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Have you ever heard of the saying "ignorance is bliss"? Meaning, you do not know what you do not know.....if you do not really know about something, you do worry about it. Well, that saying describes me and my knowledge about black bears.....until everything started to "click" today.

@Cuda66 and @Powerman have made some good points in their posts! I'm probably considered to be the exception to the general rules of hiking in the wilderness since my odds of encountering a sow with her cub(s) or other black bears are very high. After all, they are coming into my yard weekly from now and into October. I have a home in CO. Maybe if I put a rail fencing up around the property, that might help. I happen to live on a corner lot and maybe they are taking a shortcut through my yard past my sliding glass door. As mentioned before, a neighbor has some type of apple trees that may be drawing them in....who knows.

From various readings, it sounds like the black bears have found a food source in the area and are not scared of people living in the area. So the chances of an encounter when we take our dogs out at night are quite high. With that said, I have been reading A LOT this past 24 hours and now realize that black bears can be VERY aggressive.

Quickly summing up the various articles I read, most people out hiking or in the wilderness are not observant of their surroundings due to them looking down when they are hiking/walking. This actually isn't surprising since most people leaving shopping centers/stores behave the same. Individuals hiking should stop frequently and look around the area.

Another couple of facts was most bears come up to within 30 feet from you to check you out and decide whether to charge, bluff charge, or retreat. Most bear spray can go 30 feet BUT may be limited to much shorter distances to wind and weather conditions. Articles tend to agree the average distance the bear was prior to attacking before the hiker noticed the bear was only 14 feet! Also, articles say the bear can cover 44 feet in a second! Articles also say when it comes to black bears, you should put up a fight and NEVER play dead (as one might due in a grizzly attack) since the black bear will not stop the attack.

So, @Cuda66 and @Powerman were correct in posting/alluding to that one would be better off with a higher caliber round and power since you probably would only get off one shot at best with that distance. I started this thread saying the main purpose was for bear protection and gradually was swaying toward possible everyday carrying. I lost focus for a while and I sure do appreciate all the great suggestions people have posted.

As can be seen partly in my bear videos, I have trees and shrubs in the area that could easily hide a bear. Perhaps I or the dogs would hear them walking, perhaps not. However, looking at where we walk our dogs, even in the "safest open area", a bear encounter will more likely be less than 30 feet. I do plan on installing more cameras in other areas surrounding my home.

With that said, I am going to try and rent a .44 to see if I can handle the recoil. If I could, I would try and rent a .41, but I seriously doubt ranges have any. I've read that many ranges will not allow individuals to shoot .44 magnums. Hopefully, my local gun ranges can accommodate. Below are the loads that are made for the .44 and .41. Feel free to comment on any experiences you have with any of these loads.

Thanks again for all the posts!!!

ETA: As I was typing this post, two black bears came into my yard. You can see them in the distance go to my neighbor and then a few seconds later you hear a loud crash.....Two black bears 30 minutes ago video
That is the downside of .41--you aren't likely to find rental.

Personally, after getting RA a few years ago, I found that I just couldn't shoot .44 mag anymore; 2-3 shots would have me in pain forth next several days (particularly if it was a real magnum). .41, however...I can shoot without problems; really, really hot loads will have me a little sore, but I've got to fire several cylinders worth. I've slowly sold most of my .44's, down to just a couple now...but my .41's have stuck around. A 3" PC model 657 comes with me when I visit the in-laws out in the Bitterroots, loaded with Federal 255gr HCFP's. They'll have plenty of penetration, and, more importantly, I can control them. For non-ursine problems, the .41 Winchester Silvertip 175 @ 1250FPS is a dandy fight stopper, and easy to control...as is a 210gr XTP factory load. The Barnes 180gr at 1500fps is my deerslayer load out of a 7.5" 657...if it's within 50 yards, it's down--75 if I've got a good rest and a good shot. I download coated 200gr SWC's for practice, right around 1000fps...easy on the wrists.

That's why I like .41's.

That being said...if I could still run a .44, it'd likely be a better choice. More options both in platform and ammo, as well as better availability. The heavy hardcast loads are perfect for your situation, and if you want something for 2 legged problems, the 180gr Remington SJHP is about the best antipersonnel load there is. Add in .44spl for practice...it does make more sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
I was just using "Ammoseek" to look up .44 and .41 ammo. There were a number of choices for .44, though very expensive compared to .40 or 9mm commercial ammo I have been accumulating over the years ;) Very, very expensive when compared to my reloads.

I just haven't had the need to buy any ammo the last few or so years and did not realize the price increases. I have high round counts plus plenty of powder, bullets, and cases for .40, 9mm, and .38. I could not find any .41 special or mag loads except bear loads. When it comes to self-defense, price is not an issue. I would like to find .41 special to practice with if I went with the .41.

So I went to Dillon Precision since I have a 550B to look for dies in .44 or .41. You probably have guessed by now, they are not available but are on backorder. Again, the ideal situation would be to rent each caliber and test them out on the range before deciding upon one......
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
....Personally, after getting RA a few years ago.....
FWIW, I was raised by my grandparents. My grandfather had RA so bad, he had to stop driving and was faced with possibly using a wheelchair. We moved from Winona/St. Charles area to southern AZ. Within six months, my grandfather was up and walking all around. He still didn't drive, so we walked to the grocery store, bank, etc. The AZ heat really did work for his RA....
 

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I was just using "Ammoseek" to look up .44 and .41 ammo. There were a number of choices for .44, though very expensive compared to .40 or 9mm commercial ammo I have been accumulating over the years ;) Very, very expensive when compared to my reloads.

I just haven't had the need to buy any ammo the last few or so years and did not realize the price increases. I have high round counts plus plenty of powder, bullets, and cases for .40, 9mm, and .38. I could not find any .41 special or mag loads except bear loads. When it comes to self-defense, price is not an issue. I would like to find .41 special to practice with if I went with the .41.

So I went to Dillon Precision since I have a 550B to look for dies in .44 or .41. You probably have guessed by now, they are not available but are on backorder. Again, the ideal situation would be to rent each caliber and test them out on the range before deciding upon one......
The thing with 44 is it has a HUGE range of loads. So it's pretty impossible to say you can't shoot a 44 well and comfortably. 44 spl cowboy load is litterally 45 ACP. 230gr at 850 fps. In 4 lb+ revolver it's like 9mm. And then you go up from there. I was trying to stick around hot 44 spl, or mild mag. Normal 44 mag... 1st shot was like... What's all the fuss about... By second cylinder I'm flinching like crazy... So again for you purpose, if you ever did really have to use it... You wouldn't even notice the first couple... You would probably be thinking you wish you had hot. 😊

And I stand by saying for bear... You load for bear... But dude... Bears walking your property on the daily is NOT cool. It's not like we have bears all over the place here. I go backountry and I'm not too concerned with running into one in CO. But damn... You neighbor's really need to do something about the food sources. Usually when bears are THAT comfortable around people... They get relocated. That's kind of crazy you have so much activity where you are.
 

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That is the downside of .41--you aren't likely to find rental.

Personally, after getting RA a few years ago, I found that I just couldn't shoot .44 mag anymore; 2-3 shots would have me in pain forth next several days (particularly if it was a real magnum). .41, however...I can shoot without problems; really, really hot loads will have me a little sore, but I've got to fire several cylinders worth. I've slowly sold most of my .44's, down to just a couple now...but my .41's have stuck around. A 3" PC model 657 comes with me when I visit the in-laws out in the Bitterroots, loaded with Federal 255gr HCFP's. They'll have plenty of penetration, and, more importantly, I can control them. For non-ursine problems, the .41 Winchester Silvertip 175 @ 1250FPS is a dandy fight stopper, and easy to control...as is a 210gr XTP factory load. The Barnes 180gr at 1500fps is my deerslayer load out of a 7.5" 657...if it's within 50 yards, it's down--75 if I've got a good rest and a good shot. I download coated 200gr SWC's for practice, right around 1000fps...easy on the wrists.

That's why I like .41's.

That being said...if I could still run a .44, it'd likely be a better choice. More options both in platform and ammo, as well as better availability. The heavy hardcast loads are perfect for your situation, and if you want something for 2 legged problems, the 180gr Remington SJHP is about the best antipersonnel load there is. Add in .44spl for practice...it does make more sense.
That's really it... I wanted a hand cannon, but I'm not near as young as I think I am. I won't say I have RA, but I probably will. My hands generally hurt after a lot of rounds. My family has it. Of course I still want to be tough and say I can handle anything... But nope... This train only goes one way and it seems to be going faster. 😊 So I still can, but it's not "fun"... And I just don't run into too many bears... But damn those S&W PCs are so sweet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
The thing with 44 is it has a HUGE range of loads........ Your neighbor's really need to do something about the food sources. Usually when bears are THAT comfortable around people... They get relocated. That's kind of crazy you have so much activity where you are.
So true about load sources. As for the neighborhood, being that it is in a mountainous area, there probably is an unlimited supply of black bears. I receive Ring notices from other areas nearby. All the bears in the video are different ones......

... I wanted a hand cannon, but I'm not near as young as I think I am....Of course I still want to be tough and say I can handle anything... But nope... This train only goes one way and it seems to be going faster. 😊 So I still can, but it's not "fun"... And I just don't run into too many bears... But damn those S&W PCs are so sweet!
I know exactly what you mean as my mind still thinks I'm that 20-year old that can still lift a man using one arm and push him hanging against a wall. My mind says no limitations, my body says ignore your mind....
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
The thing with 44 is it has a HUGE range of loads. So it's pretty impossible to say you can't shoot a 44 well and comfortably. 44 spl cowboy load is litterally 45 ACP. 230gr at 850 fps. In 4 lb+ revolver it's like 9mm. And then you go up from there. I was trying to stick around hot 44 spl, or mild mag. Normal 44 mag... 1st shot was like... What's all the fuss about... By second cylinder I'm flinching like crazy... So again for you purpose, if you ever did really have to use it... You wouldn't even notice the first couple... You would probably be thinking you wish you had hot. 😊

And I stand by saying for bear... You load for bear... But dude... Bears walking your property on the daily is NOT cool. It's not like we have bears all over the place here. I go backountry and I'm not too concerned with running into one in CO. But damn... You neighbor's really need to do something about the food sources. Usually when bears are THAT comfortable around people... They get relocated. That's kind of crazy you have so much activity where you are.
Well, both my SIL and I bought the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan .44 and expect to pick them up next week. In the meantime, I quickly learned there is practically zero training type ammo (.44 special) available. Whereas, I can easily buy the Buffalo Bore defensive ammo.

Since I have a Dillon Precision 550B, I called DP to inquire about .44 dies and was told they were back-ordered and I should expect 48 weeks. Yes, forty-eight weeks before they come in. While .44 cases are available on some sites, the bullets are not. You can imagine how disappointed we are. The good thing is that we can cancel the purchases right up to the very moment we arrive at the sales counter. Thus, unless we find .44 training ammo from a respectable vendor, plan B (10 mm) will be our next choice. It appears there are many vendors that have 10 mm FMJ, etc. in stock.

So, do you or anyone else have any ideas where one can buy .44 special ammo today?
 

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Good luck. There is no special recipe for ammo. I would assume no 44 mag is more a function of low volume. Everyone is making all the popular stuff they can.

Brass, primers, and powder has been gone for a long time, but 44 bullets... Humm. Even dies... Dies are showing up.

So, all I can say is get on gun broker. People sell any ammo you want. Yes there are some asking 3-4 times normal, but you can generally get double the normal price. You can certainly get ammo, you don't have to stock up. 44 spl should not be premium money. And yes... 44 mag is expensive. There is no cheap plinking ammo. Not to many people go plinking with 44 mag.

So... Get a couple boxes to have. Get a couple to shoot.... If it wasn't double the price, you would just shot twice as much. Gun broker, arms America, arms list...
 

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Well, both my SIL and I bought the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan .44 and expect to pick them up next week. In the meantime, I quickly learned there is practically zero training type ammo (.44 special) available. Whereas, I can easily buy the Buffalo Bore defensive ammo.

Since I have a Dillon Precision 550B, I called DP to inquire about .44 dies and was told they were back-ordered and I should expect 48 weeks. Yes, forty-eight weeks before they come in. While .44 cases are available on some sites, the bullets are not. You can imagine how disappointed we are. The good thing is that we can cancel the purchases right up to the very moment we arrive at the sales counter. Thus, unless we find .44 training ammo from a respectable vendor, plan B (10 mm) will be our next choice. It appears there are many vendors that have 10 mm FMJ, etc. in stock.

So, do you or anyone else have any ideas where one can buy .44 special ammo today?
Do you have large pistol primers and some WW 231 or IMR 7625 by chance?
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Do you have large pistol primers and some WW 231 or IMR 7625 by chance?
No, but I found a load in my Speer manual for a 200gr mag-jhp using AA#5 which I have plenty of. It looks as if I can buy all the components except large pistol primers. The round would be 751-878 muzzle velocity which would be perfect for practice.

With that said, I did finally find some practice rounds. While the muzzle velocity is higher (1,230) than I want for practice rounds, it will have to make due.
 

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No, but I found a load in my Speer manual for a 200gr mag-jhp using AA#5 which I have plenty of. It looks as if I can buy all the components except large pistol primers. The round would be 751-878 muzzle velocity which would be perfect for practice.

With that said, I did finally find some practice rounds. While the muzzle velocity is higher (1,230) than I want for practice rounds, it will have to make due.
Ok
 

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I have the 4.5 OSP model and love it. I cam get near 1 ragged hole groups at 25 yards off the bench. It has also handled my nuclear loads that I have for deer and bear.


Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

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i have the G20, sold the G29.
purchased two XDMs, 4.5 10MM.
both threw brass into the next county. put in solid guide rods and extra power springs. that helped.
the 4.5's are my choice for carry on the coast of Lake Superior. black bear will be discouraged from eating one of my grandchildren.
 
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