some different questions about .44mags/bear defense


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coosbaycreep
June 20, 2010, 12:49 AM
OK, so I already know a .454/.460/.500/12ga/.45-70/bazooka/etc is going to have a better chance of stopping a bear than a .44mag, but that's not what I'm asking about. I have a 5" S&W 629 that I'm probably taking with me to Alaska either later this year, or more than likely next year. I plan on doing a lot of hiking in the woods alone, and weight is a huge issue, so a rifle is not an option.

I've considered a SRH .454 or a S&W X-frame, but they're still way heavier than my 629, considerably uglier (if I get eaten by a bear, I at least want it to be because it was hungry/angry and not just because it didn't like my taste in revolvers), more expensive to shoot, and I think .44mag is probably going to provide about the max recoil that I can effectively control.

I've considered the 329PD before to reduce carry weight even further, but from what I've read, the recoil is among the worst of any production handgun, it costs a lot, it would be too painful to practice with much, and I'd also be concerned with the internal lock malfunctioning at the worst time possible and rendering the gun useless, or bullets backing out of the cases from the heavy recoil if they're not crimped good enough and locking up the cylinder that way, so the 329 isn't an option for me.

I don't like taurus, and anacondas are too expensive, so those are both out.

I've got a desert eagle in .44mag, but that'd be a stupid thing to carry for what my needs are.

A single action would be an even worse choice than the "deagle".

I carried bear spray last time (because I went through Canada:(), but I'd rather take my chances with a gun over some spray anyday, especially with the amount of weirdos up there. Plus, the two times in my life I tried to use pepper spray, I blinded myself both times (it was windy), so I'd just assume get mauled by a bear without being temporarily blinded as well.

That effectively narrows it down to the 629, and the hideously ugly ruger redhawk.

I know most folks who pack .44s in bear country tend to go with the rugers over the smith. Most say it's because it will handle hotter loads. I think it's because rugers are cheaper and they just have poor taste though, as S&Ws are sexy and classy in ways that a ruger could only dream of being.

So my main gripes with rugers is that they're heavier, uglier, and I'd have to sell some of my other guns to buy one. One of my friends has a blackhawk and a redhawk, and neither one of them fit me as well as my smith. I don't like the triggers on them as much as smith and wessons either.

My 629 is my favorite handgun, the handgun that I shoot the best, and it fits my hands well. The only thing a ruger offers over a smith is that it's stronger.

So my question is; just how much more effective is a "ruger load" against a bear than a load that's safe for my smith?

As far as factory loads go, about the hottest stuff I've found is buffalo bore. Their hottest load that's safe for my gun is a 305gr LFN with a velocity of 1,325fps and 1,189ft. lbs. Their high pressure ruger load uses a 340gr LFN at 1,478fps with 1,649ft. lbs. Buffalo Bore's website says that the 305gr will penetrate 3+ feet of normal flesh and bone. They don't say anything about the penetration of the 340gr though, only that's it's pretty damn snappy.

So has anyone here done/seen/read any tests of the penetration differences of heavy hardcast .44mag bullets against bears/flesh? Does the extra velocity and knockdown of the hotter loads make much of a difference? Most threads on here were knockdown energy is discussed usually brings out a lot of people who say that it means nothing. Others say it only matters if the bullet doesn't pass through and "dumps" all it's energy in the target. Other's say that it only matters if the bullet has enough velocity to create some kind of "shock effect" or something. I have yet to read a thread on the subject were anyone really gave a definitive answer with some sort of proof that everyone agreed upon though.

Anyone here shoot any bears or other big critters with a .44mag that can comment on the penetration/effectiveness of the round?

Would the extra weight of the ruger be offset by the performance of the rounds it's capable of handling over the smith?

I'll be carrying reloads. What's the best hardcast bullet for bears for the money?

Would a picnic basket full of granola bars and other tasty treats that I could offer to any angry bears I encounter be more effective than shooting at them with a .44mag?

P.S. I know shot placement is key.
P.S.S. I don't really hate rugers. In fact, I consider ruger to provide the best bang for the buck of any U.S. gun manufacturer, and most foreign manufacturers as well. However, they are as ugly as ugly can be, and heavy too.

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Blue Brick
June 20, 2010, 01:23 AM
I should take a picture… “Ruger" has 100% of the vote. But then again there is only one vote and it’s mine. :)

ArchAngelCD
June 20, 2010, 01:29 AM
Since you already have a M629 and can shoot it well load it up with some hard cast ammo and go hiking. You might want to buy a chest holster to carry your revolver up front and accessible. Simply Rugger (http://www.simplyrugged.com/index.html) has one, here (http://www.simplyrugged.com/store/chesty_puller.html) it is...

sonier
June 20, 2010, 01:38 AM
im thinking a 44 mag firing a granola bar would be more than ideal ;) seriously i bet some stout leadcast hot loads with severe leading out of a 357 magnum would stop a grizz if you hit him in right spot, id go with a medium weight leadcast gaschecked if possible with some higpower powder, i dont think you can use H-110 in 44 mag but a simliar powerful powder would work great.

Brian Williams
June 20, 2010, 09:33 AM
My question why are you going alone?
Take a H&R trapper 12 gauge with slugs at least.

The Bushmaster
June 20, 2010, 09:42 AM
Be faster then the slowest person in your group...

Oh...He's going alone. Some people are just plain "smart"...

Rexster
June 20, 2010, 10:03 AM
Purdey does not make handguns, and is not associated in any way with S&W.

www.purdey.com

OTOH, a Purdey might work against a bear. ;) I recommend Brenneke slugs.

Sam1911
June 20, 2010, 10:29 AM
i dont think you can use H-110 in 44 mag but a simliar powerful powder would work great. :scrutiny: Wha...? Probably one of the two most popular .44 Mag powders in existence.

Anyway, CBCreep, you're (of course) playing with the odds. Chances are, you can go hike across the whole state in your BVDs and never have a dangerous bear encounter. (Might die of exposure, or embarrassment! :o) Chances are, if you DID have an encounter, using the tactics that the NPS recommends for de-escalating or warding them off may work. Chance are even better that bear spray might work. Chances are, if you do have a gun, firing a warning shot into the dirt in front of it might convince it to leave. Chances are, if you HAD to shoot it, any decent solid .44 Mag. will do the job. Chances are even better that a slightly heavier, slightly faster solid .44 Mag or .454 or .460, or .500 will do the job. Chances are EVEN BETTER that a 12 ga. slug will. Chances are EVEN MORE BETTER that a powerful centerfire rifle would lay one low.

This is similar to all those folks who carry a sidearm every day. Some carry a 19+1 auto and two reloads every day. Some folks are happy with an 8+1 and a couple of reloads. Some manage to make it home safely every day without ever carrying a reload. Some carry a 5-shot revolver. Some just carry pepper spray. The vast majority don't carry any defensive items at all, ever, and live their whole lives without a violent encounter.

You'll end up weighing the odds and deciding if the costs to move from your current defensive posture (S&W 629 that works well for you) to the next step (Redhawk shooting "Ruger-Only" loads) are worth the incremental gains you might realize in the more-or-less unlikely event that you need the gun.

I doubt there's ever been a bear mauling/killing case where someone could say with any certainty, "10 more inches of penetration would have saved this man's life" ... or "if he'd been using a gun that was lighter and he was more familiar with, he'd have made a better shot placement and killed the bear before it got him."

In the end, you'll have to decide what gun gives you enough confidence to go roll the dice. 99 days out of 100 your gun will be irrelevant. One bear encounter out of 100 will end badly no matter what the human is carrying.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/members/starlite9-369296-albums-alaska-photos-pic28183-favorite-photo-given-me-guy-guide.jpg

For my take, I'd carry the gun you have and shoot well, with the strongest hard cast loads you can find that are safe in it, and consider my odds adequately covered. And I'd leave for my trip knowing that I'm probably still more likely to die in a car wreck -- and I don't have enough gun for that!

dewalt-2
June 20, 2010, 11:12 AM
Where in AK are you going?
I worked an FAA contract for 7 years, and was all over the state in bush communities. There were always at least two of us, and we were well armed. The preferred handgun was a Redhawk, plus a Mossberg 500 Mariner(or similar) loaded alternately with 00's and slugs. There was also always a high powered rifle about, usually a .338 mag or bigger.
A black bear will most often move along when he senses you. A brown is a different story, they are inherently irritable. They are fast, can beat a horse for 60 yards or so. If you encounter a brown, get ready and remain absolutely still. If he goes up on his hind legs and starts to weave around, he's pissed.
My advice on firepower is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
I also suggest you make a lot of noise while hiking, little bells and something that rattles will go a long way in alerting them to your presence, and they will most often avoid you.
Bear spray is a good thing to have.
If you do have to shoot one, remember they have a very slow metabolism-even if you blow up it's heart it's still good for a few minutes. Do some research before you go, and have fun!
As a side note, watch out for the Moose as well. They can be very aggressive. You can walk up on one lying down and not see it until you're right on top of it. Wolves are also about, so look behind, and around you a lot. They'll trail and flank you, and there are usually more than one.

buck460XVR
June 20, 2010, 11:18 AM
http://3alleypub.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/beating_a_dead_horse.jpg

bsms
June 20, 2010, 12:01 PM
I like both S&W and Ruger. However, I can't shoot N-frame S&W guns worth a damn in double action because my hand it too small. It was owning a Model 28 that got me in the habit of shooting SA - that was the only way I could hit anything.

I voted for Ruger because A) my Alaskan isn't ugly...at least, not if flare guns are pretty, and B) with old style GP100 grips, I can comfortably shoot it DA as well as single action.

However, for a CCW, I went with a Model 60...LadySmith. The small grips work GREAT for my hand, and I figure if I'm going to stuff a gun in my pants...well, it ain't going to be a MISTER Smith!

They are both the first revolvers I've bought in nearly 30 years, and I'm impressed by how well built they are and good the trigger is on both - although the LS is pretty much perfect!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v728/bsms99/IMG_1814r2.jpg

Taurus 617 CCW
June 20, 2010, 12:11 PM
I was in Alaska the summer of 2006 and took my S&W 629 loaded with Federal 300 gr. cast core rounds with the flat nose. I would not recommend shooting those more than a few times in the S&W. You are more likely to encounter a defense situation with a moose than you are with a bear. If you keep your awareness up when out in the woods then you will be able to avoid most confrontations. Give the wildlife lots of room.

Deanimator
June 20, 2010, 01:50 PM
I've already got two S&W Model 29-2s, a 4" and a 6". No reason to buy something else that will do exactly the same thing.

If I didn't have those Smiths, I'd buy the Ruger Redhawk because I loathe the S&W lock and I can get the stronger Ruger for less money than I could get a used S&W without the lock.

dewalt-2
June 20, 2010, 02:38 PM
The Alaskan is a neat gun, but seems useless unless at point blank range. The short barrel cannot achieve the muzzle velocity and knock down power to be effective-most of the charge is following the bullet out of the barrel. I also bet it's a real handful with heavy loads.
Again, get a Redhawk in your preferred barrel length, or you can go with something like my current .44 deer gun, but you need to have your single action skills honed for quick follow up shots...Ruger Super Blackhawk .44, Weaver mount, Simmons ProHunter 4X scope. It'll kill anything I point it at with the right load and shot placement...
http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af120/Radar-1/004.jpg

dewalt-2
June 20, 2010, 02:49 PM
oops

Erik M
June 20, 2010, 04:01 PM
Blackhawk/Super Redhawk. My S&W's are in the safe securing my investment in desiccant.

If I wanted to trust my life to a handgun in the wilderness it would be my .357 GP100. I dont live in Grizzly country though. buy a rifle me thinks?

bsms
June 20, 2010, 05:22 PM
"The Alaskan is a neat gun, but seems useless unless at point blank range..."

ALL 44 Mags are pretty much useless unless at point blank range, when we're talking Alaskan Brown bear. For them, I prefer a 375 H&H Magnum. It isn't the barrel that sucks, but the cartridge against that animal.

From http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/44mag.html, Federal 240 gr. / Hydra-Shok / JHP gives 1120 fps from a 3 inch S&W 629, 1296 from a 6.5 inch 629, and 1407 from a 12 inch 629. While every bit helps, I don't thing the extra 176 fps will be all that critical. A 375 H&H with 240 grain bullets moving at 2900 fps WOULD help, and even a lowly 30-30 would pack a lot more wallop. There isn't a 44 Mag made that would make me feel safe against brown bears!

coosbaycreep
June 20, 2010, 09:22 PM
I plan on traveling all over Alaska, but mainly near Denali, and I want to spend some more time above the Arctic Circle (there's nothing like hiking at 2am in the morning in broad daylight). I want to hike into the "magic bus" (near Healy?) where that hippy dude died too. I tried it last time, but I eventually came to a stream that was too fast and too deep to cross without risking getting washed down stream, and I swim like a rock...even without a big backpack weighing me down.

I drove pretty much every mile of public road that you can drive in AK without needing to have your car put on a ferry too, and never seen a bear the whole time I was there. I seen a bunch of black bears in Canada on the way there and back though. I also seen quite a few moose, some caribou, musk oxen, a canadian lynx, a fox, and a porcupine as big as a house. I really like Alaska. When you can go into a walmart and buy a S&W .500, you know you're in a great state.

I'm still trying to find some decent test results on .44mag penetration though. After a little searching, these are the best things I could find:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/archive/index.php/t-16088.html
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/anderson/444Outfitter.htm
The Linebaugh info is pretty vague, and the other info is for a .444 marlin, but it shows the penetration for those velocities, which are considerably higher than even a rifle in .44mag will achieve.

This is the best one I've found:
http://www.realguns.com/archives/159.htm

I'm still not impressed with the little info there seems to be on the subject, so when I get a chance, I'm just going to test some bullets out myself, using wet newspaper, or the dirt/sawdust filled coffee cans that the above link used. I've got a ruger carbine I can use to get higher velocities than a redhawk with hot loads can achieve. You're not suppose to use cast bullets in them, but since it's just for testing and I can clean it good afterwards, I'm not worried about it.

Final question: How many inches of penetration do you need to reach the vitals on a brown bear? I know the FBI recommends 12" for humans, but I've never been close enough to a brown bear to guess how much flesh is in front of their vital organs.

Also, is there anything online with a good read about the polar bear that Robert E. Petersen killed with a .44?

thanks

DFW1911
June 20, 2010, 10:52 PM
I carry a 329PD as a backup when I go fishing is Alaska every year.

You are right in that from the factory the gun is too painful to shoot, so I sent mine to S&W Custom for porting and Pachmyar Recoil Reduction grips: now it will still get your attention but is not painful at all. With .44 Specials the recoil is nothing.

Depending on where you are going in AK, you have to factor in conditions. We almost always to to S/E, which is a rain forest, literally. Add salt water to that equation and you need something that can withstand the environment. The 329 can.

A basic rule of thumb for AK fishing / traveling / camping: always have two bear deterrents on you at all times. Lugging around a heavy revolver gets old very quickly. Even when you're at camp you have to really be paying attention to what's going on. The brush is so thick the Brownies emerge pretty quickly. You don't want to be caught unarmed or alone. There is safety in numbers, especially if your primary weapons are 12 gauge shotguns with extended magazines.

Finally, I like carrying the 329 since I can fly fish with it on my hip and / or in a shoulder rig. Corbon makes some pretty stout rounds in .44 and with the modifications I've added to the gun I can shoot them accurately and with quick follow up shots. If I hadn't had it modified, I would have sold it. In stock configuration it's like getting your hand hit with a baseball bat with each pull of the trigger, even with lighter .44 Mag rounds. It was just too painful.

Hope this helps. Please remember to carry 2 bear deterrents at all times: the bears pop up even if you follow the rules about noise making, etc.

Have fun, it'll be a great trip.

See this link for pic: http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=122954&d=1277079480

Take care,
DFW1911

CraigC
June 20, 2010, 11:52 PM
I don't live or play in grizzly country so my 629MG or a very similar 6" M24 would be all I would need in a double action.

That said, were I in grizzly country, the .44Mag would be a fine choice. The 4" Redhawk would probably get the nod because of its greater strength. Muzzle energy is a useless figure, ESPECIALLY in discussions about dangerous game. What you need in a sixgun is a large frontal area (.357 need not apply) and very heavy, toughly constructed cast bullets at no more than 1200fps. Thorough testing at the Linebaugh seminars indicates that at sixgun speeds, there is little to gain in going faster than 1200-1300fps, other than flattening trajectory. A moot point in the context of bear defense. Had I not a custom .480, .475 or .500 (see no point in the big X-frames) I would opt for a 330-355gr LBT and load it to 1200fps. Easily attainable at standard pressures. I would practice with lighter loads to become intimately familiar with the sixgun and practice enough with the heavies to be proficient. This load will kill all out of proportion to its paper ballistics and outpenetrate many rifle cartridges.

I would also be just as, if not more comfortable with a Bisley model single action, of which I have a few. Either would be backup to my Winchester 1895 .405WCF loaded with either a 400gr Woodleigh or North Fork bullet.

I also do not subscribe to the thought (which I believe to be myth) that a 12ga slug is ideal for bear defense. I think they are so-recommended because everybody has a pump shotgun and if not they are easily and inexpensively procured. Slugs have a very, very poor sectional density and are usually quite soft. No way will it penetrate better than a heavy rifle bullet of proper construction.

ArtP
June 21, 2010, 12:49 AM
CraigC - thank you for your post. I am in the market myself for a Blackhawk as a camp protector. Even though I reload, I'd been thinking of using 240 grain jacketed softpoints as an all-round bullet. I always considered cast bullets as cheap target bullets, not something suitable as a penetrator (I reload primarily for rifle calibers).

I am getting the impression some cast bullets have another metal added to the lead to harden them, specifically for deep penetration?

duns
June 21, 2010, 12:54 AM
If I was in the OP's position, this would be my perfect excuse to buy a Marlin lever action in 45-70 that I've been lusting after for a while.

CraigC
June 21, 2010, 11:55 AM
I am getting the impression some cast bullets have another metal added to the lead to harden them, specifically for deep penetration?
Most commercial cast bullets are actually too hard to be run at lower velocities but we can make do with them. If I remember right, Elmer Keith cast his at 12bhn (Brinell hardness). Most commercial bullets are much harder at 18 and up. So there is no problem pushing them to 1500-1600fps, though you might get some leading at the upper end without gas checks. I routinely run plain commercial SWC's at 1450fps out of my rifles and get little or no leading. With a gas check, 2000fps or more is not a problem, with the proper hardness. A good standard weight (240-260gr) cast bullet at moderate velocity makes for a fine medium game load. They typically fully penetrate on deer from near about any angle and put them down handily. Same for moderately sized hogs. You get after them much more than 300lbs and a 300gr would be a better choice. For large game, the aforementioned 330-355gr cast bullets will take any game on planet earth.

Cosmoline
June 21, 2010, 12:43 PM
Any .44 mag shooting hardcasts will penetrate more than enough to kill any brown bear. The problem with them is that most people, even experienced shooters, have a hard time accurately hitting a charging bruin with a mere short gun. If you're good enough, great! But most are not. So you end up with a lot of flat-out missed shots and the rep comes back that bears are immune to handguns.

The long gun, whether big bore rifle or slug shotgun, will offer a far more stable platform and much better chance of actually hitting the bear. Remember these guys move FAST.

Slugs have a very, very poor sectional density and are usually quite soft

Not all slugs are created equal. What you say is true when it comes to soft deer hunting slugs. For bear you want to get Brenneke style hardcast slugs. These are a whole different ball game on both ends of the gun. The recoil out of my old Mossberg was enough to make my fillings loose, but in testing the slug blasted through several spruce trees and kept going, throwing splinters like a cannon ball! I have no doubt they'd be enough for a bear, and in fact they're routinely used by F&G to drop problem bears.

CraigC
June 21, 2010, 01:28 PM
Not all slugs are created equal.
This is true but even the best of slugs like those from Dixie, still have a very poor sectional density. Their 730gr is still only .196, which is only slightly higher than a 250gr .44 Keith bullet and still less than a 270gr. Their massive 870gr slug is only .233, or equal to a 300gr .44 bullet. To put things in perspective, a 400gr .458" bullet has a sectional density of .272, the aforementioned 355gr .44 is .274 and a 430gr .475 is .272. The well-proven 400gr .416 runs a mighty .330 and the venerable 500gr .458 runs .341.

Now think again about those 1 3/8oz Brenneke slugs at 600gr and an SD of .161. Then think of how pitiful your average 1oz slug is at 438gr and an SD of .117.

So looking at actual data, rather than relying on the oft-repeated "myth" that the 12ga slug is a good bear-stopper, it stands to reason that a feller would be FAR better off with a blackpowder equivalent .45-70 with a real 500gr hardcast bullet than any 12ga slug. Better still, make it a 400-500gr LBT of proper hardness at 1600-2000fps. Not bad considering the various Marlin .45/70's available for under $600.

jamesjames
June 21, 2010, 01:59 PM
I've been reading these threads over the years. So here is what I have distilled and learned from the sourdoughs in the land of the midnight sun.

Yes, a 45-70 guide gun is the best bear stopper in a fast, handy carbine package.

For handguns, the question always revolves around what handgun & caliber you will practice with and what you will carry. The best barrel length would be a 4 inch to get the compromise between accuracy and carryability (as a defensive, anti-bear handgun). Best caliber? Well, .44 magnum, .454, .460, and 500 S&W are all hunting calibers, but become really heavy guns for wilderness carry as a side arm. And if you don't shoot with them on a regular basis so you are accurate with them, they are no more effective than a .44 magnum that you can hit with.

The Smith model 29 is at the threshold of comfortable carry weight and still offering magnum power. I happen to have the 329pd and it is wonderful for carry in the lower 48. I can't practice long with maggies in the 329pd, and I carry Bufalo Bore reduced recoil hardcast keiths in it when hiking, hunting, and fishing. But it is a joy to carry, I often forget I have it on, and its always on my person and never gets left in the truck.

Whatever your brand preference, carry hard cast keith-style fodder in a caliber of .44 or above and practice with your carry load. Its as much about central nervous system shot placement as it is about penetration. I wouldn't go into Alaska Brown bear country armed with only a hand gun, and I wouldn't go by myself.

Cosmoline
June 21, 2010, 02:13 PM
This is true but even the best of slugs like those from Dixie, still have a very poor sectional density.

Sectional density is an important factor, but you seem to be thinking that bears require the same level of S.D. in a projectile as the thick skinned African game. They do not, and can in fact be killed reliably with projectiles with low sectional densities provided there is enough speed and energy to push them into the torso. Slugs fall into this class. And the fact is, a whole lotta problem bears have been killed with them. I've never heard of a hardcast slug stopping on a bear's ribs. Though I would like to see some gelatin testing of the heavy hardcasts, I think it's a mistake to reject them on S.D. alone.

SD becomes more important in smaller projectiles that cannot rely on sheer force and diameter to power through the torso and destroy vital tissues. Handgun bullets, for example. But when you're throwing a 1 3/8 oz chunk of hardcast lead with three thousand foot pounds of energy, it's going to do terrific amounts of tissue damage even if its SD is lower than, say, a 6.5 Swede.

The biggest limitation on slugs is their range, due to a very bad B.C. they lose that power quickly. The big bore rifles do much better for bear hunting for this reason, but for up close defense both platforms are sufficient.

KodiakBeer
June 21, 2010, 03:28 PM
You need a shorty shotgun or Marlin .45/70. A .44 mag has about 2/3rds the muzzle energy of a .30/30 and 1/3rd the energy of a .45/70. Carrying a .44 for bears is comparable to carrying a .22 for protection against people. The shot alone might deter the aggressor, but then again it might not.

If you insist you must take a handgun, then take one that you shoot very, very well. If you hit a bear on the tip of the nose, you'll kill him dead right there. The brain is the size of a softball and directly behind the nose (not the forehead). If you shoot him in the chest, he'll probably die eventually, but you won't know about it because you'll be dead.

Pepper spray will not blow back into your face if you use the high pressure type designed for bears. It works, and it works very well.

There is a huge difference between hunting/killing a bear and STOPPING a bear before it kills you. If a bear is actually attacking you, it is by definition already adrenalized and loaded with that potent chemical cocktail that is common to all mammals when they are in "fight mode". Shooting him with a pea-shooter is not your best option.

Take the advice of the experts. Get some pepper spray, get a shotgun, and enjoy your Alaskan experience.

CraigC
June 21, 2010, 04:19 PM
A .44 mag has about 2/3rds the muzzle energy of a .30/30 and 1/3rd the energy of a .45/70. Carrying a .44 for bears is comparable to carrying a .22 for protection against people.
This is completely false. As I said before, muzzle energy is completely meaningless anyway but especially in discussions on dangerous game. Energy does not kill. Blood loss or CNS disruption is what kills. Breaking bones and poking a big hole through vitals and breaking bones along the way is what stops a bear. Bone crushing penetration is king and two holes leak better than one.


Sectional density is an important factor, but you seem to be thinking that bears require the same level of S.D. in a projectile as the thick skinned African game.
They are much closer to heavy African game than whitetail deer! And remember, we're talking about stopping a pissed off, charging grizzly, not taking a distant shot at an undisturbed bear. Huge difference, collossal.

As I said before, I'll say it again, what you need to stop a bear is penetration. Enough to break a shoulder and punch through the vitals. Preferably exiting. Sectional density plays a huge role, as does bullet weight and construction. Come guys, this is basic stuff. It does not take a rocket scientist (or maybe it does) to understand that a 400gr projectile has a FAR better chance of breaking bones and penetrating deeply if it is .45 caliber than it does it if is .73 caliber. There is no magic here, all the same rules apply to the 12ga slug and all you get with a huge, low SD slug is a very large, relatively shallow wound channel.

Guillermo
June 21, 2010, 04:38 PM
you like the Smith that you already own

44 is better than throwing food at the bear

Bring the pepper spray anyway...bears like well spiced meat

KodiakBeer
June 21, 2010, 04:51 PM
This is completely false. As I said before, muzzle energy is completely meaningless anyway but especially in discussions on dangerous game.

No, it's not. I agree it's not everything, but it's a good thumbnail sketch of a rounds effectiveness. Weight, velocity and frontal diameter all count - and muzzle energy is a weighted combination of those three factors.

As I said before, I'll say it again, what you need to stop a bear is penetration. Enough to break a shoulder and punch through the vitals.

And you'd be only partially correct, because punching an adrenalized bear through the vitals isn't anywhere near a guaranteed stop. The fact that he may die later is no consolation to you when his first inclination is to pop your head like a ripe melon. Breaking a shoulder is only a guarantee of slowing a bear, not stopping him.

What you need to stop a bear is a shot directly into the nose. Period. And you're going to need to do that on a bear approaching you at 40 miles per hour while his head bounds up and down. And you're going to need to do that almost instantly because despite all the TV shows, they don't stand up and roar and then amble toward you in slow motion. They just charge, in silence, at race horse speed, from close range.

That's why an instinctive point/shoot shoulder fired firearm like a shotgun is the best choice.

Some of us have been there and done that. Some of us have been there and done that more than once. Some of us have scars and limps from having been there and done that. Some of you might want to listen to some of us who have been there and done that.

sonier
June 21, 2010, 05:45 PM
god we got too stop with these bear threads lol when kodiakbeer shows up it starts to spiral into flaming. just get the fastest heaviest leadcast loads for your 44 mag and youll be fine.

KodiakBeer
June 21, 2010, 06:01 PM
god we got too stop with these bear threads lol when kodiakbeer shows up it starts to spiral into flaming.

I haven't flamed anyone, so why are you flaming me?

Guillermo
June 21, 2010, 06:07 PM
when kodiakbeer shows up it starts to spiral into flaming

I misread that and thought you were talking about a flaming bear attack.

If a burning bear is running at me I want a bigger gun than a 44 magnum!!!

http://www.lodinews.com/blogs/wineguy/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/toastedhead.jpg

Sam1911
June 21, 2010, 06:17 PM
Guess we've taken this about as far as civility will allow then?

Sic terminus.

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