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Odd question: Laser on a bear defense gun?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by lylefk, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. lylefk

    lylefk Eugene, OR Member

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    Hey there,

    I have what some will find a silly question, but I can't find anything online about the idea.

    Quick background: I'll be in Alaska once a month fishing (usually by myself) and would like some bear protection. I was initially considering a S&W model 29 4" nickel 44mag revolver, pretty standard bear gun for Alaska. I've recently started thinking about doing a 460 Rowland conversion on an M&P 45 or XD(m) 45. This thread isn't really about the pro's and cons of each, though I've thought them through (and still undecided). The 44mag has more energy, but the 460 Rowland would have more than double the capacity, faster to get back on target, lighter, smaller (and potentially with the laser). I understand that in most situations there will only be time for one or maybe two shots, but perhaps the semi-auto gains me time for a 3rd or 4th shot.

    Here is my question: What do you think about a laser on a gun specifically for bear defense? It seems to me that a situation like this would happen in close, and quickly. Potentially, if the bear got close it could include some shooting from strange angles (from the hip and on my back, for example). Due to the fast moving and small kill zone, plus a high pressure situation...do you see value in a laser? Besides potential laser failure, any down sides? I'd be looking at green units for better daytime visibility.

    Is it too tacti-cool for the Alaska wildnerness? lol

    Thanks for the input!

    Lyle
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It will get lost in the piles of fur. Remember you only see what is reflected back at you and fur doesn't reflect worth a crap. Point a Laser at a piece of even fake fur and see how little is reflected back to you. NOW do it outside in the Daylite. I have a pretty powerful laser level and outside in indirect sun lite this afternoon I can't see the laser dot 10' away pointed at a gravel walkway. Granted it is a Red laser
     
  3. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

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    Of course you can't use lasers on hunting rifles or other hunting guns in Oregon, so I would check the laws in AK to see if its legal. Open sights during a grizz attack would be the way to go in my opinion.

    Most folks that are attacked by black bear, brown bear or grizz on get off one or two shots if lucky. So you best be able to hit what you aim at. A nice 12 gauge can be your best friend when in a close up and personal attack by a bear.
     
  4. lylefk

    lylefk Eugene, OR Member

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    I'm not interested in carrying a shotgun or rifle when im fishing...

    I'm curious about the laser not being visible on fur. My red laser is clearly visible on carpet...granted, that's indoors, but...I'll try to do some testing.

    Lasers aren't legal for huntng there, either...but I wouldn't really be hunting. I'll do some research.

    Thanks, two good points I hadn't considered!
     
  5. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    If a bear is attacking you, the fir is going to be moving...in your direction...at 35 MPH. You'd best get on target and put three or more .44 Mags where it counts!

    View attachment 47996

    View attachment 47997
     
  6. MrBlack

    MrBlack Portland, OR Active Member

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    I would add a pistol recommendation to your considerations, and that would be a Glock 20 in 10mm. 10mm with the buffalo bore cartridges has more energy than the 44mag according to ballistics by the inch. I compared them at 4 and 5 inches on their charts. Also, you would have a lot more ammunition in a reliable weather proof package. I also like the trigger on a Glock better for Personal defense, because its always the same short trigger pull, unlike SA/DA or the long pull on a revolver. If you want to throw a laser on it (and it's legal) consider the new LaserGuard from crimson trace in green. It has a pressure switch on the grip it comes on as you point it, and green is bright enough to be easily visible during the day. Honestly, I can't see a down side to having a laser on it if its legal. Like I said, the green is designed to be visible during the day, and even if the beam refracts off the fur and becomes a green blob, that's still a far superior reference than hip shooting without, and if your way off you'll see the beam dancing on the foreground or the tree beside you. Another note on the Glock 20, It's very popular with the Alaska State troopers, because its effective on things like Moose and Bear.

    Also, they makes holsters that fit that combination of laser/gun.

    Just my 2 cents.
    View attachment 47998
     
  7. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    If you're going to use any handgun on a grizzly be sure to file the front sight down first...
     
  8. lylefk

    lylefk Eugene, OR Member

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    @mr black, IMO 10mm would be woefully underpowered for a brown bear or Grizzly. Maybe a black bear, but I wouldn't bet on it. That round has nowhere near the capabilities of the 44mag or 460 Rowland for this purpose. Not sure where you're getting that info. I have certainly considered the green crimson laserguard for the XD though if I go that route. I'd like to stay with one semi-auto system if possible, which currently is M&P. The Xd is pretty close to that, but the glock grip angle might throw me off.

    Some quick cutting and pasting from Bufalo's website:

    Heavy 10mm Ammo - 220 gr. Hard Cast - FN (1,200 fps/ME 703 ft. lbs.) - 20 Round B
    460 ROWLAND Ammo - 255 gr. HC-FN (1300fps / M.E.957 ft.lbs.) - 20 Round Box (fwiw, a .45 glock can be converted to this caliber)
    Heavy .44 Magnum Ammo - 305 gr. L.B.T.-L.F.N. (1,325 fps/M.E. 1,189 ft. lbs.) - 20 Round Box - Big Game
    460 Smith & Wesson Ammo - 360 gr. L.B.T.-L.F.N. (1,900fps/M.E. 2,860 ft. lbs.) - 20 Round Box (also considering a 460V)



    @blitz, I'll take my chances. I've heard the joke (and the warning that comes with it) plenty, but bottom line is (for me anyway) that I wouldn't carry it consistently. I'll already have a backpack on my back with camera gear and a tripod attached, and a fishing rod in my hands and in waders. A rifle seems too obtrusive and just too much. So, a handgun on me and handy will beat a rifle sitting at home in Oregon every time =)
     
  9. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    I think you are on the right track with the 44 mag (or bigger) I load mine w/ 310grn rnfp's at 1300 fps but forget about the laser and unless you must have the nickle finish satinless will hold up a lot better in the long run
     
  10. SDR

    SDR Clackamas County, Oregon Silver Vendor Silver Vendor

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    I lived outside Kenai in Nikiski AK , I worked in Swanson River wildlife refuge that is also a Oil Field for six years ...
    I hunted, I fished AK... My brother is currently a commercial fisherman and has been for 20 Yrs, I still hunt and fish AK now and then ...

    I have fished the Kenai with mature brown bears 30 yrds away, I have came back to a downed moose for the second or third pack out with the remaining being claimed by a bear ... I have been on search parties looking for missing people only to find parts ... I have been part of hunting down man killers and killing them, I loved it all and miss it ...

    A half a ton of teeth and claws charging is something that will make a tough guy wet himself, I have a ton of stories about bear and moose encounters...

    Laser on a bear defense gun? , IMO "NO" ... You don't need anything to think about but shooting, Get the front sight on it and keep pulling the trigger until your empty ... A front glowing sight like a night sight is it ...

    A good combo is serious bear spray, Spray to Take out sight and smell if you have time then shoot ...

    The gun should be the biggest caliber you can accurately and not be afraid to shoot ...

    I and my brother carry 4" S&W 500's the first two are hollow points and the last three are heavy hard cast, gun is holstered tightly to our chest similar to bino buddy straps, Always there and never in the way and your pants don't fall down ...

    Gun shots can be dinners bells, Bears eat each other so the blood in the air will bring more bears ...

    My favorite pastime is taking big tough talking guys hunting in bear country, We haven't lost one yet but it sure is fun ...

    Be safe, Be Aware and have fun ...
     
  11. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've tried a red laser on a black bear hide-----worthless. The dot just plain disappears in the fur.
     
  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Minimum I would carry is a slug loaded 12 GA...
     
  13. MrBlack

    MrBlack Portland, OR Active Member

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    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: Home

    If you browse through this site, they showed that the Cor Bon 135 was around 900 ft-lbs out of the 5" barrel. That's about equal to one, and better than two of the three .44 magnum rounds in the 5" test Barrel. I believe their tests over advertised statistics because the eliminated the gun variable in their test so it only reflects the bullet performance. While I agree the .44 and .460 can produce more, the 10mm is certainly an alternative worth considering in my opinion. I also believe that I could get more shots off shooting a hot 10mm in a semi-auto than a hot .460 or .44 out of a revolver, which gives it a leg up for me. (I have no experience with a .460 conversion in any semi-auto platform so I cant speak to that, but I know its a big bang:) I shot an S&W .500 last summer I would be skeptical that I could put more than one round down range on target in the few seconds I would have. My brother-in-law is the Sate trooper who recommend the Glock 20 to me. In any case, I don't sell Glock or 10mm so its doesn't matter to me, just thought it was worth mentioning.

    I'm sure what ever you choose will work fine! Stay safe and good luck fishing!!
     
  14. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Laser (def) - An electronic battery powered device that can (and will) eventually fail.
     
  15. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    For bear defense a it would be kinda like pointing it at a barn. Not much need. Kinda hard to miss at self defense ranges.
     
  16. MrBlack

    MrBlack Portland, OR Active Member

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    All that said, every time I see this topic come up, 44 Mag is consistently the most popular response for a bear defense gun.
     
  17. lylefk

    lylefk Eugene, OR Member

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    That site shows the 10mm Cor-Bon 135 at 760 ft-lbs, if I'm reading it right (which I may not be lol). That ammo is also jhp, I believe. Not much use on a huge bear. They don't test the higher thump 44mag rounds, unfortunately. Great site, thanks for the link!

    I just found this one as well: 10mm Ballistics Chart | Ballistics 101, though it is manufacturer specs I believe.

    If I go semi-auto, it will be a 460 conversion. In fact, I might do one anyway to carry hiking here in the PNW. Smaller bears lol. If I can find a 460V with a 5" barrel, I think I'll go that route...otherwise a 44.

    *sigh. Like I need more excuses to buy multiple guns. At least it looks like we've ruled out the laser. So thanks for that!
     
  18. lylefk

    lylefk Eugene, OR Member

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    That's far from the truth, unfortunately. They run 35mph with their head bobbing up and down...which you pretty much have to hit in 1, MAYBE 2 shots. Nothing else will stop them before they get to you. Additionally, I'd like to think I'd hold off until I know it's not a false charge. I've heard that gun carriers get hurt more frequently than bear spray carriers...possibly due to instigating a REAL charge by firing too soon. Or maybe they feel more secure and put themselves in harms way more readily.
     
    Blitzkrieg and (deleted member) like this.
  19. lylefk

    lylefk Eugene, OR Member

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    And SDR, thanks for the insight from your real world experience.
     
  20. ZigZagZeke

    ZigZagZeke Eugene Silver Supporter Silver Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    Agree 100%. Sights of any kind are OK when you're not in a hurry. Trying to line up even a laser before you shoot, when you have 1.5 seconds to shoot, is counter-productive. By all means, install whatever sights you like for when you have 5 or 10 seconds to fiddle with them, but learn to shoot from the hip and hit what you are pointing at. There's no substitute when split seconds count.