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  1. #11


    Johnny, pretty useful. Not "looking" for bear, and its usually black around here.

    The bolt arguement might be a good point, however. Been weighing that one...

    Finding .416 or .375 ammo isn't likely either in these parts...

  2. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
    For a pistol, a Glock 20SF with something like the Buffalo Bore 220grn hard cast will do ya. Big ass revolvers look impressive, but you're one and done if you're using it as protection in bear country. A 10mm German w?ndergun is much easier to shoot well, repeatedly, when you're dealing with an aggressive animal.
    +1 for Glock 20SF. I love revolvers, but weight is an important consideration for any item you want to carry for long periods, and full-sized revolvers are just too damn heavy to hump around all day.

    For black bear, you may want to check out the 6.8 SPCII. You can get them in bolt guns, or buy/build an upper for an AR15. Requires Bolt, Barrel, and Magazine. Everything else, including bolt carrier, gas block, even buffer/buffer spring, are the same as any stock AR. I personally would use something bigger to target black bear, but I wouldn't feel underpowered in a defense situation, and some people do use them for bear. It's a very popular system for hunting wild boar. If you reload, you can safely/cheaply increase performance, as most commercial loads are on the lighter side of the data.

  3. #13


    Gotta have a popular/available caliber...

  4. #14


    Wild animals aren't quite like the hoodlums found at a Circle K. They don't wait for you to figure out how to undo the safety on a semi auto. Revolvers almost always shoot when you pull the trigger. That is 9999 times out of 10,000. That is not the case with semi-auto pistols for various reasons. So the weight argument is offset by that little fact. And there are lighter versions of big bore revolvers on the market. Hate to shoot them but they only need to be used once.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Arizona or traveling


    Quote Originally Posted by fno View Post
    Wild animals aren't quite like the hoodlums found at a Circle K. They don't wait for you to figure out how to undo the safety on a semi auto. Revolvers almost always shoot when you pull the trigger. That is 9999 times out of 10,000. That is not the case with semi-auto pistols for various reasons. So the weight argument is offset by that little fact. And there are lighter versions of big bore revolvers on the market. Hate to shoot them but they only need to be used once.
    Literally none of that is true. Except the first sentence. Often times #floridaman has more body hair than a wild animal.

    1) If a person has to "figure out how to undo the safety" on a firearm they are trusting their life to, they deserve to be eaten by whatever is trying to eat them. That's like saying, "if a person can't figure out how to turn the isolator valve on a manifold they should dive with a straight crossbar." Would anyone here recommend that as a valid course of action?

    2) Modern semi-automatic pistols, something like a Glock or HK, are no less reliable than a revolver, and in fact they are more likely to go bang when you want. There are enough tests floating around on the internet from reliable sources proving this. Gone are the days of unreliable 1911's and Browning Hi-Powers. I can make any gun refuse to function, and I often do when training. Guess which is easier to rectify when a malfunction occurs. It sure as hell isn't a revolver. There's a reason everyone who carries a gun in a "social" capacity has moved away from revolvers. Reliability is not an issue nowadays.

    3) It's not a question of weight, it's a question of usability when you OMG ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO USE IT RIGHT NOW OMG IT'S STILL CHARGING. Have you ever humped around something chambered in .460 S&W Mag through the woods? It's like humping a set of steel twins through the Mexican jungle. Now heft that 5.4lb gun to get a single accurate shot off against a charging animal, then try to get 4 more accurate followup shots (oh and then try to reload when it's still charging). I've done it, on the Talkeetna river while fishing, it's not in any way ideal. Fortunately there were 3 of us close together and enough of us got shots into the bear. The last shot was a .300 Win Mag. Bear had 9 holes in her before she dropped. No heart nor lungs of which to speak and she was still running like a freight train. Even if you absolutely destroy their major organs you've still gotta stay alive for the 30 seconds it's gonna take before it realizes that it's dead. Most grizzly encounters where the bear ends up dead show multiple hits. The one hit wonder is by far the exception, not the rule.

    4) Big bore revolvers suck in almost every single way. They're heavy, they're annoying and sometimes even painful to shoot, slow for your first shot, inaccurate follow-up shots, and god forbid you have to reload the thing. There's a reason the big ones are designed to shoot off a bipod. They are a compromise. Small guns like a Ruger Alaskan or even a big 629 in .44 Mag offer no advantage over a 10mm, with lower capacities, worse recoil characteristics, slower reload times, the list goes on. A .454 Casull, a rather common big bore caliber, has the same drawbacks, "but but but bigger!!!". 60,000 CUP isn't fun or easy to shoot fast and accurately.

    5) The idea that you're going to risk your life to the fact that you may, in a high adrenaline situation, be able to take down a charging, cow moose or a grizzly, with a single shot from a heavy, awkward, big bore revolver is ridiculous. Have you ever shot a real big bore offhand, more than once, accurately, within a very short time frame? A lightweight frame is even worse. It's not about that one bullet hitting an animal, it's about maximizing your chances for hitting the animal as fast and as repeatedly as possible in a manner that stops it in the shortest amount of time. Try fast, accurate followup shots with a .500 S&W Magnum, especially with one small enough to easily pack. When your shot group looks like buckshot from 7 yards on the range, how do you think that's gonna fare in real life? There is one story where a guy managed to take down a grizzly with one shot out of a .45 ACP. He happened to miss the first 6 shots, hit with the 7th, and the bear ran another 30 yards before dropping. Good thing he had those two extra shots that he would have been missing if he had a revolver.

    You know what stops dangerous game? Heavy hardcast bullets, as many of them as you can put through an animal as quickly as possible, preferably in a heavy rifle caliber. The Forest Service did a study in fact, proving exactly that. Large bore revolvers are probably the WORST possible choice you could make to take into the woods for protection. They exist because people think "more bigger, more better," and because there are certain places where you cannot hunt with a rifle, but can legally hunt with a pistol. There's a reason rifles are the first choice for large, dangerous game. By the time you're down to running a pistol, you want as many fast, accurate shots as you can get on an animal, and big bore revolvers aren't that. Unless the OP's real name is Jerry Miculek it's just not going to happen.

    Ultimately, what the actual research proves is that if you have enough time to take a steady, well-aimed shot, you have enough time to get away. The absolute best caliber for taking down something like a pissed off mama grizzly is a 12 ga. slug (which every guide in Alaska that I've personally met carries with them) because of the combination of efficacy of the slug, as well as its ease of employ, and it's ability to provide accurate rapid fire.

    Danseur, if you're only concerned with hunting, just grab a bolt gun in .30-06 or .308. There's not really any game or any predator in North America outside of a grizzly or polar bear that will require anything bigger. Hunting wise they'll both take down an elk no problem. Ammo is everywhere in every available flavor. I'd want something bigger if I were going for moose though, .300 Win Mag or so. If you want a lever gun for the olde timey feel, get it in .30-30 and do it right out of a Winchester 1894 or .45-70 in a Henry. For protection, outside of grizzly country a 9mm or .45 ACP is more than enough to drop a black bear or a mountain lion. Although I'm more concerned with the 2-legged variety when I'm hunting. .45 Colt is alright, but harder to find than 9mm or .45 ACP, with the same drawbacks that come with using a revolver.

    Really, what's your intention here? Are you going bear hunting specifically with other stuff as a bonus? Are you just looking for protection while you're game hunting? Is there a reason you're looking for something fancy from a gunsmith as opposed to over-the-counter?

  6. #16


    Protection while hunting primarily. Headed to Canadian Border. I had wanted to carry one highly available bullet for both, large enough to be useful.

    Otherwise, 22LR/9mm/4" .357 pistol and a .308 rifle is another ubiquitous choice.

    22LR if Im going to be out "a while", 9mm if semi auto, .357 with moon clips for 9mm if I'm worried about scarce ammo, but still need some heft from a manageable pistol.

    Originaly I wanted to look at .45LC takedown lever gun, Revolver (with moon clips for .45 ACP), but really wanted to find out if I could set it up to fire everything from .45LC up to .460 in a takedown. Can a Winchester do that? Can others? Is Rossi or Chiappa garbage?

    I'm not hunting bear with a pistol. I'm only concerned if I'm being hunted by a bear.

    Flexible highly available ammo required.
    No AR platforms (NY "assault weapons")

    Was looking to what could be adapted to this purpose...

    Handloads possible, but need to be able to fire what I can find at Wal-Mart etc.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Arizona or traveling


    Sort of all over the place huh?

    Well, 45 Colt is neither highly available (comparatively) nor particularly useful. Not a cartridge I'd choose for hunting game. There's a reason that the .44 Remington Magnum and .454 Casull exist, because the 45 Colt is pretty meh, although revolutionary for its time. The only thing really keeping it alive are cowboy action shooters and people who are nostalgic for days gone past. It doesn't significantly outperform the .45 ACP in any meaningful manner, and you'd have to load it to the book max to see any appreciable difference compared to off-the-shelf .45 ACP loads. (Something to remember, the original .45 Colt was actually .454, whereas the modern stuff and .45 ACP are actually .451, just something to be aware of if you get something really old)

    I don't believe Winchester offers a 45 Colt takedown. They do offer modern lever guns in the caliber. The alternative manufacturers aren't garbage. They're just not quite as nice. Marlin, Henry, Rossi, Chiappa, etc. will all shoot. (In truth the little Chiappa Rhino is a hell of a lot of fun to shoot, even though revolver isn't my first choice ever)

    Essentially, you're looking at a suboptimal solution to a pretty easy problem to rectify. If you're married to the revolver/lever gun/same load paradigm, step up to 44 Mag at least. Although I still posit that you'd be better served by a real hunting rifle, in a real hunting caliber, and a reliable semi-automatic pistol in a modern cartridge that's easily accessible and well-proven. What you're trying to do now is hunt with a pistol caliber. Does it work? Sure, at short range, some of the time. Is it the best tool for the job? Not really.

    If you're capable of shooting a .357 Mag, you're capable of shooting a .45, 10mm, or :ardon the vomit:: .40 S&W. All of which will perform admirably against a black bear, are widely available in a variety of loads, and in an overall better platform.

    I'm sure you can tell that I disagree with where you want to be, I think your whole underlying idea is suboptimal (not wrong) given the situation. Can it work? Sure, but it's not the best way of going about it. That being said, if you're entrenched in the idea of same pistol caliber lever gun/revolver, any modern lever action in your chosen caliber will work. Any modern revolver in your chosen caliber will work. A 357 Mag in both would be more widely available than 45 Colt from an ammo standpoint, although I do appreciate your desire to practice with a cheaper, more available caliber (.38 Spl/9mm/.45ACP). Lots of people don't even consider that.

    Hunting being the true goal, I think you're overthinking it. You can get .30-06 anywhere, same with .45ACP, 9mm, .38 Spl or .357 Mag. All of which would better suit your needs, despite being a little less classy.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Boca Raton & Fort White, FL


    If you are really interested in a lever, take-down gun for hunting. Want great ammo availablility. I’d suggest a Browning BLR in 308 or 30-06. Box magazine fed. Better all around choices in bullets. Smoother action than other tube fed lever guns.

    With a handgun for self defense I’d suggest an auto with a rail for a light. A light that will light up the night and blind what ever you are shining. Light a TLR-HL with 800 lumens.

    Doing It Caverkevin

  9. #19


    Enough already, just cover all your bases and get a HK-MP7...

    Safe diving,


    Education, enjoyment and exploration.....


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