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.45 not enough for protection in the wild?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Phillyfan, May 31, 2010.

  1. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    updated 3:48 a.m. PT, Mon., May 31, 2010
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A backpacker shot and killed a grizzly bear with his handgun in Alaska's Denali National Park, officials said.

    A man and woman reported that they were hiking Friday evening when the bear emerged from trailside brush and charged the woman, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said in a statement.

    The man fired nine rounds from his .45 caliber, semiautomatic pistol at the animal, which then stopped and walked into the brush.
    The two reported the shooting to rangers, who restricted access to the Igloo Canyon area for fear that the bear was wounded and dangerous.

    On Saturday, rangers found the dead bear about 100 feet from the shooting site.

    Park officials are determining the justification for the shooting. It's legal to carry firearms in that area of the park but illegal to discharge them.

    Rangers said it was the first known instance of a grizzly bear being shot by a visitor in the wilderness portion of Denali, formerly called Mount McKinley National Park.
     
  2. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Don't get me wrong, I am not going to go out chasing grizzlys with my HK45 any time soon, but I have seen many postings on this site saying .45's aren't enough gun for protection out in the big bad woods. This guy was lucky. I'd like to know how many shots hit the animal and where.
     
  3. naludiablo

    naludiablo Washougal New Member

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    If I've got a bear in my face, I'm wanting to get the job done with less than 9 rounds which means something with a little more punch. Don't get me wrong even if I had a .44 mag I'd still go through every round in the gun.
     
  4. GRUNDEL

    GRUNDEL Washougal Area Active Member

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    My .45 would not be my first choice for taking on a Grizzly but it beats the **** out curling up in the fetal positing and screaming like a girl.
     
  5. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    1st thought in my mind... do NOT go hiking in Grizz country. yikes

    second,glad he had a gun and was able to save their lives.

    third,take a LOT of gun when in Grizz country.
     
  6. rl280

    rl280 OREGON Member

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    Let me get this now, you can carry a firearm but NOT fire it?
    Thats our rule makers in perfect form.
     
  7. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

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    When people advise against the .45 ACP for bears, people are using a one shot kill standard. It really does not do an individual much good to shoot the bear a bunch of times, get mauled to death, and then have the bear dies afterwards from its wounds. The individual wants to stop the threat immediately.

    The story, while an interesting anecdote, demonstrates that the .45 ACP is a substandard choice for the job with a bear. The backpacker was lucky.
     
  8. dragonsden73

    dragonsden73 Salem, Oregun Active Member

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    I have friends and family in Alaska.....they laugh at anything less than a 12 ga. or 44 mag.......bears are a big problem especially in camps for guided fishing trips, and often come up to them when on the banks during their lunch breaks. One even swam up to the boat....my step brother slapped it on the head. I saw the video. Too bad that bear didn't bite him. Idiot......
     
  9. Reco

    Reco Portland Oregon Active Member

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    Two words


    Shot Placement.


    He dropped 9 45 apc shots in a bears head or face...there isnt much out there could shrug that off.
     
  10. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I agree .45acp is not enough for the Alaska wilderness, but I think it is fine for what we have here in the northwest. This guy was really lucky.
     
  11. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    Shot placement is key. But you are actually wanting to shoot for the heart/lungs. It is not at all relaible to shoot at a big grizley's head, because the bullet can glance off the thick skull. I heard a story about a guy who shot a griz in the head, from head on with a 45-70, and the bullet scalped him, but glanced off the skull.

    Also know a buddy who stopped a bear dead with 10 shots from a .22 mag lever action. The brown bear was charging him, while he was out squirrel hunting, and that was the gun he had. It died from center mass shots, from head on, stopped just a couple feet short of the guy, and the rifle was out of ammo.

    I pack a .45 around the woods here in WA. I feel safe enough with it. I feel better with a 6" barrel .357, because I'm a little more accurate with it, and I know it will drop a little deer with 1 shot. If I lived in Alaska, I'ld probably get a 12ga serbu super shorty.
     
  12. GRUNDEL

    GRUNDEL Washougal Area Active Member

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    I agree, I have spent a great deal of time in the Cascades & Olympic Mountains over the years and have had numerous interactions with Black Bear and seen a few Cougar. I have never carried to protect myself form them, but I do carry to protect myself from the possible 2 legged predator I may come across.
     
  13. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Your supposed to carry bear repellant and have bells on your shoes!
     
  14. KRISSTDI

    KRISSTDI Oregon Member

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    I use to live in Alaska and did a lot of hiking and although I was with a group of friends I always carried the AK47 and Colt AR15. Alaska State law prohibits anything more than a 5 round magazine in semiauto carbines. However it doesnt say you cant have a 150 round drum in your backpack for protection. :thumbup: Which I had with both rifles.

    But in reality we had 2 Spas 12 shotguns waiting for any large bear. We never ran into any but we did have fresh footprints all over the 12 mile hike.

    But as someone already said placement is key.

    I was young and thought more was better but honestly if I did that all over again I would have a .454 Casul or other larger caliber pistol.

    Wonder what 32 rounds from the KRISS would do at 20 feet?:bluelaugh:

    On another note the maker of the AA12 Auto shotgun stated in an interview that it could drop a full sized male Rhino charging at him with this shotgun.
    So shotguns will get the job done if you want to stop the bear now.
     
  15. sports-shooter

    sports-shooter Seattle East Side Member

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    It was not an instant kill. The bear still had strength to do harm to the hikers, but the hikers were lucky that the bear decided to leave. The hikers were also lucky that the bear charged the woman and the man can focus on shooting. If the bear was charging the shooter, it would be a different story.

    So, it was all string of lucky events. The .45 in this case was barely adequate.
     
  16. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    no handgun would be my "choice" in brown bear or grizzly country, but If all I had was a 1911, it would have A 460 Rowland kit installed.
     
  17. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    Grizzlies in Alaska eat 45 acp for breakfast! I think as a backup a 44 mag would be the bare minimum, but a rifle in 45-70 or 450 marlin is a good choice to pack on a hike.

    Big heavy lead moving at a decent speed is necessary for AK size bears.
     
  18. Reco

    Reco Portland Oregon Active Member

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    Para Ordinace :thumbup:p14 45 14 reasons you should be fine with a 45 cal pistol ^^
     
  19. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    Good call

    I'd love a 460 Rowland kit to install into my Norinco 1911. :thumbup:

     
  20. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    And we have to consider the fact that this bear just woke up and had little of the extra shielding he would have in a couple of months. That being said, there is nothing in the woods in Oregon that a .45 can't handle. In fact, I'd rather have it than a .44 mag against a cat. Those suckers are fast, and I want as many rounds as possible going up against that. As far as black bears go, I think .45 is plenty for protection, but I wouldn't hunt with it, obviously. So, Alaska, .44 mag bare minimum. Northwest, .45 acp and up (and I consider .357 mag as up).