Black Bears & Bullets?


Bears are rampaging godless killing machines. Most handgun rounds will barely rustle their jimmies.
Your correct. The main reason is because of the bullet construction that is designed to stop humans, and not have overpenetration.
Maximum penetration is the key to a hunting bullet. The bullet must retain enough energy after crashing though bone and hide to hit the vitals. When I elk hunt in the mountains, I prefer to hunt alone. Along with a rifle, there is a .44mag Super Redhawk, loaded with 300 grain Elmer Kieth hard cast bullets, powered by 21.5 grains of H110, travelling 1300 FPS. Its bear and cougar country, so seeing tracks in the snow is not uncommon. If possible, I'll radio one of the other guys to stand by while the field dressing goes on just to stand watch.
Again, 99% of the time, they won't bother you. Enjoy the beautiful country.

Scott Hearn

Well-Known Member
If you have to use the .38 Special find the heaviest weight jacketed bullet you can find that's NOT a hollow point. 180 grains isn't too much and your sole and only objective is penetration. Forget expansion in this application. And obviously the hottest load you can find should go without saying.

One might get eated doing this, but if it were me, I think I'd wait as long as possible and unload the gun right in its mouth when within spitting distance. My hope would be that I would get an angle that would allow a bullet into the spine right behind the skull. Going through the throat might or might not get it there. I think I would forgo a warning shot and keep the bullet for the business at hand. I'd much rather have a 12 gauge for this.


Well-Known Member
Kurt, "The Tunnel" is no longer a's a tourist/eclectic/collectible "stop"...but they do have a pop machine...

Man America is dying slowly! Our summer range down in Hachita is soo different now as well, the Desert Inn is closed down too. I guess you can't get a beer in New Mexico any longer. Still didn't say why you ended up there....but that you ended up there is enough. Let me know in a P.M. if you want. Kurt


New Member
If'n I were to try a brilliant idea like filling a 38spl case with 357mag load data, it I'd probably use 357 cases or +P+ headstamp 38spl.


Founding Member
What about a Glock in 10 mm auto? The full size one has 15 round mags. So lots of shots and fast reloads. The 10 mm puts a lot of energy on target. About 750 ftlbs.
That is my bear gun for the mountains and I plan to take it to Alaska in a year of two for a carry gun. I was shooting 3/8" steel plate with mine the other day...same plates I use all the time for practice with my 9mm, .40 and .45 acps....and the 10 mm was not going all the way through the plate but almost and bulging the back of it out bad. I need to take some pics of the plates for you guys. I could not believe the damage it was doing. Made me feel real comfortable with the gun for bears. I bought some Corbon 180 hard cast hunting loads for bearville.


Active Member
.50GI, .50AE, big bore revolvers :) or a .50 beowulf pistol... or maybe just the .577 trex. Not that I have any of these or have shot any of these I just think if you have reason to use a cannon use a cannon instead of hoping for the pea shooter to work.


Grizzley ammo

Lol. If you ha ve these id love to shoot them :D

Burk Cornelius

Formerly 'BurkLee'
Staff member
Sorry Sandy, I just realized your question was about black bear. My experience with grizzly bear is not relevant. I doubt if I would even need a switch for a cuddly little black bear. I would just say "black bear go away"

Sorry for cluttering up your thread.................


Fear the Duck
Well there you are, Sandy. I thought you fell off the earth. Gorgeous area you're in. Hope all is well. Hope you are happy.

My in-laws lived in Alomorgordo, but that is definitely past tense. They both passed on too soon.

We got a new Springer Spaniel puppy. She is 9 mos. old and we call her Alba, cuz she's all white, save her black head.


We got a new Springer Spaniel puppy. She is 9 mos. old and we call her Alba, cuz she's all white, save her black head.


Email some pictures of Alba , please....!! :yes:

Working on overcoming my fear of bears by hanging out with dead ones...


Fill in the Blank
just think of a bear as a pig.... a pig with fur... and long toe nails... and pearly white teeth.

It always worked for me....

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