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.45 ACP bear defense load?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by CHALK22, Jun 7, 2012.

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  1. CHALK22

    CHALK22 Member

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    I am heading up to Alaska for two weeks soon, and we will staying in bear country. They are a pretty common occurence at the lodge I will be at, and know to stay out of camp, but when we venture out, we will be carrying pistols. I am wondering if just a 230 gr FMJ or a 230 gr XTP would be better. I have both, just trying to decide which to take. And before anybody answers, no a .44 Mag is not in the equasion. I don't own one, and I am not gonna buy one just for this trip. I am sure either of the .45 loads would work in deterring said bear(s), but would one be better? I am not looking to kill one, just convince it to eat something else.

    Comments?
     
  2. Pyro

    Pyro Member

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  3. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    I personally think you might want some pepper spray. Might be more helpful "deterring" brown bear than any .45 ACP load. JMHO.
    I'm not. Of course if you hit his CNS, that'll stop him; but that entails getting to the CNS. I'm just not sure how the battle of .45 ACP vs brown bear skull might go.

    I'm also not sure about the meaning of "deterring"--you mean deterring the bear after he's already charging you, or just when you first see him?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  4. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

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    Of your loads, I'd probably go with the XTP. Yes, the FMJs will penetrate more, but you're talking about detering a bear (which with a handgun is probably a smart way to look at it...) and the XTPs will transfer more energy quickly to the bear and perhaps get its' attention more quickly. That's just my thoughts, I'm sure there are some bear killing aficianados out there that know more.

    If you're willing to spend $35 for the trip, I'd probably go with Underwood's 230+p GD rounds. Underwood generally hits their advertised velocities unlike some other ammo makers out there. 230 grains at 1000fps is a decently powerful round.

    http://www.underwoodammo.com/45acpp230grainjacketedhollowpointboxof50.aspx

    That said, I don't know that I'd shoot a 45 at a bear. Might be better off with that pepper spray.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  5. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    You do not shoot a bear to deter it. You shoot it to kill it. Use bear-grade pepper spray to deter it.

    I would not carry a .45 ACP anything with the intent of using it on a brown bear. If that was my only pistol, I was going where there are brown bears, and I could not afford a .44 Magnum, I would get an inexpensive short-barrelled Mossberg 12 gauge, a sling, and some Brennekke slugs.
     
  6. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    That's what I was thinking too. I think I would take the FMJs. No sense in shooting something if it's not gonna get deep enough to do any good.
     
  7. surjimmy

    surjimmy Member

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    I use to say carry a gun, but after watching several videos. Pepper spray would be my first choice. If you do choose a 45 like above FMJ, if you have access I would take a 10mm over the 45. JMO
     
  8. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    ACP on a brown bear? It's a heck of a risk and you'd be better off with bear spray. A guy I know here was just recently mauled, so it's not a hypothetical problem. I'd bring spray and a slug gun. Leave the pistols at home.
     
  9. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    I hope its a full size 1911? It's likely to hurt the bear more as it works it's way throu it's digestive system.


    Bear spray would be preferable
     
  10. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    I think a phone call is in order to the lodge and talking to people there. They can give the best advice on what to carry. It's my understanding that as long as you don't get in thier way (the bears) they will leave you alone.
     
  11. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    Pepper spray for bears.
     
  12. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Not sure if any of the previous posters have actually shot a bear or not. But, I can tell you that shooting a bear in a hunting scenario taught me that if you don't hit it hard and where it will do the most good, you aren't going to stop a bear.

    Now mind you, a feeding bear that's unaware of your presence isn't going to be pumping adrenalin, yet at the shot, if not solidly anchored, they can still move very fast and for a considerable distance. In my case it was going away, which is a good thing.

    Now amp a bear up on adrenalin, and you now have a critter that is very unlikely to be "stopped" by all but the most powerful of handguns, and then only with a shot that hits either the CNS, or breaks the front shoulders. Yes, I said shoulders, because even on three legs a bear can still move amazingly fast and do you considerable damage. If you manage to get enough shots to break both front shoulders, it should drop and then can be dealt with.

    If you are seriously worried about a bear charge (they do happen, and folks do get ate, so it isn't out of the realm of possibilty) a long gun of sufficent ballistic energy, backed up by a minimum of a heavily loaded .45 colt or .44 mag would be advisable.

    The only problem, is that this combo is going to be heavy as all get out to carry around all day. And, unless you can sling the long gun, you're going to have to pick it up and set it down all day long. And Murphy being Murphy the one time you're going to need the darned thing, it's going to be out of reach, ergo the large caliber wheel gun.
     
  13. WYO

    WYO Member

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    I've chronographed Buffalo Bore 255 gr. hard cast +P .45 ACP at a 5 shot average of 923 MV out of my Glock 30SF with a 3.75" barrel. I've seen water jug tests done with that load out of a 5" government model and I would expect it to get decent penetration. I don't live in grizzly country, but there are a lot of black bears poking around in the woods during archery season.
     
  14. ScottieG59

    ScottieG59 Member

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    When I was a kid, I did some shooting with my 1911 in a remote area on my grandfather's property. There was an old junked car there from the 1950s and I decided to test the hardball 45 ACP on it. The car might as well have been a tank. All I did was make small dents in the sheet metal. If a bear wandered by, I would have jumped into that car before I would have used my 1911.
     
  15. ldhulk

    ldhulk Member

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    In reading the reports of people who have been attacked by bears and lived to talk about it, one thing keeps popping up: "He was on me before I had time to react." Often hunters carrying powerful rifles for elk hunting never manage to get a shot off before the bear is on them. On man described it as like having a wall fall on you. If you are out in the open where you see (or smell) one another at a distance you can back off and avoid a confrontation. I would say whatever you choose to carry, be ready to use it instantly anytime your are near any cover that could conceal a bear.
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    If I had to use a .45 ACP, I would use 230 FMJ and hope I could get enough penetration with some of a mag full to break the spine, or at least break some weight bearing major bones & joints. They can't charge as fast dragging three legs.

    rc
     
  17. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I'd invest in a can of bear spray after I get there and leave the 1911 home.
     
  18. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    Bear spray.
     
  19. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Member

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    Buy a 12 guage pump shotgun and some slugs and when you venture out take that with you!
     
  20. Sig Bill

    Sig Bill Member

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    That's all you can do, hope. I wouldn't face off a bear with a 45.
     
  21. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    If you cant' get at least a .44 magnum, then just go with bear spray as many have likewise stated already. Too many instances where high powered rifles capable of the "big five" fail to stop a hopped up bear. Yes, a man did kill a juvenile grizzly in Denali a couple of years ago, but that is not something that anyone could count on repeating especially with a large male.

    Bear spray and never go alone into the bush.
     
  22. willypete

    willypete Member

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    Whichever load you can shoot one of your companions in the foot or leg fastest with and run away from the bear.
     
  23. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    45 is better than a sharp stick. I would use fmj and hope for more penetration. "You are 12 times more likely to die of a bee sting than a bear attack (120 times more likely compared to a black bear)
    You are 10 times more likely to die from a dog attack than a bear attack (45 times more likely compared to a black bear attack)
    1 person out of 16,000 commits murder but only 1 grizzly bear out of 50,000 ever kills someone and only 1 black bear out of one million does. So people are much more dangerous than bears! Fear people and respect bears.
    There are about 750,000 black bears in North America and on average there is less than one black bear killing per year.
    For each person killed by a black bear attack there are 13 people killed by snakes, 17 by spiders, 45 by dogs, 120 by bees, 150 by tornadoes, 374 by lightning, and 60,000 by human" so you may want to carry a ground rod too.
     
  24. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Actually, I am not, since I am not allergic to bee venom. Though the "average person" has a 2% chance of being severely allergic to it.

    "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
     
  25. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    In addition, about 40 people in the United States die every year from a venom allergy, although there are likely other deaths from insect stings that are attributed to other causes, and therefore this number is probably a low estimate. Most of these deaths occured among people without a known history of venom allergy.
     
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