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Thread: 44 Magnum +P Ammo

  1. #1

    Default 44 Magnum +P Ammo

    I don't have any experience with this type of ammo but I am interested in buying an 'OMG a bear is eating my leg' type of gun (most likely a 44 mag). I obviously want one with some zing to it but this ammo is double the muzzle energy levels of normal ammo. I can't imagine what the chamber pressures would have to be and IF the guns could handle this for long. What do you all think?
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    Default

    I've handloaded for my 5.5 " Ruger Redhawk 44 mag for many years, even using 328 grn hard cast bullets (non GC) fueled by carefully worked-up heavy doses of W296...no problems at all. However, not all revolvers are equal in strength, and that is a factor that you need to consider if you choose to shoot heavy for caliber bullets with maximum charges. Do some research and find out which revolver manufacturers and models are known to be strong...some are not as strong as others. I prefer Rugers, but that is my preference not a scientificly determined superiority.

    My carry pistol in the field is a customized 4.75" Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull.

  3. #3

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    I agree with Doc. I sure wouldn't do it in a Smith, but probably wouldn't be afraid to try them in one of my Redhawks if the ammo came from a reputable manufacturer. I keep loads for my Smiths and Rugers segregated and carefully labelled, because some of the hot loads my Ruger likes completely freeze up my Smiths. I pretty much stick to standard factory loads and pressures in the Smiths.

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    Default Last-Ditch Cure for Bear Infestations?

    Quote Originally Posted by Backcuntry View Post
    I don't have any experience with this type of ammo but I am interested in buying an 'OMG a bear is eating my leg' type of gun (most likely a 44 mag). I obviously want one with some zing to it but this ammo is double the muzzle energy levels of normal ammo. I can't imagine what the chamber pressures would have to be and IF the guns could handle this for long. What do you all think?
    I have no idea how much experience you have with guns or handguns, nor how much woodcraft skills you have. That information would help us help you. Tell us a little about yourself.

    To take a first stab at answering your question:

    #1 Education. Learn how bears behave and how to adapt your behaviour for best results.

    #2 500 S&W has got over twice the power of the 44 Mag and throws a heavier bullet (for deeper penetration).

    #3 44 Mag 300 grain solids would be adequate, but you had better know bear anatomy and physiology and be able to shoot very well under pressure (of course, this applies to all shooting of any kind, just more so the lighter the cartridge).

    #4 The selection of adequate rounds is wider in single action revolvers, such as the 475 and 500 Linebaugh and others of that ilk. Fine weapons.

    #5 Practice practice practice.

    #6 The reporting requirements in aftermath of a self-defense bear shooting should be studied before you venture afield.

    #7 In the several forums I have followed referring to exactly your question (in various dimensions), the mention of bear spray almost always stirs up a firestorm. Because it is controversial, it is worth considering (as a substitute for a firearm or as a supplement.)

    #8 Believe only half of what you see and one-quarter of what you hear. That goes double for what you find on the internet. There are lots of knowledgeable people out here who give good, considered advice, and lots of yahoos blowing smoke. It is up to you to sort them out and decide which is which. Including me.

    Good luck,

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

    P.S. My best friend here in Alaska has chosen the .500 Smith & Wesson with a 4" barrel. I chose a .454 Casull Ruger Super Redhawk (because I like the lockwork and strength of the Ruger). I might have gone for the 480 Ruger, a shortened 475 Linebaugh, but I already had a Freedom Arms 454. I used to carry a .44 Magnum Ruger with 265 grain Barnes Solids from Arctic Ammunition Co. A lot of folks choose the Ruger "Alaskan" for its very short barrel, but I figure velocity out of the barrel is more important than speed out of the holster.

  5. #5

    Default A little of what I am thinking

    I have been an avid outdoorsman doing both hunting and fishing most of my 35 years. I am from Missouri so Alaska is completely new territory. I have spent my adult life in the military and have many years of staying in the field but under military conditions which isn't the same as back-country hunting conditions. As far as firearms experience, I have been around guns and have handled them most of my life but I don't have any experience with revolvers at all. I use a Glock 22 for protection when I go to my tree stand down here and my concern is the cougars that are growing in population down here and I have seen sign of where I hunt...though I have never seen one personally. As far as bear spray goes, yes it does cause a firestorm but in my opinion I would rather try that to change a bears mind that is getting to close that shooting and wounding the bear and having to deal with his survival instincts.

    I think that I am a pretty good shot who has seen combat so I know about the 'panic/lack of ability to hit the broad side of a barn' syndrome. I am also 6'3" and 190 pounds. Not the biggest guy but big enough and yet wise enough to know that if I bought a 460 S&W I am going to have be concerned about recoil. I recognize that those big hoss guns are definitely two handed shooters and in most survival instances you are going to draw and fire one handed. I would rather not try picking up my gun afterwards.

    So my dilemna is, shoot a hot 44 magnum load or bump up to a large load like the 454 or 460? Is there a signifcant recoil difference between these rounds? I am certain I can tame a 44 but I am a bit hesitant on anything bigger...but all that is said out of a lack of experience to!!
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    Gentlemen:

    I'm no expert. You all knew that anyway, so I admit it, BUT,

    The reason I have a 44 Mag. is because I figger don't need no steenk'ing +P Ammo. I rely on the beeg boolit, and the large caliber.

    I am of the opinion that the highest possible velocity would have sucha detrimental effect on my ability to shoot quickly and accurately, that it would be all out of proportion to any possible gain in killing power from the extra fps.

    I am loading 300 grain "Cast Performance" WFNGC boolits, with 19 Grains of IMR 4227. I hope you are properly impressed with this quite shootable load in handguns of normal weights, and barrel lengths.

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    Default More free advice (worth every penny)

    Backcuntry,

    Thanks for the extra information.

    Yes full-power 44 magnum recoil is fierce. The 454 Casull is a quantum leap up. I own and have fired both. The effectiveness on bear of the 454 is superior to the 44, in my opinion, because the bullet is heavier and has more frontal area (without expansion). That is even more true for the larger, heavier bullets that come out of the 480 Ruger and even more for the 500 S&W. Oddly, the 500 S&W in 4" with full-power loads is more manageable than the Ruger Super Redhawk with 7.5" barrel firing full power 454 Casull loads. Probably because the Smith has a muzzle brake/compensator and is a heavier gun. I have fired both, side-by-side (as I said, my friend got himself a 500 about the same time I got my 454.) I have never fired a 480 Ruger.

    I have heard the 480 Ruger super Redhawk's recoil described as a "push" as opposed to to the 454 Casull Super Redhawk's sharp "kick". The Casull SRH gains about 15% energy and 50% more recoil over the 480 Ruger SRH in the same bullet weight. Since the bullet frontal areas are about 10% different (and concomitantly, the bullet weights as well) the 480 Ruger may actually have better terminal ballistics (at short range) as well as being easier to shoot.

    But then there is the 500 Smith (which, in my opinion obviates any ballistic need for the 460 S&W for short-range work). I am prejudiced toward the Ruger because I like the lockwork. The Smith has just too many small pieces for my taste. However, it is undeniable that the Double Action trigger pull on my friend's Smith is better than any of my Rugers. The 460 Smith will have a flatter trajectory, for superior long-range effectiveness.

    Do you reload? At $2.25 apiece for 500 Smith cartridges, retail, it can be expensive to practice. We reload the 500s for about 70 cents each.

    Tactically speaking, Alaskan bears tend to be stand-offish (not as much as your cougars, though) except when protecting a food supply (salmon stream or a moose kill, etc), a sow around her young or if surprised. Except in those situations, most of the time they will leave you alone and depart. If not, they may posture and bluff charge. The only way to tell the difference between a bluff charge and a real one is to wait until they get within 5 to 7 yards. If they stop, OK. If not you have only a little time to stop them. A hit to the central nervous system is a sure stop, but getting a hit on that small, well protected (when the bear is coming right at you) is uncertain. A hit to the shoulder that breaks the bone will put the bear down (or slow him to the point where you could probably outrun him) long enough for you to make a kill shot. I had a friend who worked for the Forest Service. The shoulder shot is where they told him to shoot. But then they gave him a 300 Winchester Magnum.

    One guy I know carries a 12 guage for protection, loaded with buckshot for the first shot, followed up with a Brenneke slug. The shot in the face is intended to turn the bear for a followup shot sideways. He has done this successfully twice and is still standing. But shotguns have a habit of leaning against trees while you are fishing instead of being available.

    Plan your response for likely scenarios and practice.

    Please excuse my rambling. It is late here.

    When I have used the terms "Long Range" and "Short Range" I am talking about the difference between distances where bullet drop and velocity loss become significant. Self-defense shooting is, by definition, all Extremely short range. So, unless you graduate to using a handgun as a primary hunting weapon, 460 Smith & Wesson bows out to the 500 S&W and the 454 Casull bows out to the 480 Ruger unless you have a devotion to the 45 Colt/454 Casull or already own a 454 as I did.)

    About recoil. I would not worry about it overmuch. My friend and I practice with light and ultra-light loads with a few full-power loads each shooting session. I have never heard anyone mention recalling the recoil involved in a self-defense shooting, much less it being a factor. Remember, nobody ever flinches on the FIRST shot. You will probably only get one shot before contact is made, one way or the other.

    The time you will have to decide if a bear is real threat or is just bluffing is short. A brownie can run 35 mph over broken ground. That will cover 40 feet in one second. That gives you a scant half-second to make the shoot-not shoot decision. (Check my math. it is late)

    Did I suggest that you take up reloading if you don't already?

    There is a fellow up here (http://www.lsstuff.com/ranger-rick/ Richard Gibson, aka Ranger Rick) making hard-cast bullets for hunters, etc. He makes a 700 grain bullet for the 500 S&W. It takes a big bullet to reach deep to vital organs and bone.

    Remember, you can shred a big bear's heart, and he can still have time to run you down and make dinner of you before his brain starts slow from lack of oxygen. Breaking bone is your best shot.

    Good night, good luck, good hunting.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

  8. #8

    Default Holy Crap!

    Lost Sheep,
    You are obviously an engineer or somebody that deals with math a lot. The scary part is that I followed you. I have been reading as much as I can about bear behavior and following some of the posts in this forum. I have to say that I am a little more than slightly intimidated at the thought of backcountry hunting but I am sure that it is just because of a lack of education/experience. There isn't any bear that is going to keep me from enjoying my three years there and the awesome fishing and hunting that I have dreamed of all my life.

    I don't plan on hunting with a revolver. Honestly, as cool as it is, it just doesn't peak my interest. I am in it for self defense only with the hopes that I will never face that situation but I won't be unprepared if I do. Based on your info I think I would tend to lean toward the 460 just because I know that it'll shoot two other calibers which will be pretty nice when I have to return to the CONUS. I still have plenty of time to think it over and querry for more peoples advice. My big thing is manageable recoil and of course ammo availability...all that with the caveat that I am not pushing the limits of the gun, thus the question about +P ammo with its higher chamber pressures. Thanks for your help and feel free to add to. Right now I'm a sponge soaking it all up!!!!!
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    Default Weight, bulk, stopping power

    If weight and buk are not an issue carry a shotgun with the Brekne slugs or a large caliber high powered rifle with heavy bullets.

    If weight and bulk are an issue then you are stuck with a pistol. Again, weight and bulk come into play. If the handgun you chose is too much burden you won't carry it either or only when you perceive it is absolutely necesary like fishing in a bear infested stream. Not many people will tote a heavy bulky pistol all the time - any weapon at home or back in the camp isn't much good when you meet a bear.

    I broke down my choices to 2 guns: a S&W 329 lightweight .44 Mag that is small and light enough that I will carry it about every time I step off the pavement and a .500 S&W 4" that I carry when I percieve that there is a higher probability of encountering a bear.

    While the Rugers SBHs can carry a heavier load than the .44 mag S&Ws they are heavier and bulkier - the strength comes at a price. I went a bit larger and chose the .500 S&W for my heavy bulky gun. Although the big smiths look really big they don't feel that bad- about half the the weight is in the massive cylinder. The potnetial stopping power of the .500 is a big jump over everything even in factory loadings- i don't know how hot you can handload it iyet.

    For my drop in the pocket gun I chose the S&W 329 PD - no choice really as nothing else even comes close in the power and weight range except the Taurus and they do have reliaility issues -something we don't need in an encounter. The 329 is my everyday companion - it is with me much more than the .500. I dare say I carry it much more than most people would be willing to tote around a standard S&W or Ruger. The 329 is also concealable so the tourist from the lower 48 don't freakout when they see someone toting a firearm.
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  10. #10
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
    ...That will cover 40 feet in one second. That gives you a scant half-second to make the shoot-not shoot decision. (Check my math. it is late)...
    51 1/3 ft/s
    Sorry, had to. Great post Larry!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunt_ak View Post
    51 1/3 ft/s
    Sorry, had to. Great post Larry!
    You know, it is late here in South Korea as well because normally I catch that sort of stuff pretty quickly, but not today!!!

    BTW, gunbroker has 460's & 500's on there for about $1000. How much are they going for up there?
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  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Backcuntry View Post
    So my dilemna is, shoot a hot 44 magnum load or bump up to a large load like the 454 or 460? Is there a signifcant recoil difference between these rounds? I am certain I can tame a 44 but I am a bit hesitant on anything bigger...but all that is said out of a lack of experience to!!
    Each of us has to find his own answer, but for me the upper limit of power and recoil is my ability to do fast and accurate double action shooting. I'm at my own limit with 300 grain bullets at around 1100 fps out of a 44. I place a very high premium on accurate shooting with a bullet that will penetrate well enough to do the job. Like everyone else here and in most places, I haven't shot a brown bear with a handgun, defensively or intentionally. But based on experience with this load on numerous head of game up to moose, I'll trust it for bear.

    I've got and shoot bigger guns including the 500, and I'm man enough to admit that I don't shoot heavier loads well enough to meet my own criteria. Any day of the week I'll take 4 aimed and accurate shots out of my 44 in the same time span it take to make two hope shots with my 500. That's just a measure of me and my abilities and no reflection on anyone else.

    Moving targets move by definition, and bears in rough terrain don't do it smoothly. I've been charged enough times by bear to tell you that they are all over the place as they come at you, and one shot hits in the right spot with ANYTHING is just plain lucky. I want the capability of multiple hits in a very short time period from the holster and with a load that penetrates well. My 300 grain 44 load out of a tuned Smith meets my own standard, but I'm just not good enough to use anything heavier.

    Try this just for fun. Get a pretty steep hillside with a safe spot for a companion and have him roll something round, heavy and 6-12" in diameter down at you, but give it time to get up a real head of steam before it comes in shooting range. Draw and fire. Count the holes. There's your answer. Shooting at a 8" hard styrofoam fishing float, I can get off 4 shots or so and hit with half of them inside 30 yards with my 44 Smithy load. With my 500 or 454 and fullpower loads, I better get lucky and hit it with the first shot because that ball is going to be passing between my legs before I can get off an aimed second shot.

  13. #13

    Default

    When refering to 44 mag +P ammo are you refering to the 340 grain load that Buffalo Bore loads?
    If so buffalo Bore lists the firearms that this load is intended to be used in.

    From BBs web site


    .44 Magnum +P+


    Item 4D: 340 gr. LBT-LFN GC . (1478 fps / M.E. 1649 ft. lbs.)

    Per Box of 20
    $31.96
    Order Now

    NEW HEAVY 44 MAGNUM +P+

    This new load is designed for only certain revolvers that have the cylinder length to handle it. They are as follows. Ruger Red Hawk, Ruger Super Red Hawk, Ruger Super Blackhawk or Vaquero, Freedom Arms Model 83, Taurus Raging Bull and Dan Wesson Revolvers. Suitable rifles include T/C Encore, "modified" Marlin 1894, Winchester 1894, any rifle with a falling block action and the Handi Rifle.

    What do we mean above by “modified” Marlin? Marlin (for an unknown, not well thought out reason) is using a very slow rate of twist (1/38 inches) on their 1894 chambered in 44 mag. Because of this slow rate of twist, the heaviest bullet that the factory Marlin will stabilize is about 270grs. Other firearm makers that chamber for the 44 mag all use a much faster rate of twist so that their guns will stabilize and therefore accurately shoot bullets over 300grs. Many folks today want their 44 magnums to be able to utilize the heavy 300gr. and heavier bullets—Marlin has not figured this out. If you want decent accuracy out of our new +p+ load in a Marlin, it will need to be rebarreled with a twist rate of roughly 1/20 inch. I have Dave Clay rebarrel all my Marlin 1894’s with a faster twist barrel. A 44 magnum that wont accurately shoot 300gr. or heavier bullets is useless to me. Call him at 817-783-6099 for pricing.

    This load brings a level of power to the 44 mag. that has never before been known.

    The below velocities tell the story.

    5.5 inch factory stock Red Hawk--1401 fps
    7.5 inch factory stock Red Hawk--1478 fps

    http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#44P

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    Default

    Looks like Backcountry's question about +p .44 mag has gotten answered overnite. Lots of great information guys.

    Start talking about "bear Vs pistol" to Alaskans, and you're sure to get a mountain of useful responses about calibers, shooting skills, etc.. Backcountry, you're getting a comprehensive seminar, and be sure to also check the archives in this forum because this topic has been thoroughly discussed over the years. Right or wrong, those of us who hunt and spend time in bear country have our opinions about self-defense with pistols. You'll just have to decide what you choose to do.

    I don't hunt with a pistol, but I do admire those who have the skills to do so...I also know that I'm not one of them. I carry a pistol in the field for back-up and quick access. The .454 Casull I carry has been ported, and the front sight replaced with a high visibility type that I can see with my poor vision. (I've attached a photo). I shoot it just fine. I think it was the late Jeff Cooper who said, "The purpose of a pistol is for fighting your way to your rifle," or something like that. Either way, that pretty much says it for me. Another point that sticks in my mind is that most descriptions of actual bear attacks that I have read all start the same way, "It all happened so fast..." Consequently, I figure I've got one shot...maybe...before I'm grabbed by the head and shaken like a rag doll if the bear is determined to do me.

    Before closing (and I apologize to readers for being somewhat longwinded in this post), I have never been charged by a bear in over twenty years of enjoying Alaska's wilderness. Maybe it's because I don't camp in campgrounds, or because I try to be cautious in bear country. I have seen bears while camping with the family and fishing, and I have hunted and taken bears with a rifle. However, my personal experience is that bears have been generally well behaved. All of that being said, I never venture into the field unarmed.
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    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up 44

    The Speer God Dot 270gr FP would be a excellent load as well as the 250gr Win PTHP
    Alaska

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    Default Brown bears and black bears attacks

    Most of the discussions fall on stopping a charging griz and the power and and shooting ability it takes to protect the shooter. While a charging griz is a real threat we shouldn't forget that a lot of bear attacts are by the smaller black bears that simply view a human as a juicy walking cheeseburger.

    While the S&W 329 PD is certainly marginal at best for brown bear with a good load of your choice it is certainly adequate for a black bear that stalks you with the intention of an easy meal. Encounters with a black bear can occur about anywhere - there is a good chance an attack will occur when you left your heavy magnum at home or back in camp - I don't know of anyone that carries a .500 or similar heavy pistol on ever outdoors trip.

    I recommend the 329 PD as a carry everywhere gun- get used to carrying it even if it is dropped in your jacket pocket. A clip on belt hoster is easy to pick up and wear and you soon forget that you are even carrying the gun. The odds of it saving your hide are probably a lot greater than those a big bulky gun of your choice.

    The 329 is also fine for 2 legged pretators- seems like more and more of them are showing up also.
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  17. #17

    Default Awesome Info

    I thank all of you for giving me this education. I know this subject has been brow beaten on this forum to the point that you probably don't want to address it again(and I have read over many other threads in regards to this as well), so I do thank you all!!

    Brownbear,
    You make a good point about getting multiple well placed shots off in a short span that on a larger bore you may only get one due to recoil. That, I have thought about as well and I'm going to think it about more before I make my purchase.

    jwp500,
    The ammo referenced would make the 44's listed kick much like a 454 or heavier wouldn't it just because of the weight difference between the guns or am I off base?

    Doc,
    It's stories like yours...being up there for 20 years and never had a charge...that makes me wonder how balanced these threads that I have read about how dangerous bears are. I have also heard from an Anchorage native that is now my neighbor back home that more people are hurt from moose than bear each year. I would like to think that most of what I am reading on the web from the self proclaimed 'experts' are somewhat reliable but what I have read seems to indicate that blackies are the more fearful of the species and would be less likely to attack. How does that measure up in your 20 years of back-country experience?

    tvfinak,
    I've heard some good and bad about the S&W on this forum. I would think that it's light weight, while being desireable for the backpacker, would be undesireable for the shooter of +P type ammo and the non+P ammo that are just made a touch hot. What is your standard 'bear' load?

    Again, thanks y'all! I really do appreciate this! I am looking forward to doing my time at Elmendorf.
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  18. #18
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    Default A practical upper limit - good advice

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Each of us has to find his own answer, but for me the upper limit of power and recoil is my ability to do fast and accurate double action shooting. I'm at my own limit with 300 grain bullets at around 1100 fps out of a 44. I place a very high premium on accurate shooting with a bullet that will penetrate well enough to do the job. Like everyone else here and in most places, I haven't shot a brown bear with a handgun, defensively or intentionally. But based on experience with this load on numerous head of game up to moose, I'll trust it for bear.

    I've got and shoot bigger guns including the 500, and I'm man enough to admit that I don't shoot heavier loads well enough to meet my own criteria. Any day of the week I'll take 4 aimed and accurate shots out of my 44 in the same time span it take to make two hope shots with my 500. That's just a measure of me and my abilities and no reflection on anyone else.

    Moving targets move by definition, and bears in rough terrain don't do it smoothly. I've been charged enough times by bear to tell you that they are all over the place as they come at you, and one shot hits in the right spot with ANYTHING is just plain lucky. I want the capability of multiple hits in a very short time period from the holster and with a load that penetrates well. My 300 grain 44 load out of a tuned Smith meets my own standard, but I'm just not good enough to use anything heavier.

    Try this just for fun. Get a pretty steep hillside with a safe spot for a companion and have him roll something round, heavy and 6-12" in diameter down at you, but give it time to get up a real head of steam before it comes in shooting range. Draw and fire. Count the holes. There's your answer. Shooting at a 8" hard styrofoam fishing float, I can get off 4 shots or so and hit with half of them inside 30 yards with my 44 Smithy load. With my 500 or 454 and fullpower loads, I better get lucky and hit it with the first shot because that ball is going to be passing between my legs before I can get off an aimed second shot.

    Sensible approach to shootability - sounds like fun too.

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    Default Practice and Theory

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    truncated for brevity...roll something round, heavy and 6-12" in diameter down at you, but give it time to get up a real head of steam before it comes in shooting range. Draw and fire. Count the holes.
    Safer yet, set up the target yourself, braced in position with a piece of wood. With a rifle, shoot out the wood. By the time you have set the rifle down, you should be ready to draw, acquire the target and fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    ...be sure to also check the archives in this forum because this topic has been thoroughly discussed over the years....You'll just have to decide what you choose to do.
    Extremely throroughly discussed. But it never seems to get old. Of course, I have only been following these forums since this winter, but have seen many many.

    see http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=26831

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

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    Default Bluff charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    I have never been charged by a bear in over twenty years of enjoying Alaska's wilderness. All of that being said, I never venture into the field unarmed.
    Absolutely true. Someone who does not want to meet a bear in the woods probably won't, but it does happen.

    I read this on another thread some time ago (Was this you, Brownbear? I liked this post so much, I clipped it for future reference.)

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I'll take "bear sense" over any other defense. #1 is trying to avoid situations that lead to a charge, and #2 is being able to read a false charge. I've been charged half a dozen times in the last 30 years or so, but never had to shoot the bear.

    The most recent charge (last year) happened while I was hunting with a muzzleloader. Two cubs popped out of the brush around 30 yards away, and when the young mom came out right behind them she saw me and immediately came on. She made three great big hops at me, woofing each time she hit the ground and stopping at about 20 feet. If she'd started to come again I would have popped her, but she stood her ground and I started talking to her and backing away slowly. After I had moved about ten feet she turned and went back to her cubs, chasing them off into the woods.

    Lots of other folks would have shot that young sow, but something about the way she was coming told me she was just doing her job getting between me and the cubs and meanwhile trying to chase me off. My other charges came a lot faster, and if they hadn't stopped at 25 yards or so I would have started popping the bear. Just a whole lot of different ways for them to come at you, and some you can tell right away are a bluff.

    The times I've been charged you don't have a lot of time to pick and choose between your defenses. It happens REALLY fast. I carry pepper spray in circumstances when a gun isn't allowed or isn't the best idea, but as a charge starts I always prefer to be looking over gun sights if possible. I might put up a cloud of pepper between me and the bear if it held it's ground while I was backing off, but I kinda think I'd just keep backing and be done with it. Never thought to try it.

    In my eyes pepper is a distant second best to a well-handled gun, but on the up side the bear is going to have to be lots closer before pepper spray will do any good. That would probably prevent you from shooting prematurely into what would in reality have been a bluff charge.
    Lost Sheep (Larry)

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