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2/17/2016 8:33 PM

I carry G20 Gen 3 when hunting in CO. I have it loaded with Hornady Critical Duty 175 gr (1160 fps/523 ft-lbs); I have another mag with with Corbon Hunter 200 gr RNPN (1125 fps/560 ft-lbs).

Scott, any discussion on 10mm Hornady Critical Defense or Critical Duty with Hornady rep?

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4/1/2016 12:06 AM
FWIW I have settled on a Glock 20 for almost all woods use. I own a Smith 329pd but rarely carry it. As a 'bear only' gun I suppose it is better than the Glock, but the Glock does everything else so much better I run with it. When I'm grizzly country I also carry spray and it would be my first choice in most cases (heavy headwind would be an exception). I make better hits and make much faster hits with the Glock, and at the end of the day with the same amount of ammo they are close to the same weight.
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4/21/2016 12:49 PM
My very first bear experience was in Chama, I was hunting with a local guy, and we were working a drainage, slipping along a trail cow calling, when a bear came charging down the trail. I don't think it was an actual charge, as when I shouldered my rifle, and the bear saw us he quickly turned into the brush and disappeared. Some of the more experienced hunters with us joked that our cow calling must have sounded like a badly injured cow... The two things that impressed me the most was just how fast that bear was closing the distance between us, and how when it turned off trail it was just gone...didn't even hear it anymore, it was disconcerting.

This last year while hunting in Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, we were on a trail above Texas Creek, when we came uncomfortably close to a young bull moose. We slowly backed out, and all ended well, but he never gave an inch, and it really seemed like he was debating taking us on. I have exactly zero experience with moose and was really shocked by his apparent lack of fear. Later in the trip when we were in the store at Taylor Reservoir we were relating our moose encounter to the guy that runs the store, and he told us that the previous year a hunter had killed a charging bull moose at like 6 steps.

I've always been completely at home in the woods. I've never given much thought to stuff "gettin me", but it does pay to be prepared for dangers we may face wherever we happen to be, because there are, in fact, some out there.

I've run the hardcast because it's always been explained to me that you want to penetrate deep, and hit hard, with as much potential to shear through and break bones if you miss a CNS hit as possible. My question is: are the material and design improvements being made in JHP bullets making them comparable to hardcast in their ability to do this? What performance attributes do they demonstrate that would make them preferable? Just the larger wound channel from the expansion? I ask not to challenge, but because I want to equip myself with what gives me the most advantage.
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4/22/2016 10:57 AM
The short answer from what I am being told is yes. The modern JHPs are getting penetration with expansion and in most cases retain enough weight to break bone. What they bring to the table that the hardcast doesn't is the wound channel, and hopefully leaving all the energy in the target, where as a hardcast is going to have a smaller more uniform wound channel, and likely provide full through and through penetration. As Jayden from Hornady told me ideally, you want full penetration, a big wound channel, and for the bullet to just drop out the offside so all the energy is left in the target. The modern JHPs seem to be doing all that, and field reports (from folks like Strow) are backing that up.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
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6/29/2016 8:37 PM
Revisiting/rereading this thread again. Since I do the majority of my hiking/camping/backpacking in CO/UT/S WY, I've found myself recently straying away from the "apocalypse grizzly attack" loads that I've sought before. Switched from .44 mag to a Glock 10mm awhile back. I have some reliable 200gr hardcast loads stocked up...but lately I feel that factory Hornady 10mm 180gr XTP's are a pretty damn good "all-around" woods load for my wanderings. Jack of all trades, master of none, to be sure. I've met several angry humans in the woods, and only one really angry 4-legger...I'm going to let experience be my teacher for now.
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6/29/2016 9:05 PM

Aside from bear encounters....let's not forget about big cats.  Being ambush predators and big enough to haul a full-grown man off for dinner, having good bullets to deal with that threat is possibly just as likely as running into an irate bruin.  

I'll second Scot's prior post regarding the things we learned from Hornady rep Jayden.  Over dinner while we were at the SHOT Show, Jayden explained the logic behind the build of their Critical Defense 185gr FTX JHPs for .45 ACP.  It made sense to me, and was described to us just as Scot wrote above.  This is also a good round for two-legged threats.  Another benefit of this particular round for those of us carrying the 1911 or a pistol chambered in .45 ACP, is that second, third, and any additional follow-up shot placement is quicker, with a higher degree of accuracy since recoil will be less than the heavier bullets like standard 230gr, and definitely lighter than +P rounds.  I've since switched over to these 185gr FTX JHPs as my standard carry ammo for urban or backcountry.

Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
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7/29/2016 4:33 PM

Saw this the other day and thought it would be good to post here. Puts things into perspective. Obviously situations are mostly different but, the right bullet put in the right place/s with enough momentum can save the day.... even a S&W in 9mm.




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 !

We hiked out and I flew back to camp to report the incident to F&G and pick up my daughter to go back and skin the bear for F&G.

You are the first person I have told this story to as I haven't decided whether to write it up or not, or where, but thought you should know that your ammo WORKS. We recovered 4 of the bullets and I took a photo of the back of the bear after the hide was removed that shows an entry on one side of the back and the tip of the bullet on the off side ..."

Phil Shoemaker

http://www.skookumbushtool.com | sig added by Evan. Go check out Rod's work.
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7/29/2016 9:50 PM

Shoemaker knows bears, and he knows firearms.  Years ago he wrote that he considered a 357 with hot loaded hardcasts adequate for coastal AK bruins and provided his daughter with the same.  I remember an article he wrote many years ago for Rifle Magazine (IIRC) about "bear stoppers" where he discussed this.  He even did some "tissue testing" on a whale that had washed up on the beach near one of his cabins.

 BTW, the monster brown bear that ate Timothy Treadwell was dispatched with an issued 40 "Short & Weak".

 I'll stick with my 10mm Glock but I won't be too upset if all I'm armed with is a G-17 or G-19.


Bullets matter more than headstamps.

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8/9/2016 8:52 PM
10mm stops charging 800 lb brown bear (man shoots self in foot as well):



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7/18/2017 7:25 PM

I have read this entire thread and I am super curious why no one has mentioned the .460 Rowland for bear defense.   After a bear encounter last year during archery season (black bear at 12 feet, .357 in my hand.  We both decided to part ways without coming to blows.) and much research, I decided on getting a .460 Rowland conversion kit for my Glock 21.  

It arrived this week.  I couldn't be happier.  It shoots like a dream.  With much, much less recoil than a 44 mag or larger wheel gun.  Plus it has the added benefit of still being able to shoot 45 ACP as your practice ammo.

I ordered two loads from Rowland:
Johnny’s Personal Carry

  • Bullet Weight: 185 Grains
  • Bullet Style: Nosler Jacketed Hollow Point
  • Case Type: .460 Rowland® Brass
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1575 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 1019 ft. lbs.
  • Power Factor: 291

Johnny’s Defense Against Large and Dangerous Game

  • Bullet Weight: 255 Grains
  • Bullet Style: Hard Cast Flat Nose 24 BHN
  • Case Type: .460 Rowland® Brass
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1300 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 957 ft. lbs.
  • Power Factor: 325

I have fired both.  The personal defense round has much snappier recoil, but still very managable.  I took your 7 yd/2 shot challenge.  I shot on a standard IPSC target.  

1.84 (255 gr)
1.88 (185 gr)
1.93 (185 gr)
2.02 (255 gr)

None of the shots were out of the A box.  Most of the strings were within 2 inches of each other, roughly in the center of the A box.  I can't figure out how to upload a photo, or I would include a picture of the 1.84.

Yes, I shoot alot.  However, i think that these results point to how incredibly controllable the 460 Rowland is coming out of a Glock 21, all the while giving you roughly 30% more power than a 10 mm.  


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7/19/2017 9:37 AM
That 255 grain hardcast load should shoot through a black bear from end to end, and would probably make it a good ways through a brown bear.

I'm curious about the 185 grain load though. That Nosler bullet is designed for .45 ACP velocities. Have you seen any gel tests at that velocity? My concern would be that it would over expand and frag out at that speed.
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7/19/2017 11:43 AM
I think the .460 hasn't been mentioned simply because of an extremely limited supply chain. When you're talking about 10mm / 45 super / .460 Rowland, is one of those head and shoulders above the others from a terminal ballistics standpoint? Or are they all close enough that which one you go with is more about platform choice and logistics?

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
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7/19/2017 1:04 PM
evanhill wrote:
I think the .460 hasn't been mentioned simply because of an extremely limited supply chain. When you're talking about 10mm / 45 super / .460 Rowland, is one of those head and shoulders above the others from a terminal ballistics standpoint? Or are they all close enough that which one you go with is more about platform choice and logistics?



That's sort of where I landed on this particular topic. Due to life circumstances, for several years a Glock 19 was my "everything gun," including for backpacking trips in the Cascades. I feel like a qualty barrier blind JHP in 9mm is perfectly adequte for lower 48 boondocking.

As circumstances changed, and owning a larger stable of pistols became possible, I evaluated .40/10mm/.45 ACP/ .45 Super / .460 Rowland and settled on the 10mm, largely because I've owned one in the past and have tons of experience reloading the cartridge.

I think any one of those cartridges is a reasonable choice for a backcountry autoloader. As you climb the power ladder, you tend to run into more logistical issues, as you say. The 10mm just happened to hit a sweet spot among all those factors for me.

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