44 magnum bullets 4 bear


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moooose102
April 9, 2009, 01:05 AM
just curios, what bullet would be best for black bear defense loads? i found 240g FMJ flat points, and of couse soft points and hollow points. these would be hand loads, so i would load them fairly hot (withing pressure limits of course). oh yeah, out of a 6" revovler. is penetration more important than expansion?

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harrygunner
April 9, 2009, 03:47 AM
For defense, it can be an interesting question.

For example, there's a guy on Graybeard http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php who suggests a 240gr HP. In his experience, a bear will invariably stop to investigate the cause of the stinging. You can get away during that time.

I've gone with heavier (300-340gr) hardened flat, wide nosed bullets for penetration.

Cpt. America
April 9, 2009, 07:00 AM
For Black bear you would be fine with a .357 mag with a 4" barel. So 44 mag would be fine if that's is what you have.

wyocarp
April 9, 2009, 12:30 PM
I would skip the hollow points.

flat top
April 9, 2009, 01:21 PM
Keiths old load of a 250 grain hardcast at 1250+ has taken every game animal in the world....

LeonCarr
April 9, 2009, 01:35 PM
300 grain or heavier hardcast, depending on the make and model of your revolver. For example a Ruger Redhawk has a longer cylinder than a S&W Model 29, and can take heavier bullets with a longer overall length.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

ArmedBear
April 9, 2009, 02:21 PM
240 grain hardcast semiwadcutters in a .44 should do fine.

Elmer Keith was famous for his opinions that many common rounds were insufficient for the game people shot. So he'd be the first to say it if he thought a round should be hotter and heavier -- and he often was the first to say it. In the .44, he favored mid-weight hardcast LSWCs (around 250 grains), not something upwards of 300 grains -- and he used them effectively.

.357 can work, too, but on the rare chance that you are actually under attack, I can't think of a good reason not to be holding a .44.

I don't think it has to be some special oversized 340 grain round, though. Just go with a hole-puncher semi-wadcutter, Keith bullet, or similar. Forget the expanding bullets and soft bullets: get something that will penetrate.

You also don't need to choose a gun with an extra-long cylinder to fit over-spec-length rounds. I just looked in a Lyman manual, and they list a 300 grain hardcast with a 1.700" OAL. The 245 grain load next to it has a 1.710" OAL. There's really no need to using some exotic over-length cartridge, for black bear.

wyocarp
April 9, 2009, 06:54 PM
Keiths old load of a 250 grain hardcast at 1250+ has taken every game animal in the world

Every game animal? Come on. And consistently? I rather doubt it.

T.R.
April 9, 2009, 07:15 PM
http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c146/rushmoreman/357MAGelk-1.jpg

This cow elk weighed approx 550 lbs yet my 357 MAG got the job done with two well placed shots. An unaware and feeding bear would likely go down just as fast.

An excited and enraged bear is different story indeed. Yet no bear can stay on his feet for long when struck by 44 MAG bullets. Fast mushrooming Hornady hollow tip XTP bullets can not be ignored but I suggest flat nose soft tips for deepest penetration.

TR

ArmedBear
April 9, 2009, 08:45 PM
Every game animal? Come on. And consistently? I rather doubt it.

Don't underestimate the power of a large bullet that weighs enough and is shaped to punch holes, not expand.

I don't know what it has and hasn't killed around the world, but it's most assuredly killed everything in North America, and consistently.

Note that it appears in other guises, too. Muzzleloaders, .45-70s, etc. shoot analogous bullets and have been putting meat on the table with them for a very long time.

wyocarp
April 10, 2009, 12:23 AM
Note that it appears in other guises, too. Muzzleloaders, .45-70s, etc. shoot analogous bullets and have been putting meat on the table with them for a very long time.

armedbear, I'm sorry, but a .44 isn't even close to a 45-70. I've been around .44's for many years and seen their effectiveness. But, every game animal in the world? I want to part of an elephant or water buffalo with a .44. I was once hyped enough with the .44 mania to be satisfied using it on large bears, but not any longer. Will it work? Heck, a .22 will work.

ArmedBear
April 12, 2009, 07:43 PM
You're right. I did not mean that a 250 grain bullet is the equivalent of a 500 grain bullet. I don't think it is.

What I meant was that the principle of a large, heavy, penetrating bullet at low-to-moderate velocity is well-proven.

Note that a .45-70 in the hands of someone who can hit a target at distance can drop a bison at a few hundred yards, no problem whatsoever. By then, it's poking along. At 100 yards, the bullet will go right through and kill the buffalo behind it.

(No, I didn't just read this stuff in a book. I'm having black-powder-tinged buffalo spaghetti tonight as a matter of fact.)

We're talking about an animal that's 1/10 the size of a North American Bison, at 1/10 the range, though. A hole-puncher .44 round will do its job.

A Black Bear is also not an elephant, rhino or a cape buffalo, or anything else better suited to one of the big Nitro Express rounds. But they still operate on the same principle: big, heavy, solid bullet, deep penetration.

The .44 isn't equivalent to the .45-70; my point was just that the principle by which it works -- within the parameters in question -- is well-proven.

IMO it's the hollowpoints that we've learned to trust for home defense that we need to avoid for woods defense.

paintballdude902
April 12, 2009, 09:35 PM
all depends on the area and the size of the bears most places you will be fine with any .44mag outa a rifle or pistol

here i try to stick to a 240gr sp or hard cast we have rather large bears where i hunt the record blackie came from my county in like 98

jacob.elliott
April 15, 2009, 01:18 PM
i have used hornady's 300 gr. hpxtp or whatever the letters are, its the big hollow point:). anyway, not on bears but have found dead deer and pigs and the end of a short blood trail because of it.

1911shooter
April 20, 2009, 09:18 PM
the 300gr hornady xtp is a great choice for the .44mag for defense as well as regular hunting chores. if you want a little more snot the look at some of the Buffalo offerings and Grizzly cartridge company. i for one really like the Garret hard cast bullets as well as the hornady bullets. any thing from 240gr to the 325 and 350gr will do.

Lou McGopher
April 21, 2009, 05:56 PM
My mother was living in Montana several years back. One day, she's sitting right by the picture window in the living room, knitting. She suddenly gets the feeling she's being watched. She looks over through the window, to see a black bear with its nose pressed to the window, fogging up the glass. Well, finding a wild bear 2 inches from your face is enough to shake anybody, but my mother slowly got up, walked to her bedroom (passing by the 12ga), and gets my stepfather's Blackhawk. When she comes back to the living room, the bear is no longer on the porch. She looks out the other windows spies him around the other side of the cabin. So she quietly steps outside, aims, fires... and misses. The bear looked down at the ground where the bullet hit the dirt, then slowly walks away.

I wasn't sure I believed her when she told me this story, until she showed me the bear's noseprint on the glass.


So I think any .44 bullet will work for a black bear. ;)

Dr.Rob
April 30, 2009, 05:45 PM
300 gr Privi Partizan Semi Jacketed Soft Point.

I have fired one very near a bear (7.5 inch Vaquero) and had him look at me like 'what that's all you've got?'

No doubt it would have gone right through the bear, or an elk.

Noise wise, a 25 cent cracker shell did more to dissuade the bear than a .44 mag did. Was just happy I didn't have to shoot the bear. Just pointing out like genius' mom, noise alone doesn't always scare off a bear.

Running at it in your underwear yelling at it like a wild man however...

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 30, 2009, 05:48 PM
Not deserving of its own thread, so sidebar: What caliber for blue whale? Their TONGUE weighs as much as an African Elephant, and their heart is as large as a VW Bug! :eek:


So I think any .44 bullet will work for a black bear.

As long as you miss, right? Oh, and provided the bear decides it wants to leave. :)

ArmedBear
April 30, 2009, 05:57 PM
Black bears are about human-sized.

Tougher than humans, but nothing like the size of a Brown/Grizzly/Kodiak monster up north.

I'd say that defense against a black bear is a lot like defense against a pissed off biker, all hopped up on meth, wearing heavy leathers.:D

kanook
April 30, 2009, 05:58 PM
What caliber for blue whale?OH.. come on now. everybody knows that you use a harpoon for a blue whale:evil:

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 30, 2009, 06:36 PM
I'd say that defense against a black bear is a lot like defense against a pissed off biker, all hopped up on meth, wearing heavy leathers

With or without brass knuckles & a chain? :p

ArmedBear
April 30, 2009, 06:54 PM
I don't know. Probably "with.":)

Either way, if you shoot him with a 9mm, it'll just piss him off.:D

mbt2001
May 4, 2009, 04:39 PM
Carrying a gun is great, but for Bear Defense, 99% of the time I would recommend BEAR PEPPER SPRAY. I do this for two reasons:

1.) It works
2.) It will not land you in hot water

To answer your question though, I would feel comfortable using any Soft Point I could get. Black bears are not tanks...

ArmedBear
May 4, 2009, 06:38 PM
Re Pepper Spray, I hike around in a place called "windiasfuk" by the Native Americans...:D

I wonder how it works in a 25-30MPH breeze, especially given that, if you surprise a bear, you are most likely DOWNWIND from the bear.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 4, 2009, 07:09 PM
I wonder how it works in a 25-30MPH breeze, especially given that, if you surprise a bear, you are most likely DOWNWIND from the bear.

Very good point; never thought of that; you're smarter than I look. Just saw a tee vee show yesterday where a Russian scientist guy studying polar bears in Siberia effectively used pepper spray against a polar bear which was displaying hunting behavior and coming after him - bear immediately hightailed it, and then swam in the sea for an hour to get the pepper off - so it seems to work very well if you make a hit.

ArmedBear
May 4, 2009, 07:17 PM
How does hunting behavior compare with attack behavior?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 4, 2009, 07:21 PM
After it swam around in the water after he pepper sprayed it, the bear came back to his little hut/cabin on the ice, and laid down and got real still, about 7 yards from the front door of his cabin, just like they do when they're stalking air holes of seals. It was all on video; pretty scary; this bear had every intention of eating this dude.

ArmedBear
May 4, 2009, 07:25 PM
"Got real still" is just what you want, if you have a large magnum rifle in your hut.

Really different from a charging bear.

It does suggest, though, that the bear was not discouraged by the pepper spray, just inconvenienced.

Interesting that the bear knows to take a bath. That's not the reaction many animals would have, and it indicates that the bears are pretty smart, I think.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 5, 2009, 08:13 PM
True enough, he wasn't completely discouraged, just temporarily; smart & focused bear. The guy was an animal-loving scientist and no mention of a gun was made, so I get the idea that he would never shoot a bear, even to save his own life. The next day, he was back on the ice, photographing the wildlife, apparently armed only with a camera and possibly the OC spray (though the narrative made it sound as if the OC spray was kept in the cabin that the bear chased him into, not on his person).

cookekdjr
May 5, 2009, 11:58 PM
Quote:
Keiths old load of a 250 grain hardcast at 1250+ has taken every game animal in the world

Every game animal? Come on. And consistently? I rather doubt it.

I read a number of reports about using a suppressed .44 mag Ruger Rifle to kill large game in Africa. Not sure of the bullet weight but I want to say it was 250gr. Obviously, the load was subsonic so it was basically a glorified .44 special load.
It killed everything, and in impressive fashion.
Bottom line is, there are very few things that can withstand a hardcast, big-bore load, even at subsonic velocities. It has great momentum, and makes a big hole. Basically, the slug just barrels through and through (unless it tumbles and/or yaws through and through).
Big bullets moving at 900-1000fps do very impressive things.

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
May 6, 2009, 02:09 AM
CPT. America- For Black bear you would be fine with a .357 mag with a 4" barel.

You've obviously never killed a 325 pound Black bear at close range.

I have.

30-06 at 75 feet that was only a good lung shot. Through and through. He came straight at me like that crazed biker on meth at mach II and if it wasn't for the windfall between us I'm sure he wouldn't have turned to my left. Up the skidder road he went. I wanted to finish him because I don't like to see any animal suffer so I gave chase keeping my distance but keeping him in sight. He fell into a small ravine some 80 yards from where we first met. The 44mag in my hand with alternating 300gn Sierra SP's and 250gn Sierra FPJ's loaded quite a bit on the warm side. I put three from the 44 mag in him from 30 feet while he squandered on the ground. Rolling, moaning, thrashing. That last gasp. Last snarl and howl.

Oh, he would have died from the initial shot. Could he have been a menace if that was the only shot. You bet. If a non-lethal rifle shot only slowed him down a bit, just think what a .357mag round that wasn't properly placed would have done.

Don't get me wrong, I love a warm loaded .357mag. But unless the shot is perfect, it is not adequate for a good sized bruin.

-Steve

Oro
May 6, 2009, 03:59 AM
Re Pepper Spray, I hike around in a place called "windiasfuk" by the Native Americans..

He he... But seriously, you are correct. A friend kept telling me to not carry my gun and use pepper spray, so being a thorough person I investigated the effectiveness claims of the pepper spray studies. They based their "97%" or whatever claim on cases only where the spray was "properly deployed." They repeatedly used this phrase to reassure the buyer it would work, "When properly deployed." So I had to root around to find out what that meant and their definition of this was the ability and time to create a 25 to 50' radius circle of spray vapor around the defender, and then stay within that circle and deploy the spray in the path of any bear advance at 20' intervals in front of the bear.

Right. Like that's how it's going to go down each time. Using their methodology, a .22 could indeed be the deadliest round in the world, as we'd just only study cases where it successfully penetrated the skull and mushroomed in a cortex, killing the target.

When people cite spray effectiveness to you, ask them to define those studies. When you start to look at them, they start to come apart at the seams. I am confident spray CAN work. I am also certain I can deploy my gun much faster than the spray defense can be set up, so it will not be my first line of defense. I think a spray can be a great use in a campground or similar situation, where signs of a bear stalking the perimeter can be detected, then you set up a spray barrier, and reinforce it and keep the bear out. This is great, and prevents the need to use the handgun or long gun as your ONLY defense. Less violent, better outcome for everyone. But in a surprise or on-trail situation, I don't think spray can be used effectively with enough certainty to make it your ONLY defense.

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