For those who wonder what handgun to carry for bears...


January 22, 2003, 05:39 PM
This is for all of those who ask what handgun they should carry for bears.

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J Miller
January 22, 2003, 05:56 PM
OK, so whos the little kid standing between the guys in the bear suits?

OH, he's full grown?:uhoh:

Ah well, I hope this is a computer generated picture, if not I'd rather have a bazooka for bear protection.:eek:

OK, seriously, what kind of bears do these represent? Grizleys?

January 22, 2003, 06:52 PM
:what: :eek: :what:

January 22, 2003, 07:16 PM
Seems there was this greenhorn on his first hunting trip in bear country, and he was a bit concerned about how to deal with being attacked by a bear. So, he asked his guide what kind of gun he carried in case a bear attacked while he was guiding a client.

The grizzled old guide pulled out a snub-nosed .38 revolver.

The greenhorn asked incredulously, "What kind of a bear gun is that - you don't seriously expect a .38 snub to do anything to a bear, do you?!?" :what:

Replied the guide, "Well, sonny, I carry this gun because it's small, lightweight, and it don't get in the way - and if we DO get attacked by a bear, all this gun has to do is slow YOU down...":evil:

January 22, 2003, 07:31 PM
I want a belt-fed grenade launcher when I start hiking out in the wood for bear protection.

And if I come into contact with those 5 bears and the guy... i'm shooting the guy first, he's probably the bear squad leader.

January 22, 2003, 07:41 PM
I don't know who that guy is or where that picture was taken, but those are (or were, prior to being stuffed) Alaskan brown bears - grizzlies on steroids.

And that is why I tell people to buy a real gun instead of a .44 mag if they want to wander around in thse parts.

They never listen....


January 22, 2003, 07:44 PM
Them there is grizzlies alright, the stuffed variety for sure, but grizzlies none the less. I think I'd take a BFG for those.

January 22, 2003, 07:47 PM
Yep, those are Grizzlies. Possibly Kodiaks (which I think is a larger Grizzley Bear?).

Not all bears require rifles though IMO. Most Black bears are small enough to be taken down by a large magnum (.41 and up is best IMO).

January 22, 2003, 07:49 PM
Serbu shorty, with sabot slugs, for close work. .50BMG for anything past five yards.:neener:

Tam, what do you think?

January 22, 2003, 08:34 PM
Most black bear around here aren't much bigger than a deer. Most are in the 200-300 range. I've seen fat people sitting at McDonalds bigger than that.

January 22, 2003, 09:50 PM
Here is the thread over on about these bears.;f=2;t=003147

here is what the guy said about them.

Dan is 5' 6" or 5'7" so he is kind of short. But the big dark colored one in the center is very tall.
The weight of the mounts as they are is over 300 pounds that includes each bears base.
These Bears are from Russia. The Kamchatka??? area I think, sorry for spelling.
The Hunters mostly used 338 win mags. I know the one on the left with it's arms down is the one that Dan shot. I think he used a 250 gr Nosler partition.
The hair on these bears is amazing. It is so thick. The long outer hair is kind of coarse but the inner hair is soft as down. When you look at them from behind the width of their backs is incredable. None of these bears had their "rug yanked" they all took several shots to put down. The size is what just blows me away! You have to be up close to fully appreciate them.

January 22, 2003, 11:15 PM
Kamchatka Peninsula has the largest population of brown bear on the planet. Rugged and wild country out there.

Forget the handgun with something that size. You'll just annoy it more. .338 or better in rifle caliber is suggested. By the by these guys can run as fast as a race horse. They can disembowel a man with one swipe of those claws.

Hunting one must be a great experience. Those that are negligent end up in a scat pile.

Forget the pistol!:D :neener:

January 22, 2003, 11:16 PM
For those who wonder what handgun to carry for bears... For bears I'd say to go big. Look at the size of those guys, they could handle a big caliber. With the size of the paws I'd even say they could probably handle using a rifle as a handgun so I say give the bears an AK (needs to be rugged as I don't think bears are known for being particularly gentle) and let them have at it. I must say though that I never really thought much about whether bears should take up shooting though.:evil:

January 22, 2003, 11:17 PM
Support Your Right To Arm Bears!

January 22, 2003, 11:21 PM
On bears of that size, I think that a LARGE can of pepper spray would give you far more protection than any handgun.

January 22, 2003, 11:42 PM
8 inch dia can of pepper spray and a coffee can full of wheel weights,nails and fishing sinkers down a 8 inch bore naval deck gun....:D

January 22, 2003, 11:57 PM
On bears of that size, I think that a LARGE can of pepper spray would give you far more protection than any handgun.Ask the folks who actually come face-to-face with such bruins more frequently than any others...Alaskans.

They don't rely on pepper spray; Redhawks and Linebaughs, yes...pepper spray, no. It doesn't matter which way the wind is blowing when you squeeze the trigger on a big-bore. ;)

January 23, 2003, 12:05 AM
i'm shooting the guy first, he's probably the bear squad leader.


January 23, 2003, 12:32 AM
I've seen fat people sitting at McDonalds bigger than that.

You guys are killin me!! :D :D

January 23, 2003, 01:11 AM
Here's an idea for a great Alaska anti-bear rifle, for dealing with really big game like this.

Take the Russian VEPR rifles. They're semiauto AKs built on RPK receivers, which are heavier and stronger.

Now, scale the gun up, up, up. .45-70 Government, .338 Win Mag, etc.

Attach a big cushy recoil pad.

It'd have 5 and 10 round detachable box magazines, and could be scoped without blocking the iron sights.

To be really nice, give it synthetic furniture and nickel plate or polymer coat the rest of the gun, for weather proofing. These guns already have hammer-forged, chrome lined barrels.

You'd have a 9-lb package, but you'd have at your disposal 10+1 shots of .338, .45-70, or whatever else you'd want (maybe 7mm Rem Mag?) as fast as you could pull the trigger.

Not as accurate at long range as a bolt gun, but probably more solid than a BAR or Remington self-loader. Besides, most bear attacks happen at close range, right?

Just an idea.

January 23, 2003, 02:18 AM
When expecting to go up against bear,a 44 magnum will do.However I do suggest shaving off the front sight.This will help alot when the bear takes the gun from you and sticks it up your a$$...:eek: :what:

January 23, 2003, 06:32 AM
That picture is making me nervous. :uhoh:

My best friend, our brothers, two friends and I are planning a trip to Spitsbergen for this or next year. The problem is, during winter it's too cold and during summer there are polar bears.
The authorities on Spitsbergen say you have to carry a .308 or larger with a muzzle energy of at least 2900J/2140ftlbs.
Within our group of six we'll carry two or three rifles, one Enfield No.4 and one/two K98s.

January 23, 2003, 06:47 AM
What's the best method for carrying hand grenades while hiking?

January 23, 2003, 11:23 AM
I thought my Dan Wesson 7460 would be a good bet.

I think I'm gonna need a bigger gun.

Course, we've only got black bear here in Maine. Guess I should be OK after all. Unless I decide to take a trip into that area. In that event, I'd probably make sure I have artillery support. I can hear the radio call on that one.

"Fire Mission!! Brown bear in the open!! Grid 72,45,12 by 27, 15, 8. Requesting HE and airburst mix. Danger close, I repeat, Danger close!"

"Shot over!"

"Shot out!"

"On target! Fire for effect"

January 23, 2003, 11:32 AM
In NJ there used to be the largest brown bear in captivity ,an enormous 2000 lbs ! Its claws were like bananas . Seeing that up close and thinking of a handgun ? No way ,do they make a short barreled 50 BMG ? A comment on pepper spray- some have gotten the idea that its like bug repellant and spray their equipment with it . That actually attracks the bears.

January 23, 2003, 02:14 PM
I've also been told that 10% OC pepper spray MAY be effective against certain species of bear - also that you can wear a couple of Christmas jingle-bells to make noise as you walk so that the bears hear you coming and avoid you. I understand, though, that this works better on black bears, as opposed to brown bears.

To determine what species of bear inhabits your area, check the scat piles left behind.

Black bears' scat will contain nuts, leaves and berries.

Brown bears' scat will contain jingle bells and smell like hot peppers.


January 23, 2003, 04:08 PM
Several (30?) years ago at the local zoo a polar bear got loose and was mauling a zookeeper. Zoo staff tried tranquilizer darts with no effect. I don't know what kind of ordinance the police had but it took several shots from rifles and handguns before they finally stopped the attack.

January 23, 2003, 05:48 PM
Those bears are big, but keep in mind that the guy is standing close to a foot downslope of them. I'd estimate their height around 8 feet.

Apparently, only polar bears will choose to attack people. The rest will avoid you if they know you're around.

My brother went camping in Alaska, so he brought pepper spray. The one time he sees a bear, the animal is upwind of him and the wind is blowing at 20 mph! He was rethinking the aerosol defense at that point.

January 23, 2003, 06:26 PM
>>>>I'd estimate their height around 8 feet.<<<<

Nope, I assure you those bears are roughly the same size as Alaskan Brown Bears and a good male will stand close to 13 feet in that pose. The hide will measure as much as 10 1/2 feet from nose to tail, then add 3 1/2 feet for the legs... These are BIG animals! People who are used to seeing black bears or standard grizzly bears just don't comprehend how big these brown bears get.

Attached is a picture of a friend of mine named Dwight Van Brunt (of Kimber!) with a good bear taken here on Kodiak. Note, this is just a "good bear" that didn't even make Boone and Crockett. There's no fancy camera angles or photoshop games with this picture, just a shot of a hunter with a bear.

January 23, 2003, 06:28 PM
Oops - the picture!

Neil Casper
January 23, 2003, 06:46 PM
I don't mean to anger anyone, but....

If you can't carry a BIG rifle, stay home. Don't go there!

I feel that the only handgun that might be suitable for bears, big or little, is a 20 mm semi-automatic with a 60 round drum magazine. The longest barrel you can carry in whichever holster you can get! I know Oerlikon didn't make one and the miniguns need auxiliary power.

Bears sort of intimidate me. When I was a kid my folks took me to the Cleveland Zoo, (yes, they had a zoo back then), and the bears in the cages started salivating when they saw my round, pink body. That did it for me!:what:

January 23, 2003, 06:59 PM

The man in the picture of the five bears is between 2/3 and 3/4 the height of the animals. If the bears are 13 feet tall, he'd have to be a minimum of 8 feet tall!

I don't doubt that bears get bigger, but the ones in the first picture are about 8 feet tall if the man is 5'6". Keep in mind he is not standing on their level and his left foot is propped up.

January 23, 2003, 07:43 PM
I don't know how big the bears in the picture are. But, the bear to the left (his right) is actually on ground well BELOW his level, and he's only halfway up it, or something like that. He's 5 1/2 feet, so that bear must be standing 11 feet or higher, probably 12 feet since it's on lower ground. Look again.

It's unusual to see brown bears mounted like that because they literally will not fit in most houses. You need a vault ceiling to display a trophy like that.

I don't think these Kamchatka bears reach quite the size of an Alaskan bear (at least none are placing in B&C that I know of), but they are large bears. Keep in mind that when a bear is described as a "10 footer", they are talking about the hide measurement, not how tall it stands and ten foot bears are fairly common. a "6 foot" black bear might stand 7 feet or a little more when you add the length of legs. A "10 foot" brown bear is easily 13 feet when standing because the rear legs will add another 3 1/2 feet or so - you then must subtract the half foot or so lost when the snout is parallel rather than extended. Something like that.

You really have to see a live one to appreciate them. Sometimes they'll pound the ground in a threat display and you can actually FEEL the vibration if you're close enough. 1500 pounds of bear pounding the earth, clicking their teeth and grunting at you is an experience never forgotten!


Baron Holbach
January 23, 2003, 08:23 PM
I had no idea bears could be so overwhelmingly huge! Given that we are to conjure which handgun would be best in the event of an enounter with a huge grizzly, I use to think a .44 magnum or 10mm would be sufficient. Now I think a .454 Casull would be the minimum, or a .480 Ruger and .475 Linebaugh. I would rely on Magnum Research's BFR -- the 7 1/2 inch .45-70 revolver:

John Taffin provides some interesting numbers about the .475 Linebaugh:

J Miller
January 24, 2003, 10:13 AM
I've questioned in other forums and threads what the new S&W 500 Magnum might be good for.
I think this just might be a use for one.

These bears are huge. With critters like this rummaging around it makes me wonder how man became dominate.

El Tejon
January 24, 2003, 01:11 PM
Bears? Oh, no, make them stop! Ahhhhh.

Why not, which handgun for unicorns or dragons?

January 24, 2003, 01:46 PM
Now I don't see why you couldn't use a 9mm.

147grain of course.

But if you could place the shot well. Remember shot placement is the key.

Practise rolling into a ball with the 9mm pointing up and towards the target.

Probably you will need only one or two shots but a high capacity may make you feel more comfortable.

With nearly 400 lb/ft of energy a Glock 9mm is your best bet in BIG BEAR country.


BTW Kor Brown bears' scat will contain jingle bells and smell like hot peppers. I laughed so hard my eyes are watering:D

January 24, 2003, 02:00 PM

I want what the guy in the middle is carrying.

January 24, 2003, 02:02 PM
These bears are huge. With critters like this rummaging around it makes me wonder how man became dominate.

Thats easy. We have big brains compared to our body size, and we have :fire: FIRE :fire:

January 24, 2003, 03:37 PM

January 24, 2003, 04:56 PM
For bears like that, I had better carry a Vulcan 20mm cannon at the very least!!! :what:

January 24, 2003, 05:42 PM

With all due respect, you're talking about 'capping' yourself in case of imminent bear disembowelment, right? I mean, we've all read the debates about 9mm vs. a 200 lb. human. I don't think you're seriously proposing a 147-gr. subsonic load against a 2,000 bear. Curling up and firing upwards means you're already under attack. Too late. Unless, of course, the shot is aimed at your own brain matter.

Dave Markowitz
January 24, 2003, 08:04 PM
I don't think I'd want anything smaller than this:


January 25, 2003, 06:52 AM
that is one awesome pic :eek:
altough these creatures are well above normal size, you can still get them down with 9mm explosive ammo when aiming at the head!
there is only one problem: 9mm explosive ammo is highly illegal

Kahr carrier
January 25, 2003, 07:19 AM
That pictures to Cool.:what:

Lone Star
January 25, 2003, 07:31 AM
Well, you could use Marguerite Krux's little S&W New Departure Safety Hammerless .38 from the "Lost World" TV show. She sometimes kills dinosaurs with that when the men are afraid to fire their rifles! I think it's Political Correctness in action!

Actually, I think Marguerite could flay a bear with her sharp tongue, although she's mellowed during three years on the Plateau. I'll miss her now that it's been announced that there will be no fourth season. But a TV movie to bring conclusion to the avid fans may be in the works...

Seriously, I would never carry more than a .44 Magnum, and try for a brain shot. I would certainly carry a rifle, too, and employ the .44 only if a bear caught me when I couldn't reach the rifle or it ran dry. The .454, .480, this new .50 S&W...they'd all be too bulky and kick too hard for me to shoot them well.

Massad Ayoob once wrote about a .38 lead Plus P HP .38 Special being used by a NYC cop to kill a big polar bear that had grabbed someone at a zoo. Took one shot, about where the throat meets the chest.

I knew that NYC didn't issue/allow hollowpoints, so asked Ayoob about this. He swore that the cop was carrying that load for his S&W, in violation of regulations.
Lone Star

January 25, 2003, 12:06 PM
I'm sure we can come up with all kinds of anecdotal information about giant critters being killed with puny firearms. The bullet hits the right place from the right angle and ...poof, animal expires.
There are also stories about human predators going down from one well placed eyeball hit from a .22 short. That doesn't make a .22 short a reasonable self defense firearm.


January 25, 2003, 12:09 PM
About 25 years ago at one of the Air Force landing strips in Alaska, the control tower noted a grizzly on the runway and a plane inbound. Instead of having the plane make a low pass to scare it, they sent two APs out in a jeep with .45 pistols.

Later, an empty jeep, two empty .45s and the partial remains of two servicemen were found on the runway. A guide/hunter was called in. After several weeks he killed a large grizzly with scars on its muzzle and forehead. When examined after skinning, light marks on the skull could be seen from where the .45 Ball ammo had bounced off (230 FMJ at 850 fps, or so).

Shot placement is only one factor.

January 25, 2003, 12:15 PM
I'd take a 10mm or 9x23 at the very least, loaded the hottest possible...

Tipped with C4 or maybe cyanide/morphine capsule ;)

January 25, 2003, 12:45 PM
that's some scary **** handy, gives me the creeps :uhoh:

if just those 2 AP's would have carried 9mm's :neener:
yep, I'm serious. the military 9mm para (in Belgium) is a 124 grain FMJ fluing around at 1250 ft/s and a rough 425 ft/lbs. on a human being, that would cause overpenetration, on a grizzly, that would cause death :D

too bad that there aren't any grizzly's here in Belgium :(

Shaughn Leayme
January 25, 2003, 01:25 PM
Let's see.......

Save for the Polar Bear, the Brown Bear (and immedite family) are tops on the north american food chain. They weigh as much as many compact cars (more or less) anything crossing thier path is either an entree, main course or desert and they are not particualrly friendly and due to acclimitization with human being they aren't really all that scared of us, not that they were all that scared of us in the first place (even before they got to know us :) )

I think we have all heared stories of BIG bears being taken with 22's and the like (I think that a record (former) holding brown bear was taken in BC? with a 22 short, by a native american). I think any handgun is a compromise, we have it and hope that we never need it.

If I was moving around in bear country, I would be carrying a rifle (if possible) in 375 H&H and my 1911 (45 ACP) with some hybrid ammunition being developed by some interprising folks (200 grain JSP/FMJ at 1400 + fps and 230 at 1200 fps, using specialty brass and rifle primers) and based upon the information I have seen so far, all that is needed is a ramped barrel (yep, have it) and a 18 pound recoil spring and a shock buff (run a 20 and shock buff) and quality magazines (I use wilsons, got it covered).

I would also bone up on bear anatomy, so that I would at least know where I would end up if everything went wrong :what:

January 25, 2003, 01:41 PM
A 9mm OR a .45 can certainly "cause death" to a large grizzly. The only problem is that the death will likely occur many hours later, long after you're dead.

As for head shots on a grizzly... There's a myth built around the "well known fact" that bullets "bounce off" a bears head. Grizzlies have a rather pronounced "forehead" reaching well above the level of the eyes. The problem is that people tend to aim for the forehead of a grizzly because they don't understand the anatomy. The problem is that the top of a bears brain is actually at the level of the eyes. There's nothing behind his forhead except six inches of hide, fat, bone and the attachments for the jaw muscles which stretch up around the skull.

Generations of people have shot bears in that spot and failed to put them down, so the myth continues.

I used to have some comparative photographs illustrating this, but they went into the ether during a catastrophic computer crash. Anyway, the bears brain is way at the rear/bottom of the skull. The most direct route to it from the front is through the nose. The nose is really a soft spot - a long tube with only thin bone between it and the brain. I suspect any centerfire round in even the puniest caliber would easily penetrate there. That's a tough shot though! Imagine shooting through a 10 inch long tube only three to four inches in diameter as it bounds towards you at 30 miles an hour.... I don't know anybody who could make that shot with any regularity.

No thanks! I'll stick with a .45/70 loaded with Garrett Hammerheads!


January 25, 2003, 02:16 PM

I haven't shot a bear with a pistol. If I do, it will likely be a California black bear, that's trying to join me in my tent.:cuss:

You can't deny, though, that the .454 Casull, Linebaughs, and .480 Ruger all drive very heavy, non-expanding lead bullets, that can penetrate three or four feet in an animal.

I'd still prefer a large caliber rifle for bear protection, but if fishing, or photographing, where it's not practical to have a rifle, a 480 Ruger with 370 grain bullets would be my bet.

January 25, 2003, 02:54 PM
A black bear and a brown bear are entirely different animals. An average black bear might go 200 pounds or a bit more - though I know they do get larger than that. An average brown (male) will go 1200 pounds. Some years ago one that happened to be taken near a cannery scale here in Kodiak was dragged over and weighed in at 2000 pounds and change!

We don't have any black bears around here. Down in SE Alaska where they have both, it's a weird-but-true fact that you never find black bears and browns on the same island. Over the years, the brown bears have eaten all the black bears on any island they inhabit. The only place they share habitat is on the mainland where black bears can get "replenished" from further inland, outside brown bear habitat.

I think a handgun is probably sufficient for most black bear situations. I'd still prefer a rifle or shotgun if it was at all convenient to carry one. You can buy a number of different devices that allow you to attach a rifle to a pack frame. My GG is short enough that I can just stick in the pack with the butt sticking over my right shoulder when I need both hands free, like to fish or climb. I have a little Baikal coach gun in 12 gauge that works even better in that situation.


January 26, 2003, 11:03 AM
I was watching one of the Discovery Channels a few weeks ago, and they had a guy on there who survived an enconter with one of those Kamchatka brown bears. It wasn't very pretty either. He was missing his face. He had his rifle with him but didn't have time to use it till after the bear was mauling him. I think a nice 9mm would be called for as a quick means to an end for something like this.

January 26, 2003, 02:18 PM
Folks, we are talking about a 2000 pound animal that can run a 100 yards as fast as a racehorse. Pistol no good. You need big rifle that go BOOM! You also have to keep from wetting your pants as he runs towards you. This is really a silly thread. Bring rifle! Big Rifle. The bigger the better!

Bring BIG Rifle! 'nuff said!

Shaughn Leayme
January 26, 2003, 03:39 PM
How many people can lug a rifle around with them when they must also do work, such as fencing? I don't live in Big bear country, but if I did, it would be pretty hard to carry a post hole digger (manual style) fencing tools, shovel and a rifle at the same time.

Even with a tractor, truck or atv, you are going to be involved in activities that require both hands and a handgun on the belt is better than trying to beat it off (bear) with a shovel, other option is to start digging a hole like a gopher :scrutiny:

We know a rifle is the best thing, but sometimes it is just not feasible.

January 26, 2003, 03:42 PM
The bear that got me was shot twice with a .300 mag. Once from the side in the midsection, once in the front chest as it charged the guy who shot it off my back.

That bear was a sow that probably went 800 pounds, not a big male. The state searched for it but could not find it. That bear survived to charge another party a week or so later - nobody injured - they were on the beach and able to get into a skiff before the bear made it down two hundred yards of hillside to them.
The following year in almost the exact same spot I was mauled (and at almost the same date), a hunter was killed by a bear. They were able to determine that he had fired his rifle (30.06) twice and there was bear blood to be found. The bear was tracked for several miles and never found. It was almost certainly the same bear that got me. I say that because the biologist had told me I had been mauled a few yards from a den site. Bears tend to hang around their den site for days or even weeks prior to going to bed - and they return to the same site each year. The guy who was killed was in that same spot at the same time of year. Same bear.

Anyway, that bear (which wasn't even a big male) survived at least 3 hits from rifles and went on its way. I have no doubt it's still out there. People are kidding themselves if they think a handgun is the way to go with a brown/grizzly. As for jerking your pistol while the bear is mauling you - forget it! Despite the impressions we all got from TV, a bear mauling resembles nothing so much as a dog shaking a rat to death. And like a dog fight, the animal is moving so fast you can't follow it with your eyes. They grab you and shake you till whatever they're hanging on to tears loose and then they grab you again. While that is going on they are raking you with their claws. Grab/shake/tear loose/grab again/shake/tear loose...

That's what it's like. Grizzlies like to "pop" the head of prey. It's how they kill. Male browns can do this on a big human head, but inland grizzlies or sow browns don't have quite large enough a mouth to crush our big melons. What happens is that they grab the head and try to crush it and can't get quite enough leverage, so it tends to just rip the scalp off. That's almost a signature injury when grizzlies are involved. Mine (scalp) was still attached and sewed back on, but when she had me by the head I was being tossed around in some alder bushes and that's probably the only reason I'm alive. The branches obstructed the shaking enough that my neck didn't break from being tossed around. That wasn't the case with the other places she grabbed me. She ripped loose most of the muscle from my upper right arm, my left leg near the knee and midway up the thigh. She also tore off my left buttock so it was hanging there like one of Al Gores swinging chads. And of course my head... I had uncountable lacerations from the claws all over my body, many of them also quite serious.
All of this happened in 15 - 20 seconds.

Back to the speed of a bear for a moment. I had my rifle in my hands and the bear covered the ten yards or so before I could get my rifle pointed up to the level. And I didn't freeze up or hesitate - the bear was just that fast. Draw a pistol from a holster?

Sorry for the book, but Path's comments kind of bring this back to reality. You need a REAL gun if you want to STOP a big critter like a brown bear.


January 26, 2003, 05:31 PM
The best caliber to carry is the .25acp

It is small, and light weight and so convenient to carry that you will never forget and leave it at home.

Here is how to properly use it when attacked by a heard of savage Kodiak bears

Climb nearest tree. Pull out conveniently carried .25acp and use it as all pistols should be used when you are attacked by a bear. Use it to signal for help from a person that has a rifle.

Next time remember to carry a rifle when in bear country.

January 26, 2003, 07:09 PM
And let's hope that puts and end to the godd*** talk about a 9mm vs. a bear. Stupid.

January 26, 2003, 07:57 PM
You can rent K98's in 30-06 at Svalbard.
Just make sure you go over them, check for excess grease and rust on the firing pin etc.
Many of the guns up there are carried, and not taken care of.

Several scientists carry a 44mag too, cause carrying a rifle while walking in a river, looking for fish eggs is kind of hard.

January 26, 2003, 08:47 PM
Kobun, I read about that option, but would you rely on a rented rifle? :uhoh:
And I already bought an Enfield for just that purpose. I doesn't seem to be too complicated to bring your own rifle to Spitsbergen as they'll accept the German license. And I'll rather carry a rifle I'm familiar with.

Where in Norway are you? I have friends in Trondheim and Oslo who might be interested in IPSC and practical rifle shooting.

January 27, 2003, 11:25 AM
Thanks for detailing a painful, traumatic event. Your posts offer many lessons to those who visualize Hollywood handgun stopping power when dealing with dangerous game.


January 27, 2003, 04:17 PM
Shot placement shot placement shot placement ;)

Why not, which handgun for unicorns or dragons?

What about Griffins?

January 27, 2003, 06:35 PM
How about wabbits? :neener:

Ray VonAsch
January 28, 2003, 11:16 AM
A 9mm should do just fine. Shoot yourself and save a lot of pain.

January 28, 2003, 11:32 AM
I said it once, and I wil say it again: a 9mm para explosive bullet will do just fine, just make sure it's a head-shot :evil:
oh ... there is one problem: they are a tiny little bit illegal :uhoh:

I guess that even a normal 9mm para will do :what:
yes, you heard me, 17 rounds of 9mm +p FMJ's will most certainly slow the bear down. and than ... run for your life :eek:

Baron Holbach
January 28, 2003, 01:32 PM
Keith, in the time a shooter notices the bear from ten yards, would drawing a chambered Glock 20 out of a hip holster be faster than unslinging a Marlin .45-70 off the shoulder?

January 28, 2003, 02:05 PM
>>>>in the time a shooter notices the bear from ten yards, would drawing a chambered Glock 20 out of a hip holster be faster than unslinging a Marlin .45-70 off the shoulder?<<<<<

You may be more likely to have the rifle in your hands but, realistically no, it's probably no quicker in many situations. However, if you do get off a shot that .45/70 may actually break the bear down. A handgun of any caliber is only going to make him mad.

I realize of course that bears (even big brown bears) have been taken with both handguns and bows, but that's an entirely different situation. The bear is taken from cover (with a heavy rifle back-up) and allowed to expire at leisure.

When a bear is attacking you, you need to STOP him and the best way to do that is with a heavy rifle that will break bones from stem to stern. Hopefully you'll knock him down for a moment and get an opportunity to keep shooting until he goes to sleep.

The bear picture that I posted earlier in this thread was shot five times with a .375 before it died. It took four shots just to anchor him - and all those shots were solid chest hits. Adrenalized brown bears with their hearts shot out have lasted as long as four minutes before hitting the ground. I watched an interesting tape one time of a brownie shot broadside with a .375 on the Alaskan Peninsula. The bear took off running downhill and the camera followed him right up the hill on the far side of the valley before he finally slowed to a walk and then laid down. He was dead when they got to him and when they cut him open the heart was in pieces and both lungs turned to mush. Elapsed time on the tape till he laid down - just over four minutes! I posted what a brown bear did to me in under 20 seconds, can you imagine what one could do in four minutes!

To STOP a bear you need to break down his bone structure OR get a brain shot through the nose. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who thinks they can hit a charging bear on the tip of the nose is kidding themselves.... unless their name is Jerry Miculek!


January 28, 2003, 02:31 PM

I'm thinking "belt-fed". or that BFR in .45-70.

Maybe the .25 Raven, to 'kneecap' somebody else in the party...:evil:

January 28, 2003, 03:11 PM
Good point Keith,

I remember reading gunwriters who were popular in the '50s and had many, many safaris to Alaska and Africa saying;

" If it can eat, gore, or stomp you, the first shot is to break them down, the second shot is to kill them".

Something I'd forgotten until you just said it.

January 28, 2003, 03:46 PM
the fact of the matter is that handguns have in fact saved lives in bear attacks. they are documented its a long shot but better than dieing. I even remember a story in one of the hunting mag about a bowhunter being attacked by a griz and killing it by stabbing it repeatedly with one of his broadhead arrows. would I want to try it? hell no but at least its better to try and die than not to try at all.(and still die).

January 28, 2003, 06:22 PM
Maybe this is one of the instances where a bayonet might be usefull. :uhoh:

January 28, 2003, 06:51 PM
Colt SAA (

35gr of FFFG and a 250gr cast bullet with SPG lube. (

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