10mm bear ammo question

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So I have decided on a Glock 20 (10mm) for defense on an Alaskan trip in the future.

I don’t want to hear about my choice of gun /caliber.

I was looking at 220 grain hard cast from buffalo bore and the like.

Then I read an article on a brown bear being shot and killed in self defense (was charging) with a 9mm and FMJ.

If you are hunting then hard cast makes more sense. But for defense wouldn’t I want FMJ in my 10mm so it will get through the skull.
I have thought it out and with a charging brown bear you have to go head shot with a 10mm to stand a chance of stopping it.

Admittedly a 500 rifle or a 12 gauge solid slug would be safer. But also bigger and heavier.

I suppose that I should post this in a forum that has brownies.

There was a good article on handgun defensive cases on brown and black bears. I will try to post it also

Thanks
G
 

M1911

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The last time I was in Alaska, I brought my Colt Delta Elite (10mm). I brought with me JHP, which I carried in town, and Buffalo Bore 220gr hard cast which I carried outside of Anchorage.

I would pick the hard cast over FMJ.

I’ve read some suggestions that you target a brown bears shoulder rather than head. The head is armored and has a sloping skull. The slope may cause your bullet to deflect rather than penetrate.

If you can break the shoulder, that might allow you to get away from the bear.
 
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I am aware of one well known recent case in which a brown bear was killed with a 9mm handgun. The incident has been described in many articles, including this one by the man who did it.

Alaska Outfitter Defends Fishermen from Raging Grizzly with 9mm Pistol

According to the article, the ammo used was Buffalo Bore 9mm +P Outdoorsman 147-grain FN hard-cast. I am no expert on bears, but the man who wrote the article actually is. I would take his choice of ammo as a hint.
 

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For perspective I'd check out a zoo that has browns or grizzlys in captivity. They are rather impressive animals to see up close.

All I can say is good luck with that 700 or so ft lbs of energy regardless if you could get your hands on depleted uranium projectiles.
 
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I have a "friend" pick me up some 220gn buffalo bore and 220 underwood.

that was the article that i read with the 9mm and BB.

I also read one somewhere that a guy used a smaller pistol and FMJ. i will try to look it up.

G
 
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[QUOTE="

I’ve read some suggestions that you target a brown bears shoulder rather than head. The head is armored and has a sloping skull. The slope may cause your bullet to deflect rather than penetrate.

If you can break the shoulder, that might allow you to get away from the bear.[/QUOTE]

So are you going to break a shoulder with a 10MM?
 

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So are you going to break a shoulder with a 10MM?
Here is a brown bear’s skull:



It isn’t a big target. It is heavily sloped away from you. Even if you hit the head (which I think would be hard to do while crapping my pants) there is a very good chance your round will glance off that thick skull. I think there is an argument to be made that the shoulder may be a better target on a charging bear.

Is a pistol ideal for self defense against a brown bear? No, of course not. A long gun is better. However, more than a few hunters who have been attacked have been attacked at such close range that they couldn’t bring their rifle on target before the bear was upon them and the rifle was lost, in which case a handgun on your belt is a handy thing to have. And a long gun is a pain in the ass when hiking in Alaska carrying camera gear, as I was.

Is a 10 mm handgun an ideal handgun for brown bear? No. Full house 44 mag or larger would be better, if you can shoot big bore handguns well — I can’t. But I figure a 10 mm handgun is a lot better than beating my fists on a bear while he chews on my thigh.
 
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I agree with you.
it is always a compromise.

after a lot of research. i think the 10mm is worth taking to alaska......with the correct ammo!!

so i suppose im just just trying to pin down the correct ammo.

hard cast is what has got it done for a long time, but i try not to stuck on tradition without investigating other, more modern options first.

One question on your reply.
how do you hit a bear in the shoulder if it is charging you head on?

up the nose looks like a good place to put it, looking at your skull. it would need penetration for sure!

Thanks for participating

G
 

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What are your plans for Alaska? Just walking the streets of Anchorage? Take what you want. Are you planning to hunt and/or fish in brown bear country? You will be in their 'house' and I can't stress enough that you really need to talk to locals such as the guide or bush pilot service you might use. Unless someone on NES has specific experience you are not in the right forum for such advice.

Food for thought: When we lived out west, my Dad and friends regularly hunted for elk and caribou and fished for salmon in Alaska. The bush pilot that dropped them off for the week would not take anyone who wasn't carrying a .44 mag or bigger back up pistol. At the time, .44 mag was pretty much the only choice.

Assuming you will have contacts in Alaska for your trip, ask them what ammo / bullet type. Whether they say 10mm is a bad idea or AOK with specific ammo- listen to their advice!
 
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The shoulders look visible to me.

I feel we are getting away from the point here.
at this angle. the angle that i presume the attacker maybe presenting. if i shoot at its shoulder then all i "might" do is disable that one leg.
I think it will be well able to proceed on three. and there will be no internal organs damaged.
even if i did get the heart, a heart shot would still let the bear go for 10 to 15 seconds or more.
more than enough time to eat me up assuming he started at close quarters.
 
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What are your plans for Alaska? Just walking the streets of Anchorage? Take what you want. Are you planning to hunt and/or fish in brown bear country? You will be in their 'house' and I can't stress enough that you really need to talk to locals such as the guide or bush pilot service you might use. Unless someone on NES has specific experience you are not in the right forum for such advice.

Food for thought: When we lived out west, my Dad and friends regularly hunted for elk and caribou and fished for salmon in Alaska. The bush pilot that dropped them off for the week would not take anyone who wasn't carrying a .44 mag or bigger back up pistol. At the time, .44 mag was pretty much the only choice.

Assuming you will have contacts in Alaska for your trip, ask them what ammo / bullet type. Whether they say 10mm is a bad idea or AOK with specific ammo- listen to their advice!
I hope to be going out into some of the wilderness when i am there. the plan is not made yet. looking ahead.

I have already stated that this is not a "which caliber" question.
It is purely an ammunition question.

i have to ask.
did you look at any of the links that i posted earlier?

and yes i will post this question somewhere that bears are more problematic.

G
 

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Why not bring a 22 as backup. They kill bears too. Just think of how many follow up shots you can get with no recoil at all :)

What .22 Rifle did Bella Twin use to Kill a World Record Grizzly in 1953?

An Army buddy of mine lives in Eagle River, a suburb of Anchorage. I visited him a few times and the beauty of the place is breathtaking. He thought I was crazy for humping a 12 gauge instead of pistol when we went back country fishing. We saw a few browns on one trip across the river we were on. The bears couldn't have cared less about us being there which only brought more taunts of me being paranoid from my buddy.

This past summer one of his neighbors got killed and partially eaten by a Brown a few miles from his house. The same bear then mauled a guy that was in the search party the next day.

Before this summer he'd carry a 10mm when hiking or fishing. He carries a 45-70 now when hiking alone and saves the 10mm for when he's mowing the lawn.

Have fun and be careful up there.
 
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My nephew worked in Denali for a summer as a ranger. I'm not sure if he carried anything at all. However, I somehow remember he might have asked what he should use. Maybe he found his answer elsewhere. Of the pictures I saw, I didn't see any of him armed.
 

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I carry 50 Beowulf AR in scabbard on horseback and 44mag 340 grain Buffalo Bore while hiking in Montana (I'm there this weekend).

In Auguat, a horse was put down because it broke it's leg in between downed logs on the trail. Usually forsest service dynamites the carcass to keep bears and now wolves off it, but fire danger was too high. The trail was closed but it's open now going to check it out on horseback Saturday.

Note that a hunting guide was killed in Wyoming earlier this month they had bear spray and a handgun, the former was discharged but I don't think they fired any shots.

Also note the lefties have sued so no Grizzly hunts are happening in Wyoming
 

one-eyed Jack

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Last year son Mark in AK was hunting caribou in an area so remote that the wildlife probably had never seen a human. A brown saw Mark from a distance and slowly walked up to him, probably to see if he was something good to eat. Mark was not hunting bear, did not want to shoot it. At 20 ft or so, he had no choice. The bullet entered the bear's nose, went thru the brain and down thru it's neck. Instant kill. .338 Win Mag. I have the skull on my desk here at the mill. Jack.
 

andrew1220

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Last year son Mark in AK was hunting caribou in an area so remote that the wildlife probably had never seen a human. A brown saw Mark from a distance and slowly walked up to him, probably to see if he was something good to eat. Mark was not hunting bear, did not want to shoot it. At 20 ft or so, he had no choice. The bullet entered the bear's nose, went thru the brain and down thru it's neck. Instant kill. .338 Win Mag. I have the skull on my desk here at the mill. Jack.
Damn[shocked]
 

Mountain

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I hope to be going out into some of the wilderness when i am there. the plan is not made yet. looking ahead.

I have already stated that this is not a "which caliber" question.
It is purely an ammunition question.

i have to ask.
did you look at any of the links that i posted earlier?

and yes i will post this question somewhere that bears are more problematic.

G
Yes, I realize caliber or even what firearm was not your question. Maybe 10mm ok, but I’d check local regarding what ammo. Let them tell you 10mm is ok or is stupid.

Regardless, talk to a local who understands what you want to do. Below post is why I say this. The only guy I know that lives in AK brown bear country occasionally has problems with them at his remote home location. He keeps a .338 Win mag handy.

Oh,

(Attempted) Head shot = Darwin Award, in most cases.


Why not bring a 22 as backup. They kill bears too. Just think of how many follow up shots you can get with no recoil at all :)

What .22 Rifle did Bella Twin use to Kill a World Record Grizzly in 1953?

An Army buddy of mine lives in Eagle River, a suburb of Anchorage. I visited him a few times and the beauty of the place is breathtaking. He thought I was crazy for humping a 12 gauge instead of pistol when we went back country fishing. We saw a few browns on one trip across the river we were on. The bears couldn't have cared less about us being there which only brought more taunts of me being paranoid from my buddy.

This past summer one of his neighbors got killed and partially eaten by a Brown a few miles from his house. The same bear then mauled a guy that was in the search party the next day.

Before this summer he'd carry a 10mm when hiking or fishing. He carries a 45-70 now when hiking alone and saves the 10mm for when he's mowing the lawn.

Have fun and be careful up there.
 
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one-eyed Jack

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Yes, I realize caliber or even what firearm was not your question. Maybe 10mm ok, but I’d check local regarding what ammo. Let them tell you 10mm is ok or is stupid.

Regardless, talk to a local who understands what you want to do. Below post is why I say this. The only guy I know that lives in AK brown bear country occasionally has problems with them at his remote home location. He keeps a .338 Win mag handy.
A local will tell you .338 win mag or .375 H&H. Jack.
 

Mountain

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A local will tell you .338 win mag or .375 H&H. Jack.
Really? I'd lump in .444 and .45-70 and maybe even .300 Win Mag and possibly .30-06 also.
Really- Jack is correct, at least from what I have heard directly from a local.

The guy I know has them show up on his property and has even had one stand up and look through the family room window this year- I saw the pic and that thing was massive. His idea of carry defense is a short .338 Win mag with irons. He has a longer barreled and scoped .338 to hunt them with. FWIW, he and his buddies are not fans of lever guns as a last line of defense against browns which can reach up to 1200 lbs. I'll spare the OP their opinions on pistols, but it's more along the lines of Jack's front sight comment.
 

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Speaking of ammo, here is an interesting video about the importance of not using a friend's handloads when messing around in grizzly country, just in case you decide to forgo the Buffalo Bore and try some of those "optimized" loads that one reloading buddy always raves about.

This guy has several hair raising grizzly bear encounter stories on his channel.

 
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