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Another bear gun thread! ( please don't shoot me ) DA vs SA

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by JellyJar, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. JellyJar

    JellyJar Participating Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    I just did a search on all the handgun threads ( I found 87 bear gun threads so this is the 88th :neener: ) and did not find this question addressed as well as I think it should be.

    Is a DA revolver really better than a SA revolver for bear defense? I have seen in some past threads that some think the DA is best because it can be shot faster than and SA. I think that might be wrong.

    I have not had that much experience shooting really powerful revolvers but I have shot a few. Given how much recoil and muzzle flip they generate it seems to me that given how much time it takes to recover between shots that using a SA over a DA would not really been any faster.

    Who here has had lots of experience shooting these very powerful revolvers and can say from first hand experience which, if either, would be better.:)
  2. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Senior Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    North Central Ohio
    Having both (sa and da), chambered in .44 Magnum, in my experience, even considering recoil and muzzle flip, the da can assuredly be fired faster than a sa, all else (with particular emphasis on the expertise of the shooter) being equal. I've never been attacked by a bear, so I'm "shooting from the hip" here, but it seems to me that I'd want to get as many well-aimed shots off as possible, in as short of period of time as possible, if confronted with a charging bear at short range. I'll concede that, in real time, it might not make much difference in terms of whether I'm shooting my Red Hawk or my Black Hawk as the bear closes in on me...:(
  3. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Senior Elder

    Dec 29, 2002
    Los Anchorage
    Realistically you'd be lucky to get one off if you're actually charged and it isn't a bluff. Either SA or DA revolvers can be fired very quickly with practice. So it comes down to what suits you better and more importantly which you will train with.
  4. cornman

    cornman member

    Dec 8, 2007
    DA all the way. I heard a story of a ranger who was looking for an injured grizzly and was pinned down when the mother bear jumped him. He survived by shoving one fist down the bears throat and getting his had on his holstered .44. The moral of the story is, don't assume you will have 2 hands available.
  5. shadowalker

    shadowalker Active Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    I would go DA simply because it is easier to operate with one hand. Bears can move very quickly and the difference between being in practical range of a handgun and being on top of you isn't very much.

    Just before I moved out of Alaska in separate incidents two family friends were forced to defensively shoot bears while bear hunting, both were contact shots to the bear's head.

    I didn't know of anyone carrying a SA revolver.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  6. RedAlert

    RedAlert Active Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Silverdale, WA
    He survived by shoving one fist down the bears throat and getting his had on his holstered .44.

    You can't be serious! I suppose there might be a time when the only way to reach your holstered gun by sticking your arm down the bear's throat. But only when the bear has swallowed all of you except that arm :) Then you'd be doing your shooting from the inside.
  7. Rexster

    Rexster Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    Both! One of each.

    I don't live where big bears walk, and I am so broke at the moment I can't afford to go out in the backyard, but if someone gifted me an all-expense-paid walkabout in Alaska, I would carry one SP101 with hardcast heavy bullets, and one Ruger Bisley with the .45 Colt cylinder in place, with the best hardcast or bonded bullet loads. Best of both worlds; one small enough for me to grip and shoot if one hand is all I have available, and one big one for when I have time to use both hands.

    I carry two handguns in the city; why not two in the wilderness?
  8. Nasty

    Nasty Active Member

    Mar 28, 2004
    DA no doubt...as said earlier, you may only have 1 hand free and DA is best for that.

    Of course, you could just make sure you can run faster than your hiking buddy...:eek:
  9. rha600

    rha600 New Member

    Jan 17, 2010
    Really? I mean come on...

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