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Thread: advice needed with 44 mag and how to stop a big bear

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    Default advice needed with 44 mag and how to stop a big bear

    Has anyone had to shoot big bears with a handgun such as 44 mag DE
    I take young children up camping and we can't be packing a rifle 24/7 so I have a DE 44 which I will convert to a 50 cal
    But where is the best place to hit such with a first shot etc. especially when charging.
    I need a little advice so I can be prepared. I have had or should I say with my rifle It would not bother me
    His head will drop instantly, but a pistol as it is only for close range and is more difficult for accuracy.
    I have no trouble with cougars etc, just concerned with grizzly and God help us it doesn't come to that

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    "Ė Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    .22
    shoot the slowest kid in the knee
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    Seriously though, for all pistol shots the head is your only option. Get to a range and practice on a moving target. Make sure it moves towards you. Start slow - walking pace - and then speed up to about 15mph with a car or ATV pulling the rope. The likelyhood that you will hit a bear without practice is pretty low. In most cases you will only have 1.5 to 2 seconds to do something, so you need some skills learned through thousands of rounds of practice.

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    The gun is the last line of defense. Do you and your family know how to be Bear Aware and what to do or NOT do when you see a bear?
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    The Essentials for Traveling in Bear Country

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...rs.bearcountry

    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Like any self defense situation, practice with purpose and regularity cause if and when you need to defend yourself you will fall back on it. It is obvious less than ideal to use a pistol for bear protection. With that said, I do it myself so feel no need to ridicule. I have a 500 S&W and Glock 10 mm I take depending on where in Alaska I am traveling. Neither are ideal, but I spend enough time shooting them to prefer them over a sharp stick as the old saying goes. Common sense, respect, and a clean camp are far more valuable tools when around bears. I consider the pistol a last resort.



    Dan

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    Over the years I'm come to the conclusion that those who have developed sufficient skills with a handgun to protect themselves don't need to ask the question, and those that have to ask the question haven't developed sufficient skills with a handgun.

    Based on what I've seen at the range over the years, the majority of people with handguns do not have sufficient skills to defend themselves unless luck plays a large part in their plan.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    OHHH, enuff of this,,, "You don't have a chance", "you have only seconds", "handguns are inadequate", "it requires advanced skills", etc.

    Not all senarios are worst case senarios.

    IF you shoot, how much time you have, and where you TRY to hit a bear is an umpredictable variable. Not only that, the bear is unpredictable. So much for "Bear Behavior".

    If you don't have much time and the bear is close you will probably just be pointing at BEAR. (Center of Mass??)

    Lots of bears have been killed with handguns in DLP situations, and most haven't been hit in the head.

    If you are familiar with your handgun, you are in pretty good shape.

    If you are alert, that will likely help a LOT.

    Smitty of the North
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    This is going to be one of those 'subject' that are going to get interesting. As has already been stated one needs to practice using a handgun a lot. While handguns are not the best choice, if that is all you have, then it is the best choice. Recently I had the chance to see pictures of a grizzly bear that was shot at less then 15' with a 44 Special handgun. The person that shot the bear was hiking a sheep camp out and did not have a long rifle in hand. He shot the bear once in the head, the skull was fractured and the bullet was recovered in the rear of the skull. Lucky shot, maybe but the fact is that he dropped the bear. The bear was not large, but it was a good size one for the country that he was in.
    I have carried a Ruger 44 mag loaded with 300 grain bullets while in the back country and did not feel under gunned. I now carry a Glock 10mm with full power house loads. Again this may not be the best weapon to have but......... I have hunted and shot bears with a handgun, but things were in my favor, the bear was not charging or otherwise pissed.

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    Your best self defense weapon with bears would be a shotgun with slugs. The only reason I am suggestion that is the average persons does not carry, practice, and live on a everyday basis with both the big bore pistol or bad bears. If you do not practice with a... lets say a 44mag a lot and learn the lift (recoil), draw and fire and hit the target or pie plate threat you will probably not hit a bear charging you. I could go on and on with the training segments of this but in all reality most will not invest the time or money to become proficient in this. So in short I would suggest as suggested above is learn some of the do's and don't in bear country and teach the family as well. Then look into a 870 rem short to carry if you feel the need for those outing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    Your best self defense weapon with bears would be a shotgun with slugs. The only reason I am suggestion that is the average persons does not carry, practice, and live on a everyday basis with both the big bore pistol or bad bears. If you do not practice with a... lets say a 44mag a lot and learn the lift (recoil), draw and fire and hit the target or pie plate threat you will probably not hit a bear charging you. I could go on and on with the training segments of this but in all reality most will not invest the time or money to become proficient in this. So in short I would suggest as suggested above is learn some of the do's and don't in bear country and teach the family as well. Then look into a 870 rem short to carry if you feel the need for those outing.
    Well, practice is good with anything, of course.

    Lookin at it from my personal perspective, I would require more "practice" with the Shootgun, than my 44 Mag. Particularly the ones that are considered appropriate for Bear Protection.

    The recoil, is Brutal. Especially, from heavy slugs. I know, I tried it. Buckshot at close range won't make up for poor aim, either.

    Someone who is good with a Pump gun, wouldn't mind, but who wants to walk around with a shootgun hangin on their chest, unless they KNOW a bear encounter is EMINENT?

    Smitty of the North
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    I agree with everything you said and there is a draw backs on both sides of the fence. I don't like carrying either a shotgun or a heavy SS mag pistol but it is much harder to master a large frame pistol than a shotgun. You will spend far more time and expense with a pistol than you would ever spend with a shotgun I am not saying that to detour anyone from pistol training. As a firearms instructor that teaches 5 weapon systems there is far more time spent on pistol fundamental than with the four others. I would also agree with the normal recoil from a shotgun with slugs. The primus is providing you were able to get one good shot off on target with a slug gun that would be enough to either detour the charge or dispatch the threat. The argument to that is a pistol is much faster than a short shotgun.... and I would agree if you can get that one good shot off. The best defense of all is to not put oneself in that position by using good camping and hiking techniques.

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    You can't pack a rifle but you'll pack a Desert Eagle? I think the rifle would be lighter! Seriously though, why do you want to convert your 44 to 50? If you're comfortable with it in 44mag I would stick with that and practice, practice, practice!

    Good luck!
    Life is too important to be taken seriously.

    Chinese proverb

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    it is much harder to master a large frame pistol than a shotgun. You will spend far more time and expense with a pistol than you would ever spend with a shotgun I am not saying that to detour anyone from pistol training. As a firearms instructor that teaches 5 weapon systems there is far more time spent on pistol fundamental than with the four others.
    You're probably right on the training.

    I'm not a firearms instructor, so you would know better than I. Maybe I could get along better with a Shootgun than I think. (In comparison)

    An important consideration, from a practical point of view is the fact that a handgun is more portable.

    When I'm scouting I usually carry my 30-30. When hunting I will have another rifle. The handgun is for those occasions when I'm hiking to a spot to go fishing, OR when packing out meat. (It's such a pain to carry my rifle and a HEAVY pack at the same time.)

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC in AK View Post
    You can't pack a rifle but you'll pack a Desert Eagle? I think the rifle would be lighter! Seriously though, why do you want to convert your 44 to 50? If you're comfortable with it in 44mag I would stick with that and practice, practice, practice!

    Good luck!
    An important point, that.

    With so many folks it seems that carry weight is such a huge problem.

    But, IMO, it shouldn't be. If I like a gun, be it a handgun or rifle, and enjoy shooting it, I don't mind carrying it. I even look for reason to take it with me.

    SOTN
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    Smitty
    You are very right about a pack and a rifle or shotgun over the shoulder. For the most part carrying a sidearm is much easier and faster than a long gun, shotgun. When I used to teach CCW classes I would point out that you carry what you are comfortable with (size, weight, cal etc and yes proficient) because that will the weapon that you have on you when you need it. I too find myself in the same boat at times by carrying a 1911 instead of something a bit larger like my 44mag when I am out and about on the trails.

    Sweepint
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    The man asked if anyone had had to shoot bears with a handgun such as a .44 Mag. He's asking because that's what he has and he wants to protect his children while camping. Some of the answers posted were condescending, like saying that if he had to ask that question then he is not skilled enough to handle a handgun. He's asking for advice in a real life serious situation, not to be ridiculed.

    Having taken Black Bears in Washington and Oregon with .357 and .44 Mags in hunting situations I found that they have proven adequate to the task. I have not had to use a handgun on Brown Bears and Grizzlies, hunting or defensively. When I am in big bear territory, but not hunting, I usually carry a Colt Anaconda loaded with Garrett hardcast bullets, which I have confidence that it can stop or at least turn a big bear in a charge, even with a center of mass hit. That said, earlier this Spring, I was out hiking with my 14 year old son when we encountered a very large Brown Bear. That time I was not wearing my Anaconda with Garretts but had chosen to take instead my Taurus Tracker .44 Mag holding 5 rounds of 240-grain JHP. With what I had on me I did not feel confident in that loading to effectively stop a charge. My son and I slowly and cautiously retreated in the face of possible danger.

    I would feel adequately armed with a .44 Mag loaded with Garretts or Buffalo Bore hard cast bullets.

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    In a charge, shoot for the mouth. If you can actually hit the mouth the bullet will be directed by bone to the spinal cord. A close miss will hit vital areas whether high, low left or right. A heavy cast bullet going 1200 to 1400 fps and a decent hit will work from 40 cal on up. Lots of practice from the holster to first shot and lots of bear avoidance and your odds of bear problems are slim.

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    Default advice needed with 44 mag and how to stop a big bear

    Aww maybe I'm special too!!!!
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

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    My hunting partner (1Cor15:19) dropped a brownie at close range this fall with his .44 mag. It was something of a surprise encounter and while he emptied his gun the bear went down dead where it was hit. It was not a huge bear (somewhere between 7.5 and 8 feet) but big enough at close range. I don't remember what he was pushing; he reloads his own. You can press him for more details if you need to. I know he doesn't feel undergunned carrying it.

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