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Thread: Brown Bear Stopping Power 45 auto vs 44 magnum

  1. #21
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    The additional info you provided - the carrying of a .340 & .375 - puts things more in perspective.

    With bears the 45acp would be the weapon of choice to use on yourself - not the bear should things go bad. The 44mag is the only acceptable choice between these two calibers.

    However, if I'm carrying either one of the two rifle calibers you mentioned, unless I'm on the ground getting mauled, the 44mag would not be the weapon I would think of using.

    One other tip, on a moose hunt where I'm concerned about bears I would not top either rifle with a scope suitable for determining if the moon really is made up of Swiss cheeze. A 4 power is plenty - anything larger is only in the way should you need to shoulder the weapon quickly and fire. IMHO

  2. #22
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    Default No, only if the long gun is too far away

    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    If I had a 340 or 375 with me and I knew how to use it then I recon thats what I'd use. I mean what are ya gonna do, lay the rifle aside and grab the side arm? If your in the situation where its a surprise charge then your still be able to swing the rifle faster than you can clear leather with the handgun!
    Perhaps I was not clear in my earlier post. If all three (2 medium caliber rifles, one 44 mag revolver) are available, pick the handgun as a last choice.

    If you are on the move, keep both rifles loaded with ammunition suitable for bear. When you are ready to take a moose, load one rifle with ammunition suitable for moose and leave the other loaded for bear. The hunter with that rifle is the designated bear defense guy.

    The handgun(s) is/are only for when you find yourself caught away from either rifle . Either rifle (whether loaded with moose loads or bear loads) is superior to the 44mag for bear defense.

    Lost Sheep

  3. #23
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    Can you tell us what velocity your were getting, or would you be willing to tell us the load data (primer, powder, etc)? Did the bullets keyhole?
    I get them from these fine folks. I only shot them out to 25 yards and they cut perfect holes. The owners don't reccomend shooting them outside of 30 or 35 yards out of a four inch as they start to tumble.

    As for Alaska, we get there as often as possible. This year July 18th -31st.

  4. #24

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    My main idea of the handgun, after being on two prior hunts on the tundra, is for being a companion while using the restroom and not having to lug the rifle with me, basically going 50 feet from the tent area is the use of the handgun.

    Thanks,
    John

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Keppel View Post
    My main idea of the handgun, after being on two prior hunts on the tundra, is for being a companion while using the restroom and not having to lug the rifle with me, basically going 50 feet from the tent area is the use of the handgun.

    Thanks,
    John
    That's an excellent idea.

    To take it a step further, one should practice shooting from the "Position", with gun held in the non-wiping hand. A speed loader should be placed between the teeth.

    You just never know.

    It's like that Boy Scout told me. He said, "Smitty, BE PREPARED".

    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.

  6. #26
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    Default Yeah combo speed-loader, holster and TP roll holder

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    That's an excellent idea.

    To take it a step further, one should practice shooting from the "Position", with gun held in the non-wiping hand. A speed loader should be placed between the teeth.

    You just never know.

    It's like that Boy Scout told me. He said, "Smitty, BE PREPARED".

    Smitty of the North
    Part of everyone's camping equipment. A stake you stick in the ground to hold the toilet paper roll, a holster for the gun and your flashlight. Spare ammo well is optional.

    What else can we hang on this little gizmo?

    Lost Sheep

  7. #27
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    Default Wrong Question

    First of all the color of the bear doesn’t matter much. Brownies are usually bigger, but Black Bears often have a great deal of attitude, and may be quicker to charge. Secondly pistols are not good bear guns in whatever caliber. Many in Alaska will carry a shotgun loaded with slugs in the bush but if you expect to have to shoot a bear you would be better off with a high powered rifle as bears sometimes will charge from a distance when they see you and that distance will diminish rapidly. It is nice to place a few well located shots before they get too close.
    I know personally of people who have hunted bears with a handgun ONCE. A friend in the Juneau area hunted a Black Bear with a 44 Mag with hot loads and put 2 cylinders into a bear before it stopped it. A woman on Kodiak killed a bear with a 357 at point blank range when it tried to get into her house.
    The next point is what can you shoot best? 44 Mag recoil usually affects returning to target for following shots. 45 acp hot loads are actually pretty hot although less than the energy of a 44 Mag but then I would choose putting 8 rounds from a 45 acp into a target that was aggressive to putting 1 round of 44 Mag into it. IMHO the 44 Mag is overrated and having seen many kills of many different animals have never seen a 44 Mag advantage.
    The last point is that bears are not the really dangerous animals in the bush. People are. You are many miles usually from any police authority and anyone you come on will know this. It is rare but not unusual for people to disappear in the bush. Carry the sidearm you can shoot well. Carry a rifle if you hunt or expect bears. Carry a shotgun if you expect to be at close range. And pay attention to what is going on around you.
    I carry a Kimber 45 acp at all times. A 375 H & H Akley Improved in true bear country. And a Berretta Model 12 with my fishing gear.
    Enjoy Alaska.
    Das

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Keppel View Post
    I am making a trip to Alaska this year to a very hot bear area but will not be hunting bear. I am bringing a newcomer to Alaska this year with me and he has gun selection concerns. Understanding all situations are different, but what is the overall concensus on what caliber might be sufficient to stop a bear. I know this question has been debated over and over again, I am sure. The calibers in question are 45 auto vs 44 magnum. Thanks for any input you all might have.


    Between the two choices I would without a doubt take the 44 mag with an LBT style flat point hard cast of 300 grains or more doing at least 1200 FPS

    If your friend decides on the 45 ACP then I recommend the Buffalo Bore 255 grain hard cast load at 960 FPS. This is the best load that I know of for the 45 ACP for the job that you describe

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Das View Post
    First of all the color of the bear doesn’t matter much. Brownies are usually bigger, but Black Bears often have a great deal of attitude, and may be quicker to charge. Secondly pistols are not good bear guns in whatever caliber. Many in Alaska will carry a shotgun loaded with slugs in the bush but if you expect to have to shoot a bear you would be better off with a high powered rifle as bears sometimes will charge from a distance when they see you and that distance will diminish rapidly. It is nice to place a few well located shots before they get too close.
    I know personally of people who have hunted bears with a handgun ONCE. A friend in the Juneau area hunted a Black Bear with a 44 Mag with hot loads and put 2 cylinders into a bear before it stopped it. A woman on Kodiak killed a bear with a 357 at point blank range when it tried to get into her house.
    The next point is what can you shoot best? 44 Mag recoil usually affects returning to target for following shots. 45 acp hot loads are actually pretty hot although less than the energy of a 44 Mag but then I would choose putting 8 rounds from a 45 acp into a target that was aggressive to putting 1 round of 44 Mag into it. IMHO the 44 Mag is overrated and having seen many kills of many different animals have never seen a 44 Mag advantage.
    The last point is that bears are not the really dangerous animals in the bush. People are. You are many miles usually from any police authority and anyone you come on will know this. It is rare but not unusual for people to disappear in the bush. Carry the sidearm you can shoot well. Carry a rifle if you hunt or expect bears. Carry a shotgun if you expect to be at close range. And pay attention to what is going on around you.
    I carry a Kimber 45 acp at all times. A 375 H & H Akley Improved in true bear country. And a Berretta Model 12 with my fishing gear.
    Enjoy Alaska.
    Das
    I have friends who hunt black bear exclusively with handguns, and I myself only hunt with a rifle when I have to! Loaded properly I couldn't disagree with you more that a handgun is not an effective weapon.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Das View Post
    First of all the color of the bear doesn’t matter much. Brownies are usually bigger, but Black Bears often have a great deal of attitude, and may be quicker to charge. Secondly pistols are not good bear guns in whatever caliber. Many in Alaska will carry a shotgun loaded with slugs in the bush but if you expect to have to shoot a bear you would be better off with a high powered rifle as bears sometimes will charge from a distance when they see you and that distance will diminish rapidly. It is nice to place a few well located shots before they get too close.
    I know personally of people who have hunted bears with a handgun ONCE. A friend in the Juneau area hunted a Black Bear with a 44 Mag with hot loads and put 2 cylinders into a bear before it stopped it. A woman on Kodiak killed a bear with a 357 at point blank range when it tried to get into her house.
    The next point is what can you shoot best? 44 Mag recoil usually affects returning to target for following shots. 45 acp hot loads are actually pretty hot although less than the energy of a 44 Mag but then I would choose putting 8 rounds from a 45 acp into a target that was aggressive to putting 1 round of 44 Mag into it. IMHO the 44 Mag is overrated and having seen many kills of many different animals have never seen a 44 Mag advantage.
    The last point is that bears are not the really dangerous animals in the bush. People are. You are many miles usually from any police authority and anyone you come on will know this. It is rare but not unusual for people to disappear in the bush. Carry the sidearm you can shoot well. Carry a rifle if you hunt or expect bears. Carry a shotgun if you expect to be at close range. And pay attention to what is going on around you.
    I carry a Kimber 45 acp at all times. A 375 H & H Akley Improved in true bear country. And a Berretta Model 12 with my fishing gear.
    Enjoy Alaska.
    Das
    Loaded properly and the proper caliber a revolver will flatten a bear in a heart beat, I know this from expereince not by something that I read


  11. #31
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    Enjoy your preferences. By all means come to Alaska with your handgun and flatten some bears.

  12. #32
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    Why are there rifles?

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Das View Post
    Why are there rifles?
    Because most folks can't shoot powerful handguns worth a darn! LOL!

  14. #34
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    Originally Posted by Das
    Why are there rifles?

    Whitworth



    Because most folks can't shoot powerful handguns worth a darn! LOL!

    True enough. I have a friend who hunts deer and hogs in VA and FL with a muzzleloader. Which he assures me is the only real hunting gun.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Das View Post



    Originally Posted by Das
    Why are there rifles?

    Whitworth



    Because most folks can't shoot powerful handguns worth a darn! LOL!

    True enough. I have a friend who hunts deer and hogs in VA and FL with a muzzleloader. Which he assures me is the only real hunting gun.
    And I have friends who look down their noses at anyone who doesn't bow hunt. What's your point?

  16. #36
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    Rifles are for longer distances where you might have time to shoulder it and get a sight picture. Hand guns are for close range where you are shooting with one hand while trying to push away with the other. Rifles don't work well at all under those circumstances. Imagine trying to work a bolt with one hand while a bear is chewing on the other. Another thing, your ability to shoot your handgun accurately at this distance doesn't matter one hoot either. The wieght of the bullet and amount of powder behind it could be very signifacant.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    Rifles are for longer distances where you might have time to shoulder it and get a sight picture. Hand guns are for close range where you are shooting with one hand while trying to push away with the other. Rifles don't work well at all under those circumstances. Imagine trying to work a bolt with one hand while a bear is chewing on the other. Another thing, your ability to shoot your handgun accurately at this distance doesn't matter one hoot either. The wieght of the bullet and amount of powder behind it could be very signifacant.


    Also try getting a rifle into play while inside a slepping bag and tent

  18. #38
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    And yeah. What jpw500 said. A rifle in a bivey sack or a small tent could be a little difficult to get pointed in. Rifles are great where you can use them. Hand guns are much better in very close quarters.

  19. #39
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    for rbuck351

    This is why African guides traditionallly carried double-rifles in large calibers. The distance matters significantly, energy falls off with the square of the distance. A 44 Mag at 100 yds and a 45 acp point blank favors the 45 acp. Hand guns are as you say for close personal defense, but excepting some latter-day wildcats were not designed for dangerous game. Again look at African safaris ... the minimum caliber for hunting dangerous game is the 375 H&H mag. I don't know of any pistol caliber that can match the 375's ballistics at any range.

    Check out your northern neighbors, they have taken many Polar Bears with 22's and even with spears. Would you be comfortable hunting Kodiaks or Grizz with a spear?

  20. #40
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    to whitworth

    The point is gun selection is very personal, and you are unlikely to change personal opinions especially when what they use works for them. That's why gun stores do not have only one caliber for all uses. That's why some people hunt with low powered hand-gun calibers, as compared to heavy-weight rifle calibers. To each their own ... I choose the more definitive over the possible. Everyone else can do as they please.

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