Is .45 enough for black bear?

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azmntman

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If I had a choice Id go with yer fowler, over bait yer good range wise. A .45 dbl lung will also do fine. If ya take out the lungs with a .45 it wont matter that it wasn't a .54....
 
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Greenjoytj

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Is .45 enough for black bear?

Answer: Just my opinion, I say no if your shooting a round ball.
Why, because of the balls low mass weight makes for a poor sectional density therefore you get reduced penetration with the low Kinetic Energy.
A round ball has poor a poor ballistic coefficient therefore it looses velocity fast as distance to the target increases, which further reduces your KE. If you want to shoot round balls choose a larger caliber.

If your shooting 45 caliber bullets that changes all the above mentioned ballistics 400gr plus bullets will pack all the necessary penetration and at further range too. Think 45-70 Government cartridge without the brass case. Shot placement is still of utmost importance.
 
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Eterry

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IMHO, a 45 round ball, placed in the lungs, will kill a black bear. If this is a guided hunt, talk to your guide. See how close you will be to the bait. Usually it's Very Close. Another thing to consider is to go "Loaded for Bear ", by using 2 round balls over the powder. Me, I'd get some Lee REAL bullets or other conicals and sleep well, knowing it'll do the job.
My dad's good friend was a State trapper, killed 100s of nuisance bears over the years, used a 30-30 and a 12 Gauge. Took his shots up close.
 

Walkingeagle

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Already said, twice in fact, its adequate. This is from someone with lots of bear experience, not those that just speak from fear. Black Bears die EASY! If your load will kill a deer, it will kill a black bear, as long as everything else is equal (shot distance, placement, etc).
Fyi, not forum appropriate but I have personally Seen two killed with single rounds from a .22LR from within 30 yards. Both double lungs and both recovered in under 60 yards.
Walk
 

Rudyard

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Iv'e only shot the one Black bear it was walking towards me, I did want meat but wished Ide let it be ever since but I hit in the chest maybe 15 yards away with a 500 gr 451 bullet from a ML made from an spare Martini Henry barrel it collapsed then & there & my Knife & tommy hachet were not required . This was below the surface what now is the Mica Creek dam on the Collumbia river BC. I did however render a lot of fat which I used for years shooting on UK ranges & Bisley
Rudyard
 

Billy Boy

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Bears die easy. Easier than a deer. Just remember the hair is long so the actual body is several inches inside the hair requiring proper aim point. Shoot for two lungs and recover within 50 yards.
Walk

More on hair, deer hair is hollow in fall-winter season, breaks or cuts cleanly. Bear hair isn’t, it mats and clumps very easily, this reduces the blood trail for a ways. I’d throw a bigger pumpkin...
 

fishleclair

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Bears also have allot of fat in the fall. Seen the holes plug up with fat. Dot placement is Key. Wait till one leg forward 1/4 away and send one into the boiler room.
 

bud in pa

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Some of the bears that I have seen up close here in the Pocono Mts. of PA have gone well over 500 lbs. One taken about 3 miles from my house a few years back had an estimated live weight, by the Game commission, of 832 pounds. I were to hunt bear I'd want something bigger than a 45. Just my 2 cents.
 

brewer12345

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I drew a rifle bear tag in a place that will be spot and stalk in berry patches and gambel oak stands. I could use a modern rifle, but I am thinking about using a roundball. I take it that 54 and 58 should be enough power at 75 yards or less? The 58, for example, likes 80 grains of OE 2F and from reading published speed/energy stats it seems like even if it liked bigger charges it wouldn't add a whole lot.
 
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.62 fowler - depends on your comfort level. Some say they can shoot out to 60 yards, I personally can't shot well past 40.
I can't shoot past 40 yards either. I've seen 20 ga round ball out of a smoothie make a mess out of steel plate - lots of bears have been shot with smoothbore shotguns, which is not all that different. Regardless of calibre shot placement is everything. As with bow hunting from a tree stand think about the exist wound - what angle of entry is going to hit the vitals the best. I knew a guy in Nova Scotia that shot over 2 dozen bears with a longbow - like I said, shot placement is everything.
 

MtnMan

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I've hunted for bear since the late 50's. I use a .54 and wouldn't use less. We stalk them in Colorado and getting close is a good challenge. No need to add another challenge in the caliber I use. My bear load is the same load I use for elk. Bears can get grumpy when you shoot them and they always run. Sometimes right at you. A big boar won't be afraid of you and may challenge you. You don't always have the perfect double lung shot. You might have to bust through a shoulder. I wouldn't try that with a .45.

You can get away with it if you use hounds or bait, but face to face on the ground? Not always.
 

Rich

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Be patient and pick your shot. All the black fur, esp. at low light means you have to be diligent that the bear is broadside. My best shots on bear is when they've had their heads in the feeder barrel
Why would you hunt with a feeder barrel?
 

MtnMan

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I can't shoot past 40 yards either. I've seen 20 ga round ball out of a smoothie make a mess out of steel plate - lots of bears have been shot with smoothbore shotguns, which is not all that different. Regardless of calibre shot placement is everything. As with bow hunting from a tree stand think about the exist wound - what angle of entry is going to hit the vitals the best. I knew a guy in Nova Scotia that shot over 2 dozen bears with a longbow - like I said, shot placement is everything.
Arrows don't count. They kill by cutting and the game bleeds to death. Guns have to have enough power to make a good wound channel and destroy tissue and organs. Two different ways to kill.
 
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Arrows don't count. They kill by cutting and the game bleeds to death. Guns have to have enough power to make a good wound channel and destroy tissue and organs. Two different ways to kill.
There isn't the same amount of shock to the organs with BP versus modern high power rifles. I've noticed that there is some, but not a lot, of difference between a round ball and an arrow wound. A .45 ball is going to do damage, but just like the arrow it has to be put in the heart lungs to be effective.

I once was a a conference with a former emerg room doctor who had seen plenty of gunshot wounds. He told me that a projectile passing through both longs and leaving a decent exist would is going to collapse the lungs. The bigger the hole the more likely death will happen faster, but the lungs collapsing was the main cause of death. Of course, anything hitting arteries or the heart is going to cause a quick death too.

My college roommate had uncles that were poachers - they used .22 magnum and aimed for the heart lungs. They shot a lot of deer, and deer here are pretty big.
 
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Why would you hunt with a feeder barrel?
Because we're allowed to bait bears here. Generally the big bears only show up at night though - they don't get big by being dumb. A good eater bear is less that 250 lb. Bigger than that they get stringy.
 
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I've hunted for bear since the late 50's. I use a .54 and wouldn't use less. We stalk them in Colorado and getting close is a good challenge. No need to add another challenge in the caliber I use. My bear load is the same load I use for elk. Bears can get grumpy when you shoot them and they always run. Sometimes right at you. A big boar won't be afraid of you and may challenge you. You don't always have the perfect double lung shot. You might have to bust through a shoulder. I wouldn't try that with a .45.

You can get away with it if you use hounds or bait, but face to face on the ground? Not always.
I nrver stalked them. Always hunted them over bait. Lots of time to pick your shot.
 

MtnMan

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There isn't the same amount of shock to the organs with BP versus modern high power rifles. I've noticed that there is some, but not a lot, of difference between a round ball and an arrow wound. A .45 ball is going to do damage, but just like the arrow it has to be put in the heart lungs to be effective.

I once was a a conference with a former emerg room doctor who had seen plenty of gunshot wounds. He told me that a projectile passing through both longs and leaving a decent exist would is going to collapse the lungs. The bigger the hole the more likely death will happen faster, but the lungs collapsing was the main cause of death. Of course, anything hitting arteries or the heart is going to cause a quick death too.

My college roommate had uncles that were poachers - they used .22 magnum and aimed for the heart lungs. They shot a lot of deer, and deer here are pretty big.
A quick question for you. Would you use a .45 for elk? Moose? Buffalo? A 500 lb bear charging you?

Where do you draw the line with a .45?
 
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