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Why does everyone recommend .44 MAG, and no mention of S+W .500 , in bear threads? Login/Join 
7.62mm Crusader
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I'd be curious to know if any of the rounds above the .454 can penatrate any better than the .454. I think it in the Freedom Arms gun would be perfect for bears. It does require skills with a single action vs double action without being so huge as the X frames.
 
Posts: 15424 | Registered: December 23, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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.500 S&W revolvers are, well, huge. It would be the holster wearing me, rather than me wearing the holster. Wink

I wrecked my right wrist, firing too many .44 and .41 Mags, in the Eighties, using N-Frames held with an improper grip, in my K/L-sized hands. If I walk among bears, I reckon I am going to wear a GP100-gripped SRH Alaskan, with .45 Colt hard-cast ammo, or a GP100, with hard-cast .357 Mag. Plus, I’ll try to keep a Benelli in-hand, or slung, if practicable.

Edited to add: I am aware that S&W X-Frames have K/L-sized grip frames. It is the overall size/mass that keeps them off my list of things to carry.


Have Colts, will travel
 
Posts: 3038 | Location: SE Texas | Registered: April 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
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When I was old enough to carry a gun in the woods, revolvers were what you thought of for reliable portable critter protection. The .44 mag was king of the hill for revolvers.
It held that title for so long that the ammo and guns became readily available...forever, as far as I can tell.

I'm small framed. So, while I learned to shoot .44 mag well enough to be a threat to paper at 25 yards, I wouldn't want to make it a daily routine. Anything bigger for me is shoulder fired.

Finally, at handgun velocities there is a point of diminishing returns for recoil. Especially when hard cast or fmj bullets will penetrate ridiculously well regardless of caliber once you get them going at all. I always felt like .44 was the optimal choice there for portable punchiness.

That's the list of reasons why I recommend .44 woods guns.
 
Posts: 6256 | Registered: May 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would stay with the 44mag mainly because of recoil.I have the 454 and it is harder for me to control recoil after 2 to 3 rapid shots. I only shoot 45s at 44 mag load level.
 
Posts: 288 | Location: South Texas | Registered: February 27, 2018Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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Try shooting full-house .500 loads with your weak hand. Mister Bear make take you by surprise. You may be injured. .44 Magnum would be more than enough to manage weak-handed, but I can see some people actually losing their pistol after their first shot, weak-handed with a .500.

If you've ever shot one of those fifty caliber cannons, you'll know what I mean, and that goes double for the four inch models. First time was the last time for me. No thank you.

.44 Magnum, loaded properly for these furry giants should give you a fighting chance of not becoming dinner. Hard cast, gas-checked 240s loaded to near max would be my choice.


____________________________________________________

"The fact of the matter is that in waging a scorched earth, no-holds barred war of 'resistance' against this administration, it is the Left that is engaged in a systematic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law" - US Attorney General William Barr, November 15, 2019
 
Posts: 89113 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Like a party
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I'm not a bear hunter and probably never will be.
I own a 460 S&W with a 7 1/2" barrel and a Dan Wesson 44 mag and a DW 445 SuperMag with barrels from 2 1/2" to 10". I primarily shoot them with 8" and 10" barrels attached.
The 460 and the 445 SuperMag are both a force to be reckoned with, the 460 S&W has a muzzle brake the 445 SuperMag does not.The 44 Mag is like a 38spl in comparison (shot from the Dan Wesson) compared to the 460 and 445 SuperMag.

If I were to be charged by a Bear I doubt I would get off more than 1 maybe 2 shots.

I would vote for the biggest, most powerful load I could carry, thus the 460 S&W would be my choice. If I had to carry a smaller package I would take the 445 SuperMag with an appropriate barrel length attached.
In protecting my life and limb I would not have the cost of, or availability of ammo even enter the equation.
 
Posts: 3369 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA: | Registered: November 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bookers Bourbon
and a good cigar
Picture of Johnny 3eagles
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The only pistol I ever had that needed a sling. The Smith and Wesson 500 Bone Collector. (Not a picture of mine)




My parents spanked me as a child. As a result, I now suffer from a psychological condition known as RESPECT FOR OTHERS.
 
Posts: 4573 | Location: Arkansas  | Registered: November 06, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of .38supersig
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If a large frame revolver is suitable for your needs, keep in mind that most revolvers chambered for the 460 S&W will chamber and function using 460 S&W, 454 Casull, 45 Schofield, and 45 Long Colt (among others). Versatility is always a factor. Can I empty a 10 1/2" 460 BFR one handed? Yes. Is it my first choice for handling such a firearm? No.


quote:
Originally posted by David Lee:
Can we get a video please of you shooting the armadillos? Big Grin


Interestingly enough, I was able to make a mount for a slow-motion camera on top of the barrel just behind the muzzle brake ports on the right side. Makes some entertaining video of 5 gallon water jugs, nighttime blasts, etc...

As for dispatching the critter, I usually don't go this route, but this one seemed to be off a bit. It was out in the yard at 3:00 in the afternoon erratically charging at my dogs and hissing and clawing at a fence. Assuming rabies or something worse, the first thing that I could get without losing sight of the critter was the 50AE. Scooped it up with a shovel and buried it in a hollow stump in the woods.



My other Sig is a Steyr...
 
Posts: 4961 | Location: Somewhere looking for ammo that nobody has at a place I haven't been to for a pistol I couldn't live without... | Registered: December 02, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
...and now here's Al
with the Weather.
Picture of guardianangel762
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Most people who say take a 44 Magnum have actually never seen a bear in the wild.

Most people that I've met who have seen a bear in the wild say take a shotgun loaded with slugs and a friend carrying a second shotgun with slugs.


___________________________________________________
But then of course I might be a 13 year old girl who reads alot of gun magazines, so feel free to disregard anything I post.
 
Posts: 9009 | Location: Lake Stevens, WA | Registered: March 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
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quote:
Originally posted by guardianangel762:
Most people who say take a 44 Magnum have actually never seen a bear in the wild.

Most people that I've met who have seen a bear in the wild say take a shotgun loaded with slugs and a friend carrying a second shotgun with slugs.
Oh, tell us about it, expert. "Most people" who've seen a bear in the woods would carry the Gatling off an A-10 if they had gun bearers to manage it. A handgun can be on your person at all times and can be operated with one hand, but you do go ahead tell us about this "two shotgun" setup that's the absolute minimum to get the job done.

Yeah, every second of your time in the wilderness, you'd have a seven or eight pound, three foot long hunk of steel on your person. Every second. Or, you can just contact the bear ahead of time and schedule an appointment. It's funny- when someone says "bear" and "gun", everyone seems to automatically think "grizzly."

I should look up an old friend of mine, a retired cop, who killed a brown bear while on vacation in Alaska in the 1970s with a Colt Python with a two and a half inch barrel, loaded with 158 grain softpoints. Someone should tell him that he didn't survive the attack. He doesn't seem to be aware of it. I guess he's not "most people."
 
Posts: 89113 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Experienced Slacker
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Was going to relate a test I did on plain ol' Winchester 240 jsp with wet phone books...turns out there is a gel test on youtube that is probably more interesting:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k9Ak3mSjb2M

Remember, this isn't even hard cast or fmj.
 
Posts: 6256 | Registered: May 12, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by guardianangel762:
Most people who say take a 44 Magnum have actually never seen a bear in the wild.

Most people that I've met who have seen a bear in the wild say take a shotgun loaded with slugs and a friend carrying a second shotgun with slugs.


Would a street sweeper, loaded with slugs, take the place of the two shotguns???

Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
 
Posts: 18369 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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GuardianAngel762-
I thought, from the context of the first post, that the discussion was strictly regarding handgun calibers.

If we are discussing ultimate bear protection, at all costs, a shotgun with slugs is good- especially a pump with 7+ rounds.

Or, a LAWS rocket?



I am in california. I can't carry a pistol on me unless I have a CCW. I hike. I have seen bears. I have seen fresh cougar tracks. Yes, I know what they are and fresh from 2 days ago.

I don't feel a need to carry a shotgun with bandoleer of slugs on the off chance a bear decides to attack. Heck, I would feel ok with a .357 loaded with Buffalo Bore outdoorsman or heavy lead free around here.

Now, if I were hunting in Alaska, where I had larger critters, and they may want the meat I am packing out, I might change my mind.

It all depends on where you are and what type of bear you might meet.

To make blanket statement that people who recommend .44mag have never seen a bear is inaccurate.

BTW, the people at Buffalo Bore prefer .454 as a baseline, but comment that .44 has done the job well- they just prefer the power of the .454. And, they are in griz country.


Sig P226, P220 Carry Stainless Elite, and a bunch of non-sigs. Smile
 
Posts: 543 | Location: South San Joaquin Valley, CA | Registered: September 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Rexster:

I wrecked my right wrist, firing too many .44 and .41 Mags, in the Eighties,




I'm afraid the strain was more than he could bear.


_____________________

Old. Male. White. Love the USA. Not sorry.
 
Posts: 10953 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Peace through
superior firepower
Picture of parabellum
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quote:
Originally posted by Rexster:
I wrecked my right wrist, firing too many .44 and .41 Mags, in the Eighties, using N-Frames held with an improper grip, in my K/L-sized hands.
I had a similar experience to that.

I came to the .44 Special the same way a lot of guys of my generation did- the writings of Skeeter Skelton in Shooting Times magazine. Moving from handloading the .45 ACP, handloading the .44 was a cinch. I used one powder and one slug only- Unique powder and Speer 240 grain swaged LSWC. IIRC, I worked up 7.2 grains in Remington cases, CCI non-magnum primers and shooting it out a 4" S&W Model 624. I couldn't tell you what they clocked. I've never owned a chronograph.
Well, that was so much fun, I bought a used Bangor-Punta era 4" Model 29 and worked up to (IIRC) 22.5 grains of 2400 in Remington cases, under hard cast Lyman 429421 255 grain LSWC plain base, and CCI non-magnum primers (because that's what I had on hand), and proceeded to shoot the ever-lovin' shit out of that revolver, to the point that it got out of time and developed end-shake. Rompin', stompin' fire-breathing handloads, baby. After all, I was a badass, you see. I sold it to a gunsmith who had a thing for repairing abused revolvers after I began having severe pain in my right wrist. I was working in the medical field at the time and my macho I-can-take-whatever-you-can-dish-out phase moved from shooting handguns loads that my friends would fire once only, to not batting an eye when one of the MDs would give me Cortisone injections into my wrist. And if you're wondering, Hell yes, that hurt. Fortunately, these steroid injections (I think I had 5 or 6 of them over the course of about 3 months) eventually ended the inflamation in my wrist. Very scary to think that you've screwed up your shooting hand permanently.

Not long after that, I ceased handloading and moved away from big bore revolvers altogether. As I said, I've never owned a chronograph. I worked up these loads slowly, and carefully examined fired cases for signs of excessive pressure, and I can tell you that my max .44 Magnum load would've torn Mr. Bear a new asshole.


____________________________________________________

"The fact of the matter is that in waging a scorched earth, no-holds barred war of 'resistance' against this administration, it is the Left that is engaged in a systematic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law" - US Attorney General William Barr, November 15, 2019
 
Posts: 89113 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don’t live in bear country, but want a gun for if I do visit. I plan to go with .44 magnum as I would like to have a pistol for any hiking, but then also have another lever action rifle of the same caliber.




NRA Benefactor Life Member
 
Posts: 6855 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Do you handload? Shortly before I abandoned my magnum pursuits, I bought a Marlin Model 1894 in .44 magnum, with the intention of working up a load I could use in both pistol and rifle, using H110. I did a lot of research before settling on H110. Not being in the least concerned about bears, I intended to use the old (and I think, no longer available) Speer 210 grain semi-jacketed HP, but if you want to work it up for bear, I'd go with hard cast, gas-checked 240 grain SWCs. I wouldn't have done this in my Marlin rifle because, unlike todays Marlins which use standard Ballard rifling, my rifle (from the late 1980s) had Marlin's "Micro-Groove" rifling, and I wouldn't use anything it but jacketed projectiles.

If not, something like the Remington 240 grain JSP in that youtube video might work for you. I couldn't tell you for sure, though. I never got around to working up anything for the lever gun.
 
Posts: 89113 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I do hand load, but only for calibers I shoot a lot of. My intentions would most likely be to find a factory round that works best in both pistol and lever action rifle and stock up on some ammo. I am still a long way off from either so I have time to figure out what to do.




NRA Benefactor Life Member
 
Posts: 6855 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, you're more likely to have luck finding a factory cartridge which will feed smoothly in your lever action, rather than the handloaded SWCs I've been talking about. I can see those flat-nosed, sharp-shouldered SWCs getting hung up in feeding, but, perhaps not. Ammo manufacturers will have done such testing for you during cartridge development, and smooth feeding is gonna be very important if you're taking your rifle around dangerous animals, and not just deer or other game.
 
Posts: 89113 | Registered: January 20, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Shoot one (a 500) just once and you'll understand.
I used to load a 300-gr bullet in my anti-bear .44 Magnums, and THAT shoots "softer", relatively speaking, than the 500.
In about 2010 I was offered a 500/4" at a fire sale price. Owner included a box of ammo with four rounds missing.
I bought it. Fired it four times. Gave it away.
 
Posts: 140 | Location: Waukesha Co, WI. & St. Paul MN | Registered: March 25, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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