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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:36 am
by tigwelder56
I recommended the Smith & Wesson .460 Mag revolver, I believe they're still made in the USA. I wouldn't consider a .45acp for bear even on a good day. The smallest caliber I would consider in a handgun would be the .44 Magnum. Although, I would choose a .357 Magnum over the .45acp if I had to. I'm curious why your neighbors would recommend a .45acp for bear protection? There are many skilled hunters here and bear are just one of many species hunted for. You also live in Grizzly country, a buddy of mine has a house up in the mountains there and he sees them all the time. You might get lucky and stop a small black bear with a 1911 but you'd simply piss off a Grizz with one! He has the S&W 500 Mag and still would rather not find out how long it would take to drop one at close range.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:07 pm
by Will_Carry
Hi Geoff,

What about a big lever action rifle? like a 444 Marlin. With the right ammo you can get 3000ft/lbs at the muzzle. They are cheaper than a big bore Smith and Wesson pistol by several hundred dollars. You can sling them over your shoulder when you're hiking. They run new for $600-700. If not then I'd go for what ever the Tigwelder says.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:23 pm
by robalan
I heard bullet proof vests made of Kevlar will soon be cheap as dirt because everyone is changing to bear skins. :-)

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:40 pm
by JustBen
I checked out that S&W .460 Magnum and instantly got a woodie (Or was that Chris Mathews' line about BHO). Definately on my wish list, bears or not.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:39 pm
by tigwelder56
Here are some links to the handguns I recommend. Take a look and compare the specs on all the handguns you're considering. Check velocity, muzzle energy, size and recommendations of other qualified individuals on what is and isn't a good idea for bear defense. I'll throw in some links to give you a better idea of what you might be up against.

These are just a few of the reviews out there and mine are just touching the surface of them. S&W lists the MSRP at over $1400.00 but you'll see most retailers have it listed almost $500.00 less. The MSRP is what the manufacturer wants but the dealers set the price almost 30% less. If you decide to go after this type of handgun, do your homework and get the best possible price! We'll be glad to help you if you need direction, information or just someone to bounce your idea's off.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:46 pm
by robalan
Gunblast does a review of the short barrel Survival Kit S&W 460.

I have a S&W 460 with 8.3 inch barrel and use it for deer hunting. It is very accurate, but I need to use a rest for it, very heavy. The scope adds to the weight, but it would be heavy even without it. But it is a great gun!!

PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:49 pm
by tigwelder56
Hey Ben, save that for BHO... That'll really finish his day with the same hardness that was delivered to him this morning! I love it when things work out! Especially when it is for the people of this great country!

Now go out and buy that Smith and Wesson Geoff!!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:30 pm
by geoff
Thanks for the advice, I have learned from the commentsand consider each one.

My neighbors and friends have suggested the 45acp because I never fired pistols before and the control would be better than a larger caliber. I guess it is not easy to kill a grizz, accuracy plays a large role as well as the "weight". A local deputy was the first one to suggest the 45 caliber. Holding on to the gun was made by another. Everyone has said to go to the range.

A rifle or shotgun would have been my first choice. Speed of getting a round off would be difficult. A friend last week did use his rile on a grizz, he shot high. It was already in his hands.

Good links.

Thanks again and keep the comments coming.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:14 am
by tigwelder56
Hi Geoff, I'm getting a better picture of your neighbors now. I realize that you're new to this sport, handguns anyway. I don't mean any disrespect toward your neighbors, but they are giving you some dangerous information in my opinion. Just because you're new to this, the last thing anyone should recommend is a weaker caliber/handgun for the purpose at hand. If you can't handle a 44 Mag or larger, you simply don't go out armed with something totally inadequate! Does that make any sense? So what if you found the .45acp too much for you to begin with, are you going to go out there with a 9mm? I'm serious! Do you value your life? Take our recommendations seriously. Geoff, if you can't handle the recoil of a 44 Mag or a .460, LEARN!!! We all had to learn to reach the levels we have reached. That's what practice and training are all about. Don't walk into bear country unarmed. That is exactly what you'll be doing with a firearm that isn't sufficient to do the job. Good luck Geoff, make informed decisions before betting your life on anything.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:15 am
by robalan