Skip to comments.Need Pistol Recommendations For Grizzly Country (Vanity)
Posted on 12/01/2011 9:29:16 PM PST by Stonewall Jackson
I have a friend and colleague who is moving to Fairbanks next week and he is looking for a pistol to carry in grizzly country. He is an avid outdoorsman and will be hunting up there on a regular basis, but the only pistol he currently owns is a Browning 9mm.
He'd thought about getting a 1911A1, but I've pretty much convinced him that a .45ACP is okay against black bears, but is too slow hitting for effective use against grizzlies.
.44 mag should do.
A 30.06 is the best pistol against grizzly bears. For the sarcasm challenged, that is to say that no pistol is good enough protection from grizzly bears.
.44 Magnum would do.
Here’s a joke told to me by Alaskans on the subject of handguns and grizzlies:
“If you’re going to carry a pistol in bear country, make sure to file down the front sight.”
The typical question from a person of the lower 48 is then: “Why? So you can draw it faster, or it doesn’t snag on your clothes in winter?”
Alaskan: “No, so it doesn’t hurt so bad when the bear shoves it up your ass.”
Any pistol is scant protection against a really PO’ed griz or brown bear. Alaskans prefer to pack 12ga slug guns with Brenneke slugs. Most people can’t control those hand cannons well enough to gain proficiency with them.
Here in Wyoming, I pack a .45 LC when in the woods, but then we have few griz. More of my hazard is moose.
The last guy I heard about got into a contest with a griz down in the Kenai Pennisula over a salmon. The guy shot the griz in the chest 6 times with a 44 mag. Luckly some hikers came by and called for a medivac. The guy woke up in hospital in Anchorage eight (8) months later. Rangers found the griz dead ... 15 miles away.
A couple of days ago, it was -47*F in Fairbanks. I think he needs the best long underwear money can buy.
I think the 45 colt is a bit under the weather, and I think the 50 has to much recoil and muzzle rise to get back on target.
Thats my opinion.
The grizzly died from eating the contaminated salmon.
The 44 would be my choice, FWIW
I have the FN 5.7 which holds 20 rounds and comes with 3 clips. Unload the clip on the bear but don’t stick around to see what damage you did.
I'd opt for a Super Blackhawk in .45 LC these days.
If it has to be a hand-held weapon I’d opt for a grenade.
If he is a 1911 fan then I would recommend trying to find a LAR Grizzly Winmag in .45 Winchester Magnum. I have short fingers with a large/broad palm and I was able to shoot one comfortably. The recoil is manageable, especially compared to the calibers you already mentioned. If he has very short fingers it might not be a good match as the grip is longer than a .45 ACP 1911.
True. To hit a grizzly with a pistol is pretty scary to begin with. The bear is too close, the shooter is crapping his pants, his body is shaking, etc.
“Heres a joke told to me by Alaskans on the subject of handguns and grizzlies:”
It is actually part of a true story published in Alaska Magazine back in the 80s.
A 12 ga slug is better, but that’s not a pistol.
As for a sidearm to defend against grizzly bears - shotgun slugs. Best defense is to not engage them in any form or fashion. Second best defense is traveling with a partner who doesn't quite run as fast as you.
Never messed with bears.
Been around some pissed off 2000 lb bulls, though.
You ain’t stopping one with a handgun in time to guarantee your life.
Shot 180 lb deer centermass with a .44 mag and they can run quite a ways.
I’d say the riot shotgun slug advocates are right on.
Get the biggest and heaviest handgun you can find. You’ll need it to throw at the bear or perhaps beat him over the head with it.
All sarcasm aside, a larger caliber with a bullet that will penetrate. Like a solid or a hard cast round nose or Keith style semi-wadcutter. Stay away from soft Hollow points and the like.
Perhaps one of those industrial sized pepper spray units also.
all good choices, just remove the front site
Don’t bother with a pistol of any sort. Bring a rifle, .30-06 as a minimum.
I wouldn’t be carrying a pistol hoping to take down a Grizzly, at least as a front line weapon. If considering a ‘backup’ weapon in a pistol that could take one down, the caliber had best start with at least the number ‘4’.
S&W .44 Mag Model 29 or 629 with the 7 1/2”, or 8 3/8” barrel.
It’s what I take into the hills and mountains here in Idaho.
all good choices, just remove the front site
I tell you sir, what your friend really needs is one of these:
A Karelian Bear Dog/Laika. A gun can’t watch your back and with one of these, nobody has to get shot. Plus, if my little old Tyvek is representative, they have dainty appetites and make entertaining company.
I've always felt safe with my Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 mag, loaded with Federal Premium CastCore. I like the simplicity of the single action, and I feel safer keeping it under my pillow than I would if I had a more complex weapon.
Oly and Sven where out in the woods and Sven says:
What should we do if a bear comes upon us?
Oly says: you run like hell, reach back, grab it and throw it at ‘im!
Sven says: Grab what?
Oly says: It will be there. It will be there!
Otherwise the S&W Bear Gun in .500mag.
Personally, I'd carry a tactical shotgun with slugs.
When I lived in Fairbanks, I settled for a stainless steel .44 mag. because I always carried it with me while salmon fishing. That was back in the 80s. I bought a book up there called Alaskan Bear Tales (I think. I lent it to a guy and never got it back). The author talks about encounters with grizzlies and talks about one being taken out with one round from a .22 while another attacked a hunting camp and five hunters literally shot the bear’s heart out with their rifles. The bear still tore their camp up. It all depends on the bear. I don’t know whether he was serious or not but at the end of the book, he recommended “the best gun” as being a 40mm flare gun. Hit the bear in the chest with a flare and he’ll be busy for a while. LOL!
A longer barreled S&W .44 mag will work...but that is a side arm to take with you when bow hunting or hiking just in case.
If you are up rifle hunting a 30.06. 7mm MAg or even .308 are all good weapons.
I also carry a saddle gun, .44 mag...the Ruger. LEver action, ten round tubular mag.
That’s a constant debate up here. Most carry at least a .44 mag. Of course shot placement and luck has a lot to do with it. Shotguns and rifles are superior but you can’t always have one on you.
I’ve only had to pull mine once, and luckily it was a bluff charge, the Bear stopped just short of me. I was in the process of cocking my single action Ruger when he stopped, if he’d a kept coming I might of been able to get 1 shot before he would have been on me. Now, I carry a double action revolver. Bears move fast, real fast.
That .44 mag Ruger Super Blackhawk is the pistol I carried with me up there. I never had to try it out on a grizzly though. I always just left the area when they showed up.
Oly and Sven spot a bear headed toward them..
Oly says “I hope we can out run dat bear”.
Sven says “I ain’t worried, I’ve always been able to out run you”.
Whoa! a saturday night Nagant?
I carry a 1911A1 when I go out in the woods here in KY, but I only have to deal with black bears and rabid skunks.
Charlton Heston’s gun room?
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