Summit Treestands
Article on Pistols for Bear Attacks
Bears
Contributors to this thread:
Thornton 17-Sep-18
LUNG$HOT 17-Sep-18
Zbone 17-Sep-18
Aubs8 17-Sep-18
MQQSE 17-Sep-18
Lee 17-Sep-18
jdee 17-Sep-18
dave cahilly 17-Sep-18
spike78 17-Sep-18
BTM 17-Sep-18
marktm250 17-Sep-18
MK111 17-Sep-18
spike78 17-Sep-18
Thunderflight 17-Sep-18
marktm250 17-Sep-18
TD 17-Sep-18
marktm250 17-Sep-18
Thunderflight 17-Sep-18
GF 17-Sep-18
spike78 17-Sep-18
spike78 17-Sep-18
drycreek 17-Sep-18
Zbone 17-Sep-18
IdyllwildArcher 17-Sep-18
The Famous Grouse 17-Sep-18
Ironbow 17-Sep-18
Thornton 17-Sep-18
Glunt@work 17-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
Missouribreaks 18-Sep-18
LBshooter 18-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
MQQSE 18-Sep-18
marktm250 18-Sep-18
GF 18-Sep-18
grubby 18-Sep-18
spike78 18-Sep-18
Butternut40 18-Sep-18
MK111 18-Sep-18
76aggie 18-Sep-18
drycreek 18-Sep-18
Fuzzy 18-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
drycreek 18-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
Tradmike 18-Sep-18
Owl 18-Sep-18
Tradmike 18-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
hdaman 18-Sep-18
spike78 18-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
spike78 18-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
Zbone 18-Sep-18
Thunderflight 18-Sep-18
Thornton 18-Sep-18
BSBD 19-Sep-18
Zbone 19-Sep-18
Thunderflight 19-Sep-18
Zbone 19-Sep-18
grubby 19-Sep-18
Zbone 19-Sep-18
Ace 19-Sep-18
Zbone 19-Sep-18
BIG BEAR 19-Sep-18
spike78 19-Sep-18
BIG BEAR 19-Sep-18
Thornton 19-Sep-18
BIG BEAR 19-Sep-18
IdyllwildArcher 19-Sep-18
DMTJAGER 19-Sep-18
BIG BEAR 19-Sep-18
Zbone 19-Sep-18
DMTJAGER 19-Sep-18
TC 19-Sep-18
Zbone 19-Sep-18
BigOzzie 19-Sep-18
GF 19-Sep-18
Zbone 19-Sep-18
GF 19-Sep-18
spike78 19-Sep-18
Matt 20-Sep-18
LFN 20-Sep-18
Zbone 20-Sep-18
BIG BEAR 20-Sep-18
BULELK1 20-Sep-18
woodguy65 20-Sep-18
Zbone 20-Sep-18
Bowfreak 20-Sep-18
Mad Trapper 20-Sep-18
BIG BEAR 20-Sep-18
GF 20-Sep-18
Genesis 20-Sep-18
woodguy65 20-Sep-18
Linecutter 20-Sep-18
Beendare 20-Sep-18
Genesis 21-Sep-18
Zbone 21-Sep-18
Thornton 21-Sep-18
GF 21-Sep-18
spike78 21-Sep-18
Linecutter 21-Sep-18
Zbone 22-Sep-18
GF 22-Sep-18
Matt 22-Sep-18
Zbone 23-Sep-18
Linecutter 23-Sep-18
TEmbry 23-Sep-18
IdyllwildArcher 23-Sep-18
Lone Eagle 23-Sep-18
ground hunter 23-Sep-18
Linecutter 23-Sep-18
spike78 23-Sep-18
Thornton 23-Sep-18
Zbone 23-Sep-18
Thornton 23-Sep-18
Zbone 24-Sep-18
deerslayer 24-Sep-18
spike78 24-Sep-18
spike78 24-Sep-18
spike78 24-Sep-18
Zbone 24-Sep-18
LBshooter 24-Sep-18
Fuzzy 24-Sep-18
Zbone 24-Sep-18
wildwilderness 24-Sep-18
Linecutter 24-Sep-18
Zbone 24-Sep-18
TD 25-Sep-18
Zbone 25-Sep-18
stealthycat 25-Sep-18
Beendare 25-Sep-18
Zbone 25-Sep-18
Zbone 03-Oct-18
GF 03-Oct-18
Zbone 04-Oct-18
Zbone 25-Oct-18
Boreal 25-Oct-18
Ambush 25-Oct-18
Jim McCann 25-Oct-18
Glunker 25-Oct-18
Beendare 27-Oct-18
LBshooter 27-Oct-18
RJ Hunt 27-Oct-18
David A. 28-Oct-18
David A. 28-Oct-18
GF 28-Oct-18
From: Thornton
17-Sep-18
https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/defense-against-bears-with-pistols-97-success-rate-37-incidents-by-caliber/#axzz5RKh53T3B

In light of the horrible recent tragic bear attacks I found this informative article on different pistol calibers for bears. In 2014 I was watched by a mountain lion at 60 yards for almost ten minutes. I had startled him while he had started to feed on a roadhunted mule deer fawn and he waited down the trail to see what I was. I understand these attacks from predators are rare but I will probably start carrying my .40 cal anyway for the piece of mind. I did notice that almost all the calibers listed did kill the bears if shots were placed in a vital area.

From: LUNG$HOT
17-Sep-18

LUNG$HOT's Link
Here’s the link.

From: Zbone
17-Sep-18
Thanks for sharing...

From: Aubs8
17-Sep-18
Great article. Thanks for sharing. Mike

From: MQQSE
17-Sep-18
Interesting how many of the incidents happened in WY, MT and ID.

From: Lee
17-Sep-18
When I went caribou hunting in Alaska I talked to the outfitter that was going to fly me in and drop me and told him I had a 9mm pistol that I was going to bring for bear protection. He told me to file off the front sight so when he bear shoved it up my a$$ it wouldn’t hurt too bad! Needless to say I toted a bigger gun on the trip and did see a grizzly and some black bears. Thankfully they had no interest in me.

Lee

From: jdee
17-Sep-18
Every time I hear someone say a 9mm, 357 or anything smaller than a . 44 is a joke on grizz I wonder how many times they have shot or seen one shot with a .9mm and it didn’t do the trick . I know a bear guide in AK that carries a .40 every hunt. I would rather have a 9mm with a 16 round mag than nothing. I do have a .44 629 that goes with me. A bear might get lucky and kill you or you might get lucky and put 3 or 4 rounds in his head with a 9mm .....I beleave that’s a dead grizzly.

From: dave cahilly
17-Sep-18
use something you can handle with one hand. I don't think I can shoot my .454 with one hand. hate to have it fly out of my hand when I needed it after I fired it. to all the he men here shoot one with bear loads in it, I don't think you will have more than one shot one handed

From: spike78
17-Sep-18
Everything I read makes sense. Your better off with bear spray as it spreads and you can probably guarantee to hit it good. If you miss or wound a charging bear you are screwed. I would think Buckshot in a 12 gauge would be better but harder to carry.

From: BTM
17-Sep-18
Amen, Dave! It always amazes me when I see someone packing a single action for bear protection. (Sure, you might be able to thumb back a hammer or flip off a safety and shoot a griz one time while it's chewing on you, but why take the chance? Get something that you can "grab and go," i.e., just start pulling a trigger without having to manipulate a hammer or safety.)

From: marktm250
17-Sep-18
Plan on elk hunting in MT next year and will be packing both spray and a pistol. Have a Glock 19 and a Sig P938, but I intend to buy a S&W 69 in .44 with the 2.75" barrel and using it with a belly pancake holster.

A .44 makes sense for me since I already reload for it. Use Hornady XTPs out of my Marlin 1894 for deer on rare occasions. However, I read somewhere that expansion is not as important as penetration for bear defense and that one should opt for hardened lead instead.

From: MK111
17-Sep-18
Any pistol carried is much better than the pistol left home.

From: spike78
17-Sep-18
Marktm, I just shot a small black bear Friday with Hornady Leverevolution 200 grain in 35 Remington in my Marlin levergun and broadside at 30 yards hit right behind the leg and the damn bullet exploded. I hit lung but no pass through and it ran 60-70 yards. In fact it fell got up and ran ten feet by me when I was on the ground. It killed it but it could have killed me as well if it wanted to and we are talking a small black bear. Choose your ammo wisely.

17-Sep-18

Thunderflight 's embedded Photo
Thunderflight 's embedded Photo
Thunderflight 's embedded Photo
Thunderflight 's embedded Photo
Last year for my 50th BDay I bought myself a Glock G20 10mm specifically for hunting out West. A couple of reasons I chose the glock:

1. The safety is part of the trigger. All I have to do is point and shoot. 2. Knock down power. The 10mm is no joke. Look at the attached ballistic gell comparison. 3. Capacity it carries 15 rounds 4. Weight is very manageable 4. Price at just over $500 it's IMO a good deal.

I was worried about he recoil, but it is no worse than a 45 ACP.

Below a 44 mag

From: marktm250
17-Sep-18
Spike, that is somewhat surprising given that the .35 is not blazingly fast (but still very effective). I am no expert, but there are those of the opinion that last of an exit hole is not a huge deal; that means that all the energy was expended in the boiler room. But a fragmented bullet is no good for thin-skinned deer or dangerous critters, especially when the shot is a little off the mark.

I am leaning towards .44 hard lead bullets that basically look like a beer keg in shape ... I think they refer to them as "sledgehammers".

From: TD
17-Sep-18
Carry means CARRY. I think I read in this latest case the gun was in THE PACK. And didn't have a round in the chamber ready to go?

As stated..... ANY caliber (or spray) at ready is better than none.

From: marktm250
17-Sep-18
Yup, if you are in bear country, the spray and gun need to be on your hip at all times. Some packs like the Badlands 2200 have a pistol holster built in, which may make it more accessible while hiking in ... just remember to transfer it to your belt holster when you drop the pack.

17-Sep-18
And a round in the chamber.

From: GF
17-Sep-18
Take a look at the bullets that Buffalo Bore and Garrett & similar companies put in their Bear-Stopper rounds. They’re no joke.

Expansion may seem like a big deal with a .30-cal deer bullet, but it’s not that important when the slug leaves the bore at .40” or larger...

From: spike78
17-Sep-18

spike78's embedded Photo
spike78's embedded Photo
Mark I believe the 35 is perfect for black bear just not the bullet I used. I wanted a jacket type bullet but my Rem Corelokts kept miss firing so I went with the Hornadys. The 35 averages around 2200 FPS which isn’t blazing but at 100 or less yards it is plenty fast. Here is the blood I saw consistently for 60 yards.

From: spike78
17-Sep-18
Now the reason for bringing this up is to point out a 100 pound black bear went 60 yards with lungs shredded. Now imagine shooting a 1000 pound Grizzly with a poor shot due to it charging you. I would say your in deep trouble. Now if I placed my bullet in the shoulder or solid chest straight on that bullet may not even had busted through to lungs. Keep that in mind.

From: drycreek
17-Sep-18
This observation is worth just what you pay for it, as I have zero experience with bears, charging or not. However, I have killed a couple of pissed off hogs in the 175/200 lb. range and my opinion is that shot placement trumps every other consideration in stopping a charge. A good hit with a poor bullet is better than a poor hit with a good bullet. That said, the load I carry in my G20 is a flat point, hard cast bullet travelling in the high end of 10mm loads. This load is not a stopper when you peg them through the lungs, although they will die. But.......they don't give you a lung shot when they come for you. If you put that 180 grain slug between those ears you got a dead-right-there hog, and ,I suspect, a bear as well. I don't want to test that theory, but then I didn't want to test it on those hogs either.

17-Sep-18
I have shot a few deer with.44 magnum....a big one with a 10" barrel. Pretty big 200 lb bucks from real close (inside 15 yards)....right in the heart. The results don't make me real confident in stopping a big bear..

From: Zbone
17-Sep-18
I remember the story of somebody asking Jay Massey - "Can a .357 kill a Grizzly?" Jay's reply - "Yeah, eventually"... I always get a kick out of that...8^)

17-Sep-18
Thanks for posting this Thorton. I had read this closer to when it had come out, but couldn't find it when the subject came up on Bowsite. It's a good read.

17-Sep-18
One thing that's worth keeping in mind, is our forefathers killed all manner of game including bears with VASTLY less firepower and tremendously inferior bullets to what even a handgun uses today.

I often hear people who say even a 9 MM "Isn't enough gun," for self-defense because it "Lacks 'knockdown' power." Whatever that is. The funny thing is that these people never have had the experience of getting shot with one to prove the point. I will tell you that the one officer I know who HAS taken a 9 MM round in the chest (thankfully, while wearing a vest) will tell you with good authority that the 9 MM does NOT lack knockdown power. It knocked him right on his back at 25 feet.

I would think the keys to making any handgun as effective as possible would be:

- Similar to a dangerous game load for an African safari rifle, use solid, monolithic bullets with a tough jacket. Using "solids" is almost unheard of here for big game bullets, but when the game turns deadly you want none of this flu-flu mushrooming stuff. Penetration, penetration, penetration. Expansion and shock are meaningless, you want as much bone-breaking and as deep of wound channels as possible.

- As hot of a load as possible given the limits of the handgun. Maximum velocity.

IMO I would only want to use handloaded ammo I had constructed and tested specifically for the task. Increasingly today, handgun ammo is being loaded lighter and lighter so it is easier for the average sport to shoot and feel good about how well he handled his weapon. I want none of that, I want a fire-breathing, flame-belching load that sends the toughest bullet on its way as fast as the gun will allow.

Grouse

From: Ironbow
17-Sep-18
Bowhunter magazine has documented one grizzly and one brown bear killed by bowhunters with handguns. The griz went down with a .44, the brownie with a .454.

From: Thornton
17-Sep-18
.45 long colt can be loaded as hot as a 44 mag.

From: Glunt@work
17-Sep-18
I carry a 45 LC in grizzly country. Its loaded like a 454 Casull. They are very similar, a Casull case has about 4gr more powder capacity. I am realistic about my odds of it (and me) stopping an attacking bear. If I'm at that point, a whole lot has already gone wrong.

I like my chances with it better than without... even if they are still poor.

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18
Can also shoot buckshot out of a .45 long colt using .410 shotshells...

18-Sep-18
Each person going into bear country should be responsible for their own personal protection. Carry whatever gun or spray you choose. When the moment of truth arrives, it is your life you are gambling with.

From: LBshooter
18-Sep-18
With the new mossberg shockwave on the market your able to carry a shotgun with you that won't take up a lot of space. Strap it to your back and your good to go, six rounds of slugs will stop mr griz, as long as you hit him.

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18
Yeah, me too fan of the Shockwave... Me wants one...

From: MQQSE
18-Sep-18

MQQSE's embedded Photo
MQQSE's embedded Photo
Here is what we carried last week in Alaska on a moose hunt. .454 and .44. Note the Iridium case that was chewed up by a bear last season. This week on my WY sheep hunt I’ll have that .44 on my hip at all times.

From: marktm250
18-Sep-18
Lots of good info here. Step 1 is have spray/gun handy. Step 2 is to be both fast and proficient with these under extreme duress.

I readily admit how easy it is for me to be inaccurate with a pistol at medium range (20 yards). Change your grip or pull the trigger wrong and you start spraying (think of the scene in Pulp Fiction where the guy comes out of the bathroom with a hand cannon and hits nothing). And that is in the comfort and safety of my backyard range.

Unless you are military, law enforcement or pro combat shooter, performing under duress will take some practice. I did see recently a promo for "safari-prep" training in Texas where some of the target stations were cape buffalo charging you.

If the bear is in your lap (I am recalling some Capstick Africa tales), then accuracy is not as much of an issue ... but I would hope that it would never come to that.

From: GF
18-Sep-18
“Can also shoot buckshot out of a .45 long colt using .410 shotshells...”

HUH??

Methinks you’re mistaken. My understanding was that the .410 was invented so that all of those mil-surp .45/70s with rotted-out barrels could find a second career as shotguns.

Check out the Taurus Judge in .410 next to a selection of .45 LC revolvers, and I think you’ll see that one o’ those kids is not like the other.

Not that I would take .410 Buck loads over a .45/70 in the first place. People are talking about the importance of deep penetration, and all the buckshot does is to bust that big slug into smaller, lower-penetration pieces before it’s even out of the barrel...

Looking at it another way, let’s say you’re relying on the bigger pattern to make up for imprecise shot placement... How big is that pattern going to be at 15 feet? A 12-gauge long gun, I can see it - better placement, larger, denser pattern.

Have to admit, though - at times I’ve thought that a 3”, heavy load of #4 or #6 birdshot would make maximum strength pepper spray feel like a cinnamon Altoid.

So does anybody care to answer this one for me?

Let’s say the worst should come to pass; you got your pistol out, but the bear is already on top of you and the best you can do is to shove the barrel up into its ribs. Is a semi-auto going to leave you high and dry?

I’m starting to think that the ideal bear-carry gun is a Charter Bulldog stoked with the hottest loads you can find. The gun would probably need to be retired after 5 rounds, but it’d be worth it if the lighter carry-weight was convenient enough that you’d have it on you when you needed it.

From: grubby
18-Sep-18
what would be a good bear defense bullet?

From: spike78
18-Sep-18
GF he is correct look up the Judge revolver. Grubby I would say the best is hard cast bullets they would go front to end of a Bear. When I take my .40 out around black bear I’d rather have FMJ then a hollow point.

From: Butternut40
18-Sep-18

Butternut40's Link
Grubby here's a pretty good article I had bookmarked earlier this year regarding bullets for a .357

From: MK111
18-Sep-18
For 999 out of 1000 guys carrying a handgun in big bear country the idea is just a confidence builder.

I did carry a 44 mag in grizzly country in AK with 310 gr. hard cast lead bullets.

IMO the guide was field dressing the elk and tool his pack off with the unloaded pistol in the pack. Why it wasn't loaded on his belt I have no idea.

I have taken 23 deer with a handgun and only 2 dropped in it's tracks and both were accidental spine shots. One other planned Texas heart shot that did also drop in it's tracks.

So thinking a handgun will stop a big bear in it's tracks is wishful thinking. Hitting a bear charging you in a split second it's only for the story books and wishful thinking forum write ups. Not to many of you guys are willing to test your chances.

From: 76aggie
18-Sep-18
I agree that toting a .44 Magnum made me feel better, especially at night while on a North Slope hunt. MK111 is correct in calling it a confidence builder. My pistol of choice was a Taurus Tracker 5 shot .44. It is fairly light for a .44 which makes it all the more valuable to me when weight is at a premium in a Super Cub. Furthermore, I don't think it matters much how many rounds your pistol is capable of firing. You may well not even have the chance to get off one shot much less multiple if you are charged so capacity was never a big isssue for me. I have seen browns, grizzly and blacks in the wild and never had a real run in with one. Hope I never do. With my Taurus, I can shoot .44 specials and really love to shoot snakes and small game with the .44 birdshot cartridges in my native Texas.

From: drycreek
18-Sep-18
GF, it was touched on by spike78, but the Taurus Judge was specifically designed to shoot both .45 Colt and .410 bore shotshells. (BTW, there is no .45 "Long" Colt, just .45 Colt.) If I were the owner of a Judge, I would refrain from the hot loads that are safe in Ruger and Freedom Arms revolvers. The .45 Colt can be a real hellion, but only in the strong revolvers, not in the replicas or original Colts. The bear threat need not be complicated with your gun blowing up in your face........

From: Fuzzy
18-Sep-18
The best pistol for a bear attack is a damn big rifle

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18

Zbone's Link
GF - If you own a .45 Colt or Long Colt, whatever you prefer to call it, cut a .410 shotshell off the length of ammo you are using and tell us if it'll drop into the chamber... And yes, .410 shotshells will drop inside a 45/70 chambers too...

I have a .410 handloader and roll crimper and reload...

drycreek - "(BTW, there is no .45 "Long" Colt, just .45 Colt.)"

Not exactly true, here is a little history, see link below:

" 45 Colt vs 45 Long Colt – a 45 Caliber Debate Over Nothing Ammoland Inc. Posted on September 30, 2016 by Mike Searson by Mike Searson Let's set the record straight once and for all, the 45 Colt & 45 Long Colt are the same exact round of ammunition.

" https://www.ammoland.com/2016/09/45-colt-vs-45-long-colt/#axzz5RUjPsoaH

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18
Forgot to add, .410 loaded with buckshot or some of these commercial self defense loads are pretty badazz at close range...

Have a flare gun and a .45/410 insert and wouldn't want to be in front of it at 5 yards... It's a great single shot survival weapon if needed in emergency, but way to heavy to carry as a sidearm, although good for a camp gun...

From: drycreek
18-Sep-18
Z, I know all about the reason the "Long Colt" misnomer was created. I've been a student of all things revover for more years than I care to count. Look on your ammo box and you will see .45 Colt.

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18
Depends on how old the box is...8^)

From: Tradmike
18-Sep-18

From: Owl
18-Sep-18
For a firearm, I'd rather bank on a 12 gauge and buckshot. Because I'm a bowhunter, my hands are full and will rely on my ol' trusty .40 XD on my hip.

From: Tradmike
18-Sep-18
I use a Glock 29, 10mm, 15 shot clip, lite weight, small size and easy to carry. No safety to click off makes for less reaction time. Use full jacketed bullets for maximum penetration. This is a close combat, high fire power weapon, just what is needed if a bear wants to fight you.

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18
Colt/Long Colt talk got me researching, and learned the .454 Casull is just a lengthen case version of the .45 Colt, same diameter dimension just longer brass, so I imagine a .410 will slide inside chamber of them too...

From: hdaman
18-Sep-18
Curious as to why more people don’t carry a 45 semi auto?

From: spike78
18-Sep-18
Zbone if you buy a 460 S&W revolver it will shoot 460, 45 colt, 454 casul, and 45 Russian. Kinda wish I got that instead of my .44 mag.

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18
Thanks spike78 , will check them out...

From: spike78
18-Sep-18
Zbone google YouTube hickock45’s 460 review. If anyone wants a gun review Hickock45 is the man to watch.

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18
Yeah, have watched his videos before, I like him... Thanks... All this .45/.410 talk makes me want to go buy a Tarus Judge...Will have one someday...

His Mossberg Shockwave video is a hoot... Now that the real self defense weapon...8^)

From: Zbone
18-Sep-18
spike78 - Just watched his .460 video... Wow, now that's a handgun...8^)

18-Sep-18
Oh man... now i want a m9ssberg shock wave

From: Thornton
18-Sep-18
All I know is a 9mm will zip through an armadiller like butter and a .40 cal is a 10mm short. I wouldn't be afraid to take on a bear with either if I had a reliable pistol and a full magazine

From: BSBD
19-Sep-18
I have a S&W 460. It would definitely be my choice for hunting anything with a handgun but it’s cumbersome, extremely loud, slow to manipulate and heavy. For bear defense I would rather have a Glock 10mm, much easier to shoot and you have 15 rounds instead of 5. If 2 or more guys are hunting the big bears together then one should have a heavy rifle stoked with good ammo.

From: Zbone
19-Sep-18
Yeah BSBD, the S&W 460 weighs 72.2 oz, that over 4-1/2 pounds!... That beast, weighs almost as much as my Franchi 48 AL autoloading 20 gauge shotgun which was the lightest 20 gauge on the market... I think its out of production now, and in truth would rather have my Franchi stoke with 5 rounds of 20 ga buckshot in hand than ANY handgun with a charging bear... One barrel for the Franchi I reduced to 19",,, this cut the choke off, so it's cylinder bore and shortened being able to carry over back with like a scaboard… Sure it isn't as quick to access as a handgun in holster, but prefer to have it in hand rather than a handgun...

Was looking to see if anybody makes a S&W 460 in short 2" barrel version like they do the .500 S&W and go with it rather than a Tarus Judge model to shoot .410s when I save my pennies, but doesn't look like it... If the S&W 460 catches on and good sales, maybe somday they will... By that time maybe I'll have saved enough pennies...8^)

The new 20 GAUGE Mossberg Shockwave might fit the bill but can't find any info on the weight... Surely would be lighter than a 12 ga you'd think...

19-Sep-18

Thunderflight 's Link
If you are willing to deal with the NFA paperwork the Mossberg Compact Cruiser is another good one.

From: Zbone
19-Sep-18
Found the Shockwave weights... 20ga is lighter than 12, but not much...

From: grubby
19-Sep-18
I just ordered some 305grain flat nose Buffalo Bore ammo for my .44 Taurus...... I imagine it will be a real joy to shoot.

From: Zbone
19-Sep-18
grubby - How dependable is your Taurus... Been thinking about getting a Taurus Judge, but buddy had one that was unreliable... Said it click click band, click bang, click click bang, click bang... Said you never know when it'd go off...

From: Ace
19-Sep-18
I am always amazed that people propose Buckshot for bear defense. I have seen deer shot with 00 Buckshot at 30 yards that barely went through the skin. If I can't hit a charging bear with a slug, I don't think the buckshot pattern at 10 feet is going to give me any advantage at all.

Anyone here ever shoot a hog with Buckshot? I'd like to hear how it performed.

From: Zbone
19-Sep-18
Ace - The objective is to put at least a SINGLE projectile in the BRAIN to break down the nervous system to immediately stop the threat and multiple projectile gives much better chances, and even the smaller #4 buck will penetrate the biggest bear skulls at a few feet or so... Matter of fact even birdshot will penetrate a bear's skull at close range written by a retired AK wildlife officer who had access to skulls and experimented and wrote a book...

Haven't ever heard of a suicide attempt go bad using a shotgun...

From: BIG BEAR
19-Sep-18
That’s a good objective Zbone..... but in reality you most likely won’t be aiming at a charging bear... more like point and shoot........

I hope to never be in the situation of being charged by a bear..... but I was charged by a Rottweiler once at work (I’m a Police Officer)...... And by the time I had my pistol out the dog was coming at me full blast as I back peddled and shot from the hip...... I shot 3 times and hit the dog once in the front leg..... but it was enough to stop the charge....... I can only imagine the pucker factor of the same charge with a bear coming at me.

From: spike78
19-Sep-18

spike78's Link
Here is a YouTube video of a bear charge. Luckily the warning shot worked as the guy said the bear stopped at 8 feet!

From: BIG BEAR
19-Sep-18

BIG BEAR's embedded Photo
BIG BEAR's embedded Photo
Zbone..... Speaking of .45 Colt,,, Here’s mine...........

From: Thornton
19-Sep-18
If I shot every dog that charged me when I'm visited farmers for permission or while mowing yards I'd be out of a job and have nowhere to hunt.

From: BIG BEAR
19-Sep-18
I deal with dogs a lot too Thornton having been a city cop for the last 25 years...... That one was coming at me balls to the wall with very bad intentions..... I shot him at roughly 10 feet. I’m not getting bitten by a Rottweiler or a Pit Bull Or German Shepherd..... if I can help it. The dog was off of its own property.......

19-Sep-18
X2 on the buckshot being a poor choice for bears. Go look at the tests on the Box 'O Truth web page. At close range, Buckshot patterns no better than a slug and doesn't penetrate as far as one.

From: DMTJAGER
19-Sep-18
I think a great reference to killing large to very large dangerous critters hell bent on your demise is to refer to the writings of well known and respected African PH's. If you have never read about how hard it can be to put down charging water buffalo then you need to read up some. A grizzly like a water buffalo when faced with a surprise charge and I assume were talking about being caught off guard by surprise charge we weren't at expecting or ready for in any way, is often times they happen so unbelievably fast you MIGHT have enough time to get off 2 if your really lucky 3 shots before the animal is on you. I have never faced any bear let alone one hell bent on destroying me, but I feel I'm making an accurate statement when there is a HUGE difference between shooting a bear that has no idea of your presence or all it wants is to get away from you VS one that has 100% committed itself to your destruction. I think I'm sage in saying the mental state of the bear when you shoot it is everything. I think there is a very strong correlation between stopping a charging Grizzly or AK brown bear and what in Africa is commonly known as "The Black Death". African water buffalo didn't get that nick name affectionately. They are both very large very tough animals with massive bone structures and both have a well earned reputation for being very hard to put down despite absorbing a lot of lead. We all know there are only 2 areas if you hit a Grizzly or a AK brown bear that is going to stop them for certain, the brain or spine, any other hits even 100% fatal hits to the lungs or heart that based on countless well documented incidents will have little to no immediate effect let alone stop the bear. I have fired 10's of thousands of rounds out of my HGs from my 9mm to my .44 mag and unless you have been trained and are proficient at hitting a charging bear with a hand gun, I personally feel your odds of hitting him in the head let alone the brain are not good. Granted I would without doubt carry a BIG HG in bear country as well as mace but I would feel my odds much better with a pump 12ga with my slug of choice, or a rifle chambered in 416 Rigby but you can not carry both while actively hunting. The problem with a HG even a .44 mag is most simply doesn't posses anywhere near the power of a rifle. You make a marginal hit on a bear facing towards you that misses its head but hits in the shoulder or any other major bone mass and your firing a 400 grain bullet at 2400fps from a 416 Rigby and at least you have a good chance to slow down the bear or stop him momentarily long enough to get one or more shots in it. Yes you have other HG calibers like the .454 or 500 S&W but they are very difficult to fire rapidly and accurately and it gets MUCH harder to fire such HGs single handed, its much, MUCH easier to shoot a powerful rifle well than a powerful HG.

From: BIG BEAR
19-Sep-18
DMTJAGER,,,, Did you see the video with Fred Eichler ?? They didn’t even hit the bear and the shots stopped her charge.....

One thing is for certain...... The gun isn’t going to do you any good on a charge if it’s in the pack........

Also note...... The bear was reportedly 250 pounds with a 150 pound cub.........

What’s a Cape buffalo....... 2,000 pounds ????

From: Zbone
19-Sep-18
Of course buckshot doesn't penetrate as deep as slugs, that's physics, but again, your POINTING towards the FACE of a charging animal at close range, and the wider the pattern and the more projectiles traveling, better your chances striking the brain... Open/cylinder bore (no choke) would be best...

When talking about buckshot am not talking about these now a days lower velocity personal defense loads made for home defense, I'm talking about high velocity 3" magnum buckshot... Anybody that doesn't have respect for buckshot at close range hasn't had experience with it... There are 41 buffered lead round ball 24 caliber projectiles in #4 magnum buckshot traveling over 1200 fps in a 3" mag 12 gauge load... Shoot one through a cylinder/open bore at something 10 yards... They're freak'n awesome...8^) Like my odds of 41 to hit that moving target of frontal brain with my open bore barrel shotgun over a single projectile...

From: DMTJAGER
19-Sep-18
BIG BEAR I agree 100% but I'm just saying a HG the most difficult defense at our disposal to use effectively but no doubt what so ever I'd would be carrying one. remember my opinions are based on being faced with a situation where the bear is in the process of actively charging you. You have no way to determine if like dangerous big game animals in Africa the bear is making a bluff charge or is not. We are all discussing hypothetical "what if" situations. I would love to be able to carry a rifle in 375 H&H or better a 416 Rigby as both are sufficient to stop a charging elephant, but when bow hunting there is no such option. Your choice is limited to HG's and mace not or but both IMHO. I have posted this before. I'm somewhat surprised no one has invented a type of very light weight light recoiling super mace rifle for bears that similar in design to a flame thrower or pressure washer that fires a 2-3 second solid stream of foaming mace. You need it only to have the capacity for 1-3 bursts to be effective. I've seen law enforcement use similar devices to spray mace into large crowds of people like I saw on the news when Primer Clinton sent that young boy back to Cuba. They had a supply tank/reservoir on their hip belt and a hand held spray device to dispense the mace. Maybe I just gave away a million dollar idea. Hell it could be likely made from plastic and small and light weight not unlike a paint ball gun have laser light for aiming and you wouldn't even need a stock as it would have little if any recoil.

From: TC
19-Sep-18
Surprised to see the Eichler comment. Recommendations I have seen is never to shoot a warning shot at a bear as generally it will initiate a charge rather than prevent one.

From: Zbone
19-Sep-18
Now that's a HOGleg Big Bear...8^)

When not laid off, I work daily telecom installation and repair at customer residents, mainly installing DSL internet now a days rather than landline phone service… Anyhow while on repair call this spring, after determining the trouble was inside the house, I was distracted by 3 dogs bristled and barking behind me as customer was opening the door to let me in and turned around as a BIG Pit Bull hit me full bore in the chest lunging in for my face and throat knocking me backwards through the doorway and off the porch stoop… Tools scattering as I hit the ground on by back… Fortunately the owner was standing beside me and able to grab the Pit before mauling me… I had maze on me but no time to use it...

Aside from falling off the stoop on my back, I was very lucky only to receive red marks on my chin from the Pit’s teeth… I shook for hours after nd was upset for days……

I says to the dude, thanks for letting know there was a mean Pit inside… He said he locked him in a bedroom when I pulled up, but the kids must have let him out while we were outside…

Been bite a few times while working through the years, but nothing serious and usually only by little ankle biters but was mauled by a big dog as a kid… That dog was destroyed…. So I’ve had experiences with bad dogs… One thing I’ve learned is the ones that bite usually don’t bark first, they are straight for you to bite...

From: BigOzzie
19-Sep-18
every situation is different, you best prepare for the situation you think you will face and go after it.

Elk hunting, spot and stalk, I would carry something light on my hip. sitting and calling, I would up my game some recovering game I would max out the potential.

On a weekend hunt, if trying a new area I would carry my 40, or .357

if returning to an area already scouted hoping to sit and call I would up to my 10mm, I have been stalked by a mountain lion while calling, Yikes, if I am sitting and trying to draw game to me my gun gets bigger.

if returning to find game and pack it out I would have the short 12 gauge. I load the 12 gauge with a round of birdshot first and slugs after that, on the idea that birdshot will turn them before they get to me. If not slugs kill.

As a young man we took a window out of the local bank during construction. We went out to the back 40 and shot at it with everything we had access to. The shotgun slug was the only thing to penetrate the glass.

My short shotgun loaded birdshot, slug, slug is in my truck every time I go hunting, it is the decision do I pack it when I get out to hike or do I take a handgun.

Shotgun rules.

From: GF
19-Sep-18
I’m gonna argue a technicality. A .45 Colt is a 1.6” cartridge. .410 shells come in 2”, 2.5”, and 3”.

So a .410 Judge can shoot .45 Colt, but you can’t fit even a 2” .410 shell into a firearm chambered in .45 Colt.

That’s like saying you can shoot .44 Mags out of a Spcl or .357 Mags out of a .38 or .327 Federal out of a .32 H&R.

That said, if you could cut & crimp .410 shells to chamber in a .45 Colt, that would sure be handy with a stiff dose of #9 shot if you had snake trouble....

From: Zbone
19-Sep-18
GF - "So a .410 Judge can shoot .45 Colt, but you can’t fit even a 2” .410 shell into a firearm chambered in .45 Colt."

True, that is what I was saying, measure the length of your "standard" length .45 Colt cylinder chamber and cut the .410 hull to length... It's likely a bit longer than 1.6" (don't own one so don't know), but anyhow reload 13 grains 410 or 2400 powder in a .410 hull, cut the wings off a wad and trim it thin then fill it with as many #4 buckshot pellets and lead BBs or birdshot in between, close with roll crimp... I've been playing with .410 reloads lately, tell me the length of your cylinder chamber and when I get time will experiment with that length to see how many #4 buckshot pellets and lead BBs... Think I have #4 buck, #1 buck and 0000 buck and lead BBs... Am guessing around 4 or 5, number 4 buck pellets will fit... BTW, 0000 buck is .380 diameter, and stack perfectly inside a .410 hull with wad wings cut off, actually better that the 00 or 000 buck sold commercially... I think I still have some #5 and #7-1/2 birdshot too...

From: GF
19-Sep-18
I still don’t get why anyone would choose a pre-fragmented bullet to take on big (nasty, toothy, scratchy, bitey) game.

Over on the Wall, Larry Hatfield said that going for a headshot on a black bear is a bad idea, so I seems that one big slug would count for a lot more...

From: spike78
19-Sep-18
It’s nice to think about where you going to shoot a charging bear but if it happened I would think aiming would go right out the window and you would pray to hit it somewhere anywhere.

From: Matt
20-Sep-18
"Also note...... The bear was reportedly 250 pounds with a 150 pound cub......…"

If we are talking about the Eichler episode, I agree a cub was 150#. But there were 3. And the sow was ~ 4x the size of the cubs, so probably closer to 600#.

From: LFN
20-Sep-18
GF - "So a .410 Judge can shoot .45 Colt, but you can’t fit even a 2” .410 shell into a firearm chambered in .45 Colt." not true, handguns chambered for .410 / 45 colt have long chambers so yes they will accept a full size .410 shell, the judge has a very long cylinder. on another note the badlands pack mentioned having a holster built into it, I can't get my 629 out of it while wearing the pack, its too far back to get my hand on the grip.

From: Zbone
20-Sep-18
LFN - That's the whole thing, being able to access QUICKLY while being charged... Handguns are quicker than shotguns or rifles out of holsters,,, although as said earlier with dog attack, didn't have time to grab anything or maze... If TIME, personal choice of what you're gonna kill it with...

BigOzzie - "My short shotgun loaded birdshot, slug, slug is in my truck every time I go hunting, it is the decision do I pack it when I get out to hike or do I take a handgun. "

Like that... Cool...8^)

From: BIG BEAR
20-Sep-18
Matt.............No..... the sow in the recent attack was reportedly 250 pounds...... They killed it.

From: BULELK1
20-Sep-18
I recently sold my Ruger .454 Super Redhawk ~~ Alaskan 2 1/2 barrel ($1,200.00) and went with my Barretta 9mm.

Main reason was I needed 2 hands to shoot the .454 to be accurate out to 10 yards.

I can shoot the 9mm with 1 hand and be just as accurate out to 10 yards and I have more shots 10 than the 5 with the .454

Hopefully, I will never have myself in a situation that I need life saving pistol shooting.

Thanks for the link

Good luck, Robb

From: woodguy65
20-Sep-18

woodguy65's embedded Photo
woodguy65's embedded Photo
For reference, many prolly don't realize brain location within that giant head...If a grizz charges, pretty much everything above his nose is meat, skull plate and hair. You need to hit the tiny black area (nose,) in order to get kill shot on a charging bear.

From: Zbone
20-Sep-18
Yep agree, point at the nose...

From: Bowfreak
20-Sep-18
Question for those of you in the know.

What does a Glock 20 loaded to the gills with 200 gr. hard casts weigh? What about one of the light frame 44s? Which would be heavier when each is loaded with ammo?

From: Mad Trapper
20-Sep-18
I have never taken a sidearm with me on a hunt, but maybe I should. I have seen more than my share of grizzlies. Handguns are forbidden in Canada. For those of you who fly with bow and handgun, how are you doing it and have the airlines given you any problems?

From: BIG BEAR
20-Sep-18
I wear a pistol on my hip while bowhunting for deer on my property in Michigan’s U.P.,,,, Because there are black bears in the area......

From: GF
20-Sep-18
Woodguy -

I’m having a little trouble with your “reference” picture, because in the side view, the nose is at the same level as the eyes, but in the frontal view, the bridge of the nose is not level, but inclined.

They still don’t have much of a forehead, but it’s more than your drawing makes it appear, at least.

Not sure I would have sold off Robb’s .454, though, if I were him. Try a hotter-loaded .45 Colt instead, maybe, or practice with light loads and load the Casulls for Bear Carry. Rely on some Adrenaline to help you hold onto that thing....

From: Genesis
20-Sep-18
The diagram is at least 30 degrees wrong.Hard cast bullets with a flat meplate and as much push as you can handle.I like the Belt Mountain “Punch” bullet in a high speed .45 of your choice.

From: woodguy65
20-Sep-18
GF its not my drawing I pulled from the internet, I'm sure there are better illustrations. I remember years ago reading a hunting magazine article talking about the brain location in a grizzly and they had an illustration, it always stuck with me.

From: Linecutter
20-Sep-18
You guys that are wanting Taurus Judge or similar for bear defense, shooting .410 with 00 buck, do realize that one pellet only weighs 54grs and there is only three-four pellets per round. Talk about bouncing off of a bears skull. People have worried about a .357 round pentrating a grizzly or brown bear skull and you are talking 158-300 gr bullet traveling a whole lot faster. Also that 00 buck out of a .410 pistol, is not traveling at the same velosity as it is out of a 12ga, let alone a .410 shotgun barrel. So I doubt the pellets would even penetrate into the chest cavity out of that pistol barrel. Maybe a black bear at "VERY" close range broadside, thick fur, fat, and heavy mussel and bone. A straight on shot, if you are REAL lucky, you might take out both of the bears eyes. With a .410 pistol for bear defense you'd do better shooting .410 slugs out of that Judge, or better yet the 45 Colt, and forget the personal defense loads. Then I would still wonder how well that Foster Slug would penetrate a large bear since they are soft lead, weigh 1/4 oz and only have 788ft lbs at the muzzle, out of a shotgun barrel, and that is a 3 inch shell. Not that short pistol barrel. I will tell you that slug "WON'T " penetrate the shoulder of a bear, because it can't penetrate a deers shoulder with that soft lead. I have shot a deer with a 12ga Foster Slug in the shoulder, IT won't penetrate a deers shoulder, blow it up yeah, but not penetrate into the chest cavity. Buddy of mine did the same thing with a 12ga Foster Slug on a "6 month old deer" and the same thing happen. He knocked it down, it got up, he didn't want to track it, so he shot it again. We cleaned the deer and that first 12ga Foster Slug had NO, Zero, Nada chest cavity penetration , because he hit the shoulder bone on the first shot. A soft lead Foster Slug, disintegrates when it hits large bone. So what do you think will happen hitting heavy bone on a bear with a .410 Foster Slug, let alone 00 buck . DANNY

From: Beendare
20-Sep-18
I think the hardcast and solid penetrator rounds are going to be a game changer. Powerful is great....but I don't know many guys that can actually shoot a SW500 accurately.

The bullet has to reach CNS or something solid to break them down quick....we aren't talking lung shots here.

You guys choosing a semi auto would be wise to function check it with a couple hundred rounds of the big hardcast wide meplat bullets. You can have problems with some stock setups....

I know a few guys shooting the G20....with Buffalo bore 200gr hardcast and they all had to tweak the pistol to function perfectly and keep the bullets tumbling....lots of info previously on this. I've been testing my G17 with hardcast and my HK Compact 45 and USP to see which I shoot faster and more accurately. I can tell you my HK's stock shoot the ACP +P's with hardcast without a hiccup.....and those bullets blow through a 2x4 like nuthin. Haven't shot more than 50 rds through my 9 due to lack of ammo avail- so the jury is still out.

HSM, Buffalo Bore, Lehigh and Underwood are all cartridges to look for.

From: Genesis
21-Sep-18
I’ll add Grizzly Cartridge to the list as they load a myriad of heavy bullets as well as the brass punch bullet that wins most penetration tests.

From: Zbone
21-Sep-18

Zbone's Link
"Talk about bouncing off of a bears skull."

Can't understand those who haven't respect for buckshot... Not talking 50 yards here for self defense, but merely a few feet... Any lead projectile traveling over 700 fps will penetrate the biggest bear skulls at a few feet, and as said before, it's been proven even birdshot will penetrate Alaskan Bear skulls at a few feet... Bullets bouncing off bear skulls is pure myth, somebody has to show me before I believe it... Heck, they used to kill 1200 pound steers with .22 rimfires...

Check out Jerry Miculek's buckshot penetration test out of these .45/.410 revolvers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE65-hrwC-I

From my personal reloading notes:

" My hard lead copper plated BBs are between 8.75 and 9 grains and .18" diameter... Stat sheet list them at 8.75 grains...

Honrady #4 buckshot is about 20 grains, and .24" diameter... Stat sheet lists #4 buckshot at 16.2+ grains... Single 0 buckshot is about 49 grains and .32" diameter... 00 buckshot is about 55 grains and .33" diameter... 000 buckshot is about 73 grains and .36" diameter... 0000 buckshot is about 87.5 grains and .38" diameter...

.375", (36 cal) Honrady muzzleloader lead round balls are about 80 grains... .395", (40 cal) Honrady muzzleloader lead round balls are about 92 grains...

.380", diameter round balls are 0000 buckshot size, and weigh between 81-83 grains and fit perfectly inside .410 shotshell and 3 together weigh around 245 gains, which is between 11/16 and 1/2 oz...

.380" (0000 Buck Shot, "quadruple-ought") from ballisticsproducts.com, is about 83 grains... "

From: Thornton
21-Sep-18
It's not "bouncing off" but rather a deflection from the angle of the skull. The only deer I ever shot in the head did this. It dropped, then jumped up and ran off. Try shooting at the round part of seasoned logs sometimes and you'll find quite a few bullets deflect if they hit on the rounded sides

From: GF
21-Sep-18
"It's not "bouncing off" but rather a deflection from the angle of the skull."

Yup. I had a .535 RB flatten out on the rib of a cow Elk - it hit high and slid along the surface, rather than hitting perpendicular and smashing through. That flattened the ball out and sent it spinning off through the diaphragm, heading south...

And FWIW... Those rounds that Miculek was testing are intended for 2-legged predators, not 4-legged. And given the spread of the pellets/bullet, I think a guy would be just as well off with one harder, deeper-penetrating slug.

A 12-ga with a short barrel and a heavy load of buck sounds a lot scarier than a .410; though maybe at 5 yards you'd be better off with a stiff load of #8 anyway. I liked that 18" pattern with the #6, but there were a lot of big holes and at that point you'd just be praying that you could blind the beast with one shot...

From: spike78
21-Sep-18

spike78's Link
You want to watch something crazy here it is. Only Jerry has a real chance against a charging bear.

From: Linecutter
21-Sep-18
Zbone,

The one thing that I heard Jerry saying, in that "balistic gel" those copper plated buck shot flatten out, they hit no bone. They dumped their energy to soon for a bear situation (again designed for humans to not have over penetration). If they would have stayed round using a harder lead alloy with the plating, keeping more of their speed, they all would have penetrated deeper not dumping their energy as fast, making it "maybe" better for bear. For instance, the example of the 9mm pistols used in the article, the rounds used were all FMJ not Hollow Points, so no expantion, allowing them to penetrate as deep as they did. I don't argue what buck shot will do on a bear, if it is shot from a 12ga shotgun barrel which is throwing a lot more pellets a lot faster. While I am thinking about it. How far do you think that same copper plated buck shoot would have penetrated that same Ballistic Gel out of a 12ga or even a 20ga at that 5yds? How much more damage would it have done? There would have been no comparison. Those .410 rounds are designed to stop humans at close range not charging bears. Jerry was shooting at "5yds" what he called a Defensive shooting distance. Do you really want to bet your life on 3-4 buck shot balls weighing 54-83grs, on a charging bear at 5yds at .410 speeds ? Hoping to hit that bobbing head square enough to penetrate into the brain or blind both eyes. That 5yds is to keep the group as tight as possible and for it to have its highest possible effectivness. The round is being fired from a rifled barrel. That causes the pellets to spin in a circle (not on its axis as a muzzleloader) causing the group to up faster (especially compared to a smooth bore shotgun), losing effectiveness on the bear the farther away the shot is taken. At that 5yds you are not going to get a second shot off at that distance, because of recoil ( the first shot the hammer was cocked), and the speed of the bear. GF and Thorton made the correct statement more then I did, when they used the word deflection, I used the word bounce. In either case because those 3-4 projectiles are round, relatively light weight objects, they have a greater chance deflecting off of that bobbing skull's flat bone, where the impact angle keeps changing, and not penetrating (again 3-4 round pellets and only .410 energy from a short barrel). This is even IF under that kind of pressure, you can hold your shot to make the shot count. As far as the bird shot killing a bear, out to about 10yd bird shot (1oz) is basically a solid mass, making it act as slug out of a 12ga. The pellets have not had time to seperate, again that bird shot has the energy of a 12ga behind it, not a .410. I have seen what a 12ga Foster slug will do to a rabbit (the guy had one mixed in with his shot shells and didn't realize it, when he put it in the gun) and what a close range shot 8-10yds of 1oz #6 shot with a modified choke will do to a rabbit, no difference, cuts the rabbit literally in half. Both were a solid mass when it hit the rabbit. That is not going to happen with 3-4 buck shot from a .410 on a rabbit. Luckily it was the front half on both rabbits that was destroyed, we had the frog legs back half left :'). YOU may want to trust YOUR life against a charging bear at 5yds with 3-4 buck shot pellets out of a .410 shell, I prefer not to in that situation. "IF" the Judge or a similar pistol was the only pistol I had, if I were to carry it in bear country, it sure wouldn't be loaded with .410 Defensive Load shells. It would be loaded with the hottest 45 Colt rounds I could shoot accuraetly out of it. DANNY

From: Zbone
22-Sep-18
Bone is soft compared to high velocity lead... Bullets reflecting off bear skulls I have to see to believe... Again somebody show me...

Handloading can work up a better/hotter loads than those commercial buckshot .410 loads for self defense... Out of a short barrel the few I shot on paper had about a 8" - 12" pattern from around 5 steps, about perfect for want out of short barrel without a choke... Personally, from one of the .45/.410 revolvers my first round in cylinder would be work up from a .410 hull of buckshot/birdshot inserting 3 - 5 stacked (whatever fit in a 2-1/2" or the 3" cylinder chamber) of my .380" diameter lead round balls (0000 buckshot size), and fill available space between with birdshot and aim or point for the nose breaking teeth and bone and puncturing eyes... Next round in cylinder would be the hottest .45 load I could work up, then rotating these to different loads in the remaining cylinder chambers...

"I have shot a deer with a 12ga Foster Slug in the shoulder, IT won't penetrate a deers shoulder, blow it up yeah, but not penetrate into the chest cavity."

Wow, have shot a pile of deer with 12 gauge Foster slugs, and never had one fail through a shoulder blade and keep going sometimes exiting the far side... You bust a deer in the shoulder with a 12 gauge slug, it's going down...

When it comes down to it, guess its all in what you believe... Discussions and debates firearms and ballistics have been going on since the invention of gunpowder and likely continue forever...

From: GF
22-Sep-18
Well, FWIW, Larry Hatfield mentioned that a headshot on an inbound bear is a bad choice because pistol bullets can glance off of their skull. This is a man who has killed around 300 black bears with a bow (most of them with a #35 kids’ recurve) and who says that you can practically THROW an arrow through a bear.

I have trouble imagining a hefty pistol bullet failing to plow deep through the light bone of a skull, but I’m prepared to take his word for it.

Juuuuust sayin’....

From: Matt
22-Sep-18
"Matt.............No..... the sow in the recent attack was reportedly 250 pounds...... They killed it."

There was no attack in the eichler episode. I think as soon as the bear topic arose, your reading comprehension ran for its life. ;-)

From: Zbone
23-Sep-18

Zbone's Link
Here's a link to a dude shooting birdshot out of rifled barrels towards the end including a Judge:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38a7L60SLJs

From: Linecutter
23-Sep-18

Linecutter's Link
Yes and he prove my point about the shot opening up faster the further the target was away from the muzzle especially with a rifled barrel. That .410 has decrease energy out of that 2.5-3 inch pistol barrel than it does a shot gun barrel. This is an informative article on the use of .410 Horady Triple Threat Defense rounds out of a pistol and used out of a Mossberg 500 shotgun. The test was done at 10-15ft not yards. Do you really want to wait that long before pulling the trigger on a bear? Also the increase in pattern size in just 5ft. So as the shot distance increases, over all preformance of the round would decrease, and the seperation of projectiles due to the rifled barrel would increase at a faster rate. The interesting thing is the slug didn't penetrate as deep as the buck shot and there was roughly 2-3 inches difference between the 2 buckshot. These shots were taken at a stationary target and no stress. Also the shot would have been against bare skin on a human as there was no stated clothing covering over the Ballistic Gel. They also mentioned at 7 yds all 3 projectiles were kept at center mass, that is a pretty big area on a silhouette target compared to a bears head. Keep in mind the distances we are talking here for these results. DANNYhttps://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2013/10/15/hornadys-critical-defense-triple-threat-410-shotshell/

From: TEmbry
23-Sep-18
I think those recommending birdshot or even buckshot for grizzly self defense have probably never even seen a grizzly, much less been close to them much. I carry a Glock 20 loaded to the gills with hard cast Buffalo Bore rounds on my hip or my pack belt 90% of the time while bowhunting up here. I can shoot it far more accurately than the hand cannons and would trust bear spray about as much as a mountain house fart to deter a bear in most of the super windy situations you find yourself in.

When going in to track bears or deer on Kodiak, I’ve in the past carried a 12 gauge slug... but recently picked up an all weather marlin .45-70 with 400 grain +P rounds. Perfect little camp gun to stop anything it hits.

Most actual bear attacks happen too fast for people to get shots off anyway, many of the others are simply bluff charges chalked up as an oh shit moment. Either way it can happen in the blink of an eye. It’s something to be mindful of but nothing to keep you out of the hills. Being bear aware is better than any gun for sure

23-Sep-18
I’m with you Trevor. I can shoot my Glock 20 so much more accurately than a .44 mag and get 3-4 rounds off in the same time I can get 2 off out of a .44. I’ve never tried anything bigger, but I figure it’d be the same story. I can’t inagine shooting shot at a bear out of a pistol at a bear. You’re already undergunned with a pistol - I want as much penetration as possible.

Plus, when you’re hiking miles and miles, weight is at a premium and the Glock wins there too.

From: Lone Eagle
23-Sep-18
I didn't see anyone mention the 500 SW. What are your thoughts on this caliber?

23-Sep-18
I have never seen a grizz, hunt only black bears,,,, but I have been in a gun fight.... I can tell you one thing, that when the adrenilin kicks in, YOU WILL PERFORM, AS YOU TRAIN

So make your training as real as possible, and always be ready

From: Linecutter
23-Sep-18
Lone Eagle I have watched people shoot the 454 Casull, that recoil is impressive, and I have heard the 500S&W is alot worse with recoil. I have shot the 44mag and have two, the recoil from it is enough for me during a shooting session. If you can handle it accuratly (that means practicing), the pain that goes with shooting it, I have no doubts it will work. I have seen the pistol for the 500S&W, it gives a "Whole New" meaning to the term Hand Cannon. It dwarfs almost everything else in the display case, the 460 is pretty close in size. DANNY

From: spike78
23-Sep-18

spike78's Link
This is one tough bear. Watch this video.

From: Thornton
23-Sep-18
That was horrible. You would think at that range they would've shot him in the neck.

From: Zbone
23-Sep-18
After seeing that kinda makes ya wanta rethink a handgun... He was dead on his feet with multiple holes blown through him but still alive enough to have done damage if he had charged...

From: Thornton
23-Sep-18
Poor shooting IMO. I felt bad for the bear. You'd think a guy shooting s $3000 lightweight rifle could do better than that at such close range on a huge animal.

From: Zbone
24-Sep-18
"Poor shooting IMO. I felt bad for the bear."

Yeah me too.... Didn't understand why they didn't try breaking down the shoulders... With a firearm aim for the far shoulder, it takes out the vitals on the way to breaking the shoulder... Never shot a bear, but it crumbles deer especially with the high powers they were shooting...

From: deerslayer
24-Sep-18
Yeah that was a little tough to watch. Hard death.

From: spike78
24-Sep-18
On the flip side I watched a video where a 500 S&W handgun dropped one DRT first shot so never know what’s going to happen.

From: spike78
24-Sep-18
I agree poor shooting and tough death but at least it might show you how tough these bears are and the fact you won’t have time to aim well on a charge and may be hitting it poor as well.

From: spike78
24-Sep-18

spike78's Link
Here is an interview with a guy that was charged and shot the bear with a 10mm and shot himself in the process. He was also charged another time crazy.

From: Zbone
24-Sep-18
Thanks for the link spike78...

Couple things from that interview -

" none in the chamber "

Man, I don't get that... An unloaded gun is no gun, just as what happened in WY...

Another thing I took away from the interview - "Kim said that he’d learned lessons from the recent bear shooting. He’s going to buy a holster or two."

I gotta get me one of those chest holsters...

Hey spike78, you got a linky to that S&W .500 one shot kill? Am guessing a brain orspine shot...

From: LBshooter
24-Sep-18
Well as far as the first bear being shot, some animals can take the lead, those shots weren't bad shots, they hit vitals each time, the bear was a tough one, period. It's like a cape buff going down with one shot or one taking numerous rounds and running over the Hunter. Now for Kim, why would you use 180 gr hollow points for big bears? Solids man solids. I agree with others that after seeing the first bear taking multiple rifle rounds a pistol seems to be a little lite lol.

From: Fuzzy
24-Sep-18
KEmbry, never underestimate the power of a Mountain House fart

From: Zbone
24-Sep-18
"Now for Kim, why would you use 180 gr hollow points for big bears? Solids man solids."

Yeah, totally agree... Hard Cast solids at that...

Was looking and found his ammo and specs at Midway USA:

HPR HyperClean Ammunition 10mm Auto 180 Grain Hornady XTP Jacketed Hollow Point

Cartridge 10mm Auto

Grain Weight 180 Grains

Muzzle Velocity 1270 Feet Per Second

Muzzle Energy 645 Foot Pounds

Bullet Style Jacketed Hollow Point

Bullet Brand And Model Hornady XTP

Lead Free No

Case Type Brass

Primer Boxer

Corrosive No

Reloadable Yes

Test Barrel Length 5 Inches

24-Sep-18

wildwilderness's embedded Photo
pic on the facebook 907 hunting page
wildwilderness's embedded Photo
pic on the facebook 907 hunting page
Last week in Anchorage, on the JBER archery moose hunt. Hunter shot the moose late and was a questionable shot. trailed it in the dark then had to come back in the AM. 3 guys go back in morning, just past where they left off lead guy sees bear charging, draws Glock 20 10mm , two shots, one in head one in chest at 10'. moose was just past the bear covered.

I carry a G20 in a chest holster with one in the chamber. The Kenai chest holster covers the entire trigger. Very easy to one hand draw and fire with safety on trigger. I can shoot an auto so much easier than a revolver. And with the Glock 10mms you can practice with 40 SW. need lots of quick draw practice, and to always have the gun at the ready.

From: Linecutter
24-Sep-18
Why would you need a 10mm, when The Big Old .410 with buckshot out of a handgun would have stopped it. Yes sarcasm intended. DANNY

From: Zbone
24-Sep-18
Man, wish there was video of that 10mm griz kill...

From: TD
25-Sep-18
It's the bullet construction and placement. Many calibers loaded right have plenty of energy to penetrate CNS targets on big bear, brain, spine.... Was reading of a good number of big bears killed recently in AK with the 9mm. Working up loads that give the 9 some pop. That 10mm is looking better and better with good bullets in it. 44 mag and bigger may not be needed for the mission, very close and CNS hits. A heart or double lung at close quarters (tough on a "charging" shot) will kill the bear shortly after it kills you.

From: Zbone
25-Sep-18
Totally agree with TD... Exact reason I said just ONE buckshot pellet to the brain will do it...

From: stealthycat
25-Sep-18
wildwilderness for us non-grizzly informed people, is that a "big" grizzly? average? 400 pounds? I don't know grizzly from a photo, just trying to gauge is all.

I wonder which stopped the bear, the chest shot or head or did it take both ? just thinking out loud here is all

From: Beendare
25-Sep-18
I would agree with TD on loads....and heres why.

For about 10 years I did hog depredation behind dogs with a pistol. If you have ever done this you know, the hog intuitively knows that YOU are the real threat....and they will charge you almost every time if they are able. Then theres the fact its usually the big tough ones that are able....otherwise the dogs can control them pretty good.

So I figure I've had somewhere between 25-30 hog charges over the many years...a few with only a bow. I used to pack a .357 revolver loaded with 158gr hollow points....the load of choice at the time.

There were many times that I inspected wound impacts and scratched my head. If you could put one in the eye socket they would go down. Right over the backbone as they are on you....same thing. There were many shots to the face of those hogs that stunned them temporarily...or didn't affect them one bit.

I really wish I would have taken more pics back then with the ole Instamatic...it could have made a great study on the ineffectiveness of hollow point bullets and heavy animals!

Now one of the key takeaways I can relay is shooting a charging animal accurately is difficult as you can imagine. Fully 1/2 of my shots at 15' and in were misses.....and that was with regular practice.

I ended up going to a .44 later in my hog hunting....but experienced almost the same results with 240gr hollow points though less of a sample size. I can think of one episode where were in thick manzanita and I took the local bowshop owner Wayne....we were charged by a 250# boar at short range and my .44 only creased his skull shooting down on him as he ran between us point blank at 3'.

I think the hardcast with be a huge improvement in these bear incidents....but you gotta hit them....and thats going to be the real trick.

From: Zbone
25-Sep-18
It's all about hitting the central nervous system... As said up there earlier - "they used to kill 1200 pound steers with .22 rimfires"

"I wonder which stopped the bear, the chest shot or head or did it take both ?"

I'm betting head shot, see video above... Again although the griz was walking dead he took a lot of hits to the chest... Something learned over the many years of group hunting deer with shotgun slugs, the first shot is the best for knock down, because it absorbs the most shock, and after that the adrenaline rushes and although they might be running dead with a vitals hits, they can absorb a lot of lead and run a LONG ways with adrenaline if you don't break down their shoulders or a hit to the CNS... Once seen a running buck in open fields take a lot of lead and run hundreds of yards before a guy finally hit him in the shoulders... Counted 12 slug holes, so many couldn't tell which were entrance and exit holes and although a few along with the shoulder hit were in the vitals... That buck took a LOT of slugs and run a long ways... Been bad news for somebody had it been a pizzed off grizzly...

Its all about the CNS when STOPPING a bear or any other dangerous animal...

From: Zbone
03-Oct-18

Zbone's embedded Photo
Zbone's embedded Photo
Been messing with .410s and .45 Long Colts past few days and recently bought this box... drycreek - This made me think of you, notice the box reads LONG Colt...8^)

"drycreek 18-Sep-18Private Reply Z, I know all about the reason the "Long Colt" misnomer was created. I've been a student of all things revover for more years than I care to count. Look on your ammo box and you will see .45 Colt."

Hey you were the one that said read a new box...8^)

From: GF
03-Oct-18
Yeah, but you sure wouldn’t want to use those loads to stop a bear, wouldja?

I’ll confess to thinking about hunting deer with CA loads in my .45/70, but talk about apples and parsnips...

Good training ammo for a Casull, though, maybe.... Like .44 Spcls through a Mag.

For those wondering about the Smith .500 - search YouTube for .500 accidental double-tap.

Those things kick so hard that people lose their grip on it during recoil and fire a second round accidentally as they try to reestablish a grip on the beast.

Pass!

And FWIW, it seems that the incidents referenced above are a little thin on the range at which the shooters began firing. I’m going to surmise that the most successful defenders began shooting before the charges came in earnest, or when the bear broke off a bluff charge at close range and stood there looking threatening.

Not saying that I wouldn’t shoot under those circumstances; just wondering if it would be strictly necessary...

From: Zbone
04-Oct-18
"but you sure wouldn’t want to use those loads to stop a bear, wouldja?"

Not really, but betja they'd penetrate a big bears skull to the brain at 5 yards... They're 255 grains Keith type bullets rated at 800 FPS....

I chronographed them today, they do a little better out of my gun:

Round 1 = 862 FPS Round 2 = 866 FPS Round 3 = 868 FPS

Average 865.3 FPS

From: Zbone
25-Oct-18

Zbone's Link
There yeah go, bird shot out of handgun deterring charging grizzly bear:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6313901/Terrified-wife-captures-moment-mother-grizzly-bear-charges-husband.html

Wonder what kind of bird shot, if from a Tarus Judge or S&W Governor with .410 or one of those CCI bird shot shell out of another type handgun... Like to know more details... The shot stopped her and he likely could have followed up with a killing shot if wanted too...

From: Boreal
25-Oct-18
I thought hand guns were illegal in Canada.

From: Ambush
25-Oct-18
Twelve gauge shotgun. And the man had no plans to use the gun for defense, only noise. And when the media says "birdshot", that could mean anything from #2 to #9 shot. Shot is cheaper than good slugs, hence the choice.

And the man is well used to grizzlies and grizzlies in his yard.

From: Jim McCann
25-Oct-18
Lived in and hunted and fished all over Alaska for the past 50 years. I've heard all of the discussions and read the tests. Spend a lot of time around bears as a Pro wildlife photographer and I can easily say that most bears want no trouble from us. The chances of a bad encounter are few. When something does go bad you either have absolutely no time to use any weapon or spray. It was your unluckiest of days and the jigs up. But most bear charges are false, so that's good news. I've had a few encounters that could have gone bad but ended well. I'll just add to the discussion that it's paramount that you use the right ammunition, and that means hard cast heavily constructed bullets for your handgun or rifle. Shotgun slugs are effective, but not just any old slug. Do your homework and purchase the finest loads regardless of cost or difficulty in purchasing them. Then practice with your gear and the ammo your firearm will be loaded with. A time-proven practice scenario is to use three targets staggered from around 15 yards to nearly in your face. Draw, and fire one round at each target as fast as you can. And remember, shooting at a charging bear is much like bird shooting in that you don't shoot the bear where it was; you don't even shoot the bear where it is; you shoot the bear where it's going to be. By the time your brain tells your arm and your wrist and your trigger finger to pull that trigger, and the time it takes for ignition...well, the bear is just that much closer to you. A CNS hit is crucial, but other heavy bullet strikes will at least possibly turn the bear, even if for just a moment, and allow for a second shot.

FYI...I carry a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 4 5/8 inch barrel, stoked with Buffalo Bore heavy hard cast rounds. They bark, and the will rock your world in practice, but who cares. Other times I carry a Malin Guide Gun in .45-70 caliber, again stoked with heavy Buffalo Bore rounds.

Best to be smart in bear country and never have to prove your point as to the right caliber, load, shot placement.

I'm not a fan of 00 buckshot for anything but bad people. I do have experience with buckshot failing at it's intended job, but I will spare you the long story.

As always, YMMV! Be safe. Be smart. Live long.

From: Glunker
25-Oct-18
Buffalo bulkets turn my 41 mag into a 44, they turn a 44 into a 45-70.

From: Beendare
27-Oct-18
FWIW,

The more I see from these Hardcast and penetrator bullets...the more I like them as a stopper.

I shot a fairly big hog [about 220#] on thurs night.....and took the opportunity to set it up and test that hogs skull against my G17 with BB hardcast loads. The 9mm went through that hogs skull like nuthin then buried in the hard ground deeper than I cared to dig it out.

I'm coming around to the G20's as a bear gun vs my SW 629 in .44. .........since I shoot the Glocks better, can put more rounds on target faster and its lighter.

I

From: LBshooter
27-Oct-18
Glock 10 mm is a viable alternative to the 44 mag. Less recoil and more rounds, with the right load it will do the job as long as you do yours.

From: RJ Hunt
27-Oct-18
I had an encounter with a wounded mountain lion in the thick brush. By the time I realized the cat was not dead (2 hours after shot with my bow) we were face to face about 5’ apart. I must admit. I sent 8 rounds of 200 grain hard cast bullets at it and only hit it once below the chin with my G22. You can not imagine how fast those critters move and how hard they are to hit under stress, even at close range when they are moving like lightning. If You have not been though it is hard to comprehend. Now if I had to do over I would go in the bush with nothing less than a 18” 12 ga shotgun. Handguns are cool and pack well but if I know I am walking into what may be trouble my Glock is going in the holster and out with a smooth bore. Good luck and be safe.

From: David A.
28-Oct-18
W/o a weapon I have charged at a crouched mountain lion that seemed to be ready to pounce at me and once at a black bear...they both ran off. Have had several other very close bear encounters (10 ft. and less).

From: David A.
28-Oct-18
Also have chased at javelinas when I have been jogging at the local golf course at night. You round a corner and hear the aggressive huffing and puffing, then see their dark shapes in front of you in the moonlight at maybe 20 yds. I run right at them hard and they scatter. The harder I run at them the more scared they are, having decided I am the alpha. It really gets the adrenalin up when this happens at night with no carry, not even a flashlight. Not sure what a solo grizz would do at a human charging back at them...the boar black bear I charged at ran away. Another time, I called a black bear in by accident and I just stood up from my position with my rifle pointed at him (a .50 caliber airgun). Obviously, I didn't want to shoot. Fortunately, he slowly turned and walked away. He had gotten to within 10 ft. as I was in in a leafy came suit/downwind.

From: GF
28-Oct-18
“Never tell me the odds!”

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