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View Full Version : Why semi-auto handguns, with one exception, are inadequate bear defense weapons



bobmn
08-16-2009, 12:30 PM
I have been on this website almost since it's inception. I have recieved an invaluable education in backcountry hunting from the impressive collective knowledge of the members of this board. I have followed the bear defense discussion first with ammusment and now with consternation. Consequently, I now feel compelled to offer my opinion on what I have observed concerning the bear defense topic.
Let me begin by relating my experience in this area. Please understand that this is not presented in a boastful manner or as bluster. Rather, it is presented so that the reader might judge the validity of my statements. I spend 7 days a month June, July and August fishing in Alaska and have for a number of years (brown bears). I fish Hudson Bay for brook trout (polar bears), hunted the Brooks Range (grizzly) and canoed the Boundry Waters (human habituated black bear) and bear hunted on Admirilty, Kuiu, north of Cordova and the Kenai Peninsula. I have been trained in the modern technique of the pistol at Gunsite. I have never shot a bear in defense of life or property but I have killed them. I have been"charged" more than once.
The posters I have seen on this subject include combat pistol instructors, military personal, hunters and fisherman. While all these gentleman are experts in their fields, the first question I would ask anyone offering bear defense advice is: How many bears have you dissassembled? I measured the 2 black bear skulls and 1 brown bear skull I have in my posession. The brain cavities of the black bear skulls are 3" wide by 5" long. The brown bear brain cavity is slightly larger, 3.25" by 5.25".
My thoughts on the subject of bear defense. Bear attacks are not firefights, magazine capacity is irrelevent. The difference between a bluff charge and a real charge is the last 10 feet. Go read the Alaska Game Regulations. You better know the difference between bluffing and real because the Sourdoughs take a dim view of Pilgrims unneccessarily ventilating their bears outside of hunting season and especially without a non-resident bear tag (big bucks) and a guide (bigger bucks). Bears are fast. Their heads are not only coming at you quickly but they move side to side. Bears have big bones and bigger muscles, thats why penetration is paramount and hollow points are a mistake. Bears are hard to kill when adrenalized but die fairly easy if you shoot them in the right place before they get pissed. However, if you shoot a bear that won't get you shackled when the fish cop comes to investigate, he's gonna be pissed off. Bears are scary when they are mad. They pop their teeth and drool comes out of their mouth. That is why I would trade the weight of a double stack magazine for a clean pair of skivvy shorts. If it is a bluff charge you are going to need to change the ones you are wearing. If it is a real charge and you shoot him before he gets to you, a costume change is still in your future. If the bear gets to you, you can use the clean shorts to tie your scalp back on and your dirty shorts are the least of you worries. I believe that is what Patrick refers to as dual use.
Semi auto rounds, with the exception of the 460 Rowland, are only useful for shooting a bear in the brain because they do not have the penetration or the permanent wound cavity to be effective otherwise. It is a mistake to trade penetration for wound cavity by using hollow points. If you crank up the 45 Super to where it equals the 460 Rowland but don't put a compensator on the pistol you will crack the frame. When? Who knows but if you practice like you should, it might be when you need your sidearm the most. The 10 mm is not the equivilent of the 41 magnum. I've got the chrono data to prove it. If a revolver in an effective cartridge is too heavy, carry bear spray instead.
Some general firearm observations. Pay attention to revolver cylinder length. A longer cylinder allows a longer bullet which equates to better sectional density resulting in greater penetration. You can also seat the bullet out to the next driving band and get a little more velocity at equal pressure by using a little more powder. Single action revolvers handle heavy recoil better than double action revolvers. Double action revolvers come back with a straighter impulse and even rubber grips do not completely attenuate this characterisic but make sure you use a grip that covers the backstrap. In adequate cartridges with heavy for the caliber bullets, you can cock a single action as quickly as you can return a double action to battery and pull the trigger. Splits on a timer prove this. Reloading is not much of an issue because other than a 41 or a 44 nobody makes a speedloader. You are probably only going to get 2 rounds off. If 5 or six rounds has not done the trick and the bear is chomping on you, I don't see a speed reload in your future, regardless of the type of sidearm you are carrying. If you are not the one being eaten, after 5 or six rounds you have probably ventilated your buddy some and he can ponder whether you or the bear has caused more damage while you reload. Never heard of a multiple bear attack so an "Attack of the Zombies" scenario is probably not realistic.
Specific recommendations. Minimum in black bear country 357 magnum with 180 graind flat nose. Minimum in brown bear country 460 Rowland with the heaviest bullet or 44 magnum with 300 grain wfn. I believe the 41 magnum tauraus ti tracker with 250 grain wfn is equal to the 44 mag with 240 grain Keith. I carry a 475 Linebaugh with 425 lfn in brown bear country. If you can't afford a Freedoom Arms, the Magnum Research BFR is just as good except it is a little heavier and slightly more bulky but it has a longer cylinder. I use an El Paso Saddlery 1942 Tanker holster because it is compatable with backpacks and flyrods. Best book "Bear Encounter Survival Guide" by James Gary Shelton. ISBN 0-9698099-0-5
Disclaimers. Your mileage may vary. Patrick disagrees with me about semiautos. Phil Shoemaker disagrees with me and he has taken apart way more bears than I have (see his article about pistols and bears he wrote for Wolfe). My parents never worked for the RCMP. I have never cruised timber nor have I ever fought a forest fire. I only cut down trees for firewood, not for a living. I have never been in a firefight.

evanhill
08-16-2009, 01:03 PM
Thanks for the well reasoned post. Perhaps you could answer this question I posed in the other thread and have yet to receive an opinion on:



presumably "underpower" loads such as 10mm and .45 super have a specific zone that they must hit in order to be effective. presumably the more authoritative loads have a larger zone that they can hit and still be effective. how much bigger is that larger zone?

...

Moho mentioned an 18x24" zone with a "heavy duty revolver" as one datapoint. What was heavy duty? .44 or bigger? .357 or bigger?

Anybody have any idea how much higher the standard of accuracy needs to be with the 10mm and .45 super loads? Will they also do the job anywhere in that 18x24 zone, or do you have to shoot them in a 9x12" zone?


Based on your post, the range that you need to be able to hit at is 10 feet.

I'm also guessing you would consider the "zone of effectiveness" of a 45 super or 10mm as 3"x5" (and a moving 3x5 at that).

Any thought on what the "zone of effectiveness" of the larger calibers you mention might be?

edit: and if you care to break it down even further, that would be interesting (like .41 250grn 10x10", .44 300grn 15x15", .475 425grn 18x24", etc)

bobmn
08-16-2009, 01:30 PM
Evenhill: your post inspired me to finally reply with some unemotional data which is what I believe you are looking for. I honestly believe that the brain is the only hit that the semi-auto cartridge is effective enough to stop in time before doing damage to you. So a 3 by 5 moving cylinder is correct. All I can say about the more powerful revolver cartridges is that it is somewhat larger. The difference is it opens up the possibility of a spinal hit or possibly turning the bear with a shoulder hit so you can hit him with a few more rounds. A fall bear can have a couple of inches of fat to penetrate plus the hide is very elastic. I know a hollow point semi auto bullet is not going very deep into that. A 400 pound black bear I shot in early Sept. had 5 five gallon pails of fat on him when we skinned him out. If you look at the Linebaugh penetration data linked in another post be forewarned that bullet meplat size has an enormous effect on penetration depth. Someone quoted a 45 colt load with the bullet specified as LBT but not Long Flat Nose or Wide Flat Nose. That data is worthless without that detail. Veral Smith covers that subject in detail in "Jacketed Performance With Cast Bullets"

kutenay
08-16-2009, 01:32 PM
A very interesting and informative post, however, the book, "Bear Encounter Survival Guide" was written by James Gary SHELTON, not, ...Shackleton...; it is the most useful advice on this topic I know of.

The specific recommendations seem pretty sound to me, however, Phil S.'s point in his article that I read (many times) seemed to be more directed to the average guy, who does not have your level of training and expertise...I am NOT being sarcastic here. So, for most guys, who do not shoot their pistols as often as they probably should, his suggestions seem very practical to me.

My Redhawk .44M. with my handloads fits your parameters and is not "hard" to shoot as well as the fact that we CANNOT obtain permits here in Canada FOR any other handguns, EXCEPT large-bore revolvers and even these are VERY hard to come by.

My friends that have Glock 10s are now packing their .44s and when handguns are banned in Canada, as I am certain they will soon be, they will have to carry what I choose to, a custom CRF rifle in an appropriate caliber.

I like your opinions, I would be only TOO happy to have access to training of the quality that you have had and, as it happens, a "bear watching" guide service where a guy I met works at Hudson's Bay, has often invited me to go hunting and fishing there and I hope to visit there within a couple of years....toting "Thumper", my 20" Old Mod. 70, .375H&H.

Good post, do more of them,

elmbow
08-16-2009, 01:34 PM
Excellent post Bobmn. I don't often give much creedence to gun rag articles but some years ago I read about the exploits of a bona fiday Government hunter in Colorado whose sole mission was the control of problem Black bears. I was impressed with his knowledge and expertise and hair raising stories with him, his hounds, his customized single action Ruger .45's and Linebaugh .475's and the bears. Simply put, heavy for caliber, hard cast bullets get the job done. This has been put to bed many times now, Hard cast bullets out of handguns simply out penetrate and maintain weight better than jacketed bullets. And while the Rowland makes a fun project if you have an extra steel framed .45 laying around to tinker with and I'd carry it in Blackie country if i had to, but again, why? The single actions are better in all respects, except firepower, which is irrelevant under those conditions as you aptly pointed out.

kutenay
08-16-2009, 01:42 PM
I think that I vaguely remember the article you mention and I have often thought that a guy like me, would be best served by buying a "Vaquero" in .45LC sts-4.75" and learning that gun like his heartbeat; I would tend toward 320 HC at roughly 1000 fps.

I have seen more than a few bears killed and it iS penetration that is crucial, I would never use a HP bullet and would not carry an autoloader by choice.

evanhill
08-16-2009, 02:39 PM
I don't think anyone on the forums here has advocated anything other than high quality cast bullets for this application, but I could be wrong.

Regarding penetration, did you see Bushcraft's post on 10mm penetration on steers perhaps a year ago now?

To repeat myself in the interests of clarity, The "how much larger is the zone" question is crucial, IMHO. 10 feet is considerably less than I typically practice with a handgun, so I don't have a feel for what my hits are like at that range. Next range day, I'll certainly be working on it with semi-auto and revolver. However, the point remains that hits with a semi-auto count considerably more than misses with a big bore revolver (true?).

There is no doubt in my mind that you have more of a margin of error with the big bore. Is that margin of error greater or less than my personal accuracy difference between semi-auto and revolver? I need to know both to know which handgun I'm better off carrying for the purpose of bear defence.

A couple of related arguments that come to mind --

- At contact range (inside a sleeping bag, or mauling underway), the accuracy question goes away completely.

- semi-auto calibers are so inadequate against bears that your worst performance with a big bore is still better than your best performance with a semi-auto.

Not saying I agree with the above, just that they are reasonable arguments you could make.

Steelworker
08-16-2009, 06:30 PM
The posters I have seen on this subject include combat pistol instructors, military personal, hunters and fisherman. While all these gentleman are experts in their fields, the first question I would ask anyone offering bear defense advice is: How many bears have you dissassembled? ... Bear attacks are not firefights, magazine capacity is irrelevent. .

Well, that pretty much summarizes me, though I don't consider myself an expert on any subject! In fact, ANYTHING I write regarding big bears is nothing more than conjecture, as I live in Indiana and we don't have any bears! In the last ten years the only times I've been west of the Mississippi was for business purposes, not recreation. I have only seen two grizzly bears in my life and they were in Glacier National Park and several hundred yards away at that, so my opinions are nothing more than armchair commando speculation.

Any comments I make are purely from my own limited background which has been focused on self defense against human predators, and has nothing to do with bear defense. Back when Anthracitic posted on this forum he sent me some tapes on bear attacks and my wife and I concluded after watching them that we would not be able to differentiate between a bluff or real attack and the awesome speed of the bear would make any defense highly unlikely. We concluded the bear would surely get one of us and the other might be lucky enough to get one rifle round into it before they too went down. Those tapes and a book Jules also included were my sole source of information on actual grizzly bear confrontations. In other words, I'm one of the most ignorant people regarding big bears on this forum. I have never spent any time in any of the areas you note above and, good Lord willing, plan to spend my retirement, if I ever get one, in eastern Tennessee, so my chances of ever encountering a big bear are slim at best.

In truth, I should never post anything when this discussion comes up, but it interests me and I write only from my extremely limited perspective.

I sincerely hope that none of my posts have been offensive to you, as that would never be my intent. I write purely because I like "sitting around the Kifaru campfire" and chatting with friends. I will say in all honesty your post was not only informative, but very refreshing. I learned much from it and have concluded this tenderfoot would be best to stay here in the flatlands and not venture into your neck of the woods without someone of your or Kutenay's experience along as a guide, as I would either end up as a mobile hamburger for a big bear, or sitting in a jail after doing something stupid.

Thank you much for your insightful post, as it was much appreciated.

kutenay
08-16-2009, 06:51 PM
I have owned handguns for 41+ years and taken a weeklong defensive pistol course from the BC Justice Institute trainer, who trains most L.E.O.s here, other than the "Queen's Cowboys". BUT, I consider myself a NOVICE with ANY handgun, seldom shoot mine and could not be bothered with getting the permit to carry while working.

So, my humble comments are based on field bear experience and a tiny bit of pistol experience and I certainly defer to those here with greater pistol vs. bear experience than mine.

I'm thinkin' "frag grenade"....... :)

ryanusmc
08-16-2009, 06:57 PM
You sure seem sure that anyone in a bear charge situation will ruin his shorts. I'll have to disagree with that. Gun writers say the same thing about man to man gunfights too. Never happened to me or anyone I served with. After being shot at about 6 feet with an AK my trousers were as clean as they could be after sleeping in the dirt for a month.

If in brown bear country I'll pack a large, but mild revolver to help speed up follow up shots(250-300 grains at 9-1000fps). But for blackies most autos will penatrate enough. 9mm fmj will penatrate more than 2 feet of muscle.

I think most of us who head to the hills with marginal autos do so because 1. We are more likely to run into a problem with a homo sapien than yogi, and are more likely use the side arm to pot small game. Any hand gun is a poor bear defense weapon compared to a rifle.

bobmn
08-16-2009, 08:39 PM
Kutenay: Thanks for the catch on Shelton. The insights he presents on bear behavior is way more important than any gun info. I corrected my post and added the ISBN if anyone is interested.
Thanks everybody for your posts. I am not offended by anyone's post and nobody has to apologize for their level of expertise. I just did not want some tenderfoot making a decision without being exposed to an opposing viewpoint. Because of all your interest in this subject I realised I had a couple of bearskulls that might add to the body of knowledge. I was really surprised by the size of the brain cavity. When somebody mentioned a rendezvous I thought you might want a basis for designing a target. I am thinking along the lines of the target moving towards the firing line with a slight back and forth movement like a clock pendulum to the brain target. Than have a larger spine target behind. You could have a major/minor caliber scoring system like IPSC.
Just about any rifle is better than a pistol but I've never been able to cast a flyrod with a long gun slung over my back. Even the pistol grip shotguns are tough to fish with.

moho
08-16-2009, 08:42 PM
Another exception is the Desert Eagle .50. Granted, it's a different class of handgun, once referred to by a friend as the world's first crew served, anti-aircraft pistol. It has a bolt a bit like a big M1 carbine. They also have a significant learning curve and seem to be too exotic for many old school pistoleros. And then there is the unfortunate Hollywood factor and a lot of folks dising them because they are overkill for humans. Duh.

But having worked with one a bit, I find they shoot surprisingly well and offer the closest thing to firepower I've seen in a gigundous handgun. While it is doubtful you'd need a lot of ammo for large animal defense, it is nice to have another 7 round mag or two. Recoil with the gas action is no worse than a mid-spectrum .44 and mine has been almost totally reliable. Generally it is a two handed proposition, but still a lot lighter and more compact than a rifle or shotgun, which also require two hands. Muzzle flip is a downside and noise is extreme, possibly due to gas blasting sideways from the piston. At the range, sometimes folks stop and ask "what was THAT?!". With 296 handloads, it is sort of like having your own, hand-held flash bang device. That could be an advantage at times too. Or not. Depending.

I havenít shot any critter with them, but have heard one anecdotal report of good effectiveness on a big bear with the 350 grain SPs at 1270 fps. I can say they do a nice job taking apart small trees. The old, heavy style, 300 grain HPs just have a small cup in the flat nose and go 1516 fps. They also reportedly penetrate quite well since expansion is pretty limited.

Considering the trade off between power factor and shootability, I really think things like target size and penetration are relative and not quantifiable given all the other variables. That said, I'd rather land a couple of 350 grain flat nose bullets in an important area than try for an eye shot with a .22, or a half dozen head hits with a .45 acp. But sometimes a .38 special works, and sometimes a 12 ga slug doesn't.

I'll also throw in the personal observation that with a heavily loaded .44, I can almost always put more heavy lead on target in a given period of time with my long barreled Redhawk than with a similar Blackhawk. And I do consider myself proficient single action, having grown up with them. Being able to simply start rolling through the trigger pull as the gun comes back down from recoil seems to help.
.

bobmn
08-16-2009, 08:50 PM
Evenhill: Hard data that your after is going to be tough to get. My suggestion is to borrow a shot timer and develop your own data. It sounds like you have both pisol and revolver. The splits and holes in the target will answer your question, I think.

one-eyed Bob
08-16-2009, 08:53 PM
I believe that I read in an earlier thread that Patrick favored a .45 high capacity auto. I have read of shooting in the dirt, shooting at the eye or mouth, trying to disable a shoulder, and just discouraging a bear from continuing its attack. Finally, a round or two at close range as you are becoming dinner may shorten the meal as the bear sickens. I hope never to find out, however.

evanhill
08-16-2009, 09:04 PM
Evenhill: Hard data that your after is going to be tough to get. My suggestion is to borrow a shot time and develop your own data. It sounds like you have both pisol and revolver. The splits and holes in the target will answer your question, I think.

I'm beginning to think you're right. I've asked the question enough times without much of an answer. The shooting part is no mystery. We've got a shot timer, and I know how well I can shoot revolver versus semi-auto at 15 yards (about half as well).

If I take your 3x5" zone as the necessary standard for semi-auto, and Moho's 18x24" zone as the necessary standard for big bore revolver, I'm clearly better off with revolver. If it is more like 12x12" versus 18x24", I'm probably better off with semi-auto.

and Moho, I'm not going to let you get away with your "situationally dependent" argument! It is clear to me that that is just a thinly disguised excuse to own lots of different handguns ;)

bobmn
08-16-2009, 09:13 PM
Ryan: We can talk about skivvy shorts after you encounter your first sow with cubs. Incidentally, I use to make a living flying off the USS Eisenhower at night. Not much correlation with the topic under discussion.

Songdog
08-16-2009, 09:56 PM
Not to change the subject too much but perhaps a bit of a rabbit trail...

How many of you have actually been charged by a wild animal bent on your destruction and have been forced to actually stop the charge with a firearm? No bluff charges. No almosts. I'm talking animals that were stopped with a firearm within 10 yards.

Great thread(s) and enjoyable reading. I'm just curious on the speculation vs. reality (and I enjoy speculating, don't get me wrong).

I've had only one such experience in a lifetime of hunting and it was with a 220lb wild pig last year. He was wounded (gut shot but very much still alive) and came to life on the side of a very steep hill in thick scrub oak and managed to flip a hunting partner about 20 feet in front of me end over end and knock him silly before coming at me. I had a Remington M7 in .260 and managed a shot into his right eye at apx 5-7 feet (luck or skill I'll never tell). If I didn't have a round in the chamber (another popular thread) or was relying on a handgun in a holster or even my rifle with a sling or in a gun bearer and there's no way I would have had time to react.

http://home.pacbell.net/jniednag/Entry_wound.jpg

Bushcraft
08-17-2009, 12:47 AM
Sorry, but I have to disagree with regard to semi-auto handguns not being adequate for bear defense, particularly with regard to black bears.

I've personally ascertained the ability of stiff 10mm, both 200 gr. FNFMJ's and 180 gr. GDHP's, being more than adequate to blow holes right through the heads of 1,100 lb. feeder steers, both while calmly chewing their cuds or while trying to run me over. Suffice it to say that their skulls were significantly larger than an average black bear, pictured below with a full-size daily carry 1911 (.45ACP) and a Glock 20 (10mm). The perspective is a bit off since I was trying to get everything in the picture, but note the 10mm cartridge perched on the top of the bear skull (BB 180gr. Speer GDGP). They'll handily go lights out if you adhere to the basic tenets of Placement, Placement, Placement.

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d11/ARE001/shooting/DSC05752m.jpg

Would I generally prefer an appropriately chambered long-gun or thumper wheel-gun if I had one shot and I had to make it count? Of course. If it were a life and limb situation, I would want to dump as much destructive energy into the bear's brain bucket as fast and accurately as possible. But then again, I'm not really one to fight fair, ever. I prefer to have the odds stacked in my favor as much as possible.

For me, since I've already personally ascertained the adequacy of various cartridges, this whole "bear gun issue" simply comes down to A) what the odds are of an encounter, and B) what the odds are of me being able to proficiently place adequate firepower on target while using a platfrom that I'm willing to constantly tote around with me 100% of the time while I'm out in the pucker brush. I'm sure it's much the same for everyone else but we all arrive at different conclusions given our comfort levels with various platforms and time & cost necessary to achieve a high level of proficiency with one or more self-defense platforms.

Personally, in the wilderness areas and NF in Washington, Idaho and Oregon where I like to roam, I'm looking at the already very slim odds of ever having to use my firearm to defend myself from the following attackers: Human - 97%, Black Bear - 2%, Cougar - 1%, Bigfoot - .000000001%.

I'm comfortable knowing that my reliable, accurate, relatively lightweight, seemingly impervious to the elements Glock 20 is readily at hand night and day, chambered in a cartridge that I know to be more than adequate at blowing holes right through the heads of much larger animals than I'll ever have to defend myself against in the areas where I backpack, fish and hunt. I don't want to bother with heavy big-iron wheel guns with only five or six in the hopper. Been there. Done that.

If I were on a float trip in Alaska, I'd probably still go with the G20 with some 230gr. hardcast from DoubleTap or 200 gr. solids from Buffalo Bore in addition to a rifle or shotgun. And they'd all be in Condition 1 whenever I deemed it appropriate.

Ultimately, I know the onus is on me to put the round where it will count, just as it would if I were using a more powerful wheel-gun, rifle or slug-gun...and I can absolutely guarantee that my split times with an adequate semi-auto handgun are WAAAAAAAAY faster than with any bolt-gun, lever-gun, pump shotgun or heavy thumpin' wheel gun (which are by no means slow)...especially if the distance is under 10' and closing.

ryanusmc
08-17-2009, 04:19 AM
Ryan: We can talk about skivvy shorts after you encounter your first sow with cubs. Incidentally, I use to make a living flying off the USS Eisenhower at night. Not much correlation with the topic under discussion.

I've been around sows with cubs before. Both brown and black. Wasn't charged so I guess it doesn't count.

Combat is combat. Bear or man it makes no different. I had a Gunny who would tell us before we got to Iraq and our first fire fight that those who think they will fight poorly will, and those who think they will fight hard and make their brothers proud will.

Same concept different enemy. The weak minded will shake and cower, those with a mind set appropriate for the situation won't.

scothill
08-17-2009, 07:06 AM
I will start by saying it has been a long couple of days without much sleep so I might be a bit tired and cranky. However, I am personally catching a bit of condencsion (sp?), which I frankly think is a load of crap. Screw that bull**** tenderfoot comment in other words. The fact of the matter is that first and foremost we are talking about placing a shot in a given spot under stress. After that we are talking adequate penetration. I think it is a load of crap to tell someone like Steelworker or RyanUSMC what they will and won't do when faced with a combat situation and how they will be able to place a shot. I would suggest mildly that they are very aware of their shooting skills under pressure and how they react to that pressure (I know there are a lot more on here, but I will single them out as they are participating in this thread). As to the rest of the board, I am pretty sure most here are hunters and actually in the group of hunters that practice shooting and doing it quickly and accurately. Is standard hunting the same as shooting a bear during a charge? Nope it is not, but again you are talking to guys who know how to shoot and place shoots to make them count.

I am very happy to have the accuracy standard of 3x5 to me that is very significant and reniforces my choice of a autoloader, Thank you. You see I work pretty much every week on becoming a better shot. I know my capabilities with an autoloader and my capabilities with a revolver. If you tell me I have to place a shot or two or three in a 3x5 target at less then 10yds NOW then I am going to choose an autoloader, because for me the likelyhood of making that shot is increased. I have also fired multiple rounds quickly from an auto loader while backing up. I KNOW that I can keep 6rds in 3x5 while backing up under 5yds because I have done it. Granted it was on the range and on a non-moving target, but well I just don't have bears handy to practice on. I will be applying though to making a mover of that size and seeing what I can do with it. (as a side not anyone know who wide the griz swings its head?) If you give me a recoil monster like a heavy loaded revovler then I don't think I could do it. I would think one maybe two shots at most. So why, if we are needing to hit a 3x5 target would I limit myself to only one or maybe two shots when I could have a lot more?

Also, I just don't buy that the target suddenly becomes 18x24 when you go from a 230gr hard cast at 1120fps to a 230gr hard cast doing 1450 (the largest round that will chamber in Evan's tracker without hand loading that I know of, a gun you mention). I will buy that the target becomes bigger, but until some can tell me it is significantly larger then I will focus on hitting that 3x5 target we KNOW will work. Heck some of the comments I hear about the .44 and bears reminds me of the old if you hit a guy in the arm with a .45acp it will blow it clean off and kill him instantly. Just ain't going to happen so again shot placement is the key.

Frankly, a pistol is in adequate for all of this anyway. If I am actually worried about griz then I am carrying a 45/70. Guess what, I practice with it as well and know what I can do with it, and what I can hit, and how fast. So the pistol becomes a secondary for when I am working around camp, fishing, communing with nature each morning, etc... when the rifle is not in hand, but damn near. I believe that Moho was the one that said that the attacks happen slowly so if the 45/70 is close at hand then I will probably have time to get it in hand. However, again I like to be prepared so I figure that the handgun is a good bit of insurance. Plus is better in the tent at night.

In addition, I have seen both a griz skull and a black bear skull. I am not impressed with the thickness and don't see them as some bulletproof constructions. Do you need a good bullet design to get through them? Yup, but then you need a good bullet design for lots of things, but if you can't place that shot accurately then the Hammer of Thor ain't going to help. Again shot placement.

The funny thing is that this is a discussion that is never going to be decided, because you have people with good skills/experience on both sides. For instance Larry Bartlett favors a G20 after a bear encounter where he found his heavy loaded .44 to be a detriment due to weight and size and trying to use it. (I think it was in his book Float Hunting Alaska, but it might have been discussed on his forum, as it has been several years.) Also if you go to the Alaska Outdoor Forums this same topic comes up regularly, maybe more often then here, and you have bonfied Alaskans arguing for the 10mm. Some with lots of woods experience. I mean everyone knows that anyone not from AK is a tenderfoot and knows nothing about bears, but these are the real deal Sourdough type ManGods who are arguing for, gasp the 10mm.

So frankly until someone tells me that the revolver with monster slugs will kill a bear dead with a single shot anywhere in a zone twice or three times the size that will work with a 10mm then I will continue to argue for the 10mm, because I think shot placement is the key not how many foot lbs of the bullet. I will also continue to believe that the 230gr hard cast that Double Tap is loading is just fine for getting through skull of a bear and guess what, I will even have the ability to hit more then once as the recoil is not as bad.

Finally, I will admit I am not an AK ManGod as I only lived there for about 5 yrs when I was a kid. I have never faced down a griz charge bluff or otherwise, and all of my Black Bear interaction was relatively benign despite proximity. And while I am baring my inadequacy I will even say that compared to a lot of folks I compete with I am about middling when it comes to shooting. So put me in the tenderfoot category with everyone else on this board who doesn't interact with griz daily. (where is the roll eyes icon?)

If I misunderstood the tone of your posts then I will apologize now, but I really don't think I did.

William Clunie
08-17-2009, 07:35 AM
Great discussion here.

My experience is only with black bear, BUT, I sure wouldn't be counting on hitting a moving target the size of a bear brain during an attack. I don't know too many folks that would be able to hit something that size while it is moving at you. Maybe an ocassional trick shot, but not the average hunter.

Seems to me it would be easier to hit the front shoulder first, then attempt a head shot within the last few feet? I'm only questioning here for clarity. It is starting to sound as if some of you here are suggesting head shots?

I've only been "charged" by black bear. I stomped my feet and the 300-pound sow (with three cubs) ran away. I don't think the same thing would happen with brown/grizzly bear. In that case, I'd prefer a 45/70 with hardcast lead.

I'm hunting Maine black bear this fall with a 10mm semi-auto. We'll see how this works. I don't think I'll have any problems with that round doing the job, as others have pointed out. I don't see the semi as a problem either -- I've fired both revolvers and semi's over the years and don't see either design as hindering me from getting off a few quick rounds in a tough situation. I haven't been charged by brown bear, grizzly, lions, tigers, etc., but I'm sure I could fire and crap my pants at the same time. I'd worry about wiping later. Saying this, I would not use a pistol caliber for any dangerous game -- AND -- I certainly wouldn't use a head shot no matter what caliber.

But I'm only a regular hunter,

Pointshoot
08-17-2009, 08:38 AM
I'll start with the usual qualifiers . . . I'm not an expert, haven't been charged, yada, yada, yada . . . . but since we're all b.s.ing around the camp fire here goes - - -

That said, I personally have no problem carrying a semi-auto in black bear country and have a 1911 in 10mm and a Glock 20sf (also a 10mm). In Griz country I carry a revolver (usually in 44 Mag, I have bigger guns but they are a bit bulky & heavy for general field use). - - - I'm sure many of you have read articles and posts by a guy going by the user name JJHACK (I don't recall how he spells his actual last name but a quick search will supply it). He has a great deal of bear experience as a hunting guide - - - Here's a link repeating what he wrote in an article in Bear Hunting magazine:

http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/1879218/2

I have heard the arguments regarding single action vs. double action in a 'bear defense' revolver. The gist of it is that if you are knocked on the ground and Yogi is chewing on you (not a farfetched outcome in an attack scenario) , it would be extremely difficult to thumb back the hammer on a single action if you wanted to try to plant one in his noggin. I'd imagine it would be extremely difficult to do anything if Yogi was chewing on you ! I usually carry a d.a. 44 mag in Griz country but have some nice single actions that I really enjoy as field guns so I'm still contemplating this last factor. Regards, - - - -

elmbow
08-17-2009, 08:38 AM
.......Personally, in the wilderness areas and NF in Washington, Idaho and Oregon where I like to roam, I'm looking at the already very slim odds of ever having to use my firearm to defend myself from the following attackers: Human - 97%, Black Bear - 2%, Cougar - 1%, Bigfoot - .000000001%.........

I'd think you'd run across the Hill brothers often enough to make it at least .000000002%.

Ed C
08-17-2009, 09:00 AM
Nothing like a good bear thread eh guys!:D:D:D:p

Pointshoot
08-17-2009, 09:31 AM
Nothing like a good bear thread eh guys!:D:D:D:p

Any outdoors/hunting dedicated forums gotta have at least one !

CCH
08-17-2009, 09:56 AM
Any outdoors/hunting dedicated forums gotta have at least one !

Yeah, but we have about five (no I'm not going back and counting)! Isn't hunting season getting close? Anyone have anything on the stuff we actually do or perhaps more likely dangers? How about avoiding lightning? A much bigger danger for us in mountain terrain. Safe driving tips? Good lord, it's much more dangerous driving to where I hike and hunt. Healthy living? I've already had to visit a cardiologist when under 40 and that's with regular exercise. Safe ***? I'm in a committed marriage so that's not a problem for a variety of reasons but for some of our clan... Best sunscreen? Skin cancer is a real problem especially if you spend a lot of time above timberline. Baldness? If someone has any cures for that, I'm all ears. And let us not forget the classic conversation of the dangers of down sleeping bags! ;)

Still voting for the semi-auto. Covers zombies and Crow Indians as well as bears. :D I think I've stated my lack of credentials on this topic enough times that it doesn't "bear" (pun for Westy) repeating.

Philos
08-17-2009, 12:30 PM
I signed on at work to post a question but saw this thread and I thought I would share a story told to me recently. It involves a physician in Raleigh NC and his brother-the brother is with fish and game in Alaska.

The brother in Alaska was doing some work with a tranquilized bear and apparently the bear "woke up" to soon. The fish and game guy had some help and when the bear grabbed the fish and game guy someone there put a 357mag to the bears skull and shot 5 times-the shots did not have the desired effect-that is to say the bear did not stop biting. The fellow then had the presence of mind to stick the gun in the eye socket and pull the trigger and the 6th bullet in the eye did the trick.

This story hit home with me as this scenario is the one I imagine me being involved in for several reasons. I imagine such an event happening as I am elk hunting, probably sneaking through the woods and being face to face with a bear at a short distance with little time to do much other than facilitate the brown underwear syndrome. I doubt I could hope to get a killing shot if I was trying for a head shot-unless the bear was in my lap. I know this topic is concerning handguns-but I believe handguns are the least desirable weapons for bear defense but since this thread speaks to that I will keep the 338 mag or shotgun theory to myself.

I truly want to know what caliber and load will stop a bear if he has my leg in his mouth and I have the gun at bear blank range-possibly on top of his head or somewhere where I shoot him and not me. I hope I never have to defend against a bear but I do believe the event would be a short range situation with little or no time to aim or think about a point of aim.

I cannot imagine a true bear defense handgun in a 10mm or 357 or even a 44mag. I want a hand cannon- 460 or greater and NOT a semi-auto. I do not think I will need more than a couple of shots but I want to know the second shot will come fast and that I will not accidentally depress the magazine release during the struggle-hence a revolver is in order.. If I have to do close combat with Mr. Bear I want a gun that will disintegrate his skull period-hence a large caliber is on order. If the weight concern outweighs the power needed then IMHO donít carry a pistol.

I believe it is important to assess ones abilities honestly and to imagine how one would react and/or respond to a given stimulus. Then and only then should you look at which weapon to chose as it relates to your activity while in bear country. .

elmbow
08-17-2009, 12:31 PM
.......
Baldness? If someone has any cures for that, I'm all ears........ .
Get the pate browned nicely, to he** with the cancer scares, take about 4000 i.u. Vitamin D every day, Get a superbadger shaving brush, some Trumper shaving cream, a good razor and keep it smooth as a baby's bottom and rub this into it every day after shaving: (http://www.theartofshaving.com/taos6/product.php?product=25000&group=1&trk=group). Expensive but worth it, kind of like Kifaru packs and the fair *** will follow you
around wanting to rub it. Not that I'm claiming to be an exspurt either.

medicjim
08-17-2009, 12:35 PM
Combat is combat. Bear or man it makes no different. I had a Gunny who would tell us before we got to Iraq and our first fire fight that those who think they will fight poorly will, and those who think they will fight hard and make their brothers proud will.

Same concept different enemy. The weak minded will shake and cower, those with a mind set appropriate for the situation won't.

I dunno, I've been in harm's way a few times and every once in a while, something catches me wrong and I suffer a 'malfunction'. Based on my experience, even with the right mindset, Murphy catches you sooner or later. I've never met anyone who can pull it together 100% of the time.

CCH
08-17-2009, 12:55 PM
Get the pate browned nicely, to he** with the cancer scares, take about 4000 i.u. Vitamin D every day, Get a superbadger shaving brush, some Trumper shaving cream, a good razor and keep it smooth as a baby's bottom and rub this into it every day after shaving: (http://www.theartofshaving.com/taos6/product.php?product=25000&group=1&trk=group). Expensive but worth it, kind of like Kifaru packs and the fair *** will follow you
around wanting to rub it. Not that I'm claiming to be an exspurt either.

elmbow, thanks so much! I've just been going with the really close cropped look though. Shaving is such a pain but I'll check out the link. I have to tell you my model of the fairer *** doesn't particularly care for the bare look and never rubs it. Now back to bear guns...

Bushcraft
08-17-2009, 01:15 PM
I want to know the second shot will come fast and that I will not accidentally depress the magazine release during the struggle

It ought to be duct-taped anyway.

Me thinks the helper that was shooting the bear in the head with the .357 didn't have a clue as to where the brain is housed in the skull. I would hazard a guess that a .22 LR put in the right place would have done the trick nicely.

Again, it is well back from the eyes...

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d11/ARE001/xsectskullbear.gif

Songdog
08-17-2009, 01:35 PM
...if I can just get some kind of spreadsheet to go with the above diagram I'll be convinced ;)

Oh, we're just getting started!

elmbow
08-17-2009, 02:01 PM
elmbow, thanks so much! I've just been going with the really close cropped look though. Shaving is such a pain but I'll check out the link. I have to tell you my model of the fairer *** doesn't particularly care for the bare look and never rubs it. Now back to bear guns...
To he** with staying on topic, shouldn't shaving be a pleasurable activity? A quality brush, good shaving soap and razor make it so. My old lady was a sceptic but no way was I going to look like bozo or do the comb-over. They go from getting used to it to loving it and so will you brother. Now back to bear slaying fantasys.

Bushcraft
08-17-2009, 02:16 PM
Jonathan,

Here you go! :D

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d11/ARE001/shooting/G20vsRevolver-1.jpg

CCH
08-17-2009, 02:25 PM
10 rounds in the 20???

41magfan
08-17-2009, 02:39 PM
I'll pre-empt my comments with the following: I have never even been in Grizzly country, must less been threatened by one. We have some Blackies around here, but they tend to weigh much less than 300 lbs on average, with most bears going well under that size.

I would not feel comfortable taking on a large grizzly in a defensive situation with ANY handgun. Shooting an animal in a "hunting" situation that is unaware of your presence is a totally different thing than shooting one that's in an attack mode. I've heard of lots of folks that have killed large bears with a handgun - but I don't know of any that have routinely killed large bears with a handgun defensively.

Black bears are another matter IMO, just because of their size. With the proper ammunition I'd feel reasonably comfortable with any handgun ballistically equivalent to the .357 Magnum or larger in defending myself against a black bear.

Now to address the matter of shooting a target that is moving towards you in an aggressive manner - I'll just offer the following. Hitting a static target with a handgun at any reasonable distance is easy - hitting an erratically moving target at any distance with a handgun is difficult.

I've only been "charged" once - and it was by a dog, but I found the shooting challenge to be sorta difficult. While I was successful in "getting it done", I'll just say that I didn't get it done with one shot. Furthermore, a misplaced round will not get it done on a dog, must less a bear.

If anyone wants to try and put the shooting challenge of being "charged" into some perspective, I might suggest the following: Find a range with a well-designed moving target system. One of the "movers" that I have access to can be set so the target runs towards you, or away from you, in addition to running at angles perpendicular to the firing point.

Make a target of the appropriate size and dimension with the size of the "vital" area realistic. Set that puppy to run about 30 ft per second and get ready to miss and miss often! An average man can move at 15' p/sec without much difficulty, so 30' p/sec for a bear is being generous. One of the things we do with the overhead cable-drive, is put the cable under tension. Just before the mover is actuated it is released. This causes the target to start "bobbing" erratically as it moves towards the shooter.

The vast majority of decent shooters miss the entire target (much less the vitals) until the target is within muzzle blast distance. The hitting problem is compounded further when the shooter feels "compelled" to move as the target gets closer. A shooter than doesn't have his holster presentation down to well under a second will only get a round or two off before the target hits him. And this is starting the target at 50' away.

Now, I carry a gun everywhere I go in the hope that I can secure my relative safety under most circumstances. If I were to venture into Grizzly country and not be able to carry a long-gun, I'd carry the most powerful handgun I could get my hands on (the minimum would be a .44 Magnum with 300+ grains of bullet weight) and hope for the best. But, feel comfortable about it? Not hardly!

Don't take it as braggin', but I've amazed myself a few times with stuff I've done with a handgun. But take on a charging bear with a handgun - I'll leave that to someone else, thank you. And if it does ever happen to me, I hope the old saying .... "I'd rather be lucky than good any day" .... will have application to my success.

Bushcraft
08-17-2009, 02:45 PM
CCH,

Reference the 10-1 scale.

The G20 carries 1 in the pipe and 15 in reserve, plus another 15+15+15+15+etc. of uber-fast reloads should you encounter roving bands of snaggle-tooth backcountry bubba zombies.

CCH
08-17-2009, 02:49 PM
Oops! I changed the rating in my mind when I got to that point. Sorry, I'm with you now. Heck, you're even ready for grizzly bear riding, Crow Indian Zombies on meth with Sasquatch back up. ;)

Bushcraft
08-17-2009, 03:01 PM
Are you trying to turn me on?

CCH
08-17-2009, 03:47 PM
Well, I wasn't trying to but I'm happy if it works for you. :D

Pointshoot
08-17-2009, 04:12 PM
Yeah, but we have about five (no I'm not going back and counting)! Isn't hunting season getting close? Anyone have anything on the stuff we actually do or perhaps more likely dangers? How about avoiding lightning? A much bigger danger for us in mountain terrain. Safe driving tips? Good lord, it's much more dangerous driving to where I hike and hunt. Healthy living? I've already had to visit a cardiologist when under 40 and that's with regular exercise. Safe ***? I'm in a committed marriage so that's not a problem for a variety of reasons but for some of our clan... Best sunscreen? Skin cancer is a real problem especially if you spend a lot of time above timberline. Baldness? If someone has any cures for that, I'm all ears. And let us not forget the classic conversation of the dangers of down sleeping bags! ;)

Still voting for the semi-auto. Covers zombies and Crow Indians as well as bears. :D I think I've stated my lack of credentials on this topic enough times that it doesn't "bear" (pun for Westy) repeating.

Youre right of course. Probably the greatest true danger in the wilderness is hypothermia. But sitting around shivering isn't nearly as exciting to picture as being attacked by some kind of mean critter.

I'm sure 10,000 years ago guys sat around the campfire and talked about the best bow, spear, club, etc. to protect themselves against bear attack :)

CCH
08-17-2009, 04:23 PM
I'd guess that 10,000 years ago it was a lot more depressing conversation and the participants had much more personal experience. "Remember Grog? That poor guy had just too small of a rock/short of a spear/light of an arrow/thin of a club. If he'd only been using a wide bladed, long spear, he might have made it. I mean that's how you get good penetration and a wide wound cavity plus repeat capability. None of that one and done crap like a bow. Could you pass me that giant ground sloth bone to gnaw on?"

moho
08-17-2009, 06:37 PM
Yes, this is timeless.

Ed C
08-17-2009, 08:25 PM
bobmn
You are wrong on several things I'm not talking calibers.
First is this gem

The difference between a bluff charge and a real charge is the last 10 feet.
That one is total crap. If a bear is charging me, and is with in 30 yds. It ain't a bluff. The bear might get me, but they will find said bear with 6 holes in him! Unless I'm packing a piece of plastic like Bushcraft, then he will have 16 holes in him maybe more!

Then there is this one.

Sourdoughs take a dim view of Pilgrims unneccessarily ventilating their bears
F___ the sourdoughs!

Please bobmn no morehttp://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u200/gunnerratlouski/bull.jpg

:rolleyes:

I love bear threads, us pilgrims sure get riled up.

ryanusmc
08-17-2009, 08:29 PM
I dunno, I've been in harm's way a few times and every once in a while, something catches me wrong and I suffer a 'malfunction'. Based on my experience, even with the right mindset, Murphy catches you sooner or later. I've never met anyone who can pull it together 100% of the time.

if you wish to cultivate yourself as a warrior pick up a copy of "the book of 5 rings" by Myamoto Musashi. A friend is reading it so I'll paraphrase,- if you are a warrior than be a warrior, walk like a warrior, talk like a warrior. If you are a farmer than be farmer. There is no middle ground.- great read.

Your still here so <100% is good enough. 100% is perfect, we can only train and strive to be so.

bobmn
08-17-2009, 09:42 PM
Soldotna mans brush with bear too close for comfort
By Joseph Robertia | Peninsula Clarion
Last Sunday a fourth brown bear for the year was killed in a defense of life and property (DLP) shooting, and there is no mistaking that it was the former, not the latter, that was on the line for the man who shot it.

"I'm not trigger happy, and I wasn't looking for trouble," said Greg Brush, in regard to the incident that took place along Derks Lake Road, off Mackey Lake Road, outside of Soldotna.

The morning started casually for Brush. He had the day off from guiding king fishermen on the Kenai River, and with hunting season fast approaching, he decided to take a walk to start getting into shape.

"My wife and kids had other stuff to do, so I went alone and took the dog," he said, referring to his German shepherd.

In addition to his canine companion, Brush also decided to take a handgun -- a Ruger .454.

He was fortunate he did, but Brush said it was more than luck than made him opt to carry the pistol. It was a recent history of run-ins with brown bears -- as many as 13 last summer, and several already this season -- that made him decide to take protection that day.

"I've had a bear greet my wife at the base of the front steps, popping it's jaw from 10 feet away. In broad daylight. I've had a sow and two cubs chasing my dog on the front lawn, and had two cubs walk past the kids on the trampoline. And, recently I had bears pull down my bear-resistant garbage can," Brush said.

Back on April, 18, 2005, a jogger also was mauled by a brown bear, roughly 400 yards from where Brush had the run-in with his brownie. All of these factors played into him packing a pistol, but he said he still thought he would never have to use it.

"I just never thought it would happen to me. It's one of those things you just always think happens to somebody else," he said.

However, less than a quarter of a mile from his home, Brush heard a twig snap behind him. He whirled his head around and saw a huge bruin burst from the woods less than 20 yards away. It moved straight for him.

"It came with zero warnings. There was no woof, no jaw popping, no standing up. It just had its head down, ears back and was in a full charge," he said.

Brush's dog was roughly 50 yards in front of him when the bear made it's move, and it ran home frightened. Brush was on his own, and he said he didn't have time to think. He just instinctively reacted.

"I drew my gun and just started shooting in its direction. There was no time to aim. I don't know where the first shot went, but I think the second or third shot hit him. I rolled him at about five feet away," he said.

But, the bear had so much momentum behind him from the full charge, that once it rolled over from being hit by the 350 grain bullets, he still slid several yards across the gravel road, and just a couple of feet from Brush.

"He skidded to a stop about 10 feet beyond where I was shooting from. I actually side-stepped him and fell over backward on the last shot. His momentum carried him past where I fired it from," he said.

"From the time I saw him, until he skidded past me it was seconds, and I'm not exaggerating or fabricating anything," he added.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game investigated the incident and confirmed the scenario played out just as Brush described. They also were able to glean information about the bear, which may have led to it making such an aggressive move toward Brush.

"It was a big boar, roughly 15 to 20 years old, but in poor body condition for this time of year. He was very thin and had significant tooth wear," said Jeff Selinger, area wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Beyond these biological attributes, Selinger said it is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason the bear may have charged, although he pointed out that often bears that have lost their fear of humans have done so by gaining food rewards associated to humans.

These could include improperly stored garbage, the contents of unsecured freezers, food for pets or livestock not properly cleaned, salmon eggs left out to cure for bait or bird seed left out all year, just to name a few.

However, Brush was emphatic that he and nearly all his neighbors work hard to minimize bear attractants.

"Over the past few years, we've taken every precaution possible to reduce or avoid this real and severe bear problem," he said.

Again, Selinger confirmed Brush's statement, for the most part.

"I've been by Greg's place several times and he keeps a very clean area, but a lot of times people doing things right pay the price for people doing things wrong. There have been attractant issues in this neighborhood in the past, and this area is a popular spot for people illegally dumping fish carcasses, so I'd almost guarantee that within a five mile radius of where this occurred there are attractants, and five miles is just a few minutes' walk for a bear," he said.

Brush said he was angered to learn this fact, particularly since if true, someone else's negligence could have contributed to him quite possibly losing his life.

"It's frustrating to learn that some lazy person on Strawberry Road, or Sterling, or wherever, could be contributing to my problem," he said.

Selinger said he is equally frustrated by the matter, and Fish and Game is trying to address this issue though a myriad of methods, of which pubic education is among the most important.

"We're going in the right direction with people understanding and making reasonable efforts to minimize attractants, but we still have a long way to go. To make this work, it is also important for people to make it clear to their community leaders that this is an important issue to them," he said.

Selinger cited Kenai, Homer and Seward as leading the way in taking steps to reduce conflict between humans and bears. These communities are involved in the Wildlife Conservation Community Program, which utilizes grant money and in-kind donations to inform residents on how to live safely in bear country, and to purchase or off-set the cost for bear-resistant garbage cans and Dumpster lids.

Soldotna also is working toward becoming a Wildlife Conservation Community program member, and Cooper Landing and Hope have similar bear programs in place.

However, Selinger said this is still not enough.

"We'd like to see this message go boroughwide," he said.

This most recent bear shooting brings the number of DLPs for the season up to four. The first DLP of the year was an adult male killed at a black bear baiting station off Swanson River Road on May 21, but Selinger could not comment further because the incident is still under investigation.

The second DLP was a subadult bear that was killed near the community of Sunrise, off of the Hope Highway, on June 25. The *** and details of this bruin's death also are unclear at this time, since the person who shot it took the salvaged carcass to the Fish and Game office in Anchorage, rather than Soldotna.

The third one was a yearling male euthanized June 26 by Fish and Game near a dwelling at the end of Denise Lake Drive, off Mackey Lake Road. The animal already had been injured. It was suffering from a gun shot wound that went unreported by whoever fired on the bruin.

In addition to these three DLPs, five brown bears -- one male and four females -- were killed during the spring brown bear hunt.

These combined numbers are a stark contrast to last year when 40 brown bears died as a result of human caused mortalities, of which 31 were DLP shootings.

As to the nine brown bears that died as a result of human-caused mortalities in 2008 that were not related to DLP shootings, one was hit by a vehicle while crossing the road, two were killed during legal hunts, two were shot by black bear hunters who misidentified them, one was a bear euthanized after it was reported and found to be mortally injured, one was a cub euthanized after its mother was shot and a home could not be secured, and two bears were found shot dead and never reported to Fish and Game by the shooters.

bobmn
08-17-2009, 09:48 PM
Ed C: Thanks for your insightful post. Your grasp of jurisprudence is especially compelling.

Bushcraft
08-17-2009, 10:01 PM
Sounds as though he had a...(insert David Caruso dramatic pause here)<INSERT pause dramatic Caruso David>...brush with death.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sarYH0z948

Ed C
08-17-2009, 10:21 PM
He whirled his head around and saw a huge bruin burst from the woods less than 20 yards away. It moved straight for him.



"I drew my gun and just started shooting"

He should have waited until he was 10 feet away to make sure it wasn't a bluff. I can't believe a Sourdough would react that way.;)

bobmn
08-17-2009, 11:15 PM
Ed C: You weren't in the vicinity of Mackey Lake Road with your hawg leg sometime prior to June 26, were you?

kutenay
08-18-2009, 12:39 AM
bobmn
You are wrong on several things I'm not talking calibers.
First is this gem

That one is total crap. If a bear is charging me, and is with in 30 yds. It ain't a bluff. The bear might get me, but they will find said bear with 6 holes in him! Unless I'm packing a piece of plastic like Bushcraft, then he will have 16 holes in him maybe more!

Then there is this one.

F___ the sourdoughs!

Please bobmn no morehttp://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u200/gunnerratlouski/bull.jpg

:rolleyes:

I love bear threads, us pilgrims sure get riled up.

Yup, NOBODY can tell for sure at 30 yds. if a rapidly approaching bear is "charging" or merely wants to borrow your Zippo.

Bleep the Sourdoughs, yup, again, better to deal with the "Moose and Goose" boys than to spend months recovering from even a slight mauling or eternity in your coffin.

If, I were to go back to working alone in the bush, I would get a Karelian and a major breeder/trainer is in Victoria, B.C. and I have spoken with her at dog shows. These dogs were not available in my working years here in B.C., but, I know a couple of guys who now have them and they can do some amazing things. It seems, tho', that the feisty little buggers will not live in peace with other dogs and I have Rottweilers.

Smokepole
08-18-2009, 06:36 AM
My old lady was a sceptic but she loved the comb-over. They go from getting used to it to loving it and so will you brother.



elmbow with a comb-over? Now THAT is scary, and a .357 ain't sufficient to defend yourself.

elmbow
08-18-2009, 12:58 PM
elmbow with a comb-over? Now THAT is scary, and a .357 ain't sufficient to defend yourself.
And some folks tell me I still look (and act) like Bozo, what gives with that?

sooperfly
08-18-2009, 02:58 PM
Here's what I got in an email.

Friends,

Have I got a story for you guys!

King season is over, and since i had a day off before silvers start, i thought i would go for a walk! this occurred at 11:16 am this morning (Sunday), just 2/10 of a mile from my house, ON OUR ROAD while walking my dogs (trying to get in shape for hunting season, ironically!) for the record, this is in a residential area-not back in the woods, no bowhunting, no stealth occurring...

I heard a twig snap, and looked back...full on charge-a huge brownie, ears back, head low and motorin' full speed! Came with zero warning; no woof, no popping of the teeth, no standing up, nothing like what you think or see on TV! It charged from less than 20 yards and was on me in about one-second! Totally surreal-I just started shooting in the general direction, and praise God that my second shot (or was it my third?) Rolled him at 5 feet and he skidded to a stop 10 feet BEYOND where I was shooting from-I actually sidestepped him and fell over backwards on the last shot, and his momentum carried him to a stop past where I fired my first shot!

It was a prehistoric old boar-no teeth, no fat-weighed between 900-1000 lbs and took five men to DRAG it onto a tilt-bed trailer! Big bear-its paw measured out at about a 9 1/2 footer!

never-ever-thought "it" would happen to me! its always some other smuck, right? well, no bull- i am still high on adrenaline, with my gut in a knot. feels like i did 10000 crunches without stopping! almost puked for an hour after, had the burps and couldn't even stand up as the troopers conducted their investigation! totally wiped me out-cant even put that feeling into words, by far the most emotion i have ever felt at once!

No doubt that God was with me, as I brought my Ruger .454 Casull (and some "hot" 350 grain solids) just for the heck of it, and managed to draw and snap shoot (pointed, never even aimed!) from the hip! Total luck shot!

All I can say is Praise God for my safety and for choosing to leave the wife and kids at home on this walk! Got a charter tomorrow, so gonna TRY to get some sleep now!

talk to ya soon, -greg

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2534/3834907120_7d302deb6a_o.jpg ]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3463/3834114701_c0dd55a979_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2502/3834114617_8294e0c91f_o.jpghttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2636/3834906906_5713e9b3e5_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2628/3834906872_a9fdcc6284_o.jpg

Kevin B
08-18-2009, 05:47 PM
My friend in Alaska told me something I hadn't heard. He said with the cost of reloading components going through the roof down here, you should see what the stuff costs in AK!

He's taken to tranquilizing big ole Browns, he knows he shouldn't. But he's doing it so he can recycle all the 10MM and .45 loads they're hauling around in their fur. They're just kinda stuck against the skin deep in their fur. He just brushes em out. WOW.

Think he was joshin? :rolleyes: He also said after the first couple a times he got killed by a brown he never looked back on his wheel guns, sounds right to me. Love me some bear threads.

Pointshoot
08-18-2009, 09:14 PM
Pointshoot,

That's not Sooperfly. Those are the pictures to go along with the Greg Brush story found a little earlier in this thread.

Allen

Thanks - - - yeah, I read back through and realized that I was mistaken so deleted my post. Regards, - -

Ed C
08-18-2009, 09:53 PM
My friend in Alaska told me something I hadn't heard. He said with the cost of reloading components going through the roof down here, you should see what the stuff costs in AK!

He's taken to tranquilizing big ole Browns, he knows he shouldn't. But he's doing it so he can recycle all the 10MM and .45 loads they're hauling around in their fur. They're just kinda stuck against the skin deep in their fur. He just brushes em out. WOW.

Think he was joshin? :rolleyes: He also said after the first couple a times he got killed by a brown he never looked back on his wheel guns, sounds right to me. Love me some bear threads.

:D:D:D:DNow that's some funny stuff.

medicjim
08-21-2009, 05:45 PM
if you wish to cultivate yourself as a warrior pick up a copy of "the book of 5 rings" by Myamoto Musashi. A friend is reading it so I'll paraphrase,- if you are a warrior than be a warrior, walk like a warrior, talk like a warrior. If you are a farmer than be farmer. There is no middle ground.- great read.

Your still here so <100% is good enough. 100% is perfect, we can only train and strive to be so.

I'm 43 with 25 years in the fire service. I'm a bit past the cultivation stage.

I suspect Myamoto Musashi was a fat little cherub with a really good bodyguard (who was scared ****less more often than not)..nuff said

Ron_A
05-17-2010, 11:18 PM
Interesting premises offered here.

Here is someone talking about why semi-autos are inadequate for bear defense and making conclusions without any credible testing of available bullets, rounds or launch platforms.

Well, when you open the debate with that leading statement, you leave yourself open to strong opposition.

For the record, I happen to run a full time firearms training academy and I have been a professional shooter and trainer for the past 30 years or so.
I consider myself a reasonably good student of firearms and have had to train many individuals in the use of firearms for all sorts of purposes, one of which is backcountry defense.

What's more, there are some REALLY sharp fellas on here that can both think and have some experience with various handguns.

I'm going to make the following observations:

1. Experience doesn't replace science, they can both co-exist and can assist in making an informed decision. One does not replace the other, otherwise, how the hell did we EVER get to the moon?

Given a choice, I will take the opinion of an objective, scientific man who uses both critical thinking and the experiences of himself and others over someone who thinks that living in bear country or going to a shooting school for a week or so qualifies them to comment on bear defense with handguns.

2. I have both lived in the backcountry of Alaska and elsewhere and have faced quite a few bears over the years. I have also spent much time examining the skulls of many bruins when I did worked part time in the museum of my college when I was going to school for wildlife biology and management. Neither qualifies me as an expert on bear killing. It has given me a lot of good insights and perspective on what it is going to take to kill a bruin.

3. I have also studied more than a few bears and bear incidents that had been shot, both in self defense and for hunting. I have interviewed bear attack survivors. I have interviewed hunters and other ramblers, fishermen etc. that have had encounters with bears, bluff charges, real charges etc.

I also had a mentor that killed over 150 bears as a government hunter, with all manner of weapons, including handguns.

4. You may need EVERY round you can bring to bear on a bruin, especially as you are bobbing, weaving or getting the hell bit or clawed out of you as you are doing so. They may very likely close the distance on you anyway so plan on very close range shooting too with one hand too if need be. Round count just MIGHT matter and is relevant, especially at close ranges.

5. The study of terminal ballistics offers some really good insights on penetration with different rounds. However, while central nervous system shots offer the best capacity for immediate shutdown, you may need to shoot into the bruin's neck or chest from various angles as you are being mauled etc.. There are 220 grain flat meplat, cast .45 ACP bullets and 255 grain .45 ACP bullets that will feed and penetrate quite well, given sufficient velocity, and will reach into the chest cavity of a bruin quite well at the distances that would be relevant. Here the .45 Super or a 300 grain .44 load at 1000 fps. would both work quite well.


6. Don't make statements you aren't willing to bet on. That means money or your life. I will bet you 500 dollars that I can run a semi-auto or double action revolver with a decent load a hell of a lot faster and more accurately than anyone is going to run a single action six shooter in .475 Linebaugh or similar. I've had that discussion with John Linebaugh as well. Especially while you are having your left arm chomped on by said bruin trying to keep him from eating the rest of you as you are trying to work the damn thing.

7. Ranges will most likely be close and closing. You don't need tons of velocity but you should look for a well constructed bullet. 10mm works on bears. I have several acquaintances that have killed the black variety with them. .45 Super will work too. 230 grain Hornady Flat Points at 1100.

.460 Rowland will work but I have been doing some research on them and I am not satisfied yet with the feeding from my single stack 1911. However, I will get that resolved. 230 grain bullet launched at 1330 fps. with a comp works just fine. Split times for head shots are .22 to .25 between shots with above load at 7 yards or so on a 5-6 inch circle which is a hell of a lot faster than anyone is going to accurately run a single action revolver. I can also run it at that speed while moving, and keep it in a 6 inch circle with most shots.

I personally had a client that carried a .460 Rowland in a custom firearm that I recommended to him while fishing in Alaska last year. Lots of bears and he was really confident in his choice. He is an excellent shot.

Double action .44 with 265 grain flat nosed bullet @ 1150 or 300 grain cast bullets at 1000 - 1100 or similar will work too. .454 with 320 grain bullet at similar velocities will too.

And so will other calibers....

1200 fps. is probably a good max velocity for anything operating without a compensator for both speed with controllability. As John Linebaugh says, and I agree, if you want more penetration, it's time to go up in caliber and bullet weight, not velocity.

LAST and MOST IMPORTANT:

Do your research THOROUGHLY before offering conclusions!

Stay objective, test and validate all load data, use a shot timer for accurate speed measurements, use a known target size for comparison and then....

Make your choice and live with it!

Ron A

Bushcraft
05-18-2010, 07:20 AM
Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.

Thanks Ron.

CCH
05-18-2010, 07:50 AM
Good points all around Ron, but it is taboo to bring bear defense gun threads back from the dead as they are harder to kill than a grizzly in the first place and reproduce like bunnies. ;)

I'm sure you are unaware but before you know it, there will be a "What's better? A combat knife or hatchet for marauding bears." thread. Or perhaps "What are the best light hiking boots for outrunning your pal during a bear attack?" threads.

elmbow
05-18-2010, 08:22 AM
Good points all around Ron, but it is taboo to bring bear defense gun threads back from the dead as they are harder to kill than a grizzly in the first place and reproduce like bunnies. ;)

I'm sure you are unaware but before you know it, there will be a "What's better? A combat knife or hatchet for marauding bears." thread. Or perhaps "What are the best light hiking boots for outrunning your pal during a bear attack?" threads.

So, in the end, Sawtooth is the survivor? He's a small meal, so the bear looks at his JUICIER, SLOWER partner. His puny model 60 isn't much worse than biting flies, so he goes after the JUICIER, SLOWER partner with the Rowland. He's got North Face uber lights on his feet and runs 10 miles a day, so THE bear goes after his JUICIER, SLOWER partner, who is putting the hurt on him with those heavy for caliber 45's.
I need to pay more attention to those lightweight shoe threads. I do have one edge. I'll keep my pate highly polished and use it to blind the oncoming furry freight train, thereby throwing him off track, and hopefully, into my SMALLER, FASTER partner's path of retreat.

elmbow
05-18-2010, 08:25 AM
Excellent. Excellent. Excellent.

Thanks Ron.

Spoken like someone who favors semi autos:)

elmbow
05-18-2010, 08:27 AM
Lest we forget, science has given us the modern "western diet".

snakey2
05-18-2010, 09:45 AM
I carry a full size walking staff instead of those puny synthetic trekking poles for this very reason, I can vault a full sized charging bruin and you can't! You had better be able to run cause he'll be after you while I'm behind him running like the wind (in my light Vasque hikers) putting all my 15 bullets (from my Glock 19) into his backside spurring him on in your direction! We should start a thread about how to kill a resurrected one. Now seriously......... good analysis RonA. Now let it die like it was hit (well) with a 500 H&H double rifle.

CCH
05-18-2010, 09:54 AM
The trick if you're with Sawtooth lies in the fact that he is generally in the lead, sometimes far in the lead. Those who are Juicier and Slower can simply step to the side and remain still as he runs back down the trail (his Model 60 having failed in a head on approach) towards them and place a leg out as he passes. He will tumble to the ground, making for an easy meal as the Juicier, Slower friend (a man's got to know his limitations and I sure do) remains motionless appearing for all the world as just a big rock or bush. The bear will run by thinking it has found a marmot or some other rodent until it gets a taste of Sawtooth's fabric boot. In the meantime, the Slower, Juicier hiker can sneak up with his own Model 60, tuck it behind the preoccupied bear's ear and hope that the hardcast bullet can penetrate sufficiently to save Sawtooth. If the bullet merely bounces off the skull, he can then opt to sneak away at the leisurely pace that is his maximum speed in the first place. This would be tragic as Sawtooth knows some pretty good fishing spots and tends to pack good vittles. ;)

Not that I've thought about it... :D

M Paulsen
05-18-2010, 10:16 AM
Never been charged by a bear but I was charged by a bison in Yellowstone a couple of summers back. Obviously I was not carrying a weapon. I did not crap my pants. I did have a moment of detachment when I realized that I was very likely going to get tossed and/or pounded. That bison covered 30 yards so quickly that I don't think I could have drawn a pistol and got on target even if I had wanted to. It was shaking its head and even if I had been able to get a pistol out I don't know that I could've hit anything vital. If I would have had a rifle already in my hands it would be different. I think it is seriously unlikely that I could have hit a 3 x 5 cylinder somewhere within that massive head. Fortunately for me the buff veered off at about 10 feet. That of course is the difference between a bluff charge and a real charge. I could see its big bloodshot eye and I swear I felt its hot breath as it pounded by.

A bear is not a bison of course but this was an instructive experience.

Kmassaro
05-18-2010, 11:19 AM
A small semi auto would work well. Just wound Sawtooth so he'd be slowed down, and the bear can use him as an appetizer. Run to safety. :)

(Of course, just kidding regarding our esteemed member and friend, Sawtooth.)

Ed C
05-18-2010, 11:22 AM
A small semi auto would work well. Just wound Sawtooth so he'd be slowed down, and the bear can use him as an appetizer. Run to safety. :)

(Of course, just kidding regarding our esteemed member and friend, Sawtooth.)

What if you miss?? Sawtooth is rather wiry, in great shape and a difficult target.

scothill
05-18-2010, 11:36 AM
Well since someone else popped this back up I will post my weekends experience here.

After taking the bear shooting challenge and seeing that the first shot difference wasn't that much and that I was as accurate with a revovler as a semi. I bought a .41 mag. It is one sweet piece, and as a result as gotten a lot of carry backpacking. I also like the added range I get with it over the .45. I decided to run it in an IDPA match this weekend just to see how it works for quick dynamic shooting. The answer is that it does, but not as well as a semi auto.

My set up was a kramer scabbard holster, double speedloader pouch from galco, and I was shooting a 215 gr bullet at 1100 that I recently loaded up with Bushcraft. This load is a mild 41 load and I consider it pretty comfortable to shoot. It is not what we have for "bear" use.

I have never finished lower than middle of the pack at one of these matches, and lately have been pushing the leaders. That is until this weekend. I was the lowest shooter except a woman shooting her first match.

Some factors where that I haven't spent a lot of time with speedloaders. I know I could get faster there and more positive, but nowhere near as fast as with a mag into an autoloader. Also on two different occasions I dropped one of the rounds during the reload. I think it was getting pulled partially out by the speedloader due to angle, but regardless I was suddenly using a 5 shooter and didn't know where the empty was. I spun the cylinder during close to make sure it wasn't the first one up. I was also reloading more often than everyone else, which affected time.

Another factor was sights. The sights on my autos are flat better for getting on target quickly. I have a new rear sight for my .41, but I just haven't gotten it on yet. I suspect that it will help.

All of my targets had at least one, usually the first one, in the A zone (or 0 for those who can read a IDPA target) including a head shot. The second shot wasn't always there as it was just hard to get the gun back on target quickly and get a second fast shot off. This was both shooting on the move and standing still. The recoil and weight of the gun made it hard to drive it hard and fast like I usually do with an auto.

My conclusion is that if my priority is good quick first round hits than the .41 is a good choice. If I have multiple targets, two legged or coyote wave attacks not bears, or have to keep shooting after that first fast shoot than I am better off with a semi-auto. At this point I am probably going back to a .45 for general woods carry in non-grizzly country as other dangers are more likely than a bear attack and the .45 is sufficient for black bears. If I am in grizzly country I will probably still use the .41 as it seems that the priority is that one good first shot, but I am not completely convinced that the 10mm glock is still not a better choice than a big bore revovler.

Has anyone else ever shot a match with their "bear gun" who did you do?

CCH
05-18-2010, 12:09 PM
A small semi auto would work well. Just wound Sawtooth so he'd be slowed down, and the bear can use him as an appetizer. Run to safety. :)

(Of course, just kidding regarding our esteemed member and friend, Sawtooth.)

Ammo is sort of expensive and my feet are large. ;) And yes, I'm kidding too. :D

Timberline
05-18-2010, 01:34 PM
My conclusion is that if my priority is good quick first round hits than the .41 is a good choice. If I have multiple targets, two legged or coyote wave attacks not bears, or have to keep shooting after that first fast shoot than I am better off with a semi-auto. At this point I am probably going back to a .45 for general woods carry in non-grizzly country as other dangers are more likely than a bear attack and the .45 is sufficient for black bears. If I am in grizzly country I will probably still use the .41 as it seems that the priority is that one good first shot, but I am not completely convinced that the 10mm glock is still not a better choice than a big bore revovler.


It seems to me that maybe the hardest thing to find in these sorts of bear-defense discussions is objectivity.

Let’s face it; few can draw on ANY experience or even experimentation in this field. So what’s left but theory, conjecture and personal agendas, the sum total of which is the heart of most of the commentary on this subject by most of the participants, me included.

Which is why I find it a breath of fresh air whenever anyone impartially reports on genuine attempts at empirical testing of some piece of this subject matter. Scott’s efforts to measure, through an IDPA match, the shootability of a big-bore revolver compared to a semi-auto pistol are commendable. And furthermore his detached conclusions, which tend even to somewhat torpedo his own preconceived bias toward a mega-revolver (as evidenced by his purchase of a .41 wheelgun), are both fascinating and admirable.

And yes, “shootability” is but one part of the overall puzzle, but it is a very significant piece.

Kudos to Scott for trying to work some part of this through in a logical and objective manner, regardless of where it might lead. That approach seems damned rare these days, especially on the mighty Internet.

Scott, your efforts and reporting are appreciated.

Kmassaro
05-18-2010, 02:07 PM
I was thinking the same thing as Timberline. Kudos to Scothill for a real experiment on bear gun action, and for reporting on his efforts.

Patrick
05-18-2010, 03:56 PM
Hi all,

As I'm in town--preparing for Rendezvous--a few observations on this perennial topic:

--The level of wit on this iteration (#3, 7, 10?) has me laughing aloud. Thanks, guys.

--And thanks to Scothill for his scientific efforts. Right on!

--Ron A is a friend; he and I have actually done some science on the topic too. Spine hits--good ones--on Bison. Me with a Glock 21, using .45 +P ammo, and, immediately afterwards--when he didn't collapse--Ron with a .460 Rowland. Neither took him down! He was sick, but still able to move off forty yards, and still standing. (As the herd was milling all around him and he was standing at angle we couldn't get multiple pistol shots into him...so I asked Ron to take him the rest of the way out with the backup rifle, which he did when a path opened up.) The point here is a spine shot didn't "take down right there" a bison, not even with the mighty Rowland. When we continue experiments we're resolved it will be head shots, and on pigs. The autopsy on the buff disclosed the skull is a massive two-layer affair with honeycomb bone in between. Not so pigs, and not so bears (I have a large grizzly skull and it's not anything like that bison cranium).

--Does anyone remember the postings from that fellow in Argentina--I believe his moniker was Fer-Fal? His description of life in backrupt Argentina--the chaotic civil unrest--was riveting. I recall his discussion about what turned out to be by far the most frequent kinds of assaults--they were sudden, close, and a surprise. I recall too his recommendation for defensive weaponry: a high capacity semi-automatic pistol.

That's it. Just some observations since this Thread picked up again, and since some science has been gathered.

Oh, and while I'm posting I'd like to extend a hearty "Welcome to Colorado" to Mr. T Bone! Prepare to fall in love, sir.

RDinMT
05-18-2010, 09:01 PM
Thanks everybody for bringing this back and adding to it.

I have never shot a bear but have had numerous encounters both on the trail and at home and the one thing that stands out most to me is operational awareness.

I have been fortunate in that in almost every encounter I saw the bear before they knew I was there. That awareness gave me distance and I'll take all the distance I can get.

It's the ones you don't see until their on you that scare me and I picture that scenario happening more times than not in the middle of the night. I can't see wielding a long arm in this situation with any effectiveness especially inside a tent that is being compressed down on you by Mr.
Fuzzy britches.

Also, this is an obvious point but I think still needs to be mentioned in that the attitude of the potential attacker should be considered in that some bears are tougher mentally (or just plain more pi$$ed off) than others and if they have their radar pinging your way you are going to need everything you got to make things happen in your favor. Since we can't predict this "attitude" serious consideration needs to be done to make sure we are prepared for "that bear", especially at night.

That said, I am in need of some serious range time, among other things.

kutenay
05-18-2010, 10:31 PM
When all is said and done, there are quite a number of firearms easily available that are perfectly adequate and even very suitable for Grizzly defence and a good .30-.30 loaded with decent bullets is still commonly used by many BC folks, especially when horsepacking. One of the largest Grizzlies ever shot was killed by Jack Turner at "Lonesome Lake" BC, 45 years ago, last Sunday, with a head shot from a Mod. 94-.30-.30 and, yet, Jack, a living legend to real BC bush people was attacked at his cabin at Hagensborg, BC by four yearling Grizzlies about 3-4 years ago and well clawed and chewed, yet, he was cracking jokes about it on TV from his hospital bed a couple days later.

The point, you ask? It is that, IMHO, far too many people endlessly debate the minutae of Grizzly encounters/defence who have little or no in-depth field experience living and working among these bears under conditions not strongly indluenced by human activities. The issue is really not what gun is best or even what bullet is superior, the IMPORTANT issue is how YOU react emotionally and how you can use what you choose.

After using quite a few guns and having had my sights on close-to-me Grizzlies several times, but, never having to pull the trigger, I KNOW what I want to carry and I have skinned enough bears for various shooters to have some slight idea of how they are put together. My choice is a short, crf bolt rifle and it will work inside any tent I own as I test all my gear before I use it. I would recommend such a rifle, but, will never insist that anyone should carry only what I prefer.

I recently sold my Redhawk, .44M. as I hated packing it due to it's weight and never found time to practice to where I felt as comfortable with it as I do with an "old" Mod. 70 or a Mauser with a 3-pos. safety. Calber is not crucial, I have witnessed Grizzly kills with ordinary hunting cartridges and the .30-06-200 or 220 NP is a very solid choice and most can learn to shoot it more readily than a .338WM or .375H&H, for example.

Soooo, I tend to be concerned about getting practice with the rifle I use and lots of it and then, I watch WTH I am about and I do not go "tiptoing through the tules" without being VERY watchful. So, far, I have never had a serious problem with a bear and I hope like hell I never do; a buddy of mine just shot a nice boar a couple of days ago and they are a very impressive animal, to say the least. Familiarity with your gun and caution are what I consider most important and he used a .416 Remmy-350TTSX and he shoots these big guns often and well.

Countryboy
05-19-2010, 05:41 AM
In reference to the moving target problem, anyone ever try to shoot small targets while running toward them? Try it. It can be done on the range, and, to my mind, would simulate the same physical characteristics as a bear running toward the shooter. Of course, introducing enough stress to cause one to soil his drawers could have a negative effect on accuracy, and negate the entire exercise!

scothill
05-19-2010, 06:40 PM
One of the stages was shooting on the move both laterally and backing up and I have practiced it backing up. All my prior statements from the match hold

One other stage I forgot to mention was a swinger. Picture a target on a pendulum that swings out from behind cover and back. My typical procedure is to double tap it twice as it swings back and forth and move on. At this point typically all 4 shots are on the target and at least 1 is in the 0 ring, and two on a fair basis. With the .41 I hit the target once. It was in the 0 ring, but one out of 4 ain't the best.

one-eyed Bob
05-19-2010, 07:22 PM
I continue to read about shots into the dirt in front of an animal to stop a charge. What caliber is needed for this? Perhaps extra rounds can be helpful. The bear may re-evaluate charging a bee that keeps stinging it.

Take-a-knee
05-19-2010, 08:21 PM
I continue to read about shots into the dirt in front of an animal to stop a charge. What caliber is needed for this? Perhaps extra rounds can be helpful.

At least 81mm, IMO.

RDinMT
05-19-2010, 10:03 PM
I continue to read about shots into the dirt in front of an animal to stop a charge. What caliber is needed for this? Perhaps extra rounds can be helpful. The bear may re-evaluate charging a bee that keeps stinging it.

That may not be such a good idea. A bullet deflecting into the underbelly or front feet/legs from such a shot may make things worse. Better to send warning shots off to the side or overhead if safe, than at the bears feet.

Ron_A
05-20-2010, 02:46 PM
Good points all around Ron, but it is taboo to bring bear defense gun threads back from the dead as they are harder to kill than a grizzly in the first place and reproduce like bunnies. ;)

I'm sure you are unaware but before you know it, there will be a "What's better? A combat knife or hatchet for marauding bears." thread. Or perhaps "What are the best light hiking boots for outrunning your pal during a bear attack?" threads.

Oh I know, I thought that it would be fun to bring this one up, right before the rondesvous so that we can have some good natured fun all week with it. It will never be solved, but it will be fun.

Ron

calnaughtonjr
05-31-2010, 08:15 AM
Looks like there is new test data available.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37432357/ns/us_news

Lost Arra
05-31-2010, 09:25 AM
>>Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It's legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.<<

:confused: :confused: ??

Can someone please explain this? (assuming msnbc is accurate)

dmazur
05-31-2010, 09:48 AM
Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It's legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.

This is exactly the same situation as any use of a firearm for self-defense. The only difference is it is now going to occur in National Parks, too, due to recent changes in the law permitting carrying of firearms.

Laws vary from state to state, but in Washington State I believe it is true that you are going to have to justify the shooting even if it was self-defense in an alley against a pair of armed assailants. There could also be charges for "discharging a firearm in city limits", which are usually dropped due to the circumstances. However, the discharge was technically a violation of law until you justified it. At least, that's how I understand this stuff. IANAL.

So, the apparent contradiction really isn't one. (Just because you are allowed to carry firearms in National Parks doesn't mean you are allowed to discharge them. No hunting, no target shooting, and you'd better be able to justify self-defense... :) )

Smokepole
05-31-2010, 09:49 AM
Guy got nine shots off and the bear walked away.

I'm betting he doesn't walk away without some kind of charges. I've never been around grizzlies but it seems that if a grizzly wanted to get you and was really charging, no way you'd get off nine shots in the first place, and no way it'd then walk off.

Wanderlustr
05-31-2010, 10:12 AM
Some great reading under the "discuss this topic" section. Some classic responses.



Apparently the hiker was supposed to pistol-whip the bear.

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4 votes


http://www.polls.newsvine.com/_vine/images/_/b_reply_mini.gif#7 (http://world-news.newsvine.com/_news/2010/05/31/4442217-backpacker-shoots-kills-grizzly-in-alaska-park#c14503696) - Mon May 31, 2010 9:07 AM EDT
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Ernie-201266 (http://nyecop.newsvine.com/)

No he was supposed to yell "stop or I'll shoot" and if that didn't work point his finger in stern manner (like Odumbo) and chastise the bear until it felt ashamed and stopped its attack. Next thing you know it will be illegal go hunt wild game because will be considered species profiling. Perhaps Obama should have invited the hikers and the bear to the White House for a "beer" summit to try and figure out what went wrong.
I am sure the law was meant to prevent target practicing or poaching or just plain being stupid in possession of a firearm. Hopefully there is a provision that makes self-defense discharge of a firearm an exception to the rule. Otherwise why carry one? As for me and my personal beliefs on situations such as this" "Better to be tried by 12 than carried out by 6." Granted this was 30 years ago and not in a national park in Alaska but when I lived with my Uncle just outside of Fairbanks I was driving his kids to school one day when we came across a bull moose in the middle of the road that would not move. I made the mistake of honking the horn and the moose began to attack the jeep we were in. I shot the moose and killed it when it began to hit the sides of the jeep to protect myself and my cousins. My uncle called the local game warden who came out looked at the moose, looked at the damage to the jeep and then looked at me and said "good shooting, enjoy your moose." I didn't even have a hunting license, but as far as the game warden was concerned it was self-defense. Based just on this article it sounds like the same is true there and any one who doesn't think a pissed off bull moose in the rut will not seriously hurt, if not kill you, has never been around one.

Kevin Dill
05-31-2010, 10:16 AM
Considering we only know what MSNBC has told us...and considering it's MSNBC...I'm withholding judgement and speculation until some facts are revealed.

I'm pretty sure a good handgunner in fear of his safety could pound out 9 shots in under 5 seconds. The bear's reaction is ungovernable...who can accurately predict what a shot bear will do? My one conjecture is this: 9 shots taken would indicate there was a LOT of stress, and maybe fear. Having a family member threatened is a different deal too. Something looks threatening to me...I might react one way. Threaten my wife or daughter...there's gonna be a quicker response.

Finally, once I've decided to burn powder, I'll only be concerned with avoiding injury, and eliminating the threat. If authorities charge me with a violation, that would still be cheaper than time off work...medical deductibles...medevac rides...and reconstructive surgery. There's no way I want to engage in a mental debate, with a bear closing in on me. That's called "thinking myself dead".

Kevin

RDinMT
05-31-2010, 10:26 AM
As the saying goes..

."better to be judged by twelve than eaten by one."

Ed C
05-31-2010, 10:53 AM
Guy got nine shots off and the bear walked away.

I've never been around grizzlies but it seems that if a grizzly wanted to get you and was really charging, no way you'd get off nine shots in the first place, and no way it'd then walk off.

Maybe he got off 9 shots cause the bear charged his woman and not him?


Friday evening when the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman

Smokepole
05-31-2010, 12:57 PM
As the saying goes..

."better to be judged by twelve than eaten by one."


True, but I've also heard that the Alaska fish and game guys take a dim view of people ventilating bears that bluff charge, and that they expect people to know the difference.

Kevin Dill
05-31-2010, 01:35 PM
"True, but I've also heard that the Alaska fish and game guys take a dim view of people ventilating bears who bluff charge, and that they expect people to know the difference."

That might very well be true. I'm 100% certain the Alaska F&G people don't want any bears killed unnecessarily. Probably the forensic evidence would be important in most DLP killings. If the evidence pointed to a guy who just had to take advantage of a close range bear, or "lost it" while the bruin was still at 70 yards...someone's in hot water. On the other hand, putting a number of rounds into a bear with a handgun while under stress, would indicate a very close encounter.

I've many times heard the discussions about differentiating between a bluff charge and a real one. How could anyone know with great certainty? I have my doubts as to whether a trooper would bust someone for a 20 yard handgun kill because "that bear was likely bluffing". My feelings about taking the shot: It's a decision made according to 2 primary factors. 1) The distance between man and bear. 2) The bear's behavior. These 2 factors would be constantly changing and information must be processed rapidly and critically. The bear who comes fast and low will probably draw fire way sooner than the 3 year old who is bouncing around and pacing back and forth. Still...even if he's bluffing...how close will you let him get? Willing to bet he's just curious at ten yards?

I hope I never have cause to find out my limits. I shoot my 329PD hard and often. I can hammer a coffee can with 3 quick shots at 20 yards. I intend to be quick and accurate, if nothing else. It's my judgement under pressure that I can't practice.

Great thread! Kevin

Smokepole
05-31-2010, 01:46 PM
Well, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I wouldn't have shot the bear in the same situation. Fact is, we don't know the situation. The only thing I'm sure of is that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference in a bluff and a real charge, unless the bear pulled up short out of range.

Ralph
05-31-2010, 05:45 PM
Came across this today:

ANCHORAGE, Alaskaó A backpacker shot and killed a grizzly bear with his handgun in Alaska's Denali National Park, officials said.

A man and woman reported that they were hiking Friday evening when the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said in a statement.

The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.

The two reported the shooting to rangers, who restricted access to the Igloo Canyon area for fear that the bear was wounded and dangerous.

On Saturday, rangers found the dead bear about 100 feet from the shooting site.

Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It's legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.

Rangers said it was the first known instance of a grizzly bear being shot by a visitor in the wilderness portion of Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley National Park.

modustollens
05-31-2010, 05:47 PM
I read about that too Ralph; though its interesting that after nine rounds it only stopped and was still able to walk away before dieing. Pretty strong animals indeed.

Ralph
05-31-2010, 06:02 PM
Well, the griz is a big critter and the .45 ACP (I assume that was what the guy was shooting) is not a high penetration round. There is a lot of hide, fat and muscle to absorb the blows. I would be interested to hear what wound(s) the critter actually died from.

Without the handgun, though, the story could well have had a very different ending.

Take-a-knee
05-31-2010, 09:33 PM
I read about that too Ralph; though its interesting that after nine rounds it only stopped and was still able to walk away before dieing. Pretty strong animals indeed.

I've skinned out two bears, an average sized southeastern black bear and an average sized AK brownie (8ft). They don't look at all cuddly without all that fur, they look like the absolute brutes they are. Those inland grizzlies don't get over 500# typically, usually less, but that is still a powerful beast, no 45 ACP for me in bear country.