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I need heavy duty magnum handgun suggestions.

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  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,975 Senior Member
    you WANT a 1 or 2 shot stopper in a bear gun. Anyone who thinks they are going to get off more....go find a street thats 30-35mph. Measure out 50 yards with a land mark like a light pol or something, and go stand 50 yards away. Then watch a car and see how long it takes that car to go from the landmark to you at 35mph. Now keep in mind, you won't be pooping your shorts with a car barreling at you and you KNOW its coming. The bear is going to surprise you and get your adrenaline racing like crazy. Unless the bear is 100 yards away, you are going to have mere seconds to assess the threat, unholster, aim and fire MAYBE 2 shots at a fast moving target. If the bear pops up less then 25 yards.....you'll likely be making that shot close enough to feel the heat of the bear.

    Forgot to mention earlier, if you DO choose a 44 mag, which is perfectly acceptable...I'd always lean towards a Ruger Super Redhawk. I say this because they have longer cylinders so you can take advantage of the really heavy cast bullets and the heaviest loads. Ain't nothing wrong with a S&W either, and it would be a hard choice between one of their lightweights and the extra power per shot on the ruger. I particularly like the Ruger SRH Alaskan 44.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    "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:
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    One more thing, I agree you will only get off one or two aimed shots.

    My theory on having capacity is simple. I will be scared s___less, I will be shaking, I will be in shock, and I will only be able to point shoot. I intened to get off as many rounds as possible as fast as possible.

    If I were a professional hunter, a well practised heavy handgun shooter, I would most likely go with a six shot .44 magnum.

    One more thought. It is also most certainly true that a wheel gun is simpler to shoot if you have a malfunction than a semi auto. I preach wheel gun to anyone asking about self defense that does not practise for that very reason.

    I think there are a lot of compelling arguements both ways.

    I just happen to own a G20 so it would me my personal choice for self defense.

    If I were to go a huntin' bear, I would bring Beartracker and his .300 Mag.... ;)

    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:
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member

    Forgot to mention earlier, if you DO choose a 44 mag, which is perfectly acceptable...I'd always lean towards a Ruger Super Redhawk. I say this because they have longer cylinders so you can take advantage of the really heavy cast bullets and the heaviest loads.


    I don't want to sound like I'm attacking you, but are you basing this on experience or are you guessing or calculating this somehow?
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    The shot felt good but we couldn’t find any blood. The area had thick brush and deadfall so visibility was very limited.
    Don ended up getting a dog

    Sounds like the bear took quite a while to expire even with a good hit
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    One more thought. It is also most certainly true that a wheel gun is simpler to shoot if you have a malfunction than a semi auto
    Dan I'd have to argue that
    a revolver malfunctions you then have a hammer
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    This seems good, 6.2 inch barrel and as was mentioned before, heavy recoil spring / 200 grain bullets..

    Glock206inchbarrel.jpg
    "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
  • wildgenewildgene Senior Member Posts: 1,036 Senior Member
    ...I'm all for sumpthin w/ a big hole in the front as a 3rd line back-up when the bearspray doesn't work, when it comes to bears, but nothing will replace your first line of defense, being "Bear Aware". I don't know how many times you've encountered or been charged by brown bear or grizzlies, but I can tell you it takes 'em about 3 sec. to cover 50yds, so if it takes you 2 sec. to get your firearm into play things are going to get real exciting real quick, so you might want to inventory what you are usually packing along, & figure out just what options you have to carry this fine large chunk of hardware you intend to purchase...

    ...while for pure defense a short barreled, high cap shotgun on a SafariSling would probably be a better option, like Teach mentioned, what you're probably wanting is a large caliber belly gun for toothy critters.
    Freedom Arms are the Swiss watches of hunting revolvers, but until you can shoot like Glen Ford, I'd skip any single actions. If it has come down to where you need to shoot a bear in self-defense, you already have plenty enough to worry about. Plenty of "Bear Killers" available, lots of used ones if you look around. Lots of guys who move here have to have one, shoot it six times, take it back & trade 'em in...
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,507 Senior Member
    iirc, Linebaugh is still alive and well and doing conversions.

    have you thought about a 475 or 500 Linebaugh?

    He uses Ruger Vaqueros (older styles) or Ruger Bisleys.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Yet another bear attack. And I don't care if they are "Rare" no human deaths around there in the last 100 years, if you happen to be the one getting clawed to pieces. Just like all the yak yak about how safe airline travel is, until your butt is blown outta the fuslage at 30,000 feet...........then the "Statistics" don't mean squat do they.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/08/29/wyoming.bear.attack/index.html

    http://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/29/news/nation/fatal-bear-attack-in-yellowstone-is-the-second-this-summer/?ref=latest


    LOS ANGELES — A Yellowstone National Park hiker whose body was found last week was mauled and killed by a grizzly bear, authorities confirmed Monday.

    The hiker was identified as 59-year-old John Wallace of Chassell, Mich. He was traveling alone and had pitched his tent in a campground along the Mary Mountain Trail on Wednesday.

    His body was discovered Friday morning by two hikers. An autopsy conducted Sunday confirmed that Wallace died of traumatic injuries from a bear attack.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,125 Senior Member
    I would, if it was me, carry a .44 mag redhawk stoked with Garret 310 gr ammo; not too bad in the recoil, but, not a plinking rnd either.
  • BarrydBarryd Member Posts: 202 Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    This. Or a S&W Mountain Gun in .44 Mag if you can find one. The bigger guns have punch but I'm sure they SUCK to hike with.

    Ozark Guns has a S&W "Alaskan Backpacker" in 44 mag listed on their site.
    Barry
  • bfunkbfunk Member Posts: 113 Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    LOS ANGELES — A Yellowstone National Park hiker whose body was found last week was mauled and killed by a grizzly bear, authorities confirmed Monday.

    The hiker was identified as 59-year-old John Wallace of Chassell, Mich. He was traveling alone and had pitched his tent in a campground along the Mary Mountain Trail on Wednesday.

    His body was discovered Friday morning by two hikers. An autopsy conducted Sunday confirmed that Wallace died of traumatic injuries from a bear attack.

    Yeah, this is the story thats blowing up around here. That's two dudes from Michigan that ended up as bear food this year. Maybe they taste better.

    I'm comfortable with the realization that we're dealing with Rocky Mountain Grizz here and not Alaskan Grizz and coastal Brown's. The Grizz here are half as big and not nearly as plentiful as Alaska. Now I don't want to be undergunned, at all, but I really don't think I need serious heavy duty artillery. I know of plenty of people that confidently carry very hot and very heavy .357's as their bear gun. Now I don't know that I want to go the .357 route, but the .500 and .460 may be just a bit more than necessary from what I hear. Now if we're talking a one shot stop on a charging Griz at very close range, I just don't think it really matters what handgun you have, major luck will need to be on your side to avoid injury.

    Now that said, I'm leaning towards a something in the S&W 629/Ruger Redhawk category in a .44 mag, possibly some sort of .41 mag, either case a 4 inch variety, or possibly going the Glock 20 route with some really hot ammo. I do like the lack of bulk of the Glock, compared to a 4 inch .44 mag revolver, I'm more likely to be carrying it. The Glock can be had locally for a reasonable price too, compared to large magnum revolvers that is.

    I'll have to research the subject some more before I dive in with a major purchase. I'll need to research how heavy the recoil is for any of these options so I can determine if its a remote possibility that the wifey could hold onto one in a moment of need.

    Thanks for all of the help guys, I appreciate it!

    Brian
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Never discount the effects of adrenaline when considering what the lady can handle. Chances are, if the situation got nasty, she could empty a big wheelgun and never notice the recoil. A lady here in Tennessee witnessed a car falling off a jack onto her son while he was working on iot, so she picked it up and moved him out from under it. She dislocated both her shoulders in the process, but she saved the kid.
    Jerry
  • bfunkbfunk Member Posts: 113 Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Never discount the effects of adrenaline when considering what the lady can handle. Chances are, if the situation got nasty, she could empty a big wheelgun and never notice the recoil. A lady here in Tennessee witnessed a car falling off a jack onto her son while he was working on iot, so she picked it up and moved him out from under it. She dislocated both her shoulders in the process, but she saved the kid.
    Jerry

    This is true, Teach. However, I without some practice, the results could end up pretty bad. I have a 9mm that is similar enough to a Glock that she could practice some with it to at least get proficient in operating it. I don't have a revolver to practice with, and going right for a .44 mag would be a very bold first move.
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    First , do you have any experience with shooting a large magnum caliber handgun?

    Lighter guns pack easily , but kick like hell. My first pick for someone without a great deal of sixgun experience would be a double action revolver , like the S&W Mountain Gun in .41 or .44 mag. Yes , it's fairly light , but there's a good selection of recoil absorbing rubber grips from Hogue , Pachmayr and Uncle Mikes to fit almost any hand. The standard 4in N-frame Mod. 29/626 is another good choice , if a bit heavier. Ruger makes a less bulky version of their Redhawk too.

    I'd also recommend double action because under panic , all ya gotta do is point and squeeze the trigger six times. I'd also recommend a speedloader or two.

    Single actions are simple , but ya don't want panic to set in while thumbing the hammer back , and it's a two-handed operation for most. Slow reload too.

    The .44 mag would probably be your best choice. Lots of guns and ammo out there. Many guide have taken many big bears with my favorite , the .41 mag. Recoil is somewhat less , but guns are usually limited production and hard to find , as is ammo.

    The .45 Colt isn't a good choice in the Smith line because they are not rated for the hot loads. Rugers are.

    A .454 would have to be fired prior to making a decision.
  • bfunkbfunk Member Posts: 113 Member
    I've shot revolvers my whole life, I just don't own one...yet. I also want a double action, I don't want to have to deal with single action when the ___ hits the fan. I've shot .38's, 357's, .41's and .45's and .454's. Never a .44 magnum, but I imagine its fairly similar to the .454. I would worry about my wife's ability to hold on to a stout .454 or .44 loading. I don't really have a frame of reference to what a 10mm would be like.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    A .454 wheelgun could be fired with .45 Colt cowboy action mouse phart loads for familiarization with the gun, and step up gradually to full house loads as she becomes accustomed to shooting it. That can't really be done with semi-auto pistols.
    Jerry
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,615 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    When I was in Alaska, everyone I knew had a 4'' Redhawk .44 loaded with 300grain hardcast. Rugers website shows the shortest barrel for a Redhawk is 9.5''.... :uhm:

    There are 4'' Redhawks on Gunbroker in .45Colt.... They can be loaded as hot as the .44 mag, but I don't know about factory loads..... Redhawks aren't as strong as the Super, but you don't need to feed it a steady diet of the hot stuff and you'll save a little weight....

    pix423621030.jpg

    I dunno what page you're looking at, but I see 7.5", 5.5", and 4.2".

    The bad thing about a Redhawk is....Ruger dosen't seem to be making them right now. They're as scarce as hens teeth. I've been looking for one, new or used, for over 6 months.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,186 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    For a backpacking gun, I'd suggest this one:

    5303.jpg

    It's not a plinker, or even a moderate-range hunting arm, it's only got one purpose - - - - -it's a "get off me" gun for something very large that bites! Beyond 15 yards or so, it won't be accurate enough to do much good, but it will make enough big holes in a bear that will, hopefully, slow it down enough to let you do a quick reload and make some more holes. It's available in .44 Mag. or .454 Casull, and I think I'd go for the Casull. You can practice with .45 Colt and run just enough of the .454's through it to get accustomed to the kick and the muzzle blast- - - -which will be considerable.
    Jerry

    I have shot this gun in .454 with my buddys hot Casull loads, it was not too bad and was accurate at conversational ranges without too much trouble.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Never discount the effects of adrenaline when considering what the lady can handle. ................................................................
    Jerry

    No kidding, I saw this Cougar in a video on the Internet who could handle a big gun like ya wouldn't believe:jester:
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • HondoHondo Member Posts: 320 Member
    In your shoes I would definately get .44mag in either S&W or Ruger with a 4" barrel. You can find them all over the place. Bud's Guns has the 4" S&W in stock for $700+. But you can do better that that. Ammo is as close as the nearest sporting goods store or even Wal-mart. The little lady can even shoot some .44 spl in it for practice. To me that is a no-brainer. That is a good protection(get off me) gun.
    You just have to make sure you carry it!
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,041 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    I dunno what page you're looking at, but I see 7.5", 5.5", and 4.2".

    The bad thing about a Redhawk is....Ruger dosen't seem to be making them right now. They're as scarce as hens teeth. I've been looking for one, new or used, for over 6 months.

    There is one under glass at the range I'm going to at lunch. Or there was last week when I was in there. 4" .44Mag. And that is on my short list
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,975 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    I don't want to sound like I'm attacking you, but are you basing this on experience or are you guessing or calculating this somehow?

    Experience. I used to own a SRH .44, and my brother at that time owned a 629. I forgot what brand exactly I had, but they were 320gr hard casts. They fit just fine in my gun, the cylinder wouldn't close on his. You'll see some factory ammo, especially anything over 300gr, that will say "for Ruger pistols only" same with some real hot loads in a few reloading manuals. The SRH was just an overbuilt tank of a gun, and the longer cylinder vs S&W and Taurus allowed the biiiiig bullets to be loaded without crushing powder space.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Experience. I used to own a SRH .44, and my brother at that time owned a 629. I forgot what brand exactly I had, but they were 320gr hard casts. They fit just fine in my gun, the cylinder wouldn't close on his. You'll see some factory ammo, especially anything over 300gr, that will say "for Ruger pistols only" same with some real hot loads in a few reloading manuals. The SRH was just an overbuilt tank of a gun, and the longer cylinder vs S&W and Taurus allowed the biiiiig bullets to be loaded without crushing powder space.


    The reason I ask is that I happen to have a blackhawk, redhawk, super redhawk, and a 629 that I measured. This may not represent all year models but this is what my cylinders measured. The super blackhawk and the 629 were bought by me in the late 80's and their cylinders measured 1.70" long. My redhawk, which is a much newer hunter model also in .44rem mag has a cylinder length of 1.75" as does my super redhawk in 454 casull. That kinda explained the issues I had at the SE shoot with my cast 310gr loads not chambering well in my super blackhawk. Those loads were 1.710" OAL and the cylinder was 1.700 long.

    Another thing I discovered when checking a few things about this topic is that I noticed a couple of people mentioned the savings in weight with the redhawk over the super redhawk. I would have believed that also until I weighed mine. The Ruger website shows the redhawk weighing more than the super redhawk. I thought this was a typo so I opened the safe and weighed mine. I was amazed to find that Ruger's site was correct! My 7.5" redhawk in 44rem mag weighed 56.5oz and my 7.5" super redhawk in .454casull weighed 53.5oz.

    Also, the "for Ruger pistols only" designation on those loads is based on strength rather than cylinder length.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • justin10mmjustin10mm Senior Member Posts: 688 Senior Member
    It sounds like you should just get the G20 10mm. Both you and your wife can practice at the range with your 9mm or you can get a conversion barrel and shoot .40 S&W out of the G20 for cheap practice. Despite what the naysayers say, a 200gr.-230gr. hard cast .400 bullet at 1200 FPS is plenty potent for bear defense.

    If latter you decide you want a nice S&W Mountain Gun or similar revolver by all means have at it. But for the price and the availability of cheap practice ammo, the Glock 20 seems to be the more practical purchase for now.
  • justin10mmjustin10mm Senior Member Posts: 688 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    My 7.5" redhawk in 44rem mag weighed 56.5oz and my 7.5" super redhawk in .454casull weighed 53.5oz.

    .

    The .454 SRH has a larger hole drilled through the barrel than the .44mag.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,975 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »

    Also, the "for Ruger pistols only" designation on those loads is based on strength rather than cylinder length.

    I noted that in my post. In the 2nd part you'll notice I put heaviest loads, as well as bullets :)

    Now to be fair, I DID love shooting that 629, it was the old Performance Center with the adjustable weights under the barrel. Sweet, sweet shooter. And it was easier to shoot then my SRH even with the lighter overall weight. I remember those 320's putting a pretty good smack on the palms
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,871 Senior Member
    justin10mm wrote: »
    The .454 SRH has a larger hole drilled through the barrel than the .44mag.
    Modern specs for a Ruger Redhawk in .44 Mag. weigh 54 oz. Both the .454 and .44 Super Redhawk spec out at 53 oz, and the Super Redhawk seems to have a larger frame.....

    Until you think about how the grip frame of the Super Redhawk is a stub, whereas a Redhawk is a standard full grip frame. You can take 2 oz. from the grip frame and move elsewhere and have some real strength benefits. Plus milling in the scope mounting brackets on the Super Redhawk saves some weight, which can be shifted elsewhere.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • temmitemmi Member Posts: 230 Member
    ilove22s wrote: »
    iirc, Linebaugh is still alive and well and doing conversions.

    have you thought about a 475 or 500 Linebaugh?

    He uses Ruger Vaqueros (older styles) or Ruger Bisleys.


    I know Ruger has discontinued it BUT the 480 Ruger is a good choice.

    Lots of power and easy (Relatively) to control, the second shot can be hard with something larger.

    I bet, these guys can make you a 475L with a 480R cylinder best of both worlds.
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