View Full Version : OT: Handgun caliber?

08-17-2001, 01:42 AM
What's a good caliber of handgun that will stop cougars and possibly black bears? .357 Magnum?

(date check: still off by more than 3 years!)
originally posted 10/04/04
edited 10/05/04

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 08-18-2001).]

10-05-2004, 01:54 PM
Let's try it again. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

10-05-2004, 02:43 PM
Think .44 mag with 240grn hollow point or a hotrodded .45 Colt with a 260grn hollowpoint. bigger is always better. You can also get things like .454Casull, .480 Ruger, .475 Linebaugh, and the new uberrevolver the .500 S&W Xframe. Keep in mind that if you don't handload, alot of the factory ammo for this stuff isn't cheap. If you think a .45 Colt ain't up to task, I would suggest a .480 Ruger SuperRedhawk. Big bullets with relatively mild recoil. Keep in mind these are big HEAVY hunting handguns. If your looking for something for personal protection from ill tempered forest dwellers, I would suggest a S&W 329PD,a 4 inch .44mag that only weighs 26ounces empty. It's not cheap at a list of just under a grand, but yas pay for performance. Here's a link: http://www.swfirearms.vista.com/store/index.php3?cat=293482&item=831456&sw_activeTab=1


10-05-2004, 03:09 PM
I would go 44 mag, with very heavy bullets and hollow points. I don't remember if Barnes makes a really heavy 44 mag bullet, but thier bullets work will in my 357 max.

If you have not shoot a 44 mag with heavy hunting bullets, get a box and go to the range.

When you have shoot up a few dollars in the 44 and think it may not be powerful enough, try a 454 Casulls.

Going with the other mentioned calibers is O.K. and the S&W 500 mag is too much to be carrying around and very expensive to own and feed.

You can put different bullets in each chamber of the cyclinder, but generally you only get a chance to fire one maybe two rounds.

Do you have regular run ins with cougars and bears??


10-05-2004, 03:30 PM

No, not yet. But we walk in areas where cougars have been spotted and there have been reports of black bears somewhat nearby.

Sunday afternoon we had been walking around the property we are in the process of buying. One of the local fellows we met back in July pulled up to talk while we were taking a break at the truck.

During the conversation he said he didn't want to scare us but we should be carrying a hand gun due to the cougars in the area. I had no reason not to believe him but I checked into it Monday morning. The DNR website shows cougar in and around our part of the state. I talked to a co-worker that currently lives about 15 minutes from where we're moving and he's spotted 3 cougars, his wife had spotted another 2 cougars, and a neighbor had a calf killed and dragged into the woods. The DNR identified cougar prints around what was left of the calf.

That convinced me of the value of carrying a handgun. But while looking into cougars I found that there have also been black bear sightings in the area.

At this point I'm not very concerned with the black bears since they are fairly scarce but in a few years they may not be so scarce.


10-05-2004, 03:34 PM
I was thinking a Thompson Contender might be one way to have a gun that you could keep loaded for bear, but with an extra barrel you could make it enjoyable for shooting snakes and such. I don't know what they cost new, but I bought mine with .22, a .223 and a .410/45Long Colt barrels for about $400 a few years ago. It sits on the mantle with a box of .410's waiting the next uninvited preditor or snake.
One drawback is it is single shot, but just how many shots are you going to get?
If you buy one, and don't like the caliber, there is a barrel that fits it easily for almost every caliber ever made.
David from jax

Have gun, will travel.

10-05-2004, 03:52 PM
With a wounded dangerous animal I prefer a second/third/fourth/fifth and sixth shot quickly available.

10-05-2004, 04:20 PM
Maybe a Desert Eagle in 50AE would be the answer to having enough firepower with a large and easy to change magazine. But this is an expensive pistol.

Most of the time creatures of the wild will leave people alone if you leave them alone.

But better safe than sorry. I think a 44mag would be enough using the right loads for a cougar, bear is a different question. Cougar are lean cats while bears are fat animals. Cougars, you can blow holes thru them and they will probably drop, while the same round may not penetrate deep enough in a bear to cause a quick death.

If you are caught by surprise by these animals, it only takes a few seconds for you to be badly injured.

The first and last time I went Boar hunting, I realized this was not the cute sloppy pigs on my grandfathers farm. They are big, mean and dumb. So I have a healthy respect for wild animals.


10-05-2004, 04:32 PM
I just thought of something, why not machine out some really slick bullets from pewter? Drill a hollow point cavity and maybe even score the bullet face.

Pewter bullets are pretty close to being amour piecing.


10-05-2004, 04:38 PM
The next to the last thing I want to do is shoot a cougar or bear. And the last thing I want to do is get injured/killed by one.

I know the chances are between slim and none that I would ever be attacked but I want to be prepared.

Cougars are my main concern. I knew cougars were bigger than the dogs I've owned but while researching yesterday I read that they vary greatly in size. One website said they get as large as 250 lbs while another one said over 200 lbs. That's MUCH larger than I realized. I was thinking more along the lines of 110 to maybe 125 lbs for a large one.

When we move we plan on getting one more dog. Maybe I should get a Rottweiler. That one along with our 70 pound mutt might be able to detect a cougar before I do and maybe they'd aggravate it long enough so it would leave us alone.

I had no idea cougars and black bears were in this area but I'd love to see them...from a distance. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif I'm looking forward to my next walk. I might carry my Home Security Mossberg 500 until I get a hand gun. It's a 12 gauge and has an 18.5" barrel and a pistol grip. Put on the strap and load it up with slugs. That should help.

10-05-2004, 04:51 PM
Cougars are one thing, but why shoot a grand animal like a Black Bear?
Also, why do so with something as irresponsible as a handgun? At least use a decent caliber rifle whereby you have a good chance of a quick kill.

10-05-2004, 05:07 PM
"Cougars are one thing, but why shoot a grand animal like a Black Bear?"

Read the first 2 sentences of my last post. I don't want to ever shoot either. I consider them both equally grand.

I don't even want a handgun but I don't see much sense in carrying a rifle while I'm taking walks or bow hunting. And I don't want to carry a second long gun while I'm rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, or turkey hunting with a shotgun. A handgun makes more sense than a rifle.

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 10-05-2004).]

10-05-2004, 05:34 PM
Large dogs do tend to keep animals and unwanted people away.

I agree with about not wanting to kill wild animals and not wanting to be injured by them.

To stay on topic, why not machine out some dogs tags or make a collar with SS spikes on it. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


10-05-2004, 06:30 PM
My humble opinion,,
They are two entirely different animals,, the cat is thin skinned more like a man, so you want the slug to stop inside where it can deliver its load. The bear however, will need lots of penetration, with large bones, you need all the power you can get.

Dogs work, but can chase the animal, which might possibly be the last time you see the dog. Cats will run a long ways before treeing, and bears will do the same, though they will turn and fight at the end.
good luck

10-05-2004, 06:37 PM
Whatever you decide to purchase, make sure you put enough rounds through it to know exactly where they'll go. I carried a Browning 9mm HighPower for nearly 17 years and during one four year period put an average of 700 rounds per week through it in practice. Thank God I never had to use it but I always knew that if the need arose I could put the rounds where I wanted them to be.

10-05-2004, 06:50 PM
Look for a Colt 1911 or copy, in 45acp. Not to expensive to buy. Not to expensive to shoot. Practice will make the cartridge choice less important. It doesn’t mater how much power you miss something with.

Also Mossberg (and others) makes a much shorter legal shotgun. Check with a class 3 firearm dealer.

10-05-2004, 07:49 PM
I think the .357 would be more than potent enough medicine for a cougar. Every black bear I've ever encountered has run like hell as soon as it saw me, so I wouldn't sweat them too much.

10-05-2004, 07:52 PM
HOW about just some good pepper spray.It will deter most anything, proven.
you can get it that shoots 10 yards or so.

10-05-2004, 07:55 PM
I think we need a category for guns,bullets,gun laws,etc.

10-05-2004, 07:59 PM
I think we are getting way off the topic here. I carry a Hi Power, but it is for man not beast. Yes these two animals are vastly different creatures and require different type of wounds.

Does anyone who is older than 5 decades remember the case of the "Deer Hunter". A guy who didn't know what he was doing went to Woolcos looking for a deer rifle. The salesman who knew less about hunting than the customer did sold him an M1 Carbine, a couple of magazines and some shells.

This hunter walked up on top a deer a multi point buck, don't remember the number of points. Pulled back on the bolt, and the deer gored him nearly to death.

The hunter did sue the salesman, and won damages. What is important is when dealing with mother nature, know what tools you will need, know what is realistic and what isn't. What I take into the woods to deal with deer and other large animals with is not what I take to uptown to protect myself with.

What we are offering is advice against a POSSIBLE situation, one that is not being sought.


10-05-2004, 08:02 PM
Pepper Spray? The bear will think your trying to feed it. Some reports say bears are attracted to Pepper Spray.
You know, every instance I've heard of a bear attacking a Human was because it was near death starvation. Ofcourse there was the instance of a BLack Bear in the Catskills mountains running off with a baby, and the bear was not starving.
Ideal weapon is a 12 guage shotgun with buckshot and slugs. Ofcourse if you need something concealable, you got a lot of thinking to do. .357 magnum sounds good, also perhaps a 9mm with a 17 round mag.

10-05-2004, 08:15 PM
I live and hunt in Grizzly country, also have black bear and cats. The main thing is to have a gun that you feel very comfertable with. Cats like to sneek attack, so if the worst does happen. you don't want to think about what your going to do. You will be operating on reflexes. A gun you are not comfertable with or don't know how to use in your sleep, won't do you any good. I carry a 45acp. A better choice perhaps would be a lite weight 44 mag. But I like my 45. Also I alternate between full metal jacket and hollow point. Sometimes penatration beats shock.

10-05-2004, 08:22 PM
Tinker2 - I mentioned that I have a Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip and an 18.5" barrel in a 12 gauge. Is that what you're referring to?

Guys - I know next to nothing about handguns and a little about long guns. I've read that a .357 magnum handgun is plenty for a cougar and a .30-.30 rifle is plenty for black bears but I have no idea how a .357 magnum cartridge compares to a .30-.30 cartridge. How do they compare?

How does a 9mm compare to a .357 magnum? Is that quite a bit lighter than the .357 mag?

10-05-2004, 08:41 PM
My opinon, 9mm belongs on the range or in the house. 357 would be the lightestI would go, only if I already had it and nothing else. I'm not an expert tho. One thing to think about tho is a semi auto. all your shots will be in the 10 foot range so get something that is easy to shoot and reload

daryl bane
10-05-2004, 09:20 PM
44 mag. gets my vote. A S&W with a 4" to 6" barrel. Use a factory hollow point load. That will do the trick. I don't want to have to make a second shot. I want it to go down and not get up, ever!!

[This message has been edited by daryl bane (edited 10-05-2004).]

Michael Az
10-05-2004, 09:51 PM
Dan, I can't remember where you live and it wasn't in your bio, but the lions in Ca have started to show no fear of humans and there have been several attacks there. Also I saw a program about Vancouver Island and for some reason there have been several attacks there. One even drug a fellow off his motorcycle. Guess my point is a lot of places hunting lions is now forbiden and it appears the lions have completely lost their fear of man. Now I will sadly have to disagree with a some of the remarks given here. These are two animals that have very different body structure. I think hollow points would be good on a lion but not at all on a bear. When it comes to a handgun and a bear, the only consideration should be for penetration. Their hide, muscle, fat, and bones are so massive a hollow point would do no good at all. Maybe a good compromise would be the heaviest bullet in a hollowpoint you can get. That may be a 180 grain in .357 . I would go no less than a .357 Mag.

10-05-2004, 10:23 PM
You could always take someone you don’t like along for bait. Perhaps your mother in law would enjoy a leisurely stroll in the woods? Just make sure you can run faster than they can. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

10-05-2004, 11:51 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by pgmrdan:
[B]Tinker2 - I mentioned that I have a Mossberg 500 with a pistol grip and an 18.5" barrel in a 12 gauge. Is that what you're referring to?

Mossberg makes a 14” (barrel) legal shotgun. Shotguns with a barrel less then 18” are a class 3 weapon. You must get them from a class 3 dealer. Class 3 weapons are short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, smooth bore pistols, silencer, full autos, and the like. Check with a class 3 firearm dealer in your state. I know that most people don’t know that and that I will get blasted for saying it. If you want to find out, Check with a class 3 licensed dealer in your state.

10-06-2004, 12:01 AM
What about a 410 revolver? Think of the versitility,you can have steel shot,buckshot or slugs,all in the same gun.Steel shot is a deterent,buckshot even more so,slugs are fatal.Always good to keep your options open.

Failing that it would be a toss up between the .45 1911 or .44 mag.

10-06-2004, 02:51 AM
My wife's family has a cabin in lion/bear country up above Willits, CA. The big rule:

Don't walk around by yourself at dawn or dusk, esp. if you're small.

I don't go armed there aside for fun plinking
with the BP pistol. If I lived there, I might
carry a pistol if I was outside a lot by myself while working and not paying a lot of attention around me...

I'd certainly choose a pistol I could afford
to shoot often enough to be completely comfortable w/... kind of like my leatherman;
grab & go. No time to fumble w/ things...

Of course, I'd be happy to qualify via an
exam/test to show I know how to safely use
the darn thing, just like I had to when I
bought my motorcycle. Come to think of it.
I still think a separate license for bikes
above 500 cc makes a lot of sense - our
MC drivers test is a joke; you can't even
pass it on a really big bike 'cause the
turning circle is/was so small.

- Bart

10-06-2004, 05:03 AM
I think Dan is from NY, where he would have a lot of trouble getting a class III.
I have an Ithaca Stakeout(12ga), total lenght 22 inches, twelve of it in a barrel, the rest the pump and pistol grip. That would make a great gun for hanging on your hip and waltzing around the countryside...
David from jax

Have gun, will travel.

10-06-2004, 08:36 AM
Smith & Wesson has a beautiful airlite(sp) frame in 44 Mag. Very light weight. NOT the thing for plinking, but nice for backup while hiking.

10-06-2004, 09:55 AM
You are obviously not a reloader or experienced shooter, therefore you need to pick a cartridge that you can get suitable ammo for. You should base your choice on a worst case scenario, a bear attack. That would require penetration, which requires a heavy bullet for the caliber used. At a maximum range of 10 feet a .357 with 180 grain bullets I would consider a minimum. I don't shoot a .357 so I will not recommend a specific load, but I would suggest a wide flat nose for maximum shock and a solid versus hollowpoint for maximum penetration. The flat nose will also provide good shock against a lighter target such as a cougar or rabid skunk. I would not recommend a .44 Magnum or heavier unless you practice a LOT with lighter loads before shooting full power loads. A revolver would be a better choice than most autoladers since you apparently are not an experienced pistol shooter.

If you were a reloader, I would recommend a .44 Special, .45 Colt, or .44 Magnum. My choice of the guns I own would be a 3" barreled .44 Special with a 260 grain bullet at about 900 fps.

Whatever you decide to get, find a place to practice safely and shoot 50 rounds a day for 10-12 days before carrying it for protection. After that initial practice, fire at least 10 rounds a week plus practice drawing and dry firing at least 20 minutes a week. This will give you a chance to find out if the gun is reliable and will familiarize you with its operation and handling characteristics.

10-06-2004, 11:22 AM
I would take a look at this very informative website before you make any decisions it blew away a bunch of stuff I used to believe about stopping power and bullet effectiveness

10-06-2004, 11:58 AM
I've got to weigh-in on this one...unless you're a real dyed in the wool handgun afficionado I'd avoid all the cassuls, limbaughs, and especially the new S&W .500. Those (and i'm sure I'll get some flack for this) are fairly specialized, heavy, expensive and generally a "pain" unless guns are your thing!

Go with and stay with something "off the shelf". a 4" bbl .44 magnum would do the trick, with enough practice/confidence I believe even a .357...and of course there's always the cut-down 12 gauge idea posted awhile back. Can't beat the scattergun!!

one of the advantages with the .357 is that you'll be able to practice with the cheaper .38special rounds.

good luck

10-06-2004, 01:51 PM
I live in bear and cougar country. We've lived here for 25 years now. In that time we have seen a half dozen or so black bears and no cougars. I know the cougars are here because a young man was killed by one while jogging at the local high school about 5 miles from our house. All the bears except one have ran when they saw us. The one that didn't was one that an idiot neighbor across the valley had been feeding. I opened the front door and he was standing on a bank at the end of my driveway about 30 feet away. I yelled and waved my arms but he just stood there looking at me. I fired a 12 ga. load of 00 buck into the bank below him and that got him running. Fired another into the trees above him as he high tailed it out of there. The same neighbor that we think was feeding him later told us they they saw him still running about half a mile away and no one has seen him again. Making some noise so that they know you're in the area seems to warn most of them into leaving before you ever see them. Just talking in a normal voice to my dogs when I walk them seems to work, plus I think the scent of the dogs warns them off too. When there has been a sighting in the area, I carry a Ruger Super Black Hawk 44 Magnum in a western style holster loaded with 300 grain hollow points, although I have been meaning to order some Garrett 310 grain hard cast lead loads. I don't recommend protecting yourself with a 44 Mag(or larger) unless you practice alot and you are sure you can hit what you intend to hit shot after shot. Also you must hit what you are trying to stop in a vital area or you are just going to make them mad. On the subject of making some noise, I saw a thing on TV awhile back about families living in remote areas of Alaska (big bear country) They attached bells to their dogs and kids to warn off wild life, although the mother of the family packed a Super Black Hawk just like mine on her hip when they were very far from the house. Too be honest, I would rather live up here with our wild life, than live with the low life stalking most urban areas.

[This message has been edited by Carl (edited 10-11-2004).]

10-06-2004, 02:03 PM
I also live in bear and lion country. I have them on my property. When walking with my wife or by myself I carry a .44 magnum with a 7 1/2" barrel loaded with 245 grain bullets I use 23 grains of 296 powder with
magnum primers.the bullets are hard cast and
will do the job.If you have never fired a .44 magnum, Lock your elbows so that the handgun will not come back and strike you in the face.Two months ago there was a commotion in my yard at 2:00 AM and when I
went out to look it was a huge black bear
trying to get something out of my trash cans.I shined my 3 cell light on him which
he ignored but when I said "Boy your a big boy" He spun around a ran as fast as he could. I live in the mountains of Oregon.

10-06-2004, 03:04 PM
From what little I know it seems like I would only have a problem with a bear that had been fed by someone or if I startled a sow with cubs. Otherwise, it sounds like they'd prefer to avoid me.

The cougars are more what I'm concerned about.

I should probably get a .357 magnum to take care of cougars and hope for the best in the unlikely event I have to use it on a bear.

10-06-2004, 04:55 PM
Read the first 2 sentences of my last post. I don't want to ever shoot either. I consider them both equally grand.

Oops! Sorry, I didn't read your post fully.
I was getting the impression that you were one of those "It moves, so it's my right to blow it to pieces" types.
My apologies!

10-06-2004, 05:16 PM
I live in Buckeye country, and haven't found a Buskeye that would attack me yet, except maybe game day. But we do have somebody who stole a bunch of buckeyes from some lady's tree.

I do reload, have many handguns, have been handgun hunting thru out the country. If this is a possible occasional maybe never really happen type of thing, carry a Mariner type shootgun with slugs or 00 shot. Put a sling on it.

If evrybody would look at the dynamics of this, 357mag with 235gr lead bullet at 1000fps would stop a cat, but really upset a bear. There is no good combination to this situation outside of a short (not class 3) shootgun.

Lets get back to making chips.


lotsa luck
10-06-2004, 06:39 PM
My vote is a 40 s&w and I know from experiance. Just killed a Mt. Lion 4 weeks ago here is AZ with mine shooting Black Talons. One shot at 10 feet and not even a twitch from him afterwords. He had just killed one of the last couple deer on my mining claim and let me walk right up to him.
Can't be sure on the bear thing but I think it would still work well seeing what it did to him.

10-06-2004, 07:15 PM
My vote is for a quality wheel gun (revolver) in .357 or .44 or larger if you like shooting the canons. I do not like auto loaders for protection just my opinion. If the round does not fire just pull the trigger again not so with an auto loader.

10-06-2004, 09:44 PM
kenc - No problem.

10-06-2004, 10:27 PM

as a machinist you NEED an automag. so mechanically awsome.

10-06-2004, 11:11 PM
Guy goes bear hunting. buys a new 30'06 and a tree stand. This bear hunter climbs up his tree stand and waits... He see's the bear. He takes aim. Blam! The smoke clears, Hmm, Bear must have lumbered off and died down the trail. Excitedly he climbs down to get his bear. He's looking around and Tap, Tap, Tap on his shoulder...

He whips around and there is The Bear. Bear says to him; Buddy, you just tried to shoot me and this is how it's going to be. Youre going to drop those drawers and grab your ankles and I'm going to have my way with you. The hunter, not having any choice obeys.

the next day the hunter returns with a vengance. he Hauls his .50 bmg up the stand and waits. The bear happens by. Blam Blam Blam Blam Blam Blam Blam............click! crash, crash, crash.... trees litter the forrest floor. the smoke clears. The hunter climbs down the stand to collect his hamburger trophy. Tap, Tap, TAp. Buddy, you know the drill. drop 'em.

Day Three: kneeling in the tree stand (can't sit) with his 40mm grenade launcher the hunter readies himself. the bear comes round like clockwork. KABOOOM... KABOOM.. KABOOM! fire and scorshed earth in a 1/2 mile radius. the forrest floor riddled with smoking craters. The vindicated hunter climbs down to go home. Tap, Tap, Tap, Buddy, you ain't in this for the hunting are ya?

Now bend over!

10-07-2004, 03:35 PM
Recent news release -

"In light of the rising frequency of human-grizzly bear conflicts, the Alaska
Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to
take extra precautions and keep alert of bears while in the field. We advise
that outdoorsmen wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to
startle bears that aren't expecting them. We also advise outdoorsmen to
carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear.

It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity.

Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. Black bear droppings are smaller and contain lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells and smell like pepper."

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 10-07-2004).]

10-07-2004, 04:47 PM
My friend has a 44 mag revolver, and I can't hit anything with it. I had a sig p220 in .45 and also had a hard time hitting anything with it consistently. I now have a CZ 75 in 9mm and it's dead accurate. Most important thing is that you find the firearm that works for you, caliber comes 2nd.

Michael Az
10-07-2004, 04:49 PM
When I read about the pepper spray I remember a good show on maybe the Discovery Channel about bear attacks. One segment was about two women that were attacked by a bear and one of them was able to hose it down good with the spray to no effect. I would rather have a 44 mag.

10-07-2004, 05:00 PM
I agree w/ BillH. If you can't hit anything with it, it doesn't matter how big and bad the gun is. (See dsergison's post, above.) Above all, the three most important factors are practice, practice, practice.

Now for my (true) bear story as reported in Field and Stream. New Yorker decides to take the fishing trip of a lifetime to Alaska. On the way into the interior, the bush pilot asks the fisherman where his gun is.

Fisherman says, "Gun?! I'm not a thug. I'm a fisherman."

Pilot: "This is grizzly country and you need a firearm. Here, borrow my .44 mag."

Fisherman: "You gun people are all the same. You resort to guns because you don't use your God-given sense. I've got an entire canister of pepper bear repellant and I intend to use that!"

Pilot: “OK, buddy. It’s your decision.”

The pilot drops off the fisherman and heads into the wind for takeoff. As he becomes air-born, he turns the craft and sees the fisherman writhing on the ground near the stream. Thinking the guy’s having a seizure, he lands and runs to the fisherman’s side.

Pilot: “Are you OK?”
Fisherman: “I don’t know what happened! I put on the bear repellant and everything started to BURN!”

10-07-2004, 07:04 PM
Had a buddy of mine on a survey crew in Northern Alberta or B.C. someplace....they weren't allowed to carry guns/rifles so they were issued with pepper spray...word "on the street"...or maybe "from the bush" is to forget that crap altogether. Useless...

10-07-2004, 10:59 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BillH:
My friend has a 44 mag revolver, and I can't hit anything with it. I had a sig p220 in .45 and also had a hard time hitting anything with it consistently. I now have a CZ 75 in 9mm and it's dead accurate. Most important thing is that you find the firearm that works for you, caliber comes 2nd.</font>

Recently here in Colorado a fellow hit a bear with his car. The bear was injured but was still able to climb a tree. The fellow decided to dispatch the bear to put it out of it's misery. Instead he inflicted untold misery on the poor creature by firing a hole magazine (15 rounds) of 9mm rounds into it. He did this in full sight of quite a few people one of whom called authorities who sent a wildlife officer. He did dispatch the poor bear with one shot from a rifle. Moral of the story: use enough gun and dont shoot if you cant hit a vital area that will humanely finish the job.

10-07-2004, 11:21 PM
Yes, 9mm would not be good for big game, however if you have to have a concealable firearm, and you have no other choice, 15 rounds of 9mm perhaps would stop the bear from going after you. It's better than throwing rocks or yelling at it.
When I stated 9mm, I said so under the circumstance of needing a concealable firearm. I live in People's Republic of Connecticut, so my oppinions are based on the bull**** I have to deal with in this state. IF you live in a free state where you can have any gun you want on a leg holster, I envy you.

10-07-2004, 11:42 PM
People aren't bears, but can be just as ornery. We had two guys at work shot in the head. One point blank at his forehead, the other right behind his right ear. One was giving the bouncer at a strip club a ration and the other was climbing out of bed of his girlfriend when the husband showed up.
Both were back to work within six months.
Both were shot with 9mm.
I went back to packing my model 29 S&W in .44 or an Colt Officer's MkIV in .45.
Still wouldn't want to tackle a bear... any size.
David from jax

Have gun, will travel.

[This message has been edited by sandman2234 (edited 10-07-2004).]

10-09-2004, 05:56 PM
Went shooting this afternoon. Shot just about everything I was interested in shooting but a .44 mag., which I know my wife won't want to shoot.

S&W .357 mag. 6-shot revolver with 5" barrel in stainless steel was my favorite. Sweeeeeet!

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 10-09-2004).]

10-09-2004, 07:12 PM
Good choice.

10-09-2004, 09:04 PM
Nice choice indeed, that .357 should be able to shoot .38 special as well if you just want to do target plinking. Check with the manufacturer first though just in case.

10-10-2004, 07:18 PM
If I was going to use my L Frame, I would load up with 215gr cast SWC (gas checked, using the idea of the 45 ACP, heavy and slow, may not go thru a cat, but would do damage.

This whole situation is based upon a chance meeting that may or may not happen. A noisey dog would work just as well, play loud rock and roll before walking thru the woods.

I have probably more of a chance running into the neighbors pit bull by chance than the stated situation here.


10-10-2004, 07:39 PM
I certainly would hope you'd run into a neighbor's dog more often than a wild cougar unless your neighbor also raises cougars and lets them roam the neighborhood. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Anyway, it is unlikely that I would run into a cougar but like I said, a co-worker that lives about 15 minutes away has run into 2 while jogging. Now he's thinking of getting a handgun.

Yeah, having a couple of dogs with you at all times is probably more effective but also LOTS MORE EXPENSIVE and inconvenient.

10-10-2004, 09:19 PM
Don't know nothing about bears, but I carried a pistol for years as a civilian in Vietnam and Korea. Did a lot of thinking about what to carry.

I like .45 ACP bullet for defense. In a tight spot, an auto is a two handed weapon for first shot, then two handed again if a misfire occurs. As said above, double action revolver fires or tries to fire when trigger is squeezed. I carried a revolver always- and a M1 Garand in the field. For a bear, I think I would use a 12 gauge shot gun load with a slug followed by buckshot- but I don't know nutthing about bear shooting. For me I carried (sometimes) a model 12 pump, loaded with shot followed by slug.

I have known some men who could jack the slide on an automatic while pulling- couple had leg scars where they had fired before clearing the holster. To me "quick draw" is Hollywood stuff. might be useful with a cougar or bear though.

Your bear should be a front end shot, up fairly close (other wise, I doubt he is charging you). A sloping skull (forehead) might be hard to crack- I have shot hogs and had the bullet just follow under the skin and not penetrate skull- but they went down for another shot at my leisure.

So far as developing skill for hitting target- my "training device" was simply a dime or penny laid on top of the frame. when you can pull 6 shots (empty cylinder), rapid fire, and the coin is still in place, you are ready to practice with live ammo. Nothing beats practice, but practice shooting with out aiming (simulating the circumstances you describe), with practice you can hit beer cans at 20 feet with out aiming most every time.

My revolver was/is a USMC officer model. Big heavy and a pain to carry at first. After a while you feel lonesome without the weight.

Some claimed the revolver had more penetrating power than an auto because the recoil operates the auto slide. I suspect the auto has the more penetrating because the revolver leaks gases that would push the projectile down the tube. Regardless, I think a revolver is the more practicable weapon.

I have no idea about today, but FBI used to carry "hammerless" revolvers (to prevent snagging clothes when moving fast)-so they had to fire double action. I carried in an open holster with a leather thong under the hammer to prevent the gun falling out when I got clumsy. so first action when pulling the gun was to lift the hammer as I pulled. Regardless of technique, a pistol on the ground has only one advantage over a pistol in a holster- you might run faster when you discover it to be missing.

Another training device: with two men working, hold a folded belt with two hands on the belt to make a loop. Partner snaps the loop closed when he figure you will draw, when you get your barrel inside the belt loop before your partner snapped the belt closed, you are fairly fast- but, more important, you have learned not to telegraph that you were pulling the pistol. I doubt the skill is worth developing while confronting a bear. In practice, we always pulled the trigger when drawing. In real life, just getting the pistol in a mans face insures tranquility will prevail. The guy looking down the barrel will swear that the 45 colts is a whole livery stable turned on him. But that is self defense stuff- a bear will not be impressed with such stuff/

BTW, load all six. a good weapon can not be fired unless the trigger is pulled- not even if you pound with a hammer on the hammer tang.

10-11-2004, 08:10 AM
Just wanted to thank everyone for all the good information.

Like I said, I went shooting Saturday at a co-worker's house. He has several handguns and rifles. After trying out his S&W .357 mag. I've decided that when I get a handgun that's the type I'll get.

I priced the S&W yesterday and at 3 times the price I paid for my Mossberg 500 12 gauge new several years ago, I'm going to put the 18.5" barrel and pistol grip on the Mossberg to make do until I can afford the S&W.

The 12 gauge will definitely be less convenient but with slugs in it it will be a formidable weapon.

Thanks again for all the advice and information.


10-11-2004, 01:47 PM
This is one subject I usually stay away from and don't comment on, mainly because, no matter what, if you need to ask, you probably should stay away. No flame intended.

I live way in the hell out in the boonies and have seen tracks in my yard and glimpsed both preditors most all year round.

I'm a hunter and plinker and shoot literally 1000's of rounds a year, pistol, rifle, shotgun, air rifle, have all the major and minor calibers and all my weapons are ACCURATE, meaning if it don't shoot tiny groups it don't stay around long.

But, I DON'T ACT LIKE A PREY SPECIES, so I'm not bothered by preditors and both of these preditors usually are long gone before I ever get there. I respect both preditors fully and don't get stupid when I'm out in their "yard".

All that being said,for "personal protection" whenever I'm out working in my yard, cutting wood, hunting or just observing nature, I carry a Sig 220 .45 ACP because this one has never failed to function, a Mossberg 500 ,18.5" WITH A SKELETONISED, FOLDING STOCK (the pistol grips are total BS because you can't control or aim worth a SH**) loaded with #4 buck which is also "touched" and functions flawlessly, and another rifle or shotgun depending on the season. For the most part the "personal protection" weapons are for two legged preditors NOT the 4 legged variety. These worked for me for more years than I care to think about and I've never had to use them, but you have to understand that my mindset is self preservation!!!!

I will kill you or anyone or anything that tries to attack me!!!! But, that "thing" would have to be trying to use whatever weapon it possesses, to kill me before I would end it, and that doesn't mean a bear or cougar walking around my yard or the woods being curious or rearing up wondering what I'm up to, or some poor snake lying there trying to warm up or get breakfast.

You, also, need to get real about the "danger" out there.

Most of the stories you read about are figments of some writers fingertips on the keys or a victim of "prey activity", like running, jogging with music blasting in the ears, not looking around and mental degredation.

Again NO FLAME INTENDED, you either want to live or not. 90% of the people in the US have little or no sense of self preservation or a very media distorted sense of what is dangerous and they have been pumped full of BS by responses in forums like this one or all the other gun related sites, magazines, etc.

One story more. I have a neighbor that was scared sh**less by a cougar when he was out helping to gathering up. He rode into a thicket looking for cattle and a cougar jumped out, spooked his horse and spit him on the ground. To hear him tell it, the cougar "ATTACKED ME". The truth is more likely the cougar was in the bushes hiding and watching what was going on and he just happened to ride up on it. The rest of the crew saw what was happening and had a good laugh and watched the cat shi**ing itself as it ran as fast as it could in the opposite direction. This old boy went out and got his concealed carry permit the next week, bought himself a S&W 44 mag, 4" "CatCiller" and he is more afraid of the pistol than the cougars. You don't want to be around him when he tries to shot it because he jerks, flinches, jumps, shuts his eyes, etc. It is totally funny and just as totally frightning because he is liable to shot himself or someone else if he ever tries to jerk that cannon out of the shoulder holster he also bought and shot an imaginary "something bad this way comes". Think about it.

Buy your dream property, go live on it, enjoy it and whatever nature is available and don't pay too much attention to the scare stories everyone has, but be mindful of the possibilities.


10-11-2004, 02:05 PM
"(the pistol grips are total BS because you can't control or aim worth a SH**)"


It appears you've never heard of instinctive shooting.

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 10-12-2004).]

10-11-2004, 05:19 PM
I live in the worst place for preditorial creatures, the city.

So I don't make myself a prey.

This thread has gone on long enough, Lets get back to chipping.


10-11-2004, 07:22 PM
"To stay on topic, why not machine out some dogs tags or make a collar with SS spikes on it."

"Lets get back to making chips."

"This thread has gone on long enough, Lets get back to chipping."

Looks like Jerry wants us to stop now so I guess we'd better quit.

10-11-2004, 10:27 PM

You live in the city, you ARE prey.

Cut and run just when it was getting good.

Another big belly laugh.

It's OK. Shootin' irons are somewhat out of place in a metal shop unless it is in the wrong part of town and the street people think you're making money.

Enjoy yourself. Life is short and full of surprizezzzzzz.


10-11-2004, 11:19 PM
A couple more comments: S&W revolvers cost alot but if they're still making them like the older model 29 44mag I own, they are beautifully machined and finished. As far as the 12 ga. with a pistol grip, it will punish you recoil wise more than any 44mag.

10-11-2004, 11:50 PM
I live in the nicer area of town and I still won't go to someplaces. They are better armed than I am. Gentleman's club that has two death from firearms in the last 4 years, several busts for drugs and hookers.

I think I would consider a Super Blackhawk in 44mag if money is tight. But I would redo much of the factory work clean up any wear and tear on it. Remachine the whole thing, put the single action trigger to 3 pounds, redo the alignment of the cylinder and the barrel. Then maybe put a light beaded finish on it with my bead blaster. Maybe machine out a new front sight blade, plus anodizing it some bright colour, like orange.

That is what my brother did in my shop last week, he is an FFL and a fair machinist for an engineer.

I have two police officer living in my neighborhood, a ritred Marine Lt. Bird, and a Methodist Minister. So I am ready for almost anything in the city. I still carry my High Power.

I am looking for a good source of tin, and iron foil, anybody have a source or some laying around?


10-12-2004, 12:03 AM
I see no reason to buy a brand new handgun, you can find used ones in excellent condition for half the price. I bought my CZ75 for 275$ used. IT was only 7 months old according to the date of manufacture and warranty card. New would of been around 450$ I have yet to buy a new handgun.

10-12-2004, 07:37 AM
Get a Ruger or Taurus .357 or .44 mag.
I've owned Smiths, Rugers, and Tauri(?),
and the Smiths ALWAYS had a ****TY trigger pull from the factory.
Model 29 has an ok pull but nothing to write home about. My Taurus model 44 has a MUCH better pull. My Ruger Redhawk has a pull equal to or slightly better than the Smith.
I sold all my Smiths and won't own any more because they simply aren't worth the money.
They're riding on their pre WW2 reputation, and that's no longer enough reason for me to pay that much for one.
The Ruger and Taurus .357 and .44 revolvers have never failed me, and have held up beautifully.
My buddy just inherited his dad's Magna Ported 4" mod. 629 and used to brag about the trigger pull.
Until, that is, he shot my 4" Taurus model 44 and a mutual friend's Ruger GP100.
The GP100 has a trigger a little better than the 629 and my 44 has a MUCH better pull.
No opinions, just factual observations from years of gun ownership and usage.
In fact, I've had my eye on a Taurus Tracker, Stellar Tracker, and a Ruger GP100 for quite some time.
I used to have a Ruger Speed Six. Wish to God I'd never sold that one. The previous owner had a trigger job performed on it. It was fantastic. Light and smooth.
I saw a 4" Police Service Six not long ago. Used, in excellent condition. Thinking of trying to trade my brand new Mossberg 835 Ulti Mag for it.
The Ruger "SIX" series of double action revolvers were extremely well made and they were durable & reliable to the extreme.
I hear the GP100 is also. I just like the half underlug barrel of the Six series.
I know, I can get a GP100 with it too. I just don't like the factory grip of the GP(personal preference only, nothing wrong with it physically)
I'd like to round butt a police service six, or get another speed six.

10-13-2004, 06:40 PM
First time my brother picked up my Ithica Stakeout, he was busting skeets with it. I was impressed, knowing he hadn't picked up a gun in at least 15 years.

Stakeout is a pump 12ga with a 12" barrel, class III, 22"long overall, pistol grip.
Kicks like a mule, bites like a croc...

Who says you can't hit anything with a pistol grip?
David from jax

Have gun, will travel.