I carry a 10mm, but the exaggerated expectations of a 10mm have become ridiculous. Remember some kinds of kool-aid can kill.
March 4, 2012, 06:40 AM
A powerful handgun is still a handgun. If those shots are rapid and well-placed, it's possible. I would absolutlely not bet my life on it though.
Source: Talked to old timers who said they used to climb trees and kill Mr. Brown's smaller cousin with a .22 LR. Figure if that can do the job, it's possible a 10mm could too. I would advise that seeking out such and encounter with a handgun would be imprudent.
March 4, 2012, 06:53 AM
The simplified answer as it relates to defense is no.
It may kill it, but it won't reliable stop it any time soon, and will only reliably penetrate certain parts of the animal which don't even include the ones likely to be facing you in an attack.
It will not stop a charging grizzly bear that is really committed unless you get lucky.
Most bear charges are bluffs, so if it was only a bluff charge then the unexpected may cause it to end its bluff earlier than it already had planned and go die someplace.
If on the other hand it was a real charge to attack then outside of a lucky shot that immobilizes it damage from a 10mm is unlikely to stop it soon enough.
However most handguns are not enough, and a 10mm with proper loads is enough to reliably penetrate deeply in many soft areas, unlike more common auto calibers. But those holes even in the soft areas won't create the type of wound needed to stop it, just kill it long after the immediate attack has passed which does you little good.
10mm shouldn't be expected to reliably penetrate the head or shoulder, which are targets one has facing them with a charging bear. These take the big revolvers to reliably penetrate, and while they will penetrate these areas even they won't reliably do enough damage to an attacking grizzly bear to stop it immediately, and the 10mm is puny in comparison.
No handgun actually likely to be carried can be expected to kill the bear outright. Many much more powerful rifles don't.
A more accurate scenario even with the appropriate type of handgun is that it is damaged in a way that prevents it from continue to move well, like its shoulder is damage. Or it decides to stop and run away to die. If it is a large one and happens to be one of those with the mindset to keep attacking, they do so much damage in a short time that the handgun wounds won't reliably prevent it from doing what it wants.
Even a .500S&W while it will penetrate fine does not create a wound that will reliably stop it shot center mass at the attacking bear. And aiming at specific places if it is already close in a real charge or chewing on you is difficult. Though a buddy could be in a better position to shoot one off someone else with such a handgun to good effect presented with a side profile.
However such a gun can immobilize them, and will put a hole in whatever part of the bear is shot, making it and a few other big bore revolvers suitable side arms for large grizzly defense, but far from certain.
Do keep in mind though that these animals once covered half of the lower 48 states in large numbers, just 100-200 years ago when the west was explored and settled. They were wiped out from the vast majority of their range with common black powder arms of less power.
Killing is not too hard, as demonstrated by the extermination with whatever black powder gun a settler had available, often not even the more powerful of their time period.
Stopping a large one attacking can be.
Historic is where they were when the settlers came through.
March 4, 2012, 07:37 AM
is it possible? sure. it is possible that Obama will introduce a law requiring all citizens own a firearm also, but i sure would not hold my breath on it! honestly, i would not want to bet my life on a S&W 500 handgun against a brown bear. as far as a one shot stop, the only thing that i would want to bet my life on one shot stopping a charging brown bear would be a HOWITZER!
March 4, 2012, 08:01 AM
Stopping a big charging animal (brown bear, Cape buffalo, elephant, etc.) is the job for a brain shot. That's the only sure thing.
Where's our friend Kodiakbeer? I'm sure he can remind us of a thing or two, and I'd defer to him. He has pointed out in the past that the brown bear's brain may not be where you think it is; and I'd sure mention that, in charging, it may present you its skull at a very low angle, increasing the risk that a bullet will bounce off the skull, maybe cracking but not penetrating.
I can't speak for Alaska, but in Africa there is also the concept of "turning the charge," essentially convincing the animal to break off with a good chest shot or two. Kinda of similar to the concept of "stopping power."
Turning the charge is considered the province of calibers like .458 Lott, .470 NE...and larger. Even the legendary .375 H&H is not considered a good turner of big animals.
Now compare that to the 10mm.
I LOVE the 10mm. If I had to choose a handgun to "stop" a brown bear, it would be a .475 Linebaugh (now I need Prosser!).
:DONE shot you may have time for with a S&W .500 and NO follow up...or 3 or so shots from a 10mm Glock? At least one instructor has told me, "Don't shoot him faster, shoot him BETTER"--more accurately. One shot to the brain will do it, I think. Of course, if you can't deliver one shot accurately out of a .500, well, you should take that into consideration, IMHO.
March 4, 2012, 08:22 AM
How about posting once, instead of starting the same thread in 4 different places?
I have debated this with myself as well. The .454 Casull seems to be the brown bear handgun caliber of choice. But still wonder if a 10mm with proper loads wouldn't get the job done with the security of much higher capacity.
Here is picture from an interesting comparison, including the 10mm, .454 Casull and others.
My first choice if in brown bear country would be a short barreled bolt rifle chambered in 30-06 loaded with hot loads of 220 gr Nosler partitions as a minimum. A 375 H&H would be better.
But if it has to be a handgun I think a Glock 10mm loaded with 16 rounds of Doubletap 200 gr hardcast @ 1300 fps is as good as anything else. Which realistically means not too good. But I just don't see any other handgun that is small enough to actually be carried as significantly better. The monster handguns chambered in 500 S&W are better, but still not good. Given a choice between one of these monsters and a short barreled rifle, I'd take the much more effective rifle. I find them easier to carry and keep handy.
I have no illusions of the 10mm or any other handgun round actually stopping a determined attack before I have a bear on top of me. The only chance of killing one before it kills me is a lucky hit. With the right loads a 10mm penetrates as well as the bigger handguns and with multiple shots from a lower recoiling gun I have more chances of getting a lucky hit in the right spot. I figure I'm still probably going to die, but this gives me the best odds of survival.
And the gun is small and light enough that it would actually be on me when needed. The Glock 10mm has become quite popular in Alaska, among folks who actually live in brown bear country, for just these reasons.
March 4, 2012, 08:51 AM
The .454 Casull seems to be the brown bear handgun caliber of choice.Well, ammo may be easier to come by in some locales than .460 or .500 S&W Mags, and certainly than .475 Linebaugh.
So, it is popular because it is popular!
Of course, the .475 has the advantage of documented 5 feet of penetration in animals like water buffalo (http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/ballistics/methods.html), and over 5 ft of wet newspaper (http://www.handloads.com/misc/linebaugh.penetration.tests.asp). The best that the .454 could do in the same medium was well under 4 feet.
Of course, if I was choosing between a loaded .454 and an empty .475, well, that's an easy choice!
March 4, 2012, 08:55 AM
Crossposting the same thread in different places is considered bad manners.
If you enjoyed reading about "10mm vs. Mr. Brown...(BEAR)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!