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Grizzly bear defense with 9mm?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Cheeseybacon, Dec 8, 2006.

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  1. Cheeseybacon

    Cheeseybacon Member

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    I'm having an argument with a friend of mine and I wondering if you guys can settle it. My friend is one of those people who thinks that 9mm is the perfect, do-everything wonder round, and he claims that 9mm is more than adequate for stopping a Grizzly bear as long as you hit it in the skull. Personally, I think he's a retard.

    I have been under the assumption that grizzlies have pretty thick skulls and that believe that a 9mm straight to the skull of a grizzly probably wouldn't be the quickest way. Not to mention a headshot is probably very unlikely in such a panic situation. I think one would have a better chance of stopping one by shooting it in the chest or shoulder (not to mention with a more powerful firearm with FMJ ammo).

    Who is right?
     
  2. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    I'm pretty sure you're both wrong, but someone more knowledgeable will be along shortly.
     
  3. GRB

    GRB member

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    You could settle this argument easily enough in Alaska. Winner takes both guns home.:p :rolleyes: :p
     
  4. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    I seriously doubt that a 9mm would penetrate a bears skull, more than likely it would just bounce off. There are 2 ways to stop a bear one is to get a risky head shot or heart shot(even if you do hit it in the heart it probably wont drop dead right away anyway) or literally stop its ability to move towards you. This means that you have to break some pretty big bones. The 9mm is not anywhere near enough.

    Everytime i read any of these threads about killing a bear with a small service round i gotta wonder if these people have ever even seen a bear. Grizzly's are huge! Heck black bears when you meet them in the forest are huge and they are small compared to grizzlys, of course sometimes this has to do with not having a gun of any sort when you actually see said bear...dont ask me how i know this:scrutiny: luckily in that case i had my big Anatolian Shepherd dog with me and he chased it off,

    Seriously for grizzlys id go with a 12 gauge with slugs, the 9mm isnt enough gun even if its loaded with FMJ or hardcast or explosive rounds, or depleted uranium.....
     
  5. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    I would say the best bear defense with a 9mm would be to run. You don't have to outrun the bear, just your 9mm-advocating buddy. :scrutiny:

    Believe me, I think the 9mm is a perfectly good round for self defense against humans, but it has its limits. Grizzly bears are well beyond its capabilities. :scrutiny:
    Trust your gut on this one.

    Mike
     
  6. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Personaly I think the best use for a 9mm is in a SMG where multiple high velocity small rounds are effective, yet the muzzle rise is low enough that full auto is accurate and easy. As a pistol round its main advantage is magazine capacity, which while good against people the bear is not going to be ducking for cover from your 17 rounds, but instead is going to be trying to stop what is hurting it. From what I hear small caliber arms tend to encourage grizzlie attacks, and only the high power pepper spray bear repellants are successful at detering attacks. If you shoot a grizzlie you want it to be seriously injured, not afraid if it does not kill you quicker it will endure more stinging.
     
  7. JHG

    JHG Member

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    I would say to carry a shotgun and a 9mm... if the shotgun does not stop the Grizzly, you have the 9 mm to shoot yourself in the head just before the bear rips you to shreds.
     
  8. Sean Dempsey

    Sean Dempsey Member

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    If you shot a Grizzly in the eyeball with a 9mm, it'd probably stop, or at least slow down. Especially if the bullet penetrated the thinner ocular bone wall of the eye socket and damaged crucial brain areas.

    These discussions are the height of ridiculousness.

    There is a chance a 9mm Handgun would stop a grizzly.
    There is a chance a .50 handgun would not stop a grizzly.

    My uncle shot a grizzly with a RPG and the bear just shrugged it off and still charged. Luckily, he was able to kill the bear with his Gerber LMF II AESK Survival Knife and some Kendo.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I think you are both pretty nuts.
     
  10. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    IF I needed to carry a handgun for backup defense against some big Grizzlies it would definitely be in the neighborhood of the 480 Ruger or 500 S&W with some really stout loads. Better yet would be a carbine of some sorts in 45-70 or something similar.
     
  11. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    This topic was beat to death some time back. If indeed a Grizzly is coming at you, it's head will be boobing around a lot, a consequence of how they run. If indeed you do have enough time to see the Grizzly coming at you, your adrenaline will go from nil to "papermill" in a fraction of second, making accuracy even more difficult. You would still be emptying the 9mm mag while the bear was strowing your entrails about.

    A Grizzly is HUGE, a 9mm is tiny. I personally think if your stupid enough to be in Grizz country carrying a 9mm, you deserve whatever fate befalls you.

    There are much more appropriate firearms for this situation, i.e., lite weight shotgun, lite weight rifle, .44 mag, .454, .480, .500 pistols.

    If a 9mm was appropriate, this topic would not exist.
     
  12. jparham

    jparham Member

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    The guy is a retard. Only way to kill a gizzly with a 9mm would be to hit it in the eye or empty the mag into its jugular. 9mm is a pretty good human stopper, but grizzlies are a lot bigger and I think their muscle structue is different (could be wrong) and it's harder to penetrate. The 9mm would probably not do anything to a grizzly if you shot it in the head. It would probably bounce off. Tell the guy never to go hiking in Alaska;)

    Sean, your uncle killed a bear with a knife?
    Was it already badly wounded fromt the RPG?
    And where did he run into a grizzly while carrying an RPG? Siberia?
     
  13. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Personally I don't see why a Grizzly would need a 9mm :p
    If I'm going into bear country and can't carry a shotgun or rifle I'm going to be packing the biggest handgun I can. You might kill one with a 9mm, the bear might die from laughter or his high-protein diet. But why take a chance.
     
  14. outofbattery

    outofbattery Member

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    Someone killed a Grizzly a year or 2 ago with his 9mm BHP.Hit it in the shoulder blade IIRC after his buddy had dropped his Mossberg.The story was one here actually.

    Would I count on it?No,but I wouldn't count on any handgun.Totally irrelevant to me though,we don't get too many Grizzlies on the East Coast and now that I've watched Grizzly Man,I know how to talk to them anyway.
     
  15. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    I thought he was just being sarcastic.:rolleyes:
     
  16. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    remind me not to go hunting with either of you. minimum 12ga at least a 375 H&H. Handguns are a last ditch effort
     
  17. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    "Treadwell was discovered dead and partially eaten by one of his beloved grizzlies at his campsite in Katmai National Park in the fall of 2003. His girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, was also killed."

    This was the fate of Grizzly man. He did surver 13 summers though after he got the bears to accept him. Then one day an old one that had difficulty hunting for itself anymore decided him and his wife didn't run as fast as elk, and couldn't fight back like other grizzlies.

    This guy spent long periods of time slowing and steadily bonding with them as well. Even if you do communicate well a mild pawing to assert dominance might be harmless to other grizzlies, but will leave your entrails spilled on the ground. This is like people that have big felines (lion, tiger etc) and think just because it really cares about them it won't playfully rip thier arm off just like a house cat that cares about you will claw or bite you playfully. These are large powerful creatures and to play with them on thier level and communicate with body language, establish a pecking order and be a part of thier social structure you need to be able to survive the communication.

    But yes there is things you can do if confronted by one from a distance that has no cubs, if you judge by its body behavior it is being territorial and not stalking you as prey. However short of a powerful round, very powerful large canisters of potent pepperspray deter them more effectively than small rounds because it shuts down thier sense of sight and smell, not just causes pain. However this requires them to feel it prior to getting to you which requires making a cloud of it between you and the bear for it to run through and continue to spray as they come into range..not waiting to spray it directly on them only as you would with people.
     
  18. junyo

    junyo Member

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    9mm will easily stop a grizzly.If you dropped a loaded pallet's worth of boxed 9mm directly on the bear from a great height. Otherwise no.
     
  19. blaydeman

    blaydeman Member

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    my dad told me a story about what a gun shop in kodiak said to him when he asked about a 9mm for bear protection. heres how the conversation went.

    dad-"hows a 9mm work for use against a bear?"
    saleman-"it would be better with a couple mods"
    dad-"like what?"
    salesman-"we woul have to file down the front site"
    dad-"why is that?"
    salesman-"so when the bear shoves the gun up your ass it wont hurt so bad"
     
  20. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Member

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    A guy walks into a gun shop...

    Wanders over to the counter, and says,

    "What's the hottest 9mm ammo you got? I want something like ++P+++, mega-expanding... you know, powerful."

    Clerk asks,

    "Why's that?"

    "I'm going hiking in grizzly-bear country, and I need a defense round."

    "Have you filed off the front sight of your gun, yet?"

    "Why would I do that? So I could point-shoot better?"

    "Nah. So it'll hurt less, when the grizzly shoves it up your @$$."
     
  21. up_onus

    up_onus Member

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    My understanding is a 9mm is similar ballistically to a .38, but SLIGHTLY more powerful. So, would you go at it with a 38??
    nah, me either, but then again, I wouldnt do it with a 45 or even a 50.
    good luck on finding what your lookin for!
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I searched and couldn't find it, think it was in the hunting board, but someone posted a news story out of Alaska where three guys were fishing, two had 9mm sidearms and one a shotgun. A brownie came after the guy with the shotgun over his back who didn't have time to get it into action. The other two guys drew and fired their 9s. First round hit the bear in the front shoulder breaking it and slowing the bear. They proceeded to empty the 9s into it and killed it. It weren't a small bear, either. So, you see, the 9 is better than a shotgun!:neener:

    And, yes, I do believe a 9mm +P would penetrate a bear skull no problem. The real problem is HITTING the skull. But, heck, if you have 15 rounds to do it with. Still, I'd rather have a good magnum revolver, something in .454 Casull or better, for the job, just in case your buddy can't get his shotgun into action in time. Fortunately, I don't live up there. It's too danged cold for me in south Texas right now, let alone Alaska! We've been getting sleet and even a little snow, though it's 45 degrees so nothing stuck. Burrrrr!

    Hard to believe no one piped up with how great the .45ACP is against bear. :rolleyes:
     
  23. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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  24. azredhawk44

    azredhawk44 Member

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    Wow, a lot of grizzly wrestlers here.

    There's folks who will go out and do what they want to do with appropriate protection, and folks that will shelter themselves away from anything that might hurt them.

    Alaska was settled by fellas with 45Colt handguns and 45/70 and 30-30 rifles. All these were black powder loads, not modern high pressure propellant loads.

    I've been hiking around some 800+ pound black bears in Washington state. I believe in the church of the 44mag. Goes with me anywhere that the department of fish and game says critters over 200 pounds exist (lions, bears, moose, elk, chupacabras, whatever). Otherwise, a .357mag comes with me.

    9mm for wildlife defense? Possibly in a place where the largest dangerous critters are javelina, small hogs, coyote, wolf, mountain lions. 147gr Jacketed soft point, though. Heavy is good when dealing with critters.
     
  25. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    That was a black bear. There is a saying that wearing bells while hiking will scare away black bears before they are close enough to be dangerous. However wearing bells while hiking around grizzlies may be akin to announcing dinner is ready.

    I have seen videos of police departments unloading dozens of rounds into black bears and them still running around. Grizzlies being more resilient it will be even tougher.
    See 34 rounds to down him with 9's so yeah if you carry a SMG loaded with 30+ 9mm's you should be fine.
     
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