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What do you carry when you are in grizzly country

This is a discussion on What do you carry when you are in grizzly country within the Handguns forums, part of the Gun Forum category; Great question and one that all who spend time in big bear country may consider I've been fascinated by bear attack stories since I was ...


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Old March 28th, 2017, 10:01 PM   #31
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Great question and one that all who spend time in big bear country may consider

I've been fascinated by bear attack stories since I was a lad, some of the books in the picture below I ordered when I was in eighth grade and a member of the "Outdoor Life Book Club" for those of you who remember it. I know/knew two of the authors personally and had opportunity to spend quite a bit of time asking questions. Now, decades later and after growing up in the pacific NW and living in Alaska for 35 years I have my own strong opinions. They are only opinions.


I've killed a couple black bear, no brown or grizzly bear. One of my brothers has killed two coastal brown bears one of which squared out at 10' 9" green. He lost the hide to a crooked taxidermist and later won a settlement in small claim court (another story), I've seen scores of big bear and hundreds of black bear. Both blacks I killed were less than 20' when shot, one squared at 7' the other was problem bear which I took under license and had tanned but it was nothing special, maybe 300 lbs, fat from peoples food garbage.

I've had bear respond to deer calls twice, my wife's cousin was forced to kill a large coastal brown when deer hunting which attacked when he blew his deer call. It charged downhill at him, he dropped it less than 50' with a large magnum rifle.

Anyway to answer your question my first handgun I carried for "big bear" was a Super Black Hawk .44 mag which was a gift from a friend who had visited the year before, I had taken him camping and fishing. His gift arrived one day before I departed with my brothers on a camping/fishing trip up a large coastal river inhabited by brown bear and moose.

I wore that revolver on a hip holster with the exception of when we were jet boating up or down the river. Thankfully I was not wearing it as we hit a submerged object (cooled lava from a flow) hidden by class V rapids. I was thrown through the windshield, bending over the welded windshield frame, I had inflated my Stormy Seas life jacket before coming back down this canyon (directed by God) it saved my life. (another story) I would have lost the handgun had I been wearing it.

Now, 25 years later, I prefer the lighter .45 auto STI 2011. I practice with this firearm, I've "blooded it" shooting large halibut, its fast, accurate and dependable. I trust it to come in to play faster than my revolver, plus I'm more concerned about two legged predators than big bear and I like the 12+1 capacity. I know there are those who pshaww the thought of packing a .45 auto in big bear country, I understand, I was one of those for years myself. May I suggest the article read below (link) about handgun defense for bear? Not included in this article is another successful defense story which took place in Denali National park a couple two or three years ago, with a .45 auto.

This track is of a fairly large coastal brown I was close to last spring.

[URL=http://s1125.photobucket.com/user/FinishtheRace/media/20160817_074928_zpsue4bdj8c.jpg.html]


Article link;
http://gunwatch.blogspot.com/2016/10...-failures.html[/

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Last edited by gettinolder; March 28th, 2017 at 10:26 PM. Reason: hit post before I was done.
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Old March 29th, 2017, 02:39 AM   #32
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An M14

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Old March 29th, 2017, 09:10 AM   #33
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I met a very attractive and "cheerfully perky" young lady a few months ago at an RV park on the Mexican Pacific coast. She and her family were parked next to my motorhome for a week. They were also from Canada, originally from Northern BC.

So we got to talkin' 'bout life.

And somehow or other the subject of bears came up.

I mentioned that there was a book about bear attacks which involved interviewing many of the survivors. She casually replied,
"Yes, I know. They asked to interview me but at the time, I didn't want to talk about it."

Then she lifted up her sun dress to show me her scars. Most of her left buttock was GONE. And BIG scars ran down the back of her thigh almost to her knee.

She laughed easily, and joked about being " half assed".

No apparent emotional trauma aka PTSD from nearly being eaten alive by a bear.
She just did physio till she could walk again, and simply got on with enjoying her life.

Now that kind of COURAGE impressed me.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 09:31 AM   #34
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Laz,

Did she happen to tell you her story of the encounter?
Did she run, stand her ground, or played dead?
For the life of me I don't know how anyone can actually play dead while you are under attack.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 09:46 AM   #35
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One of my 44 Mags. If the hike is any length I will be carrying the S&W 329PD 44 Mag. I had it ported by Mag-N-Port and it handles full house loads well. The bear load I carry is a Swift A-Frame 280 HP bullet, H110 20.4gr power, WLP primer, new Starline brass, 1.601 OAL. Very powerful load.

I love this gun.





15 yard target.



Be safe.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 09:56 AM   #36
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Steed, sweet gun I don't have the air lite but I do have 2 4 inch 29s which I love, they are good shooters and very easy to shoot well in single action.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 10:04 AM   #37
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I have a 5" S&W 629 that is great. It is just a bit heavy to carry on long hikes. I did a 30 mile Teton with it a few years back and was very glad I had the gun. We did encounter a mother black bear and her cub. We were very blessed as we were able to chase her and the cub from the trail with no incident. My gun was out and aimed at the mother the whole time. If she had turned and charged you would have probably heard some story about a Scout leader killing a mother black bear in Teton National Park. Still grateful for the protection. Can you imagine the grief from the animal lover folks? I had 20 boys behind me along with a few adults and no way that bear was getting past me. 44 Mags are great mountain guns in my opinion.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 10:06 AM   #38
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Question Yeo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killashrub View Post
An M14
The second last time I went bear and moose hunting, I took my Dutch AR 10. 200 gr 308 Win SP made me feel more confident. For bear and moose, heavier bullets are better. The AR 10 handled the 200 gr ammo perfectly, which would not be recommended in an M14. I also found the AR 10 quicker and easier to handle in brush.

But I have hunted with an M14 ... and of course, also with the Canuck favorite, the good ol Lee Enfield .303 British... which has probably taken more Cabadian bear and moose than everything else put together.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 10:21 AM   #39
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CLEAN UNDERWEAR!!!!!!!!

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Old March 29th, 2017, 10:27 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capona View Post
Laz,

Did she happen to tell you her story of the encounter?
Did she run, stand her ground, or played dead?
For the life of me I don't know how anyone can actually play dead while you are under attack.
She is only about 5'2" and slender so fighting was not really an option, and she did not have time to run. The bear saw her as FOOD, live food. Just stallked her, attacked her by surprise from behind, pinned her down, and started in chewing.

She curled up in a ball and played dead while the bear stripped the meat on her back, buttock, and left thigh down nearly to the bone.

I stopped asking questions ( She was still comfirtable talking about it but I got a bit squeamish after seeing the scars) so we never did discuss how the attack ended.
She is one TOUGH little woman. And I mean tough INSIDE. I do not think I could handle her experience any where near as well as she does.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 10:41 AM   #41
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A small UHF radio, to call in an airstrike?
Seriously though, it would be nice to carry an M1A Scout with a 20rd. magazine.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 10:59 AM   #42
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I love my SOCOM 16 but that is way too much for long hikes. Short events I might carry it as I don't think any pistol can compete with a SOCOM 16.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 11:28 AM   #43
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We Don't have any Grizzlies here in Florida cept maybe at the Zoo, but if I were afoot in Grizzly Country and had to rely on a Handgun I would probably choose my S&W 629 TALO with the Nastiest 300 grain load I could stuff into it. Nuff Said

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Old March 29th, 2017, 11:33 AM   #44
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629s are such great guns. Nice Talo! You might want to check on porting that beauty at Mag-Na-Port. They did a great job on my 329PD.

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Old March 29th, 2017, 01:35 PM   #45
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When we used to shoot bowling pins, we ran 4 stages at 7 yds and one stage at 100 yds.
Pistol, revolver, shotgun, carbine, and rifle.

FIVE PINS, CLEAN HITS, push the HEAVY MAPLE pins 3' straight back to fall.
Simple ... just do this as fast as you can pull.the trigger.

This was, IMHO, a serious test of D/V/C basics.
If the perfect balance between SPEED/ POWER / ACCURACY was not all there,
then those dam pins would mercilessly mock you.
No excuses, no "mulligans", just you, five pins, and a stop watch ...
And all your shooting buddies watching and laughing? Or cheering?

Excellent practice, under light pressure, for PRACTICAL shooting, with none of the complicated "tactical" running and romping around.

BASIC skills that could serve as the foundation for the more nimble Ipsc and IDPA type shoots.

Obviously, the shotguns usually posted the quickest times at the 7 yd tables
Then the carbines ( surprised?)
Then the pistols
Then the revolvers

Five pins STRAIGHT at 100 yds QUICKLY is a manly feat.
And most shooters went prone and/or used a bipod.
I used a soft recoiling compensated AR 10, with a trigger job and a scope. .308 168 gr HPBT MATCH ammo did the job if I did my part. Anything under 10 seconds was competitive.

I also used the same AR 10 on the 7yd carbine stage, but the bug bore/ pistol calibre THUMPERS had an advantage here. Best time came from a semi auto Ruger .44 Mag carbine, but some of the lever action guys did well here. Mini 14s and AR 15s were pathetic. The pins would usually just wobble, or fall over, and dozens of extra shots were often needed to push those stubborn pins 3' back and off the table.

Big bore Semi auto pistols were easier to shoot FAST than the revolvers of equivalent power. The revolvers tended to have more muzzle flip, and took longer to come back down. But if you got the timing and cadence just right, some pretty impressive revolver shooting was displayed.

I used a .44 Mag Redhawk 7", magnaported, with a slicked up DA trigger pull that stacked almist like a single action. I had tried several S&W 29 and 25 revolvers before going to the Redhawks, but THE S&W BIG BORE REVOLVERS DID NOT STAND UP WELL TO LOTS AND LOTS OF FAST DOUBLE ACTION WITH HEAVY LOADS.

My pistol was a SS RANDALL 6", compensated, in .45 SUPER. I coukd clean the table quicker and more consistently with the .45 SUPER than I coukd with the Ruger.

So what does all this have to do with bears?

While the .44 MAG coukd be loaded up a bit hotter and heavier than the .45 SUPER, I was getting eight fast, controllable shots off with 230 gr Hornady flat point solids at about 1200 fps. For a bear pistol, I would prefer weight and penetration over expansion, and 230 gr solids at well over the speed of sound, in a CONTROLLABLE platform, made sense to me. So my .45 SUPER 1911 AUTO replaced my Redhawk as my go to bear pistol. The Randall was also significantly easier to carry than the Redhawk = boat anchor.

But, as proven with a table full of pins and a stop watch, a shotgun is usally quicker on close range fast targets than any pistol. And much more powerful. My CO buddies always recommended BUCKSHOT as first in the chamber, followed by slug/buck/slug. The first REACTIVE/INSTINCTIVE shot of buck was into the bear's face, to blind and stun and STOP the bear IMMEDIATELY, and anchor him for the more carefully aimed deep pentrating slug. And the preferred slug was the ultra velocity solid copper sabots, which turned into a lethal buzz saw on impact, and cut deep and wide.

I.have never personally shot a bear with a copper sabot slug, but the guys who gave me this advjce shoot bears as part of their jobs.
So
This potentially LIFE OR DEATH advice is offered for free, here on the internet.
It may be worth more or less than you paid for it.
(;-[ )
LAZ 1

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