? asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 8 years ago

What Rifle or Handgun Rounds can kill/stop a Bear?

Hello, I'm big into outdoor activities, and I'm going to be taking a 2 week canoe trip in about a month. Since I'll be in Prime Bear country I'm going to be packing some sort of rifle and handgun for defense of myself and my friends. To the question, Is there any Caliber in particular that is known to Kill/Stop a bear? I have a Marlin 30-30 Levergun, and a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Mag that I wouldn't care to pack, but I dont know if those rounds are effective enough against a bear.

Thanks for any answers, -Justin


I am speaking of Black Bears, sorry I didn't make that clear. The area has a large number of them, and there have been several attacks on hunters within the past year. As far as Grizzlies go, I beleive theres a total of 4 within a 250 mile radius of where we will be taking the trip. So I doubt they will be a problem, but then again you never know. I have a 7mm STW rifle that would do the job, but I don't really have the intention to pack that, because it was fairly expensive.

13 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'm assuming you're talking about Black Bears?

    Both will be fine given the correct distance and bullet placement.

    Personally I would go with the 30-30 but I wouldn't feel under-gunned with the .44 mag.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    A two week canoe trip where? If you are talking about Canada, you can leave the handgun at home, and you would have to get a permit to carry the rifle across the border. My father encountered a grizzly on a two week canoe trip in the Northwest Territories back in 1986. Fortunately no one got hurt.

    The handgun would be the better option if you are going in a canoe because you have to worry about capsizing. You could at least wrap the handgun up in something waterproof. For black bear, it would be a sufficient firearm. The .30-30 would be even better, but you have to worry about the possibility of the gun getting wet in case the canoe capsizes. It is possible to put it into something waterproof too, but just a whole lot more trouble.

    If you want a portable firearm that is capable of shooting something more potent than a .44 magnum and you are headed into grizzly country, I would consider a Thompson-Center Encore pistol chambered in something like .30-06. A more economic option would be a 12 gauge slug shotgun, but again you'll have the worry of trying to keep the gun dry. Many grizzlies have been killed witha .30-30, but you are really stretching the limits of the rifle, unless it's a very up close shot (no thanks).

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The receiver determines whether it is a handgun or a rifle. It has no bearing on what ammunition it uses. It was manufactured as a rifle or a handgun. The gun you are asking about is a rifle. As others have said,you may get static when you go to buy ammo. If you do,just give them the make and model shown on the barrel! :)

  • 8 years ago

    If you're talking about black bears, those are fine. I know of one instance where a wounded black bear attacked a hunter, and that was the hunter's fault. If you can put a round in the black bear, it'll run away.

    If you are talking about grizzly bears, you will be very poorly armed. You would be far better off with a twelve gauge slug gun. I would go with full sized lead slugs and not the lighter sabot slugs though.

    In fact the twelve gauge wouldn't be a bad idea for black bears either. You can load a light trap load in the chamber and fire into the air to scare the bear away, and follow that with slugs and 00 buckshot rounds, just in case.

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  • 8 years ago

    Compare our modern weapons with what the Mountain Men had in the early 1800s.

    When they left St Louis they found an American Continent infested with grizzly bears.

    Their gun was a smooth bore muzzle loading flint-lock squirrel gun.

    They developed a technique. One had to wait until the bear was close enough to where you could fire into its mouth. The ball would (hopefully) go up into the brain or blow out the spine in the neck. If that didn't work, you had a hatchet.

    Compared to that, a .357 magnum revolver is a serious upgrade ;)

    On the other hand, very few people actually get bothered by a bear these days.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I would chose the .44 Magnum, for the fire speed, as well as the dropping power, as well as the sound. if you were to miss, the bear would almost definitely be deterred. or if, by some horrible stoke of bad luck, the bear decided it didnt want to die, for about 3-5 miles, you would make it clear you need help.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    I'd grab the .30-30 with a heavy grain SP bullet. Or possibly buy a 12ga pump shotgun with a 18.5" barrel and can handle 3" shells bring a box of 3" slugs and buckshot and that bear will be dead. Those 3" slugs will kick much much harder than your .30-30 will so be prepared.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Take the .30-30. A rifle will be better under stress.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Bring a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

    When/if a bear approaches/attacks, drop the doughnuts & beat feet.

    If it's a big enough box, it should give you enough time to get away.

    Source(s): One walked by me (almost 4 feet tall on all fours) less than two weeks ago, about 20 feet away. Startled me, but he/she was disinterested, and sauntered away.
  • 8 years ago

    Both are fine but I think the 44 handgun would be easier to transport around at your camp site. Just my opinion.

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