9mm for bear defense?

SCSL

Well-known member
Apr 27, 2005
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If one doesn't practice regularly with large caliber magnum rounds, one would be much better served with 15-17 rounds of 9mm. As evidenced by this happenstance.
 

pinkytoe69

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Jan 14, 2012
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minnesota
If one doesn't practice regularly with large caliber magnum rounds, one would be much better served with 15-17 rounds of 9mm. As evidenced by this happenstance.
What's the difference?

Note: I'm not a gun guy, but my uncle is ex-navy and is a bit of a hobbyist/sportsman. He's taken me along for some of those timed simulation deals where you run around shooting thru windows and around walls.

First time I had a 9mm with a laser sight, second time I had a stock 1911 (I think...it was old, semi-auto, and .45 cal).

Aside from the laser sight obviously making things easier, I didn't notice much of a difference in accuracy or kick.
 

Mike_Rupp

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Mar 26, 2004
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Mercer Island, WA
What's the difference?

Note: I'm not a gun guy, but my uncle is ex-navy and is a bit of a hobbyist/sportsman. He's taken me along for some of those timed simulation deals where you run around shooting thru windows and around walls.

First time I had a 9mm with a laser sight, second time I had a stock 1911 (I think...it was old, semi-auto, and .45 cal).

Aside from the laser sight obviously making things easier, I didn't notice much of a difference in accuracy or kick.
There's quite a step up in recoil from 9mm & .45acp to the normally carried sidearm for bear defense like .44mag, .454 Casull, 10mm, etc.

This does a decent job of showing the difference in recoil of a few different rounds:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sdCndinUSJI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Keep in mind that a 9mm will have less recoil that even the 45 Colt.
 

stu454

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Dec 15, 2004
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Atlanta, GA
Yep. Firing a powerful revolver is something else. Nothing like a "normal" defense auto.

I have a scar on my noggin because I didn't respect a .454 Casull. I wasn't holding on tight enough and was figuring the recoil would be something akin to a .44 Magnum; just more so. The front sight came back and popped me in the head. That may explain so many things.......
 

pinkytoe69

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Jan 14, 2012
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minnesota
So, being a noob I figured caliber was king. I didnt know all those suffixes denoted how much juice was behind the caliber. Makes sense...

 

Mike_Rupp

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Mar 26, 2004
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Mercer Island, WA
Yep. Firing a powerful revolver is something else. Nothing like a "normal" defense auto.

I have a scar on my noggin because I didn't respect a .454 Casull. I wasn't holding on tight enough and was figuring the recoil would be something akin to a .44 Magnum; just more so. The front sight came back and popped me in the head. That may explain so many things.......
The biggest pistol I've shot is my dad's S&W Dirty Harry .44 Mag. That's quite enough for me. I really don't have a desire to shoot anything bigger. It's the same with rifles. I have a .338 Win Mag and that's about my limit.

I just have a lot more fun shooting 9mms & I'm much better using something that has lighter recoil than trying to manage a beast.
 

pinkytoe69

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Jan 14, 2012
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minnesota
The biggest pistol I've shot is my dad's S&W Dirty Harry .44 Mag. That's quite enough for me. I really don't have a desire to shoot anything bigger.
Out of curiosity, if they're such a literal pain to shoot, what is the point of a hand-cannon?

Other than bears of course :)
 

stu454

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Callsign: KN4CBB
Dec 15, 2004
5,346
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Atlanta, GA
So, being a noob I figured caliber was king. I didnt know all those suffixes denoted how much juice was behind the caliber. Makes sense...

One of the most convoluted things in the history of history is caliber designations. A .38 Special is, in fact, .356-.357. A .44 Magnum is, in fact, a .429. And so on............
 

Mike_Rupp

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Mar 26, 2004
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Mercer Island, WA
One of the most convoluted things in the history of history is caliber designations. A .38 Special is, in fact, .356-.357. A .44 Magnum is, in fact, a .429. And so on............
I remember when I was a kid and learned that a .38 Special round is just a short .357 magnum. I was like WTF?
 

SCSL

Well-known member
Apr 27, 2005
3,813
20
What's the difference?

Note: I'm not a gun guy, but my uncle is ex-navy and is a bit of a hobbyist/sportsman. He's taken me along for some of those timed simulation deals where you run around shooting thru windows and around walls.

First time I had a 9mm with a laser sight, second time I had a stock 1911 (I think...it was old, semi-auto, and .45 cal).

Aside from the laser sight obviously making things easier, I didn't notice much of a difference in accuracy or kick.
Mike already answered, and dead on. So just to set the point in sharper relief, the difference in recoil between a 9mm and .45 ACP pales in comparison to the difference between either and that of a .357 magnum. So when you get into .44 magnum and the various .50+ cartridges, one really needs to practice regularly to even hit a target at 20'. Let alone a moving (roaring) target. Seriously.
 

pinkytoe69

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Jan 14, 2012
1,098
11
minnesota
So when you get into...the various .50+ cartridges, one really needs to practice regularly to even hit a target at 20'. Let alone a moving (roaring) target. Seriously.
The second time I went, there was a round butch woman with a desert eagle. She wasnt the most accurate, but not terrible either.

Anyway, even with ear plugs in, you could really tell a difference in bass between that thing and what every one else was shooting. "And...thats why they call them hand cannons", moment for me.

(cool story bro):victory:
 

skucera

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May 13, 2014
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Harrisburg, Oregon, USA
Decades ago, I had a housemate who was a ranger at Glacier National Park. He told park visitors the way you can tell a grizzly bear from a black bear. "The black bear will chase you up the tree and eat you. The grizzly will knock the tree down and eat you. Don't feed the bears, and don't walk closer to them to get a better picture... ever."

I've always been glad that in Oregon I've only ever seen black bears, and they were as eager to get away from me as I was to get away from them.

Still, that was a solemn read about the Alaskan guide. Dang.

Scott
 

DiscoHasBeen

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2016
57
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Indy
I spent 20 years working in a small but affluent midwestern town. At the local gun/archery shop they had a bulletin board where people would post pictures of their hunts/trophies. One of the contributors was a doctor who was not a great outdoorsman but had the money to play one. Every year there would be pictures of his latest safari. Gazelle, reebok, a zebra, I think a croc once. Never anything approaching the big five. So the guy had decided to hunt brown bear in Alaska. I went in one day and Kevin, the store owner, was telling a couple of regulars the events of the hunt as told to him by said doctor. On the first day there they spot a bear on the side of a mountain. Taking a closer look the guide tells the man "this is a trophy bear. I know it's your first day but you won't get a better opportunity, I may not put anyone on a better bear this whole season". So they stalk to within 150 yards or so up the mountain from the bear with a rocky outcropping between them. Dude sets up and shoots the bear. The guy was like "I would have never believed an animal that big could move that fast. The only thing that saved our ass was the rock ledge between us and the bear and the fact he had to run around it, which allowed the guide to kill it before it got to us. If not for that it would be bear 1/guide, Doc Martin 0. That will be my one and only bear hunt".