41 Magnum

AZVince

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Howdy all.
Just a question for those that carry a handgun in bear country.

What are your thoughts on a .41 Magnum with a spot handload as a bear defense gun for those that carry a handgun?

I've often heard that the .44 Mag is the minimum but I'm wondering if that still holds true? Personally I favor both the best spray and a handgun but just wondering what folks thoughts are on this subject.

Thank you.

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AZVince

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That should read, stout handload.
Personally I favor both the bear spray.....

Darn smurtphone.

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ADfields

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Howdy all.
Just a question for those that carry a handgun in bear country.

What are your thoughts on a .41 Magnum with a spot handload as a bear defense gun for those that carry a handgun?

I've often heard that the .44 Mag is the minimum but I'm wondering if that still holds true? Personally I favor both the best spray and a handgun but just wondering what folks thoughts are on this subject.

Thank you.

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41 is fine, if well loaded it's just a whisker behind the almost 43mag. Your welcome to the bear spray though . . . not I!
 

AZVince

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41 is fine, if well loaded it's just a whisker behind the almost 43mag. Your welcome to the bear spray though . . . not I!
LOL!
It's quicker to apply than Tobasco sauce and I hear bears like spicy humans.
I figure if I'm going to be eaten one of us might as well enjoy it. [emoji2]

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LeonardC

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Note I've never shot a bear with anything. I have no problem packing my 657. I bought some Federal Hard Cast (250?) for it some time ago and that's what I load it with in AK. I carry what I'm in the mood to carry...41, 44, 45LC, 500...this last summer I carried a .357 (My Dad's and it just felt right taking his old backpacking gun with me on that trip.) Every time I loaded the .357 for a trip it felt...small. I never had that feeling with the .41 and up.
 

Yukon Cornelius

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I just bought a 41 mag for my bear handgun. I was looking for a 10mm, but no luck finding a used one. I have many native friends that use the 41 and if it is good enough for them out here, then it is good enough for me.
 

rbuck351

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I'm shooting a home made 270gr jacketed bullet from my 41 Blackhawk at 1200 fps. I have faith in this combo.
 

Nanook

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Many years ago I was with a friend in Prince William Sound hunting Black Bears. He shot one and it ran some, we followed. It was soon located piled up in some tree roots- crying like a baby! As we got closer to it, he tried to sit up. I drew my .41 Mag Ruger and shot him front on in the neck with a 220gr. Factory load. It was "lights out". When we skinned him out, we found that the bullet had penetrated through the esophagus but when it hit the neck bone, it turned and exited out the side, leaving a skid mark on the neck muscle. Apparently the bullet had cracked the neck bone but it did NOT penetrate. When I got back to town, I took it to Dusty's and traded it for a .44 mag. I carried that for years loaded with Ace Dube's 328 gr. cast bullets. From my experience, I think that the .41 is a wee on the "short stroke" side of a bear protection gun.
 

ADfields

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Many years ago I was with a friend in Prince William Sound hunting Black Bears. He shot one and it ran some, we followed. It was soon located piled up in some tree roots- crying like a baby! As we got closer to it, he tried to sit up. I drew my .41 Mag Ruger and shot him front on in the neck with a 220gr. Factory load. It was "lights out". When we skinned him out, we found that the bullet had penetrated through the esophagus but when it hit the neck bone, it turned and exited out the side, leaving a skid mark on the neck muscle. Apparently the bullet had cracked the neck bone but it did NOT penetrate. When I got back to town, I took it to Dusty's and traded it for a .44 mag. I carried that for years loaded with Ace Dube's 328 gr. cast bullets. From my experience, I think that the .41 is a wee on the "short stroke" side of a bear protection gun.

Ammo, Ammo, Ammo!!

41 is a cop round and most of the ammo you buy for it will be cut back to about 357mag power, get or load good hot hardcast ammo for 44 or 41 mag and there isn't enough power gap to see without lab equipment.
 

Yukon Cornelius

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I was reading something the other day, that the 357 mag was the main round in AK for many years.

I think...without speaking from experience...that it all comes down to shot placement still. Obviously i wouldn't want to carry a 9mm or 38 special or even a .40 cal, but shot placement makes a world of difference.
 

Smokey

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I sure like the 41 mag and its about at my "fun to shoot" limit with hot loads in a handgun. I shot some 220 grainers that would leave your hands numb for sure...
 

AZVince

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Thank you.
I've always heard, here in the lower 48, that 44 Mag was the handgun to have for Alaska.
I've found that I shoot a .41 Magnum better than the .44 Mag when shooting stout load. Better enough that I'm desiring a switch from my single action 44 to my double action 41.

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pws_fish_head

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I used a Smith and Wesson Model 657 with a 6" barrel on a black bear outside my home. The bear was a small boar and had been coming around far too often for safety. Loaded with ammo from The Alaska Ammo Smith....hard cast 220gr I think....one shot to the head and he dropped like a rock. Bullet went in one side of the skull and out the other. Plenty of damage done.

That said, I still prefer my 4" 629 for carry as it is a little more convenient. I sometimes carry a Glock 10mm loaded with Buffalo Bore hard cast. I would prefer a rifle in any circumstance but don't feel naked with any of those setups.
 

mike h

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I bet if you get a .41, you'll soon be wishing you got a .44.

And I bet that if you get a .44, you'll soon be thinking about getting a .41.

FWIW there's no real .41 special brass from what I can tell, so you'd be missing that perk of the .44.
 

Yukon Cornelius

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I bet if you get a .41, you'll soon be wishing you got a .44.

And I bet that if you get a .44, you'll soon be thinking about getting a .41.

FWIW there's no real .41 special brass from what I can tell, so you'd be missing that perk of the .44.

The 41 mag ammo wasn't cheap and all I found was bear loads (about $30 a box for 20 rds). The guy I bought from did have a box of ammo that was smaller grain...Not sure of number. But it was the same price as the hunting loads I bought at sportsman's.

But there was ammo, which is funny b/c I called 6 places and was told they didn't have any rounds and didn't know when they would get some, yet those same locations all had the ammo when i went in person.

But I saw no 44 mag ammo.

I've only shot mine 5 times to get a feel for it. Very accurate. Not to bad of a kick.
I'm happy with it, and I know the single action will take some getting used to.
Now I need to finish getting my reloading components so that I can load my own.
 

mike h

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But there was ammo, which is funny b/c I called 6 places and was told they didn't have any rounds and didn't know when they would get some, yet those same locations all had the ammo when i went in person.

But I saw no 44 mag ammo.

Wonder if the sales people don't even bother to look it up when you call anymore. It's just easier to assume they don't have it whenever someone asks for any type of ammunition.
 

Yukon Cornelius

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Wonder if the sales people don't even bother to look it up when you call anymore. It's just easier to assume they don't have it whenever someone asks for any type of ammunition.

That is what i was thinking. I explained that I lived in the bush and would only have a rental car for a day. Trying to maximize my shopping time...lol
 

rbuck351

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The difference between the 44 and the 41 with heavy hand loads isn't enough to matter to any critter. I have a 225gr cast that shoots right at 1500fps, a 200gr cast at 1200 as well as the jacketed 270 gr at 1200. The 41 can be loaded with plinker loads in the 41mag brass just as well as "41 special".
 
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