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I won’t flame you for those answers. Hope you never have to use either one. Kudos to your lady friend. Gives me shivers.....
Me too. It wears on you having to be so hyper vigilant all the time during those peak bear conflict times of spring and fall. Bears here compared to Alaska are smaller but meaner because food is so scarce during much of the year and they are overpopulated which makes things even worse. No way I would hunt the places I work anymore because the bears run toward gunfire now. They learned quick that gunfire leads to food. Last year a co-worker had 4 bears come in to the deer he shot before he could even get it all quartered and tied up on packs. He got away with two hind quarters and his butt intact. I guess I am not tough enough anymore but, I get my meat from the butcher these days.
 

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A Game and Wildlife officer (IIRC) once said that his rule was "4-3-1". Meaning 40+ caliber, 300 grain bullet, 1000 fps. He seemed to know what he was talking about and I have More or less followed that advice in Grizzly country.

And +1 for the pepper spray. With or without a firearm.
 

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A Game and Wildlife officer (IIRC) once said that his rule was "4-3-1". Meaning 40+ caliber, 300 grain bullet, 1000 fps. He seemed to know what he was talking about and I have More or less followed that advice in Grizzly country.

And +1 for the pepper spray. With or without a firearm.
I have heard that and I think its a pretty good rule. A 44 magnum loaded up with 300 grain hardcast is probably as good as it gets in a hand cannon. I am just not very good with that setup as far as fast and accurate. I think the 44 has given me a flinch that is tough to break to be honest. Maybe I should give it another hard try.
 
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:dunno:

I've heard lots of stories. ol' Elmer Kieth relates one of a cowboy dropping two grizzlies with a 45 Colt SAA.

You could start with 44 Specials and work your way up to bear loads. I practice with mid-range 240gn cast bullets. Helps with that flinch, which seems easy to develop with full mag loads. And recoil control has always been tough for me.

But I still love 44 Magnum. :wink:
 

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Well, sure, a 44 mag might kill a bear but, will only give you a lot of recoil and flash and make follow up shots difficult.
With today's modern ballistic magic a 9mm will essentially do the same, in fact, no bears have ever been able to distinguish the difference.
Shot placement and follow up shots matter more than caliber.
:duh:
:gah:
heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend.
that's funny. :vs_lol:
 

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I carry a .44 magnum in black bear country and a .454 Casull in brown bear country.

A guy I met at the LGS who told me he was in the woods during hunting season. He heard a shot and a couple of minutes later was charged by a black bear. He emptied his .44 magnum at it and it died at his feet. Soon, another guy showed up and said he had shot it with his .300 Winchester magnum. He showed me a picture of it. It was a 150 pound black bear.

The LGS owner and his son were deer hunting in Central Oregon. His son walked across a small clearing to a downed large pine tree. A 300 pound black bear stood up immediately across the tree from him and he shot it point blank with his .30-06. The bear started screaming and trying to circle behind him. It took two more shots at close range to stop it.
 

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One of my old 44 mag loads was 300 grain in 44 mag. It was around 1,160 to 1,175 FPS. It's a little hard on a old man's hand.
 

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I've never hunted bear; Black or other. But, I've been around allot of Black Bear and even had one stand up on its hind legs and scream at me. With my Winchester 270 in hand, I felt no threat, and just stood there and calmly told the bear to move along. The bear complied and he lived to enjoy another day.


As to the 44 mag.. My Ruger in 44 mag. is my sidearm, of choose, when exploring the woods in non-hunting season, or when fallowing up a friends wounded deer or wild hog, or other critter.

As such I've shot many deer and wild boar with the 44 mag. Loaded with Speer Gold Dot 240 gr HP; Muzzle velocity of 1400 FPS and energy of 1044 ft. lbs. I’ve seen 300 lb. wild boar angry and full or rage, charging me, hit the dirt sliding with one shot to the head.

Which brings me to my point.. Shot placement and penetration. No different from hunting, only in a self-defensive, scenario with a “large” angry full of rage critter charging you, accuracy is something that only comes from practice. So whatever you buy to carry in the woods, get some serious practice in with it.
 

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In Ruidoso NM we go Jeeping and hiking a lot. I asked the owner of the hiking store about bears and he said:
" I sell a bear spray that smells like peppermint. I also recommend to tie little bells on your hiking boots to warn the bears you are in the area. I asked how to tell if a bear was in the area, he said look for bear poop. You can tell its bear poop cause it smells like candy canes and has little bells in it." Couldn't resist telling that one.
 

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We keep hearing "heavy for caliber". That is true, but it works slightly differently in rifles vs pistols. What we are really talking about is sectional density.
Sectional density is the mass behind the frontal area of the bullet. It is the momentum that drives the bullet through the target. Handgun bullets have poor sectional density compared to rifles. That, plus velocity is why something like a .26" rifle round can be very effective on 600lb animals. That rifle bullet may be 140gr compared to a 50gr handgun bullet.

So, a .44 mag is a low level backup. The bigger hand cannons are a challenge to manage and practice with! Where a carbine will have much better penetration. Especially at the sloped skull of a charging bear.
 
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