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.223 adequate as backpacking companion?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Gastonite, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. Gastonite

    Gastonite Millennium Member

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    This question is for all you outdoorsman/women out there. Years ago, I purchased a Professional Ordnance AR15 variant. I suppose I'm one of the lucky ones, as I've had relatively few problems with it. I'm considering this as my backpacking companion as it weighs less than 4 pounds.

    My question for you...is the .223 round that accompanies it adequate for an irate bear, should I need it? I'll have a 30-round magazine inserted as well...

    I would certainly do whatever I could to avoid such an encounter.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    .223 delivers more energy than most handguns. I would go with remington core lokts or another sturdy bullet design.
     

  3. glock_19guy1983

    glock_19guy1983

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    If you are going to shoot a bear with 223 you better wear your running shoes. One shot MIGHT give you enough time to find a sutable tree. At that point climb it and empty those last 29 rounds into him before he climbs up there and gets you.;f
     
  4. Gastonite

    Gastonite Millennium Member

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    So you're telling me its not an adequate choice?;Q
     
  5. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    I'll expound a bit. Shot placement is the key. Specifically head shots. While I have not personally shot a bear, I have seen the nice rug and skull from one taken with a .22PPC. Of course that was a different situation as the person was predator hunting at the time and the bear did not know he was there.

    You will hear the stories of a bear taking multiple shots from a .45-70 to the head and keep coming. While I don't know the validity of those I do know about shooting steel. A .45-70 vs 3/8" plate @ 100 yards will make a nice little dent. A .223, .22-250, or other high velocity round will blow a 3/8"-1/2" hole straight through.

    I would persoanlly prefer a .223 rifle over any handgun vs a bear. Hell I'd take a .17 rem over a .454 cassul.
     
  6. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    An AR is a "people gun". The 5.56mm/.223 is a people or varmint round. Bears are not prairie dogs. Get a bigger caliber. It MIGHT do it...but I wouldn't bet on it.

    A .44 lever gun, or even better, a .30-30/.444/.45-70 lever gun, or a 12ga with slugs. Check on what the guys in Alaska carry. They do so for a reason......lots of annoyed bears around. That's why the .44 magnum is the standard for pistol carry up there in the wild country.
     
  7. MCNETT

    MCNETT Load Developer Lifetime Member

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    You're kidding right? ;e
    I have hunted and taken bear with rifle and handgun, the .454 would be sufficient for any game walking North America with good shot placement. The .17 Rem would be marginal for large jackrabbits. Penetration in steel vs. flesh and bone are two distincly seperate issues.
    -Mike
     
  8. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    Nope I'm serious. I've shot a .454 and I'd be lucky if I hit the damn thing if it was 25 yards away. I'll take a small hit over a large miss anyday.

    A body shot with a sub caliber may just piss the thing off. Too much heavy muscle I would assume. But, when that little pill bores through the skull, I'm sure there's damage to the brain.

    The main element is what are you most accurate with while you're pissing yourself. For me it's a rifle or shotgun. I'm not saying a sub-caliber rifle would be my first choice. If ever attacked by a bear I hope to be holding a double rifle in .500 NE.
     
  9. vafish

    vafish

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    I've never hunted bear with a .223. But, I have tracked and put down a small black bear (around 200lb) that had been wounded by a .30-06 and a 30-30 the day before. It still took 3 hits from my .44 mag. A bear is a tough animal.

    As for the .223 I have hunted with it a bit. I used to live in Australia and shoot roos with it. I went on a feral pig (wild boar) hunt with my .223. I used .62 gr PMC soft points. After wounding 2 pigs and having one of the 2 run off before I could finish it, then firing 5 shots into a boar that was charging me only to have my partner put it down with a .243, I switched to a 6.5 x 55 Sweedish Mauser. Didn't have any problems with the Sweede and I shot 4 pigs with it.

    My opinion: The .223 is way to light for even small black bear. A .44 mag revolver is a much better choice.
     
  10. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    I've seen 'em on the wall... their brown! :)

    That was a joke not a flame. I will agree that shot placement is critical, especially if you are shooting a light caliber like .223. However, I will have to disagree with the shot placement in the head unless you are behind him and can slide one right behind the ear.

    A bear skull is very think and very sloped and I have seen bullets from a rifle a lot larger than a .223 richotte off the skull of a bear.

    I would have to say that a light caliber like .223 you would be way farther ahead with FMJ, chest shot to get ahold of heart and lungs and get as many of them into him as you can. Or better yet take a larger rifle or shotgun.
     
  11. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    Being from Montana I was guessing that we were talking about Grizzly bears. With a Grizzly I would still stand on my comment aabout not taking a head shot. A black bear has a different shaped head and you probably could take a head shot with one of them. However, every black bear that I have come across here was more scared of me than I was of him and skeedattled away as fast as he could.
     
  12. MisterGreens

    MisterGreens Molon Labe.

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    What do you mean you have been lucky? I haven't had any problems with my Bushmaster. Ar15's, although maybe not good for taking out bears, are quality weapons.
     
  13. Gastonite

    Gastonite Millennium Member

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    Mister Greens,

    The Pro-Ord series of rifles have had a somewhat spotty history of bolt breakage in the past. Mine was actually replaced via warranty after breaking the the 203rd shot. I'm not knocking AR15s. I've owned 2 Bushy's myself. If you check out the forum archives on http://www.ar15.com and search on Professional Ordnance, I think you'll see what I mean. They recently went out of business, and Bushmaster just aquired the rights to their product line. Thank gawd, I thought I'd be screwed next time something broke...now I've got perhaps the best AR15 manufacturer in a position to repair my busted Pro-Ord! I suppose all Pro-Ord owners are happy-campers.

    Take care, and thanks for the replies, everyone.
     
  14. Dogbite

    Dogbite DNT TREAD ON ME

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    I am from Alaska,and have had a lot of experience with black and brown bears.A 223 is way to light for even black bears.The bullet is just way to light.I can guarantee this,trust me.
     
  15. smokin'gunz

    smokin'gunz Post Nomad

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    I know that if it were my life....I wouldn't take a chance. I believe spending $300 or so for a lever-action .44 or 30/30 is better than dying or getting seriously hurt. But that's just my opinion.
     
  16. duncan

    duncan Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    Concur - the .223 may penetrate due to its tiny HP but not create wound channels sufficient to stop da bear.

    Concur - now is a good time for a Redhawk or SW Montain Gun. A Glock 20 wouldn't be bad either.

    Wouldn't want to EVER shoot a bear unless there were no options. a couple tiny bells in your pocket is better protection. Bears hate the noise and will stay far from you before you get into "their" zone.

    Do your Net research on avoding bears.

    All I know is all of the technology in the world would be challenged to stop my wife if she was protecting my kids and at a ton or so, a bear momma is even more formidable.
     
  17. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    Here is some net research for you... In Montana we always know when we encounter Grizzly Bear poop because it has little bells in it and smells like pepper spray.

    I was told on another thread that if you carry a handgun into bear country you had better file the front site off. That way when the bear takes it away from you and puts it where the sun don't shine it doesn't hurt as bad.

    All jokes aside, I used to carry a G20 which I sold. I still carry a 10mm that holds way more ammo. I feel comfortable with it but then again I don't go into country that I know has Grizzies. I carry it for the one that may supprise me by not being where he is supposed to be. And I carry it because of the increasing numbers of Mountain Lion encounters. I would almost rather face a Grizzly Bear than a Mountain Lion.
     
  18. NDGlock

    NDGlock OIF2, KFOR12

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    More ammo than a G20? Do you have an MP5-10?
     
  19. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    My G20 only had 10 round mags, 3 of them. I got a Star MegaStar with two preban 14 rounders. So overall I am only carrying two less bullets(with one in the pipe) and I only have to carry one extra mag instead of two.
     
  20. NDGlock

    NDGlock OIF2, KFOR12

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    I see. If the 94 crime bill sunsets, welcome back the 15 rd 10mm mags at a decent price:)