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I carry a Springfield Armory 5" 1911. I am completely comfortable with a standard .45ACP 230 grain load 99% of the time. This being said when I go hiking, camping, etc. I would like a little extra. The biggest thing around here is black bears. Keeping in mind I am not trolling for bear and any encounter would be up close and personal, would .45ACP+P be up to the task. This would allow me to use the same platform as normal and simply use different ammo. Would a standard 16# recoil spring be alright for limited +P shooting to insure functioning. Any thoughts and ammo suggestions welcome.
 

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Could it kill a black bear probley with proper shot placment would i like to try it no if i was worried about it that much i would switch platforms as i do when im up north ..


I switch to either my 44 mag or 454 casuall when im working in the woods
 

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Brian - I am NOT the 1911 expert round here - many way more savvy than me but - I have a feeling that an 18# spring is useful when running hotter loads. That of course subject to confirmation or ridicule!!!

Leaving that aside - and as it'd be your butt up for grabs if you needed bear protection I'd be with Bud. Hot .44 or better would be way better protection IMO - .454 better still.

My thinking is - you may in extremis only get that one shot - it has to count!
 

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Opps forgot to add the stiffer recoil spring but p95 caught that

Also I have seen a black bear take a Good Hit from a 30-06 roll up to a tree and give the death moan .. Then get out of the blind with person i was sitting with and turn around and it was gone ..

We tracked it for a hour then was getting dark i was packing 454 and him a 41 mag since was getting dark we decided to call it a night ...



Worked our trail back off the main trail and low and behold new blood trail the Bear was following us dont know why it didnt attack us we never saw it.

Never Did find the bear Blood kind of dried up looked for a full day the next day and nothing ... A 30-06 puts out a lot more FT lbs energy than a 45 and the shot was less than 15 yards and thats close .

I know i would worry up close with my 44 or 454 deff no 45 ... just thought id toss this little story in for you
 

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I'll agree with Bud on this, it could well do the job but I don't want to be the person to find out whether it will work or not. Bears require very deep penetration and I'm not sure a 45 ACP is going to get there. If shot in the face you may discourage him OR you may just succeed in really making him angry. I would definetly find a bigger gun if you expect to encounter a bear in the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sound like I have a good reason to get a short .44 mag. I have a 6.5" S&W 29 classic but i think it would be a little hard to conceal. Thanks.
 

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I See A Couple Of Problems For Bear

One would naturally be the penetration issue for bear.
Deep hard hitting penetration is required for both the skull & body.
The other would be a change in your auto slide cycle rate with an increased power recoil spring....which would also likely require a slightly stronger magazine feed spring to keep up.
Really not a problem if you intend to extensively test that exact pistol setup with enough +P ammo to insure absolute reliability.
My best guess is that you would be only borderline protected with .45ACP+P on any average to good sized POed blackie.
My suggestion would be to switch over to a minimum of a .44 mag (high quality revolver) with a 4" or longer barrel and the hottest, heaviest s.p. ammo that you feel comfortable with and toss a speed~loader into the mix.
With the proper shoulder rig (like a break front vertical) you might be able to use the S&W that you already have.
 

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Check out the new baby from Ruger, called THE ALASKAN.
 

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The 500 smint 4 inch or the ruger super redhawk alaskan would fit the bill fine for a carry bear gun.. I want a super alaskan if i one ever turns up here
 

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This is part of the reason I'm glad I'm a 629 owner now. The worst thing I could run into are wild cats or a rabid coyote, and a 240 grain JSP .44 Magnum catridge is just the thing.

But a bear... yikes. I want me a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with slugs AND a .45-70.
 

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In Colorado I did some black bear hunting with a .54 black powder. About a week before the season opened I suddenly realized that I had not considered what would happen if I hit one but was it wasn't a killing shot. I went out and bought a S&W 657 as a backup. Luckily handgun and muzzleloader season ran concurrent. Never saw a bear after the season opened.... :tongue:
 

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barely a noticeable diff in felt recoil...

Bud White said:
Ive heard that the 4inch recoil is no worse than the 8 " but i havent shot either so its just what ive heard
 

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Bears

Brian
Living in "the land of bears" I have approached various methods of
protection. The gun I currently carry is a 45 Colt Ruger Bisley with the
barrel cut back to 4.5" and Magna Ported. Shoots a 310 gr swc at 1240
fps. Went to the short barrel because I don't like longer barrels that dig
into or against the saddle.

Even though I have this Ruger I highly reccommend to you to get the
BIG container of pepper spray. All accounts around here say you have a
better chance of staying safe with OC than the Ruger.

Give a thought to how hard it will be to hit a critical spot on a bear that
is running at you - very small area. That does not mean I don't carry my
Ruger - it will be handy to have IF a bear gets a hold of me.

There is an excellant book on bear attacks written by Stephen Herrero
in which he talks about attacks and avoidance - and what guns some
folks use.

Another advantage to the OC spray is it also works on 2 legged
predators.

Lee.......................
 

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Bear Medicine

MatoTanika said:
Another advantage to the OC spray is it also works on 2 legged predators.
So does the Ruger. But I agree with you. Once ran into a large bear in the Pacific northwest while I was an infantry officer. The point guy of my patrol SCREAMED past me at a dead run (screaming incoherent curses) in a direction 180 degrees to that of our movement. Then I saw the bruin. It got up on it's hind legs and snarled. So what did my aspiring Rambo's do? Cut loose on full auto. 2 M-60's, and about 14 more M-16's. All loaded with BLANKS. DUH.

I reached into my rucksack and pulled out a CS GAS GRENADE and rolled it gently right between his legs. THe grenade went POOF! and that poor old bear took off! Ran away howling and rubbing his nose with his paw. I tried to tell him that rubbing just made the pain worse but he didn't listen.
 

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I saw the 500SW revolver on shooting usa and man that is a nice nice pistol.but its about $1000,love to try that out.
 

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Brian....You Said:

"That 4" 500 S&W has gotta have some serious bite."

Not a worse bite than the bear. :biggrin:
 

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So does the Ruger. But I agree with you. Once ran into a large bear in the Pacific northwest while I was an infantry officer. The point guy of my patrol SCREAMED past me at a dead run (screaming incoherent curses) in a direction 180 degrees to that of our movement. Then I saw the bruin. It got up on it's hind legs and snarled. So what did my aspiring Rambo's do? Cut loose on full auto. 2 M-60's, and about 14 more M-16's. All loaded with BLANKS. DUH.

I reached into my rucksack and pulled out a CS GAS GRENADE and rolled it gently right between his legs. THe grenade went POOF! and that poor old bear took off! Ran away howling and rubbing his nose with his paw. I tried to tell him that rubbing just made the pain worse but he didn't listen.

Ft. Lewis, Washington?! I didn't know that there were bears over there!!
 

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Yup

Ft. Lewis, Washington?! I didn't know that there were bears over there!!
It's been awhile since I was at Bragg, but you'll find more bears running around the Rainier Training areas at Fort Lewis than you'll find downtown on Hay Street on a Friday night. Yeah, there were bears when I was there in the early 1980s, although they could all have been "et up" by all those Rangers and SF guys who couldn't find any snakes to eat!
 
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