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Handgun caliber for use against black bears

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Alan Fud, Sep 20, 2003.

?

What caliber?

  1. 10mm

    42 vote(s)
    54.5%
  2. .357mag

    33 vote(s)
    42.9%
  3. .45ACP

    2 vote(s)
    2.6%
  1. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Senior Member

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    Just took my sister-in-law's dog for a walk (small, 15-pound whitem fur-ball) and hear a WEIRD sound. Kind of scarry. Went back inside to get a 3,500,000 candlelight spot light and began shinning it around and saw off in the distance what appeared to be a bear -- to bulky to be a dog or wolf unless it was a Saint Bernard or something like that but it definitely didn't sound like a dog.

    I kept shinning the light at it and it moved into the bushes. Since I couldn't see it any longer and was afraid that it might be circling around me, I grabbed the dog and went inside. I'm gonna have to take the dog out again in a few hours. I don't own any rifles or shotguns -- never felt a need for one until MAYBE now.

    What handgun caliber should I arm myself with when I go out again? The most powerful ones that I have is my Smith & Wesson 686+ (a seven round .357magnum) ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and my Smith & Wesson 1006 (a ten round 10mm) ...

    [​IMG]

    ... I also own a few .45's ...

    [​IMG]

    ... but I'm assuming that under circumstances, I would be better armed with either a 10mm or a .357magnum than a .45ACP. Please don't suggest any other calibers because that's not going to do me any good right now. I plan on getting a shotgun as soon as I can save up for one.
     
  2. Zark-9

    Zark-9 New Member

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    Take the 10 mm and tell the doggie to do his business fast!! :D
     
  3. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Greeting's Alan-

    I didn't vote, cuz I don't believe any handgun caliber
    is adequate for bear's!:( But, if I were out in the woods
    on a slow stroll (cuz I ain't too swift anymore), I would
    want my 5" barrel Smith & Wesson 629-5 "Classic" .44
    magnum loaded with the heaviest loads possible; just
    in case I happened to come face to face with a big old
    bear.

    FWIW, its not uncommon to see a few strays running
    through the woods of eastern Tennessee; and they
    are not just limited to The Great Smokey Mountains
    National Park. If you live deep enough in the woods
    and have apple trees; they will roam right on down
    into your backyard and help themselves.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  4. Hal

    Hal Member

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    .357mag w/ a good hard cast 180 gr SWC.
    (Should be enough to get you to your car so you can go buy yourself a proper caliber or gun ;))
     
  5. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    I would take the .357 AND the 10mm just to be safe. Never know when a gun is gonna break.
     
  6. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Senior Member

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    I was hoping to use one hand to hold the flashlight -- it's pitch black out here with no street lights and no moon to light the way.
     
  7. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Senior Member

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    I would also take both the 10 and the .357. I personally use the 10 for bear protection when in the wilds of upper Michigan, because It's the largest and most powerful handgun I can rapid fire accurately, something I cannot do with a .44 mag, and have yet to see anyone that can.
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon Senior Member

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    .44 mag Mountain revolver with 300grain Hornady XTP. Hey I COULD have used 325grain Garret load or my .454Super redhawk with 340's.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2003
  9. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Senior Member

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    No guns stores open at this hour PLUS there's that federal waiting period -- which ain't gonna do me much good when I gotta take the dog out again.
     
  10. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    Seriously, take both guns I mentioned. If you have to Mexican carry the 10mm or .357 so be it. Just don't MC the 10mm with a round chambered :D I didn't say have one gun in each hand, just to have them both with you.

    I don't think anybody has actually MENTIONED it, but nobody has voted for the .45ACP because of questionable penetration on medium to large sized carnivors like bears.
     
  11. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    If you can outrun the dog....no sweat.
    If not, either the 10 or the .357 oughtta do.

    Just have the dog leashed and stay close to the door.

    No guarentees....makes life interesting.

    Sam
     
  12. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Senior Member

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    I'm with WonderNine, take the 1006 & the 686! What I'd add tho is to make sure if you have to use them, DON'T MISS! ;)
     
  13. CZF

    CZF Senior Member

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    10MM.. i prefer it to .44 Magnum//as the MG kicks quite a bit with
    Magnum loads.

    The mighty TEN is good for black bear. I've came across many a
    internet post by seasoned bear hunters. I have also talked to
    bear hunters locally that like the 10mm. There seems to be quite
    the legion of bear hunters and 10mm fans in Minnesota, and in
    Alaska.

    180 or 200 gr. Hornady XTP. I'm told that the 175 gr. Silvertip
    has shallow penetration on bear and deer.
     

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  14. Kor

    Kor Member

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    Old hunting story(OT)

    Anytime I hear someone ask what handgun to use against bears, I'm reminded of this old saw:

    So, this young greenhorn is out for his first hunt in bear country, and he's a little worried about what to do if he actually runs into a bear. So, he asks the grizzled old guide, "What kind of gun will you be using if we get attacked by a bear?"

    The old guide hauls out a .38 snub-nosed revolver.

    The greenhorn asks incredulously, "Are you kidding? You don't seriously expect that little thing to stop a bear, do you?!?"

    Whereupon the guide replies, "This gun don't have to stop a bear - all I need it to do is slow YOU down." :evil:
     
  15. duncan

    duncan Member

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    Get out that 10mm and get some DoubleTapAmmo from a guy on GlockTalk.

    Has some 200 grain rounds that would easily stop that bear - no doubt.

    357 mag is what some hunters use on black bear, but I'd rather make sure I stop him.

    DoubTap's 180 grain GSHP get 707 FPE out of a 4.6 inch barrel Glock 20.

    That should be plenty for a 200 pound black bear.
     
  16. caz223

    caz223 Senior Member

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    Yup, of the guns you have, I'd also say carry both the 10mm and the .357.
    But if I'm in the woods where there were thought to be bear, I'd have at least two DA .41 mag revolvers, and a glock 20, with a few magazines loaded with Mc Nett's finest double-taps, as well as a shotgun or two in the car.
    Call me paranoid, but I can't think of a reason to be unprepared in a situation like that.

    If you actually see a bear, I'd say the dog better go in a hurry, 'cause if it were me, I would have already soiled my shorts.
     
  17. RWK

    RWK Member

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    Alan,

    Like my old buddy Ala Dan, I non-voted, since I really do not believe any of the options are truly satisfactory. If I were compelled to use one, it would be the .357 magnum loaded with Federal Cast-Core hunting rounds. However, I would much rather have a good .44 magnum or a Ruger .45 (Long) Colt (stoked with above-standard-pressure cast lead projectiles). All this said, as you know a long gun is MUCH better suited for this job than any handgun.
     
  18. stevelyn

    stevelyn Senior Member

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    Take the .357 with the heaviest (at least 180 gr.)hard cast loads you can find. Hollow point pistol ammo and bears aren't a good combination.
     
  19. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Senior Member

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    Guys, chill out and read closely. We are talking black bears here. Not brown bears, grizzly bears, or polar bears. Yes, a black bear is a potentially dangerous animal. But we are also talking about an animal that isn't that big or (generally) that aggressive. A 10mm or .357 Magnum loaded with hot & heavy hunting loads is a perfectly reasonable choice for a just-in-case backup weapon for somebody who isn't looking for trouble.

    My vote was 10mm Auto... bigger bullet going as fast or faster than the .357 Magnum. I'd suggest Cor-Bon 200gr Penetrators, or some of that Double-Tap 200gr stuff.
     
  20. Avery Goodschott

    Avery Goodschott Member

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    Looks like you're into the tarbaby..

    Now that you believe there is a bear in your neighborhood, you HAVE to carry something or appear foolish. And you are not foolish.

    Carrying something everytime you walk the dog at night will eventually become tiresome....so pick only one.

    "Revolvers for defense, pistols for offense" is a good notion.

    Your .357 can be loaded to give you the penetration you need to kill or cripple a "blackie"

    If you have personal doubts, don't go into the night feeling undergunned...trade the .357 for a .44.
     
  21. Keith

    Keith Senior Member

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    A black bear isn't that big a critter. I'd use the 10 or the .357, depending on what kind of ammo you have for them. Some heavy wadcutters would be a good choice.

    Keith
     
  22. Rob96

    Rob96 Senior Member

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    Originally posted by Keith

    Apparently you haven't seen some of the black bears we have here in Pennsylvania. Couple years ago, one was taken about a half hour away from where Alan now lives, and it weighed in at 750#'s. Another documented one is roaming in the Poconos that goes over 1,000#'s winter weight. Quite few are taken up here that tip the 500# mark. We got some big critters running around.

    Jeez Alan, you from asking what is good for Aligators to run ins with black bears. Let me know what club you are going to shoot at up here. I don't want to be around. Or I'll end up posting a question of "What handgun is best to have when Fud's around?":D
     
  23. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. No more sight of sound of whatever it was. I definitely plan to save up for a .45/.70 carbine and hopefully get one relatively soon.

    Rob96, what gun clubs do you recommend around here? And where is a good place (good service, fair prices, etc.) to buy guns, ammo & accessories?
     
  24. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    10 mm in a Glock 20 (because it's the only 10 mm I have). The Glock would be stuffed with those fast & heavy 10 mm bullets one of our members (the bullet mfg) had posted here.
     
  25. jercamp45

    jercamp45 Member

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    Well.......

    I voted for the 10m/m......and given what you got that might be what I would carry until my .460 rowland conversion kit came in for my Para P14 LDA. But I would probably be carrying a .45 as that is all I got right now.
    Sorry, guys...the .357 is a gussied up 38 no matter how you slice, dice it and sugar coat it. A charging husky I shot in Alaska circa 1978 with a pair of 158 gr JSP's was NOT impressed. Had to drop it with a head shot, on a dark moonlit ski trail at less than 2 meters. The first two were center mass torso hits later verified.
    In my hiking days, I encountered several black bear and they all ran off when they realized I was there. At the time I had a Colt LW Commander with 215 LSWC and 200 g flying ashtrays...never had to use it for bears.
    Actually, I think, given the choices presented, the Para P14 with high cap mags and a decent hunting round...by corbon, or hornady would probably suffice. In .460 Rowland, it would out do the Ten.
    My choices are what I have and that is strictly .45 autos at the time....though my .38 snub might be nice to aid this old, outta shape gent, in out running a whipper snapper(good one Kor, LMAO!!).
    Doubtful you'll ever need it, but the comfort factor of 'just in case' is immeasurable!
    .02
    Jercamp45
     

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