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Bear gun; last ditch option?

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Greetings,

A good friend is planning a canoe trip in the wilds of Alaska this summer. He is planning on taking along a rifle (45-70) in case of emergency, animal attack, etc.. Thinking about some documentaries I've seen on bear attacks, I'd personally feel more comfortable having a side arm that was on my body 100% of the time. I realize no side arm is an optimal bear defense weapon, but no doubt its better than hand to hand combat. So, as he only has some smaller caliber pistols, I offered to loan him anything I have that might be appropriate.

My question is, from the above list of choices (what I have that may seem to work), what would you feel the best one, if any?

S&W 659 6" .44 magnum
S&W x59 2.5" 44 magnum
Colt Delta Elite 10mm
S&W 1006 10mm
Glock 21 10mm
S&W 4506 .45acp
Glock 20 .45acp

and not very practical; Desert Eagle .44 mag

Other than the Glocks and DE, all are stainless steel with synthetic grips.

We're planning to meet up at the range so he can try out any of them that he's interested in and we can purchase any ammo that would be optimal for the purpose that I may not have.

I'd appreciate any input you all have. TIA!

Regards, Jim
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I agree with the choice of the 308 sporting auto. It can do anything that the 45-70 can do, and a lot more besides, for a lot less money, so what's not to like about it? I'd never bother to buy a special 'bear pistol", since men are far more dangerous and more likely to be an issue. The "cannons' usually suggested for "bear defense" are abysmally poor choices for use against men, because they are too slow for repeat shots.
 

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more people die from insect bites and stings than from unprovoked bear attacks, so I will just wear what I always wear, bear country or no. regardless of what pistol you use, you will have to brain a bear to stop him, other than with a lucky hit to the spine. In fact, that is what you will have to do with a rifle or shotgun slug, too.
 

· Cranky Old Vietnam Vet
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Speaking of Bears...

GI2

My Wife and I had an Ursus Encounter just last Sunday in the Big Horn Mountains...

We were up the Creek, so to speak...

And She, whose hearing is significantly better than Mine, said---Did You Hear That?

And I KnowYou All Have Heard The Multitude of Jokes About Hunters and Bears...(What's The .22 For? That Won't Scare A Bear! It's Not for The Bear---It's to Shoot YOU in the Foot So I Can Outrun YOU!, etc., etc...)

And I Looked Through The Pines To See Mama Bruin Hoo-Rahing Her Two Cubs Up the Creek Bank...

And I Turned Back To Respond To My Wife...

NOW a good 50+ Yards DOWN The Creek...

MAN, I DID NOT KNOW SHE COULD STILL MOVE THAT FAST !!!

GI1

CAVman in Bear Country, USA, er...WYoming
 

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Greetings,

S&W 659 6" .44 magnum HMMM I cannot find it . Did you mean 629 ???
S&W x59 2.5" 44 magnum (Model 59 is a 9mm Semi Auto target pistol)
Colt Delta Elite 10mm
S&W 1006 10mm
Glock 21 10mm
S&W 4506 .45acp
Glock 20 .45acp

and not very practical; Desert Eagle .44 mag
The above in red
 

· In the gilded halls of Valhala
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I carry a glock 10 mm in a chest rig.

I think its best because i can dump the mag into an idpa target.

I have encountered one bear and it was a black bear. I happened to be between him amd a hravenly laden peach tree.

I began rolling him peaches which the bear seemed to like.


I have learned i cant fire 5 shots eith my .44mag comfortably. In a pinch maybe thats different. 10mm for me is more manageable.

But like they say shot placement is everything and my 44 and all 44s ive fired are easy enough to hit a small target inside 20 yards.

Honestly i pack in the woods for defense against humans more than bears , even if bears are a concern.
 

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Greetings,

A good friend is planning a canoe trip in the wilds of Alaska this summer. He is planning on taking along a rifle (45-70) in case of emergency, animal attack, etc.. Thinking about some documentaries I've seen on bear attacks, I'd personally feel more comfortable having a side arm that was on my body 100% of the time. I realize no side arm is an optimal bear defense weapon, but no doubt its better than hand to hand combat. So, as he only has some smaller caliber pistols, I offered to loan him anything I have that might be appropriate.

My question is, from the above list of choices (what I have that may seem to work), what would you feel the best one, if any?

S&W 659 6" .44 magnum
S&W x59 2.5" 44 magnum
Colt Delta Elite 10mm
S&W 1006 10mm
Glock 21 10mm
S&W 4506 .45acp
Glock 20 .45acp

and not very practical; Desert Eagle .44 mag

Other than the Glocks and DE, all are stainless steel with synthetic grips.

We're planning to meet up at the range so he can try out any of them that he's interested in and we can purchase any ammo that would be optimal for the purpose that I may not have.

I'd appreciate any input you all have. TIA!

Regards, Jim

I would go with the s&w 6" .44 mag loaded with hardcast rounds. I carry a 5.5" Ruger Redhawk .44 mag in bear country loaded with the 305 grain buffalo bore hardcast +p rounds.

Also, be glad you don't live in WA state as you'd have to perform a "legal transfer" for this. Which means wait for a background check, and pay the associated fees to loan your buddy a gun. Then do it all again to get your gun back! Good old i594!
 

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I fought fire out of the jump center at fort wainwright and also fished 2 seasons in Bristol bay, I saw bears but never had an upclose and personal close call while working in alaska. Suprisingly enough I did have a scare in wyoming in the absorka mountains, I had a sow griz with a cub charge myself and another guy, I had a 12g shotgun with slugs and didn't feel safe. That particular bear had gone through bear spray the day before 5 miles up the road and nearly got the guy that sprayed her, he got inside his cabin though.

I don't see any thing on the OP's list I would feel comfortable with, Except the 44 mag, here's what I would carry and did carry while in Alaska and other places that have bears:
-12g with slugs, difficult to carry all the time but IMHO is the best bear stopper.
-45-70 with hard cast bullets.
-454 casull
-44 mag with Buffalo Bore+P+340gr.

I have no personal experience with these handguns, just the rifles, but I can tell you from personal experience that the speed and power of bears, especially a grizzly is incredible and I would go as big and powerful as possible and then pray.
 

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de 50

I had the fun???? of running into a grizzly hunting with a "friend" he dropped his 303 which left me to empty my de 44 (old style with alloy frame) bear stopped, but lumbered off did not find a dead bear , made me switch to a de 50. 10 mm glock may make it mad but like a moose these are BIG and designed to live in harsh conditions shotgun with bear slugs first choice if you think you have time to aim you must be from Denver and smoked toooo much
 

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Greetings,

Hey everyone! As things turned out, no bears were encountered, only footprints and the trip turned out great with no shots fired.

I don't know if I'd explained my initial premise well enough or not. My personal concern for my friend and his party was in the event his rifle (Marlin lever action carbine in .45-70) would not be on hand or available quickly enough. My thought was if *I* was going on the trip, a handgun that would be on my person 100% of the time (sleeping bag included) *might* provide for an absolute last chance as the bear was starting to dine on me. As my friend doesn't own any large caliber hand guns, I'd offered him anything I owned, hence the specific list in the first post.

After much discussion, thought and trying out a couple of my .44Mag pistols, he felt (primarily due to unfamiliarity with them) that just the rifle and plenty of bear spray would suffice. Fortunately neither guns or spray were needed. I think he made a very intelligent choice, both on the rifle (he has an identical one in 30-30, so he is very comfortable with controls and handling) and not taking a large, heavy pistol that he did not have that same experience and comfort level with.

I did get a kick out of some of the suggestions offered in this thread. If I were ever so fortunate to make this trip, guess I'd try to rent a LAW, M2 or something similar ahead of time so I'd be *really* prepared. Thanks again for all the input!

Regards, Jim
Naw, the M2 is great for cutting logs to build a cabin, but quick bear response? Forget it.
 

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Go into a Cabelas or other such store that has a stuffed Grizzly on display. Get up real close to it. Then go over to the gun counter and pick out whatever you think will stop it.

I'm betting you leave with a 12 guage that also mounts a bayonet. RNGR1
 

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Good question. Here's my take:

I had a Ruger Super Redhawk in 44 magnum I purchased specifically for protection around large dangerous game. I love the weapon and the caliber...the only problem was I couldn't shoot well with it. I even dialed it down to lower recoiling loads, and it still proved to be a problem.

Later I purchased an EAA Elite Match in 10mm, and I haven't looked back since. I can hollow out the bullseye with it. It's not quite as powerful, but 14 rounds of 200 grain hardcast lead at 1200 FPS doesn't leave me feeling undergunned.
 
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