HSM .44 Magnum Gel Test

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

From TFB.  Those who live in big bear country can weigh in, but it looks to me like .44 Magnum is enough to get the toughest job done.


Comments

  1. On September 5, 2017 at 8:18 am, Blake said:

    I ran across and article a few years where a man stopped a charging bear with a 45 acp. From the way it sounded, the gun was probably loaded with 230 grain fmj.

    My point being that bullet selection makes a difference when it comes to dangerous game, like a bear.

    One does not shoot a bear with a hollow point, because there is a good chance the bullet will not properly penetrate the dense bone and muscle on a bear. Generally, one should use some sort of hard cast bullet.

    Anyway, it’s impressive the bullet in the video penetrated that much gel but I have to ask what would happen if the same rounded was used on a bone that was surrounded by thick skin and dense muscle. It looks like the round should do some serious damage but the hollow point does make me wonder a bit.

  2. On September 5, 2017 at 8:20 am, Fred said:

    I have a question about loads for bear; caliber aside, is FMJ a better round to hit a bear with than a self-defense round? I would think that it would be due to heavy coat, thick hide, and it being a well muscled animal. Anybody?

  3. On September 5, 2017 at 8:19 pm, rocketguy said:

    I would submit that a 300 grn XTP is not your average expanding round. You’re not whacking a several hundred pound animal with something that’s designed with 180-ish lb 2-legged critters in mind. It is designed to expand then penetrate deep. I would probably reach for a hard cast bullet in that situation…but I cast my own so it’s an easy choice. I wouldn’t feel under-gunned with this load or something similar

  4. On September 5, 2017 at 10:12 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    @rocketguy,

    So do you carry a .44 magnum wheel gun for PD, and if so, what ammunition do you use?

  5. On September 5, 2017 at 11:21 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    @ Fred

    If I were thinking about a “bear” and the proper load or response to a planned meeting as such, I wouldn’t have a 44 at all (or a 45 acp ) for the planned event. I’d have a 12 gauge with a 20″ rifled slug barrel, full barrel length tube loaded with brenneke 600gr black magic 3″ magnum slugs. Velocity at the muzzle 1,502…Energy at the muzzle 3,014. At 100y still flying @ 955 ft/sec with a 1.5″ drop…still slamming a target with a bear stopping energy of 1,219 ft/lbs.

    All things being equal…if I had no plans to meet a bear, and I was in the bush for other reasons, which is most of the time, a 44 mag will be hanging under my left armpit, out of the way and loaded for bear…the 300gr XTP being an outstanding choice. I don’t have any personal defense loads for my 44. Can’t really tell you if there is such a thing. My revolver is the heavy frame variety and is made for cannonballs.

    And I hate bears.

  6. On September 6, 2017 at 7:58 am, Fred said:

    @Alaskin,
    Thanks. I was hoping that you would weigh in. You answered my question by way of the word ‘slug’.

    No browns around here but I have ‘encountered’ several bears in the Appalachians. They are fairly habituated to humans so if you yell at them they tend to run off. It’s the ones that don’t run off that you have to worry about. The thing about bears is that they are not slow lumbering noisy animals. They can be 10ft from you and you would never know it. I was on the Benton Macaye trail and a black seemed to be shadowing me but most likely was off the trail on purpose just going the same way along the ridge. I stopped and watched him, he took 2 steps and completely disappeared less than 20yrds from me without making a sound. Anyway, I like bears but mostly because they have never threatened me or my property…understanding that others mileage may vary widely.

  7. On September 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm, TheAlaskan said:

    @ Fred

    That Black that was “shadowing” you was most likely stalking you. He decided you were too big or too ornery to take down, so he (mostly males by the way, who stalk and eat people) left you alone. Habituated bears to humans are the most dangerous bears and their behavior worsens as they get older. Unless they suffer some kind of unpleasant experience connected to humans, they will get bolder and meaner until you will be forced to dispatch them. And sows bringing their cubs along for your daily, uneaten dog food on the porch or your unsecured bag of garbage, is condemning her spawn to a short life because of human carelessness in bear country.

    If you see a bear sniffing around your property, shoot it immediately with non-lethal rubber bullets in a shotgun. Shoot it as many times as you can. HURT IT! If you never see it again, then feel good that you just might have saved its’ life.

    This is where “I hate bears” comes from in my case. To many freezers, smoke-houses, cabins, downed game etc.

    In Alaska, drawing bears because carelessness in a citation-able offense.

  8. On September 6, 2017 at 5:08 pm, rocketguy said:

    If I gave the impression I carried one regularly, I apologize. I have carried a Model 29 with hard cast handloads while bear hunting but never got a chance to poke a hole in one so I can’t say how effective they would have been. I was just pointing out that expanding loads aren’t created equal and saying “never use a hollow point on a bear” isn’t Gospel.

  9. On September 7, 2017 at 5:10 pm, ExpatNJ said:

    “TheAlaskan” is right! May I add:

    – Refrain from deep-woods activity when bears are in rut
    – Don’t cook or store food in tents, campsites, or vehicles
    – Seal-able garbage cans
    – Stay away from AND REPORT neighbors/others who illegally feed ’em
    – Report inappropriate bear activity to rangers / Fish & Game, etc
    – [your suggestion here]
    But … don’t forget a Plan B …

    PS. It may be Verboten to shoot a bear; check your state laws.

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You are currently reading "HSM .44 Magnum Gel Test", entry #17643 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published September 4th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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