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#268350 - 03/19/14 03:42 PM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
JerryFountain Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
[quote]
Cows kill more folks in North America than bears do. I don't think that there is a handgun powerful enough to deal with the likes of Hamish

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEi_m5jqak0



We always used a .22 LR pistol to end Hamish types. Learned it from my Vet who used a Colt Woodsman. Probably used it 5 or 10 times a week to put down large animals. Never had a failure. Many slaughter houses used a .22 with graphite bullets.

That said, the .22 is certainly less than optimal against bears, although as others have said, it may be the optimal short term survival tool. Like fishing gear it will keep you busy until the rescue takes place.

Many want the maximum power available. I do not agree nor do many other experienced people ( http://www.garrettcartridges.com/defensive.html ). If you are going to stop a charging bear you need enough power to consistently penetrate the skull. Any other shot will not stop the bear. Once you have enough (my information suggests that a standard pressure .44 mag with proper bullets is enough) then any more power just slows down repeat shots. Since we cannot be assured of hitting what we need (a baseball size) in a head moving multiple directions, even with great skill, we need to be prepared to shoot multiple times. Recovery time is faster for anyone with a lower recoil. If the guns are the same, everyone will shoot faster with a .44 than with a .454. That is why I think you can carry too much gun. Even if you are good with it, you will be better with less recoil.

With a rifle you can go to a higher power level and still recover quickly, although the same concept applies here. I use a load like the Garrett standard pressure 420 gr as a defensive load. For hunting Alaskan bear I would use the +P from Garrett or Buffalo Bore.

Respectfully,

Jerry

p.s. Usual disclaimer about Garrett and Buffalo Bore - just a satisfied customer.

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#268351 - 03/19/14 04:15 PM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: Deathwind]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
If I could carry it, I'd just carry a CIWS and settle the debate over caliber vs recovery time vs hard to hit a moving target.

I might have to hire a few sherpa's to do the heavy lifting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS

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#268361 - 03/19/14 09:14 PM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: JerryFountain]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1134
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: JerryFountain
That said, the .22 is certainly less than optimal against bears, although as others have said, it may be the optimal short term survival tool. Like fishing gear it will keep you busy until the rescue takes place.

Many want the maximum power available. I do not agree nor do many other experienced people ( http://www.garrettcartridges.com/defensive.html ). If you are going to stop a charging bear you need enough power to consistently penetrate the skull. Any other shot will not stop the bear. Once you have enough (my information suggests that a standard pressure .44 mag with proper bullets is enough) then any more power just slows down repeat shots. Since we cannot be assured of hitting what we need (a baseball size) in a head moving multiple directions, even with great skill, we need to be prepared to shoot multiple times. Recovery time is faster for anyone with a lower recoil. If the guns are the same, everyone will shoot faster with a .44 than with a .454. That is why I think you can carry too much gun. Even if you are good with it, you will be better with less recoil.

Jerry,

On certain points we agree, on other points I would somewhat disagree. The "what's the best gun for bear defense" is probably second only to the guns vs spray question for generating heated arguments. smile Here are a couple of my opinions.

Re: "Many want the maximum power available. I do not agree nor do many other experienced people .." By the same token many highly experienced people do argue for the most powerfull gun you can shoot well. Alaska bear hunting guides probably have seen more bears killed, and killed more bears in dangerous situations than anyone. Guides frequently have to go into the pucker brush to finish off a bear wounded by poor shooting clients. While I've heard of a few who carry a semi auto 30-06 or similar, most seem to prefer bigger guns. The 375 H&H is a common choice. Quite a few carry the 458 Win Mag.

Re: "If you are going to stop a charging bear you need enough power to consistently penetrate the skull. Any other shot will not stop the bear." I don't quite agree with that. While a hit on the bear's brain is certainly ideal, any number of people have successfully stopped charging bears with other than head shots. A hit on the shoulder (with a powerful, penetrating round) for example, can both shatter the shoulder bones (slowing the charge) and penetrate into heart and lungs. To reiterate, lots of people have stopped charges without hitting the brain.

Other hits can also do the job. I killed a smallish (at least by Kodiak standards) brown bear at about 15 yards. He wasn't charging, but he dropped like a rock and didn't even twitch after. What happened was that our carefully planned stalk took us out of sight of the bear for a period. Unknown to us, during that time the bear decided to move. We had just crossed an alder choked gully, and as I extricated myself from the last of the alder, the bear suddenly appeared about 15 yards away out of some high grass. He was as surprised as I was! I'm sure the bear was trying to decide whether to charge or run. I reacted first, and shot for the shoulder. I was a bit high and the bullet drove through and broke the spine. I was using a 338 Win Mag, shooting 250 gr Nosler Partition bullets.

Re: "Since we cannot be assured of hitting what we need (a baseball size) in a head moving multiple directions, even with great skill, we need to be prepared to shoot multiple times." While getting in a second shot is certainly ideal if you can do it, a great many bear encounters are at very close range and happen very fast. Quite often one shot is all you get, no matter how fast you are. You need to balance the ability to get a quick second shot against the importance of making that first shot do the job. As noted above, a few guides opt for guns that allow a faster follow up shot, but most seem to prefer more punch on the first shot.

I think the strongest argument for a less powerful gun is not the second shot, but rather that you are more likely to put in the practice necessary for making the first shot good. Many people find the bigger bores less pleaseant to shoot. Hence they don't practice nearly enough with their defensive gun (be it rifle or pistol). When I drew that Kodiak hunt I mentioned above, I immediately started shooting a lot. I burned a very big pile of ammo (and $$$$) practicing shooting in the months before that hunt. I've probably never been as good with a rifle as I was at the time of that hunt.

In my opinion, the bottom line is still to use the most powerfull gun you can shoot really well!
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#268368 - 03/20/14 02:36 AM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: Deathwind]
Deathwind Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 310
Were they using those .22's against human targets or animals?

I'm sure it would be all well and good to use a .22 on a bear if it held very still and let me jam the muzzle down it's ear channel. But in that situation he would be no threat and we could go our separate ways in peace.

Well said AKSAR. I practiced extensively with my .454, starting with reduced loads and working up to maximum loads for that gun. I handle the recoil very well in both one and two handed grips and cock it on the way down from the recoil. I'd like to think I could get two shots off. And people seem to forget that bears, moose and other dangerous animals are flesh and blood and bullets do slow them down with shock and damage.

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#268383 - 03/20/14 04:30 PM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: AKSAR]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
<your post>


Good post, man! Well put.

I am curious about this:
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
...as I extricated myself from the last of the alder, the bear suddenly appeared about 15 yards away out of some high grass. He was as surprised as I was! I'm sure the bear was trying to decide whether to charge or run. I reacted first, and shot for the shoulder.


Can you go in to your decision to shoot, as opposed to no-shoot or use spray? If the bear was not being actively hostile, why did you decide to shoot?

Note, I am NOT saying you were wrong. I want to better understand what "reasonable measures" are for dropping the bear. I do hike out West but not often, and I want to improve my mental parameters for shoot/no-shoot on bears in case I need to justify that decision someday. From the info I've received from the NPS in Yellowstone, I don't think they'd be happy if I shot a bear (even at 15 yards) that was not aggressing on me, but I expect I would feel the need to do so.

Again, great post. Nothing beats first-hand experience.

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#268385 - 03/20/14 06:12 PM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Deathwind Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 310
Glock

Perhaps you glossed over AKSAR's post which was long but as always had solid information in it. He was hunting that bear, not killing it in panic or for fun. Anyway looks like I won't be facing any bears. The little woman watched Grizzly Park last night and she blew a gasket. I pointed out that it was a tame bear and that the theme song was cute, but she put her foot down so back country flight for me. I'm still gonna buy a couple of big guns though. I may be whipped but I'm not totally stupid.

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#268386 - 03/20/14 06:25 PM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1134
Loc: Alaska
Glock,

I probably wasn't articulate enough in my explanation. This was a bear hunting trip, so decision to shoot was easy. We were stalking this bear with the intention of shooting it. The plan was to get into position to be able to take a shot at 100 yards or so. However, the stalk didn't go as planned, the bear moved while we were moving, and we encountered it much closer than I would have liked. However, I had a chance to take a shot, and I did. The bear is now a rug on my wall.

Had we not been hunting for the bear, but rather just out hiking and accidently met the bear, it would have been a harder (but still very quick) decision as to whether to shoot. When I saw the bear, he was looking at me and I think he was as surprised as I was. Most of the time, bears will try to avoid people, and it is likely he would have turned and run off. However, he was very close, and if he charged he could have covered that distance in a second. If I had a gun (or spray) in hand I would have had it up with my finger on the trigger. If he started towards me I would have shot (or sprayed). If he turned the other way I would have not. At least that's what I think I would have done.

But if just hiking in that thick terrain (rather than hunting), I would probably been trying to make some noise. In which case the bear would probably have moved away before I ever saw him. When hiking in thick brush I usually sing my favorite blues songs, which generally scares off all wildlife (and people) in the area! smile

Of course bears don't always move away from people, even loud blues singers with lousy voices frown . For example a sow with cubs or a bear guarding a deer or moose kill might charge rather than run. A gun or spray is a back up in case you accidently find yourself meeting a grumpy bear at close range in one of those situations.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#268387 - 03/20/14 06:27 PM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: AKSAR]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
What happened was that our carefully planned stalk took us out of sight of the bear for a period. Unknown to us, during that time the bear decided to move


OK, now I get it. I read this line as meaning "we were trying to avoid contact by using stealth but ran into a bear anyway". Sorry.

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#268393 - 03/20/14 08:03 PM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Deathwind Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/01/14
Posts: 310
Np Glock

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#268417 - 03/21/14 04:00 AM Re: .444 Marlin Caliber Pistol [Re: Deathwind]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
You need a .22 to survive a bear attack. You use the gun to kneecap the other guy. You only have to be faster than one person. Other than that, when I was in Alaska I flew in a Cessna 152 and 172 with a Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag (7.5-inch barrel) strapped to me in a shoulder holster (hip carry was out of the question) in summer and winter. It proved to be almost more annoying than not having a gun at all. It was bulky and got in the way of everything. I would switch to a Super Blackhawk in the same caliber/barrel as the dimensions are a little more manageable. Maybe go with the shorter barrel.

YMMV

Standard Disclaimer

My $.02
_________________________
"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

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