Best bear defense?

Discussion in 'Firearms and Hunting' started by modernpaladin, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Regarding the 'worst case scenario'- you're walking through the woods and find yourself being charged at by an angry and up-to-now unknown bear. Either you unknowingly happened upon some food it was guarding, or it has a cub nearby, or its sick/injured, or simply because its animal brain determined you are a threat for no discernable reason, as happens from time to time. A rare case to be sure, but it DOES happen. Which weapon could you be carrying to give you the highest chance of surviving this desperate scenario?

    From what I've read, theres two main schools of thought on this. Maximum penetration vs maximum volume of fire. Either you have to kill this bear before it can get to you, or you have to damage it enough to turn its fight into flight.

    In a perfect world, something like a 'reaper' or other semiautomatic .308 rifle with a high cap mag would provide the best of both words- high penetration to get through the thick hide and bone of a bear, along with the quick repeatable shots of semi-auto and lots of ammo for when surprise and panic innevitably reduces accuracy of aim. But I'm not going to walk around in the woods all the time carrying a battle rifle at the ready, and neither are you. This may be a worthwhile option for travelling in known bear country just prior to hibernation season when they are most aggressive, but not so much for a day hike in an area where bears arent commonly found (but still occassionally are anyway). So we're most likely talking about a pistol, something that can be readily accessible in a holster.

    What is the best mix of penetration and repeatable fire in a holsterable pistol (I specify holsterable because there does exist semi-auto .308 'pistols', but we don't really want to be trying to hike with one of those strapped on either, and I doubt most people could fire one of those effectively anyway...)?

    What are your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  2. dharbert

    dharbert Well-Known Member

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    Lever action .45-70
     
  3. dharbert

    dharbert Well-Known Member

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    12 gauge auto with 3" magnum slugs. Put 9 rounds in it's face in about 3 seconds.
     
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  4. dharbert

    dharbert Well-Known Member

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    Or perhaps an FN Five-Seven with AP rounds.
     
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  5. dharbert

    dharbert Well-Known Member

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    I'll just take Jerry Miculek with me whenever I wander off into the woods. He will shoot that bear in its right eye 57 times before it even knows what happened, lol.
     
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  6. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't wanna day hike with that.
     
  7. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't wanna day hike with that either.
     
  8. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I was considering this as well. What ammo would you use (thats legal)?
     
  9. Daniel Light

    Daniel Light Well-Known Member

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    Just hike with someone who can't run as fast as you can ... problem solved.
     
  10. Capt Nice

    Capt Nice Well-Known Member

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    I haven't kept up with modern weaponry since my police days back in mid 50-60's. Relying on my past knowledge I'd do a dirty Harry with a .44 Mag revolver. I know my .380 Ruger LCP would sure piss him off.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  11. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Banned

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    Flame thrower
     
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  12. Big Richard

    Big Richard Banned

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    Smith and Wesson .500 mag.
    Smith and Wesson .460 Xgrid
    Desert eagle semi auto in .50 ae.
    Rug er or Taurus chambered in .454 Casull

    any of those will drop a moose, griz or polar bear.
     
  13. lemmiwinx

    lemmiwinx Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Gatling gun. More than one if possible.

     
  14. Buri

    Buri Well-Known Member

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    My tac shotty is the Kel-Tec KSG, it’s the only gun they make that I’d pay for. That’s a lot of hate and discontent with sabot rounds. For the pistol I’d go DE 50. I’m not really a “go big or go home” guy but these are bears and I want to go home. Grendel AR isn’t a bad choice or the Saiga.
     
  15. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Oops!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  16. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve shot everything from rabbits to pigs to deer to 1800 lb. cows with a 5.7. I’ve used sporting ss197 (40 grain Hornady v-max), 40 grain American Eagle ball FMJ, and what’s essentially armor piercing for practical purposes ss195 lead free 27 grain (which is legal but hard to find).

    I love the 5.7 caliber and all three ammo choices work on various critters. But there is NO WAY
    I would recommend attempting to put down any bear, even a small black bear, with a 5.7, even with the 27 grain lead free which is what I would use if I HAD to put down a bear. But I’d be shooting out of a bear proof cage and I’d have spare mags!
     
  17. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It partly depends on what kind of bear you might encounter.

    If it's a black bear, a .357 mag. revolver would probably bail you out of that problem, although I would want a speedloader readily available.

    If you're in grizzly country, but you don't want to carry a rifle or shotgun, and you want hitting power and firepower, perhaps a Glock 10 mm. The 10 mm round delivers a lot of foot-lbs of energy, and the Glock magazine holds 15 rounds.
     
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  18. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Good advice. I don’t think I’d go into serious brown bear country without a long gun but 10mm would certainly be better than nothing. And anything less than 10mm just as well be nothing. LOL. Some people like .44 mag and up but I know I wouldn’t be able to accurately put more than one of those big calibers in something unless it was contact distance. I think high volume 10mm is a good sweet spot.
     
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  19. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    10mm seems to be the common 'best of both worlds' conclusion on other forums as well.
     
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  20. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If I were hiking in grizzly country, I would be carrying a rifle of appropriate caliber. But if limited to a pistol, it would be 10 mm or 44 magnum in a shoulder holster.

    I have shot a S&W .500 magnum before, and it is an uncomfortable, hard to handle beast. A 44 mag. is not easy to handle, but it is fairly manageable. But the .500 mag is just friggin miserable. You don't want to shoot it anymore before you even get to the 6th round in the cylinder.

    The 10 mm is capable of delivering a 220 grain bullet at 1200 fps with over 700 foot-lbs of energy, and with a 15 round magazine, you would probably not run out of ammo. So that would be my first choice, with a S&W .44 mag. as my second choice in grizzly country. In black bear country with no grizzlies, I would be comfortable carrying a .357 mag revolver, probably with 158 grain hollowpoints. But if I had a Glock 10 mm, I would probably carry that instead because it is roughly the same size and weight, but carries 16 rounds with one in the chamber.

    Seth
     
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  21. TOG 6

    TOG 6 Well-Known Member

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    AR10 pistol.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Grau

    Grau Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I would absolutely hate even the thought of killing a mother bear simply protecting her cubs since killing their mother would almost certainly ensure their slow and miserable deaths.

    So after having to kill the bear, I would do everything I could to see that the cubs were cared for or adopted by a wildlife center.

    However, for the hypothetical purposes of this thread, why wouldn't any of the the handguns listed in Post # 12 be both adequate for the job and easy enough to carry around in the woods?

    Is a .44 Magnum already considered inadequate for any of the angry, larger critters one is likely to encounter in the continental US?
     
  23. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Handguns in general dont have a lot of penetration due to the shorter barrel and therefore lack of time/distance to build pressure/velocity. Bears are effectively armored, with thick hides and dense bones. Its not uncommon to find healthy bears with an old .308 bullet lodged in their skull or breastplate. Bottom line is while any gun can kill a bear, a bear is far more likely to require a lot more damage done to it to stop it than a human or most other animals.

    A .44 is 'on the list' of common rounds carried for bear defense, but six shots from a weapon with heavy recoil in a surprise situation may simply not be enough to avoid being mauled.
     
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  24. Grau

    Grau Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Thanks for the excellent info but since my knees, feet, hips and lower back have been trashed from numerous combat jumps, 4 motorcycle wrecks, bicycle racing/wrecks, football, wrestling, boxing and too many other mishaps to mention, I doubt that I'll be a threat to any deep woodland creature anytime soon.
     
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  25. Toggle Almendro

    Toggle Almendro Well-Known Member

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    A 10mm Glock with 220-grain hard-cast flat-nose bullets is a good starting point.

    If you can handle it, a .44 magnum or even a .454 Casull will serve you well, but only if you can handle the recoil. Otherwise stick with the 10mm.

    For either the .44 or .454 use single action revolvers so the recoil is more tolerable. That hump on the grip of a double action plows straight back into the web of your thumb and makes strong recoil painful.

    Those giant S&W X-frame hunting revolvers are nearly the weight of a rifle, so skip those. If you were going to carry one of those you might as well just carry a rifle.
     
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