Brown Bear Stopping Power 45 auto vs 44 magnum

Das

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If you are using "energy" -- a figure derived at by calculator and not measurable -- to rate lethality, you are using a very poor measure. You're not entirely correct about handguns not being used or allowed in Africa. Depends on the country. An acquaintance just killed a bull elephant (40 pounder, I believe) with a contender in .450 Marlin. Surely he didn't have enough energy. Plenty of folks hunt with handguns only -- you are just oblivious of these hunters. I guess it takes one to know one.

What's your point? If you want to believe there are plenty of folks hunting bears in Alaska with a pistol and no rifle backup be my guest. If you want to hunt bears with only a pistol be my guest. There is a difference between 'hunting with a handgun' and 'hunting bears with a handgun', which was the point of the thread. Same for Africa ... I wager there was someone nearby with a rifle, but if not you're welcome to do that too. If you want to believe max handgun cartriges are just as good as max rifle calibers that's fine too. But to insist everyone agree with you I think goes too far. I'm not persuaded.
 

Das

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First of FMJ bullets in a 45 ACP is not a top choice for anything IMHO and expereince yea it will work but there are much better choices. I have used a 45 ACP with ball ammo and I know from experience that there are better bullet choices

A 240 grain bullet does not bring the best out of a 44 mag on large game. a 300 or heavier flat point hard cast will. You are apparently judging the ability of handguns with marginal calibers and less than optimal bullet choices
Again I will ask do you have any pictures?

Well as I said I was not hunting bears with the 44 mag, and don't hunt them with 45 acp either.

There are many better bullet choices than military ball of course ... but no option to use them.

I answered the 'pictures' question.
 

Whitworth

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What's your point? If you want to believe there are plenty of folks hunting bears in Alaska with a pistol and no rifle backup be my guest. If you want to hunt bears with only a pistol be my guest. There is a difference between 'hunting with a handgun' and 'hunting bears with a handgun', which was the point of the thread. Same for Africa ... I wager there was someone nearby with a rifle, but if not you're welcome to do that too. If you want to believe max handgun cartriges are just as good as max rifle calibers that's fine too. But to insist everyone agree with you I think goes too far. I'm not persuaded.

If you as a client show up with a .577 NE, you too will have someone backing you up with a rifle. It's the PH's job. You're not a handgun hunter, I don't expect you to really get it. I am not trying to convince you of anything, but until you do it, you should reserve judgement. We use handguns that are a sight higher up on the food chain than a .44 mag. But even the .44 is capable.
 

jwp500

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What's your point? If you want to believe there are plenty of folks hunting bears in Alaska with a pistol and no rifle backup be my guest. If you want to hunt bears with only a pistol be my guest. There is a difference between 'hunting with a handgun' and 'hunting bears with a handgun', which was the point of the thread. Same for Africa ... I wager there was someone nearby with a rifle, but if not you're welcome to do that too. If you want to believe max handgun cartriges are just as good as max rifle calibers that's fine too. But to insist everyone agree with you I think goes too far. I'm not persuaded.

Fact is a proper caliber handgun with a proper bullet is very much up to the task of cleanly and effectively taking a Bear. If you can't understand that, that's fine by me, but don't try to convince me otherwise since I have been there and done that
 

Das

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No mention of the type of ammo and no mention of shot placement. A 40 S&W is not a handgun that I would choose for the task of stopping a big Grizz or Alaska Brown Bear.

I know for a fact that a big bore revovler with a wide meplat hard cast bullet will stop a bear in it's tracks with proper shot placement

The Bear on the left in the picture came in on me while I was working a Moose kill. No drama just just dropped him in his tracks

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'I know for a fact that a big bore revovler with a wide meplat hard cast bullet will stop a bear in it's tracks with proper shot placement'
Who exactly is arguing that this isn't true?? I mention again the lady on Kodiak that killed a bear at her front door with a 357 mag. Would you say the 357 mag is the optimal bear caliber?

I'm guessing the Trooper used the weapon he had available, and was/is probably a good shot.

The question for this thread is 45 vs 44 mag for a backup sidearm. I've yet to see anything that makes one the clear choice over the other. A Master Guide I worked for in the 80's never carried a pistol. He was attacked and killed in McCarthy in 83' ... by an environmentalist nut with a Mini 14 ... no bear involved. A handgun 'might' have changed the outcome.
 

Whitworth

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I recall you making the statement that a handgun is a poor choice. You've basically steered this conversation in the direction it has taken.
 

Das

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Fact is a proper caliber handgun with a proper bullet is very much up to the task of cleanly and effectively taking a Bear. If you can't understand that, that's fine by me, but don't try to convince me otherwise since I have been there and done that

What makes you think the person you're recommending use your weapon of choice has your experience?
 

Das

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I recall you making the statement that a handgun is a poor choice. You've basically steered this conversation in the direction it has taken.

Wildcats, extensive experience, and able backups notwithstanding handguns are not the best choice for the primary weapon for Alaska bears. That's my opinion, not a govt edict.
 

jwp500

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What makes you think the person you're recommending use your weapon of choice has your experience?


His amount of experience or lack there of has nothing to do with the effectiveness of a handgun. Since I own and have killed a lot of game with both of the calibers in question there is no doubt that a properly loaded 44 mag is a bigger hammer than a properly loaded 45ACP
 

Das

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The same argument can be applied to one using a high-powered rifle.

To some extent yes, but ordinarily rifles do not require the extensive experience needed for profeciency that a pistol does.
 

jwp500

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To some extent yes, but ordinarily rifles do not require the extensive experience needed for profeciency that a pistol does.

Pistol used in a self defense situation is a very close range affair and your assunotion that a rifle is always better is flawed to say the least
 

Das

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His amount of experience or lack there of has nothing to do with the effectiveness of a handgun. Since I own and have killed a lot of game with both of the calibers in question there is no doubt that a properly loaded 44 mag is a bigger hammer than a properly loaded 45ACP

Someone will be shooting the handgun. A 50 machine gun cartridge has major firepower as compared to say a 25 auto, but I doubt if someone starting building handguns for the 50 they would sell much. Many people do not do well with heavy recoil for instance. So even if your highpowered pistol can kill anything on the planet it's not much use if you can't shoot it worth a ****.
 

Das

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Pistol used in a self defense situation is a very close range affair and your assunotion that a rifle is always better is flawed to say the least

Well since I never said or implied any such thing it is your interpretation that is 'flawed'. To say the least.
 

jwp500

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Someone will be shooting the handgun. A 50 machine gun cartridge has major firepower as compared to say a 25 auto, but I doubt if someone starting building handguns for the 50 they would sell much. Many people do not do well with heavy recoil for instance. So even if your highpowered pistol can kill anything on the planet it's not much use if you can't shoot it worth a ****.

The ole hypithetical with the 50 BMG, makes about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine
 

jwp500

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Well since I never said or implied any such thing it is your interpretation that is 'flawed'. To say the least.



Oh really?


Deer, squirrels, birds [shot shells], monkeys, larger primates, water buffalo, snakes, 45 acp mostly military ball. Sometimes with a 1911, sometimes with a Thompson, and sometime with an M3. When I started loading my own I hot loaded my 44 Mag, and used/use factory Corbon + P for my 45 acp. I’ve killed moose with both 44 & 45 the 45 at close range. None are ineffective, but I’ve seen bears and even moose charge and surprise people at close range. A handgun will kill them, but it may take some time. I think the Trooper(s) that killed the bear that killed/ate Treadwell put over a clip into it before it went down ... the shotgun was in the plane. I’ve killed Brown/Kodiak bears with my 375 H&H Ackley, and found it to be a better solution than using my pistol.
 

Das

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If you as a client show up with a .577 NE, you too will have someone backing you up with a rifle. It's the PH's job. You're not a handgun hunter, I don't expect you to really get it. I am not trying to convince you of anything, but until you do it, you should reserve judgement. We use handguns that are a sight higher up on the food chain than a .44 mag. But even the .44 is capable.

You have not a clue regarding my hunting experience, or anyone's here either for that matter. But I really don't get your lack of comprehension regarding my posts. I'll try again .... I did not say handguns were not capable of killing a bear, I said THEY ARE NOT THE BEST CHOICE FOR HUNTING BEARS IN ALASKA ... which is my opinion, is shared by some and not by others. Plain enough?
 

Das

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Oh really?

Yes really.

How do you get from this 'I’ve killed Brown/Kodiak bears with my 375 H&H Ackley, and found it to be a better solution than using my pistol' ?

To this "your assunotion that a rifle is always better is flawed to say the least"

Since early on I stated that I ALWAYS carry a Kimber 45, what do you suppose my 'assumption' is??
 

Das

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The ole hypithetical with the 50 BMG, makes about as much sense as a screen door on a submarine

Sorry if you don't get it. The point illustrated is that greater firepower is not much of an advantage if it is not controlable. I didn't realize this was an 'ole hypithetical'.
 

Whitworth

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You have not a clue regarding my hunting experience, or anyone's here either for that matter. But I really don't get your lack of comprehension regarding my posts. I'll try again .... I did not say handguns were not capable of killing a bear, I said THEY ARE NOT THE BEST CHOICE FOR HUNTING BEARS IN ALASKA ... which is my opinion, is shared by some and not by others. Plain enough?

Nor do you have a clue about mine or anyone who hunts with a handgun. If you can handle a .475 Linebaugh, .500 Linebaugh, .480 Ruger, a .500 Smith & Wesson, etc. they are no worse than a .375 H&H on any game, loaded properly. They are harder to master, most definitely, but they aren't giving anything up within their useful range. Seems to me that hunting with a handgun is a new concept to you, and you are thereby ill informed. Plain enough?
 

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