Black Bear self defense handgun/rifle

Outerspace

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Hi folks, I live in Western Washington, land of rain and trees and black bears in some places.

Where I live there are a lot of bears. Not good hunting, it is very dense brush and you have to get out of town quite a way in order to not ruffle someone's feathers.

I live out in the woods away and we have bear trouble from time to time. Whenever I hike I carry a Marlin 30-30, which I have read is supposed to be good.

However, I would like to have more than that in case of attack, and would be willing to carry a sidearm.

Alternately, I have a friend who is suggesting a rifle like a mini 14, which is high capacity clip. The idea being shooting a bear with 10-15 bullets from semi auto rather than 6 slow 30-30 shots.

So questions,

1) What are some good handguns? I have a .40, but what about 357 sig, 357 mag, 41 mag, etc. I assume 44 mag kicks to hard for multiple shot accuracy

2) What about the mini 14? Any reason to consider that in place of the 30-30?

Thanks
 

justgoto

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I would rather have at the least a 308 Win cartridge preferably in a semi-auto. I think the mini 14 comes in less powerful cartridges.

I know people that have shot average sized Pa. black bears with a 30-30 but I don't know if those bears are comparable to the ones you are talking about.

It never hurts to have more gun... Well, maybe in the shoulder.
 

panman

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The ole 30-30 is just fine.If you want to carry a hand gun a 41,or 45 colt would be perfect.If you wanted to change your rifle then get one in the cal.of 45,or 41,and you will have ammo for both at the same time.I live in black bear country and they are taken with these cal.every year with no issues.A lot of folks carry the 44 mag as well, but you dont need all that for the bears.Most people cant shoot the full power loads very well anyway.I carry a 41 and feal that it is plenty.pan.
 

prtaylor

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Safford AZ
The 30-30 is definately better than a mini 14. The mini 14 is a .223 round and as for accuracy you would be better off to try and beat the bear to death with butt of the gun rather than shoot at it. As for a pistol, the .40 should be a good back up for you. My 2cents anyway
 

Rmitch223

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The older Mini's are inaccurate!!!! Have you shot a newer one prtaylor? I have a modified Ruger Mini-14 that shoots under a inch groups at 100yrds.

I would suggest the Mini-30 over the Mini-14 because it is chambered in 7.62. I have a Ruger Super blackhawk in 44 mag and quick follow up shots are not really a problem.

.45 Auto would be my choice for a sidearm in that situation.
 
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prtaylor

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The older Mini's are inaccurate!!!! Have you shot a newer one prtaylor? I have a modified Ruger Mini-14 that shoots under a inch groups at 100yrds.

I would suggest the Mini-30 over the Mini-14 because it is chambered in 7.62. I have a Ruger Super blackhawk in 44 mag and quick follow up shots are not really a problem.

.45 Auto would be my choice for a sidearm in that situation.

I have not shot a new mini 14. The one I had was terrible and I would not be willing to spend any money on another one. I am glad you got o good one
 

MachV

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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.
 

lamiglas

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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.
 

1CouesHunter

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BIG BUCK

"I hear the sound of a MIGHTY RUSHING WIND and it's stronger now than it's EVER BEEN

I can almost hear the FATHER say GO GET MY CHILDREN at the midnight cry when JESUS comes again...... Will you be ready?"


WISE WORDS... THANKS!!!

1 CouesHunter
 

Tony 0321

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Mar 29, 2009
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Soldotna, Alaska
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..
 
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panman

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Feb 11, 2009
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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.
 

jmden

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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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