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One Shot Bear Kill, .44 Magnum

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Lone Star, Dec 5, 2009.

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  1. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

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    I get tired of people who post that a handgun is useless against a bear.

    Get the August issue of, "Sporting Classics" and read how a dentist in Alaska used a .44 Magnum (looks to be a stainless Super Blackhawk) to save himself and a pal from a bear that attacked them as they dressed out a moose.

    This is not the sole incident of which I'm aware in which a handgun saved someone's life in a bear attack, but it is well written, and back issues should be available from the publisher.

    Oh: it was a one-shot kill.

    Lone Star
     
  2. atlanticfire

    atlanticfire Member

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    I believe it! Just case there are bigger effective cartridges doesn’t mean that the mighty only 44 wont get it done.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, it's sorta dependent on the location of the hit, skill of the shooter, i reckon. I'd carry my Ruger .45 Colt Blackhawk with hot loads over nothing at all, personally. It'd be backing up my rifle, as I'm sure that dentist's .44 was, too. Your rifle might not always be all that handy when you really need it and a magnum handgun on the hip is mighty comforting in bear country, though the only bear country I've ever been in is black bear country. Not exactly the same thrill factor as cleaning big game where brownies roam. That situation would make me sorta nervous. LOL
     
  4. logical

    logical Member

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    I read a stick is not effective so now the study has a total of 2 data points.

    Seriously...of course a .44 can kill a bear. That doesn't make it untrue that it might "not kill" the one coming at you.
     

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  5. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I would never set out to hunt bear with a handgun, nor would I advise anyone else to do so. On the other hand, I've helped to skin and process a black bear that was taken with a .38 special loaded with fmj service rounds. You use what you have when it's an emergency.
     
  6. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Exactly. Funny, same is true for two legged predators too.

    Of course, bullet selection is even more critical in moose/grizzly/brown country. But with proper placement, I'd think even a 180 grain hard cast .357 Mag out of a 6" barrel would do okay.

    500 S&W Mag is nice, if you can hit you intended target.
     
  7. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    :D***
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  8. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    WDM Bell shot and killed over 1000 elephants with a 275 Rigby (7x57) apparently at an average of 1.5 shots fired per elephant killed.

    He shot a few more with an 6.5x56R rifle.

    Everyone knows too small calibers can kill too large animals.

    Doesnt mean that you should though.

    A lot of skill (real skill though not internet skill) and a little luck is all you need and you wont even need that 44 mag. You can just use a 25 automatic.

    And for the record, I dont think a handgun is useless against bear. I just get sick of all the questions pertaining to Alaskan Grizzly bears which so many people seem to think they are going to encounter when they dont live in Alaska. I still say a magnum rifle or hot 45/70 is the only way to go in that situation .
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2009
  9. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    My uncle knew a guy who hunted bear with a .22LR. Did it with 1-shot stops, too. BUT...he always had a backup hunter "loaded for bear" and waited well beyond the prudent point to make the shot.

    AND he knew where to shoot them! With a powerful caliber (.357 and up), you go for penetration and shoot for the nose, not the head. A .357 is fine as long as the bullet doesn't blow up before it reaches critical penetration.

    My uncle said the .22LR shots were one right up the mouth. His friend apparently knew just when to make the shot.
     
  10. missouri dave

    missouri dave Member

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    Two years ago not too far from here a man killed a black bear tearing into his chicken pens with 3 shots from a .22lr rifle.
     
  11. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Of course a .44 Mag will kill a Grizzly.

    And a .460 Weatherby Magnum might not.

    It all depends on the shot.

    But give me a high powered rifle or slug loaded 12 gauge anytime over a sidearm, for bear.
     
  12. Artiz

    Artiz Member

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    I believe a 44mag will stop whatever is thrown at you, whatever the time, whatever the place.
     
  13. batmann

    batmann Member

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    I have never shoot a Bear, but given the right bullet, why not?
     
  14. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    One Shot Kill

    Many years ago (mid 70's maybe, think I was in high school) I read an article about a man who woke to find a Griz standing over him. He was in a sleeping bag but he was using his 44 as a pillow. Fast forward to the end of the story - when he was finally found he was near death from dehydration. He was 'uninjured' from a bear attack but the big bruin fell dead/dying on him. He was still zipped up in his sleeping bag, and he was trapped!

    Man, some days you can't win for losing. :banghead:

    ST
     
  15. danweasel

    danweasel Member

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    It better work! I just bought a .44 Redhawk to take fishing because my shotgun is always on the shore. I have observed the power of this pistol with Alaskan Backpacker hardcasts (vs a tree) and it is impressive.
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    See, that's the deal. You can have a magnum revolver on you all the time, even while fishing. That's hard to do with any long gun, especially fishing. I'm not so paranoid of bears as to carry a long gun 24/7 if I lived up there, but I would like to have something on me just as I do down here for two legged predators. It has to be there when I need it, number one, and I'm not going to carry it if it's not convenient. That's why my CCW is a pocket 9mm and not a full sized .41 magnum or 10mm or something and that's why I'd tote a magnum revolver if I lived up there.I'll deal with any inadequacies via marksmanship and shot placement same as with my 9.
     
  17. bearmgc

    bearmgc Member

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    Aint no thrill in gutting out an elk in Grizzly country, trust me. Its more like pure abject fear. I hate it.
     
  18. kennjen

    kennjen Member

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    I'd like to see statistics ......

    ......on what killed a Grizzly and what didn't.

    One or two incident of "x bullet killed it with one shot" is not statistically significant. Just as significant as a skydiver surviving a non working parachute. It doesn't mean you'd be smart to try and do the same.

    Although silly, I personally like "caliber x vs. bear" threads for a goof. But no one seems to have a any half way reliable statistics with decent data points to make the opinion relevant.

    Does any one know of such a statistics in existence ? Preferably one that accounts for where the bear was shot ???
     
  19. Artiz

    Artiz Member

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    The problem is, the ones that didn't work, are not here anymore to talk about it. :D
     
  20. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

    Of course the 44 mag is powerful enough to take a large bear.
     
  21. Eagles6

    Eagles6 Member

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    The sidearm most often carried by professional hunting guides in Alaskan bear country is a .22 revolver.
    They shoot the nearest tourist in the knee then run like hell.
     
  22. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    Park Munsey who had the Alaska Master Guide Lic. #001 found that a
    Winchester Model 12 with the barrel cut down to 16", 12 ga. with a staggered load of slugs and 00 Buckshot worked best in the Alders when retrieving wounded bear for his clients............talk about Hair Raising :what:

    Personally, my S&W Model 29 works great on bear..............no issues.
     
  23. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    A handgun is better than rocks or a pointy stick.

    But when you are dealing with a 1500 pound animal who moves 30 mph, can crush your head with a swipe, I would like something bigger.
     
  24. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    Haven't read the article, but don't doubt the story, or that a .44 mag can get it done. But why the "one-shot kill?" Was that all the guy was able to get off? I'd think that if I was able to draw and fire on an attacking bear, I'd likely empty the cylinder in panic rather than take one shot and wait to see if it was going to do the job!
     
  25. orrwdd

    orrwdd Member

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    You get to feel like something is looking over your shoulder lol.

    Bill
     
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