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#300581 - 08/28/05 11:24 PM Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth?
Todd M. Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/07/05
Posts: 865
Loc: Oregon
I just finished reading Jack O'Connor's "The Hunting Rifle", published in 1953. Towards the end of the book he devotes a chapter to 22 rimfire cartridges. In explaining that the lowly 22 can be quite dangerous, he says on page 304 "One of the largest grizzlies I have ever heard of was killed by an Indian woman with one shot from an old single-shot .22 Stevens rifle." He doesn't give any substantial evidence supporting or denying the killing of the grizzly, just states that he heard about it. Can anybody pre-date this reference with an earlier grizzly/.22 tale?
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#300582 - 08/29/05 02:52 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: Todd M.]
Karl in Phoenix Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 09/29/02
Posts: 808
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
While I have not read O'Connor's book you mentioned, I have heard of a story about how Annie Oakley slew a charging grizzly bear with a .22 rim fire.

Annie Oakley was out pass-shooting doves (single shots to the head) with a .22 caliber rimfire (not specific if long rifle or long or short), for sale at the market. While thusly engaged, Oakley noticed that a large grizzley bear was moving toward her at a high rate of speed (charging). Oakley could not outrun the bear and there was no place to hide or otherwise escape. She waited until she could see the whites of his eyes and fired a shot into one of them. The bear veered from his charge and let out a bellow and then, shortly afterward, fell over dead.

While I cannot verify the truth of this tale, I have it on good authority of its accuracy of fact. However, it could only be another myth. Who knows. But, I thought I would share this tidbit anyway, just for the sake of discussion.

I am waiting for the reader who will advocate the veracity of the lowly .22lr as a capable polar bear cartridge.


Edited by Karl in Phoenix (08/29/05 02:55 PM)
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#300583 - 08/29/05 03:02 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: Todd M.]
The Tooner Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/13/02
Posts: 177
Loc: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
I think it's not a myth. I'm not sure it was a Stevens rifle, but I've heard the story of an Indian woman in Alberta who used to take a single shot .22LR with her for small game opportunities while berry-picking, and being on one occasion accosted by a not very small grizzly which convinced her it meant to have her, she used what she had, and got a lucky shot into the bear's brain. I can't find the reference right now, but I think I know someone who can - I will get back to you on this.
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#300584 - 08/29/05 04:47 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: The Tooner]
grinr Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 12/21/02
Posts: 767
Loc: New Brunswick,Canada
I've heard that one about the Indian woman.Seems to me that the actual bear is on display in Dawson maybe????

I think I rememember reading at some time that the CDN govt. had issued a bunch of 5.56 NATO/.223's to the Inuit in the arctic,and they take polar bears with them?Wouldn't want to have to stop a charge with one.Not like there is any trees to climb neither.They could have at least given them some surplus .303's or something.

"Where is Igonoonuk?I haven't seen him in months?"

"Oh,he went Nanook hunting with his .22"

"I see....poor Igonoonuk"
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#300585 - 08/29/05 06:46 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: grinr]
Longcruise Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 1138
Loc: Arvada, Colorado
I have read of the eskimos using the .22 RF for polar bears on more than one occasion. Supossedly documented by anthropologists, etc.

According to the story, the eskimo would get right up on the bear and shoot it in the eye and into the brain.

Wish I could remember where I saw the documentation.
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#300586 - 08/29/05 08:41 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: Longcruise]
Evil_Lurker Offline
PM senior

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 6721
Loc: Oregon
I haven't killed any grizzly bears, but I have killed several large (800 - 1200 lb.) cows/steers with a .22LR solid between the eyes, dropped every one of them like a rock. Also one it didn't kill, but that's a different story.
I wouldn't rule out killing a large bear with a .22, the skull/head is much the same size.
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#300587 - 08/29/05 10:02 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: Todd M.]
MI VHNTR Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 2114
Loc: *
I've got to look around in some of my older magazines. IIRC, I've got a picture of the Indian woman with her single shot .22 and the bear skin. Hopefully, I still have the magazine. If I can find it, I'll pass it on. MI VHNTR
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#300588 - 08/29/05 11:41 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: MI VHNTR]
Skinner2 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 664
Loc: South East Michigan, Downriver
I just read about this a short time ago but forget where. The story said as the bear entered her dwelling she had picked up the 22 rifle and as the bear was snapping at her she placed the barrel into the bear's mouth and pulled the trigger. Well close anyway!

Skinner 2

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#300589 - 08/30/05 10:43 AM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: Skinner2]
Longcruise Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 1138
Loc: Arvada, Colorado
In the mouth!

Pretty simple to calculate for PBR on that one!
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#300590 - 08/30/05 10:57 AM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: Longcruise]
UgashikBob Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/30/02
Posts: 224
Loc: Outlet Lower Ugashik Lake Alas...
Anyone who has been involved in a close quarters encounter with a growler will tell you there is not to many things made that you can hold with both hands that make you feel comfortable. I suspect that if other brave souls have tried to use a 22 rimfire on Brown Bear the reason you are having problems verifying it is lack of survivors.

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#300591 - 08/30/05 01:34 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: UgashikBob]
Evil_Lurker Offline
PM senior

Registered: 07/30/05
Posts: 6721
Loc: Oregon
Quote:

I suspect that if other brave souls have tried to use a 22 rimfire on Brown Bear the reason you are having problems verifying it is lack of survivors.




I was thinking the same thing. "Let's take the .22's and go bear hunting" sounds like something you would read in the Darwin Awards to me. Still, if you're out of options, it's worth a try.
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#300592 - 08/30/05 05:13 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: Evil_Lurker]
skb2706 Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 4884
Loc: Denver, Colorado
If I were to guess the origins - very small bar in the Yukon somewhere close to closing time...........

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#300593 - 08/30/05 09:00 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: skb2706]
wolfclan1 Offline
New Member

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 9
Loc: East Kooteney
Hello, heres the same story I have read before. Cant remember the book though.

http://huntingbc.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=342

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#300594 - 08/30/05 09:39 PM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: wolfclan1]
Todd M. Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/07/05
Posts: 865
Loc: Oregon
"Bella Twin at age 63 and her friend D. Auger were hunting grouse and picking berries, near Lesser Slave Lake in Northern Alberta. The gun she owned and carried was a single-shot bolt-action .22 caliber rimfire rifle. They were walking a cutline that had been made for oil exploration when they ran into a ex-large grizzly following the same survey line towards them. If they ran,the grizzly would notice them and give chase, so they quietly sat down in a brush pile and hoped the grizzly would pass them by without any trouble. But the grizzly came to close and Bella Twin shot the grizzly in the side of the head with a .22 Long cartridge. The big grizzly dropped, kicked and then lay still. Bella taking no chances went up to it and fired the 7 cartridges that she had left into the grizzly's head. This took place in 1953, was the world-record grizzly for several years. Which goes to show you that anything is possible in an emergency. Twin’s grizzly stands as the longest-reigning provincial big-game record in Alberta.

The Boone and Crockett score for her bear was 26 5/16."

Nice job! The news story gives details matching the legend/myth and authenticates a date of 1953 which corresponds to the date O'connor published his book that I referenced earlier. Origin confirmed. Todd
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Dang it! I just fired the world's first perfect group and nobody is here to witness it.......

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#300595 - 08/31/05 03:20 AM Re: Origin of the .22LR vs. Grizzly myth? [Re: Todd M.]
m98 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/16/05
Posts: 132
It was a "SNIPER" shot. a round behind the ears...I honestly do think that if a sharp shooter was to send a .22lr right behind the ear through the soft tissue, it'll drop almost anything, but only if the animal being shot is not aware of ur presence and there's no adrenaline running at that time in the animal.

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