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  1. #41
    Tinhorn
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    *** Bear Defense - STRATEGY - Handgun ***

    Ooops, sorry, I did not know you had to register.... Here is a copy of the story.

    Pistol-packing hiker kills brown bear in sudden Chugach foothills attack
    SELF-DEFENSE: Muldoon man credits reflexes, shooting practice with saving his life.


    By DOUG O'HARRA
    Anchorage Daily News

    (Published: September 24, 2004)




    Gary Boyd, left, a retired Army helicopter pilot, and his friend Dennis Hall spread out the hide of a brown bear Boyd shot with his 44-caliber handgun in defense of his life on the tank trails near his Muldoon home. (Photo by Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News)


    Boyd holds the paw of the brown bear that charged him on the Fort Richardson tank trail near Muldoon. (Photo by Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News)


    Muldoon resident Gary Boyd, 57, shot this brown bear after it charged him on the Fort Richardson tank trail near Boyd's home. The bear was apparently guarding a gut pile from a moose legally killed in a bow hunt on the reservation. (Photo by Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News)

    Click on photo to enlarge
    Muldoon resident Gary Boyd was walking his boxer puppy Wednesday afternoon along the popular "tank" trail in the Chugach foothills north of Campbell Creek when he heard something big crashing through the brush behind him.

    "I thought it was a moose, but then I saw it was too low for a moose," said Boyd, a former Army helicopter pilot and retired maintenance chief. "I just had time to pull my pistol and spin around."

    A massive male brown bear erupted from the forest less than 20 feet away, claws tearing up hard-packed earth as it charged toward the 57-year-old .

    The bear, later estimated at 750 pounds, had apparently been guarding the remains of a moose taken in a Fort Richardson bow hunt in the woods about 75 feet off the gravel track used by hikers, bikers and dog walkers.

    "I fired the first shot, and I aimed at its shoulders," Boyd said. "When the first shot didn't faze it, I fired the second time, and it turned into the ditch, and I shot three more times, and it went down."

    With one shot remaining in his .44-caliber Magnum revolver, Boyd called Anchorage police on his cell phone and walked out a trail to the end of Klutina Street to meet Alaska state trooper Kim Babcock. It was about 12:30 p.m.

    Babcock and Boyd returned to the scene and found the bear still alive but unable to move. Babcock finished the animal with a shotgun slug to the heart, while Boyd shot it in the head.

    The Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement trooper said she believed Boyd acted appropriately in defense of his life and was glad he had been armed and had the skill to hit the animal with so little time at such close range.

    "He didn't have a choice," Babcock said.

    Boyd, who has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years, said he hasn't hunted in about 10 years, but always carries the handgun for protection and has practiced "a quick draw" over the years.

    "I feel terrible about having to kill it, but I tell you it was me or him," he said. "I'm glad the instincts and the training paid off."

    The incident marked the second time in a few weeks that a bear has been shot along the foothills of the Chugach Mountains by a hiker. On Aug. 25, Tudor Road resident Gabriel Winters killed a black bear sow that he said charged him near the tree line on Near Point.

    Through early September, another three brown bears had been shot this summer and fall in Anchorage. Four black bears had also been killed in defense of life and property, and two black bears died in vehicle collisions.

    This brown bear had buried the moose carcass under duff. Babcock said she confirmed with military conservation officers that the moose had been harvested and butchered last weekend and reported to authorities.

    "It was a legitimate animal," Babcock said.

    Military officers who came to the scene told Babcock and Boyd that the area would be posted and closed to further public access. The details could not be confirmed Wednesday evening with Army officials at Fort Richardson's duty office, military police, range control, game wardens or public affairs.

    The trail, which extends north from Far North Bicentennial Park through the foothills east of Muldoon neighborhoods, crosses land that Army officials say is off limits to recreation without permission. But residents and others regularly ride bikes, hike, jog and walk dogs along the trail every day.

    Boyd said he thought the bear had been reacting at first to his dog, a 22-month-old pup named Katie, as she ran ahead on the trail. Both Babcock and Boyd said they were amazed that someone else hadn't been attacked earlier in the day. It had been a big, mature animal, measuring 81/2 feet, a boar in its prime.

    "We hadn't had that bear dead within three minutes when 12 cross-country runners from the high school came by," Babcock said.

    "I'm just amazed that he didn't get somebody before me," Boyd added. "I see so many people back here that don't carry a weapon. Someone would have gotten hurt back here or killed."

    Daily News reporter Doug O'Harra can be reached at do'[email protected]

  2. #42
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    *** Bear Defense - STRATEGY - Handgun ***

    MMCougar,

    I have some questions about what you have posed, not necessarily arguing, but trying to understand...

    So let's say we're not Superman , and can only group three or four heavy .357's per second . --- And let's say ( for scenario ) , that the Bear is closing the last few yards , -- so that we're beginning to thrust the gun right into his head / face , -- which is getting quite hard to miss now . ----- Do you have confidence in this shooting style - ??

    Personally , I do .
    In the mentioned scenario, you have mentioned that the bear could be expected to close quickly, as much as 40 feet per second, and in the last few yards where the gun is pretty much thrust in the bears face, and a miss may be quite hard to imagine, we are talking fractions of a second which means in this case we may only have 'one shot'. Are you saying you prefer a .357 heavy penetrator, to a .44 heavy penetrator at this point? It seems the rapid fire capability is moot in this situation.

    And saying that only having one shot is scary or somehow dangerous is something I must say I disagree with wholeheartedly. Remember, data has shown that police officers who used to be limited to 6 shot revolvers had higher hit ratios per shot fired with the limited firepower but heavier recoiling .357, than when the police officers increased capacity of their firearms to 15 round 9mm handguns. The issue of shot placement and accuracy fell prey to a similar mindset you describe in confronting bears, less recoil and being able to fire second shots quicker. From this study we learned that shot placement is more critical than the number of rounds we carry, or the time it takes to fire them. The same is true in the field/woods as well. Hunting is all about learning to make that first shot count.

    Something to consider is not just the recoil, but muzzle rise. The muzzle rise is what keeps you from firing the next shot quickly, not necessarily recoil. This is why compensators are so prolific on competition guns. The recoil is still there, but the muzzle rise is made negligible...

    A light weight scandium 386 smith and wesson firing potent hardcast 180 gr. penetrating bullets will have more muzzle rise than a ruger super redhawk .44 magnum firing 300gr. hardcast penetrating. Which would you prefer of those two? The 386 is much lighter, holds one more round, but in a practice session or competition, the super redhawk may actually be fired faster... This particular comparison negates your argument entirely, unless portability is thrown into the equation. In the lower 48 where there are more people and more individuals who 'scare' easy by seeing a large firearm and where the size of the bears is no longer as large as they once were, smaller and lighter is better. In Alaska, where there are fewer people, and the game is much larger, heavier, and dangerous, well a heavier larger caliber gun that you can shoot just as fast as the lighter lesser caliber gun would be better.

    There are incidents where bear attacks have been stopped in Alaska with .35 caliber handguns, one in particular with a 9mm Beretta during a fishing trip. The 9mm did not penetrate the skull, but was lodged under the hide against the skull. It had the same effect as a blank fired at point blank contact against the temple area of our skull. If I remember correctly, the magazine of the gun was emptied at the bear. If you talk to that guy today, he would definitely prefer a larger caliber handgun he could shoot less rapidly if a handgun was all he could take.

    I do not recall any instances of survivors of large bear attacks favoring the smaller caliber handgun that you can shoot a tad faster than a larger caliber handgun that would shoot slower. Maybe they are out there, but I have not heard of them or spoken to them...

    Having said that, a .357 loaded with a 180 hard cast is all that is needed in most applications, especially in the lower 48. Alaska and I would venture to say Africa as well is another ball game alltogether.

  3. #43
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    *** Reply to : 1894/44 FAVORITE & GOLSOVIA ***

    - - LOTS TO DIGEST . --- Going way back to GOLSOVIA'S point about the importance of how a Bear Charge presents ; there's much truth in that . -- In fact , I'd almost say that the nature of the Charge , and all the variables that relate to it ; would dictate the optimum Weapon , -- as well as the strategy and shooting Style that would be most effective . . . . . ( IF IT COULD ONLY BE KNOWN IN ADVANCE :?: :?: ) .

    I did not know , and had never read , that meandering sideways usually indicates that it's a Bluff Charge , (but it sounds right ) .

    -- Ive seen two wildlife cases on television , however where that was not the case , and my own experience did not follow that pattern : -----

    One was an incoming Brown in Alaska , that meandered sideways two or three times , before choosing one party ( there were two groups of Wildlife Researchers present , trying to tranquilize this Guy ) . --- Once he made up his mind , though , he did your " Freight Train " number , -- until the alternate party dropped him . ----- Another , was the National Geographic Video ( that I mentioned above in this thread ) , --- This prime Boar , came straight in , then pulled up short , then wandered off , laterally ; ( very lucky Camera Man ) . ----- And my case , where a Black , came straight at me all the way , took one swipe ( hit my boot ) , and then went back to his meal .

    I'm not doing counterpoint , here , but I do think that UNPREDICTABILITY , is a better principle to hang your hat on than counting on any ( even the most probable ) , behavior .

    Having said that , --- It seems best to me , ( so far , at least ) , -- to train , and plan strategy , and choose a Handgun . . . . on the WORST SCENARIO :!:

    So , as I look at this Thread , I sort of mentally screen all the information through an assumption thet the Bear will be very close , -- come straight in ( Freight Train ) , and be in frontal presentation , all the way . --- Then , if it's better than that , you have more time for subsequent shots .

    1894/44 FAVORITE'S -- Article about the Brown in Alaska , -- faced with Handgun only , -- was EXCELLENT ! --- Wish I could get about a hundred of such accounts ; -- we might really have something to get our teeth into , -- and begin to extract best overall strategies .

    But the article DID , illustrate , that at least in one case , that a stiff .44 to the shoulder , -- turned the Charge ( I think ) .
    ---- For our purposes , there is lots of missing info. in the Article's account . --- Yes , -- too bad we don't have a Video of the charge .

    You guys have just about bent my mind around to .41 or .44 --- but nothing , so far has made me question the need to be able to GROUP VERY RAPIDLY . ( So to me , we're talking your 1000 fps. ( tops ) , and high SD , Heavy-For-Caliber Hardcast , with big Meplats ) .

    But I don't think the Attack in the article was the most probable circumstances . --- I think the
    " crashing through the brush " , probably slowed the critter down , -- or it was indeed a Bluff-Charge . ---- Because , at 20 ft. , with a full charge rate of even 30 ft/sec. , -- the Shooter would not have survived , and/or had time for the second shot ( to which the Boar reacted ) .

    But to answer one of your ( loaded ) , questions , -- If I knew I was only going to get one chance / shot , -- of course I would opt for the most powerful handgun round available ( even the ( shudder ) , .45-70 SA would not be enough ) .

    The reason I'm looking real hard at the .357 S&W seven-shooters with 180 gr. Hardcast , -- is still predicated on the fact that NO two or three Factory Handgun Rounds , known to man , will stop a Bruin Charge , unless the CNS is hit .

    I still agree that a " bobbing - weaving Grapefruit " is not the target that anyone chooses when death is the price of failure . --- But my point , again , is , what else have you got ? --- We have lots of good info. from thousands of Guides and Hunters that these Animals take multiple hits from .338's , .375,s , etc. and still continue to charge . ----- That's a KNOWN .

    I agree that a Bear with a broken shoulder , pelvis , or leg MIGHT ! turn , falter , or slow ; and I think that your point about the bigger lead causing that to happen more profoundly , -- is Correct . --- That's why I'm moving toward more Caliber .

    But there's still a big probability left uncovered in our search for the best chance to survive .

    And that is that the short timeframe , magnifies the PROBABILITY , that the Animal will continue the attack . --- In split-seconds he may not even discover that the leg ain't working so good . --- And once that ( Bears ) muzzle makes contact , --- baby , - THAT'S THE PAYOFF , -- to a Bear ! --- And he's going to be instinctually motivated , beyond all else , to keep on chewing .

    So that brings us back to the CNS hit , as the only Money shot in town .

    And that brings us back to the African STYLE of shooting Dangerous Game , -- where you wait until the Animal is Close , and the target is hard to miss , and then fire as rapidly as possible , -- Last Ditch .

    ( As above ) , I still believe that the best chance is to be able to fire extremely fast , and group tight , in the last split-
    second (s) , --- until at the last , you're practically FEEDING your Handgun into the Animal's face .

    And in those circumstances , a seventh , eighth , or tenth shot might be very important .

    IT IS ONLY IN THAT SENSE , THAT I OPINED THAT A POWERFUL HANDGUN , THAT TAKES THE SHOOTER WAY OUT OF HIS GROUPING RUT , -- " MIGHT BE DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS " .

    --- Or stated conversely , --- There are many OTHER Scenarios , and Circumstances , where a Fire-Breathing S&W 500 , might , just as likely , save your Bacon .


    ----- Nose To The Trail , --------- MMCOUGAR .
    Benefactor Life Member , NRA . - NRA Legion of Honor -
    -- They could have said -- " The right of " SUCH A MILITIA " to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed " . . . But instead they specified , " THE PEOPLE " .
    -- Just-Missed Charter Membership , -- in Team .444 -- #55 .
    -- Grand Pappy member of Sub-Forum - 1894 -- #01 .

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  5. #44
    Tinhorn
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    *** Bear Defense - STRATEGY - Handgun ***

    MMCougar,

    I was not able to find out any more information about the charge in Alaska, i.e. what loads he used, whether it was 20 feet or yards, whether he had already drawn a bead on the bear as it exited the brush, etc. as my brother-in-law is not a big gun person. It would be interesting to know, though.

    I may have sounded confusing, etc. as my last post went wandering all over the place - (it was late).

    To me, the african PH method of hunting, getting as close as possible before firing, is the same as stalk hunting here. The question of what the PH uses to stop a charge is the largest caliber rifle he can fire accurately, as the rifle generates significantly more power than any handgun. However, to say that the PH waits when charged until point blank is a stretch, granted most charges occur at point blank range, but the PH does not intentionally wait if charged from a distance. He tries to stop the animal as soon as possible, not by throwing up a barrage of bullets that would seem to be unlikely for the animal to pass through without being struck - but by placing his shots as accurately as possible with the most powerful weapon he can handle in the shortest time he can accurately do so. The key for any PH is shot placement first and foremost, not rapidity of fire - but the ability to be able to fire repeatedly is something they want in a rifle. Since their inception, the .30 caliber AK and SKS have probably killed more elephant and other game in Africa than all other calibers combined (AK is a poacher favorite), but the AK is not the choice of rifle for a PH who may have to face down a charging elephant, even with the rapid rate of fire he could send towards the animal with it.

    I understand what you say about wanting to be able to fire more shots or to place the shots rapidly, but I would prefer to have the largest amount of lead punching the largest hole travelling around 1200-1700 fps that I can handle and fire repeatedly without going blind from a muzzle flash as bright as the sun or having the muzzle jump so high I cannot bring it down quickly. ( OF course, this is referring to a handgun. I would much rather have a shotgun or rifle if in Alaska and the power increases they provide.) The reason for preferring the larger calibers on the larger game is since the handgun may not stop the animal from getting to me anyway, I want to do the most damage when I am on my back trying to get the animal off me, and most importantly, knowing the handgun is sorely lacking in power to start with, I want to do the most damage with the first shot in an attempt to turn the animal or keep it from reaching me.

    One thing you could do to the .41 is have it ported by someone, as this would decrease the muzzle rise/jump and allow you to fire fairly close to the same rapidity as the .357. The only drawbacks are the flash it creates near the front sight and the elevated noise from the blast being partially deflected upward. And really, the only place you would need to carry the .41 is in Alaska when visiting your family. Otherwise, the 686 is quite enough in the lower 48 states.

  6. #45
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    OOOPS ! Posted this initially in the wrong place .

    --- Reply to 1894/44 FAVORITE --- Made a mistake and initially posted this as a new Thread . :shock:


    *** Reply to : 1894/44 FAVORITE , -- AFRICA ?? ***



    Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 5:22 pm Post subject: *** Reply to : 1894/44 FAVORITE , -- AFRICA ?? ***

    --- 1894/44 FAVORITE , -- Your point about African PH's technique is absolutely Correct . They don't wait until the last moments ON PURPOSE , ( so that the target is big enough ! ) .

    I was splashing around Concepts here , ( to illustrate the Point ) , and got sloppy in the accuracy department .

    Also , thanks for researching the Alaskan incident . -- Actually, my thinking was impacted a lot by that article , although , got to be careful not to attach to one incident . -- But damn , it was sure right-on our subject . --- Makes a good case for the more powerful round .

    (Above ) , was the point that a high magazine capacity , lent itself to wasting rounds under stress , i.e. -- " Spray and Pray " Shooting , or " Buck-Fever " type panic-shooting . ---- I'm sure that there's a TENDENCY for this to happen , --- but on the logic , I disagree .

    Rather , --- This is where the training and the practicing comes in . --- I believe in the principle of CONSERVING your available rounds , so that if it becomes point-blank time ; you can really blitz them right in there ( Last-Ditch time ) . --- This is antithesis to Spray-and-pray .

    In Historical Military strategies , the " Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes " principle , was well known . -- Maybe it applies here , too ??

    I believe it was Evan Marshall (?) , ( anyway , some famous LEO and Gun Writer , that had been in many shoot-outs) ; --- that said , " In a real Gunfight , -- there is no such thing as too many rounds , without reloading " ----- In this I place my trust .

    This type of shooting is not an easy thing , -- It takes courage , coolness under extreme stress , etc . --- It is the stuff that make African PH's and famous Gunfighters , legend .
    And it is true that Practice , Practice , Practice , -- helps develop this . ---- ( read Massad Ayoub's book " StressFire ". )

    Hope I'm not hammering too mych on the point , -- but I think it's important . -- When you start out with 6 or 7 rounds in a magnum revolver , --- and (e.g.) , you're lucky enough to see the Charge begin , say , 50 yds. out , ( KEEPING IN MIND THAT YOU DON'T HAVE DANGEROUS GAME STOPPING POWER ! ) ; --- you don't waste four or five , -- and then have only one or two , when it's point-blank time ! --- ( To me this is basic to any viable Strategy ) .

    Accordingly , I do have great confidence in the technique of unloading rapid-fire into the target at closing ranges . --- I am confident , that no soft-skinned mammal can eat a face full of Magnum Hardcasts .

    So that is the concept that I was trying to illustrate .

    Probably the all-time best , ( fantasy ) Bear-defense weapon , would be a Sub-Machine Gun with Magnum hardcast rounds .

    One other insight that I see in this thread : --- At one point , I thought that the .357 would be O.K. for the smaller Bears of the Lower 48 ( as you said ) .

    I read up a little more on Bear Behavior / attacks , --- and I'm beginning to think that ANY Bruin Attack warrants the very best Handgun / Cartridge / Strategy , that you can put togeather .

    ---- I re-read the accounts where Predatory Attacks from relatively small Black Bear Adults , can be just as lethal , -- just as fast , as from larger / meaner Bears . --- Further , when stoaked with Adrenaline , the smaller ones are still hard to stop . They are extremely dense and strong for their size .

    -------- Grist For The Mill , ----- MMCOUGAR .
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    ---- They could have said - " The right of such a MILITIA , to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed " . . . . But they specified " THE PEOPLE " .
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  7. #46
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    *** Bear Defense - STRATEGY - Handgun ***

    I am starting to grasp more of what you are proposing, yet I still have more questions. Since we both agree on not wasting rounds during the charge by emptying the revolver or auto, and placing the shots accurately, this would favor the larger caliber gun with the largest amount of lead at the highest speed manageable. This gives the best opportunity for turning the animal and avoiding the point blank contact alltogether. If a turn does not occur, then firing multiple rounds at point blank range controllably yet quickly makes sense, but again the larger caliber may be more favorable as well, as the amount of lead and energy transferred from the larger gun may very well be more in 2-3 larger caliber hardcasts than 3-4 rounds of a lesser caliber. i.e. 2 rounds 305 gr. .44 - 305 gr. L.B.T.- L.F.N. (1325 fps / M.E. 1189 ft. lbs.) versus 3 rounds 180 gr .357, - 180 gr. LFN-GC (1400 fps ME 783 ft. lbs.) Note: this information is taken straight from Buffalo Bore website on these two loads.

    This gives you 610gr of .429 caliber lead with 2378 ft. lbs. energy versus 540gr of .357 caliber lead with 2349 ft. lbs. energy. Since we are talking about making sure that we practice and practice and are assured that we will strike the target at the close ranges, then the edge still seems to go the larger caliber. If you do the math for 3 .44 vs. 4 .357 it really swings toward the larger caliber. And for that last round in the gun, on a one to one basis, there is no comparison.

    Also note: if you are brave and can handle the stout load, there is a .44 magnum +P they sell that really puts the .44 out there miles ahead of the .357, but really, it is a very harsh load to shoot, and would be difficult to control well enough to make the comparison realistic.

    Take the .41 magnum as well, but do the comparison to the gun as a whole. 6 rounds of 265 gr. LWN-GC (1350 fps 1072 ft. lbs.) versus 7 rounds of 180 gr. LFN-GC (1400 fps ME 783 ft. lbs.) Note: once again using buffalo bore figures. The .41 gives you the capability to launch a total of 1590gr of .41 with total energy of 6432 versus 1260 gr. of .357 with total energy of 5481. Taking into consideration that you may, and it is a may, be able to fire 7 rounds of 357 to 5 rounds of 41 magnum, you are still able to launch 65gr. more lead with the .41, but the .357 will total 121 ft. lbs more energy - but, you now have that one last extra round to save your bacon before a reload in the .41 and it is much more powerful than the .357. The .41 will give you considerably more power, albeit quite anemic compared to the animal, for those first 2-3 shots to turn the animal versus the same 2-3 shots with a .357, and then in the last few yards another 2-3 rounds with more gross weight of lead and larger diameter holes versus 3-4 rounds of less weight of lead and smaller holes with only minutely more combined total power.

    And the kicker - you may actually have one extra final shot from the .41 that you do not get from the .357 if you empty the revolver quickly and launch more lead from the .41 with only fractionally less power (the 5 shots .41 to 7 shots .357 possibility).

    Yes, I had too much time on my hands the last 30 minutes.

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    *** REPLY TO -- 1894/44 FAVORITE --- ENERGY ! ***

    1894/44 FAVORITE , ------- Well , I don't think it's usually a case of ENERGY , or Wound Channel , or TISSUE DAMAGE , -- or any of the elements of INTERNAL WOUND BALLISTICS .

    Whether the Shooter first spots the Charge at 50 yds. or 20 ft. ; -- I believe that , IN A VAST MAJORITY OF CASES , --- the entire ball-game is in the ability of the Shooter to , ------HIT THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM :!:

    I think that it is very human for anyone surviving a Bear Attack , ( whether armed , or unarmed ) -- to gravitate to a weapon with more power . --- But that is a notion that , in the absence of experience , is highly PSYCHOLOGICAL and imaginative in nature !

    In view of the woeful inadequacy of handgun rounds to incapacitate an adrenaline charged Bear ; I still think that high-speed grouping , with a cartridge that will clearly penetrate a lg. Bear Skull , --- is the best chance to live through a Charge .

    Yes , if the Charge starts at 50 yds. , I'll really wish that I was carrying a .458 , or .375 , --- and , correspondingly , I'll also wish I had a .454 , .475 , or even your Buffalo Bore or Garrett , .44 Mag.

    But if the first shot or two goes by , and the animal is still coming ; --- I'm going to wish I had a real , in- close Fighting - Handgun , --- like my S&W 3" - M686 Seven Shooter . ( This thinking is the reason I bought one ) .

    Probably , if the Charge started at 50 yds. , and you crank through two aimed shots with a Bolt-Gun , -- you're down to your last ONE SECOND .

    But , as you say , . . . . . having said that ; --- I believe that it's a PERSONAL CHOICE . --- And I think that every individual SHOULD choose a Handgun , and Cartridge that they believe in , -- in the emotional sense . --- Because I believe that confidence in your weapon , translates , in a big way , to performance under Stress . ( And very few of us will ever experience enough Bear Attacks , to learn from experience ) .

    Because of the scarcity of experience ( i.e. , from those who have had lots of experience facing Bear Attacks with a Handgun , --- or , even lots of documented single incidents , as an info. data base ) , we have to sort of Wing-it and fill in the blanks with imagination .

    --- We can draw on lots of Dangerous game , and hunting info. , ( and some of this can be very informative ) , but most of this is Defense with a powerful Rifle ; --- and all parts of the correct Strategy ARE NOT DIRECTLY APPLICABLE TO HANDGUNS .

    Believe the bottom line , is , -- learn all you can about Bear Attacks , --- then choose the Handgun / Cartridge that you believe you can do nice work with , -- UNDER A WIDE RANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES , -- AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE STATISTICS ON BEAR ATTACKS ; --- and then remember the Groucho Marx Show , -- " You Bet Your Life " .

    ----- Nose To The Trail , -------- MMCOUGAR .
    Benefactor Life Member , NRA . - NRA Legion of Honor -
    -- They could have said -- " The right of " SUCH A MILITIA " to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed " . . . But instead they specified , " THE PEOPLE " .
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    -- Grand Pappy member of Sub-Forum - 1894 -- #01 .

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    *** Bear Defense - STRATEGY - Handgun ***

    I must agree that it is a personal choice for everyone to find what works for them.

    It is also a personal decision or definition of what a 'fighting gun' is. Some may think only a 4-5 inch barrel constitutes a fighting gun. Others, the 2 1/2" model 66, others nothing less than a 6" 45ACP. A good .44 magnum in a 4-6 inch barrel could be a great fighting gun as well. It comes down to how comfortable you are with the gun and how proficient you are with it. I know guys who can fire single action blackhawks faster and more accurately than other guys with double action smith and wessons - and both are experienced shooters. Jerry Miculek with a revolver can beat most of the winners of the local range competitions that fire semi-autos - including long strings with reloads, etc. There are guys that can shoot a .44 magnum full power faster and more accurately than guys with a .357 magnum full power - each individual is different. And like you have mentioned, training and practice is everything.

    During a charge, personally, I am for stopping the charge any way I can first and foremost, not just trying to hit the central nervous system. If the head is bobbing and weaving, I am going for the shoulder to give myself more options and chances to survive. And when the bear is in real close, I would rather the handgun (which is woefully underpowered) have as much power as I can realistically use and carry to give myself the best chance possible especially if I am only able to get off one round, as up close and personal, there may not be time for second shots and/or heaven forbid the gun or ammo malfunction or be knocked out of my grasp. There again, though, it is personal preference.

    One way to learn to about charging bears is to read and study, another is to practice on animals that may charge you. Start hunting wild boar, if you do not already, and use the .357 and the .41. See which one you prefer.

    In Alaska, I would not say that I would refuse to carry a .357, I would prefer a .44 or .45. If I happen to be in a group, I would feel comfortable with a .357 if someone else had a shotgun or rifle. Otherwise, I would prefer the larger handgun if I had no shotgun or rifle. The size of the game up there is such that it is amazing. Maybe it is only psychological, but I doubt it. I do not feel the same way about carry in the lower 48 - with possibly a few exceptions.

    I do recommend a lot of practice, especially with the larger guns when I think I may be carrying then anytime in the near future. I have learned, that proficiency with a handgun is something that does wear off slightly over time and the skills need to be sharpened and refined to maintain a level of proficiency, especially with the larger guns. I had read about this and been told, but when I experienced it, I understood more.

  10. #49
    Wrangler
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    *** REPLY TO - 1894/44 FAVORITE -- OPEN MIND ***

    1894/44 FAVORITE --- At this point , Pardner , -- I believe that your points are as good as mine -- ( in perspective ) .

    And surely , most of the expert opinion out there , will share your position .

    What will really determine who is " right " , can only be be demonstrated , in the field , under an attack , -- and as DICTATED by the circumstances that break at that time . --- Hope neither of us ever finds out .

    --- But ( IMHO ) , what's really important is being reasonably well prepared when you step into high- population Bear environs , ( or any dangerous game range ) .

    Mainly , I wanted to raise the point , because it often occurs to me when I'm practicing .

    You are right about the size of those Costal Bruins in Alaska , and on Kodiak Is . ---- Awesome !

    As to what constitutes a " fighting-handgun " , -- I am guided by the Father of your .44 's ( and my favorite , the .41 , for that matter ) . ---- My all-time , favorite Gun Author , whose opinions I share about 95% of the time , ---- Elmer .

    Elmer said the base purpose of a handgun , is to be a fast-handling , manueverable , personal sidearm . ( otherwise go to a good Rifle ) . --- He thought that the Ideal and maximum BBL . length , under the definition was 4 inches . . . . . Amen .

    And I would add , that a real " Fighting Handgun " -- must be Stone-Dependable , under adverse field conditions .

    Main thing in Arts like Handgunnery , is keeping an open mind , --- it's an evolving thing .


    --------- Highest Regards , ---------- MMCOUGAR .
    Benefactor Life Member , NRA . - NRA Legion of Honor -
    -- They could have said -- " The right of " SUCH A MILITIA " to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed " . . . But instead they specified , " THE PEOPLE " .
    -- Just-Missed Charter Membership , -- in Team .444 -- #55 .
    -- Grand Pappy member of Sub-Forum - 1894 -- #01 .

  11. #50
    Gun Wizard
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    *** Bear Defense - STRATEGY - Handgun ***

    You just keep burning through cord after cord of "electronic wood"- I thought this was done.

    Anyway, I'll add a couple more cents to it. I was a bit fascinated to read that one might wait until the target was too close to miss and then let loose. I do think that would most likely be correct for someone who could hold there coffee but not likely for someone who had little experience around the big boys and sensed one bearing down. I suspect more than a few would have emptied their guns or attempted to before the target actually became "real." Under those circumstances hitting the head would be pure luck, I believe. Someone with a bit of experience would more than likely be sizing up the situation if there was any distance involved and would e hesitant to use "only" a revolver unless it became clearly the only option for favorable resolution. Clearly a bear bent on one's destrcution is not an animal easily diverted with anything - though they can quite often be readily diverted with some pretty wild shots under more benign conditions. Any animal, whether it realizes it's hurt or not, will still react, will pause, if part of its main frame is compromised seriously. That doesn't mean you can expect to buy a lot of time but it should allow another shot at least and quite possibly one that is better aimed. I have seen a number of animals hit that didn't know a leg or legs was useless try to use those appendages. It doesn't work and it takes a moment for them to figure that out before, if they are intent on it, continuing their endeavors.

    A revolver certainly lacks the energy of the big rifles but it doesn't lack in penetration if you are launching heavy cast bullets. You can test this in a variety of ways but it will bear itself out if your test media have even the remotest realism. What you won't see is the explosive "splash" that heavy rifles provide.

    I am still reluctant to consider the head as a target except at virtual point blank range. It is not the head one needs to hit, it is the brain. And while the bone of the head is technically not so difficult to break, the job that must be done is to get a bullet through the skull into the brain or at least close enough to buy another shot. Bone, even when confronted by heavy bullets, can deflect. A bear's skull is shaped rather ideally to do so unless one can get a very direct shot. I certainly don't trust my skills to pull that off. It isn't so much that the bullet won't do damage; it's the likelyhood that it won't be enough damage and might only be an accelerant to an already explosive situation.

    I normally carry rifles when I know that there is more than minimal bear risk potential. Nearly always - that is any time I am not intentially working the thick stuff or track infested shores, I carry compact rifles - 20" barrels are what I prefer, and I load them with heavy-for-caliber bullets. My 358 Win holds 280 or 310 grainers, my 375-350 Rem holds 300 grain, and my Guide Gun holds 400 grain cast bullets. I have several handguns I can use including a double action and an even heavier single but my preferred carry handgun is my 4 5/8" barreled Blackhawk 45 Colt shooting 23 grains of W296 behind a cast RCBS 300 (320 actual) grain bullet. That gun just fits like an extension and I have great confidence in it. Yes, it pounds one's hand a bit and many are repulsed by the recoil it generates but it is 'learnable' if one is so motivated. I like the Redhawk in the same caliber also but I don't yet have the same confidence in it. It hasn't grown to become 'one' with my arm yet.

    I maintain that every shot must count. You only need one if you place it correctly - yes, even with a handgun. Expect to earn any more than the first contacting shot. It's okay to shake ........ when it's all over.
    45-70, 350 NorthFork 45-70, 350 Speer 30 WCF, 170 Core-Lokt


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