Bear loads?

This is a discussion on Bear loads? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Bears tend to have a tremendous addrenniline surge if not hit with the first round in the Pilot House.......handguns are just not really good bear ...

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  1. #16
    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    Bears tend to have a tremendous addrenniline surge if not hit with the first round in the Pilot House.......handguns are just not really good bear medicine.....and as I mentioned.....after skinning quite a few.....I have personally found .357 cal. slugs lodged in the fat layers, never making penetration beyond a splinter.....not saying a handgun won't stop a bear, just the one's you mention IMO wouldn't make my short list......better than a punch in the nose probably though.....my minimum choice on a Black Bear would be a .357 Mag. loaded up... but better IMO would certainly be someting in the .44 Cal class and larger for close in work.

    Still Your Choice........

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    You're overly concerned. As you've stated, they tend to avoid people. Make your presence known.
    Overly concerned, until one arrives that isn't dissuaded by a human's presence. BTDT, on two separate occasions. It's no fun.

    Ditto on the undergunned sentiment. I'd opt for .44mag on the hip, if heading into an area where bear encounters are anticipated and likely.
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  4. #18
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    I carry a S&W 620 with a 4" barrell in the woods. There a few ammo makers who offer 180 gr. hardcast bullets at around 1400 fps. Double Tap now offer a 200 gr. hardcast bullet at 1200 fps out of my 4" barrell. Which would you guys choose? We only have Black bears and cougers.
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  5. #19
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    I've lived in bear country all my life and I have a 44 mag strapped to my chest with hot loaded 320 grain hard cast loads. I still worry I would be under gunned against a big bruin. Some guys' idea of a bear pistol is a 12 gauge with a pistol grip. I understand that your 9mm is what you have for now, but bear spray would be just as effective. If this excursion in to the woods is something you plan on doing on a routine basis, I would recommend picking up a used 18" Remington or Mossberg pump 12gauge. They're not that expensive and I just believe every home should have a shotgun in it, but that's just my opinion.
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  6. #20
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post
    So you are arguing that bears have different soft tissues than any other animal?

    You state that there is, "BODY MASS before you even get to any major organs," then go on to say, "number and depth of muscle mass" which is redundant at best. Is there some other soft tissue before you get to any major organs that only bears possess?

    I've shot quite a few bears myself and have yet to see this "mysterious 'other' soft tissue" you allude to.

    You also note that bears, "have MUCH larger teeth that can chew thru most bones , and have nice long claws that they use to rip an Elk, deer, etc. wide open". How does that effect a bullet's ability to penetrate the soft tissues of a bear?
    there's more "tissues" and body mass, especially muscle & fat tissue in a 500-600 lb bear than any human, deer, etc to make it thru , that's my point.
    Muscle tissue on many animals do not have the same mass as a bear, depth, etc. Muscle is different than passing thru other tissue, such as the side of a deer or an elk.
    The skull is much thicker, requiring better penetration as well.
    And last , but not least, if you don't succeed, bears can run faster than you, and with the teeth and claws they have ... do major damage in a real hurry, vs many other animals..... such as a wolf, etc. And unlike most animals, they are a predator who likes to eat meat.

    Seems rather self-explanatory to me. Shooting a wolf or a mountain lion with a 9mm handgun bullet, is a lot different than shooting a bear with it. And, I wouldn't use a 9mm on either a mountain lion or a wolf unless it was the only thing I had. That's the point. I wouldn't shoot a 9mm to try to take down a deer, which would be to me, much easier than bringing down a bear with one.

    If you want to do it, you go for it . I just wouldn't want to be standing next to you while you did.
    I'll stick with the 30-30 or better ... for a black bear...... which have much better penetration than a 9mm..... which is what this is all about , isn't it.

    If all I had was a knife to use on a mountain lion if it attacked, then I would use it & do the best I could to survive, but it sure wouldn't be my first choice. But, I had to very seriously consider that option when one had me cornered on a mountain on the New Mexico and Mexican border. So what ? When I was out in the same area the next day, I had much more than just a knife on me...

    Making noise and letting them know you are there, is a good thing to do, as long as where you are they still don't want to be around humans or have a fear of humans. In the areas we were in, unfortunately, most of them didn't have any fear of humans at all and could care less if you were there. They wanted the trout in those mountain lakes, more than you did, and more than any fear they may or may not have of humans.
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  7. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    there's more "tissues" and body mass, especially muscle & fat tissue in a 500-600 lb bear than any human, deer, etc to make it thru , that's my point.

    Hmm, I must've missed where humans and 500-600 pound bears were stated as being equivalent.

    My use of the Schwartz bullet penetration model was to simply predict the potential penetration of the 9mm & .38 Spcl rounds in soft (muscle/visceral) tissue. I am not sure that you can simply pronounce those numbers as being invalid just cause it's bear soft tissues. Obviously if the bullet hits bone (on any animal including humans) that changes things, but I never said that it didn't in the first place. The physics remain immutable.
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  8. #22
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    Totally irrelevent in this case.......IMO.
    Not to be used in conjunction with the Planets Largest Carnivores...........Bears.

  9. #23
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    Get some bear spray to be on the safe side. That 9mm, even in a good heavy FMJ round, won't do much without a lot of luck. It's not likely even to dissuade one, just piss it off. You never know though, it might scare one off. That, my friend, is what makes bears so dangerous: they are completely unpredictable. You can encounter bears a dozen times (I have) and never have a problem, or run across one that seems like it will wander away, only to find it following you a minute later (I've had that happen too, and we have a lot more than just black bears here).

    I'd go bear spray and keep the 9mm loaded with the best you can just in case, but your best bet is to stay sharp, play defensively and give it the space respect demands. If you opt to bring the .38 there are some good options, but I personally don't believe there's a .38 that will penetrate a bear skull without some luck.

    I'm no expert though, so just be safe and stay sharp! Have fun on your trip.

    Edit: I read the rest of the thread, and saw some talk about soft-tissue penetration and muscle mass, bone, etc etc. Here's the deal: You can get a good round from a smaller caliber to penetrate a bear's skin. This does not a bear killing round make. One of the things that makes bears such a dangerous animal, aside from unpredictability, is that they do not immediately drop from a gunshot. A bear can remain very deadly for several minutes after it's been shot. Many an experienced bear hunter can tell you about the bear he shot with <insert large caliber here> that still charged them, or took off and was found -miles- later.

    Again, just be careful and stay sharp. Between a 9mm, a .38, or a can of bear spray, I'd go with the bear spray.

  10. #24
    Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    Went on a fly-in fishing trip in Canada. No guns allowed. Had a Brown start tearing up the cabin, hell-bent to get inside. I used an air horn...bear almost broke it neck trying to get away.

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  11. #25
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post
    Hmm, I must've missed where humans and 500-600 pound bears were stated as being equivalent.

    My use of the Schwartz bullet penetration model was to simply predict the potential penetration of the 9mm & .38 Spcl rounds in soft (muscle/visceral) tissue. I am not sure that you can simply pronounce those numbers as being invalid just cause it's bear soft tissues. Obviously if the bullet hits bone (on any animal including humans) that changes things, but I never said that it didn't in the first place. The physics remain immutable.
    Well... reality has a way of jumping up and slapping you in the face. Examining the penetration into wood .... of a 1/2" board, and then comparing it to a 6" thick board and saying they are the same, is a bit ludicrous.
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  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    Well... reality has a way of jumping up and slapping you in the face. Examining the penetration into wood .... of a 1/2" board, and then comparing it to a 6" thick board and saying they are the same, is a bit ludicrous.
    Now you are talking about shooting wood boards?

    Are you expecting to be attacked by an angry pine tree?
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  13. #27
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    Having been one (in the military) doing exercises (small man teams in the woods) in NC...... LOL, the Bears there are the size of very large dogs, and not quite agressive. Bear Spray and the firearm as a backup.
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  14. #28
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 481 View Post
    Now you are talking about shooting wood boards?

    Are you expecting to be attacked by an angry pine tree?
    Your just being a smart ass now... you understand the analogy.
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  15. #29
    481
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    Your just being a smart ass now... you understand the analogy.


    It's a poorly constructed analogy. Heck, it didn't even occur to me that you were attempting one 'til you said so.

    What does confusing 1/2" thick wood for 6" have to do with soft tissue penetration?

    The bullet will do what it will do (it will penetrate to a certain depth and exit if the wood isn't thick enough to contain it) regardless of the wood's dimensions.

    So now you've got two boards. Great.
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  16. #30
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