S & W 329PD for bear.


October 2, 2003, 07:07 AM
Hey folks,
I'm headed for my 5th Maine bear hunt in '04, and this time it's going to be with archery equipment only. I am eagerly awaiting my NY State Pistol Permit application to be processed (we're up to 6 months wait now), and in the meantime, I am searching for the best sidearm to carry as a backup while bear hunting. I've twice had bears climb the trees I was hunting from for a sniff, and don't want the third time -- when I am armed only with arrows -- to be the time that a hungry bear decides he likes the smell and wants a taste! I've been looking at a variety of revolvers, and have pretty much settled on the .44 magnum S&W 329PD.

My question is this...I've shot .44 mags on several occasions, but never one with a scandium frame. The .44 mag recoil was impressive, but not horrible, in my recollection. However, the Guns & Ammo writeup on this gun said the "percieved recoil" was a lot more than a standard steel-framed 629. This is not going to be a plinking gun, it's going to be a short range, bear-defense gun, and I don't mind a handful of recoil, and with the considerable distances I'll be hiking, I like the thought of that light revolver. I wondered though, if that "perceived recoil" increase is enough to be considered unmanageable. Anyone out there with any opinion, or experience with this "Air Lite" revolver?
Joel Spring

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October 2, 2003, 07:25 AM
I believe the 329PD is the perfect gun for the purpose you've stated.


October 2, 2003, 03:36 PM
If it's an 'archery only' season, you'd best check and see if you can even carry a firearm while hunting in an archery only area.
And forget about the bears. They won't bother you if you leave them alone. You guys down South are friggin' obsessed with bears. Get into you stand, stifle and wait for a deer. The bears know you are there and will avoid you. You stink of trouble to them.

October 2, 2003, 03:42 PM
You might want to read my whole post Sunray, I am bear hunting, not deer hunting, and have had many close encounters with bears, none of them in my imagination, it's not an archery-only season and hell, I'm not even "down south". I know the regulations, and yes, I am obsessed with bears -- hunting them, not fearing them.

Umm...thanks for your input?

October 2, 2003, 03:54 PM
If possible.
Rent or borrow one and try it with unorthodox grips and positions.
Shooting down from a high stand, as you probably know, bunch different from normal plinking/range shooting. Be really nice if follow up shots could be held on target.

Friend of mine had, in zoo now, pet black male that could reach up and pull bout anything down that was 10 feet above it. Bigger than your average bear but sumpin to think about.

Bear meat good for tacos....don't have to add grease.

Bart Skelton wrote of a gent that hunted blacks for meat, used a 2.5" 686. Not my cup of herbal.


October 2, 2003, 04:12 PM
Let me tell you that if the bear is attacking you , the recoil from the pistol will not affect you at all, if you even remember shooting the pistol!!!! The body has a funny way of coping with different stress,s when the time comes, Dont know if you saw the post on another forum about the 1600lb bear that was shot, full clip of 7mm mags plus 2 more, those are times i wish i had cannon!

October 2, 2003, 04:27 PM
I carry a 296 S&W .44 Special and the recoil is more of a push than a sharp bang;that said if you get a 329 and care to practice a little then practice with the .44 and load the big rounds for when you need them I don't think you will feel it if a bear is comming up the tree

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