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Discussion Starter #1
I was just watch an episode of "I'm Alive" on the discovery channel.. This guy was hunting up in Alaska when a Brown Bear attacks and mauls the daylights out of him... He had a rifle but couldn't get a good shot off in time.. the bear was to close... i thought why is this guy not carrying bear mace or a handgun...

I don't plan on going up to Alaska... but i do hunt where there is black bear... In my SCENARIO you can't use your primary weapon (rifle, bow, crossbow, etc.) You only have the CARRY WEAPON you carry every day...(I am NOT looking for a what caliber is the best for this job.)

The bear is running at you, your primary jams.. do you wait until the bear is on top of you so you know you can't miss... or do you try to empty your pistol or revolver and reload fast enough as the bear is still charging?


What gun and what ammo are you trying to save you life with? Hollow points, full metal jackets? etc. thoughts?
 

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I just read an article in December 'Field & Stream' on a similar, if not the same event and was thinking the same things. In this case, his rifle was strapped across the front of his chest, while he was dragging a deer. He got mauled by two cubs with the mom on her way before they got scared off by his buddy.

Chances are, if he was carrying a sidearm, things would have turned out much better for him. My hunting buddies rib me for carrying a backup, but the truth is, I always carry the biggest caliber that I own (in addition to my rifle), and wish I had bigger. It's the only time that I OC and it's for 4-legged and 2-legged predators alike (I've received threats from some nut-job for hunting on my own property - he thinks it's his).

Now to your question - If I have a six-shooter, I'm gonna be very judicious and make every shot count. If I have a high-capacity mag, I might shoot a little early in hoping to dissuade the animal. Although chances are, if I'm using a handgun, that means I've already been surprised and probably don't have much time. So far, I just carry my usual self defense rounds, which are hollow points. But, I always have an easy-access sidearm that's ready to rock.
 

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If your concern is bears, I would NOT recommend hollowpoints-they tend to expand too soon and do not carry enough force to reliabley penetrate to vitals. A good solid point, in the heaviest grain your gun will shoot.

True story-thankfully not mine--in about '97/'98 time frame, a guy down on the Kenai peninsula is out moose hunting, armed with an '06 and .44 mag BUG. Doesn't realize, but is standing almost on top of a buried moose that a griz had buried. Bear attacks him, he gets off one solid shot with the '06--then the bear is on him--chews on him, grabs him with his teeth by the face and stands up--guy is dangling from bear's mouth, has the presence of mind to pull his .44 and empties all 6 rounds into the bears chest from literally point-blank range. The bear drops him and runs off. He manages to stagger out to a road where he flags down help and gets taken to town. Fish & game comes out to hunt for the bear--find the spot where the attack took place but they never find the bear!!!!

I short distances a bear can outrun a horse--don't think you'll have enough time to reload...........
 

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"or do you try to empty your pistol or revolver and reload fast enough as the bear is still charging?"

I'd love to see a Video of that. :rofl:
 

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there is no way I would be in bear country (black, brown, griz, or polar) without a back up gun.

As has been stated, those big lumbering behemoths can motor at 40+mph for a short distance

at Boy Scout camp (Massawepie Scout Camp circa 1970) in the Adirondacks, I heard the ranger shoot a troublesome Black bear at 3:00am(my brother helped track it) He shot it 11 TIMES with a 30-30, 170gr bullet. 3 shots were head shots and the girl was still going. I looked the bear over at "the dumps"the next day and she was close to 400lbs (without the head, the ranger at the time was authorized by the DEC to kill black bear to protect Scouts, he had to decapitate the animal and send the head to the DEC)

I usually carry a 44 mag, but if i were to go to Grizz or Polar bear country I would pump up the caliber to at least a 454 or probably a S&W500
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok to try and stay on topic i should have made this a poll, but didn't.... Once again your in Black bear country, what gun you have is the one you are CC/OC every day, and are you carrying Hollow points (SD) ammo or Full metal Jackets (FMJ)?
 

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I'll be the odd man out here. It's a 375 H&H over my shoulder and bear spray on my hip. Assuming this is the worst case scenario, my thinking is that if I can't get a shot off with the 375 then I'm in real trouble. A bear can close distance incredibly fast and I don't believe any handgun is going to be effective or easily and accurately deployed in that situation. Bear spray can be initiated right from the holster and in many cases is superior to a handgun. That either ends the charge or gives me another chance to ready the rifle, or...I'm done...it's a gamble for sure...you really never know.
 

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once you know it's not a bluff start shooting for head/neck/brisket. Take your time in a hurry, you may only get one telling hit. You've made peace with your maker ahead of time right?:smoke23:
 

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I'll be the odd man out here. It's a 375 H&H over my shoulder and bear spray on my hip. Assuming this is the worst case scenario, my thinking is that if I can't get a shot off with the 375 then I'm in real trouble. A bear can close distance incredibly fast and I don't believe any handgun is going to be effective or easily and accurately deployed in that situation. Bear spray can be initiated right from the holster and in many cases is superior to a handgun. That either ends the charge or gives me another chance to ready the rifle, or...I'm done...it's a gamble for sure...you really never know.
assuming your not down wind:blink::image035::rofl:
 

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Bear spray = Mr. bear saying: "yummy, yummy in my tummy--nice seasoning" :image035:
I say again-to keep on topic--SOLIDS, SOLIDS, not HP..........
 

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My backup gun in this situation would not be my EDC. I have a G26 which is completely inappropriate for bear. Also, in the woods, there would be no need to carry concealed. Given the scenario, I would opt for a large bore (minimum is .44 Mag), double action revolver with a relatively short barrel carried in a very easily accessible holster. I haven't shopped for such a pistol, but a Ruger Redhawk Alaskan would probably be one of my top choices. However, a friend with a rifle would be preferable.
 

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there is no way I would be in bear country (black, brown, griz, or polar) without a back up gun.
The only bear that I ever hope to see while walking thru the woods is a Stuffed bear.

I would too carry the biggest gun that I could carry.
 

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The only bear that I ever hope to see while walking thru the woods is a Stuffed bear.

I would too carry the biggest gun that I could carry.
I carry a big knife to, Kershaw Roughneck.

I figure if I'm going to get eaten, I might as well try to annoy the heck of the bear :scruntiny::smily1094:
 

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Went bear hunting with my son in law in Alaska about 2 yrs ago. I carried a 300 wsm and he carried my 12 ga loaded with slugs. We were in some TIGHT bush most of the time with fresh bear sign. I told him if we get surprised I would take a knee/dive/roll/crap and he should unload the slugs into the bear while I try to get off a 300 wsm. Bad plan but better than none I guess.
Most Alaskan guides use a 12 ga as a backup quick on target and the slug will get em.
I have read/heard many reccomendations to use bear spray. It is quic to deploy easy to use and works.
 

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at Boy Scout camp (Massawepie Scout Camp circa 1970) in the Adirondacks,
OMG :popout2: Jmac
I don 't remember how many summers I went to Massawepi in the late .50's and early 60's as scout and leader. Always to Mountaineer.

Jeeze, small world indeed :danceban:
 

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OMG :popout2: Jmac
I don 't remember how many summers I went to Massawepi in the late .50's and early 60's as scout and leader. Always to Mountaineer.

Jeeze, small world indeed :danceban:
wow, then you must remember Loren, the ranger. The bear Loren shot happened the first year Forester was opened

I was one of the first C.I.T.'s (Counselor In Training) in 1969. I was a counselor in '70-'72. I spent all my time at Pioneer and Voyager.

'tis a small world :rofl:
 

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I'd opt for the FMJ's for penetration. Granted, you're in black bear country, but they can get as mean as any if your timing is wrong. I carry a 5" 1911 with 230-grain FMJ's as my EDC and my hunting sidearm. Some wise people on this Forum recently convinced me to keep my SKS (was going to sell/trade for a .41 mag as different hunting BUG) and keep using my 1911 as hunting BUG (and save $$ for the .41). I haven't needed it (thankfully), but it's just a matter of time given the amount of time I get in the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So it is sounding like FMJ is the choice of ammo for the BUG... I hunt with a .30-.30 Lever Action Marlin... but when I'm just up north going four wheeling in the summer... i was carrying my M&P40 cal with SD hollow points... looks like i will be carrying FMJ... and the girlfriend will have a .357 S&W Model 19-2... that should do the trick...
 

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looks like i will be carrying FMJ... and the girlfriend will have a .357 S&W Model 19-2... that should do the trick...
A true gentleman provides covering fire while a lady is reloading. ...
 
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