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OT: Handgun caliber?

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  • OT: Handgun caliber?

    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).]

  • #2
    Let's try it again.


    • #3
      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:

      EGO partum , proinde EGO sum


      • #4
        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??



        • #5

          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.



          • #6
            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.
            A serious accident is one that money can't fix.


            • #7
              With a wounded dangerous animal I prefer a second/third/fourth/fifth and sixth shot quickly available.


              • #8
                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.



                • #9
                  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
                    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. 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.


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        "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).]


                        • #13
                          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.



                          • #14
                            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


                            • #15
                              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.