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Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 55
Handgun Opinion

Good Morning- And Happy Independence Day to all- especially our Veterans. Question, has anyone hunted black bear with a handgun, were you successful, what would you suggest for a gun/load. I will be hunting over bait at 20 yds. I've hunted with my bow for the last three years and was thinking of trying it this year with a handgun.

 

Bundy

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Location: california
Joined: 05/19/2010
Posts: 86
handguns

I have wanted to try this also. I have a Rem .41 mag that I would like to use, should be enough. I wouldn't use my 9mm but I think 40 cal and up for average black bears would probably work with the right loads. Good luck

Critter's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4206
Have you ever hunted with a

Have you ever hunted with a hand gun and do you own one?  All the magnum calibers from .357 up to the .500 have been used to harvest black bears and quite a few Alaskan Brown bears.  The minimum that I would recommend would be a .44 however learning how to shoot one with the heavy loads needed to drop a bear is not fun.  If you do go with it I would suggest light loads or even to learn to shoot it with .44 special ammo just so that you do not develope a flinch.  If I was in the market for a new pistole just to hunt bears I would look at either the .480 Ruger or the .500 S&W.  But then you really need to reload to be able to get the lighter loads in them for practice.   

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Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 55
Handgun Opinion

Thanks for the information. I own two handguns- a .357 revolver I keep for home defense/ concealed carry, and a Sig P229 in .40. For bear hunting, I was looking at the .500 Smith or either the Ruger or Taurus chambered in .454 Casull.

Bundy

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
Handguns for bear

I register bear kills for the MDNRE and last year had three that were taken with the .460. I have hunted them with a hot loaded 45 long Colt but did not get a shot. I currently shoot a .41 Mag and Grizzly Cartridges 265 gr hard cast long wide lead buillet. Heavy recoil and I practice with standard loads but would not hesitate to use the Grizzly load on bear.

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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4206
I forgot about the 454 Casull

I forgot about the 454 Casull round, it would be a great bear round also, and if you wanted a light round for practace you can shoot .45 Long Colts through it. 

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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Joined: 04/16/2009
Posts: 662
I think you could use

I think you could use anything from .357 and up. You put the shot in the right place any of those will do the job just fine

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Joined: 08/03/2007
Posts: 55
Thanks fire5179. It gives me

Thanks fire5179. It gives me a little more to think about.

Bundy

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Joined: 04/17/2014
Posts: 6
44and up

I would use a hot load in a 41 or use a good bullet in a 44mag or bigger. Like it's been said practice, What I do with my bow I practice out to 80ybs but will never take a shot over 40yds. Just my. 02 Taco

Joined: 10/20/2014
Posts: 12
Never went looking for bear

Never

went looking for bear with a handgun but my personal favorite for bear defense is ruger supper redhawk 454 . I can practice weekly with 45colt ammo fairly cheap and load up with 454 before heading to the salmon stream

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