9MM ammo for bears defense?

Ryan Avery

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Not looking for a debate. I am going to carry a compact 9MM for all of my scouting next year, moving from a Glock 29. It's in Grizz country. Those that know, what say you?
 

bsnedeker

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Don't worry, I'm sure you'll have 100% agreement on this one...lol!

I carry a nine in grizz country and I feel fine about it. In my opinion, if you are comfortable with it then it's good for you.

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Jbehredt

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Underwood 147+p hardcast. Underwood for all of my woods carry needs. Their new coated hardcast are nice in that they don’t smoke like a typical lead projectile. Feel like ( a little) less of a jerk at the indoor range.
 

jmden

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I load for a MP Shield 9mm and pack it when I'm not bear hunting or not in griz territory (G40 10mm in Griz country with 200g hardcast and XTPs doing nearly 1400 fps). I found that it appeared that generally, of the heavier 9mm bullets weights, the approx. 124g bullets seemed to produce the most energy. Manuals showed time and again, more energy with 124s than the heavier bullets. That being said, the loads I ended up with 120g hardcast at just under 1300fps and 124g XTPs at same--pretty potent little loads. I like to stagger the two bullets in the mag--never quite sure what your up against and bullets are designed for different purposes. That being said, this year after shooting a buck back in the wilderness and leaving 20lbs of long range gear at the ridge shot from, I was heading down into and across the basin to recover the buck, ran across a larger pile of bear scat and that little Shield 9mm looked pretty small. But folks that are doing the research are saying that 9mm is penetrating better (due to higher fps) than .40 and .45 and they'd pick it over those, but would prefer 10mm of all of them. But, I think you know all that, Ryan.

Edit: load above is 7.2g Longshot under the 120 and 124 bullets with Win small pistol primer--work up to that! It's a hot load--use at your own risk!
 
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Trial153

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I wonder if from medical observation perspective the wound channels from handgun calibers can even have a determined significance? Speaking about the same type/style of bullet just a different caliber.
 

duchntr

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The options Ive seen on sporting goods shelves is made by underwood, double tap and buffalo boar. Have shot the buffalo boar and the double tap but haven't killed anything larger than a grouse with it.
 

Rmauch20

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All handguns suck at stopping people when they decide to become threats to others, let alone a very large angry four-legged threat like a bear. Use whatever caliber you have and can shoot well. Unless it is a .380, if your using a .380 take off your wife’s dress and go buy a real gun. I would stay away from the hollow point and just use a FMJ.
 
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I would suggest loads with the Lehigh defense extreme penetrator or extreme defense bullets. They give a wound cavity similar to a hp, but penetrate much better. Underwood and black hills ammo have loads with it.


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HUNTNUT

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Love this!! What do they say? Don't forget to remove the sights so it doesn't hurt as much when the bear shoves it up your a..!!
 

hodgeman

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Forget anything that expands...medium to heavy FMJ or a hardcast lead bullet. Only way one of those will work is just poking it through the brain or spine. Of course, that goes for most pistol rounds as well. It's worked in the past...but I'd rather not contemplate it.

Best bear defense is a functional brain and not doing stupid things.
 

Steve O

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Ryan,

Phil Shoemaker killed a brown Bear last (2017?) summer protecting a couple of his fishing clients with a 9mm. He was using a souped up “bear load” for it but I cannot remember exactly what he told me. I’d google it up and take HIS recommendation.
 

AK Troutbum

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It’s not something that I would recommend but, a few years back there was a guy on the Kenai that killed a charging brown bear with a 9mm.


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Ryan Avery

Ryan Avery

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Thanks for the responses.

I appreciate the people with actual knowledge on the subject. The people just posting to post, not so much.
 

hodgeman

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It’s not something that I would recommend but, a few years back there was a guy on the Kenai that killed a charging brown bear with a 9mm.


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I think I remember that...that's been a bunch of years now. Down on the Russian, the "experienced" buddy tossed his 12ga in the river and tried to swim away from the bear. The guy ended up dumping the bear with a Glock 9mm at knife fight range. Guess it's better to be lucky than good!
 

Brendan

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There was a hunt backcountry podcast that touched on this and some testing. 10mm was the best in terms of penetration, but 9mm outperformed .40 and .45 (looking at autoloaders)
 

PNWGATOR

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Phil Shoemaker’s bullet of choice in the 9mm:
Buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=388
His story is on the bottom of that page.
 

SLDMTN

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No experience with the Lehigh that Tyler recommended but I've heard good things about it. Buffalo Bore Hardcast gets my vote. This one came out of an attacking brown bear on Kodiak. Same bullet design, just an extra mm.

 
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