For bear country: .45 ACP +P or Tokarev?


March 16, 2009, 11:43 AM
Just curious as to which one of the two following pistol calibers (.45 ACP +P or Tokarev) are more capable than the other to stop a grizzly bears or mountain lion at 15-20 yards?

Don't really care for other calibers since I don't have them. Yes, I know, 44 mag or .357 mag, but I have neither.



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March 16, 2009, 11:46 AM
I'd go with the .45, there are a lot more options for effective ammo around for that round.

unless you can get RAUFUSS rounds for the TT, or whatever they're called. :neener:

I imagine with either you'd probably get eaten by the bear. Avoidance might be the best policy. Maybe a small extra child or buddy you can outrun.

Billy Shears
March 16, 2009, 11:52 AM
If your goal is dealing with grizzly bears, you need to get something bigger. It doesn't really matter if you don't care for or have guns in other calibers, and it certainly won't matter to the bear. I'm not trying to be snide here, but you really need to bring enough gun if you think you might need one for a bear. If you aren't willing to spend the money on a new gun, get bear spray or something, but in God's name don't shoot one with a gun too small to get the job done. You really, really don't want 1500 pounds of enraged predator bearing down on you at 40mph, and you armed with a gun that won't stop it in time, unless you achieve a perfect hit to an immediately vital area -- which is something you are most unlikely to do in the chaos and fear of such a moment.

Marlin 45 carbine
March 16, 2009, 11:58 AM
the .45acp would do for mountain lion but grizz? you'd have to be a very good shot and lucky enough to get one for it to be effective.
get a .45 Colt or .44mag with jacked-up hard cast slugs. or something even bigger than those.

March 16, 2009, 12:00 PM
All these helpful posts notwithstanding, you can easily make the appropriate decision for yourself.

Watch this vid:

Then come back and tell us which you've decided to carry for large bears.


March 16, 2009, 12:02 PM
If your goal is in case of a grizzly charging and you
want to blow your brins out, I'd go with the time tested
manstopper, .45 ACP

WHat the heck cartridge is a Tokarov chmbered for?
the 9mm Mak? the wanna be 9mm LUger?


March 16, 2009, 12:03 PM
7.62x25. ^^

March 16, 2009, 12:07 PM
If your goal is dealing with grizzly bears, you need to get something bigger. It doesn't really matter if you don't care for or have guns in other calibers, and it certainly won't matter to the bear. I'm not trying to be snide here, but you really need to bring enough gun if you think you might need one for a bear. If you aren't willing to spend the money on a new gun, get bear spray or something, but in God's name don't shoot one with a gun too small to get the job done. You really, really don't want 1500 pounds of enraged predator bearing down on you at 40mph, and you armed with a gun that won't stop it in time, unless you achieve a perfect hit to an immediately vital area -- which is something you are most unlikely to do in the chaos and fear of such a moment.

Billy is right. A 45 will only enrage a grizzly even more. it may be effective against a cat, however, with the right ammo

Frightener 88
March 16, 2009, 12:08 PM
The Tokarev is typically chambered in 7.62x25. Which has excellent penetration. They can also be had in 9mm, but Im sure the OP is asking about the more potent round.

March 16, 2009, 12:26 PM
Bring salt and pepper. If you're going to feed the bears you might as well make yourself tasty. :D

March 16, 2009, 12:38 PM
Get something non-expanding for the .45, not a +P defense load. Buffalo Bore's FNFMJ, maybe.

And use that on Black Bears, not Brown.:)

March 16, 2009, 01:00 PM
For Grizzly, I'm thinking "40"

As in a 40MM Bofors Cannon...

For Mountain Lion, maybe a .45...NOT Grizzly Bear

There is a reason that the "Scientific Latin" name for Grizzly has the world Horribilus (sp??) in it.

March 16, 2009, 01:25 PM
For the grizzly: Whichever one you're better at emptying the magazine into a small, ragged hole with. They're both absolutely lousy bear guns, so you'd might as well pick the one you can empty into the charging grizzly faster. If you're going to have a bear beat you to death with your own leg, you'd might as well go out with the knowledge that you filled him full of lead first. :D

For mountain lion, go with the .45 ACP.

March 16, 2009, 01:31 PM
The russians say 7.62x25

March 16, 2009, 01:34 PM
It's like asking, "What car should I use for stock car racing? My road-legal '89 mustang or my '91 camaro? And don't tell me I need a purpose-built car that's more appropriate, because I don't have one."

Doesn't matter whether or not you have one, it's still what you need. If you carry that .45 or Tokarev for bears, you will want to remove the front sight. (So it will hurt less when he ....shoves it up inside you.)

March 16, 2009, 01:40 PM
If you pick either of those, use FMJ or the like.

March 16, 2009, 01:47 PM
"What car should I use for stock car racing?

Well, Bomber or Pony class, maybe...

Never mind...:D

March 16, 2009, 02:19 PM
Out of the two you offered, I would take the Tokarev 7.62x25.

The 45acp is great against personnel, but basically sucks as a woods gun. You want deep penetration for the woods. Even with FMJ, I am betting that the Tok will penetrate +50% more than the 45acp... easily.

Honestly, neither of them would remotely inspire confidence in Grizzly country.


March 16, 2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks for the inputs. I don't intend to hunt or confront grizzlies with those 2 calibers, just that there are rumors of recent sporadic sightings of grizzlies in the 100 mile radious where I hike.

Just wanted to decide which of the two pistols to carry while hiking. I highly doubt that I will actually run into a grizzlie. Mt. Lions, however, are quite common in my area.

I am also leaning towards Tokarev round:

Taken from Cheaperthandirt catalog:

.45 ACP FMJ 853 fps / 371 power

Tokarev FMJ 1647 fps / 511 power

.30 Carbine 1992 fps / 965 power

Tokarev certainly will out-penetrate .45 ACP, and it is known to tumble when hitting soft tissue, inflicting a large .223-like exit wound. Hence, I was just curious to know if anyone had actually seen its power in action in the wild.


March 16, 2009, 04:00 PM
You can get a g20 for about $500, and a ruger gp100 for probably a similiar price.

March 16, 2009, 07:18 PM
If I was limited to 45 ACP and 7.62X25, I'd go with the Tokarev. That 7.62 FMJ blows right through a Kevlar helmet so a bear sternum shouldn't be a problem. It's a monster round.

For smaller, 2 legged problems, Wolf makes a great hollowpoint round. It makes big holes.

March 17, 2009, 12:10 AM
okay okay, change my vote to 7.62x25.

March 17, 2009, 12:22 AM
You have 3 choices, really;

a.) Don't hike there.

b.) Trade one or both of those off for a .44mag.

c.) Become the new term of defining "suicide by bear".

Seriously. I haven't gone looking for grizz. when I'm backcountry hiking either, but guess what? They find me. Even with a .44 mag. I leave the area in a low crawl like my life depended on it. Because it did.

March 17, 2009, 12:39 AM
Carry a 54 cal BP rifle and a Bowie worked sometimes for the mtn men.

March 17, 2009, 01:29 AM
Well, I'll throw mine in. 7.62x25, but Bear Spray might be the better alternative as a last-resort thing. As we all know evasion (versus big things that want to eat you) is the best defense, everything else is a backup when that fails.

March 17, 2009, 01:44 AM
If you reload...the 45acp can be made to work quite a bit better. (45 Super)

230 grain bullets at 1,000 - 1,100 fps WILL penetrate any grizzly in those hills.

March 17, 2009, 02:02 AM
I'd rather have a 12 gauge pump loaded with the hottest slugs I could find.

March 17, 2009, 06:00 AM
Neither are particularly well suited. The Tokarev will penetrate, but it's not large enough to reliably disrupt a major system. Between the two, the Tokarev is definitely better, but it's still too small. If I had to choose a caliber, it would be .454 Casull.

March 17, 2009, 07:04 AM
Tie a bell to your pack and carry a cannister of Bear Spray. The bell will do more to keep you alive than any pistol. Most dangerous encouters happen when you surprise a bear. If the bear hears you coming well in advance, most likely they will be heading the other way and you will only see their backside. Bear spray also works well. No need to be a Rambo and kill everything in the woods.

Have the pistol as a back up. I would use a 45 ACP, with 240-260 grain FMJ's. Mass equals stopping power.

March 17, 2009, 07:59 AM
O.P./Retro posted
>Taken from Cheaperthandirt catalog:

>.45 ACP FMJ 853 fps / 371 power
From Double Tap...
200 gr. Speer Gold DOt JHP 165 gr. Speer Gold Dot JHP
1125 FPS 562 Ft lbs 1,200 FPS 528 fl lbs
230 gr. Speer Gold DOt JHP 180 gr. Speer Gold DOt JHP
1,010 FPS 521 FPS 1,100 FPS @ 484 ft lbs l

>Tokarev FMJ 1647 fps / 511 power

what's the bullet weight?

>.30 Carbine 1992 fps / 965 power

You might do some reading about the ineffective M1
Carbine of WWII, it had a lousy rep. for stopping power
as a performer for troops in WWII. The 110 gr. pill just
diddn't cut it and I know of few states which allow it for
big game hunting. Kinetic energy are nice numbers on paper
but you're not shooting paper.

HOw about the semi-auto version of the old Thompson smg,
Auto Ordnance 1927A1 with a 30 round magazine, tested for
reliable function with the 230 gr. DT gold Dots You might
have a chance

Score em using the momentum formula of
what is it, bullet weight times velocity? Look at
Federal handgun ballistics and compare heavier
slow stuff versus high speeed and light bullets at
the muzzle and then at 100 yards and see how
much loss you have percentage wise. The slower
heavier gullet might not start at the seductive high
vel. but they just keep going albeit with a rainbow
trajectory but that momentum will also hold true
once the bullet goes terminal into the target.


March 17, 2009, 08:38 PM
Learn to climb very tall trees real fast:neener:

From what I have read about big bear encounters it does not really matter what you carry. Best is to avoid bears. When encountered it is a crap shoot.

March 17, 2009, 08:53 PM
Members of the Lewis and Clark expedition quickly decided they had received quite enough exposure to the grizzly, and desired no more. I agree, which is one reason (and not the most important one) why I live in Sandy Eggo. Mountain lions, on the other hand, really like it here. They also like mule deer, mountain sheep and early morning joggers. Either handgun will do the job if you spot them before they ambush you. If you don't, well . . .

Cordially, Jack

March 17, 2009, 09:23 PM
The 45 will smoke a cougar, they really aren't that tough or big, don't know anything about the Tok. But my sugestion would be buy a gun you like and enjoy, and carry bear spray with you when in bear country. Bear spray is much more effective in most cases and easier to aim :D

And its not lethal to the bear so you don't have to go through a hassle explaining it was in self defense (assuming you survive);)

March 17, 2009, 11:25 PM
grizzlies don't climb, black bears want to chase you up a tree.

March 17, 2009, 11:49 PM
Yep, I'd say .45 just for the noise factor. Bear spray is the best advice. Hiking should be about enjoying the outdoors and leaving the wild alone, so avoidance is the best option. If you are really having to go into a known bear hot spot, then I'd have a rifle. It isn't what I'd call an enjoyable hike at that point though. A great farm/wilderness rifle just to have for anything at anytime is a .44 Mag carbine. You can get even larger rounds but not usually in a short barrel unless you go with a military weapon such as an AK. Then, at that point, you appear to be hunting...

Big Daddy Grim
March 17, 2009, 11:52 PM
Even Bear spray would be better than those calibers you will probably just piss the Griz off unless you get a really lucky shot.

March 17, 2009, 11:56 PM
I think Jaydubya brought up a good point regarding the mountain lions. They are very common around where I hike, and they tend to ambush hikers, and hence I may not have enough time to react.

This brings up the issue of Tokarev pistol, which is not safe to carry with a round chambered. This means, if I carry a Tokarev, I may not even have the time to chamber the round. So I should probably carry my USP .45, which can be safely carried with a round chambered.

If I run into a grizzlie, I am going bye-bye regardless... or, so it seems. :D


March 18, 2009, 12:11 AM
I've been face to face with a black bear (less than 3 ft backpacking in the backwoods) in NM and succesful with making a bunch of noise to make the bear go away. Mostly they are safe to be around. You make a bunch of noise and hang your "smellies(candy, food, toothpaste)" at night and in NM you are likely OK.

We applied this theory and still had a bear about 3ft from me...........still makes me nervous.

Defense Minister
March 18, 2009, 12:23 AM
Stick with a can of bear spray if those are your only two choices. It's cheaper, lighter, and more effective!

March 18, 2009, 01:31 AM
I carry .45 as a hunting side arm in Oregon but its for cougars, wacko methheads, and pot gardeners. In bear country bear mace is the way to go.

March 18, 2009, 02:01 PM
When I was 16 I used bear spary on a guy who tryed to rob the grocery store I was working register at.
It works really well, way beyond expectations on people. Its like a Fire extinguisher that puts out pain.

March 18, 2009, 06:19 PM
HOw about the semi-auto version of the old Thompson smg,
Auto Ordnance 1927A1 with a 30 round magazine

Did someone really suggest that he pack a Thompson SMG on his wilderness ventures. I almost LOL'ed when I read that.

That should go nicely with the ultralight titanium cookware.


March 18, 2009, 08:48 PM
Sell both of your guns and get a Glock 20 10mm. Problem solved!

March 19, 2009, 08:58 PM
The only problem I see with bear spray is that if they are smashing into your tent and you spray then you are going to get a faceful as well. Just something to think about.....
My vote is for both sidearm and bear spray:D

March 19, 2009, 09:35 PM
For Grizzly's sell the handguns get a Mossy or Remington Pump action chambered fro at least a Magnum and Magnum Brennekes. Or get Bear Spray. In Grizz Country I carry both, the Spray to make me feel like I'm doing something positive rather than just killing the bear (mostly they just check you out, while you yell and wave your arms like an idiot, then go away), but the 870 in case things get hairy, in case of emergency I go for the Shotty I don't even think I know how to take the safeties off the Bear Spray (I do however remember there's more than one, unlike my 870).

As far as escaping up a tree to get away from a Grizzly, you'll need be beside it and climb real fast. Make sure it's a hardwood, with good roots, and hold on tight Grizzly's are known to "bounce" the tree to shake prey out of them, if you go up a shallow rooted pine tree, you might wind up on the ground, either out of the tree, or still holding on to the tree.

March 19, 2009, 11:35 PM
A .45+p might be ok for mountain lions but for Grizzly bear I would want more. .41 mag or larger, if I was buying a new gun with the possibility of grizzlies in my mind I would consider the S&W 460 and have the ability to fire .45 colt, .454 casull, and .460SW. I hear bears have short tempers, I would want every advantage I could get.

March 20, 2009, 01:11 AM
Get the 460 Rowland conversion for your 1911. That way you have 44 Magnum power in your autoloader.

March 20, 2009, 01:15 AM
I'd go with the .45 -- it's probably worth more, so you can sell it and afford a lot of bear spray and a 12 gauge, like other posters have mentioned.

Seriously, neither caliber would be considered remotely adequate for bear defense.

March 20, 2009, 02:19 PM
I thought we already had this discussion. Good bear medicine is the .460 XVR or something. Smith and Wesson has a survival kit built around it and a book on bear attacks.

March 20, 2009, 03:40 PM
If your location refers to the SE United States, you don't have to worry about grizzly bears...

March 20, 2009, 04:00 PM
from what I've seen and heard,folks who might encounter a Grizz.say a Marlin lever gun in .444 is their first choice with a 44mag revolver as backup.and hope for a straight on nose shot. jwr

March 20, 2009, 05:16 PM
For bear country: .45 ACP +P or Tokarev?
Whichever one you can throw hardest.

March 20, 2009, 05:32 PM
1. Mountain lions are not renowned for their toughness. Bears on the other hand are a much tougher opponent.

2. 7.62x25mm is not known for its large game killing abilities. It'd probably be adequate on a mountain lion, but you'd be foolish to use one on a bear of any size or aggressiveness, certainly unless you're shooting it out of a PPSh 41 or a PPS 43.

March 21, 2009, 09:18 AM
of the two, i would go with the 45 acp+p. BUT i SERIOUSLY DOUBT the effectiveness of this to protect your life! i am VERY CONCERNED about its usefulness on BLACK BEARS, let alone grizzleys! if money was no issue (which it is) i would have a 460 s&w for bears for a handgun. but honestly, if i had my choice of any gun for a grizz, it would be a 458 lott!

March 21, 2009, 09:33 AM
I'd say either one. I mean ask yourself have you been attacked by a bear when your carried either of those calibers? :D

But seriously, if you have to carry the Tokarev without one in the chamber I would recommend you carry the .45 ACP. The less you have to do, the quicker your response to any critter will be.

March 21, 2009, 09:47 AM
I use the Hornady +P loads in my 1911 for home defense, Take the Tok to the Bears, the muzzle flash alone should stop them.

March 21, 2009, 10:11 AM
For bear country: .45 ACP +P or Tokarev?

Are you serious?

Be sure to save the last round or better yet the first round for yourself in the event of a bear attack. That way you don't have to watch it eat you alive.

This is one of those cases where a $120 Mosin carbine would actually be about 42,000% better suited to the job. So don't tell me $$$ is a issue. Sell either the 45 or the tok and buy a rifle or come to terms with the fact you could become part of the food chain

March 21, 2009, 11:01 AM
If you are going in Grizzly country I would invest in a much heavier weapon or DON'T GO. I would be confident with a 45 with a deep penetrating round around the black or brown bear in this area but Grizzly? NO WAY. I would want at least a 30 caliber rifle. My K31 Swiss or my M44 would be good candidates with a pistol backup.

March 21, 2009, 11:08 AM

assuming you have a 1911.

March 21, 2009, 12:36 PM
Thanks for all the inputs. 460 Rowland in a 1911 platform was something that I was initially considering because my PT1911 has a forged lower frame and can take the recoil but unfortunately I do not reload because my wife won't allow it in the house because she thinks that I will blow up the house.

I had a 6'' Ruger Super Redhawk .44 magnum a few years ago but I sold it, partially because the round was so unpleasant to shoot that the recoil literally broke my leather shooting glove. I tried other large game revolvers but didn't like them either. Just not a revolver-type-of-guy...

Probably will invest in a Desert Eagle or 10 mm 1911 then (still not totally convinced that polymer framed Glocks can take the recoil of a 10 mm round)... And before that, bear spray and reindeer bells around my neck, since Tok and .45 ACP are more for solving constipation than killing bears, according to some posters. :)

March 22, 2009, 12:35 AM
Eight rounds of steel jacketed 7.62 Tokarev rounds will be plenty for a griz if all rounds hit target. They will penetrate chest and skull with possibly little deformation to the bullets.
Slower bullets and wider bullets may not have the penetration required. Bigger is sometimes not better.

March 22, 2009, 12:41 AM
For bear country: .45 ACP +P or Tokarev?

Carry whichever you like BUT ALSO CARRY BEAR PEPPER SPRAY. It will be more effective and you will not get into crap with the rangers if you deploy / use it.

Save the .45 or 7.62 for two legged predators or desperate situations.

March 22, 2009, 01:01 AM
Lived in AK for awhile. I carried a .22 when fishing or hiking. It was lighter than a shotgun or big bore pistol. Never had any problems. Just pointed .22 at my head when a bear came close.

March 22, 2009, 01:24 AM
I'll repeat what's been said.

Bear Spray.

Let me repeat it again.

Bear Spray.

And one time just so you don't forget it.

Bear Spray.

Okay? Bear Spray is more successful in PROTECTING PEOPLE FROM BEAR ATTACKS. Bear Spray won't kill a bear, and you won't have any opportunity to tell a story on how you had to use a handgun and kill a bear to save yourself, but bear spray is more likely to save your life.

That being said, if you're a good enough shot, go with the 7.62x25. It'll penetrate much deeper into a target. That is IF you're that good a shot, and you know the anatomy of animals you might encounter, in order to place those shots.

Otherwise, use the .45. A less well-aimed shot from the .45 is more likely to stop smaller threats than a less well-aimed shot from a 7.62x25. Just don't think 'bear' with either caliber.


March 22, 2009, 01:48 AM
Neither. Shoot a griz with either and you'll just have a very big, wounded, PO'd, bear chewing on you. You can't run fast enough either. Yogi can run at about 35 MPH.
If kitty wants you for dinner, they come from above and behind, far faster than you can do anything. Hunting kitty isn't the same as defending yourself against an attack.

March 22, 2009, 02:26 AM
RX-178, you can repeat "bear spray" 10 more times if you like, but one time would really suffice, really... Although my real experience were mostly with 9 mm in combat, I know what a .45 ACP can do. This post was more to get an idea from those who had real experience with Tokarev round in the wild, relative to the power of .45 ACP round... not soliciting some comment which simply reiterates what was stated by others... and certainly not to read "bear spray" reiterated four times. If I needed that info, the title of my post would have been "How to stop a bear from attacking me." And even if that is my title, uttering "bear spray" one time would really suffice. Thanks.

March 22, 2009, 02:58 AM
Retro, combat has nothing whatever to do with it. Neither round is even close to being adequate for a griz. Combat and big bears just is not the same thing. The average male runs 500 to 800 lbs of poor eyesight and short temper.
Mind you, bear spray gives no guarantee either. Yogi will avoid you if he can. A jingle bell, on your person, tells Yogi you're there and he'll avoid you. He can move like a ghost even in thick bush. So can a moose with 5 or 6 feet of antler width.
Get between Cindy and her kids, though, you're toast if you only have either a 7.62 Tokarev's 85or 90 grain bullet or a .45's 230 grain bullet isn't enough.
"...Eight rounds of steel jacketed 7.62 Tokarev rounds will be plenty for a griz if all rounds hit target..." Absolute rubbish.

March 22, 2009, 06:02 AM
I really hope this thread is a joke.

A mountain lion and griz are two completely different animals, um, categories.

We use .22 mags on mountain lions because it is the lightest caliber that is legal here.

Griz? Another story!

The minimum is 200-grain hardball in 10mm.

You are comparing popping a jackrabbit to the most fearsome game in North America.

Tok rounds will get you mauled by a griz. They'll drop a cougar in its tracks.

They will also defeat body armor - so what? When was the last time you ran into a puma wearing body armor?

When you are defending yourself against large predators you defend yourself against the biggest, baddest predator you may run into.

I'd take on a cat with a can of Skoal. For a griz, at least a 10mm...

March 22, 2009, 09:46 AM
Either of those will be fine as long as you also carry some bear spray and another piece of proven bear medicine such as a 338, 375, or hot loaded 45/70.

The Lone Haranguer
March 22, 2009, 09:58 AM
Unless you can put the bullet directly into the relevant portion of the brain, neither are going to be a bear stopper. It may go off and die later of blood loss or infection - during which time it will become even more dangerous - but if you're already being mauled that may be a little longer than you want to wait. :uhoh:

March 22, 2009, 11:54 AM
No, it is not a joke.

If you read my original post, my question was "which caliber was more effective than the other"... and if neither calibers are truly effective against grizzlies (which I knew, and had stated on the 1st post), then I am sure one caliber will be more ineffective than the other caliber, as all things and effects can be measured on a graduated scale.

I sincerely appreciate those posters which gave their constructive opinions on which of the two are more ineffective. But I am really not appreciating those posts which either belittle the OP or reiterate the same didactic chant over and over again... You think I am a newbie and I don't know 10 mm or 44 mag is more effective against bears? Come on. But that was not my question.

And for those who have never fired a Tokarev, or thinks it is some scrap metal firing a small caliber round similar to 9 x 18 Makarov, then perhaps posting on a thread specifically asking for real experience is not for you. I have seen what a Tokarev round can do to a human being, with effects 10 times more devastating than a 9 mm, and 5 times more than a mil spec .45 round.

And yes, I will be carrying my .45 ACP and a can of bear spray during my next hike because I cannot carry a Tok chambered. And no, I am not going grizzly hunting with a .45. And yes, I know the difference between mountain lions and grizzly bears. And yes, I do have high power rifles capable of sub-MOA accuracy at my disposal if I want to hunt bears. And no, I do not need to sell my current pistols to buy a rifle.



March 22, 2009, 02:01 PM
Well, there are some modern Makarov-style pistols chambered in the Tokarev round, so the inability to safely carry chambered can be worked around while keeping the same caliber. While the Tokarev is a better round than .45 for dealing with a bear, you're still more likely to just piss it off. Assuming it's already pissed off, you better hope the bear presents you with a damn good shot. If it comes down to that, you're probably dead.

We advised you as best we could, by telling you the hard facts, and apparently you failed to recognize that. A bear is not like a human. Humans can't run and fight despite already being effectively dead. Humans can't shrug off non-lethal shots; humans go into shock easily. Bears do not. A Tokarev loaded with hollowpoints can maybe do more damage to a human than a 9mm or .45, but against a bear it won't have the penetration. Same goes for .45 ACP. Fact is, if you aren't carrying enough gun, you might as well not even have one. Even if you manage to mortally wound the bear, you probably won't survive the encounter, and you may just enrage it. A bear is not a human. Never try to apply anti-human tactics and logic to fighting a bear. You will lose. Horribly.

March 22, 2009, 02:23 PM
For bear country?

Bring a .308. Either a Saiga or something else semi-automatic that can squeeze off rounds fast.

Ok, seriously, out of those options I'd have to go with a .45 and get something like Hydra-Shoks. Something that will maximise the amount of damage you can do with a pistol round.

March 22, 2009, 04:19 PM
This is probably going to piss off a lot of people who like to chime in about how you are absolutely going to get eaten if you don't carry a shoulder howitzer around at all times, based on their very limited/nonexistent wilderness experience but...

The only weapon you need is between your ears. Nobody I've met who covers serious miles carries a firearm. They are way to heavy. Unless you are just screwing around doing 5 or 10 mile days, you're going to regret carrying that rifle.

In addition to the odds being ridiculously small that you will be charged by a grizzly bear (black bears/cougars/etc are not aggressive), shooting at it with a handgun (or almost anything if you don't shoot straight) could turn a "dummy charge" into an actual bear attack.

Yes, I accept that bears attack people. But you're still much safer than walking around in the city. Arm yourself accordingly.

March 22, 2009, 07:34 PM
My great uncle killed the last grizzly bear in Utah in the 30's. He used a .32 caliber winchester rifle that most "experts" will tell you isn't suitable for Whitetail. Unless your location is SE Alaska or Montana you have zero chance of running into a grizzly. I have spent more time in the wilderness than most people and have rarely seen cougars and those I have seen have been hightailing it away from me. Carry the .45 and make a little noise and you will be perfectly fine. If you have a good dog that might work well too.

March 22, 2009, 08:30 PM
Well, there are some modern Makarov-style pistols chambered in the Tokarev round, so the inability to safely carry chambered can be worked around

Really? Point one out, because if so I'll be the first in line to purchase one

March 22, 2009, 11:43 PM
If you read my original post, my question was "which caliber was more effective than the other"... and if neither calibers are truly effective against grizzlies (which I knew, and had stated on the 1st post), then I am sure one caliber will be more ineffective than the other caliber, as all things and effects can be measured on a graduated scale.

The .45 will be the MOST ineffective round against a griz. The tokarev easily out penetrates the .45. None of that big bullet jive will mean anything in this situation. The only thing that matters is getting a bullet into the vitals and the .45 doesn't have a great chance of penetrating deeply enough. I am not kidding when I tell you that those bears are XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL's in size. 19 inches is nothing to a bear. That barely gets through fat layer Number 2.

OF course if you can manage a head or neck shot, I would think either would do as well as the other... So there you have it. The .45 is LESS effective.

Against cats, the .45 would be more effective because of it's diameter and the thin skin of the game. The 7.62 would work well, but I would have to go with the .45.

The 7.62x25 is virtually identical to the .30 carbine out of a pistol or carbine. It is a light game round for deer at most. Although as pointed out, the tokarev round will penetrate better, which for bears would be the only thing that might save you when comparing these underwhelming bear rounds.

March 22, 2009, 11:52 PM
Mike the Wolf, "Makarov-style pistol chambered in Tokarev round"??? Ok, if it is among those things that you are trying to "advise me", then please point out that particular pistol.

Makarov is a simple blow-back operated pistol only capable of handling pressure of a 9 x 18 round or less. Shooting 9 x 19 (9 mm) will generate enough psi to blow up a Makarov chamber. And now you are talking about a Makarov pistol capable of handling Tokarev caliber??? Have you shot a Tokarev before?

Nothing short of a Browning type of mechanism, OR a delayed blow-back mechanism of a CZ would handle the Tokarev round. - Thanks!

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