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Golf1echo
06-16-2017, 12:59
The other evening I had a close encounter with a larger black bear in a fairly isolated area, the experience had me thinking back to a post regarding bears on Kodiak from another forum. The Instructor carried a 44 mag revolver ( 4" SS) in a chest rig for just in case. While our bears aren't as large as the bears can get on Kodiak this bear was at least twice my size. My experience with the black bears is they generally move away from you but accidental encounters happen.

I don't have much experience with revolvers and see each brand seems to have there own price point, preferences?

I also see some reviews on an internal locking mechanism which were not complimentary?

Has anyone here actually used bear spray?

RCummings
06-16-2017, 13:22
I have a 1894P, I prefer the couple of additional rounds over the revolver. I have not been required to shoot any of the bears or mountain lions to judge if the caliber works. I use Winchester 240gr JSP the round works well for the range needed, 100yds or much less. The bears generally walk/run away, mountain lions walk. The rifle carries well.

V/R

Bob

TOMAHAWK9521
06-16-2017, 15:27
I was successful in driving off a hungry black bear with my .44 Redhawk when it had come a running through the timber at the sound of me shooting an elk. However, the victory was short-lived due to the bear's persistence, limited visibility (nighttime and rain), my being alone and tired, and limited ammo. Since I couldn't see the beast, I eventually had to retreat to get out of area in one piece rather than tempt fate with a possibly wounded hangry bear for the rest of the night up on the mountain. That was also the last time I made a solo elk hunt.

sfshooter
06-16-2017, 15:48
I carry a Ruger Blackhawk .41 magnum. Luckily I have not had any close encounters of the bear kind to date.
Tomahawk, that sounds like quite the pucker moment! I have been told the grizzlies in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area in MT come running to the sound of gunfire too.

Dean Jarvis
06-16-2017, 16:54
I had a friend who was a hunting outfitter in Alaska. He said it was advisable to carry a .44 magnum because at night the grizzly bear would collapse the tent and you wouldn't be able to get your rifle up to use it. Your best chance was with a hand gun. He said one time a guy showed up with a .357 and he told him to be sure to save the last two rounds for himself.

BTW you do know how to tell the difference between black bear scat and grizzly bear scat....grizzly bear scat smells like pepper spray and has little bells in it. :D

TOMAHAWK9521
06-16-2017, 21:00
Tomahawk, that sounds like quite the pucker moment! I have been told the grizzlies in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area in MT come running to the sound of gunfire too.

Oh, yeah. As soon as I heard aspen trees snapping as something large was quickly moving in my direction I knew I just been knocked down the food chain by a few pegs. My rifle was useless under those circumstances. Even with headlamp and flash lights, I never did see the thing. That year, Colorado had a high number of bear incidents. The way that bear came towards me reminded me of the stories I heard about Grizzlies.

And what's even better is that I'm now living up here in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, which is serious Grizzly country. Don't think I'm even just going for a hike out into the woods without a hand cannon. I upgraded my XD .45 to .460 Rowland.

The Reaper
06-16-2017, 21:27
The Ruger Redhawk is one of the stronger .44 Magnum double action designs.

I like the S&W 629 better, but it has been proven to be weaker.

.44 Magnum is okay, but the more powerful .454 Casull will penetrate deeper and also allow you to practice with less expensive .45 Colt rounds. You can also stoke the .45 Colt round itself much hotter than the factory loads (and the .44 Magnum), they are intentionally kept at low pressure due to the number of old weaker revolver actions like the Peacemaker.

The next steps up the pain scale are the .460 and .500 S&Ws, but they are damn near crew served. Of course, I suspect that if you heard a big grizz coming for you, the weight and recoil might seem insignificant.

The best caliber is the one you have on you when you need it. Shoulder and chest rigs allow for ambidextrous draw, which could come in handy if something big and hairy has your other arm occupied.

Best of luck.

TR

sfshooter
06-16-2017, 22:02
A friend of mine carries the .454 Casull in bear country but shooting it over the years has not been good on his wrist. He down sized to a .44 mag now. He has all the cylinders to shoot the lighter rounds but don't think he ever has.
Just heard he drew a moose tag up in NW Montana.....definitely griz country there.

7624U
06-17-2017, 08:42
Oh, yeah. As soon as I heard aspen trees snapping as something large was quickly moving in my direction I knew I just been knocked down the food chain by a few pegs. My rifle was useless under those circumstances. Even with headlamp and flash lights, I never did see the thing. That year, Colorado had a high number of bear incidents. The way that bear came towards me reminded me of the stories I heard about Grizzlies.


You never seen it so it had to be a Bigfoot creature and he wanted fresh meat :munchin

mark46th
06-17-2017, 09:30
I don't hunt alone anymore, I am too old and don't have the energy and strength to run the hills like I used to do. But if I am in bear country, I carry a .22 pistol. It works great when a bear is chasing us. When the bear gets close, I just have to shoot my hunting buddy in the knee with the .22....

Brush Okie
06-17-2017, 10:21
Oh, yeah. As soon as I heard aspen trees snapping as something large was quickly moving in my direction I knew I just been knocked down the food chain by a few pegs. My rifle was useless under those circumstances. Even with headlamp and flash lights, I never did see the thing. That year, Colorado had a high number of bear incidents. The way that bear came towards me reminded me of the stories I heard about Grizzlies.

And what's even better is that I'm now living up here in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, which is serious Grizzly country. Don't think I'm even just going for a hike out into the woods without a hand cannon. I upgraded my XD .45 to .460 Rowland.

What do you think of the 460 i have been thinki,g about getting one for a while now

JJ_BPK
06-17-2017, 10:51
I have had 3 S&W 629's, Started with the 4inch pencil barrel, 39oz, because I wanted a lighter back up. It was nasty but controllable.

Moved to a 2 5/8?inch, round butt, 37oz?, in the early 90t's. I think it was a Lew Horton distributor special. It had a bull barrel, so it was only a tad lighter than the 4inch, But the round butt made recoil a little easier.. Still a recoil monster.

Finally dumped the 2inch for a 629-3 Classic, w/5inch bull barrel. At 54oz? very easy to control.

Golf1echo
06-17-2017, 11:06
I appreciate and enjoyed the posts thank you. That explains the price points for the different brands. Mark* that is how I felt when I had my 9mm but no hiking partner and never a lawyer when you need one ;)

So there are at least 3 bears in the canyon, this was Papa bear, he is not the largest. I had a nice walk at sunset and decided to take another when I got back to the cabin. I ran into this bear about 75' away retracing my path so I either coincidentally bisected his path or he had been following me from the first hike...cameras already show the mountain lions have followed people there. Mama bear is a golden, she is the largest, and lives higher up, I thought she was an elk wallowing in the creek when I first saw her but backed off when I realized she was a big bear and she backed off too. Likely Papa bear thought it was deer as they move just before dark.

While I don't intend to shoot bear I just don't want to wrestle one either. In the original post the guy had his revolver in a simple black pouch on the chest, one might think he had a radio or wind breaker in it and I think that would be good when visitors and children come, less alarming and hopefully never need it and they would never know.

I have an older book called " Hunting Stories" It was copy marked 1898 IIRC, the author was a professor of natural history from Kansas State University and these were his stories of collecting species ( full families) to preserve and collect for KSU. He went all over North America but one trip to New Mexico he mentioned he was in the range of the grizzly bear...both intriguing and scary to imagine so far South.....I'll look for the bells and smell for the pepper in those scats from now on.
Thank you, appreciated.
* You can always tell a graduate of the Dick Cheney school of hunting :D


Edit: Article posted a few days after post- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4623478/Back-Alaska-fatal-black-bear-maulings-seen-flukes.html

Dean Jarvis
06-17-2017, 16:28
A friend of mine carries the .454 Casull in bear country but shooting it over the years has not been good on his wrist. He down sized to a .44 mag now. He has all the cylinders to shoot the lighter rounds but don't think he ever has.
Just heard he drew a moose tag up in NW Montana.....definitely griz country there.

I carry the .480 Ruger. It has 6 shots compared to the 5 shot Casull. Having said that, shooting the .480 is like pulling a chest mounted reserve at terminal velocity...you do it only to save your life. My suggestion as far as hand guns, is to go with the .44 mag. They can be very accurate with a lot of knockdown power and it's more forgiving on the wrist.

My other preference for bear defense (as well as home defense) is my 12 gauge Defender. Carriers 9 rounds and with slug or 00 buck will stop any bear, or intruder for that matter.

TOMAHAWK9521
06-17-2017, 16:52
What do you think of the 460 i have been thinki,g about getting one for a while now

I recently picked it up and have yet to take it to the range. I've been busy putting the shop together so I haven't take it out yet. But since you mentioned it, I guess I need to take a break and go find a suitable spot to get a feel for it. The rivers will finally be clearing up in the next couple weeks and it will be time for fishing, which is what Yogi will likely be doing as well.

I've also got a couple of 12 gauge shotguns and a 45-70 Marlin, but those are too big of a signature if you happen upon other recreationists. A hand cannon in a nondescript chest rig is the way to go. I've made a couple and know they work very well after chatting with a small crowd of college kids out hiking back in Colorado and they never looked twice or asked what the black square pouch strapped to my chest was.