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The logic behind "What caliber for bear defense?" threads.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bdgackle, Feb 1, 2013.

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  1. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    First of all, I am NEVER tired of bear threads, actually they are my favorite. Wish we had more of them.

    Secondly, let's look at some studies. Many folks are no more schooled on guns for bear defense as they are for pepper spray.

    A bit of facts:

    Bear Pepper spray is most effective at about 3 meters.
    Most successful bear stops with pepper spray is at 1 meter.:what:


    Pepper spray may fend off a black bear temporarily, but predatory black bears will be back. How many canisters do you carry?

    There is a great prejudice in pepper spray vs gun studies. In actuality, before it was a favorite of the grizzly protectors, guns were found equally effective to current pepper spray effectiveness.

    http://www.bearbiology.com/fileadmin/tpl/Downloads/URSUS/Vol_13/Suring_13.pdf

    There was only 1/71 injured in DLP shootings most of which were aggressive brown bears.

    Once again, the purpose behind all of the recommendations for pepper spray by these so called "experts" is to reduce DLP grizzly killings. For the individual, take both if you wish, but don't take one cannister of spray and believe you are fully protected.
     
  2. gspn

    gspn Member

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    Uh...dude...at 1 meter that bear would be dealing with a poop spray whose ferocity would rival any canned bear spray on the market.:eek:
     
  3. Airbrush Artist

    Airbrush Artist member

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    I'm not sure about shot Placement or Caliber round But I do know the best time to SHOOT.. images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTr5b54roSsFHmfLoc1jTK7oRL3Btvns4qbDeCLKnD1UOliZt6SNw.jpg
     
  4. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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  5. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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  6. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    I'm talking Alaskan mainland... For defense against Grizzly I have carried a .44 mag with hardcast bullets -- if you can't hit them more than once then hit as much as you can deeply to help stop an attacker. However, where available I load a 12 ga. with plated 3" 000 Buck. Lead spray I'd prefer to rely on over Pepper Spray for defense having to make a choice...
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  7. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    I'd load slugs.
     
  8. EBK

    EBK Member

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    How to tell the difference between black bear poop and Grizzly poop.

    Black bear poop is small and will have berrys and and Squirrel fur.

    Grizzly bear poop is largeand will have bells and smell of pepper spray
     
  9. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Well to start, the brain is not typically the best spot to hit because the skull is one of the hardest parts of the bear and hits at an angle especially with many handguns are quite likely to glance off.
    So contrary to the perspective the OP has gained those are not what one should expect to stop the animal. With a decent rifle it may be reliable, but with handguns it is not where I would aim.


    Additionally the threads typically deal with defensive use. Hunting and killing a bear can be much easier than defending against an attacking bear. This is because a side shot on the bear is a much easier shot to make effective than what is exposed on a charging bear. A charging bear has a bouncing rounded heavily muscled and skulled head, and a lot of tissue. The most reliable stop with a handgun is probably going to be a hit in a shoulder joint that causes it to tumble.
    A stationary bear someone is hunting is also going to get shot before it has commited to any action, and so is likely to go down and be more concerned with having been shot than anything else before it expires. A bear already committed to an attack is either attacking, or is bluff charging. If it is the former rather than the later then there is a good chance even a moderate wound that would have put down a bear being hunted won't immediately stop the committed bear. While if it was a bluff charge then the bear will probably not change to an actual attack before it expires in the limited window of time it has left and be more surprised about being shot.



    Really though bear threads are funny. Many people coexist with bears regularly. If people don't feed them and they have some common sense they probably won't need to shoot one.
    There is exceptions like hunters field dressing game, but I would venture many people that shoot a bear in defense just lack woodsmanship and are not very in tune with thier environment and surroundings. Trudging through the wilderness focusing on a conversation or thinking about something other than the present. Don't daydream on the trail, and don't treat it like an exercise park and go jogging or biking at full pace oblivious to surroundings.
     
  10. tgzzzz

    tgzzzz Member

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    I'm not bragging about it but I killed a good-sized male grizzly in my camp one night on the Beartooth Hwy in Wyoming. I had skipped cooking because of all the many signs warning about bear activity and food disposal. I was drinking a beer at dusk, no fire, with my 12 ga in my lap. Good thing. Griz wandered in, huffing. Stopped, stared, and stood up maybe 15 feet way.

    I had two small kids at home.

    I shot the bear with 00 buck in the gut. One was enough. You guys go ahead and take those brain shots with your pistols. I'm not that good a shooter.

    Broke camp and drove away. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd have been jailed.
     
  11. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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  12. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Plenty of folks with lot's of wood smarts been caught off guard by a bear. Since the average distance before a person knows he is in a bear encounter is only 15 meters, you just don't have a lot of time to react whatever your defense is.

    Brain shots are most often missed due to a poor understanding of bear anatomy. The skull sits lower than most folks understand with a lot of fur and tissue above the top of the skull. For a brain shot, if the bear is looking directly at you, aiming for the nose gives you the brain shot at a point much lower than intuitively obvious.

    Any CNS hit will stop the bear instantly. Undoubtedly, CNS shots are going for a very small target. Aiming center mass is still the recommended point of aim.
     
  13. dampoo

    dampoo Member

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  14. 9MMare

    9MMare Member

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    I thought that this was the recommended method for decades....yet scanning the thread I dont think I saw anyone else mention it. (Someone may have).

    "Stop" them with a shot to the point of the shoulder, then continue to fire and kill. Of course hitting a moving shoulder isnt easy but that's where to focus all initial shots....
     
  15. Swami

    Swami Member

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    Bear Spray is awesome, but the best thing you can bring is a slower-than-you "buddy".

    You don't have to be faster than the bear; you just have to be faster than the other people running from the bear! :p
     
  16. HorseSoldier

    HorseSoldier Member

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    A) The big magnum argument is a natural conclusion based on the fact that most bear attack scenarios occur in restricted terrain where the person (and probably the bear as well) are startled by the encounter. Bears are scary fast in the short term. When it all goes pear shaped with a bear, you are unlikely to have significant reaction time. If you're only going to get off a round or two before the bear closes the distance, it stands to reason you want them to do as much damage as possible.

    B) Hard cast bullets for penetration -- You want something that it going to hit with sufficient power and structural integrity that when it meets bone, the bone breaks. You also want a round that can plow through dense muscle and thick layers of fat to have a chance of being a fight stopper in terms of CNS hits or the heart, an artery, or something else which will shorten the bear's ability to stay in the fight or possibly knock it back from fight to flight mode.

    That said, there are anecdotal accounts where big magnums didn't get the job done, and accounts where very everyday guns/calibers did -- I recall in maybe 2009 or so, a hiker up here in AK in Denali Nat'l Park had a bear attack encounter where he put eight rounds of .45 from a 1911 into the bear, prompting the bear to retreat and die a short ways from the sight of the encounter.

    Me personally, I've never been attacked by a bear, but have had an encounter where I spotted a cub at about 50 meters and was already backing away when momma stepped out on the trail as well. She and I had a staring contest while I backtracked with my pistol in my hand (which suddenly felt really, really damn tiny). Ever since that I have hiked with both a pistol and bear spray, and add a 12 gauge with slugs if I think I'm really going somewhere bad/sketchy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  17. somerandomguy

    somerandomguy member

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    .50 bmg. hehehe
     
  18. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    Wow, I imagine the tiny tiny pistol must have felt strangely weak during a staring contest with a real live momma bear. Good for you it worked out. I'm scared just picturing it.
     
  19. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    Large Male Grizzly say 800lbs
    Cape Buffalo say 1 800lbs
    African Elephant say 12 000lbs

    The latter two are stopped regularly with well placed shots from as little as a .375, however generally larger calibres are used as additional insurance. The trick is a knowledge of the anatomy of the beast at varying angles, you can stop the charge when you interupt the functioning of the brain. Flesh wounds wont help you much.

    The Buff and Elly have no fur so the selecting the POA is much easier to determine. If it was me and I needed to protect myself against bear close in I think a 30-06 0r larger or 12 bore shotgun would be my poison.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  20. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    This is also the ideal shot on Cape Buffalo, another infamous charger. It anchors large animals to the ground, allowing hunter/huntED to circle for head and vital shots to finish of said attacking creature.
     
  21. Fleetman

    Fleetman Member

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    Bears are more aggressive now than ever......they KNOW firearms and particularly ammo is hard to come by right now so they are attacking the running, screaming tasty-looking morsels. Even if armed, they also know their fast-food, if from NY, only has seven shots.....anymore than that would be illegal. NJ'ers are safe though since they leave a bad taste in their mouth and cause bad gas.....something the other bears don't like.
     
  22. osprey176

    osprey176 Member

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    My job has me driving through Yellowstone Park twice a week.Unfortunately,my company has a "no weapons" policy in company vehicles.I would prefer to keep my SBH handy,but the pay is way too good to risk losing the job.My bear safety plan is simple.Every time we stop to take a leak in the park,I let my partner out first,then I lock the door.He asks me why and I say "Sorry buddy,it's just an old habit I can't seem to kick".I hold it till we get to town.
     
  23. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    U lock the doors to keep him from getting in if attacked by a bear or because u r afraid the bear will open the door before you've had a chance to drive off and leave the man there, which?
     
  24. tgzzzz

    tgzzzz Member

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    Why not carry a p bottle?:cool: works for me.
     
  25. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    I think you are generally better off with bear spray with a handgun backup unless you want to lug around a rifle. This assumes you are not hunting bears.

    The JHP, JSP, and hard cast solid argument about which is best will continue. I would use whatever you are more accurate with in a 40 caliber or larger revolver. Yes to the mention about where the brain is. Even if you miss the brain, you may break it's jaw that is IF you can actually hit that moving target.
     
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