Bear Skulls???

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Bear Skulls???

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:58 am

Ok, I know it's TV. And reality TV at that- but Atz Lee Kilcher said that bullets will ricochet off of a bear's skull.

I heard him say that, and initially called BS. But now I'm wondering.

I know that if the bullet was too small or had extremely low velocity I could see this being true, but I don't see why a high velocity modern hand gun round wouldn't pierce 4 inches of bone at close range.

Does anyone have data (or better yet, real world experience) to prove or disprove Mr. Kilcher's statement?
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by mortblanc » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:06 pm

Like all things there are variables not mentioned. And remember that bullets will ricochet the surface of water consistently. Once you pull the trigger nothing is guaranteed.

Size of the bear and thickness of its skull, angle of the shot.

Weight and velocity of the bullet as well as construction of the bullet.


The exact same myths/stories persist about shooting wild hogs.

Domesticated hogs are killed routinely with .22 shorts while on occasion impacts with a .308 are not sufficient to stop wild hogs.

Same with bears up to grizzly size. While the 30-06 is considered not enough gun for hunting grizzly, the world record bear was taken using a .22 long, not a long rifle but a .22 long.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by flybynight » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:15 pm

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by Dabster » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:17 pm

mortblanc wrote:
Same with bears up to grizzly size. While the 30-06 is considered not enough gun for hunting grizzly, the world record bear was taken using a .22 long, not a long rifle but a .22 long.

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I was doubting this then I went to the Google...

http://www.ammoland.com/2014/11/what-22 ... z4a0ckd1m0

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by woodsghost » Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:39 pm

I'm on a phone, so I can't post links. But check the Buffalo Bore articles section. The owner talks about his experiences shooting brown bears. He talks about use of pistol rounds. My memory is that fast and hard rounds can punch through, but they have to hit a specific spot. This spot is small. I got the impression it is about the size of a soda can. Other part of a bear skull will be difficult even for rifle rounds to punch through. Or so my memory says. Go read for yourself. It was an interesting article.
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by Snyper708 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:45 pm

I remember years ago reading about how Skeeter Skelton bounced 5 357 bullets off the skull of a black bear before getting one through the side near the ear.

It all depends on the angle of the impact, much like bouncing bullets off the surface of water.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by yossarian » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:34 am

I've heard stories of rifle rounds deflecting and leaving a large bruin with a very nasty headache lurking in the brush. I'd like to say that they were vetted stories published in reliable sources like Field and Stream or Outdoor Life, but I just can't say that with complete confidence.

If you look at the shape of the skull it seems entirely plausible that an attempt to "shoot it between the eyes" from some distance would result in deflection. I don't know anyone that can refute the claim that sometimes bullets do weird shit.

Most refutations of this idea seem to actually be a shot from the side, behind the ear etc., or from a downward angle on other animals such as at a slaughterhouse or on an episode of Swamp People.

The skull is designed to protect the brain, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if it did that on occasion.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by roscoe » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:38 am

The trick is hitting the right spot on a bear's head when it bursts from the brush at 25 meters, with the head bobbing as it comes towards you at 30 MPH. My understanding is that using a nice heavy hardcast load, and aiming at the shoulder or hip is a likelier stop. Go to the 3:00 mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9wWJhxMNdE

With regard to the .22 kill, killing a motionless bear is one thing, stopping one in full charge is another.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by LowKey » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:20 am

You'd want round with a relatively high sectional density.

Points made by previous posters such as using hard cast bullets (or solid copper/brass projectiles) and the technique of aiming for a shoulder to slow the bear down enough to take a better shot at the head (sometimes referred to as "breaking the bear down) are common advice I've heard.

Something else I've picked up is that the talk about bullets sliding/glancing off of bear skulls have their origin in the era of soft round lead shot being fired from flintlocks, which makes sense.

It's bone, and thick as it is it is not hardened steel plate.
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:39 am

LowKey wrote:You'd want round with a relatively high sectional density.

Points made by previous posters such as using hard cast bullets (or solid copper/brass projectiles) and the technique of aiming for a shoulder to slow the bear down enough to take a better shot at the head (sometimes referred to as "breaking the bear down) are common advice I've heard.

Something else I've picked up is that the talk about bullets sliding/glancing off of bear skulls have their origin in the era of soft round lead shot being fired from flintlocks, which makes sense.

It's bone, and thick as it is it is not hardened steel plate.
So, hollow points are out- I don't use those things anyway. Do you think a 147 gr FMJ-FP would do the trick? (Bimetallic, copper jacket, lead core)

Of course last time I checked armor piercing rounds are legal to own.
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by LowKey » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:41 am

Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:
LowKey wrote:You'd want round with a relatively high sectional density.

Points made by previous posters such as using hard cast bullets (or solid copper/brass projectiles) and the technique of aiming for a shoulder to slow the bear down enough to take a better shot at the head (sometimes referred to as "breaking the bear down) are common advice I've heard.

Something else I've picked up is that the talk about bullets sliding/glancing off of bear skulls have their origin in the era of soft round lead shot being fired from flintlocks, which makes sense.

It's bone, and thick as it is it is not hardened steel plate.
So, hollow points are out- I don't use those things anyway. Do you think a 147 gr FMJ-FP would do the trick? (Bimetallic, copper jacket, lead core)

Of course last time I checked armor piercing rounds are legal to own.
Hardcast lead solids with a flat metplat seem to be what's most often advised, with penetration counted a bit more important than expansion.
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by roscoe » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:37 am

Check the offerings from Buffalo Bore, DoubleTap, and Underwood for hardcast ammo. 9mm up to .45-70.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by woodsghost » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:39 pm

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:06 am

Image

ETA: these are targets that State of AK Park Rangers use for training- you can buy them online and I'm thinking about getting some.
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:28 pm

Now I really want to see if I can't find some bear skulls out here and do some testing with various loads.

Probably going to be kind of hard to do since there's not a whole lot of bears or bear hunters in my AO.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by woodsghost » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:29 pm

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:Now I really want to see if I can't find some bear skulls out here and do some testing with various loads.

Probably going to be kind of hard to do since there's not a whole lot of bears or bear hunters in my AO.
Just a head's up. Skulls that have been sitting around don't stand up the same to bullets the way fresh skulls do. From what I can gather on youtube, it seems bones are kinda soft, then they get hard, then they get very rotten and fall apart. I remember one video of a cow skull being blasted to pieces by bird shot and that was the poster's explanation as to why birdshot was perfectly good for home defense. The skull had obviously been around a while. On the other hand, I have read about people shooting cows with much heavier rounds than 12 ga birdshot and seeing their rounds bounce off the skull of living cows.
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:57 pm

woodsghost wrote:
12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:Now I really want to see if I can't find some bear skulls out here and do some testing with various loads.

Probably going to be kind of hard to do since there's not a whole lot of bears or bear hunters in my AO.
Just a head's up. Skulls that have been sitting around don't stand up the same to bullets the way fresh skulls do. From what I can gather on youtube, it seems bones are kinda soft, then they get hard, then they get very rotten and fall apart. I remember one video of a cow skull being blasted to pieces by bird shot and that was the poster's explanation as to why birdshot was perfectly good for home defense. The skull had obviously been around a while. On the other hand, I have read about people shooting cows with much heavier rounds than 12 ga birdshot and seeing their rounds bounce off the skull of living cows.
Thanks for the info, Woodsghost.

I'm having a hard time finding bear skulls in my AO anyway, so I likely won't go through with my idea.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by woodsghost » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:14 pm

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:
woodsghost wrote:
12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:Now I really want to see if I can't find some bear skulls out here and do some testing with various loads.

Probably going to be kind of hard to do since there's not a whole lot of bears or bear hunters in my AO.
Just a head's up. Skulls that have been sitting around don't stand up the same to bullets the way fresh skulls do. From what I can gather on youtube, it seems bones are kinda soft, then they get hard, then they get very rotten and fall apart. I remember one video of a cow skull being blasted to pieces by bird shot and that was the poster's explanation as to why birdshot was perfectly good for home defense. The skull had obviously been around a while. On the other hand, I have read about people shooting cows with much heavier rounds than 12 ga birdshot and seeing their rounds bounce off the skull of living cows.
Thanks for the info, Woodsghost.

I'm having a hard time finding bear skulls in my AO anyway, so I likely won't go through with my idea.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:03 pm

Woodsghost, there's just not that many bears or bear hunters in my AO for me to get a skull from. :(

If I can score a good deal on some bear skulls of varying ages, I'll do the testing I wanted to and report back here. If I do manage to get some bear skulls, I'll start with .22lr and go up to 7.62x54r since that's the biggest round I stock currently.

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by woodsghost » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:09 pm

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote:Woodsghost, there's just not that many bears or bear hunters in my AO for me to get a skull from. :(

If I can score a good deal on some bear skulls of varying ages, I'll do the testing I wanted to and report back here. If I do manage to get some bear skulls, I'll start with .22lr and go up to 7.62x54r since that's the biggest round I stock currently.
And here I thought you Texans had everything "big" in your neck of the woods :clownshoes:

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:57 pm

I said that's the biggest round I own.

I'm pretty sure I can find someone out here with a .50 BMG. All I have to do is ask around and offer to pay for ammo. :lol:

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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by woodsghost » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:16 pm

I meant big bears yo!
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by Hiroshima_Morphine » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:10 am

12_Gauge_Chimp wrote: If I can score a good deal on some bear skulls of varying ages, I'll do the testing I wanted to and report back here. If I do manage to get some bear skulls, I'll start with .22lr and go up to 7.62x54r since that's the biggest round I stock currently.
I'm looking forward to this, be sure to put it in YouTube.

Have you ever considered starting a YouTube channel? Post a video a week about guns and/or chimps and your channel could be viral.

Oh- I got it! Lets set up a live stream of 'you'- a chimp in a cage with a shotgun. :mrgreen:

Anyway- I think an obstacle you may run into is I think it is illegal to sell bear skulls and furs. In most cases you can keep it for yourself and gift it to someone in your state- but interstate gifting is also a no-no. But I'm not a lawyer. As you say, not many bears in our areas- there might be some in east TX (I know there are in east OK). Bears like thick brush, not wide open prairies

But if it's not illegal- I'd reach out to our AK and PacNW pals.
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Re: Bear Skulls???

Post by 12_Gauge_Chimp » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:57 am

I'll look into the legality of buying and selling bear skulls, Hiro. I'm not holding out much hope of finding any for a decent price and I'd really rather not pay a fortune for something I'm just going to end up shooting anyway.

I wonder if I could just find something similar to a bear skull (kind of like the skulls the Zombie Go Boom guys use) and just test my idea with that.

And I have thought about making my own YouTube channel for gun reviews and things like that, Hiro. I just need to get everything set up with Google in regards to where I want the money from ads to go to.

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