Bear gun
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:45 AM   #1
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Default Bear gun

Question for all you gun experts.

I have a GP100 in .357 calibur as my HD gun. I also have brought it with me on a few camping trips in the unfortunate event Yogi decides to shift from picknick baskets to my leg. I camp almost exclusivley in black bear country so no grizzly's.

Considering buying a .44mag for camping, but a I would think a solid (non-hollowpoint) heavy grain .357 round pumped into a black bear (especially multiple shots) should at least slow him down.

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Old 03-15-2010, 05:28 AM   #2
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I see with a 357 you can get about 180 gr. CastCore ammo. With a 44 Mag. you can get 300 gr. CastCore ammo. Either caliber of pistol however the bear will probably gnaw your leg near off. Now, a 12 ga. slug will probably lend a better chance that the bear might not get off with your leg.

I carry a .44 Mag. with Federal 300 gr. cast core ammo when in the outback. I also have carried, when I can, a 12 ga. slug gun when in known bear country.

Just my .02 worth.

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Old 03-15-2010, 09:59 AM   #3
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I used to have a Marlin 1895 in 45-70 Govt. Man, with modern high pressure loads, that thing would shake your fillings loose!!! I have no doubt it would take down the biggest bear.
Anyway, as far as handguns in black bear territory, have you considered a Glock 20 in 10mm??? The 10mm gives you more horsepower than a 357mag., and the magazine holds 15rounds. I've got one and love it.

MotorG20

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Old 03-15-2010, 10:24 AM   #4
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I think a 357 would be OK for black bear using a hardcast 170 or 180gr bullet so you know you'll get the penetration you'll need. If you're worried about brown bear we need to have another talk.

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Old 03-15-2010, 02:39 PM   #5
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I feel you need to get 1 of the 4" .44mag Ruger Redhawks or a S&W model 29/629/329 with 4" barrel, maybe even a Taurus Tracker (if you make sure to get a good 1). If you have to use it then you're already in trouble with a determined bear. That means only a shot to the central nervous (brain/neck/spine) system will stop the attack. The reason I mentioned Ruger 1st is the cylinder is long enough to accommodate heavy, hardcast bullet loads. The cost of a .44 is well worth the peace of mind that it'll do the job when the chips are down. Sure the .357 MAY do it but why take a chance?

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Old 03-17-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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Um, Last fall I saw a black bear in my woods. We kind of walked up on each other. It (he/she?) turned and ran like Heck. Never seen it since. They (around here) have to be either pretty stupid, or incredibly hungry to mess with humans. A woman up the road told me a few years ago she chased one by yelling and waving a broomstick at it. I am not really sure they (black bears, the normal diet of which is berries and an occasional (slow and not too bright) baby rabbit) is all that much of a threat sans cubs.. Still it is spring time. I really think a good SWC solid from just about any caliber above .35 would work. For Grizzly/Brown/Kodiak Bear (who tend to be a little aggressive sometimes) however my attitude would start at the heaviest .45 Colt solid load I could keep in a 6" circle at 25 yards, then go up from there. 12 Gauge slug is a good start. In the past other hunters have reported that hollowpoints from pistols tend to break up on Grizzly fur then just prick them with 1 or two inches of fragment penetration into body fat, which really aggravates them and leaves them in a really foul mood towards other people as the flesh wounds fester.

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Old 03-18-2010, 12:19 AM   #7
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I'd rather have a .44 mag for Bear Country, but I have a 6" GP100 and it has to make do for a while. Here's the load I have for camping:

Ammunition To Go : 20rds - 357 Mag Corbon 200gr. Hard Cast Ammo [HT357200HC/20] - $26.95

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Old 03-18-2010, 03:01 AM   #8
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I live in Alaska where 1000 lb grizzlies are not uncommon. I'm afraid I might be retailing a story here, but suffer along I'm an old man.
The lovely Mrs. Freefall and I went fishing at our favorite hole. I found grizz front tracks wider than I could span with my hand. (~10 ", 1000 lb bear) and thought (My heavenly days! What will I do with my little .44 if I bump into this bear? Shoot myself?)
So. Next time we went fishing I left my .44 at home and took my shotgun. We got to hole and began to fish. I laid shotgun down and fished. Took a few steps downstream. Repeat. Eventually I hear a SMASH, CRASH, THRASH, in the bushes coming towards me. I look up at my shotgun about 60 yds upstream. I said "Oh God, if I live through this, I will never be without my pistol again." And I have not.
A .44 might seem a bit puny, but it's a hell of a lot better than screaming for help. And as a guy I used to guide with used to say, "All day my gun feels too big and heavy, but when the sun goes down it feels too small."

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Old 03-18-2010, 03:15 AM   #9
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- And as a guy I used to guide with used to say, "All day my gun feels too big and heavy, but when the sun goes down it feels too small."

There's a quote for the ages.

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Old 03-18-2010, 01:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freefall View Post
I live in Alaska where 1000 lb grizzlies are not uncommon. I'm afraid I might be retailing a story here, but suffer along I'm an old man.
The lovely Mrs. Freefall and I went fishing at our favorite hole. I found grizz front tracks wider than I could span with my hand. (~10 ", 1000 lb bear) and thought (My heavenly days! What will I do with my little .44 if I bump into this bear? Shoot myself?)
So. Next time we went fishing I left my .44 at home and took my shotgun. We got to hole and began to fish. I laid shotgun down and fished. Took a few steps downstream. Repeat. Eventually I hear a SMASH, CRASH, THRASH, in the bushes coming towards me. I look up at my shotgun about 60 yds upstream. I said "Oh God, if I live through this, I will never be without my pistol again." And I have not.
A .44 might seem a bit puny, but it's a hell of a lot better than screaming for help. And as a guy I used to guide with used to say, "All day my gun feels too big and heavy, but when the sun goes down it feels too small."
So the other lesson I learned from your story is "always be within arms reach of our gun." Scary! Luckily we don't have grizzly's in Minnesota though it would not surprise me if one wandered out of the woods. Its not like there are "No Grizzly's Allowed" signs up north.
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