Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 1 decade ago

Scenario: .44 mag revolver or .45 acp semi-auto pistol vs. grizzly bear?

Scenario 1: You are backpacking in bear country. You are charged by a 500 - 600 lb. GRIZZLY bear. You pull out your handgun to shoot, miss with the first 3 shots..... Which do you have more faith in stopping the bear? a. the remainder of your shots (likely 3) in your .44 magnum revolver (assuming 6 shots, correct me if i'm wrong) or b. the remains shots (7 or more) in your .45 ACP semi-auto pistol. What if you miss 2 more shots and the 6th fails to stop the GRIZZLY, would you want the .45 ACP even if it's traditionally under-powered for the situation.

Scenario 2. Run the same scenario with a 300 lb. BLACK bear please.

Thank you.

I'm just wondering if it's better to have more shots with a weaker semi-automatic pistol or less shots with a more power revolver.


Cane Toad Mutiny: Please answer my question as I have it in the scenario. Thank you.

Update 2:

Alright Peter Griffin! You made some good points. Whatif your last revolver shot failed to stop the animal. Now what? Wood you be better of with the .45 ACP

Update 3:

Thank you Middleton Resident!

Update 4:

Thank you for the answer "Bob K"! I appreciate the time you put into the scenario.

The scenario came up as I watched a video of a Grizzly. charging. In order for the bear to reach the person it had to weave around some big rocks and trees so the shooter wasn't getting the best shot at the bear. It wasn't until the bear was ~30 feet away that the shooter had a clear shot.

The other reason why I asked about a .45 ACP was that many people have them and may not buy a .44 revolver for the 1 or 2 times a year that they go to mountains.

I asked specifically about the black bear being that it's in the weight range of a large man. Why couldn't a .45 ACP take down a black bear then?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Nothing less than a 44 mag for the grizzly, independent of your scenario. I believe that it is the minimum size handgun that you stand a good job of disabling the bear with a single shot. A 45 just won't have the penetration. The 44 mag has almost twice the energy as the .45 acp, providing enough energy to penetrate to the heart/lungs.

    A 45 acp will stop a 300 lb man, so it would probably be sufficient for a a 300 lb bear. In that case the number of rounds and faster follow-up in a 45 auto (as many as 15 plus spare mags) might be the advantage.

    Also, concerning your scenario, in a bear attack I would be surprised if you had enough time to recognize the threat; draw you handgun; and get off all six shots in a revolver before he was on you.

  • Bob K
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    44 magnum with the heaviest,stoutest big game hunting loads I could buy for the rig!

    This is the traditional big game hunting round and personal defense round for bears.

    Your thinking more rounds is better of a totally underpowered round, the 45 acp, for an incorrect application. Killing a bear efficiently and quickly.

    The 45 acp is a great personal defense round for people, who are much more thin skinned and covered with less tough hair than a bear.

    But to penetrate all that hair and hide and have any chance at killing the bear, you need a bit more heavier round propelled some good amount fps faster.

    Your shooting scenarios seems to be rather complicated. A well placed shot with a suitable handgun is much better than letting go of many rounds. Time and distance are working against you.

    You are doing yourself a fatal disservice shooting so much before hooking in brain, eye/hand coordination to the work at saving your life with one or two well placed shots. And having one or several more to finally kill the animal.

    But a bear attack even with a successful defense may leave you injured or heaven forbid, dead. The real thing happening has no ordained or guaranteed outcome.

    Good thinking exercise to sort out what could possibly happen!


  • 1 decade ago

    Whichever bear I might encounter, I'll rely on a .44 Mag revolver, not a .45 ACP semi-auto pistol. I don't miss with my first shot, let alone my first three. Bears are big animals, so you'd have to be a very bad shot to miss one at close range. For black bear, I carry a Smith & Wesson .44 Mag revolver, and for grizzlies, I'd carry a S&W .500 revolver. One powerful bullet beats several of much less power.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    "American Classic" has a 1911 made in Indonesia,I think which sounded like a bit of a turn off but we have sold more than a few, and a couple guys say they have shot thousands of rounds of everything...and keeps running. But selling for about 475 here. think I'd try to find a used glock if you can live with no external safety. If you look around you can find knew S&W M&P 40's for almost $400 if you can live with a 40, 45's are a bit more...and if you have an ffl that won't charge much for the transfer.. There are some used Glock 40's (M22), LE trade ins around now for under $400 with night sights. email or IM in yahoo if I can help

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  • 1 decade ago

    Your scenario is a bit artificial. If you've missed your first three shots, then the bear is already gnawing on you, so you should certainly be able to hit on your fourth. I'd want 300 grains of hard lead alloy in that fourth shot.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The 44 mag, simply because I wouldn't have missed 3 times and the 44 mag delivers much more energy to the target.

    Source(s): No I will not answer your question as you have it in the scenario because it's an unlikely scenario and unrealistic. I know for a fact I wouldn't miss 3 times. Thanks for the thumbs down child.
  • 1 decade ago

    Revolver... never fails to fire... whereas a semi auto can jam easier... or mischamber.

    plus as the first poster said, more stopping power from the .44 mag.

    Ideally Id have a S&W .500 revolver for this situation.

    OR a Thompson Contender in .444 Marlin caliber or .30-30winchester! !

  • 1 decade ago

    If you ever tangle with a grizzly either one will work just fine as about all it is good for is to press against your head and say goodbye. Shooting the grizzly will just enrage him further.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    .44 Magnum. Quantum leap in the power level.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    44 MAG XTP 300 GRAIN

    Source(s): GOT UM
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