Ruger revolver for Bear hunting?

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contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
25,444
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
"I also wondered why you were the only camper with a firearm when you typed your first reply here. I don't understand many humans."

Sadly,, in todays world,, many people fail to understand the need for simple protection items,, thinking; "I don't need a xxxxxxxx!"

But also,, if backpacking,, and are going to be carrying everything on your body,, weight becomes a concern. MANY people work hard at reducing their load when backpacking & camping in the wilds. The smart folks take a form of protection & reduce weight in other places. To the smart folks,, it's a necessity,, but hopefully not needed.

Kinda like keeping an operational fire extinguisher in the kitchen. You have it,, but hope you don't ever need it.
 

badge851

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
Messages
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Location
Olympia, WA 98502
I have two Ruger® New Model Blackhawk® revolvers for bear, both are chambered in 41 Remington® Magnum. Blackhawk® No 1 is a 4⅝" barrel model that I carry whenever I am out and about in the woods. This is my "Bear Defence" handgun.

Blackhawk® No 2 is a 6½" barrel version. This is my hunting handgun for deer, bear, and elk.

Both guns are loaded with Underwood® Wide Long Flat Nose Gas Checked 265gr Hardcast.
 

BearBiologist

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
1,969
As I was taught in several "self-defense" &"personal security classes" (The Federal Govt offered these to biologists in the field at one time and to employees who might travel to foreign lands as civilians): Situational Awareness is your best defense! Think ahead!!!

"Non-standard heavy load"???? "Magnum" load????

A 45 Colt is a 45 Colt but a world of difference exists between a cowboy 45 Colt load and an OM "Ruger Only" 45 Colt load!!!!
 

John in WYO

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
169
Location
Wyoming
Before a bad car wreck and other health related problems stopped me from my time in the boonies I used to explore the desert and the local mountain range. I always carried a powerful handgun just in case a bear or Mountain Lion decide to get a bit too friendly. In more years than I care to count, I've had exactly two incidents with wildlife that required killing.

One was a Mountain Lion on Nevada that was stalking me. I'd scared it off a bit twice, but the third time it was too close for comfort. I was packing a Super Blackhawk .44 as usual but also a rifle chambered to the .243. I used the rifle, then reported the kill to the local game warden. They did an autopsy on the cat and apparently ir had not eaten anything in some time. The stomach was void of all content.

I don't remember the date of the incident with the lion but the bear is still in my memory banks. It was on the labor Day Weekend, 1959, camping with a college age group near Yosemite Nat'l. Park. Along about 2 in the morning I was awakened by a woman screaming and excited yelling by members of the group. When I got out of the tent I saw a Black Bear that was trying to drag a young lady out into the brush and away from camp. I had the only gun in camp, an S&W 38/44 Outdoorsman. The 38/44 Spl. was just a hot rod .38 Spl. load somewhat hotter than the current .38 Spl +P ammo you see today. I think it was also a bit hotter than the .38 Spl. +P+ ammo you hear about. I was shooting my handloads of a 158 gr. cast gas check SWC over a max load of H2400. The 38/44 S&W was the forerunner to the .357 Magnum and a good load in its own right. I took that bear down with two shots. The lady required a bunch of stitched as I recall.

Most of my bear protection guns are Ruger with one S&W 629 that is semi-retired. It doesn't digest really hot loads very well.
One old model Super Blackhawk and one New Model, .44 mag. with 7.5" barrel. An old model flat top .44 Mag and an old model .45 Colt with .45 ACP cylinder. Neither have been converted.

However, my favorites for desert ratting and mountain work gre a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 with 4 5/8" barrel and a regular Blackhawk grip and a Super Blackhawk Bisley in .45 Colt. I bought the Bisley because of an article by Ross Seyfried where he called it the poor man's custom. I have to say he was right and it handled John Linebaugh's hot loads quite well.

I also have a couple of Redhawks, a 5.5" and 7.5" but I think they're just too darn heavy for what I'd use a potent revolver for.
Paul B.
Paul B,
Sept 5/6/7 SAT/SUN/MON 1959
to help your memory.



I was at Dustin Linebaugh's this weekend.
He handed me a couple of rounds of John's favorite .45 Colt load for hunting.
RCBS .45-270 SAA/Winchester brass/24.0 H-110/CCI 350 Magnum .
Shot it out of a 3rd Gen Colt SAA 5.5" Blue/CCH.
It was barky.
Reminded me of my Model 29 4" with 240 grain magnums.

He said the old Colt could live forever with this 22k pressure load.

Now to find a black bear next month…
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 29, 2011
Messages
550
Best Griz gun? Have no idea. Not many around Virginia. That said, I would not carry any gun I could not shoot fast and accurately. I would not carry any pistol or revolver that I could not train with at least 250 rds per each training session. And that gun would have to hit center mass each and every time with rapid fire.
 

Paul B

Hunter
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
2,151
Location
Tucson, AZ
Paul B,
Sept 5/6/7 SAT/SUN/MON 1959
to help your memory.



I was at Dustin Linebaugh's this weekend.
He handed me a couple of rounds of John's favorite .45 Colt load for hunting.
RCBS .45-270 SAA/Winchester brass/24.0 H-110/CCI 350 Magnum .
Shot it out of a 3rd Gen Colt SAA 5.5" Blue/CCH.
It was barky.
Reminded me of my Model 29 4" with 240 grain magnums.

He said the old Colt could live forever with this 22k pressure load.

Now to find a black bear next month…
There's no way in hell I would shoot one of John Linebaugh level loads in a Colt Single action Army .45. regardless of generation. I have a few 3rd gen Colts and the the cylinder walls just aren't thick enough to suit me. I do have a couple of Ruger .45 Colts though and have run John's loads in them. One's a 7.5" old model Blackhawk and the other a 5.5" super Blackhawk Bisley. Probably the one I used most before the accident was a 4 5/8" Super Blackhawk in .44 Mag. mostly because it was slightly lighter than the Bisley .45.

Frankly, of all my magnum handguns my love is for the S&W 629 .4 magnum. It was very accurate for me with Elmer's load. (22.0 gr. 2400/240 gr. cast Lyman bullet) Problem is the the 629 couldn't stand up to the load. I had to send it back after 250 rounds for repair. After it came back, 200 rounds later it crapped out again. Sent it back once more and was told they would not fix it again. It's semi-retired now and I only run .44 spl. level loads in it. I've also since learned that Elmer Keith rarely used those stiff loads in his M29. He used light Bullseye and moderate Unique loads for most of his shooting, something he and his friendly gun writers failed to mention. My pet load for the .44 Spl. is 7.5 gr. Unique and a 250 gr. cast bullet. That's what I run in an S&W 624 I have I run 8.5 gr. Unique in .44 Mag, brass for the 6n9 and it shoots about like the Special at 25 yards.
Paul B.
 

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