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Location: Meridian, Idaho
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.41 mag vs. .44 mag

I'm looking to purchase a new handgun to carry with me while I'm out bow hunting in bear country. I'm looking at the .41 mag vs. the .44 mag and looking for some pros and cons from all that would like to contribute. Right now I'm leaning towards the .41. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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If you are worried about a

If you are worried about a bear and if you have a bad encounter with one you will want as much fire power that you can get into your hands at the time.  That leaves out the .41 magnum and you want the heavest bullet that you can stuff into that .44 magnum.  You have to figure if you have a problem where you need to drop that bear you want to be able to do it in one or two shots and in that time that bear will of covered a lot of ground and you will not be able to get that third shot off if needed. 

Actually a better round would be a .480 Ruger or even a .50 caliber.  But then that is just me.  I own both a .41 and a .44. 

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From an energy perspective

From an energy perspective there is not a lot of difference. The big issue right now for the 41 is the availability of bullets and ammo. If you don't have or can't find ammo at this time, I'd shy away from the 41 mag.

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I agree on the point of the

I agree on the point of the energy of the .41 being a little bit less than the .44 but what do you say when they decide to go with a .357 instesd of the .41 since the energy of the .357 is a bit less than the .41?  My point was that if a 300 poind bear wanted to try and make mince meat out of me I would want the bigger round.  That is why I even suggested to go with a .480 or even a .500.  Messing with a mad bear with a handgun is not what even I would want to do and I hunt with handguns. 

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Re I agree on the point of the

Thanks for all the info so far. I never have had a close encounter with bears so far and hopefully won't. I have came across a couple while hunting before but they seemed to just go their way. Last year bow hunting I had the pleasure of something growling at me. I never did see what it was or found any tracks to know what it was. But after that I made sure to always carry my .357 while bow hunting. On that day it was hot, had been hot all week, and each day the pack was getting a little lighter by dumping stuff each day till that little incident. I was thinking between the two .41 & .44 for the fun of shooting when not hunting. I was thinking a .500 or .480 would be a bit too much for pleasure shooting when not carrying it hunting.

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One thing that I forgot to

One thing that I forgot to mention is that you want to make sure that it is legal to carry a pistole with you while bow hunting.  I know that in Utah it is not legal to even have a firearm in your camp when bowhunging. 

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Re one thing that I forgot to

Critter,

Thanks for that info about Utah. I started applying this year for the first time. In Idaho it's legal. I'll have to double check when in Oregon since I moved away in 97. Trying to memorize all the rules and reg from multiple states is like writing in chinese sometimes

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I have chosen to carry a .41

I have chosen to carry a .41 Mag for bear protection. I find any caliber above that to have more recoil than my arthritic hand can tollerate.  As a bear load, Grizzly Cartridges loads a 265 gr hard cast wide flat nose bullet, which is what I will be carrying. I know that the recoil will be bad but I will only shoot it in an emergency and probably not feel the recoil then!  Regular loads are no problem because I had the gun Mag-na-Ported.

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I have chosen to carry a .41

That's exactly why I'm leaning towards the .41. With the ability to load to the high range and low range depending on what you are doing at the time. Less beating up on the hands and more fun to shoot I'm thinking

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I can relate to the arthritic

I can relate to the arthritic hand and wrist.  That is where I will reload light loads for practice with both my .41 and .44.  It has actually been quite a few years since I shot a full power load out of either one.  Now for hunting I usually shoot a .357 Herrett witch is a 30-30 case necked up and shortened in my Contender or a 7/30 Waters in the Contender. 

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I have a .41 and I love it.

I have a .41 and I love it. It is heavy however, the 41 and 44 are pretty close ballistically,You may want something that is semi-auto however if you are really worried. I have a buddy who shot an elk in Idaho last year and he was surrounded by 3 wolves while he was boning out his elk. once he shot at them they returned only minutes later and hung around growling and such. he was only able to pack out one load and the wolves got the rest.