Need help choosing a side arm

TH

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I’m going on an Elk hunt in the therefore Oct 6-13. Last night I called the outfitter to see how the first rifle hunt went. He said they had 10 hunters. Out of the 10 hunters 7 killed had one elk wounded that got away. One guy missed 3 times from 100 yards and the other guy was 72 years old and had a hard time in the mountains and only hunted 4 days.

I asked the outfitter how the bears were they said the worst they had seen in 10 years. The elk that were killed were hung on a meat pole 30 feet in the air. The bears kept going in at night and chewing the ropes off and eating the hunter’s capes and meat. I guess they ate 4 hunters meat and chewed the ears off of several capes. They also had a hard time keeping them out of camp. The camp jack went through a whole box of flair type shotgun shells trying to keep them out of camp. The outfitter talked to the department of fish and game they are supposed to bring some bear fences out.

That being said i want to bring a side arm on this hunt. I only have two pistols I don’t think either one of them is going to work but I wanted to get your thoughts. I have a 5.7X28 and a 45acp. Some of the big grizzly bears weigh 1000 plus lbs. and in a close tight situation. I don’t feel any of these guns have enough stopping power to stop a bear. So with some advice from you guys do I have enough gun or should I go shopping and what for?
 

MTBULLET

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well, my personal "tent gun" for the back country is an 870 with 18" bbl. loaded with "oo" buck.
 

SidecarFlip

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45 with a hollow point (no ball ammo) should be fine in close proximity besides, you shouls have multiple rounds abvailable in the magazine. Probably take more than one (round) but you have extra's.
 

C.O. Shooter

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Yeah a 6-8 round mag in a compact .45 should do the trick! Try the hornady critical defense or the new zombie rounds. The zombie are a dollar or so cheaper and are nasty when they expand! I shoot the federal 230gr hydro shocks out of my HKUSP compact (.45) and the Speer gold dot 135 out of my HKP2000SK (.40). I would use either in my opinion. I carry both of these for personal protection. Depending on the time of year and situation.
 

bullfrog

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If you are familiar with your 45 it will make a much better weapon than one your not used to. DoubleTap ammunition makes a +P loading with a 255gr Keith style SWC if your looking for more bear killing penetration than normal defense rounds.
 

TH

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I have a kimber target ellipse II. Has a 9 round magazine plus one in the chamber. I appreciate all the advice. Im going bullet shopping today. I talked to some guys around here no one thought a 45 would be enough. I told them it didnt matter it you have the most powerful handgun in the world if you can't hit what your aiming at. My buddy that is going on the trip just bought the ultra light 44 mag smith. There is so much recoil that I don't enjoy shooting that gun at all. Then again if I had a big grizzly 5 yards in front of my I'm sure I wouldnt feel it go off.
 

TH

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Elk hunting camp is in Northwest Wyoming in the Teton Wilderness of the Bridger-Teton National Forest 9 miles from the Southeastern corner of Yellowstone National Park. We hunt the headwaters of the Thorofare River. The “Thorofare” is considered to be the entire drainage that drains to the Thorofare River in Wyoming elk area 60. The Thorofare is so named because of the migration routes for the big game in this drainage - it is a Thorofare!

It's a rifle hunt. 25 mile horse back ride to camp we stay in tents with wood burning stoves. The problem is when your hunting your riding a horse if you come up on a bear the horses normally get real spooky and there is no way you can get your rifle out of your scabbard. I'm really not worried about bears while I'm out hunting unless we kill and are out in the field quartering an elk up late in the evening. Mostly around camp but you never know.
 

429421Cowboy

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Personally, i feel comfortable working or playing in griz country with my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 mag with 340gr hard cast lead bullets at 1450fps by Buffalo Bore, or the Ruger .45 Colt i used to have and loaded hot was even better.
However i would feel the the .45 ACP with ball ammo, or HC lead (NO HPs!!!) will do the job just fine. I have seen plenty of cattle put down with a 1911, and don't think a bear has a much thicker skull plate than an old range bull. Anything that happens will be up close and require a good solid CNS hit to stop the fight. I would carry what you are used to, and then not be left with a gun that is not very practical for anything besides bear duty. You also might consider bear spray, alot of us here carry it and the numbers don't lie: 90% effective at stoppping an attack without harm whereas guns are only 50% effective per the USFWS data. A thin thread to hang from!

Also i have to doubt any grizzly in the Lower 48 will go a half a ton, the largest bear ever weighed by the Fish, Wildlife, and Parks not far from a ranch I used to work on weighed right at 800 lbs, it is far more common to see them in the 350-400lb range.
Good luck on your hunt!
 

ICANHITHIMMAN

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Elk hunting camp is in Northwest Wyoming in the Teton Wilderness of the Bridger-Teton National Forest 9 miles from the Southeastern corner of Yellowstone National Park. We hunt the headwaters of the Thorofare River. The “Thorofare” is considered to be the entire drainage that drains to the Thorofare River in Wyoming elk area 60. The Thorofare is so named because of the migration routes for the big game in this drainage - it is a Thorofare!

It's a rifle hunt. 25 mile horse back ride to camp we stay in tents with wood burning stoves. The problem is when your hunting your riding a horse if you come up on a bear the horses normally get real spooky and there is no way you can get your rifle out of your scabbard. I'm really not worried about bears while I'm out hunting unless we kill and are out in the field quartering an elk up late in the evening. Mostly around camp but you never know.

Cool, sounds like fun I am truly jealous. Wyoming is a pretty free state and depending where your from your carry permit may be reciprocal. Good luck in your choice, if it were me it would be a glock, if power is the issue get the 10mm.

One thing I will note, when I first switched to glock as my carry gun from a 1911. It took me about 700 rounds until I could pick it up and it pointed the same. Its completely normal. So what ever you buy be sure you have time to put some rounds down range before the trip.
 

TH

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Jan 22, 2003
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Ohio
The problem with bear spray is on the package it states this product might not function correctly below 32 degreese. The last thing I would want to do is pull my bear spray out and it not function correctly. Two years ago when I hunted in therofare the tempatures went from a high of 40 degreese to a low of 5 below. That is why I want a side arm instead if bear spray. If I new the tempatures were going to be warm enough I would definitely pick up a can.
 

TH

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Jan 22, 2003
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Ohio
I do not have a carry permit. Cody Wyoming reminds me of an old western cowboy town every time I go there I feel like I'm going to see a duel in the middle of the street. I have never felt the need to cary a gun until I heard how bad the bears are in elk camp. Maybe I'm nervous about nothing but better to be prepared than not to be.
 

texas

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Sep 26, 2001
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North, Texas
Normally wouldn't suggest a handgun but since you want something as backup protection and you already have a 45. Take it I would recommend you get some Buffalo Bore bullets and try them in your gun to see if the work and you can handle the recoil. Practice with it going from the holster or wherever you plan to carry it on you.
 
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