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  #1  
Old 12-03-2006, 10:21 AM
neomentat neomentat is offline
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Default .45acp for bear protection?

I was shopping for a FAL or PTR-91 for bear protection until I noticed the price for .308 ammo. So I figured what are the chances of me running into a bear while deer or hog hunting? But I sure would like a sidearm for bear protection. Currently I have a Ruger P97 in .45, will this be enough or is it a little under gunned? What are some recommendations to fill this 'perceived' need? I read that .44 magnum is ballistically similar to .45acp but I'm not familiar with that round. Thanks.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:25 AM
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.45 acp will give you NO protection from a bear.
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2006, 10:34 AM
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I talked with a fellow on shotgunworld that said he got in the way of a pissed off black bear and emptied his whole 45 hk USP mag (12+1) into it and it finally slumped down dead just a couple of steps from him. probably got a good head shot or something when it got close enough.

No what I was thinking is that since USP's are rated for more than plus-p and can fire 45 super at 1100-1200 fps that that might be something worthwhile- still not 44 magnum enrgy though. I have a 6" elite usp and would love to chrono a couple of supers- first I want to actually shoot one to make sure it doesn't hurt me.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neomentat
I was shopping for a FAL or PTR-91 for bear protection until I noticed the price for .308 ammo. So I figured what are the chances of me running into a bear while deer or hog hunting? But I sure would like a sidearm for bear protection. Currently I have a Ruger P97 in .45, will this be enough or is it a little under gunned? What are some recommendations to fill this 'perceived' need? I read that .44 magnum is ballistically similar to .45acp but I'm not familiar with that round. Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:00 AM
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If you want a big devastating round, the 500 S&W revolver would fit the bill.

From what I have heard, the problem is that even if you shoot it in the heart, it can still take quite a few more steps before it dies.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neomentat
I was shopping for a FAL or PTR-91 for bear protection until I noticed the price for .308 ammo. So I figured what are the chances of me running into a bear while deer or hog hunting? But I sure would like a sidearm for bear protection. Currently I have a Ruger P97 in .45, will this be enough or is it a little under gunned? What are some recommendations to fill this 'perceived' need? I read that .44 magnum is ballistically similar to .45acp but I'm not familiar with that round. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike100
I talked with a fellow on shotgunworld that said he got in the way of a pissed off black bear and emptied his whole 45 hk USP mag (12+1) into it and it finally slumped down dead just a couple of steps from him. probably got a good head shot or something when it got close enough.

No what I was thinking is that since USP's are rated for more than plus-p and can fire 45 super at 1100-1200 fps that that might be something worthwhile- still not 44 magnum enrgy though. I have a 6" elite usp and would love to chrono a couple of supers- first I want to actually shoot one to make sure it doesn't hurt me.
How do I say this as politely as possible.....

Don't half-@$$ something when it is YOUR life you're talking about.

If you have any reason to think you might need a sidearm for bear protection while hunting, then you probably DO need to seriously address the issue.

When it comes to dangerous animals, "good enough" usually isn't. The .45ACP (and about 90% of the other handgun calibers, too) shouldn't even be considered for protection against dangerous animals.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:09 AM
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I agree with Mike100. +p would probably work against brown or black bears. Not against grizzlys. You want aleast a 44mag for them. Just make sure you pistol can handle +p. That said. I would still carry a short barrel 44mag revolver instaed a 45acp in any load.
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:15 AM
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you might want to try getting a lever gun in .500 S & W or .44 Mag. I wouldn't trust my life to anything less.
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:33 AM
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My old roommate used to work for Forest Service in Alaska during the summer and I remember he told me he was issued a large caliber rifle (I don’t recall the exact size) for bear protection. He also told me if you encounter a bear, the best thing is to walk backward away from the bear. If the bear still coming your way, aim for its heart, instead of the head, because its skull is pretty tough and the bullet could skid off it.
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:41 AM
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Yes 45ACP will do great on a bear IF you want to piss him off.

In my younger days I used a 44 Magnum and 458 Win Mag. As I recall the 44Mag round took 4-5 rounds to drop him.

And I needed a change of clothes. I would have been a lot more comfortable with something a lot larger and or more powerful.
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:49 AM
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.45 for bear protection = Gambling in Vegas as retirement planning.

Since you WERE considering a RIFLE and cost was the only show stopper, then why not 12Ga? It is cheap and slag(s) (also cheap) would sure stop any bear on this planet.
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2006, 11:52 AM
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the 45 super query is really just curiosity of where a 230 gr bullet is going to start to be effective ballistically. If I knew I was going to be needing bear protection I'd get off my duff and get around to buying that 44 magnum revolver my collection needs.

If I needed a sidearm right now (10 day wait and all) I'd be more inclined to take a 357 magnum since I own one and it is regarded as a deep penetrator. If one happens to hunt with shotgun slugs, I'd say you have what you would need there.
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2006, 12:07 PM
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If you want something easy to carrry, go with the scandium .44 mag S&W revolver- I'm sure it would handle a cylinder full of +P rounds. I used to have a box of +P+ .FMJ 44mag rounds which fed great in the old Desert Eagle which would probably do a number on a bear- penetration was surprisingly good.

The short .500 is good insurance though. A friend of mine bought two when he went on a bear hunt to go with his .338.

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  #14  
Old 12-03-2006, 1:43 PM
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I will play devils advocate here.

If you are not actively going out seek a bear or the chances of a bear encounter are low, then it might be ok to carry .45 acp. It is better to have a small light weapon that you can hike with and will carry it no matter what, even if it is a .45 acp than a large unwieldy weapon, like a rifle or a large handgun and only carry it occasionally due to its weight and bulk.

When people start saying "it takes x number of shots to kill this or that animal with y caliber" I just get the feeling that people loose perspective on what is doing the killing - its not the number of rounds in the body.
As with all shooting, shot placement is key.

Should you hunt bears with a .45 acp? Nope, not in the least. That would be wreckless and irresponsible to say the least. But having a .45 is better than no weapon at all....

Last edited by Yute; 12-03-2006 at 1:46 PM..
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  #15  
Old 12-03-2006, 2:08 PM
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I wonder how the FN 5.7 would do against a bear's thick outer layer.

other than that I imagine a 460 Rowland conversion from Clrak in a 1911 would be a little more assuring. according to Sweeney's book it does 230 grain at 1347 ft/s. Isn't that near 44mag territory?

Last edited by CalNRA; 12-03-2006 at 2:12 PM..
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  #16  
Old 12-03-2006, 2:24 PM
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I Wouldnt Go Anything Smaller Than 44 Mag .460 Or 500 Would Be Best
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  #17  
Old 12-03-2006, 2:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neomentat
I read that .44 magnum is ballistically similar to .45acp but I'm not familiar with that round. Thanks.
no sir, .45ACP is no where near 44magnum:
1)45ACP(230gr)~400+ft.lbs. 44magnum(240gr)~740ft.lbs
2)44magnum is much more flexible with bullet type/weight and can be loaded to much higher preasure.

chk the archives for another discussion on pistol round vs. bear a few month back.
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2006, 3:16 PM
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The only bear you will be protected against with a 45 ACP will be Les Baer....

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  #19  
Old 12-03-2006, 3:35 PM
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Caliber has been beat to death here but if at all possible stay away from autos and get a good DA revolver.
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  #20  
Old 12-03-2006, 3:39 PM
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Yup, just chimming in. A .45acp against a bear is like a .22lr against a human. Yeah it might do the trick, but don't plan on it as it will usually just piss the hell out of it, and once their addrenaline starts you are pretty much FUBAR. I have never thought of that .460 conversion being used for large game protection....it might be something worth looking into (though for bear protection a modified semi-auto is probably not that great of an idea).
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Old 12-03-2006, 3:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neomentat
I was shopping for a FAL or PTR-91 for bear protection until I noticed the price for .308 ammo. So I figured what are the chances of me running into a bear while deer or hog hunting? But I sure would like a sidearm for bear protection. Currently I have a Ruger P97 in .45, will this be enough or is it a little under gunned? What are some recommendations to fill this 'perceived' need? I read that .44 magnum is ballistically similar to .45acp but I'm not familiar with that round. Thanks.
Have to be a tiny bear. And there is quite a bit of difference between a .44mag and .45ACP.
You should consider buying a nice Reloading manual just for the ballistic / velocity information it contains, to avoid such misunderstandings in teh future, or the reliance on unqualified hearsay.
And if a .45 is all you've got, take it. But if you really expect to encounter bear, then you do need something much harder-hitting.
Lastly, there isa very wide range of issues under the label 'bear'. You didnt' say what part of teh countr or what types of bear you would be defending against.
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2006, 3:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallce
I agree with Mike100. +p would probably work against brown or black bears. Not against grizzlys. You want aleast a 44mag for them. Just make sure you pistol can handle +p. That said. I would still carry a short barrel 44mag revolver instaed a 45acp in any load.
How would this round work against brown bear but not against grizzly? Grizzlies are brown bears, one of three subspecies (including the kodaik and mexican brown bear) in North America and the one someone in California would encounter if they werent already extint. So that basically rules out brown bear leaving black bear.

wikipedia is friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_bear

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If you encounter a black bear in the wild, give it plenty of room and try to avoid any contact by slowly backing away and leaving the area. If a black bear charges at you, it is most likely a "bluff charge" where the bear "stops short". Bluff charges are designed to frighten you off or to assert dominance; stand your ground and do your best to appear imposing. Huddle together if in a group, raise your hands or backpack in the air to appear larger, and make plenty of noise. Unless you have come between a sow and her cubs (or you are simply unlucky), you will probably succeed in scaring it away. Avoid eye contact with the bear, but after it has engaged you, seek eye contact to discourage the animal. A bear that rears up on its hind legs is not signalling aggression; a black bear's range of view is three feet off the ground, whereas a human's is between five and six. It is trying to get a look at what you are and see whether you are a threat. If you hear the bear making a popping sound with its jaw, it is warning you that it is uncomfortable. That is a sign to slowly back away (if possible) and leave the area. Headlong flight must be avoided at all cost because the bear will pursue as prey and bears can achieve sustained speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

If the bear charges and doesn't "stop short" but makes actual physical contact with you, you must fight back. Use whatever you have close at hand to try to injure it so that it no longer finds you worth the fight. In particular, aim for the nose, as it is a sensitive part of the bear, or the face in general. The bear's thick skull makes blows to the top and side of the head nearly useless. It is not uncommon for black bears to disengage after being injured; pepper spray in the eyes has been known to work, but one needs to be fairly close to the bear to hit the eyes with the spray. If fighting the bear does not seem like a wise choice, consider other options. If you play dead, grizzlies may leave you alone, but black bears will begin to eat you or drag you away. You cannot outrun a black bear. Climbing a tree is futile, since black bears excel at climbing trees. Retreat is usually the best option, but your retreat must be slow and methodical, backing away from the bear.
Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Black_Bear

So basically if it comes to the point where you have to draw a sidearm you've already made a series of mistakes and have royally f'd up. Seems as though to many people are to eager to start dropping animals in "self defense" a la South Park when encounters such as these are easily avoidable and rare at best. Should let nature take its course and try not to get in the way.
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  #23  
Old 12-03-2006, 4:15 PM
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Yute made a good point here. . . Shot placement is the key in any situation!!

I assume you are talking about CA since you are here on Calguns, so I will also assume that you are talking about black bear and not browns.

CA black bear is not an animal that requires a rifle-like handgun! Most black bears in this state average around 250 lbs, and they do not have the tissue density of thier grizzly cousins.

I carry my 10mm loaded with 200gr XTP loads when playing in the CA mountains, and I have no fear that I can knock down a black in the unlikely event that one becomes aggressive. Your .45 will do the trick if you are using the right loads and you put the bullet in the right place.

If you are talking about browns (which are the same as grizzlies, and vary only according to their habitat and diet) or polar bears you are looking at a whole different picture. These bears are much larger and there is more tissue between you and the vitals.

If you have to shoot a big brown bear, again, shot placement is the key!! There have been accounts of brown bears being shot by several different parties with 357, 44, and 7mm mag, and still eating people. As well, they have been killed with 9x19 and 38 special. If I recall correctly, the account I read of the 38 spcl was a hiker who was curled up in a ball while the bear was trying to chew on his head. Hiker reaches up with the gun and lets one go (completely blind shot), bullet goes through the ear, and the bear dies almost instantly.

Carry a high-powered rifle or a shotgun packing some hot slugs if you are in grizzly country. Your sidearm is not as important becasue if a charging brown is that close to you your chances of killing it with anything are already slim to none. A big wheel gun will help in the right situation (if you can hit what you are aiming at with all of the adrenaline pumping and about 3 seconds to get into action), but your best bet is to be cautious, make noise when hiking or riding, and know how to spot signs of bear presence. Be armed for sure, but some common sense will likely keep you out of bad situations to begin with. Avoiding a bad situation to begin with will do for you what ten .500 S&W's may not.
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  #24  
Old 12-03-2006, 4:39 PM
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I'm with Yute.

Will it work? Yep. Will it work WELL? Nope...not against Grizzley...a BIGGGGG ????On Black bear.

My question is, IF yiou're hunting for Deer, What caliber are you shooting? Makes NO SENSE to me to drop your rifle and go for the pistol when/if you have a large enough DEER gun. Even .243 do quite adequately on Med size Black bear.

Which leads to yet ANOTHER question? Where are you hunting? If its here in cali...bit of a news flash for some here...there aint no Grizzley in Cali . So if its *only* black bear you're worried about.....Dont be; they will tend to go the other direction when confronted & will run from....yes....even a .45

But hey, if you're just looking for an excuse to get another gun by the wife, I'd say you Definitely need a .44 or at least a .357 at minimum; IIRC the bear handlers in Yellowstone carry .357....or at least they did (it was like 10+ years since I was talking to them and noticed).
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  #25  
Old 12-03-2006, 4:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atmosphere
How would this round work against brown bear but not against grizzly? Grizzlies are brown bears, one of three subspecies (including the kodaik and mexican brown bear) in North America and the one someone in California would encounter if they werent already extint. So that basically rules out brown bear leaving black bear.

wikipedia is friend: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_bear



Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Black_Bear

So basically if it comes to the point where you have to draw a sidearm you've already made a series of mistakes and have royally f'd up. Seems as though to many people are to eager to start dropping animals in "self defense" a la South Park when encounters such as these are easily avoidable and rare at best. Should let nature take its course and try not to get in the way.

Next you will tell us when a criminal breaks into your home you should pretend to stay asleep so they will not have a reason to harm you since you couldn't identify them, and then you should call the police to protect you.

The above advice MAY work, but notice that it says that if it DOES start to attack you that you should fight back. I'm not a moron and I will not try to fight a bear with it attacking me. If it charges at me it is either bluffing ot it is going to attack, either way it is provoking an attack and I return the favor if I am capable. Only I won't bluff.
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Old 12-03-2006, 4:59 PM
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44 magnum and 45 ACP are not comparable....44 special and 45 ACP are comparable. You could get a 44 magnum revolver and load it with 44 specials for home defense and 44 magnums for a woods gun. Just be sure to practice with both the special and magnum rounds as there is quite a bit of difference on both ends.

Last edited by Bookworm; 12-03-2006 at 5:02 PM..
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Old 12-03-2006, 5:17 PM
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I had the same question a while back while talking to a friend of mine that is a reloader and more familiar with big game and firepower. He said that the .45 ACP is perfect for bear protection. You put the muzzle in your mouth and pull the trigger just before the bear eats you. Or if you're hiking with a buddy, you shoot him in the knee so bear gets him first! c good
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Old 12-03-2006, 5:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metalhead357
Which leads to yet ANOTHER question? Where are you hunting? If its here in cali...bit of a news flash for some here...there aint no Grizzley in Cali . So if its *only* black bear you're worried about.....Dont be; they will tend to go the other direction when confronted & will run from....yes....even a .45
Sort of depends on where you are. As a general statement you are correct but there's some areas especially on the east side where the bears have been notoriously aggressive. Especially around campgrounds; a few years ago one summer's damage to vehicles and property exceeded $5M! Those bears had just gotten too used to people...

Quote:
Originally Posted by metalhead357
But hey, if you're just looking for an excuse to get another gun by the wife, I'd say you Definitely need a .44 or at least a .357 at minimum; IIRC the bear handlers in Yellowstone carry .357....or at least they did (it was like 10+ years since I was talking to them and noticed).

It was a .357 that my dad used to carry as backup when he was hunting in Alaska 40+ years ago. Primary rifle was a sporterized 03a3, secondary was a buddy with a 12ga with bear slugs, and finally the .357 S&W. He's not much of a gun type any more, but he still swears off semi-auto's as being too risky towards jamming and loves the simplicity of the revolver as well as the knock-down power of the rounds they have available to them.

John
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  #29  
Old 12-03-2006, 5:30 PM
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45 ACP will only make the bear very VERY angry at his lunch.
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Old 12-03-2006, 5:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c good
I had the same question a while back while talking to a friend of mine that is a reloader and more familiar with big game and firepower. He said that the .45 ACP is perfect for bear protection. You put the muzzle in your mouth and pull the trigger just before the bear eats you. Or if you're hiking with a buddy, you shoot him in the knee so bear gets him first! c good
LOL. thats funny.
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Old 12-03-2006, 6:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoWeird
Next you will tell us when a criminal breaks into your home you should pretend to stay asleep so they will not have a reason to harm you since you couldn't identify them, and then you should call the police to protect you.

The above advice MAY work, but notice that it says that if it DOES start to attack you that you should fight back. I'm not a moron and I will not try to fight a bear with it attacking me. If it charges at me it is either bluffing ot it is going to attack, either way it is provoking an attack and I return the favor if I am capable. Only I won't bluff.
The point I was making was that you can avoid putting yourself into such a position that it comes down to you having to draw a pistol and hope the caliber is sufficient enough and your shots are well placed. And no Im not going to justifiy huddling in your bed when there is an intruder in the house. The intruder make a clear and rational choice to break in, stumbling across a bear is a chance encounter and Im sure neither the bear or yourself really want to tangle.
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Old 12-03-2006, 7:20 PM
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It seems like penetration would be the limiting factor of .45 ACP vs a bear. Load with FMJ? Or maybe staggered FMJ and HP? Dunno how the game wardens would like that...

I was wondering, too, what he's going to be hunting pigs and deer with. Unless it's a bow and arrow, I'd probably try that before the pistol!
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Old 12-03-2006, 7:53 PM
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Default 335 Bear incidents in Yosemite so far this Year!

http://www.nps.gov/archive/yose/now/bears.htm

Incidents are reports of actual $ in property damage.

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Old 12-03-2006, 8:10 PM
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Will a skunk scent like this work.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...questid=155257
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Old 12-03-2006, 8:31 PM
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Sure - see this link.
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Old 12-03-2006, 8:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atmosphere
The point I was making was that you can avoid putting yourself into such a position that it comes down to you having to draw a pistol and hope the caliber is sufficient enough and your shots are well placed. And no Im not going to justifiy huddling in your bed when there is an intruder in the house. The intruder make a clear and rational choice to break in, stumbling across a bear is a chance encounter and Im sure neither the bear or yourself really want to tangle.
Which is utterly beside the point. We're not talking about avoidance strategies or some fuzzy-wuzzy 'we're intruding on their space' meme. We're talking about about that microsecond of 'uh-oh' when you've come head to head with a large omnivore / carnivore in the wilderness and your only option is to reach for the best weapon you've got, to ensure that you win / survive.

ETA: Topic is what is the sufficient caliber to ensure you survive the encounter, not 'how do I avoid bears'.
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Old 12-03-2006, 8:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neomentat
I was shopping for a FAL or PTR-91 for bear protection until I noticed the price for .308 ammo. So I figured what are the chances of me running into a bear while deer or hog hunting? But I sure would like a sidearm for bear protection. Currently I have a Ruger P97 in .45, will this be enough or is it a little under gunned? What are some recommendations to fill this 'perceived' need? I read that .44 magnum is ballistically similar to .45acp but I'm not familiar with that round. Thanks.
.44 magnum at least.

You need penetration, more than .45 is going to give.
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Old 12-03-2006, 8:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yute
I will play devils advocate here.

If you are not actively going out seek a bear or the chances of a bear encounter are low, then it might be ok to carry .45 acp. It is better to have a small light weapon that you can hike with and will carry it no matter what, even if it is a .45 acp than a large unwieldy weapon, like a rifle or a large handgun and only carry it occasionally due to its weight and bulk.

When people start saying "it takes x number of shots to kill this or that animal with y caliber" I just get the feeling that people loose perspective on what is doing the killing - its not the number of rounds in the body.
As with all shooting, shot placement is key.

Should you hunt bears with a .45 acp? Nope, not in the least. That would be wreckless and irresponsible to say the least. But having a .45 is better than no weapon at all....
Shot placement means nothing if you use a light bullet at low velocity that does not penetrate, or if it veers off course.

Caliber DOES matter. Let's see you "shot placement" your way through a bear with a .22 LR.
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Old 12-03-2006, 8:53 PM
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Originally Posted by M. Sage
It seems like penetration would be the limiting factor of .45 ACP vs a bear. Load with FMJ? Or maybe staggered FMJ and HP? Dunno how the game wardens would like that...

I was wondering, too, what he's going to be hunting pigs and deer with. Unless it's a bow and arrow, I'd probably try that before the pistol!
.45 JHP vs bear is retarded. The bullets will never reach anything good. FMJ is the only way to go.
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Old 12-03-2006, 8:59 PM
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That's what I thought, too. I'd rather have a small-ish hole through the beast than a big hole that stops short of the vitals.
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