Black Bear sidearm?

dirt_diver

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Joined
Dec 30, 2018
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11
I feel comfortable in Black Bear and lion country with my G35 with 17 rounds of .40 +p.
Ymmv
 

tizonstreets

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Nov 8, 2019
Messages
14
Carry whatever you can shoot better with. Follow up shots are also important, so keep that in mind. I'd probably bring that glock .40 out, or upgrade to the 10mm.
 

mcseal2

Senior Member
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May 8, 2014
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1,596
I'd personally go 357 unless the 357 is significantly heavier or harder to carry and draw than the 40.

I'd shoot a 180gr Hardcast load from Underwood, HSM, Buffalo Bore, etc.

If I want to be discreet about carrying or feel that needing the handgun is extremely unlilkely I pack a 3" barrel, 5 shot S&W 60 Pro Series in 357 loaded with Underwood 158gr +P 38 special ammo. The slowest ones of these I shot over the chronograph from the 3" barrel were still over 1150fps. With heavy 180gr 357 ammo this revolver is less accurate and much harder to handle. It shoots this 38 ammo really comfortable and well.
I carry a Leatherman Wave every day on my right hip, and while this handgun is heavier I can carry it in the same place without noticing the extra weight. My holster for this revolver works well with my pack also, doesn't interfere with the hip belt. It's kinda my minimum I'm comfortable with. It is the smallest, lightest handgun I shoot really well past 15 yards. Practicing out to 40 yards gives me more confidence and helps me shoot it really well up close.

If I want a little more I step up to my 6" barrel 386 XL Hunter. It's a scandium frame version of the full size 7 shot 686. It's a little more noticeable to pack due to bulk, but still pretty darn light. It handles the hotter 180gr bear loads great. I carry it with the more mild HSM version instead of Underwood or Buffalo Bore because it shoots them really well and I have no worried about crimp jump. It's lighter than the 10mm's, really not much heavier than the 5 shot steel 357.

Both revolvers have had trigger jobs done and are much smoother double action than they were from the factory. Single action they are really sweet.

For big bear country I have 10mm's, a Glock 20 and Sig Tacops 1911. I don't shoot a light 44 with hot loads nearly as well as I do the 10mm's or 357's at present. I have a S&W 69 4" 44 mag that I can shoot comfortably with ammo in the 750-850 ft/lb of energy, but that I don't shoot well with the hotter bear ammo. Until that changes I'll be sticking with the 357 or 10mm.

Both my 10mm's have night sights and a rail that holds a Streamlight TLR-1. If the situation (at least in my mind) justifies me packing the full size semi-auto in a chest holster I'll pack the extra 4oz to have the light attached.

Anyway, long answer to a simple question. It's mostly about what you shoot best and are most comfortable with. These are what I choose and why.
 

Lowg08

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Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
102
There was just recently a bear hunter mauled by 350lb bear that was shot and injured. The guy had a gun and was still mauled. He was bitten several times and then fell of a cliff 25’ with the bear in tow and busted his pelvis. It makes me kinda rethink my ideology on a side arm.
 

Lowg08

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Aug 31, 2019
Messages
102
It wasn’t highly publicized. It happened 11/2. The bear fell out of the tree and the guy had dogs in his hands and well it bit him in the stomach and the legs. In Western North Carolina. Mountaineer paper
 

Deplorable77

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Sep 6, 2019
Messages
154
Jeez. That's got as much plot twist as the guy who climbed over a downed tree, landed on a sleeping bear and subsequently got chewed on while unloading his .45 into the bear. I'm not laughing at either situation but it sounds like a strip from the Sunday comics.
 

Huckleberry Hound

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Mar 17, 2019
Messages
116
Location
Stevens County, WA
Regardless which handgun you end up carrying, look at the new G9 bullets. I recently switched to these for field carry ammo, the way they cavitate through bone and tissue makes em penetrate deeper than your standard hardcast bullet. Like hitting the critter with a drill bit instead of a slug.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/g9-bullets-review/

View attachment 131970
Interesting, looks a lot like the lehigh defense solid coppers that have been around, but supposedly these give a bigger wound channel than hollow points? The lehigh defense sure dont. After having occasion to use the underwood ammo "extreme penetrator" rounds using the lehigh defense bullets i contacted underwood to discuss the performance i got. They said those bullets are supposed to be a compromise between hp and hcfn rounds. As in less of a wound channel than hp but bigger wound channel than hcfn, and more penetration than hp but less penetration than hcfn. And thats pretty much what i seem to have gotten out of them. But out of curiosity i tried searching for ammo using these g9 bullets and cant seem to find any in .357 mag. Do they even make them? Maybe i just suck at using search engines?
 

mcseal2

Senior Member
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May 8, 2014
Messages
1,596
Underwood told me the same thing when I asked for 10mm. 2/3 the penetration of hardcast with a larger wound channel. Thats with the Lehigh extreme penetrator not the G9
 

Go Pokes

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Joined
Apr 2, 2017
Messages
138
Location
Wyoming
There was just recently a bear hunter mauled by 350lb bear that was shot and injured. The guy had a gun and was still mauled. He was bitten several times and then fell of a cliff 25’ with the bear in tow and busted his pelvis. It makes me kinda rethink my ideology on a side arm.
Thats crazy.
 

Mike7

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Joined
Feb 28, 2012
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Location
Northern Idaho
There was just recently a bear hunter mauled by 350lb bear that was shot and injured. The guy had a gun and was still mauled. He was bitten several times and then fell of a cliff 25’ with the bear in tow and busted his pelvis. It makes me kinda rethink my ideology on a side arm.
I wouldn't rethink a sidearm based upon that. Have you ever seen the melee that ensues when a minimally injured bear or lion bales out of a tree.

I knew a tough old timer bear hunter-guide that was gathering up his dogs when his hunter-client injured a treed lion. The lion jumped down from 25 ft up, landing in the middle of the dogs. Amongst the ball of claws and fangs, the lion ended up with his mouth clamped down hard onto this old timers knee.

So the guy released the dogs he was holding and before the lion pulled him off his feet, he apparently fairly calmly took the .22 handgun that he always carried in his hip holster for trapping, placed the muzzle on top of the lion's head next to his knee, and killed it with a single shot.

Luckily he didn't shoot his leg or foot, but knowing this guy, he probably considered the angle before he shot. He had to go to the hospital to have his knee cleaned out and repaired, but he was home before dinner. He thought it was an amusing story, but nothing more...just part of lion hunting.
 

Mike Islander

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Aug 10, 2019
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204
Location
Lowcountry, SC
Based on mechanical failures in two Taurus handguns (disabling both), I wouldn't carry one for protection. Hard to beat multiple rounds and reliability of the Glock.
 

jordan714

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
11
As most have stated, Glock is known for reliability, and my choice for carry. Whatever you choose, buy good ammo. Keep other factors in mind like holster selection, and holster placement. Whether it be a pistol or bear spray, make sure you train.
 

Lowg08

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2019
Messages
102
I have been run by bears actually had one stand up on me at rifle length. It had been shot through the hips and was mad
 
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