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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-16-2004 10:11 AM
Deaf Smith

I think it is a matter of ca'jones, especially if that translates to having the confidence in yourself and your hunting firearm to be able to do the job.

BTW, you mentioned the use of a brass screw in a hollow-point to attain greater penetration - that's an old trick. The first time I ever heard of it was when I met Paris Theodore, owner of Seventrees Holster Company when he had his shop in NYC in 1968. He made me the first inside the pants hoslter he had ever made for a 1911 just before I shipped out. The holster was still a bit wet when I first put it on, and he handed me a magazine full of 45s loaded with a 200 gn cast HP that he had stuffed steel BBs into and seated them with candlewax. He said he had tried them on a bunch of stacked 2x6s and they penetrated twice as far as the normal loads did. He said he hoped they would serve me well, and they did.

Following his example years later I loaded steel BBs into some 170 gn 40 caliber HPs and fired them from my wildcat 40 cal at some tire rims 50 yds distant - made a nice hole all way through.

They worked for me and worked for the bear hunter too, so the technology continues. It's a good thing. Thank you for your posts and your clarifications. Mikey.
04-15-2004 10:01 AM
Deaf Smith
There was also a gentlemen by the name of Al Goreing who

shot and killed a grizzley bear in alaska (so it was a pretty big bear) he actually hunted it intentually and killed it with his own special loads in hus customized Ruger blackhawk in 44 magnum using special bullets with a brass screw in the hollowpoint to promote penatration and slow expansion. Folks have been hunting both griz and black bears with handguns and the 44 magnum for over 30 years it has been done enough that id does not qualify as a stunt but simply a different method of hunting its called handgun hunting for thoise who havent heard of it. And Larry Kelly killed a 9ft kodiak grizzley with 1 shot on his alaska trip. the gun uses was a protptype custom version of the magnaport stalker 44 magnum. There is no animal on this planet that has not been stalked and hunted delibertly with a handgun including the big 5 of africia. A 13 yoar old boy was the youngest person to ever kill all of the big 5 with a handgun. He used a Thompson Center Contender with a SSK custom barrel in 375 JDJ. This is susposed to be the handgun hunting forum why would ridicule people who do just that. If JD Jones could take a Bull Elephant with a 44 magnum than a kodiak bear should not be a problem.
Do you have the ca'jones to try it?
Jim L
04-13-2004 04:40 PM
The deerslayer
Has anyone ever killed a grizzly bear with

I read in guns and ammo magazine somebody shot a polar bear with a 44. he Put 5 shots behind the sholder. Two bounced off but it could be done with a grizzly too.
04-11-2004 12:23 PM
Gun Runner
Has anyone ever killed a grizzly bear with

HogSniper, that was in Soldotna AK, on the Kenai river. (use to live a mile from there) Alaska DFG, requires any bear shot in self defence be skined and the paws be turned over to them. They usually have it tanned and the money goes into their beer,oops! training fund.

Gun Runner
04-11-2004 09:40 AM
here's one

Here's a story from the super cub guru himself....wel, his wife anyway.
02-12-2004 10:13 PM
Has anyone ever killed a grizzly bear with

Here is the story HogSniper was refering to, The whole story and a pic of the (very small sow) can be seen at

Kenai River -- When a brown bear poked its head over the bluff behind the state's most popular fishing hole just after midnight Friday, 20-year-old Matt Pennington was surprised.
When it came full-bore for Pennington, the surprise turned to shock.
"The speed," he said this week, "that's the part that gets me."
Nervous about bears, Pennington had carried a shotgun on a sling across his back as he and fishing buddies Garen and Kalen Brenner hiked down along the Russian River to near the Kenai ferry crossing earlier that evening.
The shotgun was still there as Pennington stood knee-deep in the water about 100 feet upstream from the ferry landing on the river's south bank. When the salmon run peaks, hundreds of anglers line up shoulder-to-shoulder along this stretch of river.
On this night, though, there was only Pennington, his longtime friends the Brenners and three others.
"I was casting," Pennington said, "and I just happened to turn to the left. I saw (the bear) right there, coming up over the hill. It came right at me at a full run. I yelled, 'Bear, bear, and he's charging.' "
Pennington threw down his fishing rod and began wrestling the pistol-gripped Mossberg, pump-action 12-gauge off his back. He was unsure whether he'd been able to chamber a shell when he realized the bear was almost on him.
With the grizzly at three feet away, Pennington knew he had to do something. But what? He was deadly afraid of pulling the trigger on the shotgun only to hear the thunk of a firing pin falling on an empty chamber.
So he threw the gun in the bear's face and dove for the deep water of the fast-flowing river.
"I tried to stay underwater as long as I could," Pennington said. "It got real deep."
As Pennington submerged, the Brenners were drawing their guns.
Kalen had heard, "Bear, bear," before seeing a blur as Pennington disappeared into the river with the dark shape of the bear close behind.
"It was fast," 21-year-old Garen said. "We didn't hear any footsteps or anything."
"By the time I saw (Pennington) hit the water," Garen said, "I just started shooting.
"Usually I keep the gun in my chest waders, not loaded."
On this night, though, he had decided to fasten the holster to a strap holding up his waders, and the gun was where he needed it.
"We've fished there for years," Garen said. "We've seen bears. They've just never been a problem. They don't usually come over the hill and charge you."
Still, the men knew there was danger. When people in the Grayling Parking Lot at the Russian River Campground asked why they carried firearms, Kalen told them it seemed better to play it safe.
"Me and my brother, we're always looking out for something that's not normal," he said.
This was far from normal.
"(The bear) was five feet away when (Garen) got that first shot off," Kalen said. "That's how fast it was coming."
That Garen hit the fast-moving bear with his handgun was fortunate, he admits. That one of the 9 mm, full-metal-jacket bullets -- woefully inadequate for stopping a charging brown bear -- happened to slam into the socket of the bear's front shoulder might almost be considered a miracle.
That bullet blew up the shoulder. The bear went down, rolled over and spun.
Garen kept shooting, now joined by Kalen. They estimated they fired at least seven shots.
"I pointed my gun at its head and shot three or more times," Garen said. "And we're yelling, 'Matt! Matt! Where are you,' because we didn't know where he was."
"I thought he was drowning," Kalen said.
Pennington wasn't drowning. He was just coming up from his Kenai dive in chest-high neoprene waders, hoping the bear was gone.
It wasn't, or so Pennington thought.
"I saw the second bear, and I thought it was the first one," he said. "I thought it was coming down the river after me."
"I heard him yell, 'Shoot, shoot,' " Kalen said.
Only then did the Brenners realize there even was a second bear.
"It was so dark you could barely see," Garen said. "We saw the bear because it was blacker than the dark, and because it moved."
The second bear ran as Pennington screamed.
"We honestly thought it was a baby we had killed," Garen said.
Larry Lewis, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife technician, later estimated the weight of the dead bear at 400 to 450 pounds. The Brenners admitted they don't know much about the size of bears, having only seen them at a distance.
"Neither of us have ever hunted or anything," Garen said.
02-12-2004 04:25 AM
Has anyone ever killed a grizzly bear with

No I have not killed a bear with handgun,and I can safely say I never will,cuz I have better sense than to be out there in bear country with one."I may have been born at night;but it wasn't last night." :lol: Rick
02-11-2004 06:13 PM
Has anyone ever killed a grizzly bear with

Just came across this post. I remember reading an article in Alaska magazine about three guys who went fishing just after midnight. One of the men spotted a charging bear coming just a few yards away from him. He grabbed his 12 gauge shotgun and threw it at the bear (said he didn't have time to point and shoot) and dived into the river. His buddy saw the bear, grabbed his 9mm (yes, his tiny 9mm) and fired. He fired a total of seven shots. He said the first was at the bears shoulder. That dropped him. YIKES! Three more hit him in the head. One was fatal and two others made a scrape mark richoceting off the skull. After reporting the incident to the ASP, they were told to return and skin the bear and I believe cut off the paws and report it to Fish and Widlife. That part seems strange to me, but they did have to return and somehow dispose of the carcuss. Mostly what I remember was the fisherman carrying a 9mm. During my visit to Alaska, I mentioned carrying a 357. NO WAY I was told...atleast a 44 should be carried.
02-08-2004 10:43 AM
Has anyone ever killed a grizzly bear with



Recently traveling through Colorado accompanied by two of my best friends and a Bronco loaded to the max with sixguns and ammunition, I was overcome by the beautiful scenery at 11,500 feet at the same time that Willie Nelson's rendition of "Precious Memories" was coming from the tape deck. I had to say to my friends that it just did not get any better than this. As we came down the other side of the mountain, Willie was giving us "Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away?"

Time really does get away from us and it is hard to believe that the series of TAFFIN TESTS started with the September/October 1987 issue of AMERICAN HANDGUNNER. It has certainly been an enjoyable experience for me and from the letters received and the contacts made I can assume many of you also.

There is no great lack of cartridges to cover but we get new readers all the time and new bullets and new handguns come along so we will cover old favorites from time to time. The first cartridge we covered was the .44 Magnum and it is time to look at it again. Since that first TAFFIN TESTS was written Colt has finally gave us a .44 Magnum, Ruger introduced the Hunter Model Super Blackhawk, Smith has made major changes to the lockwork of the Model 29 and also given us the Classic DX line, Freedom Arms has made a real mark in hunting and silhouetting with its .44 Magnum, and Texas Longhorn Arms is produced a mirror image .44 Magnum with the ejector rod and loading gate on the left side, and Taurus also introduced a .44 Magnum.

Very few .44 Magnum shooters knew anything about heavyweight bullets then, now we have an excellent factory cast bullet load from Garrett with a 310 grain SWC at 1300 plus feet per second and a jacketed 300 grain bullet load from Black Hills. Freedom Arms, Hornady, Sierra, and Speer all offer 300 grain jacketed bullets designed for hunting.

The .44 Magnum has been outgunned so to speak by the .454 Casull, the .475 Linebaugh, the .500 Linebaugh, the .445 SuperMag, the .475 Maximum, and the .500 Maximum but if anything at all I have gained more respect for it over the years both as to its capabilities and especially its accuracy. Some of my most Precious Memories are associated with the .44 Magnum. Colt, Freedom Arms, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Texas Longhorn Arms, and Dan Wesson are all producing some superbly accurate .44 Magnum sixguns.

The beginning of the .44 Magnum goes all the way back to 1869 when Smith & Wesson introduced the .44 American Single Action. Grand Duke Alexis used the Smith & Wesson to hunt buffalo from horseback with Bill Cody and put his head together with Mssrs. Smith & Wesson and the result was the New Model Number 3 in .44 Russian. In 1907, the case of the .44 Russian which held 23 grains of black powder was lengthened to allow the use of 26 grains of powder and the .44 Special was born.

By the 1920's experimenters had discovered the .44 Special and until the the 1950's touted a 250 grain hard cast bullet at 1200 feet per second as the ideal handgun load. All of this resulted in the .44 Magnum in 1956 with a 240 grain bullet at 1400 feet per second as Smith & Wesson made the sixgun and Remington the ammunition.

The .44 Magnum has done it all. It has been used to take every type of big game on the planet including Alaskan Brown Bear, Polar Bear, African Elephants, and Cape Buffalo. More often than not this has been done with one carefully placed shot. It can be loaded to 1300-1400 feet per second with a hard cast bullet and penetrate five feet from stem to stern in a Cape Buffalo. Loaded down to 850 to 950 feet per second with a 240 grain cast bullet it becomes a superb target cartridge. In between, a 240 to 265 grain bullet at 1300 feet per second makes an excellent silhouette load. With some of the new bullet designs we even finally have defensive loads for the .44 Magnum that will do the job without overzealous penetration.

For years the standard heavy load with the .44 Magnum has been a 250 grain hard cast Keith bullet over 22.0 grains of #2400. Elmer Keith designed this bullet back in the 1920's for use in his .44 Special at 1200 feet per second and it made the transition to the .44 Magnum admirably well. Keith always decried the use of gas checks on sixguns but I have found that gas-checked .44 bullets normally shoot better than plain-based bullets. No better gas-checked bullet has been found that that designed by Ray Thompson for Lyman nearly forty years ago. Lyman catalogs it as #431244GC and it is a 255 grain semi-wadcutter bullet with two shallow grease grooves as well as a gas check.

This bullet shoots superbly with the `standard' #2400 load of 22.0 grains for 1480 feet per second; 25.0 grains of WW296 or H110 or 24.0 grains of H4227 for 1400 feet per second; or 21.5 grains of AA#9 for a slightly milder shooting 1365 feet per second. All of these loads will do less than one-inch at 25 yards with a good sixgun in good hands backed up by good eyes.

It is the 300 grain bullets that really have turned the .44 Magnum into a superb hunting pistol as well as an extremely accurate long-range sixgun. One of my favorite heavyweight bullets is NEI's #295.429GC. As the number indicates, this bullet weighs in just under 300 grains and wears a gas check and I have yet to find a .44 Magnum sixgun that won't sing with this load. My favortie loads for this bullet are 21.5 grains of WW296 or H110 for 1300 to 1400 feet per second and superb accuracy and maximum penetration, or 10.0 grains of Unique for a more sedate and easier to shoot 1150 feet per second. The latter makes an excellent load for deer-sized game without giving excessive felt recoil. Bull-X has a new 300 grain bullet and the same charge of 10.0 grains of Unique also gives 1150 feet per second and a good shootin' load.

A new powder line has arrived on the scene and I have been experimenting with VihtaVuori's N110 powder in the .44 Magnum. With a charge of 19.3 grains of N110 under the 295 grain Keith bullet from NEI, muzzle velocity from a seven and one-half inch barreled Freedom Arms .44 Magnum is 1430 feet per second with an extreme spread of only seven feet per second! The same powder with a charge of 21.0 grains under the Hornady 240 XTP gives 1525 feet per second muzzle velocity and an extreme spread of only thirty feet per second.

A relatively new heavyweight bullet design is that from RCBS cataloged as #44-300FN. This is a 310 grain bullet with a flat nose and a gas check and it also has been found to be a superb performer. Loaded over 21.5 grains of WW296 or H110 it is a 1400 feet per second load from long-barreled sixguns and has not only delivered sub one-inch groups at 25 yards but groups very close to one-inch at 50 yards. Someone did it right when they designed this one.

When we started the TAFFIN TESTS series, very few bullet manufacturers had yet caught on as to what was needed in a .44 Magnum hunting bullet. All that has changed in the 1990's. All major manufacturers now offer heavyweight .44 bullets with the hunter in mind and they are diverse enough to allow perfect matching of bullet to game. Hornady's 300 grain XTP, Sierra's 300 grain Jacketed Flat Point, and Speer's 300 grain Plated Soft Point offer varying degrees of penetration and expansion. Normally the Hornady XTP is picked for maximum expansion and the Speer PSP for maximum penetration with the Sierra riding right in between the two of them on both counts.

My normal load for the heavyweight bullets is 21.5 grains of WW296 or H110 but all of these bullets do not afford the same case capacity. Hornady's XTP's seat the deepest and their manual recommends maximum charges of less than 20.0 grains of WW296 or H110. Sierra's listed maximum load is 21.8 grains of H110, while Hodgdon lists 20.0 grains of H110 as maximum for 300 grain jacketed bullets. In my experiments, 20.3 grains of H110 gives 1200 feet per second with the 300 grain XTP, 21.5 grains of WW296 gives 1135 with the Sierra 300 grain bullet, and 21.7 grains of WW296 drives the Speer 300 grainer at 1200 feet per second. None of these loads should be taken lightly and should be approached with caution. Do not, repeat, DO NOT try to duplicate heavyweight cast bullet muzzle velocities with jacketed bullets. Jacketed bullets not only have more bearing surface they also create much more friction. If 1300 to 1400 feet per second velocities are the goal, cast bullets are the vehicle.

Forty-four Magnum sixguns do not have to be run at full bore to afford great pleasure. Some of my favorite loads are in the moderate to mild category. The above mentioned 295 grain bullet at 1150 feet per second is a sweet shootin' load to say the least. The same powder charge, 10.0 grains of Unique under a 250 grain cast bullet gives around 1170 feet per second and like its bigger brother is certainly adequate for most sixgun use including deer-sized game.

Using the Bull-X 240 grain bullet I have been experimenting with mild loads, workin' loads I call them for pure pleasure use. Some examples are 12.0 grains of Blue Dot for 970 feet per second, 8.5 grains of Unique for 1065 feet per second, and 19.5 grains of H4227 for 1100 feet per second. All of these loads are well above any factory .45 Colt loads which shows their potential as workin' loads and they can be shot all day without pain or strain which shows their pleasure. With all loading for the .44 Magnum two things are essential. A tight full length sizing die that allows maximum bullet pull and a crimping die that gives a heavy crimp. Both are necessary for proper ignition and powder burning with heavy loads. I use Magnum primers with all moderate to heavy loads, either CCI's #350 or Federal's #155.

As we rapidly approach the twenty-first century, I see increased popularity for the .44 Magnum. It made handgun hunting a viable part of handgunning, has few equals as a long-range sixgun cartridge and can be loaded down to midrange levels that still deliver superb accuracy. It would be hard to not consider it the all around sixgun cartridge.



Jacketed Bullet Loads:

Hornady 240 XTP 25.0 gr. WW296 1515

Sierra 240 JHP 25.0 gr. WW296 1465

Sierra 240 JHP 22.0 gr. AA#9 1408

Speer 240 JHP 22.0 gr. AA#9 1347

Speer 240 FMJ 24.6 gr. WW296 1306

Sierra 250 FMJ 23.0 gr. WW296 1383

Ballard Built 250 JHP 25.0 gr. WW296 1403

Hornady 265 JFP 23.0 gr. WW296 1283

Hornady 300 XTP 20.3 gr. H110 1208

Hornady 300 XTP 21.6 gr. WW296 1250

Sierra 300 JFP 21.5 gr. WW296 1134

Speer 300 PSP 21.7 gr. H110 1198

Cast Bullet Loads:

Lyman #431244GC 10.0 gr. Herco 1105

Lyman #431244GC 25.0 gr. WW296 1395

Lyman #431244GC 22.0 gr. #2400 1484

Lyman #431244GC 21.5 gr. AA#9 1365

Lyman #431244GC 24.0 gr. H4227 1395

NEI #295.429GC 10.0 gr. Unique 1157

NEI #295.429GC Keith 21.5 gr. WW296 1395

RCBS #44-300FN 21.5 gr. WW296 1402

SSK 310.429FN 21.5 gr. WW296 1312

Special Pleasure Loads for the .44 Magnum:

Bull-X 240 SWC

6.5 gr. HP38 851

6.0 gr. WW452AA 860

7.5 gr. WW231 914

7.0 gr. BullsEye 971

12.0 gr. Blue Dot 992

12.0 gr. HS-6 1041

8.5 gr. Unique 1065

19.5 gr. H4227 1109

10.5 gr. Herco 1132
01-29-2004 02:18 PM
Has anyone ever killed a grizzly bear with

Old Griz:
I'm not sure where he hit the bear, but at that close range it may have been in the throat.
I do remember that the first shot cancelled the attack, and he simply squeezed off another shot.
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