For a great many outdoors enthusiasts, hunting black bear is best enjoyed at a distance. Bears are very large, aggressive, and dangerous. Shooting one with a rifle from 100 yards away reduces the serious risks presented by an enraged bear that does not immediately drop. Then, there is the horror of another life-threatening situation. A bear may find you before you find it. Extra cautions should be taken to deal with the nightmare scenario of being taken by surprise by the bear. At a minimum, carrying a reliable backup pistol and appropriate ammunition is a must.
Using the Right Rifle/Handgun Combination
With bear, only high-caliber weapons and very hot (high pressure) ammunition are reliable. A rifle with a .300 level caliber would be a good choice. The .44 Magnum is an excellent revolver caliber. Obviously, a .308 rifle and a .44 Magnum pistol use different ammunition. In an emergency situation, this could create problems. Bears attack by swiping with their paws and a rifle may be knocked out of your arms if the creature surprises you. Without the rifle, relying on the revolver is the only chance of survival. However, shooting the revolver does not mean vital targets are hit. Some rounds might outright miss.
Reloading the revolver is necessary to finish off the slowed-down bear. In such a high-stress scenario, grabbing a .308 round instead of a .44 takes away vital seconds. One way to avoid this scenario is to use the same caliber in the rifle and the revolver. Having a rifle that fires .44 caliber rounds means you only need to carry a single caliber that fits both weapons.
Same Round, Different Pressure and Power
Not all .44 caliber ammunition is the same weight or packs the same amount of power. A 300 grain bullet with packed with a massively high pressure load may present far too much recoil in a revolver, but would be fine as a rifle selection. The shoulder stock on the rifle makes shooting the 300 grain bullet easier. Loading the revolver with a slightly lighter and more controllable round remains an option. Yet, if reloading the revolver becomes necessary, the 300 grain bullet will fit in the revolver. Just be sure the selected revolver is one rated to not suffer damage when firing high pressure loads. So, if the heavy, high pressure round is grabbed by mistake, the revolver can still be loaded and fired reliably.
Practice with the High Pressure Round
Clearly, you do not want the first time you fire a very hot round in the revolver to be after selecting the round by accident when faced by charging a bear. Fire off a few high pressure rounds in a revolver just to get used to the feel and recoil. Doing so contributes to improving accuracy.
To learn more about the right guns and ammunition for bear hunting, talk to a gun retailer, such as Miller’s Gun Center Inc.Read More