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Recently, I acquired a 629 classic deluxe after a bit of "horse trading". I will be working in NW Wyoming for a few months and while there, will attempt to perfect my fly fishing. Never been there before and am told that bears can be problematic. Among the major ammo manufacturers, can anyone suggest a readily available round which would be adequate against bear? I have a box of Remington HTP 240grn SP. I am reluctant to stoke this fine revolver with any high powered loads. Thanks in advance!
 

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Well the gun is certainly up to the challenge.

Are you?

Unless you are use to full power loads, you definitely need to practice with some.

I would stay away from the JHP loads for bear and opt for JSP or Hard-Cast SWC, RN or FP. 240-320gr would work well, especially the 300-320gr type bullets.
 

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Since you are after something that is not a full load, this is probably the only stuff I would be looking at:
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=55z

I traipse around in black bear country, and it's a completely different animal in temperament, but with similarities physically. Study the biology of the brown bear, make sure you understand where to put your shots. Blackies you will tend to know they are there, but as I understand it browns will stalk and pounce.

Personally I would be a lot more comfortable with a 12 gauge shotgun along, but I know that's a little tough when fishing. So clearly you are making a concession choice.
I remember reading about a park ranger releasing a brownie and it turned on him so he had to empty his .357 into it. So obviously a .357 or .44 Magnum can do the job.
I guess as long as you can put your bullets quickly into a spot the size of a softball then I would be pretty comfortable if I were you. First bullet counts, a second shot might be all you get.

I think if you maintain good situational awareness, maintain caution and keep a clean camp you could survive even without a firearm. But carrying around a little extra insurance is nice. :) talk to the locals, find out where to go and not to go. In all likelihood you won't even see one...
 

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Recently, I acquired a 629 classic deluxe after a bit of "horse trading". I will be working in NW Wyoming for a few months and while there, will attempt to perfect my fly fishing. Never been there before and am told that bears can be problematic. Among the major ammo manufacturers, can anyone suggest a readily available round which would be adequate against bear? I have a box of Remington HTP 240grn SP. I am reluctant to stoke this fine revolver with any high powered loads. Thanks in advance!
Hi, there is a good chance that the bear will eat you some before he dies using a .44 Mag. It may make more sense to have readily available a .45-70 Marlin Guide Gun? :)

Regards,
Richard
 

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Slightly OT, but what about the .45LC out of a SAA as a backup gun against bear? Sure, I'd prefer to have one of the 12ga handy, but its not always going to be right there the way a sidearm is.

Just curious. We don't have the grizzlies down here, but a trip to Alaska is on my bucket list....

Best,
Grumpy
 

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A .44 MAG , as bad bear medicine is an OK caliber. I would opt. for .... Cor-bon loadings, as they are loaded to the max. Hornady XTP bullets are also great in the Heaviest weights. 265 & up. I would think that no (1) shot; is an instant stopper. Except ...... 2 pills, to the bear's head is going to put it down.... MORE SUDDENLY.
 

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I have a S &W 657 Mountain Gun (Circa Y2K). It Should be sufficient in the Black Bear country I run around In. I Load it with Rem 210 gr. JSP's or equivalent handloads. I hear Ted Nugent uses a 10 mm Glock for Black Bear hunting.
 

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The 240 gr SP is a fine bullet, you already have your load, just don't get all flustered,keep your cool and put them where they belong and you will do fine.
 

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45 LC loaded for a modern firearm packs a big punch. I would be comfortable with a lever gun in 45-70 or 45 LC. With the 45 LC lighter and easier to handle. Some high power loads will take care of the rest.
 

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45 LC loaded for a modern firearm packs a big punch. I would be comfortable with a lever gun in 45-70 or 45 LC. With the 45 LC lighter and easier to handle. Some high power loads will take care of the rest.
Thanks much dh1633.

I'm really looking forward to getting my new http://www.uberti.com/firearms/images/1873_cattleman_desperado_nm_lg.jpg paid off in another week or so and getting some range time - if I can find cartridges!

Glad to read that its not inadequate for the task if I can't get another .45LC for some reason....

Best,
Grumpy
 

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That is sweet. I loaded up some 45 LC with some Hornady 250 Grain JHP using some H110 and AA5744 (No AA5744 for revolvers, too many unburned kernels) that were pretty stout. They smack you pretty good and will beat a 44 Mag most days. Some say the brass is too thin. I use Starline. But I have had no ill effects in my Rifle, a Ruger Blackhawk or a Freedom Arms Pistol. All modern of course. Then you can load down with light lead loads that you can shoot all day with no ill effect.

We have black bears in New York, but I think they would just be snacks for the Grizzlies out west. Then there was that stuffed bear in the hotel in Anchorage. He was huge.
 

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That is sweet. I loaded up some 45 LC with some Hornady 250 Grain JHP using some H110 and AA5744 (No AA5744 for revolvers, too many unburned kernels) that were pretty stout. They smack you pretty good and will beat a 44 Mag most days. Some say the brass is too thin. I use Starline. But I have had no ill effects in my Rifle, a Ruger Blackhawk or a Freedom Arms Pistol. All modern of course. Then you can load down with light lead loads that you can shoot all day with no ill effect.

We have black bears in New York, but I think they would just be snacks for the Grizzlies out west. Then there was that stuffed bear in the hotel in Anchorage. He was huge.
Thanks dh1633;

Doing some more reading, looks like I'll keep it within safe limits for the SAA clone when I'm rolling my own, but it should certainly do for black bear.

Probably try to get a Ruger Blackhawk or .454 Casull at some point for those .44mag level loads - not now, $$$ is too tight. But that way I can use the supply base of .45's I'm working on now.

Best,
Grumpy
 

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I live with Grizzlies in my yard and blacks too. I am not an expert but I have come to the following decision.
I carry a 629 with nosler partitions bullets. They will hold together and penetrate. Along with expanding and doing damage.
A hard cast is just like a armor piercing bullet or if it hits bone can fragment.
And FIRST and foremost is a can of bear spray. I am not joking. I would use the bear spray first and finish the job if you have too with the 629. That is how I carry.

I also have a Rem. 870 With plug removed and loaded with slugs if I believe I am walking into a bear situation. Like my front yard. It sits by the sliding glass door. This is a sow and two cubs from 2011. The bottom of the leaves are 52" from the ground. My son shot a charging grizzly in 2002 and it was a frightening ordeal.

Just my 2 cents, John
 

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My last close encounter with a black bear was on the New River Gorge, I was fishing and camping with my two sons 9 & 7 . we were camped under a large rock overhang 75 yards from the river. I awoke at sunrise to natures call and while taking care of business I spotted a good size black bear walking and poking along the bank at a good pace in our direction.I retrieved my hiking pistol "a Charter Arms Bulldog 44 spl." quickly, intent on watching the bear walk on bye. The bear picked up our cent and headed strait for our camp, dam he came on quick, kids still asleep, back to a rock. I cocked the hammer
ask God for help and fired just before I thought my heart would stop. the bear fell like a stone. I fired two more well aimed shots, the bear never moved. I gathered the kid's and gear and hiked the 6 miles out. Take bear spray Too !
 

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Thanks dh1633;

Doing some more reading, looks like I'll keep it within safe limits for the SAA clone when I'm rolling my own, but it should certainly do for black bear.

Probably try to get a Ruger Blackhawk or .454 Casull at some point for those .44mag level loads - not now, $$$ is too tight. But that way I can use the supply base of .45's I'm working on now.

Best,
Grumpy
I've owned and shot single actions for most of my life, even doing some Cowboy Action shooting, and I'm pretty fast for an old guy. I still wouldn't pick a single action for a bear defense gun.

And .44 mag level loads aren't needed. Just something hard enough it isn't going to deflect off of a thick skull bone. A hard cast 250 at 900 fps +/- will work just fine.

But I'm definitely of the opinion that if you really think you might run into a big bear, you need a rifle or 12 gauge with penetrating slugs.
 

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If I were you and fishing in bear country I would have a pump 12 gauge with a good sling on it and carry it on my back with slugs.

Not to many bears on this earth can take 5 or 6 well placed slugs up close from a 12 gauge. 18 inch barrel would be the best.
 

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:lol:I hunted SE alaska back in 84' for brown bear,on Admiratly island.As a newby hunter to AK-I did alot or research on what arms to bring.Back then it was a 338 winmag for a rifle,and a 44mag loaded heavy for backup.What I can tell you is when I returned to the lower 48 I figured I was way undergunned for hunting in the alder thickets of alaska anymore-I planned then to buy a 454 casull ,and build a short barreled 458-to be a little more secure(in my mind anyway).Never did it-never went back.After years of hearing what may or may not be the best guns, and calibers for bears since then-I have decided that the antique .45-70 loaded with 400+ grain bullets will take care of all of my future needs,and they make it in a hefty revolver also,and to all of you bad a$$ guys they even make it in a derringer!Now that is just my resolve.I believe that for all of the "teddys" in the lower 48-a .44,45,or larger will fit all the bear needs-as long as you are a competant-good shot!For my own back yard (lower 48)which is only 600 yards from blm timber land I carry either a 357 revolver or an ar pistol loaded with 70 gr sp bullets,and I guarantee-that no animal on 2 or 4 legs can stand up to them and we have black bears that run into the 500pound range,as well as cougars that want to eat my truffle hunting dog or me!;)
 

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navdocret, Many Feathers and jpickar, give some good advice. Use a max load with a hard cast bullet in the 285-325 gr. range, or a jacketed soft point or non expanding bullet like a Speer Silhouette TMJ. Penetration to the brain or spine is the key here. Before you ever consider talking a shot at a bear though, try to exhaust all other options. Stand your ground ( don't ever run!), yell, use bear spray, then shoot only if that is the last resort. All this will happen very quickly. Surprising a grizzly at close range, ( or with cubs) will be the only reason a bear will charge you, and even then it will most likely be a false charge. If you hit the bear and the bullet doesn't penetrate into the skull and hit the brain, or a spine shot, the bear will want to chomp and bat you around with 3 inch claws, even if he had no desire to do so before you shot at him. A grizzly shot in the heart or lungs is going to live long enough to make you regret you shot him. Adding in the factors of stress, excitement and the bear bounding at you ( no a bear isn't gonna be walking at you on his hind feet like in the movies), and it is way more likely that you will hit him in the jaw or ear and just piss him off. You'd only have time for one shot, if that, so it better be a good one. A big bore handgun will give you some piece of mind, but hope you never have to use it, it probably won't turn out good in you favor. Just enjoy your fishing, and be aware, if you are approaching some brush you can't see around, make some noise, so you don't startle a bear. I have been close to 15 grizzlies in 35 years of hunting, hiking and camping in grizzly country around Yellowstone and in Alaska, and have only had one bear charge me. It stopped the charge at about 20 yards away, probably due more to the fact that I stood my ground than the fact that I had my S&W 629 pointed at him. Bears outside the Natl. Parks aren't quite so bold and have more fear of man.
 

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navdocret, Many Feathers and jpickar, give some good advice. Use a max load with a hard cast bullet in the 285-325 gr. range, or a jacketed soft point or non expanding bullet like a Speer Silhouette TMJ. Penetration to the brain or spine is the key here. Before you ever consider talking a shot at a bear though, try to exhaust all other options. Stand your ground ( don't ever run!), yell, use bear spray, then shoot only if that is the last resort. All this will happen very quickly. Surprising a grizzly at close range, ( or with cubs) will be the only reason a bear will charge you, and even then it will most likely be a false charge. If you hit the bear and the bullet doesn't penetrate into the skull and hit the brain, or a spine shot, the bear will want to chomp and bat you around with 3 inch claws, even if he had no desire to do so before you shot at him. A grizzly shot in the heart or lungs is going to live long enough to make you regret you shot him. Adding in the factors of stress, excitement and the bear bounding at you ( no a bear isn't gonna be walking at you on his hind feet like in the movies), and it is way more likely that you will hit him in the jaw or ear and just piss him off. You'd only have time for one shot, if that, so it better be a good one. A big bore handgun will give you some piece of mind, but hope you never have to use it, it probably won't turn out good in you favor. Just enjoy your fishing, and be aware, if you are approaching some brush you can't see around, make some noise, so you don't startle a bear. I have been close to 15 grizzlies in 35 years of hunting, hiking and camping in grizzly country around Yellowstone and in Alaska, and have only had one bear charge me. It stopped the charge at about 20 yards away, probably due more to the fact that I stood my ground than the fact that I had my S&W 629 pointed at him. Bears outside the Natl. Parks aren't quite so bold and have more fear of man.
I'm not as optimistic as you when it comes to bears. I have been charged two times by 2 very large black bears and both times I wished I had a gun to defend myself. Both times were in the early spring when the bears have just come out of hibernation and very hungry. I never go out in the woods unless I have a gun with me. Not to far from me a man was malled by a black bear in his yard for no apparent reason early this spring. The wife came out with a shotgun and saved him. Just an hour North of me a hunter shot a 648 pound black bear, I'm not interested in bumping into something like that when I'm out in woods with my 9 year old daughter. I carry a ruger blackhawk in 45 long colt. I take 300 grain 45 70 cast bullets and size them down and load them with a good charge of powder to send them on their way at over 1100 feet per second from a 4 and a half inch barrel. I've done some testing and this load is truly devastating up close, and penetration is outstanding. I still prefer a shotgun for really big Alaskan bears.
Google black bear attacks and see that they are on the rise.
 
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