One Shot Bear Kill, .44 Magnum


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Lone Star
December 5, 2009, 07:51 PM
I get tired of people who post that a handgun is useless against a bear.

Get the August issue of, "Sporting Classics" and read how a dentist in Alaska used a .44 Magnum (looks to be a stainless Super Blackhawk) to save himself and a pal from a bear that attacked them as they dressed out a moose.

This is not the sole incident of which I'm aware in which a handgun saved someone's life in a bear attack, but it is well written, and back issues should be available from the publisher.

Oh: it was a one-shot kill.

Lone Star

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atlanticfire
December 5, 2009, 08:07 PM
I believe it! Just case there are bigger effective cartridges doesn’t mean that the mighty only 44 wont get it done.

MCgunner
December 5, 2009, 09:12 PM
Well, it's sorta dependent on the location of the hit, skill of the shooter, i reckon. I'd carry my Ruger .45 Colt Blackhawk with hot loads over nothing at all, personally. It'd be backing up my rifle, as I'm sure that dentist's .44 was, too. Your rifle might not always be all that handy when you really need it and a magnum handgun on the hip is mighty comforting in bear country, though the only bear country I've ever been in is black bear country. Not exactly the same thrill factor as cleaning big game where brownies roam. That situation would make me sorta nervous. LOL

logical
December 5, 2009, 09:19 PM
I read a stick is not effective so now the study has a total of 2 data points.

Seriously...of course a .44 can kill a bear. That doesn't make it untrue that it might "not kill" the one coming at you.

theotherwaldo
December 5, 2009, 09:21 PM
I would never set out to hunt bear with a handgun, nor would I advise anyone else to do so. On the other hand, I've helped to skin and process a black bear that was taken with a .38 special loaded with fmj service rounds. You use what you have when it's an emergency.

jad0110
December 5, 2009, 10:25 PM
Well, it's sorta dependent on the location of the hit, skill of the shooter, i reckon.

Exactly. Funny, same is true for two legged predators too.

Of course, bullet selection is even more critical in moose/grizzly/brown country. But with proper placement, I'd think even a 180 grain hard cast .357 Mag out of a 6" barrel would do okay.

500 S&W Mag is nice, if you can hit you intended target.

Iggy
December 5, 2009, 10:28 PM
:D***

earlthegoat2
December 5, 2009, 11:54 PM
WDM Bell shot and killed over 1000 elephants with a 275 Rigby (7x57) apparently at an average of 1.5 shots fired per elephant killed.

He shot a few more with an 6.5x56R rifle.

Everyone knows too small calibers can kill too large animals.

Doesnt mean that you should though.

A lot of skill (real skill though not internet skill) and a little luck is all you need and you wont even need that 44 mag. You can just use a 25 automatic.

And for the record, I dont think a handgun is useless against bear. I just get sick of all the questions pertaining to Alaskan Grizzly bears which so many people seem to think they are going to encounter when they dont live in Alaska. I still say a magnum rifle or hot 45/70 is the only way to go in that situation .

Confederate
December 6, 2009, 01:21 AM
My uncle knew a guy who hunted bear with a .22LR. Did it with 1-shot stops, too. BUT...he always had a backup hunter "loaded for bear" and waited well beyond the prudent point to make the shot.

AND he knew where to shoot them! With a powerful caliber (.357 and up), you go for penetration and shoot for the nose, not the head. A .357 is fine as long as the bullet doesn't blow up before it reaches critical penetration.

My uncle said the .22LR shots were one right up the mouth. His friend apparently knew just when to make the shot.

missouri dave
December 6, 2009, 11:06 AM
Two years ago not too far from here a man killed a black bear tearing into his chicken pens with 3 shots from a .22lr rifle.

Marshall
December 6, 2009, 04:45 PM
Of course a .44 Mag will kill a Grizzly.

And a .460 Weatherby Magnum might not.

It all depends on the shot.

But give me a high powered rifle or slug loaded 12 gauge anytime over a sidearm, for bear.

Artiz
December 6, 2009, 07:42 PM
I believe a 44mag will stop whatever is thrown at you, whatever the time, whatever the place.

batmann
December 6, 2009, 10:32 PM
I have never shoot a Bear, but given the right bullet, why not?

Seedtick
December 7, 2009, 01:54 AM
Many years ago (mid 70's maybe, think I was in high school) I read an article about a man who woke to find a Griz standing over him. He was in a sleeping bag but he was using his 44 as a pillow. Fast forward to the end of the story - when he was finally found he was near death from dehydration. He was 'uninjured' from a bear attack but the big bruin fell dead/dying on him. He was still zipped up in his sleeping bag, and he was trapped!

Man, some days you can't win for losing. :banghead:

ST

danweasel
December 7, 2009, 04:54 AM
It better work! I just bought a .44 Redhawk to take fishing because my shotgun is always on the shore. I have observed the power of this pistol with Alaskan Backpacker hardcasts (vs a tree) and it is impressive.

MCgunner
December 7, 2009, 10:23 AM
See, that's the deal. You can have a magnum revolver on you all the time, even while fishing. That's hard to do with any long gun, especially fishing. I'm not so paranoid of bears as to carry a long gun 24/7 if I lived up there, but I would like to have something on me just as I do down here for two legged predators. It has to be there when I need it, number one, and I'm not going to carry it if it's not convenient. That's why my CCW is a pocket 9mm and not a full sized .41 magnum or 10mm or something and that's why I'd tote a magnum revolver if I lived up there.I'll deal with any inadequacies via marksmanship and shot placement same as with my 9.

bearmgc
December 7, 2009, 10:27 AM
Aint no thrill in gutting out an elk in Grizzly country, trust me. Its more like pure abject fear. I hate it.

kennjen
December 7, 2009, 10:42 AM
......on what killed a Grizzly and what didn't.

One or two incident of "x bullet killed it with one shot" is not statistically significant. Just as significant as a skydiver surviving a non working parachute. It doesn't mean you'd be smart to try and do the same.

Although silly, I personally like "caliber x vs. bear" threads for a goof. But no one seems to have a any half way reliable statistics with decent data points to make the opinion relevant.

Does any one know of such a statistics in existence ? Preferably one that accounts for where the bear was shot ???

Artiz
December 7, 2009, 12:26 PM
......on what killed a Grizzly and what didn't.

The problem is, the ones that didn't work, are not here anymore to talk about it. :D

KBintheSLC
December 7, 2009, 03:20 PM
Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

Of course the 44 mag is powerful enough to take a large bear.

Eagles6
December 9, 2009, 10:56 PM
The sidearm most often carried by professional hunting guides in Alaskan bear country is a .22 revolver.
They shoot the nearest tourist in the knee then run like hell.

xXxplosive
December 10, 2009, 10:45 AM
Park Munsey who had the Alaska Master Guide Lic. #001 found that a
Winchester Model 12 with the barrel cut down to 16", 12 ga. with a staggered load of slugs and 00 Buckshot worked best in the Alders when retrieving wounded bear for his clients............talk about Hair Raising :what:

Personally, my S&W Model 29 works great on bear..............no issues.

SlamFire1
December 10, 2009, 10:53 AM
I get tired of people who post that a handgun is useless against a bear.

A handgun is better than rocks or a pointy stick.

But when you are dealing with a 1500 pound animal who moves 30 mph, can crush your head with a swipe, I would like something bigger.

Legionnaire
December 10, 2009, 11:35 AM
Oh: it was a one-shot kill.Haven't read the article, but don't doubt the story, or that a .44 mag can get it done. But why the "one-shot kill?" Was that all the guy was able to get off? I'd think that if I was able to draw and fire on an attacking bear, I'd likely empty the cylinder in panic rather than take one shot and wait to see if it was going to do the job!

orrwdd
December 10, 2009, 06:41 PM
Aint no thrill in gutting out an elk in Grizzly country, trust me. Its more like pure abject fear. I hate it.
You get to feel like something is looking over your shoulder lol.

Bill

Scott707
December 11, 2009, 12:45 AM
I'am also not surprised a 44 mag could take down a brown bear . Personally
i think a 44 with a 4-6 inch barrel would be ideal for bear country. Easier to carry than a long riffle . And with good loads like a 270 grain going 1,400 +
fps it's still a very powerful load . I think some of these pistols like 454 , and
S&W 500 are overkill . The recoil is so huge that if you needed a follow up shot it would be too slow . Not that 44 is fast but faster than those 2 .

Legionnaire
December 11, 2009, 10:38 AM
Here's a link to the article cited by the OP. Good read.

http://sportingclassics.net/component/content/article/23-archive/43-article

I must admit I don't understand what one could hit in the chest of a charging bear that would drop him instantly. Maybe penetrated through to the spine? But quoting the author ...
I stood in a dumbfounded stupor. I had no expectation the pistol would kill the bear. I only hoped the flame and loud report, along with the impact of the bullet, would scare him away. As the bear sagged to the ground, I shot him three more times in the head as quickly as I could thumb the hammer and pull the trigger, primarily out of fear and anger. I still believe that the Lord’s hand had more to do with my shot placement than my meager pistol experience.
So one shot dropped him, but the author did, in fact, follow up with three more shots to the head.

Scott707
December 11, 2009, 08:39 PM
Interesting article thanks for sharing . Further proof that it doesn't take a 600
Nitro to stop a bear lol

Bronx
December 12, 2009, 08:12 PM
Here's a good one:

http://www.levergunscommunity.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=22978

20 yards and charging.....

Suwannee Tim
December 12, 2009, 09:09 PM
Martin from The Bronx huh? I think you are an imposter. I don't think you have ever even seen The Bronx. If you were from Da Bronx you would say Da Bronx.:D

Bronx
December 12, 2009, 10:14 PM
Martin from The Bronx huh? I think you are an imposter. I don't think you have ever even seen The Bronx. If you were from Da Bronx you would say Da Bronx.:D
Hehehe! I didn't want to sound too New Yawk!

tipoc
December 14, 2009, 10:27 AM
Don't always work...

http://trueslant.com/scottbowen/2009/11/19/behemoth-bruin-sneezes-at-44-mag/

http://www.sierrasun.com/article/20091130/NEWS/911259998/0/FRONTPAGE


tipoc

Warlokke
December 15, 2009, 05:39 PM
Eagles6: "The sidearm most often carried by professional hunting guides in Alaskan bear country is a .22 revolver. They shoot the nearest tourist in the knee then run like hell." :what:

I don't care who ya are, now that's funny!!! :) Unless of course, you are the nearest tourist! :D

Dr.Mall Ninja
December 15, 2009, 05:54 PM
I always wondered what 8 rounds of 45acp would do to a bear

gglass
December 15, 2009, 06:39 PM
So one shot dropped him, but the author did, in fact, follow up with three more shots to the head.

In terms of self-defense, the One-Shot-Stop has never meant that the animal or man has to die. It simply means that the threat has stopped. One-Shot-One-Kill is the terminology that is appropriate for sniping or hunting.

T. Bracker
December 15, 2009, 09:48 PM
FWIW, Bell killed most of his tuskers with a .303 or .318 Westley Richards

Legionnaire
December 15, 2009, 09:54 PM
In terms of self-defense, the One-Shot-Stop has never meant that the animal or man has to die. It simply means that the threat has stopped. One-Shot-One-Kill is the terminology that is appropriate for sniping or hunting. No argument from me. The OP described the situation as a "one shot kill." The article provides more detail. But I'm still interested to know the physiology of how one shot to the chest drops a big bear. Instant kills are actually pretty rare unless the central nervous system is hit.

BCRider
December 15, 2009, 10:03 PM
I stood in a dumbfounded stupor. I had no expectation the pistol would kill the bear. I only hoped the flame and loud report, along with the impact of the bullet, would scare him away. As the bear sagged to the ground, I shot him three more times in the head as quickly as I could thumb the hammer and pull the trigger, primarily out of fear and anger. I still believe that the Lord’s hand had more to do with my shot placement than my meager pistol experience.


I wonder if he managed to get him in the bear equivalent of the solar plexus and the bear had to stop and get his wind back when the guy finished him off... :D

Could be that he got the bear in the heart? Or I wonder if it is possible that there IS a bear equivalent to our solar plexus nerve bundle and the shock to that bundle paralyzed it for a moment. Probably a very fortuitous moment.

cz85cmbt
December 18, 2009, 03:56 PM
The .44 is still king! The .357 the queen and the .454 is the third in the world all around trail guns. The .44 made in modern guns can be fairly light to pack, or heavier for managed recoil, and the .454 is the most you'd ever need in a handgun. The .460's and 500's are for serious handgun hunters, they have serious recoil and even in those ridiculous snubnose version they still weigh a ton. I would trust a .44 to stop a bear of any kind, a bull, or whatever else came at me. The .357 I trust even taking most grizzlies with the right load, and is the best combat magnum caliber to double as an in town carry gun. The .454 is also a great choice especially to the handloader, but to me isn't worth it unless you are a handgun hunter, which I have never understood, the handgun is a compromise, and with that said if I were fishing in alaska, I'd want a 4-5" .44.

orrwdd
December 20, 2009, 02:52 AM
I always wondered what 8 rounds of 45acp would do to a bear
Not enough.

Even though the 45ACP is a serious round, it does not have the velocity to provide enough penetration to reliably reach any vital area on an adult bear.

On NTGEO I think, I saw where they had to kill a sow Brown Bear in Alaska that had become a nuisance bear inside city limits. When they skinned her out, they found a whole bunch of 9mm bullets under the skin that she had been carrying around for years.

Save the 45ACP for 2 legged threats.

Bill

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