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Thread: Backpacking Bear Gun

  1. #1

    Default Backpacking Bear Gun

    I realize this has been discussed here and in other forums and I've reviewed several of those. I also really don't need to hear the joke about filing off the front sight, heard it before too. I'll be carrying a backup gun for bowhunting Montana, Wyo and Colorado and also want a carry gun when scouting the Beartooths this summer for Montana unlimited sheep.

    What I'd like to hear is if anyone has any experience with any of the guns listed below, especially if anyone has actually hunted medium or large game with them. I'll probably choose a .44 magnum knowing the the limitations with this caliber on big bears, although would consider a 454 Casull or 500 S&W if I could find one light enough for holster carry. I realize that any large bore light pistol will kick like hell but I hope to not be shooting it too much An alternative is a Marlin GG .45-70 but again pretty heavy.

    S&W 29 Mountain Gun .44Mag
    S&W 329PD .44 Mag
    S&W Alaskan .44Mag
    Ruger or other Single Action .44 (any comments on single vs DA as a defense gun also appreciated)

    Does anyone have any experience with a 10mm semiauto on game?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Talking if you don't want to hear the joke...

    why start the thread?
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  3. #3
    Member BAR300's Avatar
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    Default Interested also

    I've been researching this a bit lately also, but I've expanded my search to include 40 cal and 357 mag. bullet construction I believe is a big factor, as is velocity, when dealing with bears in a charge situation I think that a central nervous system shot is the only way to end the fight quickly. I keep on flip flopping on what to carry besides my rifle, if anything at all. I thought the 10 MM would be a good in between round, but ballistically it really is the same as the 357 mag, in a semi auto. So I keep on coming back to the 44 mag for velocity and bullet size. I'd like to hear what others think... and yes I also realize it's been hashed on here 10 times

  4. #4
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default S&w 460

    look at the range and ballistics of the S&W 460.... its pretty awesome...

    G

  5. #5
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default bigger

    The bigger the better to an extent in my opinion. .44 is a good round. I went with a redhawk in .45 Colt - If I did it again I would probably go with the .454 Casull.

    check the regs for Wyoming - I don't think that you can carry while bowhunting - wouldn't stop me if I was in bear country though - if just a camp gun - use a rifle.

    Whatever you get - practice with it with the bear loads. First time I shot my .45 I didn't really want to shoot it again - now the mag loads I am throwing out of it are no problem and my accuracy has greatly improved. I didn't think that I needed to practice because, of course, I am a good shot! WRONG.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Default

    I would have to go back and read all the other threads on the subject to find out what you already know to give any new info yet.

  7. #7

    Default

    I carried a S&W 629 for years and still do sometimes. last year I went to the 460V and I have no regrets. Its a comfort knowing the power that comes from the beast. It is more comfortable to shoot than the 44 with hot loads. Drawback is I would never shoot it without earplugs as she is a bit loud and the back blast bothers some people.

  8. #8

    Default

    Bullelkdlr - thanks for the heads up. I definitely need to know the regs. Here in Colo you can carry a pistol (although some in the DMV still argue the point) but you can't use it to dispatch any animal while bowhunting.

    Will - most of these threads degenerate into jokes about the bear, or internet experts without any real world experience on how well a .44 mag, or larger works, either on game or up your butt. I'm trying to find a good trade off for the carry weight of a defense pistol and the effectiveness if I need it (although as I write this it occurs that IF I do need it, it absolutely didn't matter how heavy it was packing in).

    I'd like to hear some personal experience on animals down, preferably large game, with any of the listed pistols/calibers or any other suggestion.

    AkGreg - the 460 looks nice, I see there's a snub nose version, which must kick like hell. Any idea of weight?

  9. #9
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    don't know...


    .44 is fne for most cases... you dont need it unless your about to be lunch anyway... and if...




    IF

    mr or mrs bear desided they wanted you... chances are you will be rolling out from under them. and still.. accuracy/ ablitiy is much more important then size...though i have been told on many occasions that size does factor in....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  10. #10
    Member Bullwinkle50's Avatar
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    Default carry pistol

    Duct Tape,

    I carried the Ruger 44 mag for 28 years hunting Colorado and shot antelope, deer, and quite a few elk with it. Never had a problem putting them down. I did change to the 454 Casull when moving to Alaska because I like more power and can handle it fine. As has been said here, do a lot of practicing with the pistol to become proficient. A pistol is much more difficult to shoot accurately because of the shorter sight plane. It will probably also be worth your while to have it tuned up with a trigger job also to smooth out the pull. I wouldn't go to anything short (no jokes here please) but would look at the Alaska Chest Holster to carry the larger gun. I have tried all from traditional hip holster, to shoulder holsters, and now the chest holster. The chest holster is much more comfortable with the larger framed pistols.

    Randy

  11. #11

    Default

    I have a 460 with a 8" barrel and I shoot that one handed with no problems. I bet the 6" with 454's and maybe a couple 460 rounds in the later cylinders would be a good bet.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by duct tape View Post
    I realize this has been discussed here and in other forums and I've reviewed several of those. I also really don't need to hear the joke about filing off the front sight, heard it before too.

    Thanks for any help.
    It's not a joke!
    Joe (Ak)

  13. #13

    Default

    The ak chest holster is the way to go I have one for my 500 s&w and it is very comfortable I pack it always when im out in the sticks. Was also supprised with the recoil of this pistol with the 4 in barrel it realy was not that bad seems about the same as the 454 casuls i have shot but as said earlier you want ear plugs!

  14. #14

    Default

    Thanks for the comments of the Ak chest holder. How does it work with backpack with a sternum strap?

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by duct tape View Post
    Thanks for the comments of the Ak chest holder. How does it work with backpack with a sternum strap?
    It works great when adjusted I would think they would work fine with longer barrels too they would just hang over the belt some.

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