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.45 LC--Big Bear Protection?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Weylan, Jan 9, 2003.

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  1. Weylan

    Weylan Member

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    Would any of you consider hot .45 Long Colt loads (such as CorBon's .45 LC Magnum +P) adequate for self-defense against a big bear? Do I understand that these loads equal or exceed the .44 magnum in performance? Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. Shane

    Shane Member

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    Yes, the hot .45 LC loads can work very well on black bear (not a great choice on Griz though IMO). The factory hot .45 LC +P loads are usually slightly below the factory hot .44 magnum in power, but one can handload the .45 LC to exceed the .44 magnum in power. Just in my opinion.
     
  3. jjmorgan64

    jjmorgan64 Member

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    Yes, I consider these as adequate as anything out there for self defense, I wouldn't go hunting trouble with one, but surely wouldn't feel under gunned.

    I'm asuming you're shooting a ruger, not a colt or clone.
     
  4. Weylan

    Weylan Member

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    Yes--Ruger Vaquero .45.
     
  5. Wil Terry

    Wil Terry Member

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    THE CORBON 45COLT HEAVY LOADS HAVE MORE ENERGY

    Than every 44MAG load on the market except for the CORBON, BUFFALO BORE, and GARRETT 44MAG loads. No W-W, R-P, FED, etc etc in 44MAG are even close!!!
    And the best part is the 45COLT heavy loads do it all with markedly less pressure, therefore markedly less recoil, than any 44MAG load, plus the 45COLT does it all with a real honest-to-God 45 caliber bullet, not a 43 caliber bullet like a 44MAG uses.
    Guys, there ain't no flys in the 45COLT'S ointment at ALL!!
     
  6. Wildalaska

    Wildalaska member

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    Hi we view them as interchangeable (in their hottest loadings) although the Colt has a bit more oomph..

    We have evaluated many different types of ammo...currently we stock, sell and reccomend, for "bear Protection" the heavy 45 Colt and 44 Mag loads made by the Hunting Shack...

    Hunting Shack
     
  7. ACP

    ACP Member

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    Weylan, I don't want to burst your bubble. The Ruger Vaquero is a fine weapon. But there was a thread on TFL -- I'm sorry, I did a search and can't find it yet -- by a fella who worked for Alaska Fish & Wildlife or some such agency that deals regularly with bears, and he doesn't suggest a single action revolver for bear defense. Said the darn things move so fast and attack so closely that you'll likely get off one shot before a limb is in his mouth, and then it's a matter of muzzle contact distance for a second shot into the beast's head/neck/mouth if you're lucky, have the presence of mind, etc. The writer liked double action revolvers for the second shot under such duress. If I find the link I'll post it here. Anyway, there's another .02.
     
  8. Weylan

    Weylan Member

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    ACP,

    If a single action is discouraged, could a double action .45LC handle the CorBon loads?

    Any thoughts on a Glock 10mm for such a purpose?
     
  9. ACP

    ACP Member

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    Weylan,

    There are others who know more about this than me. From what I have READ, not EXPERIENCED, the older Colts and Smiths are to be avoided. A Colt Anaconda or a modern S&W should be fine with the heavy Cor Bon loads (FYI, Federal makes some Magnum hunting loads, too, with hard cast bullets in .357, .41. and .44).

    Here it is the thread I was referring to earlier:

    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1600&highlight=black+AND+bear

    The comment below that mentions the single action is from Keith Rogan. I don't believe the link at the end of his comment is still active. BTW, this is one man's opinion, of course, but he seems pretty informed to me. There are four pages of comments on this thread, if I recall correctly.

    :Some of you probably know that I got pretty badly mauled about a year ago. I've thought a lot about bears and guns since then, and talked to a number of other mauling victims, guides and bear biologists here in Alaska.

    First, for the lighter side - newbies to Kodiak are always ask about the "best gun for bear defense" and are generally told to pack a .22 hand gun.
    When they express disbelief, its explained that the .22 is to "kneecap" whoever they're with because a bear will always take the slowest runner.

    As for handguns and bears - theres 200 pound black bears, 500 pound grizzlies and 1500 pound brownies. Whats good "medicine" for one, isn't necessarily a good choice for another.
    I live on Kodiak and tend to think in terms of the really big bears and... I've been toting a Marlin 45/70 all summer on my fishing trips. I don't think any handgun is a good first line of defense for the brown bears. Given a choice to ONLY carry a handgun or pepper spray and I think I'd opt for the spray.
    Given a choice of longarm, and I'll stick with my 45/70, though a shotgun with slugs/buck would also be a comforting choice.
    With grizzlies and black bears I think a handgun might be just the ticket. It leaves your hands free, is portable and is most likely adequate for the job. I would carry a double action revolver. In my mauling and those of several other people I've talked to, things just happened too fast and the attack was too violent to consider a thumb-cocking revolver. You might get a double action into play, a single action, highly doubtful. While down on the ground, I swung my fist at the bears nose and got the big pad of muscle below my thumb swiped off for my trouble. Picture sticking a revolver in his face and asking him to wait while you cock it. It would be found 30 yards away in the brush with your hand still attached.
    These things happen so fast that the victims, who often are toting a rifle, never get a shot off. That was certainly the case with me.
    Mr. Garrett, your loads have a terrific reputation here in Alaska. When are you going to put out a .45 Colt and a .454 Cassull load?

    ------------------
    Keith
    The Bears and Bear Maulings Page: members.xoom.com/keithrogan
     
  10. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh, Keeeeeiiiith! (He's here.)

    Randy Garrett, when I asked him about it 2 years or so ago, told me that he was interested in making a .45 Colt- perhaps even one safe in SAA- but that his moldmaker had gone out of business.
     
  11. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Single Actions can be damned fast if you're willing to master them. The fastest shots out of the holster in the world shoot Vaqueros and Colt SAAs in competition.

    The learning curve is longer but if you're willing to face it, you get a lot of speed in return.
     
  12. LIProgun

    LIProgun Member

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    Weylan wrote:

    I have no doubt the Ruger Redhawk can handle these, and any other "heavy" .45 Colt loads.
     
  13. Dennis Olson

    Dennis Olson Member

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    In the field, I feel undergunned if I don't have AT LEAST a .44 mag on my belt. These days, I carry a .454 Casull.

    How bad do you wanna avoid being bear sh*t...?
     
  14. Weylan

    Weylan Member

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    ACP--my sympathies for your mauling. I read Larry Kaniut's book, "Some Bears Kill," and can only imagine what it is like. Thanks everyone for your thoughts....weylan
     
  15. NEon

    NEon Member

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    For Grizz, no. Not even on a good day. This animal will kill you. Maybe the 45-70 revolver made a few years back, but the 45 LC was not made to take up to the pressures needed to kill such an animal. Course do as you wish, as I'm sure others will, but me, on a Grizz, NO!
     
  16. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    The .45 Colt can do the same thing the .44 Mag can, but with lower pressure. The Colt Single Action Army was not made to take the pressures we're talking about, but everyone in this thread knows we aren't talking about using the SAA.

    The .45 Colt, like the .45-70 was a metallic cartridge originally loaded with black powder. These cartridges can be loaded to potential with modern smokeless powder in strong modern arms.

    Neon, we're not really talking about the pressures needed to kill such an animal, are we? For several years, the Brown record was held by a bear killed by a .22 LR fired in self defense, IIRC. Tests done indicate that even a .38 special can penetrate the skull of a grizzly or brown bear. What we're actually talking about is a compromise between a "margin of safety" (power) and controllability.
     
  17. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    In, "Sixguns", Keith tells about a man who used a 7.5-inch bbl. Colt SAA with full power black powder loads (250 grain bullet at about 900 FPS) to kill a grizzly that reared up at him over a dead elk that both parties wanted. He hit it one time at about the butcher's "sticking point" and the bear fell dead.

    Another example that he gave involved a bear chasing a man whose friend drew a S&W .455 with handloads, probably about 700 FPS, and killed that bear, also.

    A game warden was attacked by a grizzly that had him down and was mauling him a few years ago. He killed it with his service sidearm, a S&W .357. The bullets supposedly weighed 158 grains, but I don't know the make. The incident was witnessed by several people, including the guy who now edits either, "Field & Stream" or, "Outdoor Life"; I forget which. He was then with, "Petersen's Hunting". That event has been written up several times.

    Nonetheless, I'd use a S&W M629 with Keith bullets or Remington's 275 grain loads. I have no need for any more powerful handgun. If I thought I needed one, I'd labor under the weight and bulk of a rifle!

    Lone Star
     
  18. Gila Jorge

    Gila Jorge Member

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    Weylan: get back with Terry Murbach on that particular question as he did not address that
    merely 45 vs 44 as produced. But I do not think you could run the hotter heavier loads in Smiths.
    Maybe the Ruger Redhawk...? Ask Terry he will help you and give you good advice.
     
  19. Baron Holbach

    Baron Holbach Member

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    Make sure the bullet is heavy grain, hard cast lead with a flat nose.
     
  20. Baron Holbach

    Baron Holbach Member

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    The double-action Ruger Super Redhawk .454 Casull also takes .45 Long Colt. Such a gun could easily absorb the punishment from hot .45 Long Colt loads.
     
  21. ACP

    ACP Member

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    For clarification: that's not my bear mauling story. It was copied from TFL. I've never been attacked by a bear.
     
  22. robertbank

    robertbank Member

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    Given a choice at the short ranges we are talking about I'll take my 12 Gauge Mossberg with alternating buck and Slugs for all the bears. I also carry a .45acp = six for the bears head - last one for me! I just don't think for griz and up you are going to be able to shoot quick enough with your everyday hand cannon. Lots of power but you must either break a shoulder or snap the spine/brain. You will be dead and half way to heaven before a Grizlie will bleed out - their hearts beat at about once evey 1 1/2 sec. when they are excited! The .45acp with ball or hard cast can be delivered fast and accurately. There is no comparison between the power of a 12 gauge slug and current crop of hand cannons IMHO.
     
  23. Magnum88C

    Magnum88C Member

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    Look, what you need is a bullet that will penetrate the thick layers of hard fat, muscle and bone to get to where it needs to be. .45 Colts WILL do that just as well as any magnum with good hardcast bullets. You're not going to want to use cowboy loads by any means, but it doesn't have to be loaded to the gills either.

    If you want the best double actions for the job look to Ruger. They make a nice packing stainless 5.5" Redhawk in .45 Colt (don't make the blued model anymore, sadly), or, if you can handle a 7.5" revolver the SuperRedhawk in .454 can fire any and all .45 Colts out there (although if you were carrying that beast, you might as well go for the gusto and pack .454s).
     
  24. Powderman

    Powderman Member

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    Gents, I think I have the answer. Here is some serious, portable griz medicine:

    http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/News-11-11-2004B.html

    Definitely not comfortable, and most assuredly not a plinking gun.

    But when the bear's in the buckwheat, this is what I'd like to have at hand.

    Either that, or a custom SW 500 Mag, with a four inch barrel, and a large ported compensator.

    Load that thing with 440 grain flatpoints, and I'll dance with a bear--no problem!
     
  25. Bopleo

    Bopleo Member

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    Elmer Kieth said for those who learned how to shoot on single action, then they will shoot none faster.
     
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