Handgun for protection from a grizzly?


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longhair75
December 11, 2008, 02:05 PM
On another forum, there has been a discussion on a handgun to carry to defend against grizzly bear attacks.

Just my opinion, but I would not shoot at a grizzly with a handgun. I am a decent enough shot, but with an enraged grizzly charging at me I would sure rather have a 12 gauge pump loaded full of rifled slugs.

does anyone have an opinion on a handgun that would stop a grizzly with one shot?

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danweasel
December 11, 2008, 02:14 PM
Sa m79.

Flame Red
December 11, 2008, 02:20 PM
S&W 500 - no problemo.

WardenWolf
December 11, 2008, 02:38 PM
Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull. Either the standard or the Alaskan model.

mljdeckard
December 11, 2008, 02:44 PM
There's no such thing as 'no problemo' when you're talking about grizzlies. Many have been critically wounded with one shot and continued to fight until they run out of oxygen. One could theoretically hit the spine, but when he's charging you, you don't have a shot at his spine.

If you MUST use a handgun, think larger than a .44 mag, with hard-cast bullets. I think splitting hairs beyond that becomes academic very quickly.

RobMoore
December 11, 2008, 02:44 PM
There are no shoulder fire guns, much less handguns, that I'd trust with my life to stop a charging bear with one shot......so for me your question comes down to "what is the largest calibered handgun that I can fire repeatedly until successful, with a large magazine capacity"

For me, Glock 21 or M&P45 loaded with Hornady XTP (220g, 1060fps)

Steve C
December 11, 2008, 03:34 PM
Hunting is certainly different than defense. Defense is about compromises. What equipment are you willing to give up to carry a heavy powerful weapon? Are you willing to strap on or carry that long gun when you are doing other activities like fishing.

There is nothing that will stop a Grizzly without hitting vital area. That said, I have read reports where they have been successfully defended against using everything from a hunting knife, .22 mag rifle, 9mm, .357 mag and on up. On the other hand you usually don't read about the unsuccessful attempts.

You need to select the most powerful gun that you will carry and can make follow up shots with. A shotgun leaned up against a tree or a 5 lb 500 mag revolver left in the truck won't do you any good.

The other thing is that if a bear decides you are food or you've become an annoyance in their territory you are not going to get any warning. They'll ambush you or rush you from cover and whatever you are going to use to defend yourself will have to be drawn and fired while the critter is chewing on you.

Personally I'd carry one of my 4" .41 mags because that is what I have that fires a heavy and penetrating enough bullet. I'd say the .357 mag is about the lightest one would want to carry for that purpose. If a situation occurs however you use what you have available at hand or you give up and die.

mbt2001
December 11, 2008, 03:59 PM
Handgun for protection from a grizzly?

That is problem #1... Handguns and grizzs don't mix. Much better to use a Marling Guide gun in 45-70 (http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/bigbore/1895G.asp)... IF I HAD TO HAVE ONE gun and that gun a handgun THEN I would use a .454 / .480 Ruger / .50 AE / .500 Linebaugh / .500 Smith and Wesson in that order.

In addition to the Firearm, hiking in Griz country I would carry the Bear Pepper Spray and a Personal Locator Beacon. The Bear pepper spray works. Period. Better to use that than have the Fish and Game people on your hiney.

ConstantineJ9
December 11, 2008, 04:04 PM
12 gauge single shot slug gun, and my Hi Point 45acp. That's the strongest I got right now.

Retro
December 11, 2008, 04:12 PM
Tokarev 7.62 x 25 and really muscular legs. Why? Because you can penetrate/injure two bears with just one round. And after that, you better run because you will have two furious injured bears on your tail. :D

sqlbullet
December 11, 2008, 06:06 PM
I am with RobMoore. I want to be able to shoot a bunch of times.

I would stoke my Witness 10mm with either 200 gr Hornady XTP's that I had loaded around 1200 fps, or with the Double Tap 230 Gr hard cast at 1150 fps. Without reload that would give me 16 shots. Both are supposed to be on par with short barreled 41/44 mag penetration.

GRIZ22
December 11, 2008, 06:14 PM
does anyone have an opinion on a handgun that would stop a grizzly with one shot?
__________________

There probably isn't any handgun that would stop a grizzly with one shot. If the shot placement is perfect (hard to do on a charging bear) I'd use a 500 S&W and still look for a lot of luck. You may be able to do it with a lesser caliber but the whole one shot stop on a big bear depends on a lot of luck.

ConstantineJ9
December 11, 2008, 06:22 PM
454 casull with one to the forehead should do it. But , what do I know, it may take 5 to 10.

IMTHDUKE
December 11, 2008, 06:31 PM
Only one I would feel comfy taking on a grizzly ....and only then if he would pose for a direct hit.
http://photos.gafana.com/photos/0176252100000010585706.share.jpg

flyboy1788
December 11, 2008, 06:35 PM
does anyone have an opinion on a handgun that would stop a grizzly with one shot?
Yes. This 50 BMG pistol. You can hit the bear in the paw with this, and it will die...INSTANTLY. It would be like the wrath of GOD coming down from heaven and destroying it's life in a way that you couldnt imagine.:evil:
http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk235/flyboy1788/50handgun.jpg

WardenWolf
December 11, 2008, 07:02 PM
For the record, the .454 Casull is roughly twice as powerful as a .44 Magnum. Because of this, it's probably the best round for the job. And a .454 can also fire .45 LC.

jad0110
December 11, 2008, 09:32 PM
Just my opinion, but I would not shoot at a grizzly with a handgun. I am a decent enough shot, but with an enraged grizzly charging at me I would sure rather have a 12 gauge pump loaded full of rifled slugs.

Same here. Bears run a lot faster than humans, and by the time they are within the effective range of mose people armed with but a handgun, it is probably too late. Bear spray may well be a better option than a handgun, though I'd still want a firearm for 2 legged predators.

Bush Pilot
December 12, 2008, 12:41 AM
Anyone who ventures into grizzly territory carrying a handgun as their only means of protection should make sure their affairs are in order before leaving civilization. If you think differently you need to spend more time at home reading gun magazines and leave the bush to people who go prepared.

ArchAngelCD
December 12, 2008, 02:27 AM
Most people would say what first comes to mind like a .454 Casull or a .460 Magnum/500 Magnum and I don't blame them because we all do it. But if you really think about it that probably isn't the best answer.

My answer would be carry the biggest caliber you can shoot well because no matter how powerful a round you are carrying it will do you no good unless you can hit a Bear charging at 30 MPH. For some it will be a .44 Magnum, for others it will be a .500 S&W Magnum while others will be able to shoot only a .357 Magnum well. I do agree whatever you carry you should load it up with ammo using Hard Cast lead bullets. Grizzly Ammo (http://www.grizzlycartridge.com/-strse-Grizzly-Cartridge/Categories.bok) comes to mind and if you reload use Cast Performance (http://www.castperformance.com/Categories.bok?category=Cast+Performance) bullets which are used in Grizzly Ammo. Of course, this is only my opinion.

All that said, a 12ga loaded with slugs or a short lever gun in 45-70 Govt would be my first line of defense and the handgun only a backup.

pps
December 12, 2008, 02:43 AM
No argument here about choosing a long gun for a griz.

General Geoff
December 12, 2008, 02:59 AM
If a handgun, I'd probably do 10mm Auto loaded with 200gr hard cast gas checked lead projectiles. Though realistically speaking, if I was expecting to encounter a grizzly, I'd want a semiautomatic rifle, probably in .308.

WardenWolf
December 12, 2008, 03:58 AM
Seconded on that. I'd rather have a Saiga .308 or a Saiga 12 loaded with slugs any day. Beauty of Saigas is they really don't jump around, so followup shots are easy.

Oro
December 12, 2008, 04:21 AM
Just my opinion, but I would not shoot at a grizzly with a handgun. I am a decent enough shot, but with an enraged grizzly charging at me I would sure rather have a 12 gauge pump loaded full of rifled slugs.

Well, as Steve C said, there is a big difference between hunting and defense. If you can tote a 12 gauge, or 45-70, around with you every step you take outdoors in grizzly country. Great. This includes when working, hiking, hauling wood and water, etc., you are covered. But you can't.

Personally, one of the best Alaska bush pilots who ever lived and his wife seemed to get by ok with a .44 magnum for daily chores. Read the story here:

http://www.fepco.com/bear_attack.html

Click the second link for the photo. Not as massive a bear as can be found, but the point is it was attacking, and it's the gun you can carry that's on you when you need it that counts. Plus I think it's best to reference people who live in bear country who have real experiences to relate. I keep a 12 ga. handy in bear country, but in reality it's the .44mag on my shoulder that I've had with me the last two times I've seen a bear close (once each this year and the last). No need to draw, but it was the handgun that was there, not a long gun.

Treo
December 12, 2008, 05:27 AM
Mark of the Grizzly By Scott McMillian © 1998
Good read on the subject of bear attacks.
Personally I can't imagine a handgun that would stop the bear before it got to you (given you're not in a tree) unless you start blating as soon as you see the bear, as in before it even makes an agressive move.

Bears move incredibly fast when they want to and in the type situation where you'd need a defense gun they'd be on you before you got it out ( you may still get it out but you should expect to do so while being chewed on).

moooose102
December 12, 2008, 06:49 AM
either a 500 s&w, or a bazooka! lol seriously though, if i could afford one, i would have a s&w500 for woods protection. with bear, you need as much power as you can get, and it needs to be a repeater. you could carry a lot of different pistols, but IMO, you do not want to tempt fate with a griz. IF you HAVE to shoot a griz, you will NEED to stop him, RIGHT NOW!

gunnie
December 12, 2008, 09:31 AM
when i first moved to alaska, i was given two differing opinions on the best handgun to carry for encounters with mr. brown:

1--a handgun with the front sight removed. this, so that it won't hurt when the bear shoves it up your ass.

2--any reasonably accurate .22 lr handgun. shoot your buddy in the knee and haul ass.

gunnie

Seismic Sam
December 12, 2008, 09:46 PM
The same size can of pepper spray that Dog the Bounty Hunter carries, and a Smith 500, in that order.

ConstantineJ9
December 12, 2008, 09:55 PM
Lol, funny

pps
December 12, 2008, 10:29 PM
The same size can of pepper spray that Dog the Bounty Hunter carries, and a Smith 500, in that order.

Is the 500 for the bear or for Beth?

kgpcr
December 12, 2008, 11:17 PM
I wonder how many people here have ever seen a Grizz much less a coastal Brown. I would not want a shot gun to carry on the rivers salmon fishing. Why? well with waders and all it would have to be on my back and that is not good. I carry a Ruger Alaskan .454 with Grizzly 360grn. ammo. It is in my simply rugged holster on my home made wader belt. I can have it out and have a few good shots off before you get a long gun into play. I have been very close to Browns 10-15 yrds and never had a problem. I had one get 6 yrds away as i stood in the river as it walked the bank. My pucker factor was as high as it could get but the bear just ambled past looking for some salmon. It paused and looked at me and i had my SRH pulled and up but it just kept going thank God! A coastal Brown make an interior Grizzly look small and they are just as mean but every bear out there is not a blood thirsty man killer. That being said i wont walk outdoor any where in AK with out my SRH.

Treo
December 12, 2008, 11:22 PM
WWSPD
What Would Sarah Palin Do?

Seismic Sam
December 12, 2008, 11:25 PM
Whatever else Sarah can do, I'm sure she can run faster than John McCain!!

bhhacker
December 13, 2008, 12:09 AM
I would use pepper spray before I used a gun at all. If I used a gun, it would be to shoot it into the air to scare the thing off. I work in Juneau during the summer months and one thing you DONT want is a wounded, pissed off bear. I read somewhere about a hunting guide taking two guys out armed with the S&W 500 revolvers and they shot a grizzly like 6 times and it still had to be taken by the guide who had the long gun.


I carry a 10mm witness elite match while hiking up there as a shotgun isnt very practical. You need to be very aware of all surroundings and you should be fine. Unless you happen across cubs or find a hungry one :)

fireman 9731
December 13, 2008, 12:14 AM
I would go for a BFR in 45-70, loaded hot with 405 grain soft points.

or maybe an extra stout tazer?

earlthegoat2
December 13, 2008, 12:19 AM
ever heard of a giant can o bear spray??

It works. Trust me. There are no armchairs in my house.

Piece of advice number two: Make your bear gun your primary gun. This means dont carry a handgun. Carry a 375 HH rifle, or 45/70, 450 Marlin levergun. Beats a handgun to bits and peices.

For more info regarding "you dont need a bigger pistol" see here
http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/grizzly/bear%20spray.pdf

saturno_v
December 13, 2008, 01:39 AM
For the record, the .454 Casull is roughly twice as powerful as a .44 Magnum. Because of this, it's probably the best round for the job. And a .454 can also fire .45 LC.


It is not as twice as powerful...it's 50% more powerful....(considering full house 44 Mag, not the big ammo producers lowered specs)

gunnie
December 13, 2008, 04:28 AM
The .454 Casull can deliver a 250 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of over 1900 feet per second, developing more than 2000 ft·lb of energy...

that's about 2/3rds of the 2,820 ft·lb the 30.06 generates. which most would consider the low end for grizz.

their hearts beat very slowly, so hitting them there isn't plan "A" in my book. it needs to be a round that will get through to the joint bones of the front shoulders, the best bet for a quick stop.

gunnie

saturno_v
December 13, 2008, 03:13 PM
The .454 Casull can deliver a 250 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of over 1900 feet per second, developing more than 2000 ft·lb of energy...

that's about 2/3rds of the 2,820 ft·lb the 30.06 generates. which most would consider the low end for grizz.

their hearts beat very slowly, so hitting them there isn't plan "A" in my book. it needs to be a round that will get through to the joint bones of the front shoulders, the best bet for a quick stop.

gunnie

The energy figure alone I don't think it means that much

The Brenneke Black Magic delivers a 600 gr .73 hardened slug at a muzzle energy just above 3000 ft/lb,,,and it is NOT at the low end for a grizzly medicine...quite the contrary, it is considered one of the best grizzly stopper....in some tests it penetrated way more than a 458 Win Mag.


By the way, the best 30-06 180 gr ammo (for example the Winchester XP3) can go well above 3000 ft/lb...the Hornady Light Magnum, which you can use in any bolt action 06, claims 3361 ft/lb (2900 fps) out of a 24 inch barrel

Wolfeye
December 13, 2008, 03:21 PM
Ah, the ol' "bear handgun" topic. I'd rate a handgun as plan D:

Plan A - don't go places with a lot of brownies. Get in touch with local hunters or Fish & Game to learn about the area you're going to, then pick your guns accordingly.

Plan B - take standard precautions. Don't pitch a tent on a kill pile, don't cook your burgers near camp, etc.

Plan C - plans A & B have failed, and you're in a bear confrontation. This is pretty unlikely in most places. You and the other people involved should have practiced what to do in various scenarios, and it helps to learn about bear behavior first. What if the bear is walking towards you? Do you yell & throw rocks? Does a buddy use his bear spray? Do you shoot it with a 12 ga. slug? Your reaction needs to be predetermined.

Plan D - the bear has made contact. In this case, I think it would be nice to have a handgun to plug away with while the bear is chewing on me.

That said, I often carry just a Ruger .357 SP101 when I hike, but then I choose to hike in areas where blackbears are rare & grizzlies are unheard of. I choose this gun because I'm pretty proficient with it compared to the larger calibers, and it's not too heavy to pack. It's more for 2-legged beasties than for bears.

mljdeckard
December 13, 2008, 03:34 PM
"Shooting Mongo only makes him angry."

arizonaguide
December 14, 2008, 12:46 AM
Food for thought:

1.) a bears heart beats only once every 15 seconds. (sloooow metabolism)
2.) a bear can cover 100 yards, and crush you, in about the time it takes to say one, two, three, four, five. (how many EFFECTIVE shots did ya get off?)
3.) .44magnum slugs have been found matted in the bears thick hide....then you have huge layers of muscle/bone before getting to vitals. (also refer slow, 15second heartbeat above, and that's once you hit vitals.)
4.) DO NOT use hollowpoints in that pistol (if you MUST use a pistol)...or RIFLE. Think PENETRATION! (see #3 above). Pretend you are shooting a 1950 charging buick with teeth and claws.
5.) For BEAR hunting it's generally accepted to use a MINIMUM of a 300winmag, and that's at the LOW end of the spectrum. .338winmag, or 375H&H are typical. Now think where your 454 causel rates in energy (at 100 yds) compared to .338winmag.
6.) 12ga with slugs is accepted Emergency, AT CLOSE RANGE. Do you want him close?
7.) IF you must use pistol, recommend filing down front site, so it doesn't hurt as much when the bear shoves that pistol where the sun don't shine.
8.) .22 pistol minimum recommended for old trick of shooting buddy in the foot, then outrunning him (leaving him as a distraction for the bear).
9.) Some success has been had by trying to "break the bear down", ie: shooting for shoulder/hip joints. Good luck with that.

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/bearcub3.jpg
Alaska Grizzly, 1960's, Denali National Park.


The current Alaska advice is to wear hiker's bells clipped to your pack (so as not to startle the Bear) and carry pepper spray.
This makes it easier to find you.
All the rangers have to do is look for Bear Scatt that has little bells in it, and smells like pepper.

Auburn1992
December 14, 2008, 12:55 AM
I think a 45-70 BFR would do the trick... or a 454 Cassull

arizonaguide
December 14, 2008, 01:14 AM
45-70 considered light, except at closer ranges. Maybe with smaller Blackbears, okay.
But, pretty much Close-up (last ditch) trail gun only. (kinda Like a 12ga.)
Even 30-06 considered light, but maybe that's changed NOW with new higher pressure loads.
.338 Minimum for ME!

And NEVER use a soft/expanding bullet. Think PENETRATION...or you won't get to the vitals.

Here's a couple...one which really ticks me off.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZnsL7-UdGc
and NO PLACE for a handgun, or underpowered rifle.

Isher
December 14, 2008, 02:07 AM
Well, gosh, I only live in Washington,

Not the Far Dangerous North.

Down here a 12 gauge is good enough for me.

Sounds like, up there, that the minimum

For griz would be an RPG.

That is, if you are serious,

Rather than running a tricked up cosmetic teevee special gun.


Isher

arizonaguide
December 14, 2008, 02:14 AM
Maybe for Blackbear, but not Brown (or Polar, FWIW).
Generally accepted minimum .300 winmag.
.338/.375 better.
Show up to a bear hunt with less, get sent home.
Archery is effective because: PENETRATION/ENERGY.

Don't get me wrong, people do it with less.
But why would you take a chance on a wounded bear, and are YOU going in those alders after him (with that same handgun), when you do, to finish what you started?

saturno_v
December 14, 2008, 04:11 AM
Maybe for Blackbear, but not Brown (or Polar, FWIW).
Generally accepted minimum .300 winmag.
.338/.375 better.
Show up to a bear hunt with less, get sent home.
Archery is effective because: PENETRATION/ENERGY.

Don't get me wrong, people do it with less.
But why would you take a chance on a wounded bear, and are YOU going in those alders after him (with that same handgun), when you do, to finish what you started?

Never hunted a bear (never hunted period even if I'm a gun owner and lover) and never been in Alaska.

But from what I heard from older, reliable and very experienced people that lived and worked in Alaska for decades (some still live there) and some got pics to show their "love encounters" this is what they said:

Grizzlies (shot for hunting or for defense against a charge) has been brought down all the time with 30-06, and even 30-30 lever, 35 Remington, 45-70, 303 British, etc..

Bullet construction AND bullet placement is paramount...you can have the biggest rifle of all, if you place a lousy shot (and in that moment, when you fudge your pants even the best sharpshooter can become a lousy shot)
You are going to become bear food......in bear attacks some people died or got mauled with a 458 Win Mag and some survived without a scratch with a 30-30..it all depends...hit them in the wrong spot, especially when they are enraged, they can soak up .375 H&H bullets like candies....

At very close range few rifle rounds can match a Brenneke Black Magic against a charging grizzly...especially if you can quickly pump more than one slug on him.

You should use the gun you are proficient with and that doesn't make you flinch...there is no point of using a 338 Win Mag if you shoot all over the place...

Regardless of how good you are, you should never go under a 30-30 or similar (stressing again proper bullet construction and weight)...yes maybe you can bring down a Grizzly shooting in his eye with a .22 but....well you get the point....

44 Mag revolvers have been used very successfully against grizzly at close range...again, appropriate bullet construction and bullet placement

Chuck Hawks's article about handguns protection in the field

http://www.chuckhawks.com/protection_field.htm

In the 44 Magnum section he writes:

"The best choice, for the relatively few shooters who can actually shoot it with the required level of precision, is probably a full power .44 Magnum shooting a 240 grain (SD .185) to 300 grain (SD .232) bullet. The big .44 has proven that it can make an impression on even the largest predators."

Garret Hammerhead FAQ page on 44 magnum for grizzly defence

http://www.garrettcartridges.com/q&a.asp

From the Garrett page:

Are our 44 Magnum loads really capable of handling grizzly? The answer is yes, in the hands of a reliable shot. From a comparative point of view, our 44 Magnum Hammerheads provide far more penetration than the 300-grain NosIer Partition fired from the 375 Holland & Holland. Also, both bullets present an extremely blunt front end (meplat). Our 44 bullets also offer far greater security from bullet fracture or deflection than any expanding bullet. Since beginning production in 1988 we have had many customers defend themselves from grizzlies, and always our 44 Magnum ammo has provided super-deep penetration, generally to the hips on a frontally shot bear (even when the skull is engaged.)

FInally, they told me that the minimum accepted caliber for grizzly in Alaska tend to get bigger as you get closer to the big cities and/or among the "thrill seeker sunday hunters" (the words they used)......:uhoh:

On a side note, my co-worker is Russian, from the city of Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka peninsula in Siberia and he told me that over there they use sporterized Mosins all the time for big browns and even polars..and they do not feel undergunned that much...

arizonaguide
December 14, 2008, 05:04 AM
Good Post Saturno! Lot's of good points.

I am one of those "older, reliable and very experienced people that lived and worked in Alaska for decades" (not bragging, just life)...and I have to wonder about any old time Alaskan (Sourdough) who would advise shooting with "Grizzlies brought down all the time with 30-06, and even 30-30 lever, 35 Remington, 45-70, 303 British, etc.."

Shooting with underpowered rounds (rifle or pistol) leaves a wounded Bear, that a GUIDE has to chase into the willow patch and finish. It endangers peoples lives, and it's cruel to the Bear.

Yes, bears are taken with .270's and 30-30's and 30-06's, and even .243 and .44mag's. He can die of a .22 rimfire too (from infection in a month) but will also do a lot of damage in the meantime. They are NOT slow lumbering animals. They will outrun a quarter horse in 1/4 mile. And they will do damage.

As you said in your post:
"when you fudge your pants even the best sharpshooter can become a lousy shot".

So, as ALL the old timers I have hunted with since the 1960's would say "why would anyone advise going against Bear with anything less than .30cal Magnum Caliber...let alone with a pistol?"

Now, if you can get that energy from a newer 30-06 or 8mm, great.
But if you showed up at any of me or my buddy's bear hunts with a 30-30, or similar numbers (like an SKS, AK-47, or worse an AR-15)...well we're sending ya home.

Because an underpowered gun is "thrill seeker sunday hunter" stuff, and we don't play that.
Shooting with underpowered rounds leaves a wounded Bear, that a GUIDE then has to finish. It endangers people, and it's cruel to the Bear. (nearer to "the city" or "the bush" doesn't matter).

Three things have to be right for Bear:
1.)Shot placement.
2.)Penetration
3.)Luck

Why take a chance with any of those variables that you CAN control, and possibly wound a bear? THAT'S "sunday hunter" stuff...

I'm gonna stack the cards in my favor, and carrying around a handgun or underpowered rifle for bear
is "Chichaco"...(Alaska Native word, not mine, meaning "Alaskan who thinks he's a sourdough, but isn't").;)

In the Garrett writeup they say "44 Magnum Hammerheads provide far more penetration than the 300-grain Nosler Partition fired from the 375 Holland & Holland"...yeah, sure a "Hammerhead" (FMJ?) made for penetration MAY penetrate more than a soft tip EXPANDING Nosler Partition. (it's apples and oranges, and misleading marketing).
DO NOT USE EXPANDING HOLLOWPOINT AMMO FOR BEARS.


I would rather see you with Peper-spray than an underpowered gun.
Pepper spray IS effective...but at CLOSE range (yikes!).
You said it well, about your Russian friends "do not feel undergunned that much..."
Well, let's check the numbers.

Minimum: Magnum Caliber (example: .300winmag) with 3000ftlb minimum, close to 3000fps volocity (or better), and .338/.375 type numbers are better.
Check the ballistics numbers. The new ULTRA-mags are looking good. 8mm or 30-06, not so much.
I like my old 300 Weatherby, but that's sentimental (and freakin expensive).
But, 3000/3000ish numbers+++...if planning ahead. (.338/.375 better numbers)

12ga/Pepper for surprises.

WWSPD

gunnie
December 14, 2008, 08:11 AM
AZ guide.....+1

a little old native grandmother once whacked a record bear with a 22lr rifle.

a guy who long held the record for killing the most grizz did it with a winchester lever 30-30.

david killed goliath with a slingshot.

the reason these stories get passed on for so long is the odds defying qualities of the story.

if i am going to have to shoot something/someone, i want all of the odds i can get in my favor.

you ARE free to make your own decisions also.

gunnie

Redhawk1
December 14, 2008, 09:59 AM
Seeing's how this is a question on what handgun to carry for Grizzly bear defense, and not what else you would carry.

I say the biggest gun you can shot accurately. If you are charged by a brown bear, 95% of the time the bear is going to get to you before you can even get a shot off. Now if you do have time to shoot, it will be at a moving target and your ass is in flight mode.

When I was in Alaska on a Caribou hunt, we had a inland Grizzly come into our camp, even with my 300 Win Mag I felt under gunned. But the handgun I had with me for the tent and around camp was a custom 2 1/2 inch Super Redhawk in 454 Casull loaded with 300 gr. penatrator rounds. (Before the Alaskan ever came out). That was the biggest handgun I owned at the time. Now if I went back, my 4 inch S&W 500 mag would get the call, loaded with my hot loaded 700 gr. Ranger Rick bullets. 700 gr. at 1200 fps is an awesome penetrating machine.

What one has to think about also is, if a bear is on you, what gun would you use if you "had the chance" to use it. My choice would be the biggest I could carry. My 4 inch S&W 500 Mag.

I just hope, I never put myself into the situation as to have to defend myself agents a Grizzly. The best thing to do is use your head, and be very aware of what is around you. Use good common sense and avoid a bear confrontation at all costs.

WardenWolf
December 14, 2008, 10:14 AM
You said it well, about your Russian friends "do not feel undergunned that much..."

I ran the numbers on 7.62x54R. Most commercial loadings are equivalent in power to 7mm Rem. Mag or 30-06. It's got the power and the penetration. In Russia, this round is rated for polar bear. Not saying I'd ever want to use it as such (or be in an area with a polar bear, for that matter), but they have used it successfully. You have to also understand that they can buy Dragunov and Tigr semi-autos directly from the factory, so they're not necessarily running with a bolt action, either.

For a handgun, as already stated, your best bet is a .454 Casull.

arizonaguide
December 14, 2008, 02:30 PM
Folks, after a good night sleep I guess I should appologize for my last post.

It's just that Wounded Animals of any kind are something that I get worked up about. I've seen it too many times.

Please for the animal's sake (and Guide's sake) use something with 3000ftlbs/close to 3000fps (or pepper spray), if possible.

But sorry for the 3am "rant" about it.

Arizonaguide

saturno_v
December 14, 2008, 02:45 PM
ArizonaGuide

As I said, I never hunted anything, let alone a bear.

However, the best 30-06 loading go well over 3000 ft/lb...the Hornady Light Magnum 180 gr reaches 3361 ft/lb (24 inch barrel).

At this point I don't know what bear are made of...but I can tell you what I saw with my eyes about penetration.

Cheap milsurp Mosin Nagant FMJ rounds passing from end to end a reasonably sized live oak shot from a good distance...that look like good penetration to me...

I personally witnessed a heavy 30-30 hard cast round going through 2 gigantic bull heads (got it from a butcher) stacked one in front of the other, a thick wood plank as backstop, several layers of carpet behind to end penetrating very deep the oak tree behind it........

Of course a regular soft point 30-30 Remington (or an cheap ordinary soft point 30-06 for that matter) it's a total different story...

I do not understand why a bullet, like the examples I mentioned above, that shows such impressive penetration, would harmlessly bouce off a grizzly or penetrate just for few inches.

The guy that shoot the 30-30 hardcast, one year before he took a very big blackie in Minnesota and the bullett went through it from stern to butt....

If and if what Garrett claims in term of penetration against grizzlies for their 44 Hammerhead (up to the hip even when the skull is engaged) it is true, how much more penetration than that do you need???

About feeling undegunned.....maybe it's me but in front of a very big angry grizzly, a really terrifying sight, i would feel undergunned with ANYTHING......in fact what the people i was talking about in my previous post said, the challenge is to keep your cool and shoot straight when you should....

Finally....I do not understand why some guys (I met more than one) that feel well protected against a grizzly with a 454 Casull, think that the 30-30 in barely adequate for deer??? If you can explain that.....

Finally, you said minimum 3000 ft/lb /3000 fps....I do not think the energy /velocity numbers alone tells the story....a hardcast 30-30 will penetrate way more than a simple ordinary soft point 300 Win Mag.

People not proficient with thair cannons can horribly wound a bear even with a .458....when you people accept guys for hunting, do you check that they just carry big guns or do you verify that they can actually shoot them proficiently and quickly if necessary??? Like the wire drop drill that I watched sometimes in sporting channel on TV....

I would trust more a guy that can shoot hsw lever 30-30 (with proper loads and bullets..never stress that point too much...) quickly and accurately like a 22 than a rich thrill seeker businessman showing up with his .460 that maybe he just shot 3 rounds with at the range....

arizonaguide
December 14, 2008, 03:18 PM
Good post Saturno.
Remember, I'm kinda old, and they didn't have that kinda power in 30-06 (or 8mm) in my Bear Hunting days.
And, NEVER USE SOFTPOINT/HOLLOWPOINT in ANY BEAR SHOT..even with a 460Weatherby!
Anthing close to 3000/3000 with penetration is okay...(but only okay)
Bigger is better.

You put it well here:
About feeling undegunned.....maybe it's me but in front of a very big angry grizzly, a really terrifying sight, i would feel undergunned with ANYTHING.....
Even with experience I still feel this way! (.50 BMG, please! 3000fps/14,000ftlb :)...and I'm only HALF kidding!)

They are such awsome animals with SO MUCH power, and so hard to bring down...no matter WHAT anyone tells you. You can shoot one through the heart, and sometimes they'll still run for 10-15 seconds!!!
They can do a LOT of damage (kill you) in 10 seconds...even WITH a perfect shot through the heart.
Head shots are very hard because its a small moving target, and unless just the right angle, will richochet off their super-thick skull.
Scratch that for planning, anyway.

To actually PLAN to try anything like that with a pistol round/30-30(2500fps/1800ftlb) is bravado talking on someone's part, and could very likely result in a dangerous/wounded animal (maybe attacking an unsuspecting someone else two days later).
Sure it can be done...is it advised?....NEGATIVE!

Redhawk said it well, also:
Seeing's how this is a question on what handgun to carry for Grizzly bear defense, and not what else you would carry.

I say the biggest gun you can shot accurately. If you are charged by a brown bear, 95% of the time the bear is going to get to you before you can even get a shot off. Now if you do have time to shoot, it will be at a moving target and your ass is in flight mode.

I just hope, I never put myself into the situation as to have to defend myself agents a Grizzly. The best thing to do is use your head, and be very aware of what is around you. Use good common sense and avoid a bear confrontation at all costs.

THAT sums it up and could't have been better said by any old sourdough. DON'T cook bacon for dinner on top of the cooler next to the tent, splatter bacon grease over your hands and everything else, then crawl into your warm sleeping bag and go to sleep.

I would still rather see you with a small pump 12ga and pepper spray for that emergency, than a pistol, IF POSSIBLE.
Use a pistol grip 12ga, if you just HAVE to have something small for the tent (for 10yd shots). I like a tactical, with both.
Easier to stuff in more ammo, after you try a couple "warning shots" which a lot of folks seem to forget about.
The classic "hey bear, hey bear" screaming sometimes just pisses them off.

One time we (Dad and I) scared off a huge Grizzly (Talketna river) by covering him with (Dad's).300Weatherby(3250fps/4225ftlb), while firing over his head (twice!!) with my .243 (3000/2000, better than a 30-30, but still NOT enough).

It was my first Caribou hunt, we woke up to the rattling of pots. He was about 50yds away (by the way) with his face in our cooking gear(ALWAYS kept 50yds away from the tent!). When we fired the first warning shot he stood up on his hind legs and "wooofed"(at 50yds!!!!)! I kept my cool and chambered another .243. I Fired the second, and he bolted off through the raging Talketna river rapids like they were a mud-puddle. NO harm, No foul...mission accomplished. I maybe wouldn't have kept my cool if not for that .300 being there. And, having to jack around with a dead bear would have ruined the Caribou hunt. (it's the Law...for Fish and Game statistical purposes!)

For what it's worth, I've done a lot of killing (younger days) and NOW my passion is wildlife photography. I still get the thrill of stalking the hunt (and trophy photos) without having to kill an animal. (Don't like Bear meat anyway...got the rug already).
And, for stalking around the woods with my camera, I NOW carry a short "tactical" 12 guage with 1st round 00 buckshot, the rest are slugs. And, clip-on pepper spray.

Bottom line:Handgun for protection from a grizzly? Sure it can be done...is it advised?....NEGATIVE!
Stack all the ballistics numbers and odds of winning IN YOUR FAVOR when dealing with dangerous game.
Would you hunt a Cape Buffalo with a handgun or a 30-30? Yes it's been done....but smart? You make the call.
But if YOU wound it, don't leave it for someone else to clean up.

Fenris
December 15, 2008, 02:54 AM
The ONLY gun I would be confident using when facing an angry grizzly would be a minigun. And even then I would like some distance.

http://www.guncopter.com/images/gallery/uh-1n-minigun.jpg

4Freedom
December 15, 2008, 01:03 PM
Bear Pepper Spray Beats Handgun anyday for grizzly bear attack.. It sprays a cloud and will leave the bear in agony.. Both of you can walk home. A grizzly bear has so much natural body armor, I would never dare think about using anything less than a shotgun or high caliber rifle to kill one in defense. Most grizzlies don't attack unless you provoke them. I am not a gun expert, but I know about grizzlies. If you are really going to go the handgunr route, I think you would need two high caliber handguns. Carry one on each side. Two plugs of a .45+ caliber at point blank range should take care of him. If you are dealing with cubs, it can be a fight to the death. Usually they do a false charge and you really need to make sure they are close. Playing dead is actually best defense for grizzly and if he decides to approach you get him as close to face as you can.

One thing about grizzly bears, they can weigh over 1000lbs, over 7 ft high. THey can run around 30mph and they are very intelligent. Don't think its so easy to just shoot one. I have heard stories of people with rifles and shotguns still losing and being killed by grizzly bears. Grizzly bears have been responsible for many deaths of well-armed settlers throughout history.

However, most grizzly bears are docile and shy of humans. You have greater chance of being attacked by rogue humans or cougars way out their in the bush than by a grizzly bear. Cougars are responsible for many mroe human deaths than grizzly bears.

jbech123
December 15, 2008, 02:27 PM
As someone said, it's gotta be something that you will always have with you. Of course a 12 gauge or a 45-70 would be better than a handgun, but if the 45-70 is in the truck and you have a 357 on your person, the 357 is far superior. This month's Eastman's magazine has an article on a guy that killed a grizzly with a bow when it attacked his son. Guy got tore up a bit but definitely had his life saved by the guy with the bow. You might not kill a bear instantaneously with say a 454 casull, but you'd stand a decent chance of getting out alive, much better than if you had nothing.

jbech123
December 15, 2008, 02:39 PM
Cougars are responsible for many mroe human deaths than grizzly bears.

Seinfeld has nothing on you, you are a funny guy. Nice try, but anyone who does even a little research knows that is laughable.:banghead:

Gunnerpalace
December 15, 2008, 03:00 PM
but anyone who does even a little research knows that is laughable

I have done some research I still believe it, a lot of people go missing in the Rockies every would not put it past lions, bears you can run into them, mountain lions stalk, and usually an ambush from behind at a hunter or walker by themselves, lions scare me more than bears.

earlthegoat2, please, do not take any offense at all to my saying this, it is just my observation but the Fish and Wildlife pdf you showed us reads like a Brady press release.
person’s chance of incurring serious injury from
a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired

But I will agree to this much pepper spray is good so far (from what I have seen it is a bit of a new product so time will tell anything if all). But I would still carry a handgun of some caliber as backup.

jbech123
December 15, 2008, 03:15 PM
I have done some research I still believe it, a lot of people go missing in the Rockies every would not put it past lions, bears you can run into them, mountain lions stalk, and usually an ambush from behind at a hunter or walker by themselves, lions scare me more than bears.

Sure there could be a few undocumented deaths for either, but statistically it would probably have about the same ratio, which is about 9 bear to 1 cougar.

A scientific review of records on attacks by cougars on humans in the United States and Canada from 1890 through 1990 indicated there were 53 cougar attacks on humans during this period. There were nine attacks that resulted in 10 human deaths, and 44 non-fatal attacks.
Since that report was published in 1991 (by Professor Paul Beier, a wildlife ecologist at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, formerly of University of California, Berkeley), there have been three documented fatal human attacks in the United States, one in Colorado and two in California.
So 13 total deaths.

Between 1900 and 2003 there were about 52 recorded deaths due to black bears, 50 due to brown bears and 5 due to polar bears.
So that is 107 total deaths(couldn't find data for non-fatal bear attacks.)

Gunnerpalace
December 15, 2008, 05:21 PM
Point taken,

Still I would not want to screw around with either of them.

tblt
December 15, 2008, 05:22 PM
No less than a 44 mag

ConstantineJ9
December 15, 2008, 05:41 PM
+1 tblt

jbech123
December 15, 2008, 06:10 PM
Still I would not want to screw around with either of them.

We certainly agree there!

PRM
December 15, 2008, 06:22 PM
There is an old story about an Alaskan guide who only carried a .22 single action. One day a customer asked him why he only carried a .22 in bear country. The guide replied, "it's big enough, all I have to do is shoot you in the knee, then I outrun you.":neener:

glockman19
December 15, 2008, 06:34 PM
It's the reason I have a .44mag.

KBintheSLC
December 15, 2008, 07:04 PM
I wouldn't hesitate to carry my Glock 20 into griz territory if I was confined to a handgun. A rifle is always better than any handgun, but I feel pretty good when I load up the G20 with 16 rounds of intermingled 200g-FMJ-Flat Points and some 200g JHP Controlled Expansion loads. I'll easily get over 2 feet of penetration and I can place 2-3 rounds accurately in about the same time it takes to place a single round from a large revolver. The other thing about the G20 is the long range accuracy... I can hit a man sized steel target with it at 200 meters off hand. So, I could feel comfortable engaging a bear out beyond 50 meters.

arizonaguide
December 15, 2008, 07:39 PM
SHOOT a Bear with a Handgun? SAME thing (only WORSE!).

If you are lucky he will run away, wounded. If you are NOT lucky, he'll keep coming...and seriously injure/kill you.
If you are lucky and he runs away wounded, you now have created a wounded dangerous animal that is YOUR problem to clean up. UNLESS you are the same type of person who leaves his shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot for someone else to clean up.
Then, yes..."it's not your problem."

Yes it's very "convenient' to have a 454 on your hip...and it feels vey reassuring. And yes the numbers are impressive for a pistol...in fact almost 2/3 of what would be considered effective minimum.

Very imressive.

But how convenient is that going to be when you (or someone else because of you) have to take that inconvenient helicopter/ambulance trip out of the bush because you wounded a large dangerous animal with your convenient pistol?

A tactical 12ga with a folding stock and pistol grip is very convenient to sling over your shoulder. And with copper slugs are very effective at (pistol) ranges.

People, Take those 200g JHP Controlled Expansion loads out of that Glock for Bear.
FMJ round nose only...and then be prepared to track and kill a wounded bear.
Better yet, don't even think about Glocks (Ak-47's SKS's, AR-15's etc.) for Bear defense.

If you are talking about Couger (less MASS, hide, etc). Then Maybe.

Even Utah Blackbear should be 30-06 or better (use something close to 3000/3000). We have found large caliber pistol slugs (let alone anything from a Glock) matted in the hair, (or in the thick hide) of the Bear...not ANYTHING close to 2' penetration. They are NOT soft like people flesh. With a Glock you may get lucky with the "noise" of 16 rounds scaring them off, though. Then you have 16 rounds into a wounded bear scenario.

I'm sorry to say this folks, but PLANNING on using a pistol for Bear is just irresponsible. Most likely will be cruel to the animal, and very likely creates a dangerous situation, probably for someone else. But, I've seen it all my life (or since Dirty Harry came out). Until you get a handgun that shoots 3000fps/3000ftlb...be responsible and don't even think about it.

The ONLY time I can see it justified is if you are a serious "fly fisherman" and that small, easy to carry Tactical 12ga is just impossible to have in the middle of the stream in hipboots, while flycasting.

Anybody else fishing from the boat or the bank, or hiking the trail...NO EXCUSES.

Pepper spray/12 ga. copper sabot slugs/or better 3000/3000+ rifle.
12ga w/tactical stock, pepper spray all for less than $200...and convenient.
Trip out of bush in a helicopter/ambulance(for you or someone else) with a ruined hunt/fishing trip...priceless.

Handguns for bear defense more than likely just create a problem for yourself or (more likely) someone else when the wounded bear runs off into the brush, and you don't (or you can't)follow...(and there's not a Guide there) to clean up the wounded animal...(by LAW!).

gbran
December 15, 2008, 08:42 PM
Last few trips to AK, my guides carried shotties, 1st round buckshot followed by slugs. They claim buckshot to the face gives the bear pause, while they then lay in the slugs. Another problem with the grizzlie is their thick low sloping forehead which makes head shots tough. I carried a SRH in .454 along with my hunting rifle.

arizonaguide
December 15, 2008, 09:05 PM
Yup! Good answer GB! You sound like you got ahold of some Good Alaska folks. I'll bet there was a .338 or better around also.

For what it's worth, I've done a lot of killing (younger days) and NOW my passion is wildlife photography. I still get the thrill of stalking the hunt (and trophy photos) without having to kill an animal. (Don't like Bear meat anyway...got the rug already). And, for stalking around the woods with my camera, I NOW carry a short "tactical" 12 guage with 1st round 00 buckshot, the rest are slugs. And, clip-on pepper spray.

Handguns and Bears.
Is it irresponsible, and a cruel tragedy waiting to happen? Absol-freakin-lutely! (just my 40+year humble opinion).
If you absolutely MUST (fly fisherman only?) then make it a 454 or 500 please.

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/bear09.jpg
NOT a zoom lens!

Take a look at the following video, and try to imagine this with a handgun. (and notice the first bear is still standing across the stream...after 2 shots at 60yds...from I'm sure a .338 or better)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZnsL7-UdGc
This was a Tragedy! They killed 2 bears and left a set of orphaned cubs that the Fish and Game now has to spend tens-of-thousands of $$$ to rescue, or will have to be destroyed.

The hunt was ruined. They felt like crap. They may have killed 4 animals (including the Cubs) for a trophy.

Now imagine if they had wounded the mother bear with handgun slugs and she ran off...with the cubs..into the alders.

At least this way the Cubs will be easy to find (and destroy?)...because they'll be there, crying over their mother's dead body, instead of burried in some alder patch with their wounded/pissed off mother who has 3 handgun sluds in her.

I guarantee you they cut THAT footage out of the Cabella's "hunting" video. Why, I guess you just haven't felt like a "real hunter" until you've heard the sound of a Cub crying over a Mother Sow's body...because of your stupidity. Yeah, great stuff. Real Man-like. It was a Tragedy, and MAYBE it could have been avoided...and would have been MUCH worse with just a handgun.

arizonaguide
December 15, 2008, 10:16 PM
This is from a friend of mine. Sorry to double post, but it's not really mine.
This fits the Handgun for Bear concept really well, and perhaps says it better than I can. (these are the kind of people I'm lucky enough to call friends)

------------------------------------------------------------------
How I came to revere all life.

I was eleven years old growing up in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania. Our home was miles from town and while we were MUCH better off than we were five or ten years earlier, we were still poor. Many days were spent just hitting rocks with a stick and pretending that I was a baseball player.

While I was pretending that the bases were loaded with a full count, I noticed a large bird that I had never seen before fly up not ten yards from me and land on the trunk of a red oak. I threw my “baseball” into the air whacked it with my “bat”. That stone went zinging right by that bird and he didn’t even flinch. After I was finished rounding the bases and bowing and raising my cap to the “crowd” I noticed that that bird was still pretty much oblivious to my presence.

I picked up a stone and just kind of lobbed it in the bird’s general direction. It never flinched. I became fascinated with this fairly large bird that I could not recall seeing before that simply seemed to not give a damn that I was there. I picked up stone after stone and lobbed it at the bird, and then I actually began to aim at the bird. I came real close (within an inch or so) and the bird hopped off from the trunk of the tree onto the ground. I began to get kind of mad that the bird just wasn’t afraid of me. I picked up several larger stones and began actually throwing them to hit the bird hard. This bird would just move a little away from where the stone hit and refused to fly away. I became incensed at the nerve of this bird and I picked up a very large flat piece of slate and I whipped it at the bird kind of like a Frisbee. It landed a few feet in front of the bird and then it skipped twice and on the second skip… it hit the bird!

The bird flopped around for a few seconds. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe that I had actually hit the bird. My heart sank and I began to bawl like a baby when I realized what I had done. I went to the bird and I picked it up and I was franticly trying to figure out how I could get it to a veterinarian… but it was too late. I had committed a horrible sin against nature! I had killed out of anger! I was distraught, and so deeply ashamed of myself. I wanted desperately to go to my grandmother and tell her what I had done, I wanted her to tell me that I wasn’t an evil little *******, but I just couldn’t bring myself to tell my grandmother who loved nature that I had destroyed one of its creatures just because.

The bottom line is that I wasn’t sure that she would tell me what I wanted to hear. Just a few months before this incident she had caught me shooting blue jays with my bb gun. While she wasn’t a big fan of blue jays, she certainly didn’t approve of me shooting them just for fun. She made me gather them all up and prepare them for cooking. She told me that I must eat what I kill. She was one half Iroquois Indian and, while she didn’t follow much else from her heritage, she definitely shared their respect for nature. She let me off the hook before the birds actually went into the oven, but she made it clear to me that I must not kill for enjoyment. So here I am only a short time later and I’ve done this terrible thing. I just couldn’t bear to disappoint her again, and so I lived with the guilt. I quite literally felt sick for weeks and I beat myself up on a daily basis. Then one day my grandmother was talking about something completely unrelated when she said; “when we sin and we are truly sorry, God forgives us. We have only to forgive ourselves.”

I went to the library the next morning and discovered that the bird that I had killed was a Pileated Woodpecker. I forgave myself later that night and the next morning it was as if I noticed nature for the first time. I seen the beauty of the sunlight filtering through the leaves, I heard the song of nature all around me. It was an awakening to the wonder of nature. I have had a reverence for all life ever since. I believe in hunting, fishing and the raising of animals for food. However, I am hyper sensitive to clean, humane killing. I once went off on my brother-in-law for placing crawfish in a pot and then heating the water. Life is sacred…

burk
December 15, 2008, 10:28 PM
Their is a big difference in between what I would hunt Grizzly with and what I would carry for Bear Protection. Hunting for the most part occurs at ranges of 50 to 200 yards. Protection occurs inside of 20 yards, I'm not sure I agree the 3000/3000 rule applies. The goal of protection is to stop the animal, obviously you don't want to wound a grizzly. But the chances of scoring a couple of good hits inside 20 yards are much higher. I know several Alaskan Guides that carry 44 mags and a couple that have used them successfully. I personally would lean toward a .454. The problem with a long gun is you can't flyfish with a 375 H & H strapped over your shoulder. And once you lay the rifle down the tendency is to walk a away from it. It isn't going to help you once the bear gets between you and the gun. The advantage of a pistol is that is is strapped to your waist.

As far as Bear spray I prefer it, but it has one serious flaw, it can be downright dangerous if the Bear is upwind from you. And that is exactly the situation where your likely to startle a bear. In other words the most dangerous encounter you can have with a bear (surprising one) is the situation where spray is least effective. Remember a Bears eyesight is his worse sense, his sense of smell is his best sense. Having said all of this, I am a great admirer of the Alaskan Griz, especially the Costal Variety. And the last thing I would want to do is kill one. The real best defense is to stay in groups of three or more, stay alert, don't carry food, and when a Bear comes down the river get out of the way. The most I've seen in one day at Katmai was 13, a couple got within twenty yards.

earlthegoat2
December 15, 2008, 10:34 PM
Like I said, make your bear defense gun your primary weapon. Use a Magnum Rifle or a properly loaded 45/70 or 450.

But make plan A some good ol fashioned bear spray.

adam h
December 15, 2008, 10:57 PM
Ok, try not to laugh to hard, but what about a Tokarev - 7.62x25? At least the penetration would be there. Like most others, I wouldn't hunt a bear with it, or look for an encounter, but from everything I've read, it's ability to penetrate is it's strong suit.

arizonaguide
December 15, 2008, 11:09 PM
Minimum 3000fps(+/-), and OVER 3000ftlb, or better...

And, If YOU wound the bear with a handgun(which is most likely), YOU clean it up.
Don't call a guide, Don't call Fish and Game.
YOU go into that alder patch (with 3' visability) after the Bear you just wounded with your convenient "self-defense" handgun.

A 12ga w/folding stock is pretty damn convenient...and effective at CLOSE (pistol) ranges. NO excuse, for anyone other than TRUE fly fishermen not to carry something for effective kill. Would you walk thru Africa with only your 44mag/454 causel on your hip?
If so, then darwin will account for you.
Than why would you do it in Alaska?

The problem with this scenario, is with Bears, you may get someone else hurt...weeks later.

The convenience factor goes all to crap when the inconvenience of a wounded animal is taken into account, in that (so-called)"defensive" situation.

I'm just tired of seeing Bears killed in what are termed "self defense" situations, where people "baited" them in with their cooking/ignorance/garbage, then wounded them with their "self defense" Bear-handgun logic (and marketing hype), leaving someone else to finish the problem, in the thick brush, with a .338 or a 12ga.

It's ALL TO COMMON since "Dirty Harry" came out.
Generally it's the first purchase made (with good intentions) by young GI's when they get stationed in Alaska...and it takes a lifetime of convincing, (or ONE real-life "oh crap" 60yd charge, like that video) to convince them otherwise. Hopefully no one (including the bear) gets hurt in the educational process.

Again: DON'T cook bacon for dinner on top of the cooler next to the tent, splatter bacon grease over your hands and everything else, then crawl into your warm sleeping bag and go to sleep.
Then claim "self-defense" when you wound the bear when the Bear comes calling.

Too many people think the only education they need is that "Big Handgun" on their hip.
I guess that's what I get so worked up about. Often it costs Bears (and Cubs) and people, their lives...unnecessarily. And that's some VERY sacred stuff (to me).

Redhawk1
December 16, 2008, 08:22 AM
arizonaguide ,

You keep referring to the poor bear that gets shot charging, or a bear that gets wounded. In a life or death fight, I don't care what happens to the bear, yes it is tragic that something has to die, but I would rather read about a bear being kill than a human.

I don't know why you keep giving worst case situation with a handgun. Everything you post can be said for using a rifle also.

The only way you are going to actually stop a charge right away, is hit the animal in the CNS, brain, or spine.
So no matter the platform you are using, the bullet has to reach that area to stop the charge.

Now if you know how well the larger handguns with the proper bullet will penetrate, you may have a different opinion on the handgun. Handguns in the 454 Casull, 475 Linebaugh, 480 Ruger, 500 Mag 500 Linebaugh etc.. will out penetrate almost any rifle, even the 30-06 and 375 H&H.
http://www.handloads.com/misc/linebaugh.penetration.tests.asp


I am a handgun hunter, and I hunt black bear with a handgun. I have kill 4 black bear with different handguns, 500 Mag, 510 GNR, 454 Casull and 44 Mag. Every bear I shot, never made it further than 25 yards before expiring, and that is with heart and lung shots, no head shots at all.



Now for your 3000 fps 3000 foot pounds of energy. Velocity is not a good indicator of how well a bullet will penetrate. Proper bullet construction, the right velocity is what does it. Too much velocity can cause you to actually loose penetration.

Here are some numbers for you on my S&W 500 Mag.
My S&W 500 Mag with a 440 gr. hard cast bullet going 1800 fps give's me 3165 fpe.

gunnie
December 16, 2008, 09:24 AM
"Proper bullet construction, the right velocity is what does it."

that is true. so why is the .375 H&H shooting a cast bullet instead of a RN FMJ or a barnes solid? this caliber has taken many elephant and rhino. from WAY back in 1912, when these kids no doubt roamed the range a little bigger than they are now.

please don't go trying that with a handgun. i won't say it can't be done, it just isn't a very good idea.

gunnie

Jason M
December 16, 2008, 09:30 AM
This is really a speculator's topic unless you've actually gone toe-to-toe with a grizzly with your large bore revolver. But, I guess in the spirit of speculation of the inexperienced, I'll drop my 2 cents.

I, personally, think .454 Casull is the lower limit for me. While it may not be as powerful as .460, .475, .480 or .500, it has a quicker follow-up shot time in my opinion. Unless you have gigantic tree-trunk wrists, .454 Casull would be a great choice.

However, I am of the school of thought that for defense against large predators like bears or other large animals like moose (animals will know are coming at you), a short barreled lever-action or bolt action rifle would be most ideal. A carbine length (about 18" or so) lever action in .45-70 or .444 Marlin would be superb. If a company ever gets a .500S&W lever action produced, that would be great, too.

For attackers like wild cats (that you typically don't see coming), a .41mag 4" revolver would be great. If you could draw it while the cat is wrestling with you, your could put it up to its gut and blow a nice hole in it.

But, just my $0.02.

Jason

Redhawk1
December 16, 2008, 09:31 AM
gunnie, do some research, and you will see that a lot of big dangerous game has been taken with handguns from 454 Casull and up.

I am talking elephant, hippo, cape buffalo and rhino.
But just like any other hunter that goes to hunt dangerous game, your guide is there to back you up no matter what you are shooting. Too many people underestimate a handgun.

gunnie
December 16, 2008, 09:44 AM
true, and big griz have fallen to .22lr. (posting #50)

gunnie

gunnie
December 16, 2008, 09:48 AM
about those cast slugs from the 375 H&H mentioned in the link,
please see below from:

http://www.scidetroit.com/375.htm


Federal Cartridge loads the 300 gr Sledge Hammer in their factory ammo. With these quality solids, it is said that the 375 H&H will "out-penetrate" the 416 and 458 calibers. It may penetrate "deeper", but as good as the 375 H&H is, it is "not" a Remington or Rigby. Those who have used both say there is a marked difference in how game reacts to being hit with a 300 gr. bullet vs. hitting them with a 400 gr. bullet going the same speed. It is called mass X (times) velocity squared.

so really, the paper/bone test proves only penetration.

gunnie

Redhawk1
December 16, 2008, 10:06 AM
Penetration is not the only factor, penetration gets you to where you need the bullet to go. Having a bigger diameter bullet and heavier bullets aids in a larger wound channel.

But you are getting away from the original posters question of handguns.

arizonaguide
December 16, 2008, 10:13 AM
Redhawk, good post/valid points...you are probably the exception to the rule. Gunny, you are RIGHT ON TARGET!

All I'm saying is I'm tired of seeing the unnecessary death of Bears from people uneducated about what attracts them (garbage/food discipline, etc.) They all but "bait" the bear into their camp with bad garbage discipline, then are forced to shoot the bear in (so-called) "self defense" with a "problem bear"...when in fact THEY were the problem. I'm sick of this "self-defense" bullcrap.

They go out into the bush, and the only Bear knowlege (or respect) they have (or care to have) is the thought that the Big .44 (454/500) is gonna solve any problem they come across.

Further, they often are not trained to the HIGH DEGREE that YOU are, and their .44/454/500 results in a wounded bear (often one with cubs).

Darn right poor bears, and it's a tragedy I have seen way too often since the .44magnum got all it's publicity in the 70's. Before that, no idiot in their right mind would think of using a pistol against Alaskan Brown Bear.
Good old "Dirty Harry" changed all that.

So NOW you have the average idiot (not yourself) who WAS the problem to begin with(NOT the Bear), who has NOW maybe wounded the bear because: 1) poor marksmanship, 2) not careing to educate himself on the ways of Bush Discipline, and 3) the use of an underpowered weapon.

Let me ask this (rhetorical) question: How much training do you have in marksmanship training with the .44/454/500? Do you have over 3000 rounds of rapid draw/fire practice? Do you shoot several hundred rounds a year with it to stay sharp? Do you practice shooting in a Bear related (stress-fire) type training situation to actually be qualified to use it in this situation?
Are you thoroughly educated on bear attack prevention procedures?
Do you carry your food into the bush in Bearproof containers?
Were any of the 4 Bears pissed off, and charging you or your family?
etc., etc., etc.

If NOT, then you are part of the situation that is ALL TO COMMON...and YOU ARE the problem, NOT the (poor) Bear (and maybe cubs).
Just having a .44 on your hip is NOT the solution to the "Problem Bear".
Education and prevention on YOUR part is the solution.

I have kill 4 black bear with different handguns, 500 Mag, 510 GNR, 454 Casull and 44 Mag. Every bear I shot, never made it further than 25 yards before expiring, and that is with heart and lung shots, no head shots at all.
YOU make my point exactly!
So, from your experience: 25 yards AFTER shooting heart/lungs.

What I'm saying is that the AVERAGE sunday camper with the "Big Bear-Handgun" mentality, shoots this bear in (garbage/food covered)camp, at 10yards, MAYBE makes a clean shot (and the SOB can still run 25yds!) ...guess what? You shot him at 10yds, and you needed 26!

That's the longest 5 seconds of that poor SOB's life when the Bear runs 10, and then has 5 or 10 seconds to kick his butt (before it MAYBE expires).

The BIG surprise is when the wife finds out that the "big .44" wasn't crap (like hubby swore it was, based on NO experience...but just marketing hype)...CUZ IT MAY BE HER BUTT THAT'S GETTING CHEWED UPON...or the KIDS.
OR ME!

It's kinda like riding a motorcycle without a helmet...if it's your head...okay, more power to ya, and GOOD luck! Hunt Cape Buffalo with a pistol if that's your thing. But don't put your poor wife, kids, camp neighbors, myself, the guides, and Fish and Wildlife into the mix...because it was too inconvenient to carry a larger weapon. (speaking to Average Joe, of course).

IF you are going to be bringing family into the bush, get educated on the ways to be Bear Safe, prevent the unnecessary killing, and stop blaming the "self-defense" situation on the (poor) Bear (and maybe cubs)...when in fact it was YOU that are the problem. Bears will be Bears. YOU are supposed to be "smarter", and use techniques to avoid this situation. It seems, however, that MOST PEOPLE just aint! It's always someone elses (or the Bear's) fault.


Maybe some folks just like the tragedy of having to kill a bear over garbage, then listen to it's cubs scream and cry over their dead mother, or enjoy calling Fish and Game to come and clean up a problem that was created by YOU...(not the Bear).
:banghead:

earlthegoat2
December 16, 2008, 10:18 AM
When I was a GI (actually a Airman) stationed in Alaska I wanted to hunt. I didnt buy a handgun. I bought a 450 Marlin after some long discussions with the locals. My backup gun was a friend that I never hunted without who had a 350 Remington Magnum. Bears were killed including one coastal brown bear. All of them were hit good on the first shot but were shot again to put them down for good. This was done at ranges of less than 50 yds every time. Even powerful cartridges with good hits to the vitals arent going to stop a brown bear in its tracks. (perfect headshot maybe)

Also good bullets were used. I had ASquare load me some custom 450 bullets using their proprietary Dead Tough bullet. Same thing with my hunting buddy and his 350 Mag.

arizonaguide
December 16, 2008, 10:34 AM
By the way:

Alaskan Divorce.

An alaskan divorce is when you take your sweetheart out fishing, and make camp.

Then you say "Honey, after that long drive you go ahead and finish your nap...I'm gonna go drown a worm" (fish).

Then as you leave to go fishing, you lay 2 strips of RAW bacon across the top of the tent.

I hear it works every time.:evil:

______________________________________________

And, If YOU wound a bear with a handgun(which is most likely), YOU clean it up.
Don't call a guide, Don't call Fish and Game. Don't call me.
YOU go into that alder patch (with 3' visability) after the Bear you just wounded with your convenient "self-defense" handgun...when he charged you because of your garbage. Better yet, get educated on how to avoid being the problem.

earlthegoat2
December 16, 2008, 10:38 AM
Isint that what Grizzly Man did?

BikerRN
December 16, 2008, 10:43 AM
does anyone have an opinion on a handgun that would stop a grizzly with one shot?

Nope.

I don't want a handgun, but rather a Pump Shotgun. There is no "One Shot Stop Guarantee, even with a longarm.

I don't even want a handgun to deal with a bi-pedal aggressor, but carry one or three because of the "portability" and ease of concealment. I'm more likely to have a handgun on me than a Shotgun or an M4 on my person when I most need it.

My "minimum" caliber, in a handgun, for Griz Country is a 44 Magnum, but can make do with a 45 Colt. With that said, I'd prefer a 454, 460 or 500. :)

BikerRN

Redhawk1
December 16, 2008, 11:05 AM
arizonaguide , I am not disagreeing with prevention as the best method. But even with the best prevention used, bear encounters can still happen.

Don't us my 25 yards as an example to further your agenda here. I was merely showing how quickly a bear will die from a proper shot on a bear. Now if I had made a good head shot, I am more than sure the bear would not of made it past either the place where it was shot or maybe a few feet.

But every thing you discussed about bears and handguns can apply to rifles or shotguns in defense situations. Poor shooting for any method will result in a wounded bear.

But getting on a high horse and preaching to others about handguns only is not going to change a thing.

Now to answer your list of questions.

Let me ask this (rhetorical) question: How much training do you have in marksmanship training with the .44/454/500? Do you have over 3000 rounds of rapid draw/fire practice? Do you shoot several hundred rounds a year with it to stay sharp? Do you practice shooting in a Bear related (stress-fire) type training situation to actually be qualified to use it in this situation?
Are you thoroughly educated on bear attack prevention procedures?
Do you carry your food into the bush in Bearproof containers?
Were any of the 4 Bears pissed off, and charging you or your family?
etc., etc., etc.
I have been handgun hunting for over 25 years, I shoot over 3000 rounds yearly with my big bore handguns.
I have practiced rapid draw/fire, using my 4 inch 500 Mag, I have also practiced multi-firing of the 500 Mag as well.

There is not way on earth anyone can train for a bear attack without having the situation happen. All the training in the world may never prepare you for such a situation, but not having a gun in the same situation is only going to result in your death.

Yes I am thoroughly educated on bear attack prevention procedures, and we had to use them when I was on our Caribou hunt in the Arctic circle. We had a Grizzly come into our camp, we avoided the situation and the bear walked off, and we are around to tell our story of the encounter.

Yes we used bear proof food containers and stored them 200 yards out of the camp.

No, none of the 4 bears I took were pissed off. But if they were the outcome would of been the same, 4 dead bear.

Just to give you a little story about one of my buddies bear hunts last year that we went on. My buddy was in his ground blind when he has a black bear come in, the bear came to his ground blind and stick it's head into the blind, the bear backed out and walked about 3 steps from the blind and then turned to came back to the blind, my buddy shot it from 3 feet and the bear fell back and rolled around on the ground and jumped back up and charged the blind a second time, my buddy shot once more and killed the bear. All that with just a handgun.


I think you need to start your own thread about the poor bears. See how many reply's you get there, This is a handgun hunting area, and as question was asked about handguns and bear protection.
Will a handgun work, sure it will and has. The reason people carry protection is just for that reason Protection.

Coming here and crying about the poor bear is not getting any sympathy from me.

Let me see, me or the bear... I think the bear.

gunnie
December 16, 2008, 11:12 AM
"But you are getting away from the original posters question of handguns."

no, i'm trying to warn him that the link you posted was skewed by poor bullet choice. and as such, beware.

i was forced to whack a 600lb (+,-) cow moose with a bad altitude in front of a bud's house in cantwell, AK one spring day. i did it with a .45ACP from a combat comander, about 5' away. the first slug, a 200gr HP, removed a divot of fur and bone from between her eyes, and left them imbeded in the slug that stopped bouncing around by his screen door. it only rung her bell. either # 2 or 3 went in her left eye, and the situation was no longer dangerous.

you see, i know a handgun CAN stop more than their design parameters include. but i still don't recommend it....

gunnie

Redhawk1
December 16, 2008, 11:23 AM
Poor bullet choice, not much will out penetrate a good hard cast bullet. A good hard cast bullet is considered a solid bullet.
Go ahead and do the test yourself with your Barnes bullets or RN bullet, your penetration will not vary much if at all.

You tell me how all them "poor bullet choice" hard cast bullets from a handgun out penetrated most rifles????

CJ
December 16, 2008, 11:30 AM
Reliably stop a grizzly with one shot from a handgun? Haven't seen it and wouldn't want to try it (or be in the vicinity of anyone trying it). In my armchair opinion, I think you'd have a better chance of scaring it off with the noise than putting it down with one shot.

For some perspective:
A relative who was a bear guide for many years (in Alaska) carried a Casull (long before most people had even heard of .454) for, as he put it, a last-ditch up the nose prayer.

arizonaguide
December 16, 2008, 11:35 AM
As I said Redhawk, you may be the exception to the rule. Sorry if I don't agree with your recommending it for everyone.
And, I am addressing Joe Average who does NOT shoot 3000rds/year...but probably 30rds/year.

If "getting on my high horse" prevents one wife/child/bear/cub from being killed from "Dirty Harry-Bear Gun" mentality, or poor garbage discipline...then it was worth it.

And I sure DO think this is the thread to talk about it...and I think Fish and Game would agree with me.
It's not "self defense" when it's YOUR FAULT the bear came into camp for your garbage.

Again, inhumane kills and lack of garbage discipline are things I get fired up about.

Best bet: get educated on how to avoid being the problem. And Pepper Spray/12ga for camp.

greenr18
December 16, 2008, 11:38 AM
I've always heard .44 magnum.

pps
December 16, 2008, 11:39 AM
If I ever do venture into Grizzly territory it will be with the biggest/baddest/meanest/nastiest/asswhoopinest rifle caliber I can carry and shoot well. It will also be with a grizzled old fart who didn't get to be a grizzled OLD fart by being stupid and not knowing the area and potential threats.

I've taken a couple of black bears with a 30-30 and do not feel under gunned with .357 and an LBT over max charge of h110...but I CAN and HAVE hit with this combo, out to 50 yards confidently on boar. But a boar or a black bear is nothing compared to a Grizzly or Polar Bear in size or attitude...even just from what I've seen at the zoo I have to chuckle at the thought of using a handgun.

arizonaguide
December 16, 2008, 12:00 PM
Redhawk, I'm not putting you down, Bro! I'm preaching (sorry) to Joe Average, about safety, discipline, and humane killing.

You mentioned:
Yes I am thoroughly educated on bear attack prevention procedures, and we had to use them when I was on our Caribou hunt in the Arctic circle. We had a Grizzly come into our camp, we avoided the situation and the bear walked off, and we are around to tell our story of the encounter.

Yes we used bear proof food containers and stored them 200 yards out of the camp.

Will you tell more about this story? I'd like to hear what techniques were used to AVOID the bad situation of having to kill the bears, and thereby ruining the Caribou hunt. Maybe a good story for all to hear.

CJ, PPS, Gunny...right on target!

Grey_Mana
December 16, 2008, 12:07 PM
This is definitely the gun you want:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qUjsCODGnE

gunnie
December 16, 2008, 12:07 PM
"You tell me how all them "poor bullet choice" hard cast bullets from a handgun out penetrated most rifles"

because they were fired at 1800fps, rather that the 2500fps from the 375.

perhaps you misunderstood what i said. i didn't say they were a poor choice from a handgun. i said they were a poor choice for the 375H&H.

gunnie

arizonaguide
December 16, 2008, 12:16 PM
I was thinking more like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3A7J898wgs&feature=PlayList&p=52772855CE6E2715&playnext=1&index=18

And Pepper Spray! :)

AKGuy
December 16, 2008, 12:17 PM
AzGuide...I like your attitude and style!

The way "it" (ie why carry a revolver of at least 41mag and up IN ADDITION TO A 12ga WITH BRENNEKE BLACK MAGIC SLUGS not instead of) was explained to me is this: you carry a revolver plus the slug gun in order to be able to be able (if you indeed end up able to do this) to pull the gun once the bear has you down on the ground and jam it into mouth/chest/throat and empty the gun into the bruin. No kidding--if folks take some time to research attacks, the cases in which the bear actually made physical contact with the victim AND in which the revolver actually saved the person's life...those cases fit the description of what I've offered. The revolver is basically NOT to be considered the first line of defense against bears--it can be fired once into the dirt to try and scare the thing off, and then you save it as a literally last ditch surprise for the beast if you get the chance to use it.

...unless maybe you've got a 44 mag with heavy bullets and are confronting a black bear as opposed to a brown bear, then it's a judgement call.

All of that having been inartfully said, the needless killing of bears and the pretty hard to excuse wounding of bears (that turn into problems for someone else, someone else's kids, etc) is pretty ridiculous and inexcusable--NO handgun is adequate for reliable bear defense. Carry a 12ga with hard cast slugs or a centerfire rifle of at least 30 caliber and up, the bigger the better within the limits of what a given shooter can usefully handle.

arizonaguide
December 16, 2008, 12:36 PM
Thanks AK!
Too many people think the only education they need is that "Big Handgun" on their hip.
I guess that's what I get so worked up about. Often it costs Bears (and Cubs) and people, their lives...unnecessarily. And that's some VERY sacred stuff (to me).

Redhawk1
December 16, 2008, 02:56 PM
Gunny, velocity does not give you more penetration. There comes a time were too much velocity gives you diminishing returns.

And why do you think a hard cast bullet is a poor choice of bullet for the 375 H&H? I use them with great success.

Redhawk1
December 16, 2008, 03:08 PM
arizonaguide , the same thing can happen if someone has a rifle. Next you are going to tell people to stay out of the wilderness.

Every time this debate comes up, people have to get bent out of shape. Besides using your head in the outdoors, if a encounter occurs, would you rather have nothing or a handgun?

You cannot have your rifle 24/7 when out in the wilderness, a handgun is a lot easier to carry. When you are sleeping in your tent as I did in Alaska, a rifle is not the easiest gun to maneuver in close quarters, but a handgun is.

And for anyone to say a large caliber handgun loaded properly cannot kill a Grizzly, you are truly misinformed and ignorant to big bore handguns, and what they are capable of.

95% of the people that posted on this thread will never be put into that situation, then there is the other 5% of us that have been there or close to it.

Avoidance is your first line of defense, second is your firearm. Use your head and you may never have to use your firearm.

woodybrighton
December 16, 2008, 03:32 PM
I had a friend in a patrol that stumbled on a bear with cubs 50 rounds of 7.62 FMJ and 90 rounds of 5.56mm fmj
bear went one way
patrol went the other all unharmed:D
possibly excessive for civillian use

JImbothefiveth
December 16, 2008, 03:45 PM
A handgun may not be ideal for bear defense, but a handgun you have is better than the .375 you don't, I can safely say this, no bear experiance needed.. And, it could make a good back-up.

However, I am hyper sensitive to clean, humane killing.

That's great if you're hunting, but if a bear charges me, I don't care too much what happens to it, as long as I survive.

If you wound a bear, you chase it and kill it, don't call fish and game
Wouldn't Fish and Game have far more experiance with this? I'd rather not die just because I didn't want to inconvenience Fish and Game.

saturno_v
December 16, 2008, 04:13 PM
Velocity, energy and bullet construction/weight...the combination of them and not only one parameter...on the velocity factor Redhawk1 is so right on this!!!

I been trying to say this since my first post.....velocity is all relative...the proper combination of all plus, most importantly, bullet construction and overall (the most important aspect) shot placement.

One of my Alaskan friend told me of a grizzly shot almost a point blank range (no more than couple of yards) with a .300 Weatherby Magnum and a solid quality bullet.....the thing exploded after only few inches of penetration!!! too much speed, the bullet could not take it once it hit a bone..well a lot more than 4000 ft/lb of energy and the guy still got badly mauled!!

On the other side, a big coastal in full charge (I saw the pics) got dropped deader then dead with 2 shots of 35 Remington hardcast solid

Arizonaguide, the Brenneke Black Magic, barely qualifies, accordingly with your formula, as bear medicine....just a bit more than 1600 fps and barely above 3000 ft/lb...

But that son of a gun 600 gr. hardened, sharp shouldered slug will go through anything....I would not be surprised that if it hit a grizzly's skull, without being deflected, it would split it open like a watermelon...

Guys, let's be realistic, when we are talking about a full power .30 cartridge, we are dealing, at minimum, (30-30) with a 170-190 gr projectile, circa 2000 ft/lb delivered at 2200-2400 fps...at very short range (50 yards or so) and with a quality solid bullet there is not much living tissue on earth that can stop it (maybe except Rhino, Elephant, etc...)
2000 ft/lb is 4 times more energy than a a typical 357 Mag round and on top of that we have a heavier bullet and way better sectional density (= more penetration)
Add an other 60% more for a 30-06 or a 7,62 X 54R....

It is unbelievable the difference in penetration that there is between a regular cheap soft point deer bullet and a solid or harcast...we are comparing orange with apples even within the same cartridge...shoot a grizzly with a .458 Win Mag bullet made of butter and see what happen....

Shot placement AND penetration....once your bullet goes where it supposed to be, THEN the larger diameter caliber makes the difference....for a charging animal, the argument that a larger wound channel makes the bear bleed faster is moot...he will get you before to bleed to death anyway...

Between a charging grizzly shot in the leg or guts with a .460 Weatherby and one shot in the CNS with a 30-30, I'll face the latter any time of the day...

Gun Slinger
December 16, 2008, 04:13 PM
.17 Mach2, a.k.a. "the giant killer". :evil:

Pilot
December 16, 2008, 04:25 PM
A Phased-plasma pistol in the forty watt range.

saturno_v
December 16, 2008, 04:47 PM
I would not feel undergunned at all against an enraged coastal grizzly with the 22 LR I got yesteday....load it with some Stinger, Velocitor or Aguila Inteceptor and you are good to go......:evil::evil::evil::evil::D:D:D:eek::eek::neener::neener:

http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/8494/remington597tz6.jpg

Redhawk1
December 16, 2008, 04:48 PM
When you do that, get it on U-tube so all can see it...lol

saturno_v
December 16, 2008, 05:10 PM
When you do that, get it on U-tube so all can see it...lol
Today 01:47 PM



Sure..i will do that!!! :D:evil:

arizonaguide
December 16, 2008, 08:31 PM
Redhawk,
Next you are going to tell people to stay out of the wilderness.
If that's what you got out of my posts, you are wrong! (but I understand cuz I was "preaching", sorry!)

EDUCATION/AVIODANCE is what I'm saying. I'm sick when one of my treasured Alaska Brown bears (and maybe cubs too) are destroyed because someone doesn't follow the rules of the Bush. They are not the "enemy", but a national treasure, and they are all but extinct in the lower 48 states. Hopefully we can be smarter than the bears (in the future), and not HAVE those "emergency" (so-called "self-defense") situations.

It's TRAGIC to me, if anyone (people or bear) are killed in a situation that SHOULD have been avoided.
Sympathy for the bear? HELL YES! You are supposed to be smart enough to look out for, and protect him with your education to his ways, and skills as a hunter.

THATS why I asked you to expand upon your Artic Circle procedures. Maybe we can ALL learn techniques to avoid the tragedy, and perhaps save a mother and cubs.

You cannot have your rifle 24/7 when out in the wilderness.

ALASKA BUSH rule #1 (pre-1970's DirtyHarry): ALWAYS have your rifle 24/7 when out in the wilderness.
ALASKA BUSH rule #2: Don't cook where you sleep, and police your GARBAGE/wash hands.
ALASKA BUSH rule #3: Don't feed the bears (even by accident!)


"You are allowed to carry a gun for protection in state parks. Select a gun that will stop a bear (12-gauge shotgun or .300 mag rifle) and practice firing it at a rifle range. Any bear shot in self defense must be salvaged and turned over to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game."
-Alaska Dept of Natural Resourses

"A .300-Magnum rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs are appropriate weapons if you have to shoot a bear.
Heavy handguns such as a .44-Magnum may be inadequate in emergency situations, especially in untrained hands."
-Alaska Dept of Fish and Game



More Bear safety ideas here:
http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/safety/bears.htm
http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=bears.bearfax

Get training, Be SAFE, Enjoy the wilderness. Always bring a camera. :)
http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/dadhuntingwIwas10yrsold.jpg
Hunting with Dad, 1960's Alaska.

TomcatPC
December 16, 2008, 09:30 PM
When I lived in Alaska, I only owned a single shot .22 and a Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk.I*, needless to say I took neither along whilst backpacking. I never did see a bear, Brown or Black anytime on the trail. Granted I was using fairly heavy traveled trails with many other backpackers and day hikers hiking and camping near by.

I used a bit of common sense when it came to food, cooking, etc. and was totaly fine. I stuck to using regualer, marked, populated trails, etc. Looking back, if I had something that would not have encumbered too much with a heavy rucksack, by all means I would have taken it along, but I did not have anything handy and did not want to miss out on having great time backpacking.

The people I did see who where armed mostly had .44 Magnum Revolvers, or/and 12ga. Shotguns loaded slug/buckshot, slug/buckshot, etc.
When I go back with my Girlfriend I do plan on taking a shotgun and a revolver, but that will be a ways down the road, so not a big deal right now.
Thanks
Mark

conrad carter
December 16, 2008, 10:48 PM
The last guy I read about who got killed by a Grizzly along with his wife had an Alaskan Guide gun. He left it with an empty chamber against a nearby bush. He didn't have time to get it so really the best gun is a revolver on your person. The .44 mag with the right hard cast bullets is the absolute minimum.

gunnie
December 17, 2008, 01:51 AM
"And why do you think a hard cast bullet is a poor choice of bullet for the 375 H&H? I use them with great success."

"One of my Alaskan friend told me of a grizzly shot almost a point blank range (no more than couple of yards) with a .300 Weatherby Magnum and a solid quality bullet.....the thing exploded after only few inches of penetration"



i think peter capstick hathaway forgot more about big game hunting than any of us alive now will ever know. he could have packed along hard aloys of lead for pouring his own bullets, this would have been much more convenient for him. still, he special ordered solids from H&H in england for game that he considered very dangerous.

there is a trend to call extra tough jacketed lead bullets solids these days. some even have copper over steel over lead. these aren't solids. the notion that any hardness of lead will stand up to impact with bone better than bronze aloy solid round nose bullets {not pre-split} is very hard for me to believe.

the 416 barrett solid loads @ 3250fps will penetrate even steel better than the .50 BMG @ 2900fps. so velocity is not the death bell for solids.

see "pork chop's" posting @:

http://www.barrettrifles.com/discussionforum_yaf/default.aspx?g=posts&t=189

gunnie

arizonaguide
December 17, 2008, 03:47 AM
The Bear Necessities
Bear Safety tips from the Alaska Dept of Natural Resourses, and the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game

Travel Smart
Always be "bear aware". At trailheads look for posted signs about recent bear activity. Watch ahead for bears or for tracks. Don’t surprise bears. Make plenty of noise when traveling. Hiking in groups is safer than hiking alone.

Roaming/unleashed Dogs can be trouble in bear country. Their curiosity has brought back bears to their owners more than once. It is best to leave your dog at home or keep it on a leash.

Know the difference between black and brown bears. Both black bears and brown or grizzly bears live in areas where there are state parks. Use more than the fur color for identification. There are cinnamon black bears and black brown bears.

Never leave food out when not in use. Store food in your vehicle or a bear-proof locker.
Use bear-proof garbage cans or dumpsters for your garbage.
Keep your camp clean and odor free.

Choose your campsite carefully. Do not camp near a trail, salmon stream, animal carcass, garbage, or any backcountry metal firepit (others may have left food odors). Do camp in a tent in an open quiet area where you can see and hear nearby wildlife and where they can see and hear you.

Cook at least 100 feet away from camp, downwind. Do not cook near your camp, cook smelly foods, sleep in clothes with food odors, or bring any food or lotions into your tent. Store food, pots, lotions, clothes with food odors, and trash away from camp. If there are trees, cache your food out of a bear’s reach (see below). If there are no trees, hang food off of a rock face or a bridge, or store it out of a bear’s sight off the trail and downwind of camp.

Pack out all trash. Do not bury garbage - bears have very keen noses and can find buried garbage.

Use a tent. Do not sleep in the open.

Use a Food Cache - All you need is 100 feet of light line, a small weight to attach to the end of it (a plastic bag with a rock in it works fine), and food bags that you can tie to the line. You’ll never have to climb a tree again!

1. Select 2 trees at least 20 feet apart. Throw the weighted end of the rope over a branch about 17 feet above the ground.
2. Tie the line to the trunk of the first tree. Throw the weighted end of the line over the branch of the second tree.
3. Attach your food bag to the middle of the line, and pull it up and adjust so it is centered, at least 12 feet above the ground.
4. Tie the other end of the line to the second tree. To access food, just let it down. To re-cache it, pull it back up.

Close Encounters
Statistics show the best ways to react to bears when you see them:

If you see a bear that is far away or doesn’t see you...
turn around and go back, or circle far around. Don’t disturb it.

If you see a bear that is close or it does see you...
STAY CALM. Attacks are rare. Bears may approach or stand on their hind legs to get a better look at you. These are curious, not aggressive, bears. BE HUMAN. Stand tall, wave your arms, and speak in a loud and low voice. DO NOT RUN! Stand your ground or back away slowly and diagonally. If the bear follows, STOP.

If a bear is charging...
almost all charges are "bluff charges". DO NOT RUN! Olympic sprinters cannot outrun a bear and running may trigger an instinctive reaction to "chase". Do not try to climb a tree unless it is literally right next to you and you can quickly get at least 30 feet up. STAND YOUR GROUND. Wave your arms and speak in a loud low voice. Many times charging bears have come within a few feet of a person and then veered off at the last second.

If a bear approaches your campsite...
aggressively chase it away. Make noise with pots and pans.
Do not let the bear get any food.

If you have surprised a bear and are contacted or attacked...
and making noise or struggling has not discouraged an attack, play dead. Curl up in a ball with your hands laced behind your neck. The fetal position protects your vital organs. Lie still and be silent. Surprised bears usually stop attacking once you are no longer a threat (i.e. "dead").

If an attack is continuing long after you have ceased struggling, fight back! Predatory bears are often young bears that can be successfully intimidated or chased away. Use a stick, rocks or your hands and feet.


Protection
Most people who hike in Alaska’s wilderness don’t carry a weapon. They know that the best defense is common sense. Traveling and camping carefully are all that they need. If you feel the need for additional protection, consider carrying "pepper spray", a bear deterrent made from the juice of red-hot peppers. This incapacitating spray teaches bears a lesson without permanently maiming them. It’s available at local sporting goods stores and at visitor centers. Be familiar with the characteristics of the brand you choose and its warnings.

Firearms should never be used as an alternative to common-sense approaches to bear encounters. If you are inexperienced with a firearm in emergency situations, you are more likely to be injured by a gun than a bear. It is illegal to carry firearms in some of Alaska's national parks, so check before you go.

A .300-Magnum rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs are appropriate weapons if you have to shoot a bear. Heavy handguns such as a .44-Magnum may be inadequate in emergency situations, especially in untrained hands.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5161443#post5161443

gunnie
December 17, 2008, 05:47 AM
"STAY CALM. Attacks are rare. "

+1

moose kill more people every year in alaska than bear do.

gunnie

Redhawk1
December 17, 2008, 08:24 AM
gunnie, how many different game animals have you taken with a hard cast bullet?
I know I have taken quit a few, and still have yet to recover a single bullet (Hard Cast).

I am not talking steel plated game either. I don't know why people have to bring up steel plates when we are talking hunting animals??? :confused:

gunnie
December 17, 2008, 09:16 AM
ok, i admit it. you know more about hunting large dangerous game than hathaway. and your hard cast bullets out penetrate 50 bmg.

i won't try to cloud the issue with the facts anymore.

gunnie

Redhawk1
December 17, 2008, 09:30 AM
Good answer gunnie, avoid the question and take your marbles and go home. :(

The usual response when someone does not know what they are talking about. ;)

Have a nice day. :D

jbech123
December 17, 2008, 10:31 AM
If an attack is continuing long after you have ceased struggling, fight back! HUH? So, you play dead for a few minutes, and if an 800 pound anumal is still kicking your ass, then fight back? I think I'd rather take my chances with a 454 casull.

Redhawk1
December 17, 2008, 10:42 AM
jbech123, thanks for the chuckle. My thoughts exactly...

JImbothefiveth
December 17, 2008, 02:18 PM
Heavy handguns such as a .44-Magnum may be inadequate in emergency situations, especially in untrained hands.
Still more adequate than the magnum rifle you left propped against a tree. Of course I'd rather use a rifle, and if I went hiking in Alaska, I'd be sure to take one, and carry it with me on a good sling. But I'd still bring a handgun, in case I couldn't use a rifle, like if I'm in a small tent, climbing, or something else where I can't have 2 free hands. Better a dying bear than a dead me.

atrain08
December 17, 2008, 02:41 PM
I would use whatever I had on me. I would think some well placed shots of .45 would at least slow it down and raise your chances of living, but if that bear is really ticked off, I don't think it’s going to matter. However, I don't know how tough a grizzly's skull is.

arizonaguide
December 17, 2008, 03:38 PM
All I can do is try to tell you from what the Alaska Fish and Game and my 35+years in Alaska have shown...as well as every war story I've ever heard about bears. Carry the darned Rifle/shotgun. A 12ga (with folding stock / pistol grip) is very easy to carry. Back it up with pepper spray if possible...(and probably more effective). Don't wound the bear!

-deleted- (was.....toooooo fired up about it that night)-

But, don't worry, this is America. Someone will eventually clean up your mess.

Here's another link you (few, I hope)die hard "DirtyHarryBeargun" folks might be interested in:

It about using Muay Thai kicks against Wild Boars. (why not give that a try before you come to Alaska?)
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=409071

"A .300-Magnum rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs are appropriate weapons if you have to shoot a bear. Heavy handguns such as a .44-Magnum may be inadequate in emergency situations, especially in untrained hands."
-Alaska Dept of Fish and Game

You've been warned.

jbech123
December 17, 2008, 03:53 PM
From your own post...a .44-Magnum may be inadequate

How does that translate into Fish and game calling me an idiot for thinking a round with 50% more power than a .44( a 454) would be better than nothing.

You make some good points, but also like to tweak the facts to push your own agenda.
I think the majority of people on here are really arguing that while less than the ideal of a 416 rigby, a 454 casull loaded with the right bullets and the person being proficient is not a ridiculous notion, especially in light of the reality that you are more likely to have it on you. For protection against human attackers in an urban setting, my 6" colt python is far inferior to my kel-tec 380, for the simple reason that the kel-tec weighs about 11oz loaded and is much more likley to be on my person than a 3lb plus python. So the question is not whether a 380 is the best round, it's the simple fact that having it on me versus not trumps the whole argument.

And probably you can get away with it with those little tiny Lower 48 bears.
I assume you are just being sarcastic. Aside from coastal browns or kodiaks, interior grizzlies are similar in size.

arizonaguide
December 17, 2008, 03:59 PM
Maybe what's not being understood is that in Alaska, "the Bush" is anywhere out of town...and sometimes is IN TOWN.
We have bears come into town, on a regular basis, and get into Garbage/dog food, etc.
Is that the Bear's fault...and "screw her...she should be destroyed" as a "problem bear" (and the cubs with her)?

I'm really not so much addressing my Rant (crap, that's what it's become) at you (or folks like you) who have training and are aware of things.

It's just that since the 1970's Dirty Harry came out, we had a rash of folks show up in the Alaska bush with nothing but .44's, and not taking the time to learn to prevent bear encounters because "hell I don't need to learn that...aw gots ma .44!". It's a False sense of security and usually with bad results. It's also Disrespect for the wildlife.
Those same people seem all to anxious to "pull the trigger" without trying other options.

I know that doesn't apply to the majority here. I know the 454/500 are different (kinda).
But if I can get that message to just ONE person who needs it...it's worth the time.

If I can get it across that it's a TRAGEDY when a Bear get's shot (unless it's a planned hunt on a male bear)...then I've done my job. If you ever get to hear cubs screaming over their dead mother, and then watch them destroyed, you'll know what I mean. Tragedy is the ONLY word for it. Show the proper respect for them, and don't put yourself (or children) in that position. If you have to shoot (god forbid) have something that will end it quickly, for everyones sake.
That's my agenda, that's my rant.

Bringsteen
December 17, 2008, 05:32 PM
This is a passage from an article written by Phil Shoemaker, published in the November 2008 edition of Successful Hunter

BEAR ATTACKS:
A LOOK AT ALASKA’S DLP LAW

"Considering the increasing numbers of hunters, hikers, campers, photographers, fishermen and outside visitors in the state, if bears were anywhere near the threat that most people imagine, there would be dozens of maulings per year.
Instead there are an average of one or two. Every year thousands of visitors
hike, fish and camp unarmed in our national parks and wildlife refuges, where bear encounters are commonplace. Occasionally an unattended cooler or backpack gets mauled, but one seldom hears of a visitor being injured.
As long as you use common sense, avoid attracting bears with food and learn a little about bear behavior (it is not much different from that of dogs), the majority of bear problems are easily avoided. Although . . . a big gun and a flashlight can be mighty comforting."

arizonaguide
December 17, 2008, 06:14 PM
Some great footage from National Geographic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oB8ue178s8&feature=related

The original question:
Just my opinion, but I would not shoot at a grizzly with a handgun. I am a decent enough shot, but with an enraged grizzly charging at me I would sure rather have a 12 gauge pump loaded full of rifled slugs.
Does anyone have an opinion on a handgun that would stop a grizzly with one shot?


Answer:
VERY UNLIKELY you will stop(drop) a Grizzly in one shot with ANY handgun. PLEASE don't put yourself in that position.
Very unlikely you will actually "DROP" a grizzly with just about any gun except the highest power rifles. SLOW metabolism/super strong. Shoot them through the heart and often they still charge 30-40 yards, or more, and live for several minutes.

"A .300-Magnum rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs are appropriate weapons if you have to shoot a bear."
-Alaska Dept of Fish and Game

Redhawk1
December 17, 2008, 09:07 PM
arizonaguide, you are wrong! There is a lot of handguns that are capable of dropping a grizzly with one shot, just as there are rifles and shotguns capable. (SHOT PLACEMENT)

You look like a fool preaching a bunch of crap that is untrue.

We are not telling you that you are posting a bunch of crap for our health. You have an agenda about handguns, and will post reticules BS to make your point.

Even if you shot a Grizzly with a 600 Nitro, if you don't hit the CNS you will not drop it with one shot. But that does not make the 600 Nitro a bad choice, just a miss placed bullet.

But to say no handgun is capable is not true. You need to learn a lot more about handguns before you come here and feed us a load of crap.

You sound more like a PETA member and an Anti-gun nut. Just calling it like I see it.

Isher
December 17, 2008, 10:51 PM
All -

Then its RPG, as the weapon of choice, for sure.

Yes?

Just gotta get your permits.


isher

arizonaguide
December 18, 2008, 01:00 AM
I guess you are the one I'm talking to Redhawk.

About that "anti-gun/PITA" crap. Were you at this years pro-second amendment Gun Rights Policy Conference? I was.
Don't change the subject. Or, to quote your own words (you wrongly said to Gunny):
"The usual response when someone does not know what they are talking about". :rolleyes:

What I AM preaching is ENOUGH respect for DANGEROUS (possibly 1000lb+++) wildlife.
The odds of hitting a charging bear at 10 yards with a CNS shot are slim-to-freakin-none. Do me a favor Redhawk, and get a few Bear Hunting vids from Cabellas and show me ONE SINGLE instance where a bear was literally "DROPPED" with one shot, from ANY gun...let alone a handgun. Watch and see how many yards they move after the first shot.

Now imagine that, in your campsite with your children, at 10 yards with your (1650fps/1831ftlb)handgun rounds.
Hopefully that DEATH CHARGE IS NOT in the direction of your family...especially when you shoot them at 10 yards in the campground...worse, with an UNDERPOWERED round.

THAT can get you killed. Or worse, someone innocent (like ME or MY children) 2 campgrounds over.

Does that sound like "anti-gun rheteric" to you?

Because it's just the opposite!
It's all about taking ENOUGH gun! (or avoidance). (RPG would do it:p).

But, with BIG bears it's ALWAYS a "maybe"....that's the point!!!

I don't hear that RESPECT FOR 1000lb BEARS in your posts Redhawk...and that's what concerns me.
THAT's what get's innocent folks hurt.
Don't get me wrong, I loved my M-77...but I didn't feel confident with a .243 (3000fps/2000ftlb) against bear...even though it's done. Think of it as being similar to a charging Rhino...(at 10yds, in your camp with your wife/kids).

But hey, from now on, I'll let Darwin speak for me.
Just hopefully no one else (wife/kids/ME) gets hurt when you wound one of those 1000 pounders.

MORE important: learn the ways to avoid the confrontation so that ignorance, and that pistol shot, doesn't wound one of the sacred Alaska Treasures, and result in their suffering (and cubs being destroyed) because that person wasn't interested enough to learn proper bear ettiquate, and "I Got my Dirty-Harry-Beargun right here" was all they needed/wanted to know. (I'm only speaking to "THAT" person...not everyone here).


Again Redhawk, I ask you: what tricks/tips did you learn about AVOIDING bear incidents on your Artic Circle hunt? THAT is what I'm (sorry)preaching about!

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/bearcub2.jpg
Small Sow in camp (with Cub learning bad things) Denali Alaska.

saturno_v
December 18, 2008, 04:15 AM
Arizonaguide

As I said several times I do not have any hunting experience and I saw bears only at the zoo

But you cannot deny physics... and physics showed me a 30-30 hardcast bullet at 50 yards or so going through 2 bull heads stacked one in front of each other, a thick wood plank behind, few layers (I think 5 or 6) of heavy carpet behind that and finally going very deep into the live oak that was supporting the all thing.

I do not think grizzly are steel plated animals...I have enormous respect for them....for any animal for that matter....I would never ever shoot one unless I would really be cornered.

But this is what I saw, and I find difficult to believe that at the same distance the same bullet would have penetrated a live grizzly only for few inches.

Redhawk is right....a missplaced shot even with a 600 Nitro Express would get you in trouble anyway...that means the caliber is inadequate?? hardly....

I already posted the link to the Garrett web page where they claim that their 44 Mag Hammerhead will penetrate a grizzly up to the hip even when the skull is engaged...I'm sorry but that sounds like a good penetration to me.. ..

You have years of experiences in the wilderness, I respect that, and I cannot even imagine what it means dealing with an angered magnificent animal like a grizzly...I would definitely fudge my pants.....but I think that once the shooter has an adequate firearm in his hands, wrong shot placement and/or improper bullet construction are the main cause of trouble.

From what I read and heard, the only sure way to end a grizzly charge on its tracks is a direct CNS hit...it doesn't matter if it is a 44 Mag or a 416 Rigby...if the bullet gets there it's game over.

Look at this link

http://www.man-eater.info/gpage4.html

It is the story of a lion being shot several times with very powerful guns before to die....the incident did cost the life of one or two men and the mauling of another...

A lion is a lighter animal than a Grizzly bear and probably more thin skinned....one the shooter, the guide, blasted him point blank in the face with 2 shots of 470 Nitro Express, which is a powerful elephant cartridge, out of a double barreled rifle...incredibly the lion took it and kept charging.....what did happen?? One of the shot probably went high and hit the fatty mane not making any damage...the other went low and broke the Lion jaw (which probably saved the life of the mauled man).....I asked to a very experienced African hunter here on the THR....what a 470 NE slug would do if it hit a lion head fair and square at point blank?? The answer was short and simple..."it would pulverize it, not question about it"...if that slug instead of hitting the lion lower jaw would have hit few inches higher on the nose, the skull would have probably been split open and the lion would have been anchored....bullet placement

Nowdays if you go for a canned African Safari, they require at minimum a 375 H&H....but the good old 303 British dropped lions very effectively for more than 6 decades when Britannia ruled the continent...

Shot placement and bullet construction....

There are calibers that would be inadequate, penetration wise, not matter how skilled the shooter is??? (unless the magic impossible shot like the .22 in the eye....) Of course there is a minimum.....A light 7.62 X 39 round if definitely inadequate...any deer class soft point bullet or Hollow Point is inadequate, no matter the cartridge, for that matter...

Then you have the difference between charge and hunting...is a 30-30 a 200 yards bear hunting cartridge?....of course no.....but at close range with heavy quality hardcast you stand a decent chance if you know very well where to shoot.

saturno_v
December 18, 2008, 04:23 AM
Arizonaguide

You said:

"Don't get me wrong, I loved my M-77...but I didn't feel confident with a .243 against bear...even though it's done. Think of it as being similar to a charging Rhino...(at 10yds, in your camp with your wife/kids)."

Yes, of course a .243 is an inadequate Grizzly round!!!

Even if the energy level is similar to a 30-30 (around 2000 ft/lb) you have a very light bullet of significantly smaller diameter which shed velocity very quickly and I do not think they make quality solid/hardcast bullet in that caliber either.

Energy alone is not everything...you cannot compare a soft point .243 with a hardcast 30-30 in terms of penetration..it's like comparing apples with oranges.

Do not get me wrong..I'm not saying that a 30-30 or a 35 Remington are ideal....but they are not pellet gun either and they would get the critter attention in the hands of a good shooter

arizonaguide
December 18, 2008, 04:41 AM
Saterno, I don't disagree with anything you've said. And I have been away from it for awhile (and new things are invented like more powerful 30-30 and 30-06 rounds/better bullets). You folks know more than me about the latest and greatest.
:)

What I have seen, and what concerns me is:

Those folks who aren't interested enough to learn proper bear ettiquate, because "I Got my Dirty-Harry-Beargun right here, and that's all I needed/wanted to know" mentality...(and are anxious to "try it out"/pull the trigger).

Since the late 1970's, that is who are showing up more and more in the Alaska Bush...with ONLY a handgun. (there's a reason old Alaskan's make jokes like filing down the front sight!).

That concerns me.

That, and those who would spin that honest concern for people and wildlife into "anti-second amendment" crap.
C'mon. That's lame.

One thing I do want to point out on that "CNS headshot/penetration" thing...is that you have to catch them at just the right angle, or it will deflect off their thick skull. That is not easy to do with a 1000lb animal at 10 yards in camp, and is UNLIKELY. 90% of shots on bear are NOT CNS shots and result in a DEATH CHARGE (or RUN) of 40 yards or more. HOWEVER, a high powered round MAY break a bear down...BREAK a shoulder/hip and immobilize him...if you're lucky. If not (and that's 90% of the time), EXPECT a 40 yard run/charge.

The point about any gun (416/470, etc.) being a "maybe" is EXACTLY what I've been trying to say.

That IS the point. So why plan on a handgun, given the choice? Convenience?

IF it's MY family...I'll skip the "convenience" for a more powerfull round, thank you.

saturno_v
December 18, 2008, 05:06 AM
If I would ever go hike in the Alaska wilderness, I would carry my Mossberg 500 with 3 inches Brenneke Black Magic and my 44 Mag long barrel revolver with Garrett Hammerheads on my hip..

It is the best combination I have in my arsenal for bear defence ....My bolt action 30-06 and my 3 Mosin Nagant 91/30 would be too slow (at least for me, I'm left handed and my bolt rifles are right handed), and, even if it never jammed, I cannot trust my semi-auto, or any semiauto for that matter, Remington 742 in 30-06 for bear defence.... there is still a probability of jamming....if I could trust a semi-auto 110%, 12 lightning fast rounds (the capacity of one of my magazines for my Remmy) of heavy 30-06 would ruin any grizzly day, I think...
And I would prefer my Mossberg shotgun to my Marlin 336 in 30-30.
I agree about maximum respect for the animals and the environment. When I hike or camp, I make sure that I do not leave even the smallest scrap of paper on the ground.

Look at this guy on YouTube fast unloading 5 rounds of heavy 30-06 (200 gr) out of his 742 (labelled Bear Gun in his video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnH19Tr0r1Q

Frankly, I would not like to be on the wrong side of that barrel, even if I were a Grizzly....

I did speak with a former Alaskan guide at a gun show last year and he told me that in the days he was carrying a Remington 760 pump action rifle in 30-06 (basically the same rifle as the 742, but instead of being semi automatic you have to pump it yourself...more reliable) with a 10 rounds magazine

arizonaguide
December 18, 2008, 05:28 AM
Good choice Saturno. Your logic (and attitude) is right on the money.
Back it up with Pepper Spray, and good Bear Etiquate, and you should be good to go.

My Dad told me a story about a guy that was killed. They found the bones, and a whole bunch of unfired cartridges on the ground next to the gun, where he levered the rounds, but never fired (under stress).

:eek:

Redhawk1
December 18, 2008, 08:42 AM
arizonaguide , look at my posts before you started with the poor Grizzly being killed.

My idea of bear protection is "Avoidance" making good choices in what you do.
When I was in Alaska, I carried a 300 Win Mag for my Caribou hunt. I had my 454 Casull as my back up handgun.

In my tent the handgun was right there with me at all times. My rifle in my tent use useless.

When we had the Grizzly come in our camp, we backed out of the camp with our rifles in hand, and ready to shoot, my handgun was on my hip.

Of course I would use my rifle before my handgun, but for whatever reason, you feel no handgun is adequate to get the job done. Which is not true.

My whole point about handguns is, with a good hard cast bullet a handgun in 44 Mag up to 500 Mag will penetrate and can reach the CNS of an animal with ease.

Also if you read what I wrote, there is going to be times no matter what you are carrying, you may never get a shot off.

You then talk about how if anyone shot a Grizzly with a handgun, it may get the people in the next camp etc... Well if someone had whatever gun you thought was the perfect bear gun, and did a poor shot, the same could happen. Am I right.

But where I was, I was 150 miles from the nearest town, The nearest people to us were probably that far.
Out where we where, we had to us good judgement, we did not have a car to drive to the hospital. We had to rely on using our heads, the plain was 2 hours away from us and a sat phone call was needed to get them.


You keep saying use enough gun, well the 44 Mag and up is enough gun.
As for just camping in Alaska for fun with my family, I don't do it. A lot of money to just go camping in Alaska, when I live in Delaware.

I go to Alaska to hunt, so I carry a rifle and handgun. Rifle choice is 300 Win Mag and up and handgun choice is 454 Casull and up. And know how to prevent a bear from coming to camp. But even the best prepared may have an encounter. Use your head, stay calm, 98% of the bear will leave once a humane is contacted. It is the 2% of the bear that you will have a problem with.

My experience was, I ran into the 98% Grizzly bear, and he decided he did not want any part of us, as we decided we did not want any part of him.

arizonaguide
December 18, 2008, 04:30 PM
Fair enough, Redhawk.

I guess you don't fit into that category that I'm worried about.
"arizonaguide, you are wrong! There is a lot of handguns that are capable of dropping a grizzly with one shot":banghead:

CUZ, IF you are all about avoidance and good bear ettiquate...Peace and goodwill to you, Bro!
(from ME and the Bears! :))

I just wanted to clear up about me being anti-second ammendment (c'mon/lame), and express my concern about the possibility and dangers of a wounded bear (yes, by any gun) especially in the hands of inexperienced "Dirty Harry" wannabe's...that ARE showing up in the Alaska Bush with handguns (or AK-47/SKS/AR-15's) as their "primary' weapon.


From my 35+years of Alaska experience, (and also much time worth of other folks war stories) I will NEVER feel ANY handgun is enough for large bear, until they make one that fires a round of 3000/3000ftlb+ with a good solid (larger caliber)Bullet!
And that could carry several rounds for the 40yard Death Charge.
:eek:

For what it's worth, I've fired successful "warning shots" with a rifle, at a large Brown Bear from inside my tent flap...with no problems. And, Dad was inside the tent next to me ALSO pointing his (higher caliber)rifle out of the tent, at the same time.

It's not so "unwieldy" as one is led to believe. "Convenience" is OVERRATED when it comes to large Brown Bears.
Put the odds in YOUR favor, and (for EVERYONE'S sake) don't show up in Bear Country with a handgun as your primary weapon.
Bring a Magnum Caliber rifle, pepper spray also, and, learn the skills of avoidance.

pps
December 18, 2008, 07:27 PM
"What I AM preaching is ENOUGH respect for DANGEROUS (possibly 1000lb+++) wildlife.
The odds of hitting a charging bear at 10 yards with a CNS shot are slim-to-freakin-none. Do me a favor Redhawk, and get a few Bear Hunting vids from Cabellas and show me ONE SINGLE instance where a bear was literally "DROPPED" with one shot, from ANY gun...let alone a handgun. Watch and see how many yards they move after the first shot."


The two blackies I got were both UNDER 300#. One dropped there but wasn't dead (broke the shoulder) and was given a follow up for good measure and to be safe. The other i shot through both lungs and heart and he stayed on his feet for what seemed an eternity. My grandfather told me not to bother with a follow up, saying, "He's dead, he just doesn't know it yet." He went about 20yards before dropping. That was us hunting them, not vise versa.

If a sub-300#er was that tough I don't want to find out the hard way how tough these brown bears can be. One of these days I will go to Alaska, and I will take a guide...it's a good excuse to tell the one who must be obeyed that I need a new rifle...lol

AKCOP
December 18, 2008, 09:46 PM
Have not read all posts but until you face a pissed off brown/grizzly you do not understand that any handgun is in almost 99% of the cases not going to save your butt. Old adage in Alaska, if you want to carry a handgun for bear protection make sure you file off the front sight so it doesn't hurt so bad when the bear sticks it up your.........well you know the rest.
After an experience I had that resulted in my having to change my pants I settled on a semi-auto 30-06 with 220 gr and learned to make a lot of noise or totally avoid them when I was in their house.

Guns and more
December 18, 2008, 09:56 PM
"Don't shoot him, it will only make him mad."
..................................... Blazing Saddles.

arizonaguide
December 18, 2008, 11:19 PM
Have not read all posts but until you face a pissed off brown/grizzly you do not understand that any handgun is in almost 99% of the cases not going to save your butt.

AKCOP, you have my utmost respect! If you are a Trooper, you were probably the one who had to clean up the mess.

You (like I) have probably had to hear cubs screaming over their dead mother, and then watch as they too were destroyed, from someone elses lack of proper respect for them.

With Big Bears, If you have to shoot (god forbid, learn aviodance ettiquate) have something that will end it quickly, for everyones sake.

Redhawk1
December 18, 2008, 11:24 PM
:rolleyes::banghead::cuss::rolleyes::banghead::cuss::barf::barf::barf::barf::barf::barf::barf::barf::

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 12:24 AM
"There is (are?) a lot of handguns that are capable of dropping a grizzly with one shot"
"You keep saying use enough gun, well the 44 Mag and up is enough gun."
:cool: Good luck with that, when you meet a REAL BIG ANGRY bear, RH.
The odds of hitting a charging bear at 10 yards with a CNS shot are slim-to-freakin-none.
MOST shots result in a DEATH CHARGE (or RUN) of 40 yards or more.
Especially a SOW protecting her cubs. You are overconfident in that handgun.
R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Bro! I can't say it any more nicely/clearly.
http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/bearcub3.jpg

I appologize to eveyone else (mods) if I get a little worked-up about it all.

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 01:02 AM
Couple more pic's...but not mine. (this is when you want 12ga/pepper spray.)
http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/bearpanic.jpg
notice the size of that Brown's head/paws!

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/pic2.jpg
nice to have friends willing to take the time to take your picture, huh?

4Freedom
December 19, 2008, 01:22 AM
I just wanted to clear up about me being anti-second ammendment (c'mon/lame), and express my concern about the possibility and dangers of a wounded bear (yes, by any gun) especially in the hands of inexperienced "Dirty Harry" wannabe's...that ARE showing up in the Alaska Bush with handguns (or AK-47/SKS/AR-15's) as their "primary' weapon.


Is an AR15 really such a bad gun? What about AR10/LR-308 gun with hunting type round? Sorry I am not an expert, but I think an LR-308 would be far superior ro a bolt gun for stopping a charging grizzly bear since it has accuracy and power. I mean if you have a 20 round mag of .308 bullets and you can shoot out to 1000 yards and quickly reload, wouldn't that be much better than having to worry about reloading a bolt? When a monster sized bear is charging you, automation may be your friend. I mean, you are not going to be in your right senses like at the shooting range.

As for a handgun or some sophisticated gun you will have to put together before shooting.. Dang, I think many forget how scary it is to have a rabid or wild bear of that size charging you.

I had a bear tracking me, following me in the forest for about quarter of a mile. I tell you I was freaked out. I was armed only with pepper spray. This was only black bear ,but even at 300lbs it will scare the crap out of you. Luckily, with a black bear where I live, when you scream and hollar at it, it will freak out too and run away. But having this bear follow me was terrifying. I mean, My heart was beating, I felt like running at times. People think its so easy to load a gun and fire under stress. You gotta think fast, real fast.

A bear is not a deer. And when you bump into a man-eating bear, chances are it may be stalking you or you will have just bumped into it along the trail. What to do with the element of surprise?

I like the advice I heard about portable shotgun. I think in place like Alaska, you can carry a loaded shotgun everywhere. I would like to know more about lightweight and portable shotguns and a high caliber hand gun for backup. You need a piece that will respond quick. Also, shooting a bear from a very long distance is not ethical. The main reason is that a majority, like 90% of charges from a bear are bluffs. Most bears will charge to scare you and then go away. If you just blast a bear at 800 yards away, you probably killed a bear that meant no harm and orphaned its cubs. When it comes to killing a bear, you need a gun that will stop it when it gets close.

P.S. I hear polar bears are in a whole different league than grizzlies. They are much more deadly and carniverous than their grizzly relatives. Grizzlies are more vegetarian and fish eaters. Polars love taste of larger animal flesh.

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 02:19 AM
Hey, 4Freedom,
Good questions...and excellent Bear attitude. You are right about Polar Bears. They are considered much more carnivourous, AND much more cunning.

I Had a coworker up North that had a similar incident (tragedy) as the guy in the Brown Bear picture above. The Polar bear actually came through the window (came right thru the glass) and mauled him...and the bear was finally killed with a 12ga, inside the building. He had to be flown to Seattle, and take a medical retirement. They are serious animals...and NOT to be taken lightly.

The .223 is too light, and the .308 is right on the border. Yes, a 30rd magazine makes up for a lot, but most people consider a bolt action less likely to jam. But, I MIGHT feel comfortable with a AR-10. I did carry a M1Garand as a "bear rifle" for awhile (30-06) until my buddies kept getting on my a-- about it, and convinced me to put that sucker away and go back to the .300.
(I was young, and I thought the Garand was cool...hell it was cool! :))

You ALSO make a very good point about Rabbies! That is another issue in Alaska, and is very common among fox and squirrel...and it spreads quickly. Very good point. I guess that's another plus for the Shotgun.

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 07:03 AM
Folks, I guess I've beat this to death...and maybe I wasn't as curteous about the subject as I could/should have been.

It's a subject I'm passionate about.

But, I was rereading "A THR Primer on Courtesy" and realized I may have been "yelling" about some of this. For that I appologize.
I have to realize I can't change everyone's mind about handguns for bears. Ain't gonna happen.

For the moderators sake, I will bow out of this thread, and perhaps it might be better over at the hunting section anyway.

I like to think we accomplished something, and I HOPE that I was "a positive" experience on this subject, and not a negative.
Cheers.

arizonaguide

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 07:41 AM
arizonaguide , ok now that you keep pushing the handgun issue OVER AND OVER.

You talk about a CNS hit. You have to do the same with a shotgun or Rifle. It does not matter the platform, handgun, shotgun or rifle.

If you don't have any gun, you are dead, at least you have a chance with a handgun. Damn are you that hard headed or what!!!!

And I am not your Bro!


4Freedom , if you are in bear country, you better keep you gun loaded, a unloaded gun is nothing but a rock.

IMTHDUKE
December 19, 2008, 07:55 AM
Can't you just feel the love here?:D

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 07:59 AM
No I don't feel the love, but I can smell the bull..... :evil:

AKCOP
December 19, 2008, 10:13 AM
You know sometimes if all you have is a handgun you might be better off with nothing. I used to hike into a small stream to salmon fish with a .308 thinking it was far better than a .44 mag, which was the most powerful handgun at the time. Walked up on a sow with two cubs, it was a beautiful on Kodiak, a rare one indeed, and I was taking everything in and not paying attention. At about 50 feet that sow looked like the empire state building when she stood up with her cubs huddled between her legs. I took aim at that big old head and knew that I was about to die. I figured I might get one shot if I took it, then unless it dropped her in her tracks she would be pounding me before I had a chance to even think about shot #2. Instead I started to back up real slow yelling and making as much noise as I could. Luckily I had the wind at my back and she had the morning sun in her eyes. She dropped and ambled away with her cubs.

It is a fact that far too many people would have simply pulled the trigger because they had a gun and had read countless stories about bears eating people and therefore believed it was their only option.
I even knew of one idiot who actually went out looking to push bears into a charge because he wanted t see if he was man enough to shoot and kill and therefore able to tell all his friends was a real man he was. Of course he ended up killing a bear, proved he was a real man and for what! You know folks in Alaska really get tired of all this handguns for bear talk.

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 10:34 AM
OK..... Then answer this question, why do some of the AK outfitter's recommend to bring a back up handgun...

I guess you know something they don't...

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 10:46 AM
AKCOP, I couldn't have said it better myself.
And cool story about the Kodiak.

I try to be diplomatic, but were fighting Hollywood (marketing hype) here..and somefolks you just can't save from themselves.

No Bull, here Redhawk. And nobody said don't take a gun. What we're saying is take enough gun to do the job right. Handgun aint it. Magnum Caliber Rifle, (or 12ga and pepper spray, up close). I'm not the one being hard-headed.

VERY slowly and clearly now:
All weapons are a maybe, because (99%)you aint gonna get a CNS shot. So take the one that gives you the best odds with a vitals shot. And that AINT a freakin handgun...as a primary weapon. And pray (just freakin pray) you don't GET YOURSELF into having to shoot one at 10yards with ANY weapon!

No BS! I Can't put it any simpler for ya...but you've got your mind made up so good luck.
Stick with that .44mag "Dirty Harry" mentality...just make sure to file down that front sight.
And, just make sure nobody I care about is anywhere around you.

But, try this Muay Thai idea first, before you bring that pea-shooter to Alaska, okay?
Maybe that's a good idea too.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=409071

dagger dog
December 19, 2008, 10:56 AM
By the time I add my 2c to this hotly contested thread there are 155 or so posts, I didn't read 'em all and I may be repeating but here it goes any hoo.

I wish yours truly here was bright enough to have come up with this little bit of wisdom but I wasn't so I will quote,

" For all of you hand gun hunters out there with out bear hunting experience".

" If you are dertermined to use your hand cannon to hunt bear, make sure to file the front sight down in height, that way when the bear shoves it up your bum it wont hurt as much!" :neener:

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 11:33 AM
OK..... Then answer this question, why do some of the AK outfitter's recommend to bring a back up handgun...

I guess you know something they don't...


That is as a total "last ditch" (shoot them as they're chewing on you) recomendation.

Personally, I think you're better with 12ga/pepper spray in that instance.

In fact, You have given me a new marketing idea RH! Thanks. I'm gonna invent a lower ("tactical")rail mounted pepper spray for my Shotty! I'll be in the garage if ya need me...I have to develop a quick prototype for Ruger.
Thanks, Bro!
:)

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 12:16 PM
A man was walking in the woods.

"What beautiful trees.
What beautiful rivers.
What beautiful animals."
He said to himself.

As he was walking further he turned a corner into a 9 foot tall grizzly bear.
The bear (surprised) raised his paw to strike at the man, and the man (fearing his death) yelled
"OH my GOD!"

Just then, time stood still.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone on the man, a voice came out of the sky "you only call me (God) now, after all these years of denying my existance?"
"If you want me to help you out of this you must show me some faith...can I count you as a believer?" (said God).

The man replied "you are right, maybe that would be hypocritical of me...perhaps you could make the BEAR a believer"

"Very well" said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the Bear dropped his paw, brought both paws together, and bowed his massive head and spoke:

"Lord bless this food which I am about to receive...Amen".

4Freedom
December 19, 2008, 12:36 PM
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the Bear dropped his paw, brought both paws together, and bowed his massive head and spoke:

"Lord bless this food which I am about to receive...Amen".
:neener::evil:

Nothing like fresh Human meat, yum..


Anyhow, I am not gun expert, but any moron who thinks he can kill a charging 2000 lb Kodiak Grizzly bear with a handgun, better hope his gun is equipped with a grenade launcher. I mean handguns, fail many times to stop humans. Now, just imagine a monsterous bear, who may even be infected with rabies. Rabid animals don't feel any pain. Just imagine a bear filled with adrenaline and its got a massive amount of body armor. Its like the thing wears a kevlar vest all around its body.

Anyhow, its true, some expert marksman with balls of steel will be able to get a bear right between the eyes while it is charging you at 30 miles an hour. However, I will gladly have a loaded shotgun for the occasion.

Once again, get some pepper spray and spray out to 30 feet or so. Once the bear hits the cloud, his sinuses swell up and its blinds him. It creates great agony for the bear. I am not sure how effective it would be against a rabid bear, but the pepper spray distorts its natural senses so it is disoriented. It no longer can sense where you are and cannot smell you.

However, if I had a charging grizzly at me, I would have shotgun in one hand and pepper spray in the other.

A hand gun will just piss him off. Why use a hand gun , when pepper spray is guaranteed to be much more effective?


Now, for black bears I think hand gun can be very useful. You have to remember they are like 1/3rd the size of grizzly and much more cowardly. I myself am looking into handguns to protect myself against black bear/ cougar attacks. Of course, its a last resort, like perhaps my pepper spray fails to shoot or the bear is too close and acting vicious. This is good sign of rabies or being overprotective with the cubs. Wrong place, wrong time, situation.

AKCOP
December 19, 2008, 12:53 PM
Outfitters want your $$$$$$, They also know one of the first questions from clients is about bears and handguns. They also know that if they tell them DO NOT bring a handgun they are either going to another outfitter or they bring it anyway.

jackdanson
December 19, 2008, 12:55 PM
leave the bush to people who go prepared.

Bah, I backpacked for years (including in grizz areas) without any firearm of any sort. If you take basic precautions there will be very little need to resort to using a firearm. Bears aren't ruthless killing machines. I would be much more concerned with human predators.
There have been under 30 deaths from bear attacks in the past 10 years, compare that to the ~180,000 deaths in the past 10 years from people on people murders.

That being said, being prepared for the worst isn't a bad idea. I'd carry bear spray, a good knife, and a long gun if I was very concerned. Pistol isn't even worth the trouble for bears.

Jason M
December 19, 2008, 01:44 PM
This thread has gotten ridiculous.


I am with Arizonaguide on pretty much everything. He hasn't been preaching antigun or tree-hugging rhetoric. He has been saying "take enough gun." I don't see how it is simpler than that or hard to understand, for that matter.

You guys are so hungry for an argument that you fail to see the forest through the trees (seemed like an appropriate pun).

I think this thread should be considered for closing, IMO.

Jason

gglass
December 19, 2008, 01:51 PM
This is my choice for putting fresh bear meat on the table...

http://img176.imageshack.us/img176/691/sw460vrv1.jpg


Hmmm... I wonder what bear tastes like?


_________________________
Close thread here.
_________________________

4Freedom
December 19, 2008, 04:15 PM
Hmmm... I wonder what bear tastes like?
Similar to dog meat I am told.. Yumm...

jbech123
December 19, 2008, 04:25 PM
I'm definitely on board with AZ guide, be smart in bear country and take a rifle. Because of dirty harry movies and such, the 44 mag has obtained mythical status.
On the other hand people like 4 freedom throw things out about the grizzly that are preposterous:

Anyhow, I am not gun expert, but any moron who thinks he can kill a charging 2000 lb Kodiak Grizzly bear with a handgun, better hope his gun is equipped with a grenade launcher.
A true 1,000 pound bear is exceptional, there is no such thing as a 2,000 pound brown bear.

A hand gun will just piss him off. Why use a hand gun , when pepper spray is guaranteed to be much more effective?
Agree a handgun is a bad option, but there are hardly any guarantees when charging bears are involved, especially spray!

Now, just imagine a monsterous bear, who may even be infected with rabies. Rabid animals don't feel any pain. Are you a vet? How do you know they don't feel pain? While it is possible that a bear could get rabies since it is a mammal, rabies in grizzly bears is an extraordinarily rare occurance.

Just imagine a bear filled with adrenaline and its got a massive amount of body armor. Its like the thing wears a kevlar vest all around its body. Bears are formidable creatures for sure, with thick hides and large bones, but they are not indestructable or even close. I have killed 2 in Alaska(hunting, not in self defense.) I used a 375 H&H. The first one the shot was he was quartering toward me, hit him right at the seam of the shoulder and neck, about 150 yards. Dropped immediately, did not take 1 step or even twitch after hitting the ground. The second one was broadside at about 200 yards. One shot in the shoulder, he stood up, flipped over backwards, and never took another step.

Now, for black bears I think hand gun can be very useful. You have to remember they are like 1/3rd the size of grizzly and much more cowardly. Good theory, but due to proximity, there are actually more black bear attacks than grizzly.

JImbothefiveth
December 19, 2008, 05:01 PM
Carry the darned Rifle/shotgun
If I ever go to Alaska, of course I'll carry a magnum rifle. However, I think I'll still keep a handgun as back-up.


I like to think we accomplished something
You've given figures for the minimum rifle to carry.


And the brown bear picture may have scared someone in to taking along a rifle. It's made me think it might be a good idea to take one in to a tent and keep it handy. (I already thought it was a good idea, actually, but it reinforces why.)

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 05:04 PM
What does Dirty Harry have to do with this? I don't recall him in bear country. What Dirty Harry movie did I miss?

Kind of a dumb analogy if I say.

I guess all the poor guys that were in Alaska 120 years ago with there round ball flint lock muzzle loaders and little rifles never had to kill a bear in self defense. Good think they did not know they were using inferior rounds, that won't kill a bear.

Rodentman
December 19, 2008, 08:06 PM
I don't know anything about hunting or bear attacks, but I have had bear meat and I didn't like it.

4Freedom
December 19, 2008, 08:12 PM
On the other hand people like 4 freedom throw things out about the grizzly that are preposterous:


What I said is not preposterous... Yes, I was exaggerating a little bit, but what I said is not impossible by any means. Maybe you can go ahead and do a little more research on bears, especially Kodiak Grizzlies. I was not referring to the average brown bear roaming through Alaska or Canada. Kodiak Grizzlies are perhaps the largest grizzlies in the world. Some gentleman here was discussing a story when he had a confrontation with a Kodiak, which is larger than your average grizzly. There has been reports of Kodiak bears not only as a big as 2,000, but even 3,000 pounds! Polar bears can also reach up to 2,000.. ALthough the larger polar bears average around 1,500lbs. There is a guy who has a pet Kodiak grizzly which he uses for commercials and I think its recorded weight is almost 2,000 pounds.

Mind you do a little research before you quickly try to slam another person's comments. Thanks :D

Heres a good link on Wikipedia, so you can learn bit more about Kodiak Grizzlies and Polars. That was the bear I was referring to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodiak_bear
http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/bear.html

Compare size of this Kodiak bear's head to his trainer's entire body:
http://www.kodiakgrizzly.com/EducationalPrograms.htm


The largest wild Kodiak bear on record weighed +2,500 pounds (+1,134 kilograms)[8] and was almost 14 feet tall on its hind legs. In captivity, Kodiak bears have reached over 3000 pounds

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 08:18 PM
Good old Wikipedia... Two old people posting stuff........ Great research....:evil:

Captive bear, kind of like pin raised deer. They are always bigger than in the wild. :banghead:

4Freedom
December 19, 2008, 08:28 PM
Fine.. ok Trash Wikipedia.. Personally, I think Wikipedia is correct 90% of time when it comes to just research articles, versus articles on philosophy or opinionated ones. Anyhow, how about bear planet?

http://www.bearplanet.org/


The bears may stand over 10 feet tall on its hind legs and weights more than 680 kilogram (for example Alaskan kodiak bear or Artic polar bear).
The body weight varies between 25 and 800 kilograms (appx 1800lbs), whereby the males become always clearly heavier than the females. The skin is rather long and with most kinds in-colored, most brown or black. The usually elongated lip accommodates 40 or 42 teeth depending upon kind.


OR MSN ENcarta
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761579742/brown_bear.html



http://www.helium.com/items/880595-animal-facts-kodiak-bear

The Kodiak bear also known as the Alaskan Brown Bear is native to south Alaska. Weight in at over 1500 pounds and 11 feet tall, this species of brown bear is known as the largest. While it size makes it intimidating it is not the most aggressive bear its cousin the grizzly bear owns the rights to that title.


There is many more...


I agree you will very rarely find a grizzly bear that is over 1,200 or so pounds. But, I was not talking about a normal grizzly, I was talking about a Kodiak. And yes, with a Kodiak, you can definately find some in the 2,000 range. Its not common and I said I was just exaggerating a bit.. Anyhow, for you to say that a bear weighing over 2,000 lbs in wild is preposterous is fallible in its own right, since it is not impossible.

4Freedom
December 19, 2008, 08:43 PM
Agree a handgun is a bad option, but there are hardly any guarantees when charging bears are involved, especially spray!
Yeah, well no guarantees I don't slip on a banana peel and break my neck tonight either. Thats life.

Are you a vet? How do you know they don't feel pain? While it is possible that a bear could get rabies since it is a mammal, rabies in grizzly bears is an extraordinarily rare occurance.
I am not a vet, but have studied about rabies. I have traveled to some countries where it is prevalent. I, myself have almost been exposed. My guide had the honor of chopping to death a dog that attacked him and his daughter and resulted in him getting rabies shots.

Yeah rabid creatures can be very delusional and they do lose normal senses. Rabies in bears is rare, but they are a mammal and can get it. There has been known cases of people being attacked by rabid bears.

Bear attacks are rare, so is rabies. But if a bear is attacking you, you are not necessarily sure as of the reason. If it loses its normal senses, due to certain pain receptors being turned off, then perhaps even pepper spray can fail. That was what I was trying to say. However, as you said rabies in bears is rare, so usually a bear who is attacking you is in its full senses and a blast of pepper spray to its face will screw up his head and he will retreat.

orchidhunter
December 19, 2008, 08:45 PM
I hear Sara Palin hunts them with a 22LR. orchidhunter

4Freedom
December 19, 2008, 08:48 PM
Sarah Palin doesn't need a 22LR, she can take care of them with her bare hands. Oh yeah and a good knife to field dress them. :D

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 09:46 PM
Boone and Crockett record = ?

1000lb bears are NOT uncommon...in Alaska.
Maybe not in Delaware, and perhaps that's the rub.

But even with smaller CONUS bears, I'll take a Magnum Caliber rifle please for defense of MY family.
Or, at close range 12ga/pepper spray. (still working on my "tactical" 12ga pepper spray rail mount rig!(thanks Bro!))

Squirrels are common with rabbies, and I have seen a Large Brown dig several cubic yards of dirt (and spend WAY more than a squirrels worth of calories) digging after a small Ground squirrel to eat. Doesn't make much intelligent sense, does it?
That's because they don't always USE logic...and are unpredictable.

However, I have also seen a Brown Bear skillfully use his claws as a "prying tool" to pop open the car door (and then a cooler) by placing his claws into the door seem, and prying it open. Kinda makes you wonder just how much basic logic they DO have!

Bottom line: Bears are a Trip!!! r-e-s-p-e-c-t!

okespe04
December 19, 2008, 09:49 PM
Honestly I think huge can of bear mace may be most affective. I know a guy that used to camp out in the Alaskan outback for weeks and he said mace works the best to make them go away.

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 10:18 PM
Yup! and that way everybody goes home unhurt, including the bear and possibly her cubs.

Pepper spray and a warning shot (w/mag rifle or 12ga)can do VERY good things.

(of course ya gotta watch out for those South of the Border Black Bears...I hear they LIKE Jalapenos!)
:)

IMTHDUKE
December 19, 2008, 10:38 PM
I am with Arizonaguide on pretty much everything. He hasn't been preaching antigun or tree-hugging rhetoric. He has been saying "take enough gun." I don't see how it is simpler than that or hard to understand, for that matter.

What I am really wondering here: Has any of the posters who wanna take down a brownie with a handgun, actually faced one in that situation? Not me that's for sure:)

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 10:39 PM
I know what you're thinking, Bear: 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' But to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I've kinda lost track myself.

But being this is a .44 Magnum, ("the most powerful handgun in ALL-the-whole-great-big-wide-every-bit-of-the-whole-darn world"), and
would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?'

Well...do ya, BEAR?

Heard WAAAAAAY too much, since the 1970's, in the bar at Anywhere, Alaska.

Or to put it more correctly:
You know folks in Alaska really get tired of all this handguns for bear talk.
Well put! (stay safe, AKCOP!)

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 11:05 PM
I hear Sara Palin hunts them with a 22LR. orchidhunter

My kind of Woman....... :)

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 11:15 PM
Sarah would laugh at a Handgun for a Bear, as being foolish. She grew up in Alaska. She knows better!
She wouldn't even try that on Moose.

Maybe a goat or a tame sheep, or perhaps a "small" donkey......Something less dangerous.
http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5108377&postcount=8



;)

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 11:20 PM
arizonaguide , give it a brake. You just don't know when to quit. :banghead:
Nothing like beating a dead horse........ You are more annoying than you could ever imagine. :barf:
Next you going to tell us you know Sara Palin personally.....:rolleyes:

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 11:23 PM
I believe every Alaskan knows that's spelled with an "h".

Sara"h"!
;)

No, don't know her personally...but we grew up the same time up there.
I never had a desire to be a politician! (now my buddy Mike, that's another story!)
:)

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 11:26 PM
Redhawk, I have been giving you a hard time.
It has been kinda fun teasing you Bro!
I really am just giving you a hard time, while at the same time hoping to get a message across. (save one Person/Bear).

I do consider you a "HighRoad" Brother...and you must be a decent person if you're here.
And if you've done some Arctic Circle work, then ya can't be all bad.

Now, handguns for Dead Horses...well, maybe.;)
Try it on a small donkey first.
:)

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 11:33 PM
I am having just as much fun myself.

But I am a long time handgun hunter over 26 actual years handgun hunting, and I am confident in my personal abilities with my handguns.
I am going back on my 6th black bear hunt to Maine next year, hopefully I will get a chance at a 600 lb plus black bear that is in the area I will be hunting. And yes I will be using my little handgun.

I would hate to see what you think of a bow for big bear...:what:

arizonaguide
December 19, 2008, 11:50 PM
I have just purchased the Bow's for Bears video from Cabella's to try to pick up some good wildlife Photography tips...but NOT me!
I have my 12ga slung over my shoulder for Photo trips...(Protection from Bears, Cougers, and angry National Forest Pot Growers I keep reading about, that are taking over the Parks and National Forests!).

But, I did hear about one of the guys that was a "specialist" in destroying wounded bears PREFERED to go into the alder patch with a compound bow, because of the penetration. I DO wonder what the energy-per-grain is on an arrow...I'm sure it's surprisingly powerfull.

Sure wish I could remember his name. Cuz, I want to learn more about THAT crazy dude!
(if anyone's heard about that guy...send me his name...I want to hear his stories!)

Cheers, Bro! I was wondering if you were playing "devil's advocate" a little. Stay safe over there in the Deleware!
And on that Maine trip. (bring some pepperspray for your pocket, okay, just humor me.)
:)

Redhawk1
December 19, 2008, 11:54 PM
I like a good discussion, I learn a lot from it. Even if I don't agree 100% of the time.

I am safe as can be in Delaware, no bear here...lol
I have to go looking for them.

Sig 226 .40
December 19, 2008, 11:56 PM
and if you happen to have 3-4 Claymore mines on the end of a big stick...I believe THAT qualifies as a shotgun!! Think I'll try a 75mm recoiless rifle for a guaranteed one shot stop!

arizonaguide
December 20, 2008, 12:03 AM
This thread got me actually thinking about a pepperspray 12ga round.
Kinda like those one's the Cops use.
I think I'll research into that a little.


It's funny, but like I tell my Dad (usually in the garage):
Neither one of us is really smart...but between the TWO us we make One Genius! :rolleyes:
This awsome forum is a lot like that.

I was pretty dang lucky to grow up with the folks I did in Alaska.
It did cripple my golf game a little, but...hey, always tradeoffs!
:)
Here's a pretty cool pic of Mom and Dad in 1950's Alaska
http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/momanddadalaska01.jpg
Dad always carried a .300 Weatherby for Bear...or even just fishing. ALWAYS!

Hostile Amish
December 20, 2008, 12:20 AM
I would use no less than .41 Magnum.

arizonaguide
December 20, 2008, 12:27 AM
I guess after all...it boils down to the SIZE and ANGER of the Bear.

.300 for me...on ALL bears...if I get a chance to choose.
12ga/pepperspray in the bush with me always.

4Freedom
December 20, 2008, 04:02 AM
This is an interesting topic.. I always wonder what I will do when I venture into Grizzly country. Actually there is a forest about 4 hours from where I live that is thriving with grizzly bears and bald eagles.

I can tell you, after being tracked down by a 300lb black bear, there is no way by God's name, that I am going to face a 1000lb pissed off grizzly bear with a gun. Grizzlies are smarter and more fierce than black bears. If I had to face even a large black bear, I like to have a hefty gun that can blow a very big hole in him. Remember a grizzly bear is not stupid. They know you have a gun and will try to dodge your bullets. They charge in a way that makes them very hard to hit and will try to wrestle your a** to the floor before ripping open your skull with their giant teeth.

Heres a video about a hunter armed with a big gun and still couldn't win a fight against a grizzly bear.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TriOIvvl2yI

Bears have been known to win many battles against hunters..

Oh yeah for the person who thinks he would have no fear using a handgun to save his life, watch the video at 1:17 and tell me how you would feel in this situation. Lucky for this guy, the bear decided to retreat at the sound of the gun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMbnmLLnsfw

Heres what happens if you fail:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3ako1n28iM&feature=related


ONCE AGAIN.. I don't want to see any bear die.. Bears are a magnificent part of forest. In my state and neighboring ones, cougars are responsible for all wildlife attacks, we have had almost no bear attacks, if any.

Redhawk1
December 20, 2008, 07:49 AM
Nice video of how a handgun was used to stop a charge, a rifle would not of be deployed as quick.

arizonaguide
December 20, 2008, 12:11 PM
That second (easton)link is especially excellent.
It shows a very lucky stop with a handgun's noise stopping the bear at 8 feet.
It also shows what a bear charge looks like...and how fast they can happen.
Lastly, it points out another issue that we havn't discussed:

A bear can kill you without even touching you!
The easton folks were on a inflatable raft in the middle of the Bush.
Very few people carry satphones.
So say the bear charged without hurting any of the hunters...but destroyed the inflatable in the process. (happens!)
Guess what, you are now stuck in the wilderness, maybe many miles from home without transportation. (and perhaps wounded from a bear attack!).
Many hunters have been put in similar situations when their boats/rafts/canoes were destroyed, or their food cache was eaten (or maybe just lost downriver) by bears.
Something to think about. No matter what gun you carry.

Those easton people were lucky (and so where the Bears/cubs)
A good guide would have had his shotgun out already, because when you see three cubs, you know Mom's around somewhere.
Excellent links, 4Freedom. Thanks. I think I'll try to track down that whole Easton video at Cabellas. Good stuff.

Question, how can you call yourself a "bowhunter" when you bring a gun along? (just kidding!)
But a similar question comes up in Alaska about "subsistance" hunting in the "traditional" ways.

If you are a "subsistance" hunter, and want to be able to hunt Polar Bears in the "traditional ways"...how does that include "snomobiles" instead of Dogsleds? Or, hunt whales with a boat with twin 100hourse outboards instead of "traditional" kayaks? Just asking. Rhetorical question.
But don't try to tell me it's "traditional" any more than "Bowhunting" is with a gun. JMHO.
:)

ultradoc
December 20, 2008, 12:15 PM
what about the judge?

arizonaguide
December 20, 2008, 12:42 PM
Better than nothing, but .410 is too light. The Judge loaded with .41mag would be my minimum for Small Black Bear.
But I don't like to take just minimums with Bear in the Bush.
Sometimes they're BIG (and angry!)
:)

PS: for those of us who can't get enough of this subject (myself included) here is a great book that was written by one of my High School teachers. Good man. More good stories than I can remember, and a lifetimes worth of bear education.
I've got the first book (of three), and plan to sit down and read it this spring.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0882402323/ref=sib_fs_top?ie=UTF8&p=S00D&checkSum=sqPl0FLkQC14T0Akn81V25qxXHfEfeZMX7%2B9jDqqCng%3D#reader-link

jbech123
December 20, 2008, 01:35 PM
There has been reports of Kodiak bears not only as a big as 2,000, but even 3,000 pounds!
There may have been roprts of alot of things, but that doesn't mean there is any truth to said report. I don't usually say "never", but I will say with 100% confidence that there will not be anyone to provide proof a 3000 lb kodiak/grizzly or brown bear exists. I'd be willing to put money on it.

arizonaguide
December 20, 2008, 03:10 PM
Weights of Mature Males:

Species, Average, Range, Heaviest Recorded:

Black Bear, 250, 125-600, 803
Brown Bear, 725, 500-900, 2,500+ (inadequate scale?)
Grizzly Bear, 490, 350-700, 1,496
Polar Bear, 1,150, 900-1,500, 2,210

Average Polar Bear = 1000lb+ (!!!)
Average Brown Bear = 725 (average typical range between = 500-900) (!!!)

So, 725-1000lb+++ may be ANGRY (protective mother?), and moving at you (head on) at 30mph+ from a range of less than 10yards, with tremendous POWER! And can destroy your equipment/transportation/food even if you're NOT around.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK8TQQp1qAA&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMbnmLLnsfw&feature=PlayList&p=E7AAC61B27BB1EAC&playnext=1&index=8

Bear Spray vs. Bullets
Which offers better protection?

At first glance, this question may seem like a no-brainer. After all, aren’t guns made to kill, while pepper
spray (so-called “bear spray,” when it comes in big cans) does not? Unlike an attack by a human assailant,
who may be able to use your own weapon against you, that safety/survival argument for using pepper spray
doesn’t apply to a human-bear encounter... or does it?

When it comes to self defense against grizzly bears, the answer is not as obvious as it may seem. In fact,
experienced hunters are surprised to find that despite the use of firearms against a charging bear, they were
attacked and badly hurt. Evidence of human-bear encounters even suggests that shooting a bear can escalate
the seriousness of an attack, while encounters where firearms are not used are less likely to result in injury
or death of the human or the bear. While firearms can kill a bear, can a bullet kill quickly enough -- and can
the shooter be accurate enough -- to prevent a dangerous, even fatal, attack?

The question is not one of marksmanship or clear thinking in the face of a growling bear, for even a skilled
marksman with steady nerves may have a slim chance of deterring a bear attack with a gun. Law
enforcement agents for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have experience that supports this reality --
based on their investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and
defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons
defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured
experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries. Canadian bear biologist Dr. Stephen Herrero
reached similar conclusions based on his own research -- a person’s chance of incurring serious injury from
a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used.
Awareness of bear behavior is the key to mitigating potential danger. Detecting signs of a bear and avoiding
interaction, or understanding defensive bear behaviors, like bluff charges, are the best ways of escaping
injury. The Service supports the pepper spray policy of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee, which
states that bear spray is not a substitute for following proper bear avoidance safety techniques, and that bear
spray should be used as a deterrent only in an aggressive or attacking confrontation with a bear.
Like seatbelts, bear spray saves lives. But just as seatbelts don’t make driving off a bridge safe, bear spray
is not a shield against deliberately seeking out or attracting a grizzly bear. No deterrent is 100% effective,
but compared to all others, including firearms, proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best method for
fending off threatening and attacking bears, and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved.

Because the grizzly bear is federally protected in the Lower 48 States as a threatened species, it is a violation of the
Endangered Species Act (ESA) to shoot one, except in self defense and defense of others during an imminent
attack. Penalties under the ESA include up to 6 months in prison and a $100,000 fine. Additional penalties may
also apply to violations of state law. For more information about bear spray and its effectiveness, see:
US Fish and Wildlife Fact Sheets
http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/grizzly/fact_sheets.htm

jjohnson
December 20, 2008, 06:26 PM
Well, all you have to do is wound your buddy so you can run faster.... you can do THAT with just about anything. :evil:

Leanwolf
December 20, 2008, 07:38 PM
4 FREEDOM - "In my state and neighboring ones, cougars are responsible for all wildlife attacks, we have had almost no bear attacks, if any."


What State would that be???

L.W.

AKGuy
December 20, 2008, 08:55 PM
Hey, JJohnson....you are absolutely correct! You don't need a firearm at all in bear country--you just need someone who runs slower than you, or someone who you can handicap at the last moment into thereafter being someone who runs slower than you!

I joke with my kids all the time up here about "what's the most important thing to bring along in these woods (Alaska)?" Usually we fill the answer blank in with the name of one or another of our kids as the offering-du-jour to the BearGods that day..."Tommy, daddy needs you to go hiking with him today so that he can have someone slower than him along in case a bear attacks!" They don't even bat an eye anymore, just roll 'em and say "Daaaaaaaaa--ddddd!"

Seriously--12ga with hardcast slugs always at the ready regardless of how much of a pain in the butt it is, PLUS something in a wheelgun at least 357mag or higher with heavy hardcast bullets to shove in the beast's throat if/when it comes to that...

And as AZGuide has pointed out again and again and again...respecting the bears means more than agreeing that they're nice-n-cool-n-all....it means NOT doing stupid things that invite unwanted encounters...and THAT is at least as important as any weapon....

arizonaguide
December 20, 2008, 09:51 PM
Thanks AKGUY.
I probably ranted too much. But if it saves one person/bear/cub from tragedy then it was worth it.

Also, I knew Pepperspray was good, but I was surprised at how good the statistics showed from Fish and Wildlife.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service --
Based on their investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and
defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons
defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured
experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries. A person’s chance of incurring serious injury from
a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used. Proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best method for fending off threatening and attacking bears, and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved.

I've got a small one for work, that fits easily in my pocket, or clips onto my belt, waistband, etc.

:)

arizonaguide
December 22, 2008, 05:16 PM
Man get's Angry, Kills Bear with stick:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIQSb1GLp78&feature=related

IMTHDUKE
December 22, 2008, 06:47 PM
Yeah...sure....
http://photos.gafana.com/photos/0276252170996503631110.share.jpg

Dr.Rob
December 22, 2008, 06:58 PM
You guys realize there are like a million hand gun for bear threads?

Look for thread posts by a user named Keith Rogan, he survived a bear attack and lives on Kodiak.

Big Bill
December 23, 2008, 12:25 AM
This ...

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=89688&d=1229974831

And, these ...

Orange_Magnum
December 25, 2008, 11:27 AM
A handgun to a grizzly is rediculous. Yeah, you may hit the bear and cause him harm but you will still die.

Redhawk1
December 25, 2008, 11:52 AM
A handgun to a grizzly is rediculous. Yeah, you may hit the bear and cause him harm but you will still die.

And if you don't have a gun you are dead. But at least with a handgun I have a chance. Internet experts, there are millions of them.

MAGNUM44
December 25, 2008, 05:39 PM
A 50 cal Hawkin it worked for Jeremiah Johnson

North of 49th
December 25, 2008, 06:55 PM
There is no way I would face any bear let alone a Grizzly with a handgun. We have managed to invent neat little things that are called shotguns and they work really nicely against bears. Sure you could try to take down a charging grizz with a .454 or .500 but that would make you either really brave or just stupid. Not saying that it could not be done (in theory) but it looks a bit different when you are in the woods with a bear coming at you. From what I have experienced any handgun that could deliver enough stopping power (read energy) into its target would be impractical to carry or shoot. If a bear can take 5 well placed .30-06 rounds before going down then.... I think you can see what I am getting at.

arizonaguide
December 25, 2008, 07:02 PM
+1!
I couldn't have said it better!

And if you don't have a gun you are dead
Unless you have what has proven MORE effective than any weapon, and that's PEPPER SPRAY!

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service --
Based on their investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries. A person’s chance of incurring serious injury from a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used. Proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best method for fending off threatening and attacking bears, and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved.

Me personally, I'm ALWAYS carrying Pepper spray AND the 12ga. (pistol grip/folding stock?) into the "bush" with me. It's Better for 2 legged varmits also.

IF I'm ever Bear hunting (again) I'll be carrying .338 minimum!
And with ANY GUN be prepared for a 40yd "Death Charge".

Redhawk1
December 25, 2008, 08:47 PM
There is no way I would face any bear let alone a Grizzly with a handgun. We have managed to invent neat little things that are called shotguns and they work really nicely against bears. Sure you could try to take down a charging grizz with a .454 or .500 but that would make you either really brave or just stupid. Not saying that it could not be done (in theory) but it looks a bit different when you are in the woods with a bear coming at you. From what I have experienced any handgun that could deliver enough stopping power (read energy) into its target would be impractical to carry or shoot. If a bear can take 5 well placed .30-06 rounds before going down then.... I think you can see what I am getting at.

Do some research my friend, the 500 Mag is very packable, and has over 3000 fps of energy.

Maybe you should come to the United States where we can own handgun, and actually use them for hunting, including for bear as I have, and see how well they work.

In the right hands, a big enough handgun, they are very capable of taking any game on the planet.

IMTHDUKE
December 26, 2008, 09:19 AM
I vote we chip in and get Redman a grizzly bear in a 10x10 cage, handgun of choice and sell tickets to the event....my money goes on the bear.

Redhawk1
December 26, 2008, 09:54 AM
IMTHDUKE, now how stupid does that sound. :scrutiny:

How in the heck does that prove anything, we are talking in the wild not in a cage. :banghead:

I guess you got a package of dumb dumbs for Christmas yesterday...:evil:

It's Redhawk not Redman. Redman is what you chew. :barf:

IMTHDUKE
December 26, 2008, 09:56 AM
No, it's Redman.....the chewing part will come later.

Redhawk1
December 26, 2008, 09:58 AM
You can't fix stupid. :rolleyes:

IMTHDUKE
December 26, 2008, 09:59 AM
Yes indeed, and stupid will hurt.

Redhawk1
December 26, 2008, 10:03 AM
IMTHDUKE have you ever even seen a Grizzly? Not in a zoo or on TV. If not what qualifies you as the next big expert?

IMTHDUKE
December 26, 2008, 10:24 AM
Read my posts....I asked how many have acutually killed a grizzly with a handgun? I said....I am no expert...saves a lot of time if you will read.

If fact, I have only seen the ones you have killed with a handgun on this board.

Redhawk1
December 26, 2008, 10:26 AM
OK What ever............

North of 49th
December 26, 2008, 07:59 PM
Maybe you should come to the United States where we can own handgun

First off, you do some research, in Canada we can own handguns. But that is not the main point.

I can only say again. Based on my experiences with bears, including grizzly, I would say that NO handgun gives you both the energy AND the ability for a quick follow-up shot that you get from a shotgun or rifle.

I think that most people could also agree that hunting a bear is fundamentally different from defending oneself or others from bears. While I would not hunt bear with a handgun even if I could I think it can be done with minimal risk to the hunter, however, it is by far not the same as expecting to face down a charging grizz with one and come out without a scratch.
Therefore I would say that NO handgun would be sufficient to DEFEND against a Grizzly attack SAFELY.

arizonaguide
December 26, 2008, 10:03 PM
The bottom line is when facing a 750-1000lb bear (typical Grizzly) with any gun, expect a 40yd Death Charge.
If you are lucky it will be a Death Run in the other direction.

If you are NOT lucky it will be AT YOU!
That's with ANY gun when talking about 1000lb bears...

For bear defense:
"persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time"
-US Fish and Wildlife

Redhawk1
December 26, 2008, 10:55 PM
First off, you do some research, in Canada we can own handguns. But that is not the main point.

I can only say again. Based on my experiences with bears, including grizzly, I would say that NO handgun gives you both the energy AND the ability for a quick follow-up shot that you get from a shotgun or rifle.

Oh I know few can own handguns in Canada, but nothing like in the States...
Do you own any handguns for hunting?

Now it is you that needs to do some research, Energy does not kill, getting to the vitals is what kills. Most handgun in the 454 Casull, 475 Linebaugh, 500 Linebaugh and 500 Mag, have just as much energy as a slug from a shot gun, but the handgun ammo will out penetrate the slug.

Some of us know what a handgun of proper size can do, and others only think they know.

http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/ballistics/myths.html

kgpcr
December 27, 2008, 12:13 AM
Just a thought here. I stand in awe at the number of people who know how to deal with big Grizz. If you had to have seen a Grizz in the wild to post on this thread i bet it would be a very short thread. I have seen them in the wild many times and so far so go not one problem. I carry a .454 and 360grn Buffalo Bore ammo. Its some mean stuff but so is a bear. Pepper spray is good but i like a gun. thats my choice. to each his own. The best way to get out of trouble is to not get in trouble in the first place. Common sense goes a long long way.

Redhawk1
December 27, 2008, 12:17 AM
Amen to that, a lot of Internet experts here.

I bet them 360 gr. Buffalo bore's are thumpers. ;)

Redhawk1
December 27, 2008, 08:43 AM
A few reads here, not only have to worry about Grizzly's, but Black Bear also.

http://dwb.adn.com/news/alaska/wildlife/bears/story/7552648p-7464232c.html
http://www.john-ross.net/store.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_bear_attacks_in_North_America_by_decade#2000s

North of 49th
December 27, 2008, 07:16 PM
Oh I know few can own handguns in Canada, but nothing like in the States...
Do you own any handguns for hunting?

Few??? Anyone in who has a Possession Acquisition License and is a member of a gun club or firing range can own as many handguns as they wish. To answer your question, no I do not own handguns for hunting as that is illegal in Canada and yes I do own handguns.

As for the number of Internet experts that are around I agree 100% with you kgpcr. Living on a farm in Northern B.C. I have had too deal with my fair share of both blacks and grizz who thanks to other human actions have grown too accustomed to humans. I am very happy for you that you have seen many bears in the wild that have never done anything aggressive towards you, the fact of the matter is that there are some bears that for one reason or another have gotten used to associating humans with food. These bears become a threat and have to be dealt with accordingly. And no, it's not with pepper spray and angry words.

Don't get me wrong, as I said in my original post I’m by no means saying that you can't use a handgun to drop a bear but if I were offered a choice of either a 12Ga. or my choice of any high powered handgun I would not hesitate. The 12Ga. has my vote any day of the week. That will naturally affect the advice that I will give.

But then what do I know, apparently I've never even seen a bear before, probably never even fired a gun before right?:rolleyes:

geologist
December 27, 2008, 09:13 PM
I work in grizzly bear habitat. If I can carry a rfle I have a Marlin GG in 45-70, a 14" 12 ga pump and a BRNO 602 CRF bolt action rifle in .375 H&H with the barrel cut down to 20".

When we do fieldwork we CAN'T carry long guns due to their weight. In those circumstances I carry a Ruger SRH in .454 Casull.

The_Shootist
December 27, 2008, 09:52 PM
Well I guess you could trying using BuffaloBore's "heavy" .44 mag against a grizzly.

I'm not sure what would be the more unpleasant experience - facing a charging grizzly or touching off a handgun with those rounds in it.

Redneck with a 40
December 27, 2008, 10:09 PM
Yep, I'd leave the handgun at home, pack a 12 gauge with 3" magnum slugs.:)

Big Bill
December 27, 2008, 10:48 PM
I bet them 360 gr. Buffalo bore's are thumpers.They are, and I'm perty sure ya could kill an elephant with em.

Bush Pilot
December 28, 2008, 01:21 AM
Note to self, NEVER go into the bush with the likes of Redhawk 1.

Bush Pilot
December 28, 2008, 01:23 AM
.......

Amigo Will
December 28, 2008, 10:49 AM
Easy to see few Alaskans here.I think if you go to say a Alaska hunting forum you will get better info.The 45/70 is a very good back-up gun and used alot and when you concider it can deliver up to 3,500 pfe with a 400+plus grain bullet,well they work.Folks have been carring handguns in Alaska and killing bears sence at least the gold rush and I dare say what many here are calling to small were not even around yet and when they came out they were called the greatest bear round you could buy.You don't protect yourself from a bear a hundred yards away you do it at 10 yards and hopefully clean yourself when done.

Gunnerpalace
December 28, 2008, 03:22 PM
Energy does not kill, getting to the vitals is what kills

There is an issue though people (board members) don't get that.......I will repeat (not being rude or snide at you at all just trying to point it out to others here on the board) People do not get it. Why do we have all these 9mm vs .45 threads, fact of the matter a brain shot to a bear IF you could get the shot should kill it, the issue is penetration. In which case a 12ga slug would be favored.

But! the OP's question was not "What round to kill a Grizzly?" it was: "Handgun for protection from a grizzly?" as pointed out earlier pepper spray was a good choice, If we were to go into handgun choices pretty much magnum calibers would be common sense, at least in my point of view.

I don't know If I helped at all of just wasted bandwidth but there is my take on it.

The Bushmaster
December 28, 2008, 03:46 PM
Handgun? Pepper spray? Yeah...That'll work. I doubt it. The pepper spray will just net you a pissed off bear. The handgun would be too hard to get into service let alone have minimal power to do the job... If I think I might meet a Grizzly in the mountains, I'll have a Marlin Guide in 45-70 or it's equivelant.

Redhawk1
December 28, 2008, 04:35 PM
Bush Pilot, no problem I don't hunt with chickens. :)

arizonaguide
December 28, 2008, 06:21 PM
JUST A REMINDER, THE ORIGINAL QUESTION FROM THE OP:
does anyone have an opinion on a handgun that would stop a grizzly with one shot?

ANSWER: (NONE! (safely))

Alaska Fish and Game, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife ALL advise NOT to use a handgun, but rather
1.) Pepperspray,
2.)A magnum caliber of minimum .300winmag (and who wants to go with minimums!?)
3.)12ga w/solid 3"magnum slug rounds
in that order.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service --
Based on their investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries. A person’s chance of incurring serious injury from a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used. Proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best method for fending off threatening and attacking bears, and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved.

Me personally, I'm ALWAYS carrying Pepper spray AND the 12ga. ("convenient" pistol grip/folding stock) into the "bush" with me. It's Better for 2 legged varmits also. For Bear "hunting" I carry a .338 minimum!

You can base that recomendation on 35+years of my OWN Alaska hunting experience, PLUS listening to bear stories since the 1960's, and I grew up in Anchorage.

And with ANY GUN be mentally prepared for up to a 40yd "Death Charge". Unlikely you will DROP a Bear in it's tracks with any gun. LESS likely with the typical handgun. It occasionally happens, but rarely...with ANY gun.

I'll quote it again:
"persons encountering (surprising?) grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time."
"A person’s chance of incurring serious injury from a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used."
US Fish and Wildlife statistics.

Bush Pilot
December 28, 2008, 06:27 PM
Redhawk, I didn't get my name by reading gun magazines and internet ninja posts and then spewing. If you'd spent much time in the back country and dealt with hundreds of guides and outfitters you might rethink your position. Have you ever had a grizzly tear apart an aircraft?, when you do get back with me and we might actually have something in common.

arizonaguide
December 28, 2008, 06:52 PM
Good point again Bush Pilot.

As I said in and earlier post, a Grizzly can kill you in Alaska without even touching you if he trashes your inflatable raft or Airplane, and you are stuck 500miles from civilization, on FOOT! (on the other side of the Brooks, the Chugach, or Alaska ranges).

He may have just killed you, without even touching you. :(

http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/cub1-1.jpg
Not mine, but my picture.
Canvas covered aluminum frame can get torn up by Bear easily, folks, especially if there's a moose quarter inside.

Bush Pilot, what is the latest consensus on "pepperspray" amongst the guides?
Or, are the guides even using it at ALL? More luck with warning shots?
I'm getting good feedback from Fish and Wildlife, but I've been out of Alaska's bush for the last 7 years or so (stuck here in the HOT country).
I used to fly around summers (some winters) to the DEW line sites...(when I wasn't stuck in the office!)
I'm curious what the latest gossip is.

Mine: Remington700, (Pre-1964) originally chambered in .300H&H, rechambered to .300Weatherby. :)
Is anybody using the .338 lapua yet?
Also, what are you flying these days? Are you out of Lake Hood? (PM me if ya want) I'm homesick!!! I MISS floatplane noise!!!!
Pay attention Redhawk. :)

Redhawk1
December 28, 2008, 08:11 PM
Bush Pilot, no I do not have a aircraft. I am not an bush pilot, nor do I claim to be, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. But I sure know what a handgun with the right load will do to bone and flesh.

When you have 35 years of "handgun" hunting experience, come talk to me. Fly aircraft and shooting game are two different things.

I have hunted all over the United States and Canada, and have over 35 years of hunting experience, I don't read books and sit on my butt and pretend to be some big hunter or expert.

But I know what today handguns are capable of, and listening to a few people that don't have a clue about powerful handgun is a joke.

arizonaguide , I don't need your advice, I have done will without it.
You all need to get out and shoot more big bore handguns, and see what they will do. You may be surprised and actually learn something.

arizonaguide
December 28, 2008, 08:13 PM
arizonaguide , I don't need your advice, I have done will without it.

Who's "Will"? (and why did you do him?)

Oh, you're saying you have a "will" made out? Always a Good idea when you go Bear Hunting with a handgun.
Is THAT what they call "freudian slip"? Very applicable.

Just bustin your chops RH! it's too fun, because you are probably the exception to the rule, with lots of handgun hunting experience.
But it's sure NOT advised for "normal" handgunners. :(

Trust me RH, we'd be bustin your chops the same way if we were all sitting and drinking at any bar in Alaska! (and probably even AFTER you brought a BIG ONE down!)




Seriously though, I think I got this handguns-for-bears "shot placement" thing all figured out....
http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/shotplacement.jpg

arizonaguide
December 28, 2008, 08:43 PM
In all seriousness though RH, what is the approximate energy, volocity and caliber of the handgun you are shooting?

Give me the numbers, cuz I would like to learn something.

I'm assuming you are using a solid type of slug that will stay together, and something for penetration (not a HollowPoint).

Let's look at the numbers, you may have some points (and we've just been busting your chops)

Seriously, how does it stack up against a 12ga (which is a close range emergency only weapon)?

Here's the 12ga numbers: (w/solid slug...NOT HOLLOWPOINT)
.63 Caliber (that's 58% more actual frontal area than a .500)
HUGE 1.25oz+ projectile weight. (not sure what that is in grains, 700?)
1500+ Muzzle Volocity
3000+/- Energy

I would NOT be surprised if your handgun DID have similar numbers, but:
700 grain slug (?)
I can carry eight rounds in a tactical shotgun.
I can reload that thing pretty quickly, with selective ammo.
I can aim more acurately with the longer sight radius (may NOT be important at 10yards!)
I still have the convenience with a pistol grip/folding stock.
It's better for 2 legged trouble.
I can use it for anything from little to BIG, with more versatile ammo selection.

What are the numbers on the 454 or 500? Similar?







---------------------------NEW THREAD--------------------------------------------------
ILikeTOBleed
new member

POSTS:

Has anyone tried TAZERS for bears?

I don't think it's a good idea, so would I be "chicken" if I didn't want to use a TAZER on a Grizzly Bear?

Does anyone know if a TAZER will provide a "one shot stop" on a Grizzly bear?
What's the maximum range on a TAZER? Is that a safe distance from Bears?
If that doesn't work, What about Effectiveness of MuaiThai kicks?
I heard about one guy that kild one with a stick.

ILikeTObleed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bush Pilot
December 28, 2008, 09:23 PM
AZGuide, have been out of AK for a few years, when I look at some of the pics I really miss the bush and the people, they're a different breed. You were spot on about the plane, meal in a can for a boar grizzly LOL. Never discussed pepper spray with the outfitters, I don't know the consensus. I can tell you one thing, I never saw even one guide/outfitter that carried a handgun for a SHTF situation with a large bear. I used to pal around with a brown bear guide in southeastern, he carried a 375 H&H and said he felt undergunned when looking for a wounded bear, don't blame him. You're right about one thing AZG, there isn't a better sound than a plane powering up.

Redhawk, you and I have a comparable amount of hunting time, that's not the discussion. I don't believe I said a handgun can't stop a bear, under the right circumstances it surely can. I read the OP's question as to the use of a handgun in an emergency, I stand by my original statement.

Good hunting Redhawk, Bush Pilot

arizonaguide
December 28, 2008, 09:54 PM
Good stuff BP!

I'm getting curious about the .338 Lapua...take a look at some of those numbers. Or some of the new ultra magnums.
Up around 5000lbs of energy, and good flat trajectory/volocity. :cool:
The problem with the .50BMG is it makes too darn big of a hole in the Bear Rug.
And that Barrett's kinda spendy.
:cool:

FLYLAW
December 28, 2008, 10:36 PM
While fishing in Alaska on the Russian River this past June.....I got the crap scared out of me when the biggest damn black bear I have ever seen, came up to the river bank across from me at about 50 feet.
There were literaly hundreds of people fishing, many armed with handguns. My 12 gauge pump (1 double aught round followed by 5, 3 inch magnum slugs), was on the river bank....yep I am a dumb ass....and I will not go out without a handgun on my chest ever again.
Interesting enough...the "tour-ons" just looked and gaped, while the regular's started yelling.....the bear then retreated.
Still cant figure out what handgun to carry.....probably leaning towards a ruger .44 mag...rugged, and reliable.
But sure would/could use some direct suggestions.

arizonaguide
December 28, 2008, 10:53 PM
I guess after all...it boils down to the SIZE and ANGER of the Bear.
750-1000lbs charging from the riverbank: pepperspray, .300magnum, 12ga.

.338(minimum) for me...on ALL bears...if I get a chance to choose.
12ga/pepperspray in the bush with me always.

Just put a pistol grip/short sling/short barrel on that 12ga.
00, followed by slugs is excellent...(at riverbank ranges).


"A .300-Magnum rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs are appropriate weapons if you have to shoot a bear. Heavy handguns such as a .44-Magnum may be inadequate in emergency situations, especially in untrained hands."-Alaska Dept of Fish and Game


"Based on investigations of human-bear encounters since 1992, persons encountering grizzlies and defending themselves with firearms suffer injury about 50% of the time. During the same period, persons defending themselves with pepper spray escaped injury most of the time, and those that were injured experienced shorter duration attacks and less severe injuries. A person’s chance of incurring serious injury from a charging grizzly doubles when bullets are fired versus when bear spray is used. Proper use of bear spray has proven to be the best method for fending off threatening and attacking bears, and for preventing injury to the person and animal involved."-U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Redhawk1
December 28, 2008, 11:51 PM
500 Mag

440 gr. Hard cast gas checked bullet at 1800 fps = 3165 fpe.

500 gr. bullet at 1600fps = 2842 fpe

700 gr.bullet at 1250 fps = 2429 fpe

arizonaguide, your math is off on the frontal area. No where near 58%bigger.

A 1 1/4 oz slug is 546.875 gr. 1454 fps = 2564 fpe Right off the box of slugs

A 1 oz slug is 437.5 gr. 1600 fps = 2484 fpe

Redhawk1
December 29, 2008, 12:00 AM
The 475 Linebaugh with a 400 gr. bullet at 1600 fps gives 2274 fpe

Redhawk1
December 29, 2008, 12:02 AM
The 500 Mag has heavier bullets, faster velocity, and a better bullet design for better penetration.
Lots of energy for the energy crowd. :what:

arizonaguide
December 29, 2008, 12:27 AM
Thank you Redhawk.

So, that WOULD indicate that your 500mag would have similar physics to the 12ga!

That dang thing IS a beast!!!

I owe you an appology for not taking the time to look up the info on the .500, before busting your chops on it so much (but it was just too fun!)

Like I said, it's just that since the 1970's we've been hearing the .44magnum touted as the end-all for grizzly bear, (my gut still tells me it's to small) and what nobody seems to believe is that it's a crap shoot with ANY weapon at close range...considering you can hit them with a .375, and they'll still often charge 40yards.
(and I'm talking 750-1000lb bears)

So, since I can admit when I'm wrong I will! I agree that with those numbers, a .500 works out to be similar EMERGENCY GUN as a 12ga (in fact almost exactly)! So, would be (maybe)okay at close ranges (similar to a 12ga.).

But, if you are NOT experienced with years of actual Handgun Hunting like Redhawk, PLEASE do not think you can hunt big Grizzly's with a handgun. (especially anything less than a .500 or .454 numbers as above). I still don't like those .475 Linebaugh numbers, and I'll bet the .44mag is about the same.

Even the old Alaska Hunting Guides will tell you a .338 is just about minimum for a "safe" (there really is no such thing) Grizzly Bear Hunt.

Next time I go to the Russian River (assuming I can find a parking place) I'm bringing Pepperspray, a .500magnum (in place of the 12ga), and a TAZER!!!

Of course everyone knows that the .500mag is just to intimidate the other fishermen into giving you some room to cast...(see below)
The pepperspray is for the Bears(like they could get in edgeways), and the TAZER is for the fight in the campground parking lot.

Ain't like the old time Alaska.
http://i367.photobucket.com/albums/oo114/arizonaguide/combatfishing.jpg

arizonaguide
December 29, 2008, 01:56 AM
Hey in looking around I found some more good Bear related links:

Here's the section in the Anchorage Daily News:
http://www.adn.com/bearattacks/

Here's some pretty interesting videos:
http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/bear-feeding-frenzy-bear-buffet.html

Dang it! Now I'm gonna miss Bustin Redhawk's chops! I guess I can't do that anymore when he proves he's right.
That was fun while it lasted Bro! I still wouldn't HUNT with one, but it's a good short range emergency gun.

Again, Good hunting on that Maine trip. Stay safe, and bring some PepperSpray(Hey, just a little pocket one for camp...only $15).
:cool:

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