Let's put the 9mm NATO vs 45 ACP to rest...lol - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Let's put the 9mm NATO vs 45 ACP to rest...lol

A cool head and shots on target prevailed. Phil Shoemaker would be the guy I would want by my side if I was hunting or fishing in bear country. Though, I might have to check what he's carrying that day.

https://www.americanhunter.org/articles/...ith-9mm-pistol/

Alaska Outfitter Defends Fishermen from Raging Grizzly with 9mm Pistol

I have been guiding brown bear hunters and fishermen and bear photographers from our homestead within Becharof National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska for 33 years and have had numerous close encounters with bears. Until now, I have never had to shoot an unwounded bear to protect either myself or clients, but the other week an event occurred and my good fortune changed. When it happened, I was fully aware of what was going on and how big the bear was. I also managed to stay aware of where my clients were, even when the bear was directly between us. The woman I was guiding said that while she did not remember smelling the bear’s breath, it was close enough to her face that it could have bitten her!

I have killed enough bears to know how important shot placement can be, even with large-bore rifles. I was well aware of the limitations of my 9mm pistol, even with Buffalo Bore ammo. I was aiming for a vital area with each shot; because it all took place between 6 and 8 feet, they were not far off. But hitting the head and brain of a highly animated and agitated animal is a difficult shot.

The two photos shown here tell a pretty good story by themselves. The secondary photo (embedded at the bottom of this story) was taken from the point where the charging bear first erupted from the brush. I am on the left and Larry, my fishing client, is on the right. The bear was within 2 feet or less of Larry and his wife when I shot it. You can see the dead bear to the left of Larry. The main photo (embedded to the right) shows Larry and me with the dead bear and shows its size.

Larry and his wife were fishing with me, and because we were going to a small stream I had fished before, which had numerous large male brown bears, I decided to take my Smith & Wesson 3953 DAO 9mm, rather than the S&W 629 .44 Mag. Mountain Gun I have carried for the past 25 years, as the larger boars are usually less of a problem than sows with cubs.

Before we reached the stream, while we were walking through dense brush and tall grass, we heard a growl and deep “woof” of a bear approximately 6 feet to our right (behind me in the secondary photo). We had been talking loudly but must have startled a sleeping bear. It sounded like it made a movement toward us, and I shouted loudly and the bear ran back through the brush to the right in the photo. Within 15 seconds, we could hear it growling and charging through the dense brush from the opposite side.

I had my pistol out by then, and the bear first appeared from where the photographer in photo No. 2 was standing. It went straight for my clients; Larry and his wife fell backwards in the deep grass. She said the bear’s face was close enough to hers that it could have bitten her!

The bear was highly agitated and standing within 3 feet of my clients when I decided I could take a shot without endangering them.

My first shot was at its neck, and then it began growling and spinning toward the impact. I wanted to hit the head but the bear was moving so fast I simply began shooting each time I could hit a vital area. I hit it six times before it turned to run off, and my seventh shot was into its pelvis area as it ran. When it dropped within 6 feet of the last shot, I checked my pistol and found I had only a single round left in the chamber so decided against walking in and finishing it.

My pistol was loaded with Buffalo Bore 9mm +P Outdoorsman 147-grain FN hard-cast loads that have a muzzle velocity of 1100 fps. I had previously tested, compared and proven such loads with my .357 and .44 mags., and I was convinced they would work.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 04:02 PM
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Re: Let's put the 9mm NATO vs 45 ACP to rest...lol

Shows what can be done in the hands of an expert.

Still would not want to carry a 9 in Alaska myself....but I'm no expert handgunner. They did get lucky. That close, even big bore rifles have failed to stop brownies.

Gotta love some of the stooge comments attached to the article.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 05:18 PM
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Re: Let's put the 9mm NATO vs 45 ACP to rest...lol

I am not a fan of that caliber for bear. But I don't second guess it when he is that confident. I shot a black bear with a .45 acp +p. Shot multiple times. Not impressed with penetration at all. While fishing in AK I was given a bear gun. It was a 12guage with 5 shots. 2 shells of pellets (I forget size, a firecracker shell and 2 slugs. I moved the slugs up front. As thick as the brush was I couldn't see the point. Plus if I heard it coming the warning shots would drown out my ability to track the bear by sound.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 06:12 PM
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Re: Let's put the 9mm NATO vs 45 ACP to rest...lol

You can kill a deer DRT with a 22 too. I still wouldn't try it.....

Alrighty then!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 06:38 PM
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Re: Let's put the 9mm NATO vs 45 ACP to rest...lol

From what I read on some other forums, Phil is a very respected and experienced guy when it comes to brown bears, he obviously has a handle on what he's comfortable with and works on bears. It makes sense though that a 35+ caliber hole with a bullet capable of deep penetration would make some sort of impression. I would be the last one to think a 9mm would be a good idea on these guys, as I tend to like larger more powerful rounds, but then again I'm no Phil Shoemaker.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-13-2016, 11:08 PM
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Re: Let's put the 9mm NATO vs 45 ACP to rest...lol

Guy I work with carried a 500 smith & wesson magnum guiding people fishing in Alaska.Is he nuts?I don't think so.Personally since you asked I would take my Glock 21 in 45 ACP.I have a nine and would feel way under gunned compared to a 45 or 44.If I felt the need for a 44 mag,I could borrow a 44 S&W from my good friend or the 500 S&W from the other.9 against a brown bear?He was actually lucky.

Bob Seger,till it shines.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-14-2016, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Let's put the 9mm NATO vs 45 ACP to rest...lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy Crockett
From what I read on some other forums, Phil is a very respected and experienced guy when it comes to brown bears, he obviously has a handle on what he's comfortable with and works on bears. It makes sense though that a 35+ caliber hole with a bullet capable of deep penetration would make some sort of impression. I would be the last one to think a 9mm would be a good idea on these guys, as I tend to like larger more powerful rounds, but then again I'm no Phil Shoemaker.
One of the best in the business. Would love to go on one of his hunts.
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