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Discussion Starter #1
Gun newbie. If I buy a gun, I will take class, and shoot regularly (don't need lecture). I'm planning on going to Glacier NP and Canadian Rockies this summer. Lots of grizzly bears up there. We (wife and self) carry bear spray whenever hiking-- yes, I know, it's not a gun, but it has been proven to help. Thinking about buying a gun (concealed) so it has to be somewhat small and light, but with enough power to do some damage should we be attacked by a large bear.

First question: Minimum power against grizzly? 357 Magnum? 40 S&W? 45 ACP? Remember, I'm trying to keep this gun as small/light as possible.

Second question: Recommended type of bullet?

Third question: Your top 3 picks for quality/reliability in gun manufacturers? I stopped in a gun shop last week, and they seemed to think Kimber was the best-- your opinions?

Thanks,
Paul.
 

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I carry a ruger p-90(45 acp) when hiking or camping.I would choose a firearm of equal fire power for bears-;)
 

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Small, light, and capable of stopping a grizzly bear??? Totally contradictory.

Particularly if you have no familiarity with hand guns. 44 Magnum is no place to start.

I think you should consider a nice lever action Marlin 1895 in 45/70 or in 444 Marlin. 45/70 has bullet choices in the 500 grain range. You want heavy bullets.
 

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Bears are extremely powerful, heavily muscled with thick dense bones. Will be hard to stop with a handgun but to even have a chance, need something like Partsguy's 454 Casull or Problemchild's 500 S&W with bullets designed for penetration (not hollowpoints). These type of handguns are typically used by experienced handgunner for hunting and not real pleasant to shoot for most beginners. They are also heavy to carry around if you're going to be hiking a lot. The rifle suggestion is a good one if you don't mind carrying one as almost any of the "bear appropriate calibers" would be more powerful than a handgun. A 12 gauge shotgun with an extended magazine using slugs wouldn't be bad either. Good luck with your choice.
 

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Freedom Arms 4 3/4" .475 Linebaugh.
 

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I can tell you whatever you buy you won't be able to legally take it into Canada. You can't just carry a firearm into Canada for protection, and pistols are totally non grata. If you are an alien and go up hunting you have to go through the permit process and have a letter from the guide you are using before you can even get a hunting rifle in. Better stay in the states with your firearms.
 

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I faced a grizzly in Glacier ( across the river ). 40 yards between us; I holding a Browning BAR 300WM with round chambered and 2 in the mag. Him; holding my life in his hands. I was humbled. Big handgun will kill him probably after the damage is allready done. 458 WM or bigger will stop a charge if you do not panick and hit the stupid thing. You have no idea what it's like till you face this bear. He let me walk away.
mike
 

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Some of the best advice I ever got was this...The best bullet in the world isn't worth a damn thing if you can't hit anything with it.
 

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Hand gun wise think you need a Uzi to shoot your way out after he eats ya.
 

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Bears are extremely powerful, heavily muscled with thick dense bones. Will be hard to stop with a handgun but to even have a chance, need something like Partsguy's 454 Casull or Problemchild's 500 S&W with bullets designed for penetration (not hollowpoints). These type of handguns are typically used by experienced handgunner for hunting and not real pleasant to shoot for most beginners. They are also heavy to carry around if you're going to be hiking a lot. The rifle suggestion is a good one if you don't mind carrying one as almost any of the "bear appropriate calibers" would be more powerful than a handgun. A 12 gauge shotgun with an extended magazine using slugs wouldn't be bad either. Good luck with your choice.
Some awfully modest numbers there for a beginner but in reality, its the best bet to stop a train like a bear.

You wouldnt catch me out there in a bear's back yard with anything less than a 357. I have seen what a 357 can do to a "second chance" balistic vest. That 357 is a bad man.
 

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I cant believe you guys would shoot at a BIG GIANT GRIZZLY bear with a 45acp or 357?????????????

Man even my 500 would make me nervous if he was 20 feet away and charging. Those things can weigh a 1000 pounds.

That being said.........BRING IT ON!
I'll drop that 1000lb bear in his tracks. Rock his world. They dug one of the below bullets 7 feet out of a charging cape buffalo. Went through his horns and skull first then 6 feet into meat and muscle. Dropped him cold on the first round.

Grizzly smizzly.........

Round 1 45acp, round 2 350 grain 500, round 3 650 grain 500 smith. The black lines are where the bullet depth is.





 

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Now we know what the term "powder burns" comes from. Man you can take awsome photos PC.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can tell you whatever you buy you won't be able to legally take it into Canada. You can't just carry a firearm into Canada for protection, and pistols are totally non grata. If you are an alien and go up hunting you have to go through the permit process and have a letter from the guide you are using before you can even get a hunting rifle in. Better stay in the states with your firearms.
I was wondering about that, and was wondering what the chances would be of getting across the border with a handgun. Last time we went, we pulled up into this station and the guy "talked" with us for about 3 minutes-- while he scanned our truck with an electronic monitoring device mounted on the station wall-- probably every inch of our truck (no trailer, just truck-- 3 minutes). The only reason I would even risk taking a gun across the border is the risk of my family encountering a grizzly on a trail. Legal, but devoured? Illegal, but protected? What is really pathetic is that 100 years ago (maybe even 50) there would be no problem carrying that gun on trails in US or Canada. I would be curious to hear other opinions on this particular aspect of discussion. Thanks, Paul.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Some awfully modest numbers there for a beginner but in reality, its the best bet to stop a train like a bear.

You wouldnt catch me out there in a bear's back yard with anything less than a 357. I have seen what a 357 can do to a "second chance" balistic vest. That 357 is a bad man.
The guy at the gun store said that of all handguns, the 357 magnum had the highest percetage of 1-shot kills to anywhere in the chest area. Seems like a bigger gun would be higher, but apparently that's not the case.

ProblemChilds SW500 "cannon" is certainly impressive... just wonder how easy it would be to carry that thing around (concealed), and how easy it would be to yank it out and shoot it when coming around a corner (or over a hill) and seeing a bear-- charging a second later. I'm also thinking here about the fact that most bears are not the gargantuan 1000+ pounders.

Unit453: This is a "loaded" question... :) ...If you felt that there was a risk of you and your family (wife and daughter) being attacked by a grizzly bear on Canadian trails, would YOU attempt to take a handgun across the border and carry it concealed in a Candian NP-- which is also a "no no"...? And I'm wondering how "understanding" the border folks or the park rangers would be if this was ever found out? --Paul.
 

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No hand guns across the border anymore. Heck you can not even bring bear spray across the border anymore. I frequent Glacier and even worked up there for a summer. I have had a number of bear encounters there. It is funny how you can instantaneously be at the top of a tree. The trees unfortunately seem way too small when the bear lays down at the bottom with you at the top. In the parks all I carry is bear spray. I have personally seen it stop a changing griz. It does not help your underware though. Out side of the parks I also carry my hand gun as a last resort. Bear spray with practice and good common sence is the best defence ( short of a 50 caliber ) is the way to go.
Steve
 

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I would carry a Marlin 1895, 45-70 with Buffalo Bore ammo. You can get a guide gun with a 18.5" barrel, or a 12 gage with Dixie slugs in it. Chance's are maybe, you can take a long gun or shot gun across the bourder but not a hand gun. I would rather have a rifle or shotgun over a handgun any day.
 

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The guy at the gun store said that of all handguns, the 357 magnum had the highest percetage of 1-shot kills to anywhere in the chest area. Seems like a bigger gun would be higher, but apparently that's not the case.
This statement is probably true as applied to human beings, using hollowpoint ammo favored by law enforcement. Those rounds expand quickly, delivering a huge amount of hydrostatic shock and are specifically designed not to over penetrate. The reason the more powerful rounds have a poorer showing in stopping power is because their heavy bullets don't expand as readily or at all and punch through without dumping as much energy. Most of those hollowpoint rounds penetrate anywhere from 11 to 14 inches in ballistic gelatin. That distance corresponds to the depth of the average human chest and the gellatin is made to approximate human flesh. There is a huge difference between the anatomy and density of a 1000 lb. bear and a human being. 11 to 14 inches of penetration on a bear will likely give you one very pissed off bear and get you eaten in return. On the charging bear scenario, you need something with enough penetration and power to break bones and reach the vitals on a bear. A .357 is a powerful round and with the right ammo could do the job. But there are much more powerful calibers available that would be better.
 

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Yea like the other guys said .357 magnum just ain't got enough for the big bears. Not saying that it would not kill a grizz if it was hit just right, but who wants to take a chance. I wouldn't even feel real comfortable with my .44 mag. Looks like the 454 casul or 500 Mag would be a real good choice.
 
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