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44 magnum bullets 4 bear

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by moooose102, Apr 9, 2009.

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  1. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    just curios, what bullet would be best for black bear defense loads? i found 240g FMJ flat points, and of couse soft points and hollow points. these would be hand loads, so i would load them fairly hot (withing pressure limits of course). oh yeah, out of a 6" revovler. is penetration more important than expansion?
     
  2. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

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    For defense, it can be an interesting question.

    For example, there's a guy on Graybeard http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/index.php who suggests a 240gr HP. In his experience, a bear will invariably stop to investigate the cause of the stinging. You can get away during that time.

    I've gone with heavier (300-340gr) hardened flat, wide nosed bullets for penetration.
     
  3. Cpt. America

    Cpt. America Member

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    For Black bear you would be fine with a .357 mag with a 4" barel. So 44 mag would be fine if that's is what you have.
     
  4. wyocarp

    wyocarp Member

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    I would skip the hollow points.
     
  5. flat top

    flat top Member

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    Keiths old load of a 250 grain hardcast at 1250+ has taken every game animal in the world....
     
  6. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    300 grain or heavier hardcast, depending on the make and model of your revolver. For example a Ruger Redhawk has a longer cylinder than a S&W Model 29, and can take heavier bullets with a longer overall length.

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    240 grain hardcast semiwadcutters in a .44 should do fine.

    Elmer Keith was famous for his opinions that many common rounds were insufficient for the game people shot. So he'd be the first to say it if he thought a round should be hotter and heavier -- and he often was the first to say it. In the .44, he favored mid-weight hardcast LSWCs (around 250 grains), not something upwards of 300 grains -- and he used them effectively.

    .357 can work, too, but on the rare chance that you are actually under attack, I can't think of a good reason not to be holding a .44.

    I don't think it has to be some special oversized 340 grain round, though. Just go with a hole-puncher semi-wadcutter, Keith bullet, or similar. Forget the expanding bullets and soft bullets: get something that will penetrate.

    You also don't need to choose a gun with an extra-long cylinder to fit over-spec-length rounds. I just looked in a Lyman manual, and they list a 300 grain hardcast with a 1.700" OAL. The 245 grain load next to it has a 1.710" OAL. There's really no need to using some exotic over-length cartridge, for black bear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  8. wyocarp

    wyocarp Member

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    Every game animal? Come on. And consistently? I rather doubt it.
     
  9. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    357MAGelk-1.jpg

    This cow elk weighed approx 550 lbs yet my 357 MAG got the job done with two well placed shots. An unaware and feeding bear would likely go down just as fast.

    An excited and enraged bear is different story indeed. Yet no bear can stay on his feet for long when struck by 44 MAG bullets. Fast mushrooming Hornady hollow tip XTP bullets can not be ignored but I suggest flat nose soft tips for deepest penetration.

    TR
     
  10. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Don't underestimate the power of a large bullet that weighs enough and is shaped to punch holes, not expand.

    I don't know what it has and hasn't killed around the world, but it's most assuredly killed everything in North America, and consistently.

    Note that it appears in other guises, too. Muzzleloaders, .45-70s, etc. shoot analogous bullets and have been putting meat on the table with them for a very long time.
     
  11. wyocarp

    wyocarp Member

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    armedbear, I'm sorry, but a .44 isn't even close to a 45-70. I've been around .44's for many years and seen their effectiveness. But, every game animal in the world? I want to part of an elephant or water buffalo with a .44. I was once hyped enough with the .44 mania to be satisfied using it on large bears, but not any longer. Will it work? Heck, a .22 will work.
     
  12. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    You're right. I did not mean that a 250 grain bullet is the equivalent of a 500 grain bullet. I don't think it is.

    What I meant was that the principle of a large, heavy, penetrating bullet at low-to-moderate velocity is well-proven.

    Note that a .45-70 in the hands of someone who can hit a target at distance can drop a bison at a few hundred yards, no problem whatsoever. By then, it's poking along. At 100 yards, the bullet will go right through and kill the buffalo behind it.

    (No, I didn't just read this stuff in a book. I'm having black-powder-tinged buffalo spaghetti tonight as a matter of fact.)

    We're talking about an animal that's 1/10 the size of a North American Bison, at 1/10 the range, though. A hole-puncher .44 round will do its job.

    A Black Bear is also not an elephant, rhino or a cape buffalo, or anything else better suited to one of the big Nitro Express rounds. But they still operate on the same principle: big, heavy, solid bullet, deep penetration.

    The .44 isn't equivalent to the .45-70; my point was just that the principle by which it works -- within the parameters in question -- is well-proven.

    IMO it's the hollowpoints that we've learned to trust for home defense that we need to avoid for woods defense.
     
  13. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    all depends on the area and the size of the bears most places you will be fine with any .44mag outa a rifle or pistol

    here i try to stick to a 240gr sp or hard cast we have rather large bears where i hunt the record blackie came from my county in like 98
     
  14. jacob.elliott

    jacob.elliott Member

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    i have used hornady's 300 gr. hpxtp or whatever the letters are, its the big hollow point:). anyway, not on bears but have found dead deer and pigs and the end of a short blood trail because of it.
     
  15. 1911shooter

    1911shooter Member

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    the 300gr hornady xtp is a great choice for the .44mag for defense as well as regular hunting chores. if you want a little more snot the look at some of the Buffalo offerings and Grizzly cartridge company. i for one really like the Garret hard cast bullets as well as the hornady bullets. any thing from 240gr to the 325 and 350gr will do.
     
  16. Lou McGopher

    Lou McGopher Member

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    My mother was living in Montana several years back. One day, she's sitting right by the picture window in the living room, knitting. She suddenly gets the feeling she's being watched. She looks over through the window, to see a black bear with its nose pressed to the window, fogging up the glass. Well, finding a wild bear 2 inches from your face is enough to shake anybody, but my mother slowly got up, walked to her bedroom (passing by the 12ga), and gets my stepfather's Blackhawk. When she comes back to the living room, the bear is no longer on the porch. She looks out the other windows spies him around the other side of the cabin. So she quietly steps outside, aims, fires... and misses. The bear looked down at the ground where the bullet hit the dirt, then slowly walks away.

    I wasn't sure I believed her when she told me this story, until she showed me the bear's noseprint on the glass.


    So I think any .44 bullet will work for a black bear. ;)
     
  17. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    300 gr Privi Partizan Semi Jacketed Soft Point.

    I have fired one very near a bear (7.5 inch Vaquero) and had him look at me like 'what that's all you've got?'

    No doubt it would have gone right through the bear, or an elk.

    Noise wise, a 25 cent cracker shell did more to dissuade the bear than a .44 mag did. Was just happy I didn't have to shoot the bear. Just pointing out like genius' mom, noise alone doesn't always scare off a bear.

    Running at it in your underwear yelling at it like a wild man however...
     
  18. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Not deserving of its own thread, so sidebar: What caliber for blue whale? Their TONGUE weighs as much as an African Elephant, and their heart is as large as a VW Bug! :eek:


    As long as you miss, right? Oh, and provided the bear decides it wants to leave. :)
     
  19. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Black bears are about human-sized.

    Tougher than humans, but nothing like the size of a Brown/Grizzly/Kodiak monster up north.

    I'd say that defense against a black bear is a lot like defense against a pissed off biker, all hopped up on meth, wearing heavy leathers.:D
     
  20. kanook

    kanook Member

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    OH.. come on now. everybody knows that you use a harpoon for a blue whale:evil:
     
  21. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    With or without brass knuckles & a chain? :p
     
  22. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I don't know. Probably "with.":)

    Either way, if you shoot him with a 9mm, it'll just piss him off.:D
     
  23. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    Carrying a gun is great, but for Bear Defense, 99% of the time I would recommend BEAR PEPPER SPRAY. I do this for two reasons:

    1.) It works
    2.) It will not land you in hot water

    To answer your question though, I would feel comfortable using any Soft Point I could get. Black bears are not tanks...
     
  24. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Re Pepper Spray, I hike around in a place called "windiasfuk" by the Native Americans...:D

    I wonder how it works in a 25-30MPH breeze, especially given that, if you surprise a bear, you are most likely DOWNWIND from the bear.
     
  25. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Very good point; never thought of that; you're smarter than I look. Just saw a tee vee show yesterday where a Russian scientist guy studying polar bears in Siberia effectively used pepper spray against a polar bear which was displaying hunting behavior and coming after him - bear immediately hightailed it, and then swam in the sea for an hour to get the pepper off - so it seems to work very well if you make a hit.
     
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