Defense against black bear

HAWKENHAWKEN Senior MemberPosts: 1,685 Senior Member
My daughter has a cabin on the Canada border, and she is worried about bears. She asked me for a .22, and I denied the request. I told her that a .22 would just piss off a bear. She than said that she didn't think she could handle anything bigger than a .38 special. Do you think a 38, loaded with hard cast 158 grain semi-wadcutters would discourage a bear ? I don't necessarily mean "kill" the bear, I mean, just discourage it from attacking her........Robin
I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
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Replies

  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    Do you think a 38, loaded with hard cast 158 grain semi-wadcutters would discourage a bear ? I don't necessarily mean "kill" the bear, I mean, just discourage it from attacking her

    I think a .38 Special would leave a wounded bear for somebody else to deal with, without protecting her at all. I'mm thinking bear spray or learn to shoot a 10mm or .44 magnum, if it has to be a handgun.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,052 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    I think a .38 Special would leave a wounded bear for somebody else to deal with, without protecting her at all. I'mm thinking bear spray or learn to shoot a 10mm or .44 magnum, if it has to be a handgun.
    Yep. Also, usually when a black bear attacks a human it's an attempted feeding event. It may take a bit more convincing to get it to leave you alone.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    Black bears. . .noise alone will probably do the trick, but I'd think about 20 gauge slugs for the house.

    A heavy .38 will penetrate enough. If you're casting your own, I'd find a 180 grain mold and load for the 700-750 FPS range.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • gunwalkergunwalker Member Posts: 470 Member
    Over the years I have had occasion to chat with quite a few wildlife biologists concerning bears and deer. My family has a camp in a bear hotspot. The biologists were of the opinion that black bears in the northeast and south are generally non aggressive, but that black bears in Canada and environs tend to be much more aggressive. To me it would be prudent to arm the girl with a good slug gun. A semi auto would have less recoil. Most of the handgun calibers that would be effective are often too much to handle accurately for a female. That also holds true for a lot of males as well.
    We do not view the world as it is, but as we perceive it to be.
  • Dr. dbDr. db Senior Member Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    What biseley said and unload on it. In general my kids make enough noise to scare them away.
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,741 Senior Member
    Around the cabin a shotgun with slugs and have bear spray handy too.
    outside I'd say 357 minimum she can practice with 38 but keep it loaded with something potent in 357 if ever needed
    also have the spray handy.

    Most black bear fatalities are as Bream said you are viewed as food and aren't easily deterred
    Another tidbit are most are from male bears.

    Sunday my father was in the garage when a bear poked it's head in.
    He stomped his feet and the bear left
    :yikes:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,809 Senior Member
    What Breamfisher said. There have been a few black bear attacks in the Smoky Mountains area, and they were all attempted feeding events. A few people were killed.

    Noise might chase a bear off, unless it's a sow with cubs; then all bets are off.

    A 20 ga. semiauto shotgun loaded with slugs would be several orders of magnitude better than a .38 S&W. Any recoil sensitivity during a bear encounter will be trumped by the adrenaline dump. Just don't have her shoot the shotgun from off a benchrest; that is a recoil magnifier.

    Edit to add: One of the fatal attacks in the Smoky Mountains was in the Cade's Cove park along the Abram's River below the falls. It was in the spring, and was a sow bear with cubs, and the sow was a skinny hungry bear. Sow and cubs all fed off the victim.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,668 Senior Member
    Size of the weapon should not be an issue, so get a carbine or shotgun, not a handgun. A Lever action would be a great option as well as the aforementioned shotgun.

    A .30-30, 44mag, .45Colt or even a heavy loaded .357 would work better than a handgun, and be easier to shoot well under stress.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    Perhaps they ought to consider a 12g pump with slugs for the house. If they are going for a walk in the woods and want protection, they should have a revolver in .357, .41 mag or .44 mag. Certainly a .357 is not optimal bear repelleant but it can be loaded pretty hot.

    IMHO

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Size of the weapon should not be an issue, so get a carbine or shotgun, not a handgun. A Lever action would be a great option as well as the aforementioned shotgun.

    A .30-30, 44mag, .45Colt or even a heavy loaded .357 would work better than a handgun, and be easier to shoot well under stress.

    :that:
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,267 Senior Member
    How about one of the the recently-introduced "Mare's Leg" .30-30 setups? It combines the power of a centerfire rifle (yes, I know the Dirty Thirty isn't ideal bear medicine) with a size just slightly bigger than a big handgun. It can be fired 2-handed, which should help out in the recoil department. It's not quite as bulky as a full-grown shotgun, so it would be more likely to be carried when out and about.

    thumbnail.aspx?q=5013511629767137&id=5aa69c83d692eb04b6329afaa272dc15

    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    Size of the weapon should not be an issue, so get a carbine or shotgun, not a handgun. A Lever action would be a great option as well as the aforementioned shotgun.

    A .30-30, 44mag, .45Colt or even a heavy loaded .357 would work better than a handgun, and be easier to shoot well under stress.

    Bingo.........beat me to it........Ken
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • RazorbackerRazorbacker Senior Member Posts: 4,646 Senior Member
    Don't forget the handy little Deerslayer carbine auto loader in .44 mag.
    Teach your children to love guns, they'll never be able to afford drugs
  • ChevelleChevelle Banned Posts: 67 Member
    a 20 gauge should be good enough.
    Black Bears generally aren't that aggressive towards humans, so tell her if the bear is far enough away (30 yards or more), a shot into the sky might be good enough to send it running away.
  • 30-30shooter30-30shooter Member Posts: 224 Member
    if you have to use a 38 special use these in it
    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=291

    or i think a 9mm loaded with these will penetrate even more
    http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=225

    however as many others have stated a rifle in 30-30, 44 mag or 45-70 would be best suited
    A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders.-Larry Elder I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.-Clint Eastwood
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,903 Senior Member
    Buffalobore has a .38 spl load that is reported to be a bear killer.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • Dr. dbDr. db Senior Member Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    So the people trying to feed the bears ended up feeding the bears?
    "Feed the bears
    Tuppance a bag
    Tuppance,
    Tuppance,
    Tuppance a bag"
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    How about one of the the recently-introduced "Mare's Leg" .30-30 setups? It combines the power of a centerfire rifle (yes, I know the Dirty Thirty isn't ideal bear medicine) with a size just slightly bigger than a big handgun. It can be fired 2-handed, which should help out in the recoil department. It's not quite as bulky as a full-grown shotgun, so it would be more likely to be carried when out and about.

    thumbnail.aspx?q=5013511629767137&id=5aa69c83d692eb04b6329afaa272dc15

    Jerry

    Rossi now has them in 45colt and 44mag. Priced in the mid 400's. I know this because I want the one at my LGS....
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,685 Senior Member
    I forgot to mention that she is about 5'3" tall and weighs about 95 pounds soaking wet. Last week was the first time she had ever shot a gun, ( she was always afraid of the recoil ). She likes to go hiking, generaly wearing a minimum of clothing, like shorts, a tee shirt and tennis shoes. It is not likely that she would ever carry a long gun. Which gun she ends up with must be simple to operate, requiring no thought more complicated than, pull the trigger, and it must be light enough that she would actually carry it. I will try to get her to the range where she can try several options........Robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,825 Senior Member
    Anything light enough to carry won't reliably stop a bear or will have punishing recoil. Would she rather get mauled and or eaten, or have to carry an extra few pounds?

    I'd second the Mare's leg and a simple sling option. Buffalo Bore makes some very hot magnum loads. Just the ticket for bear. http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=100

    If that's not an option, a Gp-100 and pray she doesn't run into one.

    The only other option would be a super shorty 12 gauge. Like i said, punishing recoil, but it beats a bear attack. I'm 5'10" and over 250, it nearly sprained the web of my hand with 000 buck. I see they also make one in 20 gauge and a nice leg holster.


    http://www.serbu.com/legacy/shorty.htm
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,354 Senior Member
    Size shouldn't have much to do with being able to manage the recoil from a 'normal' pistol, it's more of a mindset I think. Some folks don't mind (or even like) big recoil, while others don't handle it well at all. I'm 6'3" and about 190lbs, and I have a tendency to flinch, but I think in my case it's more about the muzzle blast than the actual recoil.

    Start her off small and work up to something worthwhile for PD. Progressive steps to show that the gun isn't going to hurt her and that she is truly capable of handling the larger irons. If she's already backpacking, fitting a larger pistol in with the rest of her kit may not be as much an issue as it might be otherwise. Personally, I'd be MUCH more concerned with being bruin bait than with whatever recoil comes from any pistol...
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,825 Senior Member
    coolgunguy wrote: »
    Size shouldn't have much to do with being able to manage the recoil from a 'normal' pistol, it's more of a mindset. Personally, I'd be MUCH more concerned with being bruin bait than with whatever recoil comes from any pistol...

    You're right. I'd be more worried about being a bear bon bon than a few undesirable ounces or minor recoil.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,354 Senior Member
    Of course, a long gun is mo' betta, but if that's out of the question then help her see the light regarding handguns.
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Hawken, there is an old man who runs a small general store/gas/bait/shine station north of Murphy NC (west of Nantahala Forest) who carries an old single action Colt but says in his lifetime all he's needed to run off those nosey bears is a road flare. He swears light it and the heat, smoke and noise run them off. Easy to say when you got a SA Colt in the other hand ... personally I'd take her out as much as possible and work her up to the biggest thing she can handle ... maybe even a 12ga fitted to her size.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    HAWKEN wrote: »
    I forgot to mention that she is about 5'3" tall and weighs about 95 pounds soaking wet. Last week was the first time she had ever shot a gun, ( she was always afraid of the recoil ). She likes to go hiking, generaly wearing a minimum of clothing, like shorts, a tee shirt and tennis shoes. It is not likely that she would ever carry a long gun. Which gun she ends up with must be simple to operate, requiring no thought more complicated than, pull the trigger, and it must be light enough that she would actually carry it. I will try to get her to the range where she can try several options........Robin

    No one has mentioned it, the Glock 20 / 10 mm would be ideal, recoil would be a non issue, and IMHO it would be ideal in all regards.....
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    No one has mentioned it, the Glock 20 / 10 mm would be ideal, recoil would be a non issue, and IMHO it would be ideal in all regards.....

    I don't know about it being a "non issue" for a recoil sensitive person with small hands, but I, too, think it is probably the best solution. I'm a big guy, and my G-20 feels like I'm holding a brick, and it took me a full magazine to stop anticipating the recoil, even though I'm not normally sensitive to recoil. I like it anyway, though, because it hits whatever you can hold the sights on, out past 50 yards, with no hold-over.

    Still, she could learn to shoot it, if the pay-off was not getting eaten by a bear. The G20 packs a big punch into a small platform and you can repeat as often as necessary (or as often as time allows) with 15+1 capacity. It would be my choice, but with souped up ammo and springs, for bear.
  • langloisandylangloisandy New Member Posts: 3 New Member
    I used to carry a 44 for bear defense but after some VERY close calls I can only recommend a rifle of some sort. That mares leg looks cute but can it be shouldered to aim it?

    Andy
    Andy Langlois
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,052 Senior Member
    I'd have the young lady test fire the Glock 20 before she buys. At 5'3" and 95 lb., her hands might be too small to adequately grip the pistol, especially in a bear defense situation with multiple shots.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • GunnerK19GunnerK19 Senior Member Posts: 1,083 Senior Member
    AA-12.

    'Nuff said.

    :tooth:
    I'm a Conservative. How conservative? Only Alex P. Keaton has me beat.

    Taurus 605 .357, Ruger .45 Vaquero, Ruger 10/22, Colt frontier commemorative .22 SA
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,553 Senior Member
    I used to carry a 44 for bear defense but after some VERY close calls I can only recommend a rifle of some sort. That mares leg looks cute but can it be shouldered to aim it?

    Andy

    Did the 44 fail to stop a bear, or did you just lose confidence in your ability to hit with it, after learning more about bears?
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