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380 acp commercial ammo for bear protection.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by lobo9er, May 17, 2011.

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  1. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    Not the best suited caliber, I think we can agree, but if you are going to head into the woods and a 380 acp is the best you can carry what would be the best choice ammo to load up with?

    Also we aren't talking kodiaks we are in the black bear side of town.
     
  2. il_10

    il_10 Member

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    ... shoot your friend in the leg so you can outrun him?

    In all seriousness, .380 is going to be SERIOUSLY lacking for black bear, but I have heard of them killed with .22 and .25acp. As always, shot placement is king. You want the most powerful FMJ you can find, and aim for the eye or ear. Don't fool with the heart; the bear can still outrun and maul you before a heart shot puts it down. Don't fool with the head; the brain is set lower than you think, and a .380 will bounce off the skull anyway in many, if not most, cases. I hope you never get into a defensive situation with a .380 versus a bear of any kind, but if you do, eye or ear.
     
  3. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    The only bear I would feel comfortable defending myself against with a .380 is hairy, wears leather, and says "Hi fella."!
     
  4. Cards81fan

    Cards81fan Member

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    I am not doing to debate the caliber (I own and carry a .380 myself), but I think at this point it matters little. I carry Fiocchi FMJ in my .380 as it is generally perceived to be the hottest, and sometimes Gold Dot JHP, but I concede one is probably no better than the other or nearly all other commercial ammo. The performance differences (aside from feeding and reliability) seem to come to light more in larger, faster (more highly charged) calibers.
     
  5. lobo9er

    lobo9er Member

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    If it was the only gun in your safe would FMJ be the best for penetration? or do you wan expansion?
    I have a hard time believing a 380 acp is gonna bounce off a black bear skull. what would be a comparable material to shoot to back that theory up?
     
  6. mlkx4

    mlkx4 Member

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    There is no good choice in that caliber. I would leave my .380 at home, and wouldnt even think about bringing my .45 acp. If the chance for a bear encounter was real, I would bring my .44 mag at a minimum.
     
  7. strm_trpr

    strm_trpr Member

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    The smallest I would go for bear defense would be 10mm.
     
  8. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    Buy some bear spray
     
  9. il_10

    il_10 Member

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    Bear spray is a good bet.

    Take a good look at some of the pictures of bear skulls vs bears online. The brain lies almost under the eyes, behind the thickest part of the skull, and the front angles up more than 45*. Also, there's a lot of bear head that you can see above the eyes, but this is just more skull, soft tissue, and fur, none of which will work for putting a bear down. Rifles have a tough time penetrating bear skulls head on, .380 will be downright abysmal.
     
  10. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    Where I live in Tennessee, a .380 would be just about enough to piss one off!:banghead:
     
  11. m2steven

    m2steven Member

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    The best ammo i've ever fired from one of my 380s is Buffalo Bore.
     
  12. Manco

    Manco Member

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    If you had no other option (hypothetically, because there are other options), then this might be the best available load:

    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=127

    Unless the bear is really small, you definitely would not want a pistol bullet to expand since bears are tough to penetrate and usually require a lot more penetration than human targets on top of that. FMJ would be preferable to hollow-points for sure, and hard-cast bullets with a flat-nose profile (as in the load referenced above) would be better still.
     
  13. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Have you ever seen a stupid pug dog chase a ball into a brick wall or fireplace, slam into it hard and bounce off like nothing happened?

    Thats what black bears are like. Bears don't understand being shot.

    But they do understand smell very well with those huge noses. A can of bear spray is going to cause way more pain more effectively and reliably. It's ok to want a .45 on your hip just incase, but I'd go for the bear spray first.

    Black bears also bluff charge. The will fake attacking you. They'll run towards you and stop 10 feet away. Shooting one doing that will turn a bluff charge into a real charge. The bear spray really deos stop them quickly.

    You have to scare them away with something they understand. A sharp loud noise thats over as quickly as a gun shot often just confuses them. The sting of a pistol bullet isn't even going to register in thier mind until it's too late.

    Throwing a kitten would actually be more effective than .380. Bears hate flying cats. (don't ask)

    I've chased bears off with a frying pan and a stick before.

    Black bears are hardly something I'm concerned about when hiking. They get a bit annoying, but I've never had any real problems with them. I've had one unzip my tent in the morning and poke his head in. I just bopped him on the nose just like an unwanted dog, and he backed out quick.

    Just remember to get a lanyard loop, like the ones used for ID badges and hang the bearspray on it, Inside your jacket up against you body. The spray deosn't work well if it gets cold. Don't put the spray on your pack or belt unless it's summer.
     
  14. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Hell a .22 works, it just ain't nice to pop your partner in the foot or knee and leave em for bear bait....

    On a serious note,
    WHY DON'T YOU GET SOMETHING PROVEN TO WORK
    like BEAR spray, you know they name it that for a reason, RIGHT????
     
  15. gordy

    gordy Member

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    You can't be really thinking this?

    I would use the biggest and the heavies 380 on the market,
    That way when the bullet makes the bear angery. I could throw the gun at him with hopes of knocking it out cold.
     
  16. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    Very effective if one can manage to place slug half way between eye and the ear which is not very likely.
     
  17. Remllez

    Remllez Member

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    I agree about the bear spray!
     
  18. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Another plus for bear spray
     
  19. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    Now that's funny..........and I have to ask.
     
  20. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    +1 on bear spray. I too own and carry a .380 - but that's for human attackers. Bears are tougher and more persistent.

    Buy the bear spray. I'm no tree hugger trying to save the bears on that either - most studies have shown that bear spray will neutralize a bear faster than a gunshot. Just like with all defensive strategies, your goal is to neutralize the threat - killing is only a common side effect of that. If the bear spray neutralizes better though, then whether or not it's a lethal defense is irrelevant.
     
  21. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    I also would say bear spray as a first option- Bear attacks are fairly infrequent, and though if a bear DOES attack you I agree it has to be put down, many bear attacks are the result of careless human interactions. The buffalo bore ammo I would think would offer you the most penetration. get the heaviest bullet at the highest speed you can muster-

    out of curiosity, what kind of 380? is it a pocket auto or one in the baby browning /cz83 size category? if your stuck on the round but not the gun, grab one with some extra barrel length to get a bit more velocity.

    I hate to see an animal put down for no reason- but if it needs to happen make the best of it with what you have available.
     
  22. Tomcat47

    Tomcat47 Member

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    I Love the .380....but Bear? :eek:

    If it was all I had and had to....I would give it all I Had....and hopefully FMJ's
    but then my carry .380 has at least one advantage!

    It has 19 Round Magazines! I carry 2 mags + 1 in chamber so .. 19 + 19 + 1 ....sooooo that gives me....38 Shots! :)

    Yeah! I know 39! Im savin the last one for myself...just in case! :what:
     
  23. Ruger44mag

    Ruger44mag Member

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    I thing even a .380 is better than nothing but I wouldnt risk it. What size of black bear do you have in mind?
     
  24. courier de bois

    courier de bois Member

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    I was discussing this with a Canadian cop, RCMP, last year, he said the main reason Americans bringing handguns into Canada has gotten so strict is that most armed Yankees went into the woods, all is bear country, and took thier handguns for protection. They most always ended up mauled or eaten. Bear spray is what they recommend, for tourist, hunters and themselves. If they know there is a danger from bears, they take the 12 guage out of the cruiser, just incase the spray doesn't work, but they are trained to not go for the handgun at all. This is not old fashioned pepper spray, this stuff is bad, and worse for animals with sensitive smell.
     
  25. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    The stupid cat grew up watching us chase bears off with noisey frying pans and sticks etc.

    Some cats/dogs will chase anything that runs away, and this cat would chase bears. So when the bears were sniffing around the deck, my friends mother would swing the kitchen window open and toss the cat out. They owned a campground, woodsy resort thing.

    The Cat would reach out, I called it parachute mode, land on all fours and instantly go after the bear. The bear would freak at the sight of flying fuzzy razor blades and take off.





    I'd imagine that food is more scarce in Canada, so bears may be more dangerous.

    But from what I've seen in the US they act mostly like a Raccoon, just bigger. They scare in similar fashion, and the get dangerous the same way. Usually people feeding them.
     
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