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  • Alaska Bear Defense

    I know this subject has been beaten to death, but I have a little more specific question. I am headed to Alaska on a Fly fishing Trip the third week of August. There is a group of 8 of us and there will be at least 4 Shotguns loaded with Slugs. I am also bringing my S&W .44Mag, 7.5 inch barrel. I do not do my own reloading so I am want to know the best commercially available round to bring with me for self protection (mainly bears). I don't want to start the debate again as I have read a ton of posts on this question but for my own piece of mind, I will feel more comfortable having this on me at all times. Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ght=bear+brand

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    • #3
      Choices, choices

      This post encourages you to visit the Alaska Fish & Game web site

      http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...dfg=bears.main

      to seek their advice (they have several good links in that subsection) and also to read this story

      http://www.adn.com/bearattacks/story/147318.html

      Shotgun with slug is great for the instance of a close-up bear. Brenneke Slugs are reputed to be the cat's meow. Some keep buckshot in the chamber (or first feed) for a face shot to turn the bear followed up by a well-constructed slug to the shoulder/neck/vitals.

      But if your shotgun is leaning up against a tree on the river bank, and the other three armed fishermen are unavailable, what then?

      Your 44 should do in a pinch and there are no shortage of highly recommended commercial loads. My recommendation is the heaviest solid hard cast bullet you can shoot well. Invest $100 in a bunch and shoot all but 12 or 18 of them to see how well you can hit with them in a one second timed shot. (Not necessarily from the holster. A shot from the holster is rare, and if you get off a shot at all, you will probably already have been aware of the bear before having to make the shoot-no shoot decision.)

      So, hard cast bullet construction, flat point, the heaviest (energy may shred flesh, but momentum breaks bones) bullet you can shoot well at the velocities the ammomaker gives you. You want the bullet to stay intact, penetrate deeply, expand minimally and if it hits a bone, break it rather than punch a hole in it.

      Also, consider investing in 8 cans of the best bear repellant spray available. Controversial, yes, but cleanup afterward is a whole lot less complex than a DLP shooting. Carrying spray does not preclude using the shotgun or 44, but does give another option.

      Good fishing and good luck.

      Lost Sheep, (who packs a 454 Casull on the right and bear spray on the left.)

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      • #4
        Great Advice from Lost Sheep.

        As to adding Bear Spray to your arsenal. Let me clarify.

        Spray'em, and wait 30 seconds, and if that bar doesn’t stop chew’ in on you in that length of time, Shoot'im.

        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.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Smitty of the North View Post
          Great Advice from Lost Sheep.

          As to adding Bear Spray to your arsenal. Let me clarify.

          Spray'em, and wait 30 seconds, and if that bar doesn’t stop chew’ in on you in that length of time, Shoot'im.

          Smitty of the North
          Smitty, you're supposed to spray the bear, not season yerself
          "You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it."
          ~ John Quincy Adams

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
            Smitty, you're supposed to spray the bear, not season yerself
            Well, I said "Spray"EM. (Him) I meant the Bar.

            I don't want him LICKIN on me either.

            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you everyone for the advice. I know people get on this subject a lot and have different opinions so I appreciate the specific advice.

              Good Hunting and Fishing!!

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              • #8
                The newer Smiths can take about any round you can buy but if its a older one I would stick with Hornady or Cor-Bon
                Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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                • #9
                  As far as .44 ammo for a Smith goes, I'd recommend hardcasts by Buffalo Bore, Cor-bon, Garrett, Double Tap, or Grizzly Cartridge. All of them pack a lot of wollup. The latter also has bronze "punch" bullets that are supposed to perform well, but I've never heard of anyone using them, probably due to their high cost.

                  The ones I'd choose are Double Taps, mainly because they're cheap enough to shoot a lot. Buffalo Bore probably has the best reputation.
                  Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

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                  • #10
                    I carry the Smith mountain gun .44 Mag with 310 grain hard cast powered by H110. I think it's the best compromise of carry weight, shooting controlability and firepower there is. Obviously others will have their own opinion on this.

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                    • #11
                      Ask the bear

                      Originally posted by Jack49 View Post
                      I carry the Smith mountain gun .44 Mag with 310 grain hard cast powered by H110. I think it's the best compromise of carry weight, shooting controlability and firepower there is. Obviously others will have their own opinion on this.
                      Ultimately the opinion that REALLY matters is the bear's opinion.


                      Sorry, this post adds nothing to the thread, but I couldn't resist a quip.

                      Lost Sheep.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lost Sheep View Post
                        Ultimately the opinion that REALLY matters is the bear's opinion.


                        Sorry, this post adds nothing to the thread, but I couldn't resist a quip.

                        Lost Sheep.

                        I'm thinking that the bears opinion of any handgun round you can comfortably carry around with you all day long is going to be about the same.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wolfeye View Post
                          As far as .44 ammo for a Smith goes, I'd recommend hardcasts by Buffalo Bore, Cor-bon, Garrett, Double Tap, or Grizzly Cartridge. All of them pack a lot of wollup. The latter also has bronze "punch" bullets that are supposed to perform well, but I've never heard of anyone using them, probably due to their high cost.

                          The ones I'd choose are Double Taps, mainly because they're cheap enough to shoot a lot. Buffalo Bore probably has the best reputation.
                          Ditto here ...this is good advice, and nothing wrong with carrying a .44 Mag.

                          Brian

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                          • #14
                            www.garrettcartridges.com

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                            • #15
                              Any of the 44mag rounds listed by Wolfeye with hardcast bulletts are good bets, but keep in mind, the 44mag is not an ideal weapon for brown bears under any circumstance - I can't speak for others on this site, but I consider it as a minimal defensive round for larger bears.

                              I fish the coastal and inland streams of Alaska every year, often making a couple of trips/year. I carry a Marlin 45-70 loaded with 420 gr Garrett hardcast hammerheads while hiking to and from. Yes, I have to sit the rifle down while fishing, but it is rarely more than a few feet away. I'm very disciplined about keeping it pretty darn close. I should also note I am not proficient with a handgun even under ideal conditions, so relying on a handgun in close quarters with a pissed off bear would, for me, produce a very uncomfortable pucker factor. On the other hand, I'm very proficient with the 45-70 - recoil is fairly stout with the 420s, but completely manageable as far as I'm concerned. I use open sights - Brockman. I have had this setup for a year and feel entirely at ease with the rig. I also almost always go with a buddy.

                              With the 44mag I suggest you stay fairly close to one of your party members you indicate will be carrying a slugged shotgun.

                              Just one man's opinion.

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