I've seen several threads like this on several boards. I'll try to compile the bits of wisdom here:
1. Get a revolver. There is the possibility that you will be underneath this hypothetical bear, jamming the gun muzzle into its throat and desperately trying to empty the five rounds you weren't able to get off earlier. Revolvers don't go out of battery.
2. A "bear defense" handgun should be a last resort; the first resort, of course, would be a rifle designed for bear.
3. Your woods handgun should never "double" as anything else (carry gun, bug, target plinker, etc.)
4. Carry the biggest hand cannon that you can fire with reasonable accuracy at 20 feet for two rounds; this is about all you'll have time for during a confrontation with a bear and you might as well make it count.
5. Comfort and ease are pointless to consider when making your purchase; this gun is for no other purpose than saving your life when you're attacked by a half-ton of angry carnivore.
Here are some of the things you aren't going to be thinking in those few short seconds when you face down a grizzly:
1. This grip feels "clunky"
2. The recoil hurts my wrist after six shots
3. I should have gone with stainless instead of blued
4. Man this thing is heavy
5. Perhaps porting would help some of this recoil
Here's what you will most likely be thinking:
I have been looking into a woods carry gun too. I am either getting a Taurus Tracker in .357 or .44 magnum, or a Ruger GP100 in .357 magnum.Go with the 6 inch barrel so the powder has enough time to burn completely and produce the velocities needed to take down big, dangerous game.
The problem with carrying a big handgun for bear defense/camp gun is that you are more likely to leave the heavy one behind. I would think that a 4" 44.Magnum with some porting would be the ultimate compromise between power and ease of carry. Double action is what everyone recomends because of the ease of using understress/ though I would like a single action 44 mag much better. Maybe a 45 colt Taurus tracker would be a good option as well, if you handload or can get ahold of some of the more powerful loads in that caliber.
i have one i recently bought, i have shot 100 rounds through it, over half of those have been one handed single action mode.... i can hit what i want with it at a reasonable distance one handed.
Originally Posted by TOF
Originally Posted by 3/325
LMAO! So true.
...I'm sure you guys are sick of me saying this but....
Porting snubby barrels is totally useless. And, gets you burned or blinded. The barrel is simply too short.
The RB is a nice piece.
There's a lot of nice piece's out there.
There's one handgun I trust that is made for Bear exclusively.
The Ruger Alaskan.
In .454 Casull you can shoot Buffalo Bore +P .45LC with a large meplat and that will down anything that breaths pretty much. The .454 is a one shot deal as it takes forever to recover and reaquire.
They stopped making the .480 Ruger, and that was the ultimate field round for a lot of reasons.
I have one in .44mag. I use it for combat with light loads. And with any +P large meplat 270gr and up GCHC load avail over the counter it will stop or drop just about anything in NA. I can put two similar weight in grain rounds of .44mag on target in the time it takes to get one off and almost reaquired with the .454.
Accept no substitute.
In Oregon we have the big cats and Black Bear. I'm with 4x4 and the cougars worry me more than the bear given the tendancies of each. In most cases the black bear really isn't interested in people unless their is something wrong with it or a mother defending her cubs kind of thing. Cats tend to take a much more practical view in that any 2 or 4 legged meat sack is on the menu providing they think they can take it without getting took themselves. Deer venison might be prefered but I'll do in a pinch. Just my non-scientific opinion. A 357 mag is a good practical choice and likely the 44 mag represents the sweet spot and the upper end of what most of us mere mortals can actually proficiently handle. Grizzlies in Alaska the size of Rhino's? I'd like some air support please or maybe a Humvee with a mounted 50 cal and gunner following me every where I go. Better yet I'll just ride in the humvee with the crew. Safety first.
The only thing I can really add to the good advice already given is don't discount the value of a good sheath knife. The idea of hunting rifles, 12 GA and powerful magnums is taking for granted you/we have the time to use it. In the case of a charging animal you may have time for one good shot maybe two to get the job done. What if you miss? What if you just wing it? What if you don't have the time? What if the first time you see the animal is when it already has already knocked you to the ground and is gnawing on the back of your head? With a bear, any bear, maybe not much beyond going fetal and screaming for momma. Not very dignified or effective but always an option. In my case the high pitched little girl screams and the stink coming from my poop filled trousers might confuse the poor creature long enough for me to scurry away to safety. With regards to a big cat I think a long sharp blade represents a good last resort weapon when your on your back fighting for your life and at that point I would think it is infinately more practical than trying to employ a fire arm that I might accidentally shoot myself with in such close quarters. For bears a knife may not be ideal but is more effective than harsh words and dirty looks. By all means carry a side arm especially as a hiker who doesn't have the benefit of carrying a hunting rifle but add a good sheath knife to your belt for good measure. Complete the kit so to speak. Just a thought.
A good knife is great back up and more than one life has been saved using same.
I actually practice flop/draw with this one, unloaded, and firing from one knee etc.
The 12ga is a great standoff tool with slugs for anything. Big shot works ok on cats but cats are hard to hit and usually suprise you from behind. But the SG is long and hard to control in some cases, esp fishing, climbing etc....
Personally I prefer the quick draw of a snubby and the ability to fire very close or press-fire one handed multiple shots, if I can (and will if I can ).
Two popps from this one with a +P BB GCHC and it's all over cept the bleeding. Hopefuly not mine. If that don't get it done it was my time to go.
And whatever gun you get, practice with it and never, EVER take it off when in the field. Getting mauled while yer taking a dump is an emberarsing way to leave this life.
Train for the worst and hope for the best.
although that ultralight .44 is extremely beautiful and i would LOVE to own one.........i have a summer home in newry ME, wich is bear country here, i wouldnt really want a .44.......or a taurus for that fact alone........however! a Ruger alaskan in .500 mag..........will take down a 900lb kodiak in a round or two haha
Self defense handgun for my 115 lb wife against human & backcountry animal predators?
I need a revolver my wife can handle, that can double as a home defense weapon as well as defend herself and the kids in the backcountry. I'm leaning towards something like the Taurus Judge that can shoot the 410 shotgun shell for home defense and the 45 caliber in cougar/black bear country. I have a 357 magnum but it's too much for her to handle. I hear the 45 has a gentler recoil and the ported version is even less recoil. I'd also not like to break my budget. Any opinions if that will stop or scare off both predator types? Should I get her a 3" or 6.5" barrel. It doesn't need to be a concealed weapon version as long as it can be holstered on her chest.
Thanks for any input anyone can share,
When in Black Bear & Cougar country of the Pacific Northwest I carry a Taurus® Mdl 425SS4CP 41 Remington Magnum loaded with..........
• Hornady Manufacturing Company 41 Rem Mag 210 gr XTP®
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