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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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    Actually an AK-47 could be a reasonable bear gun since many 30-30's have taken large griz. A .223?? No, not what I would want with large griz but even that would be better than a sling shot or harmonica.

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=424481&highlight=harmonica
     
  2. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Hmm, I live about 10 minutes from the border of WA and the bears in WA are just as numerous as the bears across the border in ID.

    Bear attacks are quite rapid. Considering shooting into the ground with only one or two seconds to respond to a charge within 15 yards is not likely a feasible approach. .223 is not the ideal caliber.

    Many bears are not at all intimidated by the sound of gun shots. Might get lucky with that approach, but I don't think most folks would recommend it.
     
  3. John3921

    John3921 Member

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    My brother killed a black bear with a .22. Of course it wasn't PO'd or charging. Give them a chance to pump a little adrenaline into their system and it is much harder to knock them down.

    I suspect if you were stalking a bear and got a nice clean shot into the boiler room with 5.56, that would be one thing. Shooting one at 15 yds that has a great big attitude problem would a much different story.
     
  4. rtz

    rtz Member

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    This is a really good bear discussion. How about something totally sublime, surreal, and tranquil:

     
  5. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    I saw video a while back of a man who hid right next to the bait barrel and shot a black bear point blank behind the ear and dropped on the spot. Probably not a very smart hunting strategy, but yes, of course a .223 with the right shot placement up the nose (no not with a rubber hose, sorry) or behind the ear would likely drop a bear in its tracks. Using that for a COM shot on the other hand?? No, not my cup of tea.
     
  6. radiotom

    radiotom Member

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  7. Evergreen

    Evergreen Member

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    If you must carry an AR for grizzly bear defense, please consider this one:
    [​IMG]

    Nemo AR-300 Win Mag..


    Alaska444.. I agree an AK can possibly be a decent bear defense gun, although I still would not use it as my first choice in big grizzly country.

    On a serious note, I carry a S&W 460 on my chest and that would just be my backup if I was hiking where there is lot of grizz. High powered rifle all the way.
     
  8. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    +1, I agree. High powered rifle all the way.

    My combo is a my Marlin .444 with 335 gr Buffalo Bore and my Ruger Super Redhawk in cross carry bandolier with BB 340 +P+.

    My likelihood of encountering a large grizzly here in Northern Idaho is fortunately low, but not zero. The .444 is easy to handle, packs a good punch and is quite reliable with fast follow up shots.

    The AK with 7.62x39 is at a threshold as far as the "black rifles" goes. I wouldn't want a .223 instead if faced with a large grizzly. Many folks in Alaska have faced off with a 30-30 in such a situation and came out on top. That is way under gunned in most folks opinions, but look how many griz have been taken with that rifle.

    My choice is to get above 3000 ft-lbs of muzzle energy with a large hard cast bullet. Many ways to skin that cat with that criteria so to speak. That is essentially starting at 30-06 level and above. Once again, my dad never felt under gunned with his 30-06 in all the years he hunted in the Alaska wilderness, often times flying in to the hunting grounds with a friend. One he did on horseback.
     
  9. Backpacker33

    Backpacker33 Member

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    I used to carry a Marlin .45-70 in the Idaho backcountry, to use against a brown bear, if required. I reached a point where I had to significantly lighten my trail load, and one of the first things to go was the Marlin. I asked a number of experienced backcountry campers, and a few rangers, what handgun round would do. The comment about filing down the front sight was made a lot. I settled on a Hamilton Bowen-modified Ruger Redhawk in .500 Linebaugh. The BEST advice I got about how to use it was to shoot early and shoot often. As others in this thread have said, "stopping" a charging bear is tougher than just shooting it. If the bear charges from close in, I think a RedEye rocket would be best.
    I'm happy to say that in the twenty some times I backpacked there, the closest I ever came to being hurt was when a bull elk started over a rise without knowing I was there, and decided the best way out was over my head. I didn't have time to say "S&%T!" before it was gone.
     
  10. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Hey, somebody had to post this photo.....

    rednecklahti.jpg
     
  11. rondog

    rondog Member

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    And bears? Y'all can have 'em. I don't want nothing to do with no bears.

    bear1.jpg

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  12. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Unfortunately, the encounters are often over before you know it, that is why having a partner is so important likewise armed.
     
  13. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Actually, this man took down the large grizzly they were releasing with his .38 sp. Not exactly what anyone would call a bear gun. Fortunately, the bear decided to chew his leg first giving him time to tap his brain with a little lead.
     
  14. Backpacker33

    Backpacker33 Member

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    Alaska444, you are SO right about having a partner. I backpack solo in the Colorado Rockies and think nothing of it, but in the Idaho Backcountry I'd NEVER go alone!
    Excellent advice/comment.
     
  15. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    I'd carry an M44 with the bayo extended in ber country.
     
  16. Leanwolf

    Leanwolf Member

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    Slight correction. The Montana F&G officer used his S&W Model 19 .357 Magnum.

    That story and pictures were published many years ago in Outdoor Life magazine. I subscribed to the magazine then and remember the story quite well. I believe the officer emptied his revolver into the Griz.

    In Grizzly country, I prefer a larger caliber, but if a .357 Mag. is all one has... well, you do with as you have. :)

    L.W.
     
  17. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Thanks for the correction. One of the links I saw a couple of years ago I believe stated it was a .38. The Field and Stream version states .357 as you noted.

    I always have my .357 as EDC and I use it as a BUG in pocket carry when I have my .44 magnum. Not much against a griz but it has been used before with successful outcomes as in this case. Luckily he went for his leg first.
     
  18. zorro45

    zorro45 Member

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    My bear defense would be to invite a very slow moving friend to go with me!
     
  19. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Dear Backpacker,

    I have spent a great deal of time "solo" in the woods in Maine, PA, Colorado and even in Mass of all places. Here in Idaho, it just happens that most of my time out in the woods has been with my friends.

    I have nothing against folks going solo, but a second person in a bear attack situation has been a life saver in many cases. Fortunately, as I pointed out on prior posts, the risk of griz attack in Idaho is rather remote, much less than in Alaska and even some areas in Montana which have had quite a few attacks in the last few years.

    One of my friends here in Idaho loves solo camping trips, just not my cup of tea at this point. If that is what you enjoy, more power to you.

    God bless,
     
  20. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    Slight correction -- he EMPTIED his .357 pressed into the bear and eventually the attack stopped.

    I just hope the guy attacked was the a-hole who when asked if they should bolt the cage to the truck said "nah"!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  21. Evergreen

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    I've hiked all over the Sawtooth mountains in Idaho (lived in Boise for a year) solo and never had any worries. Actually, I would be more concerned hiking in the remote Oregon Coast where I lived for many years. I had around 4 or 5 run-ins with black bears there and some of the black bears on the coast are as large (even larger) as the grizzlies in Montana. In Montana, esp Glacier NP, there is a lot of grizzlies and that is where many of those attacks happened. I would have generally preferred hiking with some people on the more remote trails. I had a run-in with a female moose and her calf on one of the trails and it wasn't pleasant. Thankfully, I hiked that trail with some guys I met from Minnesota who were use to dealing with moose and they help break me in quick about the situation. There isn't any moose in Oregon/Washington where I grew up. People spend so much time worrying about grizzlies, but forget moose have killed more than their fair share.

    I grew up in mountains and love hiking solo, but I would have preferred to hike with others in Montana. However, at my age and with my busy schedule, it is hard to find other people who are like-minded and want to go hike with me, esp going all the way to Montana or Idaho. So, I generally just go at it alone.
     
  22. akodo

    akodo Member

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    bear spray...meh....noise-makers...much better tool to drive away a bear who is way to close than a gunshot. However, bear spray isn't much good at deterring a bear who is actively charging.

    you are right that even the biggest magnum handgun isn't going to be enough to stop a charging bear, but a SERIOUS rifle cartridge like a 338 winmag of 375 H&H or 416 Rem Mag can and will break a shoulder stopping a charging bear, allowing for a killing follow-up shot.

    I'd not count on even the famous 30-06, let alone a 270 or 308 to do that. Now, hunting, seeing a bear who is strolling along, a proper bullet from a 270 will work fine for hunting, but not for bear defense.

    edited for an even better option and clarity
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  23. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    We have had over 10 years of a concerted campaign promoting pepper spray and dissuading folks against using guns for protection against bears. If you look at DLPs in Alaska, the numbers are impressive on how well firearms worked against aggressive brown bears.

    If the studies do show firearms in DLPs effective, why the consternation about firearms for bear defense? Simply because they are effective and the number of grizzlies in these studies could be adversely effected according to the so called bear experts. Their promotion of pepper spray is a strategy to avoid human DLP events, not so much as their desire to save human lives. Their focus remains upon reducing DLP shootings of grizzlies.

    While pepper spray in some situations is the first choice and it is actually very effective in many bear charge situations, firearms are very effective in many instances as well.

    As far as caliber, even grizzlies are not made out of steal and can with proper shot placement drop with rather modest calibers. Many grizzlies have been taken with the 30-30 which by the way in many configurations has more muzzle energy than a .454 Casull that many prefer to the 30-30 for bear defense. And yes, .44 magnum has taken many as well.

    Then the 30-06 meets the usual criteria of a bear defense rifle of 3000 ft-lbs of muzzle energy. Anything that can penetrate vitals or CNS to a sufficient degree is adequate for bear defense. The rest is simply shot placement. Why disparage calibers that have a proven track record of successful defense against large bears.
     
  24. akodo

    akodo Member

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    More than raw energy is needed for the big bears when actively charging. You need a bullet that will hold together. A weatherby 257 has very impressive energy numbers but I'd not trust it to stop a bear. A 30-06 with a 200+ grain bullet would probably be okay if you can't handle a 338. So would a 303 with a 215 grain woodleigh. However you aren't likely to find these factory loaded. Very few places still offer 200 or 220 grain 30-06 loaded cartridges. a 180 30-06 is not something I'd want to use to fend off a charging grizzly, a 150 grain 30-06 less so.

    When the bear is charging you won't notice the recoil of a 338 winmag.
     
  25. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Hilarious yet terrifying series of pics. I'm sure he wasn't laughing when that trap went over.

    Logic in bear threads? Not going to happen.

    I suspect MOST 'bear' threads are about pushing/testing the limits of 'power' in hand held arms, rather than 'how to avoid bears.' Nevermind that most people will never see a bear up close in a defensive situation, it's just one of those 'favorite internet discussions.'
     
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