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Old 07-26-2007, 11:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Best Hand gun for bear protection

A friend of mine is going elk hunting in Grizzly bear country and is wanting to take a hand gun as a side arm. I have a 44mag that I offered but I hve also heard that a 22 magnum will get better penetration into a bears skull. That does not seem right to me but I told him that I know a place that would have the answer.

He will carry bear spray too but the side arm will be the last resort.

What is the best side arm for Grizzly protection.

Thanks in advance for your response.

Jay
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

the biggest one that you can shoot WELL. you would probably be better off with a marlin 45/70 short barrel rifle. just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

s&w 500!!!haha no prolly a desert eagle or something. or a chain gun,rpg,cannon,or a .50cal rifle. but seriously prolly one of the first two s&w or DE
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

[ QUOTE ]
s&amp;w 500!!!haha no prolly a desert eagle or something. or a chain gun,rpg,cannon,or a .50cal rifle. but seriously prolly one of the first two s&amp;w or DE

[/ QUOTE ]

Ditto on the S&amp;W 500
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

[ QUOTE ]
I hve also heard that a 22 magnum will get better penetration into a bears skull. That does not seem right to me but I told him that I know a place that would have the answer.


[/ QUOTE ]
Negative on the .22 deal. Three friends (outfitting and/or guiding) each had to shoot a grizzly season before last. One shot his with his 44Mag when the bear's face was a foot away from his---took him a while to draw his pistol. The other guy, believe it or not, his hunter shot the bear in the spine with a crossbow fired from the hip while it was mauling my friend. Said friend then finished her off with his mag. The third guy's hunter shot the sow with his elk rifle as it was attacking the outfitter.
The hot deal right now, I and 3 other guys bought them strictly for grizz protection, is the S&amp;W 329 44Mag. It's a revolver with a 4" barrel (just right), and that baby only weighs 26 or 28 ounces. It's almost as light as the six shells that go in it. You can load really light loads for plinking but buy or load some super-nasties for protection. Buffalo Bore Ammo has developed a hot heavy load just for the light 329 with bear protection and/or dangerous game hunting in mind. They're 255gr. hard cast bullet with extra tight crimp, low recoil. The tighter crimp is to eliminate the possiblity of bullets jumping the crimp in such a lightweight pistol. I bought a small box rather than load my own and just carry them when in grizz areas. I used to pack a hot-loaded Ruger Vaquero 45 LC on horseback, flyfishing, hunting, etc, but it's like having an anvil on your hip. The 329 is also nice looking too.

The bear spray should be the last resort, not the pistol. Guys that's been there, done that all say bear spray has mixed results. Many times it just makes the sow mad and when charging the spray is useless. Other guys have had great success. Plus, here in Wy. if the bear is on the west side of you, which is the way the constant never-ending wind blows from, you're going to spray yourself more than the bear. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

I'd carry a snub nose 22. It's light weight and if I got in a situation where I couldn't use my rifle I could shoot myself in the head with the 22. But whatever he choses he needs to make sure it's legal. In some areas the pistol you carry has to be a legal hunting gun and has to be worn on the outside of your clothing.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

[ QUOTE ]
It's light weight and if I got in a situation where I couldn't use my rifle I could shoot myself in the head with the 22.

[/ QUOTE ]

No, no, you've got that all wrong. The long-standing practice is you shoot your friend in the leg so you can run away faster and leave him for bait! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

Geez, LMJD, when I asked a similar question before traveling to griz country last summer you neglected to mention your THREE [3, count'em] scary bear encounter stories from the previous fall [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]! Didn't want to scare these tourist dollars away from WY, didja? FWIW, with some trepidation, I toted my measly 9mm Sig P226, along with spray, and didn't see a bear, though we were high enough [Dunoir Meadows, north of Dubois, and higher] to be near their summer neighborhood. That S&amp;W 329 sounds like a good solution.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

Colt 1911A1 .45, you get lots of rounds, if you don't kill him he will be carrying so much extra weight you can out run him. A 45 auto packs a LOT of punch. And it will drop a hunting partner for bait.
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
s&amp;w 500!!!haha no prolly a desert eagle or something. or a chain gun,rpg,cannon,or a .50cal rifle. but seriously prolly one of the first two s&amp;w or DE

[/ QUOTE ]

Ditto on the S&amp;W 500

[/ QUOTE ]have u ever held one. its so awsome!!! its like a mini cannon. haha i want one
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Old 07-26-2007, 03:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

[ QUOTE ]
you neglected to mention your THREE [3, count'em] scary bear encounter stories from the previous fall

[/ QUOTE ]
Aw yes, but you said your buddy taking you in was VERY armed and dangerous. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
All kidding aside, usually two or more people get mauled every season. The last one was a pro wildlife photographer who got half his face torn off including an eye plus other rips and body tears according to the newpaper. I think he lived but was in the hospital in serious condition for quite a while. He had backpacked way back in the Park for photo work. To me you got to be nuts to get far from your pickup on foot anywhere in the Park because it's illegal to carry a loaded firearm. However, most all of the attacks are way out of the Park boundaries against hunters, guides, etc. The guy involved in the crossbow incident pulled up his shirt about 3 days later and he was one mass of bruised flesh all up and down the right ribcage. He said what saved him was a real heavy coat. He said the hunter's accurate crossbow shot was just once in a million pure luck.
[ QUOTE ]
and didn't see a bear, though we were high enough [Dunoir Meadows, north of Dubois, and higher] to be near their summer neighborhood.

[/ QUOTE ]
No I've never encountered one either, but then I don't guide or go in with outfitters. Many of my friends are guides or outfitters and most all of them see lots of bears every year and manage to steer clear of them. Dogs in camp help but still a lot of camps, tents, etc get torn up. The bad part is they can be at all different elevations especially around the river. They've been seen where I help move cattle (Sunlight Basin area) and where I fish but so far I've been lucky.
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Old 07-26-2007, 04:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

I've hunted out of Turpin 3 times. all with Wyoming residents. The handguns they carried were .357, 41 magnum or .44 magnum. You really don't want to find out how effective the pistol is, because none of them equal a 7 mm or .300 . You want to take the most powerful one you can handle and have with you at all times, either a strong side hip holster or what I did, I had my model 29 in a shoulder holster. I had loaded some 240 gr. bullets over a large dose of 2400. The spray is a pepper spray repellent, that and the bells you bring just help the trackers find the bear that ate you. keep a clean camp, absolutely NO food or snacks in the sleeping tent. The rule we had was no loaded chambers in your rifle till ready to shoot. If you had an AD up in the high country, by the time they got you out and to a hospital, you could hang your head between your legs and kiss yourself goodbye, about the same outcome if a bear is determined to attack you or challenge you for your downed animal. LMJD is giving you some good advice.
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

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about the same outcome if a bear is determined to attack you or challenge you for your downed animal

[/ QUOTE ]
I could tell stories that would curl your hair. A good friend got his elk and spent half the evening with his saddle and pack horse kicking, bucking, running away, etc, because they weren't going for packing the bloody elk parts out. By the time he started out leading them, he said it was so dark you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. He was covered in elk blood from head to toe, real bear bait smell, and said every step of the way he was absolutely scared to death but he made it out with no problemo. As per Game and Fish regs, he packed out the meat first and had to leave the head and fantastic huge rack. Being a real thick grizz area, when he went in the next day for the head and rack he figured there'd be nothing left, but it hadn't been touched. It made a beautiful mount. He said he had phoned me that horrible night to bring my horses up and give him a hand, but I never got the cell call---did God really like me that nite or what? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 07-26-2007, 05:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

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No, no, you've got that all wrong. The long-standing practice is you shoot your friend in the leg so you can run away faster and leave him for bait! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]

[/ QUOTE ]

I've already done that. Since then it's been really tough to partner up.
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Best Hand gun for bear protection

That's exactly why .22 is plenty big enough and a lot easier to carry.
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