Caliber for Michigan black bear?? - Page 2
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Thread: Caliber for Michigan black bear??

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    China Twp., MI
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    10mm auto

    it seems there r some very capable 10mm cartridges out there as well. if loaded to max potential, the numbers look very impressive. anyone shot 1 or own 1? is recoil atrocious? could this b a reliable black bear contender?

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  3. I lean toward the '44mag or bigger' school of thought when it comes to ANY species of bear. We are dealing with something that has teeth, claws and can and will eat you. There really isn't such a thing as 'too dead' as far as I'm concerned in this case. Bears can be pretty tough and I'd really hate to run into a tough one and end up just making him mad by not having enough gun.

  4. You need to remember that you are not talking about killing the bear. Any caliber that can get to the vitals will kill a bear. As with humans, what you want to do is STOP the bear. That requires penetration and power. If you must shoot to protect yourself, you are better off with shotgun & slugs or a large caliber rifle; .35 caliber or better. Having said all that, most black bears will try to avoid you as much as possible. Make noise so they know you're coming. You'll be fine.

  5. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by m.ritz View Post
    i've read that a 9mm fmj can possibly b as effective as 45 fmj... doesn't seem right to me. maybe if it's +p? anyone know? i want to pick up something i can carry all day eyen in the woods. i think a pistol would b more comfortable than a revolver, but i'd only go that route if i can get a pistol that will do the job. would u recommend a glock 19 loaded with 124+p fmj's a glock 30 loaded with +p fmj's?
    Science discussion, forgive me! But the energy of a 9MM runs about 250 ft/lbs, while the .357 Magnum generally ranges between 550-750 ft/lbs. The .44 Magnum runs roughly about 900-1100 ft/lbs. A .45 is somewhere between bringing slightly more energy than the .357 Magnum, and slightly less than the .44 Magnum. Basically, the energy from these is sort of like the differences between a tack hammer, a 16 oz carpenters hammer, and a sledge hammer.

    As we've all heard, shot placement is critical, as is bullet type (solid core, not JHP). That being said, if you have to shoot a bear, you are in fact shooting to kill it, as it will kill you if it is attacking, and will not stop until stopped dead once it begins.

  6. #15

    what the pros used

    Way back in the early 80's I was aquainted with an individual that was contracted by the USGS to develop a weapon and a training program to teach USGS employees how to survive bear attacks. The gun had to be on the employee all the time and be convienient to carry, usable by both sexes. He issued a 4" sw 629 44mag. to all. They were trained with a snarling growling picture running towards them at high speed. They all had to qualify with multiple hits, (4min) drawing from a holster,before being allowed to work in the field. My understanding was the program was a resounding success and the next 4 brownie attacks that year were stopped. Of course I don't think the .500 smith was around then. I applied for a job once in bear territory and a 629 was what I chose. I use a 300gr JSP with 18.7 grains of accurate arms powder behind it. Muzzel 1200fps, [email protected], and 755ftp of retained energy. Note: when working up a load always reduce it by 10% at the start and work your way up to the cal. maximum only in the absence of any pressure signs. A nice thing about revolvers is you can increase your over all catridge length a little which reduces the pressure too.

  7. #16
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    A friend of ours bought 15 AK 47s back when they heard that Clinton was banning them. Of course he gave it away later on -- for a price. What can be worst than an AK, huh? What ? -- a Mossberg? you betcha!
    "Don't let the door hit ya where the dawg shudda bit ya!"
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  8. Quote Originally Posted by coachdb18 View Post
    Science discussion, forgive me!

    As we've all heard, shot placement is critical, as is bullet type (solid core, not JHP). That being said, if you have to shoot a bear, you are in fact shooting to kill it, as it will kill you if it is attacking, and will not stop until stopped dead once it begins.
    No apology is necessary.

    I wasn't saying you should try not to kill it. My point was that you can kill a black bear with a small caliber lower power handgun, but he will most likely die well after he has destroyed you. Therefore your real goal is to stop him. That of course almost assures his demise.

    Just as a note, I remember reading an account of hunting black bear with a model 1911 in .45ACP. IIRC it took an entire magazine.

    I also read of a documented account of one being killed with the .22 long rifle. The killing shots were through the roof of the mouth into the brain stem-which says something about the circumstances.

  9. #18
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    China Twp., MI
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    ok, lets throw out suggestions of using a rifle or shotgun. being realistic, i'm not going to lug something like that around through hiking trails with my family all day. i'm looking for enough comfort to carry, but enough energy to drop a bear. if at all possible, i'd b going for the head, so i need only penetrate the skull and go another few inches in and it's lights out. regardless the bullet, if it penetrates the brain, emptying the clip won't b necessary. (note: as mentioned above about circumstances with the .22, if a bear's attacking, i can't see there being a problem going for the head. i'd think the head would b well within range and visibility)

  10. Considering your restrictions, I suggest bear spray (and training) for everyone, and a .44 mag with heavy FMJ bullets for you. I would also spend a good deal of time researching black bear avoidance as that is your best solution. Brief all the members of your party before embarking on how to behave & what to expect. Prepare as best you can, then relax and have a good time.

  11. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by m.ritz View Post
    ok, lets throw out suggestions of using a rifle or shotgun. being realistic, i'm not going to lug something like that around through hiking trails with my family all day. i'm looking for enough comfort to carry, but enough energy to drop a bear. if at all possible, i'd b going for the head, so i need only penetrate the skull and go another few inches in and it's lights out. regardless the bullet, if it penetrates the brain, emptying the clip won't b necessary. (note: as mentioned above about circumstances with the .22, if a bear's attacking, i can't see there being a problem going for the head. I'd think the head would be well within range and visibility)
    My recommendation is above, the .44 mag load has about three times the penetration of the 240 gr. factory load. It barks a lot and has a terrific muzzle flash but shoots straight. I would not recommend a .22 for the job (but I wouldn't hesitate to use one if that was all I had) a friend of mine had to shoot his Great Dane that had been hit by a car (totaled the car) he popped him seven (7) times right between the eyes until he was out of ammo and the poor beast just whimpered at him. The big farmer was crying as he used his buck knife to cut his neck to finish the dog. All the rounds slid around through the sinuses and exited (90deg)out his neck none went through the brain. If any of you ever have to do this with a .22 shoot them in the ear, the bullet will pass clean through the brain.
    Last edited by jimmyjohn; 08-24-2011 at 12:09 AM. Reason: grammer

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