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Thread: Handguns on Bear...

  1. #1

    Default Handguns on Bear...

    I carry a .454 for protection while bowhunting. I have never shot an animal with it. But I am very curious, has anyone out there actually had to use a handgun in defense ? What was the outcome? dirt.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    gut shot a grizz at 30 feet in the almost dark one night at the lodge i worked at, shot him with a 10mm 200gr XTP, he got 300 yards and crawled in the lake and couldn't hardly move the next morning, had it been a better hit i think it woulda worked just fine, but the hit was poor.
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    Default Shot one with a pop gun

    In October I shot a 200 pounder ( my first bear) down here in Arkansas, with muzzleloader and had to blood trail it wounded into a thicket, It was a good shot but just did not get the job done quickly. I shot it from 15 yards in the head with a cap and ball revolver using a 145 grain round ball and 30 grains of black powder. The first shot put it down but not completely out, a second shot put it down for good. Not something I would recommend but it makes for a great adventure once it is all over and done. I will make my third trip to POW in May but that will be with a blackpowder 45-70 and no pistol backup. In the two previous trips I have passed on several small to average bears. Hopefully this year will be the trip for that trophy!!

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    Default .41 Mag

    Yes I have shot a bear with my 41 magnum at about a foot and half. I was in a tree stand sitting on a bait station with my bow and a bear decided to come up my tree. At about 6 feet I stamped my feet and yelled at the bear it kind of slowed down but kept coming up the tree. At about 1 foot and a half I kicked at the bear with my foot (pistol was draw) and the bear swatted and my foot. Luckily it did not connect because I pretty sure that I would have become a human piñatas because I was tied off to the tree. At this point I decide to shot the bear with my 41 mag and I hit the bear in the upper neck. The bear ran about 20 yards where it expired. The bullet traveled from the neck through the bear’s body and lodged in the hip of the bear. Pretty good penetration at close range. The bear ended up being a nice black bear that squared out to 6'8".

    A hunting friend of mine packs a 12 gauge shot gun when he bow hunts for bears. I find carrying the handgun with a shoulder holster works fine and keeps the gun out of your way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Fortner View Post
    In October I shot a 200 pounder ( my first bear) down here in Arkansas, with muzzleloader and had to blood trail it wounded into a thicket, It was a good shot but just did not get the job done quickly. I shot it from 15 yards in the head with a cap and ball revolver using a 145 grain round ball and 30 grains of black powder. The first shot put it down but not completely out, a second shot put it down for good. Not something I would recommend but it makes for a great adventure once it is all over and done. I will make my third trip to POW in May but that will be with a blackpowder 45-70 and no pistol backup. In the two previous trips I have passed on several small to average bears. Hopefully this year will be the trip for that trophy!!
    OOO,KAY, did you shoot the bar with a "Pop Gun", or a Muzzleloader, or a Cap and Ball Revolver"?

    Since you used 30 grains of black powder I hypothesize, that you used a "Cap & Ball Revolver", which could be classified as a pop gun, but probably shouldn't be called a "Muzzleloader".

    You didn't fool me, No Siree.

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    Rod123:
    Apparently, you were better bait than the bait, which proves that you are worth something after all, since you have mastered the art of being bait.

    Some would have us believe that bears aren’t dangerous, like maybe this one was just coming up to hug you. Well, he sure was persistent, so he must have been “hongry”.

    I’m glad you had the aforethought to bring your 41, and I’m glad you made him “expire” before he made a meal of you.

    Thanks for the Story.
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
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    Default Yes Smitty I said a Pop Gun.

    I originally shot the bear with a 50 cal Muzzleloader using 100 grains of 777 powder and a 300 grain Hornady sabot bullet. I was carrying the Cap and Ball Revolver as back up. Here in Arkansas I guess the DNR doesn't think black bears are all that dangerous since it against the law to carry a center fire gun of any type during bow or muzzleloader season. I was very disappointed with the performance of the Hornady bullet; the shot was 20 yards just behind the near side shoulder at the bear quartering away which should have taken out the offside shoulder. After butchering the offside shoulder looked like it had been shot with a shotgun. I found many pieces of BB size lead. This fall I am going to change to a Power Belt Bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Fortner View Post
    I originally shot the bear with a 50 cal Muzzleloader using 100 grains of 777 powder and a 300 grain Hornady sabot bullet. I was carrying the Cap and Ball Revolver as back up. Here in Arkansas I guess the DNR doesn't think black bears are all that dangerous since it against the law to carry a center fire gun of any type during bow or muzzleloader season. I was very disappointed with the performance of the Hornady bullet; the shot was 20 yards just behind the near side shoulder at the bear quartering away which should have taken out the offside shoulder. After butchering the offside shoulder looked like it had been shot with a shotgun. I found many pieces of BB size lead. This fall I am going to change to a Power Belt Bullet.
    Try a TC maxi ball, And your lucky here in Oregon you can not carry anything but you muzzle loading rifle

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    Thanks Stump: I have used the maxi ball in the past and it thumps deer real good. Yes we are lucky about being able to carrying a cap and ball or single shot muzzle loading pistol as back up for our muzzle loading rifles. I have used one in the past to put down a deer was shot high and had a broken spine and was glad to have it. Come to think about it I was glad to have it on that bear. I also carried the C&B when bow hunting for bear, but I don't know if it is actually legal. The law ways you cannot carry a firearm when bow hunting, but the C&B is not classified as a legal primary firearm just a back up. Last year during bow season, I had a cub climb the tree next to my tree stand while mom was on the ground popping, and all I had was a stick and string. So after that night I decided I would rather take my chances with the game warden than a angry sow.

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    Rusty:

    You DID fool me after all.

    Thanks for the clarification. It makes more sense to me now.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    The .454 is plenty big enough for bear protection. That is a fairly large caliber and the most important thing is that you are comfortable with it and can shoot it accurately. Never mix the .454 with the .45 to save money! A friend of mine had a .454 and had mixed rounds to save money. He had half .454 (first) and half .45. That doesn't seem so bad does it, WRONG! He was hiking and walked up on a Large sow with a grown 250 lb cub. The sow ran off and watched from a distance. My friend stood his ground and yelled at the cub as it circled him about twenty yards away. He finally shot into the ground twice trying to scare the bear away. The cub kept circling him acting very aggressive. He started realizing that if he shot the cub with his last .454 bullet he would have to finish the cub off and face the sow with three .45 rounds. He kept yelling and hitting limbs against trees, throwing sticks, rocks and finally the sow started trotting away and the cub reluctantly followed. My friend waited until they were out of hearing distance and broke several UNIT 14C track records getting down the mountain. I use a .44 mag revolver and this past year I black bear baited and went on a brown bear hunt and I carried a glock 10mm with 200 grain bullets as a side arm. I drew the 10mm on two brown bears during my black bear baiting adventure but both bears lost interest and walked around me and left. The night sights are a plus, as mentioned earlier when the guy shot in pitch dark. Another main point I would add is that what ever you use (even pepper spray) needs to be readily available. Not under your rain gear or in your back pack. Attacks are rare but when they happen its in the blink of an eye. Never put your guard down or substitute "being smart in bear country" just because you have a side arm. I carry a side arm year round when I'm in the Alaskan outback. I have been glad I had my side arm several times in the dead of winter due to "moose" and on one occasion "man". Hope this helped a little or at least made you laugh.

    Later.....bearb8

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    Default yes

    my son is alive today because he used a 454 . last year he was attacked . i believe he shot just in the nick of time as the bear was lunging in mid air . it was very close . with each shot the power from the revolver would move the animal back . but after each shot the bear would still advance towards him . i believe he said he knows of at least hitting it three times . there was a second bear that he saw but was unable to say what it was . the grizzly ended up retreating . there was heavy cover ( willows ) close by . Thats were it came from originally . he was walking a dried out crick bed when the attack occurred . him and his girl friend were stunned ( in shock ) after the occurrance . a troopers report was submitted . the trooper flew over the area as my son had a gps and gave him the cooridance of the spot . no bear was spotted from above . i think he will be carrying something differant ( rifle or shotgun ) next time he goes out like that . i personally wouldn't want to totally rely on a revolver if that was to ever happen to me . its a good idea to pack one if you are camping and are going to sleep .

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    Default shot placement...

    Since we are on the subject, what would be the best place to aim for if being attacked. I have heard to take out the shoulders and such. Hope it never comes to it. But if so, what would you aim for?
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    People, people, people, ....A "good shot" kills the animal quickly, be it a squirrel, or a brown bear, or a black rhino, for that matter. Blow something's heart up, or it's lungs, and it dies. Other shots might have been close, or even might have hit where the shooter was aiming, but does not necessarily make it a good shot. Shoot something center of the chest as it is charging, it is going to die. It might take 20 seconds, but it is going to die. It is the simple biology of no more oxygen going to the brain. As far as making a good shot, then going into the thicket, and making another, the first shot was not a good shot, or another shot would not have been necessary. And if you are using a "pop gun" then next time do the animal a favor, and use a real gun. Maybe not worth much, but my 2 cents.

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    The pop gun was used in a muzzle loader only season and the "pop" gun was the only allowed backup. A heart or lung shot is probably not going to stop a dead charge from a brownie at close range. 20 seconds is way more than enough time for a brown bear to remove your head. The people that have survived a true bear charge without getting eaten or chewed on will all tell you to shoot for the central nervous sytem. If you aim for the head of a charging bear with a heavy cast bullet and miss you will likel still hit it in the chest! A little high and maybe a spine shot, low maybe a heart shot, left or right maybe a lung or hip joint and if you hit it in the head you might just stop it. I agree that if you hit a bear in the lungs it will die, the point is if you shoot a bear set on eating you in the lungs (possibly the heart as well) you may be joining him/her in the after life.

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    I have a video "ultimate hunting in Alaska" by Briar lakes productions with Jack Brittingham I dont know if it is on tape 1 or 2 (but both are good). A fellow is hunting brownies with a bow and ends up having to go to plan B which is his pistol. The video has great footage of him dropping a big bear in its tracks. It is worth a look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moose-head View Post
    I have a video "ultimate hunting in Alaska" by Briar lakes productions with Jack Brittingham I dont know if it is on tape 1 or 2 (but both are good). A fellow is hunting brownies with a bow and ends up having to go to plan B which is his pistol. The video has great footage of him dropping a big bear in its tracks. It is worth a look.
    It's volume II.
    Impressive isn't it?
    That was an LAR Grizzle in 45 Win. Mag.
    Centeral nervous system hit & he was down right there!

    I disagree with Wykee5 if the use of the handgun is bear protection VS bear hunting.
    If it's protection the bear is already within 15ish yds of you. I want to STOP it now & with any gun that ,means a centeral nervous system hit.
    I've never killed a brownie but know many that have & all say the same thing.
    A heart/lung shot brownie can still run for a good minute after being hit with a heavy rifle.
    That means with a heart/lung hit from ANY handgun he can chew on you for a good minute.
    I'll try for a CNS hit myself. Line up for the nose & hope for brain/spine shot.
    I also went down in power for this year.
    I put the 44 mag with heavy hardcast bullets away & will be carrying a 10mm auto with heavy hardcast bullets.
    I am more accurate in quick moving shots (both 1st & follow up) with the auto. I'll take a good hit with a lesser cartridge (within reason) over a maginal hit with a heavier cartridge any day.
    The 10mm also holds 14 rds plus one in the chamber
    Vance in AK.

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    Remember this?
    Anchorage hiker's experience in 2004 - using 44 Mag

    http://dwb.adn.com/front/story/5591480p-5522882c.html

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    44mag story from Anchorage Daily News, 2004:

    http://dwb.adn.com/front/story/5591480p-5522882c.html

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    Default Old story

    Somebody needs to tell the story about the cheechako and the old sourdough and filing the front sight off his new 44 mag.

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