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Saym14
01-18-2011, 5:31 PM
please dont flame me based on just the title. I know 9mm is weak in bear country. but say I happen to be in the mountains hiking and only have a 9mm.
other than throw the gun and run (kidding) am I better off with FMJ or hollow points? it would seem FMJ for better penetration ?

Rusty_Buckhorn
01-18-2011, 5:42 PM
unless it's in season and you have a tag, or he's truly attacking you, you'd be better off carrying a can of bear spray(pepper spray).

SScott
01-18-2011, 5:44 PM
Hollow point .22 is what you need.

ScottB
01-18-2011, 5:47 PM
If you stick the barrel in its ear probably anything will work. Which is good, because that's the only shot worth taking. It would be my third choice after playing dead and thowing the gun and running.

Seriously, you have to really try to pick a fight with a CA black bear, and if you are talking about bigger bears, packing a 9mm is no better than playing like you're that Treadwell character.

QuarterBoreGunner
01-18-2011, 5:51 PM
Well... 9mm is better than just screaming and dying I suppose. FMJ and pray.

BUT! Personally I think you'd be better off firing in the air to scare the critter away with the noise.

EDIT: Oh yeah and pepper spray specifically made for animal use is probably your absolute best bet.

Big Jake
01-18-2011, 5:53 PM
Hollow point .22 is what you need.

This! :rolleyes:

bob7122
01-18-2011, 5:53 PM
honestly bear spray is extremely effective. if you wish to use 9 mm imo you'll need fmj an an extrmely fast round to penetrate all that bear.

Charlie50
01-18-2011, 6:00 PM
Y'll got it wrong carry the 9mm, but be sure to bring your slow brother-in-law and run like hell... "but sis when I came back I tried to save him, shot that bear 17 times and he continued to chew on Jody's ____" :D

Saym14
01-18-2011, 6:19 PM
not hunting. or looking to pick a fight with a bear. just in case.

zerohour714
01-18-2011, 6:22 PM
Like quaterborehunter said, you would be better firing into the air....er I would say ground (always shoot in a safe direction) to scare the bear. Bears are pretty big fierce animals, but in my experience CA black bears are more afraid of you than you are of them. That is unless you get between mama and her cubs. Either way, to answer your question, Hollowpoints would be a better choice, you want the expansion factor. The reason why they use FMJ in the military (aside from the geneva convention) is because they wound rather than kill. Also there is less "carnage" for lack of a better term. The FMJ will penetrate better but it will not do the damage a hollowpoint will. Just my 2 cents.

Bear spray is a very affective tool, you just have to make sure the wind is not blowing back into your direction. ha! In short if you must carry a pistol, get a .45 or .44 mag instead lol!

D.carden
01-18-2011, 6:34 PM
Also......

Revo's are better in the woods. If a predator gets on you/in your face, and you drive an auto pistol in its side, gut, head, ear or touch it anywhere, you'll knock the slide/barrel rearward and out of battery, thus.........no-bang..!!!!
Just something to think about........

Clee
01-18-2011, 6:53 PM
Looks like your in SoCal, honestly I'd be more worried about Mt. Lions than Black Bears. When was the last time you heard about a bear attack in SoCal? Even the ones that terrorized garbage cans in Azusa (or whatever town it was), were not threatening anyone. I've spent alot of time in the field, whether hunting or fly fishing and when I see one and they see me they bolt. I've never felt the need to carry any type "protection" from them. If I were in grizzly country on the otherhand I'd been packing a big bore for sure.

That being said if it makes you feel safer and its legal to do so, pack whatever you have. Just know if you get attacked your most likely done for. A PH (professional hunter), I believe its Andrew Dawson of Chifuti Safaris, carrys a 44 mag on his hip in case his double rifle fails when a cape buffalo charges. He admits, a 44 mag is likely to do absolutely nothing to a buff but it makes him feel better carrying it. His thinking is that at least he'll die fighting.

DannyInSoCal
01-18-2011, 6:57 PM
You'll be able to run faster than your buddies if you use that 9mm on them...

mif_slim
01-18-2011, 8:20 PM
Wow, and I bet alot of these folks never hunted a bear and only "hear" of how thick a bears hide it...
It's true, kodiak bears and polar bears and such bears.... A 9mm is no match but if your talking about CA bears.... A 22 can kill it if shot placement is percise.

I killed a bear with a 22 my brother killed a bear with a 22. .223rem that is. Dressing the bear takes no more effort them dressing a deer. You don't need a extra sharp extra huge knive to cut thru it's hide.

Bottom line, a 9mm will do if you place your shot right and close range (if it's really attacking you) but like others said before, bear spray first before firearm. Our bears here you gotta be naked, dip you body in honey, tie a steak on your head, arms and legs, salmon meat on your COM coated with more honey with peanut sprinkles on top and you MiGTh attrack a bear... So you don't have to be too afraid of CA black bears.

mif_slim
01-18-2011, 8:23 PM
Ops, attack = attract.
Lol, smart auto correct on iPhone! Grrr

CSACANNONEER
01-18-2011, 8:54 PM
Either use it for noise or shoot whoever is faster than you and run. In all reality, a bear will be more scared of you than you are of it. When is the last time you heard of a bear attack in Ca? There are thousands of bears here and thousands of bear encounters in this state every year. Very rarely will an encounter end in an attack by either the bear or a human. I willing to bet that the vast majority of "bear attacks" are due to ignorant humans doing something stupid and causing the bear to feel threatened. Shooting a bear with a 9mm would be one example of an ignorant human provoking an attack. Bear spray is far more affective at immediately stopping an attack than a shot from a large caliber rifle which hits the bear but misses the brain stem. Hitting a bear in the lungs or even heart will not always instantly stop an attack. Bear spray has been shown to instantly stop an attacking or advancing bear.

lewdogg21
01-19-2011, 8:08 AM
mif slim has no idea what he's talking about. I've been killed 3x by bears and 1x by Mountain Lion here in CA>

Coded-Dude
01-19-2011, 8:12 AM
you'd probably be better off flirting with the bear or turning the gun on yourself.....j/k bear mace is what you should also have with you.

Super Spy
01-19-2011, 8:28 AM
Just remember to file the front sight off before you go....that way when the bear shoves it up your azz it won't hurt so bad.....

donny douchebag
01-19-2011, 8:38 AM
Bear.

....is no better than playing like you're that Treadwell character.

An entertaining film if I ever saw one.

Rusty_Buckhorn
01-19-2011, 8:44 AM
mif slim has no idea what he's talking about. I've been killed 3x by bears and 1x by Mountain Lion here in CA>

dang lew, you've been killed 4 times :eek:

and still here to talk about it.... you, my friend, are a tough sob ;)

mif_slim
01-19-2011, 8:50 AM
mif slim has no idea what he's talking about. I've been killed 3x by bears and 1x by Mountain Lion here in CA>

ONLY?! I've been killed 4x by bears and 2x by Mt Lions! :P

mike_the_wino
01-19-2011, 9:47 AM
If this is the bear(the one on the right) that's attacking you, then 9 mm will be okay.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/s12IXVgqRq8mrz6sJewRniFDo3_400.jpg

jdam777
01-19-2011, 10:27 AM
Uhhhh M...S ??? Be careful out there ..... The man who dismisses any bear as no threat should not go hiking in bear country... And yes, a California bear can do allot of harm to you.
As far as choice of weapon, I would say a .22 is among your last choice of anything. Yes you can kill a bear with a careful, aimed, and "perfect shot" But you can do that with most firearms or a dart-gun for that matter...
The issue at hand is: If he is hiking in the back country and surprises a bear, which means the OP will be crapping his pants and trying to pull a weapon in the face of a charging bear, what is better FMJ or HP ?
Yes, lots of things are better when hiking, but that was not his question....

DirtyDave
01-19-2011, 10:46 AM
I love how everyone dismisses the 9mm as a weak, useless, poor penetrating caliber. This is all based on what proof? Thats like people saying that Crows dont taste good, how would you know??? What is that opinion based on?? Hearsay is all it is.

The odds of being attacked by a Black Bear in SoCal are extremely slim. Also Black Bears in SoCal dont get very big, 150-250lbs, probably 300lbs would be a big bear for socal. Yes a 150lb bear could tear you apart, but will likely just run the other direction if one encounters you out on the trail.

Here is a nice penetration test for common handgun calibers. All are pretty close to the same, so just carry what you have.

mtsul
01-19-2011, 11:32 AM
I love how everyone dismisses the 9mm as a weak, useless, poor penetrating caliber. This is all based on what proof? Thats like people saying that Crows dont taste good, how would you know??? What is that opinion based on?? Hearsay is all it is.

The odds of being attacked by a Black Bear in SoCal are extremely slim. Also Black Bears in SoCal dont get very big, 150-250lbs, probably 300lbs would be a big bear for socal. Yes a 150lb bear could tear you apart, but will likely just run the other direction if one encounters you out on the trail.

Here is a nice penetration test for common handgun calibers. All are pretty close to the same, so just carry what you have.

wow 357 looks like it kicks @ss i want 1:tt1::drool5::drool5::drool5:

Rusty_Buckhorn
01-19-2011, 11:41 AM
Here is a nice penetration test for common handgun calibers. All are pretty close to the same, so just carry what you have.

that comparison is comparing the 4 calibers that not many would advise for bear or hogs. Got a chart comparing those 4 to a .44mag(which, IMHO, is the only hunting sidearm to have)?

Saym14
01-19-2011, 11:44 AM
I love how everyone dismisses the 9mm as a weak, useless, poor penetrating caliber. This is all based on what proof? Thats like people saying that Crows dont taste good, how would you know??? What is that opinion based on?? Hearsay is all it is.

The odds of being attacked by a Black Bear in SoCal are extremely slim. Also Black Bears in SoCal dont get very big, 150-250lbs, probably 300lbs would be a big bear for socal. Yes a 150lb bear could tear you apart, but will likely just run the other direction if one encounters you out on the trail.

Here is a nice penetration test for common handgun calibers. All are pretty close to the same, so just carry what you have.

isnt bear fur/skin thicker than ballistic gel? :rolleyes:

Agent Orange
01-19-2011, 2:07 PM
Pretty sure their skulls are also ;)

Rusty_Buckhorn
01-19-2011, 2:15 PM
Pretty sure their skulls are also ;)

not a lot to a bear skull, it's the 3-4 inches of muscle wrapped around it that's the problem.

Sonic_mike
01-19-2011, 2:19 PM
Just use the slight of hand perk and unload on that bear.

Coded-Dude
01-19-2011, 2:31 PM
find the biggest bear you can and make and example of him:
3L83csLRn-E
(the others will leave you alone)

mif_slim
01-19-2011, 2:31 PM
Uhhhh M...S ??? Be careful out there ..... The man who dismisses any bear as no threat should not go hiking in bear country... And yes, a California bear can do allot of harm to you.
As far as choice of weapon, I would say a .22 is among your last choice of anything. Yes you can kill a bear with a careful, aimed, and "perfect shot" But you can do that with most firearms or a dart-gun for that matter...
The issue at hand is: If he is hiking in the back country and surprises a bear, which means the OP will be crapping his pants and trying to pull a weapon in the face of a charging bear, what is better FMJ or HP ?
Yes, lots of things are better when hiking, but that was not his question....

Of course, but before a black bear even thinks about attacking, you've done something really wrong. Like feeding the bears or...crawling into their den...or...yeah you get the point. I've hunted for 20 years and all the bear i've encounter in CA I see their buttocks dashing as fast as they can in the opposite direction from me. The only one I seen close up (8 yards) is when Im hunting them from Treestands and Im unnoticed by them.. like this one shot two years ago at a distance of 8 yards:
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a105/mif_slim/100_2433-1.jpg

Rusty_Buckhorn
01-19-2011, 2:41 PM
a treestand?wuss(jk :tt2:) nothing gets the blood pumping like spot and stalk bear hunting with a bow.

mif_slim
01-19-2011, 2:44 PM
That one was actually a ground hunt. lol. I have the video somewhere.. I just gotta dig it up.

Rusty_Buckhorn
01-19-2011, 2:49 PM
The only one I seen close up (8 yards) is when Im hunting them from Treestands and Im unnoticed by them.. like this one shot two years ago at a distance of 8 yards:


hhmmm, didn't take long to start back pedaling :TFH:

jabell
01-19-2011, 5:22 PM
by the 9mm after many years as a paramedic.
In a nutshell: not impressive.
It's certainly better to show up to a gun fight with a 9mm instead of your favorite knife but I see no reason why anyone would buy one if they were in the market for a gun.
In regards to bears, better than nothing but I if you had the choice a 44 mag would be on my list.

mif_slim
01-19-2011, 7:00 PM
Originally Posted by mif_slim
The only one I seen close up (8 yards) is when Im hunting them from Treestands and Im unnoticed by them.. like this one shot two years ago at a distance of 8 yards:
hhmmm, didn't take long to start back pedaling


Nah, I have video of that hunt. So I know it's from the ground. ;)

Saym14
01-19-2011, 7:54 PM
I often hike with my two dogs off leash. I hear bears tned to shy away/ run from dogs?

VytamenC Tactical
01-19-2011, 9:09 PM
been hiking hundreds of times in california mountains the only bears i have seen is from about 40 yards and from the looks of things they were more afraid of me than i was them. last year i was going up deer hunting the sun wasnt up yeat and as i hiked/biked into my blind which as a few miles off the path i was walking with my visor head light on i saw from about maybe 30/40 yards out a pair of green eyes glaring at me. never saw what it was to this day i think it was a mountain lion.

if you feel more safe carrying a 9mm go for it. would it kill a bear? yes it would kill a bear. would i hunt a bear with a 9mm no. believe it or not i have heard of people taking bears with air rifles. its all about shot placement. about 3 years ago i was down in texas at a friends ranch doing some hunting we went out to do a prairie dog hunt my friend has a .17 hmr and i brought a 22-.250 before we start shooting was see this big a $ $ hog in the distance i give my friend the 22-.250 he put 1 shot in the ear of this hog at about 75 yards. it droped instantly. shot placement is everthing.

the main thing is make sure you dont sneek up on a bear be kind of noisy when your hiking everything will be fine.

http://www.gutpilestyle.com/ForumSMF/i-bear-hunt-!/black-bear-taken-with-air-rifle/

Rob454
01-20-2011, 3:28 PM
Our bears here you gotta be naked, dip you body in honey, tie a steak on your head, arms and legs, salmon meat on your COM coated with more honey with peanut sprinkles on top and you MiGTh attrack a bear... So you don't have to be too afraid of CA black bears.


Are you describing how to get the attention of a mating bear or your last weekend in Vegas:D Cause if thats your last weekend in vegas i wanna party wif' chew.

i agree with you and cali bears. I've been hunting California for a long time and I've seen bears. The closest I came to one ( as far as being a "threat") was about 40 feet and he saw me i saw him he sniffed the air I clicked off my safety and he just went back in the brush ( high manzanita bush taller than me and Im 6 01 thats the reason i did not see him. Came around a corner he was on the trail)
Next time I go hunting I may get a bear tag rather than deer tag. Seen more Bears than deer the last time I went up to Nor Cal.

I have carried a 357 when i go hiking and fishing in the sierras but never had a problem. i do take the bear signs seriously though. As for the 9mm if that's the only thing you got I guess I would get the hardest/hottest hitting 9mm load Go for the mouth eyes and if he stands up under the chin or throat area.
Ive never felt threatened by black bears. But like the other guys say I bet bear spray will work better. Most of the time bears hear you coming and pretty much get the F outta there.

DAW2432
01-21-2011, 10:09 AM
9mm would be great for a Koala Bear.

To be blatantly honest, there are very few, if any handguns, that are truly effective against bears. Sure, they'll probably die eventually from the wounds, but getting them away from you isn't a high possibility, unless you're playing the fear factor.

And remember, you don't have to be the fastest, you just can't be the slowest. :)

mif_slim
01-21-2011, 10:53 AM
Are you describing how to get the attention of a mating bear or your last weekend in Vegas:D Cause if thats your last weekend in vegas i wanna party wif' chew..

A little bit of both. LOL!

Dooligan
01-21-2011, 12:19 PM
Are you protecting yourself from bears in San Francisco? 9mm should work fine. ;)

Arreaux
01-21-2011, 12:28 PM
unless it's in season and you have a tag, or he's truly attacking you, you'd be better off carrying a can of bear spray(pepper spray).

What he said!

sd_shooter
01-21-2011, 12:59 PM
by the 9mm after many years as a paramedic.
In a nutshell: not impressive.
It's certainly better to show up to a gun fight with a 9mm instead of your favorite knife but I see no reason why anyone would buy one if they were in the market for a gun.
In regards to bears, better than nothing but I if you had the choice a 44 mag would be on my list.

Be sure to chime in on the weekly 9mm vs 40 vs 45 thread, you're about the only one with any kind of real life experience to speak against the 9mm. It's not politically correct to do so...

Perhaps the gelatin tests are all just clever marketing to make everyone buy more ammo no matter what the caliber is. EG if the the FBI says they want a round that penetrates 12" of gel, then all the manufacturer has to do is tailor the bullet to make it past 12" and they're done.

Even a 22 magnum will penetrate 12" of gel:
http://www.brassfetcher.com/images/22%20Magnum%20CCI%2040gr%20Maxi-Mag%20JHP%20bare%20gelatin%20Side%20View.JPG

jeffrice6
02-04-2011, 11:57 PM
Years ago there was an article about a cat in AK who had nothin but his "9" when a brown attacked.... Story goes that a "lucky" round caught the griz in the shoulder blade and ended the attack..... Take it for what it cost ya... But for the lower 48 I want my .44, up north I want big medicine

Interloper
02-05-2011, 9:06 AM
Any gun you feel comfortable with will be fine. You are not going to be attacked by a bear in CA unless you are really, really asking for it. I would be more worried about mountain lions and meth cookers/dope growers.

nikonuser
02-05-2011, 4:38 PM
Bear experts suggest to create some noise when walking in bear country so they will hear you coming and not get surprised. A small bell to announce your presence is highly suggested in the woods.