Semi auto for bears

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Semi auto for bears

Post by leadpulaski » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:23 pm

My dad is in his 60s and has always been an avid shooter. This weekend he asked me to help him find a good hand gun to carry around his property. He bought and tried a few guns but doesn't feel they are right. He lives very rural and has a lot of wildlife in his "neighborhood" including grizzly bears and a few cougars. We quickly began the debate of which would be better, 40 caliber or 10 milimeter. So far he is leaning toward a glock 20, I carry a glock 22 but don't BS myself and think it is great for defending against a bear or cougar I'd much rather have a shotgun if it came down to it.

What do you guys think would be a good gun in this case? He does not want a revolver as it is low capacity and he wants something that holds more ammo. He seems determined to get a glock as he wants it to be lightweight. If it helps any he is not very worried about self defense from 2 legged predators, he is mostly worried about becoming yogi's next meal :lol:

I googled around a bit and came up with the basic 44 mag/shotgun/air strike options, these don't fit for him as he wants light and semiauto.

Thanks.

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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:40 pm

He's really got to pick, as I can't think of a semi-auto that is light, high-capacity, and powerful enough for a bear. Not to mention that Light+powerful=he'll never practice with it, because it will hurt.

Is there a reason that he doesn't think 6 rounds of .460 are not enough for a bear or cougar, but 15 rounds of .40 are?
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by TacAir » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:48 pm

Well, there is at least *one* documented case of a person killing a large Brown bear with a 45 ACP (Yup, M1911) at Denali park.

I'll have to say I carry a 12 ga shotgun myself. The "air strike" makes for a good backup I suppose...


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http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/20 ... eserve5943" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by aus.templar » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:54 pm

I'm not really a fan of revolvers... but for what he's after I can't think of anything better. If he's worried about missing his shots in panic and wants more on tap just in case then I can see his point.
If he's set on a glock then 10mm/.40/.45 seem to fit the bill.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by nateted4 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:56 pm

There is no real reason to to think that if there exists a handgun that will stop a bear, that it is not 10mm. What I'm saying is: the energies, masses and penetrations into gelatin of all rounds near the 10mm, through similar barrel lengths, are not different enough to recommend one over the other. Maybe handguns are inappropriate for bears, but I bet Elmer Keith would argue that handguns can kill a bear.

So if you buy my argument that:

-Handgun rounds such as the .357, 10mm, .41 magnum, etc. are all very similar in external and terminal ballistics

and

-Handguns such as these have killed many large game animals

then there is no reason not to just get your old man a G20 and call it a day.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by Czechnology » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:01 pm

For what it's worth, OP, A glock 20 and a glock 22 have one very significant difference. 10mm is not comparable to .40S&W.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by RickOShea » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:18 pm

Just something different:

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

Get some good Wilson ten-round mags to go with it. :wink:
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by misanthropist » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:52 pm

If I were to carry a semi-auto for bears (and incidentally about the only carry permits civilians in Canada can get are for exactly that) I'd carry what most guys who have a wilderness ATC carry...Glock 20.

Well, in fact I would carry my 20sf. I sold the old G20.

A hot 200gr 10mm will hurt a bear. I would not count on a nice clean kill from a single round...but I would count on making a bear really think twice after the first eight or ten rounds. And there's always spare mags. I would much rather reload an auto under stress than a revolver.

So to me the G20 is the obvious choice. It's the only big auto that I take particularly seriously.

I wanted to run mine in a Hack course earlier this year but we did it on an outdoor range where I would not have gotten any of the brass back. I shot it for a low-light section with him, though. He likes the 10mm Glocks, which I thought was encouraging.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by Einher » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:08 pm

RickOShea wrote:Just something different:

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

Get some good Wilson ten-round mags to go with it. :wink:
^ beat me to it.

I'm sure .357, .45, .40, even 9mm and *will* take bear down eventually, and that would be fine if I got the drop on the bear , but I would would want something much heavier hitting on my hip if the bear got the drop on me.

IMO: If it has to be a semi-auto handgun then 10mm or .460 Rowland is the direction you should look, else .44 Magnum.
Even then I'd rather have a shotgun; but of course a shotgun is heavier, will be slower to unholster and is less convenient to carry.

If not the .460 in a 1911, then a Glock in 10mm can be a good deal, with the added benefit of the .40S&W and 10mm slide and frame being interchangeable (after swapping barrel, spring and magazine), and it is of course fairly light (comparatively).

You'll get more shots with a full size 10mm Glock, but AFAIK .460 will outstrip 10mm in performance.
Choose based on preference of either.


BTW - Most people I've spoken to say that if you get 10mm, skip the watered down 10mmF.B.I. loads, get the full power 10mm stuff; else you're just paying more for .40S&W ballistics.

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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:31 am

My advice is don't give the bear a reason for an encounter. Keep a clean camp and make yourself known in the environment. Don’t store food inside or around your shelter. Use the bear box, portable anti bear container or approved hanging methods (not sure that last bit is 100% effective). A feed bear is a dead bear once it associates humans with food. Bells attached to a pack could give a sow warning, keeping someone from getting too near her cubs. A camp in a visible area could mean there is less chance of a bear stumbling upon it unexpectedly and the encounter turning predatory. I believe this situation is what killed Timothy Treadwell. On the flip side you're far more likely to be taken out by some drunk on the drive to the trailhead than attacked by a bear. :( As for the OP's question I am not sure.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by nimdabew » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:36 am

Mares leg in 44 magnum.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by by-the-throat » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:13 am

No one has said Coonan 1911 in .357 mag right?

I mean, I've never handled one, only ever skimmed the reviews, and am not that great of a pistol shooter anyway, but damned if that gun doesn't turn my crank. And really, isn't that the most important factor for fighting bears?
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by omega_man » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:28 am

WW makes the best point. But, if you're set on a semi-auto for bear--10mm is your best bet. It is not an uncommon caliber for hunting black bear around here. I know there's a huge difference b/t blacks and browns; but, if revolvers are not an option--that only leaves the G20 without straying into uber-expensive boutique rounds.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by MaconCJ7 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:38 am

Saiga 12, but without the buttstock.
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Or maybe with a collapsible stock like this:
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by Paladin1 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:43 am

While not the ideal, a 10mm loaded with Buffalo Bore Hardcast.
http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l= ... tail&p=219" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If he masters shot placement with the platform/round there isn't anything I'd worry about in the lower 48.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by bonanacrom » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:58 am

Well this is a very controversial question you asked, everyone has a favorite caliber and some will argue it's merits no matter what. It's basically a thing of what makes him feel OK. Most of the suggested rounds will be OK for a lion and that's the one most likely to go after a person according to TV. Shooting at a charging bear you are most likely to be bouncing bullets off the things skull so with that thinking I always took my .45, I figured the bigger the thump on his skull the better for me, and I wouldn't be able to empty the thing before it got to me as the fuckers are very fast so the extra ammo wouldn't do much good. Not sure if I ever heard of a bear dropping dead in mid fight, the people that live are there because the bear stopped. Truth is, if I was concerned about bears on a daily basis I'd get something like a karelian bear dog, Finnish hunters have been asked if they had to choose between any rifle or their dog if they where surprised by a bear which would they pick, as far as I remember from that article they all said they would rather have there dog.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by squinty » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:46 am

I think a semi auto is too complicated a mechanism for bears to operate with their large paws and lack of truly opposable thumbs. They'd be better off using revolvers, or just relying in their natural tooth and claw weapons.

Ammo selection might matter as much as caliber. You want more penetration for large predators, than you would for a man-defense gun. There are dedicated hunting rounds in the larger handgun calibers that would be good to choose - being properly "loaded for bear" entails more than just caliber.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by VooDooDoo » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:02 pm

omega_man wrote:WW makes the best point. But, if you're set on a semi-auto for bear--10mm is your best bet. It is not an uncommon caliber for hunting black bear around here. I know there's a huge difference b/t blacks and browns; but, if revolvers are not an option--that only leaves the G20 without straying into uber-expensive boutique rounds.
Your standard off the shelf 10mm factory ammo isn't much better than .40S&W performance.

It is the boutique rounds like Buffalo Bore, Corbon and others that allow the full potential of the 10mm to come through.

Stay away from any of the SD (hollow point) offerings as well. What you want is the hard cast solid bullets like Buffalo Bore offers... to make sure the projectile penetrates Yogi's hide/muscle/bone.
Paladin1 wrote:While not the ideal, a 10mm loaded with Buffalo Bore Hardcast.
http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l= ... tail&p=219" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If he masters shot placement with the platform/round there isn't anything I'd worry about in the lower 48.
I'd say that BB load is better suited for bear than anything that walks on 2 legs.
A 220gr 10mm load @ 1200fps offers 703ft/lbs of M.E.!

Know what caliber has more M.E. and fits into the same frame sized gun?
http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l= ... tail&p=231" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
.460 Rowland! :mrgreen:
A 255gr .460Rowland load @ 1300fps for 957ft/lbs of M.E.

If I knew that I had regular Brown Bear visits to my property... I'd make sure to sling a BIG-BORE AR (.450Bushmaster, .458SOCOM, .50 Beowolf) with some spare mags around.

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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by PistolPete » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:34 pm

You know why ZS rocks? On any other forum some kid would have chimed in with "buy a Desert Eagle! 50 caliber will cut a bear in half".

Glock 20 is the way to go given the constraints I think. With hot loads like Buffalo Bore heavy 10mm that Glock 20 is unpleasant to shoot, unpleasant as hell. At least you can throw some rubber grips on a 44 magnum, I found hot loads in a Glock 20 sucked more to me than full power loads out of a 44 magnum. Now, the 44 had a longer barrel when I did it, but that was my experience.

Speaking of longer barrels, you can get up to 100fps more out of a longer barrel, if he goes from 4" to 6" with a quality aftermarket barrel it could add some pop without adding any recoil.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by omega_man » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:39 pm

I was referring to boutique in terms of caliber; but, you're right, the hard-cast thumpers from Buffalo Bore, etc. would be preferable if for some very unlikely reason a bear attacks and you're carrying a 10mm in brown bear country because you shun revolvers.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by RickOShea » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:59 pm

I've got a Clark compensated barrel in .45acp on one of my 1911s that I'm very pleased with. But that Clark .460 Rowland kit is giving me half-a-stalk....Well, maybe not, but it definitely "moved". :shock:
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by kevthemed » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:59 pm

http://www.glossover.co.uk/amt/images/AutoMag.jpg

An auto that can hunt barrrr..... 8-)
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by Czechnology » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:20 pm

I know a guy who lives up in AK by himself for most of the year, and he carries only an AK74 clone, and a 9mm.

He's still alive, but I don't think he's ever had to use either of those on a bear, because he goes out of his way to keep that from happening.
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Re: Semi auto for bears

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Nov 15, 2011 2:24 pm

I'm going preface this link by saying, what ever you do, don't goob with your Glock, especially* the 22 and 20. This guy over loaded a 10mm and goob the feed ramp, then blames the gun.

Vaguely related to this thread:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_1_5/125313 ... aBoom.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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