Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    My friends and I do quite a bit of 20+ mile trail hiking and now that the bill is almost in effect we were wondering. It's always something that bothered us, if we were ever attacked by some nut or a wild animal, it might be days before anyone ever found us, because we were unable to defend and so deep in the woods.

    Does anyone know how effective a 9mm or a .45 would be vs a bear if we were ever to be attacked by one? My XD holds 17 rounds and his ruger 8 or 9.
    Would it be wiser to use fmj or jhp rounds?
    Where would you even go for shot placement on a bear?
    Could a 9 or a 45 even penetrate the skull?

    When we get the money one of us will be trying to grab for a 357 or a 44 but probably wont be for a while, we're saving up for something better.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    With critters that bite back, the only things that you really need consider are; penetration, making the biggest hole you can, penetration and penetration.

    A 9mm or 45acp will probably penetrate a skull of a blackbear. But to be realistic, headshots on wild critters that are on the attack only happen on TV shows. They are fast, agile, and pumped up on adrenalin - you are shaking in your hiking boots, filling your shorts full of poo, contemplating your life, and trying to decide whether to run or fight. We have a 7yd rule for humans, that if you're within that distance its a good chance that it will go arm-to-arm before you can draw. Well with a bear, that distance is much greater, and more than likely the bear will know about you long before you know about him.

    If you're gonna use a 9mm or 45acp, as weak as they are, I'd use FMJ for bear. Bear are tough skinned, have lots of muscle and are heavy boned. You want penetration, not expansion. Just look at the Buffalo Bore ammo for grizzly defense and hunting even with magnum guns, the hardcore ammo used are Keith style LFN/SWC type slugs. Why? For penetration and energy dump due to the wide and flat ogive meplat.

    For shot placement, the biggest target - the front chest cavity. Heart and lungs. As I said before, headshots are for TV and you can ask even those that instruction self-defense classes. Heads are small, chest is big, they are moving and so are you. I'm not saying not to shoot for it, because there are times that a headshot can be made - like from the side when your buddy is being chased down instead of you, or when shooting down at the bear from the tree limb above, or as the bear is trying to shove that gun up your ass as he straddles you and rips you apart. A hit to the bear's pinky toe is worth more than a miss to the head.
    Last edited by knight0334; January 14th, 2009 at 09:27 AM.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    If thatís what you have than bring it . Itís mostly to make you feel secure anyway.
    Sure a magnum would be preferred, but the reality is if a bear wants you for dinner he wins. Black bears by nature arenít aggressive, but they are unpredictable, as are all wild animals. The odds of stopping 3-600+ pounds of nasty coming at you before sustaining injury is unlikely. A bear at 20-30yds could jump your ass before you have time to shit your pants. Fortunately 99% of black bears will run like a frightened child given the chance.
    Leave the gun....take the cannoli.

  4. #4
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    Post Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    Always cut the front sight off. It makes it easier on you when the wounded bear shoves the hand gun up your ass.

    All seriousness, anything is better than nothing.

    Brad
    And if you want to race, name the place and I'll show you where it's at mother f@#$&#!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    they can piss a bear off, and they could kill with good shot placement. the problem is in a panic one tends to not shoot so well.

    i have a .454 casull that is good for bear from what i have been told. i am sure 44 mag would be great as well.
    This Space For Rent

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    a .45 will work on black bear. won't work on brown bear. Bear are very hard headed. Head shots are out. Use JHP.


    Quote Originally Posted by jcabin View Post
    My friends and I do quite a bit of 20+ mile trail hiking and now that the bill is almost in effect we were wondering. It's always something that bothered us, if we were ever attacked by some nut or a wild animal, it might be days before anyone ever found us, because we were unable to defend and so deep in the woods.

    Does anyone know how effective a 9mm or a .45 would be vs a bear if we were ever to be attacked by one? My XD holds 17 rounds and his ruger 8 or 9.
    Would it be wiser to use fmj or jhp rounds?
    Where would you even go for shot placement on a bear?
    Could a 9 or a 45 even penetrate the skull?

    When we get the money one of us will be trying to grab for a 357 or a 44 but probably wont be for a while, we're saving up for something better.
    USNRET '61-'81

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    At least the gunshots will let the rangers know they have to come pick up whats left.

    Actually, if anything, the gunshot will scare the bear off, or at least make them hesitate. Loud bang, flash, the stink of gunpowder in a bear's nose, all pretty annoying to them.

    Grab a can of bear mace if youre worried about it. No, it wont stop the determined critter, but itll deter quite a few. Good against the more dangerous woodland animals around here; rabid coons/foxes/dogs.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    If you are using a 9mm you will only need to carry 1 round... To put yourself out of your misery.

    Get a 44!
    Being an Obama supporter isn't a crime. But it should be!!!

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    Buffalo Bore is producing "Heavy" and "+P" ammo for damn near every handgun caliber out there. Most revolvers can handle it. Some autos may require slight mods such as heavier recoil springs, depending on the caliber.

    Might be something for you to look into.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Non magnum calibers vs bear?

    You should buy my 45-70 marlin guide gun, that will knock them on their a**.
    My brother in law used one when he was a guide out west and liked it for the size and knock down power. Add some buffalo bore ammo and its lights out.

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