45 ACP on Brown Bear.????

morgkj

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I always find threads like this with a lot of WHAT IF's
if we can be honest, about any caliber can kill a bear , and yes even big brown bears and grizzlies and??
the thing that kills is shot placement
a little old .22 has been know to kill about every critter om the planet!
NOT the ideal tool or caliber of choose I am sure for most of us when dealing with dangerous game! and I fully agree
but the CALIBER has done it!

a .45 I am sure has killed bears
just like some folks win the lottery, it happens, like it or not, some times luck out win skill and caliber!

BUT if one was actually going to carry a .45 for bears
I think the bigger debate should be on what bullet load to use, and not just say, will a .45 work

as there is a huge difference in bullets and how they preform on impact
just as there is a big difference IMO< in what bullet one would want for self defense against a 2 legged predator, and a say a 4 legged extra large bear!
so, before saying "X" caliber is the better medicine, maybe one should really consider the bullet in "X caliber just as much.

if you get into so called EXPERTS(and I ain;t claiming to be one)
when you get into specialty ammo designed for dangerous game in HANDGUNS
, quite honestly most hand guns are not made to handle the added stress
if you follow hand guns, over the decades you will find dozens that had weak links, when shooting heavy loads
, due to they were designed around shooters shooting more mild loads!
you get into say 10 mm hand guns, and FACTORY ammo, you find very very little FULLY loaded factory ammo, minus the more custom ended stuff
due to most 10 mm handguns won;'t hold up to repeated shooting of it, not a bash on the 10 mm, I own several and even carried one in AK many many times for BEARS or ???

but the truth is, many folks don;t know as much about handgun ammo and bullets and what works best on "X"
they read a lot of internet blabber(and some might call this some too, its ok if you do)
with just a lot saying, you need "X" caliber,
but never get into what actual ammo to use in it
which can be very misleading IMO

lots of experts on rifles and reloading
but handgun info seem to be missing from a lot, and NO bash meant!
Very well spoken, like I was saying in my post, I killed a black bear with 45 acp 230gr fmjs. Still took 3 to kill it. I shot it over my hounds so I had plenty of time to make a good shot. I really wouldn't recommend carrying a .45 for brown bears. Don't the guides in Alaska usually carry a shotgun with slugs?
 

Ross1147

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So after reading all 8 pages of this I can say most people don’t advise a 45 ACP for bear protection. But, isn’t it better than nothing? If someone asked 45ACP or nothing I would think most people would agree with 45ACP? Or would you say forget the gun and buy a can of spray?
I’m in the same boat as the OP. Going hunting in grizz country for the first time this year. I was thinking of loading up some hard cast or copper LD penetrators 250grn 45 colt (judge) to carry. It’s the largest pistol I have. I also have a 40, 357 SIG, 9mm, 380, and 22 pistols. Should I leave all of them at home and just replace with spray?
 
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Tuffcountry

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I don’t know about brown bears or even frontal shots on black bears, but I do know I killed a large boar black bear with one shot behind the shoulder with my .45 acp with an FMJ coming outta blackberry bushes and he made it about 50 yds. Now a charging brown bear might be a different story but I can’t help but think that if you smacked him square in the noogin or ran it up his nose that it wouldn’t do enough damage to make him think different
 

257X50

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Phil Shoemaker used a 9mm. But knows a bears anatomy well
His daughter, who guides, uses a 357 I believe......so 10mm HP
If I was using a 10mm.....it would be my soon to be 10mm mag
 

mrbb

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So after reading all 8 pages of this I can say most people don’t advise a 45 ACP for bear protection. But, isn’t it better than nothing? If someone asked 45ACP or nothing I would think most people would agree with 45ACP? Or would you say forget the gun and buy a can of spray?
I’m in the same boat as the OP. Going hunting in grizz country for the first time this year. I was thinking of loading up some hard cast or copper LD penetrators 250grn 45 colt (judge) to carry. It’s the largest pistol I have. I also have a 40, 357 SIG, 9mm, 380, and 22 pistols. Should I leave all of them at home and just replace with spray?
take with a grain of salt
but having a GUN is like wearing helmet, it adds confidence, even if its not a real deal maker or breaker!
a high percentage of bear charges are bluff;s too, all the more so with black bears

if you ever watch bear videos of bears challenging each other be it over food or mate, or even a female defending her cubs!
you will see how many times they BLUFF Charge each other, they will get CLOSE but NO blows will come, or will slap the ground and such!

its how they are, a fight is almost a rare thing, (minus in mating seasons or a very HUNGRY bear) most interactions are bluffs, and stand offs, trying to intimidate the other into backing down!

many will disagree, but if you talk to bear biologists that have REAL time with bears and experiences with them(same will go for bear guides!)

but the facts are bears Bluff charge, as its natural for them to do so, they don;t really want to risk injury if they don;'t have too
and its why, Bear spray works very well, it seems to alter there mind set, which is all that needs to happen many times on bears to get them to leave!
we humans already smell bad to them, add in pepper spray and well, , IMO< its why it works so well!

as in a BLUFF charge, it tends to be enough to make them change there mind as no real injury happened to them,

a BEAR that is dead SET on getting you, I doubt bear spray will work, nor will a poorly placed shot!
a lot IMO comes down to WHY the bear is charging you!

BUT a bear bluffing and getting shot at or wounded, IMO< might turn a bluff into a full on attack, all the more so if wounded from the shot! and will try and return any damage it got from what it considered a threat it tried to scare off!
just like when two males fight, after the first blow happens, the real fight begins! till them, its a lot of snarling and fakes!

so, unless your very confident in your hand gun skills under HIGH stress and have access to the gun in a FAST draw deal
bear spray might be the better tool to carry!
all the more so if your hunting in a place where grizzly bears are highly protected and fines are super high on shooting one!
I am sure few would care about a fine over saving there life, , but it is something to consider!

and odds are if your hunting, you already have a weapon on you, to use ?
not sure if your going on an archery hunt or??
but in some places when archery hunting its illegal to carry a hand gun in the OPEN<, some places allow for conceal carry, when bow hunting but not open carry, which then means a much slower draw!
where as bear spray can be out in the open
like all things, you have to know the rules and base your decisions on the whole picture!
just food for thought folks,
I have a lot of experience with bears, over the decades, never had to shoot one yet due to attacking me, and hope I never have too !

I am also friends with some of the best known bear biologist, world famous some are! , who have thousands of hours spent about bears, none of them have ever had to shoot one either that is, that was attacking them!
bear attacks are still very rare things
nothing wrong with being prepared for sure, which I gather this thread is about!
 

Tidus56

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For grizz I would want a shotgun with slugs or a 45-70. I can’t shoot the big hand cannons well enough to make it worth carrying a 500 S&W or similar.
 

mrbb

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what NOT to do HAHA!
 

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BillLarson

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The OP is looking for info on the .45ACP and Brown Bear. There are a lot of members chiming in on using other calibers and also some dismissing the power of a .45ACP.
I carried a .45ACP while in the marines and still have several for carry and home defense. It is very effective. When the US Government changed side arms away from the 1911 - .45ACP to 9mm & 10mm a lot of Operators in the Special units still kept the .45 ACP and even purchased on their own despite Government change.
Must be a reason why someone combat would still use the .45ACP!
Thank You Len....
 

436

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I think penetration is a major factor with big critters, a .45 ACP with a 230gr ball?.. I don't think so, 10mm with the "right" load?... perhaps, but... it's definitely not a bear gun, however, it has merit as a handgun for the woods.
Here is a pretty good test on a hardened target, you judge. I like the 10mm myself, and use the Underwood load for carrying in the mountains myself, in my G20SF Cheers

 

BillLarson

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I think penetration is a major factor with big critters, a .45 ACP with a 230gr ball?.. I don't think so, 10mm with the "right" load?... perhaps, but... it's definitely not a bear gun, however, it has merit as a handgun for the woods.
Here is a pretty good test on a hardened target, you judge. I like the 10mm myself, and use the Underwood load for carrying in the mountains myself, in my G20SF Cheers


Now that is good info.
Thank You..
 
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