Recent reports of bear attacks in Florida and New Jersey have made people living in the vicinity of these creatures very nervous. Many who spend a lot of time in the woods opt to carry a revolver for protection. Toting a high-caliber weapon is not enough. The ammunition must contain enough gunpowder grains to actually stop a bear in its tracks. People who reload ammo should keep a few things in mind to ensure their firearms truly are adequately prepared to handle a huge predator.
Research the Necessary Gun and Grain
High-caliber handguns that begin with “.4” are usually the best for stopping a bear. These include the .41, .44, and .454 Magnums or the .45 Colt. Not all ammo for these weapons are the same. Low-grain ammo intended for target shooting or even elk hunting might not be enough to stop a brown or black bear.
For example, with a .44 Magnum, the standard 240 grain load ammo might be insufficient, but the very high 320 grain cartridge could put down a charging grizzly with ease.
Practice with and Tweak the Loads
Using your gun reloading supplies to put a massive payload in your preferred firearm is not enough. You have to practice with the “hot” loads. Gun reloaders who are used to shooting ammunition with 120 fewer grains might not be used to the kick the high-powered version yields. Now, if hitting a target at the range is difficult with high-grain ammo, imagine how tough it would be to accurately shoot a charging bear.
In addition to practicing, you also have to be honest with yourself. If you cannot properly aim and fire a particular high-powered load, you should reduce the grain during your next reloading session. Cutting down 305 grains of powder to 285 may deliver less of a payload, but your shooting could become more accurate thanks to less recoil.
Be Sure the Steel on the Firearm is Acceptable
Certain high-caliber revolvers are expensive to own and some gun companies have chosen to produce cheaper models. These guns are more affordable to purchase, but they present a challenge to gun reloaders.
While the steel used to produce the cheaper models may be fine for “regular” ammo, high-grain ammo might be too much. The heavy ammo could even crack the barrel or cause other problems, leaving you without a reliable firearm in bear country.
As a rule, always perform the necessary research to ensure any firearm you are shooting can safely handle super-powered ammunition. Remember, in bear country, the ammo and the firearm have to be a proper match.
For more tips, contact a company like Lock’s Philadelphia Gun Exchange.