Minimum caliber

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by karlinshiloh, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. karlinshiloh

    karlinshiloh New Member

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    I was wonder what folks think is the minimum handgun caliber for defense against a black bear might be? I'm not looking to hunt the bear but I do alot of trail riding on my UTV and have come across a couple cubs. They haven't come in close but I do like to be prepared in case they get curious or momma decides to saw up.
    Thanks for any opinions,
    Karl
  2. savage170

    savage170 Member

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    .357 with a good hard cast bullet such as these Federal 180 gr. CastCore Flat Point 180gr x 1130fps = 510 ft/lbs
    Buffalo Bore 180gr. Lead Flat Nose Gas Check 180gr x 1400fps = 783 ft/lbs
    and if I remember right Cor-Bon has a 200 grain load
  3. carver

    carver Moderator

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    A .357 might get the job done, but I would want something a little bigger, say .44mag!
  4. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Karl,

    I would not carry anything less then a 44 magnum. Here is a link to the bullet that I would recommend.

    http://www.hornady.com/store/44-Mag-240-gr-XTP/

    Smith makes the model 629 mountain gun. It is nice to pack in the back country and easy to use. I prefer a revolver for back woods carry because if you were ever on the ground with a bear (God forbid) the revolver wont jam. That is when the model 629 mountain gun is nice. It's double action and a bit of a shorter barrel for easier maneuvering.

    IMO, a .357 is too small to do the job.

    Jim
  5. Zhurh

    Zhurh Active Member

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    I've only had 2 blk bear ever try the sneak in on me, like a cat on a rabbit. Common with young males when you have lots of bear that haven't ever seen people, they think food. I was able to hollar & wave the first off and shot the second one several years later.

    Every blk bear sow with cubs has always taken off, even when one of the cubs ran up a tree right nx to me. I carried 44s for years, now have a couple 460's cause I can hit things at 100 yards with that pistol. Just make sure you can hit what your aiming at. I've seen so many people buy pistols and never practice with them, then see them miss shot after shot when it counts.

    We have all kinds of bear where I call home, and accuracy counts more than caliber.
  6. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

  7. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    why the minimum caliber.they others were right as far as the 357 mag is concerned,you need to buy the largest caliber you are comfortable shooting.overkill best the hell out of underkill if your trying to stop a charging bear. old semperfi
  8. savage170

    savage170 Member

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    Not everyone can handle a 44 mag my wife is one of them but does ok with the heavy load .357's and my GP 100. I would rather see her carrying that then a bag of rocks.
  9. carver

    carver Moderator

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    If your wife can handle the .357 with heavy loads, then she can handle the .44mag. It's all about practice! My daughter, at 13, could outshoot me with my .44mag.
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