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Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle

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Unread 10-02-2009, 03:20 PM
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Location: Casper Wy
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Re: Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle

Use what you can get to quickly and handle under stress...Usualy you will only have a problem with a black bear that you surprize up close and there will be no time to play with something you are unfamiliar with!
I prefer a pump shotgun with slugs, mainly because its what I grew up shootin deer with. Fast handleing and packs a big punch up close!!
The accuracy of the Mini 14 is not an issue in self defense, a bear 100 yards away aint usually too much of a problem. The 223 is a little small and the 7.62x39 is a little underpowered but if you can get enough rounds off they'll work.
"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." -Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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Unread 10-02-2009, 05:40 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Re: Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle

30-30 would work, 223 would not. Atleast not very well. your asking the question as if you are looking to make a purchase for this purpose. If that is the case, a 12 guage shotgun is the best bet. If its a sidearm, i would get a 44 magnum. Bears are hard to kill fast and I have carried a 40 and a 45 while bowhunting before but honestly they are far underpowered. Usually I carry a 44 mag, or 500 S&W depening on where i am etc.

It is probably doubtful you will ever encounter a problem, but if you do i agree that you should be prepared. also, follow up shots are not a problem with a 44 mag that has any wieght to it. i have shot the ultra lights and they can be a handful.

good luck.
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Unread 10-02-2009, 05:43 PM
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Re: Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle

Marlin Guide gun in 45-70 or 450 marlin
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Unread 10-03-2009, 12:21 AM
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Re: Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle


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Unread 10-03-2009, 02:42 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Soldotna, Alaska
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Re: Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle

Here in Alaska two of my favorite defence guns against bears in my opinion is the short barrel 12 guage loaded with slugs and the plug removed it will hold 9 shots this way. or I got to say that I love my Ruger super red hawk 44 mag.. Trust me that if you ever need it for what you are intending it for you wont even think about the recoil.. If you are being atacked or charged you wont really have time to take aim so you have to make a shot count you will probubly only get off one or two shots in the case of an attack anyways so you definatly want to have some punch behind that gun to put it down now and a mini 14 is not the gun to do that. I hunt a lot of bear and it is amazing how tough they can be even a small black bear

The fish and game here use the 12 guage with slugs to put down our problem brown bears and it does a great job..

Last edited by Tony 0321; 10-03-2009 at 02:53 AM. Reason: Added more to the original post
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Unread 10-03-2009, 04:38 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 17
Re: Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle

Yep,i didnt think of the good ol shotgun.Nothing can stand after being shot with a slug,or buckshot.A pump is the way to go.The trick is to hit them in a vital spot.A bear is unbelievably fast,dont ever forget that.Most times they will bluff you and get close on a charge,then,stop pop their jaws,huff,or just stand there.dont shoot,if this happens.If it gets inside of 20ft,let em have it,and dont stop till it down or gone.Like others have said,your not very likely to ever have a issue,just be ready,and know what to expect.pan.
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Unread 10-03-2009, 09:50 AM
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Location: Washington State
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Re: Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle

I already had a .40 S&W, so I loaded 180g Hornady XTP to 1200fps with 8.3g of Longshot. I bit overpressure at the Hodgdon manual gets 1160fps with 8.0g, and there are definitely better choices for this scenario, but I'm making do with what I have in an easy to pack gun. This cases are not reloaded once shot. I found my load, it's accurate and it's powerful and I will shoot very little of this load as it will beat up the gun, I'm sure. Good luck. Jon

PS--read some time ago that mins. for black bear hunting with a handgun was .40 cal, 200g bullet, and 1K fps. The load above develops on the order of 25% more energy than the 'minimum'. However, when in a defense scenario (likely and agitated animal as opposed to hunting which is hopefully a still animal, unaware of your presence) with a large predator animal, my guess you'd want as much stopping power as you can get. A short barreled shotgun with heavy slugs would seem hard to beat. Although a powerful handgun would likely be adequate for most of the bears around here averaging, what...200lbs. or so? Not sure there's any fast and easy answer...
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Last edited by jmden; 10-03-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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