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Thread: Ruger SRH .44mag as bear protection?

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Default Ruger SRH .44mag as bear protection?

    Hey guys, I bought .44 Mag Alaskan 4 years ago as bear protection for my summer trips up your way. Here I am, 4 years later, still wondering if a .44 mag is going to do what I need it to do if the time should ever come. I keep 320 grain lead rounds in it while I'm in the field. The Ruger 454 is on my wish list, but if I can't swing it for another year or two, should I keep faith in my .44? Thanks for your opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefisher View Post
    Hey guys, I bought .44 Mag Alaskan 4 years ago as bear protection for my summer trips up your way. Here I am, 4 years later, still wondering if a .44 mag is going to do what I need it to do if the time should ever come. I keep 320 grain lead rounds in it while I'm in the field. The Ruger 454 is on my wish list, but if I can't swing it for another year or two, should I keep faith in my .44? Thanks for your opinions.
    All things considered, I'd say 44 Mag. is plenty gun for bear protection. It's beeg for a handgun, anyway.

    There's always something beeger, and the perception of "If a little bit's good, a lot must be better", but is it reely? When you consider recoil, blast, ability to shoot accurately, and quickly, and ammo expense?

    I think the choice, depends on if you're a beeg bore handgun enthusiast or not, and can make good use of the additional power.

    454 certainly has more power if you can shoot it as well.

    If I wanted to go UP from my 44, I'd choose a modern 45 Colt. Which of course, you can shoot in a 454.

    Smitty of the North
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Iím with Smitty, 44mag is enough power. More power is better but with all the caveats . . . which is why the old saying ďas big as you can shoot wellĒ and wonít be in the truck because itís too heavy. When you go bigger that 44mag/hot 45 Colt you should also be prepared to put in quite a bit of time mastering it because big boomers like 454 are not easy to shoot well, but it sure is fun learning and maintaining the skill.
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    I sold a Ruger Alaskan 454 Casull stubby a couple of years ago, hated the hand shock. I would feel just fine with a "Hot 44 Mag Load" out of a large frame 4" hand gun compared to a stubby 454. I would prefer a 375 rifle at a comfortable distance.

    The thought of having one of those big boys charging or visiting my tent in the dark of night is awful. The odds of a well placed brain shot on an angry bear are slim. We all know an animal shot in the chest will die but the angry bear needs to die fast.

    Make sure you can draw from your carry location and place a accurate shot with the hand gun you choose.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    If a person went back in history a short fifty years or so the same question was asked.Is my 357mag,44spec,45colt good enough for a protection gun in Alaska or do I need the new 44mag. Folks would say the 44mag has all the power needed but recoil is very harsh and not for everyone. Also your #x$>, will work fine as a hit with your XxXx is better than a miss with the mighty 44mag.
    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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    To go along with what Amigo Will said- not long ago Alaska magazine had an article about bear protection and had compiled DLP's in various areas including AK. The caliber that had the highest kill rate with DLP was a .357 mag. Now, before everyone jumps on that as being bull- I happen to know quite a bit about statistics and know that they can be skewed by many variables- it was only mentioned and I found it interesting. I am actually thinking about retiring my .500 and sticking with one of my 29's as I just like them more. NO handgun is the 'best' bear gun if a worst case scenario plays out- but carrying a .44 with hard cast bullets should certainly be enough. Just my .02

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    I run those same 320 grainers, and feel it's plenty. A downed bull moose "blinked" when I nudged him with the barrel of my rifle this year. To be on the safe side, I put a 320 grainer through the neck just below the back of the head. It went completely through the moose's neck (about 2.5 ft). The hide is extremely thick around the neck something like a 1/2" thick. Didn't seem to stop the bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    The hide is extremely thick around the neck something like a 1/2" thick. Didn't seem to stop the bullet.
    Ya know, Mainer:

    I've been wonderin bout stuff like that. I don't have enuff experience shooting animules to answer this question.

    Some animals, (like our Little Brown Dawgie, for example) have a lotta loose skin around their neck and shoulders.

    Possibly this loose skin can move and absorb some of the bullets velocity, resulting in less penetration and even cause it to go a bit off course.

    Just wondering if this could be part of the cause when bullets fail to accomplish what's expected, especially when light-fast bullets are used.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Iím with Smitty, 44mag is enough power. More power is better but with all the caveats . . . which is why the old saying ďas big as you can shoot wellĒ and wonít be in the truck because itís too heavy. When you go bigger that 44mag/hot 45 Colt you should also be prepared to put in quite a bit of time mastering it because big boomers like 454 are not easy to shoot well, but it sure is fun learning and maintaining the skill.
    Yeah, I'm thinkin them beeg bores, 454 and UP, are for pushing the limits of what can be accomplished with a handgun.

    They would enable you to shoot and kill a game animal from farther away than what you could do with a normal handgun, and also provide additional power.

    This is PROVIDING you can shoot them accurately enough for longer range shots.

    Since you can shoot them ALL,,,,,,, IF or WHEN you carry your 460 for Bear Protection, what do you load, 45 Colt, 454, or 460?

    Those 460s look like they oughta be farred in a ryfle.

    Also, If I was huntin with a handgun, you kin bet your bottom boot, Iíd be wearing Lectronic Ear Muffs, any time I thought a shot was eminent.

    Smitty of the North
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I pack my 460s with 460 in them (395g cast at 1450fps from the 5Ē) for hunting or just in case but I got light loads I can use for other stuff along with me. I do plink with a lot of 45 and 454 but in the woods itís got 460s in it. I use muffs when hunting anymore no matter the gun, Iím deef enough.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    454 certainly has more power if you can shoot it as well.

    If I wanted to go UP from my 44, I'd choose a modern 45 Colt. Which of course, you can shoot in a 454.
    I bought the Ruger RH in 45 colt (4"). I tell ya, when I shoot those 325 grn. buffalo Bores out of it, it's hard to imagine shooting a short 454. After watching a video of a guy with guns on him about as big as my legs shoot the 454, I said no thanks.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I bought the Ruger RH in 45 colt (4"). I tell ya, when I shoot those 325 grn. buffalo Bores out of it, it's hard to imagine shooting a short 454. After watching a video of a guy with guns on him about as big as my legs shoot the 454, I said no thanks.
    The biggest thing I found with my converted 4" 454 Redhawk with 355ers at 12-1300fps regarding recoil is the muzzle flip and torque/twist of the gun. I had it mag-na-ported and that help a BUNCH. The gun is very shootable. It does a number on this 4 inch gong at 25 yds.

    To the original poster. Get a bunch of ammo and shoot the heck out of that gun!!



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    Snyd you sir are a Shootist indeed.
    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 4merguide View Post
    I bought the Ruger RH in 45 colt (4"). I tell ya, when I shoot those 325 grn. buffalo Bores out of it, it's hard to imagine shooting a short 454. After watching a video of a guy with guns on him about as big as my legs shoot the 454, I said no thanks.
    Same here. got skinny Native American fingers, 320 grainers hot loaded is about my threshold with wood grips.

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    Thank you all for input, you've helped me come to this conclusion: I'll be holding onto my .44 mag. I can reallocate the money I would've spent on a 454 towards next summer's fishing trip. Now, another question. What rounds should I be using to maximize the effectiveness of my weapon? Lead vs Metal jacketed, grain, etc... btw, please excuse any apparent errors in my gun vernacular, I'm a fisherman, not so much a gun-guy (although I do like to go blasting from time-to time.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    same ones you've been using will work. ever since i discovered 320 grainers for 47 dollars (box of 50), I will probably never roll my own.

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    Buffalo Bore makes some very nice rounds and has them in different grains as well as velocity. You can try some heavy hard cast at lower velocity and then move up if you like. They also have some info on the boxes. It is quite pricey though! I used to shoot Garretts when in the lower 48- if you get on thier website they have some pretty great info.
    Enjoy the shooting!

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    These are my choice for my 4.5" SRH .44...
    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...roducts_id=118

    I think Sportsman`s has them for about $50 for 50.


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    I seen a 460 at the range today. This guy was shooting it right beside me.

    It was LOUD, but when I doubled up on my ear protection, it wasn,t too bad.

    The BLAST and Recoil didn't LOOK that bad, BUT it hadda 8 and 3/8" barrel.

    Not for me, but it was a pretty impressive handgun.


    Also, the Nikon BDC Handgun Scope and Cell Phone App for adjusting the range. ???????

    I , better stick with my fordy fore & 357 Mags, I reckon.

    Smitty of the North
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    Thank you, guys. Can you offer some insight as to why a hard cast lead round vs a metal jacketed round?

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