Graybeard Outdoors banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,526 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
JJHACK: A couple of days ago you posted some great information about using 44 magnums and dealing with black bears but I haven't seen it reposted here.

Do you think you might be able to repost that to this new forum. That post had an incredible amount of information in it and I would like to think that many of us who frequent this forum would both appreciate and benefit from your experiences.

Thanks. Mikey.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
26,057 Posts
Mikey and Jim. The post is still on the Handgun Hunting Forum over on the old Forums. I left it there will intention of moving it to here eventually. So if Jim doesn't see this and move it himself in a couple days I'll copy and past it here. Good info and I didn't want to lose it that's why it is still over there.

GB
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
309 Posts
Mikey,

Here is JJ's note. Informative stuff!

ShootnStr8

--------------
A bit lower down on this forum there was a thread regarding black bears and 44 magnums. I worked for much of my life in a bear damage management program in Washington state. My job week in and week out seasonally was to remove problem bears from a 380,000 acre tree farm which was bordered by an enormous wilderness area with a seemingly endless supply of black bears. I am currently the Western editor of bear hunting magazine, and a Professional Hunter in the country of South Africa. This past season in Africa my 19 clients shot and killed 117 big game animals in 8 weeks of hunting. That was just one season!
I mention these things so you realize my experience level with big to "HUGE" game is significant. A person needs a bit of resolution in his experience. One or two animals or even a dozen does not make the averaage guy an expert in all that can happen or go wrong. A real authority in the way bullets perform in living tissue needs to see hundreds of big animals shot to study the results and the reactions. From archery, to shotguns and rifles crossbows, and handguns or Muzzle loaders. I have killed or been involved in the direct harvest of hundreds of bears including Brown and grizzly while guiding in Alaska.

When you read this post which follows Remember I'm not just blowing smoke, I've been there! The .44 magnum with a good load will fold up and kill any black bear alive with ease! I don't know who the fellow was that gave the presentation but my guess is that he is baised in some way against handguns, or has little faith in the average user(most likely). I have shot many dozens if not over a hundred with a 44 magnum and never lost a single one. As far as I'm concerned it's nearly the perfect gun for black bear hunting over bait or for as far as 75 yard shooting, maybe further!

Here is my other post from below:
I might be able to save you some grief and give you a reliable and proven solution. I have had to kill several hundred bears in my life. Many were not in a very happy mood and quite a few would have had my hide torn off PDQ had it not been they were in a foot snare. My Job as a bear hunting guide and as a wildlife manager for many years gave me insight into some conditions regular folks might only see once in a hundred life-times!

First the .44 magnum is plenty of gun for blackbear self defense. Not for brownies!

Next we have to consider the difference between hunting bears and stopping or imobilizing bears instantly. There is enough difference between the two that many folks get confused when they talk about the ammunition they are suggesting for the gun your asking about. If I were hunting bears a heavy hard cast bullet would be a fair choice. It leaves two .430 diameter holes and usually enough blood to follow to the trophy. The key part of that phrase is "follow to the trophy" !
You will be following the bear because the heavy hardcast bullets will in every case whistle through at a handgun hunting distance broadside shot. This impact is about the equal to a field tipped arrow. The bear has very little reaction except to hunch up for a brief moment and spring forward running as fast as possible often times covering 100 yards and remaining alive for another 30 seconds to a minute or more. Sometimes requiring a follow up shot.

Now consider the bear who is a threat to you. Broadside is out, and bears do not attack while standing. So you have an animal coming at high speed with his head only inches from the ground. If you shoot at his head while the distance is closing you will hit him in the guts without proper lead. That is not an easy thing to do without significant practice. If you have the foresight to concentrate while in a panic and shoot at the ground in front of his head you might make a neck or head shot, feel lucky? If you're using hardcast bullets and miss the spine or brain you're getting hit and knocked silly before you even realize what is going on. It's happened to me so I speak from first hand experience on this.
The heavy hard cast bullets don't disrupt enough tissue to crumple or stall a bear unless a perfect CNS hit is made, Feel lucky? The better choice and I say this after trying so many loads and killing so many bears I feel the research is nearly indisputable, is the common 240 grain hollowpoint. I have used many types but having done research with Hornady to develope the XTP bullet in the 80's I feel the XTP is as good as any bullet or even better. I have seen nearly every bear hit with a Garrett bullet run a long way unless CNS hits were made. However with a 240 hollowpoint the bears will spin like a top and bite at the wound trying to get the burning "bee" out of there hide. This allows many more shots. I have also seen them fall at impact and roll aound on the ground while bawling their heads off allowing more shots. These bullets rarely exit and tear up so much tissue that the bears really show amazing impact effect when compared to the 300 grain hardcast bullets most folks want for hunting. I would not use a 300 grain hard cast bullet for bears as a first choice. Bears are soft and usually small for such a bullet. Those should be used for really big animals with difficult to break bones like elk moose bison and brown bears. Nothing over 400 pounds really needs bullets with that heavy "zip through" construction that a 300 plus grain hard cast construction offers with the exception of wild hogs which have a very thick heavy gristle plate which can prematurely stop softer hollow point bullets.

The reaction to dozens if not over 100 bears has given me these feelings not just a bear here and there with random shot placement. Many of the bears shot while hunting are calm and relaxed, the reaction when they are hit is by a significant margin different then when a bear that is agressive and charging you. When we had bears snared that were hit in the chest with a hardcast bullet they continued to pull on the cable to get at us. When bears were shot with the 220-250 grain hollow points most if not all recoiled back and bit at their wound. They always stopped fighting and realized they had bigger trouble then the human they were attacking. The reaction was much different and very consistant. I for one will always carry 240 grain hollow points in my .44 mag revolver and never worry about having enough stopping power for black bears.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,526 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
44s and Black Bears

Greybeard: thank you. ShootnStr8 re-posted that here for us and I'm glad he was able to. JJ's post has some really good information in it - that man certainly does have a bunch of experience, doesn't he. I'm glad he is able to put it to letter so that we can understand it.

Interesting that we were mentioning the other day how tough some of the harder recoiling calibers are on our wrists and I'm quite happy to hear that I will be well heeled, black bear wise, with 240 grain jacketted loads in my 44 - they recoil less and will save my wrists some aggravation.

Thanks again. Mikey. :-D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,540 Posts
VERY INTERESTING. By CNS does he mean the cervical vertibrae? If not what is he refering to? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
Central Nervous System

This is a great post! Is that same 240 grain a good load for whitetail?

Fred
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,540 Posts
Thanks for the reply. And the 240 grainer and a stiff load of 2400 has worked for me on deer, evey tiime I can get the sights lined up on one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I carry a FA in .454. while bowhunting in backcoutry. I seldom have full house loads in it, opting for .45 P+ loads. (which are close to .44mag power)

I'd be interested in your commets on this.

I know that my 12 ga. coach gun would be a wiser choice. I just won't carry it while bowhunting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
If it's worth anything, the Mayor of Barrow, Alaska carries a .44 mag under his coat as he bicycles (!) to and from work every day, for use against polar bears, especially in the dark of winter, when they come into the town looking for unwary humans. I can't say if he's ever used it, but Barrow's on the 'Net, you could ask him.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top