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Bear repellant: 300 grain .44 mag. or 300 grain .454 ?

This is a discussion on Bear repellant: 300 grain .44 mag. or 300 grain .454 ? within the Ruger Double Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I am trying to decide whether to carry a Super Blackhawk .44 mag. with 3.75 inch barrel or a Magnum Research .454 Casull with 5 ...


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Old August 8th, 2015, 03:17 PM   #1
 
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Bear repellant: 300 grain .44 mag. or 300 grain .454 ?

I am trying to decide whether to carry a Super Blackhawk .44 mag. with 3.75 inch barrel or a Magnum Research .454 Casull with 5 inch barrel as grizzly repellant flyfishing the Rockies. At the moment I am thinking either would be loaded with 300 grain or heavier hard cast lead bullets,etc. I am looking closely at Garrett Cartridges' Hammerhead loads and I am liking what I see.

The .44 is definitely lighter and handles fast. Every time I see it I have to pick
it up and can barely put it down. It just feels good. The .454 is a bit larger and heavier. Recoil does not seem to bother me with either caliber. I am a little over 6 ft. 2 and 220 pounds with fairly large hands for whatever that may be worth.

In reading accounts of grizzly attacks by people who were actually attacked it seems that folks seem to stress that the attack happened very quickly, more quickly than they ever imagined it would happen. So I ask myself if I should
go with maximum power for at most one, quick shot ?

Then other folks seem to stress the need to be able to recover rapidly from the recoil of the first shot in order to deliver one or more follow on shots. So should I go with the smaller, faster handling .44 that has less recoil ?

I know that someone would be justified in saying that each encounter with a
predator capable of killing a human is going to be a unique encounter. And I know that a gun is useless unless you can hit the intended target--in this case under a huge amount of stress generated in a very short amount of time.

I enjoy shooting both guns and will continue to train with both regularly regardless of which one I decide to take into the field.

Any comments are appreciated.



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Old August 8th, 2015, 03:56 PM   #2
 
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325 grain Buffalo Bore 45 colt. Very accurate and recoil is not bad.
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Old August 8th, 2015, 03:59 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwinters View Post
325 grain Buffalo Bore 45 colt. Very accurate and recoil is not bad.
Don't know much about .45 Colt. Somewhere in between .44 mag and .454 ?
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Old August 8th, 2015, 04:19 PM   #4
 
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(moving to single action forum)
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Old August 8th, 2015, 05:19 PM   #5
 
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Well, if you choose the 454, you can carry and shoot 45 colt loads with it. Just like shooting 44 special in 44mag.
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Old August 8th, 2015, 06:38 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhawk Tom View Post
I am trying to decide whether to carry a Super Blackhawk .44 mag. with 3.75 inch barrel or a Magnum Research .454 Casull with 5 inch barrel as grizzly repellant flyfishing the Rockies. At the moment I am thinking either would be loaded with 300 grain or heavier hard cast lead bullets,etc. I am looking closely at Garpigeon Cartridges' Hammerhead loads and I am liking what I see.

The .44 is definitely lighter and handles fast. Every time I see it I have to pick
it up and can barely put it down. It just feels good. The .454 is a bit larger and heavier. Recoil does not seem to bother me with either caliber. I am a little over 6 ft. 2 and 220 pounds with fairly large hands for whatever that may be worth.

In reading accounts of grizzly attacks by people who were actually attacked it seems that folks seem to stress that the attack happened very quickly, more quickly than they ever imagined it would happen. So I ask myself if I should
go with maximum power for at most one, quick shot ?

Then other folks seem to stress the need to be able to recover rapidly from the recoil of the first shot in order to deliver one or more follow on shots. So should I go with the smaller, faster handling .44 that has less recoil ?

I know that someone would be justified in saying that each encounter with a
predator capable of killing a human is going to be a unique encounter. And I know that a gun is useless unless you can hit the intended target--in this case under a huge amount of stress generated in a very short amount of time.

I enjoy shooting both guns and will continue to train with both regularly regardless of which one I decide to take into the field.

Any comments are appreciated.
You and i could be twins. Height and weight.

I absolutelly get your thought. I started handloading 300 grainers on .44 out of the alaskan with aa#9 at max charge.

They are not bad at all.

I can empty all 6 one handed in 3 seconds in panic mode hitting a 10 inch gong at 60 feet.

Now the .454 will allow you more velocity, but do you really need it?

I've never shot anything larger than a pigeon.

Out of my blackhawk i can shoot almost as fast.
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Old August 9th, 2015, 05:46 AM   #7
 
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I would go with the 44mag for ammo availability. If you are up in the Rockies you can find 44 mag ammo at any little ammo vendor. I know everyone plans to take their own ammo but stuff happens and you end up buying ammo at some country store that has a total ammo inventory of 30 boxes. If you survive an encounter with a grizzly with a pistol shot placement and a little help from the good Lord will get you through it, not a few extra FPS.

I would definitely go with a 7.5" barrel. A 44mag with a 7.5" barrel rivals a lots of small caliber rifles. With a little practice and proper holster selection, you can handle the 7.5" Blackhawk just as fast as one with a 3.75" barrel.
http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/44mag.html

Last edited by OldCrow; August 9th, 2015 at 05:59 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2015, 06:25 AM   #8
 
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Either gun will work. The heavier 5 inch gun should handle hot loads better and should have better ballistics than the 3.75 inch gun, but carry the gun you can shoot better.

This just happened in Yellowstone a couple of days ago
Hiker Killed by Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone National Park - ABC News

This happened in Alaska a few days ago
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/a...uling-32905752

The girls father is a well known sporting clays shooter and there is some discussion about it on the sporting clays forums
http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/view...db8593d19244f7

In the Alaska bear attack, it apparently happened so fast that the girl couldn't get her bear spray out.

Last edited by RalphS; August 9th, 2015 at 06:41 AM.
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Old August 9th, 2015, 06:44 AM   #9
 
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read an article recently where it stated there was at least one country issuing the G20 10mm for defense against polar bear. that seems pretty optimistic to me, but I have found some pretty impressive claims along these lines. Buffalo Bore and Double Tap make some pretty stout hardcast loads for this purpose. I own the Glock and her little sister (G29). they are pretty impressive. they do not generate the power of a .44 nor a .454 but do offer 15 plus 1 capacity. with any pistol at close range I would like as many chances as I could get, and a bazooka for backup would be nice.
for me and my purposes the G20 is sufficient. all I am likely to encounter in my travels that might become aggressive would be a black bear. that is a far cry from a grizzly or a polar bear.
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Old August 9th, 2015, 09:40 AM   #10
 
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Thanks to everyone contributing thoughts (and links) so far.

The links that RalphS provides above drive home the point for me. One person killed in Yellowstone, apparently unarmed. A woman jogger attacked in Alaska. Bear spray ineffective due (apparently) to the surprise and speed of the attack.

I have been flyfishing a stream in Colorado for about 49 years. The first 25 years, or so, I NEVER thought or worried about bears or mountain lions and can only remember one bear sighting: Black bear spotted crossing the valley at high speed, never to be seen again. Today, on the same property, people cannot leave garbage out at night (in cans mounted 4 ft. off the ground) due to black bears. And a mountain lion was recently spotted in the middle of the day less than 100 yards from the cabin we stay in.

And I have seen a program on TV several times about the advent of the "canine distemper
virus," a virus that is apparently infecting big cats around the world. Supposedly this virus makes lions, tigers, etc., lose their usual fear of human beings. The program cites
4 examples of this from around the world. 2 of the examples are from overseas and 2
are from southern Colorado.

One of the Colorado examples took place in Salida, Colorado. Video camera mounted
inside a house aimed at a rather large doggey door. One of the family's dogs enters
through the door followed shortly thereafter by the family's other dog. Followed 2-3
seconds later by--a mountain lion. One dog gets eaten while the lady of the house
barricades herself and her infant in a back bedroom and calls 911.

For real.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 04:53 AM   #11
 
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I would prefer the 44 Magnum as I am more familiar with it. The 300 gr bullets will shoot high so you may want to check that. I know it will probably be close range but you may need to shoot at a ways out too.

The 454 will probably shoot right on. If so, I would use that. I like to know where the revolver hits at different ranges.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 07:20 AM   #12
 
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I have the Ruger SRH Toklat chambered in 454 with a 5" barrel and think it is the best balanced SRH out there. You can also shoot 45LC from it.

If I were you and hiking in grizzly territory I'd get the SRH Alaskan in 454 or the Toklat in 454. Both of these weigh about the same as the SBK you're considering yet will deliver a much more powerful punch.

Why chance things particularly if you may end up in a precarious position of having only one shot to be delivered in the blink of an eye. In that case, the 454 Casull is far superior to the 44 magnum.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 07:27 AM   #13
 
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I load a 325gr LCNGC bullet for my 44mag revolvers and use them in all of these (except the GP100 bottom right). It really comes down to how far away you are going to begin shooting!! Longer barrel gives you a much better chance at hitting than the 2.5". I've been doing a LOT of experimenting!!
My Ruger Redhawk with a 7.5" barrel will ring a 6" plate at 100yds consistently without having to steady it (of course that is at the range and I am calmly shooting), I can also hit 4-5 out of six with my Alaskan at that range, but I need to steady it on something to do it (lean against a tree or something!). The 5" Redhawk is a very nice compromise, haven't shot it enough to say yet (having WAY too much fun with the longer barreled revolvers!!!)
Currently I'm having a custom xdraw holster made that I can wear my S&W 7.5" Stealth hunter either on my belt or in a chest rig (same holster, just mounts either on my belt or the rig), you may want to consider a chest rig since you may be standing in the water! That does open up the length of barrel option! The 3"bbld S&W is ported and it really helps with the muzzle climb...easier to use than the Alaskan, but the Alaskan's weight helps a lot too! Whatever you decide, you need to practice...practice...practice. Most of the time I carry the Alaskan, but I am dealing with black bear/mountain Lion and coyotes, not Grizz.

Last edited by mazer; August 17th, 2015 at 07:34 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2015, 07:28 AM   #14
 
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Don't Get Either One

Just take me with you.
You can fish and I will watch out for you!
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