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which side arm?

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Old 02-27-2009, 10:28 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 16
Re: which side arm?

so should i get the .45 or is the .40 enough?
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:03 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 441
Re: which side arm?

What are you going to use it for? It's hard to pick a cal without an intended use. In general handguns aren't worth a crap as back up. If you are going after wounded animals that can hurt or kill you a slug gun or large cal rifle is best. You will never see a PH use a handgun as back up BUT if it is all you can use and it is for dangerous animals I would use the largest I could shoot. On that note i've shot deer wiith a 9mm 40 and 45 and was not impressed with any of them.
"Fast is fine accurate is final"
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:18 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Miles City
Posts: 151
Re: which side arm?

As reliable as some may say, I would stear clear of a semi autos if you are in bear country. I'm sure someone will chime in and say diff. I would also highly recommend a .40 caliber up. My father in his younger days while guiding for bear and moose in AK would never allow any client to enter his camps without a .300 or bigger and if carrying a side arm, it had to be .40 and up. He has been in many situations that could have been prevented with a bigger caliber or better shot placement. Even though shot placement is key, you can't always make a great shot in certain situation, and that is when you need something with some knock down power. I live here in Montana and there was a bowhunter a few years back that pumped several .357 rounds into a bear that did nothing but anger the SMALL boar even more. Unfortinatly, he did not survive the attack. He had an elk on the ground that the bear wanted.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:07 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: western oregon
Posts: 40
Re: which side arm?

I like a 4 inch double action revolver in .44 mag or .45 long colt.Shoot heavy hard cast bullets around 300 grains.For sure there are more powerful rigs out there but some are a bit hard to carry and may have a tendency to cause a guy to flinch.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:04 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 45
Re: which side arm?

I carry a Taurus Tracker in 44 mag. It's a 5 shot double action in stainless with a 4 inch barrel. It's fairly light so I don't feel I should ever leave it behind. It's also ported so it's not to hard on your hands.
For bear protection the 40's or 45's do NOT have enough whop. You need a 44 mag and up. This pretty much leaves out the auto's unless you try a big desert eagle but then you won't want to carry that.
For stricktly bear protection the 500 s&w would be the ultimate if you felt you could shoot it effectivley in a crisis situation but it's very heavy. If I could pick any one handgun for bow hunting it would be the titanium s&w in 44 mag, ultralight and tons of knock down power.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:06 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,456
Re: which side arm?

I ran across an article recently in Petersen's Handgun Hunting that had some stated minimums for black bear handgun hunting: 200g bullet, at least 1000fps, at least .40 cal. Double Tap sells .40 S&W ammo loaded to 1050fps (4" barrel, 1100fps with 4.5" barrel) with a 200g Hornady XTP. Many handgun hunters seem to use the Hornday XTP--slower to expand and better to penetrate than typical defense bullets is my understanding. Obviously, this DT ammo is just over this 'published minimum', for what that's worth. Stopping a mad/scared bear is probably a good deal different than hunting one, however. Just some info for thought that I ran across. I still think I'd prefer to carry a .41 mag or 10mm at least, but the numbers from the DT ammo above are getting very close to standard 10mm loads numbers. It must be loaded a little hot.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?" Thomas Jefferson - Notes on the State of Virginia

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Old 03-13-2009, 10:53 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 16
Re: which side arm?

thank you for taking time to reply, 44 mag wheel gun it is!!. by the way did you happen to see the pics of the mnt. lion in spooner wi?
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