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.45 APC on bears for self-defense

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by SamlautRanger, Mar 15, 2005.

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  1. SamlautRanger

    SamlautRanger member

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    Ok, here is a question. Like to carry a semi auto with me when I go into the woods. Question, how do you think a .45 APC will work on say a grizzly or black bear coming at you, if you have to use for self-defense. I know a .454 or a .44 mag is better. But, here is what I am thinking. I can get off several shots of a .45 APC with my Glock or 1911 in the same amount of time I can get one shot off with a .44 or .454. And probably be more accurate and deploy the firearm quicker also. This of course is a last ditch effort in the event of an attack.

    Ok, now say I am using .45 APC, what type of bullet will work best? FMJ ball for penetration or hollow points. What Grain weight fo you think?

    Ok, thanks.
     
  2. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    I figure any bear in the world would be instantly dead once you ran over it with 45 armored personnel carriers.......

    hillbilly
     
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Forget grizzly for a moment. Let's "p'like" it's a 250-pound black bear, wanting supper. Or a mama who's irate because you got between her and her cubs.

    How good are you at even an accurate first shot if 250 pounds of claws and adrenalin are headed at you? How good are you at close-together, multiple hits? How calm can you remain when the world is turning to garbage?

    How well can you deal with "Draw, front sight, press." at a 5 o'clock target?

    If all I had was Old Slabsides, I guess I'd go with 230-grain hardball. Maximum weight and penetration, seems like the consensus.

    A buddy of mine bought one of the first Raging Bulls. He demonstrated that with hot loads of 260-grain bullets, you can do a great job of double-tapping center hits at ten to fifteen yards. The load matched the capabilities of the porting. With some 70% more muzzle velocity, that's around three times the Oomph! of a .45 ACP. Looks like a good starting-point load to me. :)

    Art
     
  4. GE-Mini-Gun

    GE-Mini-Gun Member

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    I read a letter to the editor of a gun magazine (Guns I think) years ago and the guy asked the same question as you. I’m paraphrasing here but it went something like this.

    “…make sure you have the best self defense ammo you can afford, load gun to maximum capacity, and if you are unfortunate enough to be attacked by a grizzly or black bear be sure to put all 7 rounds into the center of mass and save the last round for you. It will make the mauling you are going to get a lot more comfortable…â€

    I think what he was getting at was a 45 wasn’t going to do anything but piss off the bear. If I were you I’d get one of the S&W Scandium 329 and hope I never have to fire it.
     
  5. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    The .45 is better than nothing but I think if you live in a black bear only area I would rather have a magnum round or a 10MM minimum.

    For grizzly territory, I wouldn't want anything under a 44 Mag minimum and would rather have a .454 or .480 instead.
     
  6. 13.45

    13.45 Member

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    it beats a sharp stick... ;)
     
  7. spacemanspiff

    spacemanspiff Senior Member

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    beware of those who advise that small -caliber handguns are adequate against bears. i have heard more in the last month about how '40s&w and 10mm are great for killing bears' than i care to recall.

    more often than not, those who advocate such do so on the basis that they have used maybe a 10mm in hunting bears. what they fail to comprehend is that hunting is worlds different than defending.

    i have also heard the other side of the spectrum say things like 'my deagle in 50ae will kill a bear if it hits it anywhere!'

    the relatively few times a small handgun has been used successfully in defense does not prove that they are good tools for the job.
     
  8. Shootcraps

    Shootcraps Member

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    The minimum I would carry for defense against bears is a .44 Magnum. I wouldn't even consider a 45ACP.
     
  9. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    45 acp has enormous killing power...if you hit a bear wiht it it will get blown back about 20 feet and die instantly.

    Wildlearnedthatina9vs45threadAlaska
     
  10. buzz meeks

    buzz meeks Member

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    This is a topic I've considered a number of times over the years mainly because the 45 ACP's ancestral home- the 1911- has so much to recommend it. It's thin and carries easily. It can be fitted with a lanyard loop as easily as swapping out the mainspring housing. The 1911 has an almost century long history of enduring horrid field conditions and maintaining firing function. And like so many shooters, I have found that the 1911 is by far the easiest pistol in the universe for me to shoot with a balance of speed and accuracy.

    Most people would agree with at least some of what I have said above. The debate comes about when we get back to the 45 ACP itself. Most feel that what has worked so well in conflicts from the Somme to Fallujah fails in the woods. 230 grains at a nominal 800 fps just isn't enough. And indeed maybe it isn't. However, with today's powders, it shouldn't be too hard to get a 230 grainer to speeds in the 950 fps range. Then, all of a sudden we are talking about ballistics that are nearly comparable to the old blackpowder loadings of the 45 Colt. And that cartridge and several like it- the 44-40 springs to mind- evidently provided enough comfort and security for our nation's pioneers.

    Will it be enough? Will it do what you want it to do? I don't know. One area where the ACP might come up short is in the area of bullets. Hardball seems like a good idea at first blush. But in my experience, FMJ 45 slugs usually have a core of dead soft lead that deforms in everything it hits. And for reasons I do not fully understand, round nosed projectiles can often penetrate less than a bullet with a wide meplat. I would refer you to Keith, Seyfreid and Linebaugh for further research on that topic. So find the widest, heaviest bullet you can cram into that stubby little case, load it to the gills and hope for the best.

    In the end, I went revolver. A .452 325 grain slug at 1,000 fps is just so much more comforting than anything the ACP could churn out. But then I live in grizzly country. Maybe the Cascades are different?
     
  11. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    I'd want to use .45 Super loads, or at least the Buffalo Bore 230gr. FMJ-FN at 950 fps. I wouldn't be really comfortable with either option. I'm with Shootcraps - for me, .44 Magnum is the minimum acceptable caliber for such situations.
     
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The spiff pointed out a very real thing: There is a vast difference between hunting and defending. In the first instance, odds are that you are the sudden aggressor. You have some distance, and you have time to place your shot.

    In the second instance, good luck.

    :), Art
     
  13. Kevlarman

    Kevlarman Member

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    .45?

    Maybe if the bear was asleep and you held the barrel up to his eyeball. :what:
     
  14. jamz

    jamz Member

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    If you do carry a .45 for bears, you have to make sure it's a short barreled version- a 3.5", or commander length at absolute longest.

    That way, when the bear shoves it up your ***, it won't hurt so much.

















    :p


    /obligatory joke

    -James
     
  15. airbornekyle1

    airbornekyle1 Member

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    a .45 acp will do nuthing but piss it off use bear mace its the best.
     
  16. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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  17. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...will kill a bear if it hits it anywhere!..." Don't be daft.
    Shooting a griz with a .45ACP will just annoy it more. Using ball ammo even moreso. Maybe a .45ACP silvertip IF you can put it in the heart or head on a black bear. Even then, it wouldn't be 100% reliable.
     
  18. jamz

    jamz Member

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    Hehehe, I think someone's sarcasm detector needs to be reinstalled. ;)



    -James
     
  19. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    .45 ACP is "ACP". What you want in bear country is a "magnum". That means a .22 magnum is the smallest you would want to carry. If you're going to polar bear country, make sure you practice. Put your gun in the freezer for at least an hour before you go to the range.
     
  20. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Sifu, just how many bears are in Cambodia anywho? :D

    Now that I'm being watched--I must go practice. ;) :)
     
  21. sm

    sm member

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    Good points about the difference in hunting and defending. Ditto for "can you run what you brung" when the situation is serious .

    If all I had was a 1911, please make it a Plain Jane Gov't Model , with USGI mags, stoked with 230 gr hardball. I want that sucker to run.

    Laynard would be nice, 'cause I might just be beating feet and not real worried about getting re- holstered. Then again worse comes to worse...just follow the gun, the laynard....
     
  22. SamlautRanger

    SamlautRanger member

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    Bears in Cambodia: In the area that I am working, we have 2 types of bears. Confirmed by camera traps placed in the area. Asiatic Black Bears and Sun Bears. They are very rare though and threatned. Very endangered. At another National Park in Cambodia, one Ranger was mauled pretty bad by one. They can be very aggessive if encountered. Besides the tigers, which there are very few of here (About 8 years ago, in the area just south of me in Cambodia there were a group of 4 tigers that killed about 50 men in a year period-they were hunted and killed. they had gotten the taste of human flesh from an area the Khmer Rouge had disposed of some bodies) the Bears and the Gaur are considered the most dangerous wild animals to encounter in the forest.

    Thanks for all the responses. Again, my question was how a .45 ACP would work against Black, Brown, or Grizzly Bears. Yeah, of course a .44 mag or .454 would work best. Better yet, carry a 45-70 0r .375 rifle. The best defense is avoidence. The problem with any bear, is if it is attacking you, the time it takes for you to deploy your handgun and get off a couple of "stopping" shots will be very hard, very hard! I have also read some good accounts where Pepper Spray (specifically designed for Bears) has been used with great results at close range. Again, though it is my reasoning, that if a magazine of .45 ACP was unloaded in the right areas (head and chest) it would do some damage to the bear. I mean a good arrow placed the right spot on a Grizz will kill it. But, will the bear fully stop or die before it rips you to shreads, probably not. I experienced the power of a Black Bear myself, when I was stupid enough to volunteer to wrestle a pet Black Bear a friend had. It was declawed, and just playfully bit me and threw me around -but it kicked my ass, I was black and blue all over and sore for over a week!! Truly amazing animals.
     
  23. griz

    griz Member

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    You've got a unique perspective. I'll bet of all the posters here you are the only one who has been in a fight with a bear. You might have only "won" in the sense that you lived, but it brings up a question. If it had been an attack by a fully clawed angry bear, would you have been able to draw a handgun?

    I ask this because most of what one hears is conjecture, I like first hand better.
     
  24. azrael

    azrael Member

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    AHHH another bear thread...I just never get tired of them... :D

    .45acp would NOT be on my list of weapons to use on a bear...If I were to use said round, it would be in 230gr. at around 900 fps...Ya might get lucky and break a bone...

    Yo Wildalaska,

    Dude, it is 10-15 ft down here...Ya gotta remember to allow for higher temps...The air is thicker and causes more drag on a "flying bear" :neener:

    patentmike...+1

    jamz, you ruined my keyboard...Now I gotta make a "how to remove coffee from a kewboard" thread over at APS :evil:
     
  25. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Bears in Cambodia? Tigers, sure, but bears? Learn new stuff everyday! :eek:
     
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