Is a .44 Magnum enough?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by BlueTurf, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    I like to have a handgun with me when I am in the outdoors fishing, hunting, hiking or whatever. For many years I packed my Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum. I used the 158-grain JSP bullet loaded for 1250 fps. I thought this round would be good for protection against any dangerous animals I might encounter because it would have good penetration. Recently I started carrying my Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Magnum. It has a 7.5" barrel. For protection against animals I use the Hornady 265-grain FP loaded for 1350 fps. I figure it would also suffice for dangerous bad guys.

    A guy I know told me I needed more than the .44 mag for protection against bears, specifically black bears that are native to this area. There are also a lot of wolves in the woods around here. He said I needed a .454 Casull like he has. I feel comfortable carrying my .44 mag and that is what I will continue to do.

    Where does the power trip stop? I am sure there are more than a few handgunners out there who would like to have something even more powerful than the 500 SW mag. Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    .44 mag will take down a bear. If you feel you do need more power, get something like a .454 (it is pricy). If you want even more power, get a revolver that fires .45-70 (magnum research makes them)
     

  3. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    I don't live in "bear country" thank heavens, but i would think accuracy would also be important. I doubt the bear would be willing to wait while your wrist recovers from the first couple of rounds from a hand cannon.

    Not to be a dick, but if you need something larger than a .44mag handgun for protection, why not use your hunting rifle or sling a 12 guage pump with some slugs?
     
  4. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

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    The guy you know don't know spit-
    Carry your 44 & keep good rounds in it - Be dam sure you can hit what you shoot at with it tho-----aint bein a smart ass - The mentioned 45-70 is useless if it dont hit the target!! (Dam, aint we heard that someplace before?
    :p:p)
     
  5. texaswoodworker

    texaswoodworker New Member

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    Yeah, the 45-70 is good for the first shot, after that, your hands and wrist are going to hurt, and it will take forever to get back on target. :D
     
  6. Jeepergeo

    Jeepergeo New Member

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  7. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

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    Them come with mag wheels? :cool:
     
  8. 30-30remchester

    30-30remchester New Member

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    Having shot only 3 bears and none with a handgun, I defer to a hunter that has shot literally hundreds of black bears with a handgun as a control hunter. He experemented with many guns and loads and HIS advise I hede as he has been there and done that many times. His assesment is the 44 magnums was the best blackbear round he ever used when loaded properly. Trying many different bullet types he was a confirmed believer is standard 240 grain soft point or hollowpoints. He said while the heavier non expanding bullets did completely penetrate the bear, the bear had little reaction when shot with one unless the head or spine was hit. The simply had plenty of fight left in them till the ran out of blood from the little hole the solid made in them. When using 240 grain, the velocity is higher the bullets expand well, penatrate well, and when hit with this load the fight , he reports, instantly leaves the bear and he starts biting at his wound, and dies considerably faster than any other handgun he ever used. Again this man has more experence than anyone will ever have again, as the days of control hunting is fairly much a thing of the past. I personaly dislike the single action as many times the incident happens so fast, you simply dont have the time and mental capicity to think about cocking the gun when your your leg is being chewed on. Many reports of combat shooting where one participant had been so shook up he forgot to even pull the trigger, repeatly jacking shells from his gun and reloading. I like the idea pull and shoot, no safeties, no cocking.
     
  9. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    long as your using hardcast buffalo bore 44mag non-hp rounds that gun will core a bear out. http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=48 i would use that. it was developed specificly to put the largest bears on their asses.

    it will outperform some 500mag loadings.

    personally i think if your toting around anything bigger than a ruger redhawk 44 you should prolly be carrying a 45-70 lever gun...
     
  10. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    I know of many Grizz attacks. There is one thing for sure. If you are attacked by a Grizz it will be fast unexpected and you may survive. Most people I know who survived used a handgun in the last minutes of life or death. The Grizz hits fast with force you are not likely to hold on to your long gun. While the bears has your head in his mouth that handgun may still be strapped to your body. You maybe able to press it to his body and shoot. This won't often be a Hollywood movie moment where you can aim and shoot. It will be over in a few moments of intense Hell.:eek:
     
  11. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    Yeah, this makes sense to me. I would agree with this.
     
  12. northhike

    northhike New Member

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    A 44 mag is plenty of power for a black bear. The guy you mentioned in your story is a knucklehead. I have been camping, hiking, and hunting for many years. I have spent many days in very remote areas in black bear country.

    Your chances of running into a black bear you would have to shoot is extremely rare....especially if you are hiking and camping smart and not creating situations that increase your likelihood of an encounter. Avoidance should be your first priority. Your second should be some way to stop an encounter without making the situation worse (I.e. bear spray). Last resort should be the use of deadly force....and if that is the case you best make damn sure you can hit your mark. You may only get one shot....especially if you piss a bear off. Been many dead people laying next to a hand cannon. 12 gauge as mentioned before would be choice #1. It can even make a Grizzly stop it's attack and is not unruly to shoot and follow-up with a second shot. I would much rather have a .357mag I can make more than one shot and be accurate with than a 44mag that I can only get off one shot.
     
  13. fmj

    fmj New Member

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    as stated before...44 mag w/240 gr. hp

    shooting my hand loads @ 50 yds into pumpkins my .44 mag made much more impressive holes than the 2 different 12 gauges my buddies were shooting.
     
  14. mayscat44

    mayscat44 New Member

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    A bear giving you 50 yards to set up a shot is unlikely at best. .44 mag is good, but a good sized can of pepper spray would be just as important for trying to prevent an attack.
     
  15. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    44mag will suffice for black bears, large wolves, cougars. I'd question the credibility of anyone that tells you different.

    Truth be told, 45lc, 41mag, 357mag, or 10mm could also suffice the vast majority of the time. But 44mag would be the safest practical bet, provided you shoot it well.
     
  16. Marlinman

    Marlinman New Member

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    Iv killed a black bear w a bow, iv killed one w a 454 cassull, and 2 w a rifle. One required a finishin shot w a pistol. I used a 44 mag loaded w 240 gr winchester jhp. It worked like a charm. It was a 5 foot head shot on a crippled bear though. I carry a model 83 454 Freedom arms now and im comfortable w it. Iv hunted w a 454 for a couple years now and i like it. It took me quite awhile to get used to it though.

    God didnt make all men equal colonel Sam Colt did
     
  17. nastyogre

    nastyogre New Member

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    Not that I hunt bears but I have a Winchester carbine in 44mag that I have worked up a load in. I'm shooting 240gr. hornady xtp over 24 gr. of h110. Am I correct in assuming this would work as well or better than out of a handgun? As in more fps? I don't have a chrony yet. I only use this gun as a packing rifle when I hike so I guess what I really want to know is do I have enough gun if I encounter a grizzly?
     
  18. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    Yep, that load you use would work just fine in a handgun. My pet load is the 240-grain Hornady XTP behind 23.5 grains of H110. It averages around 1300fps. I would estimate that your load averages around 1500 fps out of your rifle.
     
  19. BlueTurf

    BlueTurf New Member

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    I will be sticking with my .44 mag. I will continue to shoot it and become familiar and comfortable with the feel of it. It was a fun gun to shoot after I learned how to manage the recoil.
     
  20. glockman55

    glockman55 Member

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    Just record the Racking of a 12 ga. and play it back LOUD when needed... OH wait that only works for Home Defence..:rolleyes: A .44 mag will work fine as most other Cal. will, as long as you can hit what your aiming at..consider the size and weight of a large gun that you'll be lugging around and most likely never use it..