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Thread: bear protection handgun for a woman

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    Default bear protection handgun for a woman

    Looking for other peoples thoughts, I have a friend that wants to get into shooting a handgun also to carry for bear protection. My thinking is a 44 mag might be too much recoil ??? thought about 44 special and 357 mag. thinking her hands are smaller there might be a better slection of handguns in the 357 cal. is this enough for bear protection? Any women on here have any sugestions as to what they use? thanks for any input.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Seriously?

    Plug the words 'handgun', 'bear', and 'protection' into the search field in the upper right corner of this screen and you can read for days. This is the most beaten dead horse on AOD.
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    ok I'll do that, I guess no need for any more input

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    This one's a little different, I think. I carry a 10mm.
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    I have a .460 S&W 3 1/2" compensated barrel ( 4 1/2" overall)which can shoot .45 Colt, .454 Casull or .460 S&W ammunition. My wife, who is not what I consider "strong in the wrist", can shoot any selection of ammo I put in it, even Buffalo Bore, of course she prefers the .45 Colt. She will also shoot my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44Mag and loves to shoot her S&W .357 Mag, but if she goes out alone, I put a 12ga shotgun in her hands.

    Point(s) being, the .460 S&W is a heavy revolver, literaly and in the lead slinging sense, and it sports the compensator. Most anyone can shoot most any properly designed and comfortably fit firearm with some training . Get HER hands on as many different makes and models of handguns as possible so that she can base a decision on fit and feel. Ask any who you know if SHE can take their wheel gun for a spin. I say wheel gun in particular ( this may come across as sexist but is not meant as such ) speaking from experience I have found , in general, that women prefer things less complicated when it comes to firearms and choose a revolver over a autoloader, also I have known a few who lack the strength to cycle an autoloader.

    If you are in the Anchorage/Eagle River area I would be happy to let her shoot a few handguns to get and idea of what is available. You would have to supply the ammo and range fees, of course .

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    Anyone that wants to get into handgun shooting should first get a .22 plinker pistol. the ruger semi-autos that mimic a 1911 frame angle is a good first gun. Learning to shoot a pistol effectively takes months of range time. A couple bricks of .22 is a better way to go than a starting off with a centerfire round.

    I introduced two women this summer to my .44 mag redhawk with HSM "bear loads". Lots of fear and worry up until the first shot. "Hey this is not so bad!" I warmed them up with a few mags of .22 from a target pistol so they easily transitioned to the heavy gun.

    Many people want to carry light handguns, but shoot powerful ammo. Physics says that will be painful or at least hard to manage. Get a heavy revolver with small grips like a Redhawk and they will not have much of an issue after a lot of range time. Otherwise they should look into 10mm or 45ACP semi-auto. I know one women up in Fairbanks that used to shoot IDPA or IPSA and took a charging interior grizz with her 1911 some years ago while doing geology field work.

    Also anyone that chooses a handgun for bear protection needs to spend months on the range in order to make it an effective tool. Otherwise you should stick to a long arm, or hot sauce.

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    Watch the latest WWG show.

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    I'm no expert on shooting bears (spelled BEARS!) with a handgun, but I'm working on my wife's shooting with a S&W 657. She really likes the .41 mag. I thought I'd lost my gun but she told me last night if I get her a .41 I can have mine back.

    It may not work for you, but my floor is:
    1) over .40
    2) over 200 gr.
    3) over 1000 fps.
    All in a gun that's shootable...for her.

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    WWJWD?

    Need 2 more bear protection threads by Friday in order to keep up the previous tempo.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Women are not generic and max for Paris Hilton may well be nothing for Sarena Williams.Elmer Kieth who shot everything wore a size five boot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Anyone that wants to get into handgun shooting should first get a .22 plinker pistol. the ruger semi-autos that mimic a 1911 frame angle is a good first gun. Learning to shoot a pistol effectively takes months of range time. A couple bricks of .22 is a better way to go than a starting off with a centerfire round.

    (sic)
    Absolutely! The first task for anyone considering carrying a defensive handgun is learning to shoot one, and you do that with a 22rf. If the person planning on carrying a larger gun is planning on it being a revolver, than the trainer should be a revolver. A handgun with anymore recoil than a 38 sp wadcutter target load is more likely than not to lead to bad habbits.

    I'd say most people that carry handguns for bear defense do not have sufficient shooting skills to protect themselves.
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    Thanks guys for the input, thanks 338WM for the offer, I am going to take her to the range on the week end and find out what she is comfortable with, with what I have and I may pm you and take you up on your offer. This is the first time I have introduced a woman to shooting and thought it would be eaiser to ask rather than spend hours wading through pages of threads, my intention was not to make any fourm members mad by another thread thats been beat to death several times. Thanks again guys all good advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by akbone View Post
    Thanks guys for the input, thanks 338WM for the offer, I am going to take her to the range on the week end and find out what she is comfortable with, with what I have and I may pm you and take you up on your offer. This is the first time I have introduced a woman to shooting and thought it would be eaiser to ask rather than spend hours wading through pages of threads, my intention was not to make any fourm members mad by another thread thats been beat to death several times. Thanks again guys all good advice
    I am certain you will make sure she has a very positive and enjoyable experience, it is the most important aspect after all

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    Quote Originally Posted by akbone View Post
    Looking for other peoples thoughts, I have a friend that wants to get into shooting a handgun also to carry for bear protection. My thinking is a 44 mag might be too much recoil ??? thought about 44 special and 357 mag. thinking her hands are smaller there might be a better slection of handguns in the 357 cal. is this enough for bear protection? Any women on here have any sugestions as to what they use? thanks for any input.
    I ain't a woman. Not smart enough for that.

    Yeah, 44 mag "might" be too much recoil, then again it doesn't hafta be.

    If you are a handloader, know one, or can find suitable 44 Special loads.

    Just find the proper gun, and f it's a 44 mag, you can deal with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akbone View Post
    Looking for other peoples thoughts, I have a friend that wants to get into shooting a handgun also to carry for bear protection. My thinking is a 44 mag might be too much recoil ??? thought about 44 special and 357 mag. thinking her hands are smaller there might be a better slection of handguns in the 357 cal. is this enough for bear protection? Any women on here have any sugestions as to what they use? thanks for any input.
    I start all new handgun shooters with a .22 revolver, then move up to a fullsize .357 with .38 loads and then .357 loads before going higher. I know many here would argue but Alaska magazine recently ran a story about DLP shootings of bear and .357 was the most 'successful' of the ones studied. That doesn't really mean anything by itself depending on different factors, but a .357 hardcast does get good penetration. A .44 special or similar load with hardcast should be adequate as well as not kick too hard. As a previous post mentioned- the lighter guns are harder to manage and I don't recommend them for someone not used to hard-kicking guns.

    Find a correct grip for her hand and concentrate on proper technique.

    Don't apologize for posting a thread- regardless of what people want to say about it being redundant! If they don't want to read it they don't have to click on it. Just my 2 cents.

    Good luck on finding a good fit for her.

    BEE

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    I have a .460 S&W 3 1/2" compensated barrel ( 4 1/2" overall)which can shoot .45 Colt, .454 Casull or .460 S&W ammunition. My wife, who is not what I consider "strong in the wrist", can shoot any selection of ammo I put in it, even Buffalo Bore, of course she prefers the .45 Colt. She will also shoot my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44Mag and loves to shoot her S&W .357 Mag, but if she goes out alone, I put a 12ga shotgun in her hands.

    Point(s) being, the .460 S&W is a heavy revolver, literaly and in the lead slinging sense, and it sports the compensator. Most anyone can shoot most any properly designed and comfortably fit firearm with some training . Get HER hands on as many different makes and models of handguns as possible so that she can base a decision on fit and feel. Ask any who you know if SHE can take their wheel gun for a spin. I say wheel gun in particular ( this may come across as sexist but is not meant as such ) speaking from experience I have found , in general, that women prefer things less complicated when it comes to firearms and choose a revolver over a autoloader, also I have known a few who lack the strength to cycle an autoloader.

    If you are in the Anchorage/Eagle River area I would be happy to let her shoot a few handguns to get and idea of what is available. You would have to supply the ammo and range fees, of course .
    Would you really carry this with .45 Colt or even .454 ammo in it? A lot of handgun for .45 Colt ammo.
    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by S.B. View Post
    Would you really carry this with .45 Colt or even .454 ammo in it? A lot of handgun for .45 Colt ammo.
    Steve
    The greatest benefit is practicing with far less expensive (.45 Colt) ammo vs. .460 S&W ammo. But, no, I carry it with .460S&W ammo in the cylinder.

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    If she won't actually carry it, it won't be any good. I think the Ruger SP101 4inch in 357 mag with Buffalo Bore or similar 180gr hardcast or Corbon 200gr could be a viable option.

    Here's some info.

    http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-SP101-357.htm
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    My wife carries a S&W 686. The full lug front makes it easy to shoot with .357 loads and not unbearable with Buffalo Bore bear loads.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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