.357 Magnum for bear defense

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Opposite Pole, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Messages:
    371
    Video/Photo:
    5
    Likes Received:
    409
    Location:
    Mid-Missouri
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI, RMEF, Ducks Unlimited
    That Glock 20 will serve you fine, if you reload, you will be able to get significantly better performance than with most factory loads. If do not, double tap and buffalo bore both make some excellent hard-cast loads.

    I shoot far more pistol rounds a year than rifle, usually in the 12,000+ a year range, and I still only carry a 44mag loaded with a moderately hot hard-cast round when in bear country. The follow ups could very likely matter and you will be far better off shooting the Glock than some hand cannon you have only shot a several dozens round though.

    Edit: Sorry, I just noticed the date on the OP.
     
    WAB likes this.

  2. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    779
    Video/Photo:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,450
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    True enough!

    I too shoot quite a lot. IDPA with Glock 17 (9 mm), 20 (10 mm) and 21 (.45 ACP) and IPSC with a Less Baer .45 to be specific, and I too shoot upward of 1,000 rounds of "major" caliber every month. Some summer months, significantly more actually. So, the hand canon works quite well (with upper vents closed) for me and follow ups are actually surprisingly fast. I clocked myself with both .44 mag hard cast and .500 hard cast loads. The time difference between the two is hardly noticeable. Less than a quarter second to be specific.

    I think that the main point, to which I fully agree, is: whatever handgun you chose for self defense, against 4 legged or 2 legged critters, you need to shoot often enough, and in enough volume, to be entirely proficient with. There is not question that hitting with a .32 is better than missing with a .45, but there is also little arguing that hitting repeatedly with a .45 is generally more effective than hitting repeatedly with a .32...

    The same applies to bear: a few .44 hits are better than a few .500 misses, but a few .500 hits are better than a few .44 hits :)
     

  3. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Messages:
    634
    Video/Photo:
    62
    Likes Received:
    656
    Location:
    Warsaw & Sydney
    Member of:
    SSAA; PZŁ, KŁ Sęp
    Hunted:
    Australia, Poland
    Question remains valid. For now it’s G20 for me, I like the extra capacity and relatively light weight. As mentioned earlier I understand handgun’s limitation for the application discussed but it’s this or nothing. I also carry a large can of bear spray on my hip as well, one that can be sprayed straight from the belt.
     
    One Day... and Mekaniks like this.

  4. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    779
    Video/Photo:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,450
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    +1
    The G20 is my "truck gun" i.e. the one I carry for virtually all my outdoor activities, except when in Grizzly country which is rare :(.
    +1
    Exactly my perspective and why I did not go with a pistol grip pump shotgun full of Brenneke slung on the back. Too inconvenient when fly fishing, and hard to reach when also carrying a backpack... :whistle:

    Truth be told, I wanted a .500 S&W and fly fishing in bear country was the perfect excuse. Heck, even the wife approved of it! ;)

    The .44 and 10 mm I already owned would have worked too I believe. Less perfectly, but still likely acceptably. As stated, it is my belief (?) that the muzzle blast is actually what turns them away, if they turn. And if they do not turn, it would take more than anything fired from a handgun to actually stop a charging grizz... :unsure:

    As to the legalities of it, we have the same type of situation:
    upload_2019-11-1_10-44-25.png
    But as Foxi said:
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
    1dirthawker likes this.

  5. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2017
    Messages:
    371
    Video/Photo:
    5
    Likes Received:
    409
    Location:
    Mid-Missouri
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI, RMEF, Ducks Unlimited
    I certainly wasn't being critical of the choice of handgun, with enough practice one can easily overcome the recoil and blast, but it does take time to achieve and also time to maintain. I do most of my work from the January to the middle of May, so shooting and almost everything else get puts off during that time. It is crazy just how a few months of not shooting much causes my skills to diminish, it comes back pretty fast, but it is noticeable at first.
     
    One Day... likes this.

  6. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,422
    Video/Photo:
    63
    Likes Received:
    2,271
    Location:
    Seward, Alaska
    Member of:
    SCI, RMEF
    Hunted:
    AK, WY, WA, ID, FL, SD, TX, HI, South Africa- Northwest Province

    I hesitated to post in this thread, I watched the video posted by @sandman0921, and read @One Day... story and the direction the thread has turned has me concerned.....

    Let me start by confirming that I am far from being a bear expert, but I live in Alaska, in an area with lots of bears, both brown and black. I hunt, fish, hike and camp here at home, on the Russian, Kenai and Kasilof rivers. as well as hunting every year in Kodiak. I filled a Kodiak Brown bear tag several years ago, and I bait black bears here at home almost every year. I have had more than one "bear encounter" when not hunting them. We regularly have bears in our yard and around the neighborhood. I lots of bear stories. My son's high school wrestling coach was mauled by a brown sown with cubs a couple years ago. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/wil...lking-dog-mauled-by-bear-near-seward-airport/
    I have also worked up North where Polar Bear encounters were an almost daily occurrence in the winter and Brown Bears in the summer. We were required to participate in "bear training" and we didn't work outside without bear spray and a firearm.
    Many years ago I took a concealed carry class from a Chief of Police who was retired from the AK State Troopers working in AK Fish and Game Enforcement before taking the Chief position. During that class the conversations would almost invariably turn to bear defense...

    When I am fishing or hiking, I carry a Smith 500 either in a belt holster or in a chest holster depending on my activity. I ALSO carry bear spray on my belt. My wife hikes the trails around town alot (several times a week when the weather permits) she carries bear spray on her shoulder strap on her day pack.

    All that said, I glad that the Sandman's video and Oneday's story turned out as they did. Best case outcome for the situations for sure.

    My concern is the concept of a "warning shot" and IMO the very real and dangerous implications of folks doing so. I personally will have ZERO motivation to continue fishing any of the above mentioned areas if folks are going to start firing "warning shots" when they feel threatened by a bear.

    Here is just one of many stories......Two summers ago I have a neighbor who had a bear in his chicken coup. Neighbor grabs his shotgun, loaded with birdshot, and steps out onto the porch to see what all commotion is about. Brown bear hears him come out the door and stands up on its hind legs to look at him over the top of the 8' tall chicken coupe. Neighbor blasts bear in the head/face at about 35 yards across the driveway with 12 ga No. 6 shot to "scare it away". We (the entire neighborhood) spend the next week on lockdown, kids are not walking to school, playing outside ect, ect fearful that there is a 10' bear bear running around pissed off with a face full birdshot. Fortunately it all ended well, but it had all the potential to be a real mess.

    So the one thing that I have learned over the years it's this. If I feel threatened enough by person, a bear, a moose, a dog, or anything else that requires me to discharge my firearm it's because I feel my life is in danger and killing it is the only way to stop that threat.

    Bear Spray is the warning shot. IMO if the "muzzle blast" of a revolver is enough to turn a bear's charge, then bear spray will also, and will do so without throwing lead down the river. If the bear keeps coming (and yes it happens fast) then by all means dispatch the bear by any means necessary.

    Anyway, it's all my 2c so let the beatings begin......
     
    Trogon, Ridgewalker and Opposite Pole like this.

  7. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    400
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    556
    +1
     

  8. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    779
    Video/Photo:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,450
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    Very valid point Mekaniks. Often discussed, and never settled...

    I think that there is a difference between shooting into the water in front of the bear and wounding the bear in the face, even with No 6 shot (at 35 yds, the bear could be blinded and indeed antagonized...). There is obviously a major difference between shooting "down the river" and shooting into the river. There is also a difference between the wilderness of the upper part of the lower Russian River (below the falls) and a family neighborhood. There is a difference too between 35 yards and 35 feet. Finally, there is a difference between a bear on the run, charging, like the sow in the video posted by sandman0921, or jumping in the river suddenly (as stated above, in my case I do not believe that the bear jumped in the river to attack, but there is no predicting how a bear will react to the surprise face to face) and a bear rearing to watch from a distance...
    I hear you, and understand your point... and I do not frequent public shooting ranges anymore for the same reason: too many idiots with guns in their hands. Regarding bear spray in a close range surprised encounter, the way I see it is that the second shot can come really quick after the first one if the bear does not turn. Shifting from the bear spray can to the handgun will take longer and I am not sure one would always have the time...
    Not sure there is a perfect answer to this one...

    PS: +1 on the S&W .500
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019

  9. Mekaniks

    Mekaniks GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,422
    Video/Photo:
    63
    Likes Received:
    2,271
    Location:
    Seward, Alaska
    Member of:
    SCI, RMEF
    Hunted:
    AK, WY, WA, ID, FL, SD, TX, HI, South Africa- Northwest Province
    @One Day... yes I agree the bear spray argument vs handgun argument will likely never be settled and to each his own. I personally subscribe to both, but again that's just me.
    Maybe I need to clarify my point a little. My sole reason for participating in this thread at all is the concept of using a firearm as a "warning" in any situation. As sportsman, hunters, self defense, police, military we are all taught "if you don't intend to kill it don't pull the trigger". I believe that is a crucial rule of firearm safety and encouraging folks to do something different, regardless of circumstance, is irresponsible and just looking for problems. Thats all...
     

  10. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Messages:
    634
    Video/Photo:
    62
    Likes Received:
    656
    Location:
    Warsaw & Sydney
    Member of:
    SSAA; PZŁ, KŁ Sęp
    Hunted:
    Australia, Poland
    That is truly bizarre. In terms of self defence in great simplification Polish law states that it is ok to sacrifice lesser good for the sake of the greater good. It does not specify what tools may or may not be used. However the practical application and judiciaries’ interpretation of the law is far from black and white and typically more black than white.
     

  11. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    779
    Video/Photo:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,450
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    I understand what you are saying Mekaniks, and I generally agree. Technically, I think that you are merging two gun safety rules into one in your statement. Rule #1: "do not point the firearm at it unless you intend to kill it"; and rule #2: "do not put your finger on the trigger unless you intend to shoot." So I DO see a case for a safe warning shot with animals that I do not intend to kill if I can avoid it, if circumstances allow. I think it is Buzz Charlton of Charlton McCallum Safaris fame who was saying in a recent safari video in which he had to turn an elephant charge, something to the effect of: "you give them a warning shot if you are absolutely certain that you can reload in time to stop them if they do not turn." I tend to subscribe to this concept, but it is OK with me if others do not. To each their own.

    As to humans, in most cases this is different. One can issue a verbal warning that can be understood, even if different languages are involved.

    Bottom line: to me, circumstances dictate what to do. If there is time safely for a warning shot in the ground (safe direction), I see no harm in it. Not to mention that I would rather avoid the paperwork... But I do agree that if there is no time or rationale for a warning shot, then one shoots to kill.

    And yes, I DO understand your point about the danger of willy-nilly warning shots flying in all directions, but I do not believe that this is what was involved in this video or in my own experience.



    If people have the time to use bear spray then reach for their gun if the spray does not work, I am all for it. To me, the gun comes into play when the time for bear spray is already gone or was never there to begin with... So yes, I agree, with a caveat: do not shoot at it unless you intend to kill it...
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019

  12. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    779
    Video/Photo:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,450
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    I guess that this Yellowstone Park rule exists precisely to address the concern voiced by Mekaniks. A concern I totally agree with. I believe that the Parks Service is trying to deter a proliferation of unnecessary and potentially dangerous-to-the-public "warning shots" flying all over one of most crowded Parks in the US, by placing the bar high enough so that people who feel the need to shoot, feel that their life is endangered enough that they could not care less if they get arrested for discharging a firearm in the Park.
    Just my $0.02...
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
    ArmyGrunt likes this.

  13. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,428
    Video/Photo:
    149
    Likes Received:
    6,158
    Location:
    Georgia
    Hunted:
    USA, ALASKA Canada, New Zealand, Mexico Africa.
    Having been charged by a brown bear while hunting them and killing him I’d feel much better carrying a rifle of At least 338 caliber or better. But that’s just my opinion.
     
    Ridgewalker and Mekaniks like this.

  14. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Messages:
    634
    Video/Photo:
    62
    Likes Received:
    656
    Location:
    Warsaw & Sydney
    Member of:
    SSAA; PZŁ, KŁ Sęp
    Hunted:
    Australia, Poland
    I’ve no doubt you’re right and I agree entirely. In my case however it’d be illegal.
     

  15. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,428
    Video/Photo:
    149
    Likes Received:
    6,158
    Location:
    Georgia
    Hunted:
    USA, ALASKA Canada, New Zealand, Mexico Africa.
    Understood. Just a personal observation.
     

  16. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    779
    Video/Photo:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,450
    Member of:
    PHASA
    Hunted:
    Europe, America, Canada, Africa
    I think that if you read the posts along the thread you will see that we all agree on that point. This one is easy. As I stated along the way: "If you keep in mind that a healthy grizzly bear can weigh anywhere between 700 and 1,700 lbs and that a Cape Buffalo weighs around 1,300 lbs, it would make sense to consider that the same type of power is needed on grizz as is needed on buff." :)

    The less easy discussion is what when you are not hunting for grizz (or anything else for that matter) and not carrying a large caliber rifle? Hiking, floating rivers, fly fishing, etc. in grizzly country...
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019

  17. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,428
    Video/Photo:
    149
    Likes Received:
    6,158
    Location:
    Georgia
    Hunted:
    USA, ALASKA Canada, New Zealand, Mexico Africa.
    I understand what the thread says. Just making a comment.
     
    One Day... likes this.

  18. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,253
    Video/Photo:
    17
    Likes Received:
    1,460
    Member of:
    NRA endowment member/Life member
    Hunted:
    NAMIBIA, RSA, KYRYG, KAZAKSTAN, MOZAMBIQUE,MEXICO, BOLIVIA, PERU, BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, SPAIN,
    Opposite Pole.......you made an excellent choice.........................FWB
     

  19. Ridge Runner

    Ridge Runner AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    302
    Video/Photo:
    13
    Likes Received:
    283
    Hunted:
    East Cape, South Africa
    Im surprised no one has mentioned the .41 magnum. It's light, has modest recoil and gives the shooter ("relatively") the best of .45 auto, .45 Long Colt, .44 magnum and .357 magnum.
     

  20. crudeoildude

    crudeoildude AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    wyo
    Member of:
    nra bow hunters of wyo
    the 3 different 41 mags that I have owned,I have found as much difference between them and the 44mag as there is between the 30-30 and the 30-06 actualy no comparison,why have recoil if you don't have impact,handguns for Ursus Acrtos Horribalus are feel good medicine for humans in my humble opinion
     

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice