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I.E. Trying to keep that bear from mauling you to death

I know it would be preferable to have a rifle or maybe even a shotgun of some type but I just wanted to throw this out there see what I get. From what I've read in order to take down a bear( simply for instance) you want a really heavy fast moving projectile that could penetrate the skull. Would configuring a 1911 for .45 super or .400 cor-bon be more appropriate? I've tried to find info on those loads at manufacturers websites but no one seems to have the info on the .45 super (not even cor-bon, unless I missed it). I know that both of these are pretty much reloader cartridges, and as such don't intend to spend anymore time then necessary getting into them. Thnx all

-Mitchell R. Drews

P.S. Using a Norinco 1911 pretty much stock except replaced springs with "standard weight" ones after purchase 3-days ago.
 

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Mitch Drews said:
I.E. Trying to keep that bear from mauling you to death

I know it would be preferable to have a rifle or maybe even a shotgun of some type but I just wanted to throw this out there see what I get. From what I've read in order to take down a bear( simply for instance) you want a really heavy fast moving projectile that could penetrate the skull. Would configuring a 1911 for .45 super or .400 cor-bon be more appropriate? I've tried to find info on those loads at manufacturers websites but no one seems to have the info on the .45 super (not even cor-bon, unless I missed it). I know that both of these are pretty much reloader cartridges, and as such don't intend to spend anymore time then necessary getting into them. Thnx all

-Mitchell R. Drews

P.S. Using a Norinco 1911 pretty much stock except replaced springs with "standard weight" ones after purchase 3-days ago.
Nope. I love 1911 type pistols, but for taking down a mean
Grizzly bear, you need a 44 magnum revolver, if you want a
handgun

thanks

Jae
 

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Go, Saab1911!

Yep. Ride bear country and grew up there.

.44 mag, .454 Casull. or BIGGER.

You don't wanna mess around. You wanna STOP him. You don't wanna take a chance of killing him SLOWLY. Slowly means he can kill you at his leasure while he dies. This can be far less pleasant than you imagine.

You need to STOP him.
 

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a good hard cast flat nosed bullet in .357 or larger but in a pinch a .45 would help.

read an news report about a man that killed a bear with a .410 and bird shot recently.

he got lucky shot it in the nose as it was chargeing him. shot travled up the nose into the brain stopped it cold.
 

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From what I've read in order to take down a bear( simply for instance) you want a really heavy fast moving projectile that could penetrate the skull.
I certainly can't recommend a head shot on a bear unless you want to watch your shots glance off that flat, sloping skull.

You need something powerful unless you just want the bear more upset with you. I carry a Super Redhawk .454 for backup while hunting and we don't even have bears down where I live now.

If you insist on using a 1911, wait until the bear swallows your shooting arm. Then fire.
 

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For Brown bear and Grizzly forget it. Matter of fact forget any handgun - unless maybe you are hunting them. In which case under certain circumstances, where you are at least attempting to call the shots, some handguns with large heavy well constructed bullets can do quite well. Even then I would want a competent gun bearer along with a big long gun as a backup.

I do side with those who suggest a .44, .41 or 357 magnum loaded with heavy hardcast bullets as being the best bet though. Just don't count on drilling the streamlined skull of a Grizzly unless you take the shots from beneath it up through the palate.

Black bear are another matter altogether; they have a reputation for flight after being wounded. This is not to say that there might not be exceptions; but in general I would feel quite well armed with a 1911 with heavier slugs in Black bear country.
 

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creepyrat said:
read an news report about a man that killed a bear with a .410 and bird shot recently.

he got lucky shot it in the nose as it was chargeing him. shot travled up the nose into the brain stopped it cold.
Reminds me of an article I read in Outdoor Life when I was a kid. It must have heppened back in the 60's.

A bear hunter in Maine shot and killed a record book black bear -- or at least it WOULD have been a record book bear, except that the front of it's skull was caved in by a load of birdshot! He did some research asking around about a missing bird hunter or a story about a close encounter with a bear by a bird hunter. He never could find out how the bear was shot in the first place.

That's the way I remember it, anyway.
 

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Some good advice written here

I live on an island with 3000 of the largest bears in the world and this is a subject I pay particular attention to. Here are my thoughts.
1. Any gun is better than no gun but any handgun against a Kodiak is going to be lacking. Actually many rifles are too.....
2. Many of the bear attacks are so sudden that hunters and woodsmen even with large caliber rifles don't even get a chance to shoulder them. My co-worker who was attacked by a nervous sow here from at least 15 feet away. She had 5 cubs with her (she adopted some along the way) and moved so quickly that he couldn't even shoulder his weapon.
3. If you are going to depend on a .44Mag or larger you need to be intimate with that weapon...i.e., very efficient with it. Many of the tourist and residents I meet here with .44's, .454, .500, etc. have these gorgeous stainless steel weapons that they like to admire a lot but have shot a little. I carry a Glock 10mm with Norma 200 grain TMJ flat nose bullets (1260FPS) in the woods and we would all agree that this weapon is less powerful than a .44. The reason I carry it is that it is light, I am efficient with it and I have a better chance hitting a bear repeatedly if I have time to shoot. The chance of a head shot like the gentleman reported is less likely. The probability of needing to fire this weapon from a close contact position such as the weapon close to my torso is high (i.e, getting slugged by the bear and falling to the ground with him jumping on me). I can shoot the 10mm a lot faster than any wheel gun. It is an imperfect world out in the woods.....
4. Your best defense against any bear is simple: be noisy. Bears are afraid of you just as you are of them. If they hear you they will more than likely try to avoid you. Sure there are stories of starving bears stalking hunters but the majority of bears don't want anything to do with you. Laugh if you want but I have met lots of people attacked by bears with weapons who didn't use them but I have never known anyone who has been attacked who wears those bear bells.
5. Bear spray has its place BTW, though it is not manly like a gun.

I recently stumbled upon a Kodiak Bore last month. I had my Glcok 10mm and he wasn't aggressive. He stared at me, I stared at him. I asked him politely to go away and he did. He was about 20' away and I had the Glock 20 trained on him....finger off the trigger. We agreed to part ways and we both left unmolested. He was a beautiful bear. I will attach his picture for thos who want to see it.

Carry the weapon that you can most effectively handle. Carrying a large handgun like that S&W .500 Mag is a joke......you'd have to have that monster out of the holster and be carrying it like a rifle to protect you against a bear.....if you're carrying a revolver like a rifle you might as well be carrying a Marlin .450 or something. You'd shoot it better, too.

Stay safe, be noisy and avoid rubbing rotting salmon on your body......:)
 

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Kodiak,

Good advice. I used to carry a S&W 1006 10mm when I lived in Fairbanks. I was much more proficient with it than my .44 Mag (which I carried the woods on occasion).

BTW, I was drawn to hunt brown bear on Kodiak back on 89. Unfortunately, I was not able to go.

I used to go down to Cordova to hunt bears, too.
 

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.460 Rowland

http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/rowland.htm

I don't know squat about confrontations with bears, but with a 1911 this would be my choice. Appears to launch a 230grain bullet faster (1350 fps) than an average factory 240 grain .44mag load(1180fps).

185 Grain Nosler JHP (Defense Load)
@ 1400 fps (feet/second)
185 Grain Nosler JHP @ 1550 fps
230 Grn Gold Dot JHP @ 1350 feet fps

Q:What 1911 pistols do you consider the best platform for the 460 Rowland Kit?
A: The best candidates for this kit are single stack Kimber, Colt, Springfield Armory and Norinco 1911 style 45 ACP semi-auto pistols


Game Taken
Cougar (180 lbs taken with 1 shot - 185 grain factory load)
Moose (approx. 800 lb cow)
Deer (Whitetail and Mule)
Black Bear
Cougar photo (pictured with the Wildlife & Fisheries agent that shot it)

Q: Do I have to buy new loading dies?
A: No. You can use your 45ACP dies to reload 460 Rowland

Dogma
 

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I would skip the wildcats and go with 10mm Auto. .45 Super at best equals 10mm Auto ballistics from equivalent barrel lengths, and doesn't have bullets offering the sectional density of the 200 and 220gr 10mm bullets. .400 Cor-Bon ballistics are actually weaker than 10mm ballistics out of equivalent barrel lengths, especially with the heavier bullets you should be using on mean critters. Neither has the variety of factory ammo that 10mm Auto does, not even close in fact.

.460 Rowland and .40 Super can beat 10mm ballistics, and veer into .44 and .41 Magnum territory, but will also beat your gun to smithereens over time. At that point you are probably better off getting a .44 Magnum revolver.
 

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Re: .460 Rowland

dogma said:
http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/rowland.htm

I don't know squat about confrontations with bears, but with a 1911 this would be my choice. Appears to launch a 230grain bullet faster (1350 fps) than an average factory 240 grain .44mag load(1180fps).

185 Grain Nosler JHP (Defense Load)
@ 1400 fps (feet/second)
185 Grain Nosler JHP @ 1550 fps
230 Grn Gold Dot JHP @ 1350 feet fps

........
My $0.02:
I am not sure I agree with the bullet choice of a hollow point. Penetration is your best bet against large preditors IMO than velocity and expansion. The heavier grain the better. Somthing that penetrates completely through the animal would be best (though unlikelikely with a large bear). We're not worried about bystanders in the wilds. Cast bullets are even better. There is a guy named Mike McNett who hangs out at Glock Talk who sells and produces wild 10mm loads. Check it out if you're into 10mm:
Double Tap Ammo .
 

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.45 Super

I carry a Colt's GM "converted" to .45 Super (230 gr. TCBB @ 1,190 fps.) when I'm Bear or Boar hunting.

But for big Brownies, I'd much rather depend on a short barreled 12 ga. Magnum loaded with "00" Buck!
 

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IMHO, for big Brownies 00 buck sucks. 00 buck is kind of like 9 (or 12) 32's or 380's. Would you carry a sub gun in 380 for big bears? If I were toting a shotguns for big bears, I would use Brenneke hard slugs myself.
 

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This topic was covered quite extensively a few years ago on this forum. In fact, I was the originator of it at the time. 1911s were designed to effectively shoot humans. We are soft fragile beings - big bears like the Kodiaks or Alskan Browns are monsters - beautiful monsters - but monsters nonetheless.

Recently an article was circulated around the internet about a Fish and Game officer doing a little hunting up in Alaska when he was charged by an abnormally large Alaskan Brown Bear - 1600+ lbs and able to stand eye to eye with you if you were standing on the roof of your house. This was a +p++ beast! The Fish and Game man had a rifle chambered in Remington 7mm mag. If I recall correctly, the charge started about 50 yards away - he unloaded a full clip into the bear while it maintained its charge finally succuming and collapsing about 10 feet in front of him at which point he reloaded, went over and took a security cap to its head to be sure since it was still alive.

Just a short while before this, the bear had snacked on an unfortunate human not far from where this incident took place. Granted, he was especially big, but 900lbs-1200lbs is not that uncommon. Is this something you'd really think would be stopped by 1911, even customized with all that other fancy high power stuff? I'm not much of a gambling man mind you, but that's one bet you won't catch me placing.

Give me a Marlin Guide gun and Garrett cartriges in 45-70 +p or 450 Marlin - the 1911 I'll keep on my side with one round - for me if I miss with the Marlin.

Some interesting tetimonials and ballistic facts can be found here:
http://www.garrettcartridges.com/

best,
R. Stanton
Galileo
 

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I'm a born and rasied Alaskan, I've hunted most my life and I completly agree with Kodiak PA. any handgun is better then nothing, but it's a last defense and would count on it. carry what you carry ever day. something that you are familiare with.

You can kill a bear with a handgun, Ive done it out of tree stands(black bear) but I wouldn't want to bet my life on one.

Keep in mind that a handgun isn't even the best weapon against the 2 legged critters.

Clinth
 

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Mitch;
I have never shot a big bear but don't have any trouble beleiving what the guys who live around them say - no handgun is "adequate".

I can speak to your request for info on more intese cartridges in the 1911 though. Don't take this as a recomendation just a report:

I use both the .45 Super and the .460 Rowland (which is a longer case and needs a different barrel). It is relatively easy to get a 230 gr. bullet up to about 1150 or even 1200 fps in the Super (be sure to increase your recoil spring to about 22lbs and put in a buffer) and also be sure your chamber supports the case web (if not a new barrel is in order).

The .460 can get 230 gr. bullets up to 1350 if you want to get the kit from Georgia Arms, Clark or Brownells (all are of Clark manufacture).

Be warry of using JHPs designed for the .45 Auto in either of these - penetration will suffer. Better to use a FMJ truncated Cone or a cast flat point bullet that will penetrate better.

Bottom line - better than a regular .45 ACP but still not awe inspiring for really huge critters - they work fine for 400 pounds and less if you place them right.

"Sometimes you eat the bear...sometimes the bear eats you."
Good luck

Jim Higginbotham
 

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Jim,

When you say "...be sure your chamber supports the case web (if not a new barrel is in order)" what do you mean? Do you mean a ramped barrel is needed? In other words, will a stock Kimber or Colt be able to handle 45 Super with the 22lb spring and buff? Or is it something that needs to be evaluated on a gun by gun basis?
 

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you'd have to get brain hits, regardless,

so the .44 is a bad choice. I favor 90 gr, pure tin, hollowbased swc's, with a hollowpoint. It does't expand, but it helps prevent the bullet from just glancing off a sloping animal's skull. This bullet, at 2000+ fps in a Commander barrel, will shoot completely thru the chest of a big Hereford Bull.
 
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