S&W 460 magnum revolver for big bear?


November 5, 2006, 08:09 PM
Okay, here's the deal: A good friend of mine loves to go river canoeing and camping in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve area of Alaska, where big Grizzlies live and roam.

He has decided on S&W's 460 magnum with the 4" barrel as an emergency bear countermeasure in a handgun. He also takes a Marlin lever action in .45-70 stoked with Garrett Hammerhead ammo for bear.

If a big Grizzly attacks your tent at night thouugh, a long gun will be difficult to manuver in the close quarters of a tent, hence the need for a hand cannon.

Obviously the S&W 500 magnum would be a better choice than the 460. He is looking at the 460 though, because it is more controllable, more shootable and ammo is not as expensive, which would allow for more practice.

It seems to me that if you don't want to go with the 500 magnum, the 460 mag is the next best choice in a handgun for stopping power on big bears.

So my question is: In a handgun, is the 460 magnum a good choice for big Grizzlies? Not for actual hunting, but for defensive use only.

Thanks for you input, folks!

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November 5, 2006, 10:18 PM
a 200 grain bullet at 2300 fps... well, probably a little less from a 4" tube... anyway, seems like a very good choice for bear defense to me!

Corbon has a 395 grain load at over 1500 fps... might be an even better choice :)

November 5, 2006, 10:23 PM
Either gun will stop a bear. Plenty of bears were killed/staved off by .44s for years before these new guns were invented.

By the way, if you are in the tent and are attacked, I don't give you good odds, even if you had a .500 in one hand and .460 in the other. By the time a bear comes thru a tent it is too late.

S&W 460 bear kit:

S&W 500 bear kit:

November 6, 2006, 12:10 AM
The 460 kicks less than the 500. But "kicks less" in this context is relative :what:

November 6, 2006, 07:40 AM
His 460 must be a 5 inch, S&W made 4 inch for the 500 Mag. Now there are some 2 1/2 inch 460 & 500 Mags.

But back to the question, I would feel safe with a 460 Mag with 300 to 395 gr. hard cast bullets.

I have a 4 inch 500 Mag and a 5 inch 460 Mag. So I would go with the 4 inch 500 mag over the 460 in that case.

November 6, 2006, 04:57 PM
Also: put the first round in the air and you have an excellent chance of making a grizzly flee. If you shoot it and don't drop it, be prepared to line up that second shot on a hard charging animal.

November 7, 2006, 09:44 PM
He bought the 5" version of the 460 yesterday. It is sweet - reeeeeeeeeeel sweet. Now I want one. My wife is gonna kill me over my "hobby" one of these days!:uhoh:

November 7, 2006, 09:51 PM
It's a fun gun, but kicks like a mule. Buddy of mine has one and every time I shoot 5 rounds thru it my wrist hurts for the rest of the day.

I was at an AR15.com shoot a few months ago. I touched off 5 rounds of .460Mag and then looked around. 25 other guys had all put down their black rifles and were starring at me trying to figure out what the heck I was shootin' that was making so dang much noise. :cool:

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