.38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

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.38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by timmy » Fri May 06, 2022 2:12 am

There has been a lot of discussion on these forums regarding "proper" cartridges to use for self-defense and for hunting. The article I'm including here is quite interesting, as it is backed up by some forensic evidence performed on the dead bear.

Personally, I would feel MUCH more safe with a 32 Auto or 32 S&W in a self-defense situation, than I would using a 38 Special on a grizzly bear. Back many years ago, I recall reading an article about the "Big 5" of African dangerous game, and how they ranked in danger. Here is how they ranked, from most dangerous to least: 1. Leopard, 2. Lion, 3. Cape Buffalo, 4. Elephant, and 5. Rhino. Expanding this to a world-wide scope, I would see the tiger somewhat akin to the lion, along with other cats like the jaguar. But it's often overlooked that the bear is the largest land predator, that bears (especially in the Alaskan subspecies of grizzly) can approach huge sizes, they are immensely strong, and can run very fast -- surprisingly so. They are, in short, pretty fearsome beasts!

This article would seem to underline (at least, to me) that even if one is limited to 32 Auto or 32 S&W, or even 25 Auto or 22 LR, these are all better choices than nothing at all. Here's the article:

{click on the photos to enlarge)

fromhttps://www.ammoland.com/2022/02/38-spe ... zzly-bear/
.38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Ammoland Inc. Posted on February 18, 2022 by Dean Weingarten

Image

Grizzly Bear

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)-– This article is part of a continuing series of defensive bear shootings discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request by AmmoLand. It appears these events were not reported in other media.

On September 13, 2011, two bowhunters were hunting for elk in a wild part of Wyoming, on the boundary of the Shoshone National Forest and the Bridger Teton National Forest. The location was on the Continental Divide between the Salt Creek and the South Fork of the Fish Creek drainages, about an hour north of DuNoir Junction, southwest of Dubois, Wyoming, near the boundary of Fremont County and Sublette County, at an elevation of about 9442 feet, according to the map contour lines. It is in the middle of the west edge of Wyoming.

The weather was cool in the morning and warm and dry in the afternoon. Temperatures varied from 35 to 70 degrees F in nearby Big Piney-Mableton at about 6,000-foot elevation.

Two hunters were involved. Their identity is deleted in the FOIA document. They will be referred to as Hunter One and Hunter Two. Hunter One had a holstered .38 Special revolver as well as his archery equipment.

At about 10:00 a.m., the two hunters were crossing a large area of downed timber, with numerous blowdowns. This type of terrain is very difficult to traverse, because you are constantly climbing up, over, and down large tree trunks. The pictures give an indication of the complexity. It is not a walk in the park.

Hunter One was “about to cross a big piece of downed timber” when he saw a large bear jump up and toward him. He ran up a downed tree, and the bear was “spooked” and ran north into the timber. Hunter One waited until the bear was out of sight; then he used his cow call to communicate with Hunter Two, who was 30-50 yards away.

Image

Image from Hunter One’s perspective at end of attack

Hunter Two came closer when he saw Hunter One up on the downed tree trunk. They communicated and decided to leave the area because of the danger of the grizzly bear.

The two hunters had traversed about 300 yards upslope to return to their vehicle. They heard a crash. Believing it might be an elk, they saw two bears running at them. Hunter One was climbing another downed tree trunk when he saw the larger bear change direction and attack Hunter Two.

Hunter Two had seen Hunter One darting up the downed timber, and the bears coming at them. Hunter Two ran to climb a downed tree near Hunter One, tossing his bow to facilitate his ascent. Hunter Two slipped and landed on his back, looking up to see the larger bear looming over him. He brought up his foot to kick at the bear, and the bear grabbed his right ankle. He yelled at Hunter One to shoot the bear!

At this point, Hunter One had drawn his .38 revolver. He fired two shots as the bear attacked Hunter two. The bear disengaged from Hunter Two, fell down, and started to come up toward Hunter One. Hunter One fired another shot at the bear, and it went down for good. Hunter One reported all shots were fired from six feet or less.

Image

The photographer appears to be at the position of Hunter Two during the attack.

The entire sequence of shots probably took less than five seconds.

Hunter Two got up and checked himself. Because of his heavy leather boot, and the quick action of Hunter One, the bear’s teeth had only punctured his skin at one spot. After checking Hunter Two, Hunter One reloaded his revolver.

Image

The two hunters finished returning to their truck. Once there, they hooked up their travel trailer and drove to Dubois, where they contacted Wyoming Fish and Game. Wyoming Fish and Game received the information and were able to meet with the hunters at DuNoir Junction about three p.m. From there they went to the shooting site and did a field necropsy on the bear.

The Wyoming F&G personnel recovered three fired .38 Special cases at the site. They recovered three .38 caliber bullets. None had exited the bear. From the picture, they appear to be 150-160 grain jacketed bullets. Two of the bullets were relatively undamaged.

Image

One bullet was significantly deformed, apparently from hitting the bear’s spine. This was probably the killing shot. All bullets had entered the bear from the front half.

Image

Hunter One said he was “shaking so bad” and “was so scared”. He was not shaking or scared bad enough to keep from scoring three solid hits with three shots, killing the attacking bear and stopping the attack on Hunter Two. The shaking reaction is a common occurrence following an adrenaline dump when involved in a deadly fight.

The investigators looked for a yearling cub; they did not see one, but all reported hearing a bear “woof” and “pop” its jaws.

The hunters’ verbal statements, the physical evidence, and their written statements were all consistent.

The bear was tattooed with the number 497. It had been trapped as part of management action in 2005, and again in 2008, for depredating on cattle, not far from where the attack and defensive shooting took place.

On January 9, 2012, the United States Attorney for the District of Wyoming determined the case was clearly self defense, and declined to prosecute for the illegal take of a grizzly bear.
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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by AgentDoubleS » Fri May 06, 2022 3:37 am

Very interesting read, thanks for sharing Timmy. Having shot tens of thousands of .38spl and seeing some interesting events like literally HBWC bounce off paper for some shooters (admittedly light loads or insufficient powder) this makes for 2 conclusions for me - 1. No matter what caliber I wouldn’t want to be at the receiving end of it. 2. A gun in hand is better than what any ballistic report might say on the internet.

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by timmy » Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:45 am

Here is another hair-raising story regarding a bigger bear and a 9mm handgun I just came across from here:

https://www.wideopenspaces.com/alaska-m ... mm-pistol/
THE STORY OF THE ALASKA MAN WHO KILLED A CHARGING BROWN BEAR WITH A 9MM PISTOL

BY JOHN MCADAMS | SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

It's a miracle this Alaskan fishing guide and his clients lived to tell the tale.

Phil Shoemaker was guiding a couple of clients on a salmon fishing trip near the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Alaska back in 2016 when they had a close range encounter with an angry brown bear. Phil runs Grizzly Skins of Alaska and has guided hunters, anglers, and photographers in bear country for over 33 years without ever having to shoot an unwounded bear to defend himself or his clients.

That all changed during this particular trip.

Fortunately for everyone involved, Phil stopped the raging brown bear with a 9mm pistol at close range. Phil and his two clients walked away from the incident without a scratch.

Gun enthusiasts will likely debate the merits of his decision to carry a S&W 3954 handgun in 9mm for defense for years to come, especially considering the fact that chose not to carry his S&W 629 chambered in .44 Magnum on this particular outing.

Few people recommend carrying a 9mm handgun as a bear defense gun. Regardless of what you think of his decision though, this episode shows that it is indeed possible to stop a bear with a 9mm pistol with good ammunition, good shot placement, and a little luck.

One of the major limitations of using a cartridge like the 9mm Luger for bear defense is the lack of penetration of most 9mm bullets compared more powerful cartridges like the 10mm Auto, .454 Casull, or .500 S&W.

In this case, Phil was using 147gr hard cast bullets made by Buffalo Bore that are designed specifically for deep penetration, which mitigates some of the risk of using a 9mm against a bear.

At the same time, most 9mm pistols have larger magazines and offer the shooter the ability to take multiple rapid follow-up shots. As you'll see here in a minute, those characteristics certainly came in handy in this case. Additionally, many 9mm handguns (to include the specific one Phil was carrying that day), are lighter, smaller, and easier to carry than large framed revolvers or long guns.

Sure, you could certainly make the argument that it's better to carry a .44 Magnum or a 12 gauge shotgun in bear country. Neither one will do you much good if they're still in the truck or your gun safe back home at the moment of truth though.

The end result was that, while he was carrying a handgun on the lighter end for the job at hand, he at least had something to defend himself with and things ended well for Phil and his clients.

Below is the story of how it all went down in Phil's own words in a letter he wrote to Buffalo Bore ammunition:

Two days ago I was guiding a couple from NY on a fishing trip and decided to pack my S&W 3954 pistol. When we were approaching the stream we bumped into a large boar who must have been sleeping as we were talking loud just so we wouldn't suprise one. Over the past 33 years I have lived and guided here on the Alaska peninsula I have never had to kill a bear in defense of life, but this bear was different.

We were in thick brush and I was only 8 or 10 feet from the bear when he started growling and huffing. I began yelling and it eventually ran around, behind my two clients, into the brush. But within 15 seconds it came charging back from the area behind us and popped out of the brush 10 feet from me! I had the little S&W in my hands and was thinking I was probably going to have to shoot it but as it cleared the brush it headed toward my clients. The man had enough sense to grab his wife and fall backwards into the tall grass. The bear seemed to loose track of them, even though it was less than 3 feet away from them and it was highly agitated! It then swung toward me, I was 6 or 8 feet away, and I fired the first shot into the area between the head and shoulder. It growled and started wildly thrashing around, still basically on the feet of my clients. My next shot hit it in the shoulder and it began twisting and biting at the hits and I continued firing as fast as I could see vitals. Five shots later it turned into the brush and I hit it again and it twisted and fell 20 feet from us!

Brown bears are big, tough animals and it pays to be well armed and to shoot straight if you ever encounter one that's mad at you. I don't necessarily recommend carrying a 9mm pistol for defense if you're in bear country, but it will clearly do the job in the right hands.
Frankly, there's a bit too much left to chance in shooting such a creature with a 9mm handgun, although I'd agree that, if that's what's available, it should be used.

I think that Phil Shoemaker wouldn't need to rely on as much luck as I would, since he's a well-known Alaskan guide and gun writer.

I pay particular note to Shoemaker's choice of bullet: the 147 hard cast 9mm slug would emphasize the penetration aspect of the cartridge, while eschewing expansion. I think that this highlights the primary need for penetration in any sort of hunting and self-defense. Expansion is a great thing to have, but not at the expense of penetration. This is something to consider when thinking of low powered cartridges such as 32 Auto, 32 S&W, and lesser rounds.
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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by BowMan » Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:47 am

38 has long been one of my favorite calibers (theoretically since I never got the chance of owning one). Hot loads approach magnum pressures and milder ones are good enough for J frame revolvers. The cartridge straddles a sweet spot really.

Having observed the behavior of Lion's for the most part of my life and to a lesser extent Tigers I would definitely space them very wide in your danger scale. Lions are animals that move in large groups (prides) and are not in the habit of concealing their movement. They do so of course when on the hunt etc. Tigers on the other hand are in the habit of mostly moving about in stealth. The Lion country is usually open scrub while Tigers inhibit much more dense vegetation. In Lion country forest staff patrols on the foot all the time even in the presence of the animals. In Tiger country they will seldom get down from a vehicle and almost never in the presence of the cats.

Would definitely place a Tiger above a Leopard in that scale.

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by revolver » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:16 am

I think when it comes to self defense not much should be left to chance. In india where rarely would there be a situation to defend one’s self against a wild animal, given the limited calibers available, I would choose a 16 bore DBBL. Commonly available handgun calibers in India being .32 S&W and .32 Auto, I don’t see them being much effective against an animal attack. Self defense scenarios in India are more likely to occur against human attackers against whom any available caliber should be fine.

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by timmy » Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:35 am

BowMan wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:47 am
38 has long been one of my favorite calibers (theoretically since I never got the chance of owning one). Hot loads approach magnum pressures and milder ones are good enough for J frame revolvers. The cartridge straddles a sweet spot really.
BowMan, you have excellent taste in cartridges! 38 Spl is very accurate and a joy to shoot. The hot, or "+P" and "+P+" loads come closest to 357 Mag performance as the barrel gets shorter. For instance, the performance spread isn't as pronounced in 2" barrels as it is in 6" barrels.

Personally, I limited my use of "hot loads" many years ago, and now only have such loaded for 45 Colt (which is a pretty good handgun cartridge for dangerous game, if you're limited to a handgun). I like my 38 Spl loads to have just enough power to get the bullet out of the barrel reliably, and shooting these loads is only a small step above a 22 LR. They almost "pop" like a pop gun, too. I use the same load in 2" and 6" barrels. I also shoot some "warmer" loads in my Detective Special, which is a little larger than a J Frame, but all of these snubbies will let you know that you have something in your hand with warmer loads.

I hope that, someday, you will get the chance to play with 38 Spl. The only cartridge that I've used that equals it is 45 Auto. I confess, though, that I have no experience with 32 S&W, which I understand is quite accurate, as well. I considered getting a small Colt Police Positive in 32 S&W, but in the end, didn't want to acquire all the paraphernalia it takes to feed additional cartridge.

Personally, I think that the day is coming, what with new powders and new bullets, that the 32 bore in both auto and revolver will be the handgun cartridges of the future.
BowMan wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:47 am
Having observed the behavior of Lion's for the most part of my life and to a lesser extent Tigers I would definitely space them very wide in your danger scale. Lions are animals that move in large groups (prides) and are not in the habit of concealing their movement. They do so of course when on the hunt etc. Tigers on the other hand are in the habit of mostly moving about in stealth. The Lion country is usually open scrub while Tigers inhibit much more dense vegetation. In Lion country forest staff patrols on the foot all the time even in the presence of the animals. In Tiger country they will seldom get down from a vehicle and almost never in the presence of the cats.

Would definitely place a Tiger above a Leopard in that scale.
Playing Jim Corbett with big cats of any sort is lots of fun to read about, but no more than that for me! Bears can be quite sneaky, but tigers and leopards would have to be at the top of the sneaky list, as I understand it. Lions would be close by.

The thing about bears is, I have to think about them personally. For lions and leopards, that would mean a trip to Africa and I'd be purposely looking for them. But bears, I could (and have) encountered them while hiking. No grizzlies (I've only seen them in the Park), but seeing bears is enough to make you think. So, on a hike, it is something that I need to consider, when planning a walk in the woods.
And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the seas rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by Jr. » Sat Jul 30, 2022 1:00 pm

Leopards definitely deserve the top spot in the ‘Big 5’.
Since childhood,I have seen hundereds in the wild.
In my experience, what makes them dangerous is that they are extremely Daring.
Normally wild animals do not get into a situation, if they are alarmed.
They will walk away or leave the area.
It is very different with Leopards, they are fearless.
Even if they know that a hunter is waiting for them,they will still walk into the trap.
After sensing human presence, they will still return to same spot, for closer investigation.
They are definitely inquisitive.
I have also seen victims who were attacked/mauled by Leopards.
All the attacks were when the Leopard was unintentionally surrounded,
Or defending their Cubs.
Leopard’s are much more agile as compared to Lions and Tigers,
This makes them relatively more dangerous.
Also they are nocturnal and generally sleep during the day.
They do not live in Packs,though I have seen 6 of them bunched together,in the wild.
Leopard’s can travel great distance’s at night,for food.
They love to eat domisticated dogs,maybe because they are easy prey.
I personally know of one Alsatian,who had fought off an Leopard.
It was attacked by the Leopard,late in the evening and was being dragged by the neck.
The Alsatian put up a brave fight and was rescued by the servants,who heard the growls.
The dog took several months to recover and lived a healthy life for many years after the attack.
This particular dog (Rambo), was rather well built and aggressive by nature,
And a very intelligent animal.
After the attack,his master ordered a custom made thick metal collar for the dogs neck.
The male Leopard weighs around 60 Kgs. and carry extremely sharp Claws.
They can slice through flesh like a hot knife through butter.
Their was an instance when a goat was used in a cage to trap a Leopard,
Which had wandered close to human habitation.
Once the Leopard walks into the trap/cage,the door automatically shuts.
Their is sufficient distance between the Leopard and Goat,both separated by solid iron bars.
The next morning,the Goat was taken out unharmed, but died while being taken home.
All said this happened as the Goat suffered a heart attack,
As it spent the entire night in the cage with the Leopard growling,at the other end.
All that is narrated are my 1st hand experience and absolutely true.
Their are several other encounters but maybe for another time.

Regards,
Jr.

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by Vikram » Sun Jul 31, 2022 3:45 am

Tim,

Excellent links. Agree with the sentiment that a .22LR in hand is better than having an elephant gun at home.

Jr and Bowman, interesting posts. Keep them coming.
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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by winnie_the_pooh » Sun Jul 31, 2022 9:47 pm

So good ammunition+ shot placement+ a fair bit of luck can work in your favour even with marginal calibers. I have a feeling that if the hunters in the first story and the guide in the second ,go out into bear country again,they would be packing something a bit more substantial than what they were carrying on the day fate decided not to show them their place in the food chain.

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by Vikram » Mon Aug 01, 2022 12:56 am

winnie_the_pooh wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 9:47 pm
I have a feeling that if the hunters in the first story and the guide in the second ,go out into bear country again,they would be packing something a bit more substantial than what they were carrying on the day fate decided not to show them their place in the food chain.
I have no doubts about it.
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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by BowMan » Tue Aug 02, 2022 11:02 am

timmy wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:35 am
BowMan wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:47 am
38 has long been one of my favorite calibers (theoretically since I never got the chance of owning one). Hot loads approach magnum pressures and milder ones are good enough for J frame revolvers. The cartridge straddles a sweet spot really.
BowMan, you have excellent taste in cartridges! 38 Spl is very accurate and a joy to shoot. The hot, or "+P" and "+P+" loads come closest to 357 Mag performance as the barrel gets shorter. For instance, the performance spread isn't as pronounced in 2" barrels as it is in 6" barrels.

Personally, I limited my use of "hot loads" many years ago, and now only have such loaded for 45 Colt (which is a pretty good handgun cartridge for dangerous game, if you're limited to a handgun). I like my 38 Spl loads to have just enough power to get the bullet out of the barrel reliably, and shooting these loads is only a small step above a 22 LR. They almost "pop" like a pop gun, too. I use the same load in 2" and 6" barrels. I also shoot some "warmer" loads in my Detective Special, which is a little larger than a J Frame, but all of these snubbies will let you know that you have something in your hand with warmer loads.

I hope that, someday, you will get the chance to play with 38 Spl. The only cartridge that I've used that equals it is 45 Auto. I confess, though, that I have no experience with 32 S&W, which I understand is quite accurate, as well. I considered getting a small Colt Police Positive in 32 S&W, but in the end, didn't want to acquire all the paraphernalia it takes to feed additional cartridge.

Personally, I think that the day is coming, what with new powders and new bullets, that the 32 bore in both auto and revolver will be the handgun cartridges of the future.
BowMan wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:47 am
Having observed the behavior of Lion's for the most part of my life and to a lesser extent Tigers I would definitely space them very wide in your danger scale. Lions are animals that move in large groups (prides) and are not in the habit of concealing their movement. They do so of course when on the hunt etc. Tigers on the other hand are in the habit of mostly moving about in stealth. The Lion country is usually open scrub while Tigers inhibit much more dense vegetation. In Lion country forest staff patrols on the foot all the time even in the presence of the animals. In Tiger country they will seldom get down from a vehicle and almost never in the presence of the cats.

Would definitely place a Tiger above a Leopard in that scale.
Playing Jim Corbett with big cats of any sort is lots of fun to read about, but no more than that for me! Bears can be quite sneaky, but tigers and leopards would have to be at the top of the sneaky list, as I understand it. Lions would be close by.

The thing about bears is, I have to think about them personally. For lions and leopards, that would mean a trip to Africa and I'd be purposely looking for them. But bears, I could (and have) encountered them while hiking. No grizzlies (I've only seen them in the Park), but seeing bears is enough to make you think. So, on a hike, it is something that I need to consider, when planning a walk in the woods.
Bears are an altogether different animal from the big cats. I have seen forest staff walk along Lions, observe at a safe distance in the vicinity of Tigers but scoot at the glimpse of a bear. While most know that running in the presence of predators in not wise behavior, these is something so chilling about the way a bear mauls his or her victim that instills such fear in the hearts of men who have spent most of their lives in the wild amongst animals. Not only the bear mauls the victim so badly (I have seen pictures, their face unrecognizable as if beaten and ripped to pulp) but they have a reputation of being unpredictable. Their eyesight and awareness is not as keen as of the cats of the jungle which will know of human presence much much before the human becomes aware of the cat and in general the cat would avoid human contact (some tribals make it a point to walk noisily in the jungle for this reason). If you happen to walk upwind towards a bear you might be in the bad luck to stumble upon each other when it is too late and too close and the bear takes you as a threat. The cats dispense their victims with a very sharp knife with almost surgeon like precision. Bears on the other hand are the blunt weapons of the animal kingdom. While I write this some pictures of a rabari family who happened to be sleeping on the ground and got mauled to death a few years ago by a sloth bear in jungles of MP come to mind. It was plain horror.

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by SMJ » Tue Aug 02, 2022 3:01 pm

BowMan wrote:
timmy wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 12:35 am
BowMan wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:47 am
38 has long been one of my favorite calibers (theoretically since I never got the chance of owning one). Hot loads approach magnum pressures and milder ones are good enough for J frame revolvers. The cartridge straddles a sweet spot really.
BowMan, you have excellent taste in cartridges! 38 Spl is very accurate and a joy to shoot. The hot, or "+P" and "+P+" loads come closest to 357 Mag performance as the barrel gets shorter. For instance, the performance spread isn't as pronounced in 2" barrels as it is in 6" barrels.

Personally, I limited my use of "hot loads" many years ago, and now only have such loaded for 45 Colt (which is a pretty good handgun cartridge for dangerous game, if you're limited to a handgun). I like my 38 Spl loads to have just enough power to get the bullet out of the barrel reliably, and shooting these loads is only a small step above a 22 LR. They almost "pop" like a pop gun, too. I use the same load in 2" and 6" barrels. I also shoot some "warmer" loads in my Detective Special, which is a little larger than a J Frame, but all of these snubbies will let you know that you have something in your hand with warmer loads.

I hope that, someday, you will get the chance to play with 38 Spl. The only cartridge that I've used that equals it is 45 Auto. I confess, though, that I have no experience with 32 S&W, which I understand is quite accurate, as well. I considered getting a small Colt Police Positive in 32 S&W, but in the end, didn't want to acquire all the paraphernalia it takes to feed additional cartridge.

Personally, I think that the day is coming, what with new powders and new bullets, that the 32 bore in both auto and revolver will be the handgun cartridges of the future.
BowMan wrote:
Fri Jul 29, 2022 10:47 am
Having observed the behavior of Lion's for the most part of my life and to a lesser extent Tigers I would definitely space them very wide in your danger scale. Lions are animals that move in large groups (prides) and are not in the habit of concealing their movement. They do so of course when on the hunt etc. Tigers on the other hand are in the habit of mostly moving about in stealth. The Lion country is usually open scrub while Tigers inhibit much more dense vegetation. In Lion country forest staff patrols on the foot all the time even in the presence of the animals. In Tiger country they will seldom get down from a vehicle and almost never in the presence of the cats.

Would definitely place a Tiger above a Leopard in that scale.
Playing Jim Corbett with big cats of any sort is lots of fun to read about, but no more than that for me! Bears can be quite sneaky, but tigers and leopards would have to be at the top of the sneaky list, as I understand it. Lions would be close by.

The thing about bears is, I have to think about them personally. For lions and leopards, that would mean a trip to Africa and I'd be purposely looking for them. But bears, I could (and have) encountered them while hiking. No grizzlies (I've only seen them in the Park), but seeing bears is enough to make you think. So, on a hike, it is something that I need to consider, when planning a walk in the woods.
Bears are an altogether different animal from the big cats. I have seen forest staff walk along Lions, observe at a safe distance in the vicinity of Tigers but scoot at the glimpse of a bear. While most know that running in the presence of predators in not wise behavior, these is something so chilling about the way a bear mauls his or her victim that instills such fear in the hearts of men who have spent most of their lives in the wild amongst animals. Not only the bear mauls the victim so badly (I have seen pictures, their face unrecognizable as if beaten and ripped to pulp) but they have a reputation of being unpredictable. Their eyesight and awareness is not as keen as of the cats of the jungle which will know of human presence much much before the human becomes aware of the cat and in general the cat would avoid human contact (some tribals make it a point to walk noisily in the jungle for this reason). If you happen to walk upwind towards a bear you might be in the bad luck to stumble upon each other when it is too late and too close and the bear takes you as a threat. The cats dispense their victims with a very sharp knife with almost surgeon like precision. Bears on the other hand are the blunt weapons of the animal kingdom. While I write this some pictures of a rabari family who happened to be sleeping on the ground and got mauled to death a few years ago by a sloth bear in jungles of MP come to mind. It was plain horror.
Not only do bears have bad sense of smell but they also have bad eyesight and when a run in does happen unlike a cat which will likely scoot a bear will invariably attack! Other than bears elephants are equally if not more scary especially since they are so intelligent

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BowMan
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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by BowMan » Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:55 pm

They have very keen sense of smell. But if you happen to be upwind the scent might not carry to the animal.

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by SMJ » Fri Aug 05, 2022 10:30 am

BowMan wrote:They have very keen sense of smell. But if you happen to be upwind the scent might not carry to the animal.
Himalayan black and brown do but not sloth bears I guess

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Re: .38 Special Effective Against Wyoming Grizzly Bear

Post by timmy » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:46 am

BowMan wrote:
Thu Aug 04, 2022 11:55 pm
They have very keen sense of smell. But if you happen to be upwind the scent might not carry to the animal.
Grizzly and Black bears have a very keen sense of smell, I can assure you!
And even in Atlantis of the legend
The night the seas rushed in,
The drowning men still bellowed for their slaves.

Bertolt Brecht

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