Skip to comments.Handgun or Pistol Defense Against Bear Attack: 73 cases, 96% Effective
Posted on 08/14/2019 4:05:21 AM PDT by marktwain
(Excerpt) Read more at ammoland.com ...
On the Internet, and in print, many people claim that pistols lack efficacy in defending against bear attacks. Here is an example that occurred on freerepublic.com:
Actually, there are legions of people who have been badly mauled after using a handgun on a bear. Even some of the vaunted magnums.
OK, give us a few examples. As you claim legions, it should not be too hard.
I never received a response. I believe the claim was made in good faith. There has been much conjecture about the lack of efficacy of pistols for defense against bears. A little searching will find a plethora of fantasy, fiction, mythology, and electrons sprayed about the supposed lack.
In the original article, there were 37 instances of bear attacks where people attempted to defend themselves or others from a bear or bears, with a pistol. Of the 37 attacks, there was only one failure, giving a success rate of 97%.
The criteria for inclusion in this study is a pistol had to be fired to defend against a bear or bears. If a pistol was not fired, the incident was not included. If the use of the pistol stopped the attack, it was a success whether the bear was killed immediately, or left the scene, as long as it stopped attacking.
All methods of defense against bears have similar problems of access. A handgun or bear spray in a pack, or a rifle slung over the shoulder without a round in the chamber, should not be counted as a use of the method to defend against bears. All of the methods can be carried for easy access. It is not a fault of the method if the user did not have them available for use, or if the attack was too quick to allow use.
I and colleagues have searched for instances where pistols were used to defend against bears. By the time of the original article I and my associates found 37 instances which were fairly easily confirmed.
By March of 2019, our renewed efforts had found another 26 instances. The 63 incidents had 3 failures, for a 95% success rate. The incidents are heavily weighted toward the present. The ability to publish and search for these incidents has increased over the years. By August of 2019, we have found ten more cases. The total is now 73 cases, with three failures, for a success rate of 96%.
Reason #1 why I also take my Beowulf .50cal w/ 425gr HP ammo, along, with either my Colt Trooper MkIII .357mag or Kimber 1911 .45cal ACP.
Forty years ago when I was fresh out of high school I was hiking in the remote Canadian Rockies in an area renowned for Grizzlies. My buddy and I encountered a couple of local old guys on the trail who really knew their way around those mountains, dusty, leather-skinned, Gabby Hayes types. We began chatting about the bears and I asked about the effect of various handgun calibers on a grizzly. He began laughing and after mumbling some genuine frontier gibberish he said, “If yer’ gonna to take a pistol to fight off grizzlies the first thing you need to do is file the sights off the end of the barrel.” I asked why and he chuckled, slapped his knee, and said, “So it don’t hurt so much when he shoves it up yer’ ass!”
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.