Mathews Inc.
Big bore revolver
Equipment
Contributors to this thread:
MF 07-May-24
fdp 07-May-24
Wildan2 07-May-24
Zbone 07-May-24
BoggsBowhunts 07-May-24
Groundhunter 07-May-24
sundowner 07-May-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 07-May-24
milnrick 07-May-24
LBshooter 07-May-24
blue spot 07-May-24
Murph 07-May-24
Thornton 07-May-24
Thornton 07-May-24
Pop-r 07-May-24
Matt 07-May-24
Matt 07-May-24
Thornton 07-May-24
Recurve Man 07-May-24
Matt 07-May-24
BoggsBowhunts 08-May-24
Glunt@work 08-May-24
spike78 08-May-24
VAMtns 08-May-24
olddogrib 08-May-24
Vaquero 45 08-May-24
Huntiam 08-May-24
BTM 08-May-24
spike78 08-May-24
WV Mountaineer 08-May-24
Nyati 08-May-24
Pintail 08-May-24
wytex 08-May-24
MF 08-May-24
Zbone 08-May-24
Buck Watcher 08-May-24
Nyati 08-May-24
cnelk 08-May-24
Vaquero 45 08-May-24
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WV Mountaineer 08-May-24
Buskill 08-May-24
Zbone 08-May-24
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Shuteye 08-May-24
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Corax_latrans 21-May-24
From: MF
07-May-24
I may have an opportunity to work on the Aluetian Islands this summer and would like to have my own gun. I would prefer a short barreled .454 but they seem hard to find. I have a Blackhawk 44 mag but with a 10.5 in barrel. I have found a Ruger Alaskan in 44 mag and Taurus .454 with a 5 in barrel. Any thoughts on 44 mag vs .454 Casull?

From: fdp
07-May-24
I'm a 44mag fan. I would opt for a shorter barreled Ruger Redhawk.

From: Wildan2
07-May-24
Hard cast bullets in whatever caliber you choose.Just watched a video where a long time Alaskan guy stopped a charging Brown bear with 9mm and Buffalo bore bullets.He owns both a .357+.44 mag carries the 9mm on guided fishing trips;because he shoots it better and gets more rounds on target.

From: Zbone
07-May-24
For bear protection, most can't rapid fire big revolvers, I'd opt for 10MM auto... Alaskan bears have been killed even with .380 autos but with any handgun, ya must hit the central nervous system to stop them... I remember somebody asking Jay Massey if a .357 will kill a grizzly, his reply, "Yeah, eventually"...8^)

07-May-24
X2 ZBone, weight and packablity is another consideration. Not only would the semi auto be superior from a capacity and shootability perspective, but I’d much rather carry a Glock around all summer than a large bore revolver.

From: Groundhunter
07-May-24
Another fan of Buffalo bore bullets...I will be up all of August, helping a friend, I carry 41 210 mag, Buffalo Bore bullets.

From: sundowner
07-May-24
Ruger Red Hawk 44 magnum.

07-May-24
Glock 10mm or the super Redhawk 44mag

From: milnrick
07-May-24
I'm curious, which Island will you be working on? If it's Shemya, Attu or Adak you won't need a big bore anything.

From: LBshooter
07-May-24
Glock 10 mm with hard cast bullets. Easier to handle the recoil and plenty of Rounds. I have a 44 and a 10 and prefer the 10.

From: blue spot
07-May-24
the wild cattle on ADAK look kind of ornery! And I think would be a hoot to hunt. I remember seeing a thread here with some pictures of a bow hunter with rifle back up in action.

From: Murph
07-May-24
Semi auto is a good choice, but that wasn’t your question, S&W 629 in a 3 or 4” gun, preferably pinned and recessed or anything in and around that era. Late 70’s 80’s plenty of them to find on gun broker when guns were built by craftsmen not assembled by someone with a pulse..

From: Thornton
07-May-24
Here we go again...

10mm is anemic compared to a 44 mag. End of story.

44 mag is plenty according to the 100 plus years of cases of Bear vs Pistol compiled by ammoland.com.

One of the world's most well known bear guides packs a .357 on occasion. He is also one of the few humans alive that killed a grizz with a 9mm.

A .460 will fire anything from 45 colt to 454 I'm told. It is built on the same frame as the S&W .500.

For what it's worth, I have never killed a bear but I hunted deer within a hundred yards of a big grizz on the beach, and I was packing a Taurus 44 mag I gave $350 for and my 7 PRC.

From: Thornton
07-May-24

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
Here's the article. In my opinion, it is the gold standard on bear vs pistol. Factual, historically documented cases and their outcomes.

From: Pop-r
07-May-24
The .500 S&W 4.5" only weighs like 3 ozs or so more than a Blackhawk. 44 and carries about twice the BANG. I carry it and a .45 auto but I'll blow a hole in one with either one. Hopefully before it gets me!

From: Matt
07-May-24
From that article: “We discovered handgun failures in defense against bears are rare. Successful uses of handguns to defend against bears are about 50 times as common. Handguns have been shown to be an effective tool to use against bears 98% of the time.”

I missed the part of the article that indicates 10mm is anemic compared to the .44 mag.

From: Matt
07-May-24
To the OP, I would look for a revolver with 4-6” barrel in whatever flavor you prefer, and I would tend to prefer double action versus single action.

From: Thornton
07-May-24
It's called ballistics Matt. Look up the damn ballistics.

From: Recurve Man
07-May-24
I have the Glock 29 in a 357 Sig. That is a very violent cartridge. You tube has several videos of comparisons between the 357sig and other cartridges. I would suggest auto in bear country. The majority of encounters most people talk about you don’t have time to get your gun or spray out.

Shane

From: Matt
07-May-24
“ It's called ballistics Matt. Look up the damn ballistics.”

Don’t need to, I read the gold standard article which essentially says that caliber doesn’t matter.

If you disagree, take it up with the guy who posted the link to the article.

08-May-24
If someone gave me the option between a Glock 10mm with 15 rounds and a .44 mag revolver with 6 rounds and told me that I had to shoot a 30mph bouncing softball with one of them on a severe time restraint (simulating a bear’s head while charging) I’m personally gonna grab the 10mm and not think twice since both of them would without a doubt 100% stop the threat regardless of the paper ballistics and difference in energy. I’ll take my chances with the more shootable platform and the more forgiving magazine capacity despite the fact that it has about 70% of the muzzle energy.

I don’t think many shooters are hitting a 30mph bouncing softball with a .44mag revolver, I don’t think many of them are hitting it with a 10mm auto either - but they got a way better chance with 15 than 6. Accuracy through volume… nobody’s ever wished for less ammo in a defense situation but I’m sure a lot of people have wished for more. Is the 10mm “anemic” in ballistics comparison? It’s definitely less. Is a bear gonna notice the 30ish% difference in energy? I don’t think so - the ones in the linked article sure didn’t.

From: Glunt@work
08-May-24
Smith Airlite or Taurus Ultralight if its just for bear defense. Zero fun to shoot when practicing but much nicer to carry all the time compared to a regular big bore double action.

I would love a 10mm vs nothing and its a way better all-around gun but my choice on the few occasions I get to big bear country is something bigger. I carry a Ruger Bisley .45 Colt loaded to .454 levels. A double is better but its what I have, I have shot it a lot and it makes a great hunting gun out to 100 yards off sticks.

Practice and performance under pressure probably matter a lot more than which round or platform.

From: spike78
08-May-24
Yup to the 10mm and hell no to the SW500 I shot one last summer and it’s fairly useless for bear protection as you won’t have good follow up shots whatsoever unless your name is Jerry Miculek.

From: VAMtns
08-May-24
Stick with .44mag , you already have one and ammunition .

From: olddogrib
08-May-24
Always partner up with a co-worker who is slooooowwwww!

From: Vaquero 45
08-May-24

Vaquero 45's embedded Photo
Vaquero 45's embedded Photo
Yes one of many endless topics we enjoy . I have a couple pieces for Bear no joke charges etc . The one of the last year's of late I been hauling around with me is SW mdl #69 combat 44mag 2.75brrl 5 shot . I just me find d stock triggers on d SW's far superior than d Rugers . 10mm good candy also like in Glock, etc.

From: Huntiam
08-May-24
10mm is a badass I have one that has probably put a end to 20+ bears over the last 5 yrs …

That 44 will be fine tho.

From: BTM
08-May-24
This is Ron Spomer's very interesting interview with the famous AK guide (Phil Shoemaker) referred to several times above. Short version: (1) Better to have something smaller that's always on your hip than some huge hogleg you'll eventually find an excuse to not carry. (2) Placement/penetration trumps energy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UANI6U-SL4o

From: spike78
08-May-24
Vaquero do you carry that model 69 around town or just woods? I’ve had an itch for that gun it’s about the only semi CC 44 mag out there.

08-May-24
Yep. I wouldn’t waste time comparing a black hawk to a semi. No one will chose a single action as a defense gun. Redhawk only in the Ruger line up. No blackhawks.

As far as revolvers, I prefer Ruger hands down over smith. I’m not including any other brand because the rest don’t compare to those two.

The Ruger is a more solid, heavily built gun. Which helps when you are one handed belching globs of lead down range.

The caliber debate is something I wouldn’t pay a lot of attention to. Buy buffalo bore ammo or load your own. Just get a hard bullet. A bears fat will soak up pistol rounds if the bullet expands rapidly. Preventing the bullet from ever getting close to the vitals before it stops.

From: Nyati
08-May-24
I took my Glock 10mm when I went brown bear hunting. Thankfully never had to even think about using it

From: Pintail
08-May-24
Of the two rounds mentioned, the .44 mag will be much easier to become proficient with especially with a short barrel. If you or anyone you know handloads you can load a .44 mag down to .45acp velocities with little to no recoil or muzzle blast for extended practice sessions (much cheaper too). A big bore sidearm is a great thing provided you can hit your target in the heat of battle.

From: wytex
08-May-24
I can't imagine shooting a short barreled .454, it would be brutal. 44 mag or 10mm imo.

From: MF
08-May-24
Thanks all, leaning toward the 44 mag.

From: Zbone
08-May-24
Thanks BTM for the link, GREAT interview video, probably one of the best I've ever seen... Had read an article about Master Guide Phil Shoemaker killing a Brown bear with 9MM, but first time seeing him on video... Was cool listening to an experienced guide like that... Said the gun was S&W Model 39 with Buffalo Bore 147 grain hard cast flat nose bullet...

From: Buck Watcher
08-May-24
My Buddy, an avid hunter/fisherman/outdoorsman, has lived in AK since the mid 1970s. He moved up there to build the Alaskan pipeline. He calls a 44 mag a 5 shooter - 5 for the bear and 1 for you when it didn't slow him down. His carry gun is a Taurus Judge 45 cal. When he is on his ATV it's a short barrel 12 ga pump on his lap. I carry a .480 Ruger when I'm fishing and a .300 win mag hunting up there.

From: Nyati
08-May-24

Nyati 's embedded Photo
Nyati 's embedded Photo
I picked Underwood 10mm ammo for my Glock when I went brown bear hunting . Wore pistol on a chest holster.

From: cnelk
08-May-24
With all the archery prowess on Bowsite I’m surprised any of you even carry a sidearm

From: Vaquero 45
08-May-24
Spike both , I carry in town legally on me and in the woods . Imo the model 69 combat magnum in the hands of the rite person for a revolver with a 2.75 inch barrel is extremely accurate.So are the vintage SW Model 19 's with two n a half inch barrel in 357 mag . In rough country when I m not carrying d "69" I carry a 14 shot Springfield XDM in 45 auto or 45acp which is the same .

From: luckychucky
08-May-24
Where are going to be in the Aleutians? Unimak has a few Brown Bears but there are no big game in the rest of the chain. But if you want a hand cannon you should get one.

08-May-24
A 45 colt can be loaded to surpass the 44 mag if desired. Just some food for thought.

From: Buskill
08-May-24
I have a S&W 329pd which is the scandium frame .44mag. I use a chest holster and it’s very comfy.

From: Zbone
08-May-24
"Unimak has a few Brown Bears but there are no big game in the rest of the chain"

Isn't there Reindeer on one of them and feral cattle on another?

08-May-24
“10mm is a badass I have one that has probably put a end to 20+ bears over the last 5 yrs …”

Just curious… How many of those were defensive/charge situations? And how many were Griz/Brown/Kodiak??

Just seems like those details might be relevant…..

I guess I’ll have to take time to read the Ammoland piece, but knee-jerk logic says that if handguns are effective 98% of the time, then a hit to the brain case is Not At All “strictly necessary”….

And on the other hand/not-for-nothin’…. Unless they are Unique in the animal world, bears’ heads do not “bounce around” when they are charging. All successful predators are extremely accomplished when it comes to keeping their heads on a line which is largely straight & level while their eyes remain locked on target. You can’t do that when your head is getting snapped around like a rag doll….

So a brain hit is probably a lot more manageable than some of you are suggesting, and also a lot less necessary. Also makes me wonder what percentage of those “98% stopped by handgun” charges would have turned out to be bluffs had the people just held their ground… Sure would hate to wound a bear which was only bluffing, though….

Just have to remember that these animals are not acting in a blind rage; they’re attacking with the expectation of ending the conflict on their own terms, and they will break off (if they can) once they’ve made the calculation that they’re not coming out on top. So the blinding flash and cataclysmic roar of a hand-cannon may well be all — or nearly all — that’s necessary, at which point the physical blow and the pain of being struck by a bullet —anywhere at all — would reinforce the “you cannot win here” message.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QI9p5CtGB0Q

From: Shuteye
08-May-24
I killed a lot of deer with a 460 mag but it had a long barrel. I think it would stop about anything if you made a good shot. Recoil is very strong.

From: nchunter
08-May-24
My father was there in World war 2. He said the bears around there base never bothered them too much. He said the mosquitos in summer can carry you away.

From: Zbone
08-May-24
Corax_latrans - On that youtube link you provided did that shot hit the charging bear, does anybody know?

From: Beendare
08-May-24
I used to pack a SW Classic in .44 around....now I prefer the G20 10mm-Its so much faster and accurate in my hands.

I think what the Heavy caliber Ballistic chart Weinies are missing in that the actual bullet has more to do with penetration over muzzle energy. They still have the "Knock Down" mentality that the FBI testing debunked decades ago.

No handgun cartridge will knock down a charging bear. The expert analysis indicates a well placed shot to CNS is what stops them- and the Hardcast bullets - even from a small caliber- will do that.

Who knew- grin....that training with your chosen self defense weapon trumps everything?

..

08-May-24
Yeah, I’d hate to wound a bluffing bear too. I’d much rather he just go about his business instead of making me part of it. However, if he did and I shot him in self defense as he was charging, the only worry I’ll have if I wound him is he going to do it again.

Play stupid games and you often win stupid prizes. That applies to every living thing on this planet. Including bluffing bears.

From: luckychucky
08-May-24
"Isn't there Reindeer on one of them and feral cattle on another?" Yes Zbone, human introduced feral cattle and some sheep and horses. Human introduced caribou/reindeer on Adak. Other than Unimak Island no big game with claws and fangs. Carry the sidearm you like.

From: bluedog
08-May-24
Does anyone here have actual experience themselves with pistol and a big bear?

From: Zbone
08-May-24
Thanks luckychucky, I heard they were introduced and why I asked, just don't know which islands they are on...

"No handgun cartridge will knock down a charging bear"

That is false, even a 9MM to the brain will kill any animal on the North American continent graveyard dead, that is why a high capacity magazine would be nice to keep pulling the trigger until you hit the brain... Aim for the face... Even if you're not lucky enough to hit the brain shooting at the face, you may get lucky enough to break teeth and/or maybe a jaw bone to deter him or save your life if he's knawing on ya...8^)

From: Live2Hunt
08-May-24
On the youtube vid where he shot the bear with the 9mm, I believe he said if the bears ears are down and back, they means to deliver. If there ears are up, they are bluffing. One of you up there should test that, unless you already have?

From: Ziek
08-May-24
On AK bowhunting trips, I carried a Ruger Redhawk, .44, 5 1/2" barrel that I had ported, and I fire lapped and slugged it in order to buy accurately sized hard cast bullets for, that I hand loaded pretty hot. The porting really helped with muzzle jump and it was very accurate. I killed a cow elk with it in Colorado from a steady rest at about 60 yards. She only went a few steps. But over several trips to AK, including one on Kodiak, unsurprisingly, that was the only time I shot it at any animal.

From most responses here, and after spending some time hunting, fishing and photographing around the big bears up north, I'm guessing that very few actually have any experience with actually needing anything to save them from a bear attack, including me.

The reality is, IF you ever run into a situation where you would need a gun, you had better have it in hand when that becomes evident. And worrying about how many rounds are in the chamber is ludicrous. If a bear decides to charge at a distance that you could legitimately call a self defense shooting, even if you've already have the gun in hand, you would be lucky to get more than one shot off. Especially if you've never faced one before. Like many, I feel better having something, and I prefer my .44 over bear spray when the situation allows. But I'm also realistic when imagining how an attack would go. Let's just say, it would be much better to avoid the situation to begin with. Fortunately, most bears seem to feel the same way, and given the chance will avoid you also. If you're bowhunting them, then you better trust your guide/partner.

From: drycreek
08-May-24
It ain’t what will kill the bear, it’s what you can hit the bear with ! A .454 Casull won’t get it done if you miss the central nervous system or fail to break him down. Follow up shots are gonna be slow. Go on YouTube and search “shooting the .454 Casull”. We can discuss cartridges and guns all day but in the end it will come down to how well you shoot your chosen gun. I can guarantee that a 10 mm auto is easier to shoot than anything .41 mag or up, because I’ve been shooting pistols and revolvers for 60 years. I used to squirrel and rabbit hunt with an S&W revolver and bested guys that used a rifle. Not bragging, just had a lot of time with one in my hand. If you go the 10mm route, be sure you don’t use any run-of-the-mill ammo. Buffalo Bore with as big a bullet that will reliably feed in your firearm. S&W M&P or Glock, IMO, is the way to go. I have both and they eat anything I feed them. (If you are an accomplished handgunner, ignore all my advice)

08-May-24
@Zbone — Eichler’s guide put his one shot into the water in front of the bear. And Eichler says toward the end of the clip that the guide’s revolver “jammed” after that first shot, so it was a good thing that a second was not needed. Which kinda raises the question of what good Magazine Capacity will do you if you only get one shot off anyway.

Never heard of a SA Revolver jamming outside of this one case, though…

Does make me wonder whether people carrying high-capacity, rapid-firing handguns are more likely to start shooting sooner… And call me crazy but having to go after a wounded Griz sounded like a lot more fun 30+ years ago than it does now….

One other thought on the sow that charged Eichler’s raft…. You can see that as she retreated, she appeared to be weighing whether she needed to make another charge to defend her cubs… which means (JM Non-Expert O) that with an inoperable pistol up front, the guys in the raft were extremely fortunate that they were not drifting directly toward that sow. If she had broken off her charge by moving down-stream (rather than up) she might have felt that she was being attacked/pursued and I don’t know whether she would have hightailed it that much quicker or felt that a second charge was her only option….

Sure is a luxury to be able to think all of this through in the abstract with plenty of time and clean pants.

From: drycreek
08-May-24
Corax, you can “jam” a single action if you short stroke the hammer or if you have a problem that cause a cartridge to drag on the recoil shield. Dirty chambers or reloads could cause that. So could what you described in your last sentence.

As for following up a wounded grizzly, I don’t even follow up a wounded hog in thick cover, and I damn sure wouldn’t follow up a wounded grizzly with a handgun. My primary concern would be that the bear leave, and if it left, I’m all good. Time to clean up and get the hell out of Dodge !

From: Beendare
08-May-24
ZBone, Sure a hardcast bullet to CNS will kill them- I said that....

Knock down power an old term.... the myth of a bullet supposedly knocking them off their feet from concussive force to soft tissue.

From: spike78
08-May-24
You can also jam a revolver when using too high of grain bullets. The higher the grain the longer the bullet is that sticks out of the case and stops the cylinder from rotating. Also with a powerful round when firing can walk bullets out of the cases if not properly crimped and stop the cylinder from rotating.

From: Will
08-May-24

Will's embedded Photo
Will's embedded Photo
Tough to holster, but probably good... (go with what all the other people who know what they are talking about suggested, I'm just being funny)

From: Boreal
08-May-24

Boreal's embedded Photo
Boreal's embedded Photo
I have a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .44 mag that I've carried a few times in Alaska. It's very big and heavy so I strapped it to the waist belt on my backpack. I practice shooting it with .44 special ammo, which comparatively, has very little kick. When I'm in the bush I have it loaded with Buffalo Bore Dangerous Game Mono-metal 265 gr shells. I've shot these cartridges and I can say for sure that it's no fun but I can shoot the gun pretty well because of the .44 specials. This year I picked up a new Glock 20. I won't be heading back to Alaska until next spring so I'll have to decide what to bring with me.

From: 4t5
08-May-24
Either will work, choose what you shoot best, If it were me , I’d get a 16” carbine 44 mag , a little more weight , alot more fire power.

From: fdp
08-May-24
The most likely reason for a single or double action revolver to "jam" is for the person to be shooting loads that are over pressure for case they are loaded in. For instance hot .45LC loads that cause the cylinder to be jammed due to excess expansion.

From: 4t5
08-May-24
Either will work, choose what you shoot best, If it were me , I’d get a 16” carbine 44 mag , a little more weight , alot more fire power.

From: sundowner
08-May-24
WV Mountaineer: "A 45 colt can be loaded to surpass the 44 mag if desired. Just some food for thought."

I played around with some heavy loads in 45 Long Colt. I was not surprised to learn they don't recommend heavier loads in the older Colt revolvers, but the books say don't load 300 grain projectiles and respective loads even in the Ruger New Vaquero. However, the Black Hawk, in 45 Colt is considered plenty strong to handle 44 mag loads and bullet weights.

From: jons
08-May-24
A non-failure wheel .44mag. Had a neighbor when living in Alaska, he was from Dodge City, KS retired policeman, he told me a .44mg is the best for putting humans down and bears also, doesn't want to mess around in a conflict. Took his advise and got a Ruger at that time.

From: Groundhunter
08-May-24
I met a guide, who carries a cut down 338.

08-May-24
Good info on the potential for jamming SAR — much of which must apply equally to DA. So, Duly Noted: fresh ammo only.

No way in hell would I consider a .44 Mag for carry anywhere but backwoods, though. If you ever had to use it, any prosecutor in the world would have an absolute field day painting you as a Dirty Harry Wannabe who had been eagerly awaiting his chance to justify a deep-seated urge to blow somebody away in spectacular fashion….

From: 4t5
08-May-24
Either will work, choose what you shoot best, If it were me , I’d get a 16” carbine 44 mag , a little more weight , alot more fire power.

From: Zbone
08-May-24

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Back in the day when I was planning a solo hunt to Alaska I bought this Franchi 48 AL 20 gauge autoloader... Can't read the scale (5 lbs. 6 oz) from the photo but it was the lightest 20 gauge on the market at the time... Some guys around here carried them on organized deer drives for all day walking because they are so lightweight... It's a youth model so I added the recoil pad to fit me better and reduced the barrel length to 18-1/2"...

I then got a holster/scabbard to fit it and wear it like a back quiver being able to draw it from over my shoulder like pulling an arrow...

I was going to stoke it with buckshot, slug, buckshot, slug, buckshot... I think I could stop a grizzly with it and would come in handy in a survival situation...

Unfortunately I never made it to Alaska, but it's nice to carry during our gun season and shoots slugs very accurately with the choke cut off... I had ghost ring sights on it for a while... I need to get it rebeaded...

From: Thornton
08-May-24

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
For the comments above, I simply stated the "10 mm is anemic compared to the 44 mag". I made a factual statement for those that have bought into all the 10mm hype.

Take it for what you want.

My guess is if you can't hit a charging bear with a 44 mag, you probably wouldn't hit it that much more with a 10 mm.

A retired detective told me when they started using semi autos in the 80's, their shot percentage on target dropped dramatically compared to the S&W 357 and 38s they used to carry.

Above is the 500.my friend carried in Alaska on our last hunt next to my 44 mag. I found the 500 with the short barrel to be balanced, and the recoil was a slap to the palm and not as bad as I thought it would be. Very accurate gun as well.

As for single action, I would certainly carry one in bear country,but I shoot them weekly. I have a weakness for buying revolvers of all types.

From: fdp
09-May-24
What Thornton said...

From: Live2Hunt
09-May-24
What I saw for revolver jamming in a video is shooting a heavy load and the recoil jarring the full load shell cylinder(s) forward enough that the front of the bullet jambs against the barrel. He demonstrated it by popping the muzzle on a table. It locked the cylinder right up. I bought a 10mm to carry in WI for black bear and wolves. May get to go out west again (hopefully) and will carry that. From what I have read and watched, about any of the large calibers with heavy non expanding bullets will kill the animal.

From: drycreek
09-May-24
A revolver can certainly be “tied up” from the recoil shoving the bullet forward, but very, very seldom in factory loads. If you load your own and this happens, you need to learn a little more about crimping your bullet properly. I’ve been reloading .45 Colt, .44 mag, and .41 mag for years and never had a cylinder balk from a bullet hitting the forcing cone. That’s why crimp dies are adjustable and bullets have crimping grooves. On top of that, never, ever carry a gun for protection that hasn’t been proven with the ammo you’ve loaded it with. This is true from hogs to elephants.

As to the 10mm being anemic, I think the wrong word was chosen. Depends on what you compare it to. It will, in some loads, APPROACH .41 mag loads, like the .308 Winchester will APPROACH 30-06 Springfield loads. Both will get the job done if you put the bullet in the right place. Neither will if you don’t. Having shot all handgun cartridges extensively I would not hesitate to carry a G20 or S&W M&P in 10 mm with the right ammo in bear country because I can shoot it more accurately at speed than a revolver of a larger caliber. Again, it aint what will kill the bear, it’s what you can hit the bear with, and in the right spot. I think a lot of what determines if you survive a bear attack or not depends on luck. Whether you see the bear at fifty yards or fifty feet will have a whole different outcome. Choose the gun that will carry where you can get at it quickly, the gun that you are confident that you can hit where you’re aiming, the gun that you can make repeat shots with easily, and the ammo that will penetrate to the brain or break some bone that will hinder the bear’s lunch plans.

From: sundowner
09-May-24
What drycreek said.....every word of it makes perfect sense.

From: LBshooter
09-May-24
The 44 in a perfect world is better than a 10 mm. However, shots on target quickly is a huge factor and most people can’t put multiple shots on target accurately with the 44, it’s easier to with a 10. Penetration is also key and the 10 does a good job , especially with the right bullets. If you can draw and put multiple rounds on target accurately in a few short seconds then go with the 44 , if not a good reliable 10 makes a great second choice. Regardless which you choose, practice is the key.

09-May-24
“What drycreek said.....every word of it makes perfect sense.”

Maybe not so much on the leaving a wounded Griz in the woods for the next guy to run into. That just doesn’t sit well, but if all you had to work with was handguns, it’d “probably” be time to call for reinforcements with rifles.

Big Rifles.

From: drycreek
09-May-24
Corax……..exactly. Big rifles….plural !

From: Nick Muche
09-May-24
Went to the range a few weeks ago to shoot a bit. Found out my Glock 20 jams quite a bit. Hope I don’t need more than one shot.

From: spike78
09-May-24
Nick is it with hardcast? I read they can be finicky due to flat tip.

09-May-24
The heads bouncing around was not in reference to anatomically while the bear is running on a flat surface, but if a bear is charging you and there are terrain changes between you and the bear - it’s head won’t stay flat. Will it wildly bounce around because of the gait? No. Will it give a “bouncing” effect due to it traversing the terrain and obstacles between you and it? According to the guide I went with that had 55+ years of Kodiak guiding experience, yes.

From: Jeff Durnell
09-May-24
Revolver? 44 rem mag S&W. Had it since I turned 21.

If semis were allowed in your hypothetical? 44 auto mag. Faster. More rounds. Less recoil. Gotta be cool. Gotta be proficient. Or else.

From: Groundhunter
09-May-24
I went to a Glock armorer class, many years ago, while on the job. Although not a 10mm, I fired thousands of 45 rounds out of my Model 21, without incident. Nick, Glock is a gross motor skill weapon, that is you manually charge the weapon, with over hand, you don't use what many consider a slide stop, which is not what it's intention for. You are either having a ammo issue, or a motor skill issue. Ask any Alaska State Trooper, on Glock issues, and they may assist you.

From: RK
09-May-24
Spot on Groundhunter

From: Beendare
09-May-24
Every single shooter I've ever seen- including my daughter and nieces- shoot a semi auto much better than a Revolver. Maybe cops that shot revolvers for years took a few weeks to shoot better with a semi auto. ...otherwise its the opposite thats true.

Especially when you start talking hand cannons like a .44 Revolver. The long trigger pull on every shot is enough to make it slower and less accurate....then add the recoil.

Better trigger pull- with a short reset and recoil is buffered on a semi auto. Win/ Win.

My G20 is bone stock [except for changed sights and the $.25 trigger job] It has 1500rds down the pipe including 700+ of the Underwood and Double tap 200g hard cast without one hiccup. [I have heard of issues with other higher weight HC ammo]

I know some guys that have had problems with their tweaked G20's; rebarreling and changing springs, etc. Some of the chambers on after market barrels are tighter than Glock Spec. This supposedly makes them more accurate but it can create problems feeding.

Considering the many millions of Glocks out there that function perfectly- it's silly to think we are improving them.

From: Scar Finga
09-May-24
Whatever you can shoot fast and accurately, is way more effective than something you can't shoot more than once! Put a bunch of loads down range and practice a lot!!!! If you can't hit what you are aiming at, it's worthless!

From: Pop-r
09-May-24
Have you guys that recommend a semi ever carried one and shot it after it was dirty for a week and a half in the mountains? I carry a .45 auto quite a bit but to think it's as trusty as any revolver would simply be wrong. I've had WAY too many auto failures through the years to actually trust my life with one comparatively!! And I mean WAY too many!! IF yall think that 10 is gonna go bang 10 times after carrying it in the mountains for 2 weeks you've got another thing coming most likely.

From: Live2Hunt
10-May-24
"I know some guys that have had problems with their tweaked G20's; rebarreling and changing springs, etc. Some of the chambers on after market barrels are tighter than Glock Spec. This supposedly makes them more accurate but it can create problems feeding."

Yup, those are the only ones I've heard of also.

From: Zbone
10-May-24

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
You guys talking about the Glock 20, I've never owned one but did own a Colt Delta Elite 10MM and carried it while bowhuting in the Rockys but was too heavy to have on my person 24 hours daily while camping in the wilderness and wanted something lighter and got a Kahr PM40 caliber .40 S&W... Had a wilderness situation at night around the campfire when an unknown critter started ravaging through our food (thought it was a bear and scared the crap out of me) and the unknown was between me and the 10MM... I felt helpless without a weapon, not even a knife on me at the time... The ravenous creature turned out to be a raccoon...8^) But it was at that time I swore I'd keep a sidearm on me in the wilderness 24 hours a day, and a big knife...8^)

Although the Kahr is only single stacked not having the load capacity of the big 10s, it's only half the weight... Now that ammo manufacture like Underwood, Grizzly and Doubletap make 200 grain hard cast, and full metal jacketed bullets approaching 10MM ballistics (DoubleTap Ammunition .40 S&W 200gr FMJ-FP, Bullet: Full Metal Jacket Flat Point 1050fps from a Glock 23, 990fps 435 ft/lbs from a 3.5"bbl, 1100fps 538 ft/lbs from a 4.5"bbl), I'd now take my Kahr as an Alaskan sidearm... I understand and would want a big bore rifle or 12 gauge if I actually needed it in a big bear charge situation, but at least I'd have that lightweight handgun on my person if bowhunting... And a big knife if the gun fails...8^)

From: Bob Rowlands
10-May-24
I bought a new 5.5" Redhawk .44 mag. in 1986. The factory grips totally suck so I installed Hogue 'gripper' bantam grips. Perfect for controlling that heavy revolver. I had a Safariland leather holster for decades. Then bought a Diamond D 'guides choice' leather chest holster which is all around a far superior carry afield. In July 1995 I was rafting the New Halen and Koktuli backcountry with two friends. I emptied my Redhawk over the back of a grizzly raiding our backcountry float fish camp at daybreak. That bear and two others in the brush nearby vacated camp pronto. My ears rang for a couple hours. lol

From: Live2Hunt
10-May-24
Since we are on the subject, a question for you guys. I was coyote hunting one night after dark, 12:00am. I called some in and when I shot (buckshot, shotgun) the muzzle flash blinded me. Have any of you shot at anything after dark with your pistols and had this? I would be more concerned with running into bear/wolf/not decent person after dark walking out during bow season than any other times.

From: spike78
10-May-24
Live2Hunt check out TNOutdoors9 on YouTube he does ammo reviews and shoots each one in the dark.

From: Beendare
10-May-24
Pop-r, I’ve packed a semi auto SW Shield 9mm and a G20 around for many years now. Mostly the Shield and yes, a lot of crap collects in that holster. Its pretty beat up.

I function check it every couple days, do a few dry fires…and in many days of rain in Alaska will add a couple drops of oil to the slide of my G20.

Many torture tests of Glocks, HK's and other semi autos on Youtube where they bury them, dump them in a mudpuddle, etc. They are like a Timex, they take a licking and keep on ticking. —— In fight or flight situations, the fallback is your training. Shoot what you have practiced with. Dry fire practice is cheap. Get yourself a laser bullet for $20 to see how steady you are. CQB live fire pistol classes are about as much fun as a guy can have.

From: Thornton
10-May-24
The chemical inthe rods and cones of your eyes that helps you see after dark is temporarily reduced when exposed to white light. That is why we have to use red lights in the cockpit after dark,because red light does not disrupt your vision. I occasionally shoot my guns after dark just to see the flash, and big bore, short barreled pistols are a "blast"!

From: Bob Rowlands
10-May-24
As for .454 Casull class and heavier, no thanks. As for .45 LC hard cast .45 320 grain bear loads, I saw my son shoot a cylinder of those in his short barreled .45 Blackhawk. He had installed the Hogue Monogrip, which is a recoil tamer grip with my moderate mid class .45 9 grains of unique.

320 grain factory bear loads kick ass on both ends. I watched him fire a cylinder full. He looked at me and said "That's it for me." with a laugh. My initial interest in shooting a couple of those rounds after witnessing disappeared fast. .454 Casull and 460 480 500 etc.? Yall have fun!

From: Pop-r
10-May-24
Live2 the loads I shoot from my .500 are gas checked and do not create a muzzle flash supposedly althoughive never fored it at night.. 440gr.

From: bluedog
10-May-24
" the loads I shoot from my .500 are gas checked and do not create a muzzle flash."

Not doubting you at all.... I'm amazed, would never have guessed it.

10-May-24
I guess the good news is that the muzzle flash would be just as blinding (maybe more so) from the other end of the barrel. Pretty much a hand-held Flash-Bang grenade….

And let’s be honest — most people firing a weapon which is at/above their personal limit are going to have both eyes squeezed shut tight when the gun goes off anyway, so Advantage Shooter….. ;)

One of the hot-load ammo companies makes a reduced flash/report load for use in confined spaces, but it has occurred to me that a duplex load could be cooked up to do just the opposite in something like a big wheel-gun, where you achieve the ballistic performance you want from a faster burning powder, and then there’s some slower powder which is ejected from the muzzle as still-burning or un-burned particles and hits like a thunderbolt in a sandstorm/pepper spray from Hell. Between the Flash-Bang effect and a full-face powderburn, I’m not sure there’s a creature on earth that wouldn’t change its mind pretty quickly about pressing the issue.

Just thinking that unless the bear drops dead mid-stride and still coming straight at the shooter, it’s at least plausible that it was as much the flash & bang (and splash, in the Eichler/rafting scenario) which turned the charge as anything else.

That’s not as appealing to the Bad-Ass fantasy angle of this whole topic and I’m not sure I’d be willing to test it myself, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were to turn out that the best possible load for turning a charging bear isn’t an overstuffed Blank…. Which (apart from the recoil) is exactly what you are shooting when you miss.

From: Thornton
10-May-24
Never heard of anyone closing their eyes to shoot.

10-May-24
“gas checked and do not create a muzzle flash."

Last I “checked”, that’s not what gas-checks are for. I would want to see some high speed video footage of shots fired on a dark range.

I will refrain from posting any pics of what happens to your non-trigger index finger if you cup the cylinder of a .500 (or similar) in your support hand. Suffice to say that the gases jetting out between the cylinder and the barrel will come out at damaging velocity…..

I suppose those gases may be done actively burning by the time they clear the muzzle??

10-May-24
“Never heard of anyone closing their eyes to shoot.”

Not saying it’s a good idea.

But I’ve spent plenty of time on various shooting ranges, and an AWFUL number of people have absolutely tremendous flinches because they’re afraid of recoil. I’ve seen dozens of people who couldn’t group 8” at 100 yards off of sandbags, and it wasn’t the rifle’s fault….

From: Live2Hunt
10-May-24
Ya, no, I do not close my eyes when shooting. I shoot a lot of trap and watch the birds break.

10-May-24
Good shots don’t blink… but most people are terrible shots ;)

From: Pop-r
10-May-24
The guy that just shot a griz in MT last week shot 5 times and hit the griz with a lethal blow once. Supposedly. One round grazed the bear. I have no doubt they're going to be very difficult to get a round in unless God blesses you with a pretty uncommon situation. Practice may very well help but to say that the baddest dude in the world is going to get it done is very naive.

From: spike78
10-May-24
Best way to take care of flinches is shoot a 357 or 44 mag then go down to your edc 9mm and no more flinching.

From: Groundhunter
10-May-24
I can tell you I never had to shoot at a charging grizz, but did have to shoot at NVA assault. Getting front site on anything that is terrifying is not easy. You need front site, in a fight. Yes you can spray and pray, and when something is going to kill you, hard to be prepared. The PH guys finishing off buffs at 10 yards, with their double rifles, always impressed me. Now there is someone,you want when their inside the wire

From: Pop-r
10-May-24
There again.. . your grandma might do as well of a job as the best shooter in the world. Probably would. Unless you've killed a few with a pistol that were charging you haven't much clout with me.

10-May-24
“Best way to take care of flinches is shoot a 357 or 44 mag then go down to your edc 9mm and no more flinching.”

Interesting theory….

When I realized I had a horrible flinch with my 7 Mag, I bought myself a .22….. Nothing teaches you to not anticipate getting kicked quite like not getting kicked, so personally, shooting a lot of Big Kicker loads would just make me suck that much more with the lighter round….

If I had something that would handle the very hot loads, I’d shoot just enough of them to be comfortable that I wouldn’t lose my grip on the pistol, and then shoot massive quantities of loads that didn’t bother me and save the rest of the hot loads for “I hope I never have to touch off another one….”.

But that’s just me. YMMV.

From: Shrewski
10-May-24
It’s not just you…

Interesting is a very polite way to put it!

Light 38 specials in a 357 and again cowboy light 44 special loads in a 44 mag is a GREAT way to train and lose a flinch.

From: fdp
10-May-24
Interestingly enough a flinch when shooting a hanfgun, rifle etc. is very similar to target panic when shootIng a bow.

From: shade mt
11-May-24
Even if you don't flinch......muzzle rise is something to consider when you don't have much time to realign.

From: Beendare
13-May-24
I had a terrible flinch with my .44...until I put about 400 rounds through it.

Dry fire and round count will get you past the flinching...but shooting is a perishable skill.

When hog hunting with dogs I've had hogs charge me well over 20 times. I used to scratch my head on how ineffective my .357 with 158g hollow points was on those charging hogs. Oh sure it would turn them but rarely drop them on the spot even at 3 feet away.

Many cases of those hollow points just did not penetrate and sometimes only knocked them silly- but not out. Shooting right down over their spine would do the trick every time. Many of my shots were not pinpoint accurate due to that long trigger pull and a fast moving target for sure- even at very close range.

I firmly believe that if we had hard cast ammo back then [80's and 90's] , it would have been the game changer it is now. The bullets were available I'm sure, just no factory ammo loaded with those bullets. The prevailing knowledge at the time was "Hollow points are a stopper" maybe on soft targets...but not those boars with a heavy shield.

From: Groundhunter
13-May-24
You will Perform, as well as you train, I learned that over 50 years ago, getting ready for operations. Human or animal, it's all the same. Believe me, been there, done that. To be honest I rather face a human, than a grizzly bear...

From: Jim Moore
14-May-24
What....no one mentioned the Desert Eagle? You know, "And a Desert Eagle that's one great big ol' pistol I mean, fifty-caliber made by badass Hebrews." lol, just kiddin'. When I lived in Ak working on remote NAVAIDS, I'd carry a S&W 10mm. Almost had to use it once out hiking with my son. Startled a mama bear and her cub as they were dining on some late-run chum salmon. She came charging out of that creek, jowls snapping. Probably got to within 10 yards. I was fixing to initiate a mag dump when she stopped short right about there. We slowly backed out of there, and she went to fishing again. Scared the fecal material out of me and the boy.

From: Vaquero 45
14-May-24

Vaquero 45's embedded Photo
Vaquero 45's embedded Photo
Yes , no doubt on the Magnum Research offerings . I always wonder why on these topics one does not here much from the smaller frame BFR MAG Research sa revolvers . Here's a pic of one in 45-70 which I handload my own cartridges for my Sharps n Highwall. . This pic off there website. Of course they offer an assortment of calibers . I'd say a second shot follow up in this 45-70 version on being truly charged upon if one missed a well placed shot would be h*ll. Anybody out here actually own a BFR ? ....

From: drycreek
14-May-24
We still talking about this ? I thought I had already settled it ! ;-))

14-May-24
“…the smaller frame BFR MAG Research sa revolvers .”

Wait… You’re describing a .45/70 as “smaller frame”???

JMO, the “Big, FINE Revolver” has always been a…. Let’s call it a “conversation piece”; I suppose I’d offend someone if I called it a Gag item….

But if you want that kind of a hand-cannon (in original spec loads it’s basically a 12 ga, right?)…. S&W pretty much ended that debate with the .460 and .500…. I don’t know how hot you could run your loads in a BFR… Probably hot enough to make you wonder if you wouldn’t prefer a mauling….. Which is kind of what I wonder about the muzzle blast of a ported .500 S&W without hearing protection…

“Startled a mama bear and her cub as they were dining on some late-run chum salmon. She came charging out of that creek, jowls snapping. Probably got to within 10 yards”

I ran across a video clip of a guy who must’ve been bird hunting and got charged by a Griz probably 1/2 dozen times before it decided it had made its point. You could see that it was veering off fairly early each time, but it must’ve been WELL within 10 and probably even 5 yards. Gotta give the guy a load of credit for not throwing a load of birdshot in its face, but I really doubt you would have much chance of inflicting a mortal wound, and immediately fatal would be a bit of a lottery ticket…. Sorta like those .357 HP on the hogs…. I have to wonder if the old wadcutter loads wouldn’t have been more effective… or at least equally….

From: Quack
14-May-24
I have a freedom arms 454 casull with a 6 inch barrel. Really like it alot I have 44s too. Really don’t see much size difference and that 454 is a killer. Not saying the 44 isn’t. But I choose the 454

From: DanaC
15-May-24
"Even if you don't flinch......muzzle rise is something to consider when you don't have much time to realign. "

Been away from handguns for decades. Can a Glock be ported to reduce muzzle flip?

(Once owned a Dan Wesson 44 with their unique porting system - it worked, but was a world class pain in the butt to clean.)

From: Jimmyjumpup
15-May-24
I’d stay home

From: drycreek
15-May-24
Dana, a Glock can be ported or you can just swap out the barrel and slide. There are so many mods for Glocks it will dazzle your mind. The thing is, polymer framed guns don’t have as much muzzle flip as steel guns. I know this is counterintuitive but it’s true. My first 10mm was a Colt Delta Elite, a 1911 all steel. I sold it because I’m just not a 1911 guy. My next one was a Glock 20. Same gun, much easier to shoot.

Corax, FYI BFR makes fine revolvers in lots of calibers. I always thought the 45-70 needed wheels on it myself but people buy them. They do have a stellar reputation for quality and workmanship, and the prices fall a little higher than Ruger and much cheaper than Freedom Arms, which is the pinnacle of single action revolvers.

From: Zbone
15-May-24
"I’m just not a 1911 guy"

I'm opposite, luv the 1911 and how it fits in my hand... The double stacked poly frames feels like I'm holding a 2x4...

From: Catscratch
15-May-24
I don't know how you can not love both!

From: jons
15-May-24
The one problem with handguns that I have seen is that the trigger pull is not brought down to a 3# pull, witness a few shooters that have a shot placement with their pistols trigger set at factory pull of 6#> which causes inaccuracy, the factory production are mandated a 6# by lawyers. Reduce the pull down and your pistol will be sweater to shoot.

From: Zbone
15-May-24
Catscratch - As long as it's single stacked I'm okay with it, but anything over an 1" wide feels awkward to me... Guess it goes back to my IPSC competition days when 1911s were king... I don't care for revolver grips either... Would really like a short 3" barrel like my Kahr PM40 but in the 1911 platform/grip in .40 S&W or .38 Super... I guess Colt made their 3" barrel Defender in 40 S&W for a year but now only in the .45 ACP... Don't believe they ever made a 3" in .38 Super that I'm aware... A short barrel defeats the purpose for the .38 Super to make Major Powder Factor in competition, so no reason to market, although I think the .38 Super is a great round, it's like a suped up 9MM ballistics comparable to the 40 S&W and/or .357 and would make a nice sidearm for Alaska... The smoothest, nicest, sweetest handgun I ever shot was a 1911 Commander size competition race gun in .38 Super... Aside from a .22, it had the quickest site recovery back on target that would be handy on a charging bear... It was a pretty powerful cartridge with low recoil... Owner was a BCI agent...

From: drycreek
15-May-24
Cat, I’m a single action revolver fan 1st, an S&W M&P guy 2nd, and all others come behind those. I do love the 10mm though, so I have that in four different firearms. There are just so many firearms you need at my age, so in recent years I’ve pared them down a little. Still, I have safe queens that rarely see the light of day. ;-))

After I bought my first Glock, a G21 .45ACP, I decided I did not want to mix guns with safeties and guns without safeties. Not a good idea IMO, so I sold my 1911 style guns, a Colt Delta Elite, an AMC Hardballer, and a Randall Raider. The last one had become a collector piece so I made a healthy profit on it. I did buy another one in 10mm, as you know. It will only be shot, not carried.

When I “discovered” the M&P platform, I fell in love with the grip, somehow they manage the double stack grip that doesn’t feel like the 2x4 Z was talking about. I have big hands, so just about anything fits me but the M&P grip just fits better. The Performance Center guns have a good trigger, much better than Glocks, although I changed triggers in my G20 and it’s good also. Most everything on the market now, and there are many of them, are good quality guns, it just boils down to personal choice.

From: BowSniper
15-May-24
The Taurus .454 Casull is about the most powerful handgun I thought was still enjoyable to shoot. Any more boom and it loses a lot of fun/control factor for me.

I'd like to see the carry weight compared of the 454 casull compared to a fully loaded 10mm auto.

From: BowSniper
15-May-24
Follow-up.... a fully loaded Glock in 10mm weighs 39.86 ounces. An EMPTY Taurus Raging Hunter w/ 5.12" barrel weighs 50.0 ounces.

From: Zbone
15-May-24
"a fully loaded Glock in 10mm weighs 39.86 ounces. An EMPTY Taurus Raging Hunter w/ 5.12" barrel weighs 50.0 ounces"

Those are boat anchors for EDC, but I guess you can use the Taurus as a club if a bear has a hold of ya...8^)

From: Zbone
15-May-24

Zbone's Link
Received this email newsletter today, thought it fitting for this thread:

"How to Hold a Revolver Correctly and Safely"

https://www.fieldandstream.com/guns/how-to-hold-revolver/?_kx=ntdLK_vWMYvnvufd_tB9c7AvJpDWW0SN1Dx7pwqkFJs.Y7Ln5L

From: drycreek
15-May-24
Z, I carried my G20 quite a bit while working around my place in a Don Hume IWB holster. I ain’t saying it’s light, but it didn’t bother me. That said, it didn’t conceal too well, so I wouldn’t want to carry it every day. If I were gonna carry for bear, it would probably be in a Diamond D rig or a Kydex of the same general design, and not a hip holster.

From: spike78
15-May-24
Dry creek I’m 5’5 160 pounds and I couldn’t believe I could conceal my G21 same size as G20. Not something I want to carry a lot but it’s doable.

From: Beendare
15-May-24

Beendare's Link
IMO, one of the best videos on shooting a semi auto....Rob Latham link

From: Zbone
15-May-24
Cool Beendare, thanks for the link... Rob is the man... Ole Rob has turned into a graybeard...8^) I remember him and Brian Enos were the top shooters back in the day when I was playing the game... I think they were buddies both from Arizona back then... I bet that was a .38 Super he was shooting, notice the low recoil muzzle lift... Bet he could stop a charging griz with that .38 Super...

From: Vaquero 45
16-May-24
Just throwing another dry stick in the fire here keeping classic old wheelgun vs semi auto bear topic going . However another revolver you dont see many hanging on guys in bad bear country besides the BFR's / Freedom Arms etc even though there not really big bores from the few I have shot are the Chiappa Rhino's . I could be wrong but me thinks the largest cal they might come in is 357/40 cal ??? Them Rhino's not cheap either . Interesting concept .

16-May-24
The design of the Chiappa makes some intuitive sense as far as recoil management goes…. But they sure look like a prop from a Bladerunner re-make! LOL

Don’t know what the difference in perceived recoil translates to in reality, but the idea of being able to buy an otherwise identical .177 or Airsoft version of your carry gun from the same people kinda makes a lot of sense….

From: Thornton
16-May-24

Thornton's embedded Photo
Thornton's embedded Photo
Watch this video, and you'll rethink your anemic 10mm. As for all this talk about flinching, it just sounds like you need to practice and adjust your mindset. Bear took multiple rounds from some of the biggest rifle and pistol rounds available and still crossed a quarter mile in search of his attackers. I just noticed in the comments a guy claimed he shot a grizz with a Taurus Tracker 45 mag, same gun I carry

16-May-24
You got a link for that, Thornton??

Vaquero (dang him!) piqued my interest on the BFRs, so my new Walter Mitty Special is gonna be a BFR in .500 JRH.

Muzzle energies on Buffalo Bore run from about 900 to 1700…. LOL. Oughtta do it….

From: DanaC
16-May-24

DanaC's Link
Q&A: Legendary Shooters Jerry and Kay Miculek on Bear Guns, Overrated 1911s, and (Of Course) Revolvers

Jerry Miculek is the greatest revolver shooter of all time. His wife, Kay, is a decorated competition shooter. We caught up with them at a bear camp in Alberta

From: Thornton
16-May-24
It's on YouTube, just type the title in. They finally got the bear killed at 5 yards with a 454 Cassull

16-May-24
I’m still having a little trouble with the idea that the guy made 3 pretty good hits on 3 shots in that kind of wind (with a borrowed rifle) and that the bear 1) was able to associate the humans with being shot, 2) was able to pinpoint their position, and 3) decided to come after them…. from 475 yards away…..

Just seems more likely that they were following the bear’s tracks and it was trying to get away from whatever was bothering it by backtracking to save time & effort. That still puts them in harm’s way with a wounded bear, but to say that the bear was “charging” them from 1/4 mile away just seems a bit of a stretch…..

From: Beendare
16-May-24
Jerry Mickluk- Yeah, if we could all shoot like Jerry....there would be no discussion!

Damn, he can rock a revolver. I do know the revolvers he shoots are heavily modified. I doubt he is shooting a heavy caliber like .44 rounds with 300grain bullets to shoot that fast and accurate.

It's almost like the 600g plus arrow argument. If you are blowing through animals with a 430g arrow....why do you need 650g? If a 10mm will blow through the skull of a G bear, why do you need any more?

I've seen the 10mm be plenty devastating going through the skull then lengthwise all the way through an animal...thats enough for me.

Then there is the fun factor...not much fun shooting a hand cannon more than a few shots.....but that G20 is cool. Its Just enough to know you are shooting something stout.

16-May-24
“I doubt he is shooting a heavy caliber like .44 rounds with 300grain bullets to shoot that fast and accurate.”

Safe bet! But if you can shoot as accurately as he does, you probably don’t to be as fast as he is ;)

I thought this fits the thread…. They asked what handgun he and his wife would have along if they were allowed one…

“Kay: I definitely would’ve brought a revolver. Probably a .460 or .500. You can depend on a revolver. ”

Sounds like she’s the type who plans to make the first one Count….

From: BowSniper
16-May-24
When several powerful revolvers struggle to take down a bear... the glock 10mm, while less powerful, DOES bring 15+ rounds to the fight!

From: spike78
16-May-24
A buddy of mine shook Jerry’s hand and he said he almost dropped to the ground he’s that strong. And my buddy is a monster in size. I bet he gets as much muzzle rise in a 44 mag then we get in a 9mm. The guy is a phenom.

From: Beendare
16-May-24
That surprises me Mickluks wife likes that SW 500- i shot one in Australia (of all places) and its a wrist breaker for the uninitiated.

Spike- that s the advice from Rob Lathum- grip the effing gun!

16-May-24
When the.500 was new, there were a lot of videos circulating where people were accidentally double-tapping them in just hundredths or maybe only thousandths of a second… I never saw an official explanation, but my guess was that people were easing off the trigger just after it broke, and then squeezing the hell out of the grip with their whole hand as they reacted to the recoil, thereby (inadvertently) pulling the trigger a second time when their trigger finger got involved in trying to keep the barrel from whacking them in the forehead…

Maybe that’s a Plus for the SA option??

From: Glunt@work
17-May-24
Funny Jerry Miculek story:

A buddy and I were working an outdoor show back east in the 90's and S&W had a range set up (outside show). We shot against Jerry with DA revolvers. He had 6 plates and we had 5. If you beat his time you won a S&W jacket. I couldnt shoot 5 in the dirt anywhere near as fast as he could drop his six plates. We got to joking around with him and my buddy said something funny right before the timer started. Jerry was laughing and missed a plate. My buddy slowly finished off his plates single action and went home with a jacket.

Jerry's speed is crazy. If anyone started giving him a little run he would grab another gear next time and usually guys were lucky to get 2-3 plates down before he finished.

From: DanaC
17-May-24
^^^ Just curious, what did your buddy say?

;-)

From: BTM
17-May-24
Best line from JM's interview: "When those bears are down there rumbling and growling on the bait, I feel like chum."

From: fdp
17-May-24
The likelihood that the average person is going to get off more than 3 shots at a bear charging from inside 20 yards is very, very small.

From: Thornton
17-May-24

Thornton's Link
I pulled my Taurus Tracker out of the safe last night after work, and shot it ten times one handed at 7 yards. These are 200 gr bullets. The 305's have a lot more muzzle jump though. I suppose If I actually practiced I could get faster, but ammo is at least a dollar a shot now.

From: DanaC
17-May-24
^^ Do you reload?

From: Thornton
17-May-24
Just shotgun shells. I have dies, bullets, and brass, but I've never bought a reloader.

From: Glunt@work
17-May-24
"Just curious, what did your buddy say?"

It was a long time ago so I don't recall. I'm sure it wasn't something that would be appropriate in every setting.

From: Beendare
17-May-24
The last bear charge in the news; the guy got off 5 shots…i didn’t see them mention the pistol…but its safe to say it wasn’t a Ruger Blackhawk.

That SW 500 is a monster. My SW 629 classic in .44 is not too bad to shoot…nice trigger but that long trigger pull makes for less accurate.

The lightweight SW 329PD is a cool pistol….same weight as a loaded G20. Its snappier than the steel .44 revolvers but not horrible.

Revolvers are incredibly accurate if you have time to thumb the hammer back…. I just can’t imagine doing that on a bear charge.

From: fdp
17-May-24
"The last bear charge in the news; the guy got off 5 shots"....I'd be curious how far away the bear was when the first shot was fired. A bear in head on charge mode can cover a bunch of ground in 5 seconds.

17-May-24
“… if you have time to thumb the hammer back…. I just can’t imagine doing that on a bear charge.”

Didn’t you have roll caps as a kid??? Seems like thumbing the hammer is just part of how you establish your grip when you reach for it…..

For reference — a very fast human can cover 10 yards in about a second. I’m thinking a bear can do it in less. With a 15-round magazine, I figure best case scenario, probably 12 of those are just ballast to help manage the recoil.

Makes me wonder about the range at which it is generally considered justifiable to start shooting? Seems like stories of bluff charges often enough have the bears inside of 10, but I can’t really imagine that anyone would be expected to wait & see what happens until the bear hits 5 or 7 or 12 or any other (largely arbitrary) number of yards, but it seems like it could begin to be a tough argument at 20 or even 15-ish…

From: fdp
17-May-24
If you figure a Grizzly can run an estimated 30mph they would cover about 44ft. in a second.

From: fdp
17-May-24
"Makes me wonder about the range at which it is generally considered justifiable to start shooting? "....the time I've spent where bears live my rule is that if the bear in charge mode gets within 20 yards with it's head down and ears pinned back I'm going to start shooting if all I have is a handgun. If I have my .375 there may be some wiggle room there.....or not. Everybody has to make that choice themselves.

From: Thornton
17-May-24
Ive got a video some where of me quick drawing and hip shooting a gong off a tree with my .45 Colt Vaquero in about a second. Thumbing a hammer back to me is as natural as walking. In my opinion, your first shot that connects will be the deciding impression on the bear if he continues the attack. I think 15 rounds in a semi auto is more of a confidence builder than anything.

From: Thornton
17-May-24

Thornton's Link

From: BowSniper
17-May-24
Little known Jerry Miculek story ya might like... he was actually at the tryouts for Top Shot season 1 (that History Channel show). They flew roughly 50 of us out to California maybe 6 months ahead of filming, to try and earn one of 16 slots for the show.

We did all sorts of tests, interviews, psych profiles, and even live fire at a private range to show what we could do. On the range day, they decided to pull names from a hat and go through a qualification course they set up, two shooters at a time.

Just my luck.... it was my name was pulled first and Jerry's name was pulled second. I was like.... Jeeeeeeez, of all the people, I gotta shoot side by side against Jerry friggin' Miculek with a camera crew, lights, and producers ALL watching!! Talk about pressure.....

The coolest thing I remember was on the first stage, shooting a stock 9mm Beretta at small stick-on targets that went from maybe 2" down to about 3/4". We got 5 practice shots to see where our pistols were grouping (sights were fixed, non-adjustable) and then had to shoot for score just holding Kentucky windage off target to do our best to aim.

Being the first two guys to try the course, the place was dead quiet for our run. Film crews, boom cameras, production teams all watching and waiting. The Hollywood crowd had NO IDEA what we could do. And when Jerry and I both went 5 for 5 on the tiny targets, I heard a producer lady yell out "Holy Sh1t" !!! And that was probably my favorite memory.....

In the end, they didn't pick Jerry for the show. I presume there were some contract stipulations he couldn't work with, because we all know how well he can shoot!!

From: Thornton
17-May-24
I remember those episodes! That's why I bought another Berretta 92. How did you end up doing?

From: BowSniper
17-May-24
Thornton - in Season 1 I finished in 6th place. It looked like I was on track for final 2 spots, but I got psyched out on a big hill climb challenge and did the math wrong for the holdover.

Went back again for Season 5 All-Stars and finished 7th, but that was on pretty short notice and just didn't feel at the top of my game.

Made some cool shots along the way.... cannons shooting kegs of beer, a .338 Lapua at a mile, cutting a sizzling dynamite fuse with a 92F, etc. A very unique experience!!

17-May-24
“Everybody has to make that choice themselves.”

Or you don’t, if you’re lucky ;)

I would definitely need to have the bear give me a good reason to hold off inside of 20…..

From: Beendare
18-May-24
Since we are babbling along- except for bowsnipers cool experience-

I always thought bears were afraid of dogs….but I read an article claiming dogs were the reason many bears charge. True? I know a couple guys travelling the backcountry with a dog to ward off bears.

I can state with experience that dogs scare off mountain lions- I’ve seen that a few times.

.

18-May-24
I recall many years ago seeing/hearing the advice that the problem with only one dog and a bear is that the dog always turns into a Retriever…. One of those old jokes with a grain of truth to it…..

Good thing about a dog is that they should keep you from sneaking up on a bear from down-wind and surprising it at a bad time. I was out with our dogs one time and all 3 lit up at once; reading their behavior, it had to have been a lion… Glad the girls had the sense to leave it alone, since whatever had their attention wasn’t more than 10-15 feet away…

From: spike78
18-May-24
The likelihood that the average person is going to get off more than 3 shots at a bear charging from inside 20 yards is very, very small.

Fdp, in regards to this I shot a black bear at about 30 yards away with a 35 Rem lever gun and I was on the ground in a stool. It ran straight at me and veered off at around 15 feet away from me. Let’s just say I could not get the lever gun up in time it happened so quick. I did manage 2 shots right after that which I missed due to having a scoped gun. I can say one thing about a charging black bear you have to instantly lower your gun as when it’s on top of you from 30 yards away it is considerably lower with point of aim. I can say from that experience yeah good luck!!! He probably got me in 2 seconds from 30 yards if that.

From: Matt
18-May-24
“I always thought bears were afraid of dogs….but I read an article claiming dogs were the reason many bears charge. True?”

I have read the same a number of times, not sure if it was true but I could see a bear not being scared of a single dog.

From: VAMtns
18-May-24
At times Black Bears will just walk and every time one of the hounds gets too close the bear attacks the dogs ,most Bears run from the dogs and some tree . Sometimes dogs are killed or injured .

From: fdp
18-May-24
The speed that something as big as a bear can close distance is unnerving.

From: Thornton
18-May-24
Excellent Bowsniper. That was my favorite series when I could watch it. I recognized your face when I googled you. Sold my 338 lapua a few years ago. Too loud and ammo was too high.

From: BTM
19-May-24
I can recall several recent incidents where a dog riled up a bear, after which fido returned to their owner with the bear right behind it. One time it ended badly for the dog's owner (bear killed her), and the other time it ended badly for the bear because the dog's owner used his pistol.

19-May-24
That’s why the joke about Retrievers. Apparently 2 dogs will keep a Bear pretty well occupied…. They’d at least give you a lot more time to get your pistol/spray into use….

From: spike78
19-May-24
Fdp and here is the crazy part I shot the bear in the vitals at 30 yards it belly flopped twice so I said to myself it’s a dead bear and did not put another shot in it. After the second belly flop it got up and ran right by me bleeding like crazy and still managed a good 80 yards before it was down. So with a high powered rifle it had plenty of time to jump on me if it wanted to never mind a handgun cartridge.

From: drycreek
19-May-24
I’m not sure about the dog thing, probably depends on the bear. No experience with bears but I’ve trapped quite a few coyotes, bobcats, and coons. Most coyotes just look and act embarrassed, but the occasional one will show you its teeth and act aggressively. I alway shot them from 30 yards or so because you never know if it’s hung by one toe or the whole foot until you get closer. Almost every bobcat growled and hissed, and some coons, which I walked right up to, would try to eat your ass up. Animals have different personalities, if they didn’t they wouldn’t behave differently.

From: Zbone
19-May-24
You guys keep talking about KILLING a big bear when just about any of those big bore handgun calibers with the right solid bullet or even a 9MM will kill even the biggest grizzly EVENTUALLY, it takes a hit to the spine or the brain to STOP them, and the more rounds you can put on a fast moving target like a charging bear in about 2 seconds at probably under 5 yards are the best odds... There will be no time to aim, it'll be point shooting and the recoil of those hand cannons make it nearly impossible unless you practice a lot and are proficient with your hog leg... You have one shot to the face to make it count and if you're lucky, you'll be able to finish it off then aiming with follow up shots...

19-May-24
So what’s better:taking a beat to line up the first one, knowing it’s 95% it’ll be the only one you get… or slapping the trigger as many times as you can (in a panic) because you’re hoping to get lucky??

Sounds like a crapshoot to me either way. Unless you answer to Miculek….

And — Devil’s Advocate — seems to me that the Requirement is not to kill/immobilize the bear immediately, but to persuade it to take its beef somewhere else. That’s how Pepper Spray works — when it does work, anyway… Which is not Never, at least… Either that or 100% of the charges broken off after pepper spray were really just going to be bluffs anyhow…..

So I think that through and seems that — short of the Golden BB brain-shot — what is likely to produce the greatest deterrence is immediate action Sensory Overload; something that recreates the Apocalyptic Experience of an old, black-powder Howdah pistol at close range, kinda like walking straight into ground zero on a lightning strike….

Then the other interesting thing is Impact…. High-expansion slugs are the wrong answer when you require Penetration, but a lighter, non-expanding slug may or may not register as much of a blow (unless it shatters a leg bone)…. If you’re actually going to place a round on target, don’t you want the bear to take some kind of notice?? That’s where Big Bore comes in… Seems like the closer you can get to a sledgehammer, the better, right?

And one last totally crazy notion, but wouldn’t it be easier to HIT a bear coming at you fast… if you were to drop into a kneeling position??

BTW…. Where do you attach a lanyard to a semi-auto? Other than some old Lugers, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that done, but it seems a worthwhile precaution and it used to be fairly common with revolvers…. Especially among those who thought they might get knocked on their asses from time to time…..

From: Catscratch
19-May-24

Catscratch's embedded Photo
Catscratch's embedded Photo
They've been putting lanyard rings on semiauto's for 100yrs. A pistol is worth it's added weight if it can double as other tools too!

From: Zbone
19-May-24
"slapping the trigger as many times as you can (in a panic) because you’re hoping to get lucky"

Must not have watched the link of Rob Latham shooting... Am not saying everybody can learn to shoot like Rob, but with practice anybody can get proficient with an autoloader like a 9MM/.38 Super/.40 S&W or.45 ACP and those calibers will kill anything on the NA continent if struck in the brain... The more lead in the air the luckier you become...

They make 1911 main spring housing with a lanyard loop, or they used to...

From: Zbone
19-May-24
Yep, there is one Catscratch, thanks for sharing...

From: Zbone
19-May-24

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Here is flat,,,

From: Zbone
19-May-24

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Here is arched...

From: Matt
20-May-24
“You guys keep talking about KILLING a big bear when just about any of those big bore handgun calibers with the right solid bullet or even a 9MM will kill even the biggest grizzly EVENTUALLY, it takes a hit to the spine or the brain to STOP them…”

Thornton posted an article with ample anecdotal evidence that most pistol calibers have been used successfully in stopping bear attacks. You don’t necessarily need to kill them or even incapacitate them to make them stop an attack. In most cases just hitting them is enough to end an attack

From: Zbone
20-May-24
Wouldn't know but just hope am never in the position to have to use a handgun in self defense to find out...

20-May-24
“They've been putting lanyard rings on semiauto's for 100yrs. ”

I knew that they used to — just hadn’t seen it recently that I could remember.

20-May-24
“They've been putting lanyard rings on semiauto's for 100yrs. ”

I knew that they used to — just hadn’t seen it recently that I could remember.

From: BowSniper
20-May-24
Remember in the Fred Eichler encounter with a giant charging bear, just the shot nearby turned the bear away. He didn't need an instant killing death blow.

And with the glock 10mm, you could be ready for 14 other bears charging! LOL

From: BowSniper
20-May-24

BowSniper's Link
You guys are the animal/woods experts for sure, I totally defer to you on all things bears... I can only add what a high level competition guy can do with a pistol. From my own experience, I can deliver 5 shots per second with a good trigger and a comp'ed race gun (video link). Heck, I used to think a race gun with hot loads and a 20 rd magazine could take any animal on the planet.... how naïve was I to hunting back then???? LOL

So one time way back when, I took my .38 super race gun to shoot a boar at one of those high fence places off season, to get some pork for New Years. I wanted to see what my race gun would do on a large game animal. I loaded two 20 rd mags, with alternating solid JFP rounds and Hornady XTP's loaded to 125grains at 1400+ fps. Stiff 175 power factor reloads!

With a few buddy's watching from nearby, a boar came strolling by at around 15 yards. At a perfect broadside, I planned to make one good shot into the vitals, and then light him up like the IPSC nationals! First shot hit just as I planned... boar jumped high into the air, and I hit him another 4-5 times in the air.

And then everything went into slow motion badness. The boar was now on the ground facing me (he wasn't facing my direction when all this started!) and every muscle in his body flexed like that old bugs bunny episode where he fought the wrestling guy in the ring... and he appeared to be charging me! I didn't want to shoot him in the head because I wanted a clean skull trophy, so I did a competition style heal-toe walk angling toward him, while rapid fire shooting that boar. A LOT. Things were a little dicey in the beginning for sure, and the boar was trying to push forward while being hammered with only a hail of bullets holding him back. I know I shot a good 24 times, because I threw in a fast reload and fired a few more shots just to be safe.

It must have sounded like WWIII in those woods, and I hope the guide remembers that day as well as me! But I would say the .38 super lacked the killing power with those body shots I had imagined it would deliver. The thick cartilage side plates really stopped a number of shots. In hindsight, I don't think the boar fell over until after the first dozen shots, but he didn't close any distance either.

So yeah, I really have wondered this exact question ever since then.... What would I carry as a pistol in bear country?? I always thought it should be a 10mm glock, for its capacity and lighter weight. Maybe with a red dot and a comp, and heavy bullets. LOL Very interested in this thread.

From: Matt
20-May-24
I have been around browns and grizzlies but never shot one, but what I can say is black bears are pussies compared to boar.

From: Zbone
20-May-24
Whatever...

From: Beendare
21-May-24
I can attest to bowsnipers account of hollow points being ineffective on the heavy shied of a boar hog. Heck, I had one hog back in the day that looked like a turtle when I flipped him on his back. He was an old boar that had most all of his ears chewed off by dogs- a fighter for sure. That shield was 1 3/4” or more thick in places with most of the hair rubbed off on his shoulders.

I rolled that hog on his side, and stabbed down hard with my Buck General ( 10” -12” fixed blade) the knife only penetrated 1”. That was an eye opener on how tough that gristle is.

From: Zbone
21-May-24
Why anybody would bring handgun hollow points to a bear fight is beyond me, or for shooting any big game animal from an autoloading handgun for that matter... If not using solids out of a handgun for big game you're only asking for trouble, expanding bullets deter penetration, that's ballistics 101...

21-May-24
“I can only add what a high level competition guy can do with a pistol. From my own experience, I can deliver 5 shots per second with a good trigger and a comp'ed race gun (video link). ”

And Joe Average should base his own decisions on what a “high level” competitor is capable of when using specialized equipment under controlled conditions because….

???

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