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Best hand gun cal. for bear

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by 9mmD, May 20, 2010.

  1. 9mmD

    9mmD sw wa Member

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    Ok here is the deal. I work in the "delivery" business. And recently came basically face to face with a good size black bear. Head about 20" and had a azz about 36". So got me thinking of what caliber would be best for a black bear. MY OPTIONS ARE .45/.40/357/ other. Now i dont plan on huinting them or able to carry any kind of cannon. We;re talkin CC 6-10 rnds.
    So any thoughts?
     
  2. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    FMJ or solid lead is what you need for Bear as you are looking for penetration to vital organs instead of expansion. Either way it takes time for the bear to bleed out and a canister of Bear guard pepper spray would likely be more effective.
     
  3. SnackCracker

    SnackCracker Lake oswego, OR Member

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    Of the three options you listed, I'd have to go with the .357 to get through the hide/hair and still get good penetration. And no JHP either...

    However, personally I wouldn't be comfortable with anything less than a .44 (If I had a choice)
     
  4. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    .357 with good hard cast 158 gr RN of SWC bullets.
     
  5. sheepman

    sheepman Las Vegas NV Member

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    Of what you listed I wood go with the 357 180 grain hard cast, my second chose would be a 40 with 180 grain bullet. i am assuming that the the 45 was an acp.
     
  6. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Hard cast lead bullets in a .357 would be the option I would use out of the choices you listed.
     
  7. sillyrabbit

    sillyrabbit Salem, Oregon Member

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    Glock 20 or 29 (10MM)
     
  8. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    500s&w magnum.

    with all others you're just compromising.
     
  9. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    (8) of my 230gr hollow points from my Kimber Raptor ll .45 is my best for a hand gun. (16) if I thought I needed to load up the other clip. :paranoid:
     
  10. SnackCracker

    SnackCracker Lake oswego, OR Member

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    Hollow Points are definitely not the best option - especially in .45 ACP. You simply won't get good penetration. Don't take me wrong, I love .45 ACP and it happens to be my primary carry (with 230 gr JHP). However, there is a BIG difference when shooting a human (in self defense - God forbid we ever need to) and shooting a black bear.

    Like others have said: hard cast, high energy bullets like .44 .454 10 mm etc
     
  11. TNThomas

    TNThomas Seattle New Member

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    of the ones listed i would go with .357 if you have to. Otherwise i would eco the minimum of 44mag.
     
  12. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Ok thanks for the clarification SnackCracker. I can see that a hard cast bullet would make better penetration. But wouldn't a 230gr FMJ make sufficient penetration at say 50 yards or less? And without hitting something vital in the bear would any hand gun work?

    Just asking and Thanks!
     
  13. SnackCracker

    SnackCracker Lake oswego, OR Member

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    Bear hide is TOUGH... and the hair... and then if you hit a bone.... the odds are really against you with a .45 acp. I'm sure there are too many variables to fully discuss like shot placement, shot angle, etc.... But if .45 ACP is all I had, I'd empty the 8+1, reload, and probably empty again :bluelaugh:

    But of his options he listed, the .357 is the probably the best choice.
     
  14. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I just cant imagine a bear still coming at me if I hit it with all (8) 230 JHP or FMJ in my .45 acp. Man thats alot of big lead that has bound to be hitting him hard!

    I have never shoot a bear and I can imagine their coat being tough but not that tough. I have alot to learn though.
     
  15. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    be .308!

    Oh, wait, you want a pistol: the bigger the better IMHO. .454 Casull, or .480 Ruger might do it.

    Deen
    NRA Benefactor/Recruiter
    WAC member
    SWWAC member
     
  16. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    can hit 30-35 mph, an Olympic runner can do about 22 mph, how about you?
    It's real possible you might not have a chance to get that many shots on target.
     
  17. hsullyc

    hsullyc North coast,Nehalem,OR Member

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    44 mag....:thumbup:
     
  18. Abe Froman

    Abe Froman West of Salem Active Member

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    This
     
  19. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I swear either some of you guys can't read, or just choose to ignore some people. The OP asked what of the options he has available to him is the best choice. Not what would you use if you had one or could afford to go buy a new gun. Some of us have to work with what we have.

    I'm not annoyed, so don't tell me to calm down. I'm just asking people to read the original post before they respond.
     
  20. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying it's YOU that can't read..... but.... I hope you noticed that the OP also added the "other" option to his poll.

    I'm not annoyed... I just think you should read all parts of his original post... including the poll. :D

    *btw* OTHER is winning