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  #1  
Old 08-21-2005, 07:57 AM
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44 Mag against Grizzly ?


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Hello all I just got done reading one of my old Shooting Times Mags that I still have laying around, the one that Mike Venturino did an article on about the Then new Ruger Vaquero and the Marlin 1894P. My question is this, If you were going to be in the back country away from civilization for an extended period of time as he stated as have done some time back. Would you feel comfrotable with a 44 carbine for protection from Grizzly bears? Now when he did this the first time he used a 45-70 however in that article he says that if he were to do it all over again he would choose the 44 carbine over the larger rifle. If so what kind of loads would you use?, factory of your own home brewed stuff? Sorry for being so long winded.
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Old 08-21-2005, 08:11 AM
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Never hope to have to shoot one that's angry with me...defence isn't hunting...they'd be right up close, angry as the devil, have you zeroed in, and coming for you.

I'd want something that punches a big hole, perferable a flat faced bullet to tear things up a bit but not to over expand and decrease penetration...a bullet that will get to the other side, but carves a path along the way. Unlike hunting, would tend to shoot them until they fell down and stopped twitching or until I ran out of ammo...hopfully #1 before #2.

Becasue they are close, would take bullet weight over velocity...large caliber over small caliber...an utterly reliable weapon...and something with a fast repeat shot ability.

Don't think I'd play favorites...try to rationalize using a certain gun just becasue I like it...would be happy enough with any that meets the criteria. Woudln't argue with you if you picked a 12ga. with good slugs, 45-70 lever gun, 450 lever gun, or a 44 mag./45Colt/.454/.480 with the right ammo.

Isn't this just what big bores were made for?

Last edited by ribbonstone; 08-21-2005 at 08:24 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2005, 11:11 AM
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Did Venturino say why he would choose the .44 Mag? Could it be 10 (or 11) rounds of .44 Vs. 4 (or 5) for the 45-70? At least those are the numbers for Marlin"s 1894 and the Guide gun.
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Old 08-21-2005, 11:57 AM
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Luis,
He stated that he would choose the 1894 over the 1895 because he said he was constantly aware of the rifles presence and started to appreciate why saddle ring carbines were so popular in the horse back era. Other than that there was no other reason given.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2005, 08:01 AM
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You won't get 10 shots on a charging bear, unless the first one is right between the eyes, LOL.

I think this purpose is exactly why Marlin came up with the .454-70 "Guide Gun" rifles. If weight is an issue, trim the barrel down to a bit over 16 inches, shortest mag possible (see first sentence!), and put a plastic stock on it.
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2005, 01:12 PM
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Interesting, I do recall an interview that was done on Michigan Outdoors a ways back. They were interviewing a bear guide and that question about using a .44 mag for a backup just in case. The bear guide said yes the .44 would make a good backup when properly loaded. When asked what he meant, he replied with a wide grin 5 of the heaviest loads possible and one very high velocity hollow point in case the first five did not do the job.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2005, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 336A
Hello all I just got done reading one of my old Shooting Times Mags that I still have laying around, the one that Mike Venturino did an article on about the Then new Ruger Vaquero and the Marlin 1894P. My question is this, If you were going to be in the back country away from civilization for an extended period of time as he stated as have done some time back. Would you feel comfrotable with a 44 carbine for protection from Grizzly bears? Now when he did this the first time he used a 45-70 however in that article he says that if he were to do it all over again he would choose the 44 carbine over the larger rifle. If so what kind of loads would you use?, factory of your own home brewed stuff? Sorry for being so long winded.
Lots of wind here. During my time in alaska I killed several Grizzly and I did carry a 44 magnum pistol. I killed one bear with the pistol and wouldn't have if there was any other choice.

The 44 magnum pistol with max loads has around the same energy as a 30-30 rifle, another gun I would not consider a brown bear gun.

Like was said above if your using a gun for protection that means the bear is red in the eye coming for you. Your not hunting and the gun is your only way out. At this point your life depends upon stopping a bear that is close, mad and moving fast and may weigh half a ton. If you think a 44 mag with any load you can shoot in a rifle or a pistol is gonna do the job you have never been close to a big brown bear in the wilds.

I killed a big brown sow on the Russian river while it was chewing on a friend whom was fishing with me. I had was a 6.5 inch Smith model 29 loaded with 240 grain factory bullets. I was not more than five feet from the bear when the 240 went thru one ear and out the other. Though it worked I was really lucky and I know it. It's as close as I ever came to soiling my pants. From that point on I carried a 12 gauge short bbled shotgun with slugs when I was fishing.

Unless you have been there it's simply impossible to believe how fast one of those big bears move and how big they are in comparison to a black bear or even a moose. Being prepared means haveing a weapon that will stop them and stop them quick. A 44 magnum is not that weapon reguardless of what any magazine writer tells you.

Most of the folks that do carry a sidearm in alaska get as large and as mean of a handcannon as they can find such as the new Smith 500, the 475 and 500 Lighnbaughs and so on. Best is a three inch shotgun with slugs or a big rifle in the 375 H&H class or above.

Even considering a 44 mag rifle is one of the sillyest things I have ever heard of.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2005, 05:19 AM
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2005, 01:14 PM
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faucettb,

Yup, factory 240s were definitely a bad choice and I'm glad you were able to put one through the brain box. However, condemning the .44 because you were loaded improperly is on a par with one claiming the '06 is a bad choice for bear because all he has available are 150 grain Sierras.

TMC
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  #10  
Old 09-08-2005, 03:06 PM
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Thumbs down 44magsandgrizzlies

Howdy guys. In response to the man who wants to know about 44mags for grizz. All I can say is in your dreams. I lived in Glennallen Ak for twenty years, yes a 44 will kill a griz it's been done.To carry one for protection against the big bears, NEVER!!! They are as fast as a mad house cat, with the power of a Peterbuilt. Ask yourself this question, would I want to step out on the freeway, and try to stop a big rig doing 80mph with a 44mag, and the truck isn't angry with me. When I first moved to AK, I brought a 44mag with me, my father-in-law an old sour dough, told me to take the front sight off, so when a grizz sticks it up my back side it won't hurt as bad. You'll be very lucky to get one shot off before the beast is on you. You need to smack it very hard and deep, remember the bear is pumped and it's sole purpose is to waste you. A 450, or 45/70, with BIG slugs loaded hot, like Garrets loads are good,a 375scovill, or a bar in 338mag( thats what I carried with 250rg partitions) Will work, so will a 375H&H Forget the big handguns unless you're hunting and can pick your shot, some of my buddies up there carried a 458mag when out camping, panning, or fishing. Angry grizzes is real serious business, especially when it's you he's mad at.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2005, 09:01 AM
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Now
If your close, and him mad.
How many seconds do you have?

Would then a short barreled hand gun cease your pain?

"AFTER "your quick burst with the shot gun at him?

Could you cool as a cucumber unholtser a big hand cannon aim and fire? I said aim and fire

Guess I would be better suited with a hot loaded shot gun that I would quickly point and fire. during the time the brain tells the body to void , take flight and leave.

Saw a bear while fishin' I would quicky leave.

You could always stop at the Grocery store.

Who has been watching Grizz Adams on TV?

Last edited by Harry Snippe; 09-13-2005 at 09:11 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2005, 10:17 AM
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If it's all you've got, it's better than spitwads, just make sure you stoke it with the heaviest, hottest loads your gun will tolerate, and keep it at the ready. There are .44 mag loads available as well as heavy cast bullets for handloads that would offer the best choices. As has been said, there are better choices, and it's not what you'd want to go out and buy specifically for this purpose, but if you've got one and nothing else, it's better than spitwads.
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2005, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarlinCollector
faucettb,

Yup, factory 240s were definitely a bad choice and I'm glad you were able to put one through the brain box. However, condemning the .44 because you were loaded improperly is on a par with one claiming the '06 is a bad choice for bear because all he has available are 150 grain Sierras.

TMC
Marlin Collector

I'm sorry it sounded that way. I wasn't comdemning the 44 mag, been shooting one since about 1962 or so. Is a great gun. Lets see, 19 black bear, one big brown, piles of deer.

I sure didn't mean to sound like I was condemning it. It's just that it's just plain silly to think that the 44 mag is a good defense against a mad, close grizzly or Brown. I've been there and they move way to fast close in.

If you check some of the posts by folks whom live and hunt in Alaska I think you'll find a consenses on that.

Your absolutly right about that factory 240 grain jacketed load being wrong, but even with the right bullets it's I believe the 44 mag revoler is still not a good choice, but it is better than nothing.

By the way I do like the 06 too. Took a nice Dahl sheep with one in alaska in 78. My old five screw 6.5 inch 44 Smith now sits in the safe. A couple of hundred thousand rounds, two barrels and two sets of innerds finally got it retired for good.

I now shoot a Ruger Super Redhawk 7.5 with an aimpoint red dot on it. I'm not sure how many rounds have gone thru that, but it's got about five deer and one black bear on it. I shoot a Kieth 255 grain hardcast with a gas check at 1350-1400 fps. I bought my son a Redhawk with the 5.5 inch bbl. He hasn't killed anything with it yet, but mabbe this year.
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2005, 03:29 AM
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My vote goes with the 45/70 in guide gun form. Loaded with the hottest hardcast lead you can reliably shoot fast. I'd hate to be in that situation, but I'd have with me my 1895GS. I love the marlin 1894s, had a 1894PG in 44mg, great deer/hog/black bear/general fun gun, grizzly gun? no
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  #15  
Old 09-17-2005, 10:13 AM
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Nothing scarier than a big bear on this continent.

I remember as a kid reading bear stories in Outdoor Life at the barber shop. One I'll never forget was about a fella who was bow hunting way up in the rockies. He was on horseback when the bear surprised him and spooked his horse and he got thrown.

ALl he had to fight the bear with was some arrows he managed to drag out of his quiver while the bear was chewing on him. He just kept stabbin the bear in the neck and eventually it bled out and died.

He was a real mess, but fortunately his partner found him shortly afterward and got him out.

In thick bear country it's good to have a backup buddy close by with a big gun, too.

I used to think the 45-70 would stop anything, but I was surprised at how far a little ol black bear would go w/ a couple in him and a busted shoulder. These animals are tough!
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Old 09-17-2005, 11:20 AM
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Personally I would not pick the 44 mag over the 45-70 or a 444 either. It still perplexes me though why Mr. Venturino stated that he would. I know the 44mag can do alot of things well but I don't consider grizzly one of them.
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Old 09-17-2005, 07:32 PM
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I can't imagine anyone feeling comfortable packing a .44 mag. for grizzly protection. I've killed big bear with one shot (usually .338 mag) but I was also in on a bear kill with my hunting partner when things didn't go well. He carries a .375 H&H mag. It was our last day of the hunt and we were packing up our camp and waiting for the float-plane to show up. This big old chocolate brown grizzly came strutting around the lake we were camped on, coming for our camp. We hid in the rocks until he was about 100 yards out. My buddy busted him through the front shoulders with the 375. The bear went down like a ton of bricks but then jumped up and dove into the lake. My buddy shot him again, dead on, through the chest and down he went again. I figured he was dead because his head went under water and he just kind of laid there. All of a sudden he jumped up on his hind legs and started roaring at us. Same thing again, up and down. My buddy was shooting a Ruger #1 (single shot) and finally turned to me and asked if I'd give him a hand. I shot the bear twice and he shot him one more time before he finally went down and stayed down. You wouldn't believe what his shoulders and chest looked like when we skinned him; hamburger, shredded, unbelievable.

I've thought about buying one of those new Ruger Alaskan's in .454 just for packing meat because a rifle is such a pain when carrying a heavy pack. I still haven't decided but I may just stick with the .338 or maybe swap it out with my Marlin Guide Gun because it's easier to pack. But a .44 mag, no way!!
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Old 09-18-2005, 09:26 PM
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while I have no personal experience in dealing with mad grizzly bears, if I stood a chance of running across one, there are a couple of things I know for sure:

1) a handgun is NOT what I would choose...

2) I would want something bigger than a .44 mag...

I'm thinking a short pump shotgun full of the heaviest slugs I could find, backed up by one of those new 500 mags...and maybe a big knife on top of that!! (doubt you'd get a chance to use the knife if the guns didn't do the trick, but you never know...)
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Old 09-19-2005, 04:13 AM
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Interesting thread! The question of whether a .44 Mag will kill a Grizz?.......I am sure it will under the right situation.........but how quick? My geood friend of 45 years, Dr Joseph Lunsford, recently kiled a full grown Cape Buff with his .44 Mag. Shot at 75 yards with a scoped Smith and Wesson, backed with a guide holding a double 405. The Buff ran into a herd and bled down.
When one considers dangerous game, wild boar hogs up, they have to consider the yardage......within 25 yards and closing fast! Honest tests, like the John Linebaugh/Todd Corder, show that many bullets fail at that range.
Some requirements of dangerous game loads would be:
(1) Foremost of all would be a bullet that did not breakup! If it is a hard cast bullet it must not be brittle.
(2) A bullet that combines weight and meplat area.
(3) A velocity/bullet weight/firearm weight that is controlable.
(4) All this combined to put the animal's nose into the dirt within 25 yards.
With this in mind, the question arises as to whether we has any past records to guide us.......the answer is yes.
The Brits killed more dangerous game in Africa and India that has ever been put down anywhere. Most of us can't afford the price of those mega-bucks doubles......so what cane we do?
At Dixie Slugs, we approached that problem. While we like the Rem. 870's with Hastings rifled barrels.....we arrived at a simple solution. Many will laugh until they try one......A NEF rifle action with a lightweight rifled 20 bore barrel. It pushes a 500 gr hard cast heat treated .620" slug at 1450'/". Yes the recoil is severe in that little gun, but you will never feel the when a bad boy is about to chew on you. Single shot you say? Friends, you will be lucky to get one shot within the closing distance of dangerous game. With two more loads between your fingers of the left hand (an old African trick), a release button up top, an auto ejector......follow up shots are very quick if the animal is down and kicking
In the past fifty years of hunting, I have seen maybe three men that I felt could calnly put down dangerous game with a handgun......and I don't think that includes Grizz! Those that have been in that situation, will tell you have helpless they feel! Think about it!........James
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:58 AM
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I really appreciated your view on dangerous game. I know that even guides with big bore guns in the 375 H&H, 458 Winchester don't like the idea of putting down a charging grizzly/brown bear.

They are fast, super aggressive and when mad meaner then the dickens. Add to that their heart beats about 13 times a minute making them tougher than nails and just plain hard to kill.

I was next to a friend that got attacked in Alaska while fishing. Between the time I saw the bear and it jumped on my friend I still had not gotten my revolver out of the shoulder holster. If I had been the target of that attack I am absolutly sure I would not have had the time to get a shot at that bear.

From that point on I carried a short barreled 12 gauge pump shotgun loaded with slugs on a sling and kept a much more watchful eye where I was when fishing. The 44 stayed with me, but I never felt undergunned again.
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