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Loaded For Bear. What Is The Right Pistol?


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#1 Coalman

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:00 AM

I grew up and have lived in the relatively bear free environment of seacoast NH all of my life. Most times if I ventured north or west into bear country it was to hunt so a side arm was never needed as I was carrying long arms.

Camp in Maine is a different story. The neighbors take their bird feeders down nightly due to black bears. The habitat around camp is prime real estate for bruins. I see more black bear sign every year.

I know I am safe. The statistics say so. But the statistics do not calm my own fear of meeting a black bear with cubs or a toothless hungry bruin as he or she emerge from their den.

I have been studying google earth and have found some awesome looking bogs around camp I'll like to test for brook trout. I just don't think my 22 Ruger Mach 1 is up for the charge of a bear, moose etc.

So I am in the market to purchase a handgun. Not to kill anything with but for the mental well being of cold steel on my hip or shoulder that would make any black bears "day".

I would like a semi auto. No revolvers. I am thinking around a 9 MM. Something light and easy to handle but with sufficient knock down power I may only need in my dreams.

How about you side arm guys out there. What would you suggest?
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#2 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:41 PM

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#3 bonecollector34

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:06 PM

Regardless you want it short nosed like a 2" barrel and holstered to your chest if there is a real worry about what your describing.

The attacking animal would have to be dealt with in close range and most likely with hands on or near chest. A hip holstered gun during a bear or mtn lion attack might as well be in a locked car, your not gonna remove your hands from your face and neck to reach for it.

If he is not shot in close distance then you had time to remove yourself and will be dealing with the State DNR or even feds.

I spend a lot of time in black bear, grizzly and lion country. prevention is your best bet, just stay away from them and make sure they know your there.

I carry a snub 2" 45 revolver, btw never left my holster. A revolver is IMO a much better protection gun. Just point and shot, they do not jam at weird lying angles nor stovepipe.

fft

Edited by bonecollector34, 22 June 2010 - 03:06 PM.


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#4 Coalman

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:17 PM

2" snub 45 cal.

What make and model would you recommend?
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#5 Phil

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:45 PM

I agree entirely with Marty on this one. I enjoy shooting Seth's XD in 9mm but am not impressed with that cal. as having enough stopping power. Give me a short barreled revolver if a situation like you described ever arose.
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#6 REDGREEN

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 03:52 PM

http://www.smith-wes...51_757751_image

Check out this webpage, and you might find something that you like. An 8 shot 357 loaded to the gills might be an option.

#7 mudduck

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 04:05 PM

We have a Rossi in .357 mag, stainless, snub nose. Got it as a fun gun, not overly expensive, shoots every time the trigger is pulled, pretty good report out of that short barrel. I like the grips. http://www.rossiusa.....cfm?category=1 Now, I dont consider this a "top of the Line" kind of gun, nor would I reccomend hunting bears with it, but for hauling around the woods while trout fishing, and possibly getting wet, I think it would fit the billPosted Image

Edited by mudduck, 22 June 2010 - 04:13 PM.


#8 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:04 PM

My son has a 9mm semi auto and I have shot it and would agree if my life depended on it I would rather carry my smith and wesson snub nose 38 spcl. Mine is the old detective special. Although I would not recommend a 38 special. If you insist on an auto loader I would say that the 45 acp would be minimum. If my life would depend on a handgun mine would be a 44 mag or even bigger. Here in central PA we have a good opportunity to see bears. Most times that I go into the woods when no season is on I either carry the snub nose 38 or a k frame smith and wesson 38 special. The only time I ever had a little confrontation with a black bear it was a sow with a yearling cub. She stood her ground at about 30 - 35 yds and we both had 3 inch mag 12 guages. We knelt down so as not to appear as big and she finally walked up the mountain about 50 yds and the young un came down the tree and ran to her. Oh yes we both clicked the safety off at the same time. I have been told that a black bear if it attacks, it means to kill you and you had better be ready to protect yourself. Unlike the grizzly the black bear seldom makes a false charge. 999 time out of 1000 the black bear will turn tail and run but not every time.
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#9 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:01 AM

My son has a 9mm semi auto and I have shot it and would agree if my life depended on it I would rather carry my smith and wesson snub nose 38 spcl. Mine is the old detective special. Although I would not recommend a 38 special. If you insist on an auto loader I would say that the 45 acp would be minimum. If my life would depend on a handgun mine would be a 44 mag or even bigger. Here in central PA we have a good opportunity to see bears. Most times that I go into the woods when no season is on I either carry the snub nose 38 or a k frame smith and wesson 38 special. The only time I ever had a little confrontation with a black bear it was a sow with a yearling cub. She stood her ground at about 30 - 35 yds and we both had 3 inch mag 12 guages. We knelt down so as not to appear as big and she finally walked up the mountain about 50 yds and the young un came down the tree and ran to her. Oh yes we both clicked the safety off at the same time. I have been told that a black bear if it attacks, it means to kill you and you had better be ready to protect yourself. Unlike the grizzly the black bear seldom makes a false charge. 999 time out of 1000 the black bear will turn tail and run but not every time.


Mine would be a .45 acp in a semi auto like a 1911 size model with a chest mount quick release holster. I'd get a backup clip because if I had to use it in that sort of condition I would most likely miss 50% of the time. A moving bear is not easy to hit. A 9MM would most likely pass right thru the bear and not take out enough stuff to slow it down. Like PA said here 99.9% of the time it's a mock bluff charge or the black bear is curious. You just have to make that judgement when to take the shot. Big cats - well that's another story.
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#10 Coalman

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 04:55 PM

Thanks for the info guys :!:

I have been thinking about my first thought of owning a semi versus a revolver. So with the help of a member link I clicked. It brought me right to the S&W site. From there I searched 40 S&W

I can count on one hand the bear I have seen alive in the woods. On the other hand I can count the bear tracks and leftovers I've walked next to. But since I have been hunting around camp, bruins are always on my mind.

A friend struck a soft spot when he mentioned coyotes. Although I haven't heard them in camp my trapping background tells me a healthy population of canines exists locally. On the start up Camp Mountain trail there is some lowland green growth you must pass through. I have posted pictures of Bay on that portion of trail. This winter the coyotes tracks were plentiful. My .22 pistol (if I remembered to bring it) would not have been up to the task.

Since encounters with Yogi are extremely rare in my adventures a new sidearm will see very little use. Age has made me think about every pound of accessories I carry in my pack or person. The hills haven gotten steeper and longer. :yes:

I like the looks of those little snub nose revolvers. Life is an adventure. Stay tuned......... 3:)
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#11 bonecollector34

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 08:58 AM

Yotes will not bother you but watch your dogs.

Practice shooting your revolver from positions applicable to what can happen. Shooting a short barrel off of a rest or sticks will not assist you if ever needed.

Work in shooting without a rest one handed, 2 handed, opposite hand, doing 20 push-ups then pick up revolver and shoot while heart rate is up and reloading with one hand and keep the distances at 5 yards or less. This is where bad things that happen in the woods will occur.

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#12 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 09:02 AM

Yotes will not bother you but watch your dogs.

Practice shooting your revolver from positions applicable to what can happen. Shooting a short barrel off of a rest or sticks will not assist you if ever needed.

Work in shooting without a rest one handed, 2 handed, opposite hand, doing 20 push-ups then pick up revolver and shoot while heart rate is up and reloading with one hand and keep the distances at 5 yards or less. This is where bad things that happen in the woods will occur.

BC


Great advice! Don't forget to throw in a heavy dose of adrenaline to the shooting. I know mine gets to me when I hunt bear.
"Keep the sun forever at your back, the wind forever in your face, and may forever God bless you out there on the trail."

#13 BrandonT

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:51 PM

Since you're tossing around the idea of a S & W. Just go all out! Posted Image I have a friend that carrys a .500 S & W for personal protection. LOL. We don't have any bears to worry about, but if there's a piece of steel that needs to have a hole in it, this will do the trick, I promise! LOL.

.500 Smith and Wesson

Little pricey and probably a little overkill for anything needed, but it'll give you piece of mind! LOL.
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#14 BrandonT

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 05:57 PM

Of course something with a little less kick would probably be better in a situation like you're talking about. :)
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