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View Full Version : Help..is .44 mag OK for Alaska


FATBOY
02-28-2006, 01:40 PM
I need a little help. I am attending a wedding in Anchorage AK. in July and plan on camping, hiking, and fishing for two or three days. The largest caliber handgun I own is a .44 mag Ruger Vequero. Will it be adequate against brown bears? I don't have any plans on meeting any, but just to be safe. We will have 3 or 4 cans of bear spray but no firearms. I also have a Springfield 1911 45acp that I am more comfortable with. How about that? Any and all help would be appreciated. I have never flown with a firearm before and want to make sure it's even worth it.

Not sure if this should be here or the handgun section.

btown02
02-28-2006, 01:49 PM
I need a little help. I am attending a wedding in Anchorage AK. in July and plan on camping, hiking, and fishing for two or three days. The largest caliber handgun I own is a .44 mag Ruger Vequero. Will it be adequate against brown bears? I don't have any plans on meeting any, but just to be safe. We will have 3 or 4 cans of bear spray but no firearms. I also have a Springfield 1911 45acp that I am more comfortable with. How about that? Any and all help would be appreciated. I have never flown with a firearm before and want to make sure it's even worth it.

Not sure if this should be here or the handgun section.
I don't know that I would even think of shooting a brown bear with a .44 and sure would never use a .45acp. With those big guys you start at about a .454 and up in power, and that's for a backup gun for bear. The beast gun for bear is a rifle or a good pump 12 ga. with slugs. Just my opinion. Now the best protection from brown bear is always be with someone who runs slower than you do.

FATBOY
02-28-2006, 02:00 PM
That's what I was thinking. For rifles all I have that may be adequate are a 30-30 and a 12ga. Just not sure I want to hike with them. I just want to be safe than sorry. I guess I would rather trip a friend than make a bear mad. My wife is going and she can't run that fast hmm.................?

mjohn
02-28-2006, 02:01 PM
I am sure opinions will vary widley on this but here goes


I have some relatives that live in Alaska, one in fact who works as security on the Alaskan pipeline. He is stationed out in the middle of no where for 4 to 6 weeks and has responsibility of about 200 miles of pipeline. Every one of the people he works with carry a side arm as they are in and out of vehicles all the time checking this and that and bear encounters are not uncommon, its rare that they ever have to shoot or spray one but it does happen. He said while you see a little bit of everything from 357mag to 500 S&W, the Ruger Vaquero or more common the old Super Black hawk in 44mag seem to be the most common. I donít agree or disagree, but most people he sees carry a revolver in what ever caliber they choose as they feel it more reliable in the extreme conditions they work in. He also said he sees the S&W M29 in 44mag a lot as well.

Have fun!

Nosferatu
02-28-2006, 02:13 PM
I am often out in bear/mountain lion country and pack my S&W 629 5" everywhere I go. With Hornady 300gr XTP's, it will take down anything out here. I wouldn't feel uncomfortable carrying it in Alaska either, you may just need a couple extra shots :D

A 12ga would be ideal, but it's a bit of a PITA to pack around. Your chances of a deadly encounter are pretty slim. With the 44 and the bear spray, I think you'd be well armed.

I believe it's more important to be aware of where you are and your surroundings. Don't do anything stupid and 99% of the time you won't encounter any trouble.

Wales
02-28-2006, 02:37 PM
Just my opinion. Now the best protection from brown bear is always be with someone who runs slower than you do.


:D

jmz5
02-28-2006, 03:06 PM
:D /\
l

Crunge
02-28-2006, 03:11 PM
I've been to Alaska a couple of times. The last time, the guy I was visiting said that .44 magnum is the most common thing he sees carried. He said the .44 magnum was the only handgun he'd consider (although I've heard others say a 10mm will work as well.)

Best of luck up there. It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

panzermk2
03-07-2006, 09:42 AM
For when in bear land I pack a super black hawk with Corbons 305 copper solids desigened for bears. I also carry my Weatherby 378mag in the vehicle.
BUT to make things easier to carry I also have a Marlin giude/short barrrel lever action in 44mag.Same round as the wheel gun for ease of packing, And out of the longer barrel the Corbon really hits hard.
I am a big 10mm fan but in this case you need lots of frontal area, wieght and velocity to smash through all that bone and meat, sometimes coming at you in a sprint that can exceed 35mph

Sometimes people recommend the wear bells and carry pepper/bear spray
When in bear country it a good idea to be able to tell the
Excrement difference between black and brown bears.
The main difference between the two is brown/grizzly bears poo
Smells like pepper and has small pieces of bells in it

Injust about every case I have read bear spray has been used against an AGGRESIVE Browny
meaning one not laying around or not feeling threatend by you IT HAS NOT WORKED. Check out this link. also I am on the road at home I have a page bookmark marked concerning bear attacks and its not run by huggers but poeple who report the facts about bear attacks.I will try to find and post.

http://www.alaska.com/activities/bears/story/4434968p-4676055c.html

cerebrus
03-07-2006, 12:44 PM
while I agree with the "hike with someone slower than you" motto it is also important to stress to your party the importance of playing dead. If you do this the bear wont attack you and wont bother you....




Now if you get attacked not only can you run faster than that guy slower than you but the ones faster than you will be laying down looking like a roast pig with an apple in their mouths to the bear :D Win/Win situation.

panzermk2
03-07-2006, 05:43 PM
while I agree with the "hike with someone slower than you" motto it is also important to stress to your party the importance of playing dead. If you do this the bear wont attack you and wont bother you....




Now if you get attacked not only can you run faster than that guy slower than you but the ones faster than you will be laying down looking like a roast pig with an apple in their mouths to the bear :D Win/Win situation.


Knew the first part, LOOOOOOOove the second :MM