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Equipment for Alaska Questions about gear and equipment needed to fish Alaska

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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 11-12-2012, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

Wouldnt an fn 57 be good for this just use uranium tipped rounds if you can get them. if not fmj. or what about the Taurus bull? thats for pistols. if youre willing to carry a rifle why not one of those elephant guns the nitrous expresses

Last edited by grassonfly; 11-12-2012 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

I don't understand the .44 Mag mystique. I have a .44 Mag pistol and rifle. I've shot deer with both, and a black bear with the rifle.

As a rifle cartridge, the .44 has about the same muzzle energy as a 30-30. As a pistol cartridge, it has about half as much.

How many people recommend shooting grizzlies with a 30-30?

Use something a lot bigger.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

A few other thoughts and I'll stop writing. Noise generally has no affect what so ever on Alaska bears. You can try a warning shot but I think you'll find it has no affect and you have one less round at your disposal. If you're in the act of chasing a bear away, lots of noise works great. If they're intent on investigating you, it just doesn't work at all. This has been my experience - yours may differ.

If you're not seriously good with your weapon(s) you might want to consider leaving them home. Poorly executed shots can do you or your buddies in and have no immediate affect on unruly bruins. Bear spray may be just the ticket to turn away curious bears but don't expect it to have any affect on charging/enraged bears. Airlines and even bush planes don't allow bear spray inside, so you'll have to purchase the stuff at your destination.

Assuming you're going on a guided trip, check with him. It's pretty unlikely a professional guide is going to want a cheechako weilding a deadly instrument while both scared by a bear and stumbling around slippery rocks. If available, take a bear safety class. Sharpen your finest weapon - your brain.

Lastly, you really have to get over the psychological dominance thing. When you're in bear country, you're not at the top of the food chain. Inexpertise with weapons when under severe stress is a recipe for disaster. As stated above, you're brain is your greatest asset. Read up on bear behavior. Learn how to identify male versus female grizzly/brown bears. Learn their body language. Learn safe camping and fishing practises. Learn what responses are appropriate for grizzly/brown bears versus black bears - it may surprise you. Ask your guide to point out points of interest about bears and their habitat along with warning signs. Learn to sing loudly in brushy areas. Enjoy seeing bears and being in their neck of the woods. They may be part of the last remnant of wildness we'll get a chance to see and feel. You should be looking forward to experiencing the Alaska wilderness and getting a chance to be around bears and wolves and lots of big fish. It doesn't get much better ...
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

I have an acquaintance who teaches Bear School for USGS. It's for their people who will be working in big bear country. He teaches NO HANDGUNS.. Short 12 ga, as has been discussed here. He has a charging bear prop, says it's like stepping into traffic moving at 35 mph. He's not opposed to handguns, per se, is a local action pistol competitor, but is adamant regarding the shotgun. Also teaches awareness/avoidance.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:26 PM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

I've shot his charging bear target and it's a good one. I largely agree with his take on handguns. Very few develop and maintain any degree of practicle expertise with a handgun. I discussed the practise I use to do every year to illustrate the level of commitment needed. Even then a .44 is a pea shooter. The Government has gone to shotguns. I'd rather have a rifle any day but that's just my opinion. Having taught both weapons to students, it seems it's easier to teach shotgun but I think the rifle is the better weapon when handled well. Actually, now that I've retired and moved to central Florida, I guess it doesn't matter and I've sold my .375. I still have my .30-06s - which I'd still rather have than a shotgun. A .30-06 bolt gun with a heavy bullet is a mighty weapon. I can't remember who said it first but a handgun is useful for fighting your way to your rifle, LOL.

All this discussion suggests some level of paranoia that is really unnecessary. If you insist on bringing a gun, I'd suggest you bring one you're familiar with and can use well. Beware the man who owns just one gun ...

Actually, I'd recommend that a visitor to Alaska do what nearly everyone does and simply rely on your guide for bear information and safety. You're a lot safer in the woods with the bears than flying in a jet or driving down a highway. If you're going camping or drifting in a remote area without a guide, then it's another story. I know several people who worked their entire adult lives in the Alaska wilds that never carried a gun and they did just fine.
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Last edited by akruss; 11-12-2012 at 01:39 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 03-16-2014, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

I'm not going to say anything that hasn't already been said, but...

My dad told me a story when I was a kid of a guy who was going to Alaska and ask the guide if he should bring his .44 mag for the bears. The guide said, absolutely, bring the .44, just make sure to file off the front sight before you come. Why would I ever file off the front sight on the gun, he wondered? Well, the guide answers, "So it doesn't hurt so bad when the bear takes that gun away from you and shoves it up your ass."

This is a very old story--people have known what doesn't work on bears for a long time. Some years ago Guns and Ammo did a test and said the only thing that would matter is a 12 gauge with rifled slugs (buckshot is useless). Rifles are completely useless in most cases--they don't have the stopping power and you can't hit a charging grizz from 50 feet anyway (which they cover in literally 2 seconds).

Like Ard said...learn about bears, and have a can of bear spray that you've practiced using. Except for rare instances, guns don't do ****.
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

does taking a dog help out at all..
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandfly View Post
does taking a dog help out at all..
The best thing is to take a buddy who runs slower than you do.

gutterpunk, back in the 70s the Alaska Fish and Game did some test and decided that Double "0" buckshot was very effective. The problem is the shooter can't wait for the bear to get close enough for it to do its job. If you can wait until the bear is 15 feet away then double buck shot is very effective.

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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2014, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Whiton View Post
The best thing is to take a buddy who runs slower than you do.

gutterpunk, back in the 70s the Alaska Fish and Game did some test and decided that Double "0" buckshot was very effective. The problem is the shooter can't wait for the bear to get close enough for it to do its job. If you can wait until the bear is 15 feet away then double buck shot is very effective.

Frank
Yes, that's fair. At close range I suppose that's the case, but as you say, most guys would be wetting' the drawers at 15 ft (myself included)--I think Guns and Ammo made a similar point--and a mad bear that close is already on you. As a purely defensive measure its better than nothing--but if one has gotten to that point then something has gone horribly wrong.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

gutterpunk, I had a sow Brown Bear with cubs charge me from about 20-25 yards. No I am not talking about a grizz north of the Alaska Range. My guess she was well over 600 pounds and had two two year old cubs almost as big as her. You do what you have to do. I had a 300 Win Mag. One in the tube, three in the mag. Still dark but enough ambient light to see outlines and contrast. I was moving to a clearing to scope for moose. Hearing what sounded like a corn thresher I turned around and my movement startled Mama bear and she stood up on her hind legs. I clicked the safety and slowly started moving back. She then dropped to all fours and charged. I put the first one over her head. Reloaded and then a second one. She was still coming and I was still backing up. I then tripped and fell backwards into some bushes. Iím sitting on my butt the bear is still coming. I then lowered the muzzle to point at the center of her chest. I was just about ready to pull the trigger and she turned and ran the opposite way with cubs in tow leaving a trail of bear **** for the effort. Could I have had the same outcome with a 44 mag maybe but after that experience my preferred firearm in bear country and Iím not talking about black bears is a Mini-30. JMHO.
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