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Thread: Looking for a bear defense handgun.

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    Member Blackhawk .44's Avatar
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    Question Looking for a bear defense handgun.

    I know what most of you where thinking when you saw the title "NO!! NOT ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE THREADS!!!!"
    Im pretty sure we have had about 3 of these in the past month lol.

    But my topic is going to be slightly different. My problem is not deciding on a caliber as much as it is trying to find a gun that I want. I am looking to get something bigger than a .44 mag in about a 2-1/2 - 4 inch barrel. I have come to the conclusion that the 44 mag will defiantly put em down with the right shot placement, but all handgun cartridges are really under powered as it is, so why go with something smaller when your buying a handgun for bear defense (If I am unable to find what I want in a hand gun I will probably go with the 44). I have been looking at the Ruger Alaskan revolvers and found I really like the versatility of the .454 model. I called up wall mart and they have those guns back ordered for !!!!60+!!!! people. The online stores appear to be the same and there isn't anything available on the online actions. So I have been looking around for a RH in .45 colt but I appears that is even harder to come by then the Alaskan in .454. I have been able to find a couple Ruger .480s but they have the 7 inch barrels and Im not sure how long that round will stay on the market. The money that I have to spend on a gun is about $750-800 max so the smith and wessons are not really in my price range. I really like Ruger single action Blackhawks and have quite a bit of experience using them but I think for me personally I need a double action for defense. So what Im looking for basically is suggestions on handguns available in the larger calibers. I am kinda to the point of not being sure of what other options are out there. (BTW Im not really interested in the glock 20 (10mm) Thanks!

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    Member SANDRAT's Avatar
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    You could try looking for a used handgun,seems the big bores hold their value up here pretty well though.Saw a S&W 500 on alaskaslist today for $800,been a S&W backpacker 2" bbl 44 mag on for awhile @ $750.Your budget is pretty realistic for a decent used big bore handgun,just gotta look......

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    [QUOTE=Blackhawk .44;1126953] I have come to the conclusion that the 44 mag will defiantly put em down with the right shot placement, QUOTE]

    DEFINATELY...................WITH RIGHT SHOT PLACEMENT! A 22 will also definately put them down WITH THE RIGHT SHOT PLACEMENT!

    Sorry it's late and my sarcastistic side comes out! Bottom line is the bigger you go and the heavy, stronger bullet then the less need you have for shot placement (still important, but less so with BIGGG calibers).
    You have pretty much highlighted all your main options in the 44 area, except Taurus. Some people get good ones and are very happy. You could pick up a 454 Raging Bull for well under your $800 budget.
    You will be waiting a long time for a new RH or SRH as Ruger is cuurently not filling new orders, or taking any as they are so hugely backordered.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Single action Blackhawk is plenty fast enough
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Shorter BBL and heavier cal will be harder to handle after the first round. The other side of that coin is that you are not looking for a long shot placement but easier handling for the holster. Double action over single action any day less gross motor skills required. The Torus titanium in a 4íí would be my pick I happen to have one in SS with a ported bbl and have been pretty happy with it. It does not have the smooth action like a colt does but it will do the jobÖ and itís about 550.00
    I might add that a lot of guys go after that 500 and get rid of it pretty soon just because itís recoil. I personally like something lite in a defense gun just because I am carrying other gear as well.

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    I'll sell you a 4" 44 mag SS Redhawk for $800+ shipping, if you can't find something bigger that you like.
    "The older I get, the better I was."

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk .44 View Post
    ...I really like Ruger single action Blackhawks and have quite a bit of experience using them but I think for me personally I need a double action for defense. So what Im looking for basically is suggestions on handguns available in the larger calibers....
    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Single action Blackhawk is plenty fast enough
    Words of wisdom right there.

    Go with what you know and can shoot well. Don't get sucked into the fallacy that you need a double action, or that a couple thousands difference in bullet diameter, or a few grains more lead will allow less than accurate shot placement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk .44 View Post
    I know what most of you where thinking when you saw the title "NO!! NOT ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE THREADS!!!!"
    Im pretty sure we have had about 3 of these in the past month lol.

    But my topic is going to be slightly different. My problem is not deciding on a caliber as much as it is trying to find a gun that I want. I am looking to get something bigger than a .44 mag in about a 2-1/2 - 4 inch barrel. Thanks!
    Well, the Gun, is probably the most important consideration.

    For me, I want one that helps me handle the recoil well.

    Therefore, I can't see anything beeger, than a 44 Mag. except maybe a 45 Colt. OR, a barrel shorter than 4 Inches, preferring a bit longer.

    I like SAs like the Ruger Blackhawk, but in the past, I haven't enjoyed shooting the ones, (that belonged to others), in 44 Mag.

    My criteria was to consider everything that helped lessen recoil.
    44 Mag.'
    6 inch barrel,
    S&W DA with Hogue Grips.
    Lighter Handloads.

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    Default another rumor or ??

    Does any one have any data to back this statement up - or is it just another rumor started by unhappy Ruger owners with feelings of inferiority

    I haven't talked to any unhappy .500 owners - the ones I talked to are quite happy with their guns and I've started a number of people looking for one after I let them shoot mine.


    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    I might add that a lot of guys go after that 500 and get rid of it pretty soon just because itís recoil. I personally like something lite in a defense gun just because I am carrying other gear as well.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    People sell many guns because of recoil be it 458winmag or 454 and some even the 44mag.Its a manhood thing that if that little guy can shoot one I can. Few admit the recoil sent it down the road but thats a manhood thing also. I say up front my 454 Alaskan with full power heavy loads kinda hurts and if those were the only loads for it the gun would be gone but Alas its a wonderment of what you can put through it for fun and carry the big stuff as needed
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    People sell many guns because of recoil be it 458winmag or 454 and some even the 44mag.Its a manhood thing that if that little guy can shoot one I can. Few admit the recoil sent it down the road but thats a manhood thing also. I say up front my 454 Alaskan with full power heavy loads kinda hurts and if those were the only loads for it the gun would be gone but Alas its a wonderment of what you can put through it for fun and carry the big stuff as needed
    I'm sure that's true.

    So, we got a lotta guys out there who don't enjoy their guns, because they hurt too much to shoot, so they gotta tell everyone they don't so they don't hafta admit they do.

    Rationalization #1
    "I'll shoot light loads and carry the Full Power loads for Bear Protection".

    #2
    "I won't notice the recoil, muzzle blast, and ear damage if a bear charges me".

    Then there's the one that actually makes some sense, if you look at it the right way.

    #3
    "It's fun to Shoot."
    I've no doubt that's true. It must be a great feeling to know you're STILL ALIVE after the world blows up in your face.

    Smitty of the North

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    In threads like this when we talk of single action or double action, I ask myself: What the heck would Bob Munden do?


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    TVFINAK
    First off I never stated I had a dislike for Ruger.
    Secondly, I am just passing the same information that former students have stated to me in regards to the recoil of the 500 or larger cal's. I find no pleasure in shooting anything over a 44mag so when I do itís with low charged rounds in order to maintain proficiency with that particular weapon. When I am out and carrying in areaís that I may need it I do load it with heavier loads as others have previously stated. I also do not care to carry a pistol that weights as much as most of the larger calís either.

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    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    I have heard, and read that the Taurus frames will not hold up shooting 'hot rounds' i.e. bear loads. I am in the same boat myself, looking for a decent bear defense handgun. Have been looking at the Glock 20, simply because its the equivalent of a .41 Magnum, plus I have 15 rounds to fire with it, instead of 6 from a revolver. That being said, I have also looked at the .480 Ruger, and Im sure it would be a fine defense handgun aswell, but as was stated earlier, who knows how long the ammo for it will stick around, and I have not been able to find any bear loads for that caliber. So, all that being said, I might just settle on a Ruger .44 mag, and a Glock 20.

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    So, we got a lotta guys out there who don't enjoy their guns, because they hurt too much to shoot, so they gotta tell everyone they don't so they don't hafta admit they do.
    Yeah well I got my custom S&W 629 Mnt Gun (no luck) and it hurts to shoot with any 44 mag load. In fact, I love the gun, but hate to shoot it. So On the rare times I shoot it, I use 44 specials

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt83 View Post
    Have been looking at the Glock 20, simply because its the equivalent of a .41 Magnum, plus I have 15 rounds to fire with it, instead of 6 from a revolver.
    41 magnum-
    210 gr JHP 1,567 ft/s 1,160 ft∑lb

    10 mm-
    200 gr WFNGC 1,300 ft/s 750 ft∑lb

    I'm not sure how anyone can accurately say a 10 mm is equal to a 41 magnum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt83 View Post
    I have heard................ Have been looking at the Glock 20, simply because its the equivalent of a .41 Magnum, plus I have 15 rounds to fire with it, instead of 6 from a revolver.......
    I have heard and read that a lot lately but a 10 MM and a 41 Mag are NOT equal ballistically. I load and test ammo for both and even IF loaded to 50,000 psi, the 10MM still falls short of the 41 mag at SAAMI pressures. (The 10 is SAAMI spec'd at 40,000 psi)

    Plus the 41 revolver can handle much heavier bullets.

    A bear load for the 41 mag would be the 250 WFNGC hard cast at 1300 from a 5" barrel (at SAAMI pressure) compared to a 10 MM with 5" barrel and 220 grain WFNGC hard cast at 1100 fps (at SAAMI pressures). That's loading both to the same pressure. Thats it!! Sure it's close but we could say a 38 special and a 357 are close .....but they are not.

    Also if you could shoot these 15 10 MM bullets into a playing card at 30 feet in 3 seconds I'd say you have a bear gun.......but you cannot.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt83 View Post
    ..That being said, I have also looked at the .480 Ruger, and Im sure it would be a fine defense handgun aswell, but as was stated earlier, who knows how long the ammo for it will stick around, and I have not been able to find any bear loads for that caliber. So, all that being said, I might just settle on a Ruger .44 mag, and a Glock 20.
    If I didn't have a "bear defense" gun. I'd buy a 480 SRH and have it chopped to 4". Polish up the action and maybe put a lighter trigger spring in it and I'd get those squishy Hogue Tamer grips on it and then shoot a lot of double action.

    480 ammo is here to stay. No worries there. But, no matter what you buy, in order to be proficient you need to shoot a lot. Have you considered taking up reloading? Heavy hunting ammo in any caliber is spendy.


    480 Ruger Ammo search results at Midway.

    If you don't reload this would be a good one. I'd rather have 6 of these than 15 10mm. One of these should poke a 3-4ft hole through heavy bone and muscle. One may be all you get to fire. 10mm wouldn't come close to what this round could do.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    There is a 475/480 in the classifieds on here right now. The barrel would have to be cut down to meet your requirements but it's a great package.

    If you really want a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in 454 Casull, I have been toying with parting with mine and would certainly entertain any offers.
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

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    Member Matt83's Avatar
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    The comparison I made between .41 magnum and the 10mm was based on research that I have done since I have been looking for a bear defense gun to carry when out hunting/hiking/stroll through the woods with wife and daughter. I am not an expert, nor do I claim to be. Its merely from what I have been reading that I have ascertained this view.

    I have also read, through my research, that with getting a shorter barreled revolver, or cutting down the barrel, you will not get the same velocities from ammo due to the fact that the barrel is short, as you would get the with the standard 7" barrel.

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