500 S&W (bear hunting)

jls in az

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Apr 19, 2009
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I have always been intrigued why people always debate on the best pistol as a backup to hunt bears? So, you would throw down your hunting rifle, attempt to draw a pistol to shoot a charging bear?
I think I would rather shoot a charging Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Water Buffalo with my rifle? Let alone a bear! What am I missing? If I were a bear close enough that you could not use your hunting rifle, I would take your pistol while you were trying to figure out how to draw it, and (insert your story here).
What an I missing? Do the PHs in Africa carry a pistol for back up? Do some folks go bear hunting alone? I must be missing sumptin?
Yep. You're missing something. That rifle isn't always in hand. If the bear is on top of you and he knocked the rifle 20 feet away in a charge, that pistol will save your life.
 

Whilton1981

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Apr 14, 2014
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Lacrosse,wi
Thanks for all the great advice!!! Very much appreciated. I have passed on it. I didn’t intend on using it much to shoot other than if I needed too. It sounds like a majority prefer .44 as a good all around. Would anyone be willing to part with one in or around that caliber? If so shoot me a PM. Again, thanks for all the input!
 

Treeslug

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Yep. You're missing something. That rifle isn't always in hand. If the bear is on top of you and he knocked the rifle 20 feet away in a charge, that pistol will save your life.
PH's in Africa usually have a gunbearer carrying a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot for a backup gun for big cats, and a few gunbearers for the really big stuff. (elephants, rhino, and Cape buffalo) If you are in bear country and carrying a handgun, it is probably your belief that you will only need it in an emergency, unless it is your primary hunting weapon. Sometimes you just have to put that rifle down to take care of other business. Like cleaning your kill, or packing the meat out and not carrying the extra weight of the rifle in your hands, or maybe relieving yourself while your partner is picking blueberries. A back-up pistol in bear country has saved a life or two over the years.

Oops, That comment was meant for SDPlinker's remark. Sorry bout that.
 

butlesl

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Dec 15, 2010
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Houston
Here is muzzle flash from my 8-3/8” S&W500 mag in broad daylight in July. Friend was shooting it and this is a frame from a video.
68668537-528A-455C-B46E-B46EF9645F44.png
 

skipglo

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Alberta
The Revenant bear charge still sends shivers. Reality check when you see it.
LINK: Revenant Bear Charge
An extremely high percentage of Bear charges are what are called... FALSE CHARGES! It's a bears way of determining your ( and it's) intention of Flight or Fight. Personally...(3 seperate occasions) I have I left that to God to determine whether or not the Bear was serious!
 

Wolf01

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Aug 17, 2020
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Silver springs , Nv.
If you're talking about shooting black bears over bait the 500 S&W has a lot more horsepower than needed but I've got to imagine it sure would be fun! I would assume that there would be enough muzzle flash from a 3.5" barrel to singe the hair on a bears back at 20 yards. 😂

I've got a 500 S&W Encore with a 20" barrel. The recoil is NOTICEABLE. :oops:
Tether the thing before you shoot it😂
 

Treeslug

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Sep 30, 2020
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Hill Country, Texas
An extremely high percentage of Bear charges are what are called... FALSE CHARGES! It's a bears way of determining your ( and it's) intention of Flight or Fight. Personally...(3 seperate occasions) I have I left that to God to determine whether or not the Bear was serious!
Yep, I reckon them three bears figured out who you are and decided to go pick on someone their own size. That, or they got a whiff of your aftershave.
 
D

Deleted member 115374

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Hello. Looking for a little help with thoughts on a .500 s&w for a sidearm for bear hunting. A friend of mine is selling (3.5” barrel) his and I am considering purchasing for this purpose. I don’t know anything about them other than researching them online. Thoughts on is it a good fit?
You might want to take a look at the 460SW- 8.5" barrel, shoots 460, 454 casull and 45 colt out of the same cylinder. Plenty of power for big bears in the 460 and 454 casull rounds, comes with 2 brakes.
 

flassen

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Nov 30, 2012
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I agree, the 460 is a good choice. It is available in a 5" ported version.

I have a very good friend that was on a moose hunt in Alaska, the only moose he could have got a shot at ambled by in the middle of a Guardia attack. If it would have been a bear he may have been in real trouble. A good handgun can come in handy when you least expect it.
 

skipglo

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Yep, I reckon them three bears figured out who you are and decided to go pick on someone their own size. That, or they got a whiff of your aftershave.
Lol....you missed the Moral of the story...I won't be ME here cause I like you too much! The moral is..... anything charging shoot first...then if you are one of those unfortunate folks that has a conscientious...you can question then if it was right thing to do! Me...I'm simple minded...I wouldn't want to deal with the "What if it was faking?" thought. IT might confuse me....I would simply say to myself...."Self... great shot...it's time for a RUM".....Shoot...shovel...and shut-up! It's nice to be alive!
 

Muddyboots

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Michigan
An extremely high percentage of Bear charges are what are called... FALSE CHARGES! It's a bears way of determining your ( and it's) intention of Flight or Fight. Personally...(3 seperate occasions) I have I left that to God to determine whether or not the Bear was serious!
I would hope my "false" muzzle flash would deter them too. :eek:
 

DirectDrive

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Nov 28, 2020
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Pacific Northwest
Ported, braked, or not, a short barreled 500 is going to be difficult to manage even for an experienced shooter. Might want to ask your friend why he's selling it. How many rounds has he shot through it? And have you shot it? If so, you can make an educated decision.
My money is on "barrel is too short".
That gun is nice with the 8-3/8" ported barrel.
It is however, a very large revolver.

A 629 (or similar) would be easier to draw in a hurry.
I own a 629 6" and have shot the 500.
 

DirectDrive

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Pacific Northwest
Thanks for all the great advice!!! Very much appreciated. I have passed on it. I didn’t intend on using it much to shoot other than if I needed too. It sounds like a majority prefer .44 as a good all around. Would anyone be willing to part with one in or around that caliber? If so shoot me a PM. Again, thanks for all the input!
Now that would be a giant mistake.
Think it through.

Mr. Big just might shove that revolver up where the sun don't shine if you don't train with it.
 

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