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Thread: Bear Protection

  1. #1

    Default Bear Protection

    In that there seems to be a wealth of experience in this forum, I would like to get some opinions.

    I will be going fishing to Prince of Wales Island (NE) in May. From my research it looks like the there are a lot of Black Bear, but not Grizz---am I correct? I want to bring along a handgun and have been looking hard at a S&W Mod 29,.44 mag, 3" ported barrel in either bright stainless or satin stainless.

    I was thinking that the satin finish might hold up better against the weather, but the price between the two is minimal. I carry a gun for a living and shooting most any caliber is not a problem. I am also looking for factory loads and would like some recommendations on brand and bullet weight. Corbon had some Deep Penetrators which were not hard cast--anyone use them?

    Again, this is strictly for defense on POW Island. I will not even entertain any kind of spray.

  2. #2
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default

    You are correct, no brown bear on POW. There might be a few unstable residents though. grin

    Go with the satin, less glare and IMHO looks better.

    kingfisherktn

  3. #3
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    .44 Mags have killed a lot of bears, but maybe not quite as effectively as many of today's offerings ...While there are still folks who carry a .44 around, most round up to something a tad bigger. .44's are easier to shoot and to get second shots off while the bigger guns are more effective on the first shot.

    The best compromise between shootability and effectiveness is the .480 Ruger. The recoil from the .480 is not much higher than the .44 Mag, but the larger caliber and bullet weight give it more knock-down power ...very close to a .454 Casull. It's a good choice for black bear and I'd pick it hands down over the .44 Mag. BTW, I own or have owned .357 Mag, .44 Mag, .480 Ruger, and .500 S&W, so I'm speaking from experience that clearly brackets your target range.

    If you think you may be in grizzly/brown bear country some day, you might consider the following: .480 Ruger (minimum!), .454 Casull, 460 S&W, or 500 S&W (or others of similar performance and caliber.) Again, the .480 Ruger is your best compromise ...just buy some heavy Buffalo Bore hard-cast for it.

    Have fun! Get a chest holster for when you're wearing your hip waders (see Dave at http://davidjohnstonleather.com/Pages/Holsters.html and ask for the Guide's Choice chest holster.)

    Brian


    PS: You can find 6-hole Ruger Super Redhawks in .480 Ruger used, or if you buy a new one, it's a 5-hole cylinder now. I'd take either, any finish.

  4. #4
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    I think that is a prety good choice, the 629 but I see no reason for the 3" when you could have a 4" that will carry just as easy and shoot more precisely. As to the ports, if you mean magna port, I'd support that, not a compensator because of excess noise and what comes out of them. As for a holster you should carry it the way you carry a gun daily. Don't reinvent the wheel. Same holster position but with no strap or clever retainer device and add a lanyard stud to the butt of the gun and tether it to your belt at arms length.

    I applaud your rejection of any kind of chemical spray for any purpose. Bears should never be so mistreated.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  5. #5

    Default Go with Buffalo Bore or Garret bullets...

    Hard cast broad meplat bullets are your best bet....

  6. #6

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    I thought about buying the exact gun that you're interested in, Badman. I didn't go with it, though, partly because I couldn't find any non-custom holsters for it; the closest thing was a plethora of holsters for the 4" model, and I figured it would be best to fill the holster all the way. I decided a better gun in that weight range was Smith's .44 Mountain Gun, though they're probably only available used now. Sticking on a compact grip would be an easy way to make any handgun more packable, too.

    For black bear, I think a .44 is fine so long as it's loaded with something stout. Garrett, Buffalo Bore, Grizzly Cartridge, and Double Tap all make spicy ammo of good repute. Something 240 gr. or heavier that doesn't expand is what most people would look for; hardcast with a wide meplat is pretty popular. I think Smiths are limited to 310 gr. or so, otherwise they won't fit.

    For anything bigger than blacks I'd rather pack a lightweight rifle. It's good to know that grizzlies are uncommon on POW, as I sometimes go dipnetting there.

  7. #7
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default perhaps...

    The .44 mag may do well. But, depending on where your future travels take you, a S&W Model 500 with 4" barrel may be worth looking at. I got mine a few years ago for Alaska float trips. It is the perfect handgun for bear protection. A stainless Marlin guide gun 45-70 makes a great companion to the Model 500.
    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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    Default .40 S&w?

    Would anyone consider carrying something in .40 S&W for bear protection?

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Sure...

    For protection from koala bears a .40 S&W would do. Look at .44 mag and up for brown bears. 500 S&W with 4" barrel is my choice. The Ruger Alaskan in .454 is a nice gun too. A less expensive gun than the 500 and has adequate stopping power. My buddy carries one on our yearly NW Alaska float trips. I have the 500 and he has the .454. Big difference in the two guns. If you can handle it, the S&W is a better gun with much more power.
    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.

  10. #10

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    I can't resist! If your going to carry a 40S&W then you'll be better off if you file off the front sight!

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    An oldie but goody!!!!
    Bruce D Reinert
    LTC, (Ret) 150 FW, NMANG, (The Tacos!)

  12. #12
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Not sure if you found a holster but I carry a 629 w/ 4inch barrel in an Alaskan Sportsman s Products holster, has 2 built in speedloader punches. Only complaint is I wish the speedloader pouches were a bit deeper.

    Ive also been able to re-rig this to snap onto a frame pack, internal or external will work..REI has snap buckles. works out good.

    http://www.alaskasportsmanproducts.com/
    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

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redd View Post
    Would anyone consider carrying something in .40 S&W for bear protection?
    It's kind of rare to hear about anyone who carries an automatic as primary bear protection. I figure most of them are chambered for calibers that are useful against humans, but nothing larger, so it makes sense to go with a revolver instead. The only common semiauto caliber that might approach a decent level of stopping power for blackbear is 10mm.

    I suppose a long-barreled Desert Eagle in .50 AE could stop a grizzly, but I doubt anyone will find out.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

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    Default Thank you

    40 SW vs. bear seemed like a stretch to say the least, I would rather find out here. I hunt mainly whitetails in OK (with a 30-06, not a 40 SW ), but I have a chance to go on my first moose hunt in September. I'm trying to learn all I can about hunting in AK before the trip, and came across this site on a google search. There is a ton of great info here...thanks to those that put in the time writing it.

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default yep...

    A 40 S&W is a heck of a lot better than nothing. If I were you, I would see if I could borrow a 44 mag from someone. That would at least give you a chance. Anything smaller is not confidence inspiring. Good luck with your hunt. Don't forget to bring a good camera. You are in for a treat!
    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.

  16. #16
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    I like the idea of someone using a .40 S&W or 10mm for bear protection. When the bear's all through, I'll walk up and get me a free gun!

    Brian

  17. #17
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    Default Free Gun

    Brian,
    Don't forget to wear rubber gloves (based on the front sight advise)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GITDEMBARS View Post
    Brian,
    Don't forget to wear rubber gloves (based on the front sight advise)
    No worries ...I'll clean it with Wipe Out

    Brian

  19. #19
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Smile Ha ha ha...

    "I like the idea of someone using a .40 S&W or 10mm for bear protection. When the bear's all through, I'll walk up and get me a free gun"

    Cold man. Ha ha ha.
    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.

  20. #20
    Member RainGull's Avatar
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    (Insert 22lr bear killings here ) Does anybody remember the fisherman that dropped a brownie with a 9mm with a FMJ about five years back? That one blew my away for dumb luck! I'm going to start a new thread on poky sticks for bear protection. What diameter poky stick is best for bears?
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

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