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Thread: Loaded for Bear - Is 10mm Sufficient?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKGuns View Post
    Can you elaborate a bit on this part?
    Sure. I guess I should start by adding some context to my statement. Brown Bears are very unpredictable both in their defensive behavior and after been shot. Most of the maulings that happen in AK are by sows defending their Cubs. Usually it's against stupid people in stupid situations doing stupid things I.e. Biking, hiking, running in the back country with headphones on next to tall browse along a salmon stream. The same can be said for moose which is much more likely to hurt you than a bear. Most Mauling victims are clueless and have no situational awareness or respect for the dangers inherent in nature. I suppose this changes after getting chewed for a while by Yogi. This happened to a coworker of mine back in 13 and trust me, it's not an experience any of you want to go through. The worst part is not necessarily the attack itself but the infections from all of the bacteria from the Bears claws and saliva. Again, not a fun experience.

    But I digress. As far as stopping a bear it's pretty much a crapshoot with handguns, not unlike with humans I suppose. I never heard from any of the people I've talked to that have been in a DLP with a bear that shot it with a handgun that they stopped it dead in its tracks. Most of the time it's a bluff charge anyway. I've heard more accounts from troopers and hunters that stopped them with 870's, 375's, 338's etc but only because they were able to take out a shoulder or got lucky with a cranial shot. In these cases the shooter was in the defensive and at the ready where as most folks are completely unprepared and caught off guard (bearspray or gun in the pack....head up the ass) My advice to people would be to know your surroundings and don't go into bear country with your head in your ass. If you do plan on running into mr bear then bring a long gun.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Cid View Post

    I am planning some hikes in The Bob and Alaska in the next couple years, which is what got me shopping for a "woods" gun.
    If you practiced even a mediocre amount, and shot a nice revolver, you would be fully capable of using one against bear. Remember, "calm is contagious" and you are obviously in the line of work where, being calm in high stress events is necessary. If you are going into the Bob, get a 44 at least. PM me when you get up there for a bear I mean beer.

    This pic was in all the papers after if happened. This is in Glacier, right above the Sun road (by a few hundred feet) the trail there is shared by game and human. Notice the hiker hiding and pinned to the cliff with the Grizzly walking off after passing over him. This same trail saw a brutal attack on a man and daughter close to 10 years ago.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by antlad View Post
    My advice to people would be to know your surroundings and don't go into bear country with your head in your ass. If you do plan on running into mr bear then bring a long gun.
    Great points and observations. The issue we run into often in Montana, is gear overload. The long gun is very difficult to carry and have as part of your set-up when bow hunting and bow hunting takes us humans right into bear country at a time of year where they are on the move. A pistol is really the only firearm most bow hunters (I bet 99.9%) ever carry. For years I was very under gunned while bow hunting (G21 45acp Lawmen ammunition).

  4. #14
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    Having said all of that my preference for a secondary weapon was/is a g20 with 200-220 wfn hard cast. I'm more of a rounds on target kind of guy and this combo WILL penetrate a bear's noggin. I suppose this will work well for the Texas hogs I find myself around now.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by antlad View Post
    Sure. I guess I should start by adding some context to my statement. Brown Bears are very unpredictable both in their defensive behavior and after been shot. Most of the maulings that happen in AK are by sows defending their Cubs. Usually it's against stupid people in stupid situations doing stupid things I.e. Biking, hiking, running in the back country with headphones on next to tall browse along a salmon stream. The same can be said for moose which is much more likely to hurt you than a bear. Most Mauling victims are clueless and have no situational awareness or respect for the dangers inherent in nature. I suppose this changes after getting chewed for a while by Yogi. This happened to a coworker of mine back in 13 and trust me, it's not an experience any of you want to go through. The worst part is not necessarily the attack itself but the infections from all of the bacteria from the Bears claws and saliva. Again, not a fun experience.

    But I digress. As far as stopping a bear it's pretty much a crapshoot with handguns, not unlike with humans I suppose. I never heard from any of the people I've talked to that have been in a DLP with a bear that shot it with a handgun that they stopped it dead in its tracks. Most of the time it's a bluff charge anyway. I've heard more accounts from troopers and hunters that stopped them with 870's, 375's, 338's etc but only because they were able to take out a shoulder or got lucky with a cranial shot. In these cases the shooter was in the defensive and at the ready where as most folks are completely unprepared and caught off guard (bearspray or gun in the pack....head up the ass) My advice to people would be to know your surroundings and don't go into bear country with your head in your ass. If you do plan on running into mr bear then bring a long gun.
    Thanks, I try hard not to leave the house with my head up my ass!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacMedic556 View Post
    The bear load I carry for 44 mag is about 1075 ft. lbs. I have seen loads for 44 mag that are 1600+ ft. lbs. There are many documented Grizzlies killed with 44 magnums. It is what I would consider the starting point for pistols.
    Quote Originally Posted by TacMedic556 View Post
    If you are going into the Bob, get a 44 at least.
    I'd say a Heavy 41 mag would be the minimum, they can actually penetrate deeper than a 44 mag due to their smaller frontal area.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by antlad View Post
    Having said all of that my preference for a secondary weapon was/is a g20 with 200-220 wfn hard cast.
    I'd be concerned these type of rounds would be less than completely reliable in an autoloader. A S&W 610 sure, but at that point with that size of gun may as well use a Redhawk or Super Redhawk in 44 or 454.

  8. #18
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    First off any handgun is poor bear medicine but IMO there are too many variables to this to dismiss the 10 MM on the basis of ME alone. Talking a G20 to a revolver and a 10 delivers 700 fp to a .44’s 1200, at just over 10 rounds the 10 will deliver equal ME to 6 of the .44’s with more wound channels. Whether this makes a difference depends on the bear and where he is plugged. Reminds me of a question once asked of an Eskimo about why they all carried 30-30’s in bear country and didn’t they feel undergunned. His answer was the 30-30 was not to kill the bear, it was to shoot it several times in the shoulder to cripple it and slow it down. Then they would go back to the igloo, get the 30-06 come back and put the bear down.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack7.62 View Post
    First off any handgun is poor bear medicine but IMO there are too many variables to this to dismiss the 10 MM on the basis of ME alone. Talking a G20 to a revolver and a 10 delivers 700 fp to a .44’s 1200, at just over 10 rounds the 10 will deliver equal ME to 6 of the .44’s with more wound channels. Whether this makes a difference depends on the bear and where he is plugged. Reminds me of a question once asked of an Eskimo about why they all carried 30-30’s in bear country and didn’t they feel undergunned. His answer was the 30-30 was not to kill the bear, it was to shoot it several times in the shoulder to cripple it and slow it down. Then they would go back to the igloo, get the 30-06 come back and put the bear down.
    I find it a bit funny that against armed risks that "better shot placement and multiple followup shots" is the rule favoring 9mm against the clearly more powerful and effective 357 & 10mm. Yet against bears we are back to the "single powerful shot" concept.

    My read is the real world is far more complex than either scenario. I've seen enough folks with issues shooting .44 mag with relatively mild ammo, much less Heavy/+P stuff.

    I can shoot pretty fast with 10mm, certainly much faster than I can big bore revolvers. I can also get on target much faster with 10mm than I can with 6" large revolvers, though my initial accuracy with a 6" large frame revolver is pretty good once on target.

    It appears most folks are envisioning hunting type scenarios where the holster handling of a large frame revolver is not an issue. I'm not sure that's realistic, but I'm sure there will be all sorts of solutions raised.

    But the irony did jump out at me: If this is true for bears, then why not for 2 legged armed risks? (Granted, bears are tougher, but not shooting back)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinzgauer View Post
    I find it a bit funny that against armed risks that "better shot placement and multiple followup shots" is the rule favoring 9mm against the clearly more powerful and effective 357 & 10mm. Yet against bears we are back to the "single powerful shot" concept.

    My read is the real world is far more complex than either scenario. I've seen enough folks with issues shooting .44 mag with relatively mild ammo, much less Heavy/+P stuff.

    I can shoot pretty fast with 10mm, certainly much faster than I can big bore revolvers. I can also get on target much faster with 10mm than I can with 6" large revolvers, though my initial accuracy with a 6" large frame revolver is pretty good once on target.

    It appears most folks are envisioning hunting type scenarios where the holster handling of a large frame revolver is not an issue. I'm not sure that's realistic, but I'm sure there will be all sorts of solutions raised.

    But the irony did jump out at me: If this is true for bears, then why not for 2 legged armed risks? (Granted, bears are tougher, but not shooting back)
    This is a good point.

    I don't live in bear country and never have, but perhaps because when you need it (a bear is charging you), the only targets are the skull and shoulders, which can mean you need a round tough enough to get through the skin and break those bones, whereas for shot placement, you're often targeting squishy organs?

    I honestly have no idea.

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