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Smoky Pistols

Best Bear Protection

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Okay fellas, here's one to sink your teeth into:

 

Headed camping in bear country.  Nothing major, but warnings have been issued and are on display.  Available guns, a Thunder Five (earlier version of a Judge) and a .45 Glock.  Available ammo for the Thunder Five is .410 Pepper round, .410 slug, and .45 Colt.  Available ammo for the Glock is RN or HP.  What would be your preference if you happened upon a bear and pepper spray proved to be ineffective or not enough of a deterrent?  How would you load each firearm? 

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I’m assuming that your first line of defense is following good practices to avoid bears in the first place, not attract them to your camp with poor hygiene and food discipline, and how to defuse a situation should you encounter a bear. Shooting the animal should be your final option. 

 

Of the two you mentioned, I would take the Glock with hardball. 
 

I have never been impressed with the Judge and its offerings in 410 ammo. 45 Colt is better, but you’re still limited to five shots. If it comes down to having to shoot the bear, or scare it away with a warning shot, I want all the rounds I can carry. 
 


 

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I would not piss off a bear with a 45 acp. It may be a man stopper, it's not a bear stopper. Carry one of those air horns, bears don't like the loud noise, and it will alert others in your area. Then, authorities will know where to retrieve the body. :o  Bears stay away from humans for the most part, make lots of noise, take a good dog.

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3 minutes ago, Assassin said:

I would not piss off a bear with a 45 acp. It may be a man stopper, it's not a bear stopper. Carry one of those air horns, bears don't like the loud noise, and it will alert others in your area. Then, authorities will know where to retrieve the body. :o  Bears stay away from humans for the most part, make lots of noise, take a good dog.

I'm not sure the girlfriend's miniature poodle will cover the "good dog" requirements!  LOL

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The answer between the two options is obvious.  Take the Glock .45ACP fully loaded, with at least 1 spare mag.  Leave the Judge for snakes.

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1 minute ago, Smoky Pistols said:

I'm not sure the girlfriend's miniature poodle will cover the "good dog" requirements!  LOL

I said a "good dog", more like a cattle dog of some sort. What part of the country are you camping? I live in black bear country now, and have worked and camped in Grizzly country. There are different precautions for each. Just camp near dumb-asses that don't take precautions, you'll be one step ahead of them. 

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2 minutes ago, Marshal Hangtree said:

The answer between the two options is obvious.  Take the Glock .45ACP fully loaded, with at least 1 spare mag.  Leave the Judge for snakes.

Maybe for those little black bears back east. 

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4 minutes ago, Assassin said:

I said a "good dog", more like a cattle dog of some sort. What part of the country are you camping? I live in black bear country now, and have worked and camped in Grizzly country. There are different precautions for each. Just camp near dumb-asses that don't take precautions, you'll be one step ahead of them. 

Utah, so would be dealing with black bears.

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Posted (edited)

Black Bear - Pepper spray and either gun loaded with hard cast or solid cartridges, not .410 shells.

 

Brown or Grizzly Bear - Get a bigger gun, .45 Colt loaded hot with hard cast, or.44 Magnum or better. OR take an annoying neighbor or relative along. Lose their shoes along the way. ;)

 

 

 

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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1 minute ago, Assassin said:

Maybe for those little black bears back east. 

 

The OP specifically mentioned his choices being a Thunder .45 (Judge) or Glock in .45ACP.  For any bear, brown/black/grizz/polar, I'd rather have 27 rounds of .45ACP available vs. only 5 rounds of .45 Colt.  You hike your trails your way, I'll hike mine my way.

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Posted (edited)

I carry an 870 Wingmaster with extended magazine and 20" barrel.
It is loaded with alternating slugs and #000 buck.

I asked a friend who was a guide in Alaska..
He said, "Do you want to stop him, or just piss him off?"
The shotgun poses somewhat less hassle with rangers than does a handgun.

I figure if the above doesn't do the trick, I'll hand the bear the keys to my truck and write him a check.
 

Edited by bgavin
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If we're talking compact long guns, how about a mare's leg in .44 magnum?

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Honestly, for black bears, I wouldn't even be concerned. Humans, however, do cause me concern. I would take precautions against them.

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.45-70 loaded with Speer bonded core RNFP bullets loaded to 2,200 Fps. with Reloader 7 ...

In either the Marlin 1895  or Winchester 1886 lever guns ...

Does a fine job on even Mr. Grizz if bullets are placed right ....

This is a proven load used by several retired Professional Guides ...* Note * they survived to retire some after several "Need to Stop" situations ....

 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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A 12 gauge loaded alternately with Buck and Ball was my preferred medicine. 

I learned that from an MNR warden.

We used to discretely have one handy in Federal and Provincial Parks here in Canada.

"Bear? What bear? Shots? Yeah I thought I heard something coming from over at the next lake."  

6c7e561dd089b61df02e006c81d03814.jpg

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20 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Honestly, for black bears, I wouldn't even be concerned. Humans, however, do cause me concern. I would take precautions against them.


What Pat said. 
 

Between my buddy and me, we’ve been back country camping for 40+ years in the southern Appalachians where black bears abound. In all our ursine encounters, the only ones that didn’t go pleasantly were triggered by our own carelessness with food. And even those were resolved without any need for a firearm. Loud noises and a controlled retreat were sufficient. 
 

I used to carry a 44 mag Ruger with 300 grain hard cast pills. After six or so years and some honest evaluations of our experience, he and I both now carry J-frames in the back country. 
 

Like Pat said, our most dangerous threat is human. 

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2 hours ago, Smoky Pistols said:

I'm not sure the girlfriend's miniature poodle will cover the "good dog" requirements!  LOL

Nope.  Good bear appetizer, yes.

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2 hours ago, Assassin said:

I would not piss off a bear with a 45 acp. It may be a man stopper, it's not a bear stopper. Carry one of those air horns, bears don't like the loud noise, and it will alert others in your area. Then, authorities will know where to retrieve the body. :o  Bears stay away from humans for the most part, make lots of noise, take a good dog.

A few years back a guy killed a Grizzly in Glacier Natnl Park with a 1911.

(I know of a fella who kilt one on Kodak Island with a Buck 110. I wouldn’t recommend it though)
There are no Grizz in NV. Take the Glock.

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44 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Honestly, for black bears, I wouldn't even be concerned. Humans, however, do cause me concern. I would take precautions against them.

Generally yeah. I’ve had a couple here. But if warnings have been issued there may be a problem bear in the area.

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1 hour ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

A few years back a guy killed a Grizzly in Glacier Natnl Park with a 1911.

(I know of a fella who kilt one on Kodak Island with a Buck 110. I wouldn’t recommend it though)
There are no Grizz in NV. Take the Glock.

A gal killed Grizz with a 22lr rifle up in Red Lodge many years back. Not my choice either. 

I'd stick with a big bore revolver, pass on slide guns of any type if I'm crawling around and camping in back country. I'm sure you and my brother are more experienced with crawling around in crappy conditions with 1911's. Thanks for your service.  I'm just not sold on 45 acp for penetrating the skull of a large carnivore.

Most black bears I've seen were not huge. Other than cubs, I've never seen a small Grizzly bear. Last black bear I saw up close was dead on the road in front of my house, little sow, maybe 80#. She got hit by a vehicle

Seen a guy attempt to finish off a moose with a 40, it bounced off the skull, 357 did the job.

There are many options, I'd choose the 45LC  over Glock. I'd load up 300 grain bullets.

I doubt Smoky Pistols will have an altercation with a bear. 2 legged critters seem to be the current threat.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Smoky Pistols said:

I'm not sure the girlfriend's miniature poodle will cover the "good dog" requirements!  LOL

 

Nope, that would be more like a snack!:P

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I've never seen a bear in my house.  That's the best defense for bear.  Stay where bears don't go.   :-)

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42 minutes ago, Assassin said:

A gal killed Grizz with a 22lr rifle up in Red Lodge many years back. Not my choice either. 

I'd stick with a big bore revolver, pass on slide guns of any type if I'm crawling around and camping in back country. I'm sure you and my brother are more experienced with crawling around in crappy conditions with 1911's. Thanks for your service.  I'm just not sold on 45 acp for penetrating the skull of a large carnivore.

Most black bears I've seen were not huge. Other than cubs, I've never seen a small Grizzly bear. Last black bear I saw up close was dead on the road in front of my house, little sow, maybe 80#. She got hit by a vehicle

Seen a guy attempt to finish off a moose with a 40, it bounced off the skull, 357 did the job.

There are many options, I'd choose the 45LC  over Glock. I'd load up 300 grain bullets.

I doubt Smoky Pistols will have an altercation with a bear. 2 legged critters seem to be the current threat.

 

 

 

 

The chance of hitting the skull is pretty slim, and yeah they're really hard anyway. Best is a throat shot if they're coming right at ya. I nealy ran into a big sow a few tears ago. I was running up my hill to look at a big smoke column to see if it was approaching the ranch. A huge bear walking on a cross trail passed in front of me not more than 8-10 yards away. I reached for my pistol which was down in the house. I had run out the door fast concentrating on the ossibly approaching fire.

Fortunately the breeze was with me and she meandered on her way. I headed back downhill as fast as my stumpy legs would carry me, got in the truck and drove up the road till I spotted the fire. It was moving away from us. I went home and uncorked a bottle of bourbon.

Then a few years later we had a visitor to the pond. He was at the bottom of the back steps as I opened the door unbeknownst to me. we both got a start.

Back to the bourbon.

Bears can cause a drinkin problem.

 

Bear posing.jpg

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1 hour ago, Assassin said:

I doubt Smoky Pistols will have an altercation with a bear. 2 legged critters seem to be the current threat.

 

 

 

 

Ain't that always the case!  LOL

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Given the choice of firearms listed, if I was you I'd rub Crisco over your body, so you slide down the bear's throat easier. :ph34r:

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3 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Honestly, for black bears, I wouldn't even be concerned. Humans, however, do cause me concern. I would take precautions against them.

 

I agree with this. I hike and camp in black bear country all the time. I've seen black bears in the back country at distance several times over the years.

 

I carry a Charter Arms .44 spl in the woods nowadays, and a .38 spl. for years before that. Black bear attacks are extremely rare. On the other hand, there are always several Grizz attacks in the Rockies every year. In the Rockies I'd carry a .44 mag revolver.

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22 short: shoot who ever your with in the foot and simply out run them!  Just kidding, I have a Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70 with 400 gr SP and or a Redhawk in .44, nothing smaller.  My hunting partner swears by a 870 with slugs.

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Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recommends a large can of bear spray over any firearm.  They suggest creating a cloud of spray between you and the bear.  I am not sure how this would work if the wind was blowing from the bear to you. 

 

I agree that the problem will more likely be with other people rather than bears. We have had a couple of cases in this area lately.  A small revolver or semi-auto with spar magazines looks very good for that use.

 

Duffield

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Black bears will attack. My niece’s husband was charged several years ago at dusk during the PA deer season.  He is experienced in the woods but the bear charged him and he had to kill it.  Th killing was investigated by the PA Game Commission and no charges were filed. 
 

I only tell this story because I know it’s a true instance where a black bear attacked and without a firearm who knows what could have happened. 
 

Dutch

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37 minutes ago, Duffield, SASS #23454 said:

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation recommends a large can of bear spray over any firearm.  They suggest creating a cloud of spray between you and the bear.  I am not sure how this would work if the wind was blowing from the bear to you. 

 

I agree that the problem will more likely be with other people rather than bears. We have had a couple of cases in this area lately.  A small revolver or semi-auto with spar magazines looks very good for that use.

 

Duffield

With my luck the wind would blow the “seasoning” on to me. The bear might like spicy human. :lol:

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10 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

With my luck the wind would blow the “seasoning” on to me. The bear might like spicy human. :lol:

Note to rookie campers. Do not spray the ground around your campsite thinking it will repel bears. It won’t,  :lol:

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Things are usually much more complicated than you would like to believe when a bear invites itself to dinner.  Bears and Lions for that matter have been killed with every thing from 22's to 600 NE's.  Take what you can and will carry the Judge is big and mostly unhandy and more likely to be left behind after a couple of days.  I hunt bear and have them in camp ever so often and I'm comfortable with my 45LC even with an aggressive bear.  It's a Ruger and has more in common ballisticly with the 454 than the 45LC ammo you can buy off the shelve.  What do I carry?  A custom Ruger in 475 linbaugh with a 440grain soft cast bullet., take your Glock and consider it a noise maker unless things degrade into survival mode. 

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Posted (edited)

The difference in relaxing in the living room with a nice Scotch, maybe watching a good movie on tv .....and gulping a stiff bourbon after almost stepping on a bear at the bottom of the back porch steps. Subtle difference, I know.

NoBearvsBear.jpg

Edited by Utah Bob #35998
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