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Thread: Revolver or Semi Auto?

  1. #1
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    Default Revolver or Semi Auto?

    I am sure this question has been discussed before, but here it is anyway. I am considering a pistol for carrying while backpacking in the backcountry and while bowhunting near my home. What is preferable...a revolver (5 or 6 rds.) or a semi-automatic, magazine fed pistol? I was thinking along the lines of a 44 Mag, 45, or a 460. Thanks in advance for your input.

  2. #2
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    While I carried semi-autos for years to deal with two legged critters, I usually try to carry a heavy magnum double action revolver for ticked off four leggerd critters. Although I did use a Glock 20 with hot 10mm handloads for awhile while bow-hunting.

    I currently use an old M-29 loaded with 310 grain hard cast handloads that are fairly hot. If one does not go off, I just pull the trigger again and the next round moves right over and goes off.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Member Chisana's Avatar
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    Smith and Wesson 329 PD with Garrett ammo. Or a Bowen Redhawk 500 Linebaugh. I have both and have complete confidence in them.

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    Member B-radford's Avatar
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    Carry what ever you would be more comfortable handling.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    What ever you can shot the best at 15 yards that has enough power to make a difference.

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    Ruger Redhawk in .44 Mag. Load 300gr flat point lead bullets.

  7. #7

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    I know someone is going to find offense to this but... I carry my glock .40 everyday and feel very comfortable with a quick shot at close quarters like most bear encounters are. I feel like I have a better chance with a gun that I use all the time than with one I only shoot 1-2 times a year.
    I have had to shoot a bear with it at about 10' and the bullet entered the skull and hit the rear of the skull making about a golf ball size hole in the rear but the bullet did not make it through the skin.
    just my 2 cents

  8. #8
    New member fishingis4play's Avatar
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    Default LAR Grizzly 45 Win Mag

    heavy gun but wouldn't trade it for a .44 on a bet matter of fact I sold my .44 to buy it. I prefer the semi over a wheel gun and my 45 Win Mag speaks very well!

  9. #9
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    Smile revolver

    Here is an excerpt of an account of them shooting the bear in Katmai park and what kind of chaos can occur. The chances are slim that you will have to use your pistol, and you wont care what pistol you are carrying most of the time, but I bet if a bear is charging you, you would trade all of your paychecks for the biggest gun possible. I dont think a semi auto is enough.....

    Park rangers encountered a large, aggressive male brown bear within minutes of arriving. Ranger Joel Ellis said two officers stood by with shotguns as he fired 11 times with a semi-automatic handgun before the animal fell, 12 feet away.

    "That was cutting it thin," said Ellis, the lead investigator. "I didn't take the time to count how many times it was hit."
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Default Nothing less than...

    A .50 BMG IMHO...I love to carry my 90mm recoiless for the four legged nasty critters...& if things really go haywire, I love my lil' claymores...my backups a lil' .22 Derringer...two shot...just in case...

  11. #11
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    Red face an example

    This is a scary account of a guy using a .45 that didnt help. But he accidentally ejected his magazine after a couple rounds. A guy here in soldotna had his face chewed on by a big brownie in similar fashion a few years ago and managed to get it to run off after emptying his .44 into it. I know ggoalie is joking but you would wish you had a claymore:

    GLIDE, Ore. (AP) - Aaron Wyckoff didn't start to panic until his .45-caliber pistol quit firing, and the bear kept chewing on his arm. So, he recalls, he tried to pull the bear's jaws apart. Then he tried to roll down the ridge where he and the bear were wrestling. But the bear grabbed his calf, pulled him back and went for his groin.Wyckoff said he countered by shoving his pistol and his hand into the bear's mouth. But by then, the struggle in the Cascade Range in Southern Oregon attracted the attention of Wyckoff's party, and other hunters rushed over. Justin Norton fired a round from his .44-caliber pistol into the black bear's stomach, to no avail. He approached the bear, put the gun behind its ear and fired again. It finally rolled away.
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    454 srh 7.5' barrel and i don't mine the weight vs anything smaller:d

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sollybug View Post
    This is a scary account of a guy using a .45 that didnt help. But he accidentally ejected his magazine after a couple rounds. A guy here in soldotna had his face chewed on by a big brownie in similar fashion a few years ago and managed to get it to run off after emptying his .44 into it. I know ggoalie is joking but you would wish you had a claymore:

    GLIDE, Ore. (AP) - Aaron Wyckoff didn't start to panic until his .45-caliber pistol quit firing, and the bear kept chewing on his arm. So, he recalls, he tried to pull the bear's jaws apart. Then he tried to roll down the ridge where he and the bear were wrestling. But the bear grabbed his calf, pulled him back and went for his groin.Wyckoff said he countered by shoving his pistol and his hand into the bear's mouth. But by then, the struggle in the Cascade Range in Southern Oregon attracted the attention of Wyckoff's party, and other hunters rushed over. Justin Norton fired a round from his .44-caliber pistol into the black bear's stomach, to no avail. He approached the bear, put the gun behind its ear and fired again. It finally rolled away.

    the same thing could happen with a .500, or whatever else your preferred hanggun is. Shoot what you can hit with. And something is better than nothing.

    When it comes down to it, if it's your time to go, it's your time to go!

  14. #14
    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    And, of course, no matter what you get remember to file the front sight off.
    We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
    James Madison

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    .454 Ruger Alaskan for me

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I would suggest a revolver in .44 mag, the Ruger Alaskan 454 Casull, or the S&W Model 500 with 4" barrel (my choice).

    There are tons of informative older post in the shooting/handgun sections that would be good reads for you. Go to those forums, use the search feature for "bear gun", "bear", "bear protection", etc.. and you should find many opinions and ideas. Best advice was given here before me. Take what you feel comfortable shooting. If you can't control the gun, it doesn't matter how impressive the ballistics are on paper.
    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.

  17. #17
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    Default .460

    i didnt see anyone rocking he .460 and that is what i pack with 325 grain corbon hardcasts. the beauty of that gun is you can take it out plinking with .45 long colts and if the .460 is to hard for you to shoot you can stuff the .454 magnnums in it and still do quite a bit of damage. and if all else fails it has enough weight to it that it would be an excellent club. in my opinion when you are hiking in bear country the bigger the better, you may be able to pump more rounds in to a bear faster with an auto but if they are not well placed you may not stop that bear before he stops you. If you have a hot loaded hard cast out of a revolver you can go from one end to the other, hit one bone and it will explode, hit him in the shoulders, and he will not be able to run at you. There is nothing wrong with a good .44mag or a .454 these are great backpacking guns especialling in the ultra light models they have now a days if weight is an issue. if you use an ultra light though it goes without being said that there will be more kick.

  18. #18

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    I hunt regularly with a Super Redhawk 44 mag w/ 9.5" barrel. I've seen what 300gr castcores do on black bears, and I'm confident in my ability to shoot it.

    I think confidence and comfort in shooting are just as, or more, important as the gun itself.

    RW

  19. #19
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    Hum... Back country protection, Well it depends on your ability in handling a powerful revolver and its recoil, because no matter how big and powerful the gun is, if you can't handle it you are more likely to miss your target. My preference between the mention calibers is the .454 because I feel very comfortable and confident in this canon to drop anything that I feel is a threat or an opportunity for harvesting. I would personally stay away from the .45 ACP; it's ideal for people and not dangerous critters. The other caliber works fine, but only if you are proficient with them.

  20. #20
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    Default Revolver .44

    There are a few semi-autos that may have the power but a short revolver is my life saver. I have a custom 3" Smith and Wesson Trail Boss. Many short revolvers are made and for good reason, they're simple and light. I think anything over a 5" barrel starts to get in the way. To get use to it, just use cowboy action light recoil loads and then work up to Garrett +P loads. They make the most powerful load out there. Shoot the bear with the first round, studies show people most often don't have time for more than 1 or 2 shots before contact. Happy Trails!

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