Black bear hunt sidearm


September 28, 2006, 10:38 PM
Ok, so I'm going on a black bear hunt in Idaho (b-day present from my brother,we're going together) and I'm trying to figure out the whole sidearm question. Have rifle questions, will post those elsewhere.

I already own a .45 Uberti Bisley. Would that be sufficient with maybe some hot .45 LC loads? I'm eyeing a .44 Mag 4" ported Taurus Tracker....

Appreciate your input.

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September 28, 2006, 11:12 PM
i am no expert, but i've read hot .45lc loads get pretty close to factory 44mag power. so i would think you'd be allright with that.

however, if you're worried the bears will be able to tell the diffrence, (i.e. looking for an excuse to buy a new gun) i have the Taurus of which you speak think it would fit the bill very nicely.

Standing Wolf
September 28, 2006, 11:21 PM
Personally, I regard the .44 magnum as the bare bones minimum hand gun caliber in bear country.

September 29, 2006, 12:43 AM
I'd be using a 30-30 with the new Hornady ammo so I figured might as well have a potent sidearm...

September 29, 2006, 01:32 AM
.45 Long Colt should do just fine on black bears, even without getting into real hot stuff.

I also have that Taurus .44 Mag Tracker and I am fond of it , so if you go that way you can have a new gun !

Good luck - I have taken black bear with 30-30 as well with no problem.

September 29, 2006, 10:23 AM
.357 with heavy loads is plenty for black bear, but I'd carry my .45 Colt Blackhawk with heavy 300 grain loads. I would NOT shoot those loads in a Uberti!!!!! Don't get real hot in any Colt clone, the gun won't take it. My handloads are for Ruger Blackhawk/TC Contender ONLY! They are indeed the equal of any .44 magnum factory stuff. I don't know if they'd frag a Uberti, but I wouldn't wanna find out. At the very least, they'd pound it into worthlessness in short order.

If you can get a load firing a 255 grain cast bullet at around 900 fps, it'd be enough gun to carry for what you are doing on black bears. You're actually hunting with the rifle, after all. I think you'd really like that Tracker, though. :D

September 29, 2006, 10:38 AM
I hunt black bears in NY. The sidearm I always carry is my blackhawk stoked w/ 210 gr SJSP Remingtons. I don't feel at all undergunned w/this combo.
I don't however, reccommend this for the bigger breed of bears, ie:Mr. Grizz.

September 29, 2006, 10:51 AM
Dang, I thought my Uberti might do the trick. The Tracker is tempting....

September 29, 2006, 10:58 AM
Even if your Uberti could handle hot loads like I use, I have two loads I shoot in my Ruger. One's that 255 grain flat point at 900 fps and the other is the 300 grain bullet shy of 1200 fps. The difference in elevation adjustment between the two loads is rather dramatic. My elevation screw on the Blackhawk is marked for either load. With a fixed sight gun, that's not a good situation. You'd be shootin' the trees over his back. :D

September 29, 2006, 11:11 AM
You guys are convincing me that a new .44 mag is essential to my health and well being (just not my bank account's ;))

Anybody think a Smith is worth $200-400 more than the Taurus Tracker?

September 29, 2006, 01:06 PM
Wow, dude, the jury is in.You HAVE to buy a new gun. Just tell the wife we all voted on it and it's the law.

September 29, 2006, 01:27 PM
Hah! No wife yet. Just a wife-to-be. And she doesn't mind anyway.

Here's a curve ball. How about a Taurus in the same config without porting? Less blast, noise, etc...

September 29, 2006, 01:29 PM
Anybody think a Smith is worth $200-400 more than the Taurus Tracker?

Yes. I have a titanium tracker with 4" barrel in .357 that has to go back for the third time for a new cylinder due to flamecutting on the face. This last time it started with the 3rd shot fired after the last fix. I really, really, really, liked this gun but I am disappointed in it and wish I had spent the extra to get the S&W Mountain-lite like my friend bought at the same time and has never had a problem with, not to mention the S&W trigger is MUCH better. After this trip back I'll have spent close to the original price difference between them in shipping. The Taurus has spent about 5 months of its life back with Taurus during which time it's of course useless to me. "Hey Mr. robber, can you please wait until after Taurus returns my gun to break into my house?"

One other thing is that the Taurus Trackers, at least in .357 have much have shorter cylinders than the comparable S&W models. This is limiting when using heavy grain bullets. The Cor-bon 200 grain .357's are almost flush with the end of the cylinder. If one of them were to shift at all in the case due to recoil it would lock up the gun.

I think you'll also find resale on the Smith will be much higher.

September 29, 2006, 01:31 PM
I just hate that "Mountain Gun" lettering on the barrel. I can afford a Smith, just was looking forward to tuning up the Taurus since I subcribe to the WECSOG school :D

September 29, 2006, 01:33 PM
Anybody think a Smith is worth $200-400 more than the Taurus Tracker?

A 29-2, pinned and recessed certainly is. I've got two, a 4" having a new barrel installed at S&W, and a 6" that I bought two weeks ago.

September 29, 2006, 01:42 PM
Just took a look at 29-2 prices. Never mind on that, I don't want to spend that much on this. Upper price limit of $700

September 29, 2006, 01:52 PM
Looking at a brand new 639 stainless 44mag 4" N frame for about $630. Thoughts?

September 29, 2006, 01:56 PM
I'm also in the market for a bear gun (although for backpacking), and am leaning heavily towards a S&W 329PD (27oz .44Mag).

Essex County
September 29, 2006, 01:57 PM
quite reasonable. Get yourself a shoulder holster and be happy.....Essex

September 29, 2006, 01:57 PM
I thought about the lightweight models. Seemed like it would be too lightweight to enjoy.

September 29, 2006, 02:34 PM
The S&W mountain gun or the 4 5/8" blackhawks are about 40 ounces. I can tell you from experience, that gets heavy toward the end of the day on a belt. A K frame .357 is a lot easier to carry. I'm afraid that a S&W 329PD would be a handful to shoot with heavy .44 mag loads, but I've never fired one. And, yeah, I'd buy a Tracker and save your money. In my experience, Taurus is a high quality gun for a lot less cash. I have a fairly recent manufacture M66 that's fantastic. Tight, perfect timing, accurate to the max, and I gave $197 for it used at a gun show.

Frankly, I've relied on .357 for self defense in bear country before. I think it's plenty of caliber with a heavy load. The .44 is better, of course. Actually, though, out where I carry the guns, I worry more about cats than bear. Bear attacks are really rare and I don't trust those sneaky cats.:D Had a friend who had an encounter with one. He managed to run it off by chasing after it swinging a camera tripod. Ballsy, but I'd rather rely on a firearm, myself.

September 29, 2006, 06:36 PM
I'd look for a Ruger vaquero or Blackhawk in .44mag and call it done. You already like the single action, get he same bbl length and you should be able to use the same holster as your uberti.

September 29, 2006, 06:48 PM
I carried my model 19 .357 as a sidearm for many years while hunting in bear country. I never felt under gunned. If you're going to be carrying a rifle, you probably won't need it anyway. I recently bought a 629-2 MG which will accompany me this year. This revolver has an extremely good trigger and is very accurate. I think it was worth the extra money vs. the taurus. You should be able to find one for around $600-700.

A Ruger super blackhawk with a 4 5/8" barrel makes a nice sidearm, too. One of these should cost you around $400-500. If you want to save some money, I'd probably get one of these rather than a taurus. With the 4 5/8" barrel, the SBH is a sweet handling gun.

September 29, 2006, 06:50 PM
Go 44 Mag or 45 Colt in a Ruger. You have concerns other than black bear in that country. As Dr. Rob suggested, share the use of your accessories.

September 29, 2006, 07:01 PM
However, were talking side arm now. My main hunting weapon is a browning 308 gas automatic rifle and it would more than likely drop any black bear. I use to carry a .45 acp as a sidearm. However, the 10 mm produces a lot more energy and FPS than most 45 rounds. I believe the 10 mm is better for four legged animals especially in automatics. However, since this is actually the revolver forum. I would go with a .357 magnum at the very least in the revolver class with some good hunting loads.

Double tap ammo I carry with my side arm.

Caliber : 10mm

Bullet : 200gr Controlled Exp. JHP

Ballistics : 1250fps/ 694ft./ lbs. - Glock 20

That's just my opinion.


October 1, 2006, 10:26 PM
I live in WA state. I've been given permission by the wife to get a back up gun for hunting. I've chosen the BH .45. The reason that I have chosen it is:
It shoots the Buffalo Bore rounds safely, and it cost 339.00 NIB at the local store here. I'm getting the 4 5/8" barrel so it will be lighter to carry.

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