilled heading into the Montana backwoods with only a 9 or a .40 at hand.

ahadams
April 17, 2003, 10:34 PM
the line that goes something like "sure that will work, as long as you're sure you can shoot them between the eyes" works not only with regard to bears and 9mm's it's also a good response to *almost* anyone who says they're going to use a .22 pistol for self-defense. anybody else ever heard that one?

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
April 17, 2003, 11:59 PM
I suppose your Nimrod has a fantasy of being a bear chewtoy. Maybe he should stick to bird hunting. Most places that is popular are not frequented by bears as far as I recall.

Regards,
Rabbit.

JackC
April 18, 2003, 12:45 AM
I told him that a 9mm or a .40S&W was NOT suitable for bears and he acknowledged that with a “Yeah, it would be a last resort thing... Better to avoid the situation in the first place.”

Sort of depends on who he was planning on shooting, the bear or himself!!:)
Jack

goon
April 18, 2003, 01:37 AM
There was a guy a little while back who killed a Grizzly with his 9mm. He was lucky, that much is true, but it shows that it can be done.
As for shooting the bear between the eyes, you would be better off to stick with Blade67's post of hitting it in the eye. A bear's skull is a little bit pointed in the area between the eyes, and if a bullet strikes it the right way, it will glance off. Well, at least according to some of the old timers that I know. I have never had cause to shoot at a bear, so I can't say for sure.
Personally, I would prefer my scout to any pistol that I can carry.
But, I only have 9mm pistols, nothing bigger.
So I carry a 9mm in the woods. It is better than nothing, and better than the rifle that I left at home because it was too clumsy to carry.
I have never seen a bear over 300 lbs (approx.), eventhough I have walked up on more than a few when I have been hiking, or hunting. They have always just kinda wandered off and done their own thing.
I don't really worry too much about the black bears that I see around here. I never try to sneak up on them, but I am often just quiet enough that they don't hear me before I see them. To the contrary, it is actually kinda cool to see a bear fairly close (not too close).
There are people who go their whole lives and never get to see them in the wild.
I guess I am just lucky.:neener:

CZ-75
April 18, 2003, 01:57 AM
The encounter really opened my eyes to the fact that just because you own a gun doesn’t mean that you know anything about firearms (or anything beyond what you own).

These are the same gunowners who think you don't need "assault" rifles, more than 10 rounds, or semi-autos.

I suppose your Nimrod has a fantasy of being a bear chewtoy. Maybe he should stick to bird hunting. Most places that is popular are not frequented by bears as far as I recall.

Then he can sue the ammo maker. :rolleyes:

general
April 18, 2003, 02:24 AM
I too, have learned much hanging out on the gun boards. I trust you will point him in the direction of them if you should happen to see him again. Information on so many topics I've had questions about, get posted and analized and reputed and disected that it's far better than asking just one person or salesman or gunrag. The knowledgable usually preface or close their statements with "IMHO" or "in my experience" and the like. The only true measure of the value of any information is what you do with it.
As for bear.... any gun handy......hopefully .44 mag. 'cause if I knew I was going into bear country, I would try to have the foresight to bring the right tool for any job that might "bear" its' teeth at me.

cslinger
April 18, 2003, 09:20 AM
to kill yourself should a grizzly come a charging. Better than getting mawled by a just shot very angry bear in any case.

Chris

twoblink
April 18, 2003, 09:50 AM
Usually, they get a case or two up in Oregon a year, where my friend works as a park ranger... Bear attacks.

He said that they were shown before, shots at some black bears (I think) shot with a 9mm. Didn't penetrate past the fat...

His boss said "If you don't feel the bear is charging at you fast enough... shoot him with a 9mm.. It will piss him off and have him charge at you faster.."

Maybe a 90mm gun will kill it, but not a 9mm unless that shot was placed up his nose, and even then, I'm not convinced that a big black or a griz will go down like that..

Have you SEEN the claws on those things? 6" is sometimes a bit conservative!!

Just remember folks..

Bears run faster than you,
Bears climb better than you (both up AND down a tree)
Bears swim faster than you
Bears can run for greater distances than you
And please, don't believe the circus acts about wrestling bears.. If you engage in hand to hand combat with a bear.. KISS YOUR FANNY GOODBYE.

Want to hunt a bear with a handgun? Try a bigger caliber than a 9mm.. like a 454...

oldfart
April 18, 2003, 12:20 PM
Ok, I have a little experience with blackies. Much of what has been said here is true-- a bigger gun is usually a better gun when dealing with bears. But shot placement is probably the most important point.

If all you have is a handgun and a frontal shot at a bear, you'd better hit it in the eye. I've sawn a skull in half and I can tell you that even with relatively small bears, the front of the skull is pretty thick. Trying to carefully place a shot in the eye while the bear is charging takes a better man than I.

On the other hand, if you can get a shot at the back of the head, a .22 will do the job. The bone between the ears and the back of the neck is relatively thin, rarely more than 1/8". Of course, getting close enough to reach around an put the muzzle of your .22 pistol to the back of his head might be a bit of an adventure too...

This applies only to black bears, not grizzlys. I've never shot a griz, only seen them from a distance. If I had to shoot one of them with a handgun, I'd use a custom model, something developed from an surplus anti-tank weapon.

Justin
April 18, 2003, 12:40 PM
For everyone who's talking smack about the shotgunner that Airwolf met, please remember that we were all beginners at one point in time, and just because a person can shoot in one discpline doesn't make him an expert at all of them.
Also keep in mind that the guy was asking him about choosing a handgun. Airwolf's posts don't say anything about him coming down on handguns or "assault rifles."

Croyance
April 18, 2003, 12:50 PM
The best way to learn is to ask questions and really listen to the answers. Thinking about the answers speeds up the process.
We were all put on this earth knowing nothing except how to fill diapers and how to cry.
Guns are no different from anything else. Just because you have a driver's liscense doesn't mean you are a good driver, or understand what makes a car suitable for specific tasks.
The best teachers, in my experience, remember what it was like to not know. From there, they figure out how to answer each question in a way that the student can understand.

CZ-75
April 18, 2003, 01:16 PM
For everyone who's talking smack about the shotgunner that Airwolf met, please remember that we were all beginners at one point in time, and just because a person can shoot in one discpline doesn't make him an expert at all of them.


That may be so, but I find shotgunners to encompass more than their share of lukewarm supporters of RKBA. Even some pretty big-time anti-gun demokrats own shotguns, like Andrew Cuomo, to name one. England still lets subjects own shotguns.

I didn't own any guns about five or six years ago, but always knew I wanted many, and not of any one type. I see someone who can own just shotguns for a big chunk of his life as someone who doesn't feel any great affinity for firearms and not likely to understand why I want full caps and black rifles. I fully expect this guy will own "a" handgun and that's it.

I could be wrong and I am stereotyping (not just for hispanics who don't speak English and wear "gang" type clothing anymore). I can live with that.

Andrew Wyatt
April 18, 2003, 01:17 PM
Why use a pistol? he has a shotgun. a butt cuff with some slugs on it would be both cheaper and more effective.

larry_minn
April 18, 2003, 01:38 PM
Why are folks ragging on the guy who asked questions? He is in the top 80% or better. He is THINKING (WHAT IF) and asking questions in areas he has no knowledge. So boost him up to 95%.
How many folks go into the same area with only a camera and maybe a cell phone for protection? I ran across a black bear and only had a flashlight. (Not allowed weapons when working with Juvi deliq) I have hiked in many bear areas where it is Fed. land and out of state that allows me to carry. So I go BEAR handed. :)
I think unless you are near its cubs the noise from first shot might cause it to stop its charge. I would be truthfully more worried about 2 legged animals then 4 legged ones.

Jay Bakerr
April 18, 2003, 02:18 PM
I see some very bad advice here, on "shooting a charging bear IN THE EYE."

Absolutely not!

If you look at a bear's skull, head on -- and that's the way he'll be charging you -- you'll see that his eyes protrude OUTSIDE his skull. If you shoot him "in the eye," all you're doing is knocking out one eye... and really urinating him off at you! And he's still coming at you full bore.

Yes, the skull between the eyes is thick, and a round could easily ricochet off that hard palate. The trick is to shoot him in the nose/mouth, and the bullet will course right straight into the brain. Lights out, then and there.

As I type this, I am looking straight at the skull of a Black bear I killed several years ago, with my .41 Magnum S&W 57. The skull is an official B&C 18 12/16 inches. The bear weighed between 350/400 pounds. That mouth/nose channel, is the primary and most effective target, when a bear's charging you.

Now, if a Black bear, or Griz, were standing sideways, then the shot into the eye, would likely penetrate to the brain. But if he's standing sideways, not charging, nor bothering you, why shoot him?? Unless you're actually bear hunting.

(I killed another Black bear -- about 250 pounds -- with my .280 Rem., but that was a heart/lung/clipped spine shot.)

Shoot for the mouth/nose, boys & girls: forget that "eye shot."

FWIW. J.B.

ball3006
April 18, 2003, 03:24 PM
to be aware of your surroundings. Living in bear country is like living in the city. Have to keep an eye out for anything. Unless you are in really heavy cover you should see the bear quite a ways off, unless you are the type that is letting little Johnny or Mary feed the bear a cookie because it looks cute. On the other hand, any gun is better than none......chris3

popbang
April 18, 2003, 03:42 PM
I always love the responses that come up when bears and handguns are mentioned. I guess nobody ever carried a handgun and shot a bear with a handgun before the 44 Magnum was created. :rolleyes:

45R
April 18, 2003, 03:56 PM
Gunshop or gun talk can be scary.



Had a chat with a Walmart employee about handgun calliber rounds. I was picking up a few boxes of Wally World 9mm 100ct when he started rambling about ever since the war people have been buying 9mm like its going out of style.

Said 9mm is very common.......then started the whole 9mm vs. 45ACP debate. (I am a huge supporter of shot placement with the biggest caliber gun that you can shoot accurately)

So here he goes saying that the 45ACP is the best round in the world and its more plentiful in our military then 9mm ammo.:banghead: (Sure buddy, most of our troops are carrying the Beretta, with exception of some special units who choose to use the .45ACP)

He goes off rambling that the Air Force carries .45s all the time. (No knowledge of that particular military branch so I left that alone)

I said hey I dont care if people are stocking up on ammo I just want to go shooting tomorrow with my Sig and I need 9mm. So he tells me that he guarantee's me if he were to shoot someone in the knee cap that it would knock them down. (I can shoot someone in the patella with a .22 and it would knock them down.)

This guy states that he was in the military for 20 years. So it goes to show that even though your own guns, it doesnt mean that you know just about everything. Geeez even I am learning new things.

bigmtnman
April 18, 2003, 04:19 PM
Take it form an old Alaskan who knows the griz. The only safe way to use a handgun for them is to file off the front sight so you don't chip a tooth!!!
My only bear gun of choice is a 12ga. slug gun (Winchester Coastal Marine) with an 8 round tube. This is not to hunt them-- it's for personal defense.

Bobarino
April 18, 2003, 05:40 PM
the last gun shop conversation that scared me enough to leave was:

customer: "whats the cheapest 9mm you got?"

clerk: "this Kel-Tec P-11."

customer: "cool man, give it to me. i need it."

clerk: "do you have a CWP?"

costomer: "no way man, i ain't gettin' finger printed!"

clerk: "well you'll have to wait five days then, its the law."

customer: "B******T man! just sell it me, i won't tell nobody!"

clerk: "sorry man, i can't give you this gun today."

customer: "$%&*%^Q$ you man!" and walks out.

now that was scary.

Bobby

Rawlings
April 18, 2003, 05:51 PM
That's the kind of thing that would make me want to look up the nearest friendly neighborhood LEO while the fella's description is still fresh in my mind...

WonderNine
April 18, 2003, 10:08 PM
I would much rather have a 9mm FMJ against a Black Bear than a .40S&W.

Stevie-Ray
April 18, 2003, 10:33 PM
In the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I would feel undergunned with a 9mm, but I would certainly carry it if it happened to be the one I had at the time. I generally take my 10mm with me as I travel the upper wilds, in case of car trouble or whatever. The 10 packs and carries a lot better than the Redhawk I'd actually like to bring. Some of the blacks in MI can get quite large, and I'd rather not have to test my gun's power or my skill on one, thank you. But I refuse to travel the wilds unarmed.

goon
April 19, 2003, 10:24 AM
That's it!
From now on, I am taking my AK with me on walks.
I'll have to get some of that old Norinco steel core though.
I can't see anything living through a couple mags out of that thing!:what:

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