30-30 or 44 mag for black bear protection?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Southmountain, Aug 3, 2022.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,370
    Same here with the wolves. Pack was closing in on a guy, and he shot one, which spoiled the party for the rest of the pack. The hysterical wolf advocates just tore into him with the most vile crap and lies. On the other hand, the Sheriff said he did the right thing, and the game dept. didn't prosecute him. However, it is not unusual for the game dept. to come down heavy on shooting big game out of season, so take care, be sure there was no choice.
     
    Buzznrose and .308 Norma like this.
  2. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,370
    Well I went berry-picking today, and took a .30-30 and a SAA in .45 Colt. ! The rifle was sometime slung, and sometimes leaning against a tree, log or stump. Loaded the .30WCF with 180 grain bullets intended for more powerful .30's such as the .308 or '06, on my possibly misguided theory that they will penetrate more, but still expand a little. The point being that I have much more powerful rifles, but felt just fine with the thutty-thutty.
     
    Armored farmer likes this.
  3. R_P_K

    R_P_K Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Western Ky
    It'd be hard to claim self defense at those ranges
     
    Ugly Sauce and bearcreek like this.
  4. trekker73

    trekker73 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2020
    Messages:
    352
    Regards comments about 30-30 having better penetration....depends on the bullet. It has more velocity sure, but a comparison between a 30-30 at 2200-2400fps and a 44 mag with 265-300JSP at 1600-1800fps might reveal a few surprises..

    . I found this out shooting 180XTP in 357 levers at 1650fps- through and through on medium game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
  5. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,724
    Location:
    N Idaho
    He's talking about bear defense, not bear hunting. There's no plausible scenario in which you could be shooting a bear at 50-100 yards in "defense".
    Yup. Impossible, actually.
     
    Ugly Sauce and .308 Norma like this.
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    20,524
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I live in Black bear country -- I've had them in my "back yard" robbing my bee hive. In the woods I usually carry a Colt Woodsman .22 -- not for bear (they run from me) but in case I see a squirrel.
     
  7. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,792
    Location:
    NE FL
    Either one will work. The .44 with proper bullets will penetrate more and hold more rounds. If you choose the .30-30 I would go with the 170 gr. bullet.
     
    .308 Norma likes this.
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,169
    Location:
    Alabama
    If you go to the Smokey Mountain Resorts in Gatlinburg TN, make sure you latch your car doors as the black bears may steal your guns!

    A good friend of mine showed me pictures his brother took in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Brother and fellow hikers went on the hiking trails, and when they came back, there was a black bear in their car! They had left their food in the car and had not securely locked the doors. A local, food mooching black bear smelled lunch, managed to open the car door, get in the car, and the door closed behind the bear! I saw pictures of the black bear, nose to the windshield, looking very unhappy to say the least. All the humans skedaddled the area when the Park Ranger let the black bear out. The car seats were scratched all to heck in places, as the bear tried to dig himself out of the vehicle. But the thing is, if that bear had been a gun thief, he might have gotten a few out of your car, and then you would be asking about what body armor to wear in the woods.
     
    kBob, qwert65 and Ugly Sauce like this.
  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    11,630
    I’ve hunted leverguns for a long time, grew up on 44mags and thought I was upgrading by flattening my trajectory and getting more penetration when I bought a 30-30… and then I realized the former is scantly true, and the latter simply not. 44mag penetrates much better - it’s harder to slow down bullets which weigh almost twice as much running at almost the same speed, even despite 94% greater cross-sectional area. I punched through way more meat with 44mag than with 30-30.

    Impact momentum for a 265grn bullet leaving a 44mag at 1700fps has 20% more impact momentum than a 170grn bullet leaving a 30-30 at 2200. Taylor KO Factor is 68% increased for 44mag over 30-30. Sectional Density * Momentum is a wash (.206 for 265grn 44mag vs. .256SD for 170grn 30cal).

    As a penetrator AND a stopper, 44mag tops .30-30, hands down… but either will do the job we’re discussing here - more is just more, so again, it’s a horse apiece.

    I no longer carry a rifle in bear country, and certainly wouldn’t in Bruin country. I carry a 9mm or 40mm pistol around bruins.
     
    qwert65 and Buzznrose like this.
  10. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,370
    Nothing less!
     
  11. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,370
    I used to love the Hornady 265 grain bullet out of my Ruger .44 Carbine. I don't think they make that anymore. ? Designed for the .444, out of the mag it expanded and penetrated. You could eat the bullet holes it was so clean. That was my rifle and load for many years, and shot quite a few deer with it. Judging by how it zipped through deer, (some large mule-deer) but still made a nice wound channel, I don't think it would have a problem with any bear. I suspect that Speer 270 grain bullet may perform about the same. ?
     
  12. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,370
    Yes, my "personal space" is 25 yards, I wouldn't shoot anything outside of that.
     
  13. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,822
    Location:
    Central Alabama -- recently relocated from Chicago
    And herein lies the biggest issue with using a long gun as an immediate reaction tool. We end up putting our long guns down and moving away from them while hands and minds are occupied with the activity we had gone into the outdoors to pursue. Momma bear popping out of a bush or showing up around the bend in a trail is the most likely emergency situation where both the people and the animal are surprised. Seeing an animal in the distance and making noise/getting prepped is more often not going to lead to a bad encounter. That 45 on your person and a can of spray on your belt (not in a pocket or pack) is what we want and need now, not big medicine leaning on a hickory a dozen steps away.
     
  14. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,370
    Yep, that's what the .45 was for. Momma bear gets to pick the time and place of the encounter. !!! Yesterday I forgot the spray, but usually have it. I've got so much stuff on my pistol belt (I refer to it as my "Batman Belt") that finding a place for it can be a problem. Hard to be always perfectly prepared.
     
    qwert65 likes this.
  15. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    426
    I have posted on this before- and have stopped charging bears- in both cases I was prepared and was using a 375 H&H - ... on both those days I would have not wanted anything less.....
    Now that said- usually....with blacks....and I say usually the sow will growl..bark...and false charge....slap her teeth at you- and collect her cubs.... If she/cubs are cornered you may need to kill her- but you will usually know she is comming-
    If on the crazy chance you get no warning you will only have about 3-4 seconds to use what ever you choose to carry- pick what ever you can shoot on target with multiple shots quickly-
    Bears are FAST! - never forget it....
     
    qwert65 and Ugly Sauce like this.
  16. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    426
    300 lb bore killed dogs and charged hunters- IMG_20211013_084807156_HDR~2.jpg
     
  17. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    4,593
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    I totally agree. Unfortunately (IMO) the OP asked only about long guns - a 20" lever action 44 Mag, or a 20" lever action 30-30.
    When my wife and I were into backpacking in the wilds of Idaho (where there actually are grizzlies even though we never seen one) I carried a readily accessible, and heavily loaded Ruger 45 Colt, a readily accessible canister of bear spray, a whistle, and bells attached to my hiking staff. Except for the Ruger 45 Colt, my wife carried the same things.
    We blew the whistles and pounded our belled hiking staffs on the ground as we were about to enter thick stuff where we couldn't see very far ahead, and as we worked our way through it. As I said, we never even saw a grizzly, and the only black bears we saw were running away.
    Oh, and while we were in camp at night, I was either wearing my Ruger 45 Colt, or it was just above my head while I was in my sleeping bag. The thing is though, on our backpacking trips, the times when we felt the most ill at ease were when we were at the trailheads. Two-legged miscreants sometimes hang out at trailheads. We never saw any of those animals after we got a half-mile or so into the wilderness.
    So, considering the fact that I felt more ill at ease when there were two-legged critters around, I might have been better off carrying a 9mm semi-auto than a 45 Colt revolver.
    Oh, by the way, wolves were introduced in central Idaho back when my wife and I were into backpacking. They never bothered us either. We heard them once in a while - never saw any of them. And we kept a close eye on every moose we ever had to work our way around - they just watched us through what looked like curious, but unintelligent eyes. ;)
     
  18. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    11,630
    Practice seems pertinent in this discussion, naturally. A well developed skill in rapid deployment of a rifle will be far quicker and more accurate in the heat of the moment than simply carrying a revolver without practice. We do not rise to the occasion, we fall to the plateau of our practice - raise your plateau with whatever you choose to carry.
     
    Hugger-4641 likes this.
  19. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,652
    Location:
    Oregon
    This would be my first choice for the described situation:

    2022-08-08_014959.jpg
     
    .308 Norma likes this.
  20. 9x56MS

    9x56MS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2021
    Messages:
    582
    Hiking with kids I would carry the 44. But that is just me. Kids demand a hands free attention. 99.99% of the time you will not even see a bear let alone have a problem with one.
     
    theotherwaldo and .308 Norma like this.
  21. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    4,593
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    Again, the OP, Southmountain asked a choice between a "20-inch lever action in 30-30 or 44 mag." They're both long guns - unless he's planning on carrying it slung on his shoulder, neither one is going to be exactly "hands free." ;)
    I agree though - "99.99% of the time you will not even see a bear let alone have a problem with one." As I've said many times, when my wife and I were younger, we logged hundreds of miles backpacking in the Idaho wilderness areas (where there actually are grizzlies) and what few bears we saw were black bears, and they were running away.
    As far as that goes, I actually used to hunt black bears with a buddy up around Salmon. He killed two or three over the years, but I was never lucky enough to even get within shooting distance of one. :thumbdown:
     
    .45Coltguy likes this.
  22. .45Coltguy

    .45Coltguy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2021
    Messages:
    665
    Nice country there around Salmon and the Challis region.
     
    .308 Norma likes this.
  23. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2018
    Messages:
    765
    Location:
    Florida
    I like the same caliber rifle/pistol concept for protection in wild areas. When camping or hiking sooner or later you're going to be gathering fire wood, pitching a tent, cooking, fishing or whatever it is that involves use of both hands. During those activities the rifle is very likely to be propped against a tree some distance away so having the sidearm on your hip may save your life. In fact when I camped (back in younger days) if I was not hunting I left the rifle home and packed just a 357 Magnum revolver or a 1911 (45 ACP).
    Since with the right bullet and loading the 44 Magnum is adequate for black bears I would go with the 44 Magnum lever rifle and recommend adding a 44 Magnum revolver.
     
    Armored farmer and .308 Norma like this.
  24. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    4,593
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    +1
     
  25. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    5,152
    Location:
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    I never worried about black bears much.
    I bumped into them daily on Indian Creek, eight miles outside of Happy Camp, California along the Old Waldo Road.
    We'd just follow each other until the bear in question would get tired of the game and jump into a bush and shake it until I went away.
    We lost food to them on occasion, but only if we left it where it would tempt them.
    We only had to kill one of them.
    Several of our Yurok neighbors told Dad that an old boar was attacking cows that had just calved and asked him to handle the dogs while they could do the (treaty permitted) shooting.
    He agreed, and took our only center fire gun, an old S&W Model 10, for signalling.
    Wouldn't you know, It started getting dark and the tribesmen, who were tracking by eye, got a bit ahead.
    Then a young boar came out of the woods and the dogs went nuts.
    Dad aimed the flashlight at the bear and fired one shot.
    The light went out, the bear kept coming.
    Dad was running backwards, pounding that flashlight on his leg.
    The flashlight FINALLY came back on and fired the other five rounds so fast that the tribesmen thought that Dad had only fired two shots.
    The bear dropped with five holes in his forehead.

    The first that I knew about this was when I woke up the next morning and they were butchering the bear on the front porch.
    It looked pretty disgusting.
    Then again, I had just turned eight years old.
    -And I have never considered carrying a gun to defend myself from a black bear... .
     
    qwert65 likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice