Author Topic: .54 cal vs grizzly bears  (Read 18248 times)

Offline Daryl

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2021, 09:30:56 PM »
That would be a job just keeping powder in the pan when you try to take a shot in that kind of wind.

There is a notation in "Firearms of the American West" which spoke of just that happening in the prairies of the US West
of the wind "taking the prime" before it could be ignited.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2021, 10:33:22 PM »
I was planning a Yukon hunt that got derailed by Covid.  When I told the outfitter I planned to use a muzzleloader he assume it would be an inline.  When I mentioned my 58 caliber Hawken, he said that would limit my chances of success and suggested a scoped inline or centerfire.  He was more than willing to book the hunt, just wanted to manage expectations.  We also discussed round ball versus bullet.  He liked the 500 grain bullet idea a lot more.  I told him to think of me as a bowhunter with a muzzleloader - hunt up close and personal.  Depending on the twist in his rifle, he may want to consider a bullet if he can get good groups with a stout load.  The other advantage is that he can brag about the bruise on his shoulder after sighting in.

Offline Daryl

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2021, 10:37:32 PM »
With a little .58 would seriously be considering using a .562" ball of harder lead than pure for big bear. For moose, pure lead is fine on broadside shots, but old WW gives
better penetration on bones, whether ribs or legs.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2021, 08:29:21 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2021, 01:57:26 AM »
I would , from experience, rather use my wheel weight ball load than a bullet.  35 years ago, I tried the " bullet " thing and was disappointed more than once .  Since I switched over to round balls, I haven't lost one animal I've shot.  Those balls go right on through where they are supposed to.
When hunting black bears I usually will load my .62 or 10 bore with w.w. balls.
My 10 bore , with a 140 gr FFg load is an awesome hunting gun.  I can load it blindfolded, through lots and lots of practice, and the lock is superb. I have complete faith in it.
An important point I made was that anyone who hunts big game needs to practice enough that they are familiar and confident in their firelock.  Especially true if the game can bite back !
This is something that often gets neglected today, what with the relative ease of use of modern firearms.

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2021, 09:52:20 PM »
I think everyone would agree that bigger is better when hunting something that will hunt you back.  Don't know how likely BITW's friend is to buy another rifle to realize his dream, or how determined he is to go with his 54.  The early comment about practice is critical.  Shot placement under field conditions requires practice.  Reloading efficiently requires practice.  Reloading in the field after your first shot on game is way different than doing so at a range, particularly when dealing with the hesitation that  often comes from the desire to see the result of your first shot.  A little adrenaline can screw up that effort even more.  Then there is always the possibility that a PO'd grizzly will be in your lap before you can reload.  Maybe a suggestion he would be more receptive to would be a tune up hunt on buffalo or moose - something big (but less likely to eat him)  to cut his teeth on.  Might end up being a winner for him and his new 54.   

Offline Ezra

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2021, 10:41:23 PM »
Consider the following, and credit to our own Don Steele,

When hunting dangerous game (ie Grizzly/Alaskan Brown, African Big 5 et al) “You shouldn’t rely on a rifle that is adequate when everything goes right, you should choose one that will be adequate when everything goes wrong.”

IMO, regarding Grizzly or Alaskan Brownies, a .54 caliber flintlock isn’t even adequate for when everything goes right.  Let alone if everything goes wrong.  Remember, none of us want anything less than as humane a kill as possible.  we do not talk about cartridge guns on ALR

GS
« Last Edit: March 26, 2021, 11:26:30 PM by rich pierce »
"Rules are for the obedience of fools and guidance of wise men"

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2021, 11:18:04 PM »
Has anyone here besides me killed a B&C Alaskan Brown bear? Whatever gun you choose be sure and save the last round for yourself. You'll scream less while he's eating you.


Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline Frank

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2021, 02:01:59 AM »
I never hunt anything that can eat me.

Offline hanshi

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #33 on: March 28, 2021, 12:02:37 AM »
That is a sho-nuff awesome photo!
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Sharpsman

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #34 on: March 28, 2021, 12:36:44 AM »
Any bear can be kilt!

The object when hunting grizz ain't killing it.....but STOPPING IT is the objective!!
"There ain't no freedom...without gunpowder!"

Offline Daryl

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #35 on: March 28, 2021, 02:56:45 AM »
Any bear can be kilt!

The object when hunting grizz ain't killing it.....but STOPPING IT is the objective!!


I would suggest this is very true as the first & primary objective and in my honest opinion, the .54 is somewhat lacking.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline alacran

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2021, 04:00:33 PM »
Daniel, when I was stationed at Fort Rich, some 48 years ago I carried a large caliber wheel gun. Was never sure what it was for.
We used to go low bush blue berry picking above the tree line always on the lookout for bears. First time we saw a female with two cubs about 600 yards away, we packed up what we had and left the area.
As far as what is adequate goes...

A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2021, 04:34:36 PM »
My first Brown Bear hunt in Alaska I carried a wheel gun for protection but knew better the second trip and left it at home. On the first trip my guide and I were making our way up a salmon stream with the slight breeze in our face. We had checked wind direction before starting up the stream with a Bic lighter. We encountered a sow with a cub the size of the polar bear in the picture and hid and waited. The wind shifted and we felt it on the backs of our necks. You could see when the sow picked up our scent because she stiffened immediately and rose to full height staring in our direction. Then she calmly moved her cub up the side of the hill on the far side of the stream to safety. What she did next is forever burned into my memory. Without further notice she charged roaring horribly back down the mountain and attacked a small tree between us and ripped it to pieces. Then she rose up and looked in our direction once more before going back to her cub and leaving the area. Her message was crystal clear.

I greatly admire the courage of the Inuit in the photo but all three arrows are likely postmortem.

Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2021, 05:55:58 PM »
According to my daily diary kept on that first trip in 1991 our encounter with the sow and cub I estimated at 50 yards.
Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline Daryl

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2021, 06:12:33 PM »
Fishing in BC is fun.






Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline hanshi

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2021, 10:38:21 PM »
Just make sure your rifle is in good order so that this never happens.
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Daniel Coats

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2021, 11:13:49 PM »
Hopefully this isn't me!  8)


Dan

"Ain't no nipples on a man's rifle"

Offline hanshi

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2021, 11:24:48 PM »
....or this!
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Daryl

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #43 on: March 30, 2021, 01:12:50 AM »
....or this!



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - that was good.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline alacran

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #44 on: March 30, 2021, 04:28:26 PM »
After finding the photo of the Inuit hunter, I was interested in the way they actually hunted before the rifle.
They mostly hunted them when they were in their dens.  They also hunted them in the open Ice and typically used dogs to keep the bears distracted while they stuck it with a spear . Really didn't find any mention of them using a bow.
 The preferred method was to find a den with a bear in it , cut a hole in the top of the den big enough for the bear to stick its head out of it. The hunter then waited for the bear to stick out its head and the hunter would kill it with a spear. Occasionally the den's roof was a bit thin and the hunter would present himself as a meal for the bear.
A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline Daryl

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2021, 08:19:00 PM »
Book 3 or 4 of the Bowyer's bibles mentions the Inui bows, made from drift-wood and caribou antlers, with the antler being lashed onto the wooden core with sinew, IIRC. It's been 30years
since I read the book, so might be wrong, but seems that is what I read. Thus, they would likely have used bows. Seems to me, the wood to make a spear haft, would made a couple or more
short draw composite bows.
I suspect some used spears, though.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline hanshi

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #46 on: March 30, 2021, 11:59:43 PM »
A rather famous hunter, Dan Quillian, had an archery shop near my buisness down in Georgia.  He'd been written up in hunting magazines off and on for a very long time.  I knew him and his daughter and was thrilled every time I visited the shop.  He even had a zen-archery practioner from Japan demonstrate for us.  But the most amazing thing was the various animals he'd bagged during his hunting days.  His shop had mounted polar & brown bear he's killed with a bow; I'd read the polar bear story years before in one of the hunting publications.  To see them in the (mounted) flesh was an eye opener.  It takes nerve to face off with these hairy "godzillas".
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Offline Daryl

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2021, 12:40:41 AM »
IIRC - in the Anchorage museum, there are two bears mounted standing on their hind legs, a Polar Bear and a Brown Bear, both of which are 15 feet from floor to top of their leveled heads.
They are standing on pedestals about 8" to 12" high, so both bears are a good 14' tall.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Craig Wilcox

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2021, 08:45:33 AM »
I think I will stick to hunting jackalopes.  They make very nice trophies, and are herbivores.

Were I to go after one of those big bears, I might try my .62 Jaeger, but would rather wait until my double 10 bore was finished being restocked.
Craig Wilcox
We are all elated when Dame Fortune smiles at us, but remember that she is always closely followed by her daughter, Miss Fortune.

Offline Blacktail

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Re: .54 cal vs grizzly bears
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2021, 05:29:29 PM »
I've killed 20+ brown bears, all with modern rifles.  I've taken all of them apart, plus ones not shot by me. All of which is to say I've seen a number of them killed and how they're constructed. I've also investigated multiple brown bear maulings and one predatory attack where the victim was consumed. 

While it could be possible to kill a brown bear with a .54 prb, I wouldn't recommend trying it at all. It was Bob Hagel who said in essence "Don't use a gun that will kill things under perfect conditions......" and such is sound advice in this sort of idea scenario. Brown/grizzly bears are not especially stout through the ribs, and if you could shoot a calm, unexcited animal perfectly broadside and can get penetration on both lungs, he'll certainly die.

The problem with this idea is it takes alot of far ranging possibilities and mixes them up into an exercise brimming with much more optimism than likelihood of success. While light in the ribs, any angle other than broadside must deal with some heavy, dense muscles. That's asking alot from a .54 PRB. These animals, once motivated, have a rather incredible ability to sustain multiple mortal wounds and keep fighting long enough to make a person look as though they've jumped into a wood chipper. Just like humans, every individual bear has a unique disposition and varying levels of aggressiveness. They do not enjoy being startled and when that stimulus happens in PRB range they respond with either immediate attack or flight. Basically what I'm saying to the OP's friend is that he's wanting to take on an incredibly dangerous animal with a completely substandard weapon option and put himself and anyone with him in danger. The only way this idea should be attempted is with a guide carrying a proper backup rifle. If that's the case, our hunter should accept from the get go that he's likely to pay alot of money to shoot a bear that will likely end up with a number of extra big caliber modern gun holes in it.   
« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 06:28:07 PM by rich pierce »