The age-old discussion over which handgun is best for bear defense is finally settled


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Gtscotty
July 18, 2014, 02:39 AM
It's a Hi-point .45 acp.... who would have thought?

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/07/dean-weingarten/man-kills-9-foot-bear-45/#more-328810

I couldn't help but post this article up. As many threads as we have had discussing the best possible handgun/cartridge combination to be carrying when you are attacked by marauding bears, the one guy I've read about in recent memory to actually face the above situation turned out to be just some dude with a Hi-point. :rolleyes:

Thankfully everyone made it through unscathed, except for the bear, who was able to dodge the first 6 shots lobbed out of the Hi-point, but apparently got tagged by the 7th.

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silicosys4
July 18, 2014, 03:41 AM
That reminds me of a passage by Jim Cirillo in one of his books.
He was not a fan of his department issue .38spcl. loads, a 158gr. roundnose at 750fps or so. Much of his distaste and mistrust of that particular load probably came from his experiences with his experiences of several shots of it bouncing off of his opponents skull and failing to incapacitate him during the first shootout he details in his book.

His department lieutenant was a proponent of the load, and carried a picture of a polar bear on his desk that was killed with one shot to the heart by the load, used by a policeman who was forced to fire at and kill the bear in a zoo when the bear attacked someone through the fence.

What works when you are standing on a balcony above the bear with time to aim and fire into the vitals might not do the job on a bear charging at you with intent to turn you into a pile of bear pooh the next day

The article did say the bear ran off 50 yards, very agitated, then died. 50 yards would probably have gotten him to you if you were on the ground firing to stop a charge.

Glad everyone came through unscathed, except for yogi.

W.E.G.
July 18, 2014, 05:34 AM
Or maybe this just means that Hi-Point guys are more likely to have such an encounter?

Deaf Smith
July 18, 2014, 06:11 AM
What it means is that IF you can shoot strait under pressure (and that is a real big if) then most fairly powerful handguns can do the job with bullets that penetrate enough.

A .357 or .41 or .44 will do (or 10mm or hot .45s or .40s.) But again, you have to do it under pressure of being maulded..

Deaf

Field Tester
July 18, 2014, 06:52 AM
That reminds me of a passage by Jim Cirillo in one of his books.
He was not a fan of his department issue .38spcl. loads, a 158gr. roundnose at 750fps or so. Much of his distaste and mistrust of that particular load probably came from his experiences with his experiences of several shots of it bouncing off of his opponents skull and failing to incapacitate him during the first shootout he details in his book.

His department lieutenant was a proponent of the load, and carried a picture of a polar bear on his desk that was killed with one shot to the heart by the load, used by a policeman who was forced to fire at and kill the bear in a zoo when the bear attacked someone through the fence.

What works when you are standing on a balcony above the bear with time to aim and fire into the vitals might not do the job on a bear charging at you with intent to turn you into a pile of bear pooh the next day

The article did say the bear ran off 50 yards, very agitated, then died. 50 yards would probably have gotten him to you if you were on the ground firing to stop a charge.

Glad everyone came through unscathed, except for yogi.
I was just about to post the same.

We've heard of bears killed by .22 LR and even pellet guns. Shot placement is everything. But I would use none of the above for "stopping the threat right now!"

Iron Sight
July 18, 2014, 07:40 AM
Another 45 auto that was reported used to dispatch a bear.


http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/05/grizzly-bear-shot-and-killed-hikers-denali-national-park-and-preserve5943

Gtscotty
July 18, 2014, 09:03 AM
I wonder what the final ruling was on that defensive shoot in Denali? I would think that if you shot a bear inside of Denali National Park, the park service would be out for your blood regardless of whether you were threatened or not.

BLB68
July 18, 2014, 09:32 AM
There was also a black bear shot and killed with a Taurus 1911 a while back in Oregon.

Edit: Not the original article, but someone copy/pasted it here (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=298031).

Capt. Ct.
July 18, 2014, 11:09 AM
When I was a kid maybe 12 years old I remember reading an article in one of the outdoor magazines my father subscribed to. I may be a bit rusty on the details since we are going back 50 years or more. The basic story is that the largest bear killed in Whatever state it was, was killed by a woman who was camping. She needed to use the bathroom (brush) in the middle of the night. She encountered a bear and killed him with a .22.

Impureclient
July 18, 2014, 11:27 AM
Are people routinely getting mauled by bears after shooting them with smaller calibers? Is that why this is ever brought up?

jjones45
July 18, 2014, 12:39 PM
How do you miss a 9ft bear 6 out of 7 shots, Oh he had a hi point. They failed to report he also cleared 4 malfunctions during that string of 7 shots lol jk. Not a hi point basher just having a little fun. This is a great story for those who think anything less than 10mm or a magnum cartridge will suffice for big game animal defense, although hunting bear with a 45 might be stretch. I feel a little better now when I'm in bear country packing my ruger sr45. I can hear the 45 acp fanboys now in the caliber wars saying "the reason I carry a 45 is because a 9 or 40 has never killed a bear with one shot" lol. Good stuff here

ClickClickD'oh
July 18, 2014, 12:46 PM
Look, I'm not going to outright call the guy a liar, but I will say that there's something wrong with his story"

He said he didn’t have any food around his house that could have attracted the bear but did have an empty cooler on his porch...

Oh really? No food? At your house? What were your plans for dinner?

I think we need to hear from Paul Harvey on this one.

45_auto
July 18, 2014, 04:12 PM
He said he didnít have any food around his house that could have attracted the bear but did have an empty cooler on his porch

Oh really? No food? At your house? What were your plans for dinner?

They were probably planning to eat some of their food that they keep in the house.

You really need to figure out the difference between "no food AROUND the house" as stated in the bear story, and "no food AT the house" as you're implying.

sigarms228
July 18, 2014, 07:17 PM
“I couldn’t believe that it came back,” he said.

Landess grabbed his .45 pistol, stepped out onto his upper deck, took aim and fired seven rounds toward the bear’s vitals. He said the bear “got crazy” and ran about 50 feet before it collapsed and died."

He shot the bear from the upper deck where the bear probably could not reach him.

The situation would have been totally different than someone finding a bear charging them at full speed a short distance away. In that case the bear may have died also IF he could have gotten some shots off and into it's vitals in an extremely stressful situation but by the time the bear died he probably would have chewed through most of his neck and been eating his innards.

A .45 would be a whole lot better than nothing but surely not my first choice. I suppose and Elephant could be dropped in it's tracks with a .22LR shot directly through the eyeball and into the brain.

il.bill
July 18, 2014, 08:14 PM
I kept this news article and thought this is a good time and place to post it. It may, or may not, settle some 'bear defense' arguments. I originally got it off of the internet, so you know it must be true.




Woman Stops Grizzly Attack With .25 Cal Pistol
3/8/2013

This is a story of self control and marksmanship with an itsy bitsy shooter by a woman against a fierce predator. What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself?

Try the Beretta Jetfire Model 950B chambered in caliber .25 ACP!


"While hiking in Alberta Canada with my boyfriend we were surprised by a huge grizzly bear charging us from out of nowhere.

She must have been protecting her cubs because she was extremely aggressive. If I hadn't had my Beretta Jetfire 950B pistol with me I wouldn't be here today!

Just one shot to my boyfriend's knee cap was all it took; the bear got him and I was able to escape by simply walking away at a brisk pace.

It's one of the best pistols in my collection!"

Deltaboy
July 18, 2014, 08:40 PM
Bottom line with me is this. A grizzly bear broke into his house and he killed it with a 45.

Deaf Smith
July 18, 2014, 11:37 PM
You guys ever hear of a man named Karamojo Bell? He was a Scottish adventurer, big game hunter in East Africa, soldier, decorated pilot, sailor, writer, and painter.

Bopped off a few THOUSAND elephants with a 6.5mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer and later a 7x57 Mauser.

Yes I said thousands.Brained them with those little guns. Used only FMJ slugs.

Shot lions and leopards to.

So when I hear of bears being killed with .45s and 9mms, I an not surprised.

Sure I'll still pack my favorite field gun.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=188213&d=1377645615

But I won't worry if I use super hot loads or just more moderate 240 hard cast at 1100 fps.

Deaf

Jim K
July 18, 2014, 11:50 PM
Not exactly an example of an expert marksman staying cool under pressure. He fired seven shots, six of which missed a pretty big target.

Jim

(P.S. I don't say I would have done better; in bear country, I wouldn't use a handgun at all. The main gun on the tank I would be in should do the job.)

JK

ROBBY.1911
July 18, 2014, 11:54 PM
the best handgun for every purpose is the one you can grab and load in your bedroom at pitch black midnight with your wife screaming and you are aware of multiple intruders in your home. for me that's a Glock. i have worked on them for 15 years and know every part and where it goes with my eyes closed. it doesn't do any good to have 10 guns in your collection if none of them feel like a hand in glove when you pick it up.:banghead:

Chocolate Bayou
July 20, 2014, 09:07 AM
Il Bill

Reminds me of the time my wife and I were hiking in Yosemite and stopped to eat some lunch. My wife asked me if I could outrun a grizzly, I told her no, but I didn't have to. All I have to do is out run you! She didn't see the humor.

AbitNutz
July 20, 2014, 09:56 AM
I was always into centerfire pistols 45, 357 mag even 460 Rolland. I was convinced that I knew what power was. Then I bought an M1A. Friends...a handgun is only there to get you to a rifle. That 308 makes a 44 mag look like a pop gun.

Combat Engineer
July 20, 2014, 10:42 AM
"...ever hear of a man named Karamojo Bell? He was a Scottish adventurer, big game hunter in East Africa, soldier, decorated pilot, sailor, writer, and painter.

Bopped off a few THOUSAND elephants with a 6.5mm Mannlicher-Schoenauer and later a 7x57 Mauser."

He also used a 303 Lee Enfield rifle. He shot 1,011* elephants.

But these are high velocity rifles moving 170 - 200 grain bullets at 2,500 fps. That kind of velocity is needed to smash thru an elephant skull.

We are not talking a slow moving Hi-Point 45ACP 830 fps 230 gr fmj bullet here. Now that is impressive.




PS: Bell did use a Mauser C96 pistol, a very capable handgun, but to the best of my knowledge, he did not hunt large game with it. BTW this is a handgun forum, and stopping a bear (or elephant) with a long gun, that is a rifle or a shotgun, belongs in either the 'Rifle Country' or the 'Shotguns' forum(s).

*Barclay, Edgar N. "Chapter One - correspondence with WDM Bell and author". Big Game Shooting Records 1931. HF&G Witherby

Vern Humphrey
July 20, 2014, 04:48 PM
Landess grabbed his .45 pistol, stepped out onto his upper deck, took aim and fired seven rounds toward the bear’s vitals. He said the bear “got crazy” and ran about 50 feet before it collapsed and died.
I would not want to be standing on the GROUND while the bear "got crazy" and was running around!

Kiln
July 20, 2014, 04:49 PM
My personal choice? German grenade pistol:

http://i848.photobucket.com/albums/ab47/Myguns223/Stuff/NewGuns003.jpg (http://s848.photobucket.com/user/Myguns223/media/Stuff/NewGuns003.jpg.html)

jimbo555
July 20, 2014, 06:37 PM
Who lives in Alaska and doesn't own a rifle?

Vern Humphrey
July 20, 2014, 06:58 PM
Who lives in Alaska and doesn't own a rifle?
Well, I was gonna say Petaluma P. Prissypants, head of the Alaska chapter of PETA -- but she was eaten by a bear last week.;)

Big Shrek
July 20, 2014, 07:24 PM
Who lives in Alaska and doesn't own a rifle?
Usually those referred to in past tense...as in, They Lived in Alaska before a bear ate them...

Cee Zee
July 21, 2014, 02:36 AM
All I have to do is out run you! She didn't see the humor.

Did you tell her it wasn't supposed to be funny? ;)

BTW Karamojo Bell killed just over one thousand elephants and not one of them was charging him at the time. He was a smart hunter that knew how to position himself to avoid any problems. For example he was known to shoot one elephant then climb up on it and shoot more knowing the other elephants wouldn't come at him on top of the dead one. H was a really wild character that made a ton of money selling ivory before WWI mostly. Think Buffalo Bill but with elephants.

Africa was largely unexplored by Europeans at the time but Bell knew how to play politics with the tribal chiefs. He was known to bribe them and also anyone that could direct him to find elephants to shoot. He would give a cow to anyone that found him 5 elephants to kill. He also shot a mountain of game animals for food for his safaris. He was a smart guy who knew just where to shoot elephants to kill them too and he could put his bullets where he wanted. It wouldn't even be legal now to hunt with the rifles he used. Amazing stuff. He was one of the great white hunters we heard about in the Tarzan movies long ago. I'm just glad he didn't kill all of them.

burk
July 21, 2014, 02:39 PM
The reality is he was damn lucky. On those big costal Brownies many feel under gunned with 44. I carry a 29 4" with 320 grain +P+ pushing 1400 fps in Bear country. I have met a couple of state hunters in AK, most of their shots are inside of 75 yards and they both carry 375 H&H rifles. One told me of a bear he shot that had 5 .38 special rounds in his chest area, none of which had penetrated deeply enough to do any damage. The bear had put the shooter in ICU the day before, and didn't let him reload his pocket pistol. Sure you could kill a bear with a .45, 9mm, or 40. But if I'm trying to stop an 800 pound plus animal that can move almost 40 mph at a short distance with rounds that don't consistently stop humans, that would make me a Darwin nominee for sure. :cool:

I will say this much, after making the switch to Glock as my one platform for SD guns I am intrigued by the 10mm. But that's still a whole different level of stopper, especially in hot loads, than common SD pistol calibers. The recoil from a non-ported 29 shooting those big loads is brutal.

obx-shooter
July 21, 2014, 08:00 PM
We are swamped with black bears around my neck of the woods ... and after a couple of stand-offs where large bears wouldn't yield the path while I was coming from bow hunting stands at night I began carrying a Glock 29 stuffed with Underwood loads.

I wouldn't feel cocky with my Glock 20 in brown bear country but would feel I had a fighting chance with Underwood's 220 gr flatpoints clocking around 1270 fps ... Seriously more powerful than any .45 acp ...

Hurryin' Hoosier
July 21, 2014, 10:13 PM
The only defense which you need against bears comes from Lambeau Field. :D

Cee Zee
July 22, 2014, 01:10 AM
I carry a 629 for the black bears in my neck of the woods. Well actually I don't live in my house now but I hope to go back some day soon. We had a bunch of black bears hanging around when my brilliant neighbor decided he wanted photos of deer eating the corn he put out. I bet he was surprised to see something a little darker in his game camera shots.

I also have black bears on my farm so I don't go there without taking something serious just in case. No way I would count on a .38. I carried a .45 while riding my ATV for years but I had that mostly for 2 legged skunks. When the bears started showing up I moved up the food chain a caliber or two.

I don't know much about brown bears except what I read. I know the black bears around my home aren't exactly scared by humans that much. They get more brave all the time too. I want something that will give them a serious headache. BTW I only shoot the hard cast 255 gr. "Keith" cartridges made by Buffalo Bore in my 629. Those revolvers are known to not tolerate the heavier loads well. They will get out of timing from the heavy recoil. They just were never designed to shoot loads that hot. Those hot +P+ loads were made for cast metal guns like the Rugers. I suppose if I only needed one shot I wouldn't mind using the heavier rounds but I might miss and I'd hate to have my gun fail to operate on my second try.

JohnKSa
July 22, 2014, 01:56 AM
If you ask Garen Brenner, he'll tell you that you don't need a .45 to stop a grizzly charge. He used a 9mm on the one he killed.

http://peninsulaclarion.com/stories/081902/ala_081602ala0040001.shtml

Brenner fired twice at the center of the hulking shape closing to four or five feet away. The sow, estimated at 400 to 450 pounds, went down. Brenner then put three more bullets into her head.

He used a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol.

jimbo555
July 22, 2014, 10:10 AM
Shot placement and adequate penetration!

627PCFan
July 22, 2014, 10:23 AM
The moral of the story is when the chips are down, you run-what-you-brung and hope it works out.

Hunter2011
July 22, 2014, 10:38 AM
Suddenly I feel very well armed with my 9mm.
Just shows you, any caliber can work if you use it right. His mate with a much more powerfull shotgun, did not even use the shotgun. The old saying ''its the indian, not the arrow'' makes much more sense now...

Big Shrek
July 22, 2014, 03:00 PM
Suddenly I feel very well armed with my 9mm.
Just shows you, any caliber can work if you use it right. His mate with a much more powerfull shotgun, did not even use the shotgun. The old saying ''its the indian, not the arrow'' makes much more sense now...
Correct...however, if I'm facing any bear, I wanna full-auto belt-fed party machine in 7.62 or higher.
Bears don't always move predictable...and they are deceptively fast.

In a pinch, my 10mm is comfortable...I've had to scare off a black bear who got curious
while I was cleaning an arrowed hog...3 rapid shots into the dirt got him running away...
glad that's all that happened, but if the shots had failed, 14 more rounds ready to go (+2 extensions on my mags)

Hunter2011
July 22, 2014, 03:41 PM
All I can say is I am glad there are no bears in my country! I will sh$t myself so much that the bear would not want to eat me:D
Seriously though. I will rather face a bear than the serious crime we are having here. One bear, or 6 guys storming your house, armed with automatic rifles. I'll take the bear every time.

gun_with_a_view
July 22, 2014, 09:35 PM
Lewis said such a low-caliber gun (9mm) ordinarily doesn't pack enough punch to kill a bear. But Brenner loaded the pistol with full-metal-jacket bullets that penetrated to the bear's vital organs, he said

The story in the Clarion destroyed the myth of the hollow point bullet. The FBI SOP expouses that penetration is more important than expansion. This event proves it. Now to translate the bear kill data in to the ideal caliber of round ball and wadcutter ammo against the human body.

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