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sausn2002 08-18-2009 01:25 PM

How much can a Bear take?
I've heard mixed opinions about the amount of damage a bear can take from firearms. I personally don't plan on hunting bear, but think about this question in case I ever roam around country that contain bear, because like everyone else I've heard the horror stories about bears mangling people. So this is more of a question regarding self defense against bear.

I've heard that bears can take any round/caliber from guns (handguns in particular). However, I've also heard that you can only defend yourself against a bear with a .50 caliber handgun or equivalent like that from a Magnum (revolver) (and that that is the minimum sized round you have to have for the bear). As I've heard, the bear will only stop it's violent rage and travel towards you if it's been damaged enough to a fatal extent. By the way, I'm aware that people tend to get fined for shooting bear, but if I'm in a situation one day, I may have to take the bear out to save my life.

IGETEVEN 08-18-2009 01:54 PM

Good question. Did you look at this thread yet? It may answer your questions, if not, just let us know.


sausn2002 08-18-2009 02:02 PM

I apologize. I did assume there must have already been a forum thread setup for this.

spittinfire 08-18-2009 02:04 PM

Depends on what kind of brown? polar? koala? What are we talking about here?
You're in VA so I assume you mean black as I'm not aware of any brown bears in that area. For black bear the smallest I would carry would be a 357 mag with some 170 or 180gr hunting rounds. For brown bear I wouldn't go any smaller then a 44 mag.

layton 08-18-2009 02:27 PM

I remember my brother telling all of us, when he was in the Army, he was up in Oregon operating a dozer when he got between a bear and her cub, and she attacking him and an officer shot her with a 44-40, said it stopped her like she ran into a brick wall.Also had a SGT tell us when he was in Hawaii that they used to go wild boar hunting and had to crawl through the underbrush on the boar trails and they used cut off 44-40's, said that was the most effective way to stop them.


W. C. Quantrill 08-18-2009 11:14 PM

Last bear I killed, I got with my .45LC. One shot. GYDRT. Black bears are small animals really, not much bigger than a hog and not thick skinned nor hard to kill. The local hispanics here kill them with mini 14's (.223) all the time.

sausn2002 08-19-2009 12:08 AM

I agree with you W.C. Everyone is saying you have to have something the size of a .44 magnum or higher on the other forum on the site about bears. I think that a .45 should suffice. I think it could be all about how fast you respond, how smart you are about the situation, and maybe what your shot placement is (the head, lol). If anything, I'd say I'd rather consider running first! I hope .40 caliber works, because that's the biggest handgun round I have on me. Hollowpoints should be better, but I don't know. Bears probably have thicker skin than humans.

Shotgun Shooter 08-19-2009 12:13 AM

I wouldnt say a black bear is slightly larger than a hog. Males can reach 500lbs, which is a whole lot of bear. Females are much smaller. However, I wouldnt want to use a 22LR against a bear. I wouldnt say bears are easy to kill, but there are plenty of other animals that will take a large caliber to take down. If I was in an area known for bears, I'd bring slugs for my shotgun. I do not onw a pistol, so a nice sized round for a 12ga should do the rick. ;)


ninjatoth 08-19-2009 12:40 AM

I don't have any first hand experience with bears,but I have watched alot of tv and read articles on bears and from what I gather,a grizzly,or brown bear has bones/ribs so dense that they are equivelent to body armor,so you would need a firearm that could pierce body armor to kill one of them,so basically a rifle or a handgun that produces rifle velocity and energy(like a 500 mag revolver).And as far as black bears,I think they aren't very strong to take much,they could be killed with an average handgun I believe,but you better be a good shot,because unlike brown/grizzly bears,a black bear will not stop mauling from playing dead like a brown/grizzly bear would.

Bigcat_hunter 08-19-2009 12:57 AM

I have killed two black bears. The first I shot with a 30-06. Dead right there. The second was shot through the gear box with a 30-06. It ran about fifty yards and my back-up shot it with a 300 grain SMK(.338) in the ham. I could hear him moaning and growling for about ten minuets before he passed. He was an old tough bear. I clipped his heart and liver and he still ran. Black bears are as tough as a bull elk as far as I am concerned.

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