Handguns Against Bears.

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Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,443
Way better than a sharp stick. Here are several instances of various guns being used. A smidge of luck doesn't hurt either. Not all bears are world record size bears. Take that into consideration.

https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/defense-against-bears-with-pistols-97-success-rate-37-incidents-by-caliber/#axzz57lsjxLsb

Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/defense-against-bears-with-pistols-97-success-rate-37-incidents-by-caliber/#ixzz57x9WqYAr
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- On the Internet, and in print, many people claim that pistols lack efficacy in defending against bear attacks. Here is an example that occurred on freerepublic.com:

“Actually, there are legions of people who have been badly mauled after using a handgun on a bear. Even some of the vaunted magnums.”

OK, give us a few examples. As you claim “legions”, it should not be too hard.

I never received a response. I believe the claim was made in good faith. There has been much conjecture about the lack of efficacy of pistols for defense against bears. A little searching will find a plethora of fantasy, fiction, mythology, and electrons sprayed about the supposed lack.

1. Alaska, Russian River, Grizzly Charged Fishermen, 9mm 17 August, 2002

2. Bear Charged John Tiebohl, 9 mm, 31 August, 2004 Bachelor Gulch, Colorado

3. AK: Guide Kills Attacking Grizzly with 9mm, July, 2016

4. Bowhunters, Spray Failed, 9mm, Grizzly October, 2017, account from two sources, Todd Orr, and Eye-witness, Beaver Creek, MT.

..........
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,729
WOW! Forum's longest ever post.

IF I am going to be in a bear rich environment, I'll carry what the Alaska
State Troopers use, a 12Ga with slugs. - - - But that's just me. :roll:
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,443
When troopers go out 99.5% of the time it's to deal with bears not people. They also use buckshot.
 

GunnyGene

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
6,392
There must be a BAH (Bears Against Handguns) movement formed immediately. We must rally all the socially responsible Bears and hold a Million Bear March on Washington to stop this unwarranted assault on the Bear Community. :wink: :lol:
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
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GunnyGene said:
There must be a BAH (Bears Against Handguns) movement formed immediately. We must rally all the socially responsible Bears and hold a Million Bear March on Washington to stop this unwarranted assault on the Bear Community. :wink: :lol:

Maybe if you talk nice you could hold the first meeting. :mrgreen:
 

pete44ru

Hunter
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
2,176
.

When confronted by a bear, the only folks who need a gun are those that can't run faster than their companions......... :roll:

.
 

BDM1

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Messages
498
That was a great post, a very good read, thanks much for sharing that with us. I don't live in bear country, i'm a little west of the Smokies in southern Tennessee, so i feel suitably armed with my 38spl. Interesting about the success of the 9mm, i guess i am a little surprised by that, but i am not a bear or ballistics expert. In any event, if i were to travel in bear country, i would still feel a little better if i had a larger caliber.
 

vito

Hunter
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
2,719
I can't imagine even thinking about reading that long a post. When I saw the subject I thought it was about Packer fans defending themselves while in Chicago.
 

rockymtnhi

Bearcat
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
11
If you have ever read the two books "Alaska Grizzly bear tales 1&2" You will see that every caliber has been used to kill a grizzly bear from .22lr to 460 mag. Once in a while right away or soon after the bear gets done mauling you! The only sure fire thing I came away with after reading these books was the one thing that stopped a grizzly bear in it's tracks and caused it to run away was a flare gun! In one instance the bear was hit with the flare in the other the grass in front of the bear was caught on fire. The bear stopped and fled in both cases!
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,075
Not quite off subject, but as a kid I remember reading an article in Outdoor Life about a person shooting a Grizzly that was well known as "old roman nose". The name came from the appearance of a large bump halfway between his nostrils and eyes. Seems that when they caped out the hide a shotgun wad with birdshot was the source of the "roman nose". I always wondered what happened to the person that fired that shot.... the article didn't say as I recall.

My brother was fishing for pinks in a stream near Juneau and a fella he fished with had a sawed off, pistol grip, 742 Remington chambered in 35 Whelen slung over his shoulder...... Not a handgun, but near so...

Dave
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
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Dave I seem to remember "ol Roman Nose" but never heard who did the original shooting. I bet the game wardens didn't either. I'm not big on shotguns for bears, State troopers use them because that's the biggest thing they have and mostly use them for people. I would take a long gun but I took my Marlin 1895 levergun in 45-70 with 430 grain hard casts. Most people I knew went with those as well or some other big rifle.
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,829
A good idea would be to use the biggest caliber you can shoot accurately & fast. Many suggest maximum horsepower but can't hit anything, doesn't make much sense.

Dick
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,443
Dick, that's the premise I've always worked off of. I think it's a good one. Otherwise a person is taking a real risk. Many of those listed in Alaska I remember.
The one at the Russian River after the initial shooting several hours passed before they were able to put the bear out of it's misery. It wasn't a large bear.
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,219
Based on my, admittedly, very limited experience, killing a fair sized black bear you are hunting and is more or less unaware of you presence isn't hard. Even with a fair case of excitement a single round of 30-06 does nicely.

Taking on an adrenalin charged bear is quite different, and your excitement/fear level is much higher. I have been, as it turned out, bluff charged twice by what I believe were smaller bears. Both times I was armed with a handgun, .45 acp and .357 mag. Both handguns felt totally insufficient to the task at hand.

In each case I picked an arbitrary point at which I would have fired if the bear reached it. They both stopped short, and after a bit wandered away. I wandered, much faster, the other direction.

So, what do I carry today? A .45 colt Blackhawk with a potent powder charge and hard cast lead Keith profile bullets.
 

GhosT

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 22, 2007
Messages
556
Bob Milek,
Pioneer of handgun hunters.

Thinking early 1980's.... GUNS AND AMMO magazine.
Hunting a treed black bear with a Python....158 grain hard cast SWC's.

1st shot, inspired the bear to fall,then charge Bob.
2nd and 3rd shots dead on chest shots....zero effect.

4rth shot.................he admitted lucky,damn near point blank....
Through the snout (nose) to the brain.
Admitted .357 mag under powered for smallest of bears,

He switched to .45 long Colt hand loads at .44 magnum levels.
 

Rancher Will

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
748
I suspect there may be more than one situation considering killing bears with a handgun.

Many years ago, I met and visited with a professional bear hunter, Ralph Flowers, who was employed by Lumber Companies in the Northwest to hunt and kill bears that were damaging lumber company trees. Flowers personally had killed over one hindered bears when I met him, using his revolver. I believe remembering that he told me he killed most of them with his 38-44 revolver. He also employed other bear hunters for the company, since he was in charge of bear control, some of them who also had killed over 100 bears.

Flowers later wrote a book, that was the biography history of the "bear control" work that was his life time career. I believe that book may still be available if interested.
 

Ugly Hombre

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
740
https://www.abebooks.com/Education-Bear-Hunter-Flowers-Ralph-Winchester/16532519864/bd

Thanks Will that looks very interesting- I will check it out!
 
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