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Thread: Recommended 44 mag ammo

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    In his book Elmer Keith would kill a grizzly at 250 yards, long way for a 44 mag but he liked it alot. good reading for sure.
    sandfly/ bob
    (www.bigmeadowsflyshop.com)
    N.J.B.B.A. #2215

    I did not escape.....they gave me a day pass!
    from the outer edge of nowhere
    fly tying and fishing Gillie..

  2. #22
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostdncr View Post

    My realistic choice for that environment? A 590A1 Mossberg loaded with 2 3/4" high-brass #00 buck. Multiple instantaneous hits will flat disconnect the CNS and require a complete reboot. By the time the system comes back on, hypovolemic shock has set in and, well, game over.

    There's my $.02
    I have to disagree with you ghostdncr - shooting buckshot at a large bear sounds like a great recipe for the bear eating "hunter du jour".

    Buckshot is usually made from soft lead pellets, and even when coated, the coating is just a thin layer of copper or nickel to avoid damaging the pellets while traveling through the barrel of the shotgun. 00 Buck is only .33 caliber - so the net result would be shooting a heavily muscled bear 9 to 12 times with a .32 ACP loaded with soft lead balls (e.g. - not even as hard as a normal FMJ). Granted you would probably get several hits, but would they penetrate enough to either break bone, damage organs or penetrate enough to disrupt the CNS? Highly doubtful. Would they stop the bear? "Good Luck!"

    I will stick with my original recomendation, a 12 gauge shotgun with 1-1/4 oz hard cast slugs (like the Brenneke Black Magic) either 2-3/4" or 3" shells. Actually, I recommend the 2-3/4" shells to make sure you do not accidently short-stroke the pump before the hull clears the receiver and causes a jam. Only use the 3" shotshells if you have a gun with either a 3-1/2 chamber (has a longer ejection port) or with a gun that has had the ejection port relieved for additional hull clearance.

    BTW - my friend further modified his carry gun for Yellowstone, a Mossberg 500 with a 16" cyl barrel, then installed a synthetic pistol grip on both receiver and fore-end. Net weight less than 5 lbs, carried on a cross shoulder sling. I got to test fire it with a full power 1oz deer slug, recoil was stiff, but definitely manageable.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
    I have to disagree with you ghostdncr - shooting buckshot at a large bear sounds like a great recipe for the bear eating "hunter du jour".
    Inside ten yards, I'm thinking a bear won't recognize the difference between a slug and a solid wad of #00 buck but once inside, the buckshot is going to splay off in all different directions. That's the multi-point wound dynamic I based my statements on.

    Looking at it from a real-world perspective though, a 590 Mossberg is heavy and a PITA to carry and fly-cast around. In line with the OP's original question, my choice there would likely lean toward S&W's M29 Mountain Gun using a hardened Keith-style SWC gas-checked at 1150-1200 fps (~11.5 grains of Unique) and LOTS of practice. Not a perfect solution by any means, but one I'd be likely to have with me should trouble arise.

    I had a Winchester 1300 with the pistol grips fore and aft. It was an impressive weapon after a bit of training and practive. Perhaps the most elegant solution to the pistol vs. shotgun argument? I couldn't agree more with your statement regarding the 2 3/4" shells. In a situation like we're discussing, 1/2" of stroke would be catastrophically easy to overlook.

    FWIW, two rules that have served me well and could easily apply here: 1. You can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight. 2. The perfect weapon is the one you actually have with you, not the one back home in closet because it's too heavy/long/expensive for everyday carry.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostdncr View Post
    Inside ten yards, I'm thinking a bear won't recognize the difference between a slug and a solid wad of #00 buck but once inside, the buckshot is going to splay off in all different directions. That's the multi-point wound dynamic I based my statements on.

    FWIW, two rules that have served me well and could easily apply here: 1. You can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight. 2. The perfect weapon is the one you actually have with you, not the one back home in closet because it's too heavy/long/expensive for everyday carry.
    Inside 10 yards? maybe, but I would sure like some evidence that soft lead balls at 10 yds would be strong enough to smash through bone to get to CNS and vital organs. Remember, just killing it is not the objective, stopping it really fast is!

    I double checked the weight of the Mossberg 500 with the 16" bbl and the dual pistol grips - slightly less than 5lbs empty, 5-1/4lbs fully loaded including the side-saddle ammo clip, and the sling. My friend carried it in a cross shoulder sling (butt toward left shoulder) so all he had to do is reach down with his right hand and grab the barrel and pull it around front to a horizontal position and it was ready to grab and fire - could even brace it against the sling. I tried it and it works pretty smoothly.

    I agree with your 2 rules.

  5. #25
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    Kenai, Alaska
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    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    [QUOTE=Brewmaster;150948]

    BTW - my friend further modified his carry gun for Yellowstone, a Mossberg 500 with a 16" cyl barrel, QUOTE]


    Hope you don't get caught carrying your friends shotgun... Minimum shotgun barrel length by federal law is 18" (If he has a special federal destructive devices permit I am wrong).
    Minimum barrel length on rifles is 16".

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    [quote=vanceinak;151751]
    Quote Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post

    BTW - my friend further modified his carry gun for Yellowstone, a Mossberg 500 with a 16" cyl barrel, QUOTE]


    Hope you don't get caught carrying your friends shotgun... Minimum shotgun barrel length by federal law is 18" (If he has a special federal destructive devices permit I am wrong).
    Minimum barrel length on rifles is 16".


    OOPS! My bad! I guess that was just one of your basic senior moments! Twice!

    My friend's Mossberg definitely has a very legal 18" barrel on it. Thanks for catching my error in flight!

  7. #27

    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    This is an ongoing debate that will never come to a full conclusion. If you choose a gun for bear protection, make sure it is something you are comfortable with and competent enough to shoot. While a short barrelled shotgun is probably ideal...let me know how effective your cast is while it is shouldered.
    A 500S&W that someone is afraid to shoot normally without the stress of a bear encounter is pointless.
    Whatever caliber you choose to carry...practice, practice, practice. Not just standing a shooting a round at static targets but think about the situation that most bear attacks happen. Surprise by both human and animal parties, very short notice and if it does happen you will be lucky to get a shot off regardless. The important thing is to make that one count.
    The heaviest hard cast projectiles you feel comfortable shooting is the best IMHO.

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  9. #28
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    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    Already reccommended. https://www.buffalobore.com/ They make some great .44 and .454 rounds.

  10. #29

    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    I float and fish in the AK wilderness every year. I bring a 44 along and bear spray. Frankly, I'm not a big believer in my ability to slow down or stop a charging bear by shooting it with a 44. However, I will say that the considerable sound made by a 44 can disuade a bear - I know this from personal experience when I got in a pretty dicey situation that was neither my fault nor the mom and cubs' fault.
    That being said, if given a choice between bear spray and a 44, I'd take the spray. The spray covers a heck of a lot more area than a bullet - especially when you're shaking like hell.

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  12. #30

    Default Re: Recommended 44 mag ammo

    I'll throw in my experience and advice but the final decision is up to you, of course. I worked in Alaska all of my adult life and until fairly recently spent 3 to 5 months a year in remote areas where I generally had to rely on myself and rarely others for my well being. I also gave firearms and bear protection classes most years to resource types. The classes consisted primarily of bear behavior and how to peacefully coexist. When working alone I always carried a S&W .44 in a shoulder holster under a surveyor's vest. I carried handloads that consisted of full house magnums with hard cast Keith style semi-wadcutters. There are lots of newer factory loads that are probably just as good or better but that's what I carried. I practised drawing the revolver with either hand and shooting it with one or both strong and weak hands. A friend once suggested that reaching a level of expertise required shooting some 2,000 service loads, magnums in this case, over a period of 2 or 3 months. This practise consisted of slow and rapid fire, reloading drills and coming from the leather with full gear on. This rule of thumb seemed to work fairly well. The real trick was having ammo and keeping up the practise while remaining in the woods for months. Not shooting for even a few weeks seriously reduces your effectiveness. This sounds like a lot of trouble but if you really think you're going protect yourself with a revolver, you need to have a high level of expertise. I guess you have to be somewhat of a gun nut and have enough rubles to play.

    If I was really concerned about bear problems, I carried a .375 H&H rifle with heavy bullets in addition to the .44. I tried having assistants carry the rifle but we generally wound up with the bear on one side, the assistant (read that somewhat lacking experience) on the other and me in the middle. This situation made me more nervous than just dealing with the bear. It would be nice to have an experienced hand holding a rifle and watching over you.

    I know everyone likes the idea of an inexpensive and relatively lightweight shotgun. I'm not very fond of these guns for a number of reasons. We use to make burn barrels in our main camps to incinerate garbage. This required making holes in 55 gallon barrels. The youngsters would line up with buckshot and let loose at the barrel. The shot would make dents but no holes. My .44 made a hole going in and another coming out. This was child's play and a waste of ammo for a .375. I never tried hard slugs. Maybe they do better. Lastly, pump shotguns are difficult guns to handle and require practise which means lots of ammo - again. I took a shotgun class with the local PD and shot 3 cases of ammo in 3 days. While I was a bit sore, I felt like I knew how to handle my shotgun. You still have to practise to maintain your skills.

    I always carried bear spray. Make sure you get a few cans of the stuff to spray off for practise. Try to imagine being close enough to a bear to be able to spray it in the eyes - the only place it works. It's scarey close. Make sure you try spraying the stuff up wind and side wind. I've never found spray to be a confidence builder. I carried it with a gun for backup.

    Everyone likes to talk about stopping a charging bear. A real predatory charge from an adult bear would be tough to stop with anything. Same with an enraged sow protecting her cubs. With any luck at all your confrontations will be with a smaller/younger bears who are somewhat unsure of themselves. Your best weapon is your brain and maybe your buddies, assuming there are some around. Staying alert and cautious is everything. Going for your gun is like hiring a lawyer - you've already lost on some level.

    Sorry for the long post but it's a complex subject. This is only my humble opinion and I don't mean to argue with any other post.
    Last edited by akruss; 11-12-2012 at 12:30 AM. Reason: addition

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